A monthly publication of The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association
March 2021 On the Web: www.w3r-us.org Vol. 1, No. 3
Welcome to our newest organization member, the Shatemuc Chapter, based in Rockland County, New York, in the Hudson River Valley. Thank you to Janet Lee Burnet, W3R Board member and Chapter Vice Regent, for facilitating this new partnership. “Shatemuc” is a Native American word for the Hudson River.
Chapter members love to participate at events, in Colonial costumes. Chapter meetings will include a monthly update on W3R and the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Guests are welcome at the monthly meetings.
“W3R-US sends greetings to the Shatemuc Chapter members and to Chapter Regent Kristi Griffith Thurston,” said National Chair Larry Abell.
The Port Tobacco Chapter, based in Charles County, Maryland, is renewing its organizational membership. Serving God, home and country since it was organized in1965, this very active chapter sponsors student awards, contests and scholarships; supports military families and veterans; and contributes to historical preservation. Members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States and support the W3R mission.
“The Port Tobacco Chapter has been a wonderful partner with W3R-US and we are excited that the benefit to them of this partnership is recognized by their membership renewal,” said National Chair Larry Abell.
Thank you to Elaine Lawton, W3R National Corresponding Secretary, Port Tobacco DAR member and W3R National Education Committee Chair, for facilitating the Chapter’s renewal.
Please consider becoming a W3R 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
Change of State Chair in New Jersey
Kathy’s volunteer service to W3R-NJ began at the start of the state organization. “I remember that, after fellow founding member Carl Nittinger spearheaded the New Jersey Historic Trust-funded study that documented the Trail through New Jersey, a movement to start a nonprofit was sparked. We met at the Grain House in Basking Ridge and we voted for the first officers. In May 2004 W3R-NJ became incorporated as a New Jersey nonprofit corporation,” Kathy recalled.
Kathy later succeeded Sallie de Barcza, W3R-US lifetime member and Honorary National Chair Emeritus, who was a longtime Chair of W3R-NJ.
Kathy tended to work quietly, and her activities were not always documented on paper or in photos. But her vivid recollections include coordinating two major W3R-NJ re-enactments at Liberty Corner, attending the annual October Yorktown Days in Virginia, participating in long-range planning training by the National Park Service in Philadelphia and signage training meetings with Delaware’s Department of Transportation.
One of Kathy’s proudest achievements for W3R-NJ was providing leadership for an Eagle Scout to complete a research and signage project in 2018. Christopher Solan earned his Eagle rank by placing six signs along a two-mile-plus portion of a French trail in Bridgewater. (For more about the project, please visit https://eagleprojecttrailofrochambeau.weebly.comand watch a video at this link: https://youtu.be/8RSHJ2KVse4.)
With funding from a Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) internship grant and The Florence Gould Foundation, Kathy organized a team to work with Chris to create a mobile app featuring his research for several historic sites on the Trail in New Jersey.
The team included Trail historian Dr. Robert Selig as editor, professional narration by Mike Matousek and sound editing by W3R’s digital interpretive services specialist, Mike Boone. Chris was one of the youngest interns ever to have a project funded by the PNTS. The app is posted on the W3R-US Web site at
“Now Kathy can participate in W3R activities without having the burden of the administration of the organization,” said her successor, Julie Diddell, who is also National Vice Chair of W3R-US. “She deserves our respect and appreciation for the work she did for W3R-NJ while she was Chair and since the 2004 founding.”
Kathy said she is looking forward to spending more time with her family and continuing her work with the other historical societies to which she belongs.
Thank you, Kathy! Huzzah!
The terms of 12 members of the Board of Directors will expire at the 2021 Annual Meeting, which be held virtually from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the Nominating Committee will be in touch. Thanks in advance.
– Jeff Canning, Nominating Committee Chair
Chair Nicole Yancey reports that the Committee is developing programs for French and U.S. audiences focusing on partnership, education, advancing mutual interests and developing a sense of place. The program for a U.S. audience will examine the French alliance beyond military and diplomatic activity, focusing on the ordinary French soldiers who served, and sometimes died, in a foreign land. The program for a French audience will focus on how the alliance worked during the Revolutionary War and how it continues to resonate today.
Tracking Volunteer Service
Director Sam Meredith, who compiles the volunteer hours worked by W3R members, reports that hours for calendar year 2020 totaled 7,331, fewer than in 2019. She characterized the 2020 figure as “low” in view of all the activity by the national and state organizations and said the states and committees were underreported. Ideally, state and committee chairs should report monthly – including hours for all meeting participants, not just themselves – but an annual summary is satisfactory. 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 tax returns). Monthly reports should be emailed to Sam at email@example.com by the fifth of the following month.
Online Store in Works
Director Sam Meredith, Chair of the Earned Income Committee, reports that our Association is ready to set up an online store through www.Queensboro.com. W3R will select the items we want to offer in the store (such as logo shirts) and set the prices and Queensboro will do the rest – shipping, handling, payment collection, etc. – for a percentage of the proceeds.
After Dinner Conversations
The most recent Conversation, Feb. 25, The Southern Campaign and the Relationship to the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, featured an examination by Dr. Robert Selig, Trail historian, and Dan Smith, former acting director of the National Park Service, of 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. Attendees totaled 89. This event marked the first time that W3R-US joined with our colleagues from the American Friends of Lafayette to cross-promote virtual After Dinner Conversations and the AFL’s virtual Speakers Series.
Recordings of the first two After Dinner Conversations can now be viewed at these links:
Grant to Help Fund Intern
Executive Director Ellen von Karajan reports that our Association has been awarded a Trail Intern Grant of $9,285 (which we must match) from the Partnership for the National Trails System to hire an intern to work on social media. Ellen is interviewing candidates and hopes to hire somebody soon under a one-year contract. Responsibilities of the intern, who will work closely with Ellen, will include W3R’s social media platforms and training Board members in the ways of social media.
The tour of the Trail, originally scheduled in August 2020 and then August 2021, has been postponed until August 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. W3R Director Sal Lilienthal, the tour organizer, plans to provide virtual programs for After Dinner Conversations in 2021 and, later, to whet appetites for the in-person Tour.
Program on Odell House
Dr. Robert Selig, Trail historian, will present a virtual program at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 18, on The Fateful Meetings at Odell House between Generals Rochambeau and Washington in the summer of 1781. The Odell House, in Greenburgh, New York, was Rochambeau’s headquarters before he and the French army headed for Yorktown. The program costs $20 and is sponsored by the Daughters of the Cincinnati. Proceeds will benefit the Daughters’ scholarship program and W3R-US. To register – no later than March 15 – and receive a link to the Zoom program: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/qWvmXe2zaZva0fB_MiJKdg
From the Editor
I hope you enjoyed the first two editions of The Bulletin and found them 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 (by the end of each month for the following month’s edition) about their activities that 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. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Jeff Canning, National Recording Secretary
Delaware: W3R-Delaware is continuing its efforts to create a visitor center in Colonial Brandywine Village in Wilmington by 2026. Discussions are in progress with several Delaware legislators regarding the potential site and the financing. The Brandywine Village partners are collaborating with us on this and a series of projects.
W3R-Delaware has reached out to the Urban Bike Project in Wilmington regarding ways we can share the enjoyment of cycling and learn more about Delaware’s Revolutionary War history. We have reached out to Brandywine Village’s newest chapter school, Urban Promise Academy, about ways we can assist in supporting its history curriculum once pandemic-linked restrictions permit.
We have entered an agreement with Delaware historian Tom Welch to give a virtual lecture this spring on a Wilmington Revolutionary War cavalry officer, Allen (sometimes spelled Allan) McLane, who served with Washington at Yorktown. McLane is credited with the creation of Delaware’s first Abolitionist movement after the war.
We are in discussions with the DAR of Delaware on ways to refurbish the Lauzun Legion historical sign in Wilmington at the site of the Legion’s 1782 barracks. … We and our Brandywine Village partners have been actively supporting Brad Fay in his efforts to share his stimulus vision with the City of Wilmington administrative team. … We are working to protect a large piece of the Cooch’s Bridge battlefield from industry. … Vice President Peg Tigue has joined the W3R-US Membership Committee.
– Bill Conley, State Chair █