Like many French army officers, the Marquis of Lafayette was inspired to join the colonial rebellion because he believed in it, and anyway, it was a bonus opportunity to fight Englishmen. Denied passage to the Colonies by the French government, the 19-year old Marquis bought his own ship and sailed across the Atlantic and into American history. In 1778, he decided to buy a gift for his commander, mentor, and fellow Freemason, General George Washington. And being rich enough to buy his own ship, the Marquis could afford a very nice gift. He chose an ornate pair of pistols made by Saarbrucken gunsmith Jacob Walster. Washington carried the guns (that is, his horse did, they were saddle pistols) throughout the Revolution and during the Whiskey Rebellion. They passed from Washington to his nephew to his nephew’s son in law to Andrew Jackson in 1824, the year of his first, unsuccessful, bid for the presidency.