Napoleon & Empire

Paul-François, viscount of Barras (1755-1829)

Arms of Paul-François, viscount of Barras (1755-1829)

This French politician ans statesman, who was born on June 30, 1755 in Fox-Amphoux, Provence, was one of the men who felled Maximilien Robespierre in 1794.

Then he became a Director during the Executive Directory.

He died on January 29th, 1829 in Chaillot (Paris).

His grave  is located in Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris (28th division).

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Main portrait

"Paul-François, viscount of Barras". Nineteenth century French school.

Other portraits

Paul-François, viscount of Barras (1755-1829)
"Paul-François, viscount of Barras". Lithography by François-Séraphin Delpech (1778-1825).
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  • samedi 29 novembre 2014 à 19h16, by Beausoleil

    Also, please remove the first image, this is not Paul Barras. His memoirs have a much better portrait of him, and the second image shown on this page is actually him, not the first image at the top.
  • samedi 29 novembre 2014 à 19h13, by Suzanne Broussard (Louisiana)

    Barras wrote a four volume memoir, called Memoirs of Barras, which is a detailed explanation of the Directory period, along with very interesting details about the personalities listed on this website. Barras sent certain members of his family to Louisiana where they remain to this day, I myself being a descendant. It appears that he was much more popular than Napoleon, so much so, that Napoleon's attempts to have him poisoned or otherwise arrested or assasinated for knowing too much could never be brought to fruition because the populace protected him and there would have been swift retaliation. HIs close personal friendship with Napoleon and Josephine allows him to give a portrait of this self-crowned Emperor that is unique, and explains why it took over 100 years before Barras' memoirs could be published and even then, there are obvious deletions from the manuscript. Barras could have easily made himself Emperor it seems, and he was a friend of the Bourbons, being one himself perhaps through his mother's side, but he adamantly refused this role. For this reason he was the most dangerous possible deterrent to Napoleon's plans.

    Barras was a descendant of the leaders of the first Crusade, the Counts of Toulouse, Count Raymond de Barras being the full name. His wife was a member of the family of King Francois I, the Chatillon family centered in Alsace Lorraine and the Chateau of Blois. His family credentials were impeccable, though the family was not extremely wealthy and he entered the military at around the age of 16. His memoirs begin with this adventure to Pondicherry and shipwrecks and wars against the French by the English.

    He is one of the most slandered of all the revolutionary characters, leading one to understand that he stood in the way of the Jewish bankers who fomented the revolution and profited by it, but whose censorship of the truth lasts to this day. Apparently, he foiled a number of their plans, and in fact, literally died laughing at an old age, when Napoleon's henchmen (Fouche) confiscated his red leather portfolio which they though contained his memoirs. The very thought of these censors opening the portfolio and finding a stack of his old laundry bills gave him such a fit of laughter that he passed away in the midst of his laughter.

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