Wednesday, November 11, 2020

"Lafayette, we are here!" - Gov. Jonathan Trumbull's Revolutionary War Office and World War One

 

Gov. Jonathan Trumbull's Revolutionary War Office and World War One



Photo of the War Office, Welcome Home Day Program, Lebanon, Connecticut, 
Saturday, October 11, 1919. [1] 



Today being Veterans Day, we will look at two events which included commemorations at Gov. Jonathan Trumbull's Revolutionary War Office in Lebanon, Connecticut commemorating World War One.

The first event was the historic, "Pilgrimage of Connecticut's Third "War Governor" to the Homes of the First and Second "War Governors" and other scenes of historic interest, in commemoration of aid to the cause of American Independence by France, whose gallant troops camped on fields of Lebanon, at a time when the American troops with Lebanon's sons are camped on the soil of France in the Great War to make the world safe for Democracy Sunday, September Eight Nineteen Hundred and Eighteen following the 161st anniversary of the birth of General La Fayette."[2] Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757. 

This event was held in Lebanon, Connecticut on September 8, 1918, and according to the Norwich Bulletin published Monday, September 9, 1918 brought, "6,000 to 7,000 "pilgrims" who were there from all parts of the state to participate in the exercises of the day."[3] A stage was set up at Barrack's Field where French soldiers encamped during the Winter of 1780-1781 during the American Revolution. Connecticut's third "War Governor," Marcus H. Holcomb (1915-1921) and other dignitaries spoke and toured the various historical locations in Lebanon, Connecticut associated with Connecticut's first "War Governor," Jonathan Trumbull (1769-1784) and second "War Governor," William A. Buckingham (1858-1866).[4]  


"Lafayette, we are here!"
- Col. Charles E. Stanton, Aide to Gen. John J. Pershing, July 4, 1917, Ceremony at the Marquis de Lafayette's Tomb, Picpus Cemetery, Paris, France.[5]



Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.
Engraving of a portrait by Alonzo Chappel.[6]






Title page, Souvenir of the Pilgrimage to Historic Lebanon, Sunday, September 8, 1918.[7]



11:45 AM at the War Office, Mr. Aubrey L. Maddock, Secretary Connecticut State Council of Defence spoke,

"We have again turned to the shrine of our fathers in an hour of trial and need. Ever as the thirteen English colonies in America turned, at the outbreak of the Revolution, to Connecticut and to Lebanon for direction and aid, so we of today have come to this ancient town, have gathered beside this historic war office, in order that we may return to our tasks filled with a greater determination to contribute our maximum to the success of American arms."[8]




"Jonathan Trumbull is gone, the members of his council of safety have long since passed to the Great Beyond, yet their spirit still lives, and from that spirit and from these scenes of their toil, we will gain today a determination that no sacrifice shall be too great and no service too severe if that service and sacrifice will contribute to the preservation of the liberties which they struggled to establish."[9] 


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The second event was "Welcome Home Day," held in Lebanon, Connecticut on October 11, 1919. At 2:30 PM, following dinner and after dinner speeches, a ceremonial tree planting ceremony was held at the War Office in memoriam of Lieutenant Louis Raymond Abel, killed in action in the Argonne Forest, France, September 27, 1918. The ceremony included music by the Band, and an address by Rev. Hollis A. Campbell.[10]




Welcome Home Day Program, Lebanon, Connecticut, Saturday, October 11, 1919.[11]


World War One Roll of Honor, Lebanon, Connecticut.[12]



Two vintage 1920's postcards of the War Office in Lebanon, Connecticut.[13] Both postcards show the memorial tree which was dedicated on Welcome Home Day, October 11, 1919 in memory of Lieutenant  Louis Raymond Abel of Lebanon, Connecticut,[14] killed in action in the Argonne Forest, France, September 27, 1918.



I have not been able to find any information on what happened to the memorial tree? The tree is pictured in the same vicinity as the War Office monument stone which was erected by the Connecticut George Washington Bicentennial Commission on October 8, 1932. 







"Where Lebanon Comes In." A poem read by Rev. Hollis A. Campbell during the 
"Welcome Home Day" after dinner speeches, October 11, 1919.[15]



Notes:

1. Welcome Home Day Program, Lebanon, Conn., Saturday, October 11, 1919, The Stedman Press, 52 High Street, Westerly, R.I., 1919.
2. Pilgrimage to Historic Lebanon, Souvenir of the Pilgrimage of Connecticut's Third "War Governor" to the Homes of the First and Second War Governors . . ., Published under the auspices of the Connecticut State Council of Defense and Lebanon War Bureau, September 1918, The Stedman Press, Westerly, R.I. 
3. The Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut, Monday September 9, 1918. 
4. Ibid; Pilgrimage to Historic Lebanon, Souvenir of the Pilgrimage of Connecticut's Third "War Governor" to the Homes of the First and Second War Governors . . ., Published under the auspices of the Connecticut State Council of Defense and Lebanon War Bureau, September 1918, The Stedman Press, Westerly, R.I. 
5. Doughboys and the Birth of the Modern American Army, National WWI Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, MO <www.theworldwar.org>; Charles E. Stanton - Wikipedia.  
6. The American Revolution, A Picture Sourcebook, John Grafton, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1975, page 119.
7. Pilgrimage to Historic Lebanon, Souvenir of the Pilgrimage of Connecticut's Third "War Governor" to the Homes of the First and Second War Governors . . ., Published under the auspices of the Connecticut State Council of Defense and Lebanon War Bureau, September 1918, The Stedman Press, Westerly, R.I.  
8. The Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut, Monday September 9, 1918. 
9. Ibid.
10. Welcome Home Day Program, Lebanon, Conn., Saturday, October 11, 1919, The Stedman Press, 52 High Street, Westerly, R.I., 1919.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Postcard, "War Office, Lebanon, Conn.", undated, circa 1920's, (no information on back); Postcard, "Lebanon War Office, Lebanon, Conn.", undated, circa 1920's, published by The Collotype Co., Elizabeth, N.J. and N.Y.  
14. Lieutenant Louis Raymond Abel is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. For more information and a biography of Lieutenant Louis Raymond Abel, see, "Biographies of World War 1 Veterans: Abel - Isdell," The Green-Wood Historic Fund's website, <www.green-wood.com>. 
15. Welcome Home Day Program, Lebanon, Conn., Saturday, October 11, 1919, The Stedman Press, 52 High Street, Westerly, R.I., 1919.




The War Office is owned and maintained by
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution





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