A French warship replica frigate, the “Hermione,” is set to travel to the US from France to mark the passage of the original 32-gun frigate, L’Hermione, which sailed in 1780 from France to the US to bring the Marquis de Lafayette to Boston to meet with General George Washington during the American Revolution.
The 21st century Hermione, is a full-scale copy of the 18th century frigate that left its homeport in France 234 years ago to travel to the US. Lafayette was bringing news to Washington that his country was going to help them fight the British by sending men and ships. To commemorate this event, a French warship replica with the same name will travel the same route its namesake did all those hundreds of years ago.
French Warship Replica Holds True to Original’s Makeup
The 21st century Hermione was put together with the same kind of materials and using many of the same construction methods as its predecessor. The French warship replica is more than 200-feet long, has 16,000 feet of sails and it took 17 years, 25-million Euros that came from both the US and France, and 3,000 oak trees to make it. It reportedly only took six months to build the original Hermione frigate back in the 18th century.
The 18th century Hermione required the skills of 250 sailors to sail it between France and the US, but the 21st century version can travel the same route using a mere 80 sailors. These are mostly French and are also mostly volunteers, who spent two months learning how to sail the historic copy. There are 18 professional sailors amid the crew members and they had to help teach the volunteers many tasks, including things like knot tying and how to work up high in the rigging of the three-masted ship.
Freedom’s Frigate Secured American Victory
The 18th century frigate was called Freedom’s Frigate and historians believe that if Washington hadn’t had the support from Lafayette and his men, that the war with the British might have been ultimately lost.
The travel between France and the US is expected to take about four weeks, which is about the same time it took the original journey. The Hermione is scheduled to visit several ports between Virginia and Maine starting on June 5th. The French warship replica is also scheduled to complete a two-month tour by going to Annapolis, New York City and Philadelphia. Along its travel route the historic copy of the original French frigate is expected to draw a large crowd of admirers.