3. Monument to Lafayette
At the 9th Street entrance to Prospect Park, you will find one of the many New York City statues dedicated to the French-born Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette. The bronze relief, carved by Daniel Chester French (who sculpted Abraham Lincoln in Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial), depicts Lafayatte standing proudly amongst an African American groomsman and his steed. The nearly ten-foot-high relief was a gift of Henry Harteau, a Brooklyn glass insurer of French ancestry, and was unveiled by representatives of the French War Commission in 1917. The bronze relied if set inside a massive pink granite frame designed by architect Henry Bacon. During the Revolutionary War Lafayette, a Frenchman sympathetic to the American cause, became the right hand man of General George Washington. In 1777 he was made Major General in the Continental Army. After America won independence, Lafayette went on to play a leading role in the French Revolution of 1789 and remained close friends with George Washington (even naming a son George Washington Lafayette).