Bonus: The Marquis de Lafayette & the Hermione

Marquis de Lafayette, Gilbert du Motier, 1833

Who was the Marquis de Lafayette?

How did he make the Patriots’ success in the American Revolution possible?

And why did a group known as the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America build an exact replica of the French frigate that brought Lafayette to the United States?

These are just some of the questions that Miles Young, President of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America will answer in this listener-requested episode.


About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, we explore the Marquis de Lafayette and the Hermione Voyage of 2015 with Miles Young, President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America.

Miles YoungDuring our conversation, Miles reveals who the Marquis de Lafayette was and why he joined the American Revolution on behalf of the Patriots; Details about Lafayette’s involvement in the American Revolution and his relationship with George Washington; And, an inside look at the Hermione Voyage of 2015.

Miles shares what it was like to make a transatlantic crossing on the new Hermione and what we will see when we visit her in one of her remaining ports of call.


What You’ll Discover

  • Overview of who the Marquis de Lafayette was
  • Why Lafayette joined the American Revolution on behalf the Americans in 1777
  • Why King Louis XVI of France disapproved of Lafayette joining the Continental Army
  • Lafayette’s relationship with George Washington
  • Lafayette’s military service in America
  • Details about how Lafayette received his wound at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777
  • How Lafayette sought French government support for the United States in 1778
  • The role Lafayette’s wife, Adrienne, played in securing French support for the U.S.
  • Why Lafayette returned to the United States in 1780
  • Lafayette’s impressions of L’Hermione
  • The role Lafayette and the Hermione played in the War for Independence between 1780 and 1781
  • Details about when Lafayette left the United States and George Washington
  • What happened to L’Hermione after the War for Independence
  • How Lafayette came by the key to the Bastille, which he gave to George Washington and is now on display in Mount Vernon
  • The Hermione Voyage of 2015 and where the idea to build an exact replica of the Hermione came from
  • Building the Hermione replica and the work and research that went into the project
  • Details about the transatlantic voyage undertaken by the new Hermione
  • What it is like to live aboard the Hermione today and make the transatlantic crossing
  • What you can expect when you visit the Hermione in one of her ports of call
  • Long term plans for the Hermione when she returns to France in mid-to-late July 2015
  • Port-of-Call schedule for the Hermione and her tour of the North American East Coast in 2015
Second Battle of the Virginia Capes, 5 September 1781

Links to People, Places, and Publications


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

In your opinion what might have happened if Lafayette had not defied King Louis XVI and joined the cause of the American Revolution in 1777? How might the history of the Revolution and the United States’ ties with France and Great Britain be different?


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