April 12, 2018

King Chapel Memorial

Next to the King Chapel is the King Chapel graveyard where some of Boston's most famous are buried.

Between King's Chapel and the graveyard is a special monument that many tourists may not notice - The Chevalier De Saint Sauveur monument.

This is a special monument in honor of Chevalier St. Sauveur, a French officer that was killed in Boston during a riot during the early days of the American Revolution.

Chevalierde Saint Sauveu

Some of the Things I learned about the Chevalier De Saint Sauveur Monument

  • After a treaty of alliance was signed between France and the United States on February 6, 1778, France sent a fleet of twelve ships and 5 frigates under the command of Count d'Estaing to aid the Americans in their fight against the British.
  • Chaevalier De Saint was a lieutenant on the boat named "Tonnant." His brother-in-law was Count de Breugnon one of Count d'Estaing "Chefs d'escadre." Chevalier was the first chamberlain of Count d'Artois, the brother of Louis XVI.
  • The fleet arrived in various cities, including New York and Philadelphia. On the way to Rhode Island, several vessels were damaged in a huge storm. They went to Boston to get the boats fixed.
  • On September 9, 1778, there was an attack by rioters at the fleet bakery, which was near the boats, Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was wounded by a blow to the eye in the face while trying to maintain order.
  • He died a week later on September 15. The next day, the Massachusetts Bay general council voted to put a memorial - They feared that the French would send back all their troops home because they were not welcome.
  • The French government refused any formal burial and accepted the offer to build a monument. They accepted that the death was not a threat to the remaining troops there.
  • D'Estaing drafted the inscription for the monument -- dated September 28th in the log book of the "Languedoc" -- and caused copies of it to be distributed in the fleet that every one of the words to be put on the monument.
  • He was buried in the basement of Kings Chapel in a private ceremony attended by his fellow officers.
  • Col. Thomas Dawes, a cousin of William Dawes, was in charge with the duty of erecting a monument.
  • The monument was completely forgotten until a researcher in 1912 discovered the Massachusetts Bay offer in a journal.
  • A monument was finally approved in June 1, 1916 for $1,000 monument in Chevalier De Saint Sauveur at the Kings Chapel.
  • The Text on the monument was written by Charles Henri Hector d'Estaing, French General, and Admiral. The next on the memorial is the same text the was written on September 28, 1778, by D'Estaing. (The top part was translated into English so the locals can read it.
  • Mr. A. W. Longfellow was the Memorial architect and was inspired other monuments that were popular when Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was alive.
  • The monument is made of concrete granite, fourteen feet high, and was made by Emerson & Norris of Boston
  • There are four cannon balls and green slates on all sides, only 2 sides have text. (Originally there was to be a full transcript of D'Estaing inscription, but that didn't happen.)
  • The monument is placed directly above where Chevalier De Saint Sauveur is buried in the basement of the King Chapel Church.

Memorial Text Translation

This officer, aide-major of the French squadron and Lieutenant [on the Tonnant] after having Had the happiness of risking his life for the service of United States, fulfilled its duty when it was the Victim of a tumult caused by malicious people: Death [15 September 1778] with the same attachment For America, the bonds of duty and inclination who are attaching his compatriots to the city of Boston in Have been more tight. May be so fruitless For all efforts what would dare to try to separate Frances and America. This is the prayer that will In the centuries to come to Almighty God, all French and all Americans who will cast their eyes on The mausoleum of a kidnapped young man has friends who do not Can console themselves for having lost. What about Like funerary flowers spread over his tomb.

This inscription has been prepared by the COUNT OF E STAING The admiral commander of the first French squadron Envoy speaks Roy from France to the United States of America

Celebration Toast of Friendship

A few days after the burial the men in command of the new country invited the men of the French Fleet to a celebration of friendship at Faneuil Hall. On September 22nd, 1778 the following toast was made:

The Memorial to the America.
The King of France.
Congress.
The French Fleet.
Gen. Washington and the American Army.
The Independence of America.
The alliance between France and America ; may it never be broken.
The French Minister to Congress.
Franklin, the American Minister at the Court of France.
Liberty and the Friendship of France.
Commerce, Art, and Agriculture.
M. d'Orvilliers and all his Army.
The Count d'Estaing and all the Officers of the French Fleet in Boston Harbor.

d'Estaing Toasted

The President of the Council and all Americans here present.
Monseigneur, the Duke de Chartres.
The Queen of France.
M. Du Chaff ault.
The Marquis de La Fayette.
American Ships and Sailors.
All the Women and Young Girls who have lost their Husbands and Sweethearts in the Good Cause.
The Duke de Choiseul.
M. de Sartine.
M. de Maurepas.

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