Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau

In 1780 the French commander Rochambeau was 55 and on the verge of retirement when he entered the fray of the American Revolutionary War, on the side of the colonies. After spending nearly a year aiding the Continental Army in the northeast, Rochambeau's troops joined those of General George Washington's in the war's decisive battle at Yorktown, Virginia. After returning to France he served during the early years of the French Revolution and finally retired in 1792.

This statue is in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, southwestern corner. It's a replica of a statue originally cast in France. The French commissioned this replica Rochambeau piece in order to help solidify relations after tensions arose between the two countries during the Spanish American War. It was dedicated in 1902.