Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BEAUHARNAIS, Alexandre de (bo-har'-nay), soldier, born in Martinique in 1760; died in Paris, 23 July 1794. This officer, a viscount of France, held a major's commission under Rochambeau in the French contingent during the revolutionary war. Returning to France, he married Josephine de la Pagerie, was chosen deputy to the states-general from the city of Blois, joined the tiers tat, became president of the national assembly, general of division in the army of the Rhine in 1792, and minister of war in 1793. During the reign of terror he fell under the suspicion of the revolutionary tribunal, was falsely accused of having treacherously promoted the surrender of Mentz, and "guillotined." His widow became the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, then a general in the French army, and with him ascended the throne of France.
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