W3R® Historic Events and 225th
Anniversary Commemorations 

before 2000 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003

Activities before 2000 

1998 -- Hans dePold (Town Historian for Bolton CT) initiated publication of a series of E-newsletters. These note the earliest events (in 1995) since the bicentenniel (1976-1981) in the development of the W3R® as a national public historical resource.
See Purpose [CT Soc. SAR] | Newsletters [CT Soc. SAR]

1999 -- Dr. Robert A. Selig's documentation research study of W3R® historic events in Connecticut was published. He later created similar reports for the other states. They are available online . the Connecticut report may be viewed in many Connecticut libraries.

Historic Events 1775 225th Anniversary 2000 
Dec 28: Benjamin Franklin meets with Achat de Bonvouloir in Philadelphia to initiate discussions between the U.S. and France. Charles W. Cook -- former president of the Carpenters' Hall Association (Philadelphia PA) writes the script for a 100-minute video to commemorate these first discussions. See Téte á Téte

Historic Events 1776 225th Anniversary 2001
Dec 3: Franklin arrives in France to negotiate for aid December: The state of Rhode Island installed a plaque in Newport to commemorate the encampment of some 5,000 French troops there from June 1780 to July 1781.
In 2001 the documentation research study of W3R® historic events in New York was published and is available online .
In 2001 the documentation research study of W3R® historic events in Maryland was published. The version updated in 2007 November is available online .

Historic Events 1777 225th Anniversary Events 2002 
Oct 19: U.S. victory at Saratoga tips balance toward France recognizing the U.S. Oct 19: Many re-enactors participate in re-creating the battle of Saratoga.
In 2002 Nov the W3R®-RI initiated efforts to pass legislation to fund a resource inventory of material related to the W3R® in Rhode Island.

Historic Events 1778 225th Anniversary Events 2003 
Feb 6: France and U.S. sign a Treaty of Amity and Commerce (and also a Treaty of Military Alliance) Feb 6: As an event initiated by the W3R® liaison members of the SAR and DAR and Society of the Cincinnati celebrated (in both Philadelphia and Paris) the 225th anniversary of the signing.
Feb 8:   The Delaware Legislature passed a resolution declaring 2003 Feb 8 to be French Alliance Day in Delaware (PDF file)
On that day the Robinson House in Claymont DE was filled to capacity to meet living historians of the times, to hear "General Lafayette" speak about his life as a young soldier in George Washington's army, to hear Dr. Robert Selig speak on the development and fate of the French Alliance, and to hear French and American period music.
The New Castle County Council (Delaware) passed a resolution din support of designating the W3R® as a historic trail, provided partial funding to the W3R®-DE for a commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the two France-U.S. treaties in 1778, and funded the production of a brochure to advertise the W3R® in Delaware to tourists and to people who live along the route.
May 6: at Valley Forge the Continental Army celebrates the treaties with a feu de joie (celebratory gunfire) Apr 26 and May 5: Dr. Robert Selig presented public lectures   summarizing his research --funded by the state of Delaware and the Delaware Society SAR -- that discovered and documented many interesting aspects of the French army presence in Delaware that have never before been published. This report is available online .
May 6: feu de joie at Valley Forge by 300 re-enactors to commemorate the anniversary of this event.
In 2003 the National Park Service published its Statement of Historical Significance of the W3R®. It is available online .
  Oct 03: The W3R®-DE and East Coast Greenway (ECG) co-sponsored "Hike the Pike" a 10-mile discovery tour of the first leg of Delaware's portion of the W3R®. Eighteenth-century historic house and museum staffers from across the state gathered at the Cauffiel E®state to present activities for children. Hikers walked 10 miles from Robinson House to the Riverfront. ECG bicyclists rode their bikes twenty miles from Robinson House to Riverfront, following the Delaware Greenways system. Special programs were offered at Robinson House, Claymont Stone School, Cauffiel Estate, Penny Hill, Brandywine Village, Riverfront.
Oct 29: The Virginia Society DAR announced plans to replace a large interpretive sign that they had originally placed near Mt. Vernon in 1976. Durf McJoynt has posted the old sign and the new sign (2004) [a PDF file]

Prof. James Johnson (Military Historian for the Hudson River Valley) published an overview of the W3R® and the work of the W3R®-US Committee to develop that route as a National Historic Trail.
See www.yorktownhistory.org/research/w3r.htm

Go to Top of Page