Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Hector St. John

TL;DR -- Hector St. John is considered, again. He was here for the French-Indian affair, on the side of France. Came down to the British side of the colonial divide. Was a farmer and more. Then, was caught in the land of Loyalist or not; the British got him, took him back to England, where he finally was let go to go get his inheritance. But, he wrote of his experiences and came back as a French consul. Finally, he gets some attention. 


Our recent look at the "Secret Six" after considering "Blended families" got us back to The Massachusetts Magazine which was presented by Dr. Frank and friends, one of whom was Col. T.W. Higginson. In this research, we got re-acquainted with F.B. Sanborn who was one of the Secret Six and contributed to many publication efforts. 

Then, along with our review of the pre-COVID times, we were looking at our posts on F.B. (What is an American?). And, we ran across an old name. Hector St. John was the subject of an article or two by F.B. We mentioned something about Hector in our post (Early America, 2018 - notice that we put the Table of Contents to his book on his early travels in Pennsylvania and New York) and went looking for newer material. 

One is a biography on this site: Freedom: A History of US. Hector, of France, was old enough to have been in Canada with the French during the French-Indian affair and to later be in the British side of the colonial divide prior to the American Revolution. 

So, his stories will be great to look at, with its foreign flavor. 

He got a Yankee introduction and was here during the conflict. The British took him prisoner and shipped him back to England. Lots of tales. He got back to his family in France. They had some pedigree to note. 

This is from the Annenberg Learner: The outbreak of the American Revolution marred Crèvecoeur’s idyllic farm life. Suspected of harboring Loyalist sympathies, he was persecuted and threatened by his neighbors. He tried to sail for France to escape harassment and to secure his children’s inheritance, but both the English authorities and the Revolutionaries found him suspicious and made his departure difficult. After being imprisoned by the English, he was finally allowed to leave for France in 1780. 

Okay, let's do one more quote, same source: Once he had arrived safely in Europe, Crèvecoeur published a manuscript he had produced while in America. His book, Letters from an American Farmer(1782), was an account of rural life and travels through America told in the voice of a naive, rustic narrator. These letters of “Farmer James” became popular in France and England and, trading on the book’s success, Crèvecoeur became a minor celebrity. He was appointed a French consul to America and returned to New York in 1783. 

So, yes, this gent needs some attention. Not to detract from Lafayette and those others, like the Polish officer of note. We'll touch on them, too. 

Remarks: Modified: 10/12/2022

10/12/2022 --

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