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SECRET CORRESPONDENCE ON THE SUBJECT
NEVER BEFORE MADE PUBLIC.
COIiliECTED AND ARRANGED BY
W. T. R. SAFFELL,
AUTHOR OF "RECORDS OF THE REVOLUTION," ETC.
PUBLISHED BY THE PROPRIETOR.
AU rights reserved.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by
WILLIAM L. SAFFELL,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
MEARS & DUSENBERY, H. B. ASHMEAD,
f In explanation of the communication from Col.
Jerome N. Bonaparte and Mr. Charles J. Bonaparte
which appears below, the Publisher of this book deems
it expedient to say a few words.
The facts so far as known in the case of the mar-
riage of Jerome Bonaparte to Miss Patterson in 1803,
have so long been matters of history, that when the
author came into possession of the complete corres-
pondence on the subject, he did not feel that in making
it public, he should be doing other than contributing
to a portion of history about which a good deal had
been already written.
Out of courtesy to Mde. Bonaparte, who is still
living, he sent to her, through a friend, the proof
sheets of the greater part of the work, and the design
of the book was fully explained to her. Mde. Bona-
parte made no objection to its issue, saying, that
" the publication of the volume was a matter of per-
fect indifference to her."
vi PUBLISHER'S NOTE.
This was as early as October 1872, but in January
1873, Mr. Charles J. Bonaparte called to request
that the book should not be published, not denying
however the right to publish it ; the book was then
almost ready for issue. Mr. Bonaparte requested
the lines below to be inserted in the preface :
" This work is published in opposition to the
formally expressed wishes of Col. Jerome N.
Bonaparte and Mr. Charles J. Bonaparte"
It is presumed that Mr. Charles J. Bonaparte had
authority to express Col. Jerome N. Bonaparte's
W. T. R. Saffell.
Philadelphia, Feb. 10th 1872.
For the appearance in this form of a documentary
narrative of events which followed the most wonderful
marriage known in historic times, we have no apolo-
gies to offer. We would not, however, make it appear
that the marriage itself was so wonderful ; but would
say, that the events which followed it find no parallel
either in the annals of fact, or in the domains of
fancy. We refer to the marriage of Miss Elizabeth
Patterson of Baltimore, to Jerome Bonaparte of
In the secret correspondence on the subject, which
we publish in this volume, we have brought to view
many hidden facts ; and hope we have furnished
strange and useful information to the general reader,
the moralist, and the historian.
That the public may learn how we came into the
possession of the original letters and other documents
quoted or published at large in this volume, we have
to say simply, that we bought them from Houtine &
Murdock, dealers in paper-makers' material, on Cen-
tre Market Space, Baltimore. These gentlemen, to
our own personal knowledge, and to that of many
gentlemen of Baltimore, bought them as "waste
paper," directly from Mr. William Patterson's old
warehouse on Gay street. In the lot of old docu-
ments which we purchased, we found a bundle of
English and French letters on the subject of the
marriage, carefully filed in the order of time, and in
perfect preservation. These we copied, and, at his
request, returned the originals to Mr. Patterson's
grandson, now occupying the warehouse.
Mr. Robert Patterson was in Europe during the
time of the troubles arising from his sister's marriage ;
and his letters on the subject, made up from the most
reliable French, English, and German sources of in-
formation, and addressed to his father in Baltimore,
contain a thrilling history of the mysterious develop-
ments which succeeded the marriage with the most
alarming rapidity. From these letters, in chief, and
from those of other distinguished writers, collected
and filed by Mr. Patterson, we have formed a chain
of narrative, extending from the time of Jerome
Bonaparte's marriage to Miss Patterson on the 24th
of December 1803, to the time of his second marriage
to the princess Frederica Catharina, in 1807.
We do not mean to call attention to what we have
to say upon the subject of the marriage in question,
for we make no pretensions to authorship ; but we
mean, simply, to favor the public with what distin-
guished writers have written concerning it ; and we
call special attention to the letters of the following
gentlemen, which are carefully copied in this book,
William Patterson, the bride's father.
Robert Patterson, her brother.
M. Dacres, French Minister of Marine.
Robert R. Livingston, American Minister to
Gen. John Armstrong, his successor.
Gen. Tuerreau, French Minister at Washington.
Gen. Samuel Smith, of Maryland.
Gen. Rewbell, of the French army.
Capt. Paul Bentalou, of Baltimore.
M. Meyronet, of the French Navy.
M. Maupertuis, French Consul at Rotterdam.
Sylvanus Bourne, U. S. Consul General, Batavian
P. Cuneo de Ornano, of St. Croix de Teneriffe.
M. Le Camus, of Genoa.
Madame Bonaparte, his wife.
Geo. M. Paterson, of Lille, her cousin.
Joseph and Lucien Bonaparte.
Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, and several anony-
Many of these letters are in French, and some of
those of Robert Patterson in cipher. We have also
made use of paragraphs from the newspapers of the
day, and items floating in the mists of tradition,
when they were found to be to the credit of the dis-
tinguished American family into which Jerome was
From the letters of M. Maupertuis, we have the
secrets which leaked out from the court of Napoleon
through the Empress Josephine ; and from those of
Captain Bentalou we have some gossip from distin-
guished ladies near the throne.
We have given above the main authorities which
we quote. Each link in the chain of events has been
so well wrought by the original writers themselves,
that we have had but little to do by way of comple-
tion ; and when the reader comes to the end of the
book, he will feel that the subject is exhausted, and
that he has been instructed, amused, and satisfied.
W. T. R. S.
Baltimore, Jan. 1873.
Jerome Bonaparte— He visits Baltimore — Commodore Bar-
ney — Miss Elizabeth Patterson — Her great beauty —
Jerome proposes marriage — Gossip and scandal — Anony-
mous letters — The marriage — Tranquillity restored —
Young couple visit Washington City — General Tuerreau
—General Smith— His letter about " Betsy"— Mr. Pat-
terson writes to Minister Livingston — Napoleon angry
on account of the marriage — Letters from the President
of the United States on the subject — Specks of war —
Napoleon and Agamemnon — Robert Patterson goes to
Paris — Delicate diplomacy — Mr. Livingston's views —
Letters from Miss Monroe — Madame Louis Bonaparte
in Paris — Madame Campan — Citizen Genet — Fulwar
Skipwith — Captain Paul Bentalou, of Baltimore . . 25
Biographical sketch of the members of the Bonaparte family
— Thoughts on Jerome's marriage — Robert Patterson's
second letter — Hopes of reconciliation — Jerome to be
established in Ameriea — Lucien Bonaparte's opinions —
Paul Bentalou' s hopeful letter — Dining with Lucien —
Napoleon' 8 displeasure manifest — Stirring appeal to
arms — Britain to be conquered — Mr. Patterson's third
letter — Mr. Livingston again — A call on Joseph Bona-
parte — He is silent — Lucien's character — Silence in
France — Robert goes to Amsterdam — French frigates
plough towards New York — Napoleon's silence broken
— Pichon in New York — French captains and the
"young person" 40
Letter from M. Dacres to citizen Pichon — Strict orders —
Jerome's pay withheld — He is ordered home — His wife
to be left in the United States — Not to put her foot on
the territory of France — French captains not to receive
her on board their vessels — Jerome is implored to return
alone to France — Letter from M. Dacres to Jerome —
Napoleon's opinions of the marriage — Letters of Dacres
intercepted by a British commander — He copies them
— The secret out — Mr. Patterson writes to Jerome —
Gives the extent of his information — Hope runs high —
Chancellor Livingston recalled from France — General
Armstrong succeeds him — Mr. Livingston writes to Mr.
Patterson — He sends Joseph Bonaparte's letter — Its
The young couple in Baltimore — Sleighs and snow-balls —
Bad boys — Gossip in New York — French frigates —
Bonaparte and lady about to sail for France — His bag-
gage on board — Going in The Dido — British frigates on
the watch — The couple do not embark — Robert Patter-
son in Amsterdam — News from Paris — Letter from a
strange writer — He hails from Lille — Pope of Rome —
Queen of Etruria — The young couple visit the " Hub" —
A secret gets out — More gossip— General Armstrong
sails— Madame Bonaparte does not— Her letter of ex-
planation — " Little Baltimore beauty" — An astonishing
paragraph in the French papers — Napoleon's opinion of
his brother Joseph — Joseph's remarkable letter to
Robert Patterson — Paul Bentalou — Lucien Bonaparte —
The scandalous paragraph — Maupertuis — Miss Caton —
Duke of Wellington — General Armstrong on marriage
— More letters from Robert Patterson — Letters of Dacres
in Halifax — Sensation in New York — Young couple
shipwrecked in the Delaware — Madame Bonaparte first
in the life-boat — Narrow escape from drowning — Balti-
more and Philadelphia out-sensation New York — Phila-
delphia comes out best — More letters from Mr. Patter-
son — Young couple encounter 44 guns — Madame Bona-
parte's courage — The gentleman who came out with
John — A great wheel — Excursion into the wilds — Mons.
P. de Maupertuis at the wheel— His wonderful letters
— His leagues of cable — Jerome's disgrace — Coronation
of Napoleon and Josephine — The world is dazzled . . 104
Maupertuis retires — Napoleon appears again — His prestige
— Battle of Austerlitz — Young couple contemplate sail-
ing — Reflections on the embarkation — Robert Patterson
on speculation — General Smith again — P. Cuneo De Or-
nano — His letter — Mr. Patterson's letter — General Arm-
strong — Letter from M. Meyronet to Jerome — Mr.
Patterson alarmed — He writes in cipher — The Moniteur
— Lucien Bonaparte in prison — Jerome to be thrown
in prison — Betsy to be sent back — The young couple
embark for Europe — Departuro from Baltimore — Gen-
eral Tuerreau, French Minister — Jerome's horses — Mr.
Carrero — li London-particular-three-years-old-wine" —
General Rewbell's letter — Jonathan Jones — Wet letters
— Bordeaux Gazette 137
Young couple on the sea ! — Robert Patterson in Paris —
General Rewbell — The Erin safe — Sad news in cipher —
Storms of wit — Deception " all the go" — Nineteen days
at sea — Blue hills of Portugal — Letter from Bonaparte
— " Sea-sick never kills nobody" — Foreign gossip —
Letters in cipher — The cipher changed — Gossip in
Boston— The u Columbian Centinel" irate— The Bona-
partes lampooned— Letters of Dacres published — Phila-
delphia and the Moniteur — Bentalou and Skipwith —
Mr. Livingston's treaty—'' Bills" — Another letter from
Lille — Affairs in Holland — Mr. Schimmelpenninck —
Madame Bonaparte not allowed to land in Holland —
Sylvanus Bourne pleads her cause — She is placed under
guns — Mr. Bourne's letter — Gossip in London — Madame
Bonaparte goes there — Jerome and Le Camus at Genoa 168
Robert Patterson at Dover — His letter from that place — Je-
rome Bonaparte again — Mr. Monroe and Mr. Patter-
son — Madame Bonaparte going to the Continent — Her
letter to her father — Mr. Patterson writes from London —
— Another letter from Madame Bonaparte — Marchioness
of Donnegal — General Tuerreau — Mr. Monroe — Deceit-
fulness of the French — Dr. Gamier is deceptive — He
recommends Madame Bonaparte to go home — Jerome
does the same — She goes when ready — Le Camus again
— Napoleon's speech — Jerome at Malmaison — He writes
to the Emperor — The Emperor's reply — Jerome's mar-
riage has no existence — Mr. Mcllhiny of London —
Madame Bonaparte and child embark for home — Captain
Bentalou writes again — Amusing letters — Jerome de-
jected— His " little girl" affair— lt My dear little wife"
— Queen of Etruria spurns Jerome — His second mar-
riage — Jereme Napoleon Bonaparte — His death — His
Jerome Bonaparte — He visits Baltimore — Commodore Bar-
ney — Miss Elizabeth Patterson — Her great beauty — Jerome
proposes marriage — Gossip and scandal — Anonymous letters
— The marriage — Tranquillity restored — Young couple visit
Washington City — General Tuerreau — General Smith — His
letter about M Betsy" — Mr. Patterson writes to Minister Liv-
ingston — Napoleon angry on account of the marriage — Letters
from the President of the United States on the subject —
Specks of war — Napoleon and Agamemnon — Robert Patterson
goes to Paris — Delicate diplomacy — Mr. Livingston's views —
Letters from Miss Monroe — Madame Louis Bonaparte in Paris
— Madame Campan — Citizen Genet — Fulwar Skipwith — Cap-
tain Paul Bentalou, of Baltimore.
Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother of Napo-
leon I., Emperor of France, was born on the 15th day
of December 1784, at Ajaccio, on the island of Cor-
sica, in the Mediterranean Sea. Educated princi-
pally under Madame Campan in and near Paris, he
was, in early life, placed in the naval service of France,
where he remained till the year 1801.
26 ; > 'llTE RONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
Styling himself conqueror and pacificator, Napo-
leon, in November of that year, sent an expedition in
command of General Leclerc, his brother-in-law, to
crush an insurrection of the negroes on the island of
St. Domingo ; and Jerome, as lieutenant under him,
accompanied that large army. The expedition termi-
nated unsuccessfully and fatally, a greater part of the
men being swept away by fever and by the sword.
Jerome soon returned to France as bearer of dis-
patches ; and, receiving there an independent com-
mand, sailed for the island of Martinique ; and
cruised between St. Pierre and Tobago during the
hostilities between England and France in 1803 ; but
for some reason not given left the station in the same
year, and sailed for New York in command of a
French frigate. The broadcast fame of Napoleon
insured for Jerome a cordial reception in America,
and he was received with great honors wherever he
In 1796, Captain Joshua Barney, of the American
navy, received a rank in the French service equal to
that of a commodore in the service of the United
States; and had been employed in the West Indies
ui i dor French colors ; but from this service he obtained
a final release in 1802, and returned to his home in
Baltimore. His young Corsican friend, and com-
panion in the French service, soon found his way from
Now York to Baltimore, and met with a distinguished
reception from Captain Barney and other prominent
citizens of the place. At the house of Samuel Chase,
one of the Maryland signers of the Declaration of
THE BONA PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 27
Independence, Captain Bonaparte met a great num-
ber of persons in " high social, political, and literary
life." Here he made the acquaintance of Miss Eliza-
beth Patterson, daughter of William Patterson, Es-
quire, a highly respectable and wealthy Irish mer-
chant of that city.
This beautiful and accomplished young lady, it is
alleged, had declared prophetically, long before she
had seen young Bonaparte, that some day or other she
would become a great lady in France ; and at a party
where they met soon after their acquaintance, Bona-
parte's gold chain was accidentally thrown around
her neck, entangling itself so as to hold her fast ;
and as he gracefully disentangled it, she called to
mind her strange prophecy. From that hour we may
safely date the beginning of her eventful matrimonial
Freighted with the weight of a great foreign name,
Jerome speedily gained those advantages in American
society for which distinguished foreigners in every
period of our history have been so remarkable. Less
himself than twenty years of age when he arrived in
Baltimore, Miss Patterson, though possessed of great
beauty, was less than eighteen ; and it is said " she
strikingly resembled the Bonaparte family." Be-
coming strongly attached to her, probably from first
sight, she was sent to Virginia to escape his atten-
tions ; but the attachment was mutual, and remon-
strances were therefore in vain. That strong passion
which blunts the mind and obscures the vision was
the ruling passion ; and a license for their marriage
28 THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
issued from the Baltimore County Court-House on
the 29th of October 1803. Strong and rapidly
formed currents of affection, like all others, meet
grave obstacles in their course, and this was strik-
ingly true with respect to the case in point ; for, in
the language of the young lady's father, " the mar-
riage was broken off," even after the license formally
issued. The most splendid preparations had been
made for the ceremony — preparations sufficiently bril-
liant to eclipse those of vice-regal days in the olden
time, when blue wreaths of smoke, betraying the
half-hidden mansion and proclaiming the costly ban-
quet, ascended gracefully through the trees from a
thousand hospitable chimneys.
Amid these preparations for the sacred altar,
however, gossip stood tip-toe and scandal rampant.
Family ancestries were discussed and character vili-
fied. The Patterson family of Baltimore stood high
and honorable upon firm foundations of wealth and
merit. The worthy head of that family, William
Patterson, Esq., stood shoulder to shoulder with
Robert Morris and Stephen Girard, of Philadelphia,
with open purse, bearing the financial weight of the
Revolution, and the subsequent dark days of the
republic. He enjoyed in a high degree the friendship
of Washington, La Fayette, and Carroll, and could
claim companionship with Smallwood, Gist, Howard,
Smith, and Williams. Though no soldier himself, his
great wealth and popularity cheerfully marched to
the music of Independence. He cordially welcomed
the French fleet which landed the forces of Rocham-
THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 29
beau at Newport in 1781 ; and, extending his hos-
pitalities still further with those of his patriotic
countrymen, welcoming Count de Estaing in the
Chesapeake, he thus contributed largely to the sur-
render of Cornwallis, and to the independence of the
New World, while adulation even failed to endow the
Bonaparte family with that ancient and honorable
ancestry which it essayed to claim. Napoleon well
knew that his own abilities and performances would
constitute about all the nobility he could boast, and
he should have been wisely acting upon this know-
ledge at the time of Jerome's marriage.
In six days after the 29th of October 1803, the
day on which, as before stated, the license for the
marriage of Jerome with Miss Patterson issued, the
father of the young lady received an anonymous com-
munication which he carefully endorsed with the fol-
lowing words : " Received this letter by the Penny
Post, on Saturday, 5th November 1803, at one o'clock
" Is it possible, sir," inquires the writer, "you can
so far forget yourself, and the happiness of your child,
as to consent to her marrying Mr. Bonaparte? If
you knew him, you never would, as misery must be
her portion — he who but a few months ago destroyed
the peace and happiness of a respectable family in
Nantz by promising marriage, then ruined, leaving
her to misery and shame. What has been his con-
duct in the West Indies ? There ruined a lovely
young woman who had only been married for a few
weeks i He parted her from her husband, and
30 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON 31 A RE TA GE.
destroyed that family ! and here, what is his conduct ?
At the very moment he was demanding your daughter
in marriage he ruined a young French girl, whom
he now leaves also in misery ! His conduct at Nantz
and in the West Indies has already reached his bro-
ther's ears, and he dares not appear before him !
His voyage to this country proves it ! He now wishes
to secure himself a home at your expense until things
can be arranged for his return to France, when rest
assured he will be the first to turn your daughter off,
and laugh at your credulity ! Nothing that can be
done will be binding on him ; and if you knew his
moral character of dissipation, you would never ! no,
never ! even with the approbation of his family, trust
your daughter to him. Then take advice in time and
break off everything before it is too late. Let nothing
on earth tempt you to such an union ! What is here
said may be depended upon, and much more might be
said, for, without exception, he is the most profligate
young man of the age. Demand seriously of Miss
Wheeler, and you will there find he has already
demanded her in marriage with the same intentions !
Will he marry your daughter at the Catholic church
before the Bishop in open day, as did his friend ? I
say no ! because he knows such a marriage would be
in some measure binding upon him ; but that he will
not do, nor anything else that will appear against
him. Trust not his honor ! there never was any in
his family ! Yours, A Friend."
This letter is well written, in a bold hand, but with-
out date. The writer appears to have been possessed
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 31
of some scholarly ability, but, judging from his pro-
duction, he evidently labored to conceal it, and as
much as possible disguise his penmanship.
After this letter had reposed in silence and oblivion
for almost three-quarters of a century, perhaps dis-
regarded from first to last by its custodians, it was
sold in the Baltimore market, and purchased with the
other letters quoted in this book ; and the Bonaparte-
Patterson correspondence, telling its stories of wonder
to another generation, is still in perfect preservation.
Notwithstanding the "breaking off," and the warn-
ings fulminated from various quarters, the contem-
plated marriage did take place on Saturday, Christ-
mas Eve, December the 24th 1803. In the Baltimore
"Federal Gazette" of Tuesday, the 27th day of that
month, the marriage is thus noticed :
u Married, on Saturday evening last, by the Reverend Bishop
Carroll, Mr. Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother of the First
Consul of the French Republic, to Miss Elizabeth Patterson,
eldest daughter of William Patterson, Esquire, of this city."
No commentator upon the event adds another word in
the same paper ; but a writer in the New American
Cyclopaedia says : " The marriage ceremony was per-
formed by the Bishop of Baltimore, John Carroll,
brother of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the signer
of the Declaration of Independence, and in accord-
ance with the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church.
The marriage contract, considered of importance, was
drawn up by Alexander J. Dallas, subsequently Sec-
retary of the Treasury, and witnessed by several offi-
cial personages, including the Mayor of Baltimore."
32 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
For a short season after the marriage, tranquillity-
appeared to be restored along the lines of gossip, and
the monster Slander, fat from devouring the pyramid
of his recent spoils, retired from the field — perhaps to
go into hibernation for the winter. But not so fast !
On the 14th of January 1804, about three weeks after
the marriage, Mr. Patterson, the bride's father, feels
the force of another anonymous missile, hurled at him
with considerable violence, by some Frenchman, if
we credit his own story, who appeared quite illiterate,
perhaps as far only as handling the British language
" Sir," writes he, dating as above, " this is to
inform you as a friend that you must be aware of
your son-in-law, as you may now turn him, Bonaparty,
for he has made his brags and boastings, before his
marriage, that he would get married to your daughter,
and then * * * * he would leave her and go home
to his brother in France. This he has told in public
company before several ; and likewise that when he
goes to France, he will still be a single man, and she
may then go to the devil for all he cares ; and I and
many others you may be assured must think the same
— certainly of such a French fop of a fool. So there-
fore, as a friend, I warn you of him in time, as he
has declared the above. Your friend, A Frenchman."
Though coming from anonymous writers, the most
contemptible class of characters that afflict society,
these letters, in the light of surrounding circumstances,
must have been very painful to Mr. Patterson. About
this time Mr. Robert Patterson, his son, proceeds to
THE B ON A PAR TE- PA TTERSON MA RRTA GE. 33
France, and Jerome takes his bride to Washington
City, to visit General Tuerreau, the French Envoy to
this country. On their way thither, in the rough
coaches of the times, their experience must have been
quite lively. Under date of Sunday, February 5th,
1804, General Samuel Smith, of Maryland, then in
Congress, writes to the bride's father in Baltimore, as
follows : — " Dear sir : Betsy's great presence of mind
and firmness of character preserved her last night.
Coming in after night, the coachman was thrown from
the box. Mr. Bonaparte jumped out, but could not
stop the horses. They went on, but regularly. Find-
ing her danger increased, she opened the door, and
jumped out into the snow, without receiving any
On the subject of the marriage, Mr. Patterson, the
bride's father, addresses a letter to Hon. Robert R.
Livingston, of New York, American Minister to
France, resident in Paris :
" Sir," writes he, dating Baltimore, February 10th
1804, " I take the liberty of enclosing you two letters
that were transmitted to me from the Department of
State at Washington, relating to the late marriage of
Mr. Jerome Bonaparte with my daughter. The object
of these letters, as I am informed, is to give you
information on that subject, that you may be pre-
pared to explain or repel any unfavorable or undue
impression it might make on the mind of the First
Consul, or any of the family, as it respects the heads
of department, or myself. I am sorry I was not per-
sonally known to you in this country, as it might
34 THE BONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA OE.
have facilitated my wishes of reconciling Mr. Bona-
parte's friends to the steps he has taken ; yet I can
assure you with truth, that I never, directly nor
indirectly, countenanced or gave Mr. Bonaparte the
smallest encouragement to address my daughter ; but
on the contrary, resisted his pretensions by every
means in my power consistent with discretion. Find-
ing, however, that the mutual attachment they had
formed for each other was such, that nothing short
of force and violence could prevent their union, I
with much reluctance consented to their wishes. It
is, however, now equally my duty and inclination to
give the event that has taken place the best possible
direction it is susceptible of; and for this purpose,
and to reconcile Mr. Bonaparte's family to the match
as far as may be practicable, may I therefore request
your friendly attention in a suitable representation
of the contents of these letters I have now the honor
of enclosing you ? and if necessary, and you should
think it proper, that you will have the goodness to
furnish the First Consul with copies of the President's
and Secretary's letters to you ; but this must be left
entirely to your discretion, as I know not whether it
would be perfectly proper or not. You will particu-
larly oblige me by advising me of the result of your
communications with Mr. Bonaparte's family; and
whether his marriage is likely to meet with their
approbation or not. I have the honor to be, with
great respect, sir, your most humble servant."
It does not appear that Mr. Patterson had copies
of the letters from the Department of State at Wash-
THE B OX A PA R TE- PA TTERSOX MARRIA GE. 35
ington which he transmitted to Mr. Livingston at
Paris ; but in his own letter quoted above, he clearly
states their object, and copies cannot be given here.
Thinkers in the United States appeared to be
puzzled to determine the course the " Regulator of
Europe" would take for revenge on account of
Jerome's marriage to an American lady. Gossip,
however, took high ground, and dealt largely in
rumors, hailing from Paris and from Washington, to
the effect that after a conquest of Britain, Napoleon
would turn his arms against the United States.
This wedding stood perhaps without a parallel
since the mythic days of old Troy, when the son of
Priam, destined from his birth to set all Ilium in
flames, was promised by the fickle Goddess of Beauty
the fairest woman in the world for his wife. Helen,
whom the multitudinous gods of Greece had endowed
with the most extraordinary charms, when dancing at
a festival in the Temple of Diana, was seized on
account of her beauty and carried off by Theseus;
but after a time was rescued and brought back by her
brothers, Castor and Pollux. Rejecting an army of
distinguished suitors, she at last become the wife of
Menelaus, King of Sparta; but beauty, one of the
greatest afflictions that can fall to the lot of a young
lady, would not let her rest with a king. Paris, the
gay and adventurous son of King Priam, travelling
in the territories of Greece, violated the hospitalities
of Sparta, and kindled the flames of war by carrying
off Helen as his promised beauty ; and a war of ten
years' duration was waged against Troy, which re-
36 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRTAGE.
suited in the destruction of the city and the restora-
tion of Helen. French and American gossip therefore
maintained that, but for the war between France and
England at the time of Jerome's marriage, the French
arms, on this account, would have been turned against
the United States ; and in leading to battle the armies
of a great nation to revenge a marriage, Napoleon, in
his fury, would have figured before the enlightened
juries of another era as the full-blown antitype of
Ys swift scuds of war appeared to fly across the
canopies of imagination, Mr. Robert Patterson landed
in France to inspect the signs of the times, and if
possible feel the pulse of Napoleon on the subject of
his sister's marriage. He arrived in Paris on the
11th day of March 1804. On the 12th he addressed
a letter to his father in Baltimore.
"I arrived here yesterday," writes he, dating as
above, " and immediately waited on our Minister. I
found that in consequence of letters received from
Mr. Madison and General Smith, he was making
every exertion to reconcile Bonaparte to his brother's
marriage. He has stated to the brothers of the
Consul and the other distinguished characters about
the court, that Mr. Jerome Bonaparte could not in
America have made a more respectable connection
than he has made; and to think of annulling his
marriage would be scandalizing the most sacred of
" Bonaparte is of a very irritable temper, and as
he is at present highly incensed with his brother, he
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 37
might, were he here, take some violent measures with
him — still, Mr. Livingston thinks he will after awhile
become better satisfied with the union ; and as he
has by his conduct hitherto uniformly endeavored to
impress on the world the highest idea of his moral
character, he will not lightly, in this present affair,
do anything to impeach or bring that character in
" When the account of Mr. Jerome Bonaparte's
intentions first reached the consular ear, he had de-
termined to recall him instantly. Since the marriage
has taken place, I believe it is his intention he should
remain in America for some time. Mr. Joseph Bo-
naparte has consulted Mr. Livingston respecting the
most eligible place for Jerome to reside at, and spoke
of making a provision for him by investing 100,000
crowns in the American funds, but wished to know
what Mr. Livingston thought necessary. Mr. Living-
ston observed, he ought in the first place to have a
town-house to cost about $30,000, and that a country-
seat was indispensable to retire to in case of a yellow
fever, which he estimated at §25,000; and that to
support this establishment, it would require from
twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars per annum. To
this the other replied, they intended he should live
in America as a citizen of the United States, and
they thought the calculation was much too high. I
wish most sincerely Mr. Livingston may prevail on
Mr. Bonaparte's friends to invest a sufficiency in our
stocks to produce $20,000 per annum, as with that
income he may live as happily in America as in
38 THE B ONAPA li TE-PA TTEPSON MAURI A GE.
Europe ; and I am convinced Mr. Livingston will
endeavor to fix the sum as high as possible, should
the scheme of investing a sum in the stocks of the
United States for his permanent support be finally
determined on. Mr. Livingston intends demanding
an audience, when he will deliver Jerome Bonaparte's
letter to the Consul which announces his marriage.
This is the letter you sent Mr. Monroe. Mr. Living-
ston will do all in his power to reconcile him to the
marriage. For the present, it will be much better
the parties should remain in America; but should he
be directed to return, I am clearly of opinion she
ought to accompany him, as, his being here and with-
out her, his affection might possibly suffer a diminu-
tion, which would be very dangerous in the present
situation of things ; and in case of not being recog-
nised by l|is friends, which is placing it in the most
possible point of view, she would have an asylum in
the house of our Minister.
" I brought letters, from Miss Monroe to Madame
Louis Bonaparte, who was at the same academy with
her, and to Madame Campan, their preceptor. This
lady is sister to Genet, and is very intimate with the
consular family. Mr. Skipwith is also very intimate
with this lady, and has promised to introduce me to
her. From her situation, she has it in her power,
and will most probably be useful, as Miss Monroe
speaks to her in the highest terms of my sister.
" This is intended to go by a Mr. Hinch, who goes
direct to Baltimore from Bordeaux. He leaves this
place early in the morning. In the course of a few
THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 3 9
days I trust it will be in my power to give you some
more satisfactory information. In the interim, I re-
main yours very affectionately."
It will be discovered that Mr. Robert Patterson,
on reaching Paris, engaged immediately in the most
delicate diplomacy. For the information of youthful
readers, we will state that Minister Livingston, whom
Mr. Patterson so frequently mentions in the above
letter, was Chancellor Livingston, of New York, who,
6n the 30th of April 1789, administered the oath of
office to General "Washington, first President of the
United States, on the balcony of the old Federal Hall
in New York City. From Miss Monroe in England,
daughter of Hon. James Monroe, then Minister to
the Court of London, Mr. Patterson brought letters
to Madame Louis Bonaparte, who was at the same
academy with her, and to Madame Campan their
preceptress, who had also been the preceptress of
Jerome. This lady was the sister of Citizen Genet,
who, during the administration of Washington, was
the French Minister to this country, and who subse-
quently married the daughter of De Witt Clinton,
of New York. Mr. Patterson met in Paris Fulwar
Skipwith, Esq., Commercial Agent of the United
States to France, and Paul Bentalou of Baltimore,
who, during the Revolutionary War, was a distin-
guished officer in Count Pulaski's Legion of Cavalry.
In the person of Captain Bentalou Mr. Patterson
found a faithful friend, and an able interpreter of the
Biographical sketch ot the members of the Bonaparte
family — Thoughts on Jerome's marriage — Robert Patterson's
second letter — Hopes of reconciliation — Jerome to be estab-
lished in America — Lucien Bonaparte's opinions — Paul Ben-
talou's hopeful letter — Dining with Lucien — Napoleon's dis-
pleasure manifest — Stirring appeal to arras — Britain to be
conquered — Mr. Patterson's third letter — Mr. Livingston again
— A call on Joseph Bonaparte — He is silent — Lucien's char-
acter — Silence in France — Robert goes to Amsterdam — French
frigates plough towards New York — Napoleon's silence broken
— Pichon in New York — French captains and the "young
As the names of the Bonaparte family are so fre-
quently mentioned in the following pages, we depart
from our main subject to give a short biographical
sketch of each member belonging to it, at the time
of Jerome's marriage. Carlo Bonaparte, of the island
of Corsica, was the father of the Bonapartes of France.
He was born in Ajaccio, the capital city of that
island, on the 29th of March 1746. At that time
the island was under the government of Genoa. Carlo
studied law at the university of Pisa, and became one
of the most popular jurists of his times. When
about eighteen years of age, he fell in love with
Letizia Ramolino, then in her fourteenth year ; but
in the Corsican war to throw off the yoke of Genoa,
he was a Paolist, and she of the Genoese party ; and
for this reason their marriage did not take place for
THE B ON A Pa 1 R TE-PA TTE 11 SON MA RRIA GE. 41
several years later. In 1769, Corsica submitted to
the dominion of France, and the children of Carlo
Bonaparte were therefore born French subjects.
Joseph, the first child of Carlo and Letizia, was
born at Corte, on the island of Corsica, January 7th
1768, and died in Florence, July 28th 1844. He was
educated at Autun and Pisa, studied law at Ajaccio,
and became a member of General Paoli's cabinet in
1792. He was married to the daughter of Monsieur
Clary, a wealthy banker of Marseilles, who made his
money as a ship broker. In 1797, he was elected
from his native island to the Council of Five Hundred
at Paris ; but was soon sent by the French Directory
as Ambassador to the Court of Rome. While Napo-
eon was in Egypt, Joseph returned from Rome, re-
sumed his seat in the Council ; and with his brother
Lucien, inaugurated the scheme, which conducted
Napoleon to the First Consulship of France. The suc-
cess of this scheme made Joseph Chief Councillor of
State ; which office he held at the time of his brother
Jerome's marriage. Coming to America about the
year 1816, after the downfall of Napoleon, Joseph
resided near Bordentown, New Jersey, till the year
1842. His park and grounds there, comprised about
1500 acres of land ; and his mansion was enriched
with the most exquisite works of art in painting and
sculpture, for the gratification of himself and friends.
Napoleon Bonaparte, second son of Carlo and Le-
tizia, was born at Ajaccio, on the 15th of August
17 f ii>, and died on the island of St. Helena, May 5th
1821. Like other boys, Napoleon when quite young
42 THE B ONA PA It TE-PA TTERSON MA R R I A GE.
took great delight in following companies of soldiers ;
and soon distinguished himself among his fellows by
drilling them in stone-battles, and teaching them
artillery practice by the use of a small brass cannon.
He was principally educated at the royal .college in
his native city, the college of Autun, and the military
school at Brienne, where he was generally unpopular
on account of a morose and thoughtful temper of mind,
operating as in search of some medium through which
it could spy out the future. As a boy, he seldom
formed strong attachments, or communicated his
secrets to others, evincing in this respect a remarkable
and unusual caution. Completing his studies at the
military school in Paris, he was made a lieutenant in
the French army ; and, distinguished as a mathe-
matician and military engineer, he rapidly promoted
himself, stepping from one rank to another, with ease,
if convenient, or with force, if necessary. He fell
far behind the general literary accomplishments of his
contemporaries of like rank, caring little or nothing
for those sciences which adorn and enrich the heart ;
yet we find him, at a very early age, stealing interviews
with a young lady, and indulging in the sentimental
by eating with her certain "innocent cherries." He
commenced writing a history of the island of Cor-
sica, and submitted a sample of his work to the inspec-
tion of General Paoli, but failed to finish it for some
reason not given. In 1792, he was made a captain
of artillery, a colonel of infantry in 1793, and in
1704 a brigadier-general of artillery. From these
beginnings he made the most rapid strides towards
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 43
supremacy ; and whether or not Europe in his day
stood in need of such a character, he was empha-
tically the breaker of hardshells, and the nurse of
new-fledged monarchies. Becoming suddenly armed
with the most extraordinary powers, he confused the
boldest thinkers; broke ancient lines at will, unseating,
and, if we may be allowed the expression, unworlding,
the kings of Europe in his march.
On the 9th of March 1796, when within a few
strides of the summit of his fame and glory as the
master of Europe, he married Josephine Beauharnais,
a beautiful native of the island of Martinique ; and in
less than a week after left her in France to take com-
mand of the army of Italy, then lying in the defiles
of the Alps and the Ligurian Apeninnes. In 1797
he returned to Paris as the " Liberator of Italy ;"
having in the campaign won a number of the most
brilliant victories on record, making the French arms
formidable to the world. On the 16th of December
1809 his obedient Senate passed at command an act
divorcing him from his wife, and poor Josephine re-
tired broken-hearted to Malmaison ; and from that
hour the star of Napoleon's glory began to decline.
Unlike the sacred biographers, those of our day
drop at each successive step a few words of censure
from the characters of their respective heroes until
all are gone, and they are at last made to stand forth
before another generation purified by the pen. Thus
bad great men who fail to obtain justification at the
hands of a generation which they have injured, are
led to hope for a cleansing ablution in the dynamic
44 THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MARE I A GE.
current of history. Casting his swaths of dying men
behind him, Napoleon mowed his way to thrones
regardless perhaps of even the accusing voice of
history, or the warnings from an eternal hereafter ;
yet he knew the busy pen would labor through long
centuries to purify his character, and engrave his
name on the star-clad heights of canonization. Such
was the man with whom Jerome's wife must deal.
Lucien Bonaparte, another son of Carlo, was born
May 19th 1775, and died at Viterbo, July 29th 1840.
In 1797 he was also elected to the Council of Five
Hundred, and in 1800 he was sent Ambassador to
Spain. His first wife was the daughter of an inn-
keeper at Toulon. These parties for a few years
lived very unhappy together, and in 1797 she died of
ill treatment and neglect on the part of her husband,
who in 1803 was married the second time to the
widow Jourbothon, a rich banker. Refusing to par-
ticipate in Napoleon's imperial designs, he went to
Italy in 1804, where he lived in great style ; and it
will be seen that this fact is mentioned in some of the
letters relating to Jerome's marriage.
Elisa Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon, was born
January 3d 1777, and died on the 7th of August
1820. In. 1797, she married M. Bacciochi, a noble-
man, hailing from her native island. In 1805, she
was made Princess of Lucca and Piombino ; and such
she was when her name was written in cipher by Mr.
Robert Patterson in the correspondence relating to
his sister's marriage to Jerome.
Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon I. and
THE B OX A PAR TE-PA TIERS ON MARRIA GE. 45
father of Napoleon III., was born on the 2d day of
September 1778, and died at Leghorn, July 25th
1846. At an early age, he entered the French army,
and was with Napoleon in Egypt. On the 7th day
of January 1802, the 34th anniversary of his brother
Joseph's birth, he married Hortense Eugenia Beau-
harnais, Queen of Holland. This he did in compliance
with the wishes of Napoleon ; but the union was very
unhappy : and, estranged from the affections of her
husband, she subsequently lived a dissolute life in
Paris. When the empire of France was declared in
1805, Louis was made Governor of Piedmont, and in
1806, King of Holland.
Paulina Bonaparte, another sister of Napoleon, was
born October 20th 1780, and died in Florence, June
9th 1825. In 1797, she married General Leclerc,
the commander of the expedition against St. Domingo.
This lady was styled " the extraordinary perfection
of beauty." General Leclerc died in 1802, and in
1803, Paulina married Camillo Borghese, but their
domestic life was unhappy, and they soon separated.
Carolina Bonaparte, the youngest sister of the
family, was born on the 26th of March 1782, and
died May 18th 1839. She married General Murat,
the son of an hostler at an inn, but was made Queen
of Naples in 1808.
It will be seen now, that, at the time of Jerome's
marriage, the Bonaparte family consisted of Letizia,
the mother, and eight children, viz. : Joseph, Napo-
leon, Louis, Lucien, Jerome, Elisa, Paulina, and
Carolina. Napoleon was the chief of the family, not
46 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
however by seniority, but by fortune. Feeling him-
self the acknowledged master of Europe, proudly sup-
ported on his pedestal of fame, he conducted an un-
licensed traffic in crowns; and, holding his sceptre
over a vast empire of mind also, he unsettled the
domestic tranquillity of individuals, and loosened the
morals of his age. He dealt profanely with the insti-
tution of marriage, whose foundation, he knew, had
been divinely laid in some grand primeval age, when
Love sung her holy lullabies over the first forms of life,
and the harmonies of Heaven responded. Trifling
with the institution of marriage must sooner or later
bring upon the trifler a punishment equal to that
which once came down to check the drinking of un-
hallowed wine from the Holy Grails of Jerusalem. If
Jerome had been left free to deal with his own mar-
riage, and meet its responsibilities, in his individual
capacity, the world of eyes would have discovered his
real character, and received a profit from the disco-
very. On approaching Napoleon, ostensibly for the
purposes of reconciliation, it will be seen that the
young man was further demoralized by the unholy
light thrown upon his marriage, and the imperial raid
upon family altars built over the up-welling fountains
of feminine purity.
The young adventurer was commercially and socially
a citizen of the United States. Politically and legally
he was a citizen of France. He could not have been
held to military duty in the United States, for this
would have been in antagonism to the claims of his
native country, to which he owed allegiance, or, per-
THE B OX A PAR TE- PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 47
haps, it would have been in violation of treaty stipu-
Commercial and social contracts entered into in
compliance with the statutes and usages of one nation,
have invariably been held as binding in another ; and
this rule has been more particularly observed with
respect to marital contracts. The same principles are
also recognised by states, or political divisions of na-
tions. Parties, therefore, finding the laws of one
state hostile to their marital negotiations, have gone
into another to complete them ; but on their return
at pleasure, have not been charged with a violation
of the law of domicile. In order to the validity of
contracts, it has not been deemed necessary that the
parties thereto should take an oath of allegiance to
the constitution and government of the country, or
division of country, in which they may temporarily
reside at the time of making them; but on leaving
such nation or state, in which their contracts were
made, to go to the place of their nativity, or else-
where, " their works do follow them." When Mr.
Dallas drew up Jerome's marriage contract, he did
not deem an oath of allegiance to the country, or any
form of naturalization whatever, necessary in order
to its fulfilment. A compliance with the laws of the
state of Maryland, a state to which the organic law
of the nation, of which it was a division, had guaran-
teed a certain degree of sovereignty, and a compliance
with the divine ritual of the church of his choice,
were the only conditions necessary to the entire valid-
ity of the marriage contract, and the marriage itself;
48 THE BONAPAR TE- PA TTERSON M A RR I A GE.
and nothing short of violence could sunder the parties
in any nation. During the residence of Jerome in
America, it is not clearly seen how either his contracts
or his torts, or his minority, could violate the laws of
France. He might have violated them in the act of
coming hither, in the length of his stay, in the neglect
of French interests, or the destruction of French pro-
perty in his custody, so as. to incur a punishment jn
his return ; but the laws of France, should he return,
could not, we think, operate upon him, so as to annul
a contract made on American soil solely in his indi-
vidual capacity. If a Frenchman under twenty or
even twenty-five years of age, could not marry in his
own country without the consent of his parents or
guardians, did the statutes of France declare at that
time, or at any other, he could not, or must not,
should he happen to go there, do so in another coun-
try, over which the French flag did not display itself?
We think not. Can an individual contract made on
American soil in strict compliance with the laws of
the country, be set aside so as to destroy its binding
effect in every nation ? Napoleon did put the French
statutes in motion in his Council of State to annul
the marriage of Jerome ; but may we not venture to
assert that he failed for want of an offence ? In calling
his Council for action upon this subject, we think it
was more the object of Napoleon to create, than to
punish an offence. An attempt to nullify a contract
is a virtual admission of its validity. As a jurist, he
had already declared that the marriage, as far as the
laws of France were concerned, was null and void.
THE B0XAPAR7 E-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 49
This all men admitted, for the marriage did not take
place in France. Why then employ a grave council
of state to nullify that which was already a nullity ?
This is what thinkers thought. If a marriage solem-
nized in America was valid in Rome, why was it not
valid also in Paris ? The same authority which sanc-
tioned its validity in the United States did the same
in France. But the act of nullification was rashly
passed in Paris, perhaps, before a ray of holy light
from the Court of Rome had fairly touched an out-
line of the subject. No violations of French statutes
had taken place on French soil, nor upon the high
seas under Gallic colors ; and so, we think the Pope
of Rome thought. What therefore could he say under
the circumstances, and what could he consistently do ?
He was called upon to anathematize something, which
never had been, nor never could be construed into a
violation of either civil or ecclesiastical law in any coun-
try. He persistently refused to sanction by his au-
thority the rash act of the French Council ; and when
Jerome knocked for admission at the gates of France,
around his marriage clustered all the force and majesty
Returning from our temporary digression, we take
up the line of our subject by stating that Mr. Robert
Patterson's first letter from France to his father in
Baltimore, quoted in the preceding chapter, was
dated Paris, March 12th 1804. Under date of the
14th of the same month he writes again from the
"Dear Father: I wrote you on the 12th inst.,
50 THE B ONA PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
acquainting you with my arrival here on the preced-
ing day, and giving you what information I had col-
lected relative to what brought me hither.
" I am happy to have it now in my power to say
something more satisfactory on the same subject. On
returning to my apartments this morning, after an
absence from them for a few minutes, I found a note
from Mr. Lucien Bonaparte, couched in the most
polite terms, requesting I w T ould call on him, which I
accordingly did, taking with me Mr. Bentalou. He
told us the Consul was displeased with his brother's
marriage, but that himself, his mother, and the rest
of the family w T ere very glad of it ; and that since he
was married he must treat his wife with tenderness
and affection. They wish him to become a citizen of
the United States, and intend purchasing a quantity
of the American funds for him. I believe it is not
intended that he shall have any control over anything
more than the interest of whatever sum may be
invested in this manner, but rather suspect some
other person will be appointed to hold them in trust
for him, and that person will most probably be your-
self. I am not sorry Jerome is to remain in America,
as I consider he will be just as well there as in
Europe. From what I have here stated you will per-
ceive things are in as fortunate a train as we possibly
could have expected. Mr. Bentalou and myself are
to dine with Mr. Lucien Bonaparte to-morrow. I
shall send this to Bordeaux to be forwarded."
This letter was not received at Bordeaux until the
31st day of March. On the same day, it was for-
THE B OX A PA R IE- PA T TEES OX MARRIA GE. 51
warded, by Messrs. Andrews & Cooke, for America ;
I and Count Pulaski's old captain, Paul Bentalou, of
Baltimore, then in Paris, as previously stated, next
writes to Mr. Patterson, the bride's father.
Dating Paris, March 16th 1804, he begins : " I wish
with all my heart that this, which I will forward by
duplicate, may reach you with all possible speed, with
my most sincere and heartfelt congratulations to you
and Mrs. Patterson on the glad tidings, I am autho-
rized and indeed particularly requested to impart to
you. Your son Robert will tell you that since his
arrival, we have together been very active, and to
him I leave the task of relating to you the particulars
of what passed with our Minister, Mr. Livingston ;
which upon the whole were of an alarming and
P desponding naturo, and terminated by telling your
son that the displeasure of the whole family was mani-
fest, and of a nature, he feared, not to be overcome ;
I and that, after having freely communicated with
Joseph, the only favor he could obtain was, that your
son could, privately and alone, go to see him, and that
he would give his porter orders accordingly ! I confess
I felt shocked at the proposal ! and observed with
some warmth that I thought it would be unbecoming
for your son to introduce himself in that mysterious
way, and perhaps meet with a humiliating reception ;
and that as the whole family were now apprised of
is being here, if any of them wished to see him, it
was in their place to express it. Upon this the Minis-
ter made some observation which I pass in silence,
and was glad to find your son perfectly to coincide
52 THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
with my opinion — the more so, as in a short time after
we had left the Minister's house, your son returned to
me with a note from Lucien of which this is the literal
translation : Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Bonaparte are
extremely desirous to have the 'pleasure of seeing Mr.
Patterson, br other -in-laiv of Mr. Jerome. They will
both remain at home the whole morning in hopes he
will have the goodness to call on them. — Dated 23d
Ventose, 14th of March. We instantly got ready,
and together were admitted into a private room, where
we found Mr. Lucien, and told him as I knew he could
not speak English, neither could your son speak
French, I as an intimate friend of the family had
taken the liberty of accompanying him. We were
received with all possible affability. Through me, he
addressed your son in the most flattering manner, and
in a strain which conveyed every appearance of can-
dor and sincerity. Our conversation lasted a long
time, the essential part of which I will now endeavor
to relate in his own words-:
f " He said to me, Hell Mr. Patterson, and let his
father know, that our mother, myself and the ivhole
family, with one voice, and as heartily as I do, highly
approve of the match. The Consul, it is true, does
not for the present concur with us, but he is to be con-
sidered as isolated from his family. Placed on the
lofty ground on ivhich he stands as the first magistrate
of a great and powerful nation, all his actions and
ideas are directed by a policy ivith which we have
nothing to do. We still remain plain citizens ; and,
as such, from all we have learned of the young lady's
TEE B OXA PARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 53
aracter and the respectability of her friends, we are,
tod feel highly gratified with the connection — that they
ed not in the least be hurt by the displeasure of the
onsul ; that myself, although of an age to be my own
aster, and occupying distinguished places under the
vernment, I have also, by my late marriage, incur-
d his displeasure, so that Jerome is not alone. But,
tvhen lue do marry, toe are to consult our own hap-
and not that of another, it matters not who else
, or is not, to be displeased. Our present earnest
ish is that Jerome may remain where he now is, and
take the proper steps to become, as soon as possible, a
citizen of the United States.
" Here I interrupted him by observing that it was
ot such an easy matter as he perhaps thought — that
it required an ordeal of seven years previous thereto ;
and that then he would have formally to" swear fidelity
to the United States, and to a renunciation of all
titles of nobility, places of honor or profit, allegiance
or attachment to all other countries, and particularly
to the one of his nativity.
" Very well, retorted Lucien, Jerome must do all
hat ; he must go through that noviciate. The dignified
attainment of a citizen of the United States is well
orth it. His situation is much preferable to ours.
We are yet on a tempestuous sea, and he is safely
moored into a safe, and incomparably happy harbor.
e must positively change his mode of living, and
ust not, as he has hitherto done, act the part of a
ince of royal blood ; not to think himself anything
more than he really is, and to strive as soon as possible
54 THE BONA PA R TE-PA TTERSON MAR III A GE.
to assimilate himself to the plain and uncorrupted
manners of your incomparable nation, of which we
ivill all rejoice to see him a worthy member. We are
now making arrangements to provide genteelly for
him. We wish him to live on equal footing with your
most respectable citizens, but never beyond any of
— - " He then gave me to understand that they had taken
pains to inquire what would he necessary, and it seems
they are thinking of giving him a country house, and
a house in town, and an annual income of fifteen
thousand dollars. He asked my advice upon that,
and I told him I thought the allowance fully adequate.
He added that as they wished to have a permanent
capital lodged in America, they had already applied
to purchase of the newly created funds for the Louis-
iana acquisition, and found that they were ahove par.
I observed to him that prohably, in a short time, they
would have a chance of purchasing under par from
American claimants, now in distress in Paris, some of
the bills to be issued by our Minister ; and that by
remitting to you whatever they may have a mind to
send, they cannot place it in more safe hands, nor
more judicious, to invest advantageously ; either in
public funds, bank, or insurance stocks, than under
your direction. In short, my dear sir, I think they
will send that way much more than necessary to pro-
vide for Jerome.
"We were asked to dine there on the next day,
which was yesterday. He was not in when we were
introduced, but we were equally well received by his
THE BONAP ARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 55
ady and family. Shortly after, he came in, and very
soon invited us into a private apartment ; when, after
haying reiterated generally what he had said on the
I previous day, on which I had taken occasion of telling
him of your son's proper reluctance to appear before
his brother Joseph in the manner advised by our Minis-
ter, he reminded me of it; and said that he had con-
versed with his brother on the subject, and was
directed by him to assure us that the Minister had cer-
tainly misunderstood him. That he had said that,
from tla 1 etiquette established by the higher authority*
tnone of the family could allow any foreign minister
to introduce to them any person who had not been pre-
vious/// introduced to the First Consul ; but that his
brother Joseph was very anxious to see Mr. Patterson ;
that he had just left his house before ive came in, and
'red him to tell us that he had gone to Malmaison
to remain there with the Consid till this evening, and
that to-morrow at twelve he ivill expect us. I shall
attend your son there, and leave to him the care of
relating to you the result, which I have no doubt will
be as satisfactory as the two interviews we have
already had with Lucien.
" I beg you, and you will see the propriety of keep-
ing to yourself, that part of my narrative which relates
to our Minister, for I assure you I would not, for any
consideration, have said anything that would in any
way offend him. He and his family are extremely
kind to myself and Mrs. Bentalou, as they generally
are to all their fellow-citizens ; and I can with truth
assure you, that in this affair he has evinced a zeal so
5 6 THE B NAP All TE-PA TTERS ON MAURI A OE.
as to deserve your manifest gratitude. But you will
perceive that as matters stood, and as I have above
related, in his official capacity, he could not act. It
required a plain individual, acquainted with both lan-
guages, to conduct your son to that source of informa-
tion without which it were impossible your mind could
have been content.
" I now conclude in assuring you that no man can
more sincerely rejoice than I do at our happy success,
or more affectionately at your service, than your friend
" Reading over my letter, I perceive I have omitted
to mention to you, that Lucien informed me, and re-
quested me particularly to tell you, that yesterday
their despatches for Jerome were sent away ; that the
Consul, as Consul, caused his Minister to direct the
Charge' d'Affaires in the United States to express his
displeasure to Jerome, which must be considered by
you as a matter of form ; but that by the same con-
veyance, Jerome would receive from his family com-
fortable letters, and such as all of you can wish for.
It is wished that the picture of your daughter may be
sent to them as soon as possible."
The views of Lucien as given by Captain Bentalou
in the preceding letter may have been obtained by re-
flection from the chief of the family, but their diplo-
macy in this case, as in all others, we think, left the
observer at a loss to determine whether light breezes
only, or deep and angry thunders, were betokened.
Quick as the compound which rendered his artillery
deadly, uncertain also as the flash which blasts the
THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MA Eli I A GE. 57
grand old oak in summer, and for ever restless in search
of affinities, Napoleon's temper would flash fearfully
even in the pursuit of small game ; and, like the met-
tled steed of antiquity, bound along where there were
paths, and where there were none. Like the ancient
penman's mountain in convulsions to release a little
mouse from life in embryo, thinkers began to think,
that he would establish from his course of conduct
with respect to Jerome's marriage, some novel and
ridiculous precedent that would operate to his discredit
down the long ages. It was thought by some that
Jerome would not be allowed to escape the punitive
force of the consular will, if nothing more was done
than to adopt the pathless course of treating him as
a deserter from the naval service of France. About
this time, Napoleon set the blood of France on fire,
by the most stirring appeals to arms that the vehicle
of language could convey, which it was thought would
lure Jerome, peacefully, from fidelity to his wife into
Pthe fields of glory.
1 Soldiers ! " says Order No. 39, issued from head
quarters of the centre, " the sea is passed ! The bound-
aries of nature have yielded to the genius and for-
tune of the hero, the saviour of France ! and
haughty England already groans under r the yoke
of her conquerors ! London is before you ! That
Peru of the old world is your prey ! Within twenty
days I plant the tri-colored flag on the walls of
her execrable tower ! March : the road to victory
is open. In order to render that happy victory cer-
tain and inevitable, your commander here offers you
some advice, Brave Centre, at the same time that he
58 THE D ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
renews, upon enemy's soil, the sacred promises that
you have already twice received from the august head
of the state.
" Once more I pledge the faith of government,
which only reserves to itself, among the enormous
treasures that you are on the eve of conquering, the
arms and fleets of the enemy ; while it destines their
monuments of the arts to decorate the temples of the
capital of the world, and to become an eternal record
of your victories. Towns, fields, provisions, cattle,
gold and silver — I abandon all to you ! Occupy those
noble mansions, those smiling farms. The properties,
the families of your enemies are all your own — all is
destined for your wealth, or for your enjoyment. An
impure race, rejected by heaven, and which has dared
to be the enemy of Bonaparte, will expiate its crimes
by disappearing from the earth. Yes, I swear to
you, that you shall soon become terrible !
" Soon — and the hour of a just retribution already
strikes — the signal shall be given. Expect it in the
posture of a tiger, and observe also his silence : then
spring upon your prey, give way to your feelings,
take your enjoyments, and gather without risk the
mellow fruits of victory ; all will then become your
duty except senseless pity, equally unjust to your
country and cruel to injured humanity. May the
enemy of France perish to its foundation ! May the
name of England be lost and forgotten. Know that
Heaven and the First Consul have conspired for its
ruin and total oblivion. Then may that guilty island,
formerly wrested by the sea from France, purged from
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 59
the monsters that inhabit it, return within its legiti-
mate boundaries, having expiated its numberless crimes.
May it be regenerated by that master-stroke of policy
that can only render it worthy of becoming once more
a portion of the continent, and a province of France.
Perhaps its proud conquerors may not disdain to
carry to it their generous race. Perhaps they may
derive a sentiment of joy from compelling the wives
and daughters of the conquered to give Frenchmen
to France. Soldiers ! the country is your own ! My
brave companions, let those inhabit it who will. It is
Bonaparte who gives me authority to insure to every
one who desires to reside in these beautiful plains as
faithful colonists of France a house, furniture and
lands ; in short, a lot, splendid and secure. They
shall, moreover, be permitted to carry off without
molestation every article of which they may be pos-
sessed at the disbanding of the army, not excepting
the women of the enemy whom they may honor with
We think it will be seen hereafter that the above
appeal, and the like, were part of the vast machinery
employed to fire the heart of Jerome, and thus quietly
bring him from America. To throw as much light
on this strange subject as possible, we again make a
short digression into the wilds, by remarking that the
First Consul, perched upon a giddy spire of nobility,
had resolved to force each of his brothers to marry
some European princess ; and that, at this time, the
views of marriage entertained by a certain class of
adventurers into American society were often as
60 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
sickly as odors fresh from the blooming ailanthus, or
the deleterious upas. It was not therefore very
strange that some men thought Jerome would yield
to argument by leaving his wife in America to marry a
European princess, and receive as a reward a king-
dom in Britain, after the tri-colored flag was planted
on the execrable tower of London. It was impossible
to discover Jerome's own motives, or how far they
might go to unsettle or change the consular purposes
with respect to his marriage. His character, antece-
dents and designs down to that time appeared to be
but little known in America, except what anonymous
writers declared ; but the word he, and the only one
italicised by the writer, did not probably fail in time
to have its effect upon the mind of the reader. It
appears evident that upon hearing of his marriage,
the Bonaparte family in concert determined that Je-
rome should remain in America, and mingle no longer
in the society of France. Lucien had already de-
clared that the family was then on a " tempestuous
sea," and that Jerome, under the circumstances,
should be provided for and domiciled in America, was
a wise and natural conclusion. That he should be
disposed of in this manner was the opinion of Mr.
Robert from the beginning, and he never changed it.
The attention of the reader is again respectfully
called to the reading of his third letter.
Dating " Paris, March 16th 1804," he writes again
to his father in Baltimore. He says, " I wrote you
on the 14th instant via Bordeaux. In that letter I
mentioned my having received a very polite note from
THE B ONAP ARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 61
Mr. Lucien Bonaparte, requesting me to wait on him ;
in consequence of which I did so, taking with me
Mr. Bentalou. He observed, Jerome's marriage had
given the First Consul great displeasure ; but that
neither himself, his mother, nor the rest of the family
were by any means dissatisfied with it. Mr. Lucien
is in a similar situation with Jerome. He married
without his brother's approbation, and his wife has
not as yet been recognised by the Consul. Since the
rest of the family are pleased with the marriage, I
think there can be little doubt of the First Consul's
being eventually reconciled to it, as his moral cha-
racter is irreproachable, and it is scarcely possible to
suppose that he would stain that character by doing
away so sacred a contract as that of matrimony.
The family intend Mr. Jerome shall remain in Ame-
rica, and become a citizen of the United States.
They mean to invest a sufficiency in our stocks to
produce him an income of about $15,000 per annum.
I believe it is not their intention that the principal
should be subject to his control. You will most pro-
bably be appointed to hold in trust for him whatever
stock may be purchased. Mr. Bentalou and myself
had the honor of dining with Mr. Lucien Bonaparte
yesterday. I was highly flattered with the attention
shown me. He observed, at parting, that he should
expect to see me every three or four days, and if I
disappointed him he would be obliged to quarrel
M Mr. Livingston has had no conversation with the
Consul relative to his brother's marriage. He wishes
G2 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
to reconcile him to it by means of his ministers. They
inform Mr. Livingston that when they have intro-
duced the subject he has remained silent, which they
taking as an indication of his displeasure have drop-
ped it. Mr. Livingston is entitled to our warmest
thanks for his zeal to serve us in this business."
Dating the 17th, Mr. Patterson continues his letter
on the same sheet: "I called at Mr. Joseph Bona-
parte's this morning without having- the pleasure of
seeing him. I was, however, very politely received
by Madame, who regretted that Mr. Bonaparte was
obliged to be at that time from home, particularly as
he was very desirous of seeing me. We have every
reason to be pleased with the situation of this affair at
present, and think you may make yourself perfectly
easy as to the result.
" I have been asked if I have the portrait of
Madame Jerome, more than once. The family are
desirous of seeing a miniature of her. If one has not
been taken already, it may not be amiss to have it
done, and sent either to some of the family or to me,
that I may present them with it."
Pausing for a moment or more to inspect public
opinion, we find it drifting in the direction that the
marriage of Jerome Bonaparte of France to Miss
Patterson of America, at this early day in the history
of the latter country, was a mild specific providen-
tially administered to check irregularities in republi-
can society. Opinion took another direction, and
hinted that the wrath of the First Consul, which was
rapidly gathering, would dismiss Jerome from the
THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTEESON MARRIAGE. 63
service, and hurl him violently from French associa-
tions, even before the beginning of the first dog-watch
in the day of his glory ; but it will be seen hereafter
that this was not the consular purpose.
From the 17th to the 28th of March Mr. Robert
Patterson remains silent, waiting for an opportunity
perhaps to dine with Mr. Joseph Bonaparte. The
French mind was now inclining to the opinion that
Napoleon would soon define his position with respect
to the marriage, and make himself guilty of a vast
expenditure of power upon the subject. In this state
of uncertainty Mr. Patterson writes again to his
father. Dating " Paris, March 28th 1804 ;" he writes :
" On Saturday I had the honor m dining with Mr.
Joseph Bonaparte. None of the family were present
but his lady. It is a little singular he did not
throughout the evening speak a word of his brother's
marriage, and only mentioned his name when I was
departing, to request I would forward him the letter
which I now enclose. As he possesses the confidence
of the First Consul, he probably for this reason de-
clined saying anything on that subject, lest I might
imagine he gave the sentiments of his brother. My
being admitted to his table cannot but argue more
favorably to our wishes than otherwise ; though it had
been infinitely more satisfactory and pleasing had he
been less reserved.
" Lucien is a firm and decided character. On all
occasions he thinks and acts independently. On this
one he nobly and candidly uttered what he thought.
The consular recognition or disavowal of the marriage
64 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
will probably* be determined by future occurrences.
Much will depend on Jerome. If he acts the part of
an honorable man everything must go right.
" It is the duty of my sister, as a wife, to retain
and increase the affections of her husband ; and her
exertions ought, if possible, to be doubled, from the
peculiarity of her situation.
" They are perfectly acquainted with your history.
Lucien the other evening, asked me if our family were
not originally from Ireland. I replied that you came
when very young to the United States from that
country ; but that my mother was a native American."
From the first of January to the date of the pre-
ceding letter, the witer says he had no accounts from
his father. Mr. Patterson, it appears, wrote very
little on the subject of his daughter's marriage; and
the avenues of information to Robert in Paris, just
about this time, became almost suddenly closed.
Scaling his surroundings in finely-wrought balances,
he found uncertainty so heavy that all other commodi-
ties kicked the beam, and he departed for Amsterdam
to bide his time. Mr. Bentalou, the cheerful and
ever hopeful friend of the Patterson family, is silent,
and Minister Livingston is the same ; but certain
French frigates are ploughing the deep towards New
Minister Livingston has not yet answered Mr. Pat-
terson's letter to him under date of February 10th
1804. It is the middle of April, and the young couple,
returning from Washington, are about to set off on a
northern tour. Napoleon's silence on the subject of
THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON M ARE I A GE.
the marriage was so deep and unbroken, that certain
parties interested in the affair, reclined to repose ; but
others, alarmed by " the voice of silence," kept wide
awake, conscious that some slumbering tempest was
about to break forth and sing his war-song on the face
of the deep.
Napoleon spoke at last, and gave out to one of his
ministers the wonderful facts detailed in the next
chapter. Pichon, the French Consular General in
New York is instructed to withhold Jerome s supplies,
and the commanders of French vessels are prohibited
from receiving on board the " young person ," to whom
e has attached himself 7
CHAPTER III. ,
Letter from M. Dacres to citizen Pichon — Strict orders —
Jerome's pay withheld — He is ordered home — His wife to be
left in the United States — Not to put her foot on the territory
of France — French captains not to receive her on board their
vessels — Jerome is implored to return alone to France — Letter
from M. Dacres to Jerome — Napoleon's opinions of the mar-
riage — Letters of Dacres intercepted by a British commander
— He copies them — The secret out — Mr. Patterson writes to
Jerome — Gives the extent of his information — Hope runs
high — Chancellor Livingston recalled from France — General
Armstrong succeeds him — Mr. Livingston writes to Mr. Pat-
terson — He sends Joseph Bonaparte's letter — Its translation.
Heading his letter, u For yourself only" and
dating " Paris, April 20th 1804," M. Dacres, French
Minister of Marine, writes to Citizen Pichon, " French
Consular-General at New York." "I have taken,"
writes he, " the orders of the First Consul, citizen,
concerning the demand you made on me for the ap-
pointment of an allowance to be granted to Citizen
Jerome Bonaparte ; and, bound to obey the orders
which he has given me in a way that showed it "was
not his intention that the slightest modification should
have place, either in my mode of transmitting them to
you, or in the execution of them, I discharge my duty
in notifying to you his resolution that no money shall
be advanced on the order of Citizen Jerome.
" He has received orders in his capacity of lieute-
nant of the fleet, to come back to France by the first
THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 67
French frigate that was returning thither; and the
execution of this order, on which the First Consul
insists in the most positive manner, can alone regain
I him his affection. But what the First Consul has
prescribed to me, above everything, is to order you to
prohibit all captains of French vessels from receiving
on board the young person to whom the Citizen
Jerome has connected himself, it being his intention
that she shall by no means come into France, and his
will, that should she arrive, she be not suffered to land,
but be sent immediately back to the United States.
" After having thus notified to you the intentions
of the First Consul, and having ordered you to attend
to the arrangements he has made, it remains for me
to invite you to employ for the persuasion of the
Citizen Jerome, every expedient which your wisdom,
your prudence and excellent judgment shall suggest.
I have written him to this purpose, and have repre-
sented to him that the glorious and brilliant career to
which his destiny calls him, requires of him a neces-
sary sacrifice, due also to his interest, his personal
glory, and the designs of the Hero to whom he has
the honor to be related. Explain to him, that having
been absent for several years, he little knows the
First Consul, whose inflexibility can be compared to
I nothing but the vastness of his conceptions. Cherish-
ing important and profound meditations, he considers
himself as having no family but the French people ;
everything unconnected with the glory and the happi-
Iness of France is indifferent to him. In proportion
as he delights in exalting and honoring those of his
68 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON 31ARRIA GE.
relations who participate those sentiments with him,
does he feel coldness for those who do not partake
them, or who walk in a different path from that which
his genius has traced out for himself. Unwearied
fabricator of his own glory, he bewails in secret that
he sees not his example followed with the same per-
severance by those of his own blood ; he is indignant
at the obstacles thrown in his way by what he calls
their effeminacy; and he declares against beholding
them otherwise engaged than in following the steps
of his career.
" Citizen Joseph, his eldest brother, distinguished
by the eminent services he has rendered in his council,
by diplomatic meditations and labors, known to all
Europe by the treaties he has concluded, invested
with the senatorial robe and of the first rank in the
legion of honor, has seemed to him as not yet suffi-
ciently clothed with glory, and wishing to crown him
with that for which every one may find instruments
in perils, hardships, and genius, he has just given him
one of the regiments to bear into England the national
" General Louis, general of division, known until
now by military glory, is about to add to that of the
statesman, and has just been admitted into the coun-
cil section of legislation.
" Citizen Lucien, with the reputation of past con-
duct, and a fortune perfectly independent, has formed
connexions repugnant to the views of the First Con-
sul ; and the consequence is, that he has just quitted
France ; and that, obliged to abandon the theatre of
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
the. glory of his own family, he has exiled himself to
Rome, where he becomes the simple spectator of the
destinies of his august brother, and the Empire.
" These examples will inform Jerome what his bro-
ther expects of him, and what he may expect of his
brother. Young as yet, and of an age when the laws
authorize not a marriage to which relations have not
consented, he has indiscreetly and rashly contracted
one (these are the Consul's words) ; he has abandoned
the labors which the country required of him. Yield-
ing to an irrational passion, he has without doubt acted
grievously wrong, but his youth shall be suffered to
plead his excuse, provided he is wise enough not to
disobey the voice which calls him.
" Ashamed of his indolence, too long protracted, let
him seize the first occasion of returning to share the
labors whereof he should have given an example, and
he will recover his brother in the head of the state.
It is the only means to consecrate the ties which unite
, " As his friend, as devoted to his family, as his super-
intendent in fine, in the career which he has embraced,
I.fyive a right to expect a quiet hearing from Jerome,
and I entreat that he will execute the orders he has
received, and follow my advice. I see his brother
every day, and if I give him no prospect of bending
that brother, by a different conduct, it is because, in
truth, I have perceived that he is in this respect in-
" ' Jerome is wrong, 1 said he to me, i to fancy that he
will find in me affections that will yield to his weak-
70 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
ness. The relation in which I stand to him does not
admit of parental condescension ; not possessing the
authority of a father over him, 1 cannot feel for him
a father's affection. A father is blind, and takes a
pleasure in blinding himself because his son and he
are identified. They have given and received so much
reciprocally that they form but one person ; but as to
me, what am I to Jerome ? what identity can subsist
between us ? Sole fabricator of my destiny, I oive
nothing to my brothers. In what I have done for
glory, they have found means to reap for themselves an
abundant harvest ; but they must not on that account
abandon the field when there is something to be reaped.
They must not leave me insulated, and deprived of the
aid and services which I have a right to expect from
them. They cease to be anything to me, if they press
not around my person, and if they follow a path that
is opposite to mine. If I require so much from those
of my brothers who have already rendered so many
services, if I completely abandon him who in maturer
years has thought proper to withdraw himself from my
direction, ivhat has Jerome to expect ? So young, as
yet, and only known by forgetfulness of his duties,
assuredly if he does nothing for .me, I see it in the
decree of fate which has determined that I ought to do
nothing for him.''
" This is what the Hero has said and repeated to
me in divers conversations. The solemnity of these
confidential communications he has condescended to
make to me on this subject, has struck me, and I re-
pose them in your bosom that you may seize the
THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MA UP. I A GE. 71
moment and the manner of impressing them upon
Jerome. What gratitude will he not owe to you if
you succeed in persuading him ! I know not what
degree of resistance you will experience, but let him
be well persuaded that it is more from personal attach-
ment than from that duty, that I insist with him on
such details. My duty might be limited to trans-
mitting to him the orders and arrangements of the
First Consul, but this long effusion can proceed from
no other motive but my friendship for him. The
Consul would end by forgetting him, and he is occu-
pied by so many great objects, that this oblivion, pain-
ful at first, would settle into habit, and this is what I
" If the delirium of the passion should render him
inaccessible to the voice of reason, you have only one
thing to represent to him, which is, that the passions
cease, or at least decline, and that in this case the
consequence would be endless. Jerome is very young,
his life will be long, and I, who know his brother much
better than he himself knows him, am certain that
should he not comply with his wishes, he is storing up
for himself the most poignant regret. Moreover, if,
unfortunately for Jerome, he should prolong his stay
in the United States during the war, if peace should
be made before his return, what a grief for him to
have passed with a woman a season of dangers ; and
what regret does he not prepare, even for the woman
herself, when humbled by his obscurity, he shall one
day impute to her, were it even involuntary and secret
at the bottom of his heart, the indolent part to which
72 THE B ON A PA R TE- PA TTERSON MARRTA GE.
he shall have been reduced by the passion wherewith
she inspired him ! And even if he loves this woman,
let him learn, for her sake, to quit her. Let him re-
turn and keep near his brother — he will give him
credit for the sacrifice, and from the sentiments of
good will and friendship which will thence result, it
has not forbidden him to conceive hopes. But let him
not bring her along with him. Be her accomplish-
ments what they mag, they would produce no effect, for
most assuredly the order is given to prevent her land-
ing, and it would be fresh trouble, and a disobedience
too gross of the orders of the First Consul to have
any other effect than an irritation extremely unpleas-
ant for what is and ought to be most dear to the heart
" I repeat to you, citizen, I recommend the object
of this letter to your careful attention, and to your
solid judgment, as to the use you shall make of it.
I have entered into no detail on the nature of the ille-
gality of the connection in question, because I treat
this affair in a sentimental manner merely ; but I have
some difficulty to conceive how the father of the young
person has brought himself to yield to an union rep-
robated by our laws, and which the dignity of Jerome's
family required should be very maturely considered
before it was consented to. D acres."
" The example of Lucien cannot but divert Jerome
from imitating his conduct. Behold him separated
from his brother ! But this afflictive separation, afflic-
tive for all the friends of their family, would have
much more unpleasant consequences for Jerome, who
'THE BOX A PARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIAGE. » 73
has yet acquired no personal weight, no fortune,
and whose property left behind at Paris, has been em-
ployed in part to pay the bills he has drawn on France.
But this motive is nothing in comparison of those
more prevailing ones of the duties and the career of
glory that call upon him." — Cotemporaneous remark.
On the 20th of April 1804, the pen, whose potency
has been compared to that of the sword, was busy in
the department of the French Minister of Marine.
On that day also he writes to Jerome Bonaparte in
New York. Dating, "Paris, 30th Germinal, year
12," he proceeds — "I have been just fulfilling, my
dear Jerome, a rigorous duty imposed upon me by the
First Consul— that of forbidding the Citizen Pichon
to supply you with money, and prescribing to him to
prohibit all the captains of French vessels from receiv-
ing on board the young person to ivhom you have at-
tached yourself ; it being the intention of the First
Consul that she shall on no pretext whatever, come into
France; and should she happen to present herself,
that she shall not be received, but be re-embarked for
the United States without delay.
" Such, my dear Jerome, are the orders which I
have been obliged to literally transmit, and which have
been given me and repeated after the interval of a
mouth, with such a solemn severity as neither allowed
me to withhold them altogether, nor to soften them in
the slightest degree.
" After the discharge of this severe duty, I cannot,
my dear Jerome, deny myself the pleasure of length-
ening my letter in a way which the attachment I feel
74 THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON At A PR I A GE. •
to you will warrant, and our military association
entitles me to. If I loved you less, if the sentiments
with which you have inspired me, did not so perfectly
accord with those which I owe to your family, if there
were not between you and me a sort of companion-
ship in arms, and of intimacy which I delight in
keeping up, I should confine myself to the despatch-
ing of the orders which I have received, and to an
accurate official correspondence, the result of which
would give me very little uneasiness. Instead of this,
I am going to chat with you at a great rate, and with-
out knowing beforehand what I am about to say. Of
one thing I am certain, I shall tell you nothing of
which I am not well persuaded.
" War is carrying on, and you are quiet and
peaceable at the distance of twelve hundred leagues
from the theatre on which you ought to act a great
part. If unfortunately you come not back in ihm
first French frigate which returns to Europe, and I
have already given you that order by C tds, an
order which I repeated to you by the Consul's com-
mand in the most formal manner — if, I say, you shall
not return to France until after the peace, what
dignity will accompany your return ? How will men
recognise in you the brother of the Regulator of
Europe ? In what temper of mind will you find that
brother, who, eager after glory, will see you destitute
even of that of having encountered dangers ? — and
who, convinced that all France would shed its blood
for him, would only see in you a man without energy,
yielding to effeminate passions, and having not a
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 75
single leaf to add to the heaps of laurels with which
he invests his name, and our standards.
" 0, Jerome ! this idea alone should determine you
to return with all expedition among us. The sound
of arms is heard in every quarter, and of the prepar-
ations of the noblest enterprise ! you are inquired
for ! and I, vexed that I should be at a loss what an-
swer to give to those who ask where you are, declare
that you are just at hand — give me not the lie, I
beseech you ! your brother Joseph, father of a family
he adores, possessed with a fortune proportioned to
his rank, invested with the highest civil honors of the
state, known throughout Europe for his sagacity and
his diplomatic labors, wishes to add to so much glory,
that of sharing with the Consul the dangers of war,
and has just got one of the regiments about to embark.
Louis, known by his military services, a general of
division, is desirous of adding to that glory, that of
displaying talents for civil arrangements. He has
just entered into the Council of State — the Section
" Lucien, it is true, has just quitted France, and
has exiled himself to Rome in consequence of a
marriage repugnant to the views of the First Consul ;
but Lucien is known by the services he has rendered
by his genius, by his talents, by the dignity of a
senator ! He is possessed of a great and independent
fortune; and notwithstanding, the connections dis-
avowed by his brother which he has contracted, have
been found incompatible with his abode in France.
" What has taken place in your family points out
76 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
to you sufficiently what the First Consul expects of
you, and his inflexibility concerning what you shall
do in opposition to his views. Sole architect of the
glory of which he has attained the summit, he ac-
knowledges no family but the French people ; and in
proportion as he exalts his brothers who press around
him, so have I seen him show coldness and even
aversion to those of his own blood who push not for-
ward in the career which his genius marks out for
them. Whatever is foreign to the accomplishment
of his great designs, seems to him treason against his
high destiny; and believe me, for I know your
brother better than you know him yourself; if you
should persist in keeping yourself at a distance from
him he would get angry at first, and would conclude
by entirely forgetting you ; and Heaven knows what
regrets your obscurity would lay up in store for you !
Scarce can a more brilliant career be opened to a
man of your age. Shut it not up yourself! The
union which you have formed has deeply afflicted
him! While I, thought he, am doing every tiring for
glory, for my own, for that of my name, for the happi-
ness of the people that have put their fate into my
hands, by ivhom may I hope to he seconded, if not by
my brothers ? and the youngest among them forms an
inconsiderate connection on which he has not even
asked my opinion. He has disposed of himself as a
private individual. It is titer (fore as a private indi-
vidual he wishes me to consider him. What claim
does he earn to my benefactions ? None! for instead
of being useful to me, he takes the route diametrically
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 77
opposite to that which I wish him to follow. In vain,
availing myself of the freedom which the First Consul
permits in domestic privacy, did I wish to make the
voice of natural affection be heard. I became sensi-
ble, from his conversation, that he neither felt, nor
was sensible to feel, any pliancy of that kind.
" ' I will receive Jerome if, leaving in America the
young person in question, he shall come hither to asso-
ciate himself to my fortune. Should he bring her
along with him, she shall not put a foot on the terri-
tory of France. If he comes alone I shall recall the
error of a moment, and the fault of youth. Faithful
services and the conduct ivhich he owes to himself, and
to his name, will regain him all my kindness.'
" Such, my dear Jerome, are nearly the words of
the First Consul ! Bethink yourself, my friend, that
he is only your brother ; and that, as I have already
told you, a brother feels not the yielding condescen-
sion of a father, who identifies himself in some mea-
sure with his son. Consider that you have as yet
done nothing for him ; and that in order to obtain
the advantage attached to the honor of being con-
nected with him, you have not a moment to lose for
deserving them — for it is his character that merit
and services rendered, or to be rendered, are the
only things on which he sets a real and solid value.
In truth, I am frightened at the regrets you are pre-
paring for yourself, and the young person with whom
you have connected yourself, should you go to the
length of opposing the views of your brother. Your
passions will pass away, and you will reproach your-
78 THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON 31 AR RIA GE.
self with the injury you have done yourself. Perhaps
you will accuse, even involuntarily, the young person
who will have been the occasion of it. Listen to rea-
son ! and she will tell you, that, at any rate, you have
committed the fault of failing in respect for your
brother, and for a brother fed for a length of time
with the love and veneration of all France, and with
the respect of Europe. You will be sensible how
happy it is for you, that you are atle, by returning
to France, to obtain the pardon of this fault ; that it
would be inconsistent with your profound dignity to
carry thither a woman who would be exposed to the
mortification of not being received. I know not whe-
ther you can hope to overcome your brother's unfa-
vorable dispositions towards her ; and, to deal frankly
with you, I see no probability of such a thing — but
if there be any means of obtaining it, it must be
your presence. By your compliance with his views,
by proofs of your devoted attachment to him, you can
bring it about. You are so young, that if you un-
happily let slip the opportunity of placing yourself
about the Consul, you will have many years for regret
to steal upon you. The obscurity to which you would
thus condemn yourself would be long — and long and
bitter the comparison between that lot you had chosen
for yourself, and that which once awaited you. With-
out distinction, fame, or even fortune, how could you
bear the weight of the name with which you are
honored ? To you, a stranger to the glory attached
to it, it would become an insupportable burden. I
repeat it for the last time, my dear Jerome, come
THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTEESON MA RE I A GE. 79
Mther — come hither by the first French frigate which
shall sail from the United States, and you will meet
with such a reception as you desire; but I regret
that you know not the Consul sufficiently, because
you would then be persuaded that you cannot regain
his good will but by this expedient; and this good
will is essential to your happiness and to your glory.
" I conclude with the expression of the most sincere
attachment, which I shall never cease to retain.
Happy if I have been able to influence your deter-
mination in the way I could wish, more happy still,
if my letter was unnecessary for that purpose. A
thousand kind wishes. DacreS."
These letters the imperial Bonaparte directed to be
sent to M. Pichon and Jerome at New York, on the
subject of the marriage, but they were intercepted by
the commander of the British frigate Leander off New
York. After taking copies the British commander
transmitted the originals to their owners, and we hear
no more of them for nearly a year ; but we shall meet
with them again in these pages. The condition of
morals exemplified in the order from " head-quarters
of the centre," and in these letters, is a leaning back-
wards after glory, so that, under the circumstances,
the great master-wheel of civilization in Europe,
driving its little world of counter-wheels, could not
have made many revolutions in its pit. If Providence,
moving in time, carries a " fan" in hand to purge the
floor of nations, that the wheat may go into the*garner
and the chaff into the fire, its European correlative
surely cannot be discerned in Napoleon. Like " a
80 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
thorn in the flesh" he appeared to do little else than
to gather corruption around him until the time of his
removal. From the stand-points exposed to view by
the documents in question, the "wind and tide"
against which the noble bark of Mr. Patterson and
his daughter was beating, will be clearly seen and
comprehended. Weary of the silence in Europe, and
unconscious of the fulminations of the consular decree
delivered through the Minister of Marine, he takes
his pen in hand to write to Jerome, and revealed to
him the extent of his information, his hopes and his
fears. .The young couple had gone to New York,
probably with a view of embarking immediately for
France on some French vessel to go from that port ;
but found there the alarming intelligence from Dacres,
and the following enactment of the French Senate : —
"By an act of the 11th Ventose, prohibition is made to all
the civil officers of the Empire to receive on their registers the
transcription of the act of the celebration of a pretended
marriage that Jerome Bonaparte had contracted in a strange
country, during the age of minority, without the consent of
his mother, and without previous publication in the place of
Without the least knowledge of this alarming state
of things, the young lady's father, as just mentioned,
wrote to Jerome. Dating, Baltimore, May 13th 1804,
he writes — " Dear Sir — As you may not probably
have received any late letters from your family in
France, and of course must be anxious to know their
sentiments respecting your marriage, I will now give
you the best information I have been able to collect.
In the middle of the month of January, your mother
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 81
and the First Consul were made acquainted with the
circumstances that had taken place, until the match
was broken off, and were highly pleased that it had
not taken place. About this time the First Consul
gave orders that you should be recalled and brought
home ; but I presume before his orders could be put
into effect, by despatching a vessel from France, the
news of your marriage must have arrived, and prob-
ably put a stop for the present to sending out the
vessel intended. I have no information that can be
depended on after the news of your marriage reached
your family, and I fear they will be greatly displeased,
and perhaps be difficult to reconcile them to the steps
you have taken. This however will rest with yourself ;
and I trust you have, and will take, every -means in
your power to satisfy them on this head. My son
Robert had arrived in Amsterdam from London, and
was to set out for Paris on the 5th of March, with
your letter to the First Consul, and several more from
this country, and from Mr. Monroe, our Minister in
London. I shall know the event after he reaches
Paris, and will communicate to you the information I
may receive from him immediately ; but in the mean
time, if you should receive any news relative to the
business, I request you will write me, and as you may
naturally suppose, our anxiety will be great until we
know the final issue. Believe me, with sincere regard,
Receiving his first letters from Robert in Paris, the
mails at that time travelling slowly, he writes agajn
to Jerome in New York. Dating May 17th 1804, he
82 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MA ERIA GE.
begins — " Dear Sir — I wrote you the 13th inst. under
cover to my friends, Messrs. William Neilson & Co.,
of New York, and this will be forwarded in the same
way. I have now the satisfaction to inform you, that
on yesterday I received letters from my son Robert
in Paris, dated the 16th and 17th of March, stating
the particulars of a conversation and interview he
had with your brother Lucien, which affords myself
and family very great satisfaction, and I hope will be
equally pleasing to you and Betsy ; and for your bet-
ter information, you have now the conversation that
passed between your brother and my son, word for
word, as taken down and noted at the time. By the
note at bottom, you will perceive that your despatches
were made up and forwarded on the 15th of March ;
but that the First Consul had instructed his Charge 1
a" Affaires in this country to express his displeasure
to you on the measures that had taken place relative
to your marriage. Your brother Lucien however ob-
serves, that this is to be considered as a matter of
form ; and that your family have written to you by
the same conveyance in the most friendly and affec-
''Whatever measures you may think proper to adopt
in consequence of the recommendation and plans laid
down for you by your family, I will most cheerfully
promote, and assist, as far as is in my power, so as to
forward and establish your happiness in whatever
depends on me. Write me frequently, and believe
me, with the utmost sincerity, dear sir, your assured
THE B OX A PA R TE- PAT TEE SOX MA BR I A GE. 83
Under date Baltimore, 19th May 1804, Mr. Pat-
terson again writes to Jerome, and drops a word of
advise. " Dear sir," be begins, "I wrote you tbe
lltli accompanying an exact copy of the communica-
tion made by your brother Lucien to my son Robert
at Paris, respecting the views and intentions of your
family for your settlement in this country. It is to
me and my family a very pleasing circumstance; and
considering the precarious and unsettled state of
things in France at present, added to the risk of your
being captured by the British were you to embark
just now for home, I think it a wise and fortunate
determination of your family. You can better judge
of their views than I can in being so very anxious
for your becoming a citizen of the United States. I
should however be led to conclude that their intention
is to secure an establishment in this country in case
of any violent change or revolution in France ; and
surely it is equally your interest and duty to promote
their happiness and security by following their instruc-
" The frigate you mention coming out with the
Minister will certainly bring you letters that will
explain everything, and corroborate what your
brother told my son in Paris. Under these circum-
stances it will perhaps be best for you not to go on to
Boston before you receive the letters you may daily
expect. I am, dear sir, yours very sincerely."
In reply to the above letters from Mr. Patterson
none from Jerome appear. If he did answer, the
reader will before long find some reason to induce the
84 THE B ON A PA R TE- PA TTERSON MA RRTA GE.
belief that the answers were burned soon after read-
ing them. We hope, however, this was not the case.
Waiting a few days for Minister Livingston's reply
to Mr. Patterson's letter of the 10th of February, we
remark that this gentleman, late in the winter of
1804, was recalled by the President of the United
States, and General John Armstrong appointed to
succeed him. An item of news from London, under
date of February 13th 1804, says : " The recall of
Mr. Livingston, the American Minister at Paris, was
occasioned by a personal infirmity of that gentleman.
He is unfortunately very deaf."
It will be remembered that Jerome Bonaparte held
a commission in the French Navy, having arrived at
New York in command of a French frigate. From
the " British Neptune" of February 13th 1804, we
clip the following item: "Two Swiss officers in the
French service are just arrived from France, having
made their escape from thence. They have been
examined before the privy council, and made a de-
claration that the invasion of this country will be
attempted in the course of the present week, wind
and weather permitting;" and in order to obtain his
services in this naval attack on England, the Prefect
of the Department of the Indre and Loire, issuing the
following circular, would fain have reached Jerome in
America. The document reads : " The French go-
vernment attaches the most extreme importance to
the immediate appearance of the proper officer at the
different ports, of those seamen who have been called
upon by their country to assist in the grand expedi-
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 85
tion now preparing, and which will shortly be afloat.
Many have answered to their demand, and have pro-
ceeded to their several places of destination. But
there are still more who have persisted in keeping
themselves concealed, or who have otherwise found
means to disobey this peremptory order notwithstand-
ing their having been duly apprised of it by the
The words still more are italicised in the original,
and the order goes on to declare that all who do not
obey it in a given time shall incur the penalties of
If, as the French Minister of Marine declared in
his letter to Jerome of the 20th April, the order of
Napoleon prohibiting Citizen Pichon from supplying
him with money, and the French captains from re-
ceiving on board the "young person" to whom he
had attached himself, had been given and repeated
with solemn severity " after the interval of a
month," then had it gone forth and was in the custody
of Dacres, when, on the Saturday preceding the 28th
of March, Mr. Robert Patterson " had the honor of
dining with Mr. Joseph Bonaparte;" and it does not
now appear so "singular" that "he did not through-
out the evening speak a word of his brother's mar-
Under date of June 20th 1804, Chancellor Living-
ston, still in Paris, and not yet displaced by the arri-
val of General Armstrong, his successor, answers Mr.
Patterson's letter of the 10th of February. " Sir,"
says he, in the handwriting of his Secretary of Le-
86 THE B ON A PA R TE- PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
gation, "I received your favor of the 10th of Feb-
uary, a few days before my departure for England.
As I had written fully on the subject of your daughter's
marriage both to the Secretary of State and to Gen-
eral Smith, who I knew would make the communication
to you, I postponed writing in the hope of being able
to communicate something satisfactory to you. You
learned from those letters the plan that had been pro-
posed for making an establishment for Mr. Bonaparte
in America. You have also learned from my late
letters that the new order of things here would prob-
ably make some changes in the determination of the
First Consul on this subject. To reduce my suspicions
on this head to certainty, I wrote to Prince Joseph,
who was at Boulogne. On my return from England,
I found the letter of which the enclosed is a copy,
which I think clearly evinces that the plan is changed.
But I have great hopes it will not be disadvantageous
to your son-in-law, or daughter.
"If, as I doubt not, he perseveres in his attach-
ment for her, and in those resolutions which ,his
sentiments of honor will dictate, I think I see some
appearance of relaxation here ; and I hope for a full
reconciliation which will place him upon the ground
on which he ought to stand with the Emperor. I can-
not be more particular at present, but you may be
assured that the little I can give in this business, you
may freely and fully command. I have furnished, as
you request, extracts from General Smith's letters to
Prince Joseph, and communicated the sentiments con-
tained in the President's and Mr. Madison's letters.
Though I can tell you nothing certain, for you know
THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 87
a matter of this kind cannot be treated diplomatically,
and the absence of Madame Bonaparte, the mother,
and Lucien, and Prince Joseph, narrows the ayenues
to information, yet I have great hopes, that ere long
this business will be accommodated to the satisfaction
of all the parties. I am, sir, with esteem, your most
obedient humble servant."
The copy of Prince Joseph's letter enclosed by Mr.
Livingston is dated, " 27th Floreal (April) year 12,"
and reads as follows : —
" Monsieur: J'ai re<ju les lettres que vous m'avez fait l'hon-
neur de m'ecrire. Je suis fache de la peine que vous vous etes
donnee. Avant de partir pour l'armee j'ai ecrit a Monsieur
Jerome quelles etaient les intentions du Consul, et j'ai remu
la lettre k un citizen des Etats Unis, ami de Mr. Patterson lils.
" Daignez, Monsieur, agreez mes remerciments et l'houi-
mage de ma haute consideration."
The following is a rough translation perhaps made
in America by an ordinary scholar ; but which we
prefer to give without correction : —
" Sir : I received the letters which you did me the
honor to write to me. I am sorry for the trouble it
gave you. Before starting for the army, I wrote Mr.
Jerome what have been the intentions of the Consul,
and remitted the letter to a citizen of the United
States, a friend of Mr. Patterson's son. Please
accept my thanks and the tribute of my high con-
On this letter the reader already has the remark
of Mr. Livingston, to the effect that the consular
plans with respect to the establishment of Jerome in
America had been changed.
The young couple in Baltimore — Sleighs and snow-balls —
Bad boys — Gossip in New York— French frigates — Bonaparte
and lady about to sail for France — His baggage on board —
Going in The Dido — British frigates on the watch — The couple
do not embark — Robert Patterson in Amsterdam — News from
Paris — Letter from a strange writer — He hails from Lille —
Pope of Rome — Queen of Etruria — The young couple visit the
" Hub" — A secret gets out — More gossip — General Armstrong
sails — Madame Bonaparte does not — Her letter of explana-
tion — " Little Baltimore beauty" — An astonishing paragraph
in the French papers — Napoleon's opinion of his brother Jo-
seph — Joseph's remarkable letter to Jerome.
Leaving transatlantic affairs for a season to the
direction and control of circumstances, we return to
the United States to bring up the rear. On the 25th
of January 1804, the young couple, as appears from
the following paragraph, were still in Baltimore : —
" Our city, especially Market street, exhibited a
lively scene yesterday and to-day, from the incessant
passing and repassing of sleighs and four III I sleighs
and two 1 1 and sleighs and one I The younger part
of our city patriots were, as customary on such occa-
sions, troublesome and dangerous with their snow-
balls. Madame Bonaparte, we understand, was thrown
at and struck by a ball ; for the perpetrator of which,
it is said, her husband offered a reward of five hundred
dollars. The evil certainly requires a remedy, and
several lads, we learn, have been taken up by the
THE B OX A PA R TE-PA TTERSOX MA U 8 1 A GE. 89
It has already been stated that on the 4th of Feb-
ruary Jerome and his lady were on their way to Wash-
ington City to visit the French Minister. On the
29th of May it was said in New York, " We have
heard it alleged that it is to be reported that Jerome
Bonaparte will return to France by one of the frigates
now here, whilst in fact he is to sail in a merchant
vessel. One of the French frigates from Guadaloupe
came up yesterday from Staten Island and anchored
near the city in the North River, for the purpose of
taking in provisions. The other frigate is expected
up this day. It. is said, and we believe with truth,
that Jerome Bonaparte and lady will go to France in
one of these ships ; for we were recently informed by
an official character that Jerome had received a letter
from his brother, stating that he should send a frigate
for him. The commander of one of these frigates
has gone to the southward on business with young
Bonaparte, probably to hasten his return, that they
may sail immediately, as a detention in this port
might bring some British ships of war within the
lights of Sandy Hook."
On the 14th of June,, it was published in New York
that " M. Jerome Bonaparte, his lady and Mr. Pat-
terson, of Baltimore, her father, arrived in this city
on Tuesday. Report says that the young couple are
about to depart for France, but the correctness of
the rumor is considered questionable. They attended
the theatre last evening, accompanied by the captains
of the Cybele and Didon frigates, and several gentle-
men. That these vessels may leave the Hook with-
90 THE B ONAP AB TE-PA TTERSON 31 A BBIA GE.
out apprehension, a pilot-boat was yesterday chartered
to cruise in the offing, in order to discover whether
there are any British ships of war in the way."
On the 16th, it was announced that " two pilot-
boats, sent out with each a French officer on board,
to ascertain whether the British vessels of war are
oft* the harbor, returned yesterday afternoon with
information that the coast is clear. M. Jerome Bo-
naparte went down to the French frigates at the
watering-place yesterday morning. It is understood
that he is to take his departure in the commodore's
ship, the Didon, of 44 guns, reputed the best appointed
and fastest sailing frigate in the French or English
Navy. It was in this vessel, according to report,
Napoleon escaped from Egypt.
" Bonaparte's baggage was put on board the Didon
yesterday ; and if so, it is possible the French frigates
will sail this morning.
" We have received information that the news of
the arrival of the French frigates in this harbor had
reached Halifax, which caused a bustle among the
inhabitants of that place. The Cambrian frigate of
44 guns, which had her topmasts struck when the
news arrived, was completely fitted for sea in a few
hours, and intended to sail immediately with the
Leander for New York."
On the 19th of June it was paragraphed that " Je-
rome Bonaparte and lady Vere rowed up yesterday
from on board the Didon, and were safely landed oppo-
site their lodgings in Washington street at 12 o'clock.
The Frenchmen say they would not mind the Cam-
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 91
b*ian frigate, and Driver sloop of war, but the heavier
ships which they say are in the offing, they wish to
On the 20th it was said " the reports, to which the
arrival of the British vessels of war have given rise,
are numerous and contradictory. At one time it is
said the Frenchmen are determined to sail at all haz-
ards — at another that they had no such intentions
even prior to the arrival of the Boston frigate. It is
now reported that Jerome has magnanimously resolved
to take his passage in the Didon, and share with his
countrymen the dangers of a rencounter with the
enemy, now, that he has prudently laid aside the idea,
until the concurrence of more favorable circumstances.
Appearances last evening seemed to justify the con-
jecture that the French frigates will not sail soon.
Intimidated probably by the proximity of the enemy,
and alarmed still more perhaps by the bold and im-
perious conduct of the Cambrian frigate toward the
ship Pitt, they yesterday came up from the watering
place, and anchored about three miles below the city,
where it is highly presumable they will remain as long
as the enemy pleases. By an order from the Mayor
in consequence of an application from the French
commanders, the pilots on board the British vessels
were ordered not to pilot them out for twenty-four
hours after the Frenchmen should sail, provided they
did so the first fair wind. Immediately upon the re-
ceipt of the orders, the Cambrian frigate and Driver
sloop of war weighed anchor ; and, without the assist-
ance of pilots, dropped down to the bay, where they
now lie at anchor with the Boston."
92 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
On the 21st report had it for the last twenty-four
hours, that " M. Jerome and lady had taken their depar-
ture in a sloop to overtake the Silenus, which sailed a few
days ago for Amsterdam — a previous arrangement
having been made. We are now informed that they
are still in the city, and it is expected they have aban-
doned their contemplated departure for the present.
The number of the British frigates, &c, on the coast,
and the sharp lookout that will be kept for them in
different parts of their voyage by vessels of superior
force, would render their safe arrival in France ex-
On the 28th of June the following " communica-
tion" appeared in the New York papers : " It has
been said in some of the papers that Bonaparte has
taken a summer residence near this city. This may
be true. It is certain, however, that General Ray,
the French Commissary, has taken the cabin of the
brig Rolla, which vessel is about sailing from this
port for Bordeaux ; and it is believed that Bonaparte
and his lady are going home in this vessel. It is well
enough to give out that he is going to spend the sum-
mer here in order to avoid a suspicion of his embark-
ing on board a merchant ship."
On the 9th of July it was again paragraphed in
the New York papers that " Jerome Bonaparte, it is
understood, has abandoned all intentions of imme-
diately returning to France, and contemplates com-
mencing in a few days a pretty extensive tour ; in the
course of which, after passing through the Eastern
States, he will visit the Springs of Lebanon and
THE B OXA PAR TE- PA TIERS OX MARR [A GE. 93
Balltovrn, and pursue the customary route to view the
grand Falls of Niagara. His lady will be of the
Leaving the young couple on their Northern tour,
we will conduct the reader across the Atlantic to
Amsterdam, where, it will be remembered, we last
located Mr. Robert Patterson. This gentleman gives
us his latest accounts from Paris, which we will allow
him to explain in his own words. Dating " Amster-
dam, July 21st 1804," he says: "The following is
an extract from a letter from Mr. M , dated
Paris, July the 15th. I am confident that we may
safely put every reliance on what he says, as, from
the opportunities he has had, no person can be better
informed of their sentiments than himself. It is the
gentleman who came out with John." The extract
from Mr. M.'s letter is: "I have not, my friend,
written you for a long time, because I wished to give
you some good news relative to the affair, which has
taken a good turn. There are in America two
frigates charged to bring back Mr. Bonaparte. If he
returns in them with his wife, it i* an affair finished.
She will be well received. I have written to him by
Captain B y's son urging him to return, and be
assured I am too much attached to him and his wife
to recommend their taking a wrong step."
Having gathered all the news accessible in Amster-
dam, we leave Mr. Patterson there engaged in busi-
ness of a strictly commercial character, and return
again to France. At "No. 1, Rue Royal, Lille," we
encounter a strange correspondent, who, under date
94 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON 3TARRIA GE.
of " August 7th 1804, addresses a letter to " Madame
Jerome Bonaparte." He unexpectedly and strangely
" rings in;" but having a desire to hear from all on
this subject, we point him to a seat within our circle
of correspondents. "Madame," says he, "I can
make no better apology for thus abruptly introducing
myself to your acquaintance than the plea of kindred,
which I deem a powerful one, and which. I shall be
highly flattered in finding admitted as such by you.
At all events, madam e, my rank, fortune, and future
prospects in life are such as to raise me above all
suspicion of interested motives ; and if they were not,
I am persuaded from the accounts I have had of
you, that you have too much liberality of sentiment
to entertain any such suspicion in the most distant
" It is natural for persons who value themselves on
the casualty of birth, and annex preferences to con-
sanguinity, to wish to perpetuate kindred connections ;
and to that end to seek out, and cultivate acquaintance
with, those whom their best instincts teach them to
regard. Such I an^sure is my motive in this address ;
and it will give me particular happiness if this letter
should be instrumental in reviving the friendship which
formerly subsisted' between your father and mine,
in the persons of their descendents. Our fathers,
madame, were first cousins, and I have often heard
my good father mention yours, who in early life went
with Messrs. Cunningham and Stuart to America, in
terms of the warmest friendship.
" The incidents and turns of life have, I admit,
THE BONAPAR TE-PA TTEBSON 3fAPElA GE. 95
made one very essential difference in our relative
stations. You have had the good fortune to draw a
valuable prize in the lottery of life, a prize which
most of your sex covet, but of which few could be
found so deserving as yourself.
" By marriage you are not only closely allied to
the greatest man of the age, but united with one of
the best, and have so far attained a happy state of
exaltation ! Yet, give me leave to observe to you, ma-
dame, that, though your merits have thus been happily
rewarded, you are descended in a near degree from a
family as noble, and what is of still greater moment,
as truly respectable as any in the kingdom of Ireland ;
and I will venture to assert, that they have not, in
any one instance, deviated from those principles of
honor ; and while our conduct is regulated by the
same honorable motives, no change of situation or
circumstances should make us forget the duties we
owe to them, and to ourselves.
" It is on this principle, madame, and from a per-
suasion that our sentiments on this subject must coin-
cide, that I venture to hope you will not only per-
mit me thus to introduce myself to you by letter, but
further, if you should come to France, you will give
Mrs. Paterson and myself the honor and happiness
of being personally known to you.
"I came with my wife to France about eighteen
months ago, for the benefit of her health, which has
been for some time in a very precarious state. Unfor-
tunately and most unexpectedly, the renewal of hos-
tilities between the two countries has frustrated my
96 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
plan, and prevented me from giving Mrs. Paterson
that frequent change of air and climate which her
physicians had so strongly recommended. Under this
disappointment we remained stationary at Valen-
ciennes — a depot for the strangers — for twelve months ;
at the expiration of which time, it occurred to me to
appeal to the government so far as to solicit a change
of residence, which was become more requisite than
ever for Mrs. Paterson. The boon I solicited was
kindly attended to by his Excellency the Minister at
War ; and through the representation of a friend
whose goodness I can never forget, granted a con-
cession which I consider as a mark of special favor,
and for which therefore I feel myself truly grateful.
" We are now fixed at Lille, where, though con-
sidered as an hostage, I am treated with all possible
lenity, and experience as much indulgence as, under
existing circumstances, I can reasonably expect. It
will add much to the comfort I at present enjoy to
find the advances I have thus made requited as favor-
ably as I could wish them to be. Be assured that no
one could take a more warm and friendly interest in
your welfare than myself, and feiv 'persons feel more
partiality for kindred than I do.
" Mrs. Paterson joins me in every good wish for
your health and happiness, and permit me to subscribe
myself, madame, your sincere friend and most obe-
dient servant, George Matthew Paterson."
This letter is endorsed, " George W. Paterson to
Betsy ;" but an answer to it has not been found in our
files. Nothing more at Lille. We visit Paris and find
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 97
nothing bearing on our subject, except two items from
Rome and Etruria. The first from Rome declares
that "that the Estates of the Church, under the
guardianship of the French army, is suffered to enjoy
peace, and permitted to pay for it. The influence of
the sovereign pontiff, which a few years since seemed
almost annihilated, has lately been re-established, and
the holy father finds in Bonaparte, though a politic,
apparently a very dutiful son. Pius VII. is of a
placid disposition ; and though his power as a tem-
poral prince has been lessened, he appeared contented
with the enjoyment of his spiritual dominion. His
nephew has recently been married to a sister of the
The second item, as stated, is from Etruria, and is
to the effect that "this republican kingdom does not
furnish much political matter worthy of record. It
is but an appendage of the French Republic ; and its
infant sovereign is under the guardianship and tute-
lage of the French General Clark."
Leaving France again, and completing the circle
to Boston, where we land on the 20th of August, we
learn that Jerome and his lady had been on a visit to
that city : and that she had said her husband was in
receipt of the intercepted letter of M. Dacres, the
French Minister of Marine.
On the 20th of August, it was announced in New
York that " Jerome Bonaparte, having returned to
this city from the Eastern States, partook of an ele-
gant entertainment on board the French frigate Didon
on Friday last. We are informed that the French offi-
98 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
cers addressed him by the title of ' His Imperial
Highness,' and that a late number of the Moniteur
invites this style of address."
On the 5th of September, the young couple were
still in New York, accommodating themselves to cir-
cumstances, and biding their time of embarkation for
France ; but an unfortunate occurrence takes place
which seems to put an end to all hopes for the pre-
sent. Reminding the reader that General Armstrong
had been appointed to succeed Chancellor Livingston
as Minister, he was about to sail, and we will allow
Madame Jerome Bonaparte to tell here her own story.
Addressing a letter to her father, " William Patter-
son, Esquire, South street, Baltimore, Maryland,"
under date "New York, 5th September 1804," she
says : —
" Dear Sir — We have made a journey here for
nothing, as General Armstrong, the Ambassador,
after writing to Mr. Bonaparte that he would be de-
lighted at taking me to France with him, changed his
mind, and went off without me. To-morrow we are
to leave this place for Philadelphia, and from thence
we go to Springfield immediately ; so that, as I shall
see you soon, it is unnecessary to say any more.
" I thought the opportunity of going with an Am-
bassador too good to be missed, and Mr. Bonaparte
was to have gone in the frigates a few days after
The only signature which this communication con-
tains is the letter U., underscored. It is endorsed in
the handwriting of her father with the words and
THE BOXAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARBIA GE. 99
figures — "Betsy, N. Y., September 1804," and bears
the red post-mark on the envelope, " New York,
The young couple, it appears, were generally the
custodians of their own secrets, thus giving rise to a
multitude of rumors, and puzzling the quidnuncs.
It turns out that the parties did leave New York, as
stated in Madame's letter to her father, just quoted ;
and on missing them from their usual places of resort,
it was published in that city, on the 8th of the month,
" It is rumored that M. Jerome Bonaparte and his
little Baltimore beauty have taken French leave, and
tacitly slipped off in the vessel which carries General
Armstrong, our lately-appointed Minister, to Nantz."
This paragraph was followed by another under date
of the 10th, to the effect that " a report has been
prevalent for a few days that Jerome Bonaparte and
his lady have embarked for Havre on board the ship
Thomas. We are however assured the rumor with
respect to Jerome is certainly incorrect. Some ob-
scurity attends that part of it which relates to his
youthful bride. It is stated on good authority that
she was to have taken her departure in that vessel
under the protection of our Ambassador; and that
she was to have arrived here for that purpose on
Monday evening, the vessel waiting till Tuesday to
receive her. On Tuesday the ship sailed, and on the
same day the young couple came in a stage-coach to
Elizabethtown. At Elizabethtown Point they were
received by a barge belonging to one of the French
100 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
frigates. Whether the lady was put on board the
vessel as she left the harbor, or whether the ship had
sailed a few hours previous to her arrival, remains in
doubt. The latter is said to have been the case, and
the young couple returned to Philadelphia by the
stage, after a short delay."
Leaving the young couple en route for Baltimore,
by way of Philadelphia and Wilmington, we again
sail for France, and arrive in Paris on the 12th of
October. Previously to our arrival, however, French
despatches from New York had evidently reached the
city, and we find that a very scurrilous article relating
to Jerome and his wife has passed the censors of the
French press, and appears in all the papers of Paris,
except the Moniteur. It is in the papers by authority
of the government, for it could get in by no other
means, and we copy a literal translation of it ": —
" One of our journals, in saying that the American
gazettes speak often of the wife of Mr. Jerome Bo-
naparte, observes that it is possible Mr. Bonaparte, a
young man who is only twenty years of age, may have
a mistress, but it is not possible he can have a wife,
since the laws of France are such that a young man,
a minor of twenty, or even twenty-five years, cannot
marry without the consent of his parents, and with-
out having fulfilled in France the formalities pre-
scribed. But Mr. Bonaparte was born in December
1784, and it is already more than a year since the
American papers have announced him as married."
Such are the tones that rung out on the air of the
French metropolis after a silence of several months,
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 101
at the instance of him who had " hitherto uniformly
endeavored to impress upon the world the highest idea
of his moral character." Coming as it did into the
French papers, made the above document official,
carrying with it the force of any other papers uttered
by the government of the country — and for this rea-
son, it moved back, over the space of unreckoned
degrees, the gnomon that marks the advance of civili-
zation on the dial of nations.
That the reader may be possessed of material from
which he can draw his own inferences from matters
and facts about to be introduced, we think it proper
to furnish him with what the First Consul appeared
to think of his brother Joseph. Designating him for
the command of a division of the grand army about
to invade England, Napoleon says : " The Senator
Joseph Bonaparte, grand officer of the legion of
honor, has testified to me the desire of partaking in
the dangers of the army encamped on the coasts of
Boulogne, that he may share in the glory. I have
thought it for the good of the state, and that the
Senate would perceive at pleasure, that after having
rendered important services to the republic, as well
by the solidity of his councils in circumstances the
most serious, as by the knowledge, ability and wis-
dom he has displayed in the successive negotiations of
the treaty of Morfontaine, which terminated our dif-
ferences with the United States of America ; in that
of Luneville, which gave peace to the continent ; and
more recently in that of Amiens, which had restored
peace between France and England, the Senator Jo-
soph Bonaparte should be placed in a situation to
1 02 THE B ON A PA R TE- PA T TERSO N MA RE I A GE.
contribute to the vengeance which the French people
promise themselves for the violation of the latter
treaty ; and that he should have the opportunity
given him of acquiring a still stronger title to the
esteem of the nation.
" Having already served under my eyes in the first
campaigns of the war, and given proofs of his courage
and skill in the art of war in the rank of chief of
battalion, I have nominated him colonel commandant
of the fourth regiment of the line, one of the most
distinguished corps of the army, and which is reck-
oned among those who, always placed in situations of
the greatest peril, have never lost their colors, and
have very frequently decided the victory. I desire
therefore that the Senate agree to the request that
will be made to them by the Senator Joseph Bona-
parte for leave of absence from the Senate during the
time which the occupations of the war may detain
him with the army."
This paper exposes the bone of contention between
France and England at that time, and the intimacy
of the two brothers. When he wrote his short letter
to Mr. Livingston in June, Joseph was in charge of
his new command at Boulogne, but in October we
find him again in Paris. On the 19th of that month,
he writes the following remarkable letter to Jerome,
from which the reader is left to draw his own con-
"My dear friend," writes the Senator to his young
brother, " I have received your letter from Albany
that Mr. Esmenard delivered to me. I have told him
what I wrote to you several times since your mar-
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 103
riage, and what I wish most ardently to be effected —
I mean, my dear Jerome, your arrival in France. I
cannot give you my advice respecting the way of
undertaking that voyage. I am sensible that it would
be an excellent one if, taking your passage on board
a man-of-war, you might have a glorious engagement
which could enable you to soften the dissatisfaction of
those who love you, and are displeased only at the
oblivion in which your distance and your stay in a
country so remote seem to have left them.
" M. Orcel, who will deliver this to you, shall relate
to you all that I told him on that subject. Be per-
suaded, my dear friend, of the desire that I enter-
tain of proving to you the strong feelings which I
devoted to you. I do not know your resources in tho
country where you are. Do not forget that every
thing I have is at your disposition, and that I shall
share with you everything I could have, with great
pleasure. It is since your affections have led you far
from your family, from your friends, that I feel, by
myself, that you cannot renounce them.
" Tell Mrs. Jerome from me, that as soon as she
will be arrived, and acknowledged by the chief of the
family, she will not find a more affectionate brother
than me. I have every reason to believe, after what
I have heard of her, that her qualities and character
will promote your happiness, and inspire us with
esteem and friendship that I will be very much
pleased to express to her. Do not accustom them to
you absence particularly for such a length of time."
This translation was made in America soon after
the arrival of this letter.
Robert Patterson — Paul Bentalou — Lucien Bonaparte —
The scandalous paragraph — Maupertuis — Miss Caton — Duke
of Wellington —General Armstrong on marriage — More let-
ters from Robert Patterson — Letters of Dacres in Halifax —
Sensation in New York — Young couple shipwrecked in the
Delaware — Madame Bonaparte first in the life-boat — Narrow
escape from drowning — Baltimore and Philadelphia out-sensa-
tion New York — Philadelphia comes out best — More letters
from Mr. Patterson — Young couple encounter 44 guns —
Madame Bonaparte's courage — The gentleman who came out
with John — A great wheel — Excursion into the wilds — Mons.
P. de Maupertuis at the wheel — His wonderful letters — His
leagues of cable — Jerome's disgrace — Coronation of Napoleon
and Josephine — The world is dazzled.
We have received no advices from Mr. Robert
Patterson since the 21st of July, save three letters
of a commercial character alone, and nothing from
Mr. Bentalou in Paris since his letter of the 16th of
March, detailing the substance of certain conversa-
tions with Lucien Bonaparte ; nor have the inter-
cepted letters of M. Dacres been made public either
in England or the United States. The scandalous
paragraph relating to the marriage, which appeared
in the French papers of the 12th of October, came to
the knowledge of Mr. Patterson in Amsterdam on the
2d of November, and with his usual sagacity and
sound judgment he pens the following comments upon
the subject : —
"This absurd and scurrilous article appeared in all
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 105
the Paris papers but the Moniteur. In France
censors are appointed who examine every paper pre-
vious to giving it to the world, so that it is not
possible to suppose a paragraph of this kind would
have passed them if it had not been authorized by
the government. The Consul's determination is now
but too plain. It is fortunate Jerome is still in
America. He ought to remain there for the present
until his friends have recognised his marriage. If his
family are determined on proceeding to extremities,
they will possibly, to oblige him to return, curtail his
supplies, perhaps withhold them altogether. I can
scarcely, however, think such a plan would be perse-
vered in. /
" Our dependence is now entirely on Jerome's
honor. With firmness on his part, the affair may yet
terminate favorably. There is much to be appre-
hended — when the Emperor has made up his mind on
any subject, he seldom gives way Qr recedes from his
Dating November 4th on the same sheet, Mr. Pat-
terson continued: "M may have been sincere in
advising Jerome to return, but it is at least injudi-
cious. They could only expect the worst after such
a declaration as was made in the article in question.
The source from which it came cannot be doubted,
neither is it by any one in Paris. The only security
for their happiness is by their remaining in the
United States. Jerome should be cautious in credit-
ing the advice from parties in Paris who recommend
his returning. You can judge, or at least form as
1 06 THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRTA GE.
probable a conjecture as any person there of what
would be the consequence of such a step."
Dating November 7th, Mr. Patterson postscripts
his letter again, and proceeds : " I have a letter from
Mr. Bentalou of the 3d inst. He tells me he thinks
the paragraph of the 12th of October was inserted
by wa y of retaliation to the many abusive ones which
appeared in our prints; and he does not, by any
means, think the prospect so gloomy as appearances
would seem to indicate. I understand it was the
intention of my sister to have come out on the same
ship with General Armstrong, which some misunder-
standing prevented. Presuming she will persevere in
her intention, I shall go on in a week or two to Paris
to meet her. Mr. Monroe and his family are in
Paris. He will do everything in his power, I am
persuaded, to procure her a cordial reception. I
have been expecting every minute, for the last week,
to be called upon for my letters for the L. P., which
is the reason of your having so many dates on this
Waiting for another letter from Mr. Robert Patter-
son, we will state, for the information of the young
reader, that he married the eldest daughter of
Richard Caton, Esq., a distinguished English gentle-
man, who in early times settled in Maryland and
married a daughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton,
one of the Maryland signers of the Declaration of
Mr. Patterson's accomplished and beautiful wife,
when travelling in Europe with her husband, formed
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 107
a great intimacy with the Duke of Wellington. Ele-
vated by the projectile force of a wild ambition, in a
direction so contrary to that of the universal gravita-
tion of mankind, Napoleon fell at last by the fortunes
of the Duke at Waterloo, and landed, to eat " the
bread of affliction," on the island of St. Helena.
Continuing our digression a little longer we will,
for the reason mentioned, refer again to General
Armstrong, who did not take Madame Bonaparte
with him to France. . At a time perhaps when the
General did not even dream of becoming a Minister
to France himself, he penned the following facetious
lines, for which we are indebted to the "Republic
Court :" " We have a French Minister now with us,"
referring to the Count de Moustier, " and if France
had wished to destroy the little remembrance that is
left of her and her exertions in our behalf, she would
ave sent just such a Minister — distant, haughty,
penurious, and entirely governed by the caprices of a
little singular, whimsical, hysterical old woman, whose
delight is in playing with a negro child and caressing
Some time during the revolutionary war he wrote
the following : " I am not yet married nor likely to
be so. The truth is, I am too poor to marry a
woman without some fortune, and too proud to marry
any woman possessed of one. In this dilemma, until
my circumstances change, or other objects present
themselves, I must ever keep along in the solitary
road I am in." Circumstances seem to have changed
at an early day, for in 1789, the first year of the
108 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
presidency of Washington under the new Constitution,
General Armstrong married the sister of Chancellor
Livingston, his predecessor at the Court of France.
Begging the young reader to bear with us a little
longer, whilst, for his information and convenience,
we refer to the French Calendar during the Republic,
we will state that the first month of the republican
year commenced on the 22d of September 1792, of
the Christian era. The twelve months of the repub-
lican year, commencing as above, were respectively
named Vende'miaire, Brumaire, Frimaire, Nivose,
Pluviose, Ventose, Germinal, Florcal, Prairial, Mes-
sidor, Thermidor, and Fructidor — signifying, in their
regular order, the months of Vintage and Wine, Fog
and Winter, White Frost, Snow, Rain, Wind, Germs
or Sprouts, Flowers, Meadows, Harvest and Gift,
Warmth and Heat, Fruit and Gift. From this the
reader will have a better understanding of the French
dates which are so frequently made in the future
pages of this book.
It will be remembered that Mr. Robert Patterson,
in his letter from Amsterdam under date of Novem-
ber 2d, in speaking of his sister, said, " I shall go on
in a week or two to Paris to meet her."
On the 4th of December 1804, after a long lull of
the winds which scattered wild rumors along his
pathway, he writes from Paris to his father in Balti-
more. " Dear Sir," says he, " I have been here about
a week. I had flattered myself that I should have
been able to have discovered what were their inten-
tions respecting the affair in which we take so much
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 109
interest; and though I have tried to obtain that
information through every channel that was accessible
to me, 1 have been disappointed.
"I believe the fact is, if he has even any settled
design, no person knows it. Everything that can be
said on this subject is vain conjecture. You can form
just as plausible an opinion of what will be the
ultimatum as any person here. I am told, and I have
it from such authority as makes it unquestionable,
that the other members of the family are very de-
sirous of reconciling the principal. It is not unlikely
but they may eventually succeed. At present I sus-
pect he shows so great a disinclination to hear of the
subject, that none of them ventures to revive it. Our
best plan is to let the thing remain as quiet as
possible, and to avoid particularly every measure
which can have the least tendency to irritate. He
has already been much incensed at a letter written
him by Jerome. He says it has given him more dis-
pleasure than even the marriage itself. All those on
whose judgment you have the most confidence, are
decidedly of opinion Jerome ought to remain in the
United States if not directly contrary to his instruc-
tions ; but in the event of his coming out, that he
should bring his wife with him, let the consequence
be what it may."
In November 1804, it vaguely appears that Mr.
Patterson, when at Antwerp on his way to Paris,
learns for the first time of the publication in the
" Halifax Morning Chronicle" of the letters written
110 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
by Dacres to Jerome and Pichon, and pronounces
them a forgery.
He says, however, on reaching France, that "the
letters which were intercepted and published in
England, said to have been written by the Minister
of Marine to Jerome and to Pichon, are genuine.
He acknowledges he wrote them. I do not, however,
think the measures he mentions to have taken to
prevent her landing in France will be enforced."
This paragraph comes in a business letter from
Holland of the 25th November, without date, and
down to this time it does not appear that Mr. Patter-
son, the young lady's father, had any knowledge of
the existence of the intercepted letters, or their pub-
lication in Halifax. But further light on this obscure
part of our subject will shortly appear.
With respect to these letters, however, a Halifax
paper of the 8th of September has the following:
" We have been favored with the perusal of two
French official letters, dated Paris, 30th Germinal.
One of them is signed ' Dacres,' and addressed to
Jerome Bonaparte, now in America. The writer
informs Jerome that by order of the First Consul his
allowances are stopped, and intimates Napoleon's
highest displeasure at his having remained so long in
America, and having married without his consent.
Dacres says that the young woman with whom
Jerome has connected himself will not be permitted
to enter the French territories ; and should she even
arrive at any port in France, she will be instantly
reshipped for the American States. He is reminded
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. Ill
that the First Consul is not operated upon by the
blind affection of a parent ; that he will only acknow-
ledge those relations who press around him and assist
in executing his vast plans. The brothers Joseph,
Louis, and Lucien are spoken of in high terms of
commendation ; but the latter, though eminently use-
ful, and possessed of an independent fortune, yet,
having contracted a marriage contrary to the will of
the First Consul, has been banished to Rome. But
you, says the writer, are pointed out as a man with-
out spirit, yielding to the tender passions, not having
added a single leaf to the laurels which crown him,
his name, and our colors. He is repeatedly pressed
to return to France in the first frigate that may offer,
but as often cautioned against bringing the young
woman with him. It would be degrading, says
Dacres, your personal dignity to introduce into this
country, a woman who ought to be in humiliation,
and who will not be received here. The other letter
is from Citizen Denes directed to Citizen Pichon, and
is to the same effect. The whole of both letters, which
are very lengthy, is such as to impress the reader
with an idea of the supreme insolence and contempt
with which the usurper looks down on those engaged
in the humble walks of life. They were intercepted
on board a vessel bound from Bordeaux to New
York, and we have not the smallest doubt of their
If Mr. Patterson saw this paragraph, it is likely
he looked upon the letters to which it referred as
forgeries, depending upon his son Robert in Europe
112 THE B ONA PA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
for facts to guide his judgment ; and we do not dis-
cover that Jerome made him acquainted with the
originals prior to his return from his tour in the
We last left the young couple on their way from
Philadelphia to Baltimore. On the 16th of August it
was announced that, on the Friday preceding, Jerome
Bonaparte, his lady and suite, arrived at Providence,
Rhode Island, on their way to Baltimore, where it is
said he proposes to reside. This announcement, with
others already referred to, was made to pave the way
for their secret departure for Europe, in order to
throw off their guard the British vessels on the coast
which intended to capture Jerome.
On the 21st it was published in New York again
that Jerome Bonaparte, some time since, received a
letter from his brother the Emperor of France, in
which he says, " If you return, come alone — if you
tarry, expect no promotion." We do not vouch for
this, says the publisher, but we receive it as a fact;
and in consequence M. Bonaparte has resolved to
reside in the United States with his lady.
On the 22d of August the city of New York made
itself responsible for another paragraph of the sensa-
tion persuasion, which went the rounds in this form: —
" Interesting and pleasing intelligence is received from a
gentleman in France respecting Jerome Bonaparte and his
lovely bride. It is confidently reported in the first circles of
Paris, that the Emperor has forgiven his brother, and taken
the young couple into favor. The circumstance is said to have
been effected, or aided, by a portrait of the lady which had
been transmitted to the mother by Bonaparte ; and being much
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 113
celebrated for her beauty, it was sent for by the Empress
On the arrival of the young couple in Baltimore
about mid-autumn, that city and Philadelphia fell to
work and out-sensationed New York. Their produc-
tion was " founded upon fact, and was therefore the
more startling." Baltimore, claiming the first put,
gravely begins : — " M. Jerome Bonaparte and his fair
spouse have at length taken their departure for France.
The mode they adopted to lull curiosity, and obtain
sufficient start before the news could reach any Eng-
lish vessel on the coast, reflects some ingenuity on the
inventor ; and if Jerome be the man, it gives him a
small title to the station of Imperial High Admiral
of the French Navy. It appears that since his return
from the eastward, he has fitted up in very handsome
style the elegant seat of Mrs. Dulany, about two
miles from the city, which, it was given out, he meant
to make his permanent residence, at least during the
war between Great Britain and France. His absence
from the streets or parties in the city for two or three
days at a time, of course no longer excited suspicion.
Matters being thus arranged, he attended the theatre
on Thursday night last with his lady, and when the
play was over they repaired on board a packet at one
of the wharves, which had been engaged for the pur-
pose, and proceeded down to North Point, where,
with one or two of her relations, who accompany them
to France, they were put on board the fast sailing
schooner Cordelia, Captain Towers, which had been
fitted up and ballasted for the purpose. On Sunday
114 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
it began to be whispered about that Jerome was off ;
but there seemed so much of a quiz in the tale, that
no one out of the secret believed it till it could be no
Baltimore, feeling " certain and sure," she had all
things in a nut-shell this time, and that the young
couple were verily on a bridal tour in the dominions
of old Neptune, continues her narrative in great con-
fidence : —
" The name of Jerome Bonaparte has been so much
bandied about in the newspapers, and so many reports
spread of his attempts to quit the country, that he
has at last fairly got the advantage of busy rumor,
and left for her votaries nothing but a vacant gaze —
unless perhaps they should yet fit him on the horns
of John Bull, or in the maw of a whale, a situation
he and his lady had a ' narrow escape' from, accord-
ing to the annexed article from the Philadelphia True
American, received by this morning's mail :
" ' By a gentleman from Dover, Delaware, we learn
that the snow Philadelphia, Captain Kennedy, of and
from this port, bound to Cadiz, was driven on shore
in the gale last Friday, at Pilot-Town, the passengers
and crew saved, and it is said the vessel will be got
off without injury. Jerome Bonaparte and lady were
passengers on board, incog., and narrowly escaped
drowning. It is said the whole of the passengers
were nearly naked, and that Madame Bonaparte was
the first person that jumped into the boat.'
" We cannot," continues Baltimore, "help viewing
the above article as an excellent thing, by way of
THE B ON A PARTE-PA TTERSON MA RR I A GE. 115
underplot to the farce of the Flight ; and so far as
it could tend to counteract any information which
might have been sent off to New York from this place,
it was no bungling piece of stratagem. The owners
and insurers of the Philadelphia need, therefore, be
under no great apprehensions about the vessel, for we
strongly suspect that the tale concerning her and her
passengers was fabricated here, although imposed
upon the editor of the True American as coming from
1 a gentleman from Dover.'"
In a few days, the Baltimore writer comes down,
and credits Philadelphia with the truthful part of the
story. " The report," says he, " circulated here for
a few days past respecting the departure of Prince
Jerome Bonaparte and his lady, and which we con-
tributed to extend, turns out not to be correct, as the
following article confirms their shipwreck on board the
" ' We are authorized to say that the account lately
given of Prince Jerome Bonaparte and his lady being
shipwrecked in the snow Philadelphia in the Bay of
Delaware, on their passage to Cadiz, is correct. They
embarked at Port Penn and were landed, after being
in imminent danger, at Pilot-Town. They arrived
this day, the 31st October, in Philadelphia, accom-
panied by Miss Spear and M. Pichon.'"
A snow is a vessel with two masts resembling the
main and foremasts of a ship, and a third small mast
just abaft the mainmast, carrying a trysail. In this
little affair of the shipwreck, Philadelphia was sailing
under true colors, and the flag of Baltimore fell to
116 THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
Leaving the young couple in Baltimore, to put in
motion some other forces to take them " out of the
country," we return to France. Mr. Robert Patter-
son is still in Paris, writing occasionally to his father
in Baltimore. Under date of December 25th 1804,
he writes again, and refers to the shipwreck. " I wrote
you," says he, from this place on the 4th inst., "via
Amsterdam and Bordeaux, and have since received
your letter of the 2d of November, which informed
me of the unfortunate accident which befell Jerome
in his attempt to return. The two frigates which
were at New York arrived about ten days since at
L' Orient. His brother is extremely angry at his not
coming with them. After speaking the other day of
him in very harsh terms, he observed that, as to his
marriage, he could view it in no other light than a
camp one — the laws of France acknowledging no con-
tract of this nature valid when entered into by a per-
son under twenty-five years of age. Maupertuis had
an interview yesterday with the mother. She says
orders have been sent to the different ports to arrest
him if they came together, and to send her back to
the United States. She fears the execution of these
orders — having no doubt they will be rigidly en-
forced — will make so much noise throughout Europe
that it will be impossible to re-tread the steps, and
perhaps preclude the possibility of a reconciliation.
She will write him, recommending his coming alone
to France, and his sending his wife to Holland. She is
of opinion if he adopts this plan, and continues firmly
attached to his wife, a reconciliation may be brought
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 117
about. I wish most sincerely this may get to hand
in time for him to avail himself of it. I highly ap-
prove of the advice of his good and amiable mother,
and recommend in the most earnest manner his adopt-
ing it. It might be advisable for his wife and the
persons accompanying her to Holland to take ficti-
tious names, to avoid the buzz her arrival would occa-
sion, and to prevent her being the stare of the town
whilst the negotiation is going forward. Maupertuis
is appointed to the consulate at Rotterdam, and goes
on to that place next week.
" I intend setting out to-morrow for Bordeaux.
My chief object in undertaking this jaunt is to meet
them in case of their arriving there. If they come,
and she should be ordered away, we will proceed to
St. Sebastins. The proximity of that place to France
will afford me an opportunity of corresponding with
this country, and she will at least avoid a second win-
" I have been induced, by the shocking state of the
roads, and the little probability of their arriving
shortly at Bordeaux, to postpone my journey to that
place some days longer."
Mr. Patterson here closes, and "no more at pre-
sent" from France. On the 24th of November the
young couple are announced as in motion, having
fallen upon another expedient to "quit" the country.
Leaving New York and Philadelphia in the distance,
Baltimore becomes responsible for the consequences
of another "buzz."
"Prince Jerome and his lady," says the penman,
1 1 8 THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE.
" left the city on Thursday last for Annapolis, where
they embarked for France on board the frigate Pre-
sident of 44 guns, which we understand immediately
weighed anchor, and proceeded down the bay. The
British frigate Revolutionnaire of 44 guns, has arrived
in Hampton Roads, and if the commander is disposed
for sport, he may have an opportunity of trying the
prowess of his tars." Here are 44 guns against 44
guns, and the course of true love, under the circum-
stances, does not run smooth in the Chesapeake ; and
on the 5th December, the young couple are announced
as having arrived in Washington. The writer says :
" Jerome Bonaparte and his lady arrived here yester-
day noon. They had been on board the French
frigate Le President, intending to go to France, but
the English frigate Revolutionnaire had beat out of
the capes, and was waiting for them, but the French
were not then prepared. We understand, however,
that it is the intention of the French captain to go
out, neither inviting nor refusing an engagement.
Whether Jerome will go or not, we are not informed."
It must have required a courageous spirit, and
indeed, we think, a daring one, to prompt Madame
Bonaparte — young, gay and inexperienced — to face
war on the sea, and royalty and wrath in Paris,
should she go to France. It is true, that those whom
she would meet were her superiors only in the splen-
dors attendant upon imperial power, and not in
family. France was then in transitu from what was
styled a republic to an absolute monarchy ; and the
revolution was moving so quietly on as to be almost
THE BONAPARTE- PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 119
imperceptible. One of those great " strokes of state"
which occasionally alarm mankind at widely distant
periods, had been made by bringing " soldiers into
the sanctuary of the law," and thus were sown the
seeds of change which brought forth the germ, the
flower and the fruit of empire. At such a time a
people become drunk on wine pressed out from
haughty grapes, and in encountering men and women
thus over-stimulated, Madame Bonaparte could look
for nothing short of a humiliating reception. And
the rigors of war, amid which Napoleon was rapidly
advancing to the summit of his power, shut out diplo-
macy on the subject of the marriage.
Returning to our documentary history, it appears
that the " gentleman who came with John," mentioned
in Mr. Robert Patterson's letter of the 21st of July,
was no less a personage than Mons. P. de Maupertuis,
who had been visiting in America.
Departing from our main subject again into the wilds,
and retracing our steps to about the beginning of the
ides of March 1804, we take up another link in our
chain of documentary history, which extends itself in
a direct line toward the coronation of Napoleon and
Josephine. During this unexpected excursion, we
discover a wheel of powerful dimensions, and great
capacities, propelled by a stream from the imperial
fountain, toiling upon its ponderous gudgeons, wading
deeply in waste-water, and winding its numberless
leagues of cable, to draw Jerome from the " young
person to whom he has attached himself," that he
may be in France in time to figure in the fascinating
120 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
festivities of the approaching coronation. Maupertuis
is at the wheel, and we will allow him to tell his own
story in his own language, and we furnish the best
translation we have in store.
Dating "Paris le 8 Mars 1804," he writes :—
" Je viens, mon cher Alexandre, de recevoir une lettre de
vous par laquelle je me suis appercu que les miennes ne vous
etaient pas parvenues. Je ne vous dirai pas en gascon que je
vous en ai 6crit plusieurs, mais au moins deux. Soyez bien
convaincu, mon cher ami, que 1' absence n'a nullement affaibli
mon attachement, mais vous savez qu'il faut aimer ses amis
avec leurs deTauts, et c'est toujours sur ce principe que je me
sauve avec les miens. Vous me parlez des plaisirs de Paris,
du tourbillon dont je suis environne. Vous voyez les choses
de loin, et seriez bien Stonne" de la vie que j'ai menSe tout cet
hiver : il me tarde, je vous jure, d'en §tre sorti, et 9a ne tardera
pas. Quelle difference si M. J. B. y avait 6te" ! que de fois
j'ai regrette" de ne pas le voir figurer dans les ce>6monies ou
il aurait eu une aussi belle place ! Mais comme vous le dites,
le malheur vous poursuit, et vous me rendez assez de justice
pour croire a quel point j'en suis afflige\
il Ecrivez-moi, je vous prie, a Rotterdam le plus souvent que
vous pourrez ; marquez-moi la vie que vous menez. Votre
hiver n'aura pas 6te surement aussi gai que le dernier. Vous
avez vu par la place que je viens d' avoir, que l'homme propose
et Dieu dispose 5 tous mes projets ont ete bouleverses en un
intant, mais je suis trop heureux, et il ne me reste plus qu'a
meritcr 1'auguste bienveillance que l'E. m'a temoignee. Vous
aurez eu un instant de consolation au passage d'Auguste aux
Etats-Unis. II y a un siecle que je n'ai re<ju des nouvelles des
miens. Comme vous avez beaucoup d'occasions pour Rotter-
dam, donnez-m'en, je vous prie, de notre pays. Voila la belle
saison qui arrive ; profitez des batiments qui ne tarderont pas
a faire voile ; faites-moi aussi le plaisir de dire au cher Docteur
mille choses affectueuses de ma part.
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE 121
Rappellez-moi au souvenir de toutes les personnes qui m'ont
temoigne quelque bienveillance ; mes respects a Mile. Spear a
Mde. McDognall 5 enfin distribuez a qui de droit ce leger tribut
de ma gratitude. Adieu, mon cher Alexandre, pensez quelque-
fois a quelqu'un qui vous est bien attach6 et que vous devez
croire sincerement votre ami. P. De Maupertuis."
" My dear Alexander — I have just received one of
your letters by which I see that you have not received
mine. I will not tell you like a gascon, that I have
written many, but at least two. Be well persuaded,
my dear friend, that absence has not weakened my
affections. I am a little lazy, but you know we must
love our friends with their faults ; and it is always on
this principle, that I escape with mine. You speak
to me of the pleasures of Paris — of the society by
which I am surrounded. You see the thing from afar,
and would be astonished at the life I have led
all this winter. I long, I swear it to you, to be out
of it, and this will take place before long ! How dif-
ferent if Mr. Jerome Bonaparte had been here. How
many times I have regretted not to see him figure in the
ceremonies, where he would have had so fine a place !
But as you say, misfortune pursues him, and you will
render me justice enough to say how much I am
afflicted by it. I pray you write to me at Rotterdam
as often as you can. Let me know what kind of life
you lead. Surely your winter has not been so pleasant
as the last one.
" You will see by the office that I have just been
appointed to, that man proposes and God disposes.
122 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
All niy projects have been overthrown in one instant;
but I am happy that I have now only to deserve the
benevolence that the Emperor has shown me. You
will have some consolation from the passage of Au-
gust to the United States. It is an age since I have
received any news from my friends. As you have a
great many opportunities to send to Rotterdam, let
me have some news from our country.
" The fine season is coming. Take advantage of
the ships that will soon sail. Do me also the pleas-
ure to say a thousand affectionate things on my part
to the dear doctor. Remember me to the persons
who have manifested an interest in me. My respects
to Mrs. McDonald and to Miss Spear. In fine, dis-
tribute to those who have any right to this tribute,
my gratefulness. Farewell, my dear Alexander,
think sometimes of one who is sincerely connected to
you by the ties of affection, and sincerely believe me
to be your friend, P. de Maupertuis.
This letter was, no doubt, addressed to Alexander
Le Camus, whose name will shortly appear on a
future page of this book, in a very interesting con-
nection. After M. Le Camus had kept this letter for
sometime, it appears that he gave it to Mr. Robert
Patterson in Amsterdam to be forwarded by him to
America for his father's inspection.
In the same enclosure, comes another letter from
the same writer. As before, we give the French and
English both as they come to our hand. Dating
Paris, 8th of March, as in the preceding letter, he
snv« : —
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 123
u Vous voyez, mon cher Chanibry, par la date de ma lettre,
que je suis encore dans cette belle ville. II y a cependant deja
trois mois que je suis nomm6 a la place de Consul a Rotterdam,
mais pour aller remplir mon emploi, il me faut des instruc-
tions, et je ne les ai pas encore revues. Je laisse mollement
s'6couler le temps en attendant que je sois a la besogne. Vous
dire que j'ai rempli mon but en obtenant cette place, ce serais
vous tromper, mais l'Empereur a eu la bonte de me l'offrir.
C'est un des premiers consulats, et des plus delicats a remplir
dans cette circonstance 5 et je me suis trouve trop hcureux de
servir le heros pour lequel vous connaissez mon enthousiasme.
J'espere que la maniere dont je m'acquitterai de cet emploi
me fera faire rapidement mon chemin. Vous me demanderez
peut §tre quelles sont mes pretentions ! l'ambition. Eh bien !
oui — jamais je ne me suis trouv6 dans une aussi belle passe;
l'age s'avance, et il n'y a rien de pis que de vegetter dans une
passive vieillesse. Vous connaissez mon attachement immuable
pour M. J. B. ; il ne manque ici que sa personne pour com-
pleter mon bonheur.
"J'ai requ de lui ces jours passes, une lettre par laquelle il
m'engage a aller le rejoindre. Que ne donnerais-je pas pour
en avoir la faculte ! mais c'est chose impossible d'obtenir.
J'ose espSrer qu'il me rendra justice. Dites-lui, je vous prie,
que rien dans le monde ne saurait alterer mon attachement.
SMI ne fall ait que sacrifier pour le servir toutes mes espe'rances,
. je croirerais encore peu faire pour tous les t6moignages d'amiti6
qu'il n'a, cesse de me donner dans un siecle ou on ne manque
que trop ses sentiments sur le d6gr6 de faveur ou sont por-
ters les personnes, ou ou ose a peine laisser entrevoir ceux
qu'on 6prouve pour des gtres interessants accables sous le poids
du malheur. Jamais pareil calcul n'a pen6tre chez moi. Je
suis attache a M. J. B. Je l'ai dit a l'E., qui malgr6 tout son
courroux n'a pu me blamer. Je ne me suis pas trouve une fois
avec Tlmperatrice que je vois souvent, sans lui en parler. Ma-
dame sa mere, le Prince Louis me rendront justice a cet egard ;
helas ! que pcuvent les voeux steriles que je forme con-
124 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTEBSON 3IARRIA GE.
" Je n'ose lui ecrire ; quels conseils pourrai-je lui donner ? II
faut qu'il ait ete poursuivi bien obstinement par une fatale
destinee pour l'empgcher d'arriver ici vers l'epoque du sacre.
Sa resignation, les circonstances ou nous nous trouvions, eussent
peutetre caline la rigueur de l'E. J'ai lu ces jours derniers
dans la gazette un paragraphe concernant son mariage qui ne
laisse aucun doutes sur les intentions (au moins actuelles) de
l'E. 5 mais peutetre la presence de M. J. B. ferait elle changer
ses dispositions. A sa place je reviendrais seul en France ; sa
presence ferais plus que tout ce que pourront les sollicitations
de qui que ce soit. Je lui ai envoy e il y a quelques jours une
lettre de Madame sa Mere qui a ce quelle m'a dit lui donne
les seuls conseils qu'il ait a suivre. J'avoue que je crois l'E.
tres irrit6, mais que n'a-t-on pas droit d'attendre d'un homme
dont toutes les actions sont marquees au coin de la grandeur?
M. J. B. expi6ra peut §tre par une disgrace momentan6e la
cause de ses chagrins, mais qui peut craindre un frere dont la
conduite par la suite ne manquera pas de r6tablir dans tous
ses droits ?
u L'E. ainsi que l'Imp6ratrice se disposent a faire un voyage
en Italie, qui, dit-on, doit durer 4 ou 5 mois ; on assigne a ce
voyage differents motifs, mais personne ne les connaient au
juste. Quant a moi, je partirai vraisemblablement d'ici a, 15
jours pour Rotterdam, ainsi si vous m'6crivez et que je puisse
vous §tre bon a quelque chose, adressez moi directement vos
lettres dans cette ville.
" Parlez, je vous prie, souvent de moi a M. J. B. Dites-lui
combien je regrette de ne pouvoir me rendre a ses desirs,
Offrez-lui les assurances de mon respectueux d6vouement, ainsi
qu'a l'interessante dame qui partage avec lui les rigueurs du
sort. Mille compliments a M. Patterson •, je vois son fils, qui
est un charmant jeune homme, et avec qui vous auriez grand
plaisir a faire connaissance.
" Adieu, mon cher Chambry. Revenez-ici le plutot que vous
pourrez. Conservez-moi votre amitie, et croycz a r attach e-
ment sans bornes de votre dSvoue
P. De Maupertuis."
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 125
" You see, my dear Chambry, by the date of my
letter that I am still in this fine city. Three months
aso I was nominated Consul at Rotterdam ; but I am
waiting for instructions, and I have not yet received
them. I leave time to glide softly away in waiting
till I shall be busy. In telling you that I have ob-
tained my aims in obtaining this place, I would deceive
you ; but the Emperor has had the kindness to offer
it to me. It is one of the first consulships, and the
most difficult to discharge the duties of, in the circum-
stances, and I am but too happy to serve the hero for
whom you know my enthusiasm. I hope that the
manner in which I will discharge my duties will
quickly raise me to a high position. Perhaps you
will ask me what are my pretensions — ambition ?
Well, yes ! I have never found myself in so fine a
situation. Time goes fast. There is nothing worse
than to vegetate in a passive old age.
" You know my immutable affection for Mr. Jerome
Bonaparte. I want nothing but his presence to com-
plete my happiness. I have lately received a letter
from him in which he presses me to rejoin him. What
would I not give to have the power to do so ?
But it is impossible. I should want a leave of ab-
sence which it would be impossible to obtain. I dare
hope he will do me justice. Tell him that nothing
in the world could alter my affection. If it was only
necessary to sacrifice all my hopes to serve him, I
should still think I was doing little for all the evi-
dences of friendship which he has never ceased
126 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
giving me in an age when we measure but too much
our feelings by the degrees of favor which is shown
to persons ; when we hardly dare to let any one
see the feeling we have for an interesting being
crushed down under the weight of misfortune. Never
has such a calculation entered into my mind. I am
attached to M. Bonaparte. I have said it to the
Emperor, who, in spite of his wrath, has not been able
to blame me. I have not been once with the Empress,
whom I often see, without speaking to her of it.
Madame his mother, and the Prince Louis will render
me justice concerning this. But, alas ! of what avail
are all the empty wishes I continually entertain ?
" I dare not write to him ! What advice can I
give him ? He must have been very obstinately
pursued by a fatal destiny, to hinder him from
arriving here about the time of the coronation. His
resignation, and the circumstances in which we found
ourselves, might perhaps have calmed the anger of
"I have read lately in the paper a paragraph
which leaves no doubt of the intentions of the Em-
peror, at least for the time being ; but the presence of
M. Jerome Bonaparte would perhaps change his dis-
positions. In his place, I would come back alone to
France. His presence would do more than all the
solicitations of any one. A few days ago, I sent
him a letter from Madame his mother, who, according
to what she has told me, gave him the only counsel
he must follow. I confess that I believe the Emperor
is very much irritated ; but what have we not to ex-
THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 1 27
pect from a man all whose actions are marked by
the stamp of greatness ? M. Jerome Bonaparte will
perhaps atone, by a momentary disgrace, the cause
of all his vexation. But who can fear a brother whoso
conduct will not fail in due time to re-establish all his
rights ? .
" The Emperor and Empress are preparing for a
journey to Italy, which it is said may last four or
five months. People attribute different motives to
this journey; but nobody knows them positively.
As for me, it is very likely I shall start from this
place to Rotterdam in about fifteen days. Thus, if
you write to me, and I can be useful to you in any
way, address me your letters directly in that city.
" Speak, I pray you, often from me to M. Jerome
Bonaparte. Tell him how much I regret not to be
able to meet his wishes. Offer him the assurances of
my respectful devotion ; also to the interesting lady
who shares with him the rigors of fate. A thousand
compliments to Mr. Patterson. I see his son, who is
a charming young man, and with whom it would give
you great pleasure to become acquainted.
"Farewell, my dear Chambry. Come back here
as soon as you can. Preserve me your friendship,
and believe in the affections without limit of your
devoted P. De Maupertuis."
The letters of Maupertuis are without any address,
but it appears that they were intended for some gen-
tlemen at that time in America. In the preceding
letter, he says of Jerome, " I dare not write to him."
128 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MAR RIA GE.
This perhaps will give the reason why his letters, with
information for Jerome, are addressed to others.
The next letter written by this gentleman, like the
others, lacks the address, but we give it in full as we
" Paris, 28 Septembre 1804.
(i Je suis sur, mon cher Alexandre, que vous etes fachScontre
moi, parceque depuis longtemps vous n'avez pas rec,u directe-
ment de mes nouvelles. Ne m'en voulez pas pour cela ; beau-
coup d'affaires, un peu de paresse, et la grande confiance que
j'ai en votre amitie, voila mes seules excuses; vous saurez
deja que je suis plac6 a Rotterdam, ou je dois me rendre ces
jours-ci. Je ne dois cette place qu'aux bontes de l'Empereur, et
vous sentez avec quel zele je la remplirai.
"Dites bien des choses, je vous prie, pour moi au cher doc-
teur, a Barney, a McKim et autres personnes qui veulent bien
se ressouvenir du Baron, mes honimages respectueux a Madame
McDonnal, et Mile. Spear. Je ne vous parle pas politique, je
ne vous dis meme grand' chose, parceque le sort des lettres dans
ci temps-ci est tres incertain.
" Auguste vous aura dit combien nous avons parle de vous.
II sera surement rendu a present a la Martinique. Adieu,
mon cher Alexandre, pensez quelque fois & moi, et donnez-moi
de vos nouvelles malgre ma paresse. Croyez a mon attache-
ment. P. De Maupertuis."
"I am sorry, my dear Alexander, that you are
angry against me, because you have been so long
without receiving any direct news from me. Do not
be angry against me for that. A great deal of busi-
ness, a little laziness, and the great confidence that I
have in your friendship, are my only apology. You
already know that I have a position at Rotterdam,
THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 129
whither I must go in a few days. I owe this place
only to the kindness of the Emperor, and you know
with what zeal I shall perform its duties. I pray you
to say many things for me to the doctor, to Barney,
to McKim, and other persons who are willing to re-
member the Baron. Present my respects to Mrs.
McDonnel and Miss Spear. I do not tell you anything
about politics. I don't even say many things, because
now-a-days the fate of letters is very uncertain.
August will tell you how many times we have spoken
of you. Surely he will have gone to Martinique for
" Farewell, my dear Alexander. Think sometimes
of me, and let me have some news from you, in spite
of my laziness. Believe in my affection.
P. DE MAUPERTUIS."
This writer, it appears, addresses his next letter to
a friend in Amsterdam, and we give it in full.
" Paris, 4 Brumaire, 1804.
" J'ai recu avant hier, mou cher ami, a retour de la campagne,
la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'amiti6 de m'6crire. Je- suis
bien convaincu que vous vous ennuyez mortellement a llotter-
dain, mais vous jouissez d'une bonne sante, et c'est la l'essentiel.
Depuis bien longtemps je n'ai recu des nouvelles de M. J. B.
ni directement ni indirectement. Je suis bien faclie" qu'il n'ait
pu se rendre en France avant le sacre.
"C'etait le moment, et malgre le courroux de l'E. j'oso
espSrer que tout se serait arranged Le sacre est remis decide-
ment au 15 Frimaire. Le pape ne sera rendu que le 2 Paris. Si
vous y venez, vous pourrez voir a votre aise la cer6monie ou
du moins le cortege, sans avoir besoin d'un billet, parcequ'il
passera tout le long des Boulevards pour se rendre a Notre
Dame. Co sera surement le plus beau spectacle qui se soit
130 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. /
jamais vu. II me tarde bien que ce soit fait ; il ne nous manque
qu'une paix generale pour etrc heureux. On ne croirait jamais
qu*il ait eu une revolution en France, et on a beau dire il n'y
avait dans le monde qu'un heros comme le notre capable
d'operer un tel changement.
" Je ne concois pas comment de certaines gazettes peuvent se
plaire dans toutes leurs injures. Ce sont de ces libelles qui font
peu d*honncur a leur redacteurs, car enfin quetions-nous il y
a trois ans et a moins d'etre depourvus de tous sentiments
d' humanity, on no peut qu'admirer et venerer le genie qui
gouverne la France ! Si vous recevez des nouvelles de la-bas
ne manquez de me les donner ! Marquez-moi aussi si vous
etes decide a venir ici ! Adieu, mon cher ami, portez vous
bien, et croyez a mon sincere attachement.
11 P. De Matjpertuis."
" Paris, October 24th 1804.
" My dear friend : I received yesterday evening on
returning from the country the letter which you have
been so friendly as to write. I am well convinced
that you are tired of Amsterdam, but you enjoy
good health, and that is the essential thing. For
a very long time I have not received any news from
M. Jerome Bonaparte, neither directly nor indirectly.
I am very sorry that he has not been able to return
in France before the coronation. It was the proper
time, and in spite of the wrath of the Emperor, I
dare hope that all would have been satisfactorily
settled. The coronation will take place on .the 15th
Frimaire. The Pope will arrive in Paris on the 2d.
If you come you will be able to see the ceremony in
comfort, or at least the procession, without requiring
a ticket, because it will pass all along the Boulevards
to go to Notre Dame. It will certainly be the finest
THE BO NAP A R TE-PA TTERSON MARR1A GE. 131
spectacle which has ever been seen. I long to see it
take place. We only want a general peace to be
happy. No one would believe there has been a revo-
lution in France; and people may say what they
please, there is only one hero in the world like ours
able to accomplish such a change. I do not know how
certain papers can delight in their abusive language.
They utter libels which do very little honor to their
authors, for what were we less than three years ago ?
and unless we are deprived of all feelings of humanity,
we can but admire and revere the genius which rules
France. If you receive any news from London let
me know. Do not fail to tell me also if you are
decided to come here. Farewell, my dear friend,
keep in good health, and believe in my sincere affec-
tion. P. DE MAUPERTUIS."
Mons. Maupertuis still continues his correspond-
ence from Paris, and the following letter came as an
enclosure in Mr. Robert Patterson's letter from Paris,
dated the 25th December 1804 :—
"Ilya quelques jours, mon cher Chambry, que je rec,us uno
lettre de vous qui me fit le plus grand plaisir, parcequ'elle me
donne l'espoir de vous revoir bientot-, les destinees en ont
autrement ordonne. II faut se resigner, quoiqu'il en coute.
Je ne sais si vous avez rcc;u toutes les lettres que j'ai eu le
plaisir de vous ecrire, on ne sait en v6rite' comment fairc pour
entretenir en temps de guerre une correspondance d'aussi loin.
Si vous voycz M. J. B., dites-lui, je vous prie, de ne pas §tre
fache contre moi, si je ne lui ecris pas. Les lettres peuvent 6tre
prises, et les Anglais en font des gorges-chaudes dans leurs
gazettes, ce dont on se moque j ce n'est pas la l'embarras, mais
1 32 THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERS ON MARRIA GE.
ca ne laisse pas que d'etre d6sagreable. Quant a nous autres
simples particuliers, l'inconv6nient n'est pas aussi grand. Je
mene toujours la menie vie ; il me tarde d'en sortir, ce qui ne
tardera pas, car sa majesty a eu la bont6 de me nommer au
Consulat de Rotterdam, ou je compte me rendre aussitSt 1' ex-
pedition de mes ordres. Si je peux vous §tre bon a quel que
chose dans ce pays-la, disposez de moi sans facon. Nous
avons eu ici des fetes superbes. J'ai assiste a presque toutes
les c6r6monies, et comme j'y 6tais de coeur, vous sentez com-
bien elles m'ont interess6.
" Voila done la France revenue a un gouvernement apres
lequel tous les honnetes gens aspiraient. Dieu veuille con-
server celui qui en est le chef; e'est a present le voeu que
forme tout bon Francois. Que de fois au milieu de ces vceux-
la, j'ai regrette de ne pas y voir M. J. B. ! II faut que le mal-
heur lui en veuille bien pour qu'il trouve tant d'obstacles a son
re tour. Madame sa mere est arrivee ces jours derniers de
Rome. J'ai ete lui rendre mes hommages hier-, il n'est pas
possible d'en etre rec,u avec plus d'affabilit6 : elle m'a beau-
coup parl6 de M. son fils, et est tres affect^e de sa disgrace.
Elle doit m'envoyer aujourd'hui une lettre pour lui, que je
renfermerai dans la mienne et que je vous prie de lui remettre.
u Elle se plaint de n'en avoir pas recju, ce qui n'est pas 6ton-
nants, vu toutes les entraves de la guerre. II fera fort bien, je
crois, de lui donner au plutot de ses nouvelles. J'ai remis a l'lm-
peratrice celle que M. J. B. m'avait adressSe pour Elle. II me
parait qu'elle lui on ne peut plus attachee. Je suis convaincu
que si M. J. B. arrivant ici et se jettant aux pieds de sou
auguste frere, plaideront mieux la cause que les meilleurs
avocats, quoiqu'il parait toujours indispose. J'ai envoye il y a
quelques temps a M. J. B. une lettre du Prince Louis qui sure-
ment lui traqait la conduite qu'il a a tenir. Quant k moi je
donnerais la moitie de mon existence pour qu'il fut rendu en
France. Plus il tardera et plus l'Empereur sera irrit6. Ce qui
me rassure e'est que ce h6ros qui jusqu'a present a pardonne
a ses plus grands ennemis ne sera pas inexorable a l'egard
d'un frere qu'il cherit beaucoup. M. Patterson a eu la bonte
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 133
de m'ecrire et de me faire part du malheureux naufrage de M.
J. B. Personne n'a ete plus afflige de ce malheureux evene-
ment que Mde. B. a du souflfrir, mais il faut croire que e'est
peut etre une catastrophe qui finira toutes leurs peines 1
" Les deux fregates franchises sont arrivees a Lorient, apres
une belle traversee qu'il eut ete heureux que M. J. B. eut pu
profiter de cette occasion, il arrivait dans un bien beau mo-
ment. A mon arrivee a Rotterdam je vous ecrirai, y ay ant de
frequentes occasions pour l'Amerique. J'ai vu ici M. Robert
Patterson, qui est venu y passer quelques temps pour sea '
affaires de commerce ; il ecrit a M. son pere et se charge de vous
faire parvenir cette lettre : donuez-moi, jc vous prie, des nou-
velles. Offrez mes rospects a M. et Mde. J. B. ; et croyez, mon
cher Chambry, au devouement de votre sincere ami,
"P. de Maupertuis."
" My dear Chambry : A few days ago I received a
letter which gave me the greatest pleasure, because it
gave me the hope of seeing you soon again. The
fates have ordered otherwise. We must be resigned,
whatever it costs. I do not know if you have re-
ceived all the letters that I have had the pleasure
of writing to you. Truly, we do not know how to
carry on a correspondence at such a distance in time
of war. If you see M. Jerome Bonaparte tell him, if
you please, not to be angry against me if I do not write
to him. The letters may be captured and the English
make fun of them ; in their newspapers people laugh
at them ; it is not of much consequence, but it is not
the less unpleasant. As for us private individuals, the
inconvenience is not so great. Here I always live in
the same manner. I long to go out of it, which will
not be long, for his Majesty has had the kindness to
134 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
nominate me to the Consulship at Rotterdam, where I
expect to go as soon as I shall have received my in-
structions. If I can be of any use to you in that
country, dispose of me as you think best. Here we
have had splendid fetes. I have assisted in almost
all the ceremonies, and as I was in sympathy with
them you know how much they have interested me.
" Behold, then, France returned to a form of go-
vernment according to the wishes of all honest
people ! God preserve him who is at the head of it !
It is now the prayer which all good Frenchmen make !
How many times in making these ejaculations have I
regretted that M. Jerome Bonaparte is absent ! Mis-
fortunes must pursue him eagerly, that he finds so
many obstacles to his return.
" Madame, his mother, is arrived lately from
Rome. Yesterday I paid her a visit. It was im-
possible to be received with more affability. She
spoke a great deal about her son. She is very much
affected by his disgrace. She will send me a letter
to-day which I will enclose in mine, and I pray you
to have the kindness to remit it to him.
" She complains of not having received any letters ;
which is not wonderful, considering all the impedi-
ments of the war. I have remitted to the Empress
the letter that M. Jerome Bonaparte had addressed
to me for her. It appears to me that she is very
much attached to him. I am satisfied that, if M.
Jerome Bonaparte on arriving here throws himself at
the feet of his august brother, he would plead his
cause better than the best of lawyers, though he
appeared so very much dissatisfied some time ago.
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 135
" I send a letter from the Prince Louis to M.
Jerome Bonaparte, showing him what course to pur-
sue. I would give half my existence for his return
to France. The more he delays, the more the Empe-
ror will be irritated. But what reassures me is, that
the hero who, till now, has forgiven his greatest ene-
mies, will not be inexorable regarding a brother
whom he cherishes so much. Mr. Patterson has had
the goodness to write to me, and let me know the un-
happy shipwreck of M. Jerome Bonaparte. Nobody
has been more afflicted, or has suffered more by this
unhappy event than Mrs. Jerome Bonaparte ; but we
must believe that this is perhaps a catastrophe which
will finish all their sorrows.
" The two frigates are arrived at L'Orient after a
fine voyage. It would have been well if M. Jerome
Bonaparte had been able to profit by this opportunity.
He would have arrived at the most propitious mo-
ment. After my arrival at Rotterdam I will write to
you, having frequent opportunities for America. I
have seen Mr. Robert Patterson, who has come to
pass some time upon his commercial affairs. He writes
to his father, and takes charge to remit you this
letter. Please let me have some news from you.
Present my respects to Mrs. and Mr. Jerome Bona-
parte, and believe my dear Chambry, in the devotion
of your true friend, P. de Maupertuis."
In this letter Maupertuis fully describes himself,
and at the time of writing, the coronation referred to
in several of his letters had taken place at the altar
136 THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE.
of Notre Dame ; and the world had been dazzled by
the sight, and the following description of it. It
took place on the 2d of December 1804, Pope Pius
VII., then in Paris, officiating.
" When his Majesty the Emperor approached the
altar to be crowned, he took the imperial crown him-
self and placed it upon his head. It was a diadem
of oak and laurel leaves in gold. His Majesty after-
wards took the crown destined for the Empress, and
after having decorated himself with it for a moment,
he placed it upon the head of his august consort.
The firmness, grandeur, and nobleness of her manner
drew from every quarter shouts of admiration and
joy. The mixed dignity, grace, and modesty marked
by every,; one in the demeanor of the Empress in
quitting the canopy under which she had been re-
ceived at the entrance of Notre Dame, af e the theme
of general conversation."
Maupertuis retires — Xapoleon appears again — His prestige
— Battle of Austerlitz — Young couple contemplate sailing —
Keflections on the embarkation — Robert Patterson on specula-
tion — General Smith again— P. Cuneo De Ornano — His letter
— Mr. Patterson's letter — General Armstrong — Letter from
M. Meyronet to Jerome — Mr. Patterson alarmed — He writes
in cipher — The Monitcur — Lucien Bonaparte in prison —
Jerome to be thrown in prison — Betsy to be sent back — The
young couple embark for Europe — Departure from Baltimore
— General Tuerreau, French Minister — Jerome's horses— Mr.
Carrere — "London-particular-three-years-old wine" — General
Rewbell's letter — Jonathan Jones — Wet letters — Bordeaux
Maupertuis, a small asteroid, revolving around the
Napoleonic centre, after affording the very agreeable
light from the letters which appear in the preceding
chapter, goes out, and we shall see him no more as a
correspondent ; yet he has engraved his name in the
indestructible flint of words ; and he will not therefore
be forgotten by the generations of men whose coming
quickened his departure. With the Christmas fes-
tivities of 1804, he disappears, to take charge of his
Consulate at Rotterdam, and from him we hear no
more secrets from the throne..
Bidding farewell to the year 1804, we enter upon
a detail of the wonderful events of 1805. In this
year, Napoleon answers the charges of territorial
usurpations by encroachments upon the North of
138 THE BONAPAR TE-PA TTERSOX MA RRIA GE.
Europe ; and a war is about to be precipitated which
will deluge the continent with blood. Napoleon will
be crowned King of Italy, and the battle of Auster-
litz will be fought. As " westward the star of empire
holds its way," so flows the tide of conquest south-
ward ; and Napoleon, discovering this perhaps in ad-
vance of his cotemporaries, marches northward in
time to check it, and the prestige of a descent upon
him. He knew that war conducts itself by prestige
and by panic. These go before a moving army.
Prestige dazzles and demoralizes the enemy ; panic
takes him prisoner ; the army moves up, and the vic-
tory is easy. If therefore the combined armies,
opposed to Napoleon at the battle of Austerlitz, could
have availed themselves of the advantages of time
and marched down upon Napoleon, the prestige would
have been with them, panic would have seized the
French, and Paris would have yielded to the forces
of siege. Bonaparte's main victories were won from
the prestige that accompanied him on his grand
marches ; and we cannot see that he gained a victory
at Austerlitz by any superior abilities he possessed,
but by the advantage he took of a blunder caused by
the panic which had gone before him, and seized a
division of the allied armies.
In the midst of the most extensive preparations for
war, when Napoleon is giddy from the adulterated
wines of exaltation, and when he is fondly dreaming
that his dominion and that of his family will be an
"everlasting dominion," the wife of Jerome goes to
Europe. Already, in America, she is hemmed in by
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 139
rising clouds, and to cross the Atlantic is but to quail
and quiver before an awful squall. None save heart-
less eyes will behold her in France even,- if, after her
voyage, she should be allowed to refresh herself on
its territory. Her fame and beauty go before her,
and sadly wait her coming. There, a friend she will
fear to make, for the smiles which she may behold
will be those provoked by the demon of deception ;
and unforgiven monsters will perhaps eagerly pursue
her. In the warm floral spring of hope she will rejoice
awhile before she embarks ; but even then, in her
rejoicings, she will behold in her future much of the
autumnal and but little of the vernal. But she must
go to Europe ! The strange music of the billow will,
for a season, charm away her misgivings, and inspire
her with hope that her arrival will strike the cold
steel of Napoleon's heart, and bring out, at last, a
spark of leniency. This is all.
Whilst the young couple indulge in the festivities
of the society of Baltimore during the winter pre-
vious to their embarkation for Europe, we will place
before the reader another letter from Mr. Robert
Patterson, who is passing the winter in Paris. On
account of the historical interest it possesses, we give
the letter in full. It is addressed to his father.
" Paris, 7th January 1805.
" Dear Sir,
" I am now to explain to you a speculation I
have in view, which, if it can be executed, cannot
fail of proving immensely advantageous. Our govern-
ment are very desirous of obtaining from Spain a
140 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
cession of East Florida. This object, I think, will
soon be effected, either by the direct negotiation now
carrying on, or else by the mediation of this govern-
" My wish is to endeavor to get a grant from the
court of Madrid for some of the unappropriated lands
in that country, previous to its being ceded to the
United States ; and I do not apprehend there will be
much difficulty in doing it — as what they may get in
this way will be so much saved ;. for all the lands of
this description would of course be ceded without re-
muneration, as in the case of Louisiana, if a cession
of the jurisdiction of the country is made to the
" It is imagined there are about 3,000,000 of acres
unlocated, the whole of which may be probably pur-
chased at 3, 4, or 5 cents per acre. This business
has appeared to me so important that I have written
to Lucien, mentioning it to him, and saying at the
same time everything I thought necessary to induce
him to take an interest in it, either for himself, or
Jerome, to whom I have said it would be a secure and
brilliant fortune. His answer aught to be here in
three or four weeks. If he approves of the plan,
and the cession is retarded sufficiently to give me an
opportunity, I shall set out to see him in order to
make the arrangements to carry it into execution.
If he joins in it, we can treat for the whole ; but if
he does not, we must endeavor to get grants for the
choicest of them. There is a part well adapted to
the culture of sea-island cotton. We will make our-
THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 141
selves well informed as to the local situation of the
country, so that, if we cannot embrace the whole, we
may make a judicious selection. Mr. O'Meally, with
whom you are no doubt acquainted, is the person to
whom I am indebted for the hint of the speculation.
He will embark $20,000 in it, and I shall interest
you as far as from $25,000 to $30,000, provided it
can be executed upon the terms I have stated. If I
could with any kind of propriety mention to you the
person that the scheme originated with, you would be
satisfied it is well conceived, and is not impracticable
in execution. Be assured, however, that I prize too
much your good opinion and confidence to embark
you in a speculation in which I do not see my way
very clear ; and I shall weigh every circumstance in
the present before I commit you. Da not lose any
time in giving me your opinion in the fullest manner
on this subject. I beg what I have said may not be
communicated to any person, lest it might injure
those who are concerned.
" The business of the claims is progressing pretty
rapidly. Many of them have passed the last ordeal —
the inspection of our ambassador, and that of the
minister of finance here. The whole affair will shortly
be terminated by an emission of the bills. It cannot
but afford you pleasure to learn that our worthy
friend Bentalou has received $40,000. This sum
will make him comfortable the remainder of his life.
He will have to receive on account of the bills of
others to the amount of 700*000 francs. He intends
remitting them to you for collection, and to be paid
142 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
over to the proprietors, after deducting his com-
missions ; and the expenses incurred in prosecuting
them. He tells me Mr. Skipwith represents about
6,000,000, which he will probably send to you also for
collection ; and that he intends, in case of determin-
ing on this, to make a proposal to me to pay him his
commissions, and the expenses due him from them,
amounting to about $80,000, in this place, twelve
months after the bills are sent from hence. He ex-
pects to be paid at the rate of 108 sous for the dollar.
I give you this as I received it. When I have his
proposals, I shall make the best terms I can as to
commissions, &c. Bentalou will want about $20,000
on account of his claims. I will let him have it at
the discount that may be established, which I expect
will be about 10 per cent. Skipwith will probably
require as much — not more, however ; and in the event
of his putting the business I have spoken of into our
hands, I shall accommodate him on the same terms.
Exchange on Holland is not quite so disadvantageous
as it was. I could draw at this moment without losing
more than one per cent.
" In a short time, I will have it in my power to
inform you more particularly with regard to the land
affair, and what is the result of the claim business,
that you may make your arrangements accordingly.
" 9th January. — Our friend Maupertuis is making
preparations to repair to his consulate at Rotterdam.
To assist him in his outfits, I have given him a draft
on S. & H. for F3000 current money. He returns
THE B OX A PARTE- PA TTE RSON MA RRIA GE. 1 43
me his obligation for the like sum with interest,
* payable in twelve months.
" The negotiation for East Florida is to be trans-
ferred from Madrid to this place. I am sure this
matter will not be so easily arranged as I first thought.
Our government expected to have got that country by
giving as a recompense the claims of its citizens on
Spain for depredations, and will not consent to pay
another farthing out of the treasury for the purchase
of territory. The language of this government is,
we will, as the friends of Spain, take care of her
interests ; we will treat with you for the country ; but
it is absurd to suppose you can have it for nothing ;
and ice will be satisfied without recompense for our
" The government of the United States think they
have a right to the country, and will very probably
take it by force of arms. If you see any movement
of our troops which indicates such an intention, I
would advise you instantly desisting from any ship-
ments to France, Spain, and Holland even, as I do
not think property would be secure in either country.
" I shall of course give Mcllhenny & Glennie
timely information, that they may stop any of our
vessels which may call with them, in case it should be
necessary. The cession may, however, be still brought
about in an amicable manner, and without any ex-
pense to our government, which is by Spain's giving
jurisdiction of the country to us as an off-set to the
demands of our citizens on her, and by raising a
company in Holland which might, for a grant of the
144 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
unappropriated lands, give a sufficient sum to the
officers of this government to recompense them for
their mediation. If anything of this nature is deter-
mined on, it is not improbable that I may be employed
in the business, as they know my acquaintance with
Holland. My last letter to you was of the 25th ult.
In this I recommended Jerome's returning alone to
France, and his sending his wife to Holland. Nothing
has occurred since to induce me to think a different
" Yours very affectionately,
Under date of January 13th 1805, Gen. Samuel
Smith, then a member of Congress, writes to William
Patterson, Esquire, in Baltimore. From his letter we
copy the following paragraph :
" Mr. Bonaparte arrived here at eleven o'clock. He
is well, and Nancy is in high spirits. Tell Betsy
that I have called twice on Stuart, but he was from
This locates Bonaparte in Washington and his wife
in Baltimore for the present; but we cannot enlighten
the reader so much as to give a biographical sketch
In compliance with the order of time in which
events successively occur, we pause again to bring in
another writer. He hails from St. Croix de Tene-
riffe, writes good French, it is said, and we give his
letter in full : —
THE BOXAPA R TE- PA TTERSOX MA RB J A GE. 145
11 St. Croix de T6ne>iffe, le 30 Nivose, an 2 Empire fran.
Le Commissaire des Relations Coinmerciales de 1' Empire
Francais aux Canaries,
A Son Altesse Imperiale le Prince J6rome Bonaparte :
u Je ne doute point, qu'etant si 61oign6 de l'Europe, V. A.
Imperial ne recoit avec plaisir les nouvehes d'un concitoyen, qui
a l'honneur de vous faire des compliments sur votre mariage,
et fait des vceux pour votre prosperity et de l'aimable prin-
cesse, que vous avez cru digne de votre choix. Elle est parfaite.
ment connu par Mde. Dumestre, qui se trouve actucllement
dans cette ville ; pour tout ce qu'elle me dit, elle brillera a Paris,
etfera les delices de votre auguste f'amille, et de la societe. Je
serais fort heureux si a votre retour le hazard pouvaitme pro-
curer l'honneur de vous recevoir en ce port, et vous procurer
" Je ne puis vous donner des nouvelles fraiches de la France.
Lesdernieresquej'airecusontdateesdu 18 Brumaire. La guerre
entre l'Espagne et S. M. I. est declare, ce qui rend notre cor-
respondance tres difficile. Le meurtre <!<■ 300 sujets de S. M.,
Penlevement d'un tresor considerable et par une agression pr6-
m6dit6e, ont ali6n6 le reste d'attachement ou du moins des rap-
ports, qui subsists it encore entre les deux cours. Dans cette
conjoncture actuellement critique, mais qui par l'avenir ne tour-
nera qu'a la destruction plus certaine de la puissance anglaise.
" Le sacre de S. M. I. avait ete renvoye au 4 Nivose. Le
pape etait attendu ainsi que la Princesse Votre Mere, et le Car-
dinal Fesch. Les preparatifs pour cette auguste c6r£monie
annoncent les plus grandes rejouissances.
" Ceux qu'on fait pour la descente en Angleterre s'executent
avec la plus grande vigueur qui 6tonne, quoique personne ne
peut penetrer les intentions de S. M. I. On est generalement
persuade, qu'elle pourras'efFectuer malgre larigueur del'liiver.
Dieu fasse que tout aille bien au gre des desire de tout bon
Franqais. Une nouvelle est r6pandue et dont je ne puis vous
assurer, que la flotte de Brest composee de 27 vaisseaux sous
le commandement de l'Amiral Gontcaume est sortie en trom-
146 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
pant la vigilance des Anglais. Si elle est vraie, nous appren-
drons bientot quelque coup funcste porte sur nos ennemis.
" Nos troupes sont a Hainbourg, on s'est empare de tous les
" Je desire que cette lettre vous parvienne. elle me procurait
l'avantage de recevoir des nouvelles de S. A. I. Daignez dis-
poser de votre Concitoyen avec 1' assurance du plus grand
attachement, et du plus profond respect.
" St. Croix of Teneriffe,
" January 20th 1805.
" The Commissary of Commercial Relations of the
French Empire to the Canaries,
" To His Imperial Highness
The Prince Jerome Bonaparte :
" I do not doubt that, being so far from Europe,
your Imperial Highness will receive with pleasure the
news of your fellow-citizen who has the honor to
compliment you on your marriage, and heartily pray
for your prosperity, and that of the lovely princess
you have thought worthy of your choice.
" She is perfectly known by Mrs. Duinestre, who is
now in this city. Mrs. Duinestre tells me she will
shine in Paris, and constitute the delight of your
august family and of society. I should be most happy
if, in your return home, I should be lucky enough to
receive you in this port and procure you some re-
" I cannot give you any new intelligence from
France. The latest I have received is dated the 18th
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 147
Brumaire (12th November.) War between Spain and
II. I. M. is declared, which renders our correspon-
dence very difficult.
" The murder of three hundred subjects of H. I.
M., and the capture of considerable treasure by pre-
meditated aggression, have alienated the remaining
ties, or rather the relations which existed between the
two courts, and in this critical conjuncture, will in
future turn to the sure destruction of the English
" The coronation of II. I. M. has been postponed to
the 25th of January. The Pope was expected, as
well as the Princess your mother, and Cardinal Fesch.
The preparations for this august ceremony portend a
time of great rejoicing. Those which are made for the
landing in England are going on with the greatest
vigor, but nobody can penetrate the designs of H. I.
M. People are generally persuaded that it will take
place in spite of the rigors of winter. God grant
that all may turn out to the satisfaction of all good
Frenchmen. A report has been spread abroad, that
the Brest fleet, composed of twenty-seven ships of the
line under the command of Admiral Gonteaume, has
sailed out, evading the vigilance of the English. If
this is true, we shall soon hear of some heavy blow
given to the enemy.
"Our troops are in Hamburg, and have taken pos-
session of all the English factories. I wish that you
may receive this letter, in order that I may receive
some news of H. I. H. Please consider me at your
service, with the assurance of the greatest affection
148 THE B ON A PA R TE- PA T TEES ON MARRTA GE.
and the greatest respect. Your most humble and
P. Cuneo D'Ornano."
On the 29th January 1805, Mr. Patterson writes
again to his father in Baltimore. His letter is of no
interest whatever to a reader at this late day. It is
ptincipally of a commercial character, giving prices
current, &c. ; but those paragraphs which have a bear-
ing upon our subject, we copy. He says : " Respecting
the business I opened to you in my letter of the 7th
and 9th inst., we wait for the answer to my letter to
Rome before we take any measures in the business.
Mr. Monroe in a letter from Madrid states that that
court has it in contemplation to throw open the trade
of its colonies to all neutral nations, on the condition
that the adventurers will pay at Madrid by anticipa-
tion the duties on their cargoes. You may depend
on this information being correct. I would not how-
ever wish it mentioned as from me.
" As an accommodation to our friend Bentalou, I
have agreed to lend him $10,000, and have written to
S. & H. to remit me a bill to that amount. I am to
be reimbursed by a purchase of the bills, if I like the
terms on which claims of this description sell at;
otherwise, he will take up his obligation for the money
lent, allowing me interest on the same. I have a
perfect recollection of your maxims on this head ; but
you must allow there are situations in which a devia-
tion from them may be permitted, and this is one.
He is a very worthy man, and the friendly interest he
THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 149
takes in our concerns really lays us under obligations
to him. It is thought the bills will be issued in the
course of two or three weeks. Bentalou has claims
of his own passed amounting to $40,000, and repre-
sents others for about 600,000 francs, which, as I
mentioned to you before, are to be remitted you for
" I have seen Mr. Skipwith once since I wrote you.
He mentioned to me that he expected to receive about
six or seven millions of francs, and that he would also
send them to you for collection. He did not say any-
thing about the appropriation of his commissions.
" General Armstrong thinks from the result of the
inquiries he has made respecting Jerome, that per-
mission has been given him to return with his wife ;
and that though she may not be immediately recog-
nised, she will ultimately, on his making the proper
submissions for engaging himself so precipitately,
without having obtained the approbation of his family.
" At the solicitations of a gentleman in Amsterdam
who showed me some civility, I promised to send to
America for a pipe or half a pipe of London-partieu-
lar-three-years-old wine for him. Have the goodness
to send one in the spring, of that kind.
" A number of Jerome's bills which were lying over
have been accepted within a few days. We have had
a paragraph in the newspapers taken from one in a
New York paper of the 5th of December, stating that
Jerome and his lady sailed from that city in the Presi-
dent French frigate, on the 2d of December."
We give as next in the order of time a letter, in
150 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RR IA GE.
full, written from Paris by M. Meyronet, who says he
is about to embark as second captain of the frigate
Canonniere. It is addressed on the cover " Monsieur
Jerome Bonaparte, Etats Unis D'Amerique." He
does not beg Jerome to leave the "young person " in
America, and come alone to France. Indeed he holds
out no inducements for him to come, but rather en-
courages him to stay, and expresses a desire to be
with him in America. Here is his letter : —
Paris, le 18 Pluviose, an 13.
" Monsieur : II est probable que lorsque cette lettre vous par-
viendra, vous aurez recu quelques unes de mes precedents, et
par cette raison je crois superflu de vous en rappeller leur
eontenu. Mais les derniers ev6nements dont j'ai a vous in-
former me conduisent a vous repeter combien j'ai ete afllige
de n'etre pas revStu de toute votre confiance dans une circon-
stance ou j'aurais pCl faire un usage bien cher a mon ame. Je
crains bien que vous n'ayez pas rencontre ailleurs des dispo-
sitions, telles que vous les aviez supposees. Je dis seulement
je le crains, sans que j'en aie pour cela la preuve ou indice
certain, et je serais au desespoir de vous faire retirer votre
estime de personnes, qui n'auraient point cesse de la mcriter.
Mais, vous savcz que plusieurs de mes suppositions ce sont autre-
fois realises, et les evenements semblent justifier un peu celles-
ci. Quoiqu'il en soit, je ne fais nul doute que si vous aviez
ete bien servi comme vous deviez vous y attendre, tel evene-
ment dont j'ai a gemir aujourd'hui n'aurait pas eu lieu.
" Un deeret imperial declare le Marechal Murat Prince, et
le nomme Grand- Amiral. Un autre d6cret declare M. Eugene
Beauharnais Prince, et le nomme Archi-Chancelier d'Etat de
l'Empire. Je vous envoi e par une autre voie une gazette oil
sontces deux decrets, ainsi qu'un troisieme qui nomme soixante
cordons rouges. Vous en recevrez la liste. L' Amiral Gon-
teaume, qui commande l'arm6e de Brest, est du nombre, ainsi
que le Ministre de la Marine.
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 151
S. M. PEmpereur a 6crit au roi d'Angleterre pour Iui Cairo
des ouvertures de paix ; ce dernier a repondu en 61ml ant.
Toutes fois les esperances de paix restent encore.
"Jevousprie d'excuser ce brouillon. Je pars a l'instant
pour Cherbourg, ou je dois etre embarqufc en second Bur la
frigate La Canonniere, qui doit partir incessamment pour uno
destination qui me rapprochera un peu de vous. Je fais dea
vceux pour qu'elle m'en rapproche tout-a-fait.
11 Toute la famille imperiale se porte bien. Bide, la Prin-
cesse Borghese seule ne jouit pas d'une parfaite sante. Mon-
sieur Lucien est toujours, je crois, en Italic, le restc de la
famille a Paris.
" Je ne sais d6sormais quels vceux je dois former pour vous ;
je desire que vous soyez heureux, et je le serai moi-iueine de
" J'ai Phonneur de vous r6it6rer les assurances de mon in-
violable attachement et de mon respect.
"P. S. Permettez, Monsieur, que je salue ici ces messieurs
qui m'ont probablement oublieV'
" Paris, February 7th 1805.
" It is probable that when you receive this
letter, you may have received some of the preceding;
and for this reason, I think it is unnecessary to re-
mind you of what they contain. But the last events
that have taken place, and of which I have to inform
you, lead me to repeat how much I have been afflicted
not to be intrusted with all your confidence in a cir-
cumstance where I should have made a use of it very
dear to my soul. I fear much you have not met else-
where arrangements such as you had supposed them.
1 52 THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TT EPSON MARRIA GE.
I say only that I fear, without having any certain
indication ; and I should be in despair to make you
withdraw your esteem from persons who should not
have ceased to merit it ; but you know that several
of my suppositions have formerly been realized, and
the events seem to justify my fears. However it may
be, I have no doubt that if you had been as well treated
as you had a right to expect, such a result as I now
lament would not have taken place.
"An imperial decree declares Marshal Murat
Prince, and styles him Grand Admiral. Another
decree declares M. Eugene Beauharnais Prince and
names him Arch- Chancellor of the state of the Em-
pire. I send you by another way a newspaper in
which these two decrees are inserted, as well as a third
one, which names sixty crosses of the Legion of
Honor. You will receive the list of them.
" Admiral Gonteaume, who commands the army
of Brest, is one of them, as well as the Minister of
" His Majesty the Emperor has written to the King
of England to make him propositions of peace. The
latter has answered in an elusive manner, yet hopes
of peace remain.
"I beg you to excuse this rough copy. I leave
immediately for Cherbourg, where I must embark as
second captain on the frigate Canonniere, which will
sail immediately for a destination which will bring me
nearer you. I could wish that it would bring me
altogether to you.
" All the Imperial family is in good health,
THE BONA PAR TE-PA TTERSON MA R R I A GE. 1 53
the Princess Borghese excepted. M. Lucien is
still, I believe, in Italy. The remainder of the fam-
ily are in Paris.
" I do not know henceforth what wishes I must
form for you. I desire that you may be happy, and shall
be happy myself to learn it. I have the honor to
present you the assurance of my inviolable affection
and respect ; and, sir, please permit me here to greet
those gentlemen who have probably forgotten me.
Mr. Robert Patterson is still in Paris. In spite of
the "signs of the times" and the cold frosts of
" Pluviose" he maintains his ground, collects facts,
arranges them to suit, and writes interesting letters
to his father. His next we give in full, on account
of its general interest, and for the reason that it
explains many things previously mentioned. He
begins : —
" Paris, 16th February 1805.
"Dear Sir: My last was of the 29th ult., in
original and duplicate, via Bordeaux. I enclose you
the Holland tariffs for the last ten years, by which I
would advise your examining all of your sales made
during that period. If you find you have been over-
charged in duties, as I suspect will be the case, send
the accounts to me with the proper powers to enable
me to act, and I have little doubt but I can compel
them to disgorge. To proceed in this business with
most effect, it would be well to inform me, as nearly
as you can, at what time the different shipments
154 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
arrived at the Texel, that I may have recourse to the
customs books, which I expect to accomplish with a
few douceurs, to ascertain the exact sums paid in duties
on the cargoes. If we fail in the attempt to recover
in Holland, we should undoubtedly succeed in the
United States by laying an attachment on their
lands, provided we could prove by documents from
the custom-house we had been charged more in duties
than was paid.
" I have had no letters for a long time from Mcll-
henny and Glennie, so that I am at a loss to know
with any degree of accuracy how our accounts stand.
When I was leaving Holland, to prevent their being
at any inconvenience during my absence, I directed
them to write to S. & H. when they wanted re-
mittances on our account, who would supply them.
In conformity to those instructions they asked a
remittance from S. & H. of .£1970 sterling, which
was remitted them on the 31st of last January.
"Bentalou has given me his obligation for the
money lent him, with a kind of mortgage on his claim
also, to secure us in the event of any unforeseen
" The French tariff has just undergone a revision.
The duty on coffee of the growth of their colonies is
75 francs per quintal, but of the growth of other
countries 100 francs. It will be of importance to
attend to this in making shipments to France.
" I am still without an answer from Rome. When
it is received we shall go on to Madrid to ascertain if
possible what will be required for the entire parcel.
THE B HA PA Ii TE- PA TTERSON MA RR I A GE. 1 55
In possession of that knowledge, I can see on my
return to Holland whether a company can be formed
there or elsewhere to carry the operation into execu-
" The Rochfort fleet, consisting of five sail of the
line and four frigates, sailed about a month ago. It
had four or five thousand men on board. India is
generally believed to be its destination. It is said
the Brest fleet with fifteen or twenty thousand troops
is ready to embrace the first opportunity of getting to
sea, which it is also believed is intended for India.
If India should be the theatre of the active warfare
between England and France, there must necessarily
be thrown open a vast field for our commerce in that
country ; and as our interest would be much promoted
by one of us being there, I am willing, in case of
John's returning, and you think my exertions will be
more useful there than in Europe, to take his place.
" I mentioned in my last a report stating that some
bills lying over, which were said to be Jerome's, were
taken up. I find since — at least have it from a
tolerable source — that they were Pichon's and not
Jerome's bills. I cannot learn that any of Jerome's
" I wish to engage your interest in behalf of Mr.
O'Meally, a gentleman to whom I am under obliga-
tions, and for whom I have a sincere regard. He
intends establishing himself at Bordeaux, with a view
of transacting American commission business solely,
and takes with him about $100,000, a capital that
will enable him to conduct his concerns with ease to
156 THE B ONAPAR TE- PA TT EPSON 31 A RRIA GE.
himself, and to afford every facility and advantage to
his friends. It is said the Consul at Bordeaux has
done so many improper things that there is little
doubt but he will be removed. With a persuasion
that this will be the case, his friends have advised his
applying for the office. The application will be sup-
ported by many respectable characters in Virginia, by
his Baltimore friends, among which may be reckoned
Mr. E. Johnston and Mr. MacKreary, and by our
Minister here, General Armstrong. If you were to
speak to W. Nicholas and to General Smith, and
request them to further his application, I think they
could, together with his friends, secure the place for
him. His character is unimpeachable, and no person
can in any respect be better qualified to fill the office
with dignity and honor to himself and the country
than him. I am very sure you will never have any
reason to regret anything you may do for him in this
U T. Lbvfxbe a t informs me that he saw a
person yesterday who mentioned to him that he had
just heard xur Rvc — b, say that it was his determin-
ation to x u b e p Q — r v a x e cbofea the mo-
ment of his arrival, where he should remain till he
brchiolxri his p o m x and v lb b o r i
another which he should designate.
" The gentleman thinks from the decided manner
in which he spoke, that he will certainly put his
threats into execution. L. and myself are now of
opinion Q. will only be safe by remaining where he is.
THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 157
Be on your guard when you receive advices different
from other quarters."
To this letter Mr. Robert Patterson does not place
his signature. He evidently has become alarmed as
to his own personal safety in Paris. The momentous
words of the Emperor in cipher appear in a latter
paragraph of the letter, and it would seem that the
news came as he was about to close. It appears also
that the Key to the cipher was already in the posses-
sion of his father in Baltimore, by some private con-
veyance. It did not come in the letter copied above.
From the disguised words Robert plainly saw what the
Emperor's intentions were, and was convinced of the
extreme measures that would be resorted to on the
arrival of Jerome in France. General Armstrong, it
will be seen, was also of opinion that the Emperor
would adhere to his intentions expressed in the words
which were tremulously committed to cipher; and yet
the young couple are preparing to embark, the prep-
arations going clandestinely on — he for France and
she for Holland ; and the letter freighted with this
alarming intelligence may not reach Baltimore before
the embarkation and the sailing ! What if it does ?
Will they abandon their mad policy?
The following Key will admit the reader to the
mysteries of the two latter paragraphs in the letter
just given, and perhaps be read with great curiosity :
A w, B r, C p, D b, Eo, F s, G c, H u, I d, J v,
Kx, La, M/, N k, i, P w, Q /, Re, S y, T g,
U h, V m, W z, X t, YZ, Z q.
158 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
Using the above Key the paragraphs in question will
read — " General Armstrong informs me that he saw a
person yesterday who mentioned to him that the
Emperor says that it was his determination to throw
Jerome into prison the moment of his arrival, where
he should remain till he repudiated his wife and mar-
ried another Avhich he should designate."
" The gentleman thinks from the decided manner in
which he spoke, that he will certainly put his threats
into execution. General Armstrong and myself are
now of opinion Jerome will only be safe by remaining
where he is. Be on your guard when you receive
advices different from other quarters."
It will be remembered that Mr. Robert Patterson,
in a former letter, mentioned a speculation in the un-
appropriated lands of East Florida, in which he
wished to interest Lucien Bonaparte for himself and
Jerome ; and that he had written to Lucien at Rome on
the subject, and was waiting a reply before his depart-
ure for Madrid to put the scheme in operation. It
does not appear that Lucien answered the letter, and
becoming tired of waiting, he pens the following letter
to his father, which we give in full, with its enclosures:
" Paris, 5th March 1805.
" Dear Sir — The enclosed is a paragraph that came
out yesterday in the Moniteur, and is to-day inserted
in all the other papers. The arrival of the frigate
Le President was scarcely announced when this para-
graph appeared, which I fear has been occasioned by
something or other that our friend has written by this
THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 159
vessel ; but whatever may have been the cause, you
must agree with me, that our friend ought no longer
to think of returning.
" I expect to return to Holland in the course of
four or five weeks. The speculation I mentioned to
you in several of my letters has been laid aside, at
least for the present, which will afford you an oppor-
tunity of giving me your ideas respecting it.
" The bills that are to be drawn by our Minister on
the Treasury of the United States, are not yet is-
sued, and I fear I shall not be able to do anything in
them either, as I shall probably be obliged to return
to Amsterdam before they are drawn.
Yours very affectionately,
This letter was, on the 11th of March, forwarded for
America in the ship Robereus, with the annexed en-
closures : —
Paris, 1 5 ventose.
"Par un acte du 11 ventose, defense est faite a tous officiers
de l'6tat civil de l'Empire, de recevoir sur leurs registres la
transcription de Facte de celebration d'un pretendu manage
que M. J6rdme Bonaparte auroit contract6 en pays etranger,
en age de minorite, sans le consentement de sa mere, et sans
publication prealable dans le lieu de son domicile.
"From and after the 11th of the present month, all the
civil officers of the Empire, are forbidden to suffer the trans-
cription on their registers, of the certificate of a pretended
marriage which Mr. Jerome Bonaparte may have contracted
in a foreign country, without the consent of his mother, and
without the banns thereof being previously published in the
place of his abode. (Moniteur.)"
160 THE B ON A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
Still in Paris, and perhaps indulging in gloomy
anticipations on account of the unfavorable turn
things have taken, Mr. Patterson again writes a short
letter to his father, from which we gather that all his
hopes of a reconciliation of the Emperor to his sis-
ter's marriage, have fled for ever, and left behind the
end of diplomacy upon the subject. He begins : —
" Paris, March 9th 1805.
Dear Sir —
I wrote you via Bordeaux and Nantz on the
5th inst. enclosing a paragraph which appeared in the
different newspapers about that time. D — s ehtux
as ae vrlap x e g eve xe M — r. m fu r pe
liyi d e mebxh alvx v a eay s dr oat fr a x
d I g 7i. B r c eb x flsf x ulx Y — . p If I bbr
f xri I x v o y I a I ai u r of a i p g e a m o a r
ivaxurxueyr x u r b r."
To this letter, in the handwriting of Mr. Robert
Patterson, he neither affixes his signature nor his ini-
tials, but closes by the words " I am, &c." On the
cover is the direction, " William Patterson, Esquire,
Baltimore. Per the Charleston Packet via Phila-
Using the key already given, the paragraph in
cipher reads thus : " Betsy ought by no means to come
to France. If she were, I think she would be for-
tunate in only being sent back. Report says thatLu-
cien was arrested at Milan, and he is now confined in
the thole there."
In two days, however, after this alarming intelli-
gence had been committed to paper, Jerome and his
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 161
wife were on the deep in spite of all warning ! The
ship's "gallant prow" was pressing on towards Eu-
rope, inspiring Jerome with the soul-stirring sen-
timent, " Land of my birth, I shall greet thee again."
Betsy, if we may credit the language of the strange
writer from Lille, had " drawn a prize which most of
her sex covet," yet its possession was, we imagine,
already giving her sorrow. She was bidding farewell
to her native land and to the companions of her
youth, in a manner that made secrecy necessary in
order to her safety ; for British cruisers in American
waters were bent on the capture of her husband.
She had exchanged the comforts of an affluent home
in America for the privations of a long period of
anxiety, pain and sorrow, in a strange land.
On the morning of the 11th of March 1805, ere
gray twilight had completely yielded to the light of
day, or the dragon of night fairly departed, the young
couple stood on a wharf in Baltimore. The land
secretly and tearfully gave up its charge, and the
ship moved off; she passed the fortifications in the
river, and not a ripple was heard ; she passed the
capes of the Chesapeake, and the sea, sadly smiling,
received the precious sail !
Perhaps she passed in mid-ocean, within hailing
distance, the ship which bore the letter in cipher to
Betsy ! Both, however, were unconscious of its exist-
ence, and they ploughed along on the " highway of na-
tions" toward their respective destinations. The ship
bearing the letter reached America, and the good ship
Erin, bearing the young couple, reached Spain, and
there for the present we leave them.
162 THE BONA PA It TE- P. A T TEES ON MA RRIA GE.
As previously stated, the young couple sailed on
the 11th of March ; and as quietly as the circum-
stances of the embarkation and sailing were con-
ducted, General Tuerreau, the French Minister in
Washington, in spite of bad roads and rickety stage-
coaches, had the news on the 13th. He writes to Mr.
Patterson in Baltimore, and we copy his original in
"Washington City, March *3thl805.
" Sir — About four or five days ago, I did myself
the honor to write to M. Jerome Bonaparte, entreat-
ing the favor of him to offer you my sincere thanks
for the wine you gave Mr. Carriere to be sent to me.
I understand that M. Bonaparte left Baltimore on
Sunday last ; and being uncertain of his having
received my letter before his departure, I, with
pleasure, tender you my acknowledgments for the
" I avail myself of this opportunity to inquire of
you, sir, whether M. Jerome Bonaparte had left his
four carriage horses with you, and whether he begged
you to dispose of them. I should in this case be will-
ing to purchase them of you, sir ; and take it as a
favor would you be so kind as to acquaint me with
" I have the honor to be, sir, with regard,
" Your most obedient servant,
u French Minister.
This letter was written in English, and signed by
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 163
the Minister -with his own hand. We have given a
On Sunday the 17th of March 1804, Mr. Patterson
writes his reply to the above, and we give below a
copy of his letter, word for word : —
" Baltimore, 17th March 1805.
" Sir — I had the pleasure of receiving the letter
you were pleased to address me of the 13th current,
and was happy that the two cases claret delivered Mr.
Carriere for your use have met your approbation. I
would not have taken the liberty of offering them in
the manner I did to Mr. Carriere had he been able to
procure the kind he wanted by purchase ; but knowing
there was none of that quality for sale, induced me to
spare you a part of what I had imported for my own
use ; and having still more than a sufficient supply for
my own purposes, should you, on trial, like the quality
of the wine, I shall be happy to furnish you with two
"Mr. Bonaparte left instructions with me not to
dispose of his horses until I heard from him after his
arrival in Europe. Of course it is out of my power
at present to make you an oifer of them on any terms ;
otherwise, it would have afforded me much pleasure to
Irtve given them to you in preference to other appli-
cants, and more especially as the horses are very fine
" Mr. Bonaparte got under way from our harbor at
8 o'clock in the morning of Monday last, and went to
sea the next morning at 9 o'clock, with a remarkably
fine wind which lasted for three days ; so that I hope
164 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
and pray he will reach his port of destination in
safety. I am concerned however to find that a British
sloop of war sailed from the harbor of New York last
Sunday morning, said to be bound for Bermuda ; but
I have little doubts her real intentions were to inter-
cept the vessel in which Mr. Bonaparte was embarked.
It was not unknown to Mr. Bonaparte and the master
of the vessel, that such a British vessel lay at New
New York, and the probability of her coming out to
try to intercept them. They were therefore on their
guard ; and as the vessel in which they embarked was
only in a set of ballast, and reputed one of the fastest
sailers belonging to our port, there is little or no
danger of his going clear.
" I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir,
" Your most humble servant,
" William Patterson.
" His Excellency General Tuerreau, Washington."
On Jerome's second day at sea, General Bewbell of
Paris writes him a letter which he never received. It
also may have passed him in mid-ocean, and reached
America about the time he landed in Spain. We
allow the general to speak for himself in his own
" Paris, le 24 Ventose, an 13.
" Monsieur : J'ai eu l'honneur de vous ecrire, et de vous
t6moigner combien j' avals et6 afflige en apprenant par Meyronet
tous les details do votre naufrage; une lettre que je viens de
ir de Mr. Pascault en me les confirmant, m'apprend en
outre que vous gtes malade. Personne, Monsieur, ne s'intercsse
plus vivement a vous que moi, et cette derniere nouvelle me
causa un chagrin reel. Je passerai ce matin chez M. Patter-
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 165
son pour le prier de vous faire parvenir cette lettre. J'esperc
qu'il aura des choses plus consolantes a me dire sur l'etat de
;> Meyronet est parti ; je d6sire qu'il ait 6t6 vous rejoiudre ;
c'est un homme sur lequel vous pouvez compter, et qui vous
est tout devoue.
u S. M. rimperatrice a fait obtenir a Monsieur de Mauper-
tuis le consulat de Rotterdam ; Ton assure que cette place
vaut dans ce moment passe cent mille francs. Je me plais a
croire que M. de Maupertuis vous est aussi attache - que Mey-
ronet. Je voudrais vous parler avec la confiance quo je vous
dois, et qu'on ne peut s'empecher d'avoir pour un cceur comme
le votre ; mais cela devient impossible dans les circonstances
"Puisse-je avoir l'honneur de vous faire bientot ma cour !
Vous n'gtes pas fait pour vieillir en Am6rique. Malgre' tout
ce qui se passe Mde. R. espere avoir 1'a-v.antage de voir Ma-
dame J. B. dans ce pays-ci. Je me joins a celle en pensees et
en desirs. Veuillez nous rappeller a son souvenir, et croire,
Monsieur, que je ne cesserai en aucunes occasions de ma vie
de vous §tes attach^ avec la plus tendre et la plus res.pectueuse
u Votre tout devoue - serviteur,
" Paris, March 14 tt 1805.
" Sir : I have had the honor to write to you and to
testify how much I have been afflicted on learning
from Meyronet all the particulars of your shipwreck.
I have just received a letter from M. Pascault con-
firming these reports, and informing me also that you
have been sick. No one, sir, takes more interest in
your welfare than I, and this last news has caused
me a great deal of real sorrow. I will go this morn-
166 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
ing to Mr. Patterson to request him to send you this
letter. I hope he will have something more satisfac-
tory to tell me concerning the state of your health.
" Meyronet is gone. I wish he would rejoin you.
He is a man on whom you can depend, and he is
entirely devoted to you.
" Her Majesty the Empress has obtained the con-
sulship of Rotterdam for M. de~ Maupertuis. People
say this situation is now worth more than a hundred
thousand francs a year.
" I am happy in believing that M. de Maupertuis is
as much devoted to you as Meyronet. I would like to
speak to you with the confidence which I oWe you, and
which it is impossible not to have for a heart like yours ;
but this becomes impossible in the present circum-
stances. I hope I shall soon have the honor to pay you
my homage. You are not made to grow old in America.
In spite of what is taking place, Mrs. Rewbell hopes
to have the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Bonaparte in this
country. I join with her in thoughts and desires.
Be kind enough to remember us, and believe, sir, I
will never cease on any occasion of my life to be de-
voted to you with the most tender and the most
respectful gratefulness. Your all-devoted servant,
We close this chapter by giving two extracts from
letters written to Mr. Patterson in Baltimore by
Jonathan Jones of Bordeaux. Under date of 24th
February 1805 he writes : " I have lately forwarded
you several letters via New York, without the least
observation made thereon, though particularly recom-
THE DON AP All TE-PA TTERSOX MA RRIA GE. 167
mended by me to the captain's care, and as I had
some responsibility therein, beg you to be so obliging
as to advise me in course if such letters get safe to
hand. They went by the brig Georgia [unfortunately
lost) that sailed the 24th of January from Bordeaux,
and was driven ashore at the entrance of the river.
The captain had two bags of letters, one of which was
saved that I had sealed up, and the bag was sent on
by the brig New York. You had better send your
orders to some confidential friend at New York to
detain yours, for many of the letters were opened on
account of their being wet with sea-water."
On theH7th of March he writes again: "Here
enclosed you will please receive two letters that came
to hand two days since with a desire to send both by
some occasion, as well as the Gazette herewith,
that gives me infinite pain from the warm friendship
I take in all that interests you."
The Bordeaux Gazette, to which this last para-
graph refers, contained the article of the " 13th
Yentose," relating to "the pretended marriage" of
Jerome, which " he may have contracted in a foreign
Young couple on the sea ! — Robert Patterson in Paris — Gen-
ral Iiewbell— The Erin safe— Sad news in cipher— Storms of
wit— Deception "all the go"— Nineteen days at sea— Blue
hills of Portugal — Letter from Bonaparte — " Sea-sick never
kills nobody" — Foreign gossip — Letters in cipher — The cipher
changed — Gossip in Boston — The "Columbian Centinel"
irate — The Bonapartes lampooned— Letters of Dacres pub
lished — Philadelphia and the Moniieur — Bentalou and Skip
with — Mr. Livingston's treaty — '' Bills" — Another letter from
Lille — Affairs in Holland — Mr. Schimmelpenninck — Madame
Bonaparte not allowed to land in Holland — Sylv%ius Bourne
pleads her cause — She is placed under guns — Mr. Bourne's
letter — Gossip in London — Madame Bonaparte goes there —
Jerome and Le Camus at Genoa.
No news has yet arrived from the young couple on
the sea. Another letter from the bride's brother has
probably passed them on its voyage to America. Mr.
Patterson still in Paris, writes a letter, mostly of a
business character, to his father, and w T e copy from it
the following paragraphs.
Dating Paris, March 17, 1805, he says,
"Dear Sir: — My last was of the 9th inst., and I
am still without any of your letters.
" It is my intention to set out in the course of two
or three days for Nantz and Bordeaux, from there to
Marseilles, then to Lyons, and return to Holland,
without passing this place again. I shall probably be
in Amsterdam in the course of six weeks, perhaps
sooner. When Bentalou gets his bills, he will transmit
THE B OXA PA R TE- PA TTE RSON MA RRIA GE. 169
them to me to be forwarded to you, on his doing which
I will return him his obligation ; and will let him have
something more on account of them.
" Mr. Skipwith has some idea of going himself to
the United States with his bills ; but if he does not,
which is by far the most probable, he will send them
to you for collection. I mentioned to you his having
expressed a wish to have his commissions, in the event
of his sending his bills to you, paid to him here at the
rate of 108 sous per dollar, which is par, twelve
months after he hands me the bills. As it will be the
means of your getting your money home without the loss
that has latterly attended the drawing in Europe, it
would certainly be an advantageous arrangement for
us : and if he thinks seriously of the plan, I shall
have no hesitation in entering into it on the terms I
have stated, with this proviso, that the money is only
to be paid after we know of the bills being paid in the
United States. His commissions amount to about
" The enclosed letter is from General Rewbell. I
do not see the least reason to change the opinion
given you before, that the only chance left' to Jerome
to bring his affair to a fortunate issue, is by his
remaining in the United States. If he were to come
out I suspect he would be very far from finding a cor-
dial reception. I shall write you more particularly
and fully from Bordeaux."
The reader will discover that General Rewbell's
letter came as an enclosure in Mr. Patterson's letter
170 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
just quoted, but it was published in the last chapter,
in the order of time.
Fearing that ladies may grow tired of the historical
and commercial part of the correspondence, we will
lay before them something perhaps more suited to
their tastes. From Mr. Patterson, now in Bordeaux,
we have another cipher letter, intended as a warning
to the young couple, now far out on the trackless
ocean, in sight of nothing save billow and sky. This
letter, on its way to Baltimore, will pass them nearer
the rock-bound coasts of Europe than mid-ocean, but
will remain the custodian of its dreadful secrets ; and
the unconscious vessels will plough on as the thought-
less messengers of grief.
The young couple are safe on the bosom of ocean.
The noble Erin has gallantly carried her unusual
freight, and auspicious winds will soon bring her in
sight of land.
But to return to Mr. Patterson's letter. Dating
" Bordeaux, 31st March 1805," he writes to his father
under the impression that Jerome and his wife are
still in Baltimore : —
" Dear sir," writes he in original and duplicate, " I
had the pleasure of writing you on the 17th inst. from
Paris, enclosing you a letter from General Rewbell for
Jerome, which was forwarded from here by a schooner
bound to Baltimore.
" I had thought for a long time that the Emperor's
being dissatisfied with Jerome's marriage proceeded
merely from the pique of the moment, which I hoped
he would soon have got over ; but from what General
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 171
Armstrong has been able to learn, and by what I have
heard from other quarters, it seems that this uncon-
ciliatory disposition of the Emperor is kept alive and
meuvraxri by the oaxbathrfofa, c lb x
of the m Iv o y 8 . The R — ff and the c b o a g -
rff r f . Y — , and R y o f I are not m l j e b -
I d y s iofcefri xeplbifQ — . His
dbexurbf, with the exception of Y — a , take
probably but little v a x r b r f x in his d r ul y m.
The mother, I believe, is really desirous of appeasing
the Emperor and to recognise the marriage. I am
afraid however that her good dispositions "will be of no
avail, as she is not supposed to have much influence
over him. M — , you know, has a handsome appoint-
ment, and the Empress, who is his relation, has made
him several presents as testimonies of her regard. He
shows all Jerome's letters to the Empress, and one or
two of them he mentions as having sent to the Empe-
ror. He is not considered a man that can be de-
pended upon, but one who will adhere to his friend
whilst it is convenient. Though we cannot confide in
him, it is unnecessary to discover our mistrust of him.
" If Jerome were to arrive he would undoubtedly
begeamoari, and till he should g e r c y 8 with
whatever the R — might direct ; and if his wife should
come out, and I must repeat, I should consider her
fortunate in e ay s being fr ax dig n to the United
States. He may possibly, on showing a reluctance to
return, be demanded of the American government as
an officer in the Navy, which demand could scarcely
be complied with if he chooses to throw up his com-
mission. There is not much to be apprehended on
1 72 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MAURI A GE.
the score of fhc cy o rf. Their choir is a suffi-
cient guarantee against any inconvenience of that na-
ture. They have been informed of the consequences
that might attend doy yf brxhbaoat c b exrf
x r i. It might be a disadvantage for your a Iv r to
I c c rib e a las of them. The reports of the Iff I
ff o a I x o e a ovgeamvarvrax of Y — A are
not confirmed, and are most probably unfounded.
The bore circumstance, however, of their being consid-
ered possible shows a ylvraxldyr ircbljoxs
of v e b lyf."
To this letter Mr. Patterson adds his initials only.
The paragraphs in cipher read thus — " This uncon-
ciliatory disposition is kept alive and fomented by the
intrigues of a 'part of the family. The Empress, and
the princesses ; Lucien and Elisa, are not favorably
disposed towards Jerome. His brothers, with the ex-
ception of Lucien, take probably but little interest in
" If Jerome were to arrive, he would undoubtedly
be confined, and till he should comply with whatever
the Emperor might direct ; and* if his wife should come
out, I must repeat, I should consider her fortunate
in only being sent bach to the United States."
" They have been informed of the consequences that
might attend bills returning protested. It might be a
disadvantage for your name to appear on any of them.
The reports of the assassination or confinement of Lu-
cien are not confirmed. The bare circumstance how-
ever of their being considered possible shows a lament-
able depravity of morals"
" M — ," appearing in the preceding letter, refers to
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 173
Maupertuis the French Consul at Rotterdam ; and it
is somewhat singular that Mr. Patterson always dis-
guises his name in the correspondence. He finds that
Maupertuis is " not considered a man that can be de-
pended upon," and perhaps the 3000 francs loaned
him as part of his out-fit for Rotterdam, have gone
where the "woodbine twineth." In this letter, as
given above, the full face of deception is unmasked,
even that of Lucien also, who in the beginning of
diplomacy uppn this subject was described as " a firm
and decided character. On all occasions, he thinks
and acts independently. On this one he nobly and
candidly uttered what he thought." Did he?
Down to this time, March 31st, the reader will,
remember that the young couple have been nineteen
days on the sea, and no accounts of their voyage ap-
pear. By this time they should be in sight of the
calm blue hills on the shore of Portugal. They may
have partaken of " fresh provisions" at St. Croix de
TeneriiFe, if the good ship Erin has been favored. If
she has, or even has not been favored, what a fame
will she earn for herself ! It will eclipse that of the
fairest of the argosies that swarmed the ancient ocean,
or flitted before the imagination of the wildest poet.
She will be classed among the real heroines of the
white-bannered battalions of the sea, and the canvas
will record her precious memory.
Before the appearance on the path of gossip, that
unlicensed peddler of paragraphs, we will favor the
lady, into whose hands this book may come, with the
reading of the first letter from the young couple,
written by Jerome's own hand, and in his own Eng-
174 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
lish. It was directed to " Mr. William Patterson,
Baltimore," in the handwriting of the young Madame
Bonaparte herself, and we give below a verbatim
" On Board of the Erin,
the 2d 'April 1805.
" I have the pleasure of writing to you, dear father,
from the arbous of Lisbon where we arrive this morn-
ing the 21st day of our departure from Cape Henry.
We shall be obliged to perform a qua^ntine of 16
days, but I have already found the way for not doing
it, and in three days I shall be ready to proceed on
my Long, monotonne, and fatiguing journey. My
feelings for you, my second mother, and all your good
family are very well known to you, and it is easier
for me to feel them than to express them. I have
left one of my family and will be soon among the
other, But the pleasure and the satisfaction of being
in my first will never make me forgot my second.
" My dear wife has fortunately supported the
fatigues of our voyage perfectly well. She has been
very sick, but you know as well as any body that sea-
sick never has killed no body.
" I pray you, dear father, to do not forget me near
my friends, and particularly General and Mrs. Smith
and family, Nancy, Dallas, and Dr. McHenry, and
remember that you solemnly promised me to never
show my letters, and to burn them after having read
This letter is signed B. only ; and in the hand-
writing of Mr. Patterson, father of Madame Bona-
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 175
parte, it is endorsed, "Bonaparte, Lisbon, April 1805
— received loth May."
From Jerome's letter, it will be seen that the ship,
with himself and wife, arrived at Lisbon, the capital
city of Portugal, on the 2d of April 1805. On the
14th, the Lisbon papers had it that " Jerome Bona-
parte, after having been jive days under quarantine,
landed and received visits from the Spanish ambassa-
dor, and others of the corps diplomatique in friendship
On the 2d of May, it was published at Greenock
that " a Lisbon mail arrived on Thursday per the
Walsingham packet. Jerome Bonaparte had set out
for France, and his lady and her brother by sea for
Amsterdam." This was William Patterson, Jun.
Jerome set out for the city of Artesian wells, and the
lair of the lion which he must soon encounter ; but
his wife, delicate, fatigued, and dishonored, bids a
final farewell to her husband at Lisbon, and that hour
of parting becomes also the hour of a final forsaking,
and she must finish her journeyings on earth alone.
Still in Bordeaux, Mr. Robert Patterson, seriously
operated upon by fear from some quarter, writes the
following letter to his father, even disguising in cipher
the initials of his name ; and then changing the cipher
itself ! We copy the letter in full : —
" Bordeaux, 11th April 1805.
" Dear Sir — The following is an extract of a letter
I received from B u by yesterday's post : 'I
have been told, and assured that the information may
be relied on as coming from a correct source, that x ur
176 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
vexurlulffloi xul x If fur br gr o -
j r i I yrxxrl m b e v Q — r xr y o at ur b
x ul x rn o ar o a t uof vlbboltr fe vhgu
ioflccbejri urplfpoyyoat xe uljr
vx ioffeyjri fur y e af r ax r i xe xur
" I do not know how he gets his information, but as
he sometimes gives credit to reports without consid-
ering them sufficiently, I think it highly probable that
what he states will prove unfounded. B. C.
" N. B. I will write you in the following cipher
when there is anything material to communicate : —
abcde fgh ij kl mnopqrs t uvwxyz
g k np 8 u a d r v z b w h y mxc j I o i t f q V
B u, in the above letter, stands for Bentalou;
and the extract from his letter, using the former Key,
reads thus : " I have been told and assured the
information may be relied on as coming from a correct
source that the mother has said that, as she received a
letter from Jerome telling her that, finding his mar-
riage so much disapproved, he was willing to have it
dissolved, she consented to the late publication."
On reference to the first Key to cipher, in a former
part of this book, the reader will discover that the
initials B. C, appended to the above letter, represent
.R. P., or Robert Patterson.
This is the last letter Mr. Patterson writes from
Bordeaux. Soon after the writing, he appears to
have departed for Paris without hearing of the arrival
of the young couple, and William Patterson Junior,
his brother, in Portugal. For the. present we leave
THE B OX A PAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIAGE. 177
Jerome on the overland route from Lisbon to Paris,
which he probably took, and Mr. Patterson and his
sister in the Erin, Captain Stephenson, on their voy-
age to Amsterdam ; and we will hear no more of them
until they arrive at their respective destinations.
The paragraph from Mr. Bentalou's letter addressed
to Mr. Robert Patterson, and by him transmitted in
cipher to his father in Baltimore, fully unmasks the
mother of Jerome also, and the demon of deception,
fully denuded, stands forth as the ruling genius of the
Leaving affairs in Europe to the control of circum-
stances, the kind reader will please return with us to
America, and we will land in Boston, where we breathe
a pure atmosphere among real people.
The editor of the " Columbian Centinel," published
in that city, becoming irate upon the subject, handles
the Bonapartes in the following careless manner.
Referring to the letter of M. Dacres to Jerome, he
says in his issue of the 3d of April 1805 : —
" The real character of man may perhaps be more
justly appreciated by his private sentiments and
actions than by his public ; in the former, he is less
prepared and more off his guard ; he has fewer mo-
tives for disguising or checking the emotions of his
heart ; his nature, if we may be allowed the expres-
sion, is more undressed than in public, where the con-
viction that all eyes are fixed upon him, that every
feature, and look, and gesture is weighed and watched,
gives to his manners a constrained and studied air,
and makes him more the child of art than of nature.
178 THE B ON A PARTE- PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
" This letter affords more insight into the character
of Bonaparte than we could gain from his public
actions ; it contains the expression of his undisguised
sentiments and feelings in private and in confidence.
What a cold unfeeling heart ! How severe, unbending,
and unforgiving ! occupied solely by ambition and the
love of power, valuing only the ties of family and
blood, as they contribute to the gratification of his
master passion, and the accomplishment of his ambi-
tions desires ! ' Whatever is foreign to the accomplish-
ment of his great designs, seems to him treason against
Ms high destiny,' says M. Dacres, and tells his Brother
that he knows him better than he does. * I will re-
ceive Jerome, if, leaving in America the young person
in question (his innocent and virtuous wife), he shall
come hither to associate himself to my fortune.'
1 Consider,' says the Minister to M. Jerome, 'that
you have as yet done nothing for Mm.' Of natural
affection, the Minister candidly confesses that he is
utterly devoid. ' In vain, availing myself of the
freedom which the First Consul permits in domestic
privacy, did I wish to make the voice of natural
affection be heard. I became sensible from his con-
versation, that he neither felt, nor was liable to feel,
any pliancy of that kind.' A stranger, unacquainted
with the character of Bonaparte, might be led to sus-
pect, upon hearing his repugnance to the marriage
entered into by his brother, that that brother had
married a lady of low origin, and that she formed a \
distressing contrast to other marriages that had been '
entered into by the family — a contrast indeed ! the
contrast which virtue affords to vice ! Is it possible
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 179
that Bonaparte could have been blinded to this truth,
that every rebuke he uttered against his brother was
ten times more applicable to himself? to himself who
evinced the most disgusting indelicacy and immorality
in the union he had formed, a union in which every
feeling most congenial to the heart was violated, and
which was entered into for the sole purpose of grati-
fying his thirst of ambition and dominion. And
Joseph Bonaparte ! was his wife of superior rank and
virtue to the wife of Jerome ? Lucien appears to be
under the same ban and anathema as Jerome ! He
has been banished from France because he has con-
tracted connections 'which have been found incom-
patible with his abode in France.' But of Lucien,
the Emperor, if we may form a judgment from the
letter of the Minister of Marine, stands in some awe.
He certainly is indebted in a great degree to him for
his present pre-eminence and power. This high sense
of family pride which must not be sullied by contact
and commixture with plebeian blood, would scarcely
been pardonable in the real descendants of Charle-
magne. But in a little low Corsican, born we know
not of whom, and whose name and family were never
heard of until within these ten years, it is perfectly
contemptible and ridiculous. To demonstrate to our
readers the folly of the objections which the Emperor
Buonaparte has made to the alliance formed by his
brother Jerome, in America, we present the following
authentic sketch of the genealogy of the Buonaparte
family, which we deem it our duty to blazon and set
forth for the entertainment and information of our
180 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
Mrs. Ranioglini, of Basle,
married M. Ranioglini ; and, secondly,
M. Fesch. She had by these marriages
and M. Fesch, now Cardinal Fesch.
Letitia Ranioglini married Carlo Bonaparte,
a Recorder of a petty
Tribunal of Ajaccio.
Letitia Bonaparte was afterwards mistress of Count
Marbceuf, Governor of Corsica.
Her children by Carlo Bonaparte and Count
Marbceuf are — His Imperial Highness,
Joseph Bonaparte, who married
Her Imperial Highness, M. M. Clary, daughter of a
ship-broker at Marseilles.
His Imperial Majesty,
who married Madame de Beauharnais, first the wife
of Count Beauharnais, and afterwards the mistress
Citizen Lucien Bonaparte.
He was first an Abbe. In 1793 he was employed
in the wagon service of the Army of Provence, at
£100 a year. His first wife was a chambermaid in
the tavern of one Maximin, near Toulon. She died
at Neuilly in 1797, from bad treatment.
His second wife is Madame Jauberthou, the di-
vorced wife of an exchange broker,
She was his mistress for a year, and then he mar-
THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 181
His Royal Highness,
Married Mademoiselle Beauharnais, daughter of
Her Imperial Majesty by her first husband.
CITIZEN JEROME BONAPARTE
Married MISS PATTERSON, a very respectable
and beautiful young lady of Baltimore.
Her Imperial Highness,
the sister of his Imperial Majesty, married at Mar-
seilles, Bacciochi, son of a waiter at a coffee-house,
and marker- at a billiard-table at Aix-la~Ohapelle and
Spa, in 1793 ; the son carried on a small trade in
Cotton in Switzerland.
Her Imperial Highness,
Princess Matilda Bonaparte, married Gene-
ral MURAT, son of an ostler at an Inn, three miles
from Cabors, in Quercy. Murat, in 1793, proposed
to change his name to Marat.
Her Imperial Highness
Princess Paulina Borghese, married first Gene-
ral Leclerc, who was the son of a wool dealer, at
JPontoise. He purchased wool from the country peo-
ple, and resold it at Paris, to the upholsterers. His
mother, Madame Leclerc, was a retail dealer in corn
and flour. Her brother had been sentenced to be
hanged for robbery."
It was not until early in the spring of 1805 the
letters of M. Dacres found their way into the news-
papers of the United States. At this time they were
182 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
generally published by the few journals then existing
in the country ; but we find that the " National Intel-
ligencer" in Washington, as early as February 11th,
publishes the letter to Pichon, and for it that paper
credits the London Morning Chronicle, but does not
give the date of the issue. We do not find that the
Baltimore papers published these letters at any time,
but remained comparatively silent upon the whole
On the 3d of May it was published in Philadelphia
that " the report of a decree annulling the marriage
of Jerome Bonaparte has been also deemed a fiction
in this country. We, however, find in the Moniteur
of the 1st of March the official document to that
effect. It differs from that we have already published
in the concluding words which are, without the con-
sent of his mother, and without the banns thereof being
published in the place of his abode."
On the 20th of April we find Mr. Robert Patterson
again in Paris. He addresses a business letter in
triplicate to Messrs. William Patterson & Sons, Bal-
timore, and says he wrote them a letter from Bor-
deaux the 2d of April, " stating the particulars of the
arrangement I had entered into with Mr. Skipwith
respecting the bills he is to receive." This letter does
not appear in hand, and he goes on to say, " On my
arrival here the day before yesterday I was very
much astonished at Mr. Bentalou telling me that
Skipwith had expressed some regret at the contract
he had made, and that he feared very much he wished
to be off. I immediately called on him, determined
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 183
to have such explanations as would prevent any-
future misunderstandings ; but finding very soon from
the tenor of his conversation, and from the shuffling
disposition he discovered, that it would be difficult if
not impossible to compel him to adhere to his agree-
ment ; and considering also the danger of having any-
thing to do with a person on whose word we find not
the smallest reliance can be placed, I consented to
acquit him of his engagement and to annul the con-
tract. Bentalou is very much mortified at Skipwith's
trifling conduct. He suggested the arrangement, and
from motives of friendship towards him forwarded the
negotiation. The disappointment is the more aggra-
vating, as I have reason to suspect I was undermined
in the business by a person from whom a very differ-
ent conduct ought to have been expected. I allude
to Js. Per s."
After writing at length on the subject of commer-
cial affairs in such a manner as to make very* dry
reading for the present generation of merchants, Mr.
Patterson concludes : " Mr. Bentalou requests you
will send him a pipe of Madeira wine of first quality.
It can be sent either to Nantz or Bordeaux. He
wishes it to be cased." This looks very much liko
" sending coals to New Castle."
Without any previous notice of his departure from
Paris, we find Mr. Patterson in Amsterdam on* the
10th of May.
Dating "Amsterdam, May 10th 1805," he writes
to his father : " Enclosed you will find a bill on the
Treasury of the United States, drawn by General
184 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
Armstrong in favor of Paul Bentalou, and endorsed
to you, for 170,378 francs 58 centimes. The letter
of advice which you have also enclosed and the bill
are dated on the 6th inst. You will please to recol-
lect- 1 have purchased $20,000 of this bill from Mr.
B., for which I am to pay him at the rate others are
sold of the same description. The balance you will
hold subject to his orders. You know I have already
given Mr. B. $4000 as part of the purchase-money
for the $20,000. I shall remit him $10,000 or
$12,000 more in the course of a day or two, and the
balance when we have a precedent to establish the
discount I am to be allowed. Mr. Bentalou informs
me the bills are to be paid at the Treasury at the
rate of one dollar per jive francs and three thousand
three hundred and thirty -three ten-thousandths of a
" The following is an extract of Bentalou's letter,
dated the 7th of May : ' As the Ministers have agreed
to serve first all the claimants present, it follows that
we will, I fear, have to wait some time longer before
those represented by powers of attorney are granted,
and have gone through not only the examination of
these powers ; but perhaps more difficulties arising in
their progress between the Ministers will have to
undergo long discussions. It appears they have agreed
that the bills are to be issued in the name and for the
sole benefit of the original claimant, therefore not
negotiable ; and hence the necessity of the agents, in
order to secure their due, to send these bills to a third
person ; and I have the pleasure to add that Mr.
THE BO NAP A R TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE. 185
Skipwith has already informed me that since he is
not allowed to deduct here his commissions from each
claim that he represents, he means to comply with his
former engagements agreed upon with you, and of
course will send all his bills to your house. If this
turns out to be the case, as I really believe it will,
we must discard our suspicion of any collusion with
our New England friend.
" When I have anything from Skipwith respecting
a renewal of our engagement, you shall be informed.
It will then be sufficient time for you to make your
" The person sent to the Texel writes that public
notice was given there in handbills that any person
having communication with the ship Erin, Captain
Stephenson, would incur a severe penalty. He men-
tions 'also that he has reason to believe that the ship
arrived in the Texel roads last Wednesday, but was
ordered off immediately; and he adds that there is a
report of her being in the Vlieland, a place about
thirty miles to the northward of the Texel. He sent
a letter of mine for William to that place. They will
no doubt proceed to Embden."
To this letter Mr. Patterson signs his name in full,
as he invariably did when without the boundaries of
France. As so much has been written by Mr. Pat-
terson on the subject of " bills to be drawn by our
Minister," we give below a letter from General Arm-
strong transmitting a "bill," and also a copy of one
of the bills in question : —
186 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
« Paris, May 6, 1805.
" Sir — I have this day drawn on you in favor of
Paul Bentalou, in pursuance of a liquidation by the
government of France, in this case provided by the
Convention between the United States and France of
the 30th April 1803, the 10th of Floreal, year 11, for
one hundred and seventy thousand three hundred and
seventy-eight francs fifty-eight centimes.
" John Armstrong,
" Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States.
"To the Treasurer of the United States, Washington."
We cannot give a copy of the bill which was drawn
as above, but we have one similar.
" Exchange for 3321 francs and four centimes at 5
francs foWo per dollar, Paris Aug. 16, 1805. Pay
ninety days after sight this my first of exchange,
2d and 3d of same tenor and date unpaid, to the
order of George Ellis, surviving partner of the house of
Geo. Short & Thos. Ellis, in pursuance of a liquida-
tion by the government of France, in this case provided
by the convention between the United States and
France of the 30th April 1803— the 10th of Floreal,
year 11, three thousand three hundred and twenty-
one francs and four centimes. Per advice from the
undersigned Minister Plenipotentiary of the United
States. John Armstrong.
" To the Treasurer of the United States, Washington."
The treaty of 30th April 1803 was concluded by
Mr. Livingston for the purchase of Louisiana.
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSOX MARRIAGE. 187
If ladies will pardon this digression from the sub-
ject of the marriage into the channels of business, in
which gentlemen only may take an interest, we will
place before them a short letter from Mr. Robert
Patterson, written from Amsterdam to his father,
announcing the arrival of Madame Bonaparte's vessel
at the Texel. The Texel is a small island in the
North Sea opposite the inland waters of Holland
upon which the city of Amsterdam is situated. Its
location will be seen on reference to a map of Europe.
Dating Amsterdam, May 11th 1805, Mr. Patterson
says : — " I learn from the Texel the arrival of the
tErin. The pilot who brought her in is put in the
guard-ship, and will in all probability be punished.
The person who is at the Texel had not at the time he
wrote succeeded in putting my letter on board, but
expected to be able to do it. From the circumstance
of their prohibiting the pilots from bringing in the
vessel, I am in hopes their object is merely to prevent
their landing, and that they will be permitted to
depart again. Yours affectionately."
To this letter Mr. Patterson does not sign his name ;
but addresses it to Messrs. Wm. Patterson & Sons,
Whilst we are waiting for more news from the
Texel, we will open another letter that comes from a
different direction and goes in a different one, quite
contrary to the location of the person to whom it is
addressed ; but the writer has already been admitted
into our circle of correspondents, and we will give
him a hearing in order. Before we open the letter,
188 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
let us take particular notice of the directions on its
envelope. Just look ! It is headed by large red let-
ters in print.
Then conies the writing —
" A Madame.
Madame Jerome Bonaparte.
We will now break the great seal of wax, and read —
" Lille, May 29th 1805.
" Madame —
" It was with the most lively solicitude that I
read in the Official Journal that Mr. & Mrs. Jerome
Bonaparte had arrived at Lisbon. The joy however
which I felt on this occasion was not, I find, to be of
any long duration ; but on the contrary was to be
succeeded by some news as unpalatable and mortifying
as my intelligence had been pleasing. You may sup-
pose, Madame, I allude, and if you do, you will con-
jecture rightly, that I allude to the subsequent rumor,
that you and Mr. Patterson were again departed for
America. How to account for this circumstance, I
am utterly at a loss ! If it is true, I trust whatever
may be the event, it will still be such as to establish
your reputation, and the honor of your family, on as
solid a basis as they have both heretofore rested ; and
that the connection which you have so happily and
honorably formed will at length be sanctioned in its
TEE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
due extent. If this should be the case, no one will
rejoice more sincerely at this event than myself. If
it should unfortunately be otherwise, which I cannot
bring myself to believe, it becomes our duty, however
painful the practice of this duty may be, to submit
with resignation to the will of Providence, which you,
from your own conscious rectitude of conduct and
purity of intention, will be enabled to do, so far as to
insure to yourself that tranquillity and peace of mind
which virtue always gives, and which neither gold nor
honors can purchase.
" In this case, should any chance hereafter bring
you to this part of the world, I shall feel it my indis-
pensable duty to seize the earliest opportunity of pay-
ing my respects to you ; and to assure you personally,
as I now do by letter, of my readiness to render you
every service in my power.
" Permit me, Madame, to subscribe myself, with
most respectful regards,
" Your most obedient and most devoted servant,
George Matthew Pater son.
Rue Equimoise, No. 921.
" P. S. I have already had the honor by letter of
the 6th of August 1804, to make myself known to you.
To Madame Jerome Bonaparte."
If the reader will turn back to Mr. Geo. M. Pater-
son's letter of the 6th August 1804, the two together
will make up an interesting and an amusing docu-
Next we have the following paragraph from the
190 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
New York papers, but without date. " Paris papers
to the 20th of May brought from Amsterdam by the
ship Mississippi, we are verbally informed, state that
Madame Bonaparte had arrived at Amsterdam from
Lisbon some days previous to the sailing of the Mis-
sissippi, but no communication was suffered between
her and the shore; and the ship being ordered away
was about to sail, but for what port was unknown.
Jerome Bonaparte was then at Amsterdam."
Chancellor Livingston returned from Europe on
this ship ; but it is not true that Jerome was in Am-
sterdam at the time stated. He at once yielded to
the dictates of the Dictator, forsook his wife, returned
to service in the French Navy, and was, on the 4th
of June 1805, erasing off Genoa as commander of the
frigate Pomona, attended by two brigs — a single man
again, as the anonymous correspondent said Jerome
declared he would be on his arrival in France.
Digressing again into the political affairs of Holland,
we copy the following paragraphs found in the Lon-
don papers of the 5th of April 1805 : —
" A letter from Rotterdam, of the 27th ultimo,
states that the people of that country seem in general
pleased with the new constitution, as it assimilates so
much with their old one. The best informed politi-
cians think that at the period of a general peace
the stadtholderian government will be re-established
through the intervention and influence of the cabinet
" Mr. Schimmelpenninck will remain at the head of
the government till that time. Before the revolution,
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
he was a man very little known — a barrister. He is
of a good family. His behavior, since he has been in
a political situation, has gained him the esteem of
many of his countrymen. He assumed his functions
on the 29th of April."
The English papers in their issues of June 1805,
said that the ship Erin of Baltimore was at Amster-
dam in May, with Madame Bonaparte in board,
'• where she was not suffered to go on shore. Madame
is in the last stage of pregnancy. Her brother did
not think it safe to proceed to Baltimore. The Erin
was in the Texel a week, and was placed between a
sixty-four gun ship, and a frigate, a guard-boat kept
about the ship at night."
On this situation we would forbear to indulge in
any remarks. Our pen lifts from the attempt, and
perspiration starts at the task. But we would ask a
few questions of the civilized, the great, and the
learned maritime jurist ; for we make no pretensions
to learning ourselves. What principle underlying the
law of nations did the ship Erin violate ? What
code prepared by the wisdom of the great past ? and
what of the national statutes, or the unwritten law,
the law of custom ? What doctrine founded in inter-
national courtesies ?
The Erin, armed with nothing more dangerous than
an American flag and register, and with nothing less
respectable, was entitled to the respect and confidence
of every nation, yet she was driven under guns ! She
was simply a merchant vessel of the United States,
with a cabin fitted up expressly for the accommodation
1 92 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MAR RIA GE.
of a lady. What is " a vessel of the United States?"
It is not " a vessel of, or belonging to, the govern-
ment, carrying arms and munitions of war ; but simply
a ship or vessel belonging to a citizen or citizens of
the United States, carrying their national flag. The
Erin had on board her register and flag, granted: to
her on compliance with an Act of Congress passed on
the 31st of December 1792, and approved by Presi-
dent Washington himself. She carried nothing known
as " contraband of war." She was a merchant vessel,
we say, owned by William Patterson of Baltimore ;
and her clearance from Baltimore certified that she
carried" no guns." Her character and documents,
therefore, subject by law and custom to the inspection
of all nations, declared that she was not dangerous
to the nations "with which the United States are at
peace," or even at war. She was not an alien, foreign
to all nationalities, but a fully documented ship, pre-
pared for all the privileges of the ocean, and fitted for
entry at all the parts of civilization. On her arrival
at the Texel, the authorities there well knew that no
one of her crew or passengers could be made a polit-
ical prisoner, or a prisoner of war. The party charged
with some imaginary violation of the laws of France,
left the vessel in Portugal, an entirely different na-
tionality, with which the French were at peace ; and
the Erin therefore passively stood before Amsterdam
clear of the least guilty charge. /But she was not
allowed to enter any port within the jurisdiction of
France ; for the Emperor of that country sent two
gun-ships alongside of her, for no other reason than
to frighten a lady with "no guns."
THE B ON A PAR TE- PA TTE 11 SON MA RRIA GE. 193
If the scene could be photographed on oui; skies,
we think sun, moon, and stars might pale at the sight
of the strange figures ; and the affrighted comet,
dropping his load of material for building and repair-
ing worlds, would depart a tailless wanderer through
the deeper blue of the heavens.
Mr. Schimmelpenninck, whom we have already in-
troduced, was at the time of Madame Bonaparte's
arrival before Amsterdam styled " Grand Pensionary
of the Batavian Republic," and was then at the head
of the government of that country.
Sylvanus Bourne, Esq., who had the honor of bear-
ing to John Adams the intelligence of his election to
the office of first Vice-President of the United States,
under Washington as first President, was Consul-
General of the United States at Amsterdam, when
Madame Bonaparte was under guard of French guns,
in the Erin, before that city ; and from the paper we
copy below, we discover the highly honorable and
manly course he took with respect to the humiliating
condition of his countrywoman. The paper appears
to be in the handwriting of Mr. Bourne himself, and
we copy it in full : —
" Copy of a letter of S. Bourne, Consul-General
of the United States at Amsterdam, to His Excel-
lency R. J. Schimmelpennnick, Grand Pensionary of
the Batavian Republic, in the case of the ship Erin,
Captain Stephenson, May — , 1805.
" Sir, — I am called upon by imperious motives in
which the influence of private friendship combines
with that of public duty to address you on the inter-
194 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MAURI AGE.
esting case of the American ship Erin, Captain Ste-
phenson, late from Lisbon, and the passengers on
board, now lying in the Texel Roads, under the most
rigorous interdiction of any communication with the
" I shall waive all contest on the question of right
resulting from the treaty between the Batavian Re-
public and the United States to carry on a free com-
merce with this country ; nor shall I inquire how far
the circumstances under which this vessel arrives,
may constitute any illegality in the case. I am not
ignorant of the avowed cause of the detention, and
have only to ask that an immediate decision may be
had thereon. My amiable countrywoman, who is on
board, is very far advanced in a state of pregnancy,
which renders her situation peculiarly delicate and
deserving of attention. Her sufferings already, from
causes which perhaps cannot be controlled, are suffi-
ciently severe, and sure I am you will be anxious that
they should not be aggravated by any unnecessary
delay. I must therefore entertain the fullest confi-
dence that you will immediately cause orders to be
given for a due supply of fresh provisions to be fur-
nished the ship, and' that she be suffered to depart, if
Mrs. Bonaparte cannot be permitted to find an asy-
lum here. In this request her brother joins, united
with that of having permission to go on board in
person, or to send on board a sealed letter relative to
the future destination of the vessel.
" Submitting the whole matter to the operation of
those sentiments of propriety and justice which emi-
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 195
nently distinguish jour character, I have the honor
to be your obedient servant."
In May 1805, a London paper says, " The ship
Erin, of Baltimore, arrived at Dover on the 19th of
May. Madame Bonaparte was on board last from
Amsterdam;" and on the 30th of May the same pa-
pers said, "Madame Jerome Bonaparte has seen very
little company since her arrival in London."
For the present we will leave Madame Bonaparte
in London. She has found an asylum at last among
her own people. She is but nineteen years of age ;
yet she is on an ocean of trouble, and she greatly
needs rest. She will have kind friends there to nurse
the embers of hope during the days of her sojourn-
ment, and the calm nights which breed multitudinous
To hear the next sad story, the kind reader will
please follow me over to Genoa. Here we find " Al-
exander," perhaps the identical person whom our old
friend Maupertuis styled " My dear Alexander." We
mean Alexander Le Camus, and here is his letter.
We copy it in full. It is addressed to William Pat-
" Genoa, 12th of June 1805.
" Dear Sir — Mr. Bonaparte did not let you hear
from him since his arrival among his family, on account
of painful circumstances in which he was placed.
Notwithstanding the difficulties there were to be level-
led in adjusting the affair with his brother, he con-
stantly entertained great hopes ; but your daughter
has far removed, if not destroyed for ever, the possi-
196 THE B ON A PA R TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE.
bility of a reconciliation. Being obliged to leave her
in Lisbon, Mr. Bonaparte thought she could not have
been committed to a better guide than her brother,
and that her conduct would have agreed with the plan
that he was to carry into execution; her situation, and
her own interest, would have advised her not to take
any improper steps ; but finding in Holland orders
which prohibited her landing on the French territory,
she imprudently went to London, instead of going to
a neutral port, as Embden or Bremen ; and her arri-
val in that city mentioned in the newspapers, has
excited some rumors, and will certainly give occasion
for any kind of observations directed against his
family. The Emperor, in a letter which Mr. Bona-
parte received yesterday, expressed to him a strong
dissatisfaction at it. In the present circumstances
of war, such a conduct was not dictated by a good
policy. It breaks all correspondence between them
both, and offends the emperor, whose generous heart
would have been converted to more favorable disposi-
" However, Mr. Bonaparte begs me to assure you
that he will never deviate from the principles of honor
and delicacy which were always the basis of his cha-
racter, and on which his happiness is established. He
desires you to rely entirely upon him, and let time
obliterate the first impressions made on the mind of
" I am happy that Mr. Bonaparte has chosen me
to transmit to you the expressions of his true attach-
ment for you and family. He does not forget the
THE B ONAPA R TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 197
children, whom he misses very much. We speak often
of you all, and of our good acquaintances in Ame
rica. Will you be so good as to recall myself to their
remembrance, and be persuaded of my perfect esteem
" Yours, truly,
"Alexander Le Camus."
The preceding letter speaks too plainly for itself to
need explanation ; and we give another letter from
General Tuerreau, the French Envoy at Washington,
of whom we will shortly have Madame Bonaparte's
Dating Washington, July 3d 1805, he writes : —
" I wish to ascertain with any person appointed by
you the situation of the country-house which I hold
from you, as well as to make a statement of the furni-
ture left by you, and the repairs which might be neces-
sary to make in the said house. This I hope will be as
agreeable to you as to me. As we have not agreed yet
on the yearly price for the rent of this country-house,
please let me know it, with the date that it is to run
on my account. If any immediate repairs are now
judged necessary, I will with great pleasure, when
agreed by you, pay them upon the rent. I am, with
"Mr. Patterson, Merchant, Baltimore."
We have no more letters from the Minister at pre-
sent, but Madame Bonaparte will let us hear again
from her father's tenant by a missile which she hurls
at him from England.
198 THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON 31 A RR I A GE.
Using the parlance common to the science of agri-
culture, let us "knock off cutting," and "shock up"
that which is already down.
We must bear in mind that the mother of the
Bonaparte family recommended her son Jerome to
come directly to France and send his wife to Holland,
where she should remain whilst negotiations for the
imperial recognition of her marriage were pending at
Paris. It is not clearly seen why she did so instruct
her son ; but the eye of history which " penetrates
the cabinets of kings," and finally rests upon the
form of mystery, will soon bring it to full view. She
knew, and Jerome also knew, that, with respect to
government, Holland was just as French as France.
According to the first epistle of Le Camus, Jerome,
after her humiliating detention before Amsterdam,
upbraids his wife for not going to a neutral port after
she cleared the Texel. If going to a neutral port
was proper at last, it should also have been proper at
first. It does not therefore fail to appear that the
Bonapartes were determined upon a laugh at her
"credulity." National diplomacy had already estab-
lished the precedent of conducting negotiations for
the adjustment of national differences on the soil of
neutral countries, and Holland was not therefore the
place for carrying on negotiations concerning the
marriage. With respect to negotiations concerning
a marriage only, London should have been considered
just as neutral as Embden, Bremen, or Copenhagen.
" She imprudently went to London," says Le
Camus. We ask why was going to London so impru-
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 199
dent ? He lamely and miserably answers the ques-
tion himself, because it " will certainly give occasion
for any kind of observations directed against his
family," and " such a conduct was not directed by a
good policy. It breaks off all correspondence between
them both, and offends the Emperor /" He had no
other ground for offence than that her name was
Patterson, and the King of England had a right to a
like ground of offence because her name was Bona-
parte. But he was not offended. He had no fears
for the loss of his crown because the " young person"
who had attached herself to a Bonaparte had arrived
before London. He received her in his dominions
notwithstanding her name and history, and he also
honored her national colors.
" It breaks off all correspondence between them,"
says Le Camus. It need not be broken off; for there
were her two brothers, her physician, Dr. Gamier,
and her lady attendants, all fully competent to con-
duct it for Jerome just as well as Mr. Le Camus
could conduct it for him with Mr. Patterson in Balti-
more. Jerome might have conducted the correspond-
ence himself without his signature, and bound his
wife and her attendants under a sacred promise to
burn his letters, as he said he had bound his father-
in-law Mr. Patterson.
Before Jerome and his wife embarked for Europe,
he had learned from Dacres, Pichon, and Tuerreau,
his own countrymen and others, that an order had
gone forth under the imperial seal forbidding her to
board a French vessel, or " put a foot on French
200 THE B ON A PA B TE- PA TTERSON MA1UITA GE.
territory;" and he was therefore well advised, in
advance, that she would not be permitted to land in
Holland. But in the face of these warnings Jerome
deliberately sent his wife to that country, and conse-
quently this act was what I have heard ladies call " a
Madame Bonaparte's first and only child was borr
at Camberwell, near London, on the 7th of July
1805. It was a boy, and she named him Jerome
Napoleon Bonaparte ! — Not Patterson,
We next meet Mr. Robert Patterson in London.
The only letter we have from him touching the event
just referred to is one which we shall now place
before the reader. It is headed " Original per London
packet via Philadelphia," and on the cover is written
"To Mr. William Patterson, Baltimore."
Dating "London, 27th July 1805," he writes :—
" Dear Sir : I have now the pleasure to inform
you that my sister is well recovered from her confine-
ment. She has been down stairs two or three days.
The child was vaccinated five or six days since, and is
" We are still without any news from the continent.
The vigilance of Jerome's friends will, I am very
much afraid, completely prevent his hearing from us
and we from him. Poor B was so much afraid of
another visit from the police that he has returned me
by Mr. Monroe some letters which he received from
me since his enlargement.
" I have as yet had but little conversation with Mr.
Monroe. He does not, however, say anything very
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 201
flattering to our hopes. I shall consult him on the
propriety of our going to the continent, and will en-
deavor to persuade my sister to whatever he may
advise ; but I do not think she can be diverted from
her intention of going.
" Everything on our part shall be done to bring
the affair to issue before we leave Europe, which can
scarcely be before next spring. Write us to this
place, for were we even on the continent, letters will
reach us just as soon as if sent there direct. Yours
It is not easy to determine who was meant by
" Poor B " in the above letter. Le Camus says
that Bonaparte was at Genoa on the 12th of July,
and received a letter from the Emperor "yesterday,"
which was the 11th. Another account, given on a
previous page of this book, says he was there also on
the 4th of June in command of the frigate Pomona
and two brigs ; and it will be seen that Le Camus
locates him as still there on the 29th of July, and it
is not likely that an officer on duty in the French
Navy would be subject to the visits of the Genoese
police ; nor is it likely that Jerome would return to
Mr. Patterson, by way of France, any letters on the
subject of his marriage. Can it be that the writer
refers to Mr. Bentalou and the police of Paris ? or
does he refer to some person in London subject to the
visits of the police of that city ?
Before Mr. Patterson and Madame Bonaparte
begin to send in more letters, we will prepare the
reader for the reception of the surprising intelligence
202 TEE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
of which they are the vehicle, by giving our friend
Le Camus another hearing. His letters are very
entertaining and refreshing to us, because he writes
for Jerome. Young ladies, especially, who are gen-
erally trying to learn how to get married themselves,
often find that the experience of those already mar-
ried is instructive to them ; and Mr. Le Camus in the
following letter may furnish them with some information
that will be useful in directing their choice of a hus-
band. From the reading of this letter, they may be
impressed with the belief that " all is not gold that
glitters," and that everything drawn is not the " prize
which most of their sex covet."
" Genoa, 29th July 1805.
" Dear Sir—
"I committed the 13th of June to the care of
the American Consul in this town, a letter for you
stating the circumstances of the separation of your
daughter from Mr. Bonaparte. Nothing more has
occurred since. I have received no news from Eng-
land but once by the doctor, who arrived here ten
days ago. He left Madame in good health and spirits,
notwithstanding the trouble of her situation. He
met, at his landing at Rotterdam, Mr. Robert ready
to embark for England, where he must be at this
moment with his sister. I entertain no doubt that he
will advise her to take the proper steps that are to be
followed in the present affair. In my interview with
him at Amsterdam, I explained to him the conduct of
Mr. Bonaparte, the order and propositions of the Em-
peror, the consequences of an untimely opposition to
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 203
them, and the plan of conduct to pursue. He must
have mentioned to you all these particulars. I added
the instructions which Jerome had received from M.
* * *, and his wishes to see them executed.
"You know him too well, dear Sir, to misrepresent
in the slightest degree his intention, and nojt to be
persuaded that he will leave nothing undone to bring
the Emperor to a reconciliation to which his happiness
is so closely annexed. I cannot repeat to you too
often the assurance of the sentiments in which he is
persevering. Nothing is neglected on his part to
prove him worthy of your confidence, attachment,
and general esteem ; but now too much precipitation
would be fruitless, and operate nothing else but the
ruin of your son-in-law. Your daughter has only to
yield to the present, and expect a better time. Mr.
Bonaparte hopes that you will advise her not to reject
the marks of the benevolence of the Emperor, if you
consider them in the proper light. A refusal would
oifend him and destroy everything.
" When Madame shall be able to undertake a sea voy-
age, Mr. Bonaparte desires, if she is not recalled,
that she will return to America and live there in her
own house, and in the same way as she did when she
was in Baltimore, and as if she was expecting her
husband, until he shall succeed in obtaining her recall.
He will anticipate all her wishes, and provide for
everything in that momentary establishment.
" Mr. Bonaparte cannot write to you in this mo
ment. This privation is very grievous to him. You
will soon know the reasons of it. Do not let anybody
204 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
know the contents of your letters mentioning family
matters. Keep them open only to your wife.
" Mr. Bonaparte has in this port under his com-
mand a small squadron of five men-of-war, and is
ready to sail in a few days for a mission. If he is
successful, he will ask his wife as a reward of his
."I have not in my recollection the debts that Mr.
Bonaparte may have left behind, but they are trifling.
The bill of M. Chandron is correct. Your accounts
will be settled in Paris as soon as you please. I
hope that my letter will find all the family in good
health, and relieve you from anxiety on account of a
beloved daughter. I address this under the cover of
your correspondent in Lisbon, and hope it will be
conveyed to America by a safe opportunity.
" Mr. Bonaparte kisses the children tenderly, and
sends his love to the family. I beg you to present
my compliments to her, and not to forget that I will
always remain your affectionate and devoted
Robert Patterson at Dover — His letter from that place — Je-
rome Bonaparte again — Mr. Monroe and Mr. Patterson —
Madame Bonaparte going to the Continent — Her letter to her
father — Mr. Patterson writes from London — Another letter
from Madame Bonaparte — Marchioness of Donnegal — General
Tuerreau — Mr. Monroe — Deceitfulness of the French — Dr.
Gamier is deceptive — He recommends Madame Bonaparte to
go home — Jerome does the same — She goes when ready — Le
Camus again — Xapoleon's speech — Jerome at Malmaison — He
writes to the Emperor — The Emperor's reply — Jerome's mar-
riage has no existence — Mr. Mcllhiny of London — Madame
Bonaparte and child embark for home — Captain Bentalou
writes again — Amusing letters — Jerome dejected — His "little
girl" affair — '' My dear little wife" — Queen of Etruria spurns
Jerome — His second marriage — Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte —
His death — His letter.
We next find Mr. Robert Patterson at Dover, Eng-
land, a seaport on the strait of Dover, opposite
Calais, France. He is not far from Lille, the resi-
dence of Mr. George Matthew Patterson. Dating
August 13th 1805, he addresses a letter to Messrs.
William Patterson & Sons, Baltimore : —
"Gentlemen," says he, "I have the pleasure of
informing you of Captain Duncan's arrival. He
came in consequence of orders to that effect that I
had given to one or two pilots of this place for him.
It is my intention to send the Robert home to you,
and you may make your insurance accordingly. She
has $60,000 on board. I believe we will put on
board fifteen or twenty tons of coal, and subject her
206 THE B ONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE.
thereby to a tonnage duty in order to get a regular
clearance to Baltimore.
" It was with infinite satisfaction that I learned
by a letter of the 27th July from S. & H. of their
having landed the dollars from on board the Balti-
more in conformity to my directions, which it seems
they have got rid of without loss. She was to have
gone into Lisbon in a ballast of brick and iron for
speoie. I have written to that place to have her
despatched from thence to Baltimore. Before I knew
of her specie being landed, I had given similar orders
as those for Dunkin to the pilots to send her here
for my orders. If she does come into this place, we
will consider how far it is prudent to send her to
Lisbon for specie ; but let her sail from what port in
Europe she may after I can convey instructions to
them, it must be for Baltimore, as it will not answer
to let her proceed to India.
" Captain Spaiford, in the London packet, expe-
rienced some little damage in a gale of wind, and put
into the Downs to repair it, on or about the 7th inst.
He got under weigh again, but was immediately
boarded by an officer from one of His Majesty's gun
brigs. His papers have been sent to London to see
whether they can do anything with her ; they are all
correct, and there can be no doubt but she will be
immediately given up.
" We are still without any information from Jerome
that can be depended upon. All idea of visiting the
continent has been renounced from, I think, a just
apprehension that it would revive the passions of his
THE B ON A PARTE- PA TTERS ON 31 A RRIA GE. 207
brother, as it would be, in some measure, opposing
him ; and particularly as such a step would have a
tendency to counteract any exertions that Jerome may
" I have mentioned, in my former letters, that all
vessels fallen in with his majesty's cruisers coming
froin America with cargoes which they had brought
from either of the Indies, are sent in for adjudication.
Their having landed their cargoes in the United States
is of no avail, as they allege here it is a mere eva-
sion ; and that they must consider the voyage to
Europe as a continuation of the former one.
" Yours, affectionately,
"P. S. Mr. Monroe and myself had some conver-
sation whether it would not be as well, if not better,
that Betsy should return home ; as it is uncertain
when the affair will be brought to issue. I return to-
morrow to London, and if we determine on it will
embark in the Robert. I do not, however, think it
probable we shall return this winter. She and her
son are well."
This letter came by the ship Warren via New York,
and bears the post-mark "New York, October 5."
Next in the order of time comes the following short
letter in the handwriting of Madame Bonaparte, di-
rected to William Patterson, Esq., Baltimore. We
give it in full, in every particular : —
" August 15th 1805.
" Our plans are changed with respect to Mrs. An-
208 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
derson — that is to say, Mrs. Anderson does not mean
to go until next spring ; therefore I do not send some
things to Mama that I mentioned in my letter to her ;
but by the first good opportunity they shall be sent.
We have just heard that Bonaparte is going to Paris
for a few days.
To this letter, as to others, she places the five let-
ters first in order in the name of Elizabeth. The
time this letter arrived in Baltimore is unknown. As
it bears no American post-mark, it must have come
as an enclosure.
On the 16th Mr. Patterson is in London. On that
day he wrote a business-letter to the house in Balti-
more, which is of no interest here, and the following
private letter to his father, which we copy in full : —
" London, 16th August 1805.
" Dear Sir,—
" Since writing the house this morning, we have
prevailed on Mrs. Anderson to remain here, as it is
possible I may find it necessary or beneficial to go to
France ; in which case it would be more proper that
my sister should not be left alone.
"I received to-day a letter from Mr. O'Meally,
dated 2d August, from Paris. He mentions that Je-
rome was expected the next week there ; but that he
would not remain more than eight or ten days. They
were fitting up a house for him.
" Yours, respectfully,
" Robert Patterson."
THE B OX A PAR TE- PA TTERS ON M ARRIAGE. 209
Next we have a letter from Madame Bonaparte, in
which she does not fail to remember General Tuer-
reau, the French Minister at Washington, and other
gentlemen, who appear to be conversant with her
affairs. She appears to think, as well she may, that
deception has been practised upon her ; and that
without a real friend in Europe, she stood alone. We
copy the letter in full. It was addressed " William
Patterson, Esq., Baltimore."
"September 3d 1805.
" Dear Sir —
" The John & Joseph sails to-morrow, and although
I have nothing new to write, I cannot resist sending
you a few lines. Prudence, who was of no earthly
use, sailed in the Baltimore. I wrote you by her that
we had no letters from Bonaparte — but Dr. Gamier
wrote to me from Genoa the 15th of July, advising
me to return to America, and that Bonaparte desired
it ; and that I would not see him before a year or
eighteen months. As Bonaparte did not write him-
self, we are disposed to think that Mr. Gamier wrote
the letter of his own accord, and indeed the letter
bears all the marks of being a deception.
" I told you, likewise, that an intimate friend of
the Marchioness of Donnegal, residing at Genoa, had
seen Bonaparte on the 29th of June. He requested
that person to inform me that his sentiments towards
me were not changed ; and that he was still as much
attached to me as ever. The Marchioness of Donne-
gal is at a watering-place, Tunbridge Wells. She
has written to me.
210 THE BONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON MA RRIA GE.
" I have written three times to Lucien Bonaparte,
but have never been able to get a letter conveyed to
Jerome. I told jou likewise of the proposition that
Le Camus brought to Robert ; but he said Bonaparte
desired me to keep quiet for some time, and he would
try to effect something.
" Mr. Monroe thinks I had better remain here some
time — indeed, the climate agrees very well with me,
and I have no objection to staying as long as you
please. We live extremely retired, and I spend as
little money as possible. We have no letters from
you since our arrival here.
" Yours, affectionately,
" P. S. I mentioned to you before to beware of
Tuerreau, the French Minister. He will write every-
thing you say. The French are very intriguing and
deceitful. Likewise be on your guard before Mr.
O'Donnell, who, though a very good man, repeats
everything to his wife. This I know to be a fact. I
am very circumspect here."
The following letter from Mr. Robert Patterson,
enclosing an extract from a letter written by Napo-
leon, the Emperor, to his brother Jerome, will fully
explain the letters of Le Camus and Madame Bona-
parte, which have just been brought to the notice of
the reader, the former in the preceding, and the latter
in the current chapter.
" London, 5th September 1805.
" Since we have been in this country, the only in-
THE BOXAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 211
telligence we have got from the Continent is by a
letter from Dr. Gamier, dated at Genoa. In that he
recommends Betsy's going home, and gives this ad-
vice in the name of her husband. But as we cannot
conceive that Jerome would direct the doctor to write
on a subject of this nature, and as we have some
reason to think the doctor is not entitled to much
regard in consequence of his conduct in Paris, we
are determined not to act on anything coming from
" I mentioned in my letters from Amsterdam last
spring that Le Camus was the bearer of a letter which
the Emperor had written to Jerome, and which the
latter had given him with a view that it should be
shown his wife, in order to enable her, I suppose, to
judge of the situation with his family. As the pres-
ent is a good opportunity, I will repeat the substance
of it here, which is as follows. The Emperor begins
iving he will never acknowledge the marriage,
and directs Jerome to write his wife to return to her
family. On condition that she will, and does not as-
sume the name of Bonaparte, to tvhich he says she
has no right to, he says he will direct his minister in
America to allow her a pension of 60,000 francs per
" I am very desirous of knowing whether we ought
to accept of any terms in the event of a recognisal
being impossible by a new marriage on his part. My
own opinion is never to hear of a settlement without
his friends should force him to marry again ; and that
in no case ought she to give up her name. If her
212 THE BONAPAR TE-PA TTERSOX MA URIAGE.
husband cares to make any settlement on her, it is
well enough ; but the principal would be better than
a precarious annual payment, if it could be had.
" I really see no prospect of the Emperor's becom-
ing reconciled, and do not think it will be of any kind
of use to wait longer than the spring, at which time
we will embark on our return. If any of your ves-
sels are in the way, we will return by one of them.
" Betsy and her son are both well. He is really a
fine large fellow. I was a little indisposed when I
arrived in this country, but am now perfectly recov-
ered. Yours affectionately, Robert Patterson.
" P. S. It is probable that I will repair to Paris in
the course of the winter — that is if there is any pros-
pect of doing anything."
This letter was sent by the vessel " John & Joseph,"
Captain Manning, and the enclosure, with the pref-
atory remark of Mr. Patterson, reads as follows : —
" On Jerome's arrival at M — , he wished to have
seen his brother, but the latter would not receive him.
He was however told to write, which Jerome did, just
mentioning his arrival. An answer was returned in
substance merely as follows : —
" I have received your letter of this morning. There
are no faults that you have committed which may not
be effaced in my eyes by a sincere repentance. Your
marriage is null both in a religious and legal point of
vieiv. I will never acknowledge it. Write to Miss
Patterson to return to the United States ; and tell her
it is not possible to give things another turn. On con-
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 213
dition of her going to America, I will allow her a pen-
sion during her life of 60,000 francs per year, pro-
vided she does not take the name of my family, to which
she has no right, her marriage having no existence.^
This paper is. marked " copy and translation" in
the handwriting of Mr. Robert Patterson, and it is
the " piece" which Bonaparte "spoke." The abbre-
viation M — , in the above is Malinaison.
We will now introduce to the reader, Mr. James Mc-
Ilhiny, of London, Mr. Patterson's commercial corres-
pondent in that city. Dating London, 16th Sep-
tember 1805, he writes : " Dear Sir — Your much es-
teemed favor of the 18th of July, I received a few
days ago, and have noted the contents. Madame
Bonaparte and her child, her brother Robert, and
Mrs. Anderson will embark in a few days on board
the brig Mars, Captain Murphy, which will soon be
ready to sail from hence for Baltimore. I could have
wished it had not been so late in the season, but still I
am in hopes from the vessel being a fast sailer, that
she will be safe with you before the north-west winds
become severe on your coast. The child as well as its
mother are in a very good state of health, which is a
fortunate circumstance, as I fear they will not find
themselves as comfortably accommodated as they
were on board of the Erin — the cabin of this vessel
being very small. However, they are determined to
go, although I believe they have written to you not
long since that they had concluded to remain here all
the winter, and return to America in the spring, hav-
ing given up all idea of going to the continent, not
214 THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSOX MA R R1AGF-
having had any encouragement from the party on
that side of the water ; and indeed I have always
been of opinion that if anything can be done, Amer-
ica will be the best place to have matters arranged;
and at all events she must, I think, be more comfort-
ably situated with her relations and friends in Amer-
ica, than she could be in a strange country.
" Robert no doubt has advised you of the important
changes he has made in some of the voyages you had
planned — finding it absolutely necessary in con-
sequence of the rigid measures recently gone into by
this government to suppress that valuable branch
of American commerce. It would appear now how-
ever that they were relaxing in some degree, and will
let all pass except where the ship is bound direct to
or from the mother country to the colonies.
" It is to be hoped the American government will
take some measures to have that part of your valu-
able trade put on a more respectable footing, and that
their flag in future will not meet with so many de-
grading insults as it has hitherto met with.
" All accounts we have recently from agricultural
societies as well as individuals state the crops gener-
ally throughout Europe to be very good; conse-
quently the price of grain has been on the decline ;
so much so, that there will not be any chance for
Americans finding a market for their wheat or flour
in any part of Europe, unless the destruction and
waste that must occur from the immense armies that
are now taking the field once more on the continent to
ravage and destroy one another, may have some effect
THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE. 215
to keep up the prices of provisions; for there is not
any manner of doubt that the combined powers will
make some great effort to try to reduce the gigantic
power of Bonaparte ; and at present it is difficult to
say what the result of so great a contest may be ; but
this I may venture to risk as my opinion that a general
peace is yet far distant, and indeed I think ere that
event takes place you will hear of a wonderful change
in the political affairs in some one of the two great
contending powers ; for you may be assured that
this country while under the present government
will never make peace with Bonaparte, unless he
relinquishes the whole or the greater part of his con-
quered dominions ; and, on the other hand, we all
know his determined and unlimited ambition, so that
there must some great and unforeseen disaster befall
some one of the parties, before a peace can be made."
This letter was addressed to William Patterson, Esq.,
Baltimore, and endorsed " Ship Huron via New York."
On the 21st of September, Mr. Mcllhiny writes
again to Mr. Patterson: —
" Dear Sir — I had the pleasure of addressing you a
few days ago, the chief object of which was to advise
you of the sudden resolution of Robert and Madame
Bonaparte to embark for America, and that they had
engaged to go in the brig Mars, Captain Murphy,
from hence for Baltimore. Since then we have been
busily engaged in getting things ready for their de-
parture, and was in hopes that by this time they
would have been ready to sail ; but from some unfore-
216 THE BONAPAR TE-PA TTERSON 31ARRIA GE.
seen occurrence at the custom-house respecting some
things belonging to the captain the brig was prevented
clearing out. The matter is now however finally
arranged, and I see nothing to prevent their going on
board on the 25th inst. at Gravesend, where they
intend to embark, and at which time the brig will be
ready and clear to sail from that place direct for
This letter came on the ship Enterprise via New
On the 9th of October 1805 we have another hear-
ing from Captain Bentalou in Paris. After writing a
long letter to Mr. William Patterson concerning some
bales of merchandise about which there was some mis-
understanding, he adds to his letter the following
postscript : —
" Enclosed in the last letter from Robert in Lon-
don, I found two letters for Jerome, one I believe was
from yourself, and the other from his wife. Jerome
arrived here the latter end of last week ; and deter-
mined at all hazards, I enclosed them under one cover,
directed them in the form required, and, accompanied
by my servant last Monday, I myself went to his
loor, and saw the packet delivered to his own porter ;
\o that there can be no doubt but he received them on
hat morning. I have not since heard anything from
bim, nor do I believe he would dare have an interview
with me. Should he, however, communicate a wish
of the kind, notwithstanding the persecution I have
already experienced, I would brave all danger to act
the part of the friend I profess to be."
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 217
On the 17th October, Captain Bentalou writes
another letter from Paris which he directs in the fol-
lowing words : " Robert Patterson, Esq., or in his
absence William Patterson, Senr., Esq., Merchant,
Baltimore." The writer says, " In all conscience
your silence is beyond all reason, and my anxiety is
as great as can be well imagined to know where you
now are, and whether it is true that your sister is
gone, as we have been told by a lieutenant of our
Navy, who says whilst he was in London he saw you
daily and became intimate with you. I notwithstand-
ing doubt the fact much because I think the season
too far advanced, and moreover suppose that had that
been the case, you would ere this have returned to
your post ; and were you there, if not to me, you
surely would have wrote to somebody else here.
"On the 16th ultimo, I received the last from you,
dated the 2d of August, with the two enclosed. The
person to whom they were directed lately arrived here,
and the moment I found out his domicil, I enclosed
the two letters under a blank cover, directed them
properly, and on Monday the 7th inst. attended by
my servant, I saw him deliver them to his porter ;
and as he occupied a house to himself, there could be
no mistake, and no doubt but that he must have re-
ceived them on that morning. I have since learned
from a lady present that, on the next day in the even-
ing, at one of his sister's, he appeared extremely de-
jected and pensive. Everybody, she said, took notice
of it ; and whether the receipt of those letters were
the cause of it, is best known to himself; but I have,
218 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
and will take care not to let that lady, or anybody
else here, know anything about it. I have not since
heard anything more transpire about him, but I am
on the watch, and promise you that if either himself
or any of his attendants have any wish to see me,
and let me know it, I will brave any danger for an
interview which would be as gratifying to my feelings
as could possibly be to you or your relatives ; but
if lie really has any inclination of the kind, I fear he
knows himself to be so closely observed that he will
not dare to risk anything of the kind. Rewbell is no
more here, and I regret it very much, because from
their old acquaintance, he would probably have seen
him, and no doubt his attendants, frequently, and
through that channel I could have come to something
direct ; but deprived of that safe intermediary, I do
not for the present know any other person so suitable
with whom I could safely confide. I have however
been told by one who pretends to know it from the
right quarter, that when his brother first saw him he
addressed him thus : —
" ' So, sir, you are the first of the family who shame-
fully abandoned his post. It will require many
splendid actions to wipe off that stain from your rep-
utation. As to your love affair with your little girl,
1 do not regard it.'
"Whatever degree of credit or consequence you
may be inclined to give to that report, I beg of you
to conceal it from your sister. For what exploits he
intends him for, it is not yet known, nor can it be
foreseen ; and if what is said is true it would appear
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 219
that he will remain here unemployed this winter. He
is now in the house of one of his absent sisters, and it
is asserted that he will shortly take possession of the
one lately owned by his brother-in-law, the entrance
to which is by an arch which you had in view from
the window of the apartment you last occupied here.
It was probably thought too small for the other, as a
much larger one is preparing for him.
"After having written the foregoing to you by
Russell, I am informed by James Mcllhiny that he
has this day received a letter from you which he has
not thought proper to communicate, and barely tells
me that you and your sister had embarked, and must
by this time be half way home. Taking his word for
it, I will not send this as I intended it, but as I under-
stand that Waddle is not yet gone, I will this moment
go to General Armstrong, and if in time I will
request him to insert this with his despatches."
On the 18th Mr. Bentalou continues : " The depar-
ture of Mr. "Waddle having been from day to day
delayed, affords me the opportunity of adding this to
my two last of 9th and 16th, all going by the same
conveyance. By this however I hasten to impart to
you much more pleasing intelligence than I were able
to do by my former. It comes to me from a lady
much in our interest, and from whom I expect occa-
sionally to receive much useful information ; and from
her I have learned that last evening, at a select com-
pany collected at one of his sisters, where my inform-
ant was, and our man too, after a concert, dancing was
introduced; he was pressed, and as my friend is a
220 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
good dancer, he took her for his partner, and in the
of course of conversation spoke of his wife several
times, always calling her by that endearing name, and
relating occurrences of a nature most affecting.
Among the rest he said : —
" 'He would for ever remember the sliipivreck tliey
had encountered together. How well on that trying
occasion she did behave I How, when danger was over,
he pressed her into his arms!'
" In short, my dear friend tells me that those who
are most habitually in his company all agree in saying,
that he is almost always talking about her, delighting
in the recollection of her good qualities, and never
mentions her name without saying —
" ' My wife ! My dear little wife V
" From a heart apparently so well disposed, I think
some ultimate good may be reasonably prognosticated.
Should that be the case, I promise you that no man
in the world would more sincerely rejoice than your
ever devoted friend and well-wisher."
We have another letter from Mr. Mcllhiny of Lon-
don, and though it is long, yet it is full of interest
from beginning to end. Dating 28th October 1805,
he writes to " William Patterson, Esq., Baltimore :" —
" My last was advising you of the intended depart-
ure of your son Robert and his sister, with her child,
from this country. Since then I have received your
favor of the 9th of August, covering letters for Robert
and Madame Bonaparte, which were a few days ago
sent on to Liverpool, with a number of other letters
for Robert • to be put on board the Birmingham for
THE BONAPARTE-PA TTERSON MA RBIA GE. 221
" The Mars, Captain Murphy, with that part of
your family I have already mentioned, went through
The Doivns on the 27th ult., which is the last we have
heard of them ; but as the winds have since been to
the eastward, with but little variation, we have every
reason to think and hope that ere this they are safe
" There has not been any letters or messages for
Madame Bonaparte from the continent since her de-
parture ; nor can I throw any further light on that
unfortunate affair, only to repeat my opinion merely
that they are separated for ever. What confirms me in
that opinion on that head is Jerome's coming into the
measures proposed by the Emperor. I believe he is
now at Paris, and from what I can learn from several
American gentlemen recently from that place, he has
been created a prince, and it was generally understood
there that overtures had been made to the Queen of
Etruria to marry him, but that she spurned at the
idea ivith the greatest contempt, and has said she
would in preference abdicate her crown.
" The war has commenced on the continent with
uncommon vigor, particularly on the part of the
French ; and Bonaparte goes on with his usual good
luck. The present moment is big with great events !
The next mail from the continent will no doubt bring
us the news of a decisive victory on the part of the
French, but whether that will tend to bring about an
immediate peace with France and Austria is a matter
as yet not easy to determine, the Russian armies not
having yet got on the field of battle. At all events
222 THE B ON A PARTE-PA TTERSON MARRIA GE.
however I think you may safely conclude that a gen-
eral peace will not be the result of anything that may
be done this campaign ; and that there are some years
yet to come before peace is restored between this
country and France."
On the 31st of July it was published in London
that " accounts from Genoa of the 23d of June state
that yesterday morning the Princess Eliza and other
distinguished personages went on board the Pomona,
commanded by Jerome Bonaparte. They were saluted
on their arrival and departure by a double salute
of artillery. Jerome is reconciled to the Em-
peror his brother. The Princess Eliza exerted her-
self very much to effect the reconciliation. Jerome,
according to reports, will shortly be made the Arch-
Duke of Genoa."
We have not been able to find on record the time
of entry of the ship Mars at the port of Baltimore.
The newspapers appear to be silent on the subject,
but Mr. Mcllhiny dates her arrival about the 28th
of October. Madame Bonaparte however is safe in
Baltimore again, and but for the sable shadows, now
and then crossing the radiant disk of her young life,
she would be happy.
In the spring of 1806, Mr. Le Camus turns up in
Cayenne, and writes another letter, from which we
copy a paragraph. Addressing Mr. Patterson in
Baltimore, and dating "May the 21st 1806," he
writes : — " I enclose a letter for Mrs. Bonaparte. I
wish I could convince you of what I have already told
you in my former letters. I feel how uneasy you
THE B ONAPAR TE-PA TTERSOX MARRIA GE. 223
may be in the present circumstances ; but if you be-
lieve there are on earth moral honor and delicacy,
you have no reason to be alarmed."
"We have a letter from Mr. Robert Patterson dated
" Boston, 8th of September 1806, from which we copy
a short sentence. He writes, ' after the many news-
paper accounts I have seen respecting Mr. Bona-
parte's squadron, I expect to find him with you on
Dating, " November 21st 1806," William Patterson,
Esq., Madame Bonaparte's father, writes to W. C.
Nicholas, Esq., of Virginia, and from his letter we
copy the following : — " You may have seen by the
last accounts from France, published in the newspa-
pers, that Jerome Bonaparte was restored to favor by
his brother ; and that a second marriage had, or was
about to take place. We have no information on this
subject but what appears in the papers, and I am led
-to believe that it must be well founded ; for I do not
conceive that the Emperor would be reconciled to Je-
rome on any other terms. It differs however very
widely from his letters to Betsy when he was lately
on our coast ; and from every other part of his con-
duct since he left this country. But the temptation,
in the situation he was placed in, was perhaps too great
for him, or any other young man, to resist."
We have some more news from Jerome coming by
way of New York, which Mr. William Neilson, Jr., of
that city communicates to Madame Bonaparte's father
under date of April 21st 1806. "When I called on
the captain respecting the picture," writes Mr. Neil-
224 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
son, " he entered into conversation with me respect-
ing your son-in-law ; and informed me that he had
dined with him several times — and that at all times
he expressed great affection for your daughter. He
spoke publicly of his determination of adhering
strictly to his marriage ; and that he would not be
considered a ~French.-man if his wife was not consid-
ered a French-w oman. The captain says Prince Je-
rome has become very steady, and behaves with pro-
priety and like a man."
Notwithstanding all this, and the fact that his own
legal wife was still living in Baltimore, his brother,
the Emperor of France, caused Jerome to be married,
a second time, to Frederica Catharina, daughter of
the King of Wurtemberg, on the 12th of August
1807 ! On this subject we have nothing to say.
Madame Bonaparte, first and only wife of Jerome,
still lives in Baltimore, ripe in years and in honors ;
but her husband is gone to his reckoning. The reader
will however inquire of us, where is the little boy of
Camberwell ? We reply by saying, he lived in Balti-
more, a highly respectable and honored citizen of the
United States. He was a good man, and the chamber
where he met his fate was therefore "privileged." An
imposing granite obelisk, erected within the enclosure
of "Loudon Park Cemetery," near Baltimore, marks
the spot where his remains peacefully repose. From
it we copy the inscription : —
THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE. 225
To the Memory of
Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte,
July 7th 1805.
June 17th 1870,
Requiescat in pace."
A tender memorial of his youth is preserved — a
letter to his " Grandpapa," — and we give it in full,
■with a translation : —
11 Seminaire de Mont St. Mary, Fcvrier 1 1817.
u Mon Cher Grand-papa— Je ne vous ai jamais 6cris une let-
tre en francais parceque vous ne l'entendez pas ; mais pour
vous donner une preuve de ma bonne volonte d'apprendre le
francais, je prends ma plume pour cela. Je veux vous donner
une preuve de mon amitie pour vous en ecrivant une lettre en
francais. Comment vous portez-vous? pour moi je me porte tres
bien, et je desire beaucoup vous voir et j'espere que vous vien-
drez bientot me voir.
" Adieu, mon tres cher grand-papa, c'est tout ce que j'ai a
vous 6crire a present ; mais que je veux que vous bientot re-
pondiez a ma lettre.
" Je suis votre tres obeissant et tres aimant fils,
" Seminary of Mount St. Mary
" February 1, 1817.
" My Dear Grandfather — I have never written to
you a letter in French, because you do not under-
stand it ; but to give you a proof of my good will to
226 THE BONAPARTE-PATTERSON MARRIAGE.
learn it, I take my pen for this purpose. I want to
give you a proof of my love for you, in writing you a
letter in French. How do you do ? for me, I am very
well, and I have a great desire to see you.
"Farewell, my dear grandfather, it is all I
write to you for the present; but I want you to
answer my letter soon. I am your very obedient and
loving son, Jerome Bonaparte."
We copy the following article from the " Baltimore
Sun," the most popular and extensively circulated
paper in Maryland. It was published in the issue of
that paper on the 19th of January 1870, several
months before the death of Jerome Napoleon Bona-
parte ; and as it refers to the death of Jerome, his
father, it will be highly interesting and instructive to
THE AMERICAN BONAPARTES.
TJie Imperial Family of France and its Connections in
The Louisville Courier-Journal has the following :
The revolutionary movements which are now going
forward in France invest the Napoleonic dynasty with
additional interest. Prince Pierre Bonaparte, who
has caused the pot to boil so fiercely, is a son of the
great Emperor's brother Lucien, who was considered
the ablest of the family next after Napoleon. The
present Emperor is regarded by many as not a Bona-
parte at all, but the son of a Dutch admiral by Hor-
tense Beauharnais, the daughter of Josephine. Louis
Bonaparte was forced by his brother to marry Hor-
tense. He was in love with another woman, and
withal a dreamy sort of person. Those who believe
in the operation of a principle of poetic justice run-
ning the progress of history, make mention of the
fact that the grandson of Josephine, and not of Napo-
leon, now rules in France as proof that the " whirligig
of time brings in his revenges." Josephine once said
" My progeny shall be supreme." But Josephine was
not the only woman who was ill-used by the imperial
Corsican. Nor was she the only one who cherished
hopes of a divine revenge through her descendants.
And hereby hangs a tale.
In 1803 Jerome Bonaparte, then in command of a
French frigate, landed in New York. As the brother
of Napoleon Bonaparte, he was received with distinc-
tion, and was most hospitably entertained wherever
he went. While in Baltimore he met Miss Elizabeth
Patterson, the daughter of a wealthy merchant of
that city, and married her on the 24th of December
of the same year. The ceremony was performed by
Bishop Carroll, of the Catholic diocese of Baltimore,
a brother of the distinguished Charles Carroll of Car-
rollton. The marriage contract. was drawn up by
Alexander Dallas, afterwards Secretary of the Trea-
sury, and was witnessed by the mayor of Baltimore
and several other official personages. After remain-
ing in the United States about a year, Jerome Bona-
parte and his wife embarked for France in an Ameri-
In the meantime Napoleon, to whom the marriage
of his brother gave great offence, bad ordered that
the newly married pair should be permitted to land
at no port over which France exercised authority.
They, therefore, landed at Lisbon, where Jerome left
his wife, directing her to proceed to Amsterdam, and
went to Paris with the hope of prevailing upon Napo-
leon to recognise his marriage; but this Napoleon
refused to do, at the same time upbraiding his brother
for daring to marry without his consent. On arriving
at Amsterdam, whither she went in the American
ship, Madame Bonaparte was confronted with Napo-
leon's order forbidding her to land. She then sailed
for England, where she took up her residence at
Camberwell, near London. And here on the 7th of
July 1805, was born her only child, Jerome Napo-
leon Bonaparte, now living in Baltimore.
Napoleon had determined that his brothers should
marry among the princesses of Europe, and all efforts
to induce him to recognise the wife of Jerome were
vain, and Jerome was at last forced to yield to the
wishes of the Emperor and marry the Princess Fred-
erica Catharine, of Wurtemburg. Madame Bona-
parte met her husband but once afterward, and then
no word passed between them. It was in the gallery
of the Pitti Palace at Florence, in Italy. The Prin-
cess was leaning on the arm of her husband when the
meeting took place. Jerome started aside on recog-
nising Madame Bonaparte, and a moment afterward
whispered to the Princess : " That lady is my former
wife." He immediately left the gallery, and the next
morning quitted Florence.
Although Napoleon declared the marriage of
Jerome and Miss Patterson null and void, he could
never induce the Pope to so declare it; and a few
years ago, when the question as to the rank to which
the Bonapartes of Baltimore were entitled as princes
of the imperial household was up for decision, the
protest of the Pope against the decree of Napoleon
was brought forward.
Soon after the birth of her son Madame Bonaparte
returned to Baltimore, where she has principally
resided ever since, in the enjoyment of a large fortune.
She was about eighteen years of age when she first
met Jerome Bonaparte, and is now about eighty-five.
She was always a great admirer of Napoleon in spite
of the cruel manner in which he treated her. It is
said that she believes that her grandson will yet be
Emperor of France.
Madame Bonaparte's son, Jerome Napoleon, now
in his sixty-fifth year, has lived in Baltimore since his
boyhood. He was educated at Harvard College,
where he graduated in 1826. He afterwards studied
law, but never practised at the bar. When quite a
young man he married a very wealthy lady, Miss
Susan Mary Williams, originally of Roxbury, Mass.,
and has since devoted his time to the management of
his large estate and to agricultural pursuits. His
own fortune, added to that of his wife, made him one
of the wealthiest men in Baltimore. He visited his
father several times in Europe, and for many years
received from him a large allowance. He is on good
terms with Louis Napoleon, and has once visited the
French court, accompanied by one of his sons, upon
an invitation from the Emperor. During the reign
of Louis Philippe he was permitted to remain in Paris
for a short time, but was required to assume his
mother's name of Patterson.
Mr. Bonaparte has two children, Jerome Napoleon,
who was born in Baltimore in 1832, and Charles
Joseph, born in 1852. The first named graduated at
"West Point at the age of twenty, and after remaining
a short time in the United States army, resigned his
commission and entered that of France as a sub-lieu-
tenant. He was with the French and English allies
in the Crimea, and received a decoration from the
Sultan of Turkey for his gallant conduct at the siege
Mr. Bonaparte is said to bear a strong personal
resemblance to his uncle, the first Napoleon. If the
validity of his father's marriage with Miss Patterson
were recognised by the Court of France, it would
give him and his children precedence over his half-
brothers and their sister, the Princess Mathilde, the
children of Jerome by his second wife. Efforts to
secure such recognition have been made on perhaps
more than one occasion, but they failed, though how
far they fell short of success has never been known
to the public. Jerome himself, who died at a vener-
able old age a year or two ago, bitterly opposed all
such efforts to obtain precedence for the Baltimore
Bonapartes, and would acknowledge them only by the
name of Patterson.
The scrimmage now going on in Paris is peculiar.
The American Bonapartes are republicans, and so are
the agitators in the Corps Legislatif. It may afford
some of them an opportunity, and a I^tterson may
yet occupy the Tuileries as Prince President, just as
Louis, a Beauharnais, occupied the palace in 1849.
At all events the story is worth re-telling, as more or
less apropos of transpiring events in .France, in which
the Bonapartes, their past, present and future, bear
such close relation. Jerome Bonaparte acted badly
enough to Miss Patterson. Nor has his family done
much better. It would be a piece of poetic justice if
Time should balance the account.
[From the same paper, issued on the 17th of January
1873, we clip the following article, which explains
THE BALTIMORE BONAPARTES.
Views of Madame Patterson and Col. Jerome Buona-
parte on the French Situation.
A Baltimore correspondent of the New York Herald
gives a detailed history of the American Bonapartes,
and especially of Madame Jerome Bonaparte Patter-
son, of this city, who was married to the youngest
brother of the great Napoleon, by whose decree they
were divorced, with which history most of our readers
are familiar. The writer, however, adds some inte-
resting particulars in regard to the recent illness of
the lady and in regard to the death of the late Em-
peror Napoleon. He says : —
Though eighty-eight years of age, Madame Bona-
TRACES OF A ONCE WONDROUS BEAUTY.
Her complexion is still smooth and comparatively fair,
while her peculiarly beautiful blue eyes are as yet
undimmed. Her nature is suspicious and warped by
her many injuries. She seems in constant dread of
some indefinable injury ; never receives visitors in her
room save her most intimate acquaintances, and is
always on the watch for some fancied insult. For the
past month she has been quite ill, likely to die, so the
physician said, at any moment, but on hearing the
fact mentioned by an attendant, she straightened
herself up in bed and said, emphatically, that
" SHE WOULDN'T DIE,
and that she intended to live until she was one hun-
dred years old." From that time she began to improve
until within a day or so, when she has grown worse.
She believes that she will yet live to see her grandson
on the throne of France. She had
probably because of the fact that he refused to allow
her a share in his uncle Jerome's estate, to which, as
his widow, she was legally entitled. Madame Bona-
parte is, however, very rich in her own right. The
present Jerome Bonaparte was always a great favorite
with her previous to his marriage. She made a hand-
some allowance to him while in France, it is said, and
during his sojourn there she supplied him liberally
with money, as it was always her ambition to have her
grandson live like the nobility. She has at all times
watched the political condition of France with great
interest, and at times would talk freely of her ambi-
tion for her grandson, and declare
HIS RIGHT TO THE THRONE
in case of the death of the Emperor and Prince Im-
perial. Colonel Bonaparte has steadily refrained from
making public his views on the situation in France ;
but it is said by his friends that he would not be averse
to receiving any distinction which the French people
might wish to confer upon him ; and, in fact, that he
still hopes for the restoration of the Empire and the
elevation of the Bonaparte family to its control. He
is personally so fond of the dead Emperor, the Em-
press and their son, and was such a favorite with them,
that no position inimical to their interest, however
complimentarily offered, would be accepted by him.
This fact is so well known by his friends that they
usually look upon him as willing to accept
A CO-REGENCY WITH THE EMPRESS
during the minority of the Prince Imperial. I will here
distinctly reassert that this is but the belief of his friends
and not his declaration. His grandmother takes that
view of it very strongly ; but in consequence of their
personal estrangement has probably no better ground
for it than his friends.
Colonel Bonaparte is at this moment on the friend-
liest footing and pleasantest epistolary intercourse with
the various members of his family in Europe — notably
the Empress and the Princess Mathilde — and it is much
more than probable that the opinion of Colonel Bona-
parte has been sought and will be followed in the mea-
sures to be taken by his family in consequence of the
death of the Emperor, and that in the events of the
future he will have a controlling part. He has all the
qualities which endear a ruler to the popular heart,
being strikingly handsome, suave in his manners, a
brave and daring soldier, and possessed of no ordinary
intelligence. He is a great favorite in France among
those who look for a restoration of the Empire. The
death of the late Napoleon affected Madame Bona-
parte strongly, and on the reception of the news she
betrayed emotions which had long lain dormant. One
of her lady attendants
ASKED HER IF SHE WAS SORRY.
"No," said the madame, emphatically, "he would
not recognise my grandson, and I don't care a bit."
On being asked what were her views on the political
situation in France, she evinced no marked interest,
and merely said that, for herself, she had done all she
could to secure her grandson's rightful inheritance,
and that she could do more, as she was nearly approach-
ing her final end. She declared the hope and belief
that he would at some time ascend the throne of
France. The ruling passion of this remarkable
woman's life has been to regain
HER LOST RIGHTS
in behalf of this grandson, and to that end she has
studiously economized, though enormously rich, living
in seclusion, that the greater wealth he lives to inherit
might add to his chances for the crown. She often
says that this money may be needed for that purpose,
and if so, here it all is. She keeps it easily realizable,
and could convert it all into cash in thirty days.
She lives in the fourth or fifth story of a boarding-
house on the corner of St. Paul and Lexington streets,
and has never, until very recently, had any companion
or nurse. She talks constantly of her
RELATIONS TO THE FRENCH EMPIRE,
and although she is displeased with her grandson for
what she terms " injuring his own prospects for the
throne" by marrying an American lady, she appears
brighter and more cheerful since Napoleon's death than
before, and declares her strong belief of the accession
of her grandson to the throne in the near future.
YESTERDAY SHE CONVERSED FREELY UPON THE SITUA-
TION IN FRANCE,
and stated that her belief in a great popular demonstra-
tion at the funeral of Napoleon was strong. " This,"
said she, " would show that the Bonaparte family were
yet admired by their people, and that the empire would
yet be re-established, with a Bonaparte at its head."
In order to find what views Colonel Bonaparte might
entertain about the succession to the French throne,
the Herald representative called at his elegant resi-
dence on North Charles street (the fashionable quarter
of the city), and was conducted by a lackey, beauti-
fully attired in drab cloth togs and scarlet waistcoat,
THE PRESENCE OF MRS. BONAPARTE,
wife of the colonel and the granddaughter of Daniel
Webster. She is a remarkably prepossessing lady,
and was richly attired in a heavy silk morning robe.
Her surroundings were elegant, and the air of her
mansion was that of quiet royalty. She received me
pleasantly, and invited me to a seat.
WHAT MRS. BONAPARTE SAID.
" Can I see the colonel, madam ?" said I.
Mrs. Bonaparte — " He is out, sir. What would you
have with him?"
" I called for the Herald/' I replied, " to inquire
his views with regard to the present situation in
She seemed pleased at this remark, and replied, " I
am sure, sir, he would not give them."
" Well, madam," I remarked, " I supposed as much
from what I have heard ; but he would at least say
whether he would consent to be drawn from private
into public life if the French people should desire ;
and, too, he could afford me some interesting facts
with regard to his family connections, about which so
much has been falsely stated in the newspapers."
" Yes, sir, a great deal that is false has been put in
the papers," she answered, " and Colonel Bonaparte
will be glad to see you if you will call again."
I thanked her for her kindness, and bade her good
morning. As I passed out the family carriage stood
before the door, and upon the panels the Bonaparte
coat-of-arms shone in silver, showing that the Colonel
held his right to a membership in that remarkable
INTERVIEW WITH COLONEL BONAPARTE.
I called yesterday on Colonel Bonaparte, and was
well received. After some unimportant remarks I
alluded to the death of Napoleon III., following it up
with the question : —
" Is there now any chance, Colonel, for the restora-
tion of the empire by a regency of the Empress during
the minority of the Prince Imperial ?"
"It is very hard for me to answer that question.
Being here at a great distance from the scene of events
in France, I am not competent to express an opinion,
because I have no evidence upon which I could base it.
THE FRENCH PEOPLE ARE SO FICKLE
that any conjecture or prediction I could make might
be falsified by events in a few days or weeks hence.
The death of the Emperor was so sudden and unex- '
pected that I have scarcely got over my amazement
at it. I am awaiting events for a week or so before
I form any opinion as to the chances of a regency. I
have read in the Herald what the Marquis de Noailles,
the French minister, said regarding the death of the
Emperor. I do not agree with him where he says
that this sad event will give the final blow to the hopes
of the imperialists. I do not think the restoration of
the empire improbable, but, on the contrary, believe
it not impossible that the Emperor's death might
cause a change of feeling in favor of the empire. Now
that he is dead it will be remembered that his reign
had given France twenty years of uninterrupted pros-
perity, such as she never enjoyed under any preceding
government, and its disastrous close will not be alto-
gether attributed to him."
THE EMPRESS AS REGENT.
" But would the Empress be qualified to act as
" Why not ? She has great tact, is high-minded,
generous ; indeed possesses those qualifications of head
and heart which command the admiration of the mul-
titude. The Bonapartes have a far better claim to the
affection of the French people than the Orleanists and
the Bourbon pretenders."
" Do you think, Colonel, that the army is still
attached to the empire?"
" The French army does not meddle with politics,
and I think this is right, but I have no doubt that the
greater part would hail with joy
THE BETURN OF THE EMPIRE.
Look at the demonstration there is going to be at
Napoleon's funeral. I have seen in the papers that
so many people are leaving France to attend that the
railways have reduced their fares for that special occa-
sion. A great number of officers in the army have
asked leave to pay the last honors to the dead chief,
to whom they have sworn allegiance. Does not this
A DEMONSTRATION ?"
" What is your opinion, Colonel, regarding the order
of the French government that the officers who went
to attend Napoleon's funeral could only do so in
civilian's dress ?"
" I suppose the government wishes to have the fact
concealed that so many army officers are to be present.
Being in civilian's dress, their great number will not
be easily known. The Thiers government appears to
be uneasy that the demonstration will be very formi-
dable, and hence these precautions."
" Are you not
IN CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE IMPERIAL FAMILY,
"Yes; I received a letter from the Empress only a
few days ago, saying that the Emperor was in good
health, but she did not make any allusion to the pros-
pects of the imperial family. She very seldom writes
or talks politics."
" How did Madame Bonaparte take the death of
" I cannot speak for her. I do not suppose she was
specially affected by it."
" Is there not some misunderstanding between you
and Madame Bonaparte ? I hear that you have not
Pause, and then, evasively : " I cannot speak for
Madame Bonaparte. You had better ask her your-
The interesting interview was then brought to a
madame Bonaparte's wonderful energy.
The remarkable energy and singleness of purpose
with which Madame Bonaparte has striven to obtain
in fact what the Pope, the French courts and every
impartial man have declared to be her rights in law,
have been inherited by her descendants ; and, added to
the personal qualities of bravery, discretion, and a
high view of what is right in her grandson, the Colo-
nel, promises in the present disturbed state of France
and amid the vacillating movements of her present
statesmen, a rallying point, the stability of which is
the most imperative need in that country, as it is an
indispensable foundation for a contented government.
This content for themselves and stability for their im-
perial government will be attempted to be secured by
the French imperialists by their availing themselves
of the abilities of the Colonel, and in greater measure
the higher the office they confer on him.
From an intimate association with those who know
the facts well I have compiled the above statements,
and I close with the declaration that the field of action
of Colonel Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, now in Bal-
timore, will be transferred to the old continent ere
long, and that his efforts there will be devoted and
commensurate with the national importance and dig-
nity of the people in whose government the Bonaparte
family still are endeavoring to take a leading part.
"A Bonaparte," 199.
u Abdicate her crown," 221.
" Affair finished," 93.
" Affected by his disgrace," 134.
" A small asteroid," 137.
"A year, or 18 months," 209.
Agamemnon and Napoleon, 36.
Alexander, Le Camas. 122.
Amsterdam, Madame Bonaparte before, 190.
Ancient argosies, l7o.
Anderson, Mrs., 208, 213.
Annapolis, young couple at, 108.
Anonymous letters, 29, 30, 32.
Arbous of Lisbon, 174.
Arch-Chancellor Beauharnais, 152.
Arch-Duke of Genoa, 222.
Armstrong, General, 84, 85, 98, 107.
his old letters, 149, 158, 185, 186.
Artesian wells, 175.
Assassination of Lucien Bonaparte, 172.
Astonishing paragraph, 100.
Austerlitz, battle of, 138.
B. only, 174.
Barney, Joshua, 26.
Battle of Austerlitz, 138.
Beauharnais family, 180, 181.
11 Beautiful young lady of Baltimore," 181.
" Be on your guard before Mr. O'Donnell," 210.
Bentalou, Captain Paul, 39, 184.
his bills, 168.
his letters, 51, 217.
u Betsy " (Madame Jerome), 82, 160, 211.
her -son well, 212.
should return home, 207.
Bills of exchange, 186.
Bills protested, 172.
" Blazon," 179.
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 36, 57, 65, 70, 77.
Bonaparte, Joseph, and Mr. Livingston, 37.
Lucien, his character, 63.
quits France, 44.
he arrives at New York, 26.
his lady, 89, 90, 91, 92.
his letter to Mr. Patterson, 17'
" Bonaparte cannot write," 203.
Bordeaux Gazette, 167.
Borghese, Princess, 153.
Boston stirred, 177.
Bourne, Sylvanus, Esq., 193.
"Brave Centre," 57.
Brig Georgia lost, 167.
British Neptune, 84.
tl Burn my letters," 174.
Cambrian frigate, 90, 91.
Campan, Madame, 25, 38.
" Camp " marriage, 116.
Cannon ier frigate, 150.
Captain Duncan, 205.
Cardinal Fesch, 147, 180.
Careless handling of the Bonapartes, 177.
Carroll. Bishop, 31.
Charles, 31, 106.
Caton, Richard, 106.
Cession of Louisiana, 140.
Chase, Samuel, 26.
Cipher writing, 156, 160, 171, 172, 175, 179.
Citizen Jerome Bonaparte, 181.
of the United States, Jerome must become, 53.
Clark, General, 97.
" Cold steel," 139.
u Columbian Centinel," 177.
u Come alone to France," 116.
" Come-off." 200.
Consul at Bordeaux, 156.
at Malmaison, 55.
Consulate at Rotterdam, 137.
Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, 119, 126.
description of, 136.
Count de Moustier, 107.
County house, 197.
Cybele frigate, 89.
Dacres, French Minister of Marine, 178.
his letter to.M. Pichon, 66.
Jerome, 73, 110.
Dallas, Alexander J., 31.
Danes, a misnomer, 111.
Deafness of Mr. Livingston, 84.
Demon of deception, 139,
Depravity of morals, 172.
Didon frigate, 89, 90.
Dining with Lucien, 61 ; with Joseph, 85.
Diplomacy " shut out," 119.
Dragon of Night, 161.
Dreadful secrets, 170.
Driver sloop of war, 91.
Duke of Wellington, 107.
Dulany, Mrs., 113.
Duncan, Capt., 205.
« Eliza," 208.
Embarkation for America, 213, 215.
of Jerome and wife, 160.
"Emperor says," 211.
to Jerome, 212.
in cipher, 156.
" Enemy of Bonaparte," 58.
Epistle of Le Camas, 198.
"Erin" ship, 161, 185, 191, 192.
Esmenard, Mr., L02.
•• Everybody took notice of it," 217.
Extract from Bentalou, 184.
"Extremely angry," 116.
" Extremely dejected," 217.
" Fair spouse " of Jerome, 113.
Fame and beauty go before her, 139.
" Farewell, my dear grandfather," 225.
Fictitious names, 117.
Finn/ forsaking, 175.
" Fine large fellow," 212.
First and second family, 174.
"First Consul's great displeasure," 61.
Five hundred dollars reward, 88.
Flag and register, 191.
Flight of the young couple, 115.
Florida lands, 140, 143.
French and American gossip, 36.
official letters, 110.
intrigue and deceit, 210.
letters of Maupertuis, 120, 123, 124, 128, 129, 131, 132.
letters of Cuneo De Ornano, 145.
M. Meyronet, 150.
Gen. Rewbell, 164, 165.
French as France, 198.
" French leave," 99.
French tariff, 154.
Frenchman and Frenchwoman, 224.
Frederica Catharina, 224.
Frigates at New York, 116, 135.
Gamier, Doctor, 199, 209, 211.
Genet, Citizen, 38.
Genealogy of Buonaparte, 179.
"General Armstrong in cipher, 11 156.
Le Clerc, 26, 181.
Rewbell, 164, 166, 169.
Smith, 33, 86, 144.
Tuerreau, 33, 162, 163, 197.
Genoa, Jerome at, 190.
"Gentleman from Dover," 115.
" Gentleman who came out with John," 119.
Gigantic powers of Bonaparte, 215.
Girard, Stephen, 28.
"Going with an ambassador," 98.
Gonteaume, Admiral, 147. 152.
M Good and amiable mother," 117.
Halifax newspaper, 110.
" Haughty England," 57.
Heaven and the First Consul, 58.
He italicised, 60.
" He would for ever remember the shipwreck/' 220.
" He will write everything you say," 210.
Helen and Paris, 35.
"Her imperial highness," 181.
"Her marriage having no existence," 213.
"Highway of nations, - ' 161.
Holland, Mad. Bonaparte sent to, 116.
Hour of parting, 175. ^
"If you return, come alone," 112.
"I dare not write to him," 126.
" I have written to Lucien," 140.
"I was highly flattered," 61.
" I will allow her a pension," 213.
Immutable affection, 125.
" In all conscience," 217.
"In a gale," 114.
" Incomparable nation," 54.
Intercepted letters, 79, 110.
Interesting and pleasing intelligence, 112.
Jerome and lady at the theatre, 149.
he and his lady incog., 114.
"he can plead his cause," 134.
he kisses the children, 204.
his august brother, 134.
his bills. 149.
his horses, 102.
his second marriage, 224.
his squadron, 204, 223.
his mother affected by his disgrace, 134.
•J 18 INDEX.
Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte.
his birth, 200.
his letter, 225.
his grave, 224.
his life and death, 224.
"Jerome was <ff" 114.
''John and Joseph" sails, 200.
Josephine, Empress, 113.
'•K.-cp dark," 204.
Key to cipher writing, 157.
King of England, 199.
Knock off cutting, 198.
Leander frigate, 79.
Le Camas, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202,
'• Legion of Honor," 152.
Letter E, 98.
from "A Friend" to Wm.
" A Frenchman"
98, 207, 209.
Alex. Le Camus
195, 202, 222,
William Patterson to Chancellor Livingston, 33.
" Jerome Bonaparte, 80, 81.
" General Tuerreau, 163.
W. C. Nicholas, 223.
M. Dacres to Jerome Bonaparte, 1-k
Joseph Bonaparte to Jerome Bonaparte, 102.
Letter from Napoleon Bonaparte to Jerome Bonaparte, 212.
M. Dacres to M, Pichon, 66.
Joseph Bonaparte to Mr. Livingston, 87.
George "W. Patterson to Madame Bonaparte, 93, 188.
Sylvanus Bourne to R. J. Schimmelpenninck, 193.
Captain Bentalou to Robert Patterson, 217.
Le President frigate, 158.
11 Little Baltimore Beauty," 99.
" London is before you," 57.
" London-particular-three-years-old-wine/' 149.
London Morning Chronicle, 182.
"Loudon Park," near Baltimore, 224.
Louisiana, cession of, 140.
" Low Corsican," 179.
" Lovely bride," 112.
Love on the Chesapeake, 118.
u Lovely Princess" of Jerome, 146.
Lucien Bonaparte, 158.
his arrest at Milan, 160.
Lull of curiosity, 113.
Madame Bonaparte first in the life-boat, 114.
her vessel, 187.
in London, 195.
her first child, 200.
his name, 200.
her letter, 207.
Marchioness of Donegal, 209.
Market street, Baltimore, 88.
Marriage of Miss Patterson, 28, 31, 46, 47, 48.
Lucien Bonaparte's opinion of it, 52, 53, 54.
Joseph " « " 55.
"Mars" brig, 215.
Master wheel, 79.
" Matter of form," 56.
Maupertuis at the wheel, 120.
his letters, 93, 105, 119, &c.
he retires, 137.
in Rotterdam, 142, 166.
" Maw of a whale," 114.
Maxim of Mr. Patterson, 148.
McKim, Mr., 129.
Mcllhiny and Glennie, 143, 154, 213, 219, 220.
Meeting of Napoleon and Jerome, 218.
Menelatu, king of Sparta, 35.
Mid-ocean, 161, 164.
" Misfortune pursues him," 121, 134.
Miss Spear, 122.
" Mistress," 100, 180.
M. Dumestre, 146.
M. Eugene Beauharnais, 152.
M. Meyronnet, 150, 165, 166.
M. Pascault, 165.
" Momentary disgrace," 127.
Moniteur, 100, 105, 158.
u Moral honor and delicacy," 223.
Morris, Robert, 28.
Mount St. Mary, 225.
Mrs. McDonald, 122.
Murat, Prince, 152.
Murphy, Captain, 215.
" My dear Alexander," 121, 122, 128.
" My dear Chambry," 125, 127, 133.
" My dear Jerome," 73, 77, 103.
" My second mother," 174.
" My wife, my dear little wife," 220.
Napoleon to Jerome, 112.
"Narrow escape," 114.
Negotiations for East Florida, 143.
Neutral port, 196.
" Never show my letters," 174.
New York out-sensationed, 113.
News via New York, 223.
Nicholas, W. C, 223.
Note from Lucien to Robert Patterson, 52.
Notre Dame, 130.
Obelisk of granite, 224.
O Jerome ! 75.
On board the Erin, 161.
a packet, 113.
a snow, 114.
On the sea, 161, 168.
u On your guard," 158.
Orcel, M., 103.
Panic and prestige, 138.
Paragraph of the 12th October, 104, 106.
New \ '••• '■ sensation. 112, 149.
Pascault, M., 165.
Patterson, Mrs. Elizabeth, 27.
George M., his letters, 94, 189.
Robert, in France, 36.
his diplomacy, 39.
his letter, 36.
Patterson, William, Esq., 28.
letters to Jerome, 80, 81, 83.
on the marriage, 34.
his letter to Mr. Livingston, 33.
Peddler of paragraphs, 173.
" Person sent to the Texel," 185.
Philadelphia under true colors, 115.
Pichon, Citizen, 85.
Pilot Town, shipwreck at, 115.
11 Pique of the moment," 170.
Pomona at Genoa, 222.
Pope of Rome, 97.
Portrait of lovely bride, 112.
P. Cuneo de Ornano, 148.
Premeditated aggression, 147.
"Pressed her into his arms," 220.
" Pretended marriage," 159, 167.
Priam, king of Troy, 35.
" Prince of royal blood," 53.
Princess Eliza on the Pomona, 222.
Prize drawn, 161.
Propitious moment, 135.
Protested bills, 172.
Pulaski, Count, 39.
"Put a foot on French territory," 199.
Queen of Etruria, 97.
spurns Jerome, 221.
" Quiz in the tale, "114.
" Ranioglini," 180, 181.
Ray, Gen., 92.
Red letters, 188.
Register, and flag of the TJ. S., 192.
u Repudiated his wife," 158.
" Bequiescat in Pace," 225.
Revolution in France, 131.
Revolutionnaire 44 guns, 118.
Rewbell, 166, 169.
Robereus ship, 159.
Rochefort fleet, 155.
Rotterdam, letter from, 190.
Rue Royal, Lille, 93.
Scandalous paragraph, 100, 104, 106.
Schimmelpenninck, Mr., 190, 193.
Schooner Cordelia, Captain Towers, 113.
Seal of wax, 188.
Second and first family, 174.
Select company, 219.
11 Sending coals to Newcastle," 183.
" Sent back to the United States," 172.
11 Separated for ever," 221.
11 She will be well received," 93.
11 She will shine in Paris," 146.
Ship Enterprise, 216.
Erin, Captain Stephenson, 161, 185, 193.
Mars, Captain Murphy, 215.
Shipping wine to France, 183.
Shipwreck of young couple, 115, 220.
Sickly views of marriage, 60.
of Napoleon, 62.
Skipwith, Fulwar, 38, 142, 149, 161.
Sleighs and snowballs, 88.
Smith, Samuel, in Congress, 33, 86, 144.
Snow, Philadelphia, Captain Kennedy, 114.
Spain and the United States, 143.
" Specific administered," 62.
Speculation in Florida lands, 140, 141.
Summer residence, 92.
" Stamp of greatness," 127.
St. Croix de Teneriffe, 144.
Table, admitted to, 63.
" Tell Mrs. Jerome," 103.
Tempestuous sea, 53.
Theatre, Jerome and lady at, 113.
The child vaccinated, 200.
The Downs, 206, 221.
The mother, 176.
The noble Erin, 170.
The Texel, 187, 198.
Thole, Lucien confined in, 160.
" Three letters to Lucien," 210.
Thorn in the flesh, 79.
" Throw Jerome in prison," 156, 158.
Tiptoe gossip, 28.
Treaty of 1803, claims, &c, 141.
of Morfontain, ")
of Luneville, V 101.
of Amiens, j
Tri-colored flag, 57.
Tunbridge Wells, 209.
Unappropriated lands, 140.
"United with one of the best," 95.
Upas, deleterious, 60.
"Ventose," 11th, 80.
Vessel of the United States, 192.
Walsingham packet, 175.
Washington City, young couple in, 118.
Washington street, N. Y., 90.
War-song on the deep, 65.
What ladies covet, 95.
What ladies call a "come-off," 200.
Wheeler, Miss, 30.
Wheel of powerful dimensions, 119.
William Neilson & Co., 82.
11 Will never acknowledge the marriage," 211.
" Without information from Jerome," 206.
"Wives and daughters of the conquered," 59.
" Wrested by the sea from France," 58.
"Write to Miss Patterson," 212.
Young couple, 80, 89, 100, 112, 113, 116, 170.
shipwrecked on the Delaware bay, 115.
in Annapolis, 118.
in Washington, 118.
in Baltimore, 139.
sail at 8 o'clock a. m., 162, 163.
on the soa, 168.
in mid-ocean, 161, 164.
quarantined at Lisbon, 174.
final parting there, 175.
the bride sails for the Texel, 185.
she is before Amsterdam, 193.
she is not allowed to land, 194.
she is guarded by guns, 191.
she is placarded by handbills, 185.
she sails for Dover, 195.
11 she imprudently went to London," 196.
she is advised to go home, 211.
II write to Miss Patterson to return," 212.
II I will allow her a pension," 213.
11 she must not take my name," 213.
embarkation for Baltimore, 215
"Young person," 65, 67, 73, 77, 78, 85.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA— BERKELEY
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THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY