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Author to talk Marquis de Lafayette book

The public is invited to a book talk by Dr. Lawrence Krumenaker, author of “Nine Days of Traveling: Lafayette’s 1825 Alabama Tour, Today’s Historical Road Tour,” on Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this quarterly meeting of the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society will be hosted on Zoom.

To see the virtual meeting, CVHS members and the general public should send their email address to: programs@cvhistoricalsociety.org before noon on Sunday.

The moderator will respond to each email with directions on how to connect prior to the 3 p.m. meeting.

Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) was one of the last surviving leaders of the American Revolution. A French aristocrat and military officer, he led American military troops in a number of important engagements in the American Revolutionary War, most importantly the Siege of Yorktown. He was only 21 years of age when he met George Washington, who would love him like his own son for the rest of his life. Lafayette today is widely regarded as a national hero both in his native France and in the U.S.

Many cities and counties in the U.S. are named in his honor, included among them are LaFayette, Alabama and LaGrange, Georgia.

By 1824, he was the last surviving general in the War of the Revolution. In that year, President James Monroe invited him to return to the U.S. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s war for independence. Lafayette was in his late sixties at the time but graciously compiled. It would be a grand journey across a new and growing country. Hundreds of people came out to see him everywhere he went, and he was hailed as a national hero. Alabama was among the 24 states he visited.

Dr. Krumenaker will be discussing the nine days Lafayette spent in Alabama. He crossed the Chattahoochee River at Columbus. He and his entourage traveled along the Federal Road to Montgomery and then down the Alabama River by steamboat to the port of Mobile. Much of the route was still Creek Indian country at the time.

In his book, “Nine Days Traveling,” Dr. Krumenaker traces Lafayette’s path across the state from the fragmentary first-hand accounts and the notes of later researchers.

Ultimately, 37 sites have been located where the Marquis ate, slept, talked and was talked to, witnessed an event and stopped at along the way.

In his research, Dr. Krumenaker photographed some of these sites and marked their locations on modern maps. He has proposed five walking trails in different towns along the route that should be marked for a Lafayette Bicentennial Tour in 2025.

In addition to a general discussion of the recovered route and the sites, the nearest locations to Chambers County will be described.

Krumenaker is what one might call a Renaissance man. A current resident of Macon County, he has lived and traveled in many states and foreign countries. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy and has taught the subject in such diverse places as Jackson State University in Mississippi, Seoul University in Korea and at the University of Cologne in Germany.

“Nine Days Traveling” can be purchased from his website at www.hermograph.com/lafayette. He is giving a 10 percent reduction on the $26.95 price for anyone who uses the codeCVHS20. The discount is good through Oct. 24.

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