The son of a prison concierge and a native Parisian, Vincent worked as a lawyer's clerk and is believed to have lived in substantial poverty until 1792, at which point he became an active participant in the radical Revolutionary effort. The youngest of the men to follow Jacques Hébert, Vincent, along with fellow Hébertist Charles-Philippe Ronsin, took the Revolution to the country, becoming revolutionaries-on-a-mission. Upon his return to Paris, Vincent became more active in the Cordelier Club and was soon elected Orator. After this advancement, Vincent was eventually made General Secretary of the War Ministry under Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte. It is this job that allowed Vincent to bring more power to the sans-culottes.