A monthly publication of The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association
JULY 2021 On the Web: www.w3r-us.org Vol. 1, No. 7
Rochambeau’s 296th Birthday Celebrated
W3R-US produced a gift for members and the public July 1 when the virtual program After Dinner Conversations held a birthday bash for General Rochambeau, who was born in France on that date in 1725, 296 years ago. Panelists for this momentous occasion, the fourth in the series of Conversations, were Walter Staib, the famed chef from television’s “Taste of History”; Rochambeau descendant Nathalie de Gouberville, live from the Rochambeau chateau in France; Dr. Robert Selig, W3R-US historian; Nicole Yancey, a W3R-US Board member and Rochambeau aficionado; Johnny Carawan, Trail Administrator; and retired U.S. Army Colonel James Johnson, a W3R-US Board member and moderator of the event.
The conversation among the panelists was informative and enjoyable as it mixed in a historical sketch of Rochambeau by Nicole Yancey along with colorful insights from Chef Staib about the foods that the officers and soldiers of the French army may have partaken in along the march to Yorktown, such as a Cassoulet de Canard. Dr. Selig provided factual points of interest about the food provisions such as a letter by Jeramiah Wadsworth asking the recipient to “send every other creature you have that is fit for the knife to White Plains” and that the soldier’s rations were in part made up of 1½ pounds of bread, 1 ounce of rice and 1 pound of fresh meat. He also trumpeted some of Rochambeau’s exceptional achievements that led the King to award him Marèchal de France (Marshal of France), a military distinction rather than a military rank.
Johnny Carawan offered a toast to Rochambeau and to French-American friendship.
A highlight of the conversation was Nicole Yancey’s talk about the French memorial in Yorktown, Virginia, which she was instrumental in creating. She also read, in French, a portion of Rochambeau’s epitaph as a photo of it was revealed to provide a moving and profound experience for the audience.
Chef Staib treated participants with his choice of what he would prepare for today’s epicurean devotees of Rochambeau. He selected Martha Washington’s Veal Olives (veal scaloppini stuffed with crabmeat and finished with a cream sherry sauce) as she, like Rochambeau, had very fine taste in foods. The chef graciously provided W3R-US with his recipe, which is reprinted below.
As a finale to the celebratory program, a short video with digital animation of his contemporaries wished “Happy Birthday” to Rochambeau. Colonel Johnson offered a toast to the United States and France in anticipation of their national holidays (July 4 and 14, respectively) and a round of virtual fireworks closed the evening.
Many thanks to Chef Walter Staib, Nathalie de Gouberville, Robert Selig, Nicole Yancey, Johnny Carawan and James Johnson for volunteering time, expertise and laughter to give the gift of W3R-US’ inaugural birthday celebration for Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau.
Thanks also to those who answered the call by National Chair Larry Abell to join W3R-US as a member and to those who donated to support the program.
To view the recording, visit W3R-US’ YouTube channel or click here: https://youtu.be/MnwDJSXBG9k
To become a member of W3R-US, please visit: https://w3r-us.org/w3r-us/membership/. And please invite a friend or a like-minded organization to join us!
To help W3R-US produce more After Dinner Conversations and other programs, please consider making a donation by visiting: https://w3r-us.org/ways-to-help/
– Julie Diddell, Membership Committee Chair
Veal Olives à la Martha Washington
By Chef Walter Staib for Rochambeau’s Birthday dinner
Veal olives do not contain olives at all; rather, they get the name from the fact that the veal scaloppini look like large olives when they are rolled around the stuffing. Owing to the high cost of veal in Colonial days, this recipe appears in only the cookbooks of the upper class. Accomplished, wealthier cooks like Martha Washington and Hannah Glasse stuffed their veal olive with forcemeat, oysters or seafood and served them in a rich, spiked cream sauce with truffles and mushrooms.
Advance preparation required.
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/8 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
6 (6- to 8-ounce) veal cutlets
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Sherry Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Prepare the filling:
- • Pick over the crabmeat to discard the cartilage and pieces of shell.
- • Transfer the crabmeat to a medium mixing bowl.
- • Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg, bell peppers, onion, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
- • Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
- • Preheat the oven to 475°F.
- • Spread the butter evenly over the bottom of a large, shallow baking dish.
- • Pound the veal scallops until very thin, then season with salt and pepper.
- • Divide the filling into 6 equal amounts and place in the center of each veal cutlet.
- • Roll the cutlet gently around the filling.
- • Place the veal rolls in the prepared baking dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the stuffing is completely cooked through.
Prepare the sauce:
- • Heat the Sherry Cream Sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- • In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water to make a slurry.
- • Whisk the slurry into the sauce and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick.
- • Place the stuffed veal on a serving platter or divide among individual plates and top with the sauce.
Allies Commemorate Victory at Yorktown
Generals Philippe Lavigne, French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff, and Brown, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, participated in a July 7 wreath-laying ceremony at the Yorktown Victory Monument marking the 240th anniversary of the siege of Yorktown. The ceremony, which included a flyover by combined U.S. and French aircraft, honored the allied forces who fought in the 1781 siege, the last major campaign of the Revolutionary War.
Participating in the flyover were four F-22 Raptors from the 1st Fighter Wing at nearby Joint Base Langley-Eustis and four French Air Force Rafale fighters from Escadron de Chasse 2/4 Lafayette (Fighter Squadron 2/4 La Fayette) from Saint Dizier, France. The flyover demonstrated “true teamwork and strong airpower partnership,” according to a report from Air Combat Command Public Affairs, which was distributed by the Air Force News Service. To read the entire article, please visit: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2684620/csaf-commemorates-victory-at-yorktown-with-french-allies/
General Brown said he was “grateful and humbled to be here with you today as we lay a wreath at Yorktown to commemorate our past, present and future alliance,” adding, “As we honor this momentous event in the timeline of America’s history, we must also consider how to continue to achieve improved interoperability with our allies and partners so that we can fly, fight and win together.”
“This battle of Yorktown was emblematic of a cooperative victory [of] joint strategy and coordination of effort, where Franco-American friendship was sealed,” General Lavigne said. “Ever since that battle of Yorktown, both our countries have been fighting to defend democracies, freedom and respect of human rights in the world.”
“Yorktown is a historic model of a combined and joint task force in one unified command,” the Air Combat Command article noted. “The battle marked a remarkable set of cooperative decisions by the Americans and French.”
Yorktown Day Update
This year’s program will mark the 240th anniversary of the allied victory over the British, who surrendered Oct. 19, 1781.
Details are still being worked out but the annual dinner sponsored by the Yorktown Day Association is expected to be served at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The cost has not yet been determined, nor has the location of the buffet the following day.
Any W3R members who wish to participate in the parade should contact Nicole Yancey as soon as possible at email@example.com so she can have an approximate number when filing the permit. Participants walk approximately one mile. W3R-Virginia will coordinate W3R-US participation in the parade.
In a related matter, the Franco-American Committee is working on creating a partnership with the Domaine de Montmarin, near the city of Saint Malo in northwestern France facing the English Channel. The estate was built by a ship owner in the 18th century, and a shipyard on the grounds built corvettes (armed escort ships) to protect the French Expeditionary Forces going to America in 1780. The Corps Royal de Marine 1780 participates in re-enactments and other events at the estate. Its mission is to tell the story of the sailors and soldiers who protected the French fleets sailing to America in 1780 and of the battalion of Marines who fought during the siege of Yorktown.
– Nicole Yancey, Franco-American Committee Chair
Bike/Kayak Tour Almost Ready to Roll
The 2021 Washington-Rochambeau Bike and Kayak Tour, which was delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is scheduled to roll out of Newport, Rhode Island, on Saturday, Aug. 14. Two weeks and nearly 800 miles later, participants 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,” is being organized by W3R-US Director Sal Lilienthal and is free and open to anyone willing to comply with the guidelines, with travel options ranging from a local segment to the entire 795 miles. Ten years in the making, it is sponsored by the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (WARO), W3R-US and Sal’s Connecticut-based Bicycle Tour Company.
Sal, a 40-year professional in the field of historical tourism, is organizing a “highlight event” in each of the nine states (plus Washington, DC) along the Trail, one 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 7) to help defray tour expenses.
W3R state group leaders are serving as coordinators for events in their states and invite anyone interested in supporting or volunteering for an event to contact them directly.
Primary goals of the tour include educating the public about the existence of the Trail; the Trail’s opportunities for outdoor recreation; and the many interesting sites that can be visited along the Trail, Sal said. The experiential learning 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.
No donations will be requested or expected but participants must provide their own equipment and cover their own expenses, including food and lodging. They must comply with current federal and state directives regarding masks, social distancing and other measures to stop the spread of the pandemic and have their own support vehicle. To contact Sal about participating, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 1-860-309-1449.
National Chair Larry Abell described the tour as “a great concept and a great opportunity to promote the Trail” and is challenging W3R-US members and friends to match his donation of $500 to offset expenses. To match Larry’s challenge, please visit www.w3r.org or send a check to W3R-US, P.O. Box 38255, Baltimore, MD 21231.
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.”
Training Workshop Focuses on Progress, Challenges
A June 12 training workshop for members of the W3R-US Board of Directors offered “a lot of food for thought on how to move forward,” said National Chair Larry Abell. The online session was conducted by Dr. Laura Otten of The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business, who said W3R-US had made “outstanding progress” since the March 2016 Day of Clarity, which she also conducted. But some issues still need to be addressed, she said, and some areas are still in need of improvement – among them, organizational structure and relations between national and state units. A few key topics:
- • Organizational structure and composition – should the Board continue to have a maximum of 30 seats or perhaps 12-15? Should members include representatives from all states (including the District of Columbia) or perhaps three “regional” representatives? Larry said this issue must be addressed before the next election, in April 2022.
- • The three-legged stool model – governance, management and implementation.
- • Fundraising – 100 percent Board participation is essential, no matter the amount donated. Volunteer hours are also essential.
- • States vs. national – who does what? What are the benefits to each?
- • Name of organization – we need one, not the many we currently use every day.
- • Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) – still in the works but the process has been slowed to let the states digest the new leadership guidelines.
National Recording Secretary Jeff Canning is preparing a full summary of the session.
Washington Post Articles Emphasize Inclusivity; Trail Mentioned
Two recent op-ed articles in The Washington Post have focused on the importance of telling a more inclusive story of the Revolutionary War, especially the important contributions of African Americans and indigenous peoples – one of the key efforts of W3R-US.
The more recent, by Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, Ford Foundation WAPO Op Ed.pdf, was published July 2 and included a link to the June 30 article by Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-NJ, that mentioned the Trail, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/30/black-indigenous-soldiers-revolutionary-war-july-4/
Executive Director Ellen von Karajan said the link to the Ford Foundation, in addition to underscoring the significance of inclusivity, represented “a great and immediate prospect for major gift/seed money/solvency” after the looming May 31, 2022, cutoff of National Park Service (NPS) funds to W3R-US.
In other advocacy initiatives, Ellen reported that:
- • Senators and/or representatives from all Trail states but Massachusetts signed on to “Dear Colleague” letters that advocate increased spending on the Trail through the NPS. National Corresponding Secretary Elaine Lawton has written thank-you letters to the signers, and Maya Wilson is preparing to share through social media a press release about this and the Congressional endorsement that Brad Fay has written.
- • The Museum of the American Revolution, in Philadelphia, and Mount Vernon, in Virginia, have signed on as endorsers for the infrastructure initiative and as “initiative associates.”
- • W3R-US is scheduled to be invited to a press-only unveiling of the new Don Troiani painting at the Museum of the American Revolution, which has indicated interest in working with W3R-US on other projects.
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 email@example.com
To visit the online store: https://w3rus.qbstores.com/a/login
- • The March to Yorktown as told by Mathieu Dumas will be the subject of the next monthly presentation by Dr. Iris de Rode. The free virtual presentation, at 5 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, July 22, will tell the details of the march through the eyes of Dumas, an aide de camp to Rochambeau. To attend: https://sciencespo.zoom.us/j/6071023164
- • America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History has been named a winner in the 22nd annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, announced in June. The book, which mentions the Trail and was published in October 2020 by Rizzoli International Publications, won the gold award in the History (adult nonfiction) category. To learn more: https://www.forewordreviews. com/awards/winners/2020/ history/
- • Visitor Experiences Toolbox: Using Objects, Media and Programs to Provide Visitor Experiences will be the topic of Trail Administrator Johnny Carawan’s next virtual monthly planning meeting, at 9 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, Aug. 4. To attend online: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/971295597 or by phone: 1-786-535-3211, access code 971-295-597.
National Chair Larry Abell is seeking volunteers to serve on four broad-based committees:
- Planning W3R-US activities at the 240th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown (October 2021)
- Update and review W3R-US’ Statement of Inclusion
- Develop a draft W3R-US Community Assumptions and Agreement for Meetings
- Develop a draft Statement of Values for W3R-US
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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 New York and Delaware, below.)
Your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome. Please email me at email@example.com
– Jeff Canning, National Recording Secretary
Delaware: W3R-Delaware has been accepted as a Wreaths Across America site for 2021. A ceremony, one of more than 2,100 across the country, will be held in December at the Brandywine Village plaza in Wilmington. The wreaths are placed to remember fallen veterans and honor those who serve. … W3R-DE Vice President Peg Tigue met with Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki to discuss economic stimulus plans for the Trail through the city. … Board member George Widger completed the restoration of an abandoned Revolutionary War cemetery in Pigeon Run with a Memorial Day ceremony. … Meetings continue with Brandywine Village’s new charter high school, Urban Promise Academy, regarding ways to weave curriculum planning with the W3R story. … W3R will staff a kiosk at the Brandywine Village Market over the summer months. … Wilmington Councilwoman Zanthia Oliver is coordinating with the city on new ways to identify the Trail as it traverses the city. … Planning for the Aug. 22 visit by the bike/kayak tour (please see Page 6) continues with outreach to the Delaware Choir School, the Salesianum school and the Urban Promise Academy Bike Club. … Trail Administrator Johnny Canavan has invited a group of Village students to participate in the Sept. 2 unveiling of the new 1st Rhode Island Regiment mural at the Museum of The American Revolution in Philadelphia.
– Bill Conley, State Chair █