The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906


Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

The Napoleonic Exiles in America, by Jesse S. Reeves, Ph. D.
(Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series, XXIII, Nos. 9-10,
Baltimore, 1905), is a monograph which, according to the author's
prefatory note, "centers about the unfortunate colonial enterprise
called Champ d'Asile on the banks of the Trinity River in Texas."
As a matter of fact, however, Champ d'Asile, while it furnishes
the denouement of the story, occupies only a little more than a
third of the space devoted to the fortunes of the Napoleonic exiles
in America.
Dr. Reeves shows that after Napoleon's overthrow, Joseph Bona-
parte and many of Napoleon's followers, including several officers
of the "Old Guard," sought asylum in the United States. Con-
spicuous among these officers were the brothers Charles and Henri
Lallemand, Lefebvre-Desnouettes, and Rigaud, who became lead-
ing spirits among the exiles in the formation of various insane
Part of the refugees were organized into a "Napoleonic Con-
federation," which conceived the quixotic plan of raising an army
of nine hundred men in the Western States, capturing by force
the northeastern frontiers of Mexico; and, aided by the revolu-
tionists there, establishing Joseph Napoleon in Mexico as King of
Spain and the Indies.
To enable them to gain a livelihood, a portion of the refugees
were organized at Philadelphia into the "Society for the Cultiva-
tion of the Vine and the Olive." They secured from the United
States government a tract of land on the Tombigbee River and
attempted to found a colony there, but the project, very naturally
under the circumstances, was an utter failure. The only connec-
tion established by Dr. Reeves between this colony and the scheme
of revolutionizing Mexico is that they were promoted by the same
persons, and that an attempt was made to raise money for the
Mexican project by the sale of lands from the colony's grant.
More directly connected with the Mexican scheme, doubtless,
although just what the connection was has not been shown, was

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 8, 2016.