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Caulaincourt, Armand Augustin Louis

CAULAINCOURT, ARMAND AUGUSTIN LOUIS, Marquis de (1773-1827), French general and diplomatist, was born of a noble family. He early entered the army, did not emigrate in the revolution, but was deprived of his grade as captain in 1793 and served in the ranks. In 1795, through the protection of L. Hoche, he became captain again, was colonel in the Army of the Rhine in 1799-1800, and after the peace of Lunéville (1801) was sent to St Petersburg to negotiate an understanding between Russia and France. On his return he was named aide-de-camp of the First Consul. He was employed to seize some agents of the English government in Baden in 1804, which led to the accusation that he was concerned in the arrest of the due d'Enghien, an accusation against which he never ceased to protest. After the establishment of the empire he received various honours and the title of duke of Vicenza (1808). Napoleon sent him in 1807 as ambassador to St Petersburg, where Caulaincourt tried to maintain the alliance of Tilsit, and although Napoleon's ambition made the task a difficult one, Caulaincourt succeeded in it for some years. In 1811 he strongly advised Napoleon to renounce his proposed expedition to Russia. During the war he accompanied the emperor, and was one of those whom Napoleon took along with him when he suddenly abandoned his army in Poland to return to Paris (December 1812). During the last years of the empire, Caulaincourt was charged with all the diplomatic negotiations. He signed the armistice of Pleswitz, June 1813, represented France at the congress of Prague, in August 1813, at the congress of Chatillon, in February 1814, and concluded the treaty of Fontainebleau on the 10th of April 1814. During the first Restoration, Caulaincourt lived in obscure retirement. When Napoleon returned from Elba, he became minister of foreign affairs, and tried to persuade Europe of the emperor's peaceful intentions. After the second Restoration, Caulaincourt's name was on the list of those proscribed, but it was erased on the personal intervention of Alexander I. with Louis XVIII.

Caulaincourt's memoirs appeared under the title Souvenirs du duc de Vicence in 1837-1840. See A. Vandal, Napoléon et Alexandre (Paris, 1891-1895); Tatischeff, Alexandre Ier et Napoleon (Paris, 1892); H. Houssaye, 1814 (Paris, 1888), and 1815 (Paris, 1893).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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