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About Norman Desmarais

Norman Desmarais, of Lincoln, RI, is professor emeritus at Providence College. He is an active re-enactor with the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment and the Regiment Bourbonnais. He is a member of the Brigade of the American Revolution (BAR) and editor-in-chief of the BAR’s journal, The Brigade Dispatch. He now devotes his time to researching, writing and speaking about the American War of Independence. He is the author of Battlegrounds of Freedom and the 6-volume The Guide to the American Revolutionary War. Norman has also translated the Gazette Françoise, the French newspaper published in Newport, RI by the French fleet that brought the Count de Rochambeau and 5800 French troops to America in July 1780. It is the first known service newspaper published by an expeditionary force. He is currently working on a history of the American War of Independence at sea and overseas.
Latest Posts | By Norman Desmarais
Identifying the French Landing Site in Newport
1 year ago

Identifying the French Landing Site in Newport

Most of the diaries (see bibliography) that record the arrival and landing of the French troops at Newport, Rhode Island, describe the mechanics of the landing. None of them indicate …
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A French Officer Seeks to Rebuild Aquidneck Island’s Revolutionary War Fortifications
2 years ago

A French Officer Seeks to Rebuild Aquidneck Island’s Revolutionary War Fortifications

Rhode Island’s fortifications were in a state of disrepair by the end of the Revolutionary War. The Rhode Island Assembly ordered, in October 1784, that the works on Goat Island …
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French Soldiers Who Died at Newport During the Revolutionary War
2 years ago

French Soldiers Who Died at Newport During the Revolutionary War

Admiral Charles Louis d’Arsac Chevalier de Ternay (1722–1780) is the most renowned Frenchman of the Expédition Particulière to be buried in Newport. His funeral had more pomp and ceremony than …
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The French Soldiers Commemorated at the North Burial Ground in Providence
2 years ago

The French Soldiers Commemorated at the North Burial Ground in Providence

A large granite monument (see fig. 1) in the North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island (at the intersection of North Main Street (Route 1) and Branch Avenue) commemorates the …
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A Colonial Newport Tunnel Perfect for Smuggling?
3 years ago

A Colonial Newport Tunnel Perfect for Smuggling?

In 1881 and 1905, two respected Rhode Island history authors made the claim that in colonial times, Godfrey Malbone, a wealthy Newport merchant, had constructed a tunnel from the coastline …
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