How Did Lafayette Help The United States?
Marquis de Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757. At an early age of thirteen, he inherited a fortune so large that he had an annual income to the extent of 2 million dollars. He got married when he was only sixteen years old.
He was a brilliant leader in the French Revolution as well as a great freedom fighter of the American colonies. Sometimes in 1776, he suddenly made up his mind and took a crucial decision to go to United States of America to fight for the freedom of the colonies. His bold decision was well appreciated by Benjamin Franklin and Americans in France and they also encouraged him. On 13th June, 1777, he was accompanied by few companions when he reached Georgetown, South Carolina.
Thereafter, from Georgetown, he along with his party men travelled 900 miles over land by coach and on horseback while on Way to Philadelphia. There he was honoured with the rank of Major General by the Continental Congress.
He sustained serious and major injuries in his leg during the battle of Brandywine. He had to combat with hardships of Valley Forge and fought at the battle of Monmouth.
He again came back to France where he could arrange 6000 troops to be sent to United States. He returned with a good news for General George Washington.
Later on, Washington entrusted him with the job to defend Virginia at the hands of British. He successfully laid siege to the British Army under Lord Cornwallis. The British General was full of confidence that he would force “the boy” to surrender. But, the situation was rather reversed when Lafayette was present at Yorktown on 19th October, 1781 where Cornwallis was captured and he himself had to surrender. He was hardly twenty-four years old when he returned to France after making American independence almost sure.
Lafayette died on 20th May, 1834 in Paris. In his guard of honour, flags in United States were flown at half-mast and the Army went into mourning continuously for six months, as it had after the death of George Washington.