La Grande Fondue? The Marquis makes another mark in Morristown

The Marquis de Lafayette, left, conferring with Alexander Hamilton and General Washington on the Green earlier this year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The Marquis de Lafayette, left, discussing the Gran Fondo with Alexander Hamilton and General Washington on the Green earlier this year. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


C’est fantastique.

Today, May 10, 2014, is the 234th anniversary of a momentous day in American history. The Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Morristown with news for General Washington: France was sending 6,000 soldiers led by the Count de Rochambeau to help the Continental Army defeat the British.

Lafayette later reported that Washington’s “eyes filled with tears of joy . . . a certain proof of a truly paternal love.”

Sources say that is precisely how Marty Epstein has responded to a donation from “The Marquis de Lafayette Society of Morristown,” for his fourth annual Gran Fondo biking event this fall.

Are 6,000 cyclists detouring to Morristown from the Tour de France?

Hard to say; this whole transaction is shrouded in mystery.

It is widely believed that the Marquis arrived in town by horse, not bicyclette, as the latter mode of conveyance had not been invented in 1780.

We suspect a lot of invention is going on now, since we cannot find any hoof prints or tire tracks from this particular Lafayette Society.

Suffice it to say, bicycles represent freedom to many fans.  Which is what Lafayette and his nation’s troops meant to early devotees of les Etats-Unis.  There’s your smoking gun.

Marty, of Marty’s Reliable Cycle, said he managed to pass high school French on the basis of two phrases and the diligent tutoring of a teacher who happened to be his best friend’s mother.

<<Je m’appelle Martin>> was the first phrase.

The other one is proving handy once more:

<<Merci, beaucoup!>>


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The fourth annual Gran Fondo NJ–a series of pedal-powered excursions through the countryside and other bike-related events–is scheduled for Morristown from Sept. 5-7, 2014. And speaking of the Marquis de Lafayette, we have commemorated his local visit, too, by naming an advertising slot after him. Contact us at to promote your product, service or fourth annual cycling event with The Marquis.


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