Patterson-Bonaparte Collection - PP70

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1800-1870

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St. 
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, November 1999



Elizabeth (Betsy) Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879) was the daughter of Baltimore merchant William Patterson. She met Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860), brother of French emperor Napoleon I, when he visited the United States in 1803, and the two fell in love and married on Christmas eve of that year. The marriage, opposed by Napoleon and by William Patterson, was destined to be short lived, being anulled by Napoleon’s decree in 1806, while Jerome remained in Europe, remarried and became the King of Westphalia according to his brother’s wishes.

Betsy and Jerome had one child, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (1805-1870), who lived with his mother and her family. Jerome graduated from Harvard, married Susan May Williams (1812-1881) in 1829, and lived in Baltimore at the corner of Park Avenue and Centre Street. One of their sons was Jerome Napoleon (1830-1893), who graduated from West Point, was a colonel in the French army, and married Caroline Leroy Appleton Edgar, with whom he had two children. Another son was Charles Joseph (1851-1921), Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General of the United States under Theodore Roosevelt, who married Ellen Channing Day (d. 1924) in 1875.

Collection Origin

Transfer from the Gallery, 1982 (76562).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 2 boxes containing 13 photographs and 8 prints which originated ca. 1800-1870. All are portraits of Patterson-Bonaparte family members, relatives and descendants of Betsy Patterson and/or Jerome Bonaparte. Most of the photographs are cased daguerreotypes, and many of the prints are glazed. There are also 3 frames which formerly held photographs.

Note: Related materials held in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society include: MS. 141, the Charles J. Bonaparte Papers; MS. 141.1, Miscellaneous Patterson-Bonaparte Papers; MS. 142, the Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Papers; MS. 142, the Jerome Bonaparte Papers; MS. 144, the Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte Papers; MS. 145, the William Patterson Collection; MS. 1084, the William Patterson Papers; MS. 1598, the Charles J. Bonaparte Letters; and MS. 2194, the Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Biography.


Cased photographs are individually wrapped, uncased photographs are in folders, and glazed prints are in sleeves; arrangement within boxes varies.

Container List

2 Boxes

Box 1: 4 Folders and 11 Cased or Framed Photographs

Box 1, Folder 1
Mrs. Charles Bonaparte (photograph).

Box 1, Folder 2
Charles Bonaparte (print, postcard).

Box 1, Folder 3
Bonaparte (unidentified, carte de visite photograph).

Box 1, Folder 4
Note from back of Bonaparte frame.

Cased or Framed Photographs
Jerome Bonaparte. Cased photograph #190.

Charles Joseph Bonaparte. Cased photograph #286.

Jerome N. Bonaparte, U.S.A. Cased photograph #287.

Unidentified child, Patterson/Bonaparte. Cased photograph #288.

Ellen Channing Day. Cased photograph #290.

Ellen Channing Day. Cased photograph #291.

Fanny. Cased photograph #292.

Jerome Bonaparte (3rd J.B.). Cased photograph #294.

Jerome Bonaparte. Cased photograph #295.

Jerome N. Bonaparte (1st). Cased photograph #296.

Mrs. Charles Bonaparte. Framed photograph.

Box 2: 8 Glazed Prints and 2 Frames

Napoleon Bonaparte. Lith. de Delpech. 2 items.

Napoleon Bonaparte. Engraving.

Charles Bonaparte. Lith. de Delpech.

Buonaparte. Dessine par J. Guerin.

Lucien Bonaparte. Lith. de Delpech.

Joseph Bonaparte. Lith. de Delpech.

Louis Bonaparte. Lith. de Delpech.

Frame for Charles Bonaparte postcard portrait.

Frame for carte de visite of Bonaparte. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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