BONAPARTE Lucien - Letter Signed 1800 appointing an architect
Lucien BONAPARTE (1775-1840)Letter Signed (“Lucien Bonaparte”) to Citizen Bleve, telling him of his appointment as architect to the Court of Justice and the Legislature.
1½ pages 4to in French with the vignette of the French Republic, Paris, 25 nivose an 8 [15 January 1800].
Trans: “Based on what I have heard of your talents and your principles, Citizen, I have appointed you architect of the Court of Justice and of the Legislature. Your functions will consist in carrying out all the repairs and alterations required for the service of these two constitutional bodies and in maintaining the fabric of these buildings.
Once the President, to whom you will introduce yourself in your capacity, will request you to undertake works, you will them report to me and I will give you the necessary authorization, and I will authorize the payments in accordance with your proposals. I invite you to undertake your duties with immediate effect.”
In a postscript he adds: “I would like to advise you, Citizen, that I have named Citizen Deyre le jeune as your Inspector for the Legislature and Citizen Gisors le jeune as your inspector for the Court of Justice; I have informed both these Citizens of their appointments.”
Lucien Bonaparte played an important, and dramatic, role in his brother Napoleon’s coup d’état on 9 November 1799. By the end of the year, Napoleon rewarded him with the Ministry of the Interior. Lucien’s tenure at the Ministry was not to last very long. Before 1800 was over, Lucien had resigned after a stormy encounter with his brother, the first of many such events. He was appointed ambassador to Madrid, a post which he kept for a year.
Lucien eventually moved to Rome with his second wife, a source of further conflict with his brother who had proposed an advantageous, dynastic marriage. Differences were exacerbated when Lucien, still firmly republican, openly disapproved of Napoleon’s coronation as Emperor. In 1810, he set sail for America, hoping to find some peace, but was captured en route by the British. He spent the next four years in England, first in Ludlow and later in Worcestershire, apparently in a happy and comfortable exile until his return to France after Napoleon’s first abdication.
The letter is lightly foxed overall, more so at the margins, but it remains in perfectly legible condition.
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