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Item:  BSL - NAPOLEON-1 APRIL 1815


Napoleon Signs an order instructing the Minster of the Interior to report to him concerning the re-appointment of M. Dirat to the prefecture of Nerac.

A Rare Napoleon 100 Days (Cent Jours) signed Document relating to
the re-empowerment of his ardent supporter and magazine publisher M. Dirat


Napoléon, the French EmperorIn the spring of 1814, the allied forces of Europe defeated Napoleon Bonaparte. The Treaty of Fontainebleau, signed April 11, 1814, laid out the terms they imposed, and pursuant to one of them, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba, off the coast of France. During his imprisonment there, his supporters clamored for his return, combining his populist liberalist spirit with a strong nationalism. No publication did more to foster the pro-Napoleon unrest than the "Nain Jaune", or "Yellow Dwarf", an anonymous publication which opened its doors in December 1814 to give voice to anti-Royalist sentiments. In reality, the publication was edited by a small handful of Napoleon supporters who were intent on bringing him back to the Continent to resume his leadership. They were a thorn in the side of King Louis and his agents and gave crucial support to Napoleon during his exile. They were there to keep the Emperor's name on the tip of the tongue of the populace and be a ready organizing entity for his return.

The head of this publication, M. Dirat, was a functionary in the province of Nerac and was openly loyal to Napoleon. He was fired from his position after the Treaty of Fontainebleu and set about creating the Yellow Dwarf publication, itching for Napoleon's return. In late 1814 and early 1815, Dirat so greatly irritated the Royalists and was so effective with his pen that he was looked upon by his enemies as one of the few who could contribute most to Napoleon's return from Elba. In fact, he did just that.

On February 26, 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba with the help of loyal soldiers and returned to the mainland on March 1, 1815. He marched to Paris on March 20 and governed for the famed "100 Days." Less than two weeks after arriving in Paris, Napoleon set about reorganizing his government to bring his loyalists back into power and to reward those who had helped him most. Dirat was at the very top of his list.

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo by the Duke of Wellington and Marshal von Bl
ücher. For Dirat, with the reward of Bonapartian loyalty also came the punishment. In January 1816, the newly restored monarchy singled Dirat out, banishing him from Paris and referencing him by name, a rare "honor." He is one of approximately 20 people to receive this treatment in a clause of the restoration document that is devoted to the most egregious offenders of the peace of France. He withdrew from France and settled in Brussels, where he continued to publish the "Nain Dwarf."

Napoleon has signaled his assent by signing his name to the left, below the notation "Forwarded to the Minister of the Interior to issue me a report." A rare signed document of Napoleon during the 100 days (Cent Jours).


"Since his Majesty is undertaking the organization of the prefectures and confiding them to proven and reliable men, I beg him to permit me to engage M. Dirat, former sub prefect officer from Nerac, discharged from duty last April because of his loyalty to you, and who since has led the writers who have created the Yellow Dwarf."

"Forwarded to the Minister of the Interior to issue me a report."







M. Dirat:
“This gentleman was one of the conductors of the celebrated journal, called the Yellow Dwarf, which, in 1814 and 1815, so greatly annoyed the zealots of the royalist party; and his sword was always ready to defend the assertions of his pen. He was looked upon by his enemies as one of those who had the most contributed to the return of the emperor from Elba. Napoleon made him sub-prefect of Nerac, but M. Dirat lost that place on the second return of Louis, and was one of those who were banished by the ordinance of the 17th of January, 1816. He withdrew to Brussels, and probably still resides there.” From: Public Characters of All Nations, London, Plummer & Brewis, 1823


Page 1


Detail of Instruction and Napoleon Signature


Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.