Volney Constantin FrançoIs cHasseboeuf
Volney Constantin François Chasseboeuf a French author and atheist, was born at Craon, in Anjou, Feb. 3, 1757. He was educated at the colleges of Ancenis and Angers, and studied medicine for a time, but gave up the idea of professional life. After spending several years in Egypt and Syria, he was appointed director-general of agriculture and commerce in Corsica. In 1789 he was elected to the States General, and in 1793 was imprisoned by Robespierre as a royalist, gaining his liberty only on the overthrow of that officer, July 27, 1794. Soon after this he was appointed professor of history in the newly established Normal School. Upon the suppression of the Normal School in 1795, he proceeded to the United States, where he remained until 1798. On his return to France, he was elected to a seat in the Senate, and subsequently received the titles of count and commandant of the Legion of Honor. He was one of the senators who voted in favor of the decree for the deposition of Napoleon Bonaparte, passed April 2, 1814; and on June 4 following was raised to the peerage by Louis XVIII. He died April 25, 1820. His principal works are, Voyage en Egypte et en Syrie (1787, 2 vols.): —Les Ruines, ou Meditations sur les Revolutions des Empires (1791), a work which has often been reprinted and translated, and contains his first avowal of those infidel views for which lie afterwards became so noted: —La Loi Naturelle, ou Catichisme du Citoyen Francais (1793): —Histoire de Samuel, Inventeur idu Sacre des Rois (1819): and Recherches Nouvelles sur l'Histoire Ancienne (1814). In 1826 his complete works appeared in eight volumes.