General, maréchal de camp (1783), statesman.
Entered the French army at a young age. Rose to the rank of Captain of Cavalry (1775).
A great American enthusiast, he arrived in Philadelphia with letters of recommendation from Franklin and Silas Deane (1777). Congress assigned him the rank of major general and the command of the division of Virginians (1777) and of Rhode Islanders (1778).
Encouraged French intervention in America. Enabled a corps of 4000 men commanded by Rochambeau to be sent to aid the Americans. With Washington and Rochambeau, defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown (1781). Received the croix de Saint-Louis (1783).
Member of the Assemblée de notables (1786). Deputy for the tiers état to the Etats- généraux (1789). Elected colonel general and organizer of the national guard (1789). Cofounder of la Société de 1789, which became le club des feuillants.
Remained politically active during and after the French Revolution.
Married in 1774 to Marie-Adrienne- Françoise de Noailles.