Lafayette's Return

 Platter with scene titled  Landing of Gen. Lafayette at Castle Garden, New York, 16th August 1824.  Manufactured by James and Ralph Clews, Staffordshire, England, after a print by Samuel Maverick, c. 1825-30. Glazed earthenware, Dayton Art Institute. Public-domain photo via  Wikimedia Commons.

Platter with scene titled Landing of Gen. Lafayette at Castle Garden, New York, 16th August 1824. Manufactured by James and Ralph Clews, Staffordshire, England, after a print by Samuel Maverick, c. 1825-30. Glazed earthenware, Dayton Art Institute. Public-domain photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The new issue of the Readex Report includes my lead article, "Lafayette's Return: An Early American Media Event." In conjunction with this summer's voyage of the Hermione (recreating one of Lafayette's trips to America) and heightened public interest in the subject thanks to Sarah Vowell's breezy new book, I used Readex's newspaper databases to sketch the general's triumphal 1824-1825 tour as a sort of "live" news happening, which people in distant American communities could follow closely thanks to newspaper circulation and reprinting.  The article is illustrated with thirteen news clippings to show how this story looked.