A closer look at Jacques de St. Germain

jacques    After a one hour interview on “Whispers in the Dark” I was contacted by several parties that had either requested more information or have volunteered first hand experiences concerning Jacques d’Saint Germain, The New Orleans Vampire.  Since the show I have begun to research him a bit further.  This blog is the first of more to come on Saint Germain, I will start here from the beginning:

Comte de St. Germain was said to have been born in 1712, details of his birth and life as a child are obscure, however Germain was said to have been the son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania.  In contradiction to this date are two statements, one by Rameau, a relative of a French ambassador from Venice who testified that he had known St. Germain in 1710 and that he then had the appearance of a man near his fifties.  The second statement may be found in Souvenirs sur Marie Antoinette where Madame d’Adhémar collaborates this date and description adding that Germain was known as the Marquis de Montferrat.

Having achieved prominence in European high society by the mid 1700’s, Germain was known as a courtier, composer, musician, priest, and prophet.  Germain was fluent in several languages which allowed him conference with noblemen from distant countries.  St. Germain also had a vast interest and knowledge of science and alchemy.

Though St. Germain was well known in European society, no one truly knew him, only increasing the intrigue of his curious followers.  Jacques, a lover of the arts, and a talented musician gave only two public performances.  On one said performance in London in May of 1749,  he was described as too great of a musician not to have become famous, if he had not have been a gentleman.  Lady Jamima Yorke was quoted to have said that Germain was an odd creature and that the more she saw of him the more she was curious to know something of him and that he “was everything to everyone”.  Lord Walpole, after having experienced the same performance described Germain as extremely pale with the darkest of hair and a matching beard.  Walpole continued by saying that Germain dressed magnificently and wore several jewels upon his person indicating that he was clearly receiving large remittances.

In 1748 he was hired by King Louis the XV for diplomatic missions.  On one of these missions Germain was a guest of Giacomo Casanova and a party of other well respected French nobles.  Casanova described his first encounter with Germain in his memoirs:

The most enjoyable dinner I had was with Madame de Robert Gergi, who came with the famous adventurer, known by the name of the Count de St. Germain. This individual, instead of eating, talked from the beginning of the meal to the end, and I followed his example in one respect as I did not eat, but listened to him with the greatest attention. It may safely be said that as a conversationalist he was unequaled.

St. Germain gave himself out for a marvel and always aimed at exciting amazement, which he often succeeded in doing. He was scholar, linguist, musician, and chemist, good-looking, and a perfect ladies’ man. For awhile he gave them paints and cosmetics; he flattered them, not that he would make them young again (which he modestly confessed was beyond him) but that their beauty would be preserved by means of a wash which, he said, cost him a lot of money, but which he gave away freely.

In 1762 Germain would travel to Russia to where it is said that he worked inconspicuously within a conspiracy that resulted in placing Katherine the Great on the throne, later advising her Commander of the Imperial armies in a war against Turkey, which they won.

In 1774 he would return to France while Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette occupied the throne, allegedly warning them 15 years prior to the impending revolution.

In 1779 he would travel to Germany and befriend Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel where he would live as a guest in the castle for the next 5 years.  Local records would state that Germain died here on February 27, 1784.

Yet in 1785 he was known to reside in Germany, befriending Anton Mesmer, the pioneer hypnotist.  Germain was said to have given Mesmer the basic ideas for hypnotism and personal magnetism.  Also in 1785 it is recorded in the official records of the Freemasonry that they had chosen St. Germain as their representative for the annual 1785 convention.

In 1789 after the taking of the Bastille in the French Revolution Germain would return to France to counsel the Comtesse d’Adhémar.  She describes having had an in-depth conversation with him where he allegedly told her of France’s immediate future.  In 1821 she wrote:  “I have seen Saint-Germain again, each time to my amazement. I saw him when the queen [Antoinette] was murdered, on the 18th of Brumaire, on the day following the death of the Duke d’Enghien, in January, 1815, and on the eve of the murder of the Duke de Berry.” The last time she saw him was in 1820 – and each time he looked to be a man no older than his mid-40s.

  In 1821, Germain was said to have taken on a new identity.  Major Faser had apparent wealth but lived alone and never alluded to any family.  Recognized throughout the community as a knowledgeable and well traveled man, Germain’s cover was blown by Albert Vandam who wrote of having met a man that bore a striking resemblance to Count de Saint Germain.  In his memoirs is written:

“He called himself Major Fraser, lived alone and never alluded to his family. Moreover he was lavish with money, though the source of his fortune remained a mystery to everyone. He possessed a marvelous knowledge of all the countries in Europe at all periods. His memory was absolutely incredible and, curiously enough, he often gave his hearers to understand that he had acquired his learning elsewhere than from books. Many is the time he has told me, with a strange smile, that he was certain he had known Nero, had spoken with Dante, and so on.”

Major Fraser disappeared without a trace.

This brings us to Germain’s recorded history up until the early 1820’s.  We will examine more recent recordings upon the next blog, where things are certain to become even more interesting!

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7 responses to “A closer look at Jacques de St. Germain

  1. The Comte de St. Germain also features in Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco. Eco often weaves historical reality into his fiction, so the novel would be another interesting source to learn a bit more about him.
    Chris

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    • Hi Jo Ann! I actually did a few follow ups on St. Germain. Lots of interesting stuff there. If you go to my home page and type “Germain” into the search bar, all of the blogs should come up for you, Enjoy!

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  2. The story was on tonight June 13th on The Travel Channel’s “Monumental Mysteries”. Very interesting.

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  3. Sean d im a new orleans local i have met him three times in my life he is very discreat only at nite and never in the same year on one occasion i was a child on the second i was in my twonties and the last i was in my therties all three times he was wearing the same close and appeared to be in his late thirties and never aged like a bold statue as far as i know he has a taste for music and new orleans culture i can’t. Tell any more for fear of his rage trully he is a noble and cultured being very intelligent. And charming in a macobish sort of way truth be told he scares me a bit

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