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.
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.
The 3rd New York Regiment of Long Island was one of the first regiments raised by the colonies in response to the Continental Congress’ call to support George Washington. The regiment guarded Long Island from British raiding parties looking for supplies during the American Revolution and also played a prominent role in the New York, Boston, and Quebec campaigns. The current regiment now works to portray the daily activities of a typical Long Island soldier during this time.
Captain Mott's Artillery Company was involved throughout the Revolutionary War, first in Quebec, and later at West Point, Kingston, NY, Connecticut, New Jersey and then as far South as Virginia.The modern day Mott’s Artillery was formed in 1977 by Charles McGatha, who was the commanding officer of the unit until 1998 when he moved to Virginia. From 1998 to the present time, John Mills, Curator of Princeton Battlefield, has been the Commander of Mott’s Artillery. Mott’s Artillery, a non-profit (501c3) corporation, is a member of the Continental Line and associate member of the Brigade. The unit owns a three-pounder cannon, a trailer and a supply truck with tents, cooking and artillery e