Sunday, August 16, 2009

General Samuel Evans


Gen. SAMUEL EVANS (son of MUSGROVE EVANS, Sr.) was born c1754.
He was of a Quaker family. He fought in the Revolutionary War, and according
to "American Historical Register" of February 1896, he commanded the militia
which escorted General Lafayette to Chester on his visit to the U.S. in 1824-25.


Name: General Lafayette

Region: Philadelphia and its Countryside/Lehigh Valley

County Location: Chester

Marker Location: NW corner, N. Church & W. Lafayette Streets, West Chester

Dedication Date: June 09, 1952

Marker Text
On July 26, 1825 after visiting the Battlefield of Brandywine, General Lafayette came to West Chester, and from a point one and one-half blocks east of here, he reviewed troops parading in his honor.

sign
Behind the Marker
The Revolutionary War's Philadelphia Campaign of 1777 transformed General Lafayette's military career. Still a teenager, the French aristocrat joined the Continental Army in the summer of that year, as a volunteer major general without command, but did not see his first significant action until the Battle of Brandywine. He served with distinction in the conflict, surviving a leg wound and helping to rally American forces as defeat loomed. Then in December 1777, just prior to the Army's withdrawal to Valley Forge, the young marquis received his first divisional command. Lafayette replaced General Adam Stephen, who had been dismissed from the service for drunkenness and poor leadership at the Battle of Germantown.

Etching of General Lafeyette in uniform, drawn by Alonzo Chappel.
zoom
A portrait of General Lafayette, drawn by Alonzo Chappel.
Credit: The First American West Collection, University of Chicago Library and Filson Historical Society; Courtesy Library of Congress
General George Washington was one of Lafayette's strongest supporters. He informed the Continental Congress that the Frenchman "possesses a large share of that Military order, which generally characterises the Nobility of his Country." He also quoted, approvingly, a line about Lafayette that originated with General Nathanael Greene —"The Marquis is determined to be in the way of danger."

After serving with distinction in the American Revolution, Lafayette returned to France, where he worked closely with American ambassadors Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. In the 1780s, Lafayette became a participant of the reform movement, working to establish a constitutional monarchy in France, but did not join with radical forces during the French Revolution and was forced to flee the country. He would return to public life in Paris only after the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte.

President James Monroe invited Lafayette to return to the United States in 1824. During the next year, he visited every state in the young nation, generally receiving an enthusiastic reception from Americans eager to remember the glories of the Revolution and to honor the Frenchman for his friendship with Washington and contribution to the American cause.

Beyond the Marker
Harry M. Ward, Major General Adam Stephen and the Cause of American Liberty
(Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1989).

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