Jean Baptiste Clootz, baron, known under the name of Anacharsis Clootz, a French revolutionist, born near Cleves, Prussia, June 24, 1755, guillotined in Paris, March 24, 1794. He was educated in Paris, and his wealth permitted him to devote himself to his visionary schemes of social and political regeneration. Under the name of Anacharsis he visited Germany, England, Italy, and several other countries of Europe to preach philanthropical doctrines, the aim of which was to unite all nations in one brotherhood. When the French revolution broke out, he returned to Paris. He had already called himself the spokesman of the human race, and he now proceeded to officiate as its ambassador. Gathering around him as many specimens of the different foreign nationalities as he could find in Paris, he marched up with them to the national assembly, and delivered an address demanding for the foreigners in Paris the right of participating in the celebration of the anniversary of the taking of the Bastile. He showed the utmost devotion to the cause of the revolution, and contributed 12,000 livres for the public defence.
After Aug. 10, 1792, he repaired to the legislative assembly, where he indulged in violent attacks against monarchy and religion, insisted upon a price being placed upon the heads of the duke of Brunswick and the king of Prussia, and finally offered to raise at his own expense a legion of Prussians. Created a French citizen by a decree of the legislative assembly, he was elected to the convention by the department of Oise, and became conspicuous by his eccentricity and his intense hatred of crowned heads. In spite of all this, he was suspected by Robespierre, who had no confidence in a rich and titled revolutionist, He caused Clootz to be expelled from the society of Jacobins, implicated him in the accusation of Hebert and his companions, and, although no evidence of his guilt could be produced, sentence of death was passed upon him. When brought to the place of execution, he asked to be beheaded the last, "in order," as he said, "to be able to verify certain principles, while he saw the heads of his companions fall." Calmly ascending the steps of the scaffold, he protested against his sentence, made a final appeal to the human race, and received the fatal blow with unfaltering courage.
He left some strange writings: La certitude des preuves du Mahometisme, L'orateur du genre humain, and La republique universelle.