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Special Message

June 27, 1834


In compliance with the will of Congress, I transmit to you the joint resolutions of the two Houses unanimously expressing the sensibility with which they received the intelligence of the death of " General Lafayette, the friend of the United States, the friend of Washington, and the friend of liberty;" and I also assure you of the condolence of this whole nation in the irreparable bereavement which by that event you have sustained.

In complying with the request of Congress I can not omit the occasion of offering you my own condolence in the great loss you have sustained, and of expressing my admiration of the eminent virtues of the distinguished patriot whom it has pleased Providence to remove to his high reward.

I also pray you to be persuaded that your individual welfare and prosperity will always be with me objects of that solicitude which the illustrious services of the great friend and benefactor of my country are calculated to awaken.


President of the United States.

RESOLUTION manifesting the sensibility of the two Houses of Congress and of the nation on the occasion of the decease of General Lafayette.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the two Houses of Congress have received with the profoundest sensibility intelligence of the death of General Lafayette, the friend of the United States, the friend of Washington, and the friend of liberty.

And be it further resolved, That the sacrifices and efforts of this illustrious person in the cause of our country during her struggle for independence, and the affectionate interest which he has at all times manifested for the success of her political institutions, claim from the Government and people of the United States an expression of condolence for his loss, veneration for his virtues, and gratitude for his services.

And be it further resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to address, together with a copy of the above resolutions, a letter to George Washington Lafayette and the other members of his family, assuring them of the condolence of this whole nation in their irreparable bereavement.

And be further resolved, That the members of the two Houses of Congress will wear a badge of mourning for thirty days, and that it be recommended to the people of the United States to wear a similar badge for the same period.

And be it further resolved , That the halls of the Houses be dressed in mourning for the residue of the session.

And be it further resolved , That John Quincy Adams be requested to deliver an oration on the life and character of General Lafayette before the two Houses of Congress at the next session.


Speaker of the House of Representatives.


Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate.

Approved, June 26, 1834.


LA GRANGE, October 21, 1834 .

SIR: The resolution of Congress communicated to me by your honored favor of the 27th of June, that glorious testimony of American national affection for my beloved and venerated father, has been received by his family with the deepest sense of the most respectful and, give me leave to say, filial gratitude.

And now, sir, that we experience the benefits of such a high and soothing sympathy, we find ourselves called to the honor of addressing to the people and Congress of the United States our heartfelt and dutiful thanks.

Sir, you were the friend of my father, and the kind letter which accompanied the precious message seems to be for us a sufficient authorization to our claiming once more your honorable assistance for the accomplishment of a duty dear to our hearts. We most fervently wish that the homage of our everlasting devotion to a nation whose tears have deigned to mingle with ours should be offered to both Houses of Congress. Transmitted by you, sir, that homage shall be rendered acceptable, and we earnestly pray you, sir, to present it in our name. Our gratitude shall be forever adequate to the obligation.

The resolution which so powerfully honors my father's memory shall be deposited as a most sacred family property in that room of mourning where once his son and grandsons used to receive with avidity from him lessons of patriotism and active love of liberty. There the daily contemplation of it will more and more impress their minds with that encouraging conviction that the affection and esteem of a free nation is the most desirable reward that can be obtained on earth.

With the utmost respect, sir, I have the honor to be, your devoted and obedient servant,


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

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