Biography of Bonapartes


The Bonapartes. The family to which the Emperor Napoleon I belonged. Came from Corsica. The father, Carlo Maria Bonaparte, born in 1746. Was a lawyer and an adherent of Paoli, the insurgent. Died 1785. The mother, Letizia Ramolino, born in 1750, was celebrated for her beauty, and with the title "Madame Mere," lived in Paris during the rule of Napoleon. Died 1836.

(1) Joseph, born in 1768, the eldest son, practiced as an advocate, and married a merchant's daughter at Marseilles. He was commissary-general to the army in Italy under Napoleon, and in 1797 was sent as ambassador to the Pope. An able diplomatist, he negotiated the treaties of peace at Luneville in 1801, and at Amiens in 1802. When his brother was proclaimed emperor, he was placed upon the throne of Naples; but being a merely nominal ruler, his good judgment and better instincts had no play. In 1808, he was transferred to the throne of Spain, where his position was still more unfortunate. He was twice compelled to flee from Madrid, and finally abandoned the throne after the Battle of Cittoria. He was lieutenant-general of the empire during the 1814 campaigns and the Hundred Days, and after Waterloo he lived for some years in the United States as the Comte de Durvilliers. He died in Florence in 1844, and left his highly interesting "Memoirs and Correspondence."

(2) Napoleon, the second son (Napoleon I).

(3) Lucien, born in 1775. In 1795, became commissary to the army of the north. In 1798 he was elected to the Council of the Five Hundred, and played an important part in the revolution which destroyed the Directory and made Napoleon First Consul. After becoming minister of the interior, he went as ambassador to Madrid, but his marriage with Mme. Jouberthon brought about an estrangement between him and the emperor. In 1804, he retired to this estates in Italy as Prince of Canino, where he cultivated his tastes for literature and the fine arts. After the peace of Tilsit, he was offered the crown of Italy, but he refused it, and in 1810 set out for the United States. Captured by a British cruiser, he was kept a prisoner in England till 1814. After Waterloo, he induced Napoleon to abdicate in favor of his son, and he himself retired to Italy. He wrote an epic, "Charlemagne." Died 1840.

(4) Marie Anne Elisa, born in 1777. Married Felix Pascal Bacciochi, and was created Princess of Piombino and Lucca, and Grand Duchess of Tuscany. She retired from France in 1815, and died in Trieste in 1820.

(5) Louis, born in 1778, the father of Napoleon III. He served in the Italian and Egyptian campaigns, and in 1802 he was compelled to marry Hortense Beauharnais, from whom he was afterwards separated. Under the empire he was created a prince and constable of France, and after occupying Holland he was proclaimed king of the country. He became extremely popular with the people but offended the emperor, and in 1810 he abdicated, the country being absorbed in France. He spent most of his life after Napoleon's banishment in Italy, and wrote several books, of which the "Documents Historiques" is the most important. Died 1846.

(6) Marie Pauline (Pauline Borghese).

(7) Caroline Marie Annonciade. Born in 1782. Married Marshal Murat in 1800. Died 1839.

(8) Jerome, born in 1784. He was given a command in the navy, and while on the American station married a Miss Patterson, a marriage which he was forced to renounce by the emperor. In 1807 he was made king of Westphalia, and married a daughter of the King of Wurttemberg, who became the mother of Prince Napoleon. In 1812 he proved so incapable a general during the Russian campaign that he was removed from command, but he commanded a division at Waterloo. After Napoleon's abdication, he lived in exile until 1847. In 1850 Napoleon II made him a marshal of France, and he later became president of the senate. Died 1860.

Of the second generation:

(1) Napoleon, son of Louis (Napoleon III)

(2) Napoleon, Joseph. Born in 1822. Commonly known as Prince Napoleon, and son of Jerome Bonaparte. His early life was spent in travel, but after the 1848 revolution he was elected to the assembly. In 1849 he held for a year the post of ambassador at Madrid, and in 1854 he commanded a division of the army in the Crimea. He threw up his command suddenly, and in 1858 became president of the ministry for Algiers. In 1859 he held a command in Italy, and married the Princess Clotilde, a daughter of Victor Emmanuel. In 1861 he created a sensation in the senate by a fine oration in support of democratic principles, provoking a challenge from the Duc d'Aumale. His loudly-expressed approval of the Polish revolution brought him into disgrace with the emperor more than once, and compelled his resignation of the presidency of the Commissioners for the Universal Exhibition. After the fall of Napoleon III and the death of Prince Louis Napoleon, he was recognized as head of the Napoleon family. In 1883 he was imprisoned for a pronunciamento, and in 1886 he was banished from France. He died in exile in 1891.

(3) Charles Lucien Jules, Prince de Canino. Born in 1803. The son of Lucien Bonapaste, a distinguished naturalist. In 1822 married his cousin, Zenaide, the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, and soon after went to America, where he devoted himself to the study of science, and published his valuable "American Ornithology." In 1828 he returned to Italy. In 1833 he published his "Italian Fauna," and in 1847 he succeeded to the title of prince. He was for a short time active in Italian politics, but finally settled at Paris, where he died in 1857. His son, Lucien, born in 1828, is a cardinal.

(4) Louis Lucien. Born in 1813. The third son of Lucien Bonapaste. He passed his youth in scientific and linguistic study. In 1848 he was elected to the constituent assembly as deputy for Corsica, but the election was annulled. In 1852 he was made a senator, and in 1860 grand officer of the Legion of Honor. He wrote a great deal, much of his work being translations. Died 1891.

(3) Pierre Napoleon. Born in 1815. Prince, fourth son of Lucien. After getting into disfavor in Italy and America, he went to Paris in 1848, and sat in the assembly. In 1849 he served in Algeria, and finally settled in England. Died 1881.

Of the third generation:

Prince Louis. Better known as the Prince Imperia. Born in 1856, the only child of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie. He accompanied his father at the opening of the Franco-German War, but after Sedan he went to England. He entered the Woolwich Military Academy, and in 1879 went to Zululand where he died the same year.