WARSAW REGIMENT - Autograph Letter Signed 1811 requesting leave
Autograph Letter Signed (“Coihorles”) to “Monseigneur”, requesting four months’ leave for Lt-Major Kriyzanowski so that he may return home to deal with his affairs at home, which is “under the domination of H.M. the Emperor of Russia”.
2 pages folio in French with integral blank leaf, Grenada, 5 August 1811.
Trans: “Monsieur Kriyzanowski . . . 9th Regiment of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw left his home to serve under the victorious flags of H.M. Emperor Napoleon the Great and he has served . . . for three and a half years with great zeal and distinction. His parents and his fortune are under the domination of H.M. the Emperor of Russia. This government has demanded his presence under pain of confiscation of that fortune the Prince Kourakin Ambassador in Paris . . . This officer ardently desires to continue his military career in the Regiment which I have the honour to command but as his affairs require his presence I beg Your Excellency to allow him leave for four months . . . after which he will be able to rejoin his Regiment. . .”
Many Poles, who had seen their country divided between Russia, Austria and Prussia, viewed Napoleon as the potential restorer of their nation. In fact, Napoleon would not sacrifice French interests to ensure a restoration of the Polish state, but the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, established by the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 (at which Prince Kourakin had been one of the negotiators), went some way to giving Poles hope and an attachment to the French cause which saw many excellent Polish officers join the French army.
From the Crawford collection.
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