The French influence in Missouri was still very strong in the decade after statehood when word got out that the famous French military hero, Lafayette, was coming to our state. The populace prepared a great reception. But then the governor of Missouri did something which left the citizens stunned and had the makings of an international insult. General Marie Joseph Paul Roche Yves Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, had been invited to America by outgoing President James Monroe and the Congress. When word reached St. Louis the citizens decided he absolutely had to visit their growing and bustling community.