George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 27 October 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Oct. 27. 92.

Th: Jefferson has the honor to inform the President that in a Madrid gazette of Sep. 14. is an article of Namur Aug. 23. which states circumstantially the capture of M. de la Fayette, and that he was carried from the place to Antwerp. it says that his intention had been to pass in the rear of the Austrian army, but ran foul of a picquet near Rochfort. there were 17 or 18. officers altogether.1 Longwy had surrendered with a garrison of 2600 men on being invested by the Austrians.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1On 19 Aug., Lafayette and twenty-two members of his general staff fled France only to be captured by Prussian army sentinels near Rochefort, Belgium. During his first year of imprisonment, Lafayette was transferred from one place to another, starting at Namur, Belgium. In May 1794 he arrived at Olmütz where the Austrians held him prisoner until September 1797. News of Lafayette’s capture appeared in an “Extract of a letter from Namur, August 20” in the 31 Oct. 1792 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia); this extract parallels the information in the 14 Sept. 1792 issue of the Gazeta de Madrid, to which Jefferson referred. For background on the events that led to Lafayette’s flight from France, see Gouverneur Morris to GW, 23 Oct. 1792, and source note.

2Longwy, a fortified French town near the Belgian border, surrendered on 23 Aug. 1792.

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