French Officers’ (1780) Grave Marker Dedication
1 Queen Anne Square
Newport, RI 02840
Trinity Church records indicate that three French officers were buried in its Churchyard in 1780. Only the grave of Admiral Charles-Henri-Louis d’Arsac, chevalier de Ternay, whose fleet brought 5,000 French troops to Newport, is currently marked with a stone. Newspaper articles from 1780 confirm that chaplains said prayers for the dead aboard French ships and performed the burial rites at Trinity Church with full military honors. The contributions of Lt. Augustin Benjamin Lavilmarais of the French Frigate l’Hermione and Major Pierre du Rousseau Chevalier de Fayolle, who was a friend and aide to Lafayette, will be remembered with new slate markers carved by Nick Benson of Newport’s John Stevens Shop. The ceremony will be conducted by members of WARO, the American Society of Le Souvenir Français, American Friends of Lafayette, American Battlefield Trust, and Alliance Français, with an anticipated presentation by the Ambassador of France to the United States, H.E. Philippe Étienne. The ceremony will conclude with a 21-gun salute by the Newport Artillery Company.
“On the eve of America’s semiquincentennial, these Revolutionary programs share our country’s history while highlighting stories about the origins of the Franco-American alliance,” explains Johnny Carawan, Trail Administrator for WARO. “We are also excited to highlight Newport’s substantial contributions to the American Revolution, while helping the public make personal connections to the Trail,” said Carawan.
The event is free.