Conrad Alexandre Gérard

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Conrad Alexandre Gérard de Rayneval (12 December 1729—16 April 1790), also known as Conrad Alexandre Gérard, was a French diplomat, born at Masevaux in upper Alsace (now Haut-Rhin). He is best known as the first French diplomatic representative to the United States. His brother Joseph Matthias Gérard de Rayneval was also a diplomat. Early in 1778, under instructions from Vergennes, he conducted the negotiations with the American representatives, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States on February 6, 1778. In March, 1778, he sailed to America with d’Estaing’s fleet, as the first accredited Minister from France to the United States. This post he held until superseded by the Chevalier de la Luzerne, in September, 1779.


Benson John Lossing, ed. Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (vol. 4) (New York, NY: Harper and Brothers, 1912)


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