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Joseph Bonaparte Chronology

1768   January 7:  Joseph Bonaparte born at Corte, Corsica.

1769   August 15:  Napoleon born at Ajaccio, Corsica.

1789   French Revolution begins.

1793   Bonaparte family escapes from Corsica, lands at Toulon.

1793   January: execution of Louis XVI.

1793   The Reign of Terror in France.

1794   Joseph marries Marie-Julie Clary, daughter of a rich merchant of Marseilles.

1797   Joseph elected to Council of Five Hundred in Paris.

1797   Appointed Minister to Rome.

1798   Joseph buys Mortefontaine, 47 kilometers northeast of Paris.

1799   November 19: Napoleon’s coup d’etat establishes Consulate; he is soon First Consul.

1800   October 3: Joseph signs treaty with United States at Mortefontaine ending hostilities between the two countries.

1801   February 9: Signs Treaty of Lunéville with Austrian minister, Count Cobenzl, ending hostilities with Austria for the time being.

1801   June 21: Signs Concordat with three cardinals representing Pope Pius VII restoring the Catholic religion in France.

1802   March 27: Signs Treaty of Amiens with Lord Cornwallis, temporarily ending hostilities with England.

1801   July 8: Birth of daughter Zénaïde-Charlotte-Julie.

1803   May 24: Birth of Charles-Lucien Bonaparte, son of Joseph’s brother Lucien and future husband of Zénaïde.

1803   October 31: Birth of daughter Charlotte.

1804   December 4: Napoleon declares himself Emperor of the French.

1806   March: Joseph takes up duties as King of Naples.

1808   July 20: Enters Madrid as King of Spain and the Indies; disappointing reception, empty streets and shuttered windows.

1813   June 21: Defeat of French forces at Vitoria, Spain; Joseph returns to Mortefontaine.

1814   June: Napoleon defeated by allied armies of Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, and Russia, abdicates, and is exiled to Elba.

1814   July: Joseph buys Château de Prangins in Switzerland.

1814   At Blois, Joseph buys large tract of land in northern New York State from James Le Ray de Chaumont.

1815   March 1: Napoleon escapes from Elba, lands near Antibes and returns to Paris. Joseph joins him there.

1815   June 18: Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

1815   July 25: Joseph sails for America; Napoleon, a British prisoner, is taken to remote island of St. Helena off southwestern coast of Africa.

1815   August 20: Joseph lands in New York and calls himself the Count de Survilliers.

1815-16   Rents house on Ninth Street in Philadelphia.

1816   Leases Lansdowne on outskirts of Philadelphia.

1816   July 2: Buys estate of Point Breeze outside Bordentown, New Jersey; James Carret signs papers as Joseph not a citizen.

1817   January 22: New Jersey legislature permits Joseph to own Point Breeze.

1817   Founding of ill-fated Champ d’Asile in Texas by Charles and Henri Lallemande with Joseph’s financial support.

1817   Late summer: Joseph first visits his Black River property in northern New York State.

1818   Winter: leases Dunlop House in Philadelphia from Stephen Girard.

1818   Meets Anna Savage in Philadelphia; begins liaison.

1819   Rents Bow Hill near Trenton for Anna; birth of Joseph’s natural daughter Pauline Josephe.

1820   January 4: Point Breeze house burns to the ground; Joseph starts at once to rebuild at a different site on the same property.

1821   May 5: death of Napoleon on St. Helena.

1821   December 21: Arrival of daughter Charlotte in Philadelphia.

1821   Fall: arrival of Félix and Emilie Lacoste from France. 

1822   Birth of Joseph’s natural daughter Caroline Charlotte.

1823   Joseph elected to American Philosophical Society.

1823   September: Zénaïde and Charles arrive in New York.

1823   December: accidental death of Anna’s daughter Pauline Josephe.

1824   Emilie Lacoste takes up residence at Point Breeze while her husband is away in Saint Domingue on business.

1824   February 12: Birth of Zénaïde and Charles’s first child, Joseph-Lucien-Charles-Napoleon.

1824   August: Charlotte returns to Europe aboard the Crisis.

1825   March: birth of Emilie Lacoste’s twin sons by Joseph. Only Félix will live past infancy.

1825   Death of Pauline Borghese; leaves Villa Paolina in Rome to Napoleon-Louis (son of Joseph’s brother Louis).

1825   Joseph elected to American Academy of Fine Arts in New York.

1825   Anna Savage goes to Paris with daughter Caroline Charlotte.

1826   Anna marries Alexis de la Folie in Paris.

1826   Charlotte marries Napoleon-Louis in Italy.

1827   Emilie and Félix Lacoste return to France, taking little Félix but leaving son Léon at boarding school in New York under Joseph’s oversight.

1828   Zénaïde and Charles return to Italy.

1830   July Revolution in France; Louis-Philippe installed as king.

1830   March: death of Napoleon-Louis at Forli, Italy.

1831   December: death of Stephen Girard.

1832   July: Joseph sails for England in the hope of putting Napoleon’s son on the throne of France with himself as regent.

1832   July 22: death of the Duke de Reichstadt, Napoleon II, in Vienna.

1833   July 28: Napoleon’s statue erected on summit of column in Place Vendôme.

1834   May: death of General Lafayette.

1835   October 18: Joseph returns to America.

1836   February: death of Madame Mère, Joseph’s mother.

1836   August: Joseph sets sail for England.

1836   October: Louis-Napoleon’s failed coup d’etat at Strasbourg.

1838   August 20: Joseph departs England for America, arrives 30 September.

1839   March 3: Charlotte dies in childbirth in Sarzana, Italy.

1839   April and May: deaths of Joseph’s sister Caroline Murat and his uncle Cardinal Fesch.

1840   June: Joseph suffers a serious stroke in rented house outside London.

1840   June 29: Joseph’s brother Lucien dies of cancer in Viterbo, Italy.

1840   August: At Boulogne, Louis-Napoleon’s second failed coup d’etat.

1840   December 15: Napoleon’s remains interred in Les Invalides in Paris.

1841   June 6: Joseph arrives in Genoa, accompanied by Charles and Louis Mailliard, after boarding steamboat in London.

1841   June: reunited with Julie after twenty-six years.

1844   July 28: Joseph dies at Villa Serristori in Florence.

1845   April 7: death of Julie at Villa Serristori in Florence.

1847   Sale of Point Breeze by Joseph’s grandson, Joseph, who had inherited it.

1862   Joseph Bonaparte’s remains entombed at Les Invalides near Napoleon.