Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier

Marquis de La Fayette. One of the countless statues honoring this French hero of the American Revolution stands in the Cours de la Reine on Paris' right bank. It's a life-size (maybe bigger) equestrian statue on a very tall pedestal.

The Marquis de La Fayette in Paris.

The Marquis de La Fayette visited all of the states of the new American nation before his death in 1834. In 1778, during the Revolutionary War, he came to my home town of Albany, New York, to lead a proposed invasion of Canada. The invasion never took place, partly because La Fayette had concerns about troop numbers and the logistics of the invasion.

While in Albany, La Fayette stayed at a house called Cherry Hill, which is still standing and operates as a historical museum. I remember going there as an elementary school student and seeing an exhibit that included a pair of La Fayette's silk stockings, apparently left behind after his visit.

A downtown park in Albany, located next to the state capitol, is named for the Marquis. Lafayette Park and Historic District include the park itself and many of the surrounding buildings.

In the US, I've seen the Marquis' name spelled with a space (La Fayette), with no space and a capital "F" (LaFayette), and with no space and a small "f" (Lafayette) .

5 comments:

  1. The old French district here is off Lafeyette Street.

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  2. Re: the big orange ball in the sky. You may have some of ours. It's supposed to be 88 today.

    Still enjoying the Parisian walk. Don't stop!

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  3. Love the pedestal. Don't think I've ever been to Queen's Court.

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  4. rick, that doesn't surprise me. I think there are a lot of places named for him.

    chris, wow, that's hot!

    starman, it's really just a strip of grass and trees along the river by the Bateaux-Mouches place.

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