~ by James Still ~
Marquis de Lafayette served passionately during America’s Revolution. Along with Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette helped to obtain France’s involvement in our Revolution. Lafayette also helped secure a victory at Yorktown. During his final visit to America in 1824, Lafayette became the first foreign dignitary to address the U.S. House of Representatives. George Washington and Lafayette maintained a close relationship throughout their lives. Lafayette looked to Washington as a father and named his son George Washington Lafayette. Lafayette died in 1834 and was buried in Paris, France. Soil taken from Bunker Hill was sprinkled over his grave. Upon learning of Lafayette’s death, Congress ordered funeral honors similar to those given to Washington.
“RESOLUTION… on the occasion of the decease of General Lafayette… That the sacrifices and efforts of this illustrious person in the cause of our country during her struggle for independence, and the affectionate interest which he has at all times manifested for the success of her political institutions, claim from the Government and people of the United States an expression of condolence for his loss, veneration for his virtues, and gratitude for his services.
And be it further resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to address, together with a copy of the above resolutions, a letter to George Washington Lafayette and the other members of his family, assuring them of the condolence of this whole nation…
And be it further resolved, That the members of the two Houses of Congress will wear a badge of mourning for thirty days, and that it be recommended to the people of the United States to wear a similar badge for the same period… [And] That the halls of the Houses be dressed in mourning for the residue of the session.” Statutes at Large, Death of General Marquis de Lafayette, June 26, 1834
James Still (Oct 2017), RetraceOurSteps.com
“… to have received at every stage of the Revolution, and during forty years after that period, from the people of the United States… at home and abroad, continual marks of their confidence and kindness, has been the pride, the encouragement, the support of a long and eventful life.” Marquis de Lafayette, Response to John Adams, September 6, 1825
The resolution which so powerfully honors my father’s memory shall be deposited as a most sacred family property in that room of mourning where once his son and grandsons used to receive with avidity [passion] from him lessons of patriotism and active love of liberty… the affection and esteem of a free nation is the most desirable reward that can be obtained on earth.” George Washington Lafayette, Letter to Andrew Jackson, October 21, 1834
“… should we wander from [the Founding Principles]… let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801