In a rack atop the 19th-century, glass-front bookcase in the Varnum Commander’s Office is a rare English Carbine, a scaled-down version of the British Land Pattern Musket, commonly known as the “Brown Bess”. From 1722 to 1838, the British Army used the Land Pattern worldwide and some were used by colonists as well.
February is Black History Month, an opportunity to take a brief look at an important aspect of General James Mitchell Varnum’s illustrious career: the inclusion of men of color into the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, known as Varnum’s Continentals and from which we take our name and heritage as a historic state militia.
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have artist Frank Quagan’s rendition of “Varnum’s Black Regiment”, the integrated 1st Rhode Island Regiment formed during the American Revolutionary War.
This European halberd at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum dates from the 15th or 16th century. A halberd is a type of polearm used in combat to repel mounted cavalry charges and signal or direct troops.
While American women today serve in front-line duties in the armed forces, this wasn’t a common or accepted practice in the past. This article tells the stories of Deborah Sampson of the American Revolution and Kady Brownell in the U.S. Civil War. Click the link to read more about these American military heroes.
It’s been a while since we sat down with Varnum Continentals Vice President and Varnum House Museum Curator Barbara Weaver. A lot has happened at the historic house on the hill. Thanks to an extensive series of renovations funded through both individual donations and the generosity of charitable foundations, the home of General James Mitchell […]
This ancient Fowler was purportedly carried by Thomas Gould of North Kingstown as he patrolled the beaches of Quidnesset watching for Tory and British ships during the American Revolutionary War. It is a conglomeration of early European parts and some crude American-made parts. This old flintlock birding gun dates from the late 1600s to early […]
The Battle of Rhode Island, in August 1778, was a key element of the Rhode Island Campaign, the first French and American Operation in the American Revolutionary War. This year marked the 240th anniversary of this confrontation between colonial and British forces on Aquidneck Island. Our Monday, December 10 speaker, Christian McBurney, will share 12 […]
Our Rhode Island United Train of Artillery leather cap (purportedly worn during the Revolution by Benajah Carpenter) has safely returned to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia,PA. Carpenter was killed in action at the Battle of Long Island presumably while wearing it. One of the rarest and […]
Join us on Monday, May 14 as John Duchesneau, past president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and fellow Varnum Continentals member, takes us back in time for a look at our organization’s namesake, General James Mitchell Varnum. Although many of us may be familiar with the General’s background […]