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Joseph Bonaparte and the Crown Jewels

Joseph Bonaparte and the Crown Jewels (Illustration) Social Studies World History Visual Arts Famous People

José Flaugier created a portrait of Joseph Bonaparte, circa 1809.  It is depicted in this image.

As Napoleon Bonaparte's older brother, Joseph (1768-1844) was the King of Spain between 1808-1813.  He was also the King of Naples between 1806-1808.

Born in Corsica, like his famous brother, he died in Florence when he was 76 years old.  In the meantime ... after Napoleon's second exile ... Joseph sailed to America.   

With him, allegedly, were some of Spain's crown jewels which he sold to raise funds for his new life.  Joseph left the rest of his fortune safely buried in Switzerland, at least for a time, until he sent his trusted secretary to retrieve it all.

The former king lived a life of luxury in New Jersey.  He called his estate "Point Breeze."  His two surviving daughters - Zenaïde and Charlotte - spent time with him there.

Accumulating one of America's finest art collections, Joseph remained in the States until 1832.  Moving to London, he returned to America once more for a brief visit. 

Never allowed to return to France, Joseph was given permission to visit his family in Italy.  He traveled there, circa 1840.  He had not seen his wife -Marie-Julie Bonaparte - for twenty-five years. 

He remained with his wife for the rest of his life and died, in her arms, on the 28th of July, 1844.  Julie died eight months later.

Click on the image for a better view.

 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5120stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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