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Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de (1757-1834) to Charles J. Fox [in French]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04800 Author/Creator: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de (1757-1834) Place Written: Aulnay, France Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 July 1803 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 22.9 x 18.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Lafayette writes to English politician and friend, Charles Fox, regarding his own health. Lafayette had recently broken several bones and torn tendons in a fall, but reports that he is on that mend and will soon be back at La Grange, his country estate outside of Paris. He commends Fox on his attempts to forge peaceful relations with France. He also believes that all will soon agree that the acquisition of the Louisiana territory from the French by the United States is for the best. Notes that the letter will be brought to Fox by James Monroe, then American Ambassador to England. He asks Fox to send him news of his family, his farm work, and to send him a good history book. He notes that a French translation is underway of "Asiatick researches...", first published in Calcutta by the British Asiatic Society and subsequently in England in 1788-1790. Lafayette worries that King George III might have had some material censored from the English edition, and asks Fox if he knows of differences between the Calcutta and English editions. Notes that his son was promoted to lieutenant and aide-de-camp of General Canaux. Also mentions that Lally received a letter from Lady Elizabeth Foster.

Background Information: Letter translated from French by Kristin Gager 11/19/04.

Full Transcript: Aulnay 20 [Mellider] 9 July 1803

It was a few days ago, my dear Fox, that I wrote you under the safe guard of the faithfulness of the post and of the benevolence ...of the two governments. I informed you that the healing of the broken limb was complete, that the wounds were closed with the exception of the one on the foot, which will take a few days, that the lost tendon will have a sufficient substitute and that soon I will be returning to the farm. On July 20th we will find ourselves again in the home embellished with reminders of your good visit. I myself will finally be able to follow the exploitation of a charm that I had begun at the time of my accident and that for more than five months was directed through letters, a bad way to raise the worth of a farm. This will be a great pleasure for me and the need for distraction will be even greater if I am to adopt your sad calculations on the postponement of freedom.
You made generous efforts to keep the peace; it is strange that you found so little support, but your opinion will not be unfruitful and sooner or later the recommendation will come; it will have to be founded on principles and on conventions that are very useful to the cause and to the well being of mankind. I am convinced that on this point of view you share my satisfaction with the arrangement that cedes Louisiana to the United States.
My letter is brought to you by my friend Mr. Munroe, the American Minister in London. He is particularly willing to facilitate our correspondence, and the trips will provide him with occasions; we want very much to know all the details that interest you: [2] tell us of St. Ann's Hill, of your agricultural involvement, and don't forget to send word of where you are with your historical works.
Asiatick Researches is being translated in France; some people fear that the conscience of the English King, alarmed by the importance of the genre, has required changes in the London edition. Is there a difference between it and the Calcutta edition? Were there some manuscripts suppressed by a scrupulous influence?
Mr. Green made me hope that he will have the goodness of coming to see me here. I wait for him impatiently, and I will be quite happy to speak to him about you, about Mrs. Fox, about Fitzpatrick, and of all our friends to whom I ask you to send my affectionate regards. Lully wrote me that he had the pleasure of receiving a letter from Lady Elizabeth Foster. My family is convened here, in the countryside of [Mrs. de telle]; four leagues from Paris, except for my daughter in law who is having her child vaccinated in Auteuil, and my son who was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and camp aid to General Canclaux LaCampagne in his inspections around the Capital. My wife's health has improved greatly improved by the [illegible] baths that one takes at Tivoli. I am responsible for presenting to Mrs. Fox, to you, to Fitzpatrick, the sentiments that all the family devotes to you, and I add to them with all my heart
Your friend,
I had thought Mr. [Hare] gone due to the measure taken here against your compatriots; there must be nothing less than my situation in order to have been undeceived so late.

[address leaf]
Mr. J. Charles Fox
St. Ann's Hill
General LaFayette
July 1803
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People: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834
Fox, Charles, 1749-1809
Foster, Elizabeth, Lady, 1758-1824
George III, King of the United Kingdom, 1738-1820
Lafayette, George Washington, 1779-1849
Monroe, James, 1758-1831

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralHealth and MedicalInjury or WoundFranceTreatyDiplomacyGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsLouisiana PurchaseLand TransactionGeography and Natural HistoryAsiaLibraryAgriculture and Animal HusbandryJournalismMilitary HistoryChildren and FamilyIndia

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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