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Hector Saint John de Crèvecœur


  1. Letters from an American farmer describing certain provincial situations, manners and customs, and conveying some idea of the state of the people of North America translation author
  2. Letters from an American farmer, describing certain provincial situations, manners, and customs, not generally known: Written for the information of a friend in England, by J. Hector St. John, a farmer in Pennsylvania has translation has other edition author
  3. Lettres d'un cultivateur américain addressées à Wm. S ... on Esqr. depuis l'année 1770 jusqu'en 1786. Par M. St John de Crevecoeur, traduites de l’anglais has paratext author
  4. Lettres d'un cultivateur américain addressées à Wm. S ... on Esqr. depuis l'année 1770 jusqu'en 1786. Par M. St John de Crevecoeur, traduites de l’anglais paratext author
  5. Lettres d'un cultivateur américain, écrites à W.S. ecuyer, Depuis l'Année 1770, jusqu'à 1781: Traduites de l'anglois par *** translation translator


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Hector Saint John de Crèvecœur, was born Michel-Guillaume-Saint-Jean de Crèvecoeur into minor nobility in Normandy, and was also known (especially in America) as J. Hector St. John. In 1759, after four years as an officer and mapmaker in Canada, he chose to remain in the New World. He wandered the Ohio and Great Lakes region, took out citizenship papers in New York in 1765, became a farmer in Orange county, and married Mehitable Tippet in 1768, with whom he had three children.

When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, Crèvecoeur found himself in a tricky position. His wife was from a loyalist family and he had friends and neighbours who supported the rebels. Persecuted by both sides, he left for New York, where he was held in a British army prison for four months as an American spy, before sailing for Europe in 1780, accompanied by one of his sons. In London, he arranged for the publication under his American name, J. Hector St. John, of twelve essays called 'Letters from an American Farmer' (1782).

Within two years the book had gone through eight editions in five countries and made its author famous, gaining him such influential patrons as the Benjamin Franklin, membership in France’s Royal Academy of Science, and an appointment as French consul to three of the new American states. Before assuming his consular duties in 1784, Crèvecoeur translated, with the help of the poet J-F de Saint-Lambert, and added to the original twelve essays, published as, 'Lettres d’un cultivateur Américain'.

Back in America, he found his home burned, his wife dead, and his daughter and second son with strangers in Boston. Reunited with his children, he set about organizing a packet service between the United States and France, and published articles on agriculture and medicine. Back in Paris, Crèvecoeur became a founding member of the Société gallo-américaine in January 1787, and published an expanded, 3-volume edition of his 'Lettres'.