Catalogue


France and America in the revolutionary era : the life of Jacques-Donatien Leray de Chaumont, 1725-1803 /
Thomas J. Schaeper.
imprint
Providence : Berghahn Books, 1995.
description
xi, 384 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
1571810501
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Providence : Berghahn Books, 1995.
isbn
1571810501
catalogue key
1464411
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [349]-376) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-01-01:
Narrower than the title indicates, but more ambitious than the subtitle allows, this is the first life-and-times study of the international businessman who was Benjamin Franklin's landlord and a key intermediary between Old Regime France and the American insurgents. Chaumont's career would be worth exploring as a case study in French business history. It is important on an international scale, because it touches Franklin, John Adams, John Paul Jones, and the writer and arms supplier Beaumarchais. Schaeper has consulted archives in France and the US to document his story of money, ambition, friendship, and international sociability. Specialists will welcome his judicious treatment of controversies surrounding Chaumont's relationships with Franklin and Jones, and his description of life on Chaumont's estate in Passy, where landlord and tenant maintained independent households. Generalists will profit from the book as a window on the complementary nature of business and diplomacy in the late 18th century. All levels. D. G. Troyansky Texas Tech University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1996
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Summaries
Main Description
This is the first detailed study account of the life and career of Chaumont whose chief claim to fame was the fact that from 1777 to 1785 Benjamin Franklin lived in his home in the Parisian suburb of Passy. Basing his work on documents from two dozen archives in the United States and France, Schaeper demonstrates that Chaumont was far more than merely a landlord. Prior to the American Revolution he had become one of the most powerful and respected businessmen of the Old Regime. For personal as well as patriotic reasons he aided the American insurgents and worked with a wide array of persons. In addition to Franklin, these included John Adams, Silas Deane, Caron de Beaumarchais, the marquis de Lafayette and the comte de Vergennes. Chaumont performed an astounding range of services - acting as intermediary, an adviser, and a supplier of arms and clothing. His most dramatic contribution to the American cause involved John Paul Jones. It was Chaumont who obtained the famous Bonhomme Richard for the commodore. Through looking at the activities of this intriguing individual the author is able to offer many new insights into both American and French history. Lively and well written this biography will appeal to both the historian and the general reader. Thomas J. Schaeper , Professor of History at St. Bonaventure University and a member of the board of French Historical Studies. His previous books include The Economy of France in the Second Half of the Reign of Louis XIV (1980) and John Paul Jones and the Battle of Flamborough Head: A Reconsideration (1989).
Long Description
"...a well-written and thoroughly researched biography of a 'forgotten Frenchman' ...Schaeper wades masterfully through the conflicting evidence and interpretations and produces an admirable synthesis of recent scholarship on the French-American alliance ...also presents excellent background on the many aspects of the prewar French economy ..." * William and Mary Quarterly This is the first detailed study account of the life and career of Chaumont whose chief claim to fame was the fact that from 1777 to 1785 Benjamin Franklin livedin his home in the Parisian suburb of Passy. Basing his work on documents from two dozen archives in the United States and France, Schaeper demonstrates that Chaumont was far more than merely a landlord. Prior to the American Revolution he had become one of the most powerful and respected businessmen of the Old Regime. For personal as well as patriotic reasons he aided the American insurgents and worked with a wide array of persons. In addition to Franklin, these included John Adams, Silas Deane, Caron de Beaumarchais, the marquis de Lafayette and the comte de Vergennes. Chaumont performed an astounding range of services - acting as intermediary, an adviser, and a supplier of arms and clothing. His most dramatic contribution to the American cause involved John Paul Jones. It was Chaumont who obtained the famous Bonhomme Richard for the commodore. Through looking at the activities of this intriguing individual the author is able to offer many new insights into both American and French history. Lively and well written this biography will appeal to both the historian and the general reader. Thomas J. Schaeper, Professor of History at St. Bonaventure University and a member of the board of French Historical Studies. His previous books include The Economy of France in the Second Half of the Reign of Louis XIV (1980) and John Paul Jones and the Battle of Flamborough Head: A Reconsideration (1989).
Table of Contents
Abbreviationsp. vii
Prefacep. viii
Chaumont's First Fifty Yearsp. 1
France And The Coming Of The American Revolutionp. 38
Chaumont Enters The Picturep. 63
Benjamin Franklin's Landlordp. 92
Chaumont As Friend, Associate, And Enemyp. 122
Congressional Suppliesp. 156
Private Trade With Americap. 194
John Paul Jones: Friendp. 227
John Paul Jones: Enemyp. 254
Financial Ruinp. 290
Twilight Yearsp. 319
Appendixp. 348
Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 377
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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