La Chevalière d’Eon — diplomat, soldier, spy

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Eon de Beaumont, Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d’
Fair copy of memoir
20 May 1778
French aristocrat d’Eon was the first European known to publicly change gender. D’Eon had been a successful soldier and diplomat, fighting in the Seven Years War and helping to negotiate the Peace of Paris (1763). When his lavish spending and insubordination led the king to recall him to France, d’Eon claimed to be a woman and negotiated a return under the king’s protection. The king required the now Chevalière d’Eon to dress as a woman. The Chevalière was considered one of the most accomplished women of her time, but she never regained political influence. When France entered the American War of Independence in 1778, d’Eon petitioned the government to allow her once again to wear the uniform of a Dragoon captain and go to war. This manuscript is part of a dossier of materials compiled in that effort, which was unsuccessful.
Chevalière d’Eon Papers
Eon de Beaumont, Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d’, Fair copy of memoir, 20 May 1778, Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Accessed March 04, 2021,


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