QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2003-09 > 1063585372
Subject: [Q-R] Excerpt of History
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 20:22:52 EDT
........." Had it not been for Napoleon Bonaparte.Betsy Patterson of
Baltimore might have born a royal title. Visiting Maryland, the last stop of an
American tour, in 1803, Napoleon's youngest brother, Jerome, was smitten by Betsy,
that he married her.Napoleon, newly crowned as emperor of France, however, had
other plans. He intended to marry his siblings off to Royalty, install them on
their own thrones, and create a transcontinental,imperial family. Jerome's
rash marriage was not part of that grand plan, and Napoleon demanded that he
return to Europe alone.
Trusting that his brother would relent once he met Betsy, Jerome
sailed home with his bride. But when his ship landed in Portugal, he was ordered
to proceed to France without her. Betsy, six months pregnant, traveled on to
London.where she gave birth to a son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, known as Bo,
and eventually returned to the United States.
Once the marriage had been annulled, Jerome was wed to a German
Princess, Betsy, on the other hand, never remarried.Having once been married to
the brother of an emperor,she haughtily explained, I had not the meanness of
spirit to descend from such an elevation to the deplorable condition of being
the wife of an American. Fellow Baltimoreans snidely referred to her as The
Duchess, but she ignored them.
Betsy petitioned napoleon for a title and a pension, and though he
refused her the title, he did pay her 60,000 francs a year until his
abdication in 1814. Investing the money carefully, Betsy lived in comfort with Bo on
both sides of the Atlantic and later put her son through Harvard. In her old age
she was still shrewdly tending her investments, Once I had everything but
money, she quipped at 90, Now I have nothing but money"..