NAPOLÉON BONAPARTE Secretarial letter signed by Napoleon as "Nap".
Single page of a folded sheet, integral leaf blank, addressed to his adoptive son, Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, dated Paris 12 April 1809, signed "Votre affectionate Père." 8 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches (22.5 x 18 cm); five lines in French written in brown ink Some very minor pale foxing to sheet but generally fresh, usual folds, framed with a modern portrait.
Addressed "Mon Fils," Napoleon writes "Maret vous ouverra (?) les lettres patentes qui confèrent au General Vial le commandement de Venise..." Written just four days before the defeat of the French and Italian forces by Archduke John of Austria at the battle of Sacile. John had invaded Venice that month, and the defeat signaled an unusual though brief reversal of fortunes for Napoleon. General Honoré Vial, whose appointment is noted here, served as Governor of Venice during the campaign against the Archduke. He died during the Battle of Leipzig of apparent apoplexy after a near-miss.
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