- Grant Recipient
Event, People, Site
- 1065 E Jersey St, Elizabeth, NJ 07201, USA
- 40.663705, -74.210118
The Lafayette Trail, Inc.
ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1824,
GENERAL LAFAYETTE STAYED HERE,
HOME OF GEN. JONATHAN DAYTON.
BOTH FOUGHT AT YORKTOWN
DURING REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2020
When America declared its independence on July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies were pulled into a conflict with one of the world’s most formidable powers: Great Britain. The colonies’ actions against Great Britain inspired a young French aristocrat and military officer, Marquis de Lafayette, to depart his native France to fight in the American Revolution. Lafayette served as a commander with the Continental Army throughout the war and helped secure French support for the American cause. This support played an integral part in securing American victory during the war.
Celebrated as a hero in the U.S. and France, Lafayette eventually returned to his home country. In 1824 Marquis de Lafayette was invited to visit the United States for the first time in 41 years. As an American hero and one of the only surviving commanders from the Revolution, Lafayette’s visit to the U.S. was highly anticipated and met with a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement. Lafayette’s Tour extended from 1824 to 1825. During this period of time he visited Washington D.C., as well as other major cities and small communities across 24 states.
On September 23, 1824 Marquis Lafayette visited Elizabeth, New Jersey and stayed at the home of General Jonathan Dayton, known as Boxwood Hall. Dayton was a United States Senator and U.S. Representative for the State of New Jersey. Both men were both veterans of the American Revolution and fought at the Battle of Yorktown. During the Revolution, British forces under the command of General Lord Cornwallis positioned themselves at Yorktown, Virginia, at the mouth of York River. With its proximity to the Atlantic, Yorktown was an ideal location to receive reinforcements and supplies from the British Navy. General Washington and his forces arrived and encircled Yorktown while the French Navy had already secured a naval blockade of the Chesapeake Bay in early September. On September 28, 1781 the Continental Forces laid siege against Yorktown, slowly advancing trenches toward their fortifications. Lafayette was one the commanders of the forces during the siege. The bombardment Yorktown lasted three weeks. Cornwallis tried desperately to hold off the American advance but to no avail. He surrendered to the American Forces, effectively ending the American Revolution. Yorktown was arguably one of the most pivotal battles of the Revolution and American victory would not have been possible had it not been for Marquis de Lafayette and his efforts securing French support in the form of additional troops and a powerful navy.
Following Lafayette’s brief stay and visit at General Dayton’s home, he continued his journey the next day.