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In Their Own Words

March 31, 1825

Lafayette’s Visit Described

The Marquis de Lafayette, a French hero of the American Revolution, visited Georgia in 1825. Gov. George Troup had his aide-de-camp, John Banks, escort the general from Milledgeville to Alabama. From Fort Mitchell, on the Alabama side of the Chattahoochee River, Banks wrote Gov. Troup:

“We arrived here with Gen. LaFayette today at 11 O’Clock… . The reception the Indians gave the Gen. was quite odd and interesting. We found them in waiting, on the western bank of the Chatahoochee commanded by Chilly McIntosh. While we were crossing they gave several yells in concert; when we touched the bank they took the horse from the sulkey, seated the Gen. in it and pulled him up the hill where we found the Alabama escort under the command of Maj. Gen. [William] Taylor formed ready for the reception; they saluted him as he passed. After which he was introduced to Mr. [Thomas] Bibb who made him a very feeling and appropriate address; to which the Gen. replyed: but owing to the shortness of their stay I was not able to obtain copies of them. The Indians then formed and after going through some ceremonies during a Ballplay which, to those who never witnessed one before was very amusing. The Gen. appeared to be well entertained with it. The play lasted about an hour. The Gen. then dined and set out at 3 O’Clock on his rout to Montgomery, &c.”

Source: Spencer B. King, Jr., Georgia Voices: A Documentary History to 1872 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1974 reprint of 1966 original volume), p. 95.