Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
On to Yorktown
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
On February 20, 1781, George Washington ordered the Marquis de Lafayette with 1,200 men of the newly-established Light Infantry Corps to Virginia to counter Benedict Arnold's raids around Richmond. Lafayette arrived at the Head of Elk on March 3 and embarked his force at Plum Point on March 8 for Annapolis. While his troops set up camp on Carroll's Creek (Spa Creek), Lafayette sailed ahead with a small party on March 10, reaching Yorktown four days later. Here he was to cooperate with American forces under Baron von Steuben and a French naval force under the Chevalier de Touches sent from Rhode Island with some 1,100 French soldiers with the express purpose of capturing Arnold. Following an indecisive naval engagement with British Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot on March 16, the "First Battle of the Capes," the French squadron returned to Newport. Just as Lafayette was returning northward overland and stopping at Mt. Vernon along the way, a British fleet sailed into the Chesapeake Bay on March 20. It carried Major-General William Phillips and more than 3,000 regular British troops. Soon after arriving back in Annapolis on April 4 he learned that
Henrietta Margaret Hill Ogle, wife of Benjamin Ogle, wrote from Annapolis in March, 1781, to her husband's cousin, Ann Dulany: "The town is so dull it would be tolerable were it not for the officers. I sometimes see them, but am not acquainted with many. I scarcely ever see or hear the name of a gentleman of our former acquaintance. 'Tis all marquises, counts, etc. One very clever French colonel I have seen. I like the French better with every hour. The divine Marquis de la Fayette is in town, and is quite the thing. We abound in French officers, and some of them very clever, particularly the colonel before mentioned. But the marquis, so diffident, so polite, in short everything that is clever! The British ships are still here, and a great number of boats, with the troops on board, are gone out to-day, and I expect every moment to hear the cannon."
On November 28, 1784, Lafayette returned to Annapolis in the company of General Washington where the legislature presented him with an address of welcome. On December 28, 1784, a grateful Maryland named the Marquis de Lafayette an Honorary Citizen of the state. He returned to Annapolis once more in 1824 during his Grand Tour of the 24 United States accompanied by his son, Georges Washington Lafayette.
Erected by Maryland Heritage Area Authority; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; Washington Rochambeau National Historic Trail Association; The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US Revolutionary • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the The Washington-Rochambeau Route series lists.
Location. 38° 58.284′ N, 76° 29.111′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on 6th Street 0.1 miles north of Severn Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21403, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Eastport (here, next to this marker); Lafayette’s Encampment (within shouting distance of this marker); Eastport Veterans Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Tale of Three Bridges (about 600 feet away); Eastport's Old "Main Street" (about 600 feet away); Arnold C. Gay (about 600 feet away); The Old Farmhouse (about 800 feet away); Three Great Boat Yards, One Location (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on January 29, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.