W3R-US Bulletin August 2021


The Bulletin

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

AUGUST 2021           On the Web: www.w3r-us.org           Vol. 1, No. 8

Bike and Kayak Tour to Launch in Newport Aug. 14

Sal Lilienthal has cycled 480 miles and kayaked 18 miles as part of his training regimen for the 795-mile tour. Hartford Courant file photo.

The 2021 Washington-Rochambeau Bike and Kayak Tour is scheduled to roll out of Newport, Rhode Island, this Saturday morning, Aug. 14. Two weeks and nearly 800 miles later, participants and supporters will gather at the Yorktown Victory Monument in Virginia on Saturday, Aug. 28. After two travel days back north, the tour will conclude with four miles of kayaking in Boston Harbor on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

The tour, whose theme is “Experience America’s Roads and Waterways to Independence,” has been organized by W3R-US Director Sal Lilienthal and is sponsored by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (WARO), W3R-US and Sal’s Connecticut-based Bicycle Tour Company. In response to the National Park Service’s most recent requirements, Sal will cycle solo on public highways but he welcomes the company of other cyclists, at no charge, on bicycle paths.

Primary goals of the tour include educating the public about the existence of the Trail; commemorating the 240th anniversary of the Continental and French armies’ march to Yorktown; the Trail’s opportunities for outdoor recreation; and the many interesting sites that can be visited along the Trail, Sal said. The experiential program highlights the little known “on the water” story critical to the French-U.S. victory over the British at Yorktown in 1781. In addition to the actual route, the trip includes more than 100 Revolutionary War sites, U.S. and French encampments and national and state parks.

Sal, a 40-year professional in the field of historical tourism, has organized a “highlight event” in each of the nine states (plus Washington, DC) along the Trail, one of the largest of which will be a side trip in Wilmington, Delaware, with inner-city youngsters along a bicycle trail past the murals in Brandywine Village. Generic logo T-shirts will be given to participating youngsters in this and other events along the way and will be sold (order form, Page 3) to help defray tour expenses.

National Chair Larry Abell has challenged W3R-US members and friends to match his donation of $500 to offset expenses. To match Larry’s challenge, please visit www.w3r-us.org or send a check to W3R-US, P.O. Box 38255, Baltimore, MD 21231.

Bulletin Editor Jeff Canning will drive a support van behind Sal and will file daily reports and photos, which can be accessed via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonRochambeauRevolutionaryRouteAssociation

Highlights of each day of the tour are listed below. For an illustrated schedule with times, additional links and information, please visit: W3R Bike and Kayak Tour 2021

Day 1: Saturday, Aug. 14 Part One: Kayak 15 miles Newport, RI (Rochambeau Statue, King Park) to Bristol, RI (Independence Park) on Narragansett Bay. Part Two: Bike 15.4 miles Bristol, RI (Independence Park) to Providence, RI (University Hall)

Day 2: Sunday, Aug. 15 82.2 miles, Providence, RI (University Hall) to Hartford, CT (Old State House)

Day 3: Monday, Aug. 16 26.9 miles, Hartford, CT (Old State House) to Waterbury, CT (Rochambeau’s French soldiers grave site)

Day 4: Tuesday, Aug. 17 73.4 miles, Waterbury, CT (Rochambeau’s French soldiers gravesite) to Hartsdale, NY (Odell House)

Day 5: Wednesday, Aug. 18 33.1 miles / kayak across the Hudson River 1.5 miles, Hartsdale, NY (Odell House) to Stony Point, NY (King’s Ferry and battlefield site)

Day 6: Thursday, Aug. 19 50.2 miles, Stony Point, NY (battlefield site) to Morristown, NJ (Ford Mansion Washington’s Headquarters)

Day 7: Friday, Aug. 20 41.2 miles, Morristown, NJ (Ford Mansion Washington’s Headquarters) to Princeton, NJ (Battle Monument in town)

Day 8: Saturday, Aug. 21 100.9 miles. Part One: Princeton, NJ (Battle Monument in town) to Philadelphia, PA (Independence Hall) 46.5 miles. Part Two: Philadelphia, PA (Independence Hall) to Valley Forge, PA and back, 54.4 miles

Day 9: Sunday, Aug. 22 36 miles, Philadelphia, PA (Independence Hall) to Stanton, DE (Hale Byrnes House)

Day 10: Monday, Aug. 23 34.6 miles / kayak across the Susquehanna River 1.5 miles, Stanton, DE (Hale Byrnes House) to Havre de Grace, MD (Rochambeau Square)

Day 11: Tuesday, Aug. 24 38.6 miles, Havre de Grace, MD (Rochambeau Square) to Baltimore, MD (Baltimore’s Washington Monument)

Day 12: Wednesday, Aug. 25 38.3 miles / kayak a section of Chesapeake Bay 4 miles Baltimore, MD (Baltimore’s Washington Monument) to Annapolis, MD (State House)

Day 13: Thursday, Aug. 26 69.1 miles, Annapolis, MD (State House) to Mount Vernon, VA

Day 14: Friday, Aug. 27 81.2 miles, Mount Vernon, VA to Hanover, VA (Hanover Tavern)

Day 15: Saturday, Aug. 28 74.1 miles, Hanover, VA (Hanover Tavern) to Yorktown, VA (Victory Monument)

Travel: Aug. 29-30, Yorktown, VA to Boston, MA

Day 16: Tuesday, Aug. 31 Kayak a section of Boston Harbor 4 miles, Fort Point Channel Boston, paddle to Long Wharf then past Castle Island to Dorchester Bay

Yorktown Day to Include Board Meeting

The Monument to the Alliance and Victory. Photo by National Park Service.

A hybrid meeting of the W3R-US Board of Directors will return to the schedule of Yorktown Day this year after a one-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The in-person session will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in York Hall, 301 Main St., Yorktown, VA, and will also be accessible on Zoom for Board members who are unable to attend in person or are uncomfortable doing so. The Zoom component will also facilitate a shift to an all-virtual session if necessary. Please watch your email for the link and agenda.

This year’s Yorktown Day program will mark the 240th anniversary of the allied victory over the British, who surrendered Oct. 19, 1781. Highlights will include:

Monday, Oct. 18

11 a.m., unveiling of the Rochambeau statue on the Yorktown waterfront, where it will join statues of Washington, de Grasse and Lafayette.

6 p.m., annual dinner, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $65 per person

Tuesday, Oct. 19

8:45 a.m., wreath-laying ceremony at French Cemetery

9:15 a.m., wreath-laying and commemorative ceremony at French Memorial

10:30 a.m., parade along Main Street

11:15 a.m., patriotic exercises and wreath-laying ceremony at Victory Monument

A luncheon/buffet will follow at the Customs House on Main Street, $35 per person.

Any W3R members who wish to participate in the parade should contact Nicole Yancey as soon as possible at ngyancey@verizon.net so she can have an approximate number when filing the permit. Participants walk approximately one mile and are encouraged to wear period clothing. W3R-Virginia will coordinate W3R-US participation in the parade.

The National Park Service has sent a formal letter of invitation to the French Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Philippe Etienne.

Invitations and, where applicable, reservation forms are expected to be mailed by the end of August.

Nicole Yancey, Franco-American Committee Chair

Conversations to Focus on Role of African Americans in War

Noah Lewis, the featured speaker for the fifth in a series of After Dinner Conversations Aug. 17, authored “Edward ‘Ned’ Hector – Revolutionary War Hero” and is presently writing the soldier’s biography. He began presenting the hero in 1996 in his daughter’s fourth-grade class when, after presentations on electricity and biology, the teacher asked if he had any presentations on Colonial America.

During genealogical research on his family, Mr. Lewis had learned about a Black Continental soldier who fought in the Battle of Brandywine and was held in such high regard by his community that a street was named after him in the mid-1850s. “I was amazed and fascinated by Edward Hector and the heritage of other Black historical figures who contributed to America’s freedom,” Mr. Lewis said.

“Dressed out,” as he put it, he not only made the presentation for his daughter’s class but has since taken the program to numerous other schools.

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to continue with this tribute, and to aid in helping others to appreciate the contribution we Black people made to the freedom of all Americans,” Mr. Lewis said. “There is a part of me that hopes the souls of these amazing contributors to our freedom will rest more peacefully by giving them the honor they were denied for so many years.”

To register in advance for this webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_96bWNhK0QLO61xUPVxvBaA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Membership Memo

This month, W3R-US salutes and thanks the members who will be volunteering all along the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail giving time and talent in support of the events marking the 240th anniversary of the march to victory at Yorktown.

If you are not yet a member, please consider joining W3R-US at one of the several levels available. Click here to join: https://w3r-us.org/w3r-us/membership/

Julie Diddell, Membership Committee Chair

Quest to Replace Park Service Funding Under Way

With W3R-US facing the elimination of funding from the National Park Service (NPS) in less than a year, the Association is in the exploratory stage of mounting a major fundraising effort for unrestricted monies sufficient to fund its operating costs of approximately $100,000 a year.

If the NPS does eliminate its funding after the current Task Agreement ends May 31, 2022, W3R-US’ service contracts for the executive director, digital and social media, accounting services, insurance and other administrative expenses will also have to be eliminated or provided on an all-volunteer basis unless other revenue is obtained.

W3R-US has joined the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, which will help our Association develop a statement of core values and a shared organizational vision for the future. Armed with this statement and vision, we hope to work with The Compass Group, based in Alexandria, Virginia, which, according to its Web site, “provides strategy, education and coaching to organizations that must be successful in fundraising.”

Quest to Replace Park Service Funding Under Way

With W3R-US facing the elimination of funding from the National Park Service (NPS) in less than a year, the Fundraising and Membership Committees have created several programs to generate some operating funds. The Association also has secured restricted grants for projects that benefit the reputation of W3R-US but not the operating budget. The Association is in the exploratory stage of mounting a major fundraising effort for unrestricted monies sufficient to fund its operating costs of approximately $100,000 a year.

If the NPS does eliminate its funding after the current Task Agreement ends May 31, 2022, W3R-US’ service contracts for the executive director, digital and social media, accounting services, insurance and other administrative expenses will also have to be eliminated or provided on an all-volunteer basis unless other revenue is obtained.

To try to avoid this, National Chair Larry Abell and Executive Director Ellen von Karajan met June 30 with The Compass Group, based in Alexandria, Virginia, which, according to its Web site, “provides strategy, education and coaching to organizations that must be successful in fundraising.”

Online Store Open for Business

Director Sam Meredith, Chair of the Earned Income Committee, reports that the new W3R-US online store is open for business but had no sales through early July. Suggestions for merchandise should be sent to Sam at memogroup1127@gmail.com

To visit the online store: https://w3rus.qbstores.com/a/login

Iris de Rode Presentations

There will be no presentation in August by Dr. Iris de Rode. Her next monthly presentation, about George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, time and link to be announced. To receive direct notifications about future presentations, please contact the sponsor of the series and ask to be added to the emailing list: johnny_carawan@nps.gov

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, travel and the Bike and Kayak Tour, 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 suggestions, favorable comments and other kind words. To keep up with all news of our Association, please check our Web site regularly: www.w3r-us.org

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 Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, below.)

As noted above, I will be driving a support van for the Bike and Kayak Tour and, if all goes according to plan, I will file daily reports and photos on Facebook, followed by a comprehensive roundup in the September edition of The Bulletin.

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

– Jeff Canning, National Recording Secretary

State Report

Peg Tigue with Mayor Mike Purzycki. Photo by Ann M. Thane

Delaware: W3R-DE Vice President Peg Tigue has been recognized with a Wilmington Rotary Club Award and a proclamation presented by Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki for her service to the community. Among other activities, Peg has been involved with efforts to revive the Colonial section and with economic stimulus plans for the Trail through the city. … W3R-DE and the Brandywine Village Partners Association will welcome the Bike and Kayak Tour participants when they arrive midday Sunday, Aug. 22, at the 18th and Market Street Plaza. Tour leader Sal Lilienthal will make a presentation to student riders from the Urban Promise Academy and their teachers and parents on the value of a healthy, biking-oriented lifestyle. Sal will then lead the children on a brief ride/walk around Colonial Village, followed by lunch with the kids in the Brandywine Village plaza. … W3R-DE has reached out to the Academy on ways to bring the story of the diverse heroes of the American Revolution into the curriculum.

– Bill Conley, State Chair

New Jersey: W3R-NJ has been working hard to prepare for several activities that the team is supporting, including the Bike and Kayak Tour, which will pass through the state Aug. 19-21, and events in Franklin Township, Trenton and Westfield on Aug. 28 and 29.

Tour highlights in New Jersey will include the Ford Mansion Washington’s Headquarters in Morristown, Van Veghten House in Bridgewater Township and the Princeton Battle Monument.

The Trent House Association will host an all-day event Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., celebrating the 240th anniversary of the Washington-Rochambeau march to victory in Yorktown. This free outdoor event will have activities suitable for adults and children. Re-enactors will portray the Continental and French soldiers who marched nearly 700 miles from Rhode Island to Yorktown, passing through New Jersey in late August 1781. Demonstrations of military drills and camp life will take place throughout the day along with other family-friendly activities and historical talks. … During the armies’ encampment in Trenton, French cannons were parked on the estate known as Bloomsbury and owned by Col. John Cox, Assistant Quartermaster General of the Continental Army. In the early 1700s this estate had been the home of William Trent, for whom Trenton is named. For more information, please visit: https://williamtrenthouse.org

Also on Aug. 28, the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition and Franklin Township will host re-enactors representing Continental and French troops. For more information, please visit: https://www.millstonevalley.org/240thAnniversary.html Both events will run throughout the day, and organizers encourage visitors to consider spending the morning at one event and the afternoon at the other.

Everyone is are invited to participate in these fun and free activities. For additional information, please contact W3R-NJ Chair Julie Diddell, JulieDiddell@yahoo.com or 1-908-917-4706. Thank you to our partners – Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail and Trail Administrator Johnny Carawan; West Fields Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, and Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition. Many other New Jersey organizations are volunteering side-by-side with W3R-NJ members to bring these events to the public.

– Julie Diddell, State Chair
Dr. Sam Stephens of the Trent House Association Board and a member of the W3R-US Leadership Council contributed to this report.

New York: The Odell House in Hartsdale, NY, Rochambeau’s headquarters during the summer of 1781, has been safely stabilized after a shoring operation conducted by Abbott and Price Construction. The next step is the development of architect Stephen Tilly’s plan to restore the structure and bring it back to life; he also created the plans for the shoring work. “We are envisioning Odell House as a 21st century interactive museum, educating and entertaining visitors and preserving our proud history,” said Susan Seal, president of Friends of Odell House Rochambeau Headquarters.

In other developments, all documents moved to the Westchester County Historical Society are being catalogued, and the hundreds of pieces of furniture, fabrics and artifacts that were moved into secure, climate-controlled storage units will be inventoried soon. … Major research studies will tell the story of slavery and the Odell family and create an exhibit for elementary school teachers to tell the story of the 1781 encampment. … Odell Colonial Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, at nearby Ridge Road Park. Details will be announced soon. … For more information, please visit: https://www.odellrochambeau.org/

Pennsylvania: W3R-PA took an active part in the French Alliance Sunday service held at Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge on May 2. The traditional annual service was restricted (because of Covid-19) to only invitees, so the chapel arranged for the service and events to be filmed. W3R-PA made a contribution to the filming cost, as did other heritage organizations. Lanny Patten, a member of the W3R-US Trailblazers, was invited to deliver a short word about W3R to be included in the film. The event also provided an opportunity to meet WARO Superintendent Rose Fennell. W3R-US Executive Director Ellen Von Karajan came from Baltimore for the event. … A new and very impressive “table top” book, America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History, by Karen Berger, with a forward by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, has been published by Rizzoli International Publications. All 19 National Historic Trails are reviewed. The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route NHT is covered from Pages 106 to 117.

– Lanny Patten █

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