Lafayette and the Farewell Tour: An American Idol

General Lafayette, born the Marquis de Lafayette in Auvergne, France, was truly an American Idol in the 19th century. One proof is that more than 80 American counties, cities, towns, and countless roads were named in his honor, from Lafayette Road in Portsmouth to Mount Lafayette in Franconia. Lafayette's extraordinary reputation was based on his military record in the Revolution, his friendship with George Washington, his continued support of American interests, his story-book life, and perhaps most importantly, his Farewell Tour of America when he visited all 24 states and Washington D.C. as the last surviving major general of the Continental Army. Alan Hoffman uses Lafayette's visits to New Hampshire, to Portsmouth in 1824 and to Concord in 1825, to illustrate the adulation with which the American people greeted Lafayette on his Farewell Tour.