According to author Jini Jones Vail, were it not for the involvement of French General Rochambeau in the American Revolution, “We’d be speaking the King’s English right now.” The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, in Wethersfield, Connecticut, will host a presentation by Vail, the author of “Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant, A French General’s Role in the American Revolution.” Admission to the lecture is free and donations will be accepted.
Vail will discuss the march across Connecticut of French General Rochambeau and 4,000 of His Majesty, King Louis 16th’s “best soldiers.” The march was planned by George Washington and Rochambeau at a high-level conference held May 21, 1781 at the home of Joseph Webb in Wethersfield – now the core of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. One month later, Rochambeau and his horses, oxen, men and supplies, cooks and servants, artillery, baggage wagons and cattle, passed through Connecticut from Plainfield to Ridgefield. Vail will include many personal stories recorded by men who marched, as well as reports from locals who witnessed the mass movement of French troops across Connecticut. The march planned at Webb’s home ultimately led to the defeat of the British in Yorktown, Virginia, just five months later.
The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a wine reception (by donation) at 6 p.m. and followed by a book signing.