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Education in New York Summit: Where Were Local and State History?

On August 17, City & State held a New York State education summit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan. The opening keynote was delivered by Dr. Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of Education & President of the University of the State of New York. The presenters on various panels included among others:

John C. Liu, Chair, State Senate Committee on New York City Education
Michael Mulgrew, President, United Teachers Federation
Rita Joseph, Chair, New York City Council Education Committee
Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair, State Senate Higher Education Committee>
Eric Dinowitz, Chair, New York City Council Higher Education Committee
Shelley Mayer, Chair, State Senate Education Committee.

In addition, state and school district leaders along with industry experts populated the panels and the audience.

The purpose of this blog is not to summarize what was discussed, but to point out what was not. Where were local and state history in the daylong session?

I will confine myself to two history events that occurred just scant yards away from where the education summit was being held – Lafayette’s return to the United States beginning in 1824 and the Mente departure from the United States in 1841. Both events were not only local events but state and national events. The Mente are better known as the people from the Amistad after whom some New York State commissions are named; Lafayette has given his name to streets, villages, towns, and cities in the state as well as being the subject of statues and monuments. I just attended a Lafayette monument rededication in Fishkill, New York on August 27, for example.


President James Monroe invited the Marquis de Lafayette to return to the United States in 1824 during a bitterly fought presidential election year. The August 17 date of the Education Summit was on the 199th anniversary of his arrival in New York. If the same event is held next year, it will be during the bicentennial.

The American Friends of Lafayette (AFL) is planning a nationwide celebration of Lafayette’s return in 2024-2025. There were only 24 states then so the task is not quite as daunting as it might seem at first glance. Next year, August 17, 2024, is a Saturday. If the summit is moved up one day to Friday, August 16, 2024, it will be meeting during the 200th anniversary parade from Castle Clinton, an historic site in its own right, to the City Hall. Perhaps City & State will schedule a break during the summit so the participants in the education summit, can participate in the parade as well.

During his 13-month visit, Lafayette traveled from Manhattan through what is now the Bronx to Westchester on his way to Boston by horse and carriage. He also traveled by steamboat on the Hudson. Finally, near the end of his visit, he traveled along the route of the soon-to-be-opened Erie Canal, another bicentennial event of local, state, and national significance sure to be overlooked in any education summit.

In short, the Lafayette Bicentennial is symptomatic of the absence of local history in the planning for the future.


The Amistad name is well-known in state education circles. Indeed, it may be difficult to keep track of all the various commissions and legislative bills.

Amistad Commission – There is an effort by the Department of State to resurrect the defunct commission that has been inactive for years and the source of multiple blogs on my part castigating it for its shortcomings. I attended the second meeting of the new commission at Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers earlier this year and spoke with some people who attended the third meeting in Albany. These meetings seem to be more of presentations and not designed to elicit feedback from the community. I am not sure what its real objective or plan is for this Commission or if it ever will amount to more than the earlier attempt did. I could be proven wrong.

1. Amistad Relocation Legislation (S1032) – An apparently failed effort this past legislative session to transfer responsibility of the Amistad Commission from the Department of State to the Education Department. The Commission such as it exists does belong in the Department of Education and not the Department of State.
2. Amistad Curriculum Legislation (S5334) – An apparently failed effort this past legislative session involving the curriculum and more of a revision than a simple relocation of an existing commission.
3. Reparations (A7691) – An apparently successful bill passed in the waning hours of the current session and to be sent to the Governor for signing.
4. 1827 Bicentennial Freedom Commission – a bill which never was introduced, might get lost in the crowd if it was introduced, and might suffer some of the same staffing issues as the American Revolution 250th.

The history of the Amistad is closely connected to the Education summit as well. The ship itself arrived in Culloden Point in Montauk on August 26, 1839.On August 26, 2023, the Eastville Community Historical Society, the Southampton African American Museum, and the Montauk Historical Society dedicated a State Historic Marker to the people on La Amistad.  They conducted the ceremony as part of a weekend of remembrance.

The next day, August 27, the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor hosted a panel discussion about the people of the schooner La Amistad, illustrated by scenes from Steven Spielberg’s landmark film, Amistad. This screening and forum was moderated by Dr. Georgette Grier-Key, executive director of the Eastville Community Historical Society, and reflected on the Amistad story both in its historical context and in relation to the echoes that are still felt today throughout our nation.

The departure also is a New York story. On November 25, 1841, the Mende set sail back to Sierra Leone from New York. That date is the anniversary of Evacuation Day ending the British occupation of New York City in 1783. The plaza in front of the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, a short distance from the Education Summit, has been renamed Evacuation Plaza.

By coincidence, Fraunces Tavern, also located near the site of the Education Summit, recently opened a new exhibit on the Birch Trials. They are about the Black Loyalists who joined with the British evacuating New York and the United States for Canada and eventually to Freetown, Sierra Leone. At a recent history conference, I asked a presenter if she knew if the Mende had known about these arrivals from the United States, but she did not know.

Perhaps I should ask Frances Tiafoe the son of Sierra Leone immigrants, at the U.S. Open. Last year when I saw him play, I had no idea who he was.

But I digress. A teacher is sure to red-mark some of these comments.

It is not just that local history is all around us, it is all around the very place where the New York State Education summit is held. Maybe next year, there will be a place for local and state history in the education summit as well.

Lafayette, You Are Here! August 15, 1824: The Bicentennial Countdown

1824 Elections (Wikipedia)

In 1824, President James Monroe invited the Marquis de Lafayette to tour the original 13 states. The year was a presidential election year. The era of good feelings was over. It had been replaced by bitter sectionalism. No one American was popular throughout the country to complete such a tour. Individual presidential candidates had regional strongholds.

Lafayette represented a living link to the American Revolution. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did too. Both had had their shot at unity as Presidents and both were in the waning years of their lives. Plus Lafayette was a “defacto” son of George Washington who had not yet become just another dead white man or name people mentioned without having any direct connection to him.

His tour was widely successful (imagine Taylor Swift making stops at localities throughout the country). It was so successful that the new 11 states since the Revolution asked that he visit them as well. Lafayette ended touring all 24 states.

As a living testament to his appeal, all manner of places were named after him. For example, there is a Lafayette Drive where I live. Besides streets there were villages, towns, and cities named after him or his home, La Grange, in France. Statutes were erected to him. However the now-closed Lafayette High School in Brooklyn may be better known for being the school of Sandy Koufax than for its namesake.


The American Friends of Lafayette is dedicated to celebrating the bicentennial of Lafayette’s visit. It has issued the following:

Lafayette’s Farewell Tour saw the French 67-year-old last surviving major general of the American Revolution triumphantly return to the country he loved. He was invited with the hope that he might bring a renewed unity and patriotic fervor back to American citizens being torn apart by the divisive Presidential campaign of 1824. Lafayette accepted this invitation desiring to both revisit old friends and to bring the story of the fruits of democracy back to a France, then being ruled by an undemocratic monarchy. From August 15, 1824, to September 9, 1825, Lafayette covered over 6000 miles by carriage, stagecoach, canal boat, and steamboat, traveling to all 24 then-existing states and “Washington City.” As a youth, Lafayette was instrumental in securing American independence both through his direct military leadership in the Revolutionary War, as well as his constant petitioning of King Louis XVI and France for their alliance and support. Therefore, it was with heartfelt gratitude and joy that Americans welcomed him as “The Nation’s Guest” during his Farewell Tour in 1824-1825.

During our celebration of the Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour, the AFL will hold events in cities and towns in all of the 24 states Lafayette visited, and we will follow Lafayette’s 1824-1825 itinerary. With over 400 “boots-on-the-ground” volunteers, the planned activities will be unique to their individual locations.

The goal of this commemorative odyssey is to “Celebrate, Commemorate, and Educate!” Our three-fold emphasis will be:

Human Rights: Lafayette was an abolitionist, supported the rights of women and Native Americans, and championed religious freedom.

The Franco-American Alliance: This friendship of two nations which began during the American Revolution, in a large part through the efforts of Lafayette, has weathered multiple adversities and remains strong to today…nearly 250 years later!

The importance of linking the past to the present: President James Monroe invited Lafayette to America hoping that he could bring unity and revive patriotism in America. Lafayette’s presence had an ameliorative effect on a country torn apart by the contentious Presidential election of 1824, which was decided by the House of Representatives. The AFL will explore what we can learn from Lafayette that is relevant to today’s fraught political environment.

 Please visit for more information.

Lafayette arrived at Staten Island on August 15, 1824, 199 years ago. He crossed the harbor the next day to Castle Garden which would become the arrival point so many Irish in the 19th century. Depending on the status of the post-Sandy Resiliency project, a Lafayette re-enactor will follow that route with a parade up Broadway to City Hall. I am working with the AFL on this portion of his visit.

After a few days in lower Manhattan, he then headed north eventually on the Boston Post Road to Cambridge. He intended to visit John Adams there. I am responsible for the Westchester portion of the trip which at that time included potions of the Bronx. All told, Lafayette made nine stops on August 20, 1824, before arriving in Connecticut and making a few more stops. Quite a lengthy day for someone traveling by horse and carriage. It’s a little like taking the Stamford local from Grand Central and making every single stop. At each stop, he would be greeted by some combination of music, muskets, and people on horseback including veterans from the American Revolution.

Since August 20, 2024, is a Tuesday, County Executive George Latimer has exercised his powers in history to shift the celebration to Sunday, August 18, 2024.

Last week I spoke to the trustees of the Town of Rye who passed a proclamation recognizing the day to be set aside as the day honoring Lafayette. All the people from Lafayette Drive will be invited to the ceremony. According to newspaper accounts, he had a glass of wine there.


Future historians will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the two visits by Lafayette – the one by the real Lafayette and the other by the re-enactor. You can see the latter on this short video which has been produced by the American Friends of Lafayette. Click here.

This time around, he will be arriving approximately one month after the Republic presidential convention and he will be in New York when the Democratic presidential convention begins. Since he stayed at the home of the Vice President on Staten Island on August 15, 2024, there will just be sufficient time for the current Vice President to welcome him there before departing for the convention. The larger question is will the visit of Lafayette be weaponized as a prelude to the American Revolution 250th.

Lafayette, the re-enactor, will have the opportunity to touch upon issues that continue to this very day. While he would applaud the end of slavery, that does not mean he would support how slavery is taught especially in the Confederate states. Lafayette was very closely associated with Oneida from Valley Forge. Already in 1824, he was extremely disappointed as to how America’s allies had been treated in the time since the war. In other words, there will be topics to discuss through Lafayette that are still relevant.

Lafayette in 2024 is not likely to be the unifying figure in 2024 that he was in 1824. However his visit has the potential to spark conversations about he thought then and what it means now. The challenge for the American Friends of Lafayette is to provide venues for discussion for topics that will carryover through the presidential election and into the 250th. If he can be the spark for such discussions then the bicentennial of visit may have even more impact than his actual visit two centuries ago.

Lafayette’s Final Visit to New York

This post is the last on Lafayette’s travels to New York State. For the earlier posts go to:

The Lafayette 1824-1825 Bicentennial: Are You Ready?

Lafayette in New York Bicentennial: His Second Trip

Lafayette in New York: The Third of Four Trips

In this trip, he once again makes use of the new-fangled steamboat to quickly travel from Lake Champlain in a way that would have seemed astonishing to the younger Lafayette riding these same grounds nearly 50 years earlier. He does manage to visit some the very sites I used to take the teachers to on the IHARE Teacherhostels/Historyhostels.

In the previous trips by land, he probably stopped at locations that did not make these lists which ae based where he was at night. One respondent noted a local tradition that Lafayette had visited his town even though it was not on the list. He knew where Lafayette had been the night before to the west of the town and the night afterwards to the east. Since there only was one road connecting the two locations, he was reasonably confident that the tradition of Lafayette in his town in-between was correct. So if you have not seen your name in any of these four lists that does not mean Lafayette was not there.

June 29 Lake Champlain Aboard the Phoenix steamboat
June 30 Whitehall
June 30 Schuylerville Schuyler’s Mansion
July 1 Albany Banquet at Crittenden’s
July 2 West Point United States Military Academy
July 3 Downriver Down the Hudson to New York
July 4 New York Reception at City Hall in Manhattan – Cincinnati Hall – Park Theatre and Castle Garden
July 4 Brooklyn Laying of the cornerstone of Apprentices Library
July 5 New York
July 6 New York Attends Transparency exhibits
July 7 New York
July 8 New York
July 9 New York Balloon Ascension at Castle Garden – American Star Race
July 9 Jersey City Richard Varick’s Residence
July 10 New York
July 11 New York
July 12 New York Attends the Lafayette Circus – Dinner with Richard Rush at Dr. Hosack’s
July 13 New York
July 14 New York Leaves New York City from Hoboken Ferry

As it turns out, not only was Lafayette was in New York on 9/11 in 1824 and on July 4, 1825. That means New York City has two prominent opportunities to celebrate his visits in 2024 and 2025.

You also may have noted that on some days in this list, there is little information about what Lafayette actually did then. These blank spaces highlight the need for additional research. It also suggests the need to a master map showing the 4 routes of his visit where viewers could click on the sites for more detailed information about he did there. Such a map would be a statewide initiative so it remains unclear who would host and maintain it plus gather the necessary information.

One may add that the exact same conditions will apply to the American Revolution 250th anniversary. Particularly starting after the toppling of the statue of George III in lower Manhattan, each year until Evacuation Day in 1783, different sites are prominent. From a tourist perspective, this means New York could have a series of unique anniversary trips from 2024 to 2033 related to Lafayette and the American Revolution. That’s a ten year plan.

In addition, the long stays in Manhattan provide excellent opportunities for Lafayette conferences and events. One hopes by 2024, it will be safe to move about the state.

At this point the Governor has signed the legislation authorizing the creation of the American Revolution 250th commission. Hopefully, once it is up and running, there will be an opportunity to approach it about including Lafayette in the tourist and education programs.

Lafayette in New York: The Third of Four Trips

Lafayette and Oneida at Valley Forge: Peter Agwrongdougwas, “Good Peter,” (1717–1793), Chief of the Oneida Indians by John Trumbull. (Yale University Art Gallery)

The third of Lafayette’s trips into New York differed from his first two trips. In those, New York City had served as his base: first along the Boston Post Road to New England and second up the Hudson River to Albany/Troy. The third occurred after he undertook a long junket across the United States. He headed south to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

From October 12, 1824, to February 22, 1825, Lafayette used the nation’s capital as his base. He interspersed his stay there with forays into Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Yes, he did visit the Yorktown Battlefield. From November 6 to 19, 1824, his stayed at Monticello and then Montpelier. He saw Thomas Jefferson approximately 20 months before he died and then stayed with James Monroe, the current President who had extended an invitation to visit the United States in the first place. He was an eyewitness to the tumultuous presidential election of 1824, another pending bicentennial which we might not only commemorate but relive in 2024-2025. Lafayette ended his capital visit with a ball on February 22, 1825, in honor of George Washington.

Next he took the grand tour or great circle route in the United States as it existed then. He traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina (a lot of time in Charleston), Georgia (Savannah), Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, steamboat to Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky (multiple times), Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia (still part of Virginia), and Pennsylvania. That brought him to the borders of New York. He then crossed the state to Massachusetts following the Erie Canal and Routes 5 and 20 (I guess).

This portion of his travels connected him with a great deal of history. He was in the area to be painted by the Hudson River School. He saw much of the nearly completed Erie Canal which would open November 4, 1825, with the Wedding of the Waters He reconnected with the Oneida who like France had been an ally of the United States in the American Revolution. He was traveling through what became the Burned-over District that was becoming the hotspot for social, cultural, and religious activities.

And he was like Johnny Appleseed. Instead of planting seeds he planted communities named after him and which continue to exist to this very day.

This leg of Lafayette’s journey intersects with a wide range of topics in New York State history. There is more to remembering his trip than simply placing a plaque. Consider some of the other anniversaries also occurring at this time:

2024 Centennial of the New York State Office of Parks and Historic Preservation
2024 Centennial of the Indian Citizenship Act
2025 Bicentennial of the Erie Canal with construction already underway
2026 Semiquincentennial of the American Revolution.

So the Lafayette Bicentennial to places like West Point and Oriskany will be prior to the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution events there. Devin Lander, the New York State historian has agreed that Lafayette-related events can be included the Semiquincentennial website hosted by the New York State Museum.

His trip also demonstrates the need for some coordination in the planning of events. We do not want history organizations tripping over themselves in trying to cope with commemorating all the events 100, 200, and 250 years ago. Circumstances are difficult now due to COVID. On the other hand we are all familiar with virtual conferences. Here is where New York State suffers from the absence of a state historical association that could take a leadership position in coordinating the state commemoration of these anniversaries.

PS From time to time I check on the status of the legislation authorizing the commission for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. The clock is ticking and the end of the year was fast approaching with still no signing. Then on December 26, 2021, I checked the State Senate website. Lo and behold! On December 22, 2021, Governor Hochul had signed into law “New York State 250th Commemoration act”. So at some point soon, one hopes the members of the Commission will be named and we can start advocating for funding for it.

1825    June 4  Portland          NY      No specific info
1825    June 4  Fredonia          NY      Abell’s Hotel
1825    June 4  Dunkirk           NY      Riverfront
1825    June 4  Buffalo           NY      Eagle Tavern
1825    June 5  Niagara Falls   NY      Goat Island
1825    June 6  Youngstown   NY      Old Fort Niagara
1825    June 6  Lockport         NY      Locks
1825    June 6  Albion             NY      Erie Canal
1825    June 7 Rochester       NY       Colonel Hoard’s & Christopher’s Mansion House
1825    June 7  Mendon           NY     The Hotel
1825    June 7-8                       NY      Canandaigua John Grieg’s Mansion
1825    June 8  Geneva            NY      Franklin Hotel
1825    June 8  Auburn            NY     Hudson’s Hotel / Brown’s Assemblyroom
1825    June 9  Skaneateles     NY     Hall’s Hotel
1825    June 9  Marcellus         NY
1825    June 9  Onondaga       NY      Onondaga Courthouse
1825    June 9  Syracuse          NY      Williston’s Mansion House
1825   June 9  Rome                NY      The Arsenal, Simonson’s House & Starr’s Hotel
1825    June 10 Oriskany        NY      Colonel Gerrit Lansing’s House & Judge Platt’s House
1825    June 10 Utica              NY      Shepard’s Hotel
1825    June 11 Little Falls      NY      By the Canal
1825    June 11 Schenectady  NY      Union Street landing / Givens’ Hotel
1825    June 12 Albany           NY      Cruttenden’s Hotel
1825    June 13 New Lebanon            NY      Kerr and Hull’s Columbia Hall

Lafayette in New York Bicentennial: His Second Trip

Lafayette portrait by Ary Scheffer in House of Representatives (1825)

Lafayette’s second trip in New York was in a different direction.  In a previous blog, The Lafayette 1824-1825 Bicentennial: Are You Ready?, I presented the first trip. He left New York and followed the Boston Post Road to Boston and the interior of New England. In this blog, I provide the stops on his second trip. This time he heads north and not by land but by water. He travels the Hudson River from New York to Albany/Troy and back.

This 1824 journey occurred as New York State was undergoing rapid changes. One year later, Thomas Cole also would travel on the Hudson and paint View from Fort Putnam. I do not know if he was influenced at all by Lafayette’s own visit to West Point and honoring of the American Revolution. While Washington Irving ironically was in France, James Fenimore Cooper was in New York. He witnessed Lafayette’s arrival and participated in the activities arranged for Lafayette. It certainly is worth pursuing how many of the cultured elite in Manhattan, Lafayette met and what the impact of his proposed visit to all 24 states in the country meant.

In another leg of visit, he would cross upper New York State from Niagara along the partially-built Erie Canal into Massachusetts. So he was traveling to areas that would become part of the Hudson River School even before some of the artists painted it and the writers wrote about New York. I am sure people more knowledgeable than me already have written about the connections he was making in New York City and the impact of his visit. These would be great topics for a Lafayette conference.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, I am working with two French/Lafayette organizations: American Friends of Lafayette and the American Society of Le Souvenir Français. This list was provided to me by the American Friends of Lafayette. Julien Icher is a member of that organization as well as the founder of The Lafayette Trail, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that “aims to educate the public about the national significance of Lafayette’s Tour and to promote a broader understanding of Lafayette’s numerous contributions to American independence and national coherence in preparation for the 2024-2025 tour bicentennial celebrations.” Readers of this blog may already have or be working with The Lafayette Trail to erect markers at their locations in recognition of his visit to their site.

1824 Sept 5 Manhattan NY City Hotel
1824 Sept 6 Manhattan NY City Hall, Washington Hall
1824 Sept 7 Manhattan NY Academy of Arts, Hospital, Almshouse
1824 Sept 8 Brooklyn NY Narrows / Fort Lafayette
1824 Sept 9 Manhattan NY St Paul’s Church, the Park
1824 Sept 10 Manhattan NY Free Schools, Vauxhall Gardens – Sword and Belt presented to Lafayette
1824 Sept 11 Manhattan NY Banquet by French citizens, Chatham Garden Theatre
1824 Sept 12 Manhattan NY
1824 Sept 13 Manhattan NY
1824 Sept 14 Manhattan NY Castle Garden Party to Lafayette
1824 Sept 15 West Point NY United States Military Academy
1824 Sept 15 Newburgh NY Orange Hotel
1824 Sept 16 Poughkeepsie NY Forbus House, Poughkeepsie Hotel
1824 Sept 16 Staatsburg NY General Morgan Lewis’s
1824 Sept 16 Clermont NY Robert Livingston’s House
1824 Sept 17 Albany NY Cruttenden’s Hotel, Canal Lock, Capitol
1824 Sept 18 Troy NY Emma Willard’s Female Academy, Troy House
1824 Sept 19 Albany NY Descent of the Hudson River – Arriving at Courtland Wharf
1824 Sept 20 Manhattan NY Dinner at Washington Hall –  Park Theatre in the evening
1824 Sept 21 Manhattan NY At New York
1824 Sept 22 Manhattan NY C.D. Holden’s
1824 Sept 23 Manhattan NY City Hotel (Address by Mumford), Cincinnati entourage, James Kent

Lafayette in New England Bicentennial: His Second Trip

Lafayette portrait by Ary Scheffer in House of Representatives (1825)

Lafayette made two trips to New England during his 1824-1825 visit. In a previous blog, The Lafayette 1824-1825 Bicentennial: Are You Ready?, I presented the 1824 visit. In this blog, I provide the stops on his 1825 visit. As you see, the 200th anniversary of Lafayette’s visit in 2025 coincides with the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. So, for example, he was at Bunker Hill for the 50th anniversary of the battle which now will be the 250th anniversary. It will be necessary for locations to keep in mind these potentially overlapping dates.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, I am working with two French/Lafayette organizations: American Friends of Lafayette and the American Society of Le Souvenir Français. This list was provided to me by the American Friends of Lafayette. Julien Icher is a member of that organization as well as the founder of The Lafayette Trail, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that “aims to educate the public about the national significance of Lafayette’s Tour and to promote a broader understanding of Lafayette’s numerous contributions to American independence and national coherence in preparation for the 2024-2025 tour bicentennial celebrations.” Readers of this blog may already have or be working with The Lafayette Trail to erect markers at their locations in recognition of his visit to their site.

In Lafayette’s 1824 trip, he left New York and followed the Boston Post Road to Boston and the interior of New England. In his 1825 trip, he was traveling across New York from Niagara Falls along the Erie Canal (I-90 and Route 20 today) into Massachusetts and then northern New England. He ends fittingly at Lake Champlain where he boards one of those new steamboats, an invention that was revolutionizing tourism.

For more information about Lafayette’s visit to New England, go to the New England Historical Society website:

Lafayette Returns To America

When the Marquis de Lafayette returned to America for an extended tour of the 50-year-old Republic, he was no longer the slim young nobleman in a powdered wig.

At 66 years old, he had cropped his still-dark hair in the fashion of the day. He had acquired gravitas during his political career in France. Lafayette survived  the tumultuous years of the revolution and its aftermath, which for him included a five-year prison term.

I wonder how many streets and towns were named after him as a result of this visit just in your state yet alone the entire country of 24 states that existed then, all of which he went to.

Here in New York, I have contacted the New York State Historian about including Lafayette-related events on the state website for the American Revolution 250th events. He has agreed to include them. The situation may vary from state to state. I also hope to have my own County legislature designate the August 20, 2024 as Lafayette bicentennial day in the County with all the municipalities he visited that day participating.

If there are history/museum conferences in 2022, it may be appropriate to have a Lafayette session. Since any such conferences are likely to be virtual based on the present situation, it will not be possible to have a table or booth with Lafayette materials including how to get a Lafayette history marker if you do not already have one. Everything will have to be done online for now.

1825 June 13 Pittsfield MA Joseph Merrick’s Coffee House
1825 June 13 Dalton MA Nelson’s Coffee House
1825 June 13 Worthington MA
1825 June 14 Northampton MA Warner’s Hotel & Meetinghouse
1825 June 15 Worcester MA Exchange Hotel
1825 June 16 Boston MA Reception by Mrs. Quincy
1825 June 17 Charlestown MA Bunker Hill Monument Ceremony – Webster’s Address – Masonic Procession – Party at Mrs. Webster’s on Summer Street
1825 June 18 Quincy MA John Adams’s House
1825 June 19 Cambridge MA Divine Service on Brattle Street
1825 June 20 Boston MA Banquet at the Mechanics Association
1825 June 21 Reading MA Skinner’s Tavern, Barnard’s Hotel
1825 June 21 Andover MA Theological Institution, Taylor’s Hotel
1825 June 21 Methuen MA Josiah Quincy’s goodbye
1825 June 21 Salem NH Londonderry Turnpike
1825 June 21 Derry NH Derby’s House / Adams Female Academy / Redfield’s Tavern
1825 June 21 Pembroke NH Fisk Tavern
1825 June 22 Concord NH New Hampshire State House
1825 June 23 Northwood NH Piper’s Tavern
1825 June 24 Wells ME Wells, Maine
1825 June 24 Kennebunk ME Storer Mansion
1825 June 25 Biddeford ME Seth Spring’s Tavern
1825 June 26 Portland ME Maine Historical Society
1825 June 27 Hopkinton NH Hopkinton Common
1825 June 27 Warner NH Meetinghouse
1825 June 27 Bradford NH Address by Dr. Tappan – Unknown
1825 June 27 Newport NH Cheney’s house – J. Breck House, Common
1825 June 27 Claremont NH Opera House Square
1825 June 28 Cornish NH Cornish Bridge
1825 June 28 Windsor VT Tremont House
1825 June 28 Royalton VT Royalton Common / Bridge St
1825 June 28 Montpelier VT Vermont State House
1825 June 28 Woodstock VT Colonel Cutting’s Hall / meetinghouse / Barker’s Hotel
1825 June 29 Lake Champlain VT/NY Aboard the Phoenix steamboat

The Lafayette 1824-1825 Bicentennial: Are You Ready?

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

The Marquis de Lafayette returned in 1824-1825 to visit the country he helped create. Those dates mean his bicentennial begins even before the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775. In the last few weeks, I have begun working with some French organizations including:

American Friends of Lafayette
American Society of Le Souvenir Français

to promote the bicentennial of that visit.

There already is a spread sheet detailing day-by-day exactly where Lafayette was as he traveled throughout the country. This makes it easier to begin the planning process since we know where he was and when he was there. Corrections, updates, or revisions may be necessary.

This information comes from The Lafayette Trail, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that “aims to educate the public about the national significance of Lafayette’s Tour and to promote a broader understanding of Lafayette’s numerous contributions to American independence and national coherence in preparation for the 2024-2025 tour bicentennial celebrations.” Readers of this blog may already have or be working with The Lafayette Trail to erect markers at their locations in recognition of his visit to their site.

The possible programs/events related to Lafayette’s visit include:

Academic – a Lafayette conference(s) on his role in the American Revolution and the historical meaning of his visit in 1824-1825.

Education – teachers will now have the opportunity to say that Lafayette from the musical Hamilton was in our community at this location and on this date.

Preservation – what remains of the actual places Lafayette visited and what signs/markers are needed?

Tourism – Lafayette traveled by water and by land including on some of the same roads that exist to this very day. That means Lafayette boat rides, Lafayette bike rides, Lafayette runs/walks, and Lafayette cannon firing.

Website – there should be a website with the individual sites and history markers about Lafayette’s visit. It should have information about each stop and links to the state tourist website.

In this blog, I will start with the very beginning of his visit especially since it includes New Rochelle, NY, where I grew up, Sawpit/Port Chester, NY, where I now live, and the Boston Post Road.

1824 Aug 15 Staten Island NY Daniel Tompkins Residence
1824 Aug 16 Brooklyn NY Fort Lafayette – 13-gun salute
1824 Aug 16 New York NY Castle Clinton National Monument
1824 Aug 17 Manhattan NY City Hall
1824 Aug 18 Manhattan NY Navy Yard, City Hall, City Hotel, Historical Society
1824 Aug 19 Manhattan NY French Society Reception, Fire Department Parade, Delegations Reception
1824 Aug 20 Harlem NY Harlem Bridge

Here we have three boat rides – from France to Staten Island, from Staten Island to Brooklyn, and from Brooklyn to Manhattan – a parade, a 13-gun salute, and receptions. August 20 would be a busy day as he started in Harlem and then continued to Westchester.

1824 Aug 20 East Chester NY
1824 Aug 20 New Rochelle NY Peeler’s Tavern
1824 Aug 20 Rye NY Penfield’s [Square House]
1824 Aug 20 Sawpit NY Mr. Moreman’s
1824 Aug 20 NY/CT NY/CT Byram Bridge

This is a lot of stops to cram into one day of travel from Harlem to Bridgeport. According to Barbara Davis, New Rochelle City historian, there was a 19-gun salute before a crowd of great cheering. Town of Rye historian Gregg Hamilton thinks Liberty Square in Port Chester at the intersection of the Boston Post Road and Westchester Avenue got its name following Lafayette’s speech there.

Over the next ten days, Lafayette continued north to Boston.


1824 Aug 21 Marshall’s Hotel Stratford CT
1824 Aug 21 New Haven Green, Morse’s Hotel, New Haven CT
1824 Aug 21 South Gate of Yale, Lyceum building, Cabinet,
1824 Aug 21 Library, Grove St Cemetery, Silliman’s House
1824 Aug 21 East Haven CT
1824 Aug 21 General Reception – Unknown Branford CT
1824 Aug 21 Common Guilford CT
1824 Aug 21 Overnight Old Saybrook CT
1824 Aug 22 Richard McCurdy’s House – Breakfast Old Lyme CT
1824 Aug 22 Fort Trumbull, Shaw Mansion New London CT
1824 Aug 22 Kenney’s Hotel Norwich CT
1824 Aug 22 Overnight Plainfield CT
1824 Aug 23 Old State House, the Hotel Providence RI
1824 Aug 23 Blake Hotel Pawtucket RI
1824 Aug 23 Fuller’s Tavern Walpole MA
1824 Aug 23 Shirley-Eustis House Roxbury MA
1824 Aug 24 Common – State House – Amory Ticknor – Boston MA
1824 Aug 24 Dorothy Hancock Quincy Scott – Dined at
1824 Aug 24 the Exchange with the Mayor
1824 Aug 25 Address by Harvard President Kirkland, Cambridge MA
1824 Aug 25 valedictorian speech of Josiah Quincy,
1824 Aug 25 dinner at University Hall
1824 Aug 26 Attended the oration by Edward Everett
1824 Aug 26 Commons Hall
1824 Aug 27 First Bunker Hill visit, Navy Yard Charlestown MA
1824 Aug 28 Reception at the State House Boston MA
1824 Aug 28 John Brooks’s House Medford MA
1824 Aug 29 Brattle Street Meeting House – Boston MA
1824 Aug 29 Trip to Quincy to see John Adams
1824 Aug 30 Militia Review

Yale, Harvard, Bunker Hill, John Adams, orations, addresses, and militia review show an extremely busy scheduled for our visitor.


1824 Aug 31 Address – Location unknown Chelsea MA
1824 Aug 31 Address by John White at the Hotel Lynn MA
1824 Aug 31 Bank House Marblehead MA
1824 Aug 31 Hamilton Hall Salem MA
1824 Aug 31 Bank House Beverly MA
1824 Aug 31 Treadwell’s Hotel, address by Nathanial Lord Ipswich MA
1824 Aug 31 Rowley MA
1824 Aug 31 Address by Ebenezer Moseley Newburyport MA
1824 Aug 31 James Prince’s House (Nathaniel Tracy’s Home)
1824 Sept 1 Portsmouth Committee of Arrangements Hampton Falls NH
1824 Sept 1 Lafayette at Hampton Falls Hampton Falls NH
1824 Sept 1 Leavitt’s Hampton NH
1824 Sept 1 The Hotel Greenland NH
1824 Sept 1 Franklin Hall, Jefferson Hall, Langdon House Portsmouth NH
1824 Sept 2 Meetinghouse (today’s First Parish) Concord MA
1824 Sept 2 Lexington Common / Lock’s Tavern Lexington MA
1824 Sept 2 S.V.S. Wilder Mansion Bolton MA
1824 Sept 3 Arch erected Sterling MA
1824 Sept 3 West Boylston MA
1824 Sept 3 Judge Lincoln’s Mansion Worcester MA
1824 Sept 3 Company of cavalry / Address by Rev. Mr Rich Charlton MA
1824 Sept 3 Common by Porter’s Stage House Sturbridge MA
1824 Sept 3 Spring House Stafford Spring CT
1824 Sept 4 General reception / trail marker at old courthouse Tolland CT
1824 Sept 4 Connecticut’s Old State House Hartford CT
1824 Sept 4 Landing / Upper Houses Cromwell CT
1824 Sept 4 The Hotel Middletown CT

Even by today’s standards, this would be a whirlwind tour. It makes one wonder who arranged the trip and how was it done in such detail. Imagine someone doing a trial run today just to make sure such a schedule was even possible and then coordinating all these events! Well, that is exactly what we have to do for 2024 if we are to match his route.

After spending some time in New York recharging his batteries, Lafayette would travel via the Hudson River to Albany and back presumably on a newfangled steamship. But that is for another blog.