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MARQUIS GILBERT du MOTIER de LAFAYETTE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 3646

MARQUIS de LAFAYETTE Marquis de Lafayette sends an autograph letter in French asking for the price on some books that he wants to sell. Autograph Letter signed: "Lafayette", 1p, 5¾x7¾. La grange (France), "12 Floreal" [dated in the French revolutionary calendar], no year.

Sale Price $2,380.00

Reg. $2,800.00

Condition: fine condition
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MARQUIS de LAFAYETTE
Marquis de Lafayette sends an autograph letter in French asking for the price on some books that he wants to sell.
Autograph Letter signed: "Lafayette", 1p, 5¾x7¾. La grange (France), "12 Floreal" [dated in the French revolutionary calendar], no year. To "my dear fellow citizen". In French, translated in full: "I mentioned to you, my dear fellow citizen, the idea of a small collection. It is a present which I intend to give to Emilie Macy, my loving future daughter-in-law, but you know how small are my means and you know already that the collection and even a single volume would exceed the proportion I must Keep. Mrs. de Jaucour gave me the best of a small library arranged by her, at the best price, and which is very nice. I am sending it to you and I ask of you never ending kindness, to let me know the price of the works marked with an asterix. It is evident that we must [illegible phrase'] but their number is limited. You would do me a great favor if you added the works that you think should be included in the small collection, so that I may have 250to 300 volumes with the price on the side. Of course, they must have good binding. I intend to go to Paris for a day sometime this week, maybe Wednesday. I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and of speaking with you of the collection and at the same time of my library. The arrangements are made. The coach driver has let me know that he will be returning to Paris toward the end of the week. Best regards." Gilbert Motier Lafayette (1757-1834) resigned from the French Army in 1776 to join the Revolutionary forces in America, where he was commissioned Major General and joined the staff of George Washington. In 1779, he returned to France, where he received a hero's welcome. In 1780, Lafayette returned to America to fight with the American forces, playing a crucial role in the final victory of 1781 at Yorktown. Lafayette returned to France in 1782, devoting himself to the promotion of America's interests while remaining active in French political life. He revisited the U.S. in 1784 and again in 1824. In 1789, he became the Commander of the National Guard of France and commanded the army at Metz in the war with Austria in 1791. Opposing further advance of the Jacobin party in 1792, he was declared a traitor by the National Assembly and fled the country. Lafayette was imprisoned by the Austrians (1792-1797) and returned to France in 1799. Opposed to Napoleon's policies, he took no part in politics. In the revolution of 1830, Lafayette was made Commander in Chief of the National Guard and was instrumental in placing Louis Philippe on the throne. He remained a member of the Chamber of Deputies until his death. La Grange was the estate, inherited by his wife, upon which La Fayette lived after his return from France in 1799. Floreal was the eighth month of the French Revolutionary calendar, established in 1793 and abolished by Napoleon in 1806. The future daughter in law mentioned in this letter, Emelie Macy, did become the wife of La Fayette's only son, George Washington La Fayette. Despite inheriting wealth from his own family and that of his noble-born wife, La Fayette devoted so much of his wealth to the American and other revolutionary causes that he struggled financially in his later years. (A land grant bestowed on him by a grateful US in 1804 proved a mixed blessing, entangling him in lawsuits.) Lightly foxed. Frayed left edge. Otherwise, fine condition.

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