By Dave Warner

A trail marker was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon at Benton’s Landing, signifying the importance of a visit by General Lafayette on June 11, 1825, to Little Falls. New York already counts 11 Lafayette Trail markers stretching from Buffalo to Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn.

General Lafayette was a close friend of George Washington and many of the founding fathers. He used his fortune and raised money in his homeland of France to help fund the American Revolution and courageously led colonists in battle. He was also an adamant abolitionist whose legacy helped inspire many of the voices of the U.S. anti-slavery movement throughout the 19th century.

Founder Julien Icher, a native of France, conceived the Lafayette Trail, Inc. ( The nonprofit organization is one of several organizations actively preparing for the upcoming 2024-2025 bicentennial celebrations of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour (

Icher stated, “When Lafayette was visiting Little Falls, he was actually coming back from a tour of the south and the west, and he was going back to Bunker Hill. He had a commitment to lay the cornerstone of the monument on June 17th, the anniversary of Bunker Hill.”

“He wanted to be on time, so he was crossing Upstate New York from West to East on the Canal, and he stopped in Little Falls. The people received him here at the aqueduct, which was enough for us to mark. It’s a great segment of the state to mark,” he said.

Lafayette visited during his 13-month return to the U.S. in 1824-1825. In New York, many of these markers have been supported by the New York Daughters of the American Revolution. The markers trace Lafayette’s journey during his tour of the United States as the young nation prepared to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution.

The period was a time of great political discord. Congress and President Monroe invited Lafayette, the last surviving Major General of the Continental Army, to return to the U.S. as part of an attempt to calm political rhetoric and instill lasting Revolutionary War patriotic feelings in a new generation of Americans.

A free not-for-profit documentary series called Follow The Frenchmen ( explores more in-depth the legacy of Lafayette. It is available on YouTube and counts 22 episodes to date.

The historic marker program commemorating Lafayette’s movements during the American Revolution is in preparation for the 250th anniversary of American Independence.