The Imprisonment Of Lafayette


In 1825 Huger again joined Lafayette during his visit to South Carolina. Meeting in Columbia, they traveled to Charleston, where Huger’s friends and neighbors in the port city considered him a tie between their city and “the guest of the nation” and made a point of including him in the celebration. Auguste Levasseur, a member of Lafayette’s official party, wrote: “At the dinner, at the theatre, and the ball, in short every where, the name of Huger was inscribed with that of Lafayette....”

The story of an American who was sent to prison because he attempted to rescue Lafayette had a romantic appeal and was mentioned in many of the popular though not always accurate accounts of the general’s life that appeared in the mid-1820’s. There was even a popular play, entitled Lafayette, or the Castle of Olmütz . The rather free adaptation of the events amused Huger. An admirer in Boston asked if he was the hero. He replied: “Oh, no, indeed. Heroes are always married at the end of the play and I am not so fortunate. I am represented, however, as desperately in love with the daughter of the governor of the castle, and I am left in the same unhappy situation at the end of the play.”

Huger remained a retiring, modest man until his death in 1855. Although he was willing to tell the story of his youthful adventure to those who asked, he said of himself: “I simply considered myself the representative of the young men of America, and acted accordingly.”