François Barbé-Marbois

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François Barbé-Marbois, marquis de Barbé-Marbois (31 January 1745 – 12 February 1837) was a French politician.


Early career

Born in Metz, where his father was director of the local mint, Barbé-Marbois tutored the children of the Marquis de Castries. In 1779 he was made secretary of the French legation to the United States. When the minister Chevalier de la Luzerne returned to France in 1783, Barbé-Marbois remained in America as chargé d'affaires. That year he married Elizabeth Moore, the daughter of William Moore, former governor of Pennsylvania.

In 1785 he became intendant of the colony of Saint-Domingue under the Ancien Régime.

In the Revolution

At the close of 1789, he returned to France, and then placed his services at the disposal of the French Revolutionary government. In 1791 he was sent to Regensburg to help the Marquis de Noailles, the French ambassador. Suspected of treason, he was arrested on his return but soon freed.

In 1795 he was elected to the Council of the Ancients, where the general moderation of his attitude, especially in his opposition to the exclusion of nobles and the relations of émigrés from public life, brought him under suspicion of being a royalist, though he pronounced a eulogy on Napoleon Bonaparte for his success in Italy.

At the Royalist coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor (4 September) 1797), he was arrested and transported to French Guiana. Transferred to the island of Oléron in 1799, he was set free by Napoleon Bonaparte after the 18 Brumaire Coup. In 1801, under the Consulate, he became councillor of state and director of the Trésor public (Treasury), and in 1802 a senator.

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