Our cover image combines details of a model of the eighty-gun French ship of the line Duc de Bourgogne, the flagship of the squadron that brought the Comte de Rochambeau and his French troops in 1780 to fight for American independence. The ship was based in Newport for more than a year, from its first arrival on 11 July 1780 until its departure on 23 August 1781 for Chesapeake Bay to support the Yorktown campaign. On 6 March 1781, General George Washington boarded Duc de Bourgogne in Newport to meet with all the senior French land and naval commanders—one of the very few occasions that Washington is known to have visited a warship. Laid down in 1751 and launched in 1752, Duc de Bourgogne first served during the Seven Years’ War. Refitted in 1761 and coppered in 1779, it took part in the battle of the Saints between 9 and 12 April 1782. During the French Revolution it was renamed Peuple, in 1792, then Caton in 1794, before being destroyed in 1800.
This model was made for the Naval War College Museum by Richard S. Glanville at the American Marine Model Gallery of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 2012, through the generosity of the Naval War College Foundation and the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust. The model is part of the exhibit The Road to Yorktown: Newport, the French Navy, and American Independence at the Naval War College Museum.
Volume 67, Number 2