NAPOLEON I, EMPEROR OF FRANCE

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NAPOLEON I, EMPEROR OF FRANCE - Napoleon Detailing the Military Career of a Soldier
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NAPOLEON I, EMPEROR OF FRANCE - Napoleon Detailing the Military Career of a Soldier

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NAPOLEON I, EMPEROR OF FRANCE. (1769-1821). Military leader and Emperor of France. DS. (“Vu Bon Bonaparte”). 1p. Folio. Livorno, May 1, 1797. In French. Our document concerns infantry lieutenant Joseph Jaume’s career in the French armies of the Alps and Italy, including the dates of his promotions and details of his 1796 injury at the siege of Mantua. It attests to his good conduct, the severity of his injuries and his entitlement to a full military pension.

 

In 1794, France faced civil war and near anarchy when a young and almost completely unknown army officer, Napoléon Bonaparte, saw his first foreign military service in Italy. He had already demonstrated his abilities at the battle of Toulon and for his accomplishments was rewarded with the command of the Army of Italy’s artillery. Bonaparte assumed his post at a perilous time: the Republic had run out of money and there were a great many difficulties in feeding, much less paying, the troops. By the end of March 1796, he had arrived at his post in Nice to find 30,000 starving soldiers. To them he issued his famous proclamation: “You are badly fed and all but naked... I am about to lead you into the most fertile plains in the world. Before you are great cities and rich provinces; there we shall find honor, glory and riches.” Among the Italian provinces the French forces conquered were the papal territories of Bologna, Ferrara and Ancona. He defeated the Austrian and Sardinian troops and captured Mantua after an eight-month-long siege, during which our document states Jaume was wounded on July 16, 1796. Napoleon’s success prompted the Austrians to surrender and a cease fire was declared with the April 18, 1797 Treaty of Leoben, only a few weeks before Bonaparte signed our document. The War of the First Coalition officially ended in October 1797 with the Treaty of Campo Formio. Our document was written in the period between the armistice and the official end of hostilities from French-occupied Livorno (Leghorn), the important Tuscan port city occupied by Bonaparte since January 1797.

 

Signed by a number of other military officials and bearing an unusual signature of Bonaparte indicating that he has both seen and approved the contents. Folded with some staining, wear and paper loss mostly at the intersecting folds. Bearing a red wax seal and attractively framed with an engraving of a young Bonaparte.

 

 

Item #19396


$2,750


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