for Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant,
A French General’s Role in the American Revolution
By AR, retired school administrator on December 23, 2011
Jini Jones Vail’s Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant is a well researched book whose central figure is the top commander, appointed by Louis XVI, the king of France, as leader of the military force (expédition particulière), who is sent to help the American Continentals win independence from British rule.
It is a fascinating documentation of the important and crucial role that the French played, both monetarily and militarily in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. The author does an excellent job of describing the prevailing conditions, and the life experiences of the participants at that time.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American history to learn more about Rochambeau’s important contribution to the American cause.
By Endler-Kirby on December 1, 2011
Jini Jones Vail has written a most appealing historical account of France’s General de Rochambeau’s role in the American Revolution. In the Preface (p.XXI) she says, “the research and writing of distant history is not an exact science” yet her scholarly research, evidenced by notes, glossary and bibliography, gives the reader a wonderfully readable historical account of the relationship between Rochambeau and Washington as the American War for Independence moves down the eastern seaboard to Yorktown, Virginia.
Though Jini Jones Vail’s audience must not be limited to “east-coasters” those who do reside along the eastern seaboard will find charming references to towns, homes and perhaps ancestors with whom Rochambeau visited. The past comes alive as do the personalities of Rochambeau and Washington through anecdotes and the personal correspondence between them. They have become men whom you might have or wish to have known.
Even knowing the final outcome of the war, it is its unfolding in this most enjoyable book that pushes one to turn pages to accompany Rochambeau on our country’s journey toward independence.
A Great Read for All Ages.
Happy Birthday to the Marquis de Lafayette!!!
How old is the great benefactor of the American Revolution? He was born at Chateau Chavaniac in South Central France on 6 Septembre 1757. This year he would have fretted his 259th!
We are celebrating his natal day this week on our porch. I set the table with the beautiful plates I bought in France at the time of the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. My friends Mary Conseur and David Beglan, both great followers of history, especially French and American history, brought me these gorgeous red, white and blue flowers to use as a centerpiece.
If you are so inclined, you might want to scroll down, way down, in my Blog list to find the explanation of how we decorated our master bed chamber at our home after Lafayette’s natal bedroom at Chavaniac. John and I visited Chavaniac at the time of a complete renovation of their 100 rooms. Do check us out.
Come celebrate with us. Roll out the red carpet and remember how Lafayette helped America!
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! Hooray for the red, white and blue and the bleu, blanc et rouge!
The King of Spain should be remembered for his contribution to the American cause, without which we might have faltered!
Please go to page 309 in my book:
Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant
A French General’s Role in the American Revolution
Carlos, King of Spain: Former king of Naples and Sicily and former duke of Parma and Piacenza; born Catholic into the House of Bourbon, the same family as King Louis XVI of France. He married Maria Amalia of Saxony, ascended to the throne of Spain in 1759, and reigned until his death in 1788.
King Carlos did not fully support American independence since he thought it might ignite an uprising in his own country, but he tolerated and supported covert aid beginning in 1776. After declaring war on Britain in 1779 he continued to aid the American cause in indirect ways while at the same time meeting Spain’s goals. At the request of Rochambeau and La Luzerne, De Grasse assembled the funds needed for the siege of Yorktown from Carlos’s subjects in Havana, Cuba.
Spain and its Generals on both sides of the Atlantic were most helpful in sending supplies to the insurgents in Massachusetts and in the Louisiana area as well. Spain has not received due credit for all it did to aid the UIS. I am making sure my readers are aware of their contribution.
What a stunning surprise from this brave man who helped us!
Pierre-Auguste-Canon de Beaumarchais
He was a French dramatist and a covert defender!
Beaumarchais did not fit the mold at all. He was, therefore, never suspected as he carried on his undercover work to aid America~ Here is a little about him taken from p. 308 in my book from the section I call: Key Participants. There is more on Beaumarchais on pages 36, 37, and 154. Enjoy!
French dramatist who wrote The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. He encouraged King Louis XVI to become involved in the American Revolution on the side of the colonists. On April 26, 1776, he learned of the king’s decision to aid the insurgents. He sent volunteers, munitions, and supplies covertly to America through the Rodrigue Hortalez Company.
More in 3 weeks! Keep tuned to this station!
Do you know him?
Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir
Once again, in the early days of the American Revolution, in the year 1775, Bonvouloir (even his name signifies a man of good will), served the American cause!
Let us remember!
Only a few months after the untimely death of Colonel Lee in Massachusetts in August 1775, Vergennes, “acting on the advice of his ambassador in London, approved the sending of a secret messenger to the American Continental Congress. Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir was the man chosen for the job. His “mission was a major turning point in both American and French diplomacy.
When he reached Philadelphia in December 1775 he found as a ready audience the newly appointed Committee of Secret Correspondence. Between December 18 and December 27, Bonvouloir met three times with the committee December 27, Bonvouloir met three times with the committee, including Benjamin Franklin, at Carpenters’ Hall.
The meetings went extremely well. The committee posed several leading questions to Bonvouloir, asking “if France were disposed favorably toward the Americans, if she would send them two good army engineers, and if she would sell them arms and war supplies in her ports. They also expressed their need of naval support. Bonvouloir gave positive responses to all their requests. In his December 28 report to Versailles he enthusiastically wrote, “Independency is a certainty for 1776.” When Vergennes received news of the success of the meeting, he “proposed a major shift in French policy toward the American Revolution.
There was growing excitement in France for the sake of American liberty. In response to the request of the Continental Congress to Bonvouloir, volunteers were encouraged to serve in America, and many answered the call.
This excerpt is from my book: pp. 35 and 37 Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant, A French General’s Role in the American Revolution