W3R Historic Events in 1782
and Public Commemorations for the
225th Anniversaries in 2007 

Historic Events 1782 225th Anniversary Events 2007 
1782 April: The Netherlands recognized the U.S. as an independent nation 2007 May 19:  The French Consulate in Boston hosted a ceremony to honor Lafayette, France's military support of American independence, and a number of American World War Two veterans who had served in the struggle for French liberty, specifically in the Normandy troop landing.

Boston was the first port of call in 1780 and the port of departure in 1782 for the bulk of the French Expeditionary Force. It provided hospital facilities for the French regiments and a safe harbor and repair facility for several French fleets during those three years.

Re-enactors portraying Gen. Rochambeau [John Welsh, red vest], Adm. de Grasse [William Rose, tan vest], and several units of the French Expeditionary Force in the United States -- the Bourbonnais, Saintonge and Gatinois regiments. [photo by Richard Sheryka]

June 4:  For the 200th anniversary of the death of General Rochambeau Dr. Jacques Bossiere -- Founding Chair of the W3R-US -- placed a wreath from the W3R-US on Rochambeau's grave at Thore-la-Rochette in France. Col. Serge Gabriel, a member of the Souvenier Français (and the W3R-US Regional Vice-Chair for the Northeast), placed a wreath from the Souvenier Français on the grave.

You may be interested in reading this report from 111 years ago: "The Chateau de Rochambeau" , by Joseph G. Rosengarten, Proc Am. Philos. Soc. 1894, p 353-?
available through Google Books

Wreaths from the Souvenier Français and the W3R-US at Rochambeau's grave.
Front: Comte Michel de Rochambeau, Dr. Jacques Bossiere, Nichole Yancey, Col. Serge Gabriel
Back: Nathalie de Gouberville and Guy de Rochambeau (daughter and son of the Comte)

Historic Events 1782 225th Anniversary Events 2007 
July 1: French troops leave Williamsburg VA on return trip to MA
July 19: French troops enter MD (stay a month in Baltimore)
Aug 29: French troops enter DE
Aug 30: French troops enter PA
2007 August 19 -- The Road to Freedom Walk  in Dobbs Ferry NY commemorated the start of the march by the main body of the Continental Army (led by General George Washington) from its encampment nearby to Yorktown VA. The French army departed from their camp on same date but took a different route to King's Ferry (Verplanck) NY for the Hudson River ferry crossing and did not pass through Dobbs Ferry. (Photos by Rich Borkow)

After a one-mile walk participants enjoyed a presentation and refreshments.
Aug 25-26: Wilmington DE (Brandywine Creek State Park) Large-scale re-enactment of the Battle of Cooch's Bridge in its 230th anniversary.
For information and a link for ordering a 45-minute DVD of this event see W3R Merchandise page.
Sept 2: French troops enter NJ
Sept 13: French troops enter NY (stay a month at Yorktown Heights)
Sept 01 -- Parades in Pennsylvania 
Win Carroll, chair of the W3R-PA, organized two parades celebrated the 225th anniversary of the Continental Congress' review of the French and American armies after their victory at Yorktown (in October of 1781).
A 55 minute video!!! of the parade, with a television interview of Win Carroll and Dr. Robert Selig summarizing the history of the French Army in the United States. This is best viewed at "original size".

Parade #1: In Philadelphia PA the parade passed Independence Hall and continued to Washington Square for a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution.

Ben Franklin [by Ralph Archbold], David Holloway (AMtY), Hannah Selig, Kim Burdick (chair, W3R-US), Comte de Rochambeau [by John B. Welsh], wreath, George Washington [by Dean Malissa], Michael Scullin, Esq. - Honorary French Consul, Mike Fitzgerald (AMtY), Dr. Robert Selig, and Rose Morin (AMtY).
[photo by Win Carroll]
Note: AMtY = America's March to Yorktown

Parade #2: In Chester PA the parade came down the Avenue of the States to City Hall and ended with a wreath laying at the grave of John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Color Guard of the Philadelphia Continental Chapter
of the Sons of the American Revolution [photo by Kay Nelson]

Laying a wreath at the grave of Signer John Morton. [photo by Kay Nelson]
George Washington [by Carl Closs], Comte de Rochambeau [by John B. Welsh]
Rosemary Hogan (W3R-PA Board), Michael Scullin, Esq. - Honorary French Consul,
Ben Franklin [by Ralph Archbold], and Ann Patten (W3R-AP secretary)

Sept 05:   Retired Mens Association of Greenwich CT celebrates the Birth of Lafayette
Col. Serge Gabriel (W3R Regional Vice Chair for the Northeast) led a 159-man chorus in the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner and La Marseillaise.

Sept 06: W3R-US Celebrates the Birth of Lafayette
Lafayette was a born into a titled family, and he was the equivalent of a West Point-educated officer in the French army. He was so deeply dedicated to freedom and liberty that he chartered a ship at his own expense to sail to the U.S. and offer to serve in the Continental Army. Lafayette understood true liberty to be "the fruition of the enactment of the rights of man", and his life was devoted to global citizenship and service.

The leaders of the W3R-US participated in the birthday commemoration at the college. Dr. Jacques Bossiere, W3R-US' founding chair donated a bust of Lafayette by the famous sculptor Houdon. to Lafayette College (in Easton PA) as it celebrated the 250th birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette, for whom the college is named.

Throughout the 2007-08 academic year Lafayette College will celebrate Lafayette's birth with special events focused on the connection between a free society and an educated citizenry in today's world. See their Web site:
Honoring the Legacy and Ideals of the Marquis de Lafayette

Kim Burdick, current chair of the W3R-US, arrived on the arm of Loic Barnieu -- who portrays the young Lafayette professionally.

Historic Events 1782 225th Anniversary Events 2007 
Oct 23: French troops enter CT Oct 13: Christiana DE: The W3R®-DE and the Alliance Française of Delaware commemorated Lafayette's contributions to liberty in the U.S. and in France. with a luncheon and 250th anniversary birthday cake. Joining the celebration were a Lafayette re-enactor and Alan Hoffman, who presented the highlights of his recently-published translation of the notes of Lafayette's private secretary describing the daily activities during Lafayette's tour of the United States in 1824-25 -- fifty years after the end of the American Revolution.
2007 Oct 20: W3R-US Gathering at Yorktown VA 
Members and friends of the W3R-US gathered at Yorktown to discuss progress of legislation and other concerns.

Carl Nittinger (NJ), Bob Selig (MI), Blanche Hunniwell (MA), Veronica Eid (DE)

Nichole Yancey (VA), Andree King (VA), Blanche Hunniwell (MA),
Serge Gabriel (CT), and Sallie deBarcza (NJ)

guest, guest, Jim Raleigh (NJ)

Videotapes of lectures and commemorations in 2006 and 2007 were posted for several years on the W3R Commons site, but that was vandalized in early 2009, and those video files no longer exist.
In 2007 the documentation research study of W3R historic events in Pennsylvania was published and is available online .
In 2007 the documentation research study of W3R historic events in Maryland was updated and is available online .
In 2007 the documentation research study of W3R historic events in a few counties in VA was published and is available online .

Historic Events 1782 225th Anniversary Events 2007 
Nov 9: French troops enter RI (stay three weeks in Providence) 2007 Nov 06: DC Mayor Fenty Discusses W3R with French Pres. Sarkozy 
News Report [PDF]
2007 Nov 11: Commemorating French Sacrifice 
Members and friends of the W3R-US gathered at the North Burial Ground in Providence RI to honor all French soldiers who served as allies during the American Revolution and died of disease or battle wounds in the United States. Some of the men buried here died of illnesses contracted during the long voyage from France in 1780.

In 1782 the French troops returning north from Yorktown camped nearby before continuing to Boston, from which port they embarked for the Caribbean or for France. One hundred years later (in 1882) the state of Rhode Island placed this monument in gratitude for the sacrifices of the French troops on behalf of the American Revolution.

On the 225th anniversary of the encampment (125th anniv. of the monument)
U.S. re-enactors of the French Regiment Bourbonnais fire a salute in tribute.


Historic Events 1782 225th Anniversary Events 2007 
Dec 1: French troops enter MA
Dec 24: French troops embark on Vaudreuilís fleet from Boston for Caribbean;
Dec 24: Lauzun's Legion arrives in Wilmington DE for a five month stay
2007 Dec 14 -- Washington-Rochambeau Symposium 
The W3R-PA marked the 200th anniversary if the death of Gen. Rochambeau with a symposium at the NcNeil Center for Early American Studies, on the campus of the Univ. of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. NcNeil Director Dr. Dan Richter introduced a panel of speakers:
  • Mark Lloyd (Director of the Univ. PA Archives): "The Transformation of the Univ. of Pennsylvania 1776-1783".
  • Dr. Fred Beutler (Deputy Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives): "The Compliment of the Salute -- Congress, Count Rochambeau, and the French Alliance 1778-1783"
  • Dr. Robert Selig (National Park Service Project Historian): "Of Friends and Relatives: Franco-American Encounters on the March through Pennsylvania 1781-1782"
  • Dr. Lynn Miller (author): "French Philadelphia"
  • Dr. Wayne Bodle (Indiana Univ. of PA): "American Reports of Rochambeau's Death"
The keynote address was presented by Prof. Jonathan Dull (Yale Univ.): "France and the American Revolution: The Russian Connection"

Dr. Lynn Miller, Prof. Jonathan Dull, and Dr. Robert Selig

Go to Top of Page