Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 How the little marquis began...
 Where the young aristocrat heard...
 Why the marquis ran away to...
 How Lafayette landed in Americ...
 How the marquis conquered...
 How he won the Commander-in-Ch...
 How he fought for liberty...
 How "that boy" served the Earl
 How he came to America for the...
 How he tried to make an America...
 How he fell from the frying-pan...
 Why he came to America for the...
 How he returned to France...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Children's lives of great men
Title: The true story of Lafayette
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088931/00001
 Material Information
Title: The true story of Lafayette called the friend of America
Series Title: Children's lives of great men
Physical Description: 260, 4 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brooks, Elbridge Streeter, 1846-1902
Searles, Victor A ( Illustrator )
Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1899?
Subject: Generals -- Juvenile fiction -- France   ( lcsh )
Statesmen -- Juvenile fiction -- France   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Battles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Liberty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- France   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Biographical fiction -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
Biographical fiction   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by Elbridge S. Brooks ; illustrated by Victor A. Searles.
General Note: Pictorial front cover and spine.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088931
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222897
notis - ALG3143
oclc - 02133180
lccn - 99004374

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Title Page
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    How the little marquis began life
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Where the young aristocrat heard of independence
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Why the marquis ran away to sea
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    How Lafayette landed in America
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    How the marquis conquered Congress
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    How he won the Commander-in-Chief
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    How he fought for liberty in America
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    How "that boy" served the Earl
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    How he came to America for the third time
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
    How he tried to make an America of France
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
    How he fell from the frying-pan into the fire
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
    Why he came to America for the fourth time
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    How he returned to France and fame
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
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        Page 253
        Page 254
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        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
    Back Cover
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
Full Text

* AI
U *
:* am

.4 .v.


See page 145


" He dased into action, leading the cavalry in a desperate charge."













Al rights reserved.


IN a series devoted to telling the true stories of great Americans or of
those whose lives had a direct bearing upon the splendid story of the United
States of America, no man has better right to a place than the Marquis de
Lafayette, the young and gallant Frenchman whose love for liberty led to
a love for America that outlasted even the romantic story of the way in
which he fought for her independence. For the whole life of Lafayette was
a long struggle for constitutional liberty, the freedom he had seen America
secure and which he so ardently desired for France.
Had it not been for Lafayette, American independence would not have
been so speedily secured; had it not been for America, the liberation of
France from her long bondage in tyranny would scarcely have come so soon.
Thus Lafayette and America are inseparably connected, and it is most fitting
that, in a series devoted to the makers and defenders of America, Lafayette,
as the Friend of America, should have an honored place.
But this book aims to do more. At a time when interest in Lafayette has
been revived by the erection of a monument to his memory in the Paris he
loved so well, by the boys and girls of the America he helped to make great,
it seeks to show how his entire life was devoted to the cause of freedom
and the glory of France, and to tell, in the whole story of his eventful life,
what one man has done for the progress of humanity and the bettering of
the world. If, from these pages, young Americans may learn not only to
revere the memory of the noble Frenchman, but to learn lessons of per-
sistence, fidelity, unshaken loyalty to conviction, to truth, to honor, and to
manly endeavor, then the story of Lafayette will not have been retold in
vain, and Americans may learn anew to honor, respect, and remember him, as
not only the friend of America, but the benefactor of his race.
E. S. B.















S 46





















S 200




Lafayette at Monmouth Frontispiece
The boy Lafayette Page 13
At Hastenbeck 15
The Cliteau of Chavaniac 18
A French boy of quality in Lafayette's school-days 21
"The duke thought it over and suggested a compromise" 25
A French wedding in Lafayette's day 28
" The American peasants" who stood at Lexington and Concord 39
Lafayette and the Duke of Gloucester 43
"' Wake up I'm going to America'". 45
"'If that is so, I will go with you' 45
Lafayette secretly calls upon the American agent 48
"' It is a crazy scheme !' cried the count" 50
Lafayette and the American agents 57
Windsor Palace 59
"He galloped back to Bordeaux" 62
"The inn-keeper's daughter said never a word" 64
Lafayette and the captain 68
Lafayette off the Carolina coast 73
Where Lafayette landed in America 77
Lafayette's welcome to America 83
Singing for Lafayette 88
The Marquis de Lafayette 90
"A great and capable commander" 93
The president of Congress 98
" At the door of the Congress oo
Bartholdi's statue of Lafayette 103
Lafayette and the Congressman 105
Alexander Hamilton IIo
Aaron Burr .
Lafayette meets Washington 14
Where Lafayette joined the army 117


The monument on Brandywine Battle-field
Lafayette at Brandywine .
The Old Sun Inn of Bethlehem .
The best foreign officers who served in the American Revolution
Gen. Nathaniel Greene, of Rhode Island
Lafayette and the Cabal .
Lafayette's headquarters at Valley Forge
New York City and Harbor .
"Lafayette bade good-bye to Washington" .
Where Lafayette fought death .
Lafayette home again" .
Lafayette's naval aid .
The old mill at Newport .
Lafayette and Mrs. Arnold .
Lafayette's antagonist .
Where Washington joined Lafayette .
The Count de Rochambeau .
Lafayette writing to Washington .
Lafayette in 1784 .
Mount Vernon, the home of Washington
Pohick Church, near Mount Vernon .
Thomas Jefferson .
One of France's holidays .
Napoleon Bonaparte .
The Austrian prison of Lafayette .
The wife of Lafayette .
The escape from Olmutz .
Lafayette surprised in prison .
Madame Lafayette and Napoleon .
Lafayette mourning for his wife .
The home of Lafayette's old age .
The invitation from America .
The Lafayettes at the tomb of Washington .
Lafayette in America .
Lafayette's farewell to America .
General Lafayette, commander-in-chief of the forces of France
Lafayette and the Duke of Orleans .
One of the last portraits of Lafayette .
In the national capital .

Page 121
S 55
S 63
S 78
S 87






A LL boys and girls like stories of adventure. Let me
tell you a true story, as crammed with adventure as
" Robinson Crusoe," as crowded with fighting as Ivanhoe,"
as full of noble deeds as Westward Ho!"
It is not the story of an American; and yet few names
have been more honored by America; it is not the story of
a great man, as Washington and Lincoln, Franklin and
Grant were great; and yet the service he rendered to America
has placed his name among the great ones of the earth.
It is the story of a brave, romantic, generous, noble-
hearted and devoted man, who reverenced liberty although
born an aristocrat; fought for it through nearly sixty years,
although he detested war, and, through those sixty years,
labored for his country's good even against his country's


will; who risked his life for the liberties of America, and
narrowly escaped death in establishing the liberties of his
native land.
He began life as an historic boy; he closed it an
historic man, revered by all lovers of liberty the world over,
disliked only by those who hated liberty and feared the people.
No man suffered more at the hands of those he wished to
benefit; no man was more beloved by those who spurned
his benefits. Idolized one day, imprisoned the next, but
always a patriot, and always cheerful and brave, he builded
even better than he knew, and wrought his name and his
deeds into the destinies and progress of two nations, and died
the friend and deliverer of both.
Listen, then, to the story of Lafayette.

Upon one of the green hill-slopes of the mountains of
Auvergne, in what is now known as the department or county
of Upper Loire (Haute-Loire it is, in French) but what was
long called the province of Auvergne, in Southern France, there
stands to-day, as there has stood for nearly six hundred years,
a great fortified country mansion or manor-house, known as the
Chateau of Chavaniac. Grim and gray this old country man-
sion, half castle and half farmhouse, with its odd little towers,
mossy walls, and loop-holed terraces, looks off upon the valley
of the Allier and the rugged Auvergne mountains, an old-
time home among the hills, in the healthiest and most inde-
pendent portion of old France.


In this ancient
castle there was born ,
on the sixth of Sep-
tember, in the year :
1757, a small baby
boy, not particularly
attractive in face, or
especially promising in m'
form. But he was
born a marquis of
France; and in the
parish register of the '
little church of Cha-
vaniac, where he was
baptized, you may read
the name they gave .
this little French baby
boy, a name almost

that, in that little .
church, was baptized
on the seventh day of .

very noble and very
powerful gentleman He wet roang thefores,swordin handto killthe great gray wolf.


Monseigneur Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert Dumotier
de Lafayette, the lawful son ,of the very noble and very
powerful gentleman Monseigneur Michel-Louis-Christophle-
Roch-Gilbert Dumotier, Marquis de Lafayette, Baron de
Vissac, Seigneur de Saint-Romain and other places, and of
the very noble and very powerful lady Madame Marie-
Louise-Julie Delareviere."
Those were a good many names and a good many titles
for a small baby to stagger under, were they not? But in
France, as in all nations where old families and old estates
become jumbled together under the workings of what is called
the law of succession, the representative of several old and
noble lines, as was Lafayette, often mingled his connec-
tions in his name. But the real name of this very
small boy, stripped of all its additions, was simply Gilbert
This old family name of Motier ran away back to before
the year 1ooo. But when, about that time, one of the Motiers
became possessed of a little farm called Villa Faya, or
Fayetteville, he tacked this estate on his name and became
Motier of La Fayette; then as other lines of the family
sprang up, possessed property, died out, and left their lands
and titles to the remaining branch, these names were added
to the main one, until the baby boy and heir of the estates,
born in 1757, had to bear them all, Gilbert and Roch and
Christophle and all the rest with his mother's name of Marie,
and his father's titles of marquis and baron and seigneur (or


lord). For, though only a baby, he was, by law, born a
marquis of France.
The reason for this was that six weeks before this little
French boy was born in the gray old castle among the
Auvergne mountains, his father, Colonel the Marquis de La

" His faker, Colonel the Marquis de La Fayette, fell dead while charging an English battery."

Fayette, fell dead at the head of his regiment of the Grena-
diers of France, while charging an English battery in the
battle of Hastenbeck, -one of the engagements in what
is known in history as the Seven Years' War; in America
we are familiar with the same conflict as it was waged in


this country under the general title of the French and Indian
War, the war that made George Washington .a successful
soldier, and made all America English by the conquest
of Canada.
Without any father when he was born, this little French
baby, by the law of the land, succeeded to his father's titles
and estates. He was Marquis of Lafayette, Baron of Vissac,
and Lord of Saint-Romain, old castles, now in ruins, and
perched higher up among the Auvergne mountains than is
the manor-house of Chavaniac.
But though marquis, baron, and lord, this little Lafayette
baby was not born to, great wealth. He was, in fact, what
we call "land poor." His mountain farms were extensive
but not very productive; it had cost a large sum to send and
keep his grandfather and father at the never-ending wars
that, for generations, had swept over Europe, and as there
was now no one in the family to hold high positions and draw
good salaries at the king's court, the Lafayettes of Chavaniac
were, in 1757, what would be called high-born but poor."
Still they were strong and sturdy people, those mountain
folks of Auvergne; and the baby marquis, the last and only
remaining boy to represent the dignities and titles of the old
and noble family whose name he bore, was brought up by
his mother, his grandmother, and his aunts in the healthy,
inspiring, frugal, and liberty-loving atmosphere of the Au-
vergne hills.
Country life and ways do not always develop the graces,


and a boy who is brought up entirely by and among women
is apt to be diffident and shy. So the Lafayette boy of the
Chavaniac forests was by no means the model of beauty and
grace we have been accustomed to consider him. He was
a long-limbed, lean, lanky little chap with a hook-nose, red
hair, and a retreating forehead, while he was so shy as to be
almost ungainly and so quiet as to be almost awkward. But
his eye was bright and sharp, his look, when interested, was
firm and high, and beneath his unattractive exterior lay an
intelligence that was making the boy a thinker, and a heart
that was stirring up high ideals of right and justice, there
among the fields and forests, the birds and beasts of his
mountain estates....
The birds and the beasts seemed for a time his only play-
mates. His mother had scarcely money enough to go to
Paris andkeep up a grand city house, as was then the. cus-
tom with most of the lordly families of France; -so the lad
grew up in the country, learning the habits of the farm and
forest animals rather than of the court; ignorant of the fine,
though often false manners of the gay society of Paris and
Versailles, save as his good mother instructed him in polite-
ness, good breeding, gentle and chivalrous ways, while his
sturdy grandmother saw that he was -alike manly and brave,
strong-limbed and stout-hearted, valiant and vigorous, as
became the small son and last scion of a great race, whose
men had been knights and warriors from the far-off days
of the CruSades.


Indeed, the desire to do some "high emprise and deed
of derring-do," learned from the old tales his grandmother
told him, burned in the heart of this boy of eight when,
sword in hand and eye alert, he went roaming the forests

"In this ancient castle was born Lafayette, a marquis of France, September 6, 7J7?.

about Chavaniac in search of the great gray wolf which, so
" his people" reported, had been breaking into sheepfolds
and destroying the peace of mind of the farmers and cot-
tagers around the manor-house. We do not read that he
really killed that wolf, or even found the monster, but, in a


way, it was a prophetic sign; for, later, he was to go forth
sword in hand and eye alert, to hunt out and attack a greater
and more ravaging wolf, far across the vast western sea
that this home-staying boy had never seen.
He could not be a home-staying boy many years, how-
ever. As the last representative of a noble house, it was his
duty as a Frenchman of high estate to prepare himself to
meet the obligations of his rank. Although the family was
short of cash, they had rich and influential relations, and so,
when he was eleven years old, it was decided by the family
that he should leave his quiet castle home at Chavaniac, and
go up to Paris to begin his education as a gentleman.
He was sent to a sort of private school for young gentle-
men, -the boys of the French four hundred." It was
called the College du Plessis, and there the boy was taught
to express himself elegantly, handle his sword gracefully,
dance delightfully, and offer his arm to a lady as gallantly as
he could pick up her fan. It was hardly the school familiar
to the boys and girls of to-day, who probably know more of real
things and how to study about them than did even the school
teachers at the College du Plessis in young Lafayette's day.
But there was that in young Lafayette that helped him to
educate and develop himself, in spite of the false instruction
of his time; while the devotion of his lady mother aided and
strengthened him; for, at much sacrifice, she gave up her
quiet home in the country, and, with the aid of her rich rela-
tions, obtained recognition at court and a place in society, so


that she might help her son to enter the most aristocratic
circles of France.
The boy had a rich uncle, too, or, rather, it was his
mother's uncle,--who, because all the Lafayettes had been
soldiers, put himself out to get the name of his grandnephew
entered, early in life, on the waiting list" of one of the crack
regiments of France. This regiment was called The Black
Musketeers," and many a day did young Lafayette get
" excused "from school to run off and see a review of my
regiment," as he would call it; for, of course, he felt very
proud to be on its roll of cadets.
Under these influences and opportunities the awkward
country boy became easier in his manners and more grace-
ful in his motions; but he was still shy and silent; he dis-
liked dancing and society ways; he thought a good deal
about things; he was old for his years both in his talk and
ways, and he was so practical that even when he undertook
the task that all boys attempt, a school composition on the
horse,- he dwelt especially on the fact that if you try to
make a horse do too many things perfectly the horse will
grow restless and throw you, a lesson of which Lafayette
himself had practical experience, later, when in the days
of the restless French Revolution he tried to train the people
to be guided by his rein rather than their will -and was
"thrown" again and again.
Just as he had got into his "teens," in the year I770, a
sad thing happened. Both his good mother, who was so


watchful of his future, and his rich grand-uncle, who had
taken so great an interest in the young Lafayette because

.'~~ n:l1N-~


he was the son of this old noble's favorite niece, and a prom-
ising boy as well, died in Paris.


The boy felt sad and lonely enough. He was now quite
alone in the world; his nearest relative was his grandmother
in the old castle at home; alike his dearest friend and his
strongest protector had been taken from him.
Even in his death, however, this high-placed protector of
his youth had remembered him. For the count, the uncle
of Lafayette, left by his will all his fortune and estate to this
small boy of thirteen. Thus from being a poor and proud
young nobleman, Lafayette now became a very rich and power-
ful young nobleman. At once every match-making mother
and father in France who wished to "arrange a fine mar-
riage for their daughter laid siege to the young Marquis de
Lafayette, much to the disgust of this quiet, society-hating
boy, who, like many boys just in their "teens," had a supreme
contempt for all girls.
Matters were conducted differently in the France of
Lafayette's day than in our America of to-day. Very early
in their children's lives fathers and mothers were preparing
to marry off" their sons and daughters to the best financial
and social advantage. Even when they were babies, boys
and girls were sometimes betrothed," engaged, as we
would say to-day,- although the poor babies themselves had
nothing to say in the matter, and had no especial interest
in the plans arranged for them.
So the relatives and guardians of the young marquis-
a rich young marquis, .now began to look about for some
suitable match for the boy, lest he should be made the prey


of fortune-hunters, little knowing the boy's ability to look out
for himself, and to think for himself as well.
They selected one of the five daughters of the Duke
d'Ayen, a noble and wealthy peer of the realm, marshal of the
camp of the armies of the king, and a very persistent and
determined gentleman, when once he made up his mind to
have his own way.
In this case the proposal of the guardians of the young
Marquis de Lafayette to make the boy his son-in-law was
precisely in the duke's way; and at once he communicated the
proposal to his wife, and declared that the one selected to be
the Marchioness de Lafayette was their second daughter,
Mademoiselle Marie-Adrienne-Francoise de Noailles, a girl of
twelve,_ good, pretty, amiable, and in every way a delightful
But Adrienne's mother, the Duchess d'Ayen, was quite
as strong a character, in her way, as was her husband the
duke. When she learned who was this son-in-law that her
husband had selected for their second daughter, she objected
at once.
It is too great a risk to run for Adrienne," she declared.
"The Marquis de Lafayette is very young, very rich, and
very wilful. He seems to be a good boy, so far as his stand-
ing at school and his conduct in society are concerned; but
with no one to guide him, no one to look after his fortune
and hold him back from extravagance and foolishness, with-
out a near relative, and with his character as yet unformed


and uncertain, our daughter's marriage to him is out of the
question, and I will not agree to it."
Her husband declared that she must, and she repeated
that she would not; the discussion, of which, by the way,
neither the boy nor the girl most interested had the slightest
idea, continued until this husband and wife, who had always
loved each other dearly, actually quarrelled and almost
separated because of it. But the duke thought it over and
at last gave in so far as to suggest as a compromise that the
marriage should not take place for two years, that Adrienne
should not leave her mother for at least three years, and that,
meantime, he, the duke, would himself look after the education
and advancement of the young marquis, so as to make him
in every way a proper and suitable husband for their daughter.
The duchess thought it over also, and at last she, too,
agreed to the compromise.
If the boy is brought up in our home where I can see.
and study him," she declared, I will agree. Then, having
taken all precautions, and having no negligence wherewith to
reproach ourselves, we need do nothing but peacefully submit
to the will of God, who knows best what is fitting for us."
So it was decided, and so it was arranged. The boy and
girl were allowed to meet without knowing what were the
family intentions in regard to them, and, very fortunately,
they liked one another at once, and so much that when at
last their future was disclosed to them by their guardians,
they were both delighted, and began to build bright air-castles,



in true boy and girl style, of what they would do for the hap-
piness of the world when they were old enough to use their
own money and estate.
Lafayette was fourteen and Adrienne was twelve when
their engagement was made public; rather young, we should
say, according to our American standards; but customs vary
as much as do tongues and times, and all France declared it
was an excellent match.
Even the duchess, who objected, said so too, in time.
For when Adrienne's mother came really to know this quiet
and rather awkward young marquis, she loved him as dearly
and cared for him as tenderly as if he were her own son; and
then she and the duke made it all up again."
The duke kept his promise. He took the boy in hand,
had him live in his own home, the stately, old-time Noailles
mansion in the heart of Paris, and sent him in time to
the Academy of Versailles where young noblemen were
educated in military duties, until at last the boy mar-
quis secured his commission and became an officer in the
king's own regiment of the Black Musketeers, upon whose
very exclusive roll of cadets his good grand-uncle had entered
his name.
While this military education was going on, Lafayette and
Adrienne d'Ayen were married. Their wedding day was the
eleventh of April, 1774 ; the young bridegroom was but sixteen,
the bride was fourteen; it was a boy and girl marriage, and,
indeed, for a year or more the young people were both kept


at the Noailles mansion, under the guardianship of the duke
and duchess. But it was one of the happiest of marriages,
and for thirty-four years they lived together as husband and
wife. Thirty-four years of union," so wrote Lafayette after
Adrienne's death in 1807, "in which the love and the eleva-


tion, the delicacy and the generosity of her soul, charmed,
adorned, and honored my days, and in which I was so much
accustomed to all that she was to me that I did not distin-
guish her from my own existence."
That was a beautiful tribute to his girl-wife, was it not?
Madame Adrienne de Lafayette seems to have been as rare


and beautiful and noble a woman as he was excellent, pure-
hearted, and noble a man.
In 1775 the young couple set up housekeeping for them-
selves. They had a house in Paris, and their country estate
was the old castle at Chavaniac; they had gay surroundings,
and were of the "inner circle," with princes and princesses
and all the young lords and ladies of that bright and careless
court at Versailles as their associates.
But Lafayette did not take kindly to all this show and
glitter. "The awkwardness of my manners," he says,
"never could properly adjust themselves to the required
graces of the court." The balls and theatrical shows, the
dances and suppers, and all the extravagant entertainments
of the young queen Marie Antoinette, were not to his liking,
although you would naturally expect them to be most attrac-
tive to a boy of seventeen.
It was the fashion just then among the younger courtiers
and aristocrats of France, to talk much of liberty and the
rights of man. It came from the teaching of certain up-to-
date philosophers and students of society, who, in the last
quarter of the eighteenth century, influenced the aristocratic
classes of France and made them liberty-lovers, although
they were the ruling spirits in a nation where there was very
little liberty, and where any man not a noble had scarcely
any rights. It was, after all, mostly talk, however; but to
the young Lafayette, brought up in sturdy independence,
in the free air of the rugged Auvergne hills, it proved some-


thing more than talk. He learned to believe in and desire
liberty and freedom for the people; he thought it would be a
fine thing if there were less of suffering and wrong among
the poor, and more of helpfulness and generosity among the
rich. He and his young wife, as I have told you, had
beautiful dreams of what they would do to make the world
better; they were only dreams, to be sure, but, because of
them and of his retiring disposition, the young marquis did
not take kindly to the stiff ceremonials and foolish fripperies
of the court, where so much was show without sense and
affectation without affection.
He even joined some of the young nobles, in making
sport of the older ones and in poking fun at all their stiff
and starched ways; one day he, with the princes and young
lords of the court, got up a mock parliament which they
played before the gay young queen, Marie Antoinette, just
to make fun of the real parliament then in session at
Versailles. It came very near getting Lafayette and the
young nobles in trouble; for though even the young king,
Louis XVI., had to laugh over it, he was forced also, out
of respect to his "grave and revered seigneurs" to "call
down" and reprimand those who lad taken part in the
"take-off." And in the midst of all the fuss and fume over
the affair, Lafayette, who was heartily sick of it all, was
glad enough to be ordered, as a sort of punishment, to join
his regiment at Strasburg.
But under all this sport and caricature in which the


young and thoughtless nobles joined there was with a few,
and especially with Lafayette, much serious and earnest
thought over the condition of the world. He shared the
growing desire that seemed in the air for real liberty and
the end of sham and of the meaningless ceremonies that
bolstered up royalty; so, although he could not tell precisely
how liberty was to come to France or when it was to come,
he still dreamed about it, and, like the clear-headed, pure-
hearted, sensible, and manly boy he was,' hoped for the
dawning of the day that should bring men nearer together
as brothers and fellow workers, and give to all, in some way
and to some extent, the boon and blessing of freedom.




LAFAYETTE'S father-in-law, the Duke d'Ayen, always
felt himself so responsible for the doings of his daugh-
ter's husband that he was greatly displeased over this con-
duct of his son-in-law, in mimicking the manners of the high
and ceremonious nobles of the court. The duke greatly
liked Lafayette, although he could not understand him or
fathom his thoughts. He was afraid the boy was growing
indifferent, careless, and indolent, and he begged young
Count Segur, Lafayette's especial friend and cousin, to rouse
the young marquis, and stir him up to more enthusiasm.
Indifferent! indolent!" cried the young count, with a
laugh. Faith! my dear marshal, you do not yet know our
Lafayette. He has altogether too much enthusiasm. Why,
only yesterday he almost insisted on my fighting a duel with
him because I did not agree with him in a matter of which
I knew nothing, and of which he thought I should know
everything. He is anything but indifferent and indolent, I
can assure you."
If that were the case, and he really had misunderstood
his young son-in-law, the Duke d'Ayen decided that he must


put the lad's talents to the highest use. To a noble of
France, the "highest use for a man of rank meant faithful
and continued attendance at court; so the duke planned and
worked to have Lafayette attached in some official capac-
ity to the personal suite or following of one of the scapegrace
young princes of France, the Count, of Provence, brother
of King Louis XVI.
But if you have read the story of Lafayette aright, even
thus far, you have discovered that he was not the kind of a
boy to curry favor with princes or follow like a lackey in
a noble's train. Already, his vague search after liberty for
man was making him detest anything like toadying and
favoritism, and leading him to dislike titles and distinctions
of rank. He listened eagerly to anything he heard concern-
ing men who, in any land, were awaking to a desire for
I was delighted with republican stories," he says of
himself at that time, and when my relatives secured a place
for me at court I did not hesitate to give offence in order to
maintain my independence."
Probably if the Count of Provence, in whose train the
young marquis was to be provided with a place, had been
an older man Lafayette would not have given offence in
just the way he did; for Lafayette was always a gentleman,
and had been brought up to respect his elders. But this
young prince, the brother of the king of France, was
scarcely two years older than Lafayette, and felt his impor-


tance tremendously. Any boy of spirit and independence
dislikes such airs, and the young marquis felt that he was
just as much of a boy and had just as much of right and
interest in the world as had this haughty young Count of
Provence king's brother though he were.
So, when the duke, his father-in-law, managed to get the
young marquis to Paris and told him what he was trying to
arrange, Lafayette, as he confesses, actually put himself out
to give offence to the prince and to break up the proposed
scheme for his objectionable advancement."
At one of the gay masked balls given at the court, Lafay-
ette took pains to hunt out the Count of Provence, who was
to be his patron." Then, actually cornering him, he reeled
off the greatest lot of talk about liberty and equality and the
rights of man that he could think up, more of it, perhaps,
and much more radical and emphatic in statement than
Lafayette himself really believed. He was just "piling it
on," you see, in order to make the young prince angry and
disgusted. with him.
He certainly succeeded. The king's brother tried to pro-
test, but he could scarcely "get a word in edgewise;" the
usually silent and reserved young marquis grew more and
more eloquent and objectionable.
Sir," said the boy prince, lifting his mask, I shall remem-
ber this interview."
"Sir," replied the boy marquis, lifting his mask and bowing
politely, but significantly; memory is the wisdom of fools."


With an indignant gesture the prince turned hotly on his
heel, and the young marquis was in disgrace. And you shall
see, as you get deeper into the story of Lafayette, how the
angry Count of Provence really did "remember" the inter-
The well-meaning father-in-law of the young marquis was
again terribly scandalized. The thought that this young man
had not only recklessly refused so fine an opportunity, but
had gone out of his way to anger those to whom he should
have toadied, was something the good, but old-fashioned
Duke d'Ayen could not understand.
The Duke found fault with the boy openly and strongly.
But Lafayette had accomplished what he desired, and he was
so independent as regarded rank and riches that he could
afford to do about as he pleased; so, though his family
"complained," he said little or nothing in reply.
His reluctance to talk," one of his youthful associates
said, in later years, and his chilly, serious manner, were
always remarkable, but never as much so as in his youth,
when they contrasted strangely with the petulant brilliance
of his companions."
That sounds oddly to Americans, does it not? For we
have always thought of Lafayette as bright, impetuous, talk-
ative and fascinating, something entirely different from the
silent, serious, "chilly young man this picture seems to
make him. We know, however, what high ideals were fighting
the injustice of the world in this boy's thoughtful nature;


and his companions and relations simply did not under-
stand him. But Madame Adrienne, his bright young wife,
did understand him better than the rest of her family; and,
as she loved him, so, too, she sympathized with him, even
though she did not really always agree with him.
But the Duke d'Ayen, in great distress, had the young
marquis despatched to his regiment, sorrowfully giving up that
brilliant plan for advancement at court. And, in August,
1775, Lafayette was transferred from the Black Musketeers,
in which he held a commission, to another command. He
was made an officer in the "regiment de Noailles," as it
was called, one of the high-toned regiments of France, com-
manded by an equally high-toned young colonel, Monsei-
gneur the Prince de Poix, a cousin of Lafayette's wife, and
one of the lofty De Noailles family for whom the regiment
was named, as has long been the custom in certain armies of
certain European countries.
The "regiment de Noailles" was stationed at Metz, at
that time a garrison city of France, and nearly two hun-
dred miles east of Paris. The military governor or com-
mander of Metz was the Count de Broglie, marshal and
prince of France and commander of the French armies in
the Seven Years' War, in which, at that fatal battle of
Hastenbeck, as I have told you, Lafayette's father, the
colonel, had been killed by English guns.
The Count de Broglie had a high regard for the son
of his old friend and companion in arms, and made much of


Lafayette when his regiment was stationed at Metz. He
invited the young marquis to his feasts and entertainments,
of which there were many in the gay garrison towns of that
show-time in France.
In those years France and England were, for a wonder,
at peace, and so it came about that, on the eighth of
August, 1775, when the Count de Broglie gave a garrison
dinner-party to a young English prince, the Duke of
Gloucester, the Marquis de Lafayette in his handsome dress
uniform of blue and silver was one of the guests at the
table. But even these "functions" were not to his taste,
and he sat silent and thoughtful, while the other young
officers were boisterous, laughing, and talkative, through the
courses of this long swell" banquet given by a prince of
France to a prince of England.
Now this prince of England, William, Duke of Glouces-
ter, was in temporary disgrace with his brother, George, the
king of England, because he had the audacity to marry
a wife to whom the king objected. So the duke and his
wife had been sent out of England on a sort of enforced
vacation, and, as a result, the duke was not in a very loving
mood toward his brother the king. Indeed the duke was
so foolish as to criticise the king and even to make fun of
him in the house of his hereditary foes. For France,
although, as I have told you, at peace just then with
England, had been her bitter foe ever since the days of
Crecy and Poitiers, and, especially, from that disastrous


September day in 1759 when, on the Heights of Abra-
ham, Wolfe had defeated Montcalm and driven the French
power from America.
In that very year of 1775 in which the Duke of
Gloucester dined with the French Commandant at Metz,
news had come to England of the breaking out of a
rebellion in America, which had led to a fight between
American "peasants" and British soldiers at a place called
Lexington in the colony of Massachusetts Bay. The duke
had received letters from England in which had been told
the story of the determined stand of the American "peas-
ants at Lexington and Concord, for to aristocratic Europe
those Middlesex farmers and fishermen were simply "peas-
ants," men of the lower orders who needed the strong hand
to put them down. The duke had also been told of the
long and disastrous retreat of Lord Percy and his troops
through a now historic country, from Lexington back to
Boston. This seemed such a good joke on his stubborn
brother, the king, that he told it with great gusto. So, as,
in the company of the French officers around the Duke
de Broglie's dinner-table, he told the story of the uprising "
in America and how also in that same Boston town, a year
or so before, the "rebel townspeople" rather than pay the
king's tax on tea had thrown the tea into the harbor, the
company was highly entertained by the recital, and ques-
tioned the duke as to who these rebel "peasants" were
and why they were in rebellion.



-IIII __ 111 --


The Duke of Gloucester, as I have told you, was just
then "out" with the king his brother; it has even been
charged that he sided with the rebel Americans against King
George III. and his councillors, as did many justice-loving
Englishmen. So he explained to his French hosts the cause
of the quarrel between king and colonists that is, so far
as he knew it; there were very, very few of the lords and
gentlemen of England in that day who really did understand
the American question; but the Duke of Gloucester did say
that, though the "peasants" of America were a plucky lot,
still, as all the "gentlemen" of the colonies seemed to be
loyal to the king, the peasants had no chance of success
unless, by some chance, leaders and officers of experience
turned in and helped them.
They are poor, they are ill led, they have no gentlemen-
soldiers to show them how to fight," the duke declared, "and
the king my brother is determined to bring them into sub-
jection by harsh and forcible methods, if need be. But my
letters say that the Americans seem set upon opposing force
with force, and, as the country is large and the colonies
scattered, it certainly looks as if the trouble would be long
and serious. If but the Americans were well led, I should
say the rebellion might really develop into a serious affair."
In a way, most of the French officers at that military
banquet involuntarily sympathized with the American
"peasants," of whose struggle for justice and independence
they were, most of them, hearing for the first time. With


some of them this sympathy was due to that interest in
liberty which just then was the fancy, almost the "fad,"
among a certain class of French aristocrats; to all of them,
however, it was especially due to the hatred for England
that underlay French enthusiasm and action- the desire
to "get square with" the nation that had worsted and
humbled France, alike in war and in politics.
But while at that table there were interested but indif-
ferent listeners, there was one who, as he listened to the
Duke of Gloucester, felt what the old Puritans used to call
" an inward light." His sharp-featured, unattractive face
fairly glowed with enthusiasm; his eyes sparkled with an
intensity of interest and purpose; he leaned far forward,
serious and silent, amid his talkative companions, as he
strove to lose no word of the imperfect French of the Eng-
lish prince; then, as the company rose from the table, this
red-haired, awkward boy of eighteen crossed over to the
prince, and, repressing his real earnestness, inquired anx-
iously, "But could one help these peasants over there
beyond the seas, monseigneur ?"
"One could, my lord marquis, if he were there," the
prince replied.
"Then tell me, I pray you, how one may do it, monsei-
gneur," said the young man; "tell me how to set about it.
For see, I will join these Americans; I will help them fight
for freedom!"
The duke looked into the face of this calm, cool, appar-


ently unenthusiastic young noble, now aroused to interest
and ardor. He smiled at first in a sort of disbelief. But,
as he caught the gleam of the boy's eye, and saw the con-
viction that lived in the earnest face, he said: "Why, I
believe you would, my lord.
It wouldn't take much to
start you across the sea, -
if your people would let
If his people would let
him? Who would try to
stop him? Lafayette asked
himself. He had been so
accustomed to having his
own way that such a thing
as any one interfering with
his plans seemed to him
absurd. Besides, the high
resolve that he had made
allowed no question of in-
terference. That purpose "'coud,, one ,elfese peasants nionseigneu'"
put from his mind every
other thought except his instant decision. Quick and impul-
sive, for all his silent ways and seeming indifference, in that
moment the Marquis de Lafayette had made up his mind.
He would go to America; he would offer his services to
a people who were struggling for freedom and independence.


His inborn love of liberty; his dislike for courts and their
stupid ceremonials, for kingly tyrannies and the fetters they
put upon the wills and ways of men; his dream of doing
something that should make the world happier and better, -
dreams which, as you know, he had shared with his young
wife Adrienne; above all, his desire for action, his wish to
be somebody, to do something besides hanging about the
court, or waiting upon the pleasure or caprices of a king, -
these, all, combined to urge him to instant action. He
questioned the Duke of Gloucester closely; he got all the
"points" possible. The only question was how to get to
America. For, as you can see, he was enlisted, heart and
soul, in the cause of American independence. Never," he
said, in after years, recalling his boyish impulse and that
sudden decision; never had so noble a purpose offered itself
to the judgment of men. This was the last struggle of
liberty; the defeat in America would have left it without
refuge and without hope."
Within a month the Duke of Gloucester had returned to
England and to the favor of his kingly brother, probably
giving no further thought to the earnest young Frenchman
who had questioned him so closely at Metz. But before
that month was out the Marquis de Lafayette had already
gone still deeper into the plan which the careless words
of the English prince had set in motion in his youthful
From that hour," he declared, I could think of nothing


but this enterprise, and I resolved to go to Paris at o
make further inquiries."
He hurried off to Paris, full of
his plans. His determination grew
with his desire, and as soon as he
reached town, he rushed to find
his cousin and close confidant,
the young Count de Segur.
It was only
seven o'clock in
the morning, and
the young count
was not yet up.
But Lafayette
burst into his
cousin's room.
He was no
longer listless,
silent, or indif-
"Wake up!
'.'WAKE UP! I'M GOING wake up!" he
called out to
the surprised count. "Wake up! :
I'm going to America to fight ,..IF THAT IS SO, I W
for freedom. Nobody knows it
yet; but I love you too much not to tell you."

nce to



And the Count de Segur, fired by his cousin's earnestness,
and thrilled with his inspiring news, sprang out of bed and
caught Lafayette's outstretched hand.
If that is so, I will go with you," he cried. I will go to
America, too. I will fight with you for freedom! How soon
do you start ?"



T HE two impulsive boys, who, fired by a generous pur-
pose, thus pledged themselves to fight for the liberties
of America at seven o'clock in the morning, straightway
after breakfast hunted up another young friend whom
they knew would be with them, heart and soul, in this
This was the Viscount Louis Marie de Noailles, brother-
in-law to Lafayette, one year older than the young mar-
quis and his very dear friend. He, too, eagerly seconded
Lafayette's plan; for though a great noble of France, he
belonged to what we should call to-day a sort of Tolstoi
family; for his father actually worked with the peasants
at the plough and his mother and sister lived only "for
God and their poor." Naturally, this plan to help a nation


to freedom would appeal to such a liberal-minded young
man, and the three boys none of them were over twenty,
you know--pledged themselves to fight for America and
to set about it at once.
This, however, proved to be no easy task. France
hated England and was ready to go to any extent, secretly,
to injure her at home and cripple her abroad. But there
was no desire just at that time for an open rupture of
peaceful relations, and the prime minister of King Louis
of France while really wishing one thing said quite
When, therefore, the prime minister learned that there
was a movement among the young nobles of France to
sail across the sea and fight with the American "insur-
gents" against the power of England, he was afraid that
England would think that the French government per-
mitted and encouraged this hostile action. So, lest it might
lead to undesirable complications, perhaps to actual war,
he "sat down upon" all such schemes whenever he heard
of them, and, especially, upon the three-cornered partner-
ship in patriotism of Lafayette, Noailles, and Segur.
So the young fellows had to go to work cautiously
and in secret council; and as Noailles and Segur had no
money of their own to invest in this adventure, but must
look to their fathers for funds, they had to think first of
money. Even before making this necessary application,
however, they waited until Lafayette could with the great-


est caution see and talk with the agent of the rebellious
American colonists.
This agent was Silas Deane of Connecticut, who had

-f -_____-. e

*''' ,- -. ,
"''I~id~ I I

t 1W11~


/ -7


been sent across to France by the American "Committee
of Secret Correspondence," of which Doctor Benjamin
Franklin was a member. Do you remember how, in the


"True Story of Benjamin Franklin," I told you about the
mysterious visit to this committee of a certain "little lame
Frenchman," who hinted significantly to the surprised com-
mittee that, whenever they were ready, they could get all
the help they wanted from France?
I am inclined to think that this very mysterious and
"little lame Frenchman" was a certain Monsieur Achard
Bonvouloir, lieutenant in the army of the king of France,
who had "made up" for this interview so that no one
should recognize him, but who had really been sent to
America by the prime minister of France, to see how
things stood and to give the Americans secretly to under-
stand that if they wished the aid of France there was a
way in which they could have it.
At any rate, it was soon after this secret interview
that the committee sent Silas Deane to France, as the
agent of the colonies in rebellion against the power of
England, and it was to Silas Deane that the young
Marquis de Lafayette applied for information as to how
he could join the "insurgent army" in America.
Before seeking an interview with Silas Deane and with-
out saying anything to his wife or his wife's family, -for
the latter, he knew, would put an immediate veto on his
action,--the young marquis told his secret to his superior
officer, the Count de Broglie, commander of the garrison
at Metz, his own and his father's friend.
"Throw your life away in that land of savages! cried


the count, when Lafayette had told him his desire. "Why,
my dear marquis, it is a crazy scheme; and to what
purpose ?"
"For the noblest purpose, sir," responded the young
enthusiast; "to help a devoted people attain their liberty.
What can be nobler?"
"A dream, a dream, my friend, that
can never be fulfilled," said the count,
,,, I will not "help you throw your life
away. My boy," he added, feelingly,
grasping the hand of the young marquis,
:!i' "I saw your uncle die in the wars of
i, Italy; I witnessed your brave father's
death at Hastenbeck, and I cannot, I will
not be a party to the ruin of the last of
S your name, the only remaining branch
~i-- ^a
and scion of the Lafayettes."
This was like cold water on the young
SCHEME' CRIED THE soldier's scheme, but even cold water
could not drown or even dampen his en-
thusiasm. Indeed, so earnestly and so vigorously did he
combat all the count's objections, and so strenuously did he
advocate his own desires, that, at last, even the gallant com-
mander of Metz was won over to his young lieutenant's side,
and said he would help him to his desires, although it was
a risky business.
I will introduce you to De Kalb," he said. "He is in


Paris now, and perhaps through him you can gain your
point with this Monsieur Deane."
So it was only through a third, even through a fourth
party, that Lafayette was able to bring about his interview
with the agent of the colonies.
There was in Paris at that time, as the Count de Broglie
had said, a veteran Bavarian soldier named John Kalb, better
known as Baron de Kalb. The true story of his life is but
slightly known; but it was full of mystery, action, and ad-
venture, and in the American Revolution De Kalb proved
himself a brave and efficient leader.
Long before the Revolution he had been in America. In
1768 he was sent by a far-seeing minister of France to
investigate the trouble that even then was brewing between
England and her American colonies, and which, so that wise
minister foresaw, would one day lead to serious results,
unless England changed her methods. But England, as
you know, did not change her methods; the troubles of 1768
grew into the revolution of 1776, and England's necessity
was France's opportunity.
So, just at the time when Lafayette had made up his
mind to go to America, the Count de Broglie, his com-
mander, whom Lafayette's earnestness had set to thinking,
requested the Baron de Kalb to go again to America in his
behalf, and see if he could not so "work things that he, the
Count de Broglie, could be invited by the American Con-
gress to become commander in chief of the American armies.


This sounds oddly to us, to-day, who know that there
was and could be but one Washington. But, at that time,
France set down all Americans as "a herd of peasants"
who, as the Duke of Gloucester had said, could never suc-
ceed in their struggle against England unless disciplined
and marshalled by some European soldier of high name and
warlike experience, -as, for instance, so reasoned the com-
mander of Metz, the Count de Broglie!
To accomplish his mission, it was necessary that De
Kalb should go at once to America and secretly confer with
the Congress; to do this, an appointment was desirable in
the service of the United States, it was really the United
States of America now, you see, since the Declaration of
Independence, -and to secure this appointment, the Baron
de Kalb and the Count de Broglie waited upon Monsieur
Deane," the agent of the insurgents."
Silas Deane was an enthusiastic but somewhat unwise
patriot, who was so anxious to secure friends and assistance
for America that he made rash promises to every one who
showed any interest or asked for a commission in the
American service; he was therefore unable to distinguish
between scheming adventurers and honest friends of
American liberty.
He was quite impressed by the visit of the Count de
Broglie and the Baron de Kalb, you may be sure, and at once
he promised Baron de Kalb the rank of major-general in the
American army, and signed an agreement whereby De Kalb


and fifteen French officers should go to America on a vessel
loaded with arms and military supplies for the fighting
This was Lafayette's opportunity. The Count de
Broglie, as promised, introduced him to De Kalb, the baron
introduced him to Silas Deane; and to the American agent
the young marquis freely opened his heart, and stated his
wish and his intention. This was on or about the fifth of
December, 1776.
Lafayette was very boyish-looking at that time; he was
smooth-faced and slight of figure, and, indeed, feared greatly
that his nineteen-year-old face," as he called it, would hurt
his cause. But he was so full of zeal and enthusiasm, and,
as he confesses, made so much out of the small excitement
that my going away was likely to cause," that Silas Deane
was captivated by the young marquis at once, and forthwith,
according to his helter-skelter custom, drew up a contract
with Lafayette, by which the young Frenchman was to
enter the service of the United States of America as major-
general, a major-general at nineteen!
His high birth," so the agreement which was submitted
to Congress read, "his alliances, the great dignities which
his family holds at this court, his considerable estates in this
realm, his personal merit, his reputation, his disinterested-
ness, and above all, his zeal for the liberty of our provinces,
are such as have only been able to engage me to promise
him the rank of major-general in the name of the United


States. In witness of which I have signed the present this
seventh of December, 1776. Silas Deane, Agent for the
United States of America."
From all this you may judge that the overzealous
agent of the United States of America was as susceptible
to the enthusiasm of this nineteen-year-old marquis as
even the soldierly commandant of the king's garrison at
But other people were not so susceptible, especially when
the young marquis was a son-in-law. When Lafayette
declared his intention his own relatives and his wife's family
were furious. Only his girl-wife Adrienne understood his
motives and sympathized with his desires. It was quite in
line, you see, with the high plans for making the world
better that this young husband and wife had dreamed over
"God wills that you should go," she said. "I have
prayed for guidance and strength. Whatever others think,
you shall not be blamed."
But others not only thought; they acted. One of these,
and the most important actor, was the Duke d'Ayen, the
father of Adrienne.
The two young comrades of Lafayette, De Noailles and
Segur, who had promised to go with him, could not get
either the funds from their fathers nor permission from the
king. So they had to give up their plans. Lafayette, how-
ever, was rich; his money was all his own; no one could


control his action or his expenditures. But he was a soldier
of France; so father-in-law d'Ayen complained to the king;
the British ambassador, who had somehow got hold of the
facts, complained to the king; and the king of France, who
was really little more than a boy, and a very unenthusiastic
boy at that, said that, while it was a very fine thing to be
zealous in behalf of liberty, he could not allow the officers of
his army to serve in the army of the American insurgents"
against the soldiers of the king of England, with whom he
was at peace. He therefore forbade any officer of his to go
to the war in America.
"You had better return to your regiment at Metz, my
dear son," the triumphant Duke d'Ayen advised. But he
did not yet know the spirit of his son-in-law.
No Lafayette was ever known to turn back," the young
marquis declared. I shall do as I have determined;" and
thereupon he -put upon his coat-of-arms the motto taken by
a great soldier ancestor of his, cur non -" Why not?" in
order, as he declared, that the device might serve him both
as an encouragement and a response." And then he went off
very quietly to talk with Doctor Franklin.
For, by this time, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania,
the foremost .and best-known American of that day, had been
sent to France to assist and advise Silas Deane, and, in time,
to replace him. You have read how Franklin went to the
French court as envoy from America, and all that he accom-
plished there. He, too, was at once attracted by Lafay-


ette's earnestness, and appreciated the great influence that
his name would have in behalf of America.
Just at that time terrible news came across the Atlantic.
The Americans had been defeated and almost cut to pieces
at the disastrous battle of Long Island, and a sudden
chill fell upon French enthusiasm. It looked as if the
"insurgents" in America were not strong enough to take
care of themselves and that France had better leave them
But Lafayette was only strengthened in his determination
by this bad news.
He sought out Franklin. Mr. Deane was with the
Gentlemen," said the young marquis, "heretofore I have
been able to show you only my willingness to aid you in
your struggle; the time has now come when that willing-
ness may be put to effective use. I am going to buy a ship
and take your officers and supplies to America in it. Let us
not give up our hope yet. It is precisely in time of danger
that I wish to share whatever fortune may have in store for
Do you wonder that Franklin was moved by the gener-
osity and friendliness of this very determined young man?
But Doctor Franklin was, as you know, the most practical
of men; so, while accepting the offer of the young marquis
with thanks and appreciation, he suggested that the Ameri-
can agents were not popular people to know just then, and


that Lafayette should work through third parties, and, if
possible, get away from Paris.
Lafayette took this advice. He selected as his agent an
officer in one of the king's West Indian regiments, then home

"' It is precisely in time of danger that I wish to share whatever fortune may have in store for you.'"

on a furlough; and while this Captain Dubois, for that was
his name, with Lafayette's money behind him, went about
to secretly purchase and secretly load a vessel, as if it were
intended for the needs of his own regiment in the West
Indies, the young marquis slipped over the channel to Eng-
land to visit his uncle, the French ambassador, in company


with the colonel of his regiment, his kinsman, the young
Prince de Poix.
He had a fine time in England. All his relatives believed
that the crazy American scheme was quite given up and
forgotten; the marquis was received in London society as
one of the leading young nobles of France; he went to
Windsor and was presented to King George; he went to a
ball at the house of the minister of the colonies, and hob-
nobbed" with Sir Henry Clinton on the opera. He was
to meet Sir Henry at quite a different performance not
so very long after.
But, though he had every opportunity to do so, Lafayette
would not play the spy. He kept away from the British
shipyards and the British barracks, although he was invited
to inspect them and see how thoroughly the king was pre-
paring to punish "his American rebels." Honor was ever
one of the strongest points in Lafayette's noble character.
Suddenly he disappeared from London. For three days
he was in hiding in Paris where he had a last word with
the American envoys and then slipped away with Baron
de Kalb to Bordeaux, the port at which was waiting the
sloop "Victory," purchased by Captain Dubois with
Lafayette's money to take the young marquis and his
fellow filibusters to America.
But it was not as the Marquis de Lafayette that the
runaway nobleman stepped as a passenger on board his
own vessel. That would never do. There were spies every-


where, and as, in France, it was necessary to have a per-
mit or passport before leaving the country, Lafayette's
name appeared on the permit, which is still preserved as
a relic at Bordeaux, as Gilbert du Mottie, Chevalier de

*u s~

-... *- ... -,.
-.- S m _-_ __.2 .... --.

Where Lafayette met the King of Englana.

Chavaillac, aged about twenty, rather tall, light-haired,
embarking on the Victory, Captain Lebourcier command-
ing, for a voyage to the Cape on private business."
He did not disguise his name so very much, you see;



r,.--.- -.


for really he was Gilbert du Motier and he was the Che-
valier de Chavaniac; but a careless entry clerk, who knew
nothing about Lafayette's other names, and had no especial
interest in his "private business," blunderingly misspelled
them both and so the "Victory" cleared for the Cape.
It seemed a very easy escape. But the trouble had
not yet even begun. While waiting at Bordeaux Lafayette
heard that, somehow, his plans had been discovered; so the
"Victory" sailed away without waiting for its necessary
sailing papers, intending to run into a Spanish port and
there complete- arrangements.
But even this intention leaked out, and when, on the
twenty-seventh of March, 1777, the"Victory" run into the
little Spanish port of Las Pasajes on the Bay of Biscay
and just across the French border, Lafayette found that
he had sailed into trouble. Instead of the sailing papers
that should let him clear for America the young runaway
marquis found letters from his family protesting, com-
plaining, and threatening; he found letters from the king's
ministers charging him with desertion from the army,
breaking his oath of allegiance to the king and involving
the government in serious trouble with England; worse
than this, he found two officers from the court bearing letters
under the king's own seal, commanding Lieutenant the
Marquis de Lafayette of the regiment de Noailles to pro-
ceed at once to Marseilles and await orders.
This was serious enough. But, in all those letters, there


was no word of complaint or censure from his young wife,
even though, to escape detention, Lafayette had sailed
away without telling her. She, however, as I have told
you, knew his desires and approved of the enterprise. She
would put no obstacle in his way. But his letters from
home told sad stories about her health and her state of
mind, and, though Lafayette would have braved all else,-
even the wrath of the ministers and the king's order of
arrest, he could not stand having anything happen to his
young wife on his account.
So he turned his back on his cherished plans, said
good-bye to the Victory and his companions, and, crossing
the border into France, galloped back to Bordeaux, much to
the disgust of his comrade, the Baron de Kalb, who wrote
to his wife, This is the end of his expedition to America to
join the army of the insurgents."
But the Baron de Kalb did not yet know the Marquis
de Lafayette; neither did that young man's family, friends,
or rulers. If he believed a thing was right he would do
it in spite of all opposition. Upon his arrival at Bordeaux
he learned that he had been recalled by a false alarm, and
that it was all what boys now-a-days call a "put-up job,"
arranged by his father-in-law, the duke. For his wife, he
heard, was well and happy, except at the thought of his long
absence; the government was in no danger of complications
with England because of his action, although the British
ambassador at Paris made such a row over Lafayette's expe-


edition that the court was compelled to appear to deal severely
with the young marquis. In fact, as I have told you, he dis-
covered that the trouble all came through the methods pur-
sued by his father-in-law, the Duke d'Ayen, who felt that
Lafayette was too important and too valuable a young man
in France and in his family to be allowed to risk his life
and estate among the savages and "insurgents" of North


America. It was the duke, therefore, who had sent off all
those terrible letters," as Lafayette called them, which had
recalled the young marquis from his cherished enterprise.
He determined at once to return to the Victory." But
the ship still lay at the Spanish port, and the young man had
no permit to cross the border. He was also under the
orders of the king to return, and if he should be caught
travelling the other way it would go hard with him.


His father-in-law, the duke, was waiting for him at Mar-
seilles. And, toward Marseilles, Lafayette started, as soon as
the letters sent him from Paris had led him to make up his
mind. While waiting at Bordeaux, he had been joined by a
young French officer, who also had secured from Silas
Deane an appointment in the American army, and, together,
the young men set off in a post-chaise to drive, apparently,
to Marseilles.
But when they were well out of Bordeaux, they suddenly
wheeled about and headed for Spain. In a quiet place,
Lafayette slipped into the woods. There he hastily disguised
himself as a post-boy, a sort of mounted carriage-servant, and
rode on ahead, on horseback, as if he were the guide or
attendant of the other young man in the post-chaise bound
for Spain.
The young man in the post-chaise had a permit to leave
France, and he hoped to get the marquis across the border
in the disguise of his horse-boy. But when they were
almost over the border, driving hard because they were
warned that' officers from the French court were on
their tracks, suspecting the trick, they came very near to
disaster. For, at a little village where Lafayette had
stopped once before, the daughter of the tavern-keeper
recognized in the pretended post-boy, as he galloped into the
stable yard demanding fresh horses, the same fine young
gentleman who had been there before, ordering things in
great style at the inn.


Oh, m'sieur -" she began.
But Lafayette swiftly made a warning sign which the
young girl was bright enough to understand.
"Yes, my child; m'sieur, my patron desires fresh
horses at once," Lafayette
,. W said, quickly. He is
just behind. He rides
post-haste into Spain at
The inn-keeper's
daughter said never a
Sn L word, and Lafayette's
luck did not desert him.
For when, soon after,
i he and his companion had
posted across the border,
up came their pursuers at
a gallop, only to be as-
sured by the inn-keeper's
daughter that the young
WORD." gentleman had gone on
just the opposite road
from that really taken into Spain.
So, once again, Lafayette came, on the seventeenth of
April, to the little Spanish port of Las Pasajes, and while
all France was ringing with applause over his pluck and
persistence, and England growled so that France said she


" didn't care anyhow and growled back in return, Lafayette
stood on the deck of the Victory" with De Kalb and about
twenty young Frenchmen, and on the twentieth of April he
ordered Captain Leboucier to "up anchor" and put to sea
at once.
The anchor came up; the "Victory" spread her sails;
the coast line of Spain and of France faded gradually from
sight. In spite of all, the expedition was off; in spite of
his father-in-law and in spite of the king of France the
young marquis had run away to sea.



T is not a surprising thing in these days for a rich young
man to own a yacht. It is one of the things to which
most boys who love blue water aspire; thousands and
thousands of dollars are spent each year in the ownership
and navigation of these pleasure crafts, from the natty
knockabout to the luxurious and fast-sailing steamer.
But when Lafayette set sail from the little Spanish port,
pleasure-sailing was an unknown sport; men went down to
the sea in ships for profit or for fighting, but never for fun;
and when a young fellow of twenty, rich, well-connected and
high-toned, deliberately bought a vessel in which to run


away to sea, and actually did run away to help a struggling
people in an alien land, the other rich, well-connected and
high-toned people of France simply held up their hands in
"What kind of folly is this, my dear child?" wrote the
stately mother of a young chevalier who had sent her from
Paris the story of this latest sensation. What! the madness
of knight-errantry still exists? It has disciples? Go to help
the insurgents ? I am delighted that you reassure me about
yourself, or I should tremble for you. But since you see
that M. de Lafayette is a madman I am tranquil."
Meantime the "madman was sailing westward in his
" private yacht." It did not prove to be much of a yacht.
The Victory was little better than a tub of a boat, and
the marquis had been sadly swindled; she was a slow sailer;
she was meagrely furnished and miserably armed, and her
two old cannons and small supply of muskets would prove
but a, poor defence in case of attack by the pirates and
privateers that in those days swarmed the seas and terrorized.
" the Atlantic ferry," or by the English cruisers that would
gladly welcome such game as a ship-load of French officers
carrying arms, ammunition, and their own services to the
American insurgents. It reads quite like a chapter out of
the story of Cuba in 1897, does it not?
A. young man who owns a yacht considers himself the
head man on deck, you know. Lafayette certainly did; but
the first thing he discovered was that the captain of the


" Victory considered himself a bigger man than the owner.
No sooner had the "Victory" lost sight of the home coast
line than Lafayette directed the captain to steer straight for
a United States port and by the shortest route.
The clearance papers, without which no ship can leave
port for a foreign land, were made out for the West Indies.
But as this was always the case in those war days when a
vessel sailed from Europe, America bound, Lafayette did
,not trouble himself about what his papers declared. He
intended to get to the United States, and to get there as
quickly as possible.
Captain," he said, "you will please make your course
as direct as possible for Charlestown in the Carolinas."
The Carolinas, sir exclaimed the captain. "Why,
that I cannot. This ship's papers are made out for a port in
the West Indies and can only protect us on that course. I
shall sail for the West Indies and you must get transporta-
tion across to the colonies from there."
The marquis was astonished. "Sir," he said to the
captain, "this ship is mine. I direct you to sail to
Sir," replied the captain, I am the master of this ship
and am responsible for her safety. If we are caught by an
English cruiser, and she finds us headed for North America
with arms and supplies, we shall at once be made prisoners
and lose our vessel, our cargo, and our lives. So I shall
follow my papers and steer for the West Indies."


Captain Leboucier," said the marquis, facing the stub-
born captain, "you may be master of the Victory,' but I am
her owner and my decision is final. You will sail at once
and direct for Charles-
town in the Carolinas or
I shall deprive you this
instant of your command
and place the ship in
charge of the mate. I
have force enough here
to meet any resistance
on your part. So make
your decision."
It was now Captain
Leboucier's turn to be
surprised. He had sup-
Sposed that he could do
just as he pleased with
this green "land-lubber
LAFAYETTE AND THE CAPTAIN. of a boy." But he found
Sir," said Lafayette, "tis s i is mine I direct o sailo he had awakened the
Charlestocn. he had awakened the
wrong passenger. He
spluttered and blustered a bit, but he had too much at stake
to risk losing his command; so at last he made a full breast
of it and confessed to the boy owner of the Victory that
it was not so much the ship's papers as the ship's cargo that
troubled him. For it seems the captain had concluded to try


a little venture of his own on this voyage and had smuggled
aboard the "Victory" some eight or nine thousand dollars'
worth of goods and merchandise which he wished to sell in
West Indian ports and make some outside money for him-
self. If this cargo were "held up" by an English cruiser he
would be out of pocket, and, therefore, he didn't wish to run
the risk.
And why did you not say so at once, sir ?" the marquis
demanded. I would have helped you out, of course. Sail
for Charlestown in the Carolinas, captain; and if we are
captured, searched, robbed, or destroyed by English cruisers
or by privateers, I will see that you do not lose a sou. I
will promise to make your loss good."
Captain Leboucier came around at once. As long as he
felt assured that his investment was safe he did not care for
the danger, and at once he headed for the coast of Carolina.
But Lafayette, with the thought of hostile war-ships in his
mind, determined never to surrender, and he made a secret
agreement with a certain Captain de Bedaulx, a deserting
Dutch officer from the English army, that in case of attack
and capture, he and this Captain de Bedaulx would blow up
the Victory rather than surrender her. Which desperate
affair being arranged, the young marquis went below, and for
two weeks was dreadfully seasick, as even the greatest of
heroes have often been, from Ulysses to Napoleon and
General Grant.
But when, at last, the seasickness was passed, and the


disgusted young Frenchman crawled out on deck again -
for the voyage across took seven weeks instead of the seven
days in which the ocean greyhounds now make it he
found himself divided between two things, homesickness
and anxiety to see America. To relieve the first he wrote
long letters to his wife, which he intended to send by dif-
ferent routes when he landed in America, so that some of
his letters could be relied upon to escape capture and reach
her. The letters he wrote his wife were long and loving;
for, though he knew that both of them regretted the separa-
tion, and appreciated the sacrifice, he could not help wishing
again and again to see his "dear Adrienne" and their little
two-year-old daughter, and exclaimed: Oh, if you knew
what I have suffered, what weary days I have passed thus
flying from everything that I love best in the world!"
Then he tried to calm her fears, and to assure her that
the higher the rank the less the danger to him in the war to
which he was going.
Do not allow yourself to feel anxious that I am running
great danger in the occupation that is before me," he wrote.
"The post of major-general (you can imagine how big the
boy felt when he wrote himself down as major-general) the
post of major-general has always been a warrant of long life.
It is so different from the service I should have had in
France, as colonel, for instance. With my present rank I
shall only have to attend councils of war. As soon as
I land I shall be in perfect safety."


You can see how little this young fellow appreciated
what fighting in America meant, and how little he really
knew his own rashness, if he thought for an instant that he
would be content simply to attend councils of war!
In fact, in this very letter to his wife, he showed that
action only would suit him. For, comparing his present
enterprise with the social tour for which his angry but
" foxy" father-in-law wished to lure him to Marseilles, he
wrote: Consider the difference between my occupation and
my present life, and what they would have been if I had
gone upon that useless journey. As the defender of that lib-
erty which I adore; free, myself, more than any one; com-
ing, as a friend, to offer my services to this most interesting
republic, I bring with me nothing but my own free heart and
my own good-will, no ambition to fulfil and no selfish in-
terest to serve. If I am striving for my own glory, I am at
the same time laboring for the welfare of the American re-
public. I trust that, for my sake, you will become a good
American. It is a sentiment made for virtuous hearts. The
happiness of America is intimately connected with the happi-
ness of all mankind; she is destined to become the safe and
worthy asylum of virtue, integrity, tolerance, equality, and
peaceful liberty."
A pretty good prophet for a young man of nineteen, was
he not and for one who really did not know to what he
was going, nor even the language of the people he was seek-
ing to serve ?


This last defect he was studiously trying to overcome
during such of the fifty-four days of that long and tedious
voyage as he was not seasick, planning, writing letters, or
studying military science with the veteran fighter, De Kalb,
and his companions.
I am making progress with that language," he wrote to
his wife; it will soon become most necessary to me."
April passed; May passed; June came, and still the
slow sailing "Victory" had not made the North Atlantic
coast; for fifty days the little vessel, which had nothing
grand about it except its name and the desires of its passen-
gers, pitched and flopped about, struggling against head
winds and adverse currents.
I am still out on this dreary plain," wrote Lafayette to
his wife on the seventh day of June, "which is beyond com-
parison the most dismal place that one can be in. We
have had small alarms from time to time, but with a little
care, and reasonably good fortune, I hope to get through
without serious accident, and I shall be all the more pleased,
because I am learning every day to be extremely prudent."
Very soon after writing these words, Lafayette and his
comrades had need for all their acquired prudence. For,
while yet out of sight of land, but slowly approaching the
Carolina coast, the lookout one morning hailed the captain
and reported a strange sail bearing down upon them.
At once all was excitement on board the Victory," in
the usual impressible French manner. The captain crowded

,.- ., ;. -,- ._ _..... --.

-..---- ------

She broke out the new colors ofthe American reoublic,- the Stars and Strihes."
Ir-~~ 'll.

H ~

= -. .. o- .,

.... r .- -. .. -

..- ,

~ ----~--- ---;- __ .' ;== _-~-~-=-



on all sail and tried to get away; but to run the old
"Victory out of the reach of that fast sailing stranger was
found to be impossible. Resistance or surrender seemed the
only choice.
She is an English man-of-war," was the word passed
from man to man, and the marquis and his friends prepared
for resistance, while the captain shook his head dubiously,
and the two poor cannons were made ready, the muskets dis-
tributed, and the crew sent to their stations.
Nearer and nearer came the stranger, rakish and deter-
mined, with a formidable threat in the very cut of her jib,"
and the water parting at her bows. Lafayette had just
given a significant look to the Dutch deserter, De Bedaulx,
and the Dutchman had replied with an equally significant
nod; the old Victory," laboring desperately to draw out of
the path of her pursuer, only flopped and floundered the
more, when suddenly the stranger came gracefully about,
and as her broadside was presented to the "Victory" she
broke out from her peak the new colors of the American
republic, the stars and stripes! At once the "Victory"
displayed French colors, and the "scare turned into ju-
But even as the lumbering "Victory" sought vainly to
keep up with the American privateer, and make for Charles-
ton harbor, off to the south, far against the coast line, two
other strange sails appeared, and the privateer, displaying the
danger signal for the information of the French vessel,


announced them to be English cruisers looking for priva-
teers, filibusters, and blockade runners.
Again all was excitement on board the "Victory." This
time resistance was felt to be hopeless, for the Victory's"
two guns would be useless against an armed cruiser, and
even the American privateer deemed desertion to be the
better part of valor. At once she signalled: good-bye,
can't stop," and was soon hull down off the coast.
But again the Victory" proved the luck of her name
even if she could not show a quick pair of heels. For, as
the distance between her and the British cruisers lessened,
suddenly the wind shifted, and blew strong from the north.
This would, of course, drive the yacht" nearer to Charles-
ton and the enemy, but it would also be a head wind for the
approaching foemen. At once Captain Leboucier decided
to take advantage of this north wind and, instead of making
Charleston, run before the wind into Georgetown Bay, which
broke into the Carolina coast almost directly on his course.
At once he headed the "Victory" shoreward, and by
great good fortune, for he knew nothing whatever of the
coast thereabouts, he made the opening of the South Inlet
of Georgetown Bay, -a shallow roadstead, but worth risk-
ing at a time when, as the sailors say, any port in a storm."
The north wind held steady; the British cruisers labored
against it in vain, and finally dropped out of sight, and on
the afternoon of Friday, the thirteenth day of June, 1777,
the "Victory" ran in through the inlet and came to off


North Island, one of the long, low-lying sand-spits fringing
the broken South Carolina coast.



Georgetown Lighthouse, North Island, on the South Carolina coast; here Lafayette sailed into the bay.

To-day, above the South Inlet, at the entrance to George-
town Bay, the towering white walls and the protecting rays
of Georgetown light show the way over the bar; but when



the "Victory" felt its way in for shelter and security, like
some hunted animal scudding for cover, there was no such
thing as a lighthouse on the sands, and it was only good
luck and a favoring wind that carried the blockade runner
into safe harbor. It was a fortunate combination; "but
it was not the only time in my life," so Lafayette de-
clared many years after, in referring to his adventure, that
the elements have conspired in my favor." Wind and rain,
you see, are oftentimes as welcome in the hour of perilous
adventure as are clear and sunny days.
Neither captain nor crew could tell just where they were.
But of one thing Lafayette was certain; he was on the Caro-
lina coast; the Carolinas were American and rebel; there-
fore, wherever he was, he should be among friends. So, acting
on this course of reasoning, he proposed to Baron de Kalb
that they should go ashore in one of the Victory's boats,
find out where they were, and perhaps pick up a pilot to take
the Victory into safe anchorage or guide her around to
The baron thought the plan of the marquis wise. So
the ship's yawl was ordered out; seven men were told off as
a crew to row it ashore, and into it went Lafayette, De Kalb,
and some other officers, a half dozen passengers in all.
The explorers dropped over the side, the oars fell into the
water, and a little after two o'clock in the afternoon the yawl
cast off from the "Victory" on its voyage of discovery and


Both discovery and information proved uncertain quan-
tities, however. Georgetown Bay is broad and broken with
inlets, bars, and islands, and in those days there were, along
the low shores, little signs of life or occupation. The rowers
pulled this way and that until, finally, as night closed down,
they found themselves rowing up the North Inlet, where,
around North Island, the channel of Georgetown Bay con-
nects with the sea at its northern entrance.
They rowed along the silent shores, wondering if America
were really inhabited, when suddenly, ahead, they saw a burn-
ing flare and soon came up to some negroes dragging for
Baron de Kalb was the only man iA the yawl whose'
English could really be relied upon, so he hailed the darkeys
and asked them who they were and where they were; whether
there was safe anchorage for a ship thereabouts and where
he and his friends could find a pilot to take them around to
Golly, massa! Don't know nuffin 'bout it," one of the
negroes replied, bewildered by the string of questions flung
at him in broken English by the Bavarian soldier, and rather
fearful of this boat-load of Hessians," as he thought them
to be. "We'm belongs to Major Huger, we do. He'm our
Major Huger. He is of ze American army? demanded
the baron.
"Ya'as, sah; he'm a Continentaler," the negro replied.


And he told the Frenchmen that there was a pilot to be
found somewhere on the upper end of North Island, that he
could show the gentlemen where the pilot lived and take them
also to the big house, -" Major Huger's house, sah- our
massa; he'll be right glad to see you gen'l'men, sah; he'll be
powerful glad," the black oysterman declared. And Lafay-
ette decided to seek out Major Huger at once.
So you see that really Lafayette's first reception and
welcome on American shores were at the hands of black
Americans, slaves in a land fighting for freedom; slaves
after liberty was won, until a greater than revolutionary
patriot or French hero was to enfranchise and deliver them
and make America indeed the land of liberty.
But when the yawl attempted to follow its guide, the
oyster-boat, it was discovered that the tide was falling fast
and that it would be unsafe for strange rowers to keep to the
channel and pull the big yawl up to a safe landing-place, if
indeed they were not left high and dry on the flats.
There was nothing for it but to take to the oyster-boat.
So, leaving the most of his party in the yawl, greatly to their
disgust, no doubt, Lafayette, De Kalb, and a young French
American named Price (who evidently could not speak his
own language as well as the Bavarian Frenchman) stepped
aboard the clumsy and dirty oyster-boat, and with an adieu!"
to their comrades in the yawl and a bon voyage! in return
pulled into the night with their negro boatmen.
Creeping along the shallowing reach they skirted the


shore of North Island, and, finally, about midnight they saw
a light, shining as if from a house on shore.
Dat's it, sah; dat's Major Huger's, sah," said the oyster-
man. We set you gen'l'men ashore heah, and you jes' follow
de light, and Major Huger he be powerful glad to see you."
The oyster-boat ran alongside the landing and, with
stiffened limbs and a goodly fee to his colored boatmen,
the marquis and his two companions stepped on American
soil. Lafayette, at last, had one ambition gratified. He was
in America, the land for whose freedom he had come to fight,
and which, all France supposed, was to fervently welcome
The fervor in the welcome was not just then apparent as
the three bewildered Frenchmen stood on the rickety boat
landing at North Island, alone and at midnight, with nothing
to guide them but a distant and uncertain light.
But, as is wisest in all times of doubt and difficulty, they
did as the negro boatman advised them, they followed the
Now it seems in those troublesome times, when English
cruisers and privateers were coasting the American shores
for prey or booty, the seaside dwellers lived in continual
fear of raid and attack, and were ever on the watch for
So, as Lafayette and his two companions went stum-
bling up from the shore heading for the light, their coming
aroused the guardians of the house, and at once the sharp


warning bark of a watch-dog broke the silence; the bark
swelled to a chorus as all the other dogs in the pack took up
the cry; the lights disappeared from the house; windows
were flung up and men with guns stood at each darkened sash.
Hollo! who goes there? Stand or we fire," came the
threatening call.
Friends, sir; friends only," De Kalb in broken English
hastened to reply to the challenge. "We are French offi-
cers, sir, just set ashore from our ship in your waters. We
come to fight for America and we seek a pilot to bring our
vessel to safe anchorage and shelter for ourselves."
Even before the explanation was half given, the house
changed from hostility to hospitality; lights flashed out
again; welcoming hands unbarred the door, and on its
threshold, with black servants holding lights aloft and
hurriedly dressed forms just outlined in the shadows, stood
a smiling gentleman and a small boy, for you can always
depend upon a small boy to be on hand whenever anything
exciting is about to happen.
Gentlemen, I am proud to welcome you," cried the
man in the doorway, extending his hands in greeting.
"Down, Bruno! down, Vixen! "- this to the vociferous
dogs -"I am Major Huger, Major Benjamin Huger of
the American army; this is my shore house where we camp
down in the summer. Come in, gentlemen, come in. This
house and all it holds are at the service of brave Frenchmen
who come to fight for our liberties."


"'Come in, gentlemen. This house and all it holds are yours.'"


He almost pulled the oldest man -the Baron de Kalb -
into the house in the excessive cordiality of his welcome;
while the small boy, catching at the hand of the young
marquis, who looked little more than a boy in that light,
dragged him into the spacious hall.
Permit me, Major Huger," said the punctilious De
Kalb, "to introduce ourselves to you who have so gener-
ously welcomed us. This, sir, is the leader and head of
our expedition, the Seigneur Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de
Lafayette; this is Monsieur Price of Sauveterre, and I, sir,
am Johann Kalb, at your service."
"The Baron de Kalb, monsieur the major," broke in
Lafayette, "a brigadier in the army of the king of France
and aid to the Marechal Duke de Broglie."
But Major Huger had ears but for one part of this
introduction. Already the news of the young French noble-
man's determination to fight for American liberty had
crossed the Atlantic.
The Marquis de Lafayette !" he exclaimed, grasping the
young man by both hands. Sir, my house is honored by
your presence; sir, we have heard of you who has not?
Sir, command me in anything and everything. I will see to
your pilot, your vessel, your friends. Oblige me by resting
here to-night and in the morning all things shall be arranged.
Francis, escort the marquis to the dining-room; this is my
son, gentlemen, Francis Kinloch Huger, and proud he is to
welcome those who sacrifice time and ease to fight for the


liberty of his native land. Gentlemen, be seated. Here,
Hector, Pompey, take these gentlemen's wraps; stir your-
selves! Gentlemen, your health! "
"And that of the Cause!" responded the Baron de Kalb.
And so in the midst of generous hospitality, with a
blessed night's sleep in a Christian bed for the first time
in eight weeks, Lafayette passed his first night in America.
As for Francis Kinloch Huger, that small boy was capti-
vated by the young Frenchman. He became a hero-wor-
shipper, at once, and his dreams that night were full of the
boy marquis. It was a hero-worship that was not to cease
with that midnight reception on a Carolina sea-island; for
that boy's life was to be strongly and romantically mingled,
in later years, with that of the noble Marquis de Lafayette,
who on a June night in 1777 had taken this boy's house by
storm and, after months of anxiety and adventure, had, at
last, safely landed on the shores of America.




A GOOD night's sleep greatly refreshed and strengthened
the weary, ship-worn marquis, for, like any young fellow
of nineteen, he recovered quickly from fatigue and privation;
and, besides, he was in America. He had, as he expressed
it, "retired to rest rejoiced that he had at last attained the
haven of his wishes and was safely landed in America beyond
the reach of his pursuers."
He had not yet attained the end of his mission, -the
command of a major-general in the American army. That,
however, he felt was only a matter of time. With his letters of
introduction and the contract he had made with Mr. Deane
he was confident he had only to present himself before the
American Congress to be received as cordially and welcomed
as enthusiastically as he had been greeted and "made at
home" by Major Huger, in that comfortable Southern sea-
shore mansion.
So he sank to sleep contentedly, and when he awoke in
the morning he was in a blissful state of mind.
As, years after, he recalled that first morning in America,
he still spoke with all the enthusiasm of the homesick, seasick


boy who had been made to feel that he was a welcome and
honored guest.
The next morning," he said, "was beautiful. The nov-
elty of everything around me, the room, the bed with its

"Every cranny resounds wiik the lovely name of Lierty."

mosquito curtains, the black servants who came to ask my
wishes, the beauty and strange appearance of the country as I
could see it from my window clothed in luxuriant verdure, -
all conspired to produce upon me an effect like magic and to
impress me with indescribable sensations."


His comrades in the yawl had been hunted up and
brought to the house; a pilot had been sent to the Vic-
tory," and, in fact, everything hospitable and helpful was so
cheerfully done by Major Huger and his family that, as
Lafayette wrote his wife, "the manners of this people are
simple, honest, and dignified. The wish to oblige, the love of
country, and freedom reign here together in sweet equality.
All citizens are brothers. They belong to a country where
every cranny resounds with the lovely name of Liberty. My
sympathy with them makes me feel as if I had been here for
twenty years."
Everything, you see, was delightful at the start, and this
enthusiastic French boy felt sure there would be for him,
everywhere in America, a repetition of the South Carolina
welcome. So, in confidence and anticipation, in high hopes
and higher spirits, he set out for the long journey to Phila-
delphia, where the American Congress was in session.
He was to go by land this time. He and his comrades
had experienced quite enough of ship life and preferred to
trust to the uncertainties of colonial country roads. Besides,
the Victory was in limbo," as the saying is. For when
the pilot sent by Major Huger reported that there was not
sufficient depth of water for the ship in Georgetown Bay,
Lafayette sent the Victory," in charge of the pilot, around to
Charleston. But when he heard of the activity and watchful-
ness of the British cruisers he hurried a message to the captain,
bidding him run the Victory" ashore and burn her rather


than let the British capture her. The captain, however, re-
membered his cargo and his own little venture; he decided to
run the risk, and, thanks to a favoring wind, the "Victory"
escaped the cruis-
S ers and, as he re-
ported, "sailed into
Charles Town har-
bor in broad day-
light without see-
ing either friends
or enemies."
Thereupon La-
S fayette and De
SKalb, mounted on
the only horses
Major Huger
."" could spare or
find in that un-
inhabited seaside
section, set out for
FROM AN OLD PRINT. Charleston, while
As he looked f on hisfirst coming to A merica. the other French-
men trudged along
on foot. And when they had reached that famous and hos-
pitable old Carolina town a cordial welcome was extended
them. Lafayette, as one of his companions says, was received
, with all the honors due to a Marshal of France."


Do you wonder that this young Frenchman felt very
much "set up" and elated?
The Marquis de Lafayette was, however, a shrewd young
man, even if he was an enthusiastic one. For, even in those
days the interviewer was in the land; but Lafayette refused
to be interviewed.
I have every reason to feel highly gratified at my recep-
tion in Charles Town," he wrote his wife, but I have not yet
explained my plans to any one. I judge it best to wait until
I have presented myself to the Congress before making a
statement as to the projects I have in view."
He wished to be off on this journey to Congress as
speedily as possible. So he proceeded to dispose of the
"Victory" and her cargo in order to obtain the necessary
money for his own and his comrades' expenses and support.
But when he attempted to do this he found the French
merchants who had sold him the ship and the French cap-
tain who sailed her had so tied him up with agreements and
provisos and commissions (all of which he had signed at
Bordeaux without realizing what he was doing, because he
was in such a hurry to be off) that, instead of having any
money coming to him, he was actually in debt, and he had
to go to work trying to borrow enough money in Charleston
to get away from town. All of which goes to prove that
even enthusiasm should not blind people to understand just
what they are signing, and that it is always best, for young
and old alike, to look before they leap. And yet, on the


other hand, if Lafayette had not taken his leap, regardless of
consequences, where would have been one of the most roman-
tic and inspiring episodes in American history, which we of
to-day never tire of reading and applauding?
Just at that time, however, it must be confessed that the
American Congress and the American commander-in-chief
were very, very tired of this particular kind of romance.
The American colonies had risen in rebellion against the
king of England; they had organized revolution and had
declared themselves free and independent states; they wel-
comed every expression of friendliness and sympathy from
European nations, and were working hard to secure recogni-
tion and assistance at foreign courts. But the American
people had raised and officered their own army. They had
placed at .the head of it a great and capable commander, and
had associated with him, as leaders and officers, those of their
own countrymen who seemed best fitted to the tasks of leader-
ship as generals, colonels, and captains.
But as the war with England progressed, there came to
America swarms of European soldiers French, Spanish,
German, Dutch, Polish, and Italian who, because they
were experienced soldiers, counted their services far ahead
of those of the American "peasants," and demanded high
offices in the American army, from commander-in-chief to
colonel and captain. These foreign volunteers were so many
and so persistent that the American Congress grew just a bit
tired of the assumption and demands of these adventurers,


General George Washington, of Virginia.


who were out for money rather than to show their sympathy,
and who, also, almost insisted upon telling the American
Congress just what it should do.
A regiment of colonels and an army of -major-generals can
do very little real fighting, and, as none of these foreign
officers would put up with anything less than the highest
rank, Congress, preferring first to recognize able and earnest
Americans, found itself simply flooded with requests it could
not grant, while General Washington himself protested in
vigorous language.
"Their ignorance of our language and their inability to
recruit men," he wrote to the president of Congress in Febru-
ary, 1777, "are insurmountable obstacles to their being in-
grafted into our continental battalions; for our officers, who
have raised their men, and have served through the war upon
pay that has hitherto not borne their expenses, would be dis-
gusted if foreigners were put over their heads; and I assure
you, few or none of these gentlemen look lower than field-
officers' commissions. To give them all brevets, by which
they have rank, and draw pay without doing any service, is
saddling the continent with vast expense; and to form them
into corps would be only establishing corps of officers; for,
as I have said before, they cannot possibly raise any men."
So, you see, with the Congress and the commander-in-
chief set against this rush of overzealous and self-seeking
foreigners (mostly from France) in a scramble for command-
ing positions in the American army, the outlook was not so


bright nor so promising as Lafayette and De Kalb and their
companions anticipated. Evidently, too, the aspiring Duke
de Broglie was to get a set-back."
But, equipping his expedition with the money he had
borrowed in Charleston, Lafayette and his "caravan," as he
called it, certain that recognition and position awaited them,
started from Charleston on the twenty-fifth of June, 1777,
headed for Philadelphia and Congress.
The "caravan," indeed, was quite like a procession. At
the head rode one of Lafayette's men dressed in the uniform
of a French hussar, and behind him rode the marquis and
Baron de Kalb in a queer, old-fashioned open carriage with
a front seat for the driver, while at Lafayette's wheel rode
his body servant, valet, or squire." Next came a one-horse
chaise with two colonels, Lafayette's "chief counsellors;"
then followed another with more French officers, then the
baggage, and bringing up the rear, a negro on horseback.
From Charleston to Philadelphia in June is a hot ride
even in a parlor-car: in open carriages it is still worse;
while, over the dreadful clearings called "roads in 1777, the
journey was one long series of accidents and discomforts.
Their guide proved no guide at all. In four days their car-
riages were jolted into splinters; their horses went lame or
broke down altogether; much of their baggage had to be left
behind, and what they took with them was mostly stolen
before the journey ended. They spent all their money for
fresh horses and other wagons, and the necessaries of life,


and even then, because of the dreadful roads, most of the
journey was made on foot, while the poor Frenchmen, sick,
weary, and hungry, sleeping in the woods, and worn down by
the hardships and hot weather, would -have begun to doubt
whether American liberty was really worth all it was costing
them, had not Lafayette, hopeful and enthusiastic in spite of
all privations and misadventures, kept up their spirits, cheer-
fully shared all their trials, and held ever before them
the reception and appreciation they were certain to find in
You have heard," he wrote to his wife, how brilliantly
I started out in a carriage. I have to inform you (this was
written from Petersburg in Virginia) "that we are now
on horseback after having broken the wagons in my usual
praiseworthy fashion, and I expect to write you before long
that we have reached our destination on foot."
On the twenty-seventh of July, after a tedious and dis-
astrous journey of nine hundred miles in thirty-two days,
Lafayette and his travel-stained company entered Philadel-
phia "in a pitiable condition," one of his comrades de-
clared. But they supposed now that all their troubles were
over; so, after brushing themselves up," and making them-
selves presentable, they proceeded to wait upon the president
of Congress with their letters of introduction and their con-
tracts with Mr. Deane.
Now the president of the American Congress at that
time was Mr. John Hancock, of Massachusetts, a patriot of


prominence and integrity, with a very bold signature, and a
very high opinion of the Honorable John Hancock, presi-
dent of Congress. He felt himself to be the chief man in
all America; he set
up a great show of
state and dignity, for
all of which he un-
complainingly p a i d
out of his own pocket,
and he demanded, as
his right, the proper
amount of recogni-
tion and respect.
Whether or not
he had received and
read Franklin's flat-
tering introduction of
Lafayette, it is cer-
tain that he did not
fully appreciate the
THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. meaning or the ex-
"Jokn Hancock, of Massachusetts, a fatriot offrominence and integrity."
tent of the young
Frenchman's sacrifices in behalf of American liberty. He
merely looked upon Lafayette and his companions as
another "batch" of adventurous Frenchmen looking for
a job, and at once, with scarcely a word of welcome, he
referred them to Gouverneur Morris, the chairman of the


committee who," so he told Lafayette, had such matters in
To Mr. Morris, also a man with whom the later story
of Lafayette's life was to be singularly connected, this
travel-stained band of place-seeking Frenchmen seemed no
different from any of the other appointment-hunting for-
eigners, whom no one wanted, and who simply hung about
Congress as suppliants who soon wore their welcome
So Mr. Morris told the marquis and the baron to call
Meet me to-morrow, gentlemen, at the door of the Con-
gress," he said. Meantime I will examine your papers and
see what we can do for you."
The next day the marquis and the baron were "at the
door of the Congress," exactly on time. But Mr. Morris
was not. Instead, he kept them waiting a long time, fretting
at this unexpected coolness and delay.
At last he came out to them with another gentleman
whom he introduced as Mr. Lovell, and who, he told them,
was intrusted with the matters that concern people of your
nationality. Hereafter, please communicate with him." And
then Mr. Morris left them still waiting in the street, at the
door of the Congress.
Mr. Lovell was a'member of the Committee on Foreign
Affairs, and evidently he counted the marquis and the baron
and the gentlemen who accompanied them simply as "for-


eign affairs."

But he spoke French well, and he at once
"got down to business."
Gentlemen," he said,
not inviting them into
the building, but talking
to them in the street,
"like a set of adventur-
ers," as one of the French
officers indignantly de-


cared, "you say you
have authority from Mr.
"Certainly, sir," re-
plied De Kalb, "as our
contracts show."
"This is most annoy-
ing," said Mr. Lovell.
"We authorized Mr. --
Deane to send us four AT THE DOOR OF THE CONGRESS."
Front and rear views of Indefendence Hall, Philadelfhia, in
French engineers ; in- which the Continental Congress had its sessions.
stead, he sent us some engineers who are no engineers, and


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