Meet Anne Renault - Hermione's Sailmaker

                           STITCHING HISTORY - A TALK WITH HERMIONE'S SAILMAKER

Anne Renault is Hermione's sailmaker extraordinaire; she is entirely responsible every last stitch on the 34 different sails that will be employed on the frigate.

Anne Renault is Hermione's sailmaker extraordinaire; she is entirely responsible every last stitch on the 34 different sails that will be employed on the frigate.

Meet The Sailmaker of L'Hermione: An Interview With Anne Renault

Editor’s Note: At Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America (FOH), we welcome (and encourage) our enthusiastic followers to contribute to our blog.

Here is a fascinating interview conducted by FOH supporter Florence Sauerbrey, who happens to be the sister of Hermione Sailmaker Anne Renault. Below is a conversation between Florence and Anne; the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America wish to thank Ms. Sauerbrey for her contribution.

Florence Sauerbrey: This week in Rochefort, L'Hermione crew will bend her sails on for the very first time, not quite yet for actual trials under sails but rather to check the fit on the yards and start to set the rigging in motion. It seems like a good time to introduce Anne Renault, sailmaker and crew on L'Hermione for the 2015 voyage. What brought you to learn the art of traditional sail making?

A finished sail prepared by Anne Renault and ready to be hoisted aloft the Hermione.

A finished sail prepared by Anne Renault and ready to be hoisted aloft the Hermione.

Anne Renault: I always loved assembling objects in fabric, leather or yarn, but after graduating from high school I wasn't sure how to make a living off of it. At the time, my father, marine historian François Renault, retired from the Merchant Marine and decided to complete a vocational training in traditional wooden boat building, something he always wanted to do as a researcher. The school where he took the course was located in Douarnenez, Brittany, then an important center for the revival of traditional workboats. The following year, a sailmaking course was created and I decided that was the way to go.

Q: What were the successive steps in learning this art and honing your skills? Did you apprentice to a master craftsman? Did you have a mentor to guide and help you?

A: After vocational school I spent my first year as an apprentice with a traditional sailmaker in Normandy, Marc Philippe. Under his and his son Gilles' guidance, I helped create sails for a lot of the workboat replicas that emulated from that big revival back in the early 90s in Europe. Then I was called back to Douarnenez to set up the sail loft at the Musée du Bateau, the way exhibits can be experienced at Mystic Seaport Museum. While I worked on the museum's collection of boats for the next 3 years, I was lucky to have been taken under the of a local sailmaker, Alexis Le Dréau, who had apprenticed in the early 1920s, back when the local fishing boats were exclusively powered by sail. Precious guidance also came from Pierre Sevestre, a skilled and experienced amateur who spent a lot of his retirement time in my loft.

Hermione volunteers bring aboard one the frigate's main sales, which will help power the vessel in its coming sea trials.

Hermione volunteers bring aboard one the frigate's main sales, which will help power the vessel in its coming sea trials.

Q: While we are talking about learning, how did you become familiar with what you had to do on L'Hermione and how to do it? Were you able to rely on a contemporary book or archival documents depicting the techniques and listing the materials for such a project?

For land-lubbers, here is a rough guide to the names of most of the sails on a tall ship like the Hermione.  This diagram is not an exact reproduction of all the sails on the Hermione, but it will convey the number, shapes and sizes of the sails that Anne Renault has been working on for the Rochefort, France-based frigate. A.  fore course or foresail;          B.  main course or mainsail; C.  mizzen course or mizzensail;  D.  fore topsail;                  E.   main topsail;                         F.  mizzen topsail; G.  fore topgallant sail;                H.  main topgallant sail;        I.   mizzen topgallant sail;            J.  fore royal sail; K.  main royal sail;                      L.  mizzen royal sail;                   M.  main staysail;                        N.  mizzen staysail;                     O.  fore topmast staysail;            P.   main topmast staysail;           Q.  mizzen topmast staysail;        R.  jib;                                         S.  middle staysail;                      T.  mizzen topgallant staysail;       U.  main topgallant staysail;         V.  spritsail topsail;     W.  spritsail

For land-lubbers, here is a rough guide to the names of most of the sails on a tall ship like the Hermione.  This diagram is not an exact reproduction of all the sails on the Hermione, but it will convey the number, shapes and sizes of the sails that Anne Renault has been working on for the Rochefort, France-based frigate.

A.  fore course or foresail;          B.  main course or mainsail;

C.  mizzen course or mizzensail;  D.  fore topsail;                 

E.   main topsail;                         F.  mizzen topsail;

G.  fore topgallant sail;                H.  main topgallant sail;       

I.   mizzen topgallant sail;            J.  fore royal sail;

K.  main royal sail;                      L.  mizzen royal sail;                  

M.  main staysail;                        N.  mizzen staysail;                    

O.  fore topmast staysail;            P.   main topmast staysail;          

Q.  mizzen topmast staysail;        R.  jib;                                        

S.  middle staysail;                      T.  mizzen topgallant staysail;      

U.  main topgallant staysail;         V.  spritsail topsail;    

W.  spritsail

A: Luckily, the first Hermione was built at a time when everything maritime was painstakingly documented and recorded by the French Navy, from fishing gear used on all four seaboards to how the fibers used for rope making were grown in the countryside. As a result, we were able to find much information in the report written by a Navy officer, Nicolas-Charles Romme, whose mission had been to observe and report from the Rochefort Navy yards in the 1770s. This contemporary document was indeed very helpful.

Q: You were associated with two other sailmakers on this job. How did you end up with the job and did the three of you split the task at hand?

Hermione volunteers install the sprit sail, one of 34 made by Anne Renault for the frigate.

Hermione volunteers install the sprit sail, one of 34 made by Anne Renault for the frigate.

A: It all started 10 years ago when my budding business was contracted to make sails for the three sail boats, built on site by my partner Alexandre Genoud. While fulfilling my other customers' orders at my own loft, I continued on making Hermione's hammocks and other canvas items. I also built a half-scale model of the main sail for the visitors' center. But I knew I couldn't possibly assemble all of the 19 full-sized sails - the first set planned in the contract- in my own small loft AND carry on with my other orders. So we got together with other traditional sail maker Jean-Pierre Burgaud of Noirmoutier, and Incidences La Rochelle, for them to do all the cutting and assembling. My work consisted in everything else, bolt ropes, earing cringles, strops and a gazillion eyelets.

  The Hermione is ready to receive all its sails made by Anne Renault.

 

The Hermione is ready to receive all its sails made by Anne Renault.

Q: Give us a few more figures to illustrate your work…

A: Well, a set of 19 working sails for Hermione means 23,600 square feet of flax cloth, the thickness of which varies from 18 to 28oz/yd. Picture the main sail, 2900 square feet at 28 oz/yd, that's a heavy sail to carry. The "corners" of each sail are reinforced with several layers of cloth, and you need all the strength you can get to go through that with a needle in your hand. The cloth was custom made to our requirements by a flax weaver in the north of France. All bolt ropes are hemp, miles and miles of it, I didn't really count to be honest. So that's just for the first 19 sails, which were not commissioned yet. If we add lighter sails in the future, the total sail area will be close to 35,000 square feet divided into 34 sails.

Q: What was the most difficult challenge you met, and did you resolve it?

A: There were a few things I had to figure out myself like how to create those eyelets from scratch (i.e., rope), as opposed to just buying them and sewing them on as I usually do on my other jobs, but the real challenge seemed to be the amount of them. The only way to face the idea of making and sewing 250 eyelets on just one sail and not be overwhelmed is to realize that it amounts to only a dozen a day. Then it becomes doable. One day at a time.

Q: What was your most rewarding moment?

A: I am anxiously waiting for it as we will take her for her first sail!

Anne Renault, Master Sailmaker, Hermione.

Anne Renault, Master Sailmaker, Hermione.

Q: What do you see as the best life for L'Hermione?

A: Precisely this, a life. Of course I'd be happy if she sails well and takes us across the Atlantic and maybe further, but I would mostly love for her to be fully alive as a training ship, representing France in tall ships races and gatherings. It would be wonderful for her to be home to a well-trained crew of both men and women, and to hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers, all of whom could relay a timeless sense of seamanship and craftsmanship.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington, Jefferson and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

 

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington, Jefferson and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

 

Before New Amsterdam, New York was called New Angoulême!

For 101 Years New York was French!

French King François I was known as Count of Angoulême before his coronation in 1515; this is why his Italian-born explorer Verrazano named Manhattan and its environs, in the King's honor, as New Angoulême in 1524.

French King François I was known as Count of Angoulême before his coronation in 1515; this is why his Italian-born explorer Verrazano named Manhattan and its environs, in the King's honor, as New Angoulême in 1524.

While many New Yorkers, if asked, might be able to answer correctly the name Dutch settlers christened Manhattan and its environs as New Amsterdam in the early 17th century, few could probably tell you that the French explored here before them in the 16th century and called the area New Angoulême.

In this 16th century map, in the lower left-hand corner, the word Angoulême appears, identifying the approximate location of present-day New York City.

In this 16th century map, in the lower left-hand corner, the word Angoulême appears, identifying the approximate location of present-day New York City.

In a New World voyage sponsored by French King François 1er (1494-1547), Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano (1485–1528) christened the island in 1524 as New Angoulême; it was named after his regal patron, who was known originally as Count of Angoulême before being crowned as King in 1515.  Not until 1625, when the Dutch wrested control from the French, that a name change occurred and the island became known as New Amsterdam. (Now you know where the name of the bridge, joining Staten Island with Brooklyn, comes from — the original ‘french connection’ one might say!)

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, named after the French-sponsored explorer who entered New York's famous harbor in 1524 and named the region in honor of the French King.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, named after the French-sponsored explorer who entered New York's famous harbor in 1524 and named the region in honor of the French King.

Ségolène, Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes region, was recently appointed French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, in the newly revamped cabinet of President François Hollande of France.

Ségolène, Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes region, was recently appointed French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, in the newly revamped cabinet of President François Hollande of France.

All this wonderful local history, and much else besides, was introduced at a gathering at the New York French Consulate on Tuesday, April 9, 2014. A distinguished panel from the Tourist Office of Poitou-Charentes in western France, a representative from the city of Rochefort – home to the Hermione frigate set to sail to America in 2015 – and Miles Young, president of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America – were guests of French Consul of New York Bertrand Lortholary. 

Ségolène Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes region, was scheduled to lead the group and make a speech, but with her recent appointment as French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, in the newly revamped cabinet of President François Hollande of France, she was unable to make the trip to the United States.

The French Poitou-Charentes region is located in western France.

The French Poitou-Charentes region is located in western France.

These flat-bottomed boats are perfect for exploring the wonders of Poitou-Charentes' marais or marshlands, which feature countless canals with small villages along the banks.

These flat-bottomed boats are perfect for exploring the wonders of Poitou-Charentes' marais or marshlands, which feature countless canals with small villages along the banks.

Place Colbert, named after Louis XIV's chief minister; Colbert oversaw the construction of this maritime-oriented city, whose chief purpose was to serve as the realm's center of ship construction for more than two centuries. The French frigate Hermione was built here in 1779-1780, which brought Lafayette to America in 1780.

Place Colbert, named after Louis XIV's chief minister; Colbert oversaw the construction of this maritime-oriented city, whose chief purpose was to serve as the realm's center of ship construction for more than two centuries. The French frigate Hermione was built here in 1779-1780, which brought Lafayette to America in 1780.

In a series of fact-filled presentations about the rich cultural, gastronomic, historical and touristic resources of Poitou-Charentes, American travel journalists and agents learned about New Angoulême, and much else. Aurélie Loubes, Director of Regional Promotion, Poitou-Charentes, addressed the varied and year-round calendar of regional events, attracting both native French and millions of foreign tourists who visit annually. She and her colleagues stressed the “discovery” potential the region offers to visitors, from its small towns, beaches, Ile de Ré island, UNESCO world heritage churches, and idyllic green spaces to its historic towns like Angoulême, La Rochelle and Cognac, the latter home to world’s most famous brandy. Sandrine Pailloncy, International Tourist Officer, Poitou-Charentes, lauded the pleasures of the region’s quiet, rustic towns, its seafoods and cuisine, and the “Venice” of the region’s celebrated marshland canals open to kayakers and boaters of all levels.  Hervé Bierjon, Director of Tourism, Rochefort, talked about the historic links of the city dating to the reign of Louis XIV and his chief minister Colbert, who were instrumental in building the town to its status as the realm’s chief maritime center.

Picking up on Rochefort’s nautical roots, next, Miles Young, of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, discussed the exciting plans of the French Frigate, a replica of which has been constructed in Rochefort, and its planned 2015 visit along the Eastern seaboard, including stops at Yorktown, Annapolis, Mount Vernon, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, among other ports of call. Mr. Young paid special compliments to the corporate support of this project offered by Moët Hennessy, a division of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.  After the presentations, cocktails, including those crafted from Hennessy Cognac, were offered, together with information from Cognac’s Office of Tourism.

Located in the heart of Poitou-Charentes, the home of Hennessy is in the town of Cognac. Moët Hennessy is a principal corporate sponsor of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America.

Located in the heart of Poitou-Charentes, the home of Hennessy is in the town of Cognac. Moët Hennessy is a principal corporate sponsor of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington, Jefferson and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

Lafayette in Focus At Upcoming Monticello Symposium

Designed by Jefferson, visited by Lafayette, the famed Rotunda is the iconic symbol of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy will hold a symposium about the two revolutionary figures in 2015.

Designed by Jefferson, visited by Lafayette, the famed Rotunda is the iconic symbol of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy will hold a symposium about the two revolutionary figures in 2015.

 

A Talk with University of Virginia Professor Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy

Editor’s Note: Dr. Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, as well as a Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of “An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean” (2000) as well as his new work, “The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire,” now available.

Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, right, is an expert on the American Revolutionary period; his latest book, left, examines British leaders' attitudes and policies during our fight for independence.

Dr. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, right, is an expert on the American Revolutionary period; his latest book, left, examines British leaders' attitudes and policies during our fight for independence.

Recently, Pascale Richard, Director of Education, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, talked with Dr. O’Shaughnessy about the important relationship between Lafayette and Jefferson and plans for an upcoming symposium about “Lafayette and the European Friends of the American Revolution,” scheduled for in 2015.

 Pascale Richard: You are organizing a symposium on the War of Independence/ Lafayette for the Spring 2015 .  Could you tell us a bit more about the program and the guests?  

Dr. O'Shaughnessy: The topic of the program will be “Lafayette and European Friends of the American Revolution.”  The aim is to invite the leading scholars with particular emphasis upon Lafayette and France.  However, we shall include some papers on the Netherlands and Spain.  The scholars will be selected from those doing the most current work on the topic and who have used archives in both Europe and the US.                                              

Q: What is the ultimate goal of this symposium?  

A: The aim is to show the importance of European allies in the success of the American Revolution. The British justifiably hoped that the revolution would go bankrupt in the months before Yorktown. Washington had to borrow money personally from Rochambeau to march from New York to Williamsburg and Yorktown. The US was heavily depending on funding from France. The US also needed the French navy without which Cornwallis could have escaped from Yorktown.  

Without the close cooperation among Comte de Rochambeau, above, Lafayette and Washington, the fight for independence from Great Britain might have failed.

Without the close cooperation among Comte de Rochambeau, above, Lafayette and Washington, the fight for independence from Great Britain might have failed.

The assistance of France deflected the British war effort throughout the globe after 1778.  However, my recent book “The Men Who Lost America” shows that Britain’s behavior was affected by France from the beginning of the war in 1775. The British did not fully mobilize their armed forces for fear that France would enter the war as an ally of the US. The cost was a major factor in the bankruptcy of the French treasury leading to the French Revolution.  There were more French sailors and soldiers at Yorktown than Americans. It is one reason - in addition to a sense of honor - that the British tried to surrender to the French rather than the Americans. 

Q: As an historian how do you see the role of Lafayette/ France in the War of Independence?  

It was Lafayette's crafty movement of his American and French troops that "distracted Cornwallis (pictured above) from ransacking Virginia," according to Dr. O'Shaughnessy. These wily moves by Lafayette which set the stage for Cornwallis's ultimate entrapment and defeat at Yorktown in 1781.

It was Lafayette's crafty movement of his American and French troops that "distracted Cornwallis (pictured above) from ransacking Virginia," according to Dr. O'Shaughnessy. These wily moves by Lafayette which set the stage for Cornwallis's ultimate entrapment and defeat at Yorktown in 1781.

 A: Lafayette has always been the favorite foreign ally of the revolution among Americans. It is partly because he joined the cause even before war broke out with France. He was idealistically committed. He was also the favorite of Washington. His military importance relates largely to his activities in Virginia in 1781 when he had independent command and led an outnumbered army, which distracted Cornwallis from ransacking Virginia.  He kept the British general busy until Washington and Rochambeau arrived to inflict the final blow at Yorktown. 

 

Q: Since 2003 you are the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello. Can you tell us a bit more about your responsibility and activities there?  

A: The center is the hub of the research and academic activities of Monticello, the home of Jefferson. It is a seventy-eight acre campus with its own library. It aims to do original research and disseminate information on Jefferson. It publishes the papers of Jefferson for his retirement period (1809-1826), which includes correspondence with Lafayette.  

The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello.

The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello.

It publishes monographs and has one of the leading archaeological departments in the country, which has spearheaded a digital archaeological archive of comparative slavery in the American south and the Caribbean (DAACS).  

 It has a fellowship program, which provides stipends and scholars of whom a third are from abroad.  The most recent scholar from France was Franҫois Specq, Professor of American Literature and Culture and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, who is doing the first full translation of Jefferson's “Notes on the State of Virginia.”  It also hosts conferences and does at least one annual conference abroad, which has included two recently in Paris.  Other venues in the last two years included Cuba, China and Russia.

While never as close a father-son relationship that Lafayette, right, had with Washington, Jefferson's rapport with the "Hero of Two Worlds" was close and sincere; each shed tears on their reunion at Monticello in 1824.

While never as close a father-son relationship that Lafayette, right, had with Washington, Jefferson's rapport with the "Hero of Two Worlds" was close and sincere; each shed tears on their reunion at Monticello in 1824.

Q: Could you say a word about the relationship between Lafayette and Jefferson?

 A: Their relationship was close. They corresponded throughout Jefferson's life and they met at Monticello in 1824. It was very emotional reunion with scarcely a dry eye among the crowds of spectators. They dined together in the Rotunda that Jefferson had designed for his new University of Virginia. Jefferson was the ultimate Francophile whose ideas and architecture were much influenced by France.  He saw France as the natural ally of the United States rather than Britain. This is why President Obama was the first sitting president to bring another head of state to Monticello and he chose President Hollande.

For more information, please see: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/conferences-symposia

It was the Hermione, depicted here in an 18th century painting by Rossel de Cercy, that carried Lafayette to America in 1780 with news, troops and supplies furnished by French King Louis XVI.

It was the Hermione, depicted here in an 18th century painting by Rossel de Cercy, that carried Lafayette to America in 1780 with news, troops and supplies furnished by French King Louis XVI.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington, Jefferson and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

Captain's Chronicle No. 7 - Anchors Away!

Captain’s Chronicle No. 7                                         

Chron7Anchor.jpg

The Anchors of Hermione

Anchors with a moveable stock – a stout, iron rod 90 degrees perpendicular to the two arms of the iron anchor (See image at left) – have been around for about 3,000 years; in stone, lead, wood and finally in iron. 

From weighty reality on the high seas to handsome brass buttons on blazers, navy uniforms and woolen pea coats, anchors have served as faithful nautical accessories for millennia.

From weighty reality on the high seas to handsome brass buttons on blazers, navy uniforms and woolen pea coats, anchors have served as faithful nautical accessories for millennia.

It is an eternal symbol of the sea; employed over the centuries to the present, the anchor dresses up buttons on naval uniforms and remains the universal insignia to which all sailors and nautical enthusiasts owe their salute.

 

An 18th century engraving displaying the different elements and parts that make up an anchor, note the wooden stock at far left, identical in form to that of the Hermione, whose anchor stocks are also made of wood.

An 18th century engraving displaying the different elements and parts that make up an anchor, note the wooden stock at far left, identical in form to that of the Hermione, whose anchor stocks are also made of wood.

In the 18th century, the anchor served as the principal means to station a vessel at port, a temporary stopover, or a halt for repairs. The anchor is the ultimate safeguard when a vessel is in trouble.

Anchors are precious: in 1779 Hermione carried six of them! On the starboard side: the principal anchor, weighing in at almost two tons; another anchor weighing more than 3,300 pounds; another at portside, weighing about 3,000 pounds; and then two smaller ones, each weighing about 1,000 pounds; and last, but not least, one dubbed “last chance”, thrown into the sea to try to prevent a ship smashing up on the rocks or some other incipient nautical nightmare.

Indeed, back then a vessel would be outfitted with numerous anchors because oftentimes they shear off on the rocks; or one or more must be abandoned as hoisting each one up manually takes too much time if a ship must get underway quickly; or even when enemies cut the strong hemp cables connecting them to the ship during a sneak attack.

Today, happily, motors do the work of lowering and hoisting anchors and two are deemed sufficient in the modern era.

Hoisted and Ready to Sail:  This image displays a principal anchor about the size and weight as the one on the Hermione; here pictured is the Götheborg, a sailing replica (like the Hermione) of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman trading ship.

Hoisted and Ready to Sail:  This image displays a principal anchor about the size and weight as the one on the Hermione; here pictured is the Götheborg, a sailing replica (like the Hermione) of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman trading ship.

Founded in 1928, Carlier Foundry was established as the first industrial chain maker in France. Carlier's foundry produced the iron, hand-forged chains for the Hermione replica.

Founded in 1928, Carlier Foundry was established as the first industrial chain maker in France. Carlier's foundry produced the iron, hand-forged chains for the Hermione replica.

Hermione’s anchors come from the famed Carlier iron foundry in St. Amand, France. Each weighs about 3,300 pounds. The stock is fashioned from wood in order to respect the anchor’s historical antecedents. Each anchor chain counts 7 “maillon,” an old marine measure equaling 27,50m each or 192m overall, to starboard and 6 “maillon” to port.  The links are made of DN38 steel, which gives it superior resistance to the elements. These chains, outside their superior resistance to regular cables, help notably the effectiveness of the anchor on the bottom due to its sheer weight and the improved pulling angle it creates.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: It may take more than 60 sailors to hoist a heavy anchor on a tall ship, according to Hermione Captain Cariou.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: It may take more than 60 sailors to hoist a heavy anchor on a tall ship, according to Hermione Captain Cariou.

Aboard the original Hermione frigate, it took more than 60 sailors to turn the winch while lowering or raising the main anchor. Today, safety requirements oblige the replica frigate to employ electric winches, which raise and lower lines, chain links and the ship’s pair of anchors.

 

Meanwhile, the final manoeuver maintains the historic difficulty because the anchor must be put to the “bossoir,” the davit that lifts it from the bottom, with a “poulie de capon” (multiple pulley block,) then hoisted to its stored position by a “candelette” (tackle), “caliorne” (winding tackle), and “palan de bout de vergue” (yard tackle that runs from the yardarm.) This is a heavy operation needing about twenty deckhands and 45 minutes to achieve.

Note to the quartermaster: Do not have too much sail up before the anchor is well home and stored!

Yann Cariou, Captain

Hermione

You Would Have Thought Lafayette Was A Famous High School Principal

Does this man look like your typical high school principal? No, but you would not be faulted for thinking so, if you only knew how many American schools and universities are named after the Hero of Two Worlds!

Does this man look like your typical high school principal? No, but you would not be faulted for thinking so, if you only knew how many American schools and universities are named after the Hero of Two Worlds!

Hero of Two Worlds: As A Symbolic Educator, Lafayette Has Few, If Any Peers in America

The emblem of Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania; this prestigious educational institution was established in 1826, only one year after Lafayette's triumphant tour of our young republic in 1824-1825.

The emblem of Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania; this prestigious educational institution was established in 1826, only one year after Lafayette's triumphant tour of our young republic in 1824-1825.

According to some preliminary research conducted by Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, it turns out that there are at least 74 public schools, six private schools, and two universities named Lafayette. (For a selected list of educational institutions named after Lafayette, see http://1.usa.gov/1oqtwu6 )

Any American history buff already knows that Lafayette adopted America as his country during his military service in our fight for independence, that he looked up to General, and later President, Washington as his father, and that he even named his son, George Washington Lafayette, after his beloved friend, but who would have imagined that so many public educational institutions – elementary to high school to college and university – would be christened after this remarkable Frenchman?

Here are just a few images from middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities around the country, north, south, east and west.

Circa 1910, Lafayette High School in Lafayette, Indiana.

Circa 1910, Lafayette High School in Lafayette, Indiana.

University of Louisiana, Lafayette, is home of the 'Ragin' Cajuns', whose fans clearly love the team's bright red color!

University of Louisiana, Lafayette, is home of the 'Ragin' Cajuns', whose fans clearly love the team's bright red color!

Lafayette’s reputation was further enhanced, and his name seared into our national consciousness, during his triumphal tour in 1824-1825, when he visited every single state in the then still young American Republic.

The Lafayette-Winona Middle School is in Williamsburg, Virginia, not far from the famous battlefield of Yorktown, Virginia, where the British under Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington, General Lafayette and Comte de Rochambeau on October 19, 1781.

The Lafayette-Winona Middle School is in Williamsburg, Virginia, not far from the famous battlefield of Yorktown, Virginia, where the British under Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington, General Lafayette and Comte de Rochambeau on October 19, 1781.

And to think, none of these school names, his living legacy, or his heroic example would have been possible without the courage Lafayette displayed when he embarked from Rochefort, France aboard the Hermione frigate, which carried him to our country in 1780.

During 2014 and 2015, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America are reaching out to educators, educational institutions and other interested parents and students to engage them, and interest all Americans, in the inspiring example of Lafayette and the values he so ably represented during his entire life, including self-determination, independence, freedom, and human rights.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

 

 

 

 

Drum Roll for L’Hermione from Sons of the Revolution!

L'Hermione 2015 Voyage Merits Coverage in

Sons of the Revolution's Drumbeat Publication

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News of L’Hermione’s planned 2015 voyage to the U.S. Eastern seaboard has received detailed coverage this winter in Drumbeat, the publication of the Sons of the Revolution. According to the group's website: "The Sons of the Revolution was founded in 1876 by members of the Society of the Cincinnati wishing to broaden participation in preserving the American Heritage on the eve of this country's centennial. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence and to foster fellowship among its members."

An image from the Home Page of the Sons of the Revolution website.

An image from the Home Page of the Sons of the Revolution website.

Thanks to the initiative of a senior Sons of the Revolution member, J. Robert Lunney, Secretary, European Society, Sons of the Revolution, the winter 2014 issue of its Drumbeat magazine featured an illustrated story about the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America. The Drumbeat article, authored by Lunney, encourages Sons of the Revolution members to lend their support to L’Hermione’s planned 2015 voyage; it also invites readers to visit, www.hermione2015.com.

Sons of the Revolution members in the 30 state Sons of the Revolution societies read the Drumbeat magazine; the article also appeared this winter in the Rifleman, the state of Tennessee’s Sons of the Revolution society magazine.

In a letter addressed to Sons of the Revolution Secretary Lunney, Miles Young, President, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette, wrote, “I cannot thank you enough for your article in the Drumbeat and the Rifleman."

For more information about the Sons of the Revolution, Drumbeat and their extensive state and national society and educational activities, see http://www.sr1776.org

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship that Saved the Revolution

Famous Friendship: General Washington and Major General Lafayette are depicted in this early watercolor by an unknown artist, date unknown, but believed to have been painted in the late 18th century.

Famous Friendship: General Washington and Major General Lafayette are depicted in this early watercolor by an unknown artist, date unknown, but believed to have been painted in the late 18th century.

The Story of a Remarkable American-French Relationship

On this President’s weekend, we call attention to David Clary’s book, “Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette and the Friendship that Saved the Revolution.” This lively account addresses the remarkable ‘father-son’ relationship that developed between George Washington, our nation’s commander-in-chief during the American Revolution and first President, and Lafayette, the “Hero of Two Worlds.”

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Here is a review, from Amazon, of David Clary’s book, “Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette and the Friendship that Saved the Revolution.”

 

"They were unlikely comrades-in-arms. One was a self-taught, middle-aged Virginia planter in charge of a ragtag army of revolutionaries, the other a rich, glory-seeking teenage French aristocrat. But the childless Washington and the orphaned Lafayette forged a bond between them as strong as any between father and son. It was an unbreakable trust that saw them through betrayals, shifting political alliances, and the trials of war.

 

"Lafayette came to America a rebellious youth whose defiance of his king made him a celebrity in France. His money and connections attracted the favor of the Continental Congress, which advised Washington to keep the exuberant Marquis from getting himself killed. But when the boy-general was wounded in his first battle, he became a hero of two countries. As the war ground on, Washington found in his young charge the makings of a courageous and talented commander whose loyalty, generosity, and eagerness to please his Commander in Chief made him one of the war’s most effective and inspired generals. Lafayette’s hounding of Cornwallis’s army was the perfect demonstration of Washington’s unconventional “bush-fighting” tactics, and led to the British surrender at Yorktown.

"Their friendship continued throughout their lives. Lafayette inspired widespread French support for a struggling young America and personally influenced Washington’s antislavery views. Washington’s enduring example as general and statesman guided Lafayette during France’s own revolution years later.

Ready for sea trials in spring 2014, L'Hermione at its berth in Rochefort, France.

Ready for sea trials in spring 2014, L'Hermione at its berth in Rochefort, France.

"Using personal letters and other key historical documents, Adopted Son offers a rare glimpse of the American Revolution through the friendship between Washington and Lafayette. It offers dramatic accounts of battles and intimate portraits of such major figures as Alexander Hamilton, Benedict Arnold, and Benjamin Franklin.

"The result is a remarkable, little-known epic of friendship, revolution, and the birth of a nation."

 

 

WASHINGTON-LAFAYETTE-HERMNIONE:

THROUGH THICK and THIN!

It goes without saying that were it not for Lafayette spending a personal fortune in outfitting the French frigate L’Hermione – the French frigate that carried the Marquis to America in 1780 – with arms, uniforms and ammunition, our country’s future could well have been imperiled.

Here’s to commemorating the remarkable Washington-Lafayette friendship and the role L’Hermione played in our nation’s fight for independence this President's Day Holiday.

American Revolution history buffs, admirers of Washington and Lafayette, nautical enthusiasts and followers interested in L'Hermione's 2015 voyage from Rochefort, France to the Eastern seaboard are invited to follow this blog for all the latest news and plans in 2014 and 2015.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: 

http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

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Visit to Monticello by President Obama and President Hollande of France

Thomas Jefferson designed and built his beloved Monticello between 1769 and 1808; it is located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, home to the University of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson designed and built his beloved Monticello between 1769 and 1808; it is located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, home to the University of Virginia.

             French President Hollande and President Obama to Visit

Jefferson’s Monticello

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In a historic meeting sure to invoke the spirit of Lafayette and his historic role in the friendship between our two republics, the White House today announced a visit by the leaders of France and the United States to Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, an early envoy to France and our third President. The visit is scheduled for February 10, 2014. 

We are reproducing the White House announcement in full below.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

Visit to Monticello by President Obama and President Hollande of France

Thomas Jefferson, circa 1825, in a portrait by Rembrandt Peale.

Thomas Jefferson, circa 1825, in a portrait by

Rembrandt Peale.

February 4, 2014:  Since the time of our founding fathers, the United States and France have been allies and friends.  To mark this historic partnership, President Obama and President Hollande of France will tour Monticello on Monday, February 10, as part of the State Visit.  As the residence of Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States’ earliest envoys to France, Monticello reflects Jefferson’s affection for the people of France, the long-standing relations between our two democracies, and the shared values we hold dear:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  President Obama looks forward to sharing this piece of our shared history with President Hollande.


Amateur history buffs and historians know, as the Monticello site recounts:

A portrait of Lafayette during his visit to America in 1824-1825.

A portrait of Lafayette during his visit to America in 1824-1825.

“Perhaps the most celebrated visitor to Monticello during Jefferson's lifetime arrived in 1824. The marquis de Lafayette, the French statesman who had led troops on behalf of the colonies during the Revolutionary War, returned to the United States and made a final visit to Monticello. The event was marked by pomp and circumstance -- 120 mounted soldiers escorted the general to Monticello, and a crowd gathered on the grounds to see the two friends meet again, calling each other's names and falling into an embrace. At a Charlottesville dinner in Lafayette's honor, Jefferson urged Americans to honor the Frenchman as their "benefactor in peace as well as in war.”

During  L’Hermione’s 2015 voyage to America, and specifically in her ports of call at Norfolk and Yorktown in Virginia, American Revolutionary War buffs, nautical and sailing enthusiasts and the general public will have many exciting opportunities to see first-hand the celebrated frigate that carried Lafayette to America in 1780.

In acknowledgement of Lafayette’s critical military role during our battle for independence, there will be a colloquium at Monticello in Spring, 2015. The colloquium will be held in association with the Sons of the American Revolution

The one and only Hermione, the frigate of liberty, as this water color depicts the 18th century vessel under full sail.

The one and only Hermione, the frigate of liberty, as this water color depicts the 18th century vessel under full sail.

The topic will be "Lafayette and European Allies of the American Revolution."  It will primarily focus on Lafayette and France but it will also include consideration of the Spanish, Dutch and German.  The military support and financial aid from France was essential to the success of the American Revolution and bankrupted France, which led to the calling of the Estates General. The colloquium is organized by Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Saunders Director, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.  

The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America will bring our Hermione followers up-to-date with this important meeting in future postings and news.

To receive regular Hermione2015.com updates, please click here and sign up: http://www.hermione2015.com/join-our-mailing-list/

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