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Public ‘Hermione’ lecture July 10 coincides with historic French frigate’s visit

Philippe Bouthet du Rivault, an officer for the French General Transatlantic Company, will present a lecture, “The 21st Century Hermione: Facing the Challenges,” on Friday, July 10 at 1 p.m. at Salve Regina University’s DiStefano Lecture Hall, located in the Antone Academic Center on 56 Lawrence Ave. Free and open to the public, the lecture – to be presented in English – is being held in conjunction with the visit to Newport Harbor of the replica Hermione on July 8-9 to commemorate its important role in the American Revolution 235 years ago. The 1779 Hermione achieved fame by ferrying General Lafayette to the United States in 1780 to allow him to rejoin the American side during the American Revolutionary War. In April, Hermione started her return voyage to the United States with a mission to reaffirm the relationship between the U.S. and France. In the first joint French and America operation of the American Revolutionary War, a French fleet arrived in Newport in July 1778. From July 1780 to September 1781, Gen. Rochambeau’s French Army occupied Newport, until the March to Victory in Yorktown, Va. Lafayette served in Newport as a liaison between Rochambeau and Washington. After departing Newport, the ship will make stops in Alexandria, Va., Boston, Castine, Maine, and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia before returning to port in Rochefort, France.