DescriptionMarquis de Lafayette Autograph Endorsement Signed. Two page holographic document, front and verso, 8.25" x 12.75", August 6, 1830, Paris, in French. The document is a request by Adolphe Forel to His Excellency the Secretary of the Interior to be named to the sub-prefecture of Remiremont (Département of the Vosges). The document is endorsed by a relative of Forel's, Georges Mouton, comte de Lobau, a senior aide-de-camp to Emperor Napoleon I and political figure who rose to the rank of Marshal of France. Lafayette's endorsement, like Lobau's, is on the front page and reads (in translation) "I join with [illegible] the recommendation of my colleague. The [illegible] and merits of Mr. Forel are well known to me. I have had close relations with him in less happy times and I consider it my duty and pleasure to express my [illegible] for him. Lafayette." Water stain on left edge, aged masking tape on extreme edges all around the verso, some mild toning and light wrinkling, otherwise good condition.
Gilbert du Motier, the marquis de la Fayette, was a French military officer and aristocrat who participated in both the American and French revolutions. Lafayette served in the American Revolutionary War both as a general and as a diplomat becoming an intimate associate of George Washington. He served entirely without pay in both roles, which he was able to do due to his family's immense wealth as feudal landowners. Later, he was to prove a key figure in the early phases of the French Revolution, serving in the Estates General and the subsequent National Constituent Assembly. He was a leading figure among the Feuillants, who tried to turn France into a constitutional monarchy, and commander of the French National Guard.
Accused by Jean-Paul Marat of responsibility for the Massacre of the Champ de Mars, Lafayette was subsequently forced out of a leading role in the Revolution by Jacobin-Terror anarchists. In August 1792 the Jacobin party seized control of Paris and the National Assembly, ordering Lafayette's arrest. He fled France and was arrested by the Austrian Army in Rochefort, Belgium. Thereafter, he spent five years in various Prussian and Austrian prisons. He was eventually released in 1797; however, Napoleon did not want Lafayette to return to France and hoped he would live in the United States. After three years in exile Lafayette quietly returned to France and continued to be active in French and European politics until his death in 1834.
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