Lafayette in Dutchess County

Toward the beginning of his yearlong tour of the United States, 1824 to 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette and his son, Georges Washington Lafayette, enjoyed a big public reception in Poughkeepsie, on Thursday, September 16, 1824, two days behind schedule. They also made several private visits in Dutchess County including the home of Governor Lewis at Staatsburg and Janet Montgomery in Red Hook.

The 1834 map below is annotated to show the route of his brief, early morning visit to Poughkeepsie that involved a major reception at the river, procession up Main St., to Academy, Cannon and Market Streets. With a stop at Forbus House and breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Hotel.

Thursday, September 16, 7 am, alights at Poughkeepsie.
Thursday, September 16, late morning, former Governor Lewis Morgan, Staatsburg.
Sunday, September 19, morning until 2 pm, Mrs. Montgomery, Montgomery Place, Red Hook.
Sunday, September 19, arrives 7 pm, Fishkill, Mrs. DeWitt, granddaughter of John Adams.

Dinner New York City, September 14 launched Hudson River Valley Tour

The invitation to the event set to launch his Hudson River Valley tour, from DCHS Collections shown below,  was an invitation to a member of the Van Kleeck family in Poughkeepsie. Castle Garden is now known as Fort Clinton, at the southern tip of Manhattan. After being postponed twice, the evening party at Castle Garden took place four days later than planned, on September 14th. At 2 AM, Lafayette got aboard the Kent and sailed up the Hudson River to Albany.

From the Van Kleeck Collection at the Dutchess County Historical Society.
The “Fete de Lafayette” took place at the southern tip of Manhattan at Castle Gardens.

The Forbus House was Lafayette’s first stop. Unfortunately there is no clear illustration or photograph of Inn, you can see a slice of it in above photo. It was  more elaborate Inn than its predecessor, Hendrickson’s Inn, which was a way-station for politicians and lawyers seeking a half-way spot between Albany and New York City for a drink or a night’s stay. Stephen Hendrickson converted his house into an Inn. While simple, its visitors were top rate: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, to name a few. Forbus House was followed by Nelson House which was a frequent platform for FDR.

The Poughkeepsie Hotel, where a grand breakfast was held, was a more elaborate “Hotel.” It was located at the head of Market Street when that street terminated at Main Street. Its location would be the exact location of the extension of Market Street north, through to the Post Office of today.

The story of Lafayette’s visit at the time in local newspapers, and later in DCHS Yearbook