A historical marker was placed March 5 on the edge of Cross Creek Linear Park designating Fayetteville as a stop on the Marquis de Lafayette’s tour of the United States nearly 200 years ago. The placement is part of the Lafayette Trail Project founded by Julien Icher and leads up to the bicentennial celebration of Lafayette’s Grand Tour of 1824-25.
Lafayette was a French nobleman who fought alongside the American people in the Revolutionary War. His loyalty to General George Washington, his resources, and his alliance with the French king all played an important role in the American people earning their independence from the English crown.
This Trail marker is one of five in North Carolina that helps map out Lafayette’s tour 196 years ago. Icher, from France, has collected extensive details and artifacts about Lafayette. His multi-year project aims to place a marker at each of Lafayette’s stops during his tour.
The placement of the historical marker is a notable designation of our city’s connection to Lafayette and the Revolutionary War, said Bud Lafferty, a member of the Lafayette Society.
When Lafayette arrived in Fayetteville in March of 1825, he visited multiple places during his stop. He arrived in a carriage with a whole entourage that was so big that, instead of staying in the hotel named after him, he actually stayed in the National Banking House (which is the old courthouse today). The carriage that Lafayette came in is still in Fayetteville and is located at the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Museum.
Lafferty said that Lafayette was for the rights of man, as well as an abolitionist. He said that Lafayette received a warm welcome when he arrived in Fayetteville, which had been renamed in his honor in 1783.
There will eventually be markers in 25 states that Lafayette visited during his tour. Members of the Lafayette Society say the markers will help increase awareness of the story of the Marquis de Lafayette and Fayetteville’s own connection to history.
For more information on The Lafayette Society and events visit their website at https://www.lafayettesociety.org/.
For more information about the Lafayette Trail visit https://thelafayettetrail.org/#map.