Library, historical society to host ‘Revolutionary’ talk

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. —The Portsmouth Historical Society, in partnership with the Portsmouth Free Public Library, will host a talk by author, educator, and historian Fred Zilian entitled “Life on Aquidneck Island during the British Occupation, 1776-1779.”

The talk will be held at the library on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m.


Just over 240 years ago, British, Hessian and Loyalist forces landed and occupied Aquidneck Island, beginning a nearly three-year occupation with devastating consequences for Aquidneck Island and its people. Find out what everyday life was like during the Revolutionary War and how people on Aquidneck Island coped during this period in our history. 

Fred Zilian is a well-known local historian and author, and a monthly columnist for The Newport Daily News on Rhode Island history.

Following a 21-year career in the Army, Fred Zilian was an educator at Portsmouth Abbey School for 23 years, where he taught history, ethics, and German.  He served as the History Department chair, dean of faculty, and assistant headmaster for student services.

He is currently an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University in Newport, where he teaches history and politics.

This program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Reserve your seat through the library website or call the library at 683-9457 to register. 

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