The Marquis heard about the American Revolution and immediately fell in love. I mean that almost literally. He would expound upon the cause of liberty for the colonies and would wear people out with his fire and passion. And since he was rich, he decided to do something most people couldn’t.
He bought a boat. A really big boat.
I don’t want to understate this. Buying a boat is not an easy thing back at this time. Want to know what else is not easy? When the government, including the king, tell you not to go because it’s bad for public relations.
And then he went anyway. He was 19. For comparison, at 19 I was drinking in the barracks and trying not to get caught. The Marquis decided to defy his KING.
When the Marquis got to America, the reception was rather…muted. You see, a bunch of Frenchmen were showing up to the colonies demanding commissions and generally acting like entitled jerks. (Try not to make a snooty French joke, try not to make a snooty French joke). The Marquis was able to sidestep these problems by being humble, passionate, and a Freemason. Just kidding, it really is because he said he’d do it for free because he’s rich and didn’t need the money. The other stuff helped, but Congress never had any money. The Marquis became a major general in the Continental Army in July of 1777.
Well, kinda. No one actually intended for the Marquis to be anything but a political sock puppet. He was never supposed to serve as a commander of troops because back then, as now, Americans have a problem getting ordered around by non-Americans.
Then a funny thing happened. The Marquis was introduced to this guy named George…
(Check out all parts of my take on the life of the Marquis during the Revolution. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5.)