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An online version of Skillman Library’s spring 2001 exhibit, Lafayette and Slavery, is available on the Special Collections web site.

The exhibit looks at the role played by the Marquis de Lafayette in the international anti-slavery movement, beginning soon after his experience fighting for liberty in the American Revolution and continuing throughout his life. The exhibit traces the ideological and personal influences shaping Lafayette’s views on slavery, his experiment with purchasing and freeing slaves on a plantation in Cayenne (now French Guiana), and his continued attempts to remind America and her statesmen of the “deplorable circumstance of Negro slavery in the Southern States.”

Among the appreciative responses to the exhibit was one from Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, whose associate director wrote to congratulate the library for a “superb exhibit on Lafayette and Slavery. It makes a compelling case for the wisdom of naming Lafayette College.”

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