235 Years Later, Lafayette's Ship, The Hermione, Sails Again To America
April 19, 2015
This is L'Hermione, the ship that carried Le Marquis de Lafayette from France to Boston in 1780 to help the American revolutionaries fight the Brits.
Three years before, when he was just 19 years old, Lafayette offered his services to the insurgent American army. After fighting in several battles and being wounded, he returned to France in 1779 to seek aid from King Louis XVI on behalf of the American revolutionaries. He came back with a whole army.
17 years ago, a group of French restoration enthusiasts had the crazy idea to recreate a life-size replica of the ship using only eighteenth-century shipbuilding techniques.
The project attracted artisan craftsmen from France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
Over 8,000 people have worked on it.
The project was financed by the local government as well as crowd-funding and tourist donations as the construction site was open to the public.
Here it is in La Rochelle, getting ready to sail.
Little treats for the American friends.
The Hermione left France on April 18 to pay a visit to America. It took 38 days for Lafayette to make the journey.
The first stop in America will be at Yorktown, New York, on June 5.
There will be at least 11 dockings in American harbors on the East coast - Baltimore, New York, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Newport, and Boston.
Website for the project: Hermione.com
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