“There exist certain natural rights inherent in every society of which not only one nation but all the nations together could not justly deprive an individual," he wrote. Nope, not Thomas Jefferson. How much do you know about Marquis de Lafayette?
Lafayette was born as Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette. "It’s not my fault,” he once playfully said. “I was baptized like a Spaniard, with the name of every conceivable saint who might offer me more protection in battle.”
Lafayette became the Marquis de Lafayette at age 2, after his father, a colonel, was killed in the Seven Years' War.
In 1763, at 16 years old, Lafayette won a captain's commission and was appointed to the elite unit, the Black Musketeers. He lost it in 1775, though, during a period of reduced military spending by the French government.
Lafayette fought with the revolutionists during the American Revolutionary War.
Charles-Francois, comte de Broglie, introduced Lafayette to the Freemasons, where Lafayette learned of the revolution.
Lafayette was 19 years old when he bought his own ship and traveled to America for the first time in 1777, inspired to fight with the American revolutionists.
Lafayette was commissioned a major general on July 31, 1777 but was not given an active command.
The pair became good friends after meeting a little more than a month after Lafayette arrived to volunteer in the Continental Army, and they grew to see each other in a father (Washington) and son (Lafayette) way.
Lafayette was shot in the calf during the Battle of Brandywine, his first battle, on Sept. 11, 1777. Although injured, he successfully retreated the troops.
Lafayette, seen as a tool of the French king, was a political prisoner, first by the Prussians at Wesel and then the Austrians at Olmutz.
Napoleon Bonaparte assisted in the release of Lafayette in 1797 but did not allow him to return to France.
The couple named their only son, born in 1779, Georges Washington de Lafayette.
The Lafayette's named their youngest daughter after Marie Antoinette, queen of France.
Lafayette referred to state militia's as the "national guard," the name officially given in 1916.
During the Virginia Campaign, Lafayette commanded about 5,000 men in successfully blocking Gen. Cornwallis' troops, contributing to the patriot's victory at the Battle of Yorktown.
Lafayette laid the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, the scene of the first major American Revolution battle.
In 1780, Lafayette traveled on the Concorde class frigate Hermione bringing news that France would support the Continental Army with men and money.
In 1825, Lafayette was nicknamed the "Hero of Two Worlds" because of his involvement in both the American and French revolutions.
Lafayette dreamed of, yet was never able to fulfill, establishing a republic form of government in France.
Lafayette co-authored Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, similar to the U.S. Constitution, with the help of Thomas Jefferson. France's National Assembly passed it in August 1789.
After King Charles X was forced to abdicate, Lafayette turned down dictatorship and instead supported Louis-Philippe to lead a constitutional monarchy.
The American foxhound is the result of Lafayette's gift and Washington's desire for larger hunter dogs.
Invited by President James Monroe in 1824, Lafayette addressed both houses of Congress and visited all 24 states.
About 80,000 people, two-thirds of New York City's population at the time, met their war hero at New York Harbor.
Lafayette was awarded $200,000 and land from the Louisiana Purchase.
Lafayette died in Paris on May 20, 1834.
When news of Lafayette's death reached the United States, President Jackson ordered Lafayette be given the same funeral honors that George Washington had when he died in 1799.
There was no public funeral for Lafayette because it was forbidden by the French government. He was buried, under guard, in Picpus Cemetery in Paris.
When Lafayette was buried in in Picpus Cemetery in Paris in 1834, his son covered the coffin with soil taken from Bunker Hill.
While Maryland gave honorary citizenship to Lafayette in 1784, it took until 2002 for Congress to confer U.S. citizenry on Lafayette.