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Beauharnais, Eugène de, 1781-1824.
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Eugène de Beauharnais Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1788-1849 (mostly 1805-1814)
146 boxes, 14 items, and 67.22 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-149
French Italian


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

Scope and Contents

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:

Beauharnais, Eugène de, 1781-1824.

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


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).


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

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

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

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-149