Honors and memorials to the Marquis de Lafayette

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette.jpg

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), a French aristocrat and Revolutionary War hero, was widely commemorated in the U.S. and elsewhere. Below is a list of the many homages and/or tributes named in his honor:


U.S. Postage Stamp, 1957 issue, 3c, commemorating 200th anniversary of the birth of La Fayette
  • In 1792, James McHenry, whom Lafayette considered a good friend, purchased a tract called Ridgely's Delight about a mile west of Baltimore. On it, he built a country seat on 95 acres and named it Fayetteville in his honor.[1]
  • In 1824, the U.S. government named Lafayette Park in his honor; it lies immediately north of the White House in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1826, Lafayette College was chartered in Easton, Pennsylvania. Lafayette was honored with a monument in New York City in 1917.[2] Portraits display Washington and Lafayette in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.[3] Numerous towns, cities, and counties across the United States were named in his honor.
  • In 1831, the French navy surgeon and naturalist René Primevère Lesson honored Lafayette by giving the Sri Lankan junglefowl the scientific name Gallus lafayetii. Hence the spelling lafayetii is considered a lapsus and the corrected spelling G. lafayettii is in common use.[4]
  • In 1834, upon Lafayette's death, American President Andrew Jackson ordered that Lafayette be accorded the same funeral honors as John Adams and George Washington. Therefore, 24-gun salutes were fired from military posts and ships, each shot representing a U.S. state. Flags flew at half mast for thirty-five days, and "military officers wore crepe for six months".[5][6] The Congress hung black in chambers and asked the entire country to dress in black for the next thirty days.[7]
  • In 1899, Lafayette appeared with Washington on a U.S. coin, the Lafayette dollar that was minted in 1899 (though showing the year 1900). It was produced to raise money for a statue of him that was erected in Paris.
  • On July 4, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entered World War I, Colonel Charles E. Stanton visited the grave of Lafayette and uttered the famous phrase "Lafayette, we are here." After the war, a U.S. flag was permanently placed at the grave site. Every year, on Independence Day, the flag is replaced in a joint French-American ceremony.[8] The flag remained even during the German occupation of Paris during World War II.
  • In 1943, on visiting Corsica, General George S. Patton commented on how the Free French forces had liberated the birthplace of Napoleon, and promised that the Americans would liberate the birthplace of Lafayette.
  • In 1958, the Order of Lafayette was established by U.S. Representative Hamilton Fish III, a World War I veteran, to promote Franco-American friendship and to honor Americans who fought in France. The frigate Hermione, in which Lafayette returned to America, has been reconstructed in the port of Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, France.[9]
  • In 2002, although he became a naturalized American citizen during his lifetime,[10][11][12] Lafayette was granted honorary United States citizenship by the United States Congress.[13]

Military and maritime[edit]

The aircraft carrier USS Langley was renamed La Fayette by France

Several warships were named after Lafayette:






Other Places[edit]

Lafayette in sculpture[edit]

Monument to Lafayette in Paris



  1. ^ Bernard Christian Steiner (1907). The life and correspondence of James McHenry: Secretary of War under Washington and Adams. The Burrows Brothers Company.
  2. ^ "Marquis de Lafayette". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. 7 March 2002. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  3. ^ Ike Skelton (22 May 2007). "House Record: Honoring The Marquis De Lafayette On The Occasion Of The 250th Anniversary Of His Birth: Section 29". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 11 August 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ Grouw, Hein van, Dekkers, Wim & Rookmaaker, Kees (2017). On Temminck’s tailless Ceylon Junglefowl, and how Darwin denied their existence. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club (London), 137 (4), 261-271. https://doi.org/10.25226/bboc.v137i4.2017.a3
  5. ^ Gaines, p. 448
  6. ^ Clary, p. 448
  7. ^ Clary, p. 449
  8. ^ "Lafayette and the American Flag: The Fourth of July Ceremony". Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  9. ^ Robert Kalbach. "L'Hermione". L'Hermione (in French). L’association Hermione-La Fayette. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  10. ^ Speare, Morris Edmund "Lafayette, Citizen of America", New York Times, 7 September 1919. The article contains a facsimile and transcript of the Maryland act:"An Act to naturalize Major General the Marquiss de la Fayette and his Heirs Male Forever... Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland—that the Marquiss de la Fayette and his Heirs male forever shall be and they and each of them are hereby deemed adjudged and taken to be natural born Citizens of this State and shall henceforth be instilled to all the Immunities, Rights and Privileges of natural born Citizens thereof, they and every one of them conforming to the Constitution and Laws of this State in the Enjoyment and Exercise of such Immunities, Rights and Privileges."
  11. ^ Folliard, Edward T. "JFK Slipped on Historical Data In Churchill Tribute" Sarasota Journal, 25 May 1973.
  12. ^ Cornell, Douglas B. "Churchill Acceptance 'Honors Us Far More'" Sumter Daily Item, 10 April 1963.
  13. ^ Public Law 107-209
  14. ^ "Lafayette Square". Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved March 25, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Kowsky, p. 88
  16. ^ Anne L. Poulet, Jean-Antoine Houdon (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2003), p. 260

Works cited[edit]