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The Lafayette Trail, Inc.
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 several major cities and small communities across 24 states.
On June 30, 1825, Lafayette was en route to New York City, when he made a stop at the Battlefield of Saratoga. During the American Revolution the British defeat at the Battle of Saratoga marked a critical turning point. Not only did the Continental Army thwart the British plan to divide and conquer the colonies, but gained French support in the process. After visiting the Battlefield, Lafayette stopped at the nearby country home of General Philip Schuyler. During the American Revolution Philip Schuyler served as a member of the Continental Congress as well commander in the Continental Army, leading troops at the Battle of Saratoga. During the battle Schuyler’s country home was destroyed by the British, but was rebuilt shortly after. Lafayette briefly visited with Schuyler’s descendants before continuing on his journey to New York City.