I’m telling you, I’m busy.
Today TMC and I are busy together.
The Hermione Sails Into New York Harbor, Cannons Blazing
By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER, The New York Times
JULY 1, 2015
The last time a boat sailed into New York Harbor bearing the Marquis de Lafayette, the arrival touched off a frenzy that would put Beatlemania to shame.
The year was 1824, and some 50,000 people – roughly a third of New York’s population – lined the streets for a glimpse of Lafayette, the “French founding father,” who was visiting the United States as part of a 13-month triumphal tour of the nation he had helped liberate nearly a half-century earlier.
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, a staggeringly wealthy provincial aristocrat who had married into one of France’s grandest families, was only 19 when he first landed in America, in 1777, having sailed across the ocean on his own dime to support the Revolution, in defiance of Louis XVI. He became a major general and something of an adopted son to Washington. After fighting at the Battles of Brandywine (where he was wounded) and Rhode Island, he returned to France, where he successfully persuaded the king to lend troops to the American cause.
While passed over as commander in favor of Rochambeau, Lafayette was sent ahead on the Hermione in May 1780 to personally inform Washington that a half-dozen ships and some 5,000 French troops were on their way. That support helped turn the tide of the Revolution.
“If America forgets its independence was due to French military assistance, that would be a sad thing,” Miles Young, the New York-based worldwide chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather and the president of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, said last week.
The drawings for the original ship had been lost, so shipbuilders in Rochefort, on the west coast of France, worked from those of a sister ship held in British Admiralty archives.
The hull and masts were constructed from 2,000 French oaks. Each stitch in the 19 linen sails was sewn by a single sailmaker, and rigged by a team from Sweden. In all, the project involved about 400,000 wood and traditionally forged metal parts.
“It’s completely mad to build an 18th-century frigate with this kind of almost religious authenticity,” Mr. Young said.
I would like to say more about the Marquis de Lafayette and probably will at some point, but I just got back this evening from another meeting of the Gilmores that was, umm…, not to be missed and there are several more this summer.
Likewise TMC will be visiting with her family over the 4th and today is the only time we can do this. Besides, she tells me that the 4th in the City is a cruel joke on anyone who wants to get anywhere at all.
So no news except the personal kind. Saturday the 4th we will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of The Stars Hollow Gazette, the start of Le Tour, and the 2015 Women’s World Cup Consolation Match. Sunday will be Silverstone, Day 2 of Le Tour, and the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final.
Plus the normal non-sense. I’m busy!
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