He became president of the order of avocats in Colmar, and in 1789 was elected as a deputy to the States-General by the Third Estate of the bailliage of Colmar-Schlestadt. In the Constituent Assembly his oratory, legal knowledge and austerity of life gave him much influence. During the session of the Legislative Assembly he exercised the functions of procureur syndic and was subsequently secretary-general of the department of Haut-Rhin. In the Convention he appeared as a zealous promoter of the trial of Louis XVI, but was absent on mission at the time of the king's condemnation.
He took part in the reactionary movement which followed the fall of Robespierre, and became a member of the reorganised Committee of Public Safety and of the Committee of General Security. His moderation caused his election by seventeen departments to the Council of Five Hundred. Appointed a member of the Directory on October 1 1795, he became its president in 1796, and retired by ballot in 1799. He then entered the Council of Ancients. After the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire he retired from public life, and died at Colmar on 23 November 1807.