Le Comte Alexandre Francois de Grasse

By: Ill. Bro. McDonald "Don" Burbidge, 33º

Alexandre-Francois Auguste, Marquis de Grasse, arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on August 14, 1793 aboard the ship "Thomas." Accompanying him on this voyage was his wife, daughters, four sisters, and stepmother. According to tradition, they were hospitably received by John B. Holmes at his dwelling, now 15 Meeting Street.

He was the son of Admiral de Grasse (1723-1788), who commanded the French fleet, which helped in causing Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown and the triumph of the Americans.

While in Charleston, two of Augustus de Grasse’s daughters were baptized (one of who had been born in Santo Domingo), two of his sisters married, and two other sisters died.


Le Comte Alexandre Francois de Grasse is born on February 14, the only son of Admiral Francois De Grasse of the Parish of St. Louis, at Versailles, France.


A member of the French Army he goes to Santo Domingo a year after the death of his father.

Marries the daughter of Jean Baptiste Delahogue.


July 7, his daughter is born at Cape Francaise.

On August 14 de Grasse arrives in Charleston aboard the ship Thomas after 17 days of sailing from Cape Francois.


July7 his four sisters arrive aboard the ship Thorn at Boston


Congress appropriated a $1,000.00 each to Amelia, Adelaide, Melinie, and Siliva daughters of Admiral de Grasse, in consideration of "extraordinary services rendered to the United States in the year 1781.

Comte de Grasse father in law become a founder in a Masonic Lodge named La Candeur at Charleston and is founded in large by French Roman Catholics.


December 12, Hyman Long designating him to be a Deputy Grand Inspector General issues a patent to De Grasse.

A fire destroyed the building at Church and Broad Street along with all the Masonic records. The lodge is temporary inactive for some time.


de Grasse is listed as Master of La Candeur Masonic Lodge.


August 4 de Grasse demitted from Loge La Candeur and six days later on August 10 becomes a founder of Loge La Reunion Francaise at Charleston.

August 23 his sister Amelie Maxime Rosalie dies of Yellow Fever at Charleston she is buried at St. Mary’s Church cemetery.

September 9 his sister Melanie Veronique Maxime dies of Yellow Fever she is buried in St. Mary’s Church cemetery.

De Grasse goes to Santo Domingo to offer his services to General Hedouville and is captured, put in jail, and his feet/hands put in irons. An American Consul intervention with proof that he is an American citizen is freed to go only if he broads the next ship to Charleston.


Mr. Delahogue had a school and he placed an ad in the Charleston City Gazette on October 16, which announces the following;

Those persons who may desire their children to learn the principles of Fortifications and Artillery will pay an additional price per month. He [Delahogue] has made arrangements for this purpose with Mr. Augustus de Grasse, his son-in-law.


January 10, de Grasse put a notice in the Times paper in Charleston informing the public that he has opened his new "Fencing Room" located at his house on Federal Street. Also listed are the times and hours it is opened.

Founder of the Supreme Council for the Scottish Rite Bodies.

Grand Marshal of the South Carolina Ancient Grand Lodge.


February 21 the Supreme Council as the new Grand Inspector General, and Grand Commander of the French West Indies appointed Brother de Grasse, Deputy Inspector General. Establishes a Supreme Council for the West Indies.

Also appointed at this time was Illustrious Brother Jean Baptiste Marie De La Hogue, Deputy Inspector Grand Commander of the West Indies.


Establishes a Supreme Council for Italy located at Milan on March 5.


Establishes a Supreme Council for Spain located at Madrid in October.


De Grasse military career ends at the age of 51.

De Grasse is still the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of France.


Disagreements arose in the France Supreme Council and the Grand Orient.


De Grasse resigns as Grand Commander of France.


He describes himself as being 76 years old, a worthy father, and after a life so full, he has reached old age without his rights to the gratitude of his country having ever been recognized. In the memoir of his father he wrote that as a military man he and his father were victims of political upheavals in the life of France.


June 10 Count Grasse, Alexandre Francois Auguste, Major, age 80, was registered at the Infirmary de l’Hotel des Invalides (Military Hospital) died around 12:30AM of chronic bronchial pneumonia.


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