On March 19, 1780, America's 'French Founding Father', Marquis de Lafayette - friend of Gen. George Washington and hero of the Battle of Brandywine - set sail from Rochefort bound for Boston on a 32-gun frigate named Hermione. His mission: to advise Gen. Washington that he had secured a generous commitment of men, artillery and ships from Louis XVI for the American cause of liberty. The voyage took 38 days, and Hermione was greeted with a 13-gun salute upon her arrival. The following year Lafayette and Hermione took part in the Chesapeake blockade that forced the surrender of British Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown, ending the Revolutionary War and beginning American independence.

In 1997 construction began on a replica of the Hermione employing 18th century shipbuilding techniques. For safety, the ship was equipped with electric generators, a modern navigation system and engines to provide power when wind is insufficient. With 330 square feet of billowing sail and 15 miles of rope tamed by 1,000 pulleys, the 'Frigate of Freedom' embarked on a 50-day trans-atlantic voyage. Her first stop was Yorktown where she landed on June 5, 2015 and was greeted by a cheering crowd and 21-gun salute. Following her visit to Yorktown Hermione's itinerary includes Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

Pictured above: Hermione at Yorktown.