Rhode Island Picture Post Cards
The Varnum Continentals - Reenactment Militia
East Greenwich, Rhode Island - 1919

(Scroll Down for Background and History of Varnum Continentals)

Posted in East Greenwich on July 2, 1919 - Divided Back

This postcard is one of the earlier cards to be produced in the United States. Prior to World War I, most postcards were printed in Germany and they were of superior quality to the early American efforts. This was a black/white photo postcard that has been partially colored.

The card is addressed to Mrs. Wilfred Roys in Sheffield, Massachusetts and message on the reverse of the reads:

I am sorry I have not kept my word, but time slips by fast sometimes. We had a very good journey. The children were just as good as could be all the way and slept most of the way. They have kept well and certainly have had the time of their lives. Hope you are all well. We are coming back July 3.

The Varnum Continentals

James Mitchell Varnum was born in Dracut, Massachusetts on December 17, 1748. He graduated from Rhode Island College with a law degree, (later Brown University) in 1769. and was admitted to the bar in 1771. He married Martha Child in that year and they settled in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

In 1774, Varnum became the commander of the Kentish Guards and was commissioned as Colonel  of the 1st Infantry Regiment by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, he commanded the 12th and the 9th Continental Regiments and was commissioned a Brigadier General. In 1779 Varnum was commissioned as Major General of the Rhode Island Militia

General Varnum was a member of the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782 and 1786 to 1787. He was an original member of the Ohio Company and one of the founders of Marietta, Ohio where he served as a Federal Judge

James Varnum died in Marietta of consumption in December of 1788.

The Varnum Continentals are a Revolutionary War Reenactment Group named after General Varnum. Their headquarters are located at the Varnum Armory in East Greenwich, which was completed in 1914. It was constructed in the medieval architectural style and is located at 6 Main Street, East Greenwich. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Varnum Continentals first paraded in 1913.

The Continentals are currently led by Colonel Bruce MacGunnigle. Bruce collects Varnum memorabilia including postcards and was also a bidder on the postcard above. We corresponded  concerning the card, as Bruce wanted to purchase the card for his collection. Although I was somewhat sympathetic to the idea, I was and am too much of a collector myself to let a great item like this go. I have visited the Varnum Continental's Web-Site and I heartily recommend it for further information and graphics concerning this great Reenactment Group. They also maintain a Naval and Military Museum at the Armory.

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