Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The marquis de Bertrand de Moleville was a nobleman and navy minister in the French Constitutional Cabinet. He urged Louis XVI to flee Paris and was accused of being one of the "Austrian Committee," the shadowy circle accused of anti-revolutionary plots. He emigrated to England in 1793.
The collection consists of manuscripts and related material regarding Bertrand de Moleville's proposals to the British government for invading France and Spanish America. Included is a manuscript (1805) in English detailing a plan for a counterrevolution to recapture France from Napoleon Bonaparte and return the monarchy and King Louis XVIII to the French throne. Bertrand de Moleville gives details of where the soldiers of the army should come from, how much the expedition would cost the king of England, and how it should be executed. He suggests to the British monarch that the army capture the Ile d' Oléron which would present very little resistance, from there to capture the Ile de Ré́ and the Ile d' Aix, and finally to enter the French mainland at Rochefort.
The collection also contains manuscript material regarding Bertrand de Moleville's secret plans for an invasion of Spanish America, establishing an independent Mexico: his cover letter (in French, dated 2 January 1805) conveying the proposal to British government official Jonathan McArthur, requesting that he forward the material to Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty; the four-part plan (in French); and an English précis of the proposal with McArthur's recommendation (7 January 1805) to Melville.
Arranged by country.
Invasion of France manuscript was the gift of Chas A. D. Burk in 1909.
Invasion of Mexico material was purchased from William Reese Co. in 2011 (AM2012-29).
For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.
This collection was processed by John Delaney on 2011 September 30. Finding aid written by John Delaney on 2011 September 30.
No materials were separated during 2011 processing.
- Counterrevolutionaries -- France -- 19th century -- Manuscripts
- Counterrevolutions -- France -- 19th century
- Counterrevolutions -- Latin America -- 19th century
- Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815 -- History -- Sources
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Author
- John Delaney
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
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Plan (English), AMs, 43 pp.Physical Description
Cover letter (French) for plan, ALS (by Betrand de Moleville), 1 p.Physical Description
Précis of plan (English), AMsS (by Jonathan McArthur), 15 pp.Physical Description
Details the methods and means of executing the plan, AMs (French), 9 pp.Physical Description
Explains the advantages to England of this enterprise, AMs (French), 5 pp.Physical Description
Responds to possible objections with the plan, AMs (French), 9 pp.Physical Description
Notes and clarifications, AMs, 14 pp.Physical Description
Slipcase with title "Betrand-Moleville - Proposals for the Overthrow of Mexico - 1805," bound by J. Desmonts of J. MacDonanld Co. of Norwalk, Conn.Physical Description