Baroness Hyde de Neuville


(Anne Marguerite Henriette de Marigny Hyde de Neuville, unknown -1849).Courtesy, New York Historical Society, 1822.

Baroness Hyde de Neuville (Anne Marguerite Henriette de Marigny) (unknown-1849) arrived in New Jersey from France, with her husband, in 1807. After the French Revolution, she saved her royalist husband’s life by securing his safe passage.

The couple traveled across Europe to intercede with Napoleon. In order for the couple to escape from France, she posed as her husband’s mother until they arrived safely in the U.S. They settled on a merino sheep farm in the New Brunswick area. For a number of years, the couple journeyed to New York City and to various settlements along the Hudson. After Napoleon was defeated and the King restored to the throne, the Baron and Baroness returned to France. The Baron was rewarded for his loyalty and named French Ambassador to the United States. The couple returned there to take up residency in the new capital, Washington. The Baroness continued to produce watercolors, depicting life during the Federalist era. She often painted scenes of Native American life, as well as pictures of African Americans. Both were rare subjects for an artist of this era to choose, especially one committed to keeping a monarchy in power.