Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour Exhibit

May 23, 2024 – Aug 21, 2024
Mattocks Hall, NC History Center

The History Center in Mattocks Hall at Tryon Palace will exhibit a set of six panels that tell the life story of the Marquis de Lafayette, his prominent role in the American Revolution, and his support of human rights for all mankind.

Lafayette left France in 1777 as an idealistic 19-year-old to fight for America against England in the Revolutionary War. He became General Washington’s most trusted general and commanded a division of American soldiers at the Battle of Yorktown, the decisive battle that won our country’s freedom. After returning to France, Lafayette was a prominent figure in the French Revolution and later became a worldwide symbol of liberty, justice, and human rights.

In 1824, on the eve of America’s 50th birthday, President James Monroe invited Lafayette as the guest of the Nation for a year-long visit, the Farewell Tour. As the last surviving Major General of the American Revolution, cities welcomed him with huge crowds and parades, elaborate dinners, and elegant balls.

200 years later, the Famous Fighting Frenchman returns! The United States will celebrate the bicentennial of the Farewell Tour with a year-long “rolling celebration,” each city recreating Lafayette’s visit as an immersive experience on the exact same date he visited them. It all starts in New York City in August 2024. In North Carolina, Fayetteville’s turn to celebrate will be March 4-5, 2025. The American Friends of Lafayette has designated Fayetteville as one of the “premier sites” for the celebration. It is the first city named for Lafayette (1783) and the only namesake city he visited (1825).

In 2023, the American Friends of Lafayette designed six museum display panels as a traveling exhibit for the national commemoration. The Lafayette Society purchased their own set and agreed to loan them to Tryon Palace for the summer season. For more information, visit and click on the Farewell Tour Bicentennial tab.