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Title: Napoleon's Appeal to the British nation, on his Treatment at Saint Helena
Author: Montholon, de, comte, Charles-Tristan, I, Napoleon
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Napoleon's Appeal to the British nation, on his Treatment at Saint Helena" ***

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  _Printed by Macdonald and Son, Cloth Fair_,




  _Price Two-Pence._


M. Santini, Huissier du Cabinet de l’Empereur NAPOLEON, arrived at
Portsmouth from St. Helena on the 25th February 1817. He affirms,
that Napoleon, on his arrival at St. Helena, was treated by Sir
George COCKBURN with respect and delicacy. He was afterwards
transferred to Longwood, once a farm belonging to the East India
Company. In this wretched asylum he still remains. His sleeping
chamber is scarcely large enough to contain a bed and a few chairs.
The roof of this hovel consists of paper, coated with pitch, which is
beginning to rot, and through which the rain-water and dew penetrate.
In addition to all these inconveniences, the house is infested by
rats, who devour every thing that they can reach. All the Emperor’s
linen, even that which was lately sent from England, has been gnawed
and completely destroyed by them. For want of closets, the linen is
necessarily exposed upon the floor. When the Emperor is at dinner, the
rats run about the apartment, and even creep between his feet. The
report of a house having been sent from England is false. The _new_
Governor has introduced into the house of the Emperor _absolute want_.
The provisions he furnished were always in too small a quantity, and
also very often of bad quality, and in the latter case, when sent
back, were never replaced by others more fit for use. Often being
without butcher’s meat for the Emperor’s table, the steward has sent to
purchase a sheep for _four guineas_, and sometimes could only procure
_pork_ for making soup. Captain Poppleton, of the 53d regiment, has
often lent candles, as well as bread, butter, poultry, and even salt.
M. Santini was, even from necessity, in the habit of repairing secretly
to the English camp to purchase butter, eggs, and bread, of the
soldiers’ wives, otherwise the Emperor would often have been without
breakfast, and even without dinner. The Governor sent seven servants to
Longwood, but the Emperor was obliged to dismiss four of them, _from
inability to supply them with food! The Emperor is limited to a bottle
of wine per day!_ Marshal and Madame Bertrand, General Montholon and
his Lady, General Gourgand, and Count de Las Cassas, have also each
their bottle. Marshal Bertrand has three children; M. de Montholon two;
and M. de Las Cassas one, about fifteen or sixteen years of age; and
for all these mouths the Governor allows no rations.

In this state of things the Emperor has been compelled to sell all his
plate to procure the first necessaries of life. M. Santini broke it in
pieces before it was sent to the market. The produce was deposited,
by order of the Governor, in the hands of Mr. Balcombe. When the
house-steward, wishing to supply the deficiency of the provisions
furnished by the Governor, makes purchases himself (which happens every
day), he can only pay them by orders upon Mr. Balcombe. When M. Santini
did not succeed in shooting a few pigeons in the neighbourhood of their
dwelling, the Emperor frequently had nothing for breakfast. Provisions
did not reach Longwood until two or three o’clock in the afternoon.

There is no water fit for cooking at Longwood. Very good water may,
however, be procured at a distance of 1200 yards, which might be
conveyed to the Emperor’s barracks at an expence of from 12 to 1500
francs. The house is only supplied by the water which is brought from
this fountain; it is open only once during the day, at all other times
it is locked. It is guarded by an English officer, who is scarcely ever
present when water is wanted. There is a conduit for conveying water to
the English camp; but it was thought unnecessary to do as much for the
unfortunate Napoleon.

The last visit the Governor made to Longwood, and at which M. Santini
was present, he offended the Emperor to such a degree, that he said,
“Have you not then done with insulting me? Leave my presence, and let
me never see you again, unless you have received orders from your
government to assassinate me: you will then find me ready to lay open
my breast to you. My person is in your power. You may shed my blood.”

Admiral Cockburn marked out a circuit of two leagues for the Emperor’s
promenade; the present Governor abridged it to _half a league_.

The climate of Longwood, and the humidity to which the Emperor is
exposed, have considerably injured his health. It is the opinion of his
English physician, that he cannot remain there another year without
hazarding his life.

The Emperor’s plate being sold, he dispensed with the services of the
keeper of the plate; and, for want of a sufficient supply of forage,
he discharged one of his two pike-men. Having no longer any cabinet,
he thought proper to dismiss M. Santini. In the same manner, objects
of the first necessity for his household suffer daily diminution. Col.
Poniatowski has been removed from the Island by order of the Governor.

M. Santini departed from St. Helena on the 28th of October, on board
the Orontis, sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, and again returned to St.
Helena, but was not suffered to land. The Emperor sent some provisions
on board the vessel; but M. Santini sent back the live-stock, as
the Captain insisted on his killing it immediately. As for wine, he
never tasted it during the voyage, as he would not submit to have the
Emperor’s present, which was strictly his own, distributed in _rations_
by the Captain.

On landing at Portsmouth, M. Santini proceeded to London, and published
the following Memorial.



I have received the Treaty of the 3d of August 1815, concluded between
his Britannic Majesty, the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of Russia,
and the King of Prussia, which accompanied your letter of the 23d of

The Emperor Napoleon protests against the contents of that Treaty. He
is not the prisoner of England. After having placed his abdication in
the hands of the Representatives of the Nation, for the _advantage of
the Constitution adopted by the French People, and in favour of his
Son_, he repaired voluntarily and freely to England, with the view of
living there, as a private individual, under the protection of the
British laws. The violation of every law cannot constitute a right. The
person of the Emperor Napoleon is actually in the power of England;
but he neither has been, nor is, in the power of Austria, Russia, and
Prussia, either in fact or of right, even according to the laws and
customs of England, which never included, in the exchange of prisoners,
Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Spaniards, or Portuguese, though united
to these powers by treaties of alliance, and making war conjointly with

The Convention of the 2d of August, concluded fifteen days after the
Emperor was in England, cannot have of right any effect. It exhibits
only a spectacle of the coalition of the four greatest Powers of Europe
for the oppression of _a single man_!--a coalition which the opinion of
every nation and all the principles of sound morality equally disavow.

The Emperors of Austria and Russia, and the King of Prussia, having
neither in fact or in right any claim over the person of the Emperor
Napoleon, could decide nothing respecting him.

Had the Emperor Napoleon been in the power of the Emperor of Austria,
that Prince would have recollected the relations which religion and
nature have formed _between a father and a son_--relations which are
never violated with impunity. He would have recollected that Napoleon
had _four_ times restored to him his throne; _viz._ at Leoben in
1797--at Luneville in 1804, when his armies were under the walls of
Vienna--at Presburg in 1806--and at Vienna in 1809, when his armies
had possession of the capital and three-fourths of the monarchy! That
Prince would have recollected the protestations he made to Napoleon at
the _bivouac_ in Moravia in 1806--and at the interview in Dresden in

Had the person of the Emperor Napoleon been in the power of the
Emperor Alexander, he would have recollected the ties of friendship
contracted at Tilsit, at Erfurth, and during _twelve years of daily
correspondence_. He would have recollected the conduct of the Emperor
Napoleon the day after the battle of Austerlitz, when, though he could
have made him, with the wreck of his army, _prisoner_, contented
himself, with taking his parole, and allowed him to operate his
retreat. He would have recollected the dangers to which the Emperor
Napoleon personally exposed himself in order to extinguish the fire at
Moscow, and to preserve that capital for him; assuredly, that Prince
would never have violated the duties of friendship and gratitude
towards a friend in misfortune.

Had the person of the Emperor Napoleon been in the power of the King of
Prussia, that Sovereign could not have forgotten that it depended on
the Emperor, after the battle of Friedland, to place another Prince on
the throne of Berlin. He would not have forgotten, in the presence of a
_disarmed_ enemy, the protestations of attachment, and the sentiments
of gratitude, which he testified to him in 1812, at the interview in

It accordingly appears, from Articles II. and V. of the Treaty of
the 2d of August, that these Princes, being incapable of exercising
any influence over the disposal of the Emperor, who was not in their
power, accede to what may be done thereon by his Britannic Majesty, who
takes upon himself the charge of fulfilling every obligation. These
Princes have reproached the Emperor Napoleon with having preferred the
protection of the English laws to their’s. The false ideas which the
Emperor Napoleon had formed of the liberality of the laws of England,
and of the _influence of the opinion of a great, generous, and free
people over their government_, decided him to prefer the protection of
_these_ laws to that of a _father-in-law_, or an old friend.

The Emperor Napoleon had it in his power to secure, by a diplomatic
treaty, whatever was personal to himself, by putting himself either
at the head of the army of the Loire, or at the head of the army of
the Gironde, commanded by General Clausel; but wishing, henceforth,
for nothing but retirement, and the protection of the laws of a free
state, either English or American, all stipulations appeared to him
unnecessary. He conceived that the English people were more bound by a
conduct which was, on his part, frank, noble, and full of confidence,
than they would have been by the most solemn treaties. He _has been
deceived_: but this error will for ever cause _true_ Britons to blush;
and will, in the present, as well as the future generations, be a
_proof of the bad faith of the English administration_.

Austrian and Prussian Commissioners are arrived at St. Helena. If the
object of their mission be the fulfilment of a part of the duties which
the Emperors of Austria and Russia have contracted by the Treaty of
the 2d of August, and to take care that the English Agents, in a small
colony in the midst of the ocean, do not fail in the respect due to a
Prince connected with these Sovereigns by the bonds of _relationship_
and so many other ties, proofs of the character which belong to these
two Monarchs will be recognized in this proceeding; but you, Sir, have
declared that these Commissioners have neither _the right nor the power
of giving any opinion on what may be passing on this rock_!

The English Ministers have caused the Emperor Napoleon to be
transported to St. Helena, at the distance of 2000 leagues from Europe!
This Rock, situated within the tropics, and 500 leagues from any
continent, is subject to the devouring heats of these latitudes. It is
covered with clouds and fogs during three-fourths of the year, and is
at once the most arid and the most humid country in the world. Such a
climate is most inimical to the health of the Emperor, and hatred must
have dictated the choice of this residence, as well as the instructions
given by the English Ministry to the officers commanding in the Island.

They have even been ordered to call the Emperor Napoleon _General_, as
if it were wished to oblige him to consider himself as never having
reigned in France.

The reason which determined him not to assume an _incognito_ name,
as he might have resolved to do on leaving France, were these: First
Magistrate for life of the Republic under the title of First Consul,
he concluded the preliminaries of London, and the treaty of Amiens,
with the King of Great Britain; and received, as ambassadors, Lord
Cornwallis, Mr. Merry, and Lord Whitworth, who resided in that quality
at his court. He accredited to the King of England Count Otto and
General Andreossi, who resided as ambassadors at the court of Windsor.
When, after an exchange of letters between the Ministers for Foreign
Affairs of the two Monarchies, Lord Lauderdale came to Paris invested
with full powers from the King of England, he treated with the
Plenipotentiaries possessing full powers from the Emperor Napoleon, and
remained for several months at the court of the Thuilleries. When Lord
Castlereagh afterwards signed, at Chatillon, the _ultimatum_, which
the Allied Powers presented to the Plenipotentiaries of the Emperor
Napoleon, he recognised by that the fourth dynasty. This _ultimatum_
was more advantageous than the treaty of Paris; but, in exacting that
France should renounce Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine, it
exacted what was contrary to the propositions of Frankfort, and the
proclamations of the Allied Powers--what was contrary to the oath, by
which, at his coronation, the Emperor swore to maintain the integrity
of the Empire. The Emperor, besides, thought that these natural limits
were necessary, both for the security of France, and to preserve the
equilibrium of Europe; he thought that the French nation, in the
situation in which it was, ought rather to run the hazard of all the
chances of war than to depart from that policy: France had obtained
this integrity, and would have preserved it with honour, if treason had
not arrayed itself in aid of the allies.

The Treaty of the 2d of August, and the Act of the British Parliament,
called the Emperor Napoleon, Buonaparte, and gave him only the title
of General. The title of General Buonaparte is doubtless eminently
glorious; the Emperor bore it Lodi, at Castiglione, at Rivoli, at
Arcole, at Leoben, at the Pyramids, at Aboukir: but for seventeen years
he has borne that of First Consul and Emperor, which proves that he
has been both First Magistrate of the Republic, and Sovereign of the
fourth Dynasty. Those who think that nations are flocks which belong,
of divine right, to certain families, do not belong to the age; nor do
they participate in the spirit of the English legislature, which has
several times changed the order of its Dynasty, because great changes
had taken place in public opinion, in which the reigning Princes not
participating, they became enemies to the welfare of the great majority
of the nation: for kings are only hereditary Magistrates, who exist for
the welfare of nations, and not nations for the satisfaction of Kings.

It is in the same hateful spirit that orders have been given that the
Emperor Napoleon shall not be allowed to write or receive any letters,
unless they are opened and read by the English Ministers and the
officers at St. Helena. They have interdicted to him the possibility
of receiving intelligence from his wife, his mother, his son, or his
brothers; and when, in order to avoid the inconvenience of having his
letters read by subaltern officers, he wished to send letters sealed
to the Prince Regent, he was told that the order could not be departed
from, and that the letters must pass open, such being the instructions
of the Ministry. This conduct needs no observation; it gives rise,
however, to strange ideas as to the spirit of the Administration
which could dictate what would be disavowed even at Algiers. Letters
have arrived at St. Helena, for the Officers in the suite of the
Emperor; they were broke open and transmitted to you, but you have not
communicated them, because they did not come through the channel of
the English Ministry. Thus they had to go back 4000 leagues; and these
Officers had the grief of knowing, that there was intelligence on the
Rock from their wives, their mothers, their children, and that they
could not know the nature of it for six months:--the heart must solace

They could not obtain either _The Morning Chronicle_, _The Morning
Post_, or any French Journals. Now and then a few stray numbers of _The
Times_ reached Longwood. In consequence of a request made on board
the Northumberland, some books were sent; but all those relative to
the affairs of late years have been carefully kept back. He wished to
correspond with a bookseller in London, in order to have direct the
books which he wanted, and those relative to the events of the day:
this was prevented. An English author, having made a tour in France,
and having published an account of it in London, he took the trouble to
transmit it to you, in order that it might be presented to the Emperor;
you thought proper not to transmit it because it was not sent to you
by the express desire of your Government. It is said also, that other
books sent by their authors have not been transmitted, because some of
them were inscribed to the Emperor Napoleon, and others to Napoleon the
Great. The English Ministry is not authorized to order any of these
vexations; the law, although unique, by which the British Parliament
regards the Emperor Napoleon as a prisoner of war, has never prohibited
prisoners of war from subscribing to journals or receiving printed
books: such a prohibition only takes place in the dungeons of the

The Island of St. Helena is ten leagues in circumference; it is
inaccessible every where; brigs surround the coast; posts are stationed
on the shore within sight of each other, which renders impracticable
any communication with the sea. There is only one small town (James
Town), where there is an anchorage, and where vessels touch. To prevent
an individual from quitting the island, it is sufficient to guard the
shore by land and sea. To lay an interdict on the interior of the
island can therefore have no other object than to deprive him of a
promenade of from eight to ten miles, which it would be possible to
make on horseback, and the privation of which will shorten the life of
the Emperor. The Emperor has been established at Longwood, exposed to
every wind, and where the land is sterile and uninhabitable, without
water, and not susceptible of any cultivation. There is a circuit
marked out of about 1200 toises; at about 11 or 1200 distance a camp is
established on a hill, and another camp in an opposite position at the
same distance; in short, in the midst of the heat of the tropic there
is nothing to be seen but camps. Admiral Malcolm, having learnt the
utility which the Emperor would derive from a tent in that situation,
caused one to be set up by his sailors, at twenty paces distance, in
front of the house; it was the only place in which a shade could be
found. The Emperor had as much reason to be satisfied with the spirit
that animated the officers and soldiers of the brave 53d regiment, as
he had been with the crew of the Northumberland.

The house at Longwood was built to serve as a barn for the Company’s
farm; the Deputy Governor of the Island had since built some chambers;
it served him for a country-house, but it was not in a proper habitable
state: workmen have been employed at it for a year, and the Emperor
has been continually subjected to the inconvenience and insalubrity
of inhabiting a house in the progress of building. The chamber in
which he sleeps is too small to contain a bed of ordinary dimensions;
but every alteration at Longwood prolongs the inconvenience of having
workmen there. There are, however, in this miserable territory,
beautiful situations, presenting fine trees, gardens, and good houses.
There is, besides, Plantation House; but the positive instructions of
Government forbad you from giving up this house, although much expence
would thereby have been saved to your Government--an expence incurred
in fitting up at Longwood a hut, covered with paper, which is already

You have interdicted all correspondence between us and the inhabitants
of the islands--you have in fact placed the house at Longwood _au
secret_--you have even prevented any communication with the officers
of the garrison;--it seems, therefore, to be your study to deprive us
of the little resource which this miserable territory affords, and we
are here just as we should be on the insulated and uninhabited rock of
Ascension. During the four months that you have been at St. Helena,
you have, Sir, rendered the situation of the Emperor much worse. Count
Bertrand has observed to you, that you violate even the laws of your
Legislature, and that you trample under foot the rights of General
Officers, prisoners of war. You have replied, that you act according
to the letter of your instructions, and that your conduct to us is not
worse than is dictated by them.

          I have the honour to be,
                    Your very humble and very obedient servant,


After I had signed this letter, I received your’s of the 17th August,
in which you subjoin the account of an annual sum of £20,000 sterling,
which you consider indispensable for the support of the expences of
the establishment at Longwood, after having made all the reductions
which you thought possible. We do not think we have any thing to do
with the discussion of this point; the table of the Emperor is scarcely
provided with strict necessaries, and all the provisions are of the
worst quality. You ask of the Emperor a fund of £12,000 sterling, as
your Government will only allow £8000 for all the expences. I have
already had the honour of informing you that the Emperor had no funds,
that for a year past he had neither written nor received any letter,
and that he is altogether ignorant of what has passed, or is passing,
in Europe. Transported by force to this rock, without being able to
write or to receive any answer, the Emperor is now entirely at the
mercy of English agents. The Emperor has always desired, and is still
desirous, to provide himself for all his expences, of whatever nature,
and he will do it as soon as you render it possible by taking off the
interdiction laid upon the merchants of the Island with regard to his
correspondence, and directing that it should not be subjected to any
inquisition on your part, or by any of your agents. Thenceforth the
wants of the Emperor would be known in Europe, and those persons who
interested themselves in his behalf might send him the funds necessary
to provide for them.

The letter of Lord Bathurst, which you have communicated to me, gives
birth to strange ideas. Are your Ministers, then, ignorant that the
spectacle of a great man in captivity and adversity is a most sublime
spectacle? Are they ignorant that Napoleon at St. Helena, in the midst
of persecutions of every description, to which he opposes nothing but
serenity, is greater, more sacred, and more venerable, than when seated
upon the first throne in the world, where for so long a time he was the
arbiter of Kings? Those who in such a situation are wanting to Napoleon
are blind to their own character, and that of the nation which they




Printed by Macdonald and Son, 46, Cloth Fair, London.

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