Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume St. Jean de (1735-1813)


Traveled to England (1754). There he learned the English language.

Soldier and cartographer in Canada (1755-59). Traveled throughout the American colonies (c. 1760). Settled in New York as a farmer (c. 1764). Became an American citizen (1765-66). Briefly imprisoned (1780).

Returned to France (1781). Introduced to Franklin by a friend and neighbor of the Crèvecoeur family, the comtesse d’Houdetot. Lived in the comtesse’s home, where he met various philosophers, scientists, and politicians (1781).

Published Letters from an American Farmer (1782), which he translated into French (1784). Also published Traité de la culture des pommes de terre et des différents usages qu’en font les habitants des Etats-Unis (1782).

Appointed consul de France to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (1783-92). Awarded the title of correspondent de l’Académie des sciences (1783). Under the name of “Agricola,” he published a series of articles in American gazettes.

Returned to France (1790). Wrote Voyage dans la Haute Pennsylvanie (1794-1800), which he dedicated to Washington.

Born in Caen, Normandie. Alternate form of the name: John Hector St. John.