If you don’t think Hamilton, Laurens, and Lafayette are the actual cutest cinnamon rolls that have ever walked this Earth, then you’re wrong. (The book I pulled this from is The Conqueror by Gertrude Atherton)
Did y’all know that Lafayette was in charge of some spies during the Revolution? One of the spies was a slave named James, and James did a bang up job spying on the British and was a hero. Then America won the war and Lafayette went home. Then he came back for a visit and happened to run into James. He was like, “Hi, James.”
James was like, “Hi, Lafayette. BTW, I’m still a slave.”
Lafayette was all “That ain’t right”, so he wrote this letter about how great a spy James had been, and James was given his freedom and a pension. In thanks, James adopted Lafayette’s last name.
June 13th 1777: Marquis de Lafayette arrives in America
On this day in 1777, the nineteen-year-old French aristocrat,
Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier (Marquis de Lafayette), arrived in South Carolina to aid the American Revolution. Lafayette, from a prominent military family, had been recruited by a representative of Congress the previous year. However, King Louis XVI feared French intervention would provoke British anger, and sought to prevent Lafayette from departing. Determined to reach America, Lafayette set sail, managing to evade capture by British ships. He arrived in South Carolina in June 1777, and travelled to Philadelphia, the seat of Congress. The young Frenchman impressed the initially sceptical Congress with his devotion to the cause of independence, and in July he was commissioned as a major-general. Lafayette served in a number of battles, including the Battle of Monmouth, and became a close friend of General George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. After France formally allied itself with the United States, Lafayette was recalled to Paris to consult the king. He returned to America later that year, and fought at the decisive Battle of Yorktown in 1781, before once again returning to France. Lafayette joined the French army, and advocated political reform, co-authoring the
Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. However, his military duties meant he had to protect the royal family upon the outbreak of revolution in 1789, and he fled the country in 1792 after radical revolutionaries called for his arrest. Lafayette maintained a low profile during the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, and later supported a constitutional monarchy.
Marquis de Lafayette, the ‘hero of two worlds’, died in May 1834, aged 76, and was buried in Paris under soil from Bunker Hill.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
A year ago, even most American history professors probably had never heard of Hercules Mulligan, the American patriot whose name sounds like a punchline.
Thanks to the musical blockbuster Hamilton, Mulligan finally is famous, 190 years after his death. Of course, the real Mulligan was not quite what Lin Manuel Miranda’s casting director sought: “Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race, African Descent… able to sing and rap well … the life of the party, dripping with swagger, streetwise and hilarious…. Joins the revolution to get out of being a tailor’s apprentice.”
Hercules Mulligan was a discrete but silver-tongued Irish immigrant in New York City, who prospered as a haberdasher, tailoring garments for colonial aristocrats and British officers. He was also a member of the Sons of Liberty, and his passion helped recruit Alexander Hamilton to the Revolutionary cause. His work also happened to make him a great, meaning oft-overlooked, spy.
In 1779, some sources claim, a British officer insisted late one night he needed a warm “watch coat.” When Mulligan casually asked why the rush, the officer described his important mission, exulting, “before another day, we’ll have the rebel general in our hands.” Mulligan immediately mobilized his slave Cato, who was known to many of the well-outfitted British officers surrounding the city. Cato passed the information to Hamilton, who had become Washington’s aide de camp. Washington avoided the British ambush. Thus Hamilton’s hip hop Mulligan can rap: “A tailor spyin’ on the British government! I take their measurements, information, and then I smuggle it.”
Mulligan and Cato were already reliable sources for Washington regarding troop movements—working despite at least two interrogations by wary British officers. Mulligan occasionally collaborated with the New York-based Culper Ring and with the famous Jewish patriot Haym Solomon, whose German fluency made him a popular translator for the Hessian troops—and thus a great source of intelligence regarding troop movements.