Chevalier d'Eon papers, 1778-1779 1.0 Linear Foot — 8 items
Collection comprises a dossier of seven items (approximately 75 pages) compiled by Chevalier d'Eon articulating his wish to forsake his female persona in order to fight in the American Revolutionary War. The seven items are wrapped in a blue paste-paper wrapper. The first item is a collection of 35 commissions and supporting documents from diplomats, military officers and French, Russian or English ministers, testifying to Eon's qualities and his activity in the secret services for 20 years, including the peace mission to the court of Russia (1755-1756); a mission to Vienna carrying the campaign plan of the Russian army and revelation of a secret Russian-Prussian correspondence, along with another mission to Russia (1757); commission as secretary of the French embassy at the court of Russia, after having contributed to the success of four treaties (1757-1759); commission as aide-de-camp of maréchal de Broglie in Germany (1760-1762); secretary of the French Embassy in Great Britain, for the conclusion of peace (1762); resident, then Minister Plenipotentiary in London (1763); refusal of proposals to communicate particulars and papers relative to the peace to the opponents of the court of St. James (1764-1765); followed by a Franco-British plan for the Mexican and Peruvian uprisings against Spain (1766-1768) for the Spanish ambassador in London; against the accusations of venality and corruption by the Court of France by the Princess of Wales and the English ministers (1769-1770); secret correspondence with Louis XV, the Prince de Conti, the Comte de Broglie, all ending in a promise of a life annuity from Louis XV.
The second item is a brief Memoire by d'Eon, dated 20 May 1778, for the Count of Vergennes, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in order to obtain payment of his pension, with a copy of 5 supporting documents. The third item is a memorandum describing the Chevalier's affairs in England, as of August 1778, including rents due on a house in Brewer Street/Golden Square, which is scheduled to be demolished. There are further details of d'Eon's state of affairs in France, where the Chevalier blames his feminine state and sedentariness as cause of a very painful rheumatism. D'Eon accordingly begs the King and his ministers to allow him to don men's clothes and fight.
Items four through seven are signed letters. One to M. de Miromesnil, Garde des Sceaux, Versailles 12 February 1779, with a copy of his petition to the King's special adviser, the Comte de Maurepas, of the 8th of February, asking support for the Chevalier's request to serve as a volunteer in the Comte d'Orvilliers' fleet. The other two letters are written to the Comtesse de Maurepas, Versailles 12 February 1779, with a copy of the Chevalier's petition to the comte, 8 February, requesting the comte's protection.