NAPOLEON I - Letter Signed 1806 assisting a promising young man
NAPOLEON I (1769-1821)
Letter Signed (“Napol”), to his Minister of the Interior, Jean-Baptiste de Champagny, asking what can be done to assist Jean Pierre Tondu Lebrun, a student at the Lycée Impérial, who has become blind.
Half page 4to in French, Paris, 16 February 1806.
An unusual letter, which displays Napoleon’s more benevolent character, just two months after his great victory at Austerlitz.
Trans: “Let me know what I can do to for Jean Pierre Tondu Lebrun whom the Headmaster of my Lycée Impérial tells me is worthy of my goodness and who has been forever deprived of his sight by an illness, at a time when he was about to be sent to Constantinople as a student of foreign languages. . .”
The Lycée Impérial, founded in 1563 as the Lycée Louis-le-Grand (by which name it is known today), continues to enjoy a reputation as one of the best educational establishments in France, with fiercely competitive entrance requirements. Alumni include Voltaire, Hugo and Derrida, as well as Robespierre. It is to be expected that Lebrun was a young man whose talents could not be wasted in spite of his disability.
An annotation by an official at the Ministry of the Interior, requests that a copy of the letter be sent to the Divisions, evidently exploring the possibilities open to Lebrun.
There are a few contemporary ink stains on the letter, and some very minor foxing at the bottom, not touching the text.
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