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Series II. Documents [series]:
This series contains many forms of printed and handwritten official documents that record the routine business of a professional soldier and member of the landed aristocracy, and the disruption of that routine by revolutionary historical events. These documents deal chiefly with Lafayette's military career, his financial affairs, and his landed property and estates. The affairs of Lafayette's family and ancestors are also represented here, although to a lesser extent. The older pieces in this series date primarily from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, but extend as far back as the thirteenth century in a set of land deeds for the seignory of Langeac. In addition to land titles and deeds, family documents include birth, death and baptismal certificates, articles of marriage, wills and other inheritance-related material.

Much of Lafayette's considerable fortune went to support the American and French Revolutions, and he was burdened by debts for many years thereafter. In 1793, Lafayette's first year in prison, his financial plight was assessed in "Etat general des Biens et des Dettes de M. de la Fayette". In this same year Lafayette drew a draft on the United States for "a sum of secret monney" meant to help him escape. Also dating from this period are documents associated with the arrest and imprisonment of Lafayette and his wife, and with the confiscation of much of their property. For example, in 1793, the French government produced a fifty-page appraisal, complete with atlas, of confiscated lands near Chavaniac, lands they sold in 1794. The attitude of the revolutionary government towards the nobility is suggested by another document which restricts the movement of particular individuals and limits their association with each other. Several documents announce the removal of various persons from the list of emigres, and there are numerous passports for members of the Lafayette and Tesse families.

This series also contains papers generated by the transactions and legal problems attendant upon Lafayette's acquisition of properties in Louisiana and Florida. These include records of Lafayette's sale of land to his creditors (notably Coghill, Parish and Seymour), and counterclaims to land by prior French and Spanish settlers. A substantial amount of material is concerned with the finances, government and workforce of Lafayette's experimental plantation in French Guiana.

Other noteworthy documents include: a report proposing that a committee be created to disseminate information about the vaccine for small pox and to encourage vaccinations for all children; from 1848, monthly minutes of the Commission of National Recompense of which Lafayette's son, George Washington Lafayette, was a member, and which was responsible for compensating family of wounded or killed veterans; a standard form for determining military pensions for widows, evaluating the late duc d'Ayen's military career and character.