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Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour Visits Westchester, NY

August 18 All day

On August 20, 1824, Lafayette had a busy day ahead. He commenced his journey in lower Manhattan and embarked on a horseback ride that would lead him through Westchester, concluding in Connecticut. His first three stops included Morrisania, West Farm, and East Chester, all now part of the Bronx. This remarkable expedition will be a highlight at the national conference.

Bartow-Pell Mansion – The first stop will be in the Bronx in a home from the 1840s. It will provide a glimpse of what life was like when Lafayette was here. We will have a tour of the house and the grounds. In addition, the Bronx Historical Society will speak on life in the 1820s. This is a private event for people registered for the conference as the site is normally closed then.  Become a member of the American Friends of Lafayette to be the first to know when registration opens!

St. Paul’s Church – While in East Chester, Lafayette heard that his friend Colonel Philip Pell had died and was buried at this church. Lafayette made a detour to pay his respects at Pell’s grave. We will have a tour of the church which is a National Park Service site and the burial grounds. This is a private visit for people registered for the conference as the site is normally closed then.

Pell’s House – Lafayette continued his detour to pay his respects to the Pell family. The house no longer stands. There is a marker to Pell on the high school grounds which once was property of the Pells. We are working to have the Town Supervisor and Pelham Regional Band greet us.

From this point forward, Lafayette travels north on the Boston Post Road (US 1). He travels through New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Rye, and Sawpit (Port Chester) before arriving at the Connecticut line. Sometimes we know exactly where he stopped and the site is still there (Rye Historical Society). Sometimes we know exactly where he stopped but the site is no longer there (Peeler’s Tavern in New Rochelle by the Public Library where we will have boxed lunches). Sometimes we don’t know where he stopped and will make an educated guess (Mamaroneck Harbor at the intersection of the Boston Post Road and Westchester Ave). Sometimes we know what he did there when he stopped (had a glass of wine at Port Chester at the stage coach stop at Mr. Moreman’s on the Boston Post Road/North Main Street).

Each participating municipality will be issuing or have already issued proclamations declaring the day as Lafayette Day in the village, town, or city. They also will be planning the events of the visit including the arrival of the AFL tour buses and pre- and post- activities.