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Saint Helena’s diary

by Michel Dancoisne-Martineau

 

 

Saint Helena, day by day,  200 years ago.

 

Sunday 8 October 1820

Sunday 8 October 1820

On Sunday 8 October 1820, a brief message sent to Montholon by the French commissioner, the Marquis de Montchenu, on that day says a great deal...

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Saturday 7 October 1820

Saturday 7 October 1820

Saturday 7 October 1820 is one of those days during which the absurdity of the conditions of detention of a dying man is depicted to us by reports...

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Friday 6 October 1820

Friday 6 October 1820

From Friday, October 6, 1820, the ambience became even more gruelling for everyone in Longwood. The timetable reflects the boredom that weighed on...

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Thursday 5 October 1820

Thursday 5 October 1820

On Thursday, October 5, 1820, “The Emperor continued to complain of head-ach, which was, however, less violent than yesterday. The pain in the liver...

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Wednesday 4 October 1820

Wednesday 4 October 1820

Wednesday, October 4, 1820 went down in history as the day of Napoleon's last ride. Leaving in the direction of Sandy Bay, the Emperor feeling...

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Tuesday 3 October 1820

Tuesday 3 October 1820

Tuesday, October 3, 1820, Like the day before, a sadness at Longwood. However, at Plantation House, the mood is better. Lowe's Military Secretary...

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Monday 2 October 1820

Monday 2 October 1820

On Monday, October 2, 1820, Napoleon languished all day in his room; the bad weather did nothing to help the affair or to calm the complaints of his...

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Saturday 30 September 1820

Saturday 30 September 1820

On Saturday 30th September 1820, as we saw on 22nd September last, the Government in London, who really feared that Napoleon would escape, persisted...

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Friday 29 September 1820

Friday 29 September 1820

On Friday 29th September 1820, taking advantage of a climatic lull in the late afternoon, Napoleon, who was nevertheless at odds with Madame...

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Thursday 28 September 1820

Thursday 28 September 1820

On Thursday 28th September 1820, Napoleon, after spending several hours in his bathtub, went for a walk in his gardens in the mid-afternoon until...

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Wednesday 27 September 1820

Wednesday 27 September 1820

Wednesday 27th September 1820 looks like the day before... same time of day for a walk in the gardens and same time for a ride in a carriage through...

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Monday 25 September 1820

Monday 25 September 1820

On Monday 25 September 1820, Napoleon was locked up all day because of the dreadful weather. However, the event of the day on St. Helena was a...

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Sunday 24 September 1820

Sunday 24 September 1820

On Sunday 24th September 1820, Napoleon persisted in his plan to take to the air. He rode on horseback, in a carriage, and after a few steps he was...

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Saturday 23 September 1820

Saturday 23 September 1820

On Saturday 23rd September 1820, the English surveillance officer noted: “I met Count Montholon this afternoon returning from General Bonaparte upon...

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Friday 22 September 1820

Friday 22 September 1820

On Friday 22nd September 1820, the fears of Napoleon's escape remain. Lord Bathurst, British Minister of War, sent the following dispatch to Sir...

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Thursday 21 September 1820

Thursday 21 September 1820

On Thursday 21 September 1820, Napoleon, still as proud as ever of having been able to establish gardens on an arid and windy plateau, took...

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Wednesday 20 September 1820

Wednesday 20 September 1820

On Wednesday, September 20, 1820, with his telescope, Napoleon watched from the parlor of Longwood House, the racetrack of Deadwood. Leicester...

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Tuesday 19 September 1820

Tuesday 19 September 1820

Tuesday 19th September 1820, Napoleon drove out in a small phaeton, but did not pass beyond the grounds of Longwood. Count Montholon said that he...

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Monday 18 September 1820

Monday 18 September 1820

On Monday 18 September 1820, shortly after 6am (as the southern spring approached, the days grew longer), Napoleon, accompanied by two horsemen,...

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Sunday 17 September 1820

Sunday 17 September 1820

On Sunday 17 September 1820, the Count de Montholon was in better health and went to visit Napoleon at 10 o'clock. He stays with his master for an...

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Saturday 16 September 1820

Saturday 16 September 1820

On Saturday 16 September 1820, the orderly officer informs us that in the morning he was able to observe Napoleon walking around his gardens in his...

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Friday 15 September 1820

Friday 15 September 1820

On Friday 15 September 1820, Napoleon reads until noon. He then takes a bath where he will stay until 3pm. Then, at 5pm, the general de Montholon...

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Thursday 14 September 1820

Thursday 14 September 1820

On Thursday 14 September 1820, Napoleon spent his morning wandering through his gardens and inspecting his newly transplanted trees. Unfortunately,...

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Tuesday 13 September 1820

Tuesday 13 September 1820

On Wednesday 13 September 1820, contrary to the appearances of Napoleon gardening and strolling often during “the first fortnight in September. The...

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Tuesday 12 September 1820

Tuesday 12 September 1820

On Tuesday, September 12, 1820, as winter was coming to an end, mature trees were transplanted to Longwood's gardens. Napoleon spent all afternoon...

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Monday 11 September 1820

Monday 11 September 1820

On Monday 11 September, while in London, the former governor of St. Helena, Alexander Beatson, presents his latest book "A New System of...

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Sunday 10 September 1820

Sunday 10 September 1820

On Sunday 10 September 1820, after the 10:00 am mass, Napoleon went for a walk in his gardens at 12:00 pm. He is accompanied by the Count of...

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Saturday 9 September 1820

Saturday 9 September 1820

On Saturday 9 September 1820, the French commissioner, the Marquis de Montchenu, again demanded from the governor that he be allowed to see...

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Friday 8 September 1820

Friday 8 September 1820

On Friday 8th September 1820, the Count of Montholon informed the governor that Napoleon wished to embellish his gardens with a section of "aromatic...

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Thursday 7 September 1820

Thursday 7 September 1820

After a day of reading, late in the evening of Thursday 7 September 1820, accompanied by General de Montholon, Napoleon left his gardens by taking a...

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Wednesday 6 September 1820

Wednesday 6 September 1820

the Marquis de Montchenu, the commissioner representing King Louis XVIII and since the departure of his colleagues, the emperors of Russia and...

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Monday 4 September 1820

Monday 4 September 1820

On Monday, September 4, 1820, the surveillance officer reports that Napoleon..: “was in the garden a Short time last evening. I saw him this morning...

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Saturday 2 September

Saturday 2 September

On Saturday, 2nd of September Count Bertrand forwarded to the Governor a letter, written and addressed by him, in the name of the Emperor, to Lord...

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Friday 1st September 1820

Friday 1st September 1820

On Friday, September 1, 1820, all gloomy at Longwood... everyone talks departure. The Count of Montholon wrote to his wife that like him, "Bertrand...

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Thursday 31 August 1820

Thursday 31 August 1820

On Thursday 31 August 1820, Louis Marchand saw a list of names on Napoleon's work table: Caulaincourt, Savary, Ségur, Montesquiou, Daru, Drouot,...

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Wednesday 30 August 1820

Wednesday 30 August 1820

On Wednesday, August 30, 1820, in the company of Montholon, Napoleon used his phaeton daily and did not return to Longwood until late afternoon at...

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Tuesday 29 August 1820

Tuesday 29 August 1820

On Tuesday, August 29, 1820, for once, the governor by the voice of the Commissary officer of the colony (Denzil Ibbetson) justifies himself to the...

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Monday 28 August 1820

Monday 28 August 1820

Monday, August 28, 1820, one of the beautiful days at Longwood. Napoleon's valet, Louis Marchand, would describe a few anecdotes like this one :...

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Sunday 27 August 1820

Sunday 27 August 1820

On Sunday 27th August 1820, as if to affirm the rumour of the departure of Lowe and the English regular troops from St Helena which was spreading in...

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Saturday 26 August 1820

Saturday 26 August 1820

“We understand that it is determined to diminish the expence of the establishment at St Helena. Sir Hudson Lowe, and all the land forces, are to be...

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Friday 25 August 1820

Friday 25 August 1820

On Friday, August 25, 1820, Napoleon feel good and goes on to his usual activities i.e. garden walks, reading and horseback riding. The daily...

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Thursday 24 August 1820

Thursday 24 August 1820

On Thursday 24th August 1820, Napoleon was in good shape. His doctor is not deluding himself as he considers that “The progress of the Emperor's...

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Wednesday 23 August 1820

Wednesday 23 August 1820

On Wednesday 23rd August 1820, Brigadier-General Pine-Coffin, Sir George Bingham's successor at the head of the island's military forces, arrived...

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Tuesday 22 August 1820

Tuesday 22 August 1820

On Tuesday 22 August 1820, Napoleon, in seemingly good health, strolled through his gardens and spent a few minutes gazing at the south-eastern...

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Sunday 20 August 1820

Sunday 20 August 1820

On Sunday, August 20, 1820, Napoleon put his papers in order... Concerning this period Napoleon's librarian, Ali, recalls: “It was around the middle...

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Saturday 19 August 1820

Saturday 19 August 1820

On Saturday, August 19, 1820, after reading "The Venetians", the discussion between Napoleon and Montholon turns once again around the author,...

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Friday 18 August 1820

Friday 18 August 1820

Letter by Charles Harrison addressed to General Bingham, 18 August 1820 “Napoleon is going on well, and has taken to riding again; he has asked for...

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Thursday 17 August 1820

Thursday 17 August 1820

Thursday 17th August 1820 - In spite of the trials which he had to suffer in so many ways the memory of his power was always a very agreeable dream...

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Wednesday 16 August 1820

Wednesday 16 August 1820

On Wednesday 16th August 1820, Napoleon, anxious still further to extend his limits, in order to obtain greater variety in his rides; and Count...

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Tuesday 15 August 2020

Tuesday 15 August 2020

On Tuesday the 15th August 1820, Napoleon celebrates his 51st birthday. On this occasion, Abbot Vignali serves a mass at the end of which Napoleon,...

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