LAFAYETTE ENDORSES A PETITION FOR EMPLOYMENT, 1819
LAFAYETTE, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de. Endorsement signed ("Lafayette"). Le Mans: 20 Avril, 1819. Folio (8 by 12 inches), single leaf of watermarked wove paper, penned on recto in several hands for one page. $2500.
Manuscript petition for employment to the Baron de Barante, endorsed and signed by the Marquis de Lafayette, and additionally endorsed and signed by Benjamin [Henri] Constant [de Rebecque] and two others. Lafayette fought bravely in the American Revolution and agitated for democracy and freedom long after both the American and French Revolutions. His endorsement is written in the margin of a letter from Guillaume Rottier, Jr., to the Baron de Barante, requesting an administrative position for his father in 1819.
The Marquis de Lafayette was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought with distinction in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. The recipient of this petition, Amable Guillaume Prosper Brugière, the Baron de Barante (1782-1866) was a French liberal statesman and historian.
The petition, dated February 6, 1819, reads: "A Monsieur le Baron de Barante… A l'honneur de vous exposer, Guillaume Rottier, surnuméraire des Conributions Indirectes, au Mans (Sarthe), fils de Guillaume Rottier, Receveur de première classe des droits d'entrée d'octroi, que le faible traitement de son père, chargé d'une nombreuse famille, ne pense lui permettre de faire un plus long surnumérariat. Il ose vous supplier de vouloir bien lui accorder une commission de commis à pied. Il fera tous ses efforts pour se rendre digne de ce bienfait et justifier la confiance dont vous voudrez bien l'honorer. Il vous prie d'agréer l'expression de sa reconnaissance et de son profond respect. [signed with flourish] Rottier." [I, Guillaume Rottier, supernumerary of Indirect Contribution Tax at Le Mans (Sarthe), son of Guillaume Rottier, first class octroi collector, am writing on behalf of my father who, in charge of a large family, is in danger of having his post terminated. He wishes to beg you to please grant him a position as commis à pied. He will be sure to show his gratitude and justify the confidence you show him. He thanks you in advance and expresses his great respect.]
The endorsement, penned in a secretarial hand and dated April 20, 1819—signed by Lafayette, Constant, and two others—reads: "Nous avons l'honneur de recommander à la bienveillance de Mr le Baron de Barante la pétition de Mr Rottier, surnuméraire; elle mérite d'autant plus d'intéret qu'elle a le double but de diminuer les charges d'un père de famille et d'obtenir pour un fils le premier emploi auquel ila a droit." [We have the honor to recommend the request by Mr Rottier, supernumerary, to Mr the Baron. It deserves even more interest in that it has the double goal of lightening the burden of a father and obtaining the first job for his son to which he has the right.]. Text in French.
Faint fold lines. Lafayette's signature bold. Fine condition.