Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Neuville, Jean Guillaume, Baron Hyde de

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NEUVILLE, Jean Guillaume, Baron Hyde de, French statesman, b. in the Castle of Neuville, near Charité-sur-Loire, 24 Jan., 1776; d. in Paris, 28 May, 1847. After studying in the College Cardinal Lemoine, in Paris, he entered political life at the age of sixteen. He became one of the most trusted agents of the exiled Bourbon princes, and after the coup d'état of 9 Nov., 1799, he had, under the name of Paul Xavier, an interview with Bonaparte, in which conditions for the restoration of Louis XVIII. were discussed. During the consulate and empire he practised medicine in Lyons under the name of Roland, and obtained a gold medal for the propagation of vaccine; but in 1806 Napoleon consented to refund Neuville's confiscated estate on condition that he should go to the United States, and the latter settled near New Brunswick, N. J., where his house became a place of refuge for French exiles. In 1813 he was instrumental in deciding his friend, Gen. Moreau (q. v.) to accept the propositions of the emperor of Russia. Neuville returned to France in April, 1814, and was given, by Louis XVIII., a mission to London to offer the mediation of France between Great Britain and the United States. In December of the same year he went to Rome and had several secret interviews with Prince Lucien, a brother of Napoleon, the purpose of which was to decide the latter to leave Elba and go to the United States; but the secret transpired through an indiscreet secretary, and Napoleon, taking alarm, left suddenly for France. In 1815 he was elected to the chamber of deputies, and on 14 Jan., 1816, appointed minister and consul-general for the United States. He arrived in Washington in August following, was received with favor by President Madison, and soon became a leader in society. The influence he thus acquired enabled him to negotiate a very favorable treaty of commerce and navigation, which was signed, 24 June, 1822, and several articles of which are still in force. Louis XVIII. created him a baron, and in 1821 gave him the grand cross of the Legion of honor as a reward for his services. He was recalled late in 1821, and re-elected deputy in 1822. In 1823 he became ambassador to Lisbon, where he rescued the old king, John VI., who had been imprisoned by his son, and was created Count de Pembosta. He was returned to the chamber of deputies in 1824 and 1827, and as secretary of the navy in the Martignac cabinet, 1828-'30, greatly improved the colonial system of France, and prohibited the slave-trade in its American possessions. Under Louis Philippe he lived quietly upon his estate of l'Étang, near Sancerre, but in 1837 he took an active part in the discussion of a new treaty of commerce with the United States, and caused several pamphlets to be printed on the subject. He published “Éloge historique du Général Moreau” (New York, 1814) and “Observations sur le commerce de la France avec les États-Unis” (Paris, 1837).