The Viscount de Beauharnais married Josephine in 1779, when he was 19 and she was only 16. He was executed during the reign of revolutionary terror in France.
On July 23, 1794, Alexandre François Marie de Beauharnais, the first husband of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine, was executed. He belonged to the distinguished aristocratic family de Beauharnais, and his father was the Marquis, Admiral, and Governor of the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean. Alexandre bore the title of Viscount de Beauharnais (fr. Vicomte de Beauharnais), and was born in Fort-Royal, Martinique (today the capital of Martinique is named Fort-de-France).
Josephine was married to Alexandre in 1779, when he was 19 and she was only 16. They had two children, who were later adopted by Napoleon. Through these children, Alexandre de Beauharnais became the ancestor of many European and world rulers, because Napoleon took good care of his stepson and stepdaughter.
Among Alexandre’s grandchildren there was one Brazilian empress, one Swedish queen, one king of the Netherlands (Napoleon’s creations in the area of today’s Netherlands) and even one French emperor (Napoleon III. Bonaparte, of whom Alexandre was a grandfather). It thus turned out that Alexandre de Beauharnais had incomparably more descendants in royal and imperial positions than Napoleon (who had no legitimate grandson or granddaughter).
Alexandre de Beauharnais became a general in the French Revolutionary Army in 1792, and the following year he was even appointed commander-in-chief of the Rhine Army. However, in 1794, during the reign of revolutionary terror, he was arrested and executed by guillotine. The execution took place in Paris on this day, and only five days later Maximilien Robespierre was executed, so the terror was practically abolished.