Re: Jean Simon Chaudron, Demopolis, AL
I am a direct descendent of Jean Simon Chaudron of Demopolis, AL.
He was trained as a watchmaker in Switzerland as a young man and evidently learned silversmithing at about the same time.
He had no connections to the Bonapartists, since he and his family came to the New World prior to or coterminously with the French Revolution.However, he had decidedly Republican sympathies but was more of an Americanophile than a Francophile.
Although he was a talented and accomplished silversmith (with pieces on display at both the Alabama State Archives and the Smithsonian), he was more interested in poetry and newspaper reporting.For a brief time he edited the "Bee" newspaper in Philadelphia, PA, and I own a book of professionally published poetry he wrote sometime in the early 1800s.In Alabama, he was known as "The Blind Poet of the Canebrake."
Jean Simon was an enthusiastic supporter of George Washington.He gave a funeral oration at the Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia on the occasion of Washington's death.
Rembrandt Peale painted a portrait of Jean Simon which is housed at the New York Public Library.
My connection to Jean Simon Chaudron is this:
My father was COL Richard Paris Clark, Jr., USA (Ret.), born in Century, Florida, in 1927.
His mother was Mercied Gillian Chaudron Clark, born in Escambia County, Alabama, (not sure on the date, may be 1905).
She was the great-great-granddaughter of Jean Simon Chaudron.
J.R. Clark, Department of History
University of South Carolina