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 Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George

I have not finished reading my colleagues’ posts, so I apologize.  Preparing my posts of Saint-George was time-consuming.  However, I have now seen YouTube’s biographical videos.  There are several videos and they tell, in English, Saint-George’s entire story.

The Biographical Videos

Yesterday evening, I watched the biographical videos.  They provide excellent information, but that period in French history is a little difficult for me to follow.  During the French Revolution, the Jacobin calendar replaced to the Gregorian Calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII (7 January 1502 – 10 April 1585) and still in use.  As Napoleon rose to power, the Jacobin calendar remained the calendar used by the French and it is a calendar that tends to confuse me.  However, there is help on the internet.  To convert a Gregorian calendar date to a Jacobin date, click on Jacobin.  I suppose the reverse is also possible.

The Military

But, let us return to our Chevalier’s years in the military.  He was at first a gendarme and later a soldier.  At the age of 19, when he graduated, George was made a Gendarme de la Garde du Roi, created in 1609 by Henri IV.  The Garde du Roi‘s mission was to protect the dauphin, the name given the heir to the throne of France. 

Therefore, as a member of the Garde du Roi, Joseph’s duties had little to do with his future military assignments.  As I pointed out in the blog I posted yesterday (September 12, 2012), the Chevalier de Saint-George “served in the army of the Revolution against France’s foreign enemies.” (Chevalier de Saint-George, Wikipedia), but there is more to say.  At one point, Joseph took command of a regiment of a thousand free people of color, which brought on his demise.


According to the YouTube biographical videos, upon his dismissal from the military, on September 25, 1793, Saint-George was condemned to death.  This information differs from the information provided in Saint-George’s Wikipedia entry.  Joseph was an aristocrat and, as an aristocrat, he could have been guillotined.  However, according to Wikipedia, he was accused of using public funds for private gain.  Wikipedia does not chronicle a death sentence.

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Given that I would like to send this post as soon as possible, I will close now. There will be a third and final post on the Chevalier de Saint-George.

The News

The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/
The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
The Globe and Mail: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
The National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html
Le Monde diplomatique: http://mondediplo.com/ EN
CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/
CTV News: http://www.ctvnews.ca/
Le Monde: http://www.lemonde.fr/
Le Monde diplomatique: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/
Le Devoir: http://www.ledevoir.com/
La Presse: http://www.lapresse.ca/
Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/
© Micheline Walker
September 13, 2012