It has now been exactly sixty years since I studied the American Revolution in my sophomore year of high school, and I have learned almost as much this year as I did then. First, in Point Pleasant, West Virginia (my review of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park) and now here in Annapolis.
Back in a shady corner at the campus of Saint John’s College in Annapolis stands a stone column and bronze sculpture cast by Joseph Maxwell Miller memorializing the French soldiers, sailors and marines who fought and died for the cause of the fledgling United States of America during the war with England. The monument was dedicated and unveiled on April 18,1911 by President William Howard Taft. Also present for the ceremony were the French Ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand and descendants of both the Marquis de Lafayette and Admiral Count de Grasse. Jusserand later became the first Pulitzer Prize winner for a book on American history.
The site was chosen based upon contemporary evidence that Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau had encamped his army of 7,000 French infantry in the nearby fields on his way from Freeport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. George Washington and General Rochambeau had hatched a plan in Connecticut to march south and entrap Lord Charles Cornwallis in Virginia, while Count de Grasse landed 3,000 foot soldiers and then deployed his West Indies Fleet so as to interdict any attempt to evacuate Cornwallis’ army by the British navy.
As Ambassador Jusserand pointed out, this memorial has the distinct trait of being dedicated to soldiers and sailors in general, unlike the many individual statues of his countrymen erected throughout the cities of eastern America.
The monument is a little tricky to find due to subsequent changes in the campus. If you would like to visit, don't hesitate to hit the "ask" icon. I will be honored to help.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.