Independent scholar. I would like to thank Professor Peter Hicks at the Fondation Napoléon for his valuable comments. The sole responsibility for any errors and/or omissions is mine.
Walter Scott, The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, Emperor of the French. With a Preliminary View of the French Revolution, London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, 1827.
William Hazlitt, The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, London: Office of the Illustrated London Library, 1827.
Emilio Ocampo, The Emperor’s Last Campaign: A Napoleonic Empire in America Apaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009.
A harbor in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren.
Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol. 9, pp. 285-286.
In some accounts his name is also spelled as Johnson or Johnston.
Jack Sheppard (1702-1724) was a notorious English robber, burglar and thief. He was arrested and escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure very popular with the lower classes. The fifth time he was caught, he was quickly convicted and hanged.
John Brown, The historical gallery of criminal portraitures, foreign and domestic A selection of the most impressive cases of Guilt and Misfortune to be found in Modern History, Manchester: Gleave, 1823, vol. 2, pp. 494-496.
Scott, Life of Napoleon, op. cit., vol. 9, pp. 285-286.
François René Chateaubriand, Mémoires d’outre-tombe, Liège, Imprimerie de J.G. Lardinois, 1849, vol. 3, p. 180.
This was roughly equivalent to 12 000 francs, or approximately £9,000.
Charles Tristan de Montholon, Récits de la captivité de l’Empereur Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène. Avec une introduction de M. Maillefer, Paris : Paulin, 1847, vol. 2, p. 433. Montholon’s reliability as a witness is often questioned. I believe his comments have to be put in context and contrasted to other primary sources.
Among the notable exceptions is Lord Rosebery, who nevertheless dismissed it. Lord Rosebery was doubtful about any rescue plans, including Johnstone’s. Consequently he was one of many historians who believed Lowe’s restrictions were unjustified. Archibald P. Primrose, Lord Rosebery, Napoleon: The Last Phase, London: Harper and Brothers, 1901, p. 113.
The submarine plot was recounted in an article by US naval historian David Whittet Thomson in “They Wanted to Rescue Napoleon,” US Naval Institute Proceedings 69, (Sep-Dec. 1943), pp. 794-800.
For the development of submarines before Fulton see William Barclay Parsons, Robert Fulton and the Submarine, New York: Columbia University Press 1922, pp. 17-23 and G. L. Pesce, La navigation sous-marine, Paris : Vuibert & Nony, 1897, pp. 23-31.
Farnham Bishop, The Story of the Submarine, New York: The Century Co., 1916, pp. 13-23.
H. W. Dickinson, Robert Fulton, Engineer and Artist, His Life and Work, London: John Lane Company, 1913, p. 73.
Fulton to the Directory, Paris, November 13, 1797, in Dickinson, Robert Fulton, pp. 74-76.
Parsons, Robert Fulton, op. cit., p. 27.
“Rapport des commissaires nommés par le ministre de la Marine relativement à l’invention de la machine dit Nautilus tendant à la destruction des vaisseaux anglais, par le citoyen Fulton”, September 12, 1798, in Paris, Archives Nationales, Marine D’21, ff. 48-58, quoted in Corinne Jez, “Le bateau-poisson de M. Fulton,” in Jean-Marcel Humbert, Bruno Ponsonnet (eds), Napoléon et la mer, Paris : Seuil-Musée nationale de Marine, 2004, pp. 187-188. Most of the original correspondence between Fulton and the Directory as well as the report from the commissions appointed by the Directory and Napoleon to evaluate the feasibility of the submarine project in the French National Archives can be found translated into English in Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 79-98.
Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., p. 79. See also Holden Furber, “Fulton and Napoleon in 1800: New Light on the Submarine Nautilus,” The American Historical Review, 39, No. 3 (Apr., 1934), pp. 489-494.
Fulton to Monge, Laplace and Volney, November 7, 1800, Paris, Archives Nationales, Dossier Marine D’21, f.98 quoted in Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 106-109.
Forfait to Fulton, February 27, 1801, in Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 113-114, and “Pièce 5477 Décision”, March 20, 1801, in Correspondance de Napoléon Ier, Paris : Plon, 1861, vol. 7, p. 90. See also Wallace Hutcheon Jr., Robert Fulton: Pioneer of Undersea Warfare, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1981, p. 46. See also reference in a letter by Napoleon concerning Fulton and his projects in Thierry Lentz (éd.), Correspondance générale de Napoléon Ier, Paris : Fayard, 2007, letter 9013, July 21, 1804.
Fulton to Monge and Laplace, September 9, 1801, in Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 119-122.
Fulton to First Consul, September 9, 1801, in Paris, Archives Nationales, Marine D’21, f.114, quoted in Jez, “Le bateau-poisson de M. Fulton”, art. cit., p. 189.
The Naval Chronicle for 1801 (London, January-August 1801), vol. 4, p. 287; The Monthly magazine and British register (London, August 1, 1802), vol. 14, pp. 31-33, 335 and The European Magazine and British Review (January to June 1802), vol. 41, p. 164.
Furber, “Fulton and Napoleon in 1800”, art. cit., pp. 489-494.
“Articles of Agreement between the Right Honourable William Pitt, first Lord Commissioner of his Majesty’s treasury and Chancelor of the Exchequer, and the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Melville, first Lord of the Admiralty, in behalf of his Majesty’s government on the one part, and Robert Fulton, citizen of the United States of America and inventor of a plan of attacking fleets by submarine Bombs,” London, National Aarchives, ADM Secretary, in-Letters 5121, quoted in Dickinson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 182-184. In the end Fulton received only a fraction of this amount. For a more detailed analysis of the economic proposal offered to Fulton and his financial dealings with the British government see E. Taylor Parks, “Robert Fulton and Submarine Warfare,” Military Affairs, 25, 4 (Winter, 1961-1962), pp. 178-179.
Fulton to Lord Grenville, May 5, 1806, in Parson, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 115-116.
Tom Pocock, The Terror before Trafalgar: Nelson, Napoleon and the Secret War, London: J. Murray, 2002, pp. 102, 150.
Brown, The historical gallery op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 494-496.
Parks, “Robert Fulton and Submarine Warfare”, art cit., p. 179. See also John Sanford Barnes, Submarine warfare, offensive and defensive, New York: Van Nostrand, 1860, pp. 35, 101.
For more details of this trial see Robert Fulton, Torpedo War and Submarine Explosions, New York: William Elliot, 1810 (reprinted by William Abbatt in 1914 as Extra No. 35 of The Magazine of History with Notes and Queries), pp. 7-10.
Fulton, Torpedo War, op. cit., p. 9.
Robert Fulton, “On submarine navigation and attack”, 1806, in Parsons, Robert Fulton op. cit., pp. 53-77. See also Parks, “Robert Fulton and Submarine Warfare”, art. cit., p. 182.
Pocock, The Terror, op. cit., p. 226.
Barnes, Submarine Warfare, op. cit., pp. 33-37.
See Fulton, Torpedo War, op. cit.
William Cobbett, Great Parliamentary Debates, London, 1810, vol. 17, p. 298.
Farnham Bishop, The Story of the Submarine, New York: The Century Co., 1916, pp. 34-35.
Benson John Lossing, The pictorial field-book of the War of 1812, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1869, pp. 241-250.
David Colden Cadwallader, The life of Robert Fulton, New York, 1817, p. 235.
J. Franklin Reingart, The Life of Robert Fulton, Philadelphia, 1856, p. 191.
Brown, The historical gallery op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 495-496.
The Naval Chronicle for 1814 Containing a General and Biographical History of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, London, January-July 1814, vol. 31, p. 287.
Bishop, The Story of the Submarine, op. cit., pp. 36-42.
For more details about this and other rescue attempts see Ocampo, The Emperor’s Last Campaign, op. cit.
Sharpe to Chamberlain, Buenos Aires, December 4, 1817, London, National Archives (NA), FO 63/211, f.7.
Montholon mentioned a “Sommariva system.” I have not been able to decipher the meaning of this reference or if it has any meaning at all. January 28, 1818, in Montholon, Récits de la captivité op. cit., vol. 2, p. 247. General Gourgaud also mentions the Brazil plot but refers to a steamboat instead of a submarine as the means to rescue Napoleon. See Gaspard Gourgaud, Sainte-Hélène : Journal inédit de 1815 à 1818, Avec préface et notes de MM. Le Vicomte de Grouchy et Antoine Guillois, Paris : Ernest Flammarion, 1899, vol. 2, p. 459.
Aleksandr Antonovich de Balmain, Count, Napoleon in Captivity: The reports of Count Balmain Russian Commissioner on the Island of St. Helena 1816-1820, ed. Julian Park, New York/London: Century Co., 1927, p. 161.
John Barnes, A tour through the Island of St. Helena, London: J. M. Richardson, 1817, p. 172.
Bathurst to Lowe, July 19, 1816, London, National Archives, A CO 248/2, ff. 63, 70-72.
Ken Denholm, From signal gun to satellite: a history of communications on the island of St Helena, Jamestown, 2001, pp. 8-9.
Frederic William Naylor Bayley, Scenes and stories: by a clergyman in debt. Written during his confinement, London: A. H. Baily & Co, 1835, vol. 2, p. 133.
He specifically denied having ever attempted to kidnap Napoleon at Flushing.
Johnstone to Bayley, September 20, 1834, in Bayley, Scenes and Stories op. cit., vol. 2, p. 136.
Thomas Johnstone, undated, “A correct description of the Submarine Ship called the Eagle, which was intended to take away the Grand Emperor, Napoleon, in July, 1821, had not death hurried him out of this world, on the 5th of May previously,” in Bayley, Scenes and stories, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 233-252.
Bayley, Scenes and stories, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 251.
This paragraph appears to contradict the previous one unless the Eagle carried “two engines of forty horse power” combined or twenty horsepower each.
Bayley, Scenes and stories op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 241-245.
James Cleugh, Captain Thomas Johnstone 1772-1839. Smuggler’s Reach, London: Andrew Melrose, 1955, p. 305. Unfortunately Cleugh does not detail his sources so his biography is of relative value.
Francis Macirone [sic], A Few Facts concerning Elementary Locomotion, London: Effingham Wilson Royal Exchange, 1834.
The British government suspected that Lord Cochrane had built the Rising Star to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. Supposedly, the steam vessel had been commissioned by the Chilean government. Be it as it may, it was only allowed to sail after Napoleon’s death. See Ocampo, The Emperor’s Last Campaign, op. cit., pp. 264-265.
Francis Maceroni, Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Colonel Maceroni, London: John Macrone, 1838, vol. 2, pp. 423-426.
Maceroni’s publisher enlisted a then unknown writer named William Thackeray to edit his Memoirs. Thackeray found Maceroni’s adventures “so interesting” that he proposed to re-write them to make a best-seller. “The book must be rewritten, and will cause a world of trouble,” Thackeray explained to the publisher. “The Colonel must give you carte-blanche about alterations, and not disown the book when published. We may make a hero of him by these means; if after the work’s publication he blusters or denies it, the sale will be seriously injured.” Thackeray to John Macrone, London, July 26, 1837. Grateful thanks to Peter Shillingsburg, Professor of English at the University of North Texas, for sending me an extract of this letter.
O’Meara to Lowe, June 30, 1817 in London, Public Records Office (now National Archives) ADM 3/191 Admiralty Minutes June-December 1818. Also quoted by William Forsyth in History of the Captivity from the letters and journals of the late Lieut.-Gen. Sir H. Lowe, and official documents not before made public, London: J. Murray, 1853, vol. 2, p. 386. O’Meara didn’t include this description of Maceroni in his own memoirs.
See Bishop, The story of the submarine, op. cit., p. 61.
Castlereagh to Richelieu, April 10, 1820, in Robert Stewart Viscount Castlereagh, 2nd Marquis of Londonderry, Memoirs and correspondence of Viscount Castlereagh second Marquess of Londonderry, edited by his brother Charles W. Vane, Third Marquis of Londonderry, London: William Shoberl, 1848-1853, vol. 12, p. 239.
Castlereagh to Richelieu, April 28, 1820, op. cit., vol. 12, p. 251.
Hobhouse diary, May 6, 1820, London, British Library, Mss Add. 56541 Broughton Papers, fol. 33.
Scott, Life of Napoleon, op. cit., vol. 9, p. 287.
Bathurst to Lowe, September 30, 1820, in Forsyth, History of the Captivity op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 250-251.
Maceroni, Memoirs, op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 428-429.
Montholon, Récits, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 434.
Hans Schlitter, Kaiser Franz I und die Napoleoniden, vom sturze Napoleons bis zu dessen Tode aus Schriftstücken des K. und K. Haus, Hof and Staatsarchivs, Vienna: F. Tempsky, 1888, p. 397.
Greaves’ testimony, personal archive of Tom Pocock, in Pocock, The Terror, op. cit., pp. 226-227.
Scott, Life of Napoleon op. cit., vol. 9, p. 286.
Bayley, Scenes and stories, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 245.
The Times, November 20, 1820.
Scott, Life of Napoleon op. cit., vol. 9, pp. 287-288.
Bathurst to Sir Walter Scott, July 2, 1827, Sir Walter Scott’s Papers, National Library of Scotland.
The Spanish Committee was a group of Englishmen who sympathized with the Spanish liberals in their fight against Bourbon despotism. Among its members were Sir James Mackintosh and John Cam Hobhouse.
On submarine navigation, The Nautical Magazine: a journal of papers on subjects connected with Naval Affairs, London: Simpkin Marshall & Co., 1833, vol. 2, p. 189.
Pocock, The Terror, op. cit., p. 230.