Lafayette’s last visit to Rhode Island was part of a grand tour as a guest of the government of the United States. It was an opportunity to refresh connections to the Revolutionary War generation and to highlight the progress the country had made as an independent state.

The Marquis de Lafayette came to Providence on August 23, 1824. The organizing committee was unsure which roads the Marquis would be traveling to Providence, so they posted messengers along various roads. He was met at Fisk’s Tavern in Scituate and escorted to the Providence town line where a delegation of the Town Council was waiting. He was transferred to a luxurious, open barouche carriage which was drawn by four white horses. He traveled along a predetermined line of march and was “welcomed by that most expressive token of affection interest, the waving of white handkerchiefs by the fair hands of the ladies.” (Providence Gazette, August 25, 1824)

Rhode Island American, Providence - August 24, 1824
Order of the Procession
Col Stephen Olney
Stephen Olney

There was a procession through High Street, down Westminister to Weybosset Bridge and up North Main Street and to the State House. As he reached the State House the United Train of Artillery fired a salute. As he arrived at the State House the streets were lined with women in white holding in their hands branches of flowers. As Lafayette walked up the State House steps they strew his path with flower petals. At the top of the stair landing he was greeted with affection by Col. Stephen Olney. Olney had served in the Rhode Island Regiment under the command of Lafayette at Yorktown as well as at the Battle of Rhode Island.

After being greeted by State and Town Officials in the Senate Chamber, Lafayette walked to his hotel (Horton’s). During a meal at the hotel dining room recollections of the War for Independence were shared. After the meal General Lafayette reviewed the troops and shook hands with all the “principal officers.” His carriage greeted him at the end of the line and brought him back to Sanford Horton’s Globe Tavern at 81 Benefit Street. This was also were Lafayette stayed in 1784 where he was entertained by Henry Rice when it was called the “Golden Ball.”

Hotel Lafayette stayed at on his 3rd and 4th visit to Rhode Island

Other houses connected to Lafayette by traditions are the Fenner Garrison House at Thornton and the house of William Field at Field’s Point.

By August 25th Lafayette was on to Boston and more celebrations.



Preston’s 1926 Article in the Rhode Island Historical Society Collections journal.

Rhode Island American, Providence, August 24, 1824.