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Book Cover: Lafayette in America translated by Alan R. Hoffman.

Lafayette and the Farewell Tour: Odyssey of an American Icon

Date: April 4, 2024
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Filson Historical Society (In-Person and Zoom Options)

This program is offered in partnership with The American Friends of Lafayette.

General Lafayette, born the Marquis de Lafayette in Auvergne, France, was truly an American idol in the 19th century. The proof is that 80 counties, cities, and towns were named after him as well as streets and roads everywhere. In this program, the translator of Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825, a first-hand account of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of America, will describe the full extent of his reputation and explore its origins. Lafayette’s extraordinary reputation was based on his military record in the Revolution, his friendship with Washington, his continued support of American interests, his story-book life and, perhaps most importantly, his Farewell Tour of America when he visited all 24 states and Washington City as the last surviving major general of the Continental Army. Lafayette’s visits to places associated with the venue of the talk are discussed to illustrate the grand reception that the American people gave him on his Farewell Tour.

Alan R. Hoffman obtained his BA in history from Yale where he studied under Professor Edmund Morgan, before earning a JD at Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Boston for 50 years. An avid reader of early American history, he “discovered” Lafayette in 2002 and spent two years – 2003 to 2005 – translating Auguste Levasseur’s Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825, the first-hand account of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of America written by his private secretary. This translation was published in 2006 and is in its third printing.