"Un Vrai Chevalier Errant": A Biographical Sketch of General "Charles" Lallemand
Author(s) : ABEL Jonathan
In 1823, a crew of French soldiers, adventurers, and misfits landed in Lisbon. They aspired to overthrow the Spanish monarchy, ally with France, and conquer Europe to recreate the Napoleonic Empire. Leading the expedition was General “Charles” Lallemand, exiled from Restoration France on pain of death. Despite his exhortations for the French to “emancipate France from the yoke of the strangers who domineer over her,” the expedition failed, and Lallemand returned to the United States.
"Un Vrai Chevalier Errant": A Biographical Sketch of General "Charles" Lallemand
The 1823 episode typifies the career of François-Antoine Lallemand, who preferred to be called Charles. He spent his early adulthood in the service of the Emperor, winning laurels and titles for his efforts. After 1815, Lallemand wandered the Western Hemisphere in search of the same adventure and sense of purpose that service in the French army had imparted. He became “un vrai chevalier errant,” a true knight-errant, in the words of contemporary historian Lauré Junot, duchess d'Abrantes. In the twenty-five years running of his life after the fall of Napoleon, Lallemand travelled the Levant, attempted to plant a French colony in Spanish Texas, undertook the above invasion of Spain, and served as the military governor of Corsica. In between, he narrowly evaded British and French arrest, joined the Bonapartist émigré community in the United States, perhaps organized a conspiracy to rescue Napoleon from Saint Helena, and moonlighted as a Louisiana planter.
Lallemand's career has been described in both English- and French-language works. Biographical works such as Georges Six's Dictionnaire biographique des généraux et amiraux français de la Révolution et de l'Empire provide a factual narrative of his service record. Contemporary encyclopedias offer further details. And much has been gathered regarding “Charles” in works on the Champ d'Asile, the colony Lallemand attempted to plant in Spanish Texas; indeed Lallemand was to prove a pivotal and interesting figure in both American and French history between 1807 and 1839. However, no biographical monograph exists in either English or French. This deficit is unexpected for an officer Napoleon described as having “the sacred fire.” This paper will provide a précis of such a work, examining the life and adventures of François-Antoine “Charles” Lallemand to illustrate its importance and interest to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
François-Antoine Lallemand was born on 23 June 1774 in the border city of Metz, where his father owned a wig-making shop. The family produced another son in October 1777, Henri-Dominique, who would follow his older brother into the military. Little detail of “Charles” Lallemand's early life remains known. His father secured an education for his first-born, likely in one of the bourgeois écoles typical of late eighteenth-century France. As an often-contested border province, the Lorraine produced a disproportionate percentage of France's military men; it is likely that Lallemand received at least rudimentary training in the military as part of his education.
The coming of the Revolution brought opportunity for Lallemand. On 20 April 1792, Revolutionary France declared war on the major powers of Europe. The government released a call for volunteers to fight the war. Lallemand answered, joining the First Light Artillery Company at Strasbourg on 1 May 1792. His unit joined the ragtag army under François Christophe Kellermann, which was assigned to turn back the advancing Prussian army under Charles-William Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The French and Prussians met at Valmy on 20 September. Lallemand's artillery company played a key role in the battle, which saw French citizen-soldiers standing firm against the professional soldiers of the most feared army in Europe.
The war begun in 1792 sparked an international series of conflicts stretching over the next twenty-three years, providing opportunity for rapid advancement for men like Lallemand. In March 1793, he transferred to the cavalry, which would remain his preferred service for the remainder of his career. For the next two years, he served as aide-de-camp to a variety of officers throughout France, including under a young General Napoleon Bonaparte during the rising of 13 Vendémiaire. His actions during the journée brought him to the attention of the future Emperor, and Lallemand would serve as lieutenant des Guides under Bonaparte in the First Italian Campaign of 1796-1797. He continued acting as aide-de-camp to a variety of officers in Italy from 1796 to 1797, where he fought in the decisive Battle of Rivoli on 14 January 1797.
On 16 July of the same year and at the rank of lieutenant, Lallemand entered Bonaparte's personal guard, the Guides à cheval of the Armée d'Italie, commanded by Jean-Baptiste Bessières, and it was with these troops that he was to follow Bonaparte on the Egyptian expedition. After the combat at Nazareth, Lallemand was promoted ADC to Jean-Androche Junot, duc d'Abrantès. This relationship would prove important for Lallemand's career. He followed Junot through the ordeal of the Egyptian campaign, including attending negotiations between Junot and an English delegation led by Sir Sidney Smith. It would appear that he remained in Egypt after Napoleon's flight in August 1799, along with the remainder of the French army in Egypt, though sources at the point are conflicting. Whilst some contemporary and modern sources place Lallemand in France before Bonaparte's coup of 18 Brumaire, others note that, as Junot's aide-de-camp, Lallemand likely would have remained in captivity until the former was released on 19 January 1800, not returning to the metropole until June of the same year.
Lallemand's relationship with Junot would provide a significant boon for his career. “A valued friend of my husband and myself,” Lauré Junot noted. Although never elevated to the Marshallate, Junot held a special place in Bonaparte's regard. Napoleon trusted Junot perhaps more than all but the marshals and his own family members and appointed him to a variety of commands and diplomatic appointments. As Junot's most trusted aide and friend, Lallemand also benefitted from this patronage. Bonaparte corresponded directly with Lallemand on at least one occasion, proving at least a professional relationship between the two.
Following the cessation of hostilities in 1801, Bonaparte transferred the young officer to the command of Charles Leclerc, tasked with suppressing Toussaint l'Overture's slave revolution in Saint-Domingue. The expedition arrived in April 1802 and was immediately decimated by disease. Lallemand spent time in New York before returning to France the following year. “He returned almost in disgrace,” notes Lauré Junot. However, his time in Saint-Domingue had produced one benefit. “One day,” continues Junot, “[Lallemand] entered my drawing-room, accompanied by an exceedingly beautiful young lady. She was tall and slender and possessed that graceful pliancy of form for which the Creoles are remarkable.” The woman was the daughter of Madame de Lartigues, one of the wealthiest landholders on Saint-Domingue. Although she had lost her fortune, she had gained the marriage hand of Lallemand in April 1804, who was recognized as a rising star in the French army. The two married and Madame Lallemand became Lauré Junot's closest confidante.
On his return from the Americas, “Charles” Lallemand followed Junot in the latter's career as ambassador to Portugal. Junot's mission established diplomatic relations between Bonaparte's new government and the Braganza monarchy. It also made Junot, with Lallemand at his side, the French officer best acquainted with Portugal, which would pay dividends when Napoleon set his sights on the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
In 1805, the War of the Third Coalition erupted, with every major European state save Prussia declaring war on France. Recalled from Portugal, Lallemand commanded various units of dragoons during the campaign and the successive campaigns against Prussia and Russia in 1806 and 1807. He won battlefield laurels in the great victories at Austerlitz, Jena-Auerstädt, and Friedland, and promotion to colonel on 20 November 1806.
Continuing to serve under Junot, Lallemand spent the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars in the Iberian Peninsula. He accompanied Junot on his expedition of 1807 to Portugal. He fought in the major engagements of the Peninsular War, from Junot's capture of Lisbon on 30 November 1807 to the campaigns against Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, from 1808 to 1813. In the Peninsula, he encountered many of the officers who would be his friends and companions for the remainder of his life, including Jean-Baptiste Drouet, comte d'Erlon. He also developed his personal and social skills during this period, likely due to his many voyages to Madrid and Paris. Lauré Junot offered a portrait of the colonel in 1807:
[He was] unequaled in ease and suppleness by any other person I ever knew, except Madame Lallemand. [He] was one of our best actors. I have seen but few good comedians, and of those very few indeed were his equals. His talent was natural, but had been improved by the instructions of Michau, from whom he imbibed a portion of that ease and humor which was the principal charm of Michau's own acting. [He] sat up with [Junot] all night, endeavoring with arguments and consolations of friendship to calm a little the violence of his agitation and to restore something like composure to his mind. Lallemand used this charm to rise rapidly through the officer corps and in the Emperor's trust.
Following the end of the Peninsula War in late 1813, Lallemand transferred to the service of Marshal Jacques MacDonald, duc de Taranto, fighting in Germany. Later in the year, he joined the command of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout, assigned to defend the city of Hamburg. He fought under Davout in the brutal street fighting against the Prussians of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt, managing to hold the city until after Napoleon's abdication.
With the abdication of the Emperor, Lallemand entered the royal service of Louis XVIII. He was stationed in Second Subdivision of the Aisne, but he chafed under the confused reign of the First Restoration. In March 1815, he took action, joining what became known as the Conspiracy of the North. General Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes, who had served with Lallemand in the Peninsula, gathered former elements of the Imperial Guard to march on Paris. Lallemand, along with his brother, led his unit to support Lefebvre-Desnouettes. Other units, including those from Guise and Chauny, joined the movement, which centered on capturing the arsenal of La Fère. As the conspirators neared Paris, units began to defect from the movement. By the time they reached Ferté-Milon on 12 March, only the units of Lallemand, his brother, and d'Erlon remained. The three were placed under arrest in Soissons on charges of conspiracy and treason.
Little is known about the exact nature or origins of the conspiracy. Evidence indicates that it was perhaps masterminded by Joseph Fouché, duc d'Otrante, sometime Minister of Police to Napoleon and frequent conspirator. He harbored designs on the French government, whose limited monarchy was still being debated by the great powers and French populace alike. He also participated in Bonapartists conspiracies after 1814, seeing his own power through the placement of a new Bonaparte on the throne. Most likely, Fouché was attempting to gauge support for an overthrow of Louis XVIII in favor of Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans, senior member of the Orléans branch of the royal family. Lallemand and his fellow conspirators acted without Fouché's orders, leading to the premature discovery of the conspiracy. Fouché denied all involvement, leaving his military co-conspirators to face prosecution for capital crimes.
Fortunately for Lallemand, major events overtook the French state before his trial could commence. Napoleon left the island of Elba on 26 February 1815, landed in southern France, and marched north, gathering military support along the way. Jailers at Soissons freed the conspirators to join the Emperor, who reclaimed his throne after the flight of Louis XVIII. Napoleon learned of Lallemand's conspiracy, which had been spun into an effort to overthrow the crown in favor of the deposed Emperor. He rewarded Lallemand with command of the chasseurs à cheval of the Imperial Guard, one of the most prestigious commands in the re-formed Grande Armée, promotion to Lieutenant-General, and elevation to the peerage.
Lallemand and the Emperor faced a difficult task. Napoleon professed to be a limited monarch interested only in preserving peace. The other powers refused his overtures and prepared their armies to invade France. Napoleon determined to strike first, marching on the British army under Wellington deployed in Belgium. In a series of engagements beginning in early June 1815, Napoleon pushed back the British army and attempted to keep the Prussian army under Blücher from uniting with its ally. On 18 June, the three armies fought the Battle of Waterloo. Lallemand distinguished himself at the battles of Ligny and Waterloo, leading his cavalry of the Guard. Despite his best efforts, his old adversary from Spain defeated the French army. Lallemand retreated with the Grande Armée on Paris.
Napoleon abdicated for a second time on 22 June 1815. Unlike after his first abdication, no plan existed for the disposal of the Emperor. Napoleon determined to throw himself on the mercy of the British, believing them to be the most merciful of his adversaries. Napoleon journeyed to Rochefort to find a British captain to whom he could surrender. Most of his advisors approved this move save Lallemand. He argued that the British would be vindictive, given the devastation wrought on the British army in the summer campaigns. He urged Napoleon to board a ship bound for America to find his fortune in the New World. Napoleon thanked Lallemand for his advice but ultimately kept his own counsel, surrendering to Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland in early July. Lallemand's suspicions that surrendering would not prove the best policy turned out correct, however, and the allies at Vienna agreed to Napoleon to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he would reside for the remainder of his life.
Napoleon's actions left Lallemand in an uneasy situation. He could not throw himself on the mercy of the Second Restoration. On 24 July 1815, Louis XVIII formally proscribed several officers involved in the La Fère conspiracy. Eighteen officers received death sentences after courts-martial by their assigned units, including Lallemand. This forced him to follow the lead of his Emperor, throwing himself on the mercy of the British, along with Rovigo and Nicolas-Louis Planat de la Faye. Like Napoleon, Lallemand appealed to Maitland's honor to prevent his being turned over to the French government. Maitland shielded Lallemand from French and British efforts to imprison him. Lallemand and Rovigo were removed from France. On 26 September, they arrived in Malta, where their British captors imprisoned them in the fortress of Saint Manuel.
Thus ended Lallemand's direct service to Napoleon. He, Rovigo, and Planat languished in British captivity, exiled from their homeland under threat of death. Lallemand's spirit would prove indomitable, however, and the British released him from captivity. For the remainder of his life, Lallemand would attempt to recapture the glory and adventure of his time in the Grande Armée. His journeys would take him to Asia, the Americas, and back to Europe.
These began in late 1815. Released from British captivity, Lallemand took his leave of his companions and journeyed east. He offered his services as a consultant to the military establishments of Egypt and Persia; both refused. In early 1817, Lallemand took the advice he had offered to Napoleon two years prior and departed for America. He arrived in early spring in Boston.
In the young nation, Lallemand found a well-established society of French exiles. “America was in all respects our proper asylum,” wrote Napoleon. Joseph Bonaparte, deposed king of Spain and brother to the Emperor, arrived in America in 1815, to much fanfare. Hundreds of other officers followed, including Marshal Emmanuel, marquis de Grouchy, building an émigré community in the city. Joseph settled in New Jersey, purchasing an estate called Point Breeze and adopting the title of the comte de Survilliers. While Grouchy outranked all other officers, Joseph became the leader of the French émigré community in the United States.
Lallemand entered this society upon his arrival in Philadelphia. Contemporary Charles Ingersoll gives an interesting vignette of Lallemand at that time, describing him as a practical efficient man but “not […] a man of probity and high-toned fidelity”, a remark which would appear to chime with Laure Junot's remarks (noted above) regarding his remarkable qualities as an actor. His restless nature led Lallemand to became involved in a project to establish an émigré colony in the American South. The American government, eager to make use of the French émigrés, proposed the creation of a colony in Alabama dedicated to the cultivation of traditional French crops like olives and grapes. Many also believed that French noble culture would blend seamlessly with the growing planter aristocracy of the South. Many of the French émigres, particularly those close to Joseph Bonaparte, were eager to establish a foothold for Bonapartism in the New World. The movement had existed in nascent form for several years, but Lallemand's arrival seemed to catalyze it. The Society for the Cultivation of the Vine and Olive elected him its president and set about the work of establishing a colony, purchasing land in modern Alabama on 3 March 1817. The first settlers arrived in July of the same year and founded the city of Demopolis. As the original colony lay outside of the purchased land, the colonists relocated in August of 1818, founding the towns of Aigleville and Arcola. Despite the efforts of the colonists, Lallemand never journeyed to Alabama. Throughout 1817, he had another project on his mind, one related to the crumbling Spanish colonial empire.
In 1808, Napoleon removed the Spanish royal family from power and installed his brother Joseph as King of Spain. The Spanish monarchy returned in 1813 as Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, but it had lost crucial legitimacy during the years of its absence. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Spain's grip on its American colonies had been slipping, particularly as Spain lost its domination of the seas to the British. The absence of the monarchy and the example of the American and French Revolutions sparked separatist sentiment through Spanish America. Beginning in 1810, various Spanish colonies began the process of throwing off their colonial masters. With the royal family's attention focused on retaking Spain from France, then on the suppression of Jacobin sentiment throughout the kingdom after the fall of Joseph, the colonial governments were largely left to their own devices.
After 1815, a new factor entered the struggle. Napoleon's presence on St. Helena loomed large across the Spanish colonies. “Chained to his rock” wrote John Quincy Adams, “he is at this moment more dreaded and detested, and at the same time more admired and beloved than when he was at the summit of his power.” Many exiled Bonapartists had settled in the Spanish colonies, lending their military expertise to the various colonial uprisings. Bonapartists in the United States lent money and other support to their brethren in Spanish America. By 1817, plots to overthrow the Spanish abounded throughout the émigré community. Many argued for placing Joseph Bonaparte on the throne of a Mexican empire. Others advocated the rescue of Napoleon himself from St. Helena and unleashing him on the Spanish colonies. Rumors flew between Washington, Madrid, Paris, and London. The British increased security on Saint Helena to prevent any rescue attempt.
Lallemand became a key figure in the Bonapartist movement. His service in Europe and subsequent travels had sparked an unquenchable feu sacré for adventure in his psyche. He journeyed between Philadelphia and New Orleans, establishing a network of Bonapartist contacts and financiers. Perhaps inspired by the talk of a Bonapartist empire in Mexico, he hatched a scheme to establish a French colony in Spanish Texas. He insisted on its peaceful nature, dispatching a petition to the viceroy of New Spain to allow his settlement to go forward. The petition failed, perhaps due to its contentious and dismissive language. Ultimately, the colony would form “the foundation of a New France, which [would] embrace in one pale all exiles from the mother country.”
Lallemand secured financing from a number of Bonapartists, including financier Stephen Girard. They hoped that Lallemand would sow the seed that would create a new French empire, one that would stretch into Mexico and the former French possessions in North America. Lallemand arranged colonists through the Society for the Cultivation of the Vine and Olive. He also drew on the experience of the refugees of Saint-Domingue, many of whom were living in relative poverty. Their agricultural experience would prove invaluable in starting the agricultural cycle in the proposed colony. While agricultural considerations remained a significant aspect of the colonial venture, it was from its inception a Bonapartist project. Most of its subscribers, financiers, and colonists were former officers in the Grande Armée.
Lallemand spent the period after his arrival in Philadelphia in March 1817 raising pledges for the venture. He also journeyed to New Orleans, where his brother Henri had settled. Henri and Lallemand enlisted the aid of Jean Laffitte, famed privateer and shipper, to arrange shipping for the colony. The first shipload of colonists departed Philadelphia on the ship Huntress on 17 December 1817. The group landed in Galveston and established a temporary settlement in miserable conditions.
Lallemand remained in New Orleans for another few weeks, gathering support alongside his brother. In February 1818, Lallemand arrived with the second contingent of colonists on the brig Actress. From Galveston, the colonists journeyed north, eventually settling on a location on the Trinity River near the modern Texas-Louisiana border. Lallemand named the colony Champ d'Asile—the Field of Asylum—a portentous name for one exiled from his homeland under threat of execution.
The colonists immediately set about constructing a functional town. They built houses, including a large central dwelling for Lallemand. They devoted much work and energy to the construction of the town's defenses, including a wooden stockade and a deep trench. Lallemand, along with Bertrand, comte Clausel, saw to the administration of the colony. Lallemand corresponded with New Orleans via Lafitte's infrequent supply ships. He also saw to relations with the native Comanche and Choctaw, who named him their “great chief.” Recorded one colonist, Jean-Just-Etienne Roy, “He made no objection to accepting the dignity and allowed himself very seriously to be invested with the appropriate insignia of his new honors.”
By April 1818, the colonists had completed the process of constructing the town. The original plan for the colony called for a second-wave colonization by experienced planters from Saint Dominque. Unfortunately for the burgeoning colony, few enlisted for the cause. The result was a colony dominated by former officers, who knew much of discipline and leadership but little about how to break a new land for settlement and agriculture. As a result, ennui set in amongst the residents of the Champ d'Asile. Lallemand's charisma rallied sunken spirits: “sometimes General Lallemand would join the circle and entertain the veterans gathered under his sway with some scraps of his last conversation with the great emperor…often, under the influence of the general's eager talk, his hearers would indulge in the wildest dreams….” He, along with Clausel, began to run military-style drills to occupy the colonists' time and focus their attention. Some of the colonists also journeyed to San Antonio, where they attended balls thrown by the Spanish residents.
Lallemand's insistence on military discipline concealed a deep fear. While Lallemand had openly proclaimed the peaceful nature of the colony's settlement, the Spanish government in New Spain could not allow a French colony in an already-shaky colony. Moreover, rumors of the overthrow of the Spanish American colonies by Bonapartists, including the participation of the Emperor from Saint Helena, stoked the fears of Spanish and monarchist French diplomats alike. A Spanish expedition departed in early spring and marched on the colony. The expedition arrived at the Champ d'Asile in early July, surrounded it, and laid siege. “We had only two hundred men capable of bearing arms,” recorded Roy, “but, notwithstanding this disparity of numbers, we were determined to repulse the foe, to fight them gallantly or die like Frenchmen, as General Lallemand pithily expressed it.” The Spanish refused the French the opportunity of martyrdom, and hunger forced the colonists to retreat after some desultory skirmishing with their Spanish foes. By 24 July, they had returned to Galveston.
Following the retreat, Lallemand returned to New Orleans in the vain hope of securing support against the Spanish. None proved forthcoming, and the colonists made their way back to the United States on foot or by ship. Lallemand's leadership, so lauded by the colonists during the Champ d'Asile period and after, proved wanting in the demise of the colony. His strength and charisma had carried the colonists through their dark days in Texas. However, when the Spanish arrived, Lallemand deserted them to return to the safety of New Orleans, perhaps illustrating fickle nature of which Ingersoll accused him.
Lallemand's paper trail becomes less clear after the failure of the Champ d'Asile. He remained in New Orleans for the next four years, purchasing a plantation “about ten leagues” from the city. He purchased several slaves to work the plantation. The 1820 census shows a “General Charles Lallemand” living alone and owning fifteen slaves.
During his time in New Orleans, Lallemand's sense of adventure likely drove him to consider new projects. One such came in the waning days of Napoleon's life. Almost from Napoleon's first day in captivity, Bonapartists in America contemplated the rescue of their Emperor. Some evidence exists indicating Lallemand's participation in one such conspiracy. In 1815, local politician Nicolas Girod inherited a property on the Rue Chartres in New Orleans. For the next five years, Bonapartists in New Orleans gathered information and resources to mount a rescue attempt to Saint Helena, with the intention of installing the Emperor in the Chartres property. Legend holds that Jean Lafitte and his fellow privateer Dominique You, along with Lallemand and Girod, masterminded the expedition. Unfortunately for the conspiracy, the Emperor died on 5 May 1821.
Napoleon, in his will, left a sum of 100,000 francs to Lallemand. No evidence shows whether or not Lallemand actually received the money, in whole or in part. However, Frédéric Bluche notes that Lallemand “had an open [line of] credit with the bankers of Napoleon” during the latter's exile on Saint Helena He used a portion of it to settle his outstanding debts. He also determined to leave New Orleans. In 1823, he organized a crew of French soldiers, adventurers, and misfits to support the constitutionalist Spanish faction in Cadiz. Lallemand's “legion” aspired to overthrow the Spanish monarchy, ally with France after it had experienced a similar revolution, and conquer Europe to recreate the Napoleonic Empire, which he had failed to reestablish in North America. He exhorted France to rise up and overthrow its own monarchy alongside Spain, but few answered the call. The expedition failed.
Lallemand spent the years after his failed adventure in Spain living in poverty in Europe, including stints in Brussels, where he “fell into poverty.” Sometime in the mid-1820s, he returned to the United States. He rejoined the émigré community in Philadelphia, which Joseph Bonaparte led with a benevolent patronage. Lallemand opened a school in New York, where he resided for the remainder of the decade.
The Revolution of 1830 brought major changes to Lallemand's life. The overthrow of Charles X by Louis-Philippe brought about the end of the regime that had outlawed the general in 1815. The new king was the same duc d'Orléans for whom Lallemand had attempted to overthrow the government in 1815. Louis-Philippe welcomed many exiles and émigres, in no small part to bolster his shaky legitimacy. However, the new king stood wary of those with Bonapartist sympathies. Conspiracies to return a Bonaparte to the French throne dated from as early as 1815 and continued throughout the Restoration and the Revolution of 1830. The ranks of the conspirators included many of the men associated with Lallemand, the Champ d'Asile, and Joseph Bonaparte's residence in America. Their efforts centered on Napoléon François-Charles-Joseph Bonaparte, son of Napoleon I and titular Duke of Reichstadt. Various Bonapartists developed nebulous schemes to place the young man on the throne throughout the restoration. Joseph Bonaparte became involved in the effort at least as early as 1819, playing a “double game” of supporting the new regime while intriguing for a Bonapartist king. France in the early 1830s proved a hotbed of conspiracy and tumult as Louis-Philippe struggled to legitimate his rule.
Lallemand returned to France in September 1830. Some in France expressed trepidation about the return of the condemned traitor. Among them was Charles-Maurice de Périgord-Talleyrand, who connected Lallemand with the plot to place the young Napoleon on the French throne. Joseph Bonaparte wrote a series of letters to French officials on Lallemand's behalf. Joseph gave Lallemand his highest recommendation: “he has all my confidence; his opinions, his sentiments are my own; you will know this when you see it. He is a capable man, from all reports…[one] would be enchanted to have known him.” These letters served to give Lallemand entrée into the court of Louis-Philippe and to establish the former's reputation as a committed Bonapartist.
Whether despite or because of Joseph's efforts on Lallemand is unclear, in the end Lallemand was to find a role in royal service. He remained nevertheless Joseph's man, as Talleyrand had warned. Joseph had relocated to England and surrounded himself with many members of his family, marshalling resources to push the claim of his nephew, the Duke of Reichstadt, to the throne. Lallemand was to serve as a courier for Joseph and, in all probability, as his point-man in Paris. The conspiracy persisted until the death of Reichstadt in 1832. Lallemand's direct service to the Bonaparte family appears to have ended with this event. For the remainder of Lallemand's life, he served in a variety of army positions throughout France.
Lallemand died in Paris on 9 March 1839 in Paris. His passing marked the departure of one of the great adventurers of his day. Between 1792 and 1807, Lallemand participated in many of the great battles and events of the French Revolution and Napoleonic era. He fought at Valmy, where the Revolution was saved by citizen-volunteers. He held back the mob at Vendémiaire alongside Bonaparte and Murat. He campaigned in the sands of Egypt, the sun of Austerlitz, and the snow of Poland. He married an Haitian heiress, subordinated himself to the rising star of Napoleon's lieutenant in the Peninsula, and campaigned against the great Wellington. During Napoleon's return, he became the Emperor's most trusted confidante, and his advice was borne out in Napoleon's imprisonment on Saint Helena.
Lallemand's second career as a knight-errant began in 1817. He entered America and determined to insert himself into Spanish-American politics. His colony at the Champ d'Asile failed, but his legend only grew. His time in New Orleans spawned rumors of the rescue of the Emperor. By 1823, he had grown restless once again, and sallied forth to crusade against royalism in Spain. Only during the latter half of the 1820s did his adventurism subside. 1830 saw the resurrection of his reputation and his return to France and the peerage. His legend grew after his death as the stories of his adventures spread. Honoré de Balzac based the character of Philippe in La Rabouilleuse (The Black Sheep) on Lallemand. Baron François-Antoine “Charles” Lallemand proved to be one of the most influential and interesting figures of the Napoleonic era in France and the early national period in America.
1. The author wishes to thank Brad Folsom and Will Yancey for their suggestions and assistance on this project.
2. Hezekiah Niles, Niles' Weekly Register (Baltimore: H. Niles, 1814-1837), XXIV: 352.
3. Laure Junot, duchess d'Abrantès, Memoirs of Madame Junot, 6 Vols. (London: Grolier, 1910), V: 121.
4. Georges Six, Dictionnaire biographique des généraux et amiraux français de la Révolution et de l'Empire (1792-1814), 2 Vols. (Paris : G. Saffroy, 1934), II: 39-40. Hereafter Dictionnaire biographique.
5. See, for example, “François-Antoine, baron Lallemand,” Biographie nouvelle des contemporains, ed. Arnault, et al. 20 Volumes. (Paris: Librarie historique, 1820-1825), X: 374-375; “Charles-François-Antoine, baron de Lallemand,” Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, ed. Pierre Larousse (Paris: 1873), X: 95; and Niles, Niles' Weekly Register, 24 May 1817, XII: 208.
6. Works abound on the Champ d'Asile; the standard in English is Rafe Blaufarb, Bonapartists in the Borderlands: French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast, 1815-1835 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005). See also Thomas Wood Clarke, Emigrés in the Wilderness (New York: Macmillan, 1941); Ronald Creagh, Nos cousins d'Amérique: Histoire des français aux Etats-Unis (Paris: Payot, 1988); Marcel Doher, Proscrits et exilés après Waterloo (Paris: J. Peyronnet, 1965); Kent Gardien, “Take Pity on Our Glory: The Men of Champ d'Asile,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 87 (January 1984): 241-268; Betje Black Klier, “Champ d'Asile, Texas” in The French in Texas: History, Migration, Culture, ed. François Lagarde (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003); Simone de la Souchère Délery, Napoleon's Soldiers in America (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1972); and Jean Soublin, Le champ d'asile (Paris: Seuil, 1985).
7. Napoleon noted that Lallemand “a le feu sacré” in Barry Edward O'Meara, Napoleon in Exile; or, A Voice from Saint Helena (London: W. Simpkin and R. Marshall., 1822) Volume I: 511;
8. Natalia Griffon de Pleineville, “Les généraux frères Lallemand,” Tradition no. 169 (2004): 17-18, and Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 37-39.
9. On such schools, see David D. Bien, “The Army in the French Enlightenment: Reform, Reaction and Revolution,” Past & Present 85 (1979), 68-98; “Military Education in 18th Century France; Technical and Non-Technical Determinants,” Science, Technology, and Warfare: Proceedings of the Third Military History Symposium, U.S. Air Force Academy, 8-9 May 1969, ed. Monte D. Wright and Lawrence J. Paszek (Washington, DC, 1971), 51-59 provides an excellent précis on noble military education in the Old Regime.
10. Timothy Blanning, The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996), 71-81 provides the most cogent description of the battle and its implications. See also Samuel F. Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy: The Transformation of the French Army in an Age of Revolution (Niwot: CO: University Press of Colorado, 1998).
11. Throughout the Revolution, the mob in Paris periodically rose against the government. These risings, called journées, ranged from minor disturbances to complete overthrows of the government. One such occurred on 13 Vendémiaire 1795. Napoleon Bonaparte's artillery, alongside Joachim Murat's cavalry, swept the streets of rioters and preserved the Directory, for which it was grateful to the young Corsican and rewarded him with command of the Army of Italy the following year. See William F. Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 320-334 and Georges Lefebvre, The French Revolution, 2 Vols., trans. John Hall Steward and James Friguglietti (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964), II: 157-185 for excellent discussions of the events and implications of 13 Vendémiaire.
12. Pleineville, “Les généraux frères Lallemand,” 15; and Jean Tulard, “François Antoine, baron Lallemand” in Dictionnaire Napoléon (Paris: Fayard, 1987), II: 138-139.
13. Pleineville, “Les généraux frères Lallemand,” 15-16; and Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 37-38.
14. Jean-Joseph-Stanislas Albert Damas-Hinard, Dictionnaire-Napoléon, ou, recueil alphabétique des opinions et jugements de l'Empereur Napoléon Ier (Paris: Plon, 1854), 297; F. L. Maitland, The Surrender of Napoleon (London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1904), 41; O'Meara, Napoleon in Exile; or, A Voice from Saint Helena, I: 511; and Sidney Smith, Memoirs, 2 Vols. (London: R. Bentley, 1839), I: 307-314.
15. “François-Antoine, baron Lallemand,” Biographie nouvelle des contemporains, 374-375; Six, Dictionnaire biographique II: 39-40 both argue for an earlier repatriation date. Baron Dieudonné-Adrien-Paul François Charles Henri Thiebault, Memoirs, 2 Vols. (London, 1896), II: 4, offers a strange vignette, which he claims was from the confused days before Napoleon's seizure of power on 18 Brumaire 1799: “Sleeping that night at Toulon, I went on the next day to Marseilles. There I met, with hardly a rag on, the brothers Lallemand, now officers of high rank. They had been in one of the two coaches which had gone by me at Saint-Maximin. A league further on they and all their companions had been completely stripped of their goods. They knew no one in the place, and I had to hand them the money they required to get some clothes and continue their journey, while congratulating myself on the circumstances which had made me change my route and escape Legitimist zeal.”
16. Pleineville, “Les généraux frères Lallemand,” 15-16 argues for the later date. This seems the more likely case, as few French escaped Egypt or British captivity until 1800. Thiebault's reference may simply have recorded the wrong year, substituting 1799 for 1800.
17. Lauré Junot, duchess d'Abrantès, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court, and Family, 2 Vols. (London: R. Bentley, 1836), II: 170.
18. Junot, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court, and Family, II: 170, 247, 256, and 380.
19. See Bonaparte to Lallemand, 28 October 1798, Correspondance générale, 9 Vols. (Paris: Fayard, 2004-2013), II: 581.
20. Pleineville, “Les généraux frères Lallemand,” 16. Laurént Dubois and John D. Garrigus, Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), provides an excellent introduction to the subject, including the disastrous French expedition.
21. Junot, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court, and Family, II: 307. She notes that this disgrace came in large part because of Lallemand's disagreements with the expedition's commander, Charles-Victor-Emmanuel Leclerc.
23. See Ibid 247, 256, 380, where Junot repeatedly refers to “my friend Madame Lallemand.”
24. See Maxime Cordier, Junot, qui ne fut pas maréchal d'empire (Le Coteau: Horvath, 1986); J. Lucas-Dubreton, Junot dit “la Tempête” (Paris: Gallimard, 1937).
25. The Third Coalition, comprised of major powers England, Austria, and Russia, formed in 1805 as the newly-crowned Emperor Napoleon prepared an army of invasion on the northern French coast. When the seas proved inaccessible, he turned south with stunning speed and captured the bulk of the Austrian army at Ulm in October 1805. On 2 December, he conducted perhaps his finest tactical battle at Austerlitz, crushing the Russian army. The following year, Prussia declared war, forming the Fourth Coalition with England and Russia. Napoleon marched north and decimated the Prussian army at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstädt on 14 October 1806. The following winter and spring, he fought and destroyed the remaining Russian field army at Eylau and again at Friedland, ending major-power resistance for the next several years. The three years from 1805-1807 are considered to have been Napoleon's military apex, as he won three of his signal victories and all but destroyed the armies of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. See David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon: The Mind and Method of History's Greatest Soldier (New York: Scribner, 1966), 381-592, which remains the most useful single-volume operational account of Napoleon's battles. For the Third Coalition, see Christopher Duffy, Austerlitz 1805 (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1977); Robert Goetz, 1805: Austerlitz (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2005); and Frederick C. Schneid, Napoleon's Conquest of Europe: The War of the Third Coalition (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2005). For the Fourth Coalition, F. Loraine Petre, Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia – 1806 (New York: John Lane Co., 1907) and Napoleon's Campaign in Poland, 1806-7 (New York: John Lane Co., 1907), provide the best operational accounts despite their great age.
26. For example, see Mathieu Dumas, Histoire de la guerre dans la péninsule et dans le midi de la France, depuis l'année 1807 jusqu'à l'année 1814, 13 Vols. (Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1828-1844), IX: 25, 75-76, 234; Nicolas-Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie, Campagnes des généraux français depuis la Révolution de 1789 jusqu'à nos jours: campagnes de Galice et de Portugal 1809 (Paris, 1851), 58; Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington, The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, K.G. During his Various Campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France from 1799 to 1818, 10 Vols. (London, 1838), Hill to Wellington, 13 June 1812 and Erskine to Hill, 25 July 1812, IX: 244 and 331-332; and Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, Supplementary Dispatches, Correspondence, and Memoranda, 14 Vols. (London, 1872), Soult to Feltre, 15 June 1812, IX: 50-51. Charles Oman, A History of the Peninsular War, 7 Vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1902-1930) remains the standard work on the Peninsula campaigns. Charles Esdaile, The Peninsular War: A New History (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003) provides the best single-volume work on the subject.
27. See a 6 September 1809 “Report to His Majesty of permission to extend to Colonel Lallemand of the 27th Regiment of Dragoons in Spain to take the waters in France and recover his health,” which found the Emperor agreeing and ordering French command to “Send the major of the regiment to replace him.” Napoleon, Unpublished Correspondence of Napoleon I, 3 Vols. (New York: Duffield & Co., 1913), III: 260.
28. Junot, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court, and Family, II: 202, 294, 364.
29. In 1813, the Sixth Coalition of nearly every power in Europe cornered Napoleon in central Germany. Marshal Jacques MacDonald, duc de Taranto, invaded Silesia after the battles of Lützen and Baützen to relieve pressure on Napoleon's Grande Armée. He was defeated at the Katzbach by a Prussian army. See Michael Leggiere, Napoleon and Berlin: The Franco-Prussian War in North Germany, 1813 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002).
30. Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout, prince d'Eckmühl, Le Maréchal Davout, prince d'Eckmühl, raconté par les siens et par lui-même, un dernier commandement l'exil et la mort (Paris: Didier, 1880), 42-72. See also And. Luntzmann, “Réponse au mémoire sur la défense de Hambourg, présenté par le maréchal Davout au Roi Louis XVIII,” 1 M 713, Papiers Davout, 1 M 934, Service Historique-Armée de Terre, Château de Vincennes, Paris.
31. See Jean-Baptiste Drouet d'Erlon, Vie militaire (Paris: G. Barba, 1844), 91-93; Charles-Tristan, comte de Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, 2 Vols. (Paris: Paulin, 1847), I: XXXVI-XXXVII and 225; Anne-Jean-Marie-René Savary, duc de Rovigo, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de l'empereur Napoléon, 8 Vols. (Paris: A Bossange, 1828), VII: 360-365; Anne-Jean-Marie-René Savary, duc de Rovigo, Memoirs Illustrative of the History of the Emperor Napoleon, 4 Vols. (London, H. Colburn, 1828), IV: 228-258; Auguste-Frédéric-Louis Viesse de Marmont, duc de Raguse, Mémoires, 8 Vols. (Paris: Perrotin, 1857), VII: 81; Nicolas-Jean de Dieu Soult, duc de Dalmatie, Mémoire justificatif (Paris: Normat, 1815), 21-22Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, prince de Bénévent, Memoirs, 5 Vols. (New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1891-1892), III: 102; for contemporary accounts of the conspiracy. François-Réné, vicomte de Chateaubriand, envisioned “une vaste conspiration;” see Chateaubriand, Rapport sur l'état de la France: fait au roi dans son conseil (Paris: A Gand, 1815), 25. Alexandre Dumas recalled the conspiracy from his childhood in his memoirs, see Mes memoirs, 5 Vols. (Paris: Gallimard, 1954-1958), IV: 213. Louis Gabriel Michaud, The Public and Private Life of Louis Philippe of Orleans, trans. V.L. Chimery (London: 1851), 64 argues that the conspirators “were but the tools of the Duke of Orleans, the secret mover in all the conspiracies.” Louis-Philippe, then duc d'Orléans, seemed to disavow this; see Extrait de mon journal du mois de mars 1815 (1816), 128. See also Hippolyte d'Aussy, Résumé impartiale de l'histoire de Napoléon: suivi des faits qui ont précédé l'expédition de M. le prince de Joinville à l'île Sainte-Hélène (Saintes : Lacroix, 1851), 69 and Niles, Niles' Weekly Register, 24 March and 5 August 1815, VIII: 170 and 399.
32. From the accession of the Valois branch of the Capetian dynasty in the fifteenth century to the fall of the Bourbon branch in 1830, the Orléans family became the highest-ranking princes of the blood, wielding immense power and influence. The duc d'Orléans proved to be the most powerful noble, other than the king, in France between 1500 and 1850. For example, Philippe, duc d'Orléans, served as regent to Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. Many Orléans princes became involved in intrigues against the crown, particularly during and after the French Revolution. See Amédée Britsch, La maison d'Orléans à la fin de l'ancien régime: la jeunesse de Philippe-Egalité (1747-1785) (Paris: Payot, 1926) ; Joseph Hugh Shennan, The Bourbons: the History of a Dynasty (London: Hambledon Continuum 2007).
33. See Eric A. Arnold, Fouché, Napoleon, and the General Police (Washington, DC: University Press of America, Inc., 1979); Hubert Cole, Fouché: The Unprincipled Patriot (New York: McCall Pub. Co., 1971); Stefan Zweig, Joseph Fouché: Portrait of a Politician (New York: Viking Press, 1930); Rovigo, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de l'empereur Napoléon, VII: 339. Madame Junot hinted at the involvement of Fouché, and perhaps Talleyrand: “It was said that this movement arose from a party belonging neither to the Emperor nor the Bourbons. I do not believe it.” See Junot, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court, and Family, II: 525.
34. See Rovigo, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de l'empereur Napoléon, VII: 374-375.
35. Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 39.
36. Perhaps no single Napoleonic subject has received as much print attention as the 1815 campaign. The standard in the field remains Archibald Frank Becke, Napoleon and Waterloo: The Emperor's Campaign with the Armée du Nord (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co., 1936). Jeremy Black, The Battle of Waterloo (New York: Random House, 2010) provides an excellent scholarly work written in a populist voice. See also Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout, prince d'Eckmühl, Correspondance Inédite, 1790-1815 (Paris: Perrin, 1887), 244; Henry Houssaye, 1815 (Paris: Perrin, 1905), 30 and especially 199; and Joachim Murat, Lettres et documents pour servir à l'histoire de Joachim Murat, 1767-1815 (Paris: Plon, 1908), I: xiv for Lallemand's role in the battle.
37. John Quincy Adams sardonically noted from London that “For as to another island of Elba, that was out of the question. That experiment would not be tried a second time.” Memoirs Comprising Portions of his Diary from 1795 to 1848, 12 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1874-1877), XI: 220.
38. Napoleon believed, rightly, that the Prussians and Russians would treat him poorly, given the political and military devastation of both states in the prior twenty years. The Emperor had married Maria-Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia von Habsburg-Lothringen, daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria, in 1810. Why Napoleon did not throw himself on the mercy of his Habsburg father-in-law, who appeared amenable to sheltering him, remains one of the great mysteries of the period.
39. Damas-Hinard, Dictionnaire-Napoléon 324-330; Alphonse de Lamartine, Histoire de la restauration, 8 Vols. (Paris: Furne, 1851-1852), III: 41-47 ; Emmanuel-Auguste-Dieudonné, comte de Las Cases, Memoirs of the Life, Exile, and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon (New York: Worthington Co., 1890), I: 19-34; Maitland, The Surrender of Napoleon; Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, I: 26, 61-81; Niles, Niles' Weekly Register, IX: 421-423; Rovigo, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de l'empereur Napoléon, IV: 160-189; and Achille de Vaulabelle, Histoire des deux restaurations jusqu'à l'avènement de Louis-Philippe (de janvier 1813 à octobre 1830), 8 Vols. (Paris : Perrotin, 1860), III : 222-228.
40. Ironically, the proscription ordinance was drafted and promulgated by Fouché, serving on the king's advisory council. Lamartine, Histoire de la restauration, III: 146-148, reproduces the text of the ordinance. Lamartine surmised that Louis XVIII deferred the odious task of proscription to Fouché and Talleyrand as a way of damaging the public reputations of the two most powerful Napoleonic collaborators and centers of resistance within his government. Talleyrand, Memoirs, III: 171 found “the measure …an act of blundering folly, calculated only to create difficulties and dangers for the government.” Lallemand, Planat, Rovigo, and Marshal Michel Ney, prince de la Moskova, were among the proscribed. The first three were tried and sentenced in absentia to death; Ney was publically executed on 7 December 1815 after a trial presided over by his fellow marshals. See also Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, I: 115.
41.See Nicolas Louis Planat de la Faye, Vie de Planat de la Faye (Paris, 1895) 239-290; Rovigo, Memoirs Illustrative of the History of the Emperor Napoleon, IV: 189-192; and Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 39-40.
42. Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, I: 115; Planat, Ma vie, 239-287l and Rovigo, Memoirs Illustrative of the History of the Emperor Napoleon, IV: 189-193. Niles' Weekly Register breathlessly reported Lallemand's travels to the émigré community in the United States; see 31 August, 14 September, and 21 September 1816, XI: 9, 44, and 58. See also Marcel Doher, Proscrits et exiles après Waterloo (Paris: J. Peyronnet, 1965), 91-94.
43. See Niles, Niles' Weekly Register, 2/5 March 1817, XII: 208 and Jules Silvestre, De Waterloo à Sainte-Hélène (20 juin-16 octobre 1815): la Malmaison, Rochefort, Sainte-Hélène (Paris: F. Alcan, 1904), 177.
44. Las Cases, Memoirs of the Life, Exile, and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon, II: 333.
45. Gabriel Girod de l'Ain, Joseph Bonaparte, le roi malgré lui (Paris: Perrin, 1970), 333 ff..
46. This community stretched from New York to Baltimore and west to New Orleans. Napoleonic officers found brother émigrés in the exiles from Saint-Dominique, who had settled in the United States beginning in the 1790s, as the Haitian Revolution seized their property and threatened their lives. See Maud'huy, “Notes sur les français retires aux etats-unis à l'issue des cent jours de 1815,” Revue des études Napoléoniennes XXXII (1931): 45-47; Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l'Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène, I: 210-211; Crawford, Joseph X 239-240. Lucien Bonaparte, II: 96. For the Haitian Revolution, see Phillippe R. Girard, The Slaves who Defeated Napoleon: Toussaint Loverture and the Haitian War of Independence, 1801-1804 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2011); CLR James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint l'Overture and the Haitian Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1963); and Thomas J. Watson, Jr., The Haitian Revolution (Providence: Brown University, 2010). Carl A. Brasseaux and Glenn R. Conrad, The Road to Louisiana: The Saint-Domingue Refugees, 1792-1809 (Lafayette, LA: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1992) provides an excellent account of the plight and desires of the Saint-Domingue refugees.
47. See Charles Ingersoll, History of the Second War between the United States of America and Great Britain (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, & Co., 1852) Second Series, I: 378-382.
48. Much money was collected for the colony, although little of it reached the colonists themselves. After several false starts, the colony established a small town. See Blaufarb, Bonapartists in the Borderlands, 33-85.
49. See Raymond Carr, Spain: 1808-1939 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966) and Donald E. Chipman, Spanish Texas 1519-1821 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992), 216-241.
50. John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 31 March 1817, Writings of John Quincy Adams, 6 Vols, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford, VI: 168-172.
51. See Emilio Ocampo, The Emperor's Last Campaign: A Napoleonic Empire in America (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009). John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State, remained the United States' key figure in the situation. His unique political, diplomatic, and psychological insight illuminated the murky motivations and intentions of the various factions involved. See Adams to James Monroe, 10 April 1817; Adams to Monroe, 29 September 1817; Adams to Monroe, 8 October 1817; in Writings, VI: 174-175, 240-206, and 213-214. Adams corresponded frequently with French Ambassador Jean-Guillaume, baron Hyde de Neuville, whose concern with the situation reached apoplectic levels in the fall of 1817, culminating in an official request from the government of France for the arrest of Joseph Bonaparte. See Adams to Hyde de Neuville, 24 September 1817, Writings, VI: 190-191. Neuville offered an apology of sorts in his memoirs, noting that he “[felt] deep pity for these Frenchmen, exiled to this land as [he] had been. Were they not suffering for the crimes and errors caused by the ambition of one man; expiating, far from their families and countries, faults, committed it may be, from blindness and fidelity?” Jean-Guillaume, baron Hyde de Neuville, Memoirs of Baron Hyde de Neuville: Outlaw, Exile, Ambassador, 2 Vols. (London: Sands & Co., 1913), II: 81. See also Frank Owsley and Gene Smith, Filibusters and Expansionists: Jeffersonian Manifest Destiny, 1800-1821 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997).
52. See Blaufarb, Bonapartists in the Borderlands, 86-116 and Ocampo, The Emperor's Last Campaign, 271-278.
53. Jean-Just-Etienne Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, at Present a Planter in Texas, Formerly a Refugee of Camp Asylum, trans. Blanche Murphy (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1878), 52.
54. See Maud'huy, “Notes sur les français retires aux etats-unis à l'issue des cent jours de 1815,” 46 and Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, 58-76. Nathalie Dessens, From Saint-Domingue to New Orleans: Migration and Influences (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2007) provides an excellent overview of the refugees and their integration into American culture.
55. Foremost among these was Bertrand, comte de Clausel, who served as Lallemand's second in command. Clausel fought in the earliest of the Revolutionary wars, winning promotion to the rank of General in the mid-1790s. He continued to command through Napoleon's reign and fled into exile in America. He returned to France and achieved promotion to Marshal before his death in 1842. See Bertrand Clausel, Correspondance du Maréchal Clauzel (Paris: Larose, 1948) and Six, Dictionnaire biographique, I: 127-128. See also Doher, Proscrits et exilés après Waterloo, 121-146.
56. See William C. Davis, The Pirates Lafitte: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf (Orlando: Harcourt, 2005).
57. Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, 60-76. Galveston Island served as the gateway to Spanish Texas from the Gulf of Mexico for much of the province's history. Jean Lafitte constructed a small outpost dubbed “Campeche” around 1808, making the area a natural staging point for the Champ d'Asile colonists. See Gary Cartwright, Galveston: A History of the Island (Fort Worth: TCU Press, 1998).
58. Hartmann and Millard, The Story of Champ d'Asile as Told by Two of the Colonists (Dallas: Book Club of Texas, 1937), 124.
59. Ibid., 130-147.
60. Ibid., 86-87; Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, 73. Given the often-contentious relations with the native tribes of the region, this story may be more panegyric than truth. Regardless, Lallemand seems to have secured some agreement and trade with the local tribes.
61. Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, 63 recorded that the colonists “thought nothing but a military government could be trusted to endure.”
62. Ibid., 72.
63. Ibid., 73-77. Many of the officers had served in the peninsula and thus spoke Spanish, easing the cross-cultural exchange.
64. Roy, The Adventures of a French Captain, 84.
65. Hartmann and Millard, The Story of the Champ d'Asile, 179 panegyrically records that “a father does not view with more joy and delight his dear children, brothers do not meet again with more pleasure” at the departure.
66. Ingersoll, History of the Second War between the United States of America and Great Britain, Second Series, I: 378.
67. Ibid., 179.
68. Contemporary notaries record the purchase of seven slaves and the sale of one by Lallemand between February and September 1819. See N. Broutin, 18 June 1819, Record 242, Acts 38; C. de Armas, 8 March 1819, Record 105, Acts 2; C. de Armas, 9 September 1819, Record 377, Acts 2a; C. de Armas, 13 April 1819, Record 161, Acts 2; and M. de Armas, 23 February 1819, Record 91, Acts 12, contained in the Notarial Archives, New Orleans, LA.
69. US Department of State, 1820 Census, 2 February 1822, lists “General Lallemand” residing alone in a household with fifteen slaves. No record available to the author indicated that Lallemand's wife accompanied him to America or that the couple had any children that survived childhood. See also Deléry, Napoleon's Soldiers in America, 57-95, which notes that “Charles shunned social life. He wanted adventures and men to command.”
70. Mikko Macchione and Kerry McCaffety, Napoleon House (New Orleans: Cheers Publishing, 2006) provides an excellent introduction to the “urban legend” surrounding the conspiracy.
71. See Napoleon, “Last Will of Napoleon, Late the Emperor of France,” in Joseph Timothy Haydn, Dictionary of Dates and Universal Reference (London: Edward Moxon, 1841), 551.
72. Bluch, Le bonapartisme, 138 note 42. Pierre Branda, “Le testament de Napoléon: une affaire d'argent avant tout,” Napoleon 1er 36 (2006): 6-16, argues that the money ta Napoleon left in his will, in excess of 210 million francs, did not exist, and his bankers and family members refused to pay all but a small fraction of his bequests out of their own resources. In all likelihood, Lallemand never received more than half of the money willed to him.
73. Court filings between 1819 and 1821 indicate a long-running financial dispute between Lallemand and one “J. Rabassa” relating to the transfer of property, probably land, and a sum of money around $200. Lallemand appears to have won the judgment but liable for the sum of money, which he proved unable to pay. See J. Rabassa vs. Charles Lallemand, 22 January 1821, #3622; Baudry and Montearel vs. Charles Lallemand, 26 December 1820, #3609; Simon Ducoreau and Villert vs. Charles Lallemand, 19 May 1820, #3263; Abat vs. Lallemand, 21 September 1820, #3511; First Judicial District Court Records, New Orleans Public Library.
74. In 1823, Louis XVIII dispatched an army of five corps, called the “Hundred-Thousand Sons of Saint Louis,” to support the monarchy of Ferdinand. Lallemand's forces supported the constitutionalist cause, centered on Cadiz. The Franco-Spanish royalist forces crushed the insurgency, uniting Spain under Ferdinand's rule and inaugurating the White Terror of repression against all but the most ardent royalists. See Charles W. Fehrenbach, ‘Moderados and Exaltados: the liberal opposition to Ferdinand VII, 1814-1823” in Hispanic American Historical Review 50 (1970), 52-69 and especially André Lebourleaux, Le croisade des cent mille fils de Saint-Louis: l'expédition française en Espagne de 1823 (Coulommiers: Dualpha, 2006).
75. Niles, Niles' Weekly Register, 9 August 1823, XXIV: 352 and Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 40. Doher, Proscrits et exilés après Waterloo, 175-181 offers a concise account of Lallemand's expedition.
76. Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 40.
77. Little record of this period of Lallemand's life remains. Six, ibid., puts him in Brussels for a period of a few months, returning to New York in late 1823. That he would have joined Joseph Bonaparte's circle in Philadelphia and New Jersey is indubitable.
78. Following the death of his brother Louis XVIII in late 1824, Charles X became king of France and attempted to reconstruct the government as an absolutist monarchy. His ultramontane measures culminated in the July Ordinances, which were promulgated in July 1830 and caused massive popular outrage. On 26 July, riots began in the eastern portions of Paris, in the neighborhoods surrounding the former site of the Bastille. Over the next three days, the riots intensified and spread. Charles fled on 29 July, the third day of the Revolution. A new legislature convened and dismantled the monarchy in favor of a new constitutional monarchy under Louis-Philippe I, formerly the duc d'Orléans. See Vincent Woodrow Beach, Charles X of France: His Life and Times (Boulder, CO: Pruett Pub, 1971) and J. Lucas-Dubreton, The Restoration and the July Monarchy, trans. E.F. Buckley (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1929).
79. Frédéric Bluche, Le bonapartisme: aux origines de la droite autoritaire (1800-1850) (Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1980), 123-192 and especially 193-228; and Peter Hicks, “Joseph Bonaparte and the ‘Réunion de famille' of 1832-33” in Napoleonica La Revue 8 (Paris: La Fondation Napoleon, 2010): 30-52.
80. See Alexandre Dumas, Histoire de la vie politique et privée de Louis-Philippe (Paris: Orban, 1981), 178;Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 40;Talleyrand, Mémoires, IV: 26, quoting a letter from Charles-Joseph, comte de Bresson, 17 January 1830.
81. Talleyrand, Mémoires, IV: 26.
82. Joseph Bonaparte to [Gilbert du Motier, marquis de] Lafayette, 7 September 1830; Joseph to [David-Maurice-Joseph Mathieu de la Redorte], 10 September 1830; Joseph to [Claude François de] Meneval, 10 September 1830; Joseph to [Prince Klemens Wenzel von] Metternich, 18 September 1830; Joseph to [Philippe-Antoine] Merlin, 18 September 1830; Joseph to [Jean-Thomas Arraghi de Casanova,] duc de Padoue, 19 September 1830; Joseph to [André-François] Miot de Mélito, 21 September, 1830; Joseph to [Pierre-Louis] Roederer, 21 September 1830; Joseph to Mathieu Dumas, 1 September 1830; Joseph to [Jean-Maximilien] Lamarque, 26 September 1830; Joseph to [Jean-Baptiste] Jourdan, 27 September 1830; Joseph to [Antoine-Claude-Jacques Joseph,] comte Boulay de la Meurthe, 12 October 1830; in Joseph Bonaparte, Mémoires et correspondance politique et militaire du roi Joseph, 10 Vols. (Paris: Perrotin, 1853-1854), X: 335-337, 345-367.
83. Joseph Bonaparte to [Florent Simon] Andrieux, 12 October 1830, Mémoires et correspondance politique et militaire, X: 365-366.
84. Meneval proved a committed Bonapartist, as did the duke of Padua; and Lafayette personally offered his services to Joseph in support of the Bonapartist cause in 1825. Lamarque is named as a “Napoleonist” in December 1831. Metternich harbored the opposite sentiment – fearful of a Bonapartist uprising that would remove the duke of Reichstadt from Habsburg control and reinvigorate France as Austria's most dangerous enemy. See Hicks, “Joseph Bonaparte and the ‘Réunion de famille' of 1832-33.” Miot de Mélito, Roederer, and Boulay de la Meurthe had all served the French government between 1789 and 1815 and likely held Bonapartist sympathies. Mathieu married into the Bonaparte clan via marriage to Joseph's sister-in-law. See “Maximilien Lamarque,” “Maurice-David-Joseph, comte de Mathieu de la Redorte,” “Philippe-Antoine, comte Merlin,” and “Pierre-Louis, comte Roederer,” in Biographie nouvelle des contemporains, X: 388-393, XII: 229-238, XIII: 96-97, and XVIII, 139-150; and André-François, comte Miot de Mélito, Memoirs, 2 Volumes (London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington; 1888), II: 752-758. Dumas and Jourdan had similarly served the Napoleonic government but held more moderate republican or constitutionalist views; see Mathieu Dumas, Memoirs of His Own Time, 2 Volumes (Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1839) and René Valentin, Le maréchal Jourdan, 1762-1833 (Paris: Charles-Lavauzelle, 1956).
85. See Bluche, Le bonapartisme,205-229; Hicks, “Joseph Bonaparte and the ‘Réunion de famille' of 1832-33”; and Ingersoll, History of the Second War between the United States of America and Great Britain, Second Series I: 388.
86. Between 1830 and his death in 1837, Lallemand served a variety of positions as inspector and commander of various units in the French military establishment. These included Inspector-General of the military academy at Saint-Cyr, command of the Fifth and Tenth Military Divisions, and promotion to Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. See Six, Dictionnaire biographique, II: 40.
87. Honoré de Balzac, La Rabouilleuse (Paris: Garnier, 1966).
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- Revue du Souvenir Napoléonien