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Executive Order

June 21, 1834




The Major-General Commanding the Army has received through the War Department the following General Order from the President of the United States:

General Order.

WASHINGTON, June 21, 1834.

Information having been received of the death of General Lafayette, the President considers it due to his own feelings as well as to the character and services of that lamented man to announce the event to the Army and Navy.

Lafayette was a citizen of France, but he was the distinguished friend of the United States. In early life he embarked in that contest which secured freedom and independence to our country. His services and sacrifices constitute a part of our Revolutionary history, and his memory will be second only to that of Washington in the hearts of the American people. In his own country and in ours he was the zealous and uniform friend and advocate of rational liberty. Consistent in his principles and conduct, he never during a long life committed an act which exposed him to just accusation or which will expose his memory to reproach. Living at a period of great excitement and of moral and political revolutions, engaged in many of the important events which fixed the attention of the world, and invited to guide the destinies of France at two of the most momentous eras of her history, his political integrity and personal disinterestedness have not been called in question. Happy in such a life, he has been happy in his death. He has been taken from the theater of action with faculties unimpaired, with a reputation unquestioned, and an object of veneration wherever civilization and the rights of man have extended; and mourning, as we may and must, his departure, let us rejoice that this associate of Washington has gone, as we humbly hope, to rejoin his illustrious commander in the fullness of days and of honor.

He came in his youth to defend our country. He came in the maturity of his age to witness her growth in all the elements of prosperity, and while witnessing these he received those testimonials of national gratitude which proved how strong was his hold upon the affections of the American people.

One melancholy duty remains to be performed. The last major-general of the Revolutionary army has died. Himself a young and humble participator in the struggles of that period, the President feels called on as well by personal as public considerations to direct that appropriate honors be paid to the memory of this distinguished patriot and soldier. He therefore orders that the same honors be rendered upon this occasion at the different military and naval stations as were observed upon the decease of Washington, the Father of his Country, and his contemporary in arms.

In ordering this homage to be paid to the memory of one so eminent in the field, so wise in council, so endeared in private life, and so well and favorably known to both hemispheres the President feels assured that he is anticipating the sentiments not of the Army and Navy only, but of the whole American people.


In obedience to the commands of the President, the following funeral honors will be paid at the several stations of the Army:

At daybreak twenty-four guns will be fired in quick succession, and one gun at the interval of every half hour thereafter till sunset.

The flags of the several stations will during the day be at half-mast. The officers of the Army will wear crape on the left arm for the period of six months.

This order will be carried into effect under the direction of the commanding officer of each post and station the day after its reception.

By command of Major-General Macomb, commanding in chief:

R. JONES, Adjutant-General.

GREEN HILL, October 12, 1834 .

Andrew Jackson, Executive Order Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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