Description

    Napoleon Bonaparte Letter Signed "Bonaparte." Two pages, 7.25" x 9.25", in French, Paris, [May 21, 1801]. In the spring of 1801, France was concluding the second phase of its war in Italy. With news of the holdout of one Italian town, Napoleon, as First Consul, sent this letter to Monsieur de Laquence with orders for a siege, in full and in translation:

    "I have learned . . . that Porto Longone [modern Porto Azzurro] has not yet surrendered. Send to General [Joachim] Murat . . . making known to him the urgency of providing provisions to allow for the free flow of munitions and the removal of obstacles in Porto Longone and to set up for everyone a large amount of provisions for the long siege. . . until the arrival of forces of considerably greater strength. I have placed my confidence entirely in him and I will send the necessary weaponry and necessary intelligence. There was . . . for two years on the Island of Elba more military weaponry of which I will inform you and let you know when this will be available for you to take away."

    Two months earlier, Porto Longone, a part of the Kingdom of Naples from 1735 until 1801, had been transferred to French hands when Napoleon established the Kingdom of Etruria (1801-1807). The kingdom was dissolved and brought into the First French (or Napoleonic) Empire in 1807.

    In June 1800, Joachim Murat (1767-1815), a flamboyant and accomplished cavalry commander, was offered the hand of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon's younger sister. Largely through his relation to Napoleon, Murat was named Marshal of France in 1804, Prince of the Empire in 1805, Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves in 1806, and, finally, King of Naples and Sicily in 1808. Following the downfall of Napoleon, he fled to Corsica, but was arrested by the soldiers of King Ferdinand IV of Naples, tried for treason, and executed by firing squad.

    Condition: Smoothed folds. Several light spots of foxing are seen scattered about. A faint pencil notation can be seen near the upper left corner.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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