Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ESMENARD, Joseph Alphonse, French poet, born at Pelissane, France, in 1770; died near Fondi, Italy, in 1811. He was elected deputy to the national assembly in 1790, and soon became noted as a royalist writer in the public papers, for which reason he was banished in 1792. In 1797 he returned to France, but was exiled again, and was not allowed to return till 1799. In 1801 he was appointed secretary to General Leclerc, brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he accompanied in his expedition to Santo Domingo, and remained there after Leclere's death. On his return to Paris he was appointed censor of the theatres and libraries, afterward chief of a department in the ministry of police, and in 1810 he became a member of the Academy of sciences. He published a didactic poem of eight cantos," La Navigation," containing exact descriptions of the scenery of tropical seas and the landscapes of Santo Domingo (Paris, 1805); and also wrote the text for the opera of "Trajanus," by Lesueur (1807), and that of "Hernan Cortez," by Spontini (1809). A satire against the Russian emperor, Alexander I. (1811), caused his banishment to Italy, but he was recalled after three months, and was killed while returning.
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