to M. de Lafayette.
Washington, March 2, 1881.
Sir: Rarely has a more agreeable duty devolved upon me than that which I now fulfill in transmitting, through you, to the family of General Lafayette the cordial invitation which, by a joint resolution of the Congress of the United States, is tendered to them to unite with the government and people of the United States, on the 19th day of October next, in a fit and appropriate observance of the centennial anniversary of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.
To this expression of the national will, and the fervent gratitude of the people of this country for the noble and fraternal aid they received from the truest and best blood of France, in their memorable struggle for freedom, no words of mine can add emphasis to the sentiments of reference for the memory of Lafayette, and affection for his descendants, which have ever animated and always will animate the people of the United States.
I have instructed the minister of the United States at Paris to convey this invitation to you in a fitting manner, and to say that the members of this illustrious family who may do us the favor to visit our country upon this commemorative celebration will be welcomed as the guests 4)f the nation.
I have, &c.,