This historically significant collection of letters is from the Ministers and trusted Generals serving Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign as the French Emperor from 1804-1814, and the Hundred Days in 1815. Napoleon had structured his government after that of the Roman Empire. Ministers occupied the fourth position in the imperial hierarchy, after the Emperor and the Empress, the imperial family and the Grand Dignitaries. These correspondences provide invaluable insight into the workings of the First French Empire.
Napoleon was known for his charisma in attracting and retaining officials in his government of great experience, diversity and intelligence. However, as time passed and the Emperor's hubris grew, the French Empire became less of the liberal revolution-based government it was intended to be and more of an authoritarian dictatorship. The powers and "checks and balances" Napoleon's officials relied upon slowly slipped away, and by the last days of the Empire, many of them had lost faith in their leader and helped to influence the Senate to pass a resolution to dethrone the Emperor on April 2, 1814.
Frame: 54 1/4" wide x 48 3/8" high
The documents are featured clockwise, from top right:
1st Count of Huneboug, 1st Duke of Feltre, Minister of War from August 1807 until March 1814
This letter is informing recipient, Mr. LeBrun, of his promotion to Lt. in the 2nd Light Regiment pending its approval by Napoleon.
Dated February 27, 1813 in Paris
1st Duc d'Otrante, Minister of Police from June 1809 until Sept. 1809, then July 1804 until June 1810, then again during the "Hundred Days"
A letter requesting that, despite having to lay him off due to budget cuts, a position for Citizen Emery be found in the meantime in case that the position opens up again.
Duke of Massa, Count of Gronau and Minister of Justice from September 1802 until November 1813
Arrest orders against a woman and her three daughters on charges of treason.
General André Masséna
1st Duc of Rivoli, 1st Prince, d'Essling, Chief General
This letter is requesting that 2400 francs be given to a Citizen Favier from his personal account.
Emmanuel de Grouchy
Marquis de Grouchy, Lt. General Commander in Chief of the Army of Lyon
This letter is requesting the delivery of an attached letter in April of 1815, shortly before the battle of Watterloo.
Comte de Rapp, Army General
This letter is thanking another general for the pay increase to the troops.
Dated January 9 in Paris
This letter is asking for a directive on the transfer of 140 English prisoners from Amsterdam to Sedan, a city on the border of France and Belgium.