L’Hermione 2015: A replica of the French Frigate and blend of history, wine, cognac, friendship, and revolution.
Blogathon, June 17
In 1780, when the Marquis de Lafayette was just 21, he set sail on the Hermione (commanded by Louis-René de Latouche), from the Poitou-Charentes region in France (where the frigate was built) to Yorktown, Virginia. The original crossing took 38 days. Lafayette and the Hermione helped secure America’s Independence by participating in the naval blockade against the British in 1781, eventually causing the surrender of Cornwall and his troops.
Among the men and weaponry and wine on board, Hermione rolled across the sea with two barrels of Cognac, which came from the Poitou-Charentes region. To read more about that interesting bit of history, see the article by Dave McIntyre in The Washington Post Food Section today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/a-two-barrel-salute-to-the-friendship-of-lafayette-and-washington/2015/06/12/73a80fdc-0e21-11e5-a0dc-2b6f404ff5cf_story.html
In April 2015, 235 years later, after 22 years of planning, construction, and $28 million, an authentic replica (based on original drawings) of the Hermione along with 82 crew members left Rochefort, France, bound for the East Coast. Decked out as the original in blue, black, and gold, the Hermione measures117 feet tall and 210 feet long. It sports three masts, 19 sails, and 34 cannons. First stop in the USA was symbolically Yorktown, then two other historic stops in Virginia.
This weekend Hermione will dock in Baltimore, joining a fleet of other Tall Ships, then continue up the coast stopping in Philadelphia the last weekend in June and on to New York City for a grand Fourth of July celebration. From there it will sail up the coast to Nova Scotia, Canada, stopping at ports of significance to the American Revolution. To learn more about the Hermione replica and its maiden voyage: http://www.hermione2015.com/
To celebrate this remarkable achievement in American French relations, check the itinerary and view Hermione at one of its ports of call. Then open a bottle of French wine or sip a bit of Cognac. In the words of Lafayette, “Why not?”
Read more about the original Hermione and its replica in Smithsonian Magazine: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/marquis-lafayette-sails-again-180954590/?no-ist
Photo credit above: By Auguste Louis de Rossel de Cercy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons