March 31Lafayette crosses the Chattahoochee River from today’s Fort Benning (Fort Moore, now) to Fort Mitchell.  He is greeted by both Creek Indians and Alabama militia and politicians.  After speeches and watching the Creeks play a vicious lacrosse-like game, he sets off down the Federal Road just a few miles and stops for the night at Crabtree’s Tavern, at the junction of the Big and Little Uchee Creeks.
Fort Mitchell
April 1Spends the day traveling with his escorts down the Federal Road, more or less following Russell County’s CR 137, then Carden Road, CR 22, through forests to Boromville Road into Macon County past Fort Bainbridge. Deciding not to stay at Lewis’ Tavern as planned Lafayette instead follows today’s Upper Boromville Road and CR 10 to Warrior Stand where he spent the night at Creek chief Big Warrior’s Stand.  Unfortunately Big Warrior himself had died three weeks earlier.Here is a broadcast of an episode of “The Ridge” podcast discussing the book, Lafayette’s history and his Grand Tour in general, and the specifics of his tour through Russell and Macon counties.
April 2Much of Lafayette’s travels today are through the Persimmon and Calebee Creek swamps rarely following roads existing today, though a piece of his Federal Road exists as Persimmon Creek Road south of Tuskegee.  Near the end of his day he again declines to stay at an expected stop, William Walker’s Tavern at Polecat Springs, today along US 80 near CR 7, and instead heads along a (today!) paved section of the Federal Road ending up across Line Creek in Montgomery County at Lucas’ Tavern (the actual building existing today in Montgomery city in Old Alabama Town).
Federal Road
April 3More or less following today’s US 80 and I-85 to Atlanta Highway, Lafayette is paraded into Montgomery for two days of celebration.  This first day finds him first greeted at the foot of Goat Hill, today the hill crown by the state Capitol.  After speeches he is escorted to Edmondson’s Houses where he will stay, attends church at the no-longer-existing courthouse where today’s fountain sits, and spends the rest of the day conversing with people at Edmondson’s, in the first block of Commerce Street.Alabama Public Radio WTSU, Dr. Krumenaker talks about Lafayette in Montgomery, 9.5 minutes, InFocus, July 1, 2020, Lafayette in Montgomery

Montgomery Walking Tour   

April 4In early evening, Lafayette is escorted to Freeny’s Tavern, at Tallapoosa and Commerce, for his welcoming ball.  Around 11, he leaves for an hour of refreshment at Intendent (sort of the Mayor) John Gindrat’s home on Commerce before heading to his steamboat–a new-fangled, high-speed technology!–one of three, taking him down the Alabama River to Mobile, at the Wharf.  It leaves at midnight.
The Modern Freeney Tavern
April 5Lafayette makes a brief stop at Selma, the steamboat landing site still existing as a gap in the bluff behind the St. James Hotel.  Then, with cannons booming along the way announcing his passage, he boats downriver to Cahawba (the then-spelling of the capital city of the state).  Lafayette disembarks at the sloping-to-the-river North 2nd Street.  Greeted under an arch at the top of the slope where it meets Vine Street, he then heads to a second Arch at Capitol Avenue and into the Capitol itself.  He later enjoys a lunch across the street at White’s Hotel, visits the public in the large open Capitol Reserve area, visits the local Masons somewhere, and then heads back to his boat at the end of the day. The various roadways still exist today, but none of the structures.
Ramp from River to Cahaba
April 6Midway down the river Lafayette makes a short stop at the then-important river port of Claiborne. The city is atop a tall bluff so he lands two miles downriver at a ferry point, takes a road (still existing in the woods!) to a courthouse/Masonic Hall, eats at a prominent citizens home, then returns to the boat.  The Masonic Hall was moved decades later two miles down the road to the small town of Perdue Hill after Claiborne fell into post-War ruin, and still exists today.

Masonic Hall in Perdue Hill
April 7Lafayette arrives in Alabama’s largest city, Mobile, for an expected days of celebration, but he is exhausted and only agrees to three events that one afternoon.  He leaves his steamboat, the Henderson, at the Government Street Wharf, then ending at today’s parking lot entrance, not the River itself, and walks uphill to the then-top of the bluff at Royal Street to be greeted.  The city crowd is met there, mostly in the Street and nearby today’s Mardi Gras Park.  Politicos meet with him in the Old Spanish Government House, at the corner of today’s Government and St. Emanuel.  Lunch is a few block walk away, at Dumouy’s House on Royal and St. Michael.  He decides to visit the local Masonic Hall, then located on Dauphin Street facing the other end of St. Emanuel. By six o’clock he is back at the Wharf sleeping on his new boat, the Natchez, which is to take him to New Orleans.Mobile Walking Tour

Dr. Krumenaker talks about Lafayette in Mobile on Sean Sullivan’s radio show (and also some astronomy)

Interview with Mobile Booksellers
April 8But first, Lafayette has decided he wants to meet a French military colleague who is rebuilding Fort Bowyer into what will become Fort Morgan, on Mobile Point where Mobile Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, across from Dauphin Island.  One does not say No to America’s Guest, so early this morning, the Natchez leaves Mobile with cannons booming and Lafayette waving to the city, the boat following the Bay’s western shoreline until it crosses the channel to Mobile Point.  It ties up at Engineer’s Wharf.  There are no official activities or speeches.  Lafayette and his party go onshore and meet with the military builders for a tour for a few hours and then say farewell to the Alabama folks.  A short conference on route takes place offshore before they head south of Dauphin Island, almost disastrously into a storm, and to New Orleans. 
Fort Morgan

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