Biography and History

Napoleon Bonaparte who was born on August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. He became a general of the French Revolution (1789-1799); the ruler of France as First Consul of the French Republic from November 11, 1799, to May 18, 1804; Emperor of the French and King of Italy under the name Napoleon I from May 18,1804, to April 6,1814; and briefly restored as Emperor from March 20 to June 22, 1815. He conquered much of Europe but lost two-thirds of his army in a disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. After his final loss to Britain and Prussia at the Battle of Waterloo (1815), he was exiled to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, where he died six years later of an unidentified ailment. Francesco Antommarchi, Napoleon's personal physician at St. Helena, gave stomach cancer as a reason for Napoleon's death in his death certificate. However, because traces of arsenic were later found in locks of his hair, some have suggested he may have been fatally poisoned. In 1796 Napoleon married Joséphine de Beauharnais, and, after the dissolution of that marriage, he married the Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria in 1810. Napoleon appointed several members of the Bonaparte family and close friends as monarchs of countries he conquered and as important government figures. Although their reigns did not survive his downfall, a nephew, Napoleon III, ruled France later in the nineteenth century.

Source: From the finding aid for C1134