Latrobe’s America


Latrobe himself left what is perhaps his most appropriate epitaph. In those twilight months in New Orleans, looking back over his busy and harried career, he remembered the happy days in Philadelphia when his new marriage and his success with the Bank of Pennsylvania seemed to augur a future of glory. An incident came to his mind that struck him, among a thousand, as having given him more “particular satisfaction” than any other in his life, and he set it down in his journal: Walking up Second Street [where the Bank was situated] I observed two French officers standing opposite the building and looking at it without saying a word. I stepped into Black’s shop and stood close to them. After some time one of them exclaimed several times, “C’est si beau, et si simple!” He said no more and stood for a few minutes longer before he walked away with his companion.