Lot n° 277
800 - 1000
[Donatien de ROCHAMBEAU (1755-1813) general].... - Lot 277 - Ader
[Donatien de ROCHAMBEAU (1755-1813) general]. 9 letters addressed to him, most of them L.A.S., 1801-1803; 25 pages in-4, 2 addresses.
Personal correspondence of General de Rochambeau, before his departure for Santo Domingo and after his arrival in the colony.
Son of Marshal de Rochambeau, the victor of Yorktown, Donatien had served in the American War of Independence. At the end of 1801, he was appointed second in command to General Leclerc for the Santo Domingo expedition. After Leclerc's death from yellow fever in November 1802, Rochambeau became captain-general of the colony. Beaten by the troops of Dessalines on November 18, 1803, he left Santo Domingo and was taken prisoner by the British. The letters concern various subjects: delivery of embroidered handkerchiefs ordered in Italy, recommendations for an interpreter who had to go to the Cape, mass celebrated at Les Vérettes near Saint-Marc, a complaint from a landowner, sending Guyton de Morveau's book on how to disinfect the air during epidemics, mistrust towards a secretary who seems to have taken the rebels' side, recommendations for a Creole from the Artibonite who has to go to the colony, contestation of an alleged Moyse succession, a visit of a friend in Vendôme to his father's house, etc. The period covered by this correspondence extends from 20 Vendémiaire X (12 October 1801) to 6 Germinal XI (27 March 1803). Let us quote some excerpts. Antoine Adamini, a merchant in Genoa: "you must go to St Domingue. If you knew a few merchants there who were loading goods for Genoa, you would oblige me very much to send them to my house" ... Mme Tully: "I am sending you a letter from Mad. Bonaparte for General Leclerc as we agreed to give Tilden the position of interpreter at Cape Town "... Vidaud (parish priest in Santo Domingo) : "I went last Saturday to Les Vérettes and I officiated there yesterday and Sunday, I had few farmers at my Mass, in spite of that I preached to them and all promised to bring in as many of their comrades as they could; from what several people told me, it seems that very few risked going over to our side. Castellane de Berghes, owner: "Since the return of order and justice, it is this hope that determined me to make this great journey. Bernard Martin des Pallières, colonist in Santo Domingo and member of the Legislative Body: "Madame de Frédilly who will present you with this letter is a Creole from the Artibonite region raised in France. She once enjoyed a brilliant life, her position has changed like ours, in spite of that she would not have needed to go to Santo Domingo without the desire she has to see her brother again "... Charles René Magon de Médine: " I went to Rochambeau where the duty of gratitude called me to speak about you with the marshal and Ladies Rochambeau, the good you had said of me made me receive the welcome we would have given to a son "... Etc.
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