1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Prieur-Duvernois, Claude Antoine, Comte

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 22
Prieur-Duvernois, Claude Antoine, Comte
4992311911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 22 — Prieur-Duvernois, Claude Antoine, Comte

PRIEUR-DUVERNOIS, CLAUDE ANTOINE, Comte (1763-1832), French politician, was born at Auxonne on the 2nd of December 1763, and was commonly known as Prieur de la Côte d'Or, after his native department. As an officer of engineers he presented to the National Assembly in 1790 a Mémoire on the standardization of weights and measures. In 1791 he was returned by the Côte d'Or to the Legislative Assembly, and in 1792 to the Convention. After the revolution of the 10th of August 1792 he was sent on a mission to the army of the Rhine to announce the deposition of Louis XVI., for whose death he voted in the Convention. In 1793 he was employed in breaking up the Federalist movement in Normandy, but he was arrested by the Federalist authorities of Caen, and only released in July 1793 after the defeat of their forces at Vernon. On the 14th of August 1793 he became a member of the committee of public safety, where he allied himself closely with Lazare Carnot in the organization of national defence, being especially charged with the provision of the munitions of war. Under the Directory he sat in the Council of the Five Hundred, retiring after the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799). In 1808 he was created a count of the empire, and in 1811 he retired from the army with the grade of chef de brigade. He was one of the founders of the École Polytechnique, and shared in the establishment of the Institute of France; the adoption of the metric system and the foundation of the bureau of longitude were also due to his efforts. Prieur died at Dijon on the 11th of August 1832.

See J. Gros, Le Comité de salut public (1893); and E. Charavay, Correspondance de Carnot, vol. i., which includes some documents drawn up by Prieur.