Typical Activities of the W3R-US 

BOOKS | COMMEMORATIONS | EXHIBITS | GRAVES | HIKE / BIKE / WALK | MUSIC
PAINTINGS | RE-ENACTMENTS | RESEARCH | SIGNAGE | SPEAKERS | VIDEOS | YOUTH

Books, Pamphlets, Maps, and Brochures 

Several books discuss the involvement of France in the American Revolution and several books are being prepared for publication after 2008. For a list of W3R-related publications and links to the on-line versions of the recent Historical and Architectural Surveys of the W3R (available for most states along the route)
see the W3R bibliography.

Maps Richard Sheryka (W3R-RI) is working on a one-volume reprint of the many excellent maps from The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army, by Brown and Rice.

Heritage Tourism Books and Brochures: Several state W3R organizations have published one-page heritage tourism brochures containing a brief history of the W3R in their state, a guide for an auto tour along the route, and suggestions for related Revolutionary War sites to visit. Contact that state's W3R group for further information.

The W3R-US is encouraging the reprinting (perhaps on CD) of other significant works and the writing and publication of new works on the W3R.


Commemorations 

See links for "Previous Events" and "Upcoming Events" on the home page.

Exhibits 

W3R Exhibit Available for Loan
This exhibit summarizes the history of the U.S-French allied effort. After several years on display at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia it was on display at the Visitor's Center at Valley Forge National Historical Park from 2008 August to 2010. It is now being refurbished for continuing use. To discuss loan terms contact Winchell S. Carroll at wincarroll@aol.com.
Valley Forge National Historical Park site | Press Release (overview)
NPS Superintendant Mike Caldwell between a map of the W3R and a Revolutionary War uniform.

W3R-related exhibits that are no longer on display are noted on the W3R Achievements page in the year they ended. In some cases a Web summary of the exhibit is still posted.


Grave Marking / Commemoration 

Le Souvenier Français (SF) -- an organization dedicated to finding and marking the graves of French military personnel who died outside of France -- has compiled a list of some 990 soldiers and 1,000 sailors who died in the U.S. theater of operations during the years of the France-U.S. alliance (1778-1783), See The 2,112 Frenchmen who died in the United States from 1777 to 1783. If you are are planning a W3R event please check this list to see if any soldiers died nearby. You might then locate their graves and place an appropriate marker or a wreath there. The Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution have marked some of these the burial sites with plaques or stones.

Photo-reports on
2006 Sept wreath-laying in Wilmington DE for Dr. Joseph Capelle: Patriot, Immigrant, and Doctor
2007 June wreath-laying in France for General Rochambeau

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Hiking, Bicycling, and Walking along the W3R 

Boy Scout Historical Trails
Boy Scout Order of the Arrow Lodges in several states (DE - DelMarVa Council, RI - Narraganset Council) have developed historical trail guides that discuss the historic events along a section of W3R taken by the allied U.S-French Army in 1781, give directions for walking that section of the W3R (typically five miles), and include questions related to the history and hike. Scouts who complete the requirements in the booklet may obtain a W3R trail patch for that section of the W3R..
-- People who are not Boy Scouts may use the booklets to learn about the W3R and to follow the trail.
-- In 2006 May and June several Scouts and re-enactors hiked the entire length of the W3R in Rhode Island. See photo-report on RI Scouts.

We are developing other non-automotive guides for following the trail and hope to release these through or in cooperation with major national organizations listed on our Other Trails page.


Music Activities 

The Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps, based in Indiana, presents authentic 18th century French military music in authentic dress for that era. They give performances around the nation and also outside the U.S.

Billy Lee's Washington is a musical about the life of George Washington as seen through the eyes of his slave, Billy Lee. It was performed in Delaware during 2006 September and October. See the Achievements page

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Paintings Depicting Army Life along the W3R 

David Wagner is a historian, archaeologist and artist from Scotland CT. He created a series of about 60 paintings to illustrate the experiences of the French Expeditionary Force commanded by French General Rochambeau and his 5,500 troops during its stay in the United States (1780-1783) and its march from Newport RI to Yorktown VA and back to Boston MA. His paintings have been on display in the Rhode Island State House (2003, 2005), in the Connecticut Capitol Building (2003), and in Delaware (2004).
For additional information and a link for ordering these items see the W3R Merchandise page.

Re-enactments of the March 

2004 June to Oct: Walking in the Footsteps of History" Lee Anderson is a living historian and docent at the Revolutionary War site of Fort Mifflin (PA). He followed the route of the allied armies from Newport RI to Yorktown VA (in four stages) via Providence RI, Hartford CT, Danbury CT, Ardsley NY, Trenton NJ, Philadelphia PA, Baltimore MD, Annapolis MD, Washington DC, and Williamsburg VA.
See the Photo-report of the Walk

2004 Dec 5: Dedham MA: Massachusetts SAR Color Guard commander Geoffrey Colby placed flags and a tricolor wreath at the monument that commemorates the 54th French campsite, built here in 1782.


2005 Jul 8-10: Newport RI: Celebration of the 225th anniversary of the 1780 arrival of French General Rochambeau and the French Expeditionary Force. M. Gerard Priet of the France Society SAR spoke about Admiral Ternay, who was in command of the French fleet that brought the French Expeditionary Force to Newport and who died there six months later
Text of his speech /
Photo-report of the weekend

2006 June through October: AMERICA'S MARCH TO YORKTOWN:
Three re-enactors in period uniforms walked the entire 650-mile route following the original allied march schedule. They were joined by many one-day marchers along the way and welcomed and hosted by groups in many of the towns and cities through which they passed. See the Photo-reports of the March.

2008 October: BATTLE OF THE HOOK:
See the American, British, Hessian, and French soldiers at rest and in action as several thousand re-enactors re-created this important land battle that kept the British army at Yorktown from opening an escape route to the coast.
Photos of the re-enactment

Contact information for groups that portray U.S., British, German, and French military units or people who portray the major figures of the W3R are available on our Affiliates Page.


Research on the Documentary Basis for the W3R 

W3R groups in several states have encouraged private organizations and public agencies to provide funds and personnel to search through the archives for documents that shed light on the activities and people associated with the W3R and to publish a comprehensive list of these documents with brief summaries to put the material in context. These reports provide an excellent basis for educational modules and heritage tourism brochures.
See the W3R Bibliography.

2006 Feb 11: A symposium on Black Patriots in the Revolution was sponsored by the W3R-DE. See the photo-report.

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Video Productions 

Tête á Tête [head to head] establishes the atmosphere and tensions in Philadelphia in 1775 and looks over the shoulders of Benjamin Franklin and John Jay during their secret meeting with Achat de Bonvouloir of France as they laid the foundations for developing a France-U.S. alliance to facilitate American independence. This critical meeting occurred in December 1775 -- six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
For additional information and a link for ordering this item see the W3R Merchandise page.

France and the Independence of the United States is designed for use in schools (and elsewhere) in the United States. The production was professionally produced and is available in either English or French.
For additional information and a link for ordering this item see the W3R Merchandise page.


Youth Activities 

History Camp:
--- 2005 July: The Delaware Society SAR provided a presentation on the role of France in the American Revolution to high school students attending the Delaware Heritage Commission's History Camp.

Scout Activities:
--- 2005 July 8-10: The Rhode Island Society SAR provided a pavillion with merit badge counsellors for an American Heritage merit badge at Fort Adams during the weekend of the 225th anniversary of the landing of the French Expeditionary Force in Newport RI.
--- 2005 Oct: The Nentego Lodge, Order of the Arrow, (DelMarVa Council BSA) issued an Historical Trail Guide based on the Delaware section of the W3R. Boy Scouts may earn an historical trail patch by reading this guide, hiking the designated trail, visiting a museum along the way, and answering questions related to W3R historical events in that area. See the Hiking section above

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