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Condy Raguet

American politician

Died when: 58 years 53 days (697 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius


Condy Raguet

Condy Raguet (January 28, 1784 – March 22, 1842) was the first chargé d'affaires from the United States to Brazil and a noted politician and free trade advocate from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Of French descent, Raguet was educated at the University of Pennsylvania.After graduating he began studying law but had to give up his studies after the death of his father.

He briefly worked as supercargo for a counting house, before going into business for himself.He later worked as manager or president for several companies, the most notable being the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society.

In 1816 Raguet read about the growth of savings banks in Great Britain and liked the idea; he approached other Philadelphia business associates and together they created the Society, the first savings bank in the United States.

As a member of the Federalist Party Raguet was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1815 and to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1818.

In 1821 President James Monroe made Raguet consul to Brazil.After Brazil became independent, President John Quincy Adams made Raguet the chargé d'affaires to Brazil.

In this post, Raguet became increasingly frustrated with Brazil's lack of response to complaints by the United States of its citizens being forced to work on Brazilian warships against their will.

Raguet's communications with the Brazilian government became increasingly forceful and undiplomatic to the point that he once wrote to the U.S.

State Department that he was so frustrated he could hardly consider the Brazilians a civilized people.Despite urges from Washington, D.C. to improve his approach to Brazil, Raguet abruptly left the country after the Imperial Brazilian Navy seized a former U.S. warship.

Adams would later write that, despite having good intentions, Raguet's "rashness and intemperance" nearly "brought this country and Brazil to the very verge of war." After Adams rejected any possibility of Raguet's returning to diplomatic work, Raguet returned to business in Philadelphia.

Having his economic views shaped by the Panic of 1819, he became one of the most prominent advocates of free trade in the United States.

He edited numerous journals relating to free trade and wrote and published works on the subject.The most notable was On Currency and Banking; published in 1839, Samuel J.

Tilden called it "the best treatise on banking ever published in the country".

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