Paris: l'Auteur Rue des Francs Bourgeois, [ca. 1820]. Engraving, 12 x 9.25 inches. Minor foxing, light overall wear. Tipped to a larger sheet of cardstock with archival tape. Very good plus. Item #3992
A wonderful and evocative portrait of French General Charles Lallemand, engraved by M.H. Legrand after the original portrait by Francois-Henry Mullard. Charles-Francois Antoine Lallemand (1774-1839) was a decorated soldier who served in numerous battles under Napoleon, including Jena-Auerstedt and Friedland. As stated below his image on the present engraving, Lallemand was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Danebroc, served as Commander of the Royal Order of the Legion of Honor, and references a quote by Lallemand about the colony he founded in Texas, the Champ d'Asile, which reads "Les Lauriers seuls y croissent sans culture" ("the laurels alone grow there without cultivation").
Ron Tyler pictures the engraving of Lallemand held at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France on page 12 of Texas Lithographs, in the section dedicated to Champ d'Asile, where he writes that General Lallemand "led a group of Napoleonic veterans to establish a settlement in southeast Texas near the mouth of the Trinity River, a disputed region that for decades had been home to Indians, illegal settlers, bandits, invaders, revolutionaries, and a few Spanish colonists. Lallemand claimed that the colony was a peaceful agricultural settlement for veterans of Napoleon's Grand Armee, but Champ d'Asile (Field of Asylum) was, in fact, a provocative, armed effort that impinged briefly - and recklessly - on the fringes of Spanish Texas at a sensitive time, as the United States and Spain were negotiating the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. Six months later Lallemand had abandoned the effort, and a Spanish army had razed the site so efficiently that archeologists still have found no trace of it."
"From the moment of Napoleon's surrender, Charles Lallemand was continuously identified in the United States and British newspapers as ‘Lallemand, the elder, who accompanied the Emperor when he surrendered....' Lallemand galvanized the world's attention and concern, and he came to symbolize the remains of imperial glory in a world-wide contest with Bourbon and Allied powers. In 1817 Lallemand arrived in Philadelphia and became the president of the French Emigrant Association (the Society for the Cultivation of the Vine and Olive), which obtained a grant of four townships in the portion of the Mississippi Territory that became Alabama. Remaining in contact with Sainte Helena, Lallemand established American mining, military, and piratical connections, under constant surveillance of the French, Spanish, and U.S. officials. Lallemand and his followers accepted Alabama land grants, which were sold to finance an alternative colony in Texas on land disputed between the United States and Spain since the Louisiana Purchase. With diplomatic attention focused on Texas and rumors flying, the repercussions of this French intrusion would be international. Many people expected Lallemand and his followers to rescue Napoleon from Sainte Helena or set his brother Joseph, formerly King of Spain, upon a Latin American throne, thereby establishing a base for liberating Central and South America. Lallemand possibly considered these options, as well as liberating Florida from Spain. The projected Texas colony would be a refuge called Champ d'Asile (Field of Asylum)..." - Handbook of Texas online.
OCLC does not list any copies of this engraving in institutions, but we know of copies at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and Bibliothèques-Médiathèques de Metz.