Comments on the North American Travels of Le Rochefoucauld-Liancourt 1794-1798 by Daniel Vaugelade


Author: Daniel Vaugelade | Show Publication detailsHide Publication details

Release Date: November 20, 2015

Paperback Edition: (Black & White)

ISBN: 978-0-9909592-7-4

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014960177 

Size: 5.5” x 8.5”

Pages: 468

Images: 8

Release Date: 20 November 2015

Retail Price: $30.00


Ebook Editions:

EPUB:    978-1-943642-05-2

PDF:       978-1-943642-06-9

Mob:       978-1-943642-07-6

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Release Date: 20 November 2015

Retail Price: $13.95

Duke Alexandre François de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt fled France at the time of its September Massacres in 1792. He made his way from England to America, where he remained five years. During his self-imposed exile, the duke traveled from “le Haute-Canada” above Lake Ontario to Charleston, South Carolina. He returned to France following the coup of 18 Brumaire in 1799, which marked the beginning of the French Consulate and reign of Napoleon.

La Rochefoucauld returned to France with eight volumes of observations on what he saw during his American travels. His association with the agricultural and social reform initiatives sponsored by his scholarly aunt and progressive cousin provided lenses through which La Rochefoucauld viewed America. His observations are part to a body of work, which includes Chastellux’s Voyages, Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, Chateaubriand’s Journey to North America, and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia might be added to this list. La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt’s observations are unique among these for their analyses of the American economy. The duke’s insights extend beyond these observations, however. Thirty years before Tocqueville, he described why the new American nation would become the symbol of democracy and freedom.

Monsieur Vaugelade chose to highlight the most important themes in the duke’s 1800 page journal. Among the items M. Vaugelade discusses are Le Rochefoucauld’s descriptions of America’s natural wonders, the plight of Indians and slaves, and the irrepressible passion of Americans for money and speculation. Democratic gentleman and philanthropist, founder of Arts and Crafts, co-founder of the Caisse d'Epargne, La Rochefoucaul returned to France more freedom-loving and more enterprising than ever. This is the third work M. Vaugelade has written about the La Rochefoucauld family. It is the second to be published in the “ghost library” collection of Chateau de la Roche-Guyon.


Genre Titles:

Tocqueville : A Very Short Introduction by Harvey Claflin Mansfield. Oxford University Press. 2010. 250 pages.

Alexis de Tocqueville - Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution by Professor Hugh Brogan. Profile Books Ltd. 2006. 475 pages.

Sister Republics: The Origin of French and American Republicanism by Patrice Higonnet. Harvard University Press. 1988. 317 pages.

French Romantic Travel Writing: Chateaubriand to Nerval by C. W. Thompson. Oxford University Press. 212. 416 pages.

Translated by Carolyn Yohn

Edited by Eric Bye

Eric Bye's Bio:

Eric Bye is ATA accredited French > English, and has translated nearly 120 books over the years - most recently a history of French flintlock muskets issued to the national armed forces, which will be published very soon. He has also written his own book on a topic rooted in the 18th century - Flintlocks: a Practical Guide for their Use and Appreciation, which is available at, where there are numerous reviews. For over 16 years he was editor of a magazine that published lots of historical material dealing with the 18th and 19th centuries. One of his current projects is the translation of a rare, antique text (from German, though); and he has an antique book on the French Revolution in the pipeline for translation. 

By way of hobbies he have been involved in historical reenacting since 1980, with a focus on the French and Indian and the Revolutionary Wars. He has read broadly about 18th-century American and French history and considers himself deeply steeped in the culture of the time. Eric Bye is on the translation team with Carolyn Yohn whose website is:

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