Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
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Jean Massard (1740-1822), French
ENGRAVING ON PAPER, 5 x 3 1/8 inches (image)
French author and agronomist Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur, also known by his pseudonym J. Hector St. John, contributed greatly to Europeans' understanding of nascent American culture with his celebrated Letters from an American Farmer of 1770-81, which he wrote while farming in upstate New York. He returned to the United States as France's consul to New York in 1783. Once Vermont had firmly established its independence from the competing claims of New Hampshire and New York (not to mention Great Britain), its early leaders, most notably Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allan, sought to rename certain towns in honor of the state's friends and allies. St. Johnsbury formerly known as Dunmore, was renamed in de Crevecoeur's honor in 1786.