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The March to Yorktown as told by Mathieu Dumas

July 22, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Join us Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 5:00 pm, for a special online presentation by Dr. Iris de Rode.

Réflexions sur l’Attaque de New Yor

This month’s presentation will tell the details of the March to Yorktown through the eyes of an aide de camp to Rochambeau, Mathieu Dumas, on which Dr. de Rode together with Professor Bertrand Van Ruymbeke published an annotated edition in French.

In 2012, in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Dordogne, a small handwritten booklet of eighty-six pages was discovered by the Society for the History of Protestantism in the Dordogne Valley (SHPVD), in a private archive and given to the Society.

This (then) unpublished booklet is entitled “Draft for the campaign diary of June 16 – October 6, 1781”. Its author is Rochambeau’s aide-de-camp, Guillaume Mathieu, comte de Dumas (1753-1837).

His “draft” is written between June and September 1781, and corresponds to the march of the French army from Newport to Yorktown. Dumas preceded the army to set up camp.
The presentation of July 22nd will focus on the diary which recounts in a lively and detailed manner the circumstances of this March, the communication with the army, Dumas’s encounters, and the practical difficulties he had to solve.

In addition, he enriched his account with descriptions of the “natural world” through which he passed and of American politics, as well as reflections on the differences between the states and the effects of the war on the American economy.

This is a free program that is open to the public. Also, please feel free to share this invitation and invite a friend.

Link to join (no registration required) https://sciencespo.zoom.us/j/6071023164

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.

Since 2013, as an adjunct faculty member, Iris has been teaching several classes in American and Transatlantic history and international history.

History – Mission – Vision

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (WARO) is 680 miles in length and comprises a network of roads and waterways used by French forces under Rochambeau and American forces under Washington in the Yorktown Campaign. The route spans nine states and the District of Columbia.

The military, logistical and cultural significance of this march served as a pivotal point in the American Revolutionary War. Without the assistance of thousands of French soldiers and sailors, many of whom gave their lives, the outcome of the war could have been different. Today the route includes many historic sites and scenic byways that are open to the public and important to explaining this key part of French and American history.

The mission of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is to preserve and interpret the routes taken by American and French troops from 1781 – 1782 and to commemorate the role of the critical French-American alliance in the victory over British forces at the siege of Yorktown, Virginia.

Our vision is to commemorate the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail by making it relevant and meaningful to present day audiences through a clearly focused presence that includes innovative outreach and programming. In doing so we will foster relationships with partners and stakeholders to influence interest in the Trail and create visitor experiences.


Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail