April 26, 2002
Our goal is the creation and sustaining 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 to a higher level the quality of heritage preservation all along the route. This newsletter tries to represent the point of view of the honest and truthful patriots who respected Washington and Rochambeau, the ones who, if alive, would be working with us to honor them. Today we look to the SAR, the DAR, and the SOC as the arbiters of that standard of interpretation of the route’s events.
How We Should Transmit Washington’s Legacy
-exerpts from a speech of Abraham Lincoln’s
“We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them–they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors. Their’s was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights;
’tis ours only, to transmit these, unprofaned by the foot of an invader, undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation, to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Distinction will be his (the revisionist’s) paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.
They were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their descendants, supply their places with other pillars, hewn from the solid quarry of sober reason.
Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.–Let those materials be molded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws: and, that we improved to the last; that we remained free to the last; that we revered his name to the last; that, during his long sleep, we permitted no hostile foot to pass over or desecrate his resting place; (til) the last trump(et) shall awaken our WASHINGTON.”
Seven Camp 5 Projects Just Completed
The Rensselaer MBA program Infosystems team project was called, Site Management System”. It describes what the future W3R tourism infrastructure might look and describes a small computer system that could be the prototype for the historic sites along the trail. It is available for the time being at the following web site:
Thirty-two University of Connecticut students with two of their professors have just completed six reports of the Rose Farm
- “Stoned On History” done by the team called Fossil Finders, Inc
- “Rose Farm Soil Inventory” done by a team called H. Luce Consulting
- “Future of Resource Conservation and Engineering” by the team called Air F.O.R.C.E
- “D.A.M” a wildlife resource report by Wildlife Consultants, UCONN
- “Vegetation Resource Inventory” by Live Green or Die, and last but not least
- “Water Quality and Wetlands on the Rose Farm” by The Urban Mosquitoes, inc.
The president of Bolton’s Historical Society and its treasurer said they were disturbed when they attended the recent NPS hearing in Hartford and someone approached them and told them not to be concerned that Bolton residents have not yet seen any Camp 5 artifacts or even pictures of them. This unknown person with a beard said that all Richard Rose had to do was request them. What disturbed them is that everyone knows Richard Rose had formally requested to get them in January 2002 and had sent the Bolton Selectmen a copy of the letter he sent to the Connecticut Historic Preservation Office SHPO. Richard said, and others are witness to this fact, that originally the delay (since 1999) was in order for students to treat the artifacts so their exposure to the atmosphere would not damage them.
I had asked the SAR, DAR, and the Society of the Cincinnati for help. They inquired and the response from the CT SHPO was that the subcontractors had them, and the Rose family just had to ask for them… with a don’t call us we’ll call you ring to the response.
Richard said he was called by someone and told that the artifacts were not treated as had been promised and would turn to dust if he took them. In addition he said he still has not received any written of photo documentation of the artifacts or anything that shows they are his. That includes the coins, cannon ball, and other things he himself found while plowing the fields, and which he only loaned to the state.
One historical society member, the former chairperson of the Democratic Town Committee who arranged the first W3R meeting with Congressman Larson in 2000, expressed concern that it was beginning to sound like other cases when important artifacts had disappeared.
The historical society has taken action to see if the environmentally controlled town vault that is used for historic town documents could also be used for the Camp 5 artifacts and that a separate storage facility be built at the Rose Farm which is now owned by the Town of Bolton. The society also decided to seek the Freedom of Information Commission help if the report and documentation are not provided voluntarily. The reports were made with state W3R money provided by the $85,000 bill Bolton resident and State Legislator Pamela Sawyer had introduced and for which the SAR, DAR, SOC, and many reenactors had testified before the CT State Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. This is the first W3R site to be preserved by a town and the town formed a stewardship committee to inventory the resources. All other groups have been very cooperative.
Washington Gives Us Incontrovertible Proof
Finally I have come across a letter written by Washington in which he confirms everything we have said about the Wethersfield Plan, the military objectives, and the profound secrecy of the march! This proves that the revisionists, their CT and NY reports, and their web site comments are wrong, and proves the CTSSAR website and our newsletters are correct.
This letter can be found electronically in the Library of Congress under George Washington’s Original Manuscript Sources, at: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field(DOCID+@lit(gw300032))
Noah Webster (1758-1843) has been known primarily for his American Dictionary. He grew up in West Hartford not far from where the Wethersfield Conference was held. On the 14th of July, 1788, at age 30, Noah Webster, wrote to General Washington, then 57 years old, and living at Mount Vernon:
“I take the liberty of making an enquiry respecting a fact which I am told is commonly misrepresented, & which perhaps no person but the Commander in Chief of the late armies in America can set right. An opinion, Sir, is very general, that the junction of the French fleet & the American armies at York Town was the result of a preconcerted plan between Yourself & the Count de Grasse; & that the preparations made at the time for attacking New York were merely a feint. But the late Quarter Master General has assured me that a combined attack was intended to be made upon New York, & that the arrival of the French fleet in the Bay of Chesapeake was unexpected, & changed the plan of operations.”
Washington replied to this letter on the 31st of July, 1788, less than a year before he stood on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, and took his oath of office as President.
First Washington clears up some misinformation that the revisionists harbor to this day. Washington makes it clear that he and Rochambeau, the two best informed of the military situation, were making the decisions, not Admiral deGrasse. He said it was “easy” to send advice to Admiral deGrasse.
“that the point of attack was not absolutely agreed upon, because it would be easy for the Count de Grasse, in good time before his departure from the West Indies, to give notice by Express, at what place he could most conveniently first touch to receive advice,”
Washington states clearly that the plan was to attack where the British were most susceptible and when the French fleet arrived, not to attack where deGrasse decided. Rochambeau in secret code had directed deGrasse to the Chesapeake in his first letter to deGrasse not long after meeting with Washington in Wethersfield. That letter is discussed later in this newsletter. Washington next tells Noah Webster that once in command of the water, the Franco-American army could move anywhere with ease.
“because it could not be foreknown where the enemy would be most susceptible of impression; and because we (having the command of the water with sufficient means of conveyance) could transport ourselves to any spot with the greatest celerity:”
Washington next confirms that New York City was indeed a feint (i.e. a diversionary tactic). Washington clearly states that he deliberately started planting the idea of attacking New York about twelve months in advance of Yorktown for the important purpose of inducing the eastern and middle states to provide the necessary supplies and troops and to divert the enemy from the likely target. Half the population of America and most of the wealth was then east of the Hudson River. Washington, well known to be reserved, unpretentious, frank, and honest was direct in his admission.
“that it was determined by me (nearly twelve months beforehand) at all hazards to give out and cause it to be believed by the highest military as well as civil Officers that New York was the destined place of attack, for the important purpose of inducing the Eastern and Middle States to make greater exertions in furnishing specific supplies than they otherwise would have done, as well as for the interesting purpose of rendering the enemy less prepared elsewhere:”
The enemy was led to believe transporting the military provisions south was too difficult. Washington however says that the real difficult part of the Wethersfield Plan was in just getting the resources (the first part of the plan), not in moving them against the enemy (the second part). They could rapidly move the supplies anywhere they wanted on the continent using the waterways, once they had control of the water.
“that, by these means and these alone, artillery, Boats, Stores and Provisions were in seasonable preparation to move with the utmost rapidity to any part of the Continent; for the difficulty consisted more in providing, than knowing how to apply the military apparatus:”
Long before the arrival of Admiral deGrasse, Washington, on July 31,1781, wrote Lafayette to say the first part of the Wethersfield Plan was just about completed. Two days later, on August 2, Washington ordered Robert Morris to prepare to assemble the flotilla that would surround Cornwallis. Now Washington clearly tells Noah Webster that while New York was always a most important object of the war, it never actually was considered the military target because at no time did the allies have enough resources to take New York from the British. Washington adds that the secret Wethersfield plans were never revealed even to the Quartermaster General of the Continental Army. That addressed Noah Webster’s question regarding the misinformation the Quartermaster had been giving out as a result of his ignorance of the secret plan. That is also consistent with Rochambeau’s memoirs where Rochambeau points out that not even Chastellux knew of the true Wethersfield Plan. Modern revisionists rely heavily on witnesses’ ignorance and misinformation to support their case.
“that before the arrival of the Count de Grasse it was the fixed determination to strike the enemy in the most vulnerable quarter so as to ensure success with moral certainty, as our affairs were then in the most ruinous train imaginable: that New York was thought to be beyond our effort and consequently the only hesitation that remained was between an attack upon the British army in Virginia or that in Charleston: and finally that (by the intervention of several communications and some incidents which cannot be Detailed in a letter; and which. were altogether unknown to the late Quartermaster General of the Army, who was informed of nothing but what related to the immediate duties of his own department) the hostile Post in Virginia, from being a provisional and strongly expected became the definitive and certain object of the Campaign.”
Being at the center of population of America and with most of the wealth lying east of the Hudson River, New York City was always a primary object of Washington’s attention. For most of the War the Americans fought British attempts to divide the colonies along the Hudson River. Washington caused a diversion at New York in 1780, when an American agent discovered the British were secretly planning to attack Rochambeau just after the French army arrived at Newport. In 1782 Washington asked the Rochambeau to once again camp outside New York City so that the British would remove all their remaining troops from the south to defend New York. That was what launched Rochambeau once again onto the W3R trail with just one change. That second time the French went to Boston, not Newport. Yet Washington readily admits and here reiterates that the British forces in New York were always too powerful and he could not risk a defeat.
“I only add, that it never was in contemplation to attack New York, unless the Garrison should first have been so far disgarnished to carry on the southern operations, as to render our success in the siege of that place as infallible as any future military event can ever be made. For I repeat it, and dwell upon it again and again, some splendid advantage (whether upon a larger or smaller scale was almost immaterial) was so essentially necessary to revive the expiring hopes and languid exertions of the Country, at the crisis in question, that I never would have consented to embark in any enterprize; wherein, from the most rational plan and accurate calculations, the favourable issue should not have appeared as clear to my view, as a ray of light. The failure of an attempt against the Posts of the enemy, could, in no other possible situation during the war, have been so fatal to our cause.”
The essential points in this letter to this point are that the place of attack was agreed upon at the Wethersfield Conference to be in the south, unless the British pulled out most of the New York garrison; that Washington had determined to plant the thought that New York was the destined place to raise provisions from the eastern and middle states and deceive the enemy, that New York was always considered beyond their effort, and that well before the arrival of De Grasse, Washington had decided where to attack the British in Virginia. Yes, Washington and Rochambeau not only deceived the British, but also thought it necessary to deceive their own armies as well to truly convince the British. Next Washington answers Noah Webster’s most pressing question of deception.
“That much trouble was taken and finesse used to misguide and bewilder Sir Henry Clinton in regard to the real object, by fictitious communications, as well as by making a deceptive provision of Ovens, Forage and Boats in his Neighborhood, is certain. Nor were less pains taken to deceive our own Army; for I had always conceived, when the imposition did not completely take place at home, it could never sufficiently succeed abroad.”
And so we see that the Wethersfield Plan included profound secrecy, the announced plans to attack New York, the letters bemoaning the difficulty in marching South, all giving the credibility needed to raise the resources from the wealthiest colonies, and divert the enemy from the region the attack was anticipated. Washington freely admits that they were meant to deceive, and distract; all necessary, permissible, and effective war stratagems of the great generals Washington and Rochambeau. We can also deduce from the events that the French did not understand that Washington was using New York as leverage to get more supplies. The British were convinced Washington had 11,000 men with him, the French thought he had only 6000 or more, and when the French arrived at New York they discovered the American army had fewer than 3000 men, many shoeless, yet most in high spirits. Washington says in 1788 that he wanted the truth to be known but he also had the foresight to know he would be misrepresented by today’s revisionists. He says some of the secrets of the patriots would be taken to the grave.
“Your desire of obtaining truth is very laudable, I wish I had more leisure to gratify it: as I am equally solicitous the undisguised verity should be known. Many circumstances will unavoidably be misconceived and misrepresented. Notwithstanding most of the Papers which may properly be deemed official are preserved; yet the knowledge of innumerable things, of a more delicate and secret nature, is confined to the perishable remembrance of some few of the present generation.”
You have now seen that Washington, on the eve of his election, confessed honestly that while New York was always a most important object of the war, it never was considered a vulnerable British post. Both Washington and Rochambeau referred explicitly to the Wethersfield Plan and to no other plan with regard to the march and the last major battle of the American Revolution. Washington’s letter to Noah Webster is incontrovertible proof of the secret nature of the Wethersfield Plan.
Other Corroboration During the March
Here is Washington’s letter dated 31 July 1781, where he informs Lafayette that the first part of the Wethersfield Plan is almost finished and the second part of the plan (attack in Virginia) is about to go into action.
“I am convinced that your desire to be in this army arises principally from a wish to be actively useful.You will not therefore regret your stay in Virginia…”
“I think we have already effected one part of the plan of campaign settled at Wethersfield“
“Our views must now be turned towards endeavoring to expel them totally from those (southern) states…”
Two days later, Washington secretly requested that Robert Morris assemble the Chesapeake flotilla needed to quickly surround Cornwallis with the Franco-American army. Washington, expecting deGrasse to arrive asks that the flotilla requisition list be ready by August 20th. That was very good timing because the army crossed into New Jersey on August 22.
Headquarters Dobbs Ferry 2nd August 1781
“The expectation of the pleasure of seeing you has prevented me hither from making a communication of most important and interesting nature. But circumstances will not admit further delay, and I must trust it to paper. It seems reduced almost to a certainty that the enemy will reinforce New York with part of their troops from Virginia. In that case the attempt against the former must be laid aside, as it will not be within our power to draw together a force sufficient to justify the undertaking. The detachment which the enemy will probably leave in Virginia seems the next object to engage our attention, and which will be a very practicable one, should we obtain a naval superiority, of which I am not without hopes, and be able to carry a body of men suddenly round by water. The principal difficulty which occurs, is obtaining transports at the moment they may be wanted for if they are taken up beforehand, the use for which they are designed cannot be concealed, and the enemy will make arrangements to defeat the plan. What I would like you to inform yourself of without making direct inquirery, is what number of tons shipping could be obtained in Philadelphia at any time between this and the 20th of this month and whether there could also be obtained at the same time a few deep water sloops and schooners to carry horses. The number of double decker vessels which may be wanted of 200 tons and upwards, will not exceed thirty. I shall be glad if you answer as soon as possible, because if it is favorable I can direct certain preparations to be made in Philadelphia and at other convenient places, without incurring any suspicions. There certainly can be no danger of not obtaining flour in Philadelphia and as you seem to have doubtless process salt meats there, I shall direct all that to the commissar to be collected at points from whence it may be shipped upon the shortest notice. You will alas oblige me by giving me your opinion of the number of vessels which might be obtained at Baltimore or other places in the Chesapeake in the time before mentioned and thereabouts.”
These actions by Washington prove that Washington carefully planned each part of the march well in advance. On August 2 the die was cast for the attack at Yorktown. But how would the entire army be ready to cross the wide Hudson River and to march south? When was the die cast for the march south? We discussed the crossing in Newsletter 45 and Washington ordered the boats for the crossing on June 13, 1781. Washington’s diary says they were ready on August 1, the day before he ordered the flotilla for the Chesapeake! That shows that the die was cast for the march to the South less than one month after the Wethersfield Conference and three weeks before the French Army arrived outside New York.
Corroboration by Rochambeau
Rochambeau, too, unequivocally wrote in his memoirs that the New York City operation was a deception, that the Wethersfield Plan was a secret, and the plan was what actually transpired in the sequel of events. He said:
“But what completely deceived the English general, was a confidential letter written by the Chevalier de Chastellux to the French representative at Congress, where in he boasted of having artfully succeeded in bringing round my opinion to concur with that of General Washington; stating, at the same time, that the siege of the island of New York had been at length determined upon, and that our two armies were on the march for that city, and that orders had been sent on to M. de Grasse to come with his fleet and force his way over the bar of Sandyhook to the mouth of the harbour of New York.”
Next Rochambeau says he didn’t tell Chastellux the real plan. None of the staff officers, French or American, were confidants in the plan. Only Washington, Rochambeau, and deGrasse (who was told by letter with a cipher code) knew the plan (later, Lafayette also deduces the plan):
“The English officer who had charge of every branch of the spying department sent me a copy of the intercepted missive and, by so doing, his intention had not been most assuredly to set my wits at ease. I sent for the Chevalier de Chateaux; showed him the letter, and then threw it in the fire, and left him a prey to his own remorse. Of course, I did not endeavour to undeceive him, and, in the sequel, we shall see to what extent this general officer had been made the confidant of the real project which I proposed to the Count de Grasse when I returned to Newport.”
The revisionists on their web site even said Rochambeau had a mental slip and launched a myth because the letter really didn’t say what Rochambeau said it said, but did you notice that Rochambeau threw his letter into the fire? How do the revisionists have the audacity to put down Rochambeau with no evidence?
Rochambeau states the plan (project) was made at Wethersfield and he wrote of it to deGrasse immediately upon his return to Newport. Rochambeau said in his memoirs that in the sequel (or what transpired) we see the real plan (the Chesapeake was the military objective). After the Wethersfield Conference, Rochambeau gave the campaign plan to Admiral De Grasse as follows: (English transcript of Rochambeau’s 11 June 1781 letter to de Grasse.)
“The second council of war which he had ordered, on the safety of the squadron, was held the 8th and I left on the 10th to come here where I am going to gather as many recruits as I can from the convoy, (with) the money, and leave in 5 or 6 days to go and join the General, and try by threatening New York with him to create a diversion for the benefit of Virginia.”
Rochambeau specifically said they planned to threaten NYC, and then specifically said the intent of the threat was to create a diversion of British troops from the southern objective in Virginia. That is entirely consistent with what Washington said. Next, in a secret cipher, Rochambeau gives deGrasse the southern objective:
“… that is therefore of the utmost importance that you take on board as many troops as you can, that 4 or 5 thousand men would not be too many, either to help us to destroy their establishment in Portsmouth in Virginia near Hampton Roads, where until now they have always kept 1,500 men while the others operate in the countryside, and all their flotillas with which they go out in the rivers to harass poor M. de Lafayette in a most unfortunate manner;”
What has the NPS collected so far about the Plans and Strategies of Washington and Rochambeau?
The following revisionist opinions collected by the NPS pull down Washington and Rochambeau and insult the intelligence of thinking Americans. They are based on the extremely naive assumption that success in warfare does not require the use of planning and deception. They use unreliable evidence from officers, who for the purpose of secrecy were intentionally kept ignorant of the plan as explained by both Washington and Rochambeau. In trying to pull down Washington they show instead that Rochambeau had not even told his own son about the secret plan.
Connecticut Report Pg 43
“The march to Yorktown had not been planned at Hartford in September 1780, and neither had it been planned at Wethersfield. Success in eighteenth-century warfare, especially if it was waged over long distances and involving combined land-sea operations, depended on a large number of pieces falling into place at the right time, on wind and currents, rain and sunshine.”
Some might think this conclusion is naive and simplistic nostalgia. It trivializes the Wethersfield CT Plan.
New York Report, Page 101
The decision to abandon the siege of New York and to march south was forced upon Washington on August 14, 1781, when de Grasse’s letter of March 28 reached Rochambeau, informing him that he was sailing for the Chesapeake. When Rochambeau told the American general that he would march to Virginia, Washington had no choice but to go along.
This is pure demeaning chauvinistic bunk that has been disproved.
New York Report Page 103
But here already is the first problem with the secret plan. Ségur had ordered Rochambeau NOT to inform Washington of the arrival of a naval force off the North American coast in July or August. De Grasse’s cooperation was crucial for the success of any plan, but unless Rochambeau lied in his letter to Ségur of June 1, he did not tell Washington, who could not let on that he knew about de Grasse after all, though not from Rochambeau!
The revisionists would call Rochambeau a liar rather than credit his loyalty. This shows Rochambeau was working secretly with Washington. Profound secrecy and deception was necessary to defeat the British.
New York Report Page 108
If the theory that Washington had planned a march to Virginia at Wethersfield while pretending to lay siege to New York were true, Washington’s letters between May 23 and May 31, would mean that he deceived, or lied to, 1) to Congress, 2) to La Luzerne, 3) to Lafayette, 4) to Sullivan, 5) to Knox, 6) to Duportail, 7) to Pickering, and 8) to Greene, not to mention to himself in his diary! This hardly fits the image of a man who could not tell a lie.
This simplistic opportunist argument calls Washington a liar and uses one of America’s early myths (he couldn’t lie) to pull Washington down with a new revisionist myth (he didn’t plan).
New York Revisionist Report Page 120
“My father (Rochambeau) sent for the Brigadier General Duportail, told him all of his ideas, which he completely approved, and asked him to use all of his influence with the American commander (Washington) to make him adopt them. He gave himself (Duportail) to this with zeal and enthusiasm; but, seeing the latter’s (Washington’s) indecision and the obstacles, which he created, he (Duportail) guessed that pride had much to do with his (Washington’s) refusal.”
The son, the aide-de-camp, and the chief engineer all agree on four points:
- As late as August 14, Washington was determined to try an attack against New York
- Rochambeau was going to march south to Virginia to meet up with de Grasse
- Washington was free to come along or stay outside New York
- Once he was assured of over-all command, Washington agreed to lead the expedition.
This revisionist argument used the ignorant grumblings of uninformed officers to pull down Washington. Better historians can see that it confirms that the profound secrecy extended to the very top officers and even here to Rochambeau’s son. In addition to Washington, Rochambeau, and deGrasse, Lafayette was intelligent enough to deduce the Wethersfield Plan with just one hint from Washington. You can read about that in newsletters 42 and 43.
The main revisionist website says: “A remark in Rochambeau’s memoirs, written late in his life, helped launch a myth. This is taken by some to argue that the ‘Yorktown plan’ was agreed to at the Wethersfield meeting (22 May 1781) between Washington and Rochambeau.”
Here the revisionists tell us we must believe them, not Rochambeau, because they say Rochambeau launched a myth. They apparently were unaware that Washington said much the same thing 20 years earlier. This shows that revisionists fabricate history wherever they cannot present it truthfully. If they cannot simply and truthfully present the words of Rochambeau, how can we believe their interpretation of the writings of any other patriot or any historian? We can’t because they have poisoned American history with their misrepresentations.
First W3R National Trail Public Hearings
Congressman John Larson’s staff has looked into the National Parks Service concern that the NPS Advisory Board needed to determine if the W3R trail had any national significance, had not been appointed as of March. The week after the public hearing in Hartford, Whitney F. Moran, of the Congressman’s staff reported all the board members had been appointed.
National Park System Advisory Board consists of Margaret L. Brown, Robert S. Chandler, Sylvia A. Earle, Honorable Jerry Hruby, Michael Kammen, Shirley Mahaley Malcom, Janet Matthews, Gary Paul Nabhan, Jake Louis Parmer II, Daniel Ritchie, Douglas Wheeler, and Thomas B. Williams.
Congressman Larson and his compatriots have done an outstanding job… no an incredible almost impossible job getting the W3R through the House and Senate in just four months. The NPS on the other hand needs to get moving since they are falling behind about three weeks every month. At this rate the W3R national historic trail will die on the vine unless we do something.
What Must We Do?
Some of you have asked, “Why doesn’t the NPS already know the W3R has national significance, and why won’t they complete their study and recommendation this year as they originally told Congress they would? Why are they waiting for the last minute in 2006? Doesn’t that jeopardize the chances of getting things through Congress on time?” Yes, all are very good questions for the stakeholders to consider. I believe especially after 9-11-01 Congress would be as surprised, as we are that the determination of significance of the W3R would take as long as the entire report was supposed to take.
It may be time to let President Bush and every member of the House and Senate know we have a problem with the way Washington and Rochambeau are being demeaned and trivialized and with glacial speed at which the NPS is moving. Pulling down Washington may not be looked on lightly now by Congress. It took Congress just about a week to carve up the Immigration and Naturalization Service after Congress concluded the INS had let them and all Americans down. We need to put out of our minds any hesitation about holding the NPS accountable for the success of this project. If the NPS thinks success is not required we must ask Congress to find out why they think that way and fix the problem.
The DAR, SAR and the Society of the Cincinnati are now involved and are working hard to make the W3R a reality. But we need to start seeing some results from the NPS soon. Telling us the W3R has national historical significance is not something we didn’t already know.