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Lafayette, Marquis de (Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier)

Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), was the French general and political leader who served as a major general in the American Revolution. He became a close friend of George Washington's, was wounded at Brandywine, endured the hardships of Valley Forge, and distinguished himself in the Yorktown campaign. Having helped to secure aid from officially neutral France, Lafayette became a symbol of the bond between the two countries. In 1824 he returned to the United States for a visit, where he was hailed for his courage, integrity, and idealism.