Marquis de Lafayette
The Marquis de Lafayette, the wealthy Frenchman who aided the rebels during the Revolutionary War, is one of two people to be the subject of three statues in the city.
- There is the monument to him and Washington at Morningside Park, Manhattan Avenue and 117th Street.
- There also are is a monument to him at the 9th Street entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, on Park West.
- There is a statue of the marquis in Union Square at Park South and 16th.
You can read more about Mr. Lafayette here. But, in short, Lafayette was, in the decades after the American Revolution, hailed as a hero in these parts. You don’t have to browse very deep into a collection of news clippings from the 1800s before you run across commemorations and banquets and other hijinks celebrating Lafayette’s contributions to American history.
He was born Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier on Sept. 6, 1757. He was an aristocrat and military officer and was both a general and diplomat during the American Revolution, and later was a key figure in the early stages of the French Revolution. He died May 20, 1834.
* I snagged the image of the marquis above, which is the famous portrait by Charles Wilson Peale, from the very cool Teaching Politics Web site maintained by Dr. William Ball of the College of New Jersey.
Updated November 2007