Holly (formanymiles) wrote,
Holly
formanymiles

most tender and Respectful friendship

Lafayette's adamant defense of Washington during a tough time deepened and cemented their bond. He wrote to Washington of his "most tender and Respectful friendship" and confessed, the "Sentiments of my Heart [are] much stronger than a So new acquaintance Seems to admit. But an other Reason to be Concerned in the present Circumstances is my Ardent, and perhaps enthusiastic wishes for the Happiness and liberty of this Country." In other words, after only five months' acquaintance, to Lafayette, Washington and America were one and the same. "I am now fixed to your fate," he added, begging Washington's pardon if "youth and friendship make perhaps myself too warm."

In his reply to Lafayette, Washington expressed "sentiments of the purest affection." Which is about as gushy as a George Washington interoffice memo gets. He added, "It will ever constitute part of my happiness to know that I stand well in your opinion." Regarding the "dirty Arts and low intrigues" of Conway, Gates, and their accomplices among the politicians, Washington, echoing The American Crisis by Paine, acknowledged, "We must not in so great a contest, expect to meet with nothing but Sun shine." He closed the letter predicting a victorious future sleepover at Mount Vernon: "My Dear Marquis, if you will give me your Company in Virginia, we will laugh at our past difficulties and the folly of others."

Sarah Vowell, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.
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