Guide to the Papers of Joseph BonaparteExiled King of Spain, Brother of Napoleon 1816-1917 (bulk: 1816-1836) MG 62
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1816-1917 (bulk: 1816-1836)
The New Jersey Historical Society
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Newark, New Jersey 07102
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The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Althea Bernheim as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) was the Count of Survilliers, the exiled King of Naples and Spain, and the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, Joseph’s family, including Napoleon himself, made arrangements to sail for America. Before departure, however, Napoleon decided to remain in France, as did Joseph’s wife, Julie, whose poor health prevented her from traveling with her husband. After brief stops in New York and Philadelphia, Joseph purchased a 211-acre estate on the Delaware River near Bordentown in Burlington County, New Jersey in 1815 called Point Breeze. Over the next two years, Joseph purchased ten surrounding farms to increase the size of the estate to 1700 acres, and built a mansion on high ground overlooking Crosswicks Creek. This mansion burned down soon after completion and had to be rebuilt.
In 1820, Joseph was offered the throne of Mexico, which he declined in order to remain in the United States. As the political situation in Europe calmed, Joseph sailed for England in 1832, and divided the remainder of his life between Italy, England and the United States. He died in Florence, Italy in 1844.
After Joseph’s death the Point Breeze estate was sold at auction to Henry Beckett (fl. 1844-1867), the son of the British consul in Philadelphia. Beckett replaced all of the buildings on the estate except for the gatehouse.
These papers document the personal and business dealings of Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) and include an unpublished work on his life, The Usurper: Reflections on the Life of Joseph Bonaparte, by Alfred Miller Heston.
These papers fall into the following two categories: correspondence and documents of Joseph Bonaparte (1816-1836) and the manuscript materials of Alfred Miller Heston as they relate to his work on Joseph Bonaparte (1906-1917).
Correspondence includes the following individuals: Caroline Bonaparte, William Bayard, Charles Carter Lee, and Comte André Francois Miot de Melito. Included with many of the letters are translations.
This collection is arranged by type of material and then chronologically therein.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
Collection contains the 1841 copy of Bonaparte’s will.
Many of the letters in this collection appear to have been purchased at auction.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 62, Joseph Bonaparte Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Magee, James D. Bordentown 1682-1932. Bordentown Register, Bordentown, 1932.
Woodward, E. M. Bonaparte’s Park and the Murats. MacCrellish and Quigley, Trenton, 1879.