Secret agent of the French court (1775).
A member of a well established aristocratic family, he emigrated to St. Domingue in the early 1770's. Early in 1775, he embarked on a tour of several American cities, and when in Philadelphia, was in touch with members of the first Continental Congress.
Went to London where he met with the comte de Guines, the French Ambassador, who proposed to Vergennes that Bonvouloir be sent to America as an agent of the French court. Charged with his mission, he returned to Philadelphia where he had three meetings with the members of the committee of secret correspondence (December 1775). His report reached Vergennes in March 1776, and strengthened the minister’s efforts to secure arms and ammunition for the Americans.
Went to Canada where he was captured and imprisoned by the British. Returned to France (June 1777), and subsidized by his brother, went back to America in hopes of becoming a merchant. Captured by the British, he once again landed in France (July 1778), and unsuccessfully sought Franklin’s help in furthering his fortunes (1778).
Secured a naval commission and sailed to India (1781), where he died.
Born at Passais-la-Conception.