Bonaparte, Joseph

NOBLEMAN (FRANCE)
BORN 7 Jan 1768, Corte, Corsica - DIED 28 Jul 1844, Firenze
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Dôme des Invalides

Older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1794 he married July Clary. Napoleon made him king of Naples in 1806. In 1808 he replaced Charles IV as king of Spain. But a guerilla broke out against the French troops and in 1810 he had to flee from Madrid. In 1813 his army was beaten by Wellington's troops and he barely escaped imprisonment.

After the fall of Napoleon he went to Switzerland with his family and from there he booked a passage to the USA under the name of Lazare Carnot. He took some jewels with him but he buried his gold in Switzerland. In 1817 he settled in New Jersey as Count de Survilliers, allthough the Americans usually called him Mr. Bonaparte. Later in 1817 his secretary Louis Mailliard returned to Europe and collected his gold. In Brussels he visited Julie Clary, who was not allowed to travel. The couple's daughters Zenaide and Charlotte now joined their father in the USA.

Using his fortune, Joseph created a country estate called Point Breeze near Bordentown on the Delaware River. There he was visited by John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. He didn't see his wife for 25 years and he had mistresses in the USA. Émlie Lacoste and Annette Savage both bore him children.

In 1830 he protested after Louis-Philippe became king of France, stating that his nephew the Duke of Reichstadt should be on the throne. He travelled to London in 1832, but he heard on his arrival that Reichstadt had died. He stayed for three years in England before he went back to the USA. In 1839 he received permission to visit his family in Florence. He settled in Italy and died in Florence in 1844.

His grandson Joseph sold Point Breeze in 1847. His grandfather's art collection that was among the best in America was auctioned. Joseph Bonaparte's remains were transferred to the Dôme des Invalides on June 14th, 1862 on request of his nephew Napoleon III and according to his own will.

Family
• Daughter: Bonaparte, Charlotte Napoléon
• Wife: Clary, Julie (1794-1844, Cuges)

Sources
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Images

The tomb of Joseph Bonaparte at the Dôme des Invalides, Paris.
Picture by Androom (17 Nov 2006)

 

Plaque for Joseph Bonaparte at the house where he died in Florence.
Picture by Androom (05 Feb 2011)

 

Plaque for Joseph Bonaparte at the house where he died in Florence.
Picture by Androom (05 Feb 2011)

 


Bonaparte, Louis Lucien

Published: 12 Feb 2008
Last update: 26 Dec 2016