FAQ
BLOG
CONTACT US
DONATE NOW
ARCHIVE
Aug8
HISTORIC RE-ENACTORS ADD AUTHENTICITY TO HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Aug5
Say Au Revoir to The Hermione: Last Stop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Before Returning to France
Jul28
Lafayette at Monticello: “The Happy days I Have Past” : A Talk with Assistant Curator Emilie Johnson, Monticello
Jul21
A Talk with Ursula Reed, Chair, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, and Dr. Robert Selig, Historian, W3R-US
Jul18
HERMIONE MAKES A BIG IMPACT IN CASTINE, MAINE – ON BASTILLE DAY, JULY 14, 2015
Jul13
HERMIONE FRIGATE ARRIVES IN BOSTON TO TUMULTUOUS WELCOME ON JULY 11, 2015
Jul11
A Talk with David Dearinger, Curator of Lafayette: An American Icon at the Boston Athenæum
Jul10
Hermione Arrives in Historic Newport, Rhode Island
Jul9
Greenport, NY Greets Hermione with Great Fanfare July 6-7 Visit Warmly Welcomed on Long Island
Jul5
HERMIONE FRIGATE IN VIEW OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY DURING JULY 4 PARADE OF SHIPS
Jul2
Triumphant Arrival of Hermione to New York’s Pier 15 at South Street Seaport Museum
Jun29
THE HERMIONE RE-ENACTMENT DINNER AT PHILADELPHIA’S CITY TAVERN IS AN AUTHENTIC BLAST! Marquis-mania Enlivens Philadelphia Waterfront with Tall Ships
Jun25
FRENCH-AMERICAN LIAISON EXTRAORDINAIRE: A TALK WITH NICOLE YANCEY
Jun22
HERMIONE’S BENEDICT DONNELLY SPEAKS IN ANNAPOLIS
Jun17
A Conversation with Paul Raschilla, Partner, AKF Group A Supporter of Hermione’s Visit to the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland
Jun10
Fireworks At Mount Vernon, Virginia During Hermione’s Visit on June 9, 2015
Jun8
Hermione Arrives In Yorktown With A Bang!
Jun2
Rendezvous of France’s Hermione and U.S. Navy’s USS Mitscher Off Virginia Coast
Jun1
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION HERMIONE-LA FAYETTE
May29
A Talk with Dr. Valerie Paley, New-York Historical Society on Its Current Exhibit: “Lafayette’s Return: The “Boy General,” the American Revolution, and the Hermione.”
May26
The Florida Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America Host Four Successful Fundraisers Collecting $200,000
May7
Lafayette’s Arrival on April 27, 1780 Celebrated By Massachusetts Lafayette Society On Hancock’s Wharf, Boston
May5
Hermione-Lafayette President Miles Young Addresses Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
Apr30
WORLD PREMIERE OF LAFAYETTE,
Apr13
LAFAYETTE, THE PLAY at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall Theater in New York
Apr7
LAFAYETTE COMES ALIVE: A TALK WITH LAURENT FERRI, CURATOR AND ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Apr2
Lafayette’s Key Role in the American Revolution is Celebrated in a New Society of the Cincinnati Exhibit
Mar25
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA GATHER IN PALM BEACH FOR CELEBRATORY GALA
Mar24
Gérard Araud, French Ambassador Welcomes Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. at Washington, D.C. Reception
Mar18
PRINCE CHARLES LEARNS OF HERMIONE’S VISIT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON
Mar15
Commonwealth of Virginia Declares March 14 as Lafayette Day
Mar14
Hermione Frigate Welcomes Hennessy on Board
Mar9
HERMIONE’S ARTISANAL ACHIEVEMENT
Feb18
AHOY! HERMIONE SETS SAIL TO AMERICA….AGAIN!
Feb14
French Language Students in New England Invited To Enter Hermione Contest
Jan31
Hermione-Lafayette Rallies Support in Coral Gables, Florida
Jan18
2015 – The Year of Hermione Comes to the United States
Dec23
FRANCE MAGAZINE DEVOTES COVER STORY TO THE HERMIONE!
Dec9
THE MARQUIS: LAFAYETTE RECONSIDERED
Dec8
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA SALUTE OUR ARMED FORCES ON VETERANS DAY
Dec4
LAFAYETTE SYMPOSIUM AT LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE NEW YORK
Dec4
NYC GATHERING WITH MILES YOUNG, PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA
Dec3
BRITISH TRAVEL WRITERS COMMEND HERMIONE FRIGATE PROJECT IN 2014
Nov12
ABOARD HERMIONE: MARC JENSEN’S LOG NOTES
Oct15
GALA HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA ON THE USS INTREPID
Oct14
FOH-LA’S MARC JENSEN ON BOARD HERMIONE IN BORDEAUX!
Oct10
HERMIONE’S TRIUMPHAL ARRIVAL IN BORDEAUX!
Sep16
THE SIEGE WILL COMMENCE TOMORROW AT YORKTOWN
Sep8
HERMIONE ON ITS WAY TO THE ATLANTIC!
Sep6
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAFAYETTE!
Sep2
THE PERILS OF PEACE – CELEBRATING THE 231ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES
Aug21
MARC JENSEN – HERMIONE’S “MARITIME AMBASSADOR”
Jul13
LAFAYETTE – HERO OF TWO WORLDS, THREE REVOLUTIONS
Jul3
CHEF WALTER STAIB VISITS HERMIONE TO FILM “A TASTE OF HISTORY” EPISODE
Jun25
MILES YOUNG RECEIVES NAVY LEAGUE’s LEADERSHIP AWARD
Jun11
FRENCH NAVY FRIGATE LA FAYETTE VISITS YORKTOWN COMMEMORATING FRANCO-AMERICAN ALLIANCE
Jun9
GALA CELEBRATES HERMIONE FRENCH FRIGATE OF LIBERTY ABOARD USS INTREPID on OCTOBER 14, 2014
May22
AHOY! SAVE THE DATE: OCT. 14, 2014 GALA ABOARD THE INTREPID TO CELEBRATE HERMIONE 2015 VOYAGE
Apr15
MEET ANNE RENAULT – HERMIONE’S SAILMAKER
Apr10
BEFORE NEW AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK WAS CALLED NEW ANGOULÊME!
Mar28
LAFAYETTE IN FOCUS AT UPCOMING MONTICELLO SYMPOSIUM
Mar25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 7 – ANCHORS AWAY!
Mar18
YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT LAFAYETTE WAS A FAMOUS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Feb23
DRUM ROLL FOR L’HERMIONE FROM SONS OF THE REVOLUTION!
Feb16
ADOPTED SON: WASHINGTON, LAFAYETTE, AND THE FRIENDSHIP THAT SAVED THE REVOLUTION
Feb6
VISIT TO MONTICELLO BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT HOLLANDE OF FRANCE
Feb3
FLORIDA TO SUPPORT LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Feb2
PHILADELPHIA PREPARES FOR LAFAYETTE’S 2015 HERMIONE VOYAGE
Jan27
A FRENCH SILVER BOTTLE SLIDER: LAFAYETTE’S GIFT TO WASHINGTON
Jan16
MILES YOUNG BRINGS LESSONS OF L’HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE TO LYCEE FRANCAIS de NEW YORK
Jan14
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 6 – THE SPRITSAIL, SYMBOL OF ANCIENT NAVIGATION
Dec31
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 5: HERMIONE’S BALLAST: STABLE AND STRONG
Dec27
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 4: HERMIONE ARTISANS SET SAIL IN A RUSSIAN FRIGATE
Dec2
PBS – “LAFAYETTE: THE LOST HERO” AIRS 9PM, DECEMBER 3, 2013
Nov15
“RECREATING LAFAYETTE’S FRIGATE” IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Nov11
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 3: POWERING THE HERMIONE
Sep26
NEW YORK WELCOMES HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE VOYAGE 2015 TO THE USA AT FRENCH CONSULATE RECEPTION ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Sep25
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 2: GETTING THE DETAILS RIGHT
Sep25
WELCOME TO OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE
Sep24
CAPTAIN’S CHRONICLE NO. 1: WELCOME!
Sep23
INTRODUCING OUR NEW LOGO
Sep19
AUTHENTICITY BUT WITH A TOUCH OF MODERNITY
Sep19
THE THIRD MAST IS INSTALLED
Jun15
RISING SPLENDOR
Apr4
L’HERMIONE GAINS HER FINAL TWO LOWER MASTS
Mar25
THE FIRST STAGE OF THE MAST CONSTRUCTION
Nov12
UNVEILING OF THE FIGUREHEAD
Mar31
MARCH 2012 PHOTO GALLERY BY PHILIP PLISSON
Jan20
REBIRTH OF THE BOAT LOCKS
Jan17
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 2: THE SHORING
Jan5
PREPARING FOR LAUNCH, PHASE 1: DISMANTLING THE TENT
Dec28
INSTALLATION OF THE ENGINES
Dec14
COMPLETION OF THE ORNAMENTS
Nov18
FLANGES FOR THE ENGINE
Nov15
END OF THE HULL’S PAINT JOB
Nov11
COMPLETION OF THE QUARTER GALLERIES
Jul8
THE RIGGING: START OF THE WORK
A Talk with Ursula Reed, Chair, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, and Dr. Robert Selig, Historian, W3R-US
July 21, 2015

Ursula Reed, center, is Chair of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route group, with David Holloway, left, past Director of W3R-US, and Dr. Robert Selig, Historian, W3R-US, at one of the group’s events in Pencader, Delaware in 2009. Photo Credit: Courtesy of W3R-US

The mission of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is to partner with the public and private organizations to commemorate, interpret and protect historic resources related to the 1780-1783 Franco-American march to final victory against the British in the Revolutionary War. Visit us at http://www.nps.gov/waro/index.htm. Photo Credit: Courtesy of W3R-US

Editor’s Note: With the Hermione having completed its historic North American voyage, it is an opportune time to look into a lasting aspect of the ship’s educational mission and the partnership between Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-US). Ursula Reed was elected Chair of the board of W3R-US in 2013 and to a second two-year term on June 25, 2015 at the group’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Prior to W3R-US, Reed worked for The Rouse Company on Baltimore’s Harborplace and the New York South Street Seaport projects, among her many historical public-private development projects.  

For this interview, Dr. Robert A. Selig, W3R-US’s Historian, also joins in to address a number of key points about this unique National Historic Trail.

Question:   Tell us how you became involved in W3R-US?

Ursula Reed:   In the late 90’s, I first became involved in W3R-US based on more than 20-years experience in volunteer service on non-profit boards at authentic historic house museums in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Another board member at the Historic Strawberry Mansion, who recognized my keen interest in history, invited me to join Colonial Dames of Delaware events where I met fellow citizens who were then trying to interest others in promoting the Washington-Rochambeau trail project, whose aim from its inception was to focus on the French role in the American Revolution.

I was then working as the development consultant for the Fairmount Waterworks – a National Historic Landmark on the Schuylkill River. In the late 70’s, I also worked for the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission on the development of the Penn’s Landing Museum and Cultural Center, now known as Independence Seaport Museum – where the Hermione docked in Philadelphia.

Q:   What is its single most important accomplishment along the entire W3R-US NHT route in your opinion?

UR:   The most important accomplishment of W3R-US was getting Congress and President Obama to designate the W3R-US as a National Historic Trail (NHT) in March 2009.

This gave W3R-US the opportunity to partner with the National Park Service (NPS) under the US Department of Interior. The NPS appointed a Superintendent, Joe DiBello, to work with us on the development of the 700-mile NHT that connects both land and water trails from Boston to Yorktown. Now, after more than 40 years since passing the Clean Water Act of 1972, in the USA people are returning to our waterfronts for recreation and will hopefully rediscover our history. The W3R-US NHT provides access to and tells the story of the creation of our democracy and the evolution and human impact on the environment along the way – highlighting lessons learned.

Actually, the northern boundary of the W3R-US NHT is Boston where the Hermione first arrived with Lafayette on board on 28 April1780. General Rochambeau sailed into Newport on 11 July 1780. Rochambeau’s forces sailed out of Boston Harbor on Christmas Day 1782. So the W3R-US NHT starts in Newport but ends in Boston. At this year’s events, W3R-US’s Newport activities, and at the other ports of call of the Hermione, celebrate the 235th anniversary of the French landing.

Q:   What have been the major accomplishments of W3R-US the last 12-18 months?

UR:   Completing the W3R Historic Resource Studies for all nine states this last year has been a major accomplishment. Based on that research, W3R-US and state groups have installed banners and interpretive signage along the NHT and produced public history programs at each site.  Partnering with the NPS, American Friends of Lafayette, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. (FOHLA) and Independence Seaport Museum as well as partners in VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, NY, CT, RI, and MA promotes the W3R NHT in the US and France, stimulating heritage tourism globally.

Meeting the challenges of partnering with FOHLA for arrival ceremonies and W3R programs was also a major accomplishment for our people—way beyond the normal workload of this all-volunteer W3R-US organization. Our mission is to educate the public about the history of the American-French Alliance along the north to south 1780-1 Route. In Philadelphia, for example, more than 100 people attended a history lecture by Dr. Robert Selig at 9:30 am on the day the Hermione arrived on June 25, 2015!

By focusing on our common interest in promoting the American/French Alliance, our W3R team responded with amazing grace and enthusiasm for our French friends.

Going forward with stops in Newport and Boston at the northern boundary of the W3R NHT, our members will surely welcome the Hermione and its crew with gracious hospitality and authentic history.

Q:   What in your view do Americans need to know about Washington and Rochambeau’s military relationship?

UR: Americans need to know about the critical leadership role of General Rochambeau during the 1781 campaign. Rochambeau had more experience as a senior military strategist than either the much younger Lafayette or General Washington. Each played a critical role in winning the War of Independence: Lafayette as liaison to the French court, Rochambeau as commanding officer of a French auxiliary force twice the size of the Continental Army on the march to Yorktown and Washington as the undisputed commanding officer of allied forces and integrative force of the alliance.

Too little was known about the role of Rochambeau in the US – until the creation of the W3R-US NHT. We must continue to educate the public about this critical Washington/Rochambeau relationship in winning American Independence and the crucial need for western democracies to strengthen their cooperation against radical ideologies of all and any color– especially now as we are continuing our quest for a more peaceful world.

Q: Do you think Rochambeau and Washington understood each other in spite of language gaps, culture and military priorities, and what about Lafayette’s role between them as a liaison?

Robert Selig: The first few weeks after his return to the US in May 1780 were difficult for Lafayette as he was forced to realize and admit that if anything the supply situation and morale of the Continental Army had deteriorated during his absence. Prior to the arrival of Rochambeau in mid-July, his enthusiasm and (almost) conviction that the arrival of Rochambeau would lead directly to a siege of New York and the end of the war kept Lafayette going. In this, Lafayette was tacitly encouraged by Washington, for whom New York City was always the top prize of the war. Rochambeau’s troops, however, were in no position to embark on this particular campaign and Lafayette’s constant urging, almost pestering, of Rochambeau achieved exactly the opposite.

As Lafayette continued pressing for action, eventually even questioning Rochambeau’s courage, this could have thrown the alliance into a severe crisis. It speaks highly for the 55-year-old Rochambeau that on 27 August 1780 he calmly admonished the 22-year-old marquis as “an old father … to a son who is very dear to him” that “I do not need to be spurred into action.” Having “brought to your attention, as gently as possible, the things that displeased me in your last letter,” Rochambeau concluded by assuring Lafayette of his “love and esteem to his last breath.” The marquis had been gently, but firmly, put in his place.

Lafayette attended the Hartford Conference in the home of Jeremiah Wadsworth on 21 September 1780 as interpreter (as did Alexander Hamilton) but that was the only meeting of the two generals that he attended prior to the siege of Yorktown and it was not successful either. Washington had brought an eight-page outline for an operation against New York City drafted by Alexander Hamilton, in the hope that he would be able to convince Rochambeau and Ternay to stage such an attack before the onset of winter but Rochambeau declined. And so both generals decided to return to their headquarters to prepare for the eventuality of an amphibious attack and to delay any major action until the arrival of the second division from France in 1781.

Primarily, however, I do not believe Lafayette succeeded as a liaison because Washington and Rochambeau did not need a liaison. They almost immediately established an understanding and mutual liking of each other, which remained intact throughout the war. Washington realized that too and sent Lafayette out of the way to Virginia in the spring of 1781.

Q:   Did Rochambeau and Washington correspond much after he and French troops moved on to the Caribbean and eventually to France?

RS:   They corresponded as long as the war went on but then the exchange of letters went down rapidly. A search of the George Washington papers shows three by Rochambeau in 1786 and one by GW, one letter by Rochambeau in 1787 (and three by GW), two in 1788 (and four by GW) three in 1789, one in 1790, one in 1792, one in 1794, and one in 1795. That is the last letter sent by Rochambeau. I did not count all the letters by GW responding to Rochambeau, but you get the gist.

Q:   What are your future goals for the W3R-US in concert with Joe DiBello and the National Park Service?

UR:   W3R-US will continue our role as advocate for the NPS and work with Joe DiBello to carry out our mission as described on our website www.w3r-us.org  in developing this new National Historic Trail. In 2016, we expect to work with our NY partners and NPS to install interpretive signage in the Hudson River Valley, as a model for other states.  We are also updating our website before the NPS 2016 Centennial and reaching out to school teachers and children interested in living history. Also visit NPS website.