Napoleon Bonaparte signed letter

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  • A letter signed by Napoleon in November 1798

Napoleon is one of history's most iconic figures. As emperor of France, his actions shaped Europe in the early 19th century.

Following a successful coup d'etat in 1799, Napoleon went on to conquer much of Western and North Eastern Europe.

Napoleon was key in establishing a legal framework used across much of Europe, based on meritocracy, and his military strategy is still widely studied across the world.

When the Duke of Wellington was asked to name the greatest general of the day, he answered: "In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon."


A single page letter on a military personnel matter, dated November 19, 1798.


Signed at the close “Bonaparte”.

 

It reads in French: 

 

Godelier officier de Santé au

Général en chef de l'armée d'Egypte

 

Dans la pétition que je vous ai presenté ce matin

vous ne vous êtes pas donnez la peine Général

de lire le p.s. ou je vous observais que nous sommes

six chirurgieux a la 85ᵉ 1/2 Brigade, que de puis cinq

ans je suis chirurgien major des 2ᵉ Bᵒᵘ sans être

Commissioné. Puisque vous me Refusez ma demission

ayez la Bonté de m'assurer une place en me faisant

Breveter au même Bᵒᵘ par le Commissaire

ordonateur en chef.

 

au faire le 29ᵉ Brumaire au J. Rep.

 

Renvoyé al'ordonnateur

en chef

____ en chef

 

Godélier

off. de Santé

 

Bonaparte

 

Translated: 

 

Godelier officer of Health to the

General in chief of the army of Egypt [Général Berthier] 

 

In the petition that I presented to you this morning

you didn't take the pain, General

to read the P.S. where I pointed out to you that we are

six surgeons of the 85th half Brigade, that for five

years I have been a head surgeon of the 2nd Brigade without being

commissioned. Since you refuse me my resignation

have the Goodness to assure me a place by making me

a Brevet [promoting to a higher rank without a pay rise] to the same Brigade [2nd] by the Chief

operating officer.

 

To Cairo the 29th of Brumaire [second month of the French Republican Calendar – November 19] to J. Rep.

 

Forwarded to the chief

authorizing officer

___ in chief

 

Godélier

Health officer

 

Bonaparte


Item is in fine condition, with irregular left edge from binding removal, faint scattered foxing, wax seal stain to blank portion, and feathering of paraph to the bold dark signature.


The letter was written three months after Napoleon had suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of the Nile, during which Horatio Nelson and the British fleet destroyed all but two of his ships.


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