Sculpture by the American P.W. Bartlett and was inaugrated in 1920. It was the result of
September 1919 decision by the American Association of the Knights of Columbus, which had created so many 'foyers of the Allied Soldiers' during the Great War (World War I), to offer to the city of Metz an equestrian statue of LaFayette "to commemorate the fraternal participation of France to the foundation of the United State (1775-1783) and to immortalize the sacrifice of the glorious French and American soldiers who died on the battlefields of Liberty, in 1914-1918."
In August 1920, the statue, by the American sculptor Bartlett, was inaugurated in the Square Boufflers of Metz, at the very place where Lafayette stood in 1775, at the Governor's Palace. More that 2,000 Knights of Columbus attended the ceremony.
It was destroyed by the Nazis in the Second World War.
After the Liberation of Metz, the Third American Army and the American Legion restored the mutilated pedestal.
A group of cyclists from America and from Lorraine, at the end of a bicycle tour of Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne, gathered around the pedestal in Metz and decided to initate a restoration of the statue. The initative was to be implemented on both sides of the Ocean to honor the 'Hero of the Two Worlds'. A Franco-American Committee was created for the purpose.
A bicycle tour called 'Chevauchée La Fayette' was organized by Lorraine and American cyclists, from Le Puy to Metz, via Chavanic, the cemetery Picpus, the Château de la Grange. A special bicycle jersey 'La Fayette' was conceived for the occasion.
A small-scale model of the proposed equestrian statue was made by Messin Artist, M. Claude Goutin, Premier Grand Prix de Rome.
A special medallion was issued for American and French subscribers.
A bank account named 'Project La Fayette' in Metz was registerd at Banque Populaire de Lorraine for the collection of subscription funds.
Lorraine and American groups launched a promotional campaign. The American cities named for La Fayette (La Fayette, Fayette, Fayetteville, La Grange) were made aware of the project.
Two bicycle-rides 'La Fayette' were programed for 1986 to publicize the project and to exhault the bicentenarian friendship between France and the United States.
Appears to be date of brochure from which much of this material has been obtained.
The monument is to commemorate the event that took place at the garrison in Metz, on 8 August 1775. Lafayette, as the young captain in the Régiment des Dragons de Noailles, attended an evening dinner on 8 August 1775, at the Govenror's Palace. The eighteen-year old marquis listened to the guest of honor, the duke of Gloucester (brother of the king of England) speak in rather positive terms of the rebelion in the American colonies. It was after this dinner, Lafayette decided that he would depart France and join the cause of American independance.
On 26 April 1777, Lafayette and a few companion volunteers sailed for American from the Spanish harbor of Pasajes aboard the ship La Victoire, which Lafayette had paid for with his personal funds. He landed in South-Inlet, near Georgetown, South Carolina (3 June 1777). He traveled to Philaldeplhia and presented himself to Congress. He was invited to join Washington's staff, and courageously participated in military operations. Eventually he was given some small commands. In January 1779, he returend to France to argue for more military and naval aid to the American cause. His message was received seriously at the Court of Versailles and contributed to the French sending both Rochambeau's military expedition in 1780, and de Grasse's large fleet to north American in 1781. Lafayette, himself returned to American, assumed his rank as an American major general, and led an independent command in a very critical Virginia campaign against Cornwallis in the summer of 1781. All of this led to the decisive victory at Yorktown in October 1781.