Lafayette Comes to Milton

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There's a larger than life-size painting of Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Mortier, Marquis de Lafayette, the famous French General who aided America in the Revolutionary War,  in the Jefferson County -"Oh!-we-wouldn't-have-any-Trimble-County"-Historical Society in Madison, Indiana.

According to the exhibit, the painting was likely inspired by the painter visiting and seeing Lafayette when he - LaFayette - visited Milton on April 16, 1825.  General Lafayette was touring the USA, and was on a Steamboat going from St. Louis to Cincinnati, which stopped in Milton for wood.

On the other hand, an article in the Indiana Magazine of History (Vol. XXIV, March, 1928, p. 69) says “There have been many fireside stories told of La Fayette's visit to Madison, Lawrenceburg, Vevay and possibly other places.  The fact is that La Fayette never visited any other part of the state of Indiana than the place in the woods where he involuntarily spent the night on the shore of the Ohio River near the present site of Cannelton, and later, Jeffersonville, where he made his public visit on May 12, [1825].”  The reference to Cannelton is a result of the boat he was traveling in upriver, The Paragon, sinking.  LaFayette was taken to Louisville on another boat, and from there to Frankfort, Lexington, and then to Cincinnati.  More details on his trip thru Northern Kentucky are here.       

He was never in Madison, nor Milton.        

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