Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Beauharnais, Eugène de, 1781-1824.
Collector:
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Title:
Eugène de Beauharnais Collection
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/q811kj63n
Dates:
1788-1849 (mostly 1805-1814)
Size:
146 boxes, 14 items, and 67.22 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-149
Language:
French Italian

Abstract

This collection contains correspondence, reports, and documents of Eugène de Beauharnais relating to European military affairs during the Napoleonic era, which were primarily accumulated by him in his capacity as viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814). Also included are papers documenting Beauharnais' position at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), his establishment in the Bavarian duchy of Leuchtenberg (1817), and his later life as Prince d'Eichstätt (1817-1824).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

The collection contains correspondence, reports, and documents of Beauharnais, primarily accumulated by him in his capacity as viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814), relating to European military affairs during the Napoleonic era. Also included are papers documenting Beauharnais' position at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), his establishment in the Bavarian duchy of Leuchtenberg (1817), and his later life as Prince d'Eichstätt (1817-1824). There are approximately 6000 letters and reports received by Beauharnais from all the important military and administrative officials of the French Empire, including Napoleon I, Louis-Alexandre Berthier, Henry Clarke, Jacques Menou, Auguste Sorbier, Joachim Murat, Joseph Fouché, Sextius Miollis, and Louis Baraguey d'Hilliers, and such notable Marshals of France as Louis-Nicholas Davout, Jacques Lauriston, and Auguste Marmont. The correspondence deals, for the most part, with military matters, but also covers naval and maritime affairs, finance, engineering, fortifications, and the civil administration of the Kingdom.

Also present are extensive files of financial reports on the budget of the Kingdom compiled by Michel Hennin, Treasurer of the Crown, including the estates at Chiaravalle, Galliera, Bologna, Pelucca, Ancona, and other Appanage districts; files of Beauharnais' secretaries and aide-de-camps, Antoine Darnay de Nevers, Antoine de Re, étienne Soulange-Bodin, Auguste Bataille de Tancarville, and Baron d'Eichthal; general reports on military and state affairs; military statistics; documents and notes on the campaigns of 1809, 1812-1813; correspondence and reports of Italian generals and administrators, such as Domenico Pino and Marie-Francois Caffarelli; inventories, stud-farm records, budgets, and expenses of the royal households at Malmaison, Villa Bonaparte, Pelucca, and Laferté-Beauharnais; cash accounts, and letterbooks of Beauharnais' outgoing correspondence. There is also a file of social correspondence of Augusta-Amalia, Beauharnais' wife, containing letters (1817-1849) by various European dignitaries, and records (1806-1823) of her personal finances.

Collection Creator Biography:

1781 Birth in Paris of Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Alexander Beauharnais and Marie "Josephine" Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie 1794 Death of Alexander Beauharnais by execution 1796 Marriage of Napoleon and Josephine; becomes aide-de-camp to Napoleon in first Italian campaign 1797 Commissioned in the Hussars 1798 Chosen aide-de-camp to Napoleon in campaign in Egypt 1804 Napoleon becomes Emperor of the French 1805 Beauharnais named Viceroy of Italy 1806 Marries Augusta-Amalia, Princess of Bavaria, daughter of Maximillian I; adopted by Napoleon 1807 Created Prince of Venice; reorganizes public finances and civil service; builds new roads and introduces the French legal system 1809 Named commander-in-chief of the Italian Army; defeats Austrians at Rabb and fights at Wagram; divorce of Napoleon and Josephine 1812 Fights in the Russian campaign; retreats to the Elbe River, Germany, and holds this position until Napoleon's arrival in 1813 1813 Returns to Italy; campaigns against Austria 1814 Napoleon's abdication; Beauharnais remains loyal; family returns to Bavaria; received by Louis XVIII in Paris; attends the Congress of Vienna; conducts armistice with Austrians; not allowed to retain his kingdom in Italy 1815 Retires to Bavaria; created Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstätt; involved in marriage politics of his two sons and four daughters 1824 Death of Beauharnais

Collection History

Acquisition:

The papers were acquired by Andre de Coppet (Class of 1915) at an auction sale at Sotheby's (London, 5 March 1934) when they were put up for sale by the Leuchtenberg family. (All of Napoleon's letters had been previously removed.) The archives were then presented to the Library in 1941 .

One letter from Napoleon I to Eugene de Beauharnais dated December 27, 1807 was a gift of Rand A. Mirante (Class of 1970), 2014 (AM 2015-44).

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by David Rollo, Barbara Volz and John Delaney in 1991. Finding aid written by David Rollo, Barbara Volz and John Delaney in 1991.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Eugène de Beauharnais Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/q811kj63n
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184