The Marquis de Lafayette

The Marquis de Lafayette, who fought for American independence and revisited the United States fifty years later, wrote “I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery.” What might Lafayette have seen in 1824 America that would impel him to make such a statement? How had slavery evolved? Was it expanding? How entrenched in American life was it at this time? How would slavery and its expansion in America further change between 1824 and 1860? What do you think Lafayette would have thought about the American experiment on the eve of the Civil War?

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