Alexis Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville was only 26 years old when he came to America in 1831, and he traveled all over our young nation. de Tocqueville spend just nine months in the United States, but he gleaned an insightful view of American Society. His observations, readings, and discussions with distinguished Americans formed the basis of Democracy in America, a detailed study of American society and politics, published in two volumes, in 1835 and 1840.

Perhaps his most important observation was that Americans helped each other in times of need. He recognized, applauded and immortalized the voluntary spirit that lives in America’s heart. He wrote: “I must say that I have seen Americans make a great and real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend faithful support to one another.”

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society, named because of Tocqueville’s admiration for the spirit of voluntary association and voluntary effort for the common good, is a national, philanthropic society honoring individuals throughout the United States making gifts of $10,000 and above annually to their local United Way organizations.

In 2003, United Way of Greater Lafayette announced the formation of Alexis de Toqueville Society. We salute our Alexis de Tocqueville donors who give so generously, lead by example and help to ensure the future of our community.

If you are interested in making an Alexis Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville gift or have questions about de Tocqueville, please e-mail Michael Budd, CEO.