The Marquis de Lafayette was a good friend of General George Washington. Quite a bit younger than Washington, Lafayette saw Washington as an adoptive father. The Marquis de Lafayette helped persuade the French king to provide troops and resources to the Continental Army in 1780. Many think if it had not been for the Marquis, America would have lost the American Revolution.
Lafayette was bored in France and wanted some adventure. When he heard that America was rebelling against their British government in 1777 he left his pregnant, teenage wife and wealth to travel to America. He wanted to join the fight for American independence.
With a letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette and his companions joined the Continental Army with the promise they would fight without pay. Lafayette was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, after being shot in the leg. Stories of Lafayette’s heroism spread throughout the colonies. Lafayette is considered a true friend to America as well as an American hero. In fact, years later, after the war, Lafayette and his son traveled back to the United States where many grateful Americans welcomed him across the U.S. Today, more than 40 cities and counties are named after the Marquis.
The Marquis de Lafayette is considered an American hero because his greatest passion was the idea that all people should be free.