Author: Clio 1776 PM
When the Marquis de Lafayette makes his 1824 trip to the United States, he decides to visit the grave of his old friend, Alexander HamiltonRated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort - Words: 724 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-22-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3024979
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Note: Obviously any piece of historical fiction is going to have certain historical inaccuracies in order to make the author's story line work. This piece is no exception, but; I have tried to do it in as respectful a way as possible. P.S. PLEASE REVIEW!
The year was 1824 and the Marquis de Lafayette had just arrived in New York. It was the first time that he had set foot in the country in over thirty years. During this visit to America, he would visit all twenty-four states, but; before he set foot off of Manhattan Island, there was something that he had to do. He walked the short distance from the docks, up Wall St. to the Trinity Church Cemetery. Eliza Hamilton was standing at the entrance to the churchyard.
"I feared you would not come" said Lafayette
"Nonsense, you were such a dear friend to both me and my Husband and I need someone with me when I visit him. Even after twenty years I still can't do it alone." Eliza replied
"Are you sure I am not asking too much Mrs. Hamilton?"
"No, he would have wanted this."
The two of them entered the cemetery side by side and slowly walked amongst the graves until they found the one they had come to see. It was a rectangular above ground tomb constructed out of pure white marble with a large elongated pyramid on the top, as they got closer, Lafayette read the inscription:
"To the Memory of Alexander Hamilton
The corporation of Trinity Church has
Erected this monument in testimony
Of their respect for the Patriot of
Incorruptible integrity, the soldier of
Approved valor, the Statesman of
Consumate wisdom, whose
Talents and virtues will be
Admired by grateful posterity
Long after this marble shall
Have moldered into dust"
Lafayette felt the tears welling up in his eyes and as they did a rush of memories flooded his mind. Memories of moments spent in Alexander's company. They had laughed together, cried together and ridden into battle together, in every sense of the word except literally, they had been brothers. Lafayette remembered riding fifty miles in the driving snow to visit Alexander after Alexander had collapsed from illness and fatigue at one of the stops on his journey south from Albany to Valley Forge. He remembered Alexander visiting him after Lafayette had sustained a leg wound at the Battle of Brandywine. Alexander had fussed over him, making sure that he was that he was okay. He also remembered the week that he had spent with the Hamiltons. That was over forty years ago now. During his time with the Hamiltons, Alexander had shown him everything that there was to see in New York and they had spent hours in Alexander's study discussing the future of the new nation. Often times, Alexander's four year old son Philip would join them, but after about twenty minutes, the boy would inevitably fall asleep in his father's lap. Both father and son were dead now. Philip had been killed in a duel in 1801 at age twenty-one. His father had been killed three years later, also in a duel. Alexander had been forty-nine.
Lafayette's thoughts were brought back to the present when Eliza slipped her hand into his; he gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.
"You made him so happy, Eliza. I remember the night you two met."
"Christmas eve 1779, at the Continental Army's winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey."
"After all these years, I'm sorry I never told you what he said after the first time he saw you."
"What did he say?"
"He said that you were the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen, and that he was determined to make you his."
A tear ran down Eliza's cheek "I thank you for telling me that. Those words mean more to me that you can know."
Lafayette knew that this would be his last trip to America, at sixty-seven years old; his life was drawing to a close. He stepped forward and placed his hand on the tomb and whispered a final farewell
"May we soon meet again in that place where there is no war, no pain, and no suffering. Goodbye my dear old friend."