The Marquis de Lafayette made his first voyage to America in 1777, arriving in Charlestown, South Carolina, on June 13th, 1777. He was inspired by Americas fight for independence and wanted to volunteer in the cause. Lafayette made his way to Philadelphia and successfully made his case before Congress. On July 31st, 1777, Congress adopted a resolution granting his commission:
Whereas the Marquis de Lafayette, out of his great zeal to the cause of liberty, in which the United States are engaged, has left his family and connexions, and at his own expense come over to offer his services to the United States without pension or particular allowance, and is anxious to risqué his life in our cause– Resolved, that his service be accepted, and that in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions he have rank and commission of major-general in the Army of the United States.
The next day Lafayette met the Commander-in-Chief George Washington, who was in Philadelphia at the time. Lafayette was not yet 20-years-old and Washington was 49-years-old, however a lifelong friendship grew from that first meeting.
In the Battle of Brandywine, Lafayette was wounded. After recovering he assumed command of a new division while the army was wintering at Valley Forge. While in Valley Forge, during late January 1778, Lafayette received a dispatch, appointing him to command the Northern army in an expedition into Canada. Lafayette immediately obtained a leave from Washington and traveled to York, Pennsylvania to meet with Congress and settle issues about this command.
(via York Daily Record)