[Napoleon Bonaparte]

Napoleon's Nephew "Prince Napoleon" Napoleon's Nephew Urges Audience with Zionist Freedom Fighter Armand Levy: "You know that all my efforts tend to rally democracy in the Empire"



Napoleon's Nephew "Prince Napoleon" Urges Audience with Zionist Republican Freedom Fighter Armand Levy: "You know that all my efforts tend to rally democracy in the Empire"

 

1p ALS in French inscribed overall and signed by Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte (1822-1891) as "Napoleon (Jerome)" at center bottom. Written from the Royal Palace at Paris, France on Friday, March 29, 1861. On custom cream bifold mourning stationery with embossed "N" at upper left. The remaining pages are blank, each measuring 5.25" x 8.25". With a few wrinkles, folds, and minor edge closed tears, else in near fine condition.

 

Prince Napoleon, or Plon-Plon, as he was familiarly known, was Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew. He was the second son of Napoleon's youngest brother Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860), who had served as King of Westphalia between 1807-1813. Jerome had died in late June 1860, which probably accounts for his son's mourning stationery.

 

Prince Napoleon wrote Mr. Tanguy, evidently a French publisher, about his friend Armand Levy (1827-1891).

 

Translated in part:

 

"My dear Tanguy,

 

I beg you to receive a Mr. Armand Levy, who wants to ask you to publish a newspaper in Paris that was published today in Geneva (?). Listen to him.

 

You know that all my efforts tend to rally democracy in the Empire, with this alliance I fear nothing, neither in Europe or in Paris (?)... Read the attached letter and give an audience to Mr. Levy. With a thousand friendships, affectionately,

 

Napoleon (Jerome)."

 

Prince Napoleon's political ideology was surprising considering his lineage. His uncle Napoleon Bonaparte had appointed himself Emperor in 1804, and his father and uncles had been Kings of Westphalia, Holland, Spain, and Naples. Most recently, his cousin Louis Napoleon had overthrown the Second Republic and named himself Emperor Napoleon III in 1852. This made it rather awkward for the left-leaning republican Prince Napoleon, no friend of autocrats.

 

But as we have seen, Prince Napoleon was emboldened by his beliefs. He befriended European republicans like the Polish nationalist poet Adam Mitzkievitch (1798-1855) and Zionist activist Armand Levy.

 

Levy, the subject of Prince Napoleon's letter, was a Catholic of Jewish heritage who had proposed, along with Mitzkievitch, to form a Jewish military legion to liberate Palestine during the Crimean War. Levy had participated in the 1848 Revolution that overthrew the last king Louis Phillipe, and he would participate in the 1871 Paris Commune. He supported unification in Italy and independence movements in Eastern Europe.

 

Napoleon's nephew Prince Napoleon: an unlikely champion of democracy during the Second Empire!

 


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