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François Joseph Paul de Grasse
""De Grasse painting.jpg
Nickname(s) Comte de Grasse
Born (1723-09-13)13 September 1723
"Le Bar-sur-Loup, "Provence, "France
Died 11 January 1788(1788-01-11) (aged 64)
"Tilly, "Île-de-France, "France
Buried "Church of Saint-Roch, Paris
Allegiance "Sovereign Military Order of Malta "Order of Saint John (1734–1741)
 "Kingdom of France (1741–1784)
Service/branch  "French Navy
Years of service 1734–1784
Rank "Lieutenant général des armées navales
Battles/wars

"War of the Austrian Succession

"American War of Independence

François Joseph Paul de Grasse (September 13, 1723 – January 11, 1788) was a "French "admiral, also known as the Comte de Grasse. He is best known for his command of the French fleet at the "Battle of the Chesapeake, which led directly to the "British surrender at Yorktown in the "American Revolutionary War.

British "Admiral Rodney defeated and captured de Grasse the next year, at the "Battle of the Saintes in the Caribbean. De Grasse was widely criticised for his loss in that battle. On his return to France, he demanded a "court martial; it acquitted him of fault in his defeat.

Contents

Early life[edit]

François-Joseph de Grasse was born and raised at "Bar-sur-Loup in south-eastern France, the last child of Francois de Grasse Rouville, Marquis de Grasse.[1] He earned his title and supported his "Provençal family.

Naval career[edit]

At the age of eleven (1734), de Grasse entered the "Order of Saint John as a "page of the Grand Master. He served as an "ensign on the "galleys in wars against the Turks and the Moors.[2][3] In 1740 at the age of 17, he entered the "French Navy.[2]

Following "Britain's victory over the French in the Seven Years War, de Grasse helped rebuild the French navy in the years after the "Treaty of Paris (1763).

American War of Independence[edit]

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The flagship "Ville de Paris during the "Battle of the Saintes in 1782

In 1775, the "American War of Independence broke out when American colonists rebelled against British rule. France supplied the colonists with covert aid, but remained officially neutral until 1778. The "Treaty of Alliance (1778) established the Franco-American alliance and France entered the war on behalf of the rebels and against Great Britain.

As a commander of a division, de Grasse served under "Louis Guillouet, comte d'Orvilliers at the "First Battle of Ushant from July 23 to 27, 1778. The battle, fought off "Britanny, was indecisive.

In 1779, he joined the fleet of "Count d'Estaing in the "Caribbean and distinguished himself in the battles of "Dominica and "Saint Lucia during 1780["clarification needed] and of "Tobago during 1781. He contributed to the "capture of Grenada and took part in the three actions fought by "Guichen against "Admiral Rodney in the "Battle of Martinique (1780).

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US Postage Stamp, 1931 issue, honoring "Rochambeau, "George Washington and De Grasse, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the victory at "Siege of Yorktown, 1781.

Yorktown campaign[edit]

De Grasse came to the aid of "Washington and "Rochambeau's "Expédition Particulière, setting sail with 3,000 men from "Saint-Domingue. De Grasse landed the 3,000 French reinforcements in Virginia, and immediately afterward decisively defeated the British fleet in the "Battle of the Chesapeake in September 1781. He drew away the British forces and blockaded the coast until "Lord Cornwallis surrendered, ensuring the independence of the "United States of America.

Battle of the Saintes[edit]

De Grasse returned to the Caribbean, where he was less fortunate and was defeated at the "Battle of St. Kitts by "Admiral Hood. Shortly afterward, in April 1782, he was defeated and taken prisoner by "Admiral Rodney at the "Battle of the Saintes. He was taken to London, and while there briefly took part in the negotiations that laid the foundations for the "Peace of Paris (1783), which brought the war to an end.

He returned to France and published a Mémoire justificatif. In 1784, he was acquitted by a "court-martial.

Later life[edit]

He died at "Tilly ("Yvelines) in 1788; his tomb is in the "church of Saint-Roch in "Paris.[4]

His son "Alexandre Francois Auguste de Grasse published a Notice biographique sur l'amiral comte de Grasse d'après les documents inédits in 1840.

Memorials and honors[edit]

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Tomb of de Grasse in the "Church of Saint-Roch, Paris
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"Grasse Mount in Burlington, Vermont, named for Admiral de Grasse.

Other vessel names[edit]

The "French Navy has had two vessels named in his honour:

The "United States Navy has had three vessels named in his honour:

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ "The Operations of the French Fleet Under the Count de Grasse in 1781-2: As ... - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  2. ^ a b Stewart (2008), p.95.
  3. ^ "François-Joseph-Paul Grasse". newadvent.org. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse at "Find a Grave
  5. ^ Burridge, Pauline E. (December 3, 1930). "Glimpses of Grasse Mount, Part II". Vermont Alumni Weekly, Vol. X, No. 10. 
  6. ^ "Herbert Hoover: Message to Dedication Ceremonies for a Monument of Admiral Comte de Grasse at the Trocadero Palace in Paris, France". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 1931-05-04. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  7. ^ William H. Miller Jr., Picture History of the French Line, Dover Publishing, 1997.

References

"" This article incorporates text from a publication now in the "public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Grasse, François Joseph Paul, Comte de". "Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 369. 

External links[edit]

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