Of the many thousands who participated in the American and French revolutions in the late 18th century, only a handful played roles in both events. Among that select number were Thomas Jefferson and Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, two men who enjoyed a friendship that stretched across five decades.
In Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations
(St. Martins, 2019), Tom Chaffin
describes the shared views and experiences that bonded them together. As Chaffin describes, the two men first met during the American Revolution after the young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic to participate in the fighting. Though their initial association was brief, the two men grew close during the five years Jefferson served as minister to France in the 1780s, with Jefferson providing the marquis with advice during the early stages of the French Revolution. Though Jefferson and Lafayette were soon parted by the course of events, they would be reunited one final time in 1824 when the marquis visited the former president at Monticello as part of his grand tour of the country.