[Thanks to Woody Childs for bringing this article in the April 2015 issue of the "Smithsonian" to our attention.]
When the original Hermione was built in 1779, it was the pride of a newly re-energized French Navy: a 216-foot, 32-gun barracuda that could take a real bite out of the arrogant English, who not only ruled the waves but concocted an in-your-face anthem about it—“Rule, Britannia!”—in 1740. Now, the French have spent 17 years and $28 million replicating the Hermione down to the last detail, from its gilded-lion figurehead to the fleur-de-lis painted on its stern.
In March 1780, the Hermione set out from Rochefort bound for Boston. Its speed and agility suited it ideally to the task of carrying Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, back to America. He was charged with giving George Washington the nation-saving news that France would soon be sending an infusion of arms, ships and men.
The Hermione replica will be visiting several ports on our east coast during the June/July 2015 time frame. For the complete article and a map of proposed ports please see the full article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/marquis-lafayette-sails-again-180954590/?preview=&page=1