University Archives


Napoleon DS Regrading Return of British Female & Child Prisoners of War!

A document in French inscribed and signed by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) as "Accordé [Granted] / Napole" near the left center. Written in Paris, France on May 28, 1806, and approved by Napoleon the following day. Countersigned by the French Minister of War Administration, Jean François Aimé Dejean (1749-1824), as "Dejean" at bottom right. The document issued by the Fifth Division, Office of Prisoners of War, is displayed to the right of a color lithograph of Bonaparte, blind-embossed at lower left. Matted and framed behind Plexiglas. Light toning to the document and expected wear including paper folds. Not examined out of frame. Else very good to fine. The sight size of the document is 8.25" x 12.25" while the overall framed size is 15.75" x 29" x .75".

The French Minister of War Administration sent this missive to Napoleon requesting permission to allow British female and child prisoners of war to return to the United Kingdom, an enemy country. Napoleon approved Dejean's request in the left margin of the document with one word: "Granted". British prisoners, previously detained in depots, would be transported to Morlaix, on the coast of Brittany, for easier access across the English Channel.

Translated in part: "I have the honor to inform his Majesty the Emperor and King that there exist, in the depots containing British prisoners of war, a certain number of women who came to France, either as spouse of sailors, or as passengers from captured ships. Several among these women request passports to return to their countries and I granted some to those of them whose reclamation seemed sufficiently motivated.

The Minister of the Navy asked me today to authorize the return of all women by separating them into two classes, those who would be able to pay for their passports and embarkation themselves, and those destitute, to whom it would be accorded…

The children younger than 12 years old…can be included within this measure of return…"

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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