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.