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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642

Historic enactment of Washington’s 1756 ride
to be staged at Narragansett’s South Ferry Beach

A presentation of a panoramic painting by George Laurie of the original event to the
Neighborhood Guild in Peace Dale will take place at 1 p.m.

Narragansett, RI -- February 12, 2003 -- To celebrate George Washington’s place in our nation’s history, Friends of Oceanography at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and the Newport Federal Savings Bank will stage an enactment of Colonel George Washington’s 1756 ride which took him from Virginia to Boston via Newport.

Free and open to the public, the enactment will be held on Friday, February 21, at 10 a.m. on the URI Bay Campus where Washington crossed Narragansett Bay from South Ferry Landing aboard the Narragansett Ferries which serviced the area in the mid-1750s. The enactment, produced by Tempus Fugit of Wakefield, will feature riders from Lame Acres Stables, a rehabilitation center for large animals; representatives from the Rhode Island militia in traditional "white hunting frocks"; and docents in colonial dress from Smith’s Castle-Cocumscussoc in North Kingstown. The event takes place one day before the traditional celebration of Washington’s birthday on February 22. Following the enactment will be a program and refreshments in URI’s Coastal Institute Auditorium on the Bay Campus.

At 1 p.m. there will be a reception at the Neighborhood Guild in Peace Dale for George Laurie who painted the panoramic "Colonel Washington Arrives at the Narragansett Ferries, February 22, 1756." The painting will be given to the Neighborhood Guild. Laurie, inspired by the Andrew Wyeth illustrations in his school history books, proposed the work last April and presented the acrylic painting to Newport Federal Savings Bank in November.

The ride of 1756 followed the defeat of General Edward Braddock at Fort-Duquesne during the French and Indian War. Colonel Washington was by Braddock's side when the army was ambushed and defeated on July 9, 1755. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains that because Washington helped bring the troops back, he was repaid by being appointed commander of all the Virginia troops. Finding that a Maryland captain who held a royal commission would not obey him, he rode north in February 1756 to Boston to have the question settled by the commander in chief in America, Governor William Shirley

For information or directions call Friends of Oceanography at (401) 874-6602.

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