Posts Tagged Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte


The Story of a Shawl

By Barbara Meger, Curatorial Volunteer The ‘Woman of Two Worlds’ Exhibit at The Maryland Historical Society On display at the Maryland Historical Society, as part of the exhibition “A Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy,” is a beautifully worked fine white muslin shawl lined with chrome yellow […]

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Jérôme – The Bigamist

Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, After Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Gift of Mrs. Charles J. Bonaparte, XX.5.67 By Heather Haggstrom, Exhibitions Manager Back in Baltimore at her father’s house, Elizabeth awaited word from Jérôme. Although he dictated to her to live as if he was returning at any moment, his brother Napoléon was making grand plans for […]

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Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: Who Was She?

By Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch “Crushed like a butterfly sporting on the bosom of a flower (a rose).” –Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Account Book, 1858-59 Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879), François Josephe Kinsoen, circa 1817, Maryland Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Charles Joseph Bonaparte, xx.5.72 For the past year, I have collected hundreds of […]

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Pack Your Bags and “Go!”: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, A Woman on the Move

By Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch “Always move forward…” –Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, 1840 Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was a woman on the move. In a recent conversation with historian Helen Jean Burn, author of Betsy Bonaparte (Maryland Historical Society, 2010), I asked, “Why do you think Elizabeth always lived in boarding houses?” Burn’s answer was thought provoking. […]

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A Tender Bond

By Heather Haggstrom, Exhibitions Manager Elizabeth did not learn of the annulment right away and when she did hear the news it was not from Jerome or Napoleon, but from a newspaper report. She was so distressed by the news that she ceased going out. How could this have happened? Only a few months before […]

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Back to Baltimore

William Patterson by Thomas Sully, Bequest of Mrs. George Patterson, MdHS, 1883.1.1 By Heather Haggstrom, Exhibitions Manager By September of 1805, Elizabeth had all but given up on hearing from her husband Jerome. Sad and missing her mother with whom she had a very strong bond, she set sail aboard the brig Mars and returned […]

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Behind the Scenes

Exhibition Designer, Chuck Mack, looks at paint samples and compares them to interiors from the Napoleonic-era. Now that spring is here, preparations for the opening of ‘Woman of Two Worlds:’ Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy are moving at a rapid pace! The exhibition opening is less than three months away […]

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The Honeymoon Is Over

By Heather Haggstrom, Exhibitions Manager For several months after the wedding, Jerome’s advisors begged him to heed Napoleon’s orders and return to France. He refused, insisting that he would not leave without hearing directly from his brother. Finally in April 1804, still with no word from Napoleon, Jerome agreed return, but not without his new […]

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About Betsy Bonaparte

By Heather Haggstrom, Exhibitions Manager “Nature never intended me for obscurity.” – Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte to her father, 1815 Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1785, was the oldest of 13 children. Betsy, as she was affectionately known, was the daughter of William Patterson, an Irish immigrant shipping merchant who quickly […]

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