The Battle of Rhode Island Association

Loading Events

« All Events

Virtual Lecture—The Marquis de Lafayette and the American Revolution

August 28 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Image credit: Collection of the Museum of the American Revolution.

Having learned of the American war in the summer of 1775, the marquis de Lafayette responded to the rebels’ calls for republican principles inspired by ancient Rome, the opportunity to avenge France’s defeat by the British in the Seven Years’ War and the chance to further his military career. In December 1776, the young marquis formally pledged to join the American cause. After landing in South Carolina in June 1777, he made his way to Philadelphia to present himself to Congress and became a member of George Washington’s military family. During the war, Lafayette was wounded the first time he saw action, at Brandywine, and went on to command American troops at Barren Hill, Monmouth, Newport and Yorktown. He also helped solidify French support for the revolution, returning home in 1779 to lobby King Louis XVI and his ministers to send an army to aid the Americans—a successful effort that resulted in a large expeditionary force setting sail for America the following year. For this lecture, historian Iris de Rode highlights Lafayette’s monumental career during the American Revolution and discusses the impact of his service on the later years of his life. This program accompanies their current exhibition, Fete Lafayette: A French Hero’s Tour of the American Republic, on view through December 31, 2024.


Registration is requested. To attend the lecture virtually click here.


About the Speaker

Historian Iris de Rode specializes in the French participation in the American Revolution. She was awarded the Society of the Cincinnati’s 2023 Ellen McCallister Clark Massachusetts Library Fellowship to conduct research for her book Military Enlightenment on the Ground, which examines the collaboration among French and American military leaders that secured American independence, focusing on the involvement and contributions of four French leaders in particular. She received her Ph.D. in 2019 for her dissertation, “François-Jean de Chastellux: un soldat-philosophe dans le monde atlantique à l’époque des Lumières” (a soldier-philosopher in the Atlantic world at the time of the Enlightenment), at Paris 8 University Vincennes-Saint-Denis. She earned fourteen fellowships while working on her dissertation, including grants from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Mount Vernon, Monticello, the French embassy in the Netherlands and the French government. Dr. de Rode has presented her research at more than seventy-five international conferences and has been teaching American, transatlantic and international history at the French University Sciences Po in Paris, France, since 2013. Her current projects include a documentary film, an audio-guide app that retraces the steps of the French forces on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Trail and the organization of a lecture and podcast series in partnership with the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.


August 28
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Category:


The Society of the Cincinnati Anderson House
2118 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC, DC 20008 United States
+ Google Map

Share this Page