Five Men Fled the French Revolution - and Ended Up Shaping America

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Francois Furstenberg (Johns Hopkins University)

In 1789, as the French Revolution shook Europe, the new United States was struggling for survival in the face of financial insolvency and bitter political and regional divisions. Five Frenchmen who’d been among the leaders of the French Revolution sought refuge in America, a country they idealized because it seemed to be an embodiment of the Enlightenment ideals they celebrated. Francois Furstenberg writes about the Frenchmen’s American adventures, as they adapted to American life and eventually became enmeshed in Franco-American diplomacy. His book When the United States Spoke French: Five Refugees Who Shaped a Nation explores the tumultuous first years of the United States and looks at how these men helped shape American history. 


Francois Furstenberg

Comments [2]

gkoeppel from nyc

Lots of lesser French expats too, especially, of local interest, Joseph Francois Mangin who among other things designed the first St. Patrick's Cathedral (on Mulberry), City Hall (with a co-designer) and the first future street plan for Manhattan (a sophisticated design eventually rejected in favor of the unbroken grid we have)

Jul. 16 2014 12:50 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

France is the only major American ally with which we have never fought a war (albeit there were some skirmishes in the early days).

Jul. 16 2014 12:49 PM

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