Continental Army General Marquis de Lafayette ALS


ALS in English, signed “Lafayette,” one page, 6 x 7.75, no date. Letter to a gentleman. In part: “Will you allow me, instead of coming, to send the carriage as I am obliged to pay a visit…I will beg permission to stop on my return at M. Benjamin Constant’s…the carriage may take you…and come again for me at B. Constant’s.” Also addressed on the reverse of the second integral page in Lafayette’s hand. A carte-de-visite portraying Lafayette is affixed to the blank area at the bottom of the letter. In fine condition, with intersecting folds and uniform toning. Constant, a political activist and writer on politics and religion, was a prominent champion of civil liberties and a close friend of Lafayette. This item would be very suitable for framing.

Lafayette was a French statesman and military officer (1757–1834) who became an intimate associate of George Washington and who advanced the American cause on both sides of the Atlantic. Though he espoused many of the principles behind the French Revolution while advocating a limited monarchy, extremist elements in the French Assembly declared him a traitor, whereupon he was jailed for five years. In 1824–1825 he revisited America, where he was hailed as a hero and granted a generous stipend and parcel of land.

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