History comes alive for the whole family with Living History Days at the New-York Historical Society! Do you want to know what life was like in the 18th century? Join us as we celebrate the New-York Historical Society’s grand reopening and meet some of our nation’s founders, including George Washington, Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as members of various Continental units, including the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, one of the first African-American units. Living History Days are produced in conjunction with the exhibition, Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn.
Living History Days are free with Museum admission.
Speaker & Group Bio(s)
As the pre-eminent founding father of the United States, George Washington occupies a unique place in America’s collective memory. Dean Malissa has portrayed George Washington since 2001, and has performed at premiere venues across the country, including the White House visitor center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, and Liberty Hall. Malissa has also portrayed George Washington on CNN, the Discovery Channel and Showtime network.
Benjamin Franklin endures as one of the most iconic and revered of the founding fathers. As a prolific inventor, scientist, diplomat and statesman, Franklin left his handprint on the early years of the United States. Jack Sherry portrays Franklin in order to entertain and educate the public about Franklin’s role in American history, including his various experiments concerning electricity and his signing of the Declaration of Independence. Celeste Sherry portrays Franklin’s wife, Deborah Read Franklin.
The Marquis de Lafayette played a crucial role in the American victory during the evolutionary War. Loic Barnieu, from France, has studied theater at the French Acting School in Paris and at the Hedgerow Theater in the United States. Barnieu is a part of the American Historical Theatre, and portrays Lafayette in order to give presentations about the life of the Marquis. In addition to appearing with the Theater Double and the Delaware Theater Company, Barnieu is the owner of two restaurants in Media, Pennsylvania.
Raised in Albany, New York in May 1775, the 1st New York Regiment fought for the Continental forces throughout the war. They saw action at the Invasion of Canada, the Battle of Valcour Island, the Battle of Saratoga, the Battle of Monmouth, the Sullivan Expedition, and the Battle of Yorktown. The Regiment was originally established under the command of Colonel Alexander McDougall, who later served as a representative for the Continental Congress, a New York senator, and the first president of the Bank of New York.
As the first all-Black regiment in America, the 1st Rhode Island Regiment was assembled into service in late 1776 and early 1777. The Regiment fought in the battle of Newport in 1778, spent the infamous winter at Valley Forge, and participated in the Yorktown campaign without receiving any post-war compensation for their efforts. Since 2002, the 1st Rhode Island re-enactors have portrayed the regiment by recreating battles and encampments and presenting programs to audiences in an attempt to educate them about the role of African-Americans in the war effort.
For More Information:
Please contact the Department of Public Programs at (212) 485-9205 for more information about this program
The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024