Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Bénévent, by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1817.
Close Window

Oil on canvas painting of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord.

Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in memory of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, 1994 (1994.190)

A French aristocrat and Catholic bishop who then became a prominent supporter of the French Revolution, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838) fled France to escape the Reign and Terror, and from 1794 to 1796, lived in the United States. There he visited Asilum and obtained an option to purchase more than 100,000 acres from the Asilum Land Company. Tallyrand, however, never met the deadline for payment, which forced Robert Morris and his partners to resell the land at an even deeper discount in an unsuccessful effort to satisfy their creditors. Upon his return to Europe Tallyrand became one of the continent's most powerful diplomats, and helped redraw the map of Europe after the fall of Napoleon in 1814.

Back to Top