George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 12 October 1797]

12. Cold & frosty Morning, Mer. 54. Mr. G. W. La Fayette & Mr. Frestal left this for Geo. Town to take the stage for New York to embark for France. I accompanied them to the Fedl. City.

Young George Washington Motier Lafayette had received reports from correspondents in Hamburg that his father, together with his mother and sisters who had voluntarily joined him in prison, had been released from Olmütz and were on their way to Paris. GW was unable to persuade him to wait until the reports were confirmed. He and his tutor, Felix Frestal, sailed from New York for Havre de Grace on 25 Oct. on the brig Clio. Definite word of the release of the Lafayette family reached GW several weeks later (GW to chevalier de La Colombe, 3 Dec. 1797, DLC:GW; Eleanor Parke Custis to Elizabeth Bordley, 23 Nov. 1797, ViMtvL). There followed two years of exile for the Lafayette family in Hamburg, Holstein, and Holland (GOTTSCHALK description begins Louis Gottschalk, ed. The Letters of Lafayette to Washington, 1777–1799. 1944. Reprint. Philadelphia, 1976. description ends , xxiii).

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