Crèvecoeur, Jean de

Crèvecoeur, (Michel-Guillaume) Jean de

(1735–1813) essayist, farmer; born near Caen, France. He fought on the French side in the French and Indian War and then moved to New York State (1759); after travels through various colonies, he settled to farm in Orange County, N.Y. (1769–80). Drawing on his experiences of and insights into frontier life, he wrote one of the classic accounts of life in colonial America, Letter from an American Farmer (1782), as well as what would in 1925 be published as Sketches. He introduced alfalfa to American soil and became a naturalized citizen (1765). Between 1783–90, he was the French consul in New York City and then returned permanently to France.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.