W3R-US Bulletin February 2021


The Bulletin

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

FEBRUARY 2021           On the Web: www.w3r-us.org           Vol. 1, No. 2 

After Dinner Conversations Feb. 25: The Southern Campaign

The Southern Campaign and the Relationship to the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail will be the subject of our next virtual After Dinner Conversations, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. Dr. Robert Selig, Trail historian, and Dan Smith, former acting director of the National Park Service, will examine the route of British General Charles Cornwallis through the southern states to Yorktown, Virginia, where he was besieged by French and American forces in the fall of 1781 and surrendered Oct. 19. W3R National Chair Larry Abell has described Cornwallis’ route as “the other end of the W3R story.” Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-South Carolina, has introduced legislation about the Southern Campaign (also known as the Southern Route) similar to the legislation that led to establishment of the Washington-Rochambeau trail in 2009.

This popular series is free to W3R members, who will receive emailed invitations containing the link to the program on the Go To Webinar platform. Please watch for your invitation. Hope to see you there!

Julie Diddell, National Vice Chair

Membership Memo

The Empire State Society, Sons of the American Revolution, has become the first major state organization to join the ranks of W3R-US. Based in New York, “The ESSSAR with our 21 chapters with 1,295 members looks forward to a partnership with W3R by collaborating with the events that will commemorate the nation’s 250th celebrations in New York State,” wrote George A. Gydesen, Society President.

“W3R welcomes this milestone partnership with the ESSSAR,” said W3R-US National Chair Larry Abell, “because, working together, the history of the Franco-American Alliance and the March to Yorktown can be shared with greater reach including 2

diverse audiences in underserved communities and the torch bearers for this history, New York’s youth.”

“W3R welcomes all organizations, as well as individuals, interested in joining us and participating in our work,” said Julie Diddell, National Vice Chair and Chair of the Membership Committee.

The application form for community groups and nonprofits:


The application form for individuals: https://w3r-us.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Membership-Application-201101.pdf

For additional information about memberships, please visit:


Julie Diddell, Membership Committee Chair

Directors Sought

The terms of 12 members of the Board of Directors will expire at the 2021 Annual Meeting, expected to be held in April (details to be announced). Several directors are eligible for additional three-year terms but others have indicated that they are ready to move on. So, we are looking for some folks who care about the Trail and are willing to work hard and get their hands dirty on its behalf. If you are interested in helping preserve a great, but little-known, piece of our history, or you know somebody who might be, please send name and contact information to historicaljeff@aol.com and a member of the Nominating Committee will be in touch. Thanks in advance.

Jeff Canning, Nominating Committee Chair

Grants Received

The National Park Foundation (NPF) has approved a $30,000 grant for the Open Outdoors for Kids Hybrid Learning Program, which will enable W3R-US, W3R-Virginia and the American Revolution Consortium for Civic Education to create hybrid learning experiences that will involve both screen time and green time – getting children and families outside in the shadow of the coronavirus. Executive Director Ellen von Karajan, who shepherded the application, said the proposal will help make families and students aware of the Trail, nearby National Parks and related sites in their own backyards.

The NPF also has approved a $25,000 grant for our Association’s trip planner and GPS mapping update for the Trail’s historic and driving routes. 3


Executive Director Ellen von Karajan is serving on a subcommittee of the Partnership for the National Trails System that is preparing for the annual Hike the Hill Congressional lobbying effort, which will be held virtually in March. One key goal – more Congressional funding for the Trail.

Education Spotlight

W3R is working hard to get young people excited about the Trail. The Education Committee’s video production Become a Patriot – Or Not is in production with mockups of five activities. Chair Elaine Lawton explained that the 10-minute educational cartoon, geared to children ages 5-12, follows Ellie the Eagle as she recounts the adventures of the Trail.

Schools Adopt a Trail: The Education Committee is seeking a Maryland Heritage Area grant for Baltimore City Public Schools. The winning classroom in an associated contest will be invited for a cruise on the Pride of Baltimore, Elaine said.

Support: The New York City-based Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has agreed to support our Association with resources for our educational programs, Elaine said. She also has reached out to the Silver Spring, Maryland-based French Heritage Association regarding these programs.

Tracking Volunteer Service

Director Sam Meredith, who compiles the volunteer hours worked by W3R members, notes that not everyone reports but that it is important to do so because the numbers underscore the value of our Association. These hours include meetings, phone calls, advocacy, research, planning, events and travel, among other items, both national and state/local – as Larry said, “everything done by anybody to support any aspect of W3R.” Breakdowns by category are preferred but simple summaries are acceptable. Please email hours – and any questions or concerns – to Sam at memogroup1127@gmail.com … Larry said a ceremony is planned in 2021 to recognize members who have volunteered a certain amount of time.

From the Editor

I hope you enjoyed the inaugural edition of The Bulletin and found 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.

Our Association’s 10 state units (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and, while not a state, the District of Columbia) are key components of our work and do not always receive their fair share of ink. To help remedy that, I have invited state leaders to provide information about their activities that 4

will be presented in a separate section of The Bulletin. (Please see Bill Conley’s report from Delaware, below.)

Your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome as The Bulletin finds its niche. Please email me at historicaljeff@aol.com

– Jeff Canning, National Recording Secretary

State Report

Delaware: Chair Bill Conley is reaching out to Fred Sears, chair of the Biden inauguration committee, a career Delaware legislator and a longtime friend of the new president, in an effort to share the story of the Trail with the White House and emphasize how W3R and the Trail can help inner cities along the route. Bill noted parallels between himself and the new president – both are educators and both have sons who died of brain tumors.

On other fronts, Bill is working with urban bicycle groups and is continuing to work with Brandywine Village in Wilmington to show, through murals, that the struggle for independence was a multi-racial, multi-ethnic campaign. The work in Wilmington may provide a template for other urban communities. █

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