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Dey Mansion

Posted on: May 27, 2020

Lafayette in Passaic County, New Jersey


French Support in the American Revolution

The Marquis de Lafayette, most often referred to as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who played a major role in the American Revolutionary War and spent a significant amount of time in Passaic County.

Dey Mansion, Washington’s Headquarters

In July of 1780, Lafayette was stationed at the Van Saun House which still stands today as a private residence in Wayne. General George Washington was headquartered at the Dey Mansion in Wayne at the time. This proximity allowed for the two to easily consult on daily operations and plans for the army with one another.

Goffle Brook Park

During the months of October and November in 1780, Lafayette and his troops were encamped along the Goffle Brook, which today flows through Goffle Brook Park in Hawthorne. The location and timing — near the end of Washington’s encampment at the Dey Mansion — suggests that the two were concentrated on West Point.

Benedict Arnold at West Point

In September of 1780, Benedict Arnold had been revealed as a traitor and had been sabotaging American defenses at West Point in an effort to surrender it to the British. Lafayette’s strategic position at the extreme flank and furthest north of the Continental Army gave his troops first access to the action if West Point were to come under attack. Washington entrusted Lafayette to make the correct tactical calls until he could arrive on scene if he needed to.

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