Methodist University
Davis Memorial Library
Archives and Special Collections


Collection Summary
Biographical information for the Marquis de Lafayette
Scope and Contents of the Records
Organization of the Records
Index Terms
Administrative Information
Other Finding Aids
Detailed Description of the Records

Collection Summary

Title: Letters of the Marquis de Lafayette (Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier)
Dates: 1809-1833
Abstract: This collection consists of holographs of 15 letters written by the Marquis de Lafayette and 4 letters concerning the Marquis.
Quantity: 19 letters

Biographical information for the Marquis de Lafayette

As a young man, Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, came to the American colonies to volunteer his services in the Revolutionary War. He gained fame on the battlefield and was instrumental in defeating General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. After his return to France, the Marquis became active in French politics and remained a political figure for the rest of his life.

Scope and Contents of the Records

The 16 letters written by Lafayette are generally of a social and domestic nature, concerning introductions, finances, and apologies.

Organization of the Records

These records are organized into 1 collection.


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on these records.

Restrictions on Use

There is no use restriction on these records.

Index Terms

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834.
Document Types:

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The College's collection of Lafayette material dates from 1967, when the school was persuaded through Mrs. Margaret McMahan, a Lafayette scholar, to purchase this collection of letters, monographs and realia for $3800. The collection's original owner, Melville Fuller Riley of Connecticut, had sold it to the Schindler Antique Shop of Charleston, South Carolina. To house this special collection and to add new acquisitions, a group called "The Friends of Lafayette" raised additional money.

Acquisition Information

These letters were purchased by the library in 1967 along with related books, articles, and realia.


While other letters may be added to the collection, none are expected.

Other Finding Aids

Upon request, this finding aid is also available in XML as an EAD 1.0 (Encoded Archival Description) file.

Detailed Description of the Records

Note:  Clicking on "Letter" will display a transcription and an image of that letter.

Letter 1: To [James Madison, Secretary of State], April 9, 1807

Lafayette provides a letter of introduction for Mr. de Mon - - - la Barrette

Letter 2: To [whom it may concern], October 19, 1828

Lafayette responds to a correspondant who has asked him for letters of recommendation to present to the presidents of Chile and Peru

Letter 3: to Mular, July 19, 1833

Lafayette asks Mular to return some borrowed books

Letter 4: to M. Berniche, February 23, 1824

Lafayette expresses thanks and hopes to continue deserving the recipient's trust

Letter 5: to Mular, January 23, 1826

Lafayette wishes his friend a happy retirement to the country

Letter 6: to M. Berniche, November 20, 1827

Lafayette expresses understanding for the uncomfortable situation caused by Berniche's brother-in-law's political opposition to Lafayette

Letter 7: Statement, [no date]

Lafayette's brief statement about soldiers at the Fort of Red Bank

Letter 8: To [whom it may concern], April 8, 1818

Lafayette discusses a financial lawsuit

Letter 9: To Madame [?], March 24, 1830

Lafayette sends his best wishes

Letter 10: To M. Deltaire, November 20, 1830

Lafayette recommends an unnamed person to a civil administrator

Letter 11: To Lord Palmerston, May 21, 1832

Lafayette speaks of the political situation in Portugal and pleads that the "barbarous invadings" of Poland be stopped

Letter 12: To Mular, [month illegible] 21, 1832

Lafayette asks for Mular's help in completing a form

Letter 13: To [whom it may concern], Thursday morning

Note inviting Mr. Cary to call on Lafayette

Letter 14: To Mr. Rutledge, Wednesday at Varniac

Lafayette apologizes for not being able to visit Mr. Rutledge, and promises to visit in the future

Letter 15: To M. William, Thursday

Lafayette apologizes that he had to leave before M. William's arrival

Letter 16: To Lafayette, [month illegible] 1, 1813

Letter entitling Lafayette to a copy of the Society's memoires; there is a response from Lafayette at the bottom of the note

Letter 17: To Benjamin Pierce, February 21, 1824

Brooks writes about an invitation to visit extended to Lafayette

Letter 18: To Captain Nathan Appleton, February 21, 1899

Ch. Long writes of a monument for Lafayette

Letter 19: To Lt. General Gerard (?), 1830

Note to Lt. General Gerard (?) from Lafayette

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