Objects

Marquis de Lafayette's Brazier

This 18th-century copper and iron brazier (circa 1780) was designed to hold hot coals and serve as a portable cooking surface. Such implements were particularly useful for military officers and their servants, who spent much of the campaign season (spring through fall) living in tents and frequently shifting the location of their encampments. This example was acquired in 1918 with the tradition that it had been brought to America by the Marquis de Lafayette during the American Revolution, and that Lafayette had presented it to Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the dashing cavalry commander from Virginia. It was Lee who famously eulogized George Washington as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”