Jean-Baptiste Annibal Aubert du Bayet

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Jean-Baptiste Annibal Aubert du Bayet by Jean-Baptiste Paulin Guérin

Jean-Baptiste Annibal Aubert du Bayet (19 August 1759, Louisiana – 17 December 1797, Istanbul) was a French General and politician during the period of the French Revolution.

Aubert du Bayet was born in Baton-Rouge in the French American colony of Louisiana in 1759.[1] Aubert du Bayet participated in the campaigns in America during the American Revolutionary War.[1][2]

French revolution[edit]

Aubert du Bayet arrived in France at the beginning of the Revolution, but was initially hostile to revolutionary ideas. While in Metz, as a young Captain, he published an anti-Jewish pamphlet entitled Le cri du citoyen contre les Juifs.[3] However, he soon saw that it could serve his ambitions.[4] He became a member of the legislature in 1791.[4] Aubert du Bayet was President of the French National Assembly (the "Legislative Assembly") from 8 July 1792 to 22 July 1792.

In 1793, he served as General of Brigade in the heroic defense of Mayence in 1793, when he finally had to surrender to the Prussian Army.[4] He then seconded Hoche in Vendée in the fight against the Chouans in the War in the Vendée, but was defeated at Clisson.[4] He then became Minister of Defense of France ("Minister of War") from 3 November 1795 to 8 February 1796.[4]

Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire[edit]

General Aubert du Bayet with his Military Mission being received by the Ottoman Grand Vizier in Constantinople in 1796, by Antoine-Laurent Castellan.

In 1796, General Aubert du Bayet was appointed as ambassador ("Minister of the Republic") to the Ottoman Empire.[1][4] He was sent to the Ottoman court with artillery equipment, and French artillerymen and engineers to help with the development of the Ottoman arsenals and foundries.[5][6] Infantry and cavalry officers were also to train the Spahis and Janissaries, but they were frustrated by the opposition of the Janissaries.[5] Ironically, some of these troops, trained to Western methods, were successfully employed against the French troops of Napoleon a few years later under Sir Sydney Smith at the Siege of Saint-Jean d'Acre in 1799.[7] Their behaviour delighted Selim III, and upon their return, they were named Nizam-gedittes or "New Regulars", but they were eventually slaughtered and dispersed by the Janissaries and conservative clerics and politicians, leading to the deposition of Selim III.[7]

Aubert du Bayet died of fever in 1797 while in Constantinople.[4] His widow returned to France and married to his long-time assistant Jean-François Carra de Saint-Cyr.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c History of Louisiana: the Spanish domination by Charles Gayarré p.625 [1]
  2. ^ War, revolution, and the bureaucratic state by Howard G. Brown p.313 [2]
  3. ^ The Shaping of Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-Century France Jay R. Berkovitz p.67 [3]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g The history of the French revolution by Adolphe Thiers p.294
  5. ^ a b History of the Ottoman Turks Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy p.335
  6. ^ Ottoman wars 1700-1870: an empire besieged by Virginia H. Aksan p.202 [4]
  7. ^ a b The Quarterly review, 41 p.475ff
Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte
French Minister of War
1795–1796
Succeeded by
Claude Louis Petiet
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Louis Huguet
(in name only)
French Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
1796–1797
Succeeded by
Guillaume Marie Anne Brune
(after 5 years)