Kim Rogers Burdick National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association records

Biographical and Historical Notes

Kim Rogers Burdick

Historian, folklorist, and researcher Kim Rogers Burdick served as national chairman of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) from 2007 until 2009. Prior to serving as national chairman, Burdick acted as executive co-chairman of the association. In addition, she served as chair of the Delaware state branch of the W3R from 2003 until 2008.

Burdick holds a masters degree in American Folk Culture from Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta, as well as a Master of Public Administration in agency management from the University of Delaware. Burdick has worked for the Delaware Folklife Project (1981–1989), the Delaware State Senate (1989–1998), and Delaware Technical and Community College (2004– ). Since the spring of 1998 Burdick has also been the owner and sole proprietor of the public history management and educational research firm Burdick Associates.

Throughout her academic and professional career Burdick has worked on projects to further research and understanding into American history, especially through the development of public programs as is evidenced by her work with the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-USA) and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route of Delaware (W3R-DE). In addition to her service to these organizations, Burdick has also served on the Delaware Art Museum Council, the Delaware Humanities Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the New Castle County Library Advisory Board, Preservation Delaware, and the World Trade Center Institute-Delaware.

Since June of 2008 Burdick has been the resident-curator of the historic Hale-Byrnes House located along on a bend in the White Clay Creek in Stanton, Delaware. In 1777 General George Washington met with the Marquis de Lafayette at the home to discuss war strategy and celebrate Lafayette's 20th birthday. As resident-curator Burdick opens the home to visitors each month.

In October of 2008 the French government recognized Burdick's work by naming her a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms).


Kim Elizabeth Rogers Burdick CV (F1), MSS 593, Kim Rogers Burdick National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association records, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Champagne, Reid. "George Washington held a birthday party here." News Journal, April 2, 2009, HP3.

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-USA) was first loosely organized in Connecticut in the late 1990s as an association dedicated to researching and documenting the route traveled by colonial General George Washington, French aristocrat and soldier Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, and their troops from Newport, Rhode Island, to the French and colonial victory at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. In 1999 individuals representing all nine states through which Washington and Rochambeau marched met formally for the first time to begin coordinating W3R activities on a national level. A small national leadership group developed out of this initial meeting. For the next four years this leadership group strove to keep abreast of issues relating to the Washington-Rochambeau route and to inform others about the National Park Service's research and study into the route, which, it was hoped, would one day become the East Coast's first National Historic Trail. In 2004, the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-USA) incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in the state of Delaware and began attracting and recruiting members, generating income through dues and grants, and organizing work groups to assist with development of the trail.

The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-USA) is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of ten separate state-level Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route associations. These organizations represent all nine states through which the route travels, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The tenth organization represents the District of Columbia.

Since its founding the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association has aided in coordinating a wide variety of activities and events to promote the trail. Since 2000 many of the state and national W3R activities have focused on marking and celebrating the 225th anniversaries of many different Revolutionary War-era battles, marches, encampments, and events. One notable series of events was the 2006 March to Yorktown in which re-enactors and other interested parties walked portions of the Washington-Rochambeau route from Newport, Rhode Island, to Yorktown, Virginia. Four re-enactors, Michael Fitzgerald, David Fagerberg, Rose Morin, and David Holloway, marched the entire 685-mile route, beginning from an encampment at Newport, Rhode Island, on June 16, 2006, and arriving in Yorktown on October 7, 2006.

The national organization has also pushed for recognition of the Washington-Rochambeau route by local, state, and national governments. This effort eventually bore its ultimate fruit when, on Monday, March 30, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. One of the provisions of the act was to designate the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route as a National Historic Trail.


Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. "W3R-USA Home Page." (accessed April 29, 2009).

Additional information derived from the collection.

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association of Delaware

The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association of Delaware was first incorporated in 2003 to promote study and documentation of the portion of the Washington-Rochambeau route that runs through the state of Delaware.

This route begins at the Robinson House on modern-day Naamans Road in Claymont, Delaware, and follows Philadelphia Pike (Route 13), the old “King’s Highway” to downtown Wilmington. From Wilmington the troops marched along the path of current-day Routes 4 and 7 through Newport and Stanton, passing the historic Hale-Byrnes House where, in 1777, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette discussed war strategy. From the Hale-Byrnes House the route continues on Delaware Route 7 to Christiana, Delaware, a town which still boasts some 18th century buildings and was an important offloading site for goods as they traveled up the Christina River during the Revolution. From Christiana the route follows Old Baltimore Pike, past the site of the 1777 Revolutionary War battle at Cooch’s Bridge, and, finally, leaves Delaware en route to Elkton, Maryland.

The activities of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association of Delaware have been many and varied since the body’s founding in 2003. In addition to working toward the development and placement of signs along the route through the state, the Delaware W3R also coordinated the development of an interactive kiosk about the Washington-Rochambeau route that was funded by the Delaware Bureau of Tourism and developed by Talisman Interactive. The kiosk was originally located at the train station in Wilmington, and moved to the Wilmington Riverfront Market in 2007. Additional events planned by the W3R-DE include a "Hike the Pike" event co-sponsored with the East Coast Greenway in October 2004, hosting the national leadership meeting of the W3R in April of 2004, promoting the production of the musical Billy Lee's Washington by Delawarean Evelyn Swensson in September and October of 2006, and a series of events including wreath-layings, a symposium on African-Americans in the Revolution, and speeches at Cooch's Bridge, that were held during Labor Day weekend 2006 as part of "A Revolutionary Weekend in Delaware."


Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. "Organization of the W3R of Delaware." (accessed April 29, 2009).

Additional information derived from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Kim Rogers Burdick National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association records contains materials gathered by Burdick during the course of her work with the association, which first began meeting informally in 1999 and was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 2004 with the purpose of identifying and marking the approximately 650-mile route traveled by colonial and French troops en route to their decisive victory at the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. The 3.3 linear feet of documents, correspondence, new clippings, brochures, financial records, and multimedia materials housed in the collection provide information on the founding, achievements, activities, and inner workings of the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-USA). In addition to the records of this national coordinating body, the collection also contains materials from the smaller state-level W3R organizations, in particular the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route of Delaware (W3R-DE) and material related to the legislation enacting the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Heritage Act of 2000.

The collection is divided into five series correlating, in most instances, to the origin of the material. The first series, Series I. Records of Kim Rogers Burdick, contains documents and pieces of correspondence directly relating to former W3R-USA and W3R-DE chairperson Kim Rogers Burdick. The majority of the material in this series was originally housed in seven three-ring notebooks kept by Burdick (F2-F20). The original order of the notebooks has been preserved, meaning that the materials in the notebooks cover a wide variety of topics and relate to the activities of the W3R-USA, W3R-DE, and several other state-level W3R organizations and non-W3R partner organizations. Subseries I.B. Kim Rogers Burdick correspondence, includes a small number of letters to or from Kim Rogers Burdick which are sorted by year (F21-F25).

Series II. Records of the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-USA) contains a wide variety of documents relating to the organization. The series is further divided into seven subseries according to material type. Subseries II.A. includes W3R-USA organizational documents, including several copies and drafts of the organization's certificate of incorporation, bylaws, membership and officer lists, and various resolutions (F26-27). Subseries II.B. Meetings contains agendas, minutes, state reports, handouts, and other documents from W3R-USA meetings held between 2003 and 2008 (F28-40). Additional W3R-USA organizational records are housed in subseries II.C. Documents, reports, and newsletters, which contains several internal publications of the organization, most notably two issues of the W3R-USA Monday Morning Report from 2004 and 2005 (F42-F44), and Subseries II.D. Financial records (F48-F49).

Since the W3R is dedicated to raising awareness about Revolutionary-era American history in general and the Washington-Rochambeau route in particular, it is understandable that the W3R records maintained by Kim Rogers Burdick include many research materials. These items, including an internet article (F55), a childrens' book (F53), a poster of a copy of a painting depicting the surrender at Yorktown (F52), a DVD promoting an educational program about the American Revolution for elementary-aged children (F54), and several pieces written by W3R member and historian Robert Selig (F56-F57), are housed in subseries II.E. Research. The largest subseries, Subseries II.F. Activities, contains materials relating to a variety of activities sponsored, coordinated, or promoted by the W3R-USA or other state W3R groups (F61-F81). The final subseries, Subseries II.G. Miscellaneous, contains one folder of labels printed with the W3R and Burdick Associates logos (F82).

Series III. Records of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route of Delaware contains documents related to the W3R organization for the state of Delaware. The organization of Series III. parallels the organization of Series II. with the materials being organized primarily according to material type. Subseries III.A. contains organizational documents such as the W3R-DE certificate of incorporation (F83), application for tax exempt status (F83), and several meeting notices and minutes (F84). Like Series II., Series III. also contains a subseries for research materials related to the history of the Revolution and the Washington-Rochambeau route in Delaware. This subseries, Subseries III.B. Research, contains a booklet on the history of Christiana, Delaware (F85), Robert A. Selig's 2003 report The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the State of Delaware, 1781–1783: A Historical and Architectural Survey(F86), and other research material.

Subseries III.C. Activities contains items related to the various activities of the Washington-Rochambeau Route of Delaware. The subseries contains materials documenting W3R-DE's efforts to promote governmental recognition of the route and the group's partnerships with the state and national government to achieve this goal (F90-92), as well as several other local activities, including the development and installation of the W3R-DE interactive kiosk (F94-F95) in the Wilmington train station (later removed to the Wilmington Riverfront Market), the production, funding, and promotion of the musical Billy Lee's Washington (including a DVD of the opening night performance) (F96-F98), and the "Revolutionary Weekend in Delaware" campaign held in 2006 (F99-F105). Subseries III.D. Miscellaneous includes one miscellaneous item, a copy of the American Hollythe newsletter of the Delaware State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (F107).

In addition to these selected records of the national and Delaware state W3R, the collection also contains a large number of brochures, pamphlets, and newsletters from a wide variety of organizations, historic sites, and other bodies engaged in promoting the study of American history. These items comprise Series IV. Brochures, pamphlets, and programs. The series is further divided into three subseries, including the following: Subseries IV.A. Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route pamphlets, Subseries IV.B. Non-W3R brochures by state, and Subseries IV.C. Miscellaneous brochures and pamphlets. All of the items in Subseries IV.A. were produced by either the national W3R (F108) or one of the ten local W3R organizations. The brochures in this subseries hail from the following W3R state groups: W3R Connecticut (F109), the New York State Revolutionary War Heritage Trail (F110), W3R New Jersey (F111), and W3R Delaware (F112).

The non-W3R materials housed in Subseries IV.B. were produced by a variety of national and regional historic sites, libraries, groups, museums, and businesses from the following states: Connecticut (F113), New York (F114), Pennsylvania (F115), Delaware (F116), Maryland F(117), Virginia (F118), North Carolina (F119), and South Carolina (F119). Subseries IV.C. contains two folders of miscellaneous brochures. The first folder contains a brochure for the George Washington re-enactor Carl Closs (F120), while the second folder contains several brochures and pamphlets from international sites (F121).

The final series, Series V. Non-W3R events and publications, contains a variety of programs, ephemera, and other items from non-W3R organizations and events. Items in this series include, for example, a packet from a 2006 conference on American independence held at the École Militaire in Paris (F122), materials from the Hockessin, Delaware-based George Washington Society, Ltd. (F124), photographs, articles, and brochures from a 250th birthday celebration for the Marquis de Lafayette held in 2007 at Lafayette College (F126), and a program from a 2007 symposium on the Marquis de Lafayette held in Washington, D.C. (F127).