Friday, November 16, 2007

Factoid of the day

Nobody talks much about Lafayette these days. I knew that he visited the United States in 1820-something and that he wept at the grave of Washington when he visited Mount Vernon. I never knew, though, that he named a son after his American companion-in-arms: George Washington Lafayette, son of Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was born in 1779. It's also news to me that Cornell houses a large collection of Lafayette family papers. I like the 19th-century biographical excerpts found here. It says that Lafayette, accompanied by his son, George Washington Lafayette, visited all 24 states in 1824 and 1825, starting in New York. I'd like to know all the cities visited. I think I read that a river steamboat on which he was sailing or was to sail exploded, as they had a way of doing. There's been a celebration marking the 250th anniversay of Lafayette's birth, but, as with the Longfellow celebration, not much attention has been paid to it. I've bookmarked this jumping-off place.


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