Lafayette’s ship led parade up the Hudson for July 4th

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The replica of L’Hermione, the ship that brought Lafayette back to America in 1780, leading the Parade of Ships up the Hudson River on July 4th. Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

(Originally posted July 6, 2015) The year could have been 1780 on this July 4th, at least when you were looking out on the Hudson from New York Harbor. The Hermione, or L’Hermione, an authentic replica of the ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette and news of France’s support back to America 235 years ago, led a parade of commercial and private ships from Gravesend Bay all the way up the river in celebration of Independence Day.
The ship was docked at South Street Seaport’s Pier 15 in the days leading up to the parade and there were long lines of visitors to board her there.
Lafayette, who was known as the “Boy General” due to his tender age (he secretly sailed over from France at 19 to volunteer on the side of America in the Revolutionary War), became a close friend of George Washington after he first came to the country in 1777. A year later, he returned to France to lobby for the American cause and finally convinced the French King to send military support. After he made his way back to America aboard the Hermione, Lafayette greeted Washington with the now-famous words ‘Here I am, My Dear General’. The replica of the ship was completed in 2014 and stands 117 feet tall and 210 feet long, with three masts, 19 sails and 34 cannons.

 

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Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

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Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

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Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess

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