Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/976

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


SAINTE-CLAIRE DEVILLE.

959

an ancient Legitimist family, was bom at the ch&teau of Coucy-les- Eppes (Aisne), Sept. 12, 1838. Having at an early age entered the diplomatic service he was attached to the Legation at Lisbon, next to that at Munich, and afterwards to the Embassy at Vienna. An ad- mirer of Napoleon III., the Count remained in the diplomatic service after the coup d*4t<it, and accom- panied the Comte de Moustier to Constantinople as secretary. The opportunity given him at the Turk- ic capital to display his talent as Chargfe d' Affaires procured him the Under-Secretaryship of State on his return to Paris. On the demise of Comte de Moustier, who died when Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. de St. Vallier gave up his Under- Secretaryship and repaired to Stutt- gtot as Envoy (Feb., 1869). At this post he vigorously asserted French interests in the pregnant year preceding the war of 1870. Having in vain cautioned Napoleon touching Wiirtemberg's pobcy in the war, M. de Saint- Vallier, when his Government would not be warned, had to leave Germany, and was forthwith despatched to the then important post at Copen- hagen. Upon the restoration of peace, being conversant with the German tongue and society, he was attached as diplomatic agent to Jbield-Marshal von Manteuffel, the Commander of the German Army of Occupation. Having come to the conclusion that the Eepublican form of government was, in the circum- stances, the best for France, he became a candidate at the senatorial elections in the department of the Aisne, in concert with M. Wad- dington and M. Henri Martin, and was elected Jan. 30, 1876. M. de Saint- Vallier took his place among the party of the Left Centre. He was elected the first Secretary of the Senate, and held that post till the Marquis de Gontaut Biron, the Legitimist ambassador of the Be- pubUc at Berlin, was recalled (Dec.,

1877), when M. de Saint- Vallier was appointed by Marshal MacMahon to be his successor, on the recom- mendation of M. Waddington, who had become Minister of Foreign Affairs. The appointment was most acceptable to tne German Govern- ment. As second plenipotentiary of France he rendered valuable as- sistance to M. Waddington at the Congress of Berlin (1878).

SAINTE-CLAIRE DEVILLE, Hbnbi Etibnne, was born March 11, 1818, in the island of St. Thomas, in the Antilles, and studied in France. On leaving college, he constructed, at his own expense, a chemical laboratory, and pursued his researches, without either master or pupils, for nearly nine years. In 1844 he was entrusted with the organization of the Factdty of Sciences at Besan9on, of which he was, ih. 1845, named dean and pro- fessor. In 1851 he succeeded M. Balard in the chair of chemistry in the Normal School, supplied the place of M. Dimms in the Faculty of Sciences of Paris during the summer months in 1853, and suc- ceeded him in 1859. In 1872 he skccepted the office of Inspector General of the meteorological stations in France. He was elected amemberof the Academy of Sciences in Nov., 1861, in the place of M. W. P. Berthier, created an officer of the Legion of Honour, March 13, 1855, and promoted to the rank of commander, Aug. 14, 1868. In 1849 he discovered and made known the preparation and properties of anhy- drous nitric acid ; in 1852 he pub- lished in the "Annales de Chimie et de Physique" an important paper upon the metallic carbonates and their combinations; and in 1853 he discovered a new method of mineral analysis. About that time M. Sainte-Claire Deville studied the new metal, aluminium, discovered by Woehler, of Gdttingen, then but im- perfectly understood. Required by the emperor to inqtdre into the best means of producing aluminium at a