Skip to main content

Stuart W. Jackson collection of Marquis de Lafayette manuscripts

Call Number: GEN MSS 1458
Scope and Contents

Collection of manuscripts by, to and about the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as research materials, writings about Lafayette, and collector’s files of Stuart W. Jackson. Most of the collection consists of correspondence from and to Lafayette that documents his engagement in French and international politics including the American and French Revolutions, his interest in the abolition movement, and financial and business matters, estate management, and family life.

The manuscripts concerning Lafayette were collected by Jackson over many years and consist chiefly of correspondence documenting Lafayette’s career from the American Revolution through the French Revolution, the Napoleonic era, the Bourbon restoration, and the Second French Revolution, and to some extent his legacy. The collection reflects Lafayette’s ongoing engagement with America, including letters to Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, and his prominent role in French politics particularly during the Revolutionary period, including documentation of his service as Commandant of the National Guard and several letters to Charles César de Faÿ, comte de La Tour Maubourg, during the campaign preceding their imprisonment in Austria. A group of letters from Lafayette to Charles Nicholas Fabvier demonstrates his interest in the Greek Revolution; another group of letters to Thomas Clarkson documents his engagement with the international abolition movement. In addition to prominent political figures of his times, Lafayette’s correspondents also include friends and business associates including M. Olavarria and M. Hamilton, with whom he discusses the management of his sheep. Multiple letters are also present from Lafayette to Auguste Levasseur, his secretary during a visit to the United States in 1824-1825, and to Bernard Sarrans, his aide-de-camp during the July Revolution of 1830.

The collection additionally includes documentation of Jackson’s research and writings about Lafayette, including drafts and other material related to his 1930 bibliography of Lafayette, and material related to his involvement with the American Friends of Lafayette. Jackson’s translations, transcripts, research notes and correspondence are also filed throughout the collection with individual manuscripts to which they pertain.

More information about the collection may be found in the following early published description of the collection:

Bell, Whitfield J., Jr. “The Stuart W. Jackson Lafayette Collection.” The Yale University Library Gazette, Vol. 33, No. 2 (October 1958), pp. 49-56.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Stuart W. Jackson Collection of Marquis de Lafayette Manuscripts is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest of Stuart W. Jackson, 1958.


Organized into three series: I. Manuscript collection, 1700-1923. II. Research and writings, 1929-1955. III. Collector’s files, 1931-1956.

Related Materials

Printed material received with the collection was cataloged separately and can be accessed by searching Orbis (Yale's Online Catalog).

Stuart Wells Jackson Collection [pertaining to Abraham Lincoln], MS 957. Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University.

circa 1700-1956
10.88 Linear Feet (22 boxes)
Language of Materials
Language of Materials