“Our clocks are slow” L’Hermione, Lafayette and the Franco-American Alliance

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Marquis de Lafayette

With the visit of the L’Hermione to the east coast of the United States this summer, there has been a heightened interest in the Franco-American alliance that won the American Revolution.  The French rebuilt the L’Hermione not only for its beauty but also its historical significance.  Most importantly, its mission and the passenger it contained when it arrived in Boston in the fall of 1780.

The spring of 1780 was a low point in the American cause of independence.  Stagnation in the north between Washington and British commander General Sir Henry Clinton combined with devastating defeats in the Southern Theater caused low morale among the patriots.  Cornwallis had complete control over the Southern colonies and no standing American force seemed to be able to stop his movements.  Continue reading ““Our clocks are slow” L’Hermione, Lafayette and the Franco-American Alliance”

The Return of L’Hermoine

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It will be hard to describe in modern terms the celebrity of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, Marquis de Lafayette (aka LaFayette) in 18th century America.

The young Marquis was fascinated with the American ideal of revolution and against the wishes of the French monarchy, in 1776 he cast his lot with the American patriots.  His relationship with George Washington and other American leaders played a major role in the American-French alliance that brought about American independence. Continue reading “The Return of L’Hermoine”