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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
THE MARQUIS: LAFAYETTE RECONSIDERED
A TALK WITH AUTHOR LAURA AURICCHIO ON LAFAYETTE’S ‘CUR NON’ SPIRIT December 9, 2014

Laura Auricchio is a specialist in eighteenth-century French history and art. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her PhD from Columbia University. Auricchio has been the recipient of major fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and Columbia University. She is currently the Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at The New School in New York City. She is the author of The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered, published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.

LAFAYETTE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE CHATEAU OF CHAVANIAC. LOCATED DEEP IN THE MOUNTAINOUS, REMOTE REGION OF AUVERGNE IN CENTRAL FRANCE, THIS ANCIENT CASTLE IS HUNDREDS OF MILES FROM THE GILDED CORRIDORS OF THE COURT OF VERSAILLES, NEAR PARIS.

LAFAYETTE AT YORKTOWN, IN A PORTRAIT BY PAINTED BY JEAN-BAPTISTE LE PAON ABOUT 1783. WHILE HE IS LAUDED IN AMERICA TO THIS DAY, LAFAYETTE HAS A DECIDEDLY EQUIVOCAL REPUTATION WITH THE FRENCH.

COMMISSIONED BY AMERICAN PUBLISHER JOSEPH PULITZER IN 1885, FAMED FRENCH SCULPTOR FRÉDÉRIC AUGUSTE BARTHOLDI, CREATOR OF OUR STATUE OF LIBERTY, EXECUTED THIS EVOCATIVE WORK OF ART DEPICTING OF THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN LAFAYETTE AND WASHINGTON, AND SYMBOLICALLY BETWEEN FRANCE AND THE UNITED STATES. THIS STATUE RESTS IN THE PLACE DES ÉTATS-UNIS, IN THE 16TH ARRONDISSEMENT OF PARIS.

CHATEAU DE LA GRANGE IN ROZAY-EN-BRIE, LAFAYETTE'S RESIDENCE, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHILE IT IS ONLY 35 MILES OUTSIDE PARIS, IT WAS A UNIVERSE AWAY FROM THE LEVERS OF POWER WIELDED BY NAPOLEON. THE DESPOTIC EMPEROR ENFORCED A TOTAL EXILE FOR THE "HERO OF TWO WORLDS," WHO REMAINED AN AVOWED SUPPORTER OF A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY HIS ENTIRE LIFE.

IN 1788, THOMAS JEFFERSON, ABOVE, SAT FOR A PORTRAIT BY JOHN TRUMBULL; A YEAR LATER JEFFERSON WOULD COUNSEL LAFAYETTE TO AVOID "THE APPEARANCE OF TRIMMING BETWEEN THE TOW PARTIES, WHICH MAY LOSE YOU BOTH." THIS WAS A DIRECT WARNING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SEEKING A MIDDLE WAY AS THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TOOK ON EVER MORE EXTREME COURSE.

EXEMPLIFYING LAFAYETTE'S 'CUR NON' SPIRIT, THE COMMANDER AND CREW OF THE HERMIONE FRIGATE, PICTURED ABOVE, IN ROCHEFORT, FRANCE, SHOW THEIR COLLECTIVE 'WHY NOT" ENTHUSIASM. THE FULL-SIZE REPLICA, BEHIND THE CREW, IS BERTHED IN THE EXACT SPOT WHERE THE ORIGINAL HERMIONE WAS LAUNCHED ON ITS EPIC VOYAGE TO AMERICA IN 1`780. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ASSOCIATION HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE

Editor’s Note: Laura Auricchio is a specialist in eighteenth-century French history and art.  She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her PhD from Columbia University. Auricchio has been the recipient of major fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and Columbia University.  She is currently the Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at The New School in New York City.

The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America recently talked to Laura Auricchio about her new book, “The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered,” published by Alfred A. Knopf on October 14, 2014.  Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America wish to thank Brittany Morrongiello of Knopf for her help in arranging this interview.

To order this book, please visit: Barnes & Noble

Question: In “The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered,” you document how Lafayette’s sheltered childhood informed a grandiose notion of self. His overweening pride is something contemporaries both in France and the American colonies very quickly picked up on. Tell us about this aspect of his personality, and how it came to be?

Answer: All children start out imagining that the world revolves around them, and Lafayette had reason to believe that it truly did. Born and raised at the chateau of Chavaniac in the rustic Auvergne region of south-central France, Lafayette, who inherited the title of marquis before his second birthday, grew up in a family that constituted the totality of the local elite. He recalled in his memoirs that people would travel many miles across volcanic hills to seek the advice of his grandmother and that, when he went to Paris at age ten, he found it odd that men he passed did not doff their hats in deference to his station. But any delusions of supremacy were short lived. Catapulted to the highest echelons of French society when he was presented to King Louis XV and married into the Noailles family of influential courtiers, Lafayette discovered that his rural upbringing marked him as an outsider and his family’s local influence mattered very little in the halls of Versailles.

Q: Was the fact that Lafayette was generally perceived as a ‘trimmer’ – a critical epithet that denoted a craven compriser – ultimately compromise his vision of a constitutional monarchy in France? (As for a working definition of a trimmer, see George Savile, Lord Halifax, 1633-1695, who coined the term, as a canny politician who could sail steadily in difficult currents and crosswinds. Today, if employed at all, it usually carries a pejorative connotation.)

A: In 1789, with divisions between the nobility and the Third Estate threatening to rip apart the Estates General (France’s traditional deliberative body), Thomas Jefferson warned Lafayette that taking a middle-of-the-road position among the divided representatives “may give the appearance of trimming between the two parties, which may lose you both.” Later, others would accuse him of double-dealing by acting as a friend of the people while carrying on intimate relations with the Queen Marie-Antoinette. But Lafayette was not a trimmer. Idealistic and straightforward, he never wavered from his belief that the best way to guarantee the liberty of France was to institute a constitutional monarchy. A moderate, but not a compromiser, Lafayette wrote later in life that “true moderation consists, not as many people seem to think, in always seeking the middle between any two points…but in trying to recognize the point of truth and holding to it.”

Q: Why is that Lafayette has a far more ambiguous reputation in France than in the U.S.A.? You describe in his lifetime how so many French had at best an ambivalent take on him.

A: Part of the answer lies in the different contexts of the French and American Revolutions and the different roles that Lafayette played in them. When Lafayette joined George Washington’s army he was only nineteen years old and, as he put it, he had come “to learn, not to teach.” Washington welcomed Lafayette into his circle, mentored him, and helped him to become the military leader Americans revere today. In 1789, when the Bastille fell, Lafayette was hailed as a French Washington, placed in command of the French National Guard, and expected to keep the peace in Paris while leading the nation to a new era of liberty. It was an impossible task. As politics became increasingly polarized, Lafayette continued unabated in his quest to establish a constitutional monarchy and, ultimately, lost the support of both the right and the left until he was forced to flee the country with a warrant out for his arrest.

Q: After his imprisonment, and when Lafayette was at nadir politically, was Napoleon correct in fearing his potential influence were he to return to Paris from La Grange?

A: Yes.  Although Napoleon had been instrumental in securing Lafayette’s release from prison in 1797, and Lafayette initially welcomed Napoleon’s coup d’état of 1799, the men developed a deep enmity. In 1802, when Napoleon named himself Counsel for Life, Lafayette took it upon himself to send a letter to Napoleon expressing his disapproval. Napoleon did not reply. Writing to Jefferson in 1814, Lafayette explained how his views on Napoleon had changed over time. As Lafayette put it, “the strong powers and singular genius of Napoleon had been disharmonized…by the folly of his ambition, the immorality of his mind, and his grain of madness not incompatible with great talents, but which is developed by the love and success of despotism.”

Q: Lafayette and Washington both sought glory. Please give us a taste of what glory meant to each man?

A: In eighteenth-century France and America, military men shared a common ideal of glory that had nothing to do with notions of splendor or pomp. In 1762, a French dictionary defined glory as a “reputation” garnered through “virtue, merit, great qualities, good actions and beautiful works” Glory was synonymous with “honor, esteem, praise.” In a 1778 letter, Lafayette explained his ambitions to Washington by writing that “glory” was his only goal. Washington would have understood Lafayette’s meaning; twenty years earlier, he had written his own letter describing his yearning for glory, which he defined as “that laudable Ambition of serving Our Country and meriting its applause.”

Q: You amply describe how Washington advised, tempered and coached young Lafayette, but as the relationship evolved, do you know of any instances where Washington listened to and acted on Lafayette’s advice to Washington?

A: Throughout the 1780s, Lafayette and Washington had a poignant exchange on the subject of slavery, with Lafayette asking Washington to partner with him on an experiment in gradual emancipation. As Lafayette explained in 1783, he planned to purchase a plantation and slaves, to treat the slaves as though they were tenants, to educate them, and, when they were deemed prepared to live independently, to free them. Washington, a slaveholder with deep misgivings about the institution, commended Lafayette for the “benevolence of your Heart” and, some years later, wished that “a like spirit would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people” of the United States. Although Washington ultimately declined Lafayette’s invitation, Lafayette’s influence is often cited as an inspiration for Washington’s decision to free his slaves upon his death and to arrange for the education of the younger ones so that they would be prepared to sustain themselves. Q: There is little doubt that one of Lafayette’s most appealing characteristics was his ‘Cur Non’ spirit – one certainly exemplified on his 1780 voyage to America on the Hermione and his unquestioned bravery at Yorktown – so what meaning today can this carry over to young people, who are not born wealthy, who are not modern-day aristocrats?

A: Although wealth and connections undoubtedly facilitated Lafayette’s American triumphs, his “Cur Non” (Why Not) spirit was actually quite unusual for a rich young man living among the court nobility. There’s an old adage that “dukes don’t emigrate,” and in some respects Lafayette was more like an émigré than a duke. Cast out of the French army by military reforms and ill suited to the life of a courtier that his in-laws envisioned for him, Lafayette refused to give up on the dreams of military glory that had inspired him since childhood. Like many of our ancestors, he sailed for America in pursuit of goals that were thwarted in his native land, and he never allowed the expectations of others to dictate his path.

Q: ‘Reconsidered’ is an apt title, so what is the most important aspect abou Lafayette that ought to be reconsidered, and is this implicit question directed at Americans, the French, or both?

A: Lafayette definitely deserves to be reconsidered in France, but my book is written first and foremost for Americans. My hope was to encourage Americans to see Lafayette not as a timeless statue cast in bronze, but as a man of flesh and blood who struggled to find the right way forward in a tumultuous time, who made some wise decisions and some tragic mistakes, and who clung to his principles despite their costs. In an 1815 letter to his friend and ally Benjamin Constant, Lafayette wrote “I have been reproached all my life for giving in too much to my hopeful disposition; I will respond that it is the only way to do something out of the ordinary. One would, indeed, never try anything extraordinary if one despaired of success.” I believe Americans should admire him not because he always triumphed, but rather because the experience of failure never stopped him from imagining his next success.