Lefebvre, François Joseph

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Lefebvre, François Joseph

(fräNswä` zhôzĕf` ləfĕ`vrə), 1755–1820, marshal of France. He rose from the ranks in the French Revolutionary Wars and distinguished himself under Napoleon Bonaparte (later Emperor Napoleon I). He aided Napoleon in the coup of 18 BrumaireBrumaire
, second month of the French Revolutionary calendar. The coup of 18 (actually 18–19) Brumaire (Nov. 9–10, 1799), engineered chiefly by Sieyès, overthrew the Directory and established the Consulate under Napoleon.
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 and was later made (1803) duke of Danzig. His wife, who had been a washerwoman, caused some sensation through her unconventional manners and is the heroine of Victorien Sardou's play Madame Sans-Gêne.

Lefebvre, François Joseph

 

Born Oct. 20, 1755, in Rouffach, Alsace; died Sept. 14, 1820, in Paris. Marshal of France (1804). Duke of Danzig (1808). Son of a miller.

Lefebvre began his military career in 1773 as a soldier in the French Guard. He was promoted during the revolutionary wars; in 1793 he became a brigade general, and in 1794 a division general. During the coup of Brumaire 18, as a commander of troops in Paris he supported Napoleon Bonaparte. During the war against Prussia of 1806–07 he commanded the guard at Jena and directed the siege and capture of Danzig. In succeeding years he commanded a corps in Spain (1808), the Bavarian Army in a war against Austria (1809), and the Old Guard (1812–14). Lefebvre took part in the march on Russia and the campaign of 1814. After Napoleon’s abdication, he was made a peer of France (1814) by Louis XVIII, but during the Hundred Days he switched to the side of Napoleon, for which he was deprived of all titles and ranks. In 1816 he was again made a marshal, and in 1819 a peer.