The 2021 speaker series of the Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution continues with a Flag Day program on June 13th at 2:30pm. New York State DAR Regent Patrice Powley Birner will speak about the Lafayette Trail, a 25-state initiative sponsored by the Lafayette Trail Inc. and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in preparation for the 2024-2025 bicentennial celebration.
In 1824, the French aristocrat General Lafayette, who had played a key role in securing victory over the British during the American Revolution, was invited by President James Monroe to visit the United States, then about to celebrate its 50-year anniversary. Upon his arrival on Staten Island, the general was greeted with open arms. He had been a favorite of the fondly remembered General Washington, who had acted as a surrogate father to the young Lafayette. As an advocate for democracy in both the American colonies and in France, and a proponent of abolition, the Frenchman was warmly welcomed on a thirteen-month tour of the United States. That was a trying time for the new nation, which was on the verge of being rent in two by pro- and anti-slavery factions. His visit spanned a highly controversial 1824 presidential election season in which the House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams over the highest vote-getter, Andrew Jackson. Lafayette was a uniting force, and his presence served to remind Americans of their mutual bonds.
In preparation for the 2024-2025 bicentennial of Lafayette's tour, 175 historical markers are being erected to memorialize this seminal event and the unifying effect it had on the young country. An interactive map of the general's tour, showing that he visited the courthouse in Hudson in the fall of 1824, is available at thelafayettetrail.org/map.