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Main article: "Franco-American alliance
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.

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).

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]

Battle of Chesapeake and "Yorktown Campaign

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]

Battle of the Saintes

He 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.


Tomb of de Grasse in the "Church of Saint-Roch, Paris

There is a monument commemorating Admiral de Grasse and the sailors who helped the United States achieve its independence from the British Crown at the "Cape Henry Memorial, "Joint Expeditionary Base East, "Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is maintained by the "Colonial National Historical Park of the "National Park Service. A statue of Admiral de Grasse is in the Place de la Tour of Le Bar-sur-Loup, the village where he was born and grew up and another statue is located in the riverwalk landing located in "Yorktown, Virginia.

Sometime between 1829-1839, "Heman Allen a former "U.S. Representative and "Ambassador to Chile named the "Grasse Mount estate in "Burlington, Vermont after Admiral de Grasse.[5]

"A. Kingsley Macomber, an American resident of France since the end of "World War I, commissioned the monument of Admiral de Grasse at the "Trocadero Palace in "Paris in 1931. [6]

The "Grasse River, which flows through "St. Lawrence County, New York, and the hamlet of "Degrasse in the township of Russell, are named for him.

De Grasse was the name of two medium-sized "French Line passenger ships, one built in 1924 in Scotland, and the other formally the 1956-built Bergensfjord of Norwegian America Lines, which was introduced in 1971. The first ship was famous world-wide, servicing the transatlantic route and later served the allies as a troop ship in World War II. Refitted, she was the first French Liner to inaugurate service after the war's end. After being supplanted by newer ships in the company, the liner was sold in 1952 to Canadian Pacific Lines as an emergency replacement for their fire-damaged Empress of Canada for the busy Coronation Year season, was sold again in 1956 to Grimaldi-Siosa Lines and then to another firm who modernized her further and renamed her Venezuela. After grounding near Cannes in 1962, she was scrapped later in the year.

The first De Grasse (1924) as she appeared following World War II, with one streamlined funnel instead of her original two. This ocean liner was among the most famous in the world at this time.
"Grasse Mount in Burlington, Vermont, named for Admiral de Grasse.

The second De Grasse served the Le Havre-Southampton-West Indies service with little success, as the old colonial trades were being supplanted by the airlines. West Indies cruises, plus assignments to the Baltic, Mediterranean, and North Africa also suffered mixed profits, she was sold off in 1973, lived under a short string of new Israeli and Greek owners, and, after two fires in 1977 and 1980, was scrapped in Greece.[7]

"Ayn Rand claimed to have emigrated to America on the first De Grasse.[8]

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:



  1. ^ "The Operations of the French Fleet Under the Count de Grasse in 1781-2: As ... - Google Books". Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  2. ^ a b Stewart (2008), p.95.
  3. ^ "François-Joseph-Paul Grasse". 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". 1931-05-04. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  7. ^ William H. Miller Jr., Picture History of the French Line, Dover Publishing, 1997.
  8. ^ [1]


"" 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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