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the French legislature Lafayette's voice was always in favor of liberal measures. In 1824 the Congress of the United States requested President Monroe to invite Lafayette to America as a guest of the republic. He came, but declined the offer of a ship. With his son and a private secretary he landed in New York, Aug. 15, 1824, visited in succession the whole twenty-four States, and was everywhere received with demonstrations of love and respect. General Lafayette. (after a painting by Peale.) Between Washington and Lafayette there had grown up a strong mutual affection during their intercourse in the scenes of the old war for independence. When at the seat of government in October, 1824, while on his visit to the United States, the marquis was conducted to Mount Vernon by George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of Washington, with whom George W. Lafayette had lived in the mansion of the great patriot while Lafayette was an exile from France and in a prison. He was
tirling, and of which 800 men were commanded in a most brilliant manner by Conway, an Irishman, in the service of France. By separating that division from its two wings, and advancing through an open plain, in which they lost many men, the enemy united all his fire upon the centre: the confusion became extreme; and it was while M. de Lafayette was rallying the troops that a ball passed through his leg. At that moment all those remaining on the field gave way. M. de Lafayette was indebted to Gimat, his aide-de-camp, for the happiness of getting upon his horse. General Washington arrived from a distance with fresh troops. M. de Lafayette was preparing to join him, when loss of blood obliged him to stop and have his wound bandaged: he was even very near being taken. Fugitives, cannon, and baggage now crowded without order into the road leading to Chester. The general employed the remaining daylight in checking the enemy: some regiments behaved extremely well, but the disorder was co
the former lost sight of M. de Lafayette's vessel, when it fell in with two English frigates—and this is not the only time when the elements seemed bent on opposing M. de Lafayette, as if with the intention of saving him. After having encountered for seven weeks various perils and chances, he arrived at Georgetown, in Carolina. Ascending the river in a canoe, his foot touched at length the American soil; and he swore that he would conquer or perish in that cause. Landing at midnight at Major Huger's house, he found a vessel sailing for France, which appeared only waiting for his letters. Several of the officers landed, others remained on board, and all hastened to proceed to Charlestown. This beautiful city is worthy of its inhabitants; and everything there announced not only comfort, but even luxury. Without knowing much of M. de Lafayette, the Generals Howe. Moultrie, and Gulden received him with the utmost kindness and attention. The new works were shown him, and also t
around Philadelphia in the spring of 1778, Washington sent him out from Valley Forge, with about 2,100 men and five pieces of artillery, to cut off all communication between Philadelphia and the country, and to obtain information concerning a rumored intention of the British to evacuate that city. Lafayette crossed the Schuylkill, and took post at Barren Hill, about half-way between Valley Forge and Philadelphia, occupying the Lutheran church there as headquarters. General Howe sent General Grant to make a secret night march to gain the rear of the marquis (May 20), and the next morning Howe marched with about 6,000 men, commanded by Clinton and Knyphausen, to capture the young Frenchman and send him to England. The marquis outgeneralled the British, though they surprised him, and escaped across the Schuylkill. Howe was disappointed, for he was about to depart for England under a partial cloud of ministerial displeasure, and he hoped to close his career in America by some brill
created a dictator for six months, the general thought he ought to submit everything to the orders of Congress and to the deliberations of a council of war. After having advanced as far as Wilmington, the general had detached 1,000 men under Maxwell, the most ancient brigadier in the army. At the first march of the English, he was beaten by their advance-guard near Christiana Bridge. During that time the army took but an indifferent station at Newport. They then removed a little south, w was both confused and contradictory. Owing to the conformity of name between two roads that were of equal length and parallel to each other, the best officers were mistaken in their reports. The only musket-shots that had been fired were from Maxwell, who killed several of the enemy, but was driven back upon the left of the American army, across a ford by which he had before advanced. Three thousand militia had been added to the army, but they were placed in the rear to guard some still mor
emerged from the years of boyhood, and fresh from the walls of a college; fighting, a volunteer, at the side of Washington, bleeding, unconsciously to himself, and rallying his men to secure the retreat of the scattered American ranks? It is Gilbert Motier de Lafayette, the son of the victim of Minden; and he is bleeding in the cause of North American independence and of freedom. We pause one moment to inquire what was this cause of North American independence, and what were the motives tte took, as he and those who heard him then believed, a final leave of the people of the United States. He returned to France, and arrived at Paris on Jan. 25, 1785. Such, legislators of the North American Confederate Union, was the life of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette, and the record of his life is the delineation of his character. Consider him as one human being of 1,000,000,000, his contemporaries on the surface of the terraqueous globe. Among that 1,000,000,000 seek for an object of
erving to himself only the liberty of returning to Europe, if his family or his King should recall him. Neither his family nor his King were willing that he should depart; nor had Mr. Deane the power, either to conclude this contract, or to furnish the means of his conveyance to America. Difficulties rise up before him only to be dispersed, and obstacles thicken only to be surmounted. The day after the signing of the contract, Mr. Deane's agency was superseded by the arrival of Dr. Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee as his colleagues in commission; nor did they think themselves authorized to confirm his engagements. Lafayette is not to be discouraged. The commissioners extenuate nothing of the unpromising condition of their cause. Mr. Deane avows his inability to furnish him with a passage to the United States. The more desperate the cause, says Lafayette, the greater need has it of my services; and, if Mr. Deane has no vessel for my passage, I shall purchase one for myself, an
Revolution, and in the forms of policy which we have adopted for the establishment and perpetuation of our freedom, Lafayette found the most perfect form of government. He wished to add nothing to it. He would gladly have abstracted nothing from it. Instead of the imaginary republic of Plato, or the Utopia of Sir Thomas More, he took a practical existing model, in actual operation here, and never attempted or wished more than to apply it faithfully to his own country. It was not given to Moses to enter the promised land: but he saw it from the summit of Pisgah. It was not given to Lafayette to witness the consummation of his wishes in the establishment of a republic, and the extinction of all hereditary rule in France. His principles were in advance of the age and hemisphere in which he lived. A Bourbon still reigns on the throne of France, and it is not for us to scrutinize the title by which he reigns. The principles of elective and hereditary power, blended in reluctant uni
would have sided in sentiment with the royal cause. Lafayette was born a subject of the most absolute and most splendid monarchy of Europe: and in the highest rank of her proud and chivalrous nobility. He had been educated at the college of the University of Paris, founded by the royal munificence of Louis XIV., or Cardinal Richelieu. Left an orphan in early childhood, with the inheritance of a princely fortune, he had been married at sixteen years of age to a daughter of the house of Noailles, the most distinguished family of the kingdom, scarcely deemed in public consideration inferior to that which wore the crown. He came into active life, at the change from boy to man, a husband and a father, in the full enjoyment of everything that avarice could covet, with a certain prospect before him of all that ambition could crave. Happy in his domestic affections, incapable, from the benignity of his nature, of envy, hatred, or revenge, a life of ignoble ease and indolent repose seem
x to enter into a justification of his own conduct; and, in a declaration to M. de Fumel, he took upon himself all the consequences of his present evasion. As the Court did not deign to relax in its determination, he wrote to M. de Maurepas that that silence was a tacit consent, and his own departure took place soon after that joking despatch. After having set out on the road to Marseilles, he retraced his steps, and, disguised as a courier, he had almost escaped all danger, when, at Saint Jean de Luz, a young girl recognized him; but a sign from him silenced her, and her adroit fidelity turned away all suspicion. It was thus that M. de Lafayette rejoined his ship, April 26, 1777; and on that same day, after six months anxiety and labor, he set sail for the American continent. (1777.) As soon as M. de Lafayette had recovered from the effects of seasickness, he studied the language and trade he was adopting. A heavy ship, two bad cannon, and some guns could not have escaped fro
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