4 Lafayette

Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette

Born: Auvergne (southern France)

Age in 1775: 18

Profession: Nobleman, one of the richest men in France

Principal Contribution: Fought in the Philadelphia campaign, 1777; led troops at the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, 1778; advisor to Washington; pursued British General Cornwallis in Virginia, 1781.

Personal characteristics: Charming, enthusiastic, thoughtful, inspired military leader.

Quote: 1781 (after the American victory at Yorktown) “The play is over . . . the fifty act has just ended.”

Later life: Supported the French Revolution in 1789, led the National Guard, opposed the radicalism of the Jacobins, captured by the Austrians and imprisoned for five years.

Died: 1834

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