As his brother Napoleon rose to power in France, Jerome Bonaparte was in Baltimore, Maryland. While there the young Bonaparte did what many men do, he married a beautiful woman. Unfortunately his union with Miss Elizabeth Patterson was not welcomed by Napoleon, who had other plans for his little brother. In this episode we’ll examine what happened in Baltimore and how Emperor Napoleon’s disapproval dictated the future of the newlywed couple.
Carol Berkin. Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
Desmond Seward. Napoleon's Family. New York: Viking, 1986.
Jerome Bonaparte Biography (June 2006) via The Fondation Napoléon
The following primary sources provide a glimpse into the coverage of the Patterson-Bonaparte relationship that appeared in contemporary United States newspapers. All links are via America’s Historical Newspapers:
‘Jerome Bonaparte’. Chronicle Express, Issue 103, page 2. New York, New York: November 11, 1803.
‘Married’. The Virginia Argus. XI: 1110, page 3. Richmond, Virginia: January 4, 1804.
‘Divorce’. Ostego Herald. XII: 614, page 3. Cooperstown, New York: January 1, 1807.
‘Mrs. Bonaparte’s Petition’. Commercial Advertiser. XV: 6368, page 2. New York, New York: December 21, 1812.
‘Prince Jerome Bonaparte and his two Wives’. Columbian Register. XLVII: 2448, page 1. New Haven, Connecticut: July 28, 1860.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)