The small unincorporated community of Lafayette Hill is located primarily within the Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. A small part of the community is in Springfield Township. The original inhabitants of the area were Native Americans, members of the Leni Lenape tribe. A peaceful tribe, they apparently lived in harmony with the township's first European settlers, English and Welsh Quakers, who endeavored to learn the Indians’ language and customs. Settlement began in 1683, only a year after Charles II of England granted William Penn his woods. Major Jasper Farmar, a British army officer living in County Cork, Ireland, heard of Penn's desire to colonize his grant and persuaded, purchased a 5,000-acre tract containing most of what is present day Whitemarsh. The tract stretched from the Schuylkill River to the Wissahickon Creek. Lafayette Hill is located just west of Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill neighborhood, and south of Plymouth Meeting. Lafayette Hill draws its name from the French General Marquis de Lafayette, who stayed there during the American Revolution. Before the general decampment from Valley Forge in the spring of 1778, George Washington dispatched an estimated 2,200 troops under the command of Marquis de Lafayette to act as a defensive screen and to conduct reconnaissance of the British army, which had garrisoned in Philadelphia for the winter. The two forces had a brief engagement at nearby Barren Hill. Lafayette Hill is an area with many parks and nature reserves.
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