Revolutionary War Festive Board

The smell of the sea, the squawk of shore birds, and the squeaking of a sailing vessel's lines are all well known to us here in Rhode Island. During the Tall Ships festival in the summer, we may see square-rigged vessels breaking the horizon. On July 8th 2015 we will see something that we haven't quite seen before – a celebration of the preparations for American Independence, with the French Frigate that brought Major-General Lafayette back to Washington in 1780.

The news that a new French fleet would come bearing French regiments was exactly what General Washington had hoped for, as Newport had been retaken and New York City remained in the enemies hands. A piece of this hope for liberty can be relived by Freemasons throughout New England, when a very special festive board will be held in the casemate of Fort Adams in Newport, with many historic re-enactors that are staying overnight in the Fort. As part of the celebrations of the landing of the French Fleet on July 10th, 1780, L'Hermione will be staying at the Fort, and they have invited us to hold a very special Masonic feast with General George Washington in attendance himself! Click here for the details we have of the ships visit to Newport.

Dean MalissaBrother Dean Malissa is the official Mount Vernon Estate interpreter of George Washington. He is an exceptional mixture of accomplished actor and scholar who brings to life the the current historically-accurate body of knowledge related to him. No one else is allowed to “historically interpretive act” George Washington on the Mt. Vernon estate. Brother Dean has interpreted George Washington in many television specials and is not just some actor who throws on a wig. Brother Malissa is General Washington, with real hair as Washington had, and no false teeth! In addition to Mount Vernon, he routinely portrays Washington at the Smithsonian, the National Constitution Center, Fort Ligonier, and for the National Park Service at Valley Forge and Independence Parks. (http://www.gwashington.com/) He will bring us back to those days in the early 1780s when we were on the brink of that miracle year, when the aid of France's regiments and fleet, they marched from Newport all the way to victory at Yorktown! In the candlight of the very casemate had fired on the 1778 fleet of Count D'Estaing at the Battle of Rhode Island, you will experience what it was to be conversing with Washington in the company of Continental soldiers and members of Le Régiment Bourbonnais, who re-enact the French regiment of Rochambeau from 1780. The General will discuss with us the plans, the apprehension, and the conundrums of the “Glorious Cause”, as colonial era music drifts along in the background.

With these historic interpreters from all over New England, we'll dine by candlelight with five courses of food provided by the Gourmet Catering company of Warwick. The toasts of the evening will be special as well, with wine for some, but also an old English porter, and Madeira wine. The 2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons, coming from Connecticut, will be supplying historic aged Madeira from the area where General Washington ordered his own “Pipe of the best Old Wines”. (Justino's Wine YouTube) Grape juice and water will be available to those who prefer to abstain.

Attire for this event is requested as colonial attire, military dress if available. For those who only own attire of the 21st century, slacks and a sport coat or at least a dress shirt will be suitable.

We plan to open a lodge of Entered Apprentice for the work of the evening, then have the Masonic Feast at refreshment to allow servers and non-Mason re-enactors to join in the festivities. This is a chance to showcase Rhode Island to Masons and non-Masons abroad in a communal celebration of the road to national independence.

Toasts beverages:

  • Old English Porter
  • Pinot Noir
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shiraz
  • Justino's Madeira (aged)
  • Madeira (aged) again for last toast
  • Grape Juice or water for those who abstain

Menu:
1st course: Miniature Mommas meatballs in pink gorgonzola cream w/ grilled focaccia

2nd course: Roasted vegetable antipasto w/balsamic essence

3rd course: fresh watermelon & feta cheese salad w/chiffonade fresh basil, cracked black pepper, EVOO & Raspberry Viniagrette

4th course: Napoleon of Grilled Chicken with smoked gouda cream, roasted asparagus, cherry tomatoes & roast garlic - served over red & sweet potato hash

5th course: Key lime pie with beery coulis & caramel sauce