The Hermione, Lafayette’s 18th century “freedom frigate”, visits Baltimore this weekend with an education program for all that highlights diversity in the American Revolution
June 18, 2015
For immediate release (New York, June 18, 2015) The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. (FOHL), a non-profit education and cultural organization, is sponsoring the historic return of the Hermione to the United States during June and July, 2015. The hand crafted recreation of the original sailing ship that the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to General George Washington in 1780 with news of full French support for America’s cause, will dock in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Pier 1, from June 19 – 21; having just crossed the Atlantic ocean from France in record time. As part of the pier-side festivities will be a Hermione Maritime Heritage Celebration, an educational exhibit on the 27-year reconstruction of the painted, wooden Tall Ship, and a broad education program for the entire family including ship tours, talks, workshops, films, historic shipbuilding crafts and reenactments of Lafayette, and more – all in the spirit of “One Baltimore”.
On Saturday, June 20th a program for Baltimore students is planned, with groups coming to the Inner Harbor from the summer camp at the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, the City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Roland Park Country School, students from Coppin State University and Community College of Baltimore City. Despite the fact that school is not in session, dedicated teachers took the time to reach out to their students to bring them to this program.
The day begins at 9 am with a tour of the Hermione. After the tour, as part of the public history and oral history program, students will go to the nearby Maryland Science Center for a talk by African American author, historian and educator, Denise Dennis, who will describe her family’s service in the American Revolution and World War II and show her family album. This personal re-telling vividly brings to life the historic ties between France, young America’s first ally, Lafayette and the often forgotten role of African-Americans in the War of Independence.
Students will also enjoy a discussion with Baltimore maritime re-enacter, Stephen Faulkner, playing James Armistead Lafayette, who as Lafayette’s African-American valet, infiltrated Cornwallis’s camp to become his valet as well; and provided intelligence to the Continental Army and misinformation to Cornwallis that enabled the colonial forces to prevail at Yorktown with the British surrender.
Students will also have an opportunity to visit the encampment of the Fixed Regiment of Spanish Louisiana Regiment and to try their hand at petanque, A French game similar to bocce. This Regiment celebrates the largely unknown Hispanic role in the American Revolution.
Finally, students will tour the Pride of Baltimore, moored next to the Hermione, and learn about the role of Baltimore schooners and privateers in the Revolution (as well as the War of 1812).
There are still places available for students to join the Saturday activities. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families, visitors and tourists can plan their Hermione weekend from the many education and entertainment offerings scheduled from Friday through Sunday, before or after free tours of the ship. Among these:
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 19 – 21, 2015
Civilian Life and Colonial Women’s Clothing is a short presentation located at the Fixed Regiment of Spanish Louisiana Camp outside the Baltimore Visitors Center
The Franco-Spanish Alliance in the American Revolution is a short presentation by General Bernardo de Galvéz located at the Fixed Regiment of Spanish Louisiana camp outside the Baltimore Visitors Center
Sunday, June 21, 2015
A Living History Encampment of the Sable Soldiers highlights the African Heritage in the American Revolution, with African Soldiers of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment of Foot, The Black Mariners of Colonel Glover’s Marble-headers, Blacks in the Militia. The life of Edward Hector, who served as a teamster (a wagon driver) and a bombardier (part of an artillery crew) with the state militia called Proctor’s Third Pennsylvania Artillery, is represented, and details how by the end of 1777 they became the Fourth Continental Artillery. The known battles he participated in are the Battle of Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and Germantown (October 4, 1777). In the Battle of Brandywine he disregarded his orders to abandon everything and retreat. He is remembered for replying to the orders, “The enemy shall not have my team; I will save my horses and myself!”
Two Programs at the Flag House (844 E. Pratt Street; free-first come, 410-837-1793)
Lecture and book signing by Francois Furstenberg, author of “When the United States Spoke French,” and Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.
Play Screening of Lafayette, by Ian Curteis. In a new play inspired by letters between the young Marquis de Lafayette and his wife, the play (filmed) describes the incredible story of the 19-year-old man who sailed to America as a volunteer soldier and became the youngest general in George Washington’s army. The letters follow the young French couple’s life of adventure and political brinksmanship, in showing how they together secured support for the American cause from a reluctant king.
About the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc.
The Friends of Lafayette-Hermione in America, Inc., a non-profit group, supports the Hermione Voyage 2015 while she is in the United States by partnering with local heritage and nautical groups, students and teachers K-through-12, and many cultural organizations, museums and universities to provide a full program of exciting educational, musical, culinary and special events during summer 2015. For information and support, please visit: www.Hermione2015.com.
Press: Deborah Berger, PUREpr& marketing, 646-391-0352 or Deborah@purepr.biz