Sunday, July 17, 2016

Lafayette's Changing View of "Glory"

 The following quote informed my overall vision of who Lafayette was and what he became over the course of the American Revolution:

Choosing to rebuff de Grasse and insist on waiting for Washington was out of character for the man who had arrived in America four years before, but Lafayette had changed. Blooded in battle, bonded with his men, sobered by the demands of leadership, and devoted not only to the principles of the Revolution but also to its leader, he had apparently come to recognize that there was more at stake than his personal glory, or that glory was a more complex alloy than he had known before. 
-For Liberty and Glory, Washington and Lafayette
and their Revolutions by James R. Gaines

Here is part of the section in which I used this information in A Buss from Lafayette:

Mr. Gilman nodded at me and explained how after Lafayette had bottled up Cornwallis at Yorktown, the French fleet under Admiral DeGrasse arrived to put the cork in that bottle. The French ships blocked the British from escaping from Yorktown by sea. DeGrasse thought that between Lafayette’s men and his own forces, there were enough men to mount an immediate assault on the besieged town.

“Such an attack could have brought Lafayette all the glory of what proved to be the final major action of the war,” said Mr. Gilman, “but Lafayette refused to do it. Instead, he waited patiently for Washington to arrive with the bulk of the American and French troops. 
    - A Buss from Lafayette ©2016 by Dorothea Jensen