NAPOLEON I - Letter Signed 1803 Rooting out corruption
NAPOLEON I (1769-1821)Letter Signed (“Bonaparte”) to to Jean-Jacques Cambacérès criticizing his brother Lucien’s choice in an appointment, and praising the public spirit of the inhabitants from Dunkerque to Lille.
1 page 4to in French with integral blank leaf, headed by a vignette with the words “Bonaparte Ier Consul de la République”. Lille, 18 messidor an XI [7 July 1803].
Trans:- “I received, citizen Consul, your letter of the 16th. The Minister of the Interior informed me of the Blachier business; I believe he has been removed.
It seems to me that Lucien’s choice is extraordinary, in a matter of this sort where one needed a man who would take care of all the details and the valuation of the goods.
I left Dunkerque yesterday, and I arrived in Lille at 6 o’clock in the evening. Travelling from Dunkerque to here I saw a country as beautiful as Lombardy, and I continue to be extremely satisfied with the public spirit, the zeal shown by the inhabitants, and the wonderful harvests which cover the land.
I will remain here Friday and Saturday.”
It appears that Blachier, who had been secretary general of the prefecture of the Gard département, was relieved of his duties when it was discovered that he had sold falsified certificates allowing conscripts to appoint a replacement to take their place when called up for military service. In Blachier’s case, the offence had taken place three years earlier, and he would almost certainly have been appointed to his post by Napoleon’s younger brother Lucien, who had served as Minister of the Interior for a ten month tenure in 1800.
Although Lucien played a major role in Napoleon’s rise to power – indeed, Lucien’s dramatic intervention during the coup d’état of the 18 brumaire was a turning point in the day’s events – he was frequently considered difficult by Napoleon. Of Napoleon’s brothers, he was the most independent-minded and retained his Jacobin sympathies. In spite of subsequent success as Ambassador to Spain, Lucien clashed with two of Napoleon’s most powerful ministers, Fouché and Talleyrand, and his final “misdemeanour” was his marriage to a woman other than the one Napoleon intended him to marry. When he attempted to escape his brother by sailing for America, Lucien was captured by the British and spent some years in relatively relaxed and comfortable “captivity” in Shropshire. He was reconciled with his brother during the Hundred Days, and finally returned to Rome after Waterloo.
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