The young Marquis arrived in America at the age of 19, ready to serve the cause of liberty in the American Revolution. He quickly became part of Washington’s military family, and, over the years, their relationship grew to that of a father and his adoptive son.

George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette on horseback at winter quarters in Valley Forge. Painting by John Ward Dunsmore. (Library of Congress)George Washington met the 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayette on August 5, 1777, less than a week after the Continental Congress appointed the young Frenchman to be a volunteer Major General in the Continental Army.

Lafayette was assigned to serve on Washington's staff. Lafayette, one of the richest young men in France, left his home country on March 25, 1777, filled with desire to fight against the British in the American Revolution. He would become a valued member of General Washington's close-knit military family.

 

Digital Encyclopedia

Who Was Marquis de Lafayette?

Who Was Marquis de Lafayette?

One of the richest young men in France, Marquis de Lafayette left his home country on March 25, 1777, filled with desire to fight against the British in the American Revolution.

Learn More
Lafayette at Valley Forge

Lafayette at Valley Forge

Marquis de Lafayette spent most of December 1777 and January 1778 with George Washington and his Continental Army troops at their winter quarters at Valley Forge.

Learn More
Lafayette's Plan for Ending Slavery

Lafayette's Plan for Ending Slavery

In the closing days of the American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette wrote his old commander George Washington suggesting an experiment: the two would purchase land where enslaved people could then work as free tenants.

Learn More

"In the place [Gen. Washington] occupies, he is surrounded by flatterers and secret enemies. He finds in me a trustworthy friend in whom he can confide and who will always tell him the truth."

- Marquis de Lafayette, Valley Forge, 6 January 1778

A Portrait of Lafayette


Take a closer look at a portrait of Marquis de Lafayette commissioned by Washington in 1779 and displayed in the Mansion for many years.

The Bastille Key at Mount Vernon


Associate Curator Adam Erby provides an in-depth look at the Bastille Key that was presented to George Washington by Lafayette and has remained at Mount Vernon.

Lafayette Bedchamber


Curator Adam T. Erby takes viewers on a tour of the stunning Lafayette Bedchamber, restored and reopened to the public in 2022.

Lafayette Bedchamber

The bedchamber where Lafayette stayed in 1784, in the northeast corner of the second floor, continued to be associated with its most famous occupant.

Explore the Room

Lafayette Bedchamber

This room is often referred to as the Lafayette bedchamber because it is believed that the marquis stayed here while visiting the Washingtons.

Login
Buy Tickets Activities Calendar Shop Restaurant Give Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save