Beauharnais, Alexandre-François-Marie de

b. 28 March 1760, Fort-Royal, Martinique

d. 23 July 1794, Paris

Viscount. Joined the regiment of "Grey" Musketeers in 1774, and transferred to the Sarre infantry regiment on 5 December 1776. He became a captain on 3 June 1779, and was a second major when, on 13 December 1779, he married Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie. He took part in the American War of Independence with Rochambeau, then served in the Antilles. He was elected to the Estates General in 1789, as a representative for Blois, and was one of the first of the nobility to join the Third Estate. He was elected secretary of the National Assembly, and soon became a member of the Military Committee, which was mostly concerned with reforming the army. In 1792, he went to the Army of the North, where he commanded at Soissons under Custine. In August, he was chief of staff of the Army of the Rhine under Biron. On 3 March 1793, he was promoted general of division, and on 30 May 1793, he was appointed commander of the Army of the Rhine. On 18 August he resigned, when nobles were prohibited from employment in the military. Although he was not guilty of any particular negligence, he was arrested and eventually guillotined for having remained inactive before Mainz for two weeks. He had led an extremely dissolute life, but is said to have been reconciled to his wife before his execution. He is now probably best remembered as the first husband of Josephine, and the father of Eugène and Hortense de Beauharnais. Sources: Balteau, J. and others. Dictionnaire de biographie française, 1933-, vol. 5, pp. 1088-9; Michaud. Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, 1843-?, vol. 3, pp. 374-5.

No biography in Bouvier, F. Bonaparte en Italie, 1796, 1899.

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