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The French Join the Rebels “A Suicide Mission?”

April 15, 2021
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
As a prelude to National Park Week, join us on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 5:00 pm, for a special presentation on French military participation during the American War of Independence.

Starting in April and each month thereafter, Dr. Iris de Rode will present her research on the French expedition in America, which is mainly based on unpublished sources that she discovered in the Château de Chastellux (Burgundy, France), which holds the private archive of the Marquis de Chastellux who served as a major general under Rochambeau between 1780 and 1783. His papers reveal numerous insights on the French-American cooperation during the American Revolution that she will share during her lectures. In addition, she will discuss many lesser-known French participants in the war, by using the journals and letters of French officers and soldiers that played a pivotal role in achieving American Independence.

Link to join (no registration required): Click Here

Meet Dr. Iris de Rode

Dr. Iris de Rode is specialized in the French participation in the American Revolution, and more broadly in the history of the Atlantic Revolutions.

Iris earned her doctoral degree in November 2019 for her PhD dissertation entitled “François-Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788), un soldat-philosophe dans le monde atlantique à l’époque des Lumières” at the University of Paris 8, under supervision of professor Bertrand Van Ruymbeke.

For her dissertation, she has earned thirteen fellowships, including grants from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Mount Vernon, Monticello, the French embassy in the Netherlands and the French government. She has presented her research at 25 international conferences, such as those organized by the European Early American Studies Association, the French Association of American Studies, Brown University, Stanford University, Mount Vernon and Monticello.

Her dissertation will be published in French in the autumn of 2021 (Paris, Honoré Champion). Iris is currently working on the publication of an adaptation of this dissertation in English to be published in 2023 with the University of Virginia Press.

In addition, she is also working on a documentary film entitled “En Route For Revolution” based on her research, for the French production company Gédéon Programmes.


Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail