Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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March 17, 1781

Virginia Governor (1779–1781: Jefferson), Executive Papers: Letters Received, 1779–1781, Accession 29604, State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Virginia Governor (1779–1781: Jefferson), Executive Papers: Letters Received, 1779–1781, Accession 29604, State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

The Marquis de Lafayette Wrote to Governor Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was governor of Virginia from June 2, 1779, to June 3, 1781. Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), was a wealthy Frenchman who offered his services to the Continental army when the American Revolution began. He served throughout the Revolution and was instrumental in convincing France to join the war on the American side. In this letter to Thomas Jefferson, General Lafayette discusses the use of oxen in place of horses and his intention of impressing the animals from the citizens of Virginia. In this context impress means to requisition for public, military use.