W3R-US Bulletin April 2021


The Bulletin

A monthly publication of The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association

APRIL 2021           On the Web: www.w3r-us.org           Vol. 1, No. 4 

Annual Meeting April 24

All Board members, please watch your email for a ballot and background information in advance of W3R-US’ Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24. The packed agenda will include election of Directors to three-year terms, appointment of new members of the Leadership Council, a report from Trail Administrator Johnny Carawan and reports on some of the many initiatives being undertaken by our dynamic organization. Despite the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, W3R-US has been active on numerous fronts. Be prepared to hear all about it on the 24th.

The Nominating Committee has been busy vetting a number of stellar newcomers who are looking forward to the opportunity to join the veterans in advancing the work of our Association and the Trail. As in 2020, Board members will be invited to complete a ballot in advance, with a return deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, April 23 to permit tabulation before the meeting. If you do not complete a ballot in advance, you will be invited to vote during the meeting.

Please note: Unless you are a life member, your dues for calendar year 2021 must be paid before you can cast a ballot.

Jeff Canning, Nominating Committee Chair

Membership Memo: 3 Organizations Join

W3R-US welcomes the Daughters of the Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization founded in 1894 whose members are women descended from the officers who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. These officers were the founding members of the Society of the Cincinnati, an association dedicated to perpetuating friendships, offering mutual aid and providing assistance to the widows and orphans of comrades. Today, the Daughters of the Cincinnati honor these long-ago officers by continuing to discover and celebrate the history and wisdom of our ancestors in relevant lectures and trips, but most especially by operating and funding a scholarship program that contributes to the college tuition of daughters of career officers in the armed services. For more information, please visit their Web site: https://daughters1894.org/

“W3R-US is honored to have the Daughters of the Cincinnati as a new organization member,” said Larry Abell, W3R-US National Chair.

W3R-US also welcomes the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition of Central New Jersey as a new member organization partner. MVPC is the official nonprofit sponsor of the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, which overlaps the 1781-82 route taken by the French allied forces for about 10 miles. http://www.millstonevalley.org/. In a new book, America’s National Historic Trails, by Karen Berger, this section is described as “one of the most scenic and historically evocative sections” of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. The organization’s president, Brad Fay, is a volunteer helping W3R-US advocate for the Trail’s development and W3R-US’ Build Back Better proposal. https://w3r-us.org/the-trail-that-connects-americas-founding-cities/

Also joining W3R-US as a new organization member is the American Revolution Consortium for Civic Education (ARCCE), a Virginia-based nonprofit that was cofounded in 2017 by Randy Flood and Jeff Lambert. The mission of ARCCE is to educate our fellow citizens about the American Revolution, with an emphasis on American history, civic awareness, world geography, economics, science and historic preservation. https://www.arcce.org/home

“Our collaboration with the ARCCE to bring programs and symposia about the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail will help write an exciting new chapter in W3R-US’ future,” said Ellen von Karajan, Executive Director of W3R-US.


Please consider becoming a W3R-US member if you are not one already. And invite a friend or a like-minded organization to join us! Visit https://w3r-us.org/w3r-us/membership/

Julie Diddell, Membership Committee Chair

Fundraising Fun: Your Shopping Can Support W3R-US

America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History by Karen Berger. As one who shows an appreciation for our nation’s historic trails, you will enjoy reading this wonderful new book, which has pictures and descriptions of the country’s 19 National Historic Trails, including the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail! Make your purchase at no extra cost, using Amazon Smile, and select W3R-US as the favorite charity you want to support! https://smile.amazon.com. You’ll generate a very special donation to W3R-US.

Julie Diddell, Fundraising Committee Chair

Advocacy in Connecticut

Director Ingrid Wood contacted the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, which in turn reached out to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury regarding W3R-US’ Building Back Better Founding Cities stimulus presentation. The presentation, developed by consultant Brad Fay, was well received by both organizations. Additional discussions are being scheduled with legislative staff members and city mayors. Ingrid said there was real interest in retelling the founding story of the United States in these urban areas to recast it as more inclusive. The Historical Society recently changed its mission to portray regional inclusive stories in its collections more accurately, so there is similar-mindedness in the history community there. The Trail goes right in front of the new Mattatuck Museum building in Waterbury. The Connecticut Historical Society has collections from the former Wadsworth House in Hartford and has sponsored talks by Dr. Robert Selig, Trail historian.

Franco-American Committee

Chair Nicole Yancey reports that the Committee is still working on the “Gallery of Portraits” and is looking for illustrations. (Please contact Nicole if you have any that may be useful: ngyancey@verizon.net.) She is also exploring various ways and venues in France and the United States to develop interest and participation in W3R-US and the French Alliance.

Schools Adopt a Trail

Education Committee Chair Elaine Lawton reports that a grant request for $65,000 has been submitted to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority for the Schools Adopt a Trail pilot program for inner city schools. The 2022 program, in the Baltimore City Public Schools, will feature classroom and on-site experiences. The proposal includes in-kind contributions of $21,000 from the Pride of Baltimore ship organization and $10,000 from the Education Committee; an interpretive historian who will present at all schools; teacher training from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; a field trip to the Maryland Center of History and Culture in Baltimore; and a presentation by an author/historian.

Grave Markers at Trinity Church

Slate grave markers for two French officers from l’Hermione Captain Pierre du Rousseau de Fayolle and First Lieutenant de la Villemarais (also spelled Villemarets, Valernais or Vilernais) – buried in the Trinity Church cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island, will be dedicated Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, during a special French weekend. In addition to providing accounting services for the pass-through grant project, W3R-US has provided a bridge loan of $5,636.60 to the National Park Service to cover the cost of initial work on the markers. The money will be repaid under the new Task Agreement beginning June 1, 2021. Total cost of the project is $15,273. $13,273 is in the Task Agreement and will be available June 1; $1,000 each will be provided by American Friends of Lafayette and Le Souvenir Francais.

Improving Connections Among Us

W3R-US is teaming up with Constant Contact, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based online marketing company, whose bulk email services will help our organization generate and transmit our growing number of mass emails efficiently and effectively. Constant Contact claims the industry’s highest delivery rate – upward of 95 percent – along with software and templates that are easy to use, backed by unlimited access to a support staff. W3R-US plugs in the content and Constant Contact does the rest. The service removes duplicate addresses – a frequent concern when addresses are culled from multiple lists – and includes analytics. National Vice Chair Julie Diddell, who researched several such companies, said the service should improve appearance and delivery of The Bulletin, After Dinner Conversations notices and other announcements after a training session is held.

Tracking Volunteer Service

Director Sam Meredith, who compiles the volunteer hours worked by W3R-US members, encourages state and committee chairs, as well as individuals, to report monthly. Hours include meetings, phone calls, advocacy, research, planning, events and travel, among other items, both national and state/local. Sam’s template includes space for donations in kind (office space and computer use, for example, even if not reported on your tax returns). Please email your monthly reports to Sam at memogroup1127@gmail.com by the fifth of the following month.

From the Editor

I hope you continue to enjoy The Bulletin and find it helpful in keeping abreast of the activities of The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association on numerous fronts. Thank you for your favorable comments and other kind words.

I hope that, by May, W3R-US’ new association with Constant Contact (please see above) will bear fruit with a more attractive look for The Bulletin as this “print dinosaur,” as I have been described, learns some new tricks. The content will continue to be accurate and solid (I hope).

State leaders are invited to provide information (by the end of each month for the following month’s edition) about their activities, which will be presented in a separate section of The Bulletin. (Please see the reports from Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware, below.)

Your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome. Please email me at historicaljeff@aol.com

– Jeff Canning, National Recording Secretary

State Report

Pennsylvania: W3R-US Trailblazer and life member Lanny Patten made a presentation to almost 40 people March 2, 2021, during a Zoom meeting of the Philadelphia Continental Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. His presentation included the following points:

  • • W3R-PA has as its mission to preserve and interpret the revolutionary route of 1781-82 and to commemorate the French-American alliance, supporting the National Park Service. Its purpose is to recognize historic value and the educational and recreational potential of the Trail. About 400 historic sites and great recreational opportunities exist.
  • • The allies arrived in Philadelphia during the first week of September 1781 and set up three camps in the area.
  • • After a 700-mile march through nine states and what is now the District of Columbia, the allies arrived in Yorktown. Yorktown Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 19.
  • • In 2009 the route became the nation’s 19th national historic trail.
  • • Trail Historian Dr. Robert Selig’s book March to Victory is available on Amazon. He also has produced a historical survey of the march through Pennsylvania, available on the Web site.
  • • The NPS partners with the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and with W3R-US.
  • • WARO programs receiving current emphasis are the Countdown to 2026 and signage at high potential sites.
  • • W3R-US and its state units are always looking for new members.
  • Additional information can be found at: w3r-us.org and nps.gov/waro

New York: W3R-US National Chair Larry Abell gave a Zoom presentation, “A Snapshot of the W3R Initiatives,” April 10 to the Rockland County-based Shatemuc Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition to his work with W3R-US, Larry is president of the Maryland Veterans Museum at Patriot Park in Newburg and is licensed to practice in the fields of architecture, planning, engineering and green building design. He has worked with, and presented to, other DAR chapters and said he was looking forward to seeing what synergies lie in Shatemuc’s historic area of the Hudson River Valley. Janet Lee Burnet, Chair of W3R-NY and a W3R-US Board member, is a former Chapter Vice Regent.

Delaware: W3R-DE and the Cooch’s Bridge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution shared a DAR National publication on African American and Native American Patriots of the American Revolution with more than 20 Delaware schools along the Trail during March and April. … We have agreed to support a brand new Brandywine Village high school, Urban Promise Academy, with curriculum development that highlights the contributions of all Americans. … Delaware historian Tom Welch recently gave a virtual presentation on Delaware Revolutionary War cavalry officer Allan McLane, which was enthusiastically received by the audience of the Brandywine Village Partners. Tom portrays Allan, complete with uniform. McLane was Washington’s cavalry commander at Yorktown. … Delaware has reached out to a newly formed group, “Friends of Cooch’s Bridge,” to offer any possible assistance we can. … The state recently purchased the Cooch Colonial-era home, which lies on the Trail. … W3R-DE Vice President Peg Tigue has worked closely with consultant Brad Fey to engage U.S. Sen. Chris Coons’ office and Wilmington city officials on the value of the W3R-US national stimulus proposal.

State Chair Bill Conley has been asked to be the keynote speaker at White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church in Newark on Memorial Day. The 1718 church is rededicating its cemetery, in which rest a number of Revolutionary War veterans. Revivalist George Whittaker gave a sermon there in 1739 to 8,000 Scots-Irish Presbyterians.

Bill’s talk will be geared toward Delaware’s role in the war, especially in the Newark area, so he will include both the 1777 Battle of Cooch’s Bridge and the 1781 March to Yorktown.

Wilmington native General Allan McLane, donated the funds for the first Presbyterian Church in Wilmington and Smyrna following the war.

Board member George Widger is excavating the overgrown Pigeon Run Presbyterian Cemetery in Red Lion, just south of Newark. George’s Colonial era ancestors are buried there.

– Bill Conley, State Chair █

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