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    Lafayette,"an old American soldier and adopted Son of the United States", thanks Congress for his monetary gift

    Marquis de Lafayette Important Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 9.75", January 2, 1825, Washington, D.C., thanking "Both Houses of Congress" for their "unexpected" gift of $200,000 for his past services rendered to the American republic. In full:

    Washington January 2d 1825

    Gentlemen of the Committee of Both Houses of Congress,

    The immense and unexpected gift which, in addition to former and considerable bounties, it has pleased Congress to confer upon me call for the warmest aknowledgements [sic] of an old American soldier and adopted Son of the United States, two titles dearer to my Heart than all the treasures of the world.

    However proud I am of every sort of obligation received from the people of the United States, and their Representatives in Congress, the large extent of this benefaction might have created in my mind feelings of hesitation or inconsistence, I hope, with those of the most grateful reverence. But the so very kind resolution of both Houses delivered by you, Gentlemen, in terms of equal kindness, precludes all other sentiments except those of the lively and profound gratitude of which, in respectfully accepting the munificence favor, I have the honor to beg you be the organs.

    Permit me also, Gentlemen, to join a tender of my affectionate, personal thanks to the expression of the higher respect with which I have the honor to be

    your obet Servt.

    In July 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French general and Revolutionary War hero, left Le Havre for a final visit to the United States. After his arrival in New York, Lafayette made a triumphant journey to the nation's capitol, named in honor of his friend and commander, George Washington. After a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon and the tomb of Washington, Lafayette was presented to the senate, which adjourned so its members could personally meet Lafayette. The following day, December 10, he was invited to the House of Representatives where he was introduced by Speaker of the House Henry Clay: "Often we have formed the vain desire that Providence should permit the patriot to visit his country after his death, to contemplate there the changes to which time has given birth. Today, the American patriot of times passed would see forests cultivated, towns founded, mountains leveled, canals opened, great roads built, great progress made in the Arts, the Sciences and in the increase of population." Clay continued with high praise for Lafayette's role in Europe's recent events. Lafayette, the first foreign dignitary to address the House of Representatives, said in his reply, "The approbation of the American people for my conduct in the vicissitudes of the European Revolution is the greatest that I could receive. To be sure, I can stand fast with head held high, when in their name and by you, Mr. President, it is solemnly declared that on each occasion I have stayed faithful to American principles of liberty, equality and true social order to which I have been devoted since my youth, and which, till my last breath, will be a sacred duty to me." (William Jones. The Schiller Institute website. "Image of the American Patriot", 2007.) The letter is very attractively matted and archivally framed with a colored engraving of the Marquis de Lafayette (26" x 23.25" overall). The manuscript has been placed in a mylar sleeve prior to framing to preserve its pristine condition. Expertly restored at the folds, else very fine. Ex. Forbes Collection

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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