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29-Year-Old John Quincy Adams Shows He Laid Substantial Money From His Own Pocket to Finance the Secret Mission to Get the Imprisoned Marquis de Lafayette's Son to Safety in the U.S. With President George Washington

John Quincy Adams

Librería: The Raab Collection (Ardmore, PA, Estados Unidos de America)

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Adams seeks reimbursement for these funds, and for his expenses while negotiating JayÕs Treaty, congratulates Thomas Pinckney on his patriotic service (as Pinckney returns to run for Vice President on John AdamsÕ ticket)He accepts PinckneyÕs congratulations for his own diplomatic advancementA decade after his important contribution as a nineteen-year-old Major General in the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette became a pivotal player in the democratic uprising in his native France - the French Revolution. With the fall of the Bastille in July 1789, Lafayette was chosen to head the newly-formed Paris citizenÕs militia. This he subsequently converted into the Paris National Guard which he commanded until October of 1791. As the Revolution gained momentum, Lafayette found it increasingly difficult to maintain order and protect the royal family. LafayetteÕs affairs reached a crisis in August 1792 after the deposition of King Louis XVI, when the Legislative Assembly passed a decree of impeachment against him. At the time, Lafayette was serving with the Army on the northern French border in the newly-declared war against the Coalition (Prussia and Austria). Unable to get the support of his troops, Lafayette fled on August 19, 1792 with hopes of returning to America. When he tried to pass through Austrian-controlled territory on his way to a Dutch port, he was quickly challenged. Although Lafayette insisted that he was no longer a French general, but an American citizen - he had been given citizenship by several states after the American Revolution - the Austrian and Prussian rulers were unsympathetic and took him captive. They were fighting their own wars against this idea of democracy of which Lafayette himself was a major proponent. Imprisoned first in a Prussian fortress at Westphalia in 1792, Lafayette was transferred several times in Prussia before his final imprisonment at OlmŸtz in Austria in 1794.At OlmŸtz prison Lafayette was reduced to a common prisoner. His few remaining possessions were taken from him - his watch, razor, and his final books pertaining to democracy. He was unable to send or receive letters, and, by this time, his friends did not know his whereabouts. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other prominent Americans wanted to have Lafayette released as an American citizen, but this was unsuccessful. LafayetteÕs wife Adrienne had lost her mother, grandmother, and sister to the guillotine in 1794. She was also imprisoned, and was spared only because of American diplomatic warnings to France, delivered by then-Ambassador James Monroe. In fact, MonroeÕs wife Elizabeth even went to the prison where Madame Lafayette was being held and demanded to see her. This convinced the French that the death of Madame de Lafayette would inflame American public opinion, and they released her in January of 1795. In Europe, the Lafayettes were suffering financial hardship, making life difficult for them. Word of this reached the United States, and sympathy for the family was strong. On December 30, 1793, Thomas Jefferson wrote Washington that LafayetteÕs Òpersonal restraint [imprisonment], and the peculiar situation of his fortune disabled [withheld]Ó, prevented Òhim from drawing resources from that, and would leave him liable to suffer for subsistence, and the common necessaries of life.Ó He reminded Washington that Lafayette had refused any salary in his years as major general in the Continental Army, and came up with the idea that Congress could support Lafayette and his family now by paying that back salary. In conformity with JeffersonÕs recommendation, Congress in March 1794 passed an act making available to Lafayette $24,424, Òbeing the amount of the pay and emoluments of a Major General during the time he was in the service of the United States, and that the same be paid out of any moneys which may be in the Treasury, and not otherwise appropriatedÓ. Giving Lafayette the money due to him could not make any of. N° de ref. de la librería 11154

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The Raab Collection buys and sells rare important historical documents, bring to its endeavors a passion not only for the manuscript but the history behind it. We've built important historical collections for institutions and historical enthusiasts. Our pieces have found homes in many major institutions devoted to preserving history.

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