Claude Fournier L'Héritier
(December 21, 1745 - 1825), was a French personality of the Revolution, nicknamed l'Americain
He was born at Auzon (Haute-Loire), the son of a poor weaver, and went to French America to seek his fortune. At Saint Domingue on the island of Haiti, he began the manufacture of tafia (an inferior quality of rum), but lost everything in a fire.
Returning to France, he joined the Revolution with enthusiasm, and distinguished himself by organizing the popular armed force which became involved in all major insurrections of the capital:
Consulate, Empire, Restoration
After the attempt on the First Consul in the Rue Sainte-Nicaise he was deported to French Guiana, but was allowed to return to the French Empire in 1809. In 1811, while under surveillance at Auxerre, he was accused of having provoked a riot against indirect taxes known as the droits réunis (afterwards called contributions indirectes), and was imprisoned in the Château d'If, where he remained until 1814.
On the second Bourbon Restoration, Fournier was confined for about nine months in La Force Prison. After 1816 he turned Royalist, and passed his last years in importuning the Restoration government for compensation for his lost property in Saint Domingue. He died in obscurity.
- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. In turn, it cites as reference:
- Preface to François Victor Alphonse Aulard's edition of Fournier's Mémoires secrets (Paris, 1890), published by the Société de l'histoire de la Révolution.