J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lecture on Lafayette’s Return to Massachusetts, 11 March

On Sunday, 11 March, the Somerville Museum will host a talk and book signing by Alan Hoffman on “Lafayette and the Farewell Tour: Odyssey of an American Idol.”

Hoffman has translated and published an unabridged edition of Lafayette en Amérique en 1824 et 1825, the journal of the marquis’s long return trip to the U.S. of A. as kept by his secretary. That trip brought the veteran to these parts, as the event description explains:
Lafayette came to Charlestown (later Somerville) during his tour of America…to lay the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill monument. He was greeted by Col. Samuel Jacques, one of the most colorful gentleman farmers of his time and dined with him at his home on Bow Street.
Actually, I understand Lafayette was happy to go almost anywhere in America as long as there was a dinner waiting.

Though the museum webpage doesn’t say anything about a cost for this event, I’ve also received a flyer that says it’s free to members of Historic Somerville but costs $8 for nonmembers.

The image above, courtesy of Dave Martucci’s Midcoast.com, shows the flag of the Kennebec Guards, a Portland, Maine, militia company organized in 1825. Charles Codman painted Lafayette standing in front of the planned monument, which wasn’t actually completed until 1843.

TOMORROW: A hidden irony during Lafayette’s visit.


Jim Padian said...

Wonder if the talk will get into the fact that this visit to Boston triggered the frantic search for the remains of Dr. Joseph Warren.

rfuller said...

I wonder if in the 19th century, signs abounded on taverns, "Lafayette ate here"....