Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHASTELLUX, Francois Jean, Chevalier de, French author, born in Paris in 1734" died there, 28 October, 1788. He entered the army when fifteen years of age, and distinguished himself in Germany as colonel of a regiment in the seven years' war. He afterward served in America as major general under Rochambeau, and gained the friendship of Washington by his amiable character. He made a literary reputation by publishing " De la fdlicit6 publique" (1772), a work noted for its bitterness against Christianity, and now known only as a literary curiosity, His "Voyage dans l'Am6rique. septentrionale dans les ann6es 1780-'2" (2 vols., Paris, 1786; English translation by George Grieve, London, 1787) contains notices of the natural history of the country, interesting details of the localities and events of the war, and observations on the character of the chief actors in it. It includes his journal written when traveling from Newport, Rhode Island, to Philadelphia, thence to Saratoga, and in Virginia, and its style is agreeable, though sometimes frivolous. His "Diseours sur les avantages et les d6ssavantages qui r6sultent pour l'Europe de la d6couverte de l'Am6rique" (1787)is praised by La Harpe as his best work. He concludes that the advantages of the discovery outweigh the disadvantages. He also translated into French David tiumphreys's "Address to the Army of the United States." Chastellux married Miss Plunket, a lady of Irish descent, the year before his death. He was made a member of the French academy in 1775.
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