Studied at Giessen, Germany, 1780.
Member bureau of interpretations of foreign affairs at Versailles, 1781-1787. Went to England as acting secretary of legation to secure information useful for treaty of commerce between Great Britain and France, 1783. Secretary to Comte de Segur, minister to Court of Catherine II, 1787.
Expelled from Russia, June 1792. Went on temporary mission to Geneva, summer 1792. 1st French minister plenipotentiary to the United States, 1793-1794.
Unsuccessfully tried to get United States aid for France in war with England, and to take Florida and Louisiana from Spain. Commissioned privateers to prey on British commerce and to intrigue against Spanish territory (Jeffersonians wished to support his work, but Washington was strongly against war with Britain). Disregarded Washington’s request to stop these activities (feeling that Jeffersonians would support him).
His recall requested by Washington, 1794. Replaced as minister, 1794, but remained in the United States and settled in New York State.
Member bureau of interpretations of foreign affairs at Versailles, 1781-1787.
Married Cornelia Clinton, November 6, 1794. Married second, Martha Osgood, July 31, 1814.