• 21 May 2021 4:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    May 17, 2021, Brooklyn, NY

                I wear two hats today.  First, I am here as President of the American Friends of Lafayette (AFL).  Second, as a native Brooklynite who grew up a couple of miles north of here.

                In regard to the first hat, the AFL was founded in 1932 at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, with a mission of commemorating and honoring the life and work of General Lafayette.  We now have 414 members, and since 2017, our members have been intimately involved with Julien Icher’s work, which first included traveling to the New England states in 2017 and creating a website with all the New England stops that Lafayette made during the Farewell Tour.  Then in 2018-19, Julien expanded his travels and the website to include the remaining states that Lafayette visited.  The AFL, through its members, provided Julien substantial direct financial support as well as room and board and transportation.  This support happily continues to this date, including Julien’s recent trip to unveil three markers in New Hampshire, where he stayed at the homes of two AFL members, including ours.  Just as Lafayette was called the Nation’s Guest during the Farewell Tour, we at the AFL have fondly dubbed Julien the Nation’s House Guest.

              Moving on to the second hat, I spent many of my formative years living in a post-World War II apartment at 88th Street and Shore Road, about a mile north of Fort Lafayette.  My dad was a WW II veteran of the Army Air Corps, where he served in the Pacific Theater, based in Saipan.  I attended Poly Prep County Day School on 92nd Street and 7th Avenue as a youth, not far from here, during the construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

                After Fort Lafayette was blown up in 1960 to facilitate the construction of the Bridge’s eastern tower, my uncle, who lived in the same building, would walk along the shore to the site to watch the construction several times a week. 

                I only learned about the existence of Fort Lafayette in 2003, while translating Levasseur’s account of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour.  I read that the guns of Fort Lafayette greeted General Lafayette when he arrived aboard the ship Cadmus on August 15, 1824, and that Lafayette was given a tour of the Fort on September 8. 

              So you see that the unveiling of this Lafayette Trail marker here is very special to me. 

              Thank you Julien, for all the work you do and for creating this important occasion. 

  • 25 Apr 2021 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a prelude to National Park Week, W3R hosted a special presentation on French military participation during the American War of Independence.

    Dr. Iris de Rode presented her research on the French expedition in America, which is mainly based on unpublished sources that she discovered in the Château de Chastellux (Burgundy, France), which holds the private archive of the Marquis de Chastellux who served as a major general under Rochambeau between 1780 and 1783. His papers reveal numerous insights on the French-American cooperation during the American Revolution that she shared.

    In addition, she discussed many lesser-known French participants in the war, by using the journals and letters of French officers and soldiers that played a pivotal role in achieving American Independence.

    Please enjoy this recording of the lecture by clicking here:

  • 08 Jul 2020 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good morning Friends of Lafayette...

    In permanent recognition of his role in aiding the American cause, an American flag has flown over Lafayette’s grave at Cimetière de Picpus ever since the end of WWI.  Even during the Nazi occupation, the American flag was present.

    The flag is changed every year, in a highly orchestrated ceremony attended by French and American dignitaries, including representatives of the U.S. Embassy, the French Senate, the Mayor’s Office, the Sons of the American Revolution in France, and the Society of the Cincinnati in France and the American Friends of Lafayette.

    Officers from the United States military carry out the ceremony while officers from the French military are in attendance as well. The American Friends of Lafayette always have members in attendance and join other organizations with laying wreaths and paying respects. 

    The ceremony has been scheduled consistently on July 4th, year after year, until recently when scheduling conflicts of certain dignitaries moved the ceremony to different dates.  Unfortunately, the ceremony has taken place on dates other than July 4th over the past several years, either in late June or early July.  This year, the flag is being changed today.

    For the first time in 75 years, the AFL will not be laying a wreath at Lafayette's grave during the flag changing ceremony.  Due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, French officials have scaled down today's ceremony.

    Please keep Lafayette in your thoughts today.  Even though we cannot be there physically, today is a good day to think about our hero and how he made the world a better place.

    Thank you and vive Lafayette!!!

    Chuck Schwam

  • 27 Jun 2017 8:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We've added a link to the interactive website created to highlight the historic trail of Lafayette's footsteps in New England during his tour in 1824-1825.

    Members, go to the Research & Links page to be directed the Lafayette Trail website.

  • 20 Nov 2016 1:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

              We are very excited to be upgrading to a professional online membership management tool. This will enable our Board to communicate with the membership at large much more efficiently. You will begin to receive emails from the @gmail address and from the Wild Apricot software. You may no longer be getting Association related communications from private email addresses.

    What this means to you.

    • ·      First, our website will be new and improved although the url address will be the same:
    • ·      All members in good standing will have a website USER NAME and PASSWORD. Each member can create their own password.
    • ·      Members can update mailing addresses, email addresses, membership levels online through the website.
    • ·      Membership renewal fees can be processed online. Each member will receive an automatic reminder via email. The member can then send a check or pay online by credit card.
    • ·      Members will be able to register for annual and special events online.

                We will be in the process of updating and improving the website over the next year. It takes a lot of training and time to convert 80 years of paper records into an online software system. Please be patient if you receive emails with information that seems in error.

                Be on the lookout for new and improved looking emails from and so that you can log in and update your brand new user accounts!

    Please direct any questions and concerns to: Bonnie Fritz at

  • 18 Nov 2016 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    La Grange will be closed to the public until early 2018 for renovations.

  • 16 Nov 2016 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AFL Member Julien Icher, a student and resident of Carcassonne France has been hired as an intern by Boston's Consul General to research, document and write a dissertation on Lafayette's visits to New England during his 1824-25 tour.  Julien will be arriving in the United States in March, 2017 to start his internship.

Copyright The American Friends of Lafayette 2016
"The American Friends of Lafayette" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Mail correspondence to: 302 Hart Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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