WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU REVOLUTIONARY ROUTE W3R NEWSLETTER NO. 42

May 18, 2001

Our goal is the creation of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, National Historic Trail, that passes through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and the elevation of the quality of heritage preservation all along the route to a higher level.

Pennsylvania Meeting to Establish a W3R Committee

Stacey A. Swigart, Museum & Collections Director of the Valley Forge Historical Society and member of CARS, will be organizing the Pennsylvania W3R Committee. Stacy has been working in both organizations and reports the Valley Forge Historical Society and Valley Forge National Historical Park are partnering to create the National Museum of the American Revolution. There will be a Council of American Revolutionary Sites (CARS) meeting to decide how to organize their W3R committee. Also it is possible they could host a general meeting of the W3R at Valley Forge later this year.

Connecticut W3R Meeting Planned for June 9

Serge Gabriel, one of the CT W3R members and leader of the Connecticut W3R Committee, as well as President of the New England Souvenir Franais, has given advance notice for an informational meeting to discuss action plans for Connecticut. The meeting is planned from 10:30A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the Capitol in the Governor’s Chamber. I plan to be there. For further information you may contact Serge at sergegg@juno.com. Before the National Park Service (NPS) has completed their study and prepared their report to Congress they will be asking for your concerns and your proposed solutions. It is important that we establish the W3R support infrastructure by 2003 so we can be ready when the W3R National Historic Trail is designated. Sites must be identified for purchase and preservation. Cultural events such as re-enactments, concerts, and educational tours need to be scheduled well in advance and coordinated across the states. We need to apply for the grants that will ensure that the trail becomes greener and fresher each year, and that the trail is well maintained. That is why these individual state W3R organizations are so important.

Congressman Larson’s W3R Aide To Work For UTC

Holly Canevari announced she has accepted a position with the UTC Washington DC office. Holly has been an effective and respected aide to Congressman John Larson since he has been in Congress, and has handled the W3R with great care and perception. We will miss her very much but it is an excellent opportunity and we wish her the best.

New York City Progress on Trails

Bob Furman is putting together an amazing group in New York City. They have been documenting sites and defining trails to commemorate the battle of NYC that took the most American lives during the American Revolution. Certainly, while not directly on the W3R, these trails and others should be integrated as side excursions with their own unique Revolutionary War themes. If you would like to receive updates directly from him try bobfurman1@juno.com.

Brigade of The American Revolution

Will be encamped in Wethersfield June 2nd and 3rd. The camp opens at 10AM both days and the afternoons promise to be quite exciting. There will be a horse race, drills, tactical demonstrations, a lantern-lit parade, a muster, more tactics, all capped off with a Colonial concert. This is also an opportunity to visit the Webb house where Washington and Rochambeau met to sign the plan that lead to the decisive battle at Yorktown. It is only twenty minutes away from the Nathan Hale homestead in Coventry, or from Camp 5 in Bolton (or both). Col. Paul Ackerman has been so kind as to provide a sheltered spot for me near the command post where I will put up a W3R display. Col. James Johnson has promised to send me a copy of the New York W3R map which I will display with the Connecticut map and other information about W3R progress. I look forward to seeing you there.

Washington and Lafayette in VA, Part 1

It is paradoxical that the father of our Republic had no children. While Washington was a father figure to many young American officers like Hamilton, only one of his officers behaved like a caring son to him, and he was the young French officer Lafayette. Stanley Idzerda’s “Lafayette in the Age of The American Revolution” is a source of Lafayette’s communications. I have extracted the essence of 250 pages of letters giving a vertical view of W3R history from Connecticut to Virginia in 1781.

The concerns of Lafayette were the consequences of the profound secrecy Washington and Rochambeau maintained to avoid the prospect of a miscarriage of the Wethersfield Plan. Deep trust and mutual respect bound Washington and Lafayette together. The stage had been set by the French. The French War ministry decided that it was too risky for their navy to cross the sandbar at the entrance of the harbor of New York City. The French ministry did not take seriously Rochambeau’s request for doubling the French force. The French ministry agreed with Rochambeau that New York City was not a practicable military objective. Washington was told that by Rochambeau, Laurens was told that while in France, and Lafayette was told that in a letter from Versailles. The French War council met twice in Newport, and deGrasse was directed to the Chesapeake Bay, VA. Lafayette was eager to fight the British but still had doubts that the main battle would be in Virginia. (To Be Continued).