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Lecture: “On Tour with the ‘Nation’s Guest’: Lafayette in America, 1824–25”

September 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Lecture at the Moravian Archives, with reception to follow, and via Zoom
Diane Windham Shaw, Director of Special Collections, Emerita, Lafayette College

August 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Marquis de Lafayette’s “Farewell Tour” of America. This 1824-25 tour was an event unlike any other in American history. Fifty years after the American Revolution, America welcomed back her youngest major-general with an outpouring of national affection on an unprecedented scale. Everywhere Lafayette went during this thirteen-month odyssey, and he visited each of the 24 states then in the Union, he was greeted by adoring throngs of citizens, who organized elaborate welcome parades, receptions, dinners, and balls in his honor. Lafayette truly deserved his sobriquet “The Nation’s Guest,” as he insisted on spending time not just with the country’s elite, but also with ordinary citizens, as well as African Americans and Indigenous Americans. Although he did not visit Bethlehem during the tour, the time he spent among the Moravians in October 1777 as he recovered from a wound sustained at the Battle of Brandywine was an important part of his American story.



September 24
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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