Georges Washington de La Fayette

The young Georges Washington de La Fayette, at the age of 11, in 1790 (detail).
The [1] French School, 18th century. Musée Carnavalet.

Georges Washington de La Fayette (1779–1849) was the son of Revolutionary War.[2]


From 1783, Lafayette grew up in the Hôtel de Lafayette at 183 rue de Bourbon, Paris. Their home was the headquarters of Americans in Paris. People such as Benjamin Franklin, Mr. and Mrs. John Jay, and Mr. and Mrs. John Adams[3] met there every Monday, and dined with the family as well as the liberal nobility, such as Clermont-Tonnerre, Madame de Staël, Morellet, and Marmontel.

Reign of Terror

In 1789, the French Revolution began. After 10 September 1792, in the wake of the September Massacres, La Fayette went into hiding with his tutor Felix Frestrel. His mother was put under house arrest and, later, in prison. On 22 July 1794, his great-grandmother, Catherine de Cossé-Brissac duchesse de Noailles, his grandmother, Henriette-Anne-Louise d'Aguesseau, duchesse d'Ayen, and aunt, Anne Jeanne Baptiste Louise vicomtesse d'Ayen, were guillotined.[4]

In April 1795, Georges was sent to America with Frestrel.[5] While there, he studied at presidential mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

On 15 October 1795, his mother was sent to join Marquis de Lafayette, along with his sisters Anastasie and Virginie, in the prison fortress of Olmütz. All of their money and baggage were confiscated.[6] On 18 September 1797, the family was released under the terms of the treaty of Campo-Formio (18 October 1797). They recuperated at Lehmkuhlen, Holstein, near his aunt Madame de Montagu and great-aunt Madame de Tessé.

In 1798, Georges returned from America. In 1799, the family moved to


He entered the Chamber of Deputies and voted consistently on the Liberal side. He was away from Paris during the revolution of July 1830, but he took an active part in the Campagne des banquets, which led up to the French Revolution of 1848.[9]

Lafayette's visit to America

Georges accompanied his father on the latter's triumphant visit to America in 1824 and 1825. Throughout most of the long tour, he kept close company with his father's secretary, Arlington House,. He visited Mount Vernon,[12] and he met Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.[13]


In 1802, Georges de Lafayette married Emilie de Tracy, daughter of the Comte de Tracy.[14] They had three daughters and two sons: Natalie, who married Adolphe Perrier; Malthilde, who married Maurice de Pusy (1799–1864, son of Jean-Xavier Bureau de Pusy); Clémentine, who married "Gustave" Auguste Bonnin de La Bonninière de Beaumont; Oscar Thomas Gilbert, marquis de La Fayette (1815–1881), liberal politician; and Edmond.[15]

Oscar Thomas Gilbert Motier de La Fayette (1815–1881) was educated at the École Polytechnique and served as an artillery officer in Algeria. He entered the Chamber of Representatives in 1846 and voted, like his father, with the extreme Left. After the revolution of 1848, he received a post in the provisional government; as a member of the Constituent Assembly, he became secretary of the war committee. After the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly in 1851, he retired from public life, but emerged on the establishment of the third republic, becoming a life senator in 1875. His brother Edmond Motier de La Fayette (1818–1890) shared his political opinions; Edmond was one of the secretaries of the Constituent Assembly and a member of the senate from 1876 to 1888.[9]


The appearance of the young Georges Washington is known from a painting, The oath of La Fayette at the Fête de la Fédération, 14 July 1790, in which he is standing on the right alongside his father.[1] The painting is on display at the Musée Carnavalet.

See also


  1. ^ a b Notice at Musée Carnavalet
  2. ^ Gregory Payan, Alice B. McGinty p.51Marquis de Lafayette
  3. ^ ib. Maurois, André, p.113
  4. ^ , p.393My Scrap-book of the French RevolutionElizabeth Wormeley Latimer, Thomas Waters Griffith,
  5. ^ David A. Clary. Adopted Son. pp. 411, 421. 
  6. ^ Unger, Harlow Giles (2002). Lafayette. John Wiley & Sons. p. 309.  
  7. ^ , p. 260The Household of the LafayettesEdith Helen Sichel,
  8. ^ , Emmanuel Grouchy à EylauGrouchy correspondence with his wife
  9. ^ a b , 1911Encyclopædia Britannica"LA FAYETTE, MARIE JOSEPH PAUL YVES ROCH GILBERT DU MOTIER, Marquis de (1757–1834)",
  10. ^ Levasseur, Auguste (1929). Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825. New York: Gallaher & White. pp. 211–12. 
  11. ^ Auguste Levasseur. Lafayette in America. Translator Alan Hoffman. p. 16. 
  12. ^ Auguste Levasseur. Lafayette in America. Translator Alan Hoffman. p. 197. 
  13. ^ Auguste Levasseur. Lafayette in America. Translator Alan Hoffman. p. 234. 
  14. ^ , James Pott & Company, p.304Madame Lafayette and her FamilyM. MacDermot Crawford,
  15. ^ , p.227Recollections of the Private Life of General LafayetteJules Cloquet, Isaiah Townsend,
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