Elizabeth Patterson, Madame Jerome Bonaparte

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Elizabeth Patterson
Elizabeth Patterson
(Madame Jerome Bonaparte)
From portrait by Quinçon

The city into which Baltimore Town was legislated on the last day of the year 1796 already fostered within its limits the germ of the dual life, social and commercial, to which it has owed its subsequent eminence. Not infrequently, in the days of its inception, the same roof sheltered drawing-room and warehouse, the earlier merchants deeming it necessary to keep their growing interests constantly beneath their personal vigilance. Later, the commercial life crowded out the domestic life, and merchants built their dwellings stately bricks or frames, painted blue, yellow, or white, facing on avenues of locust-trees in another part of the town, all bearing quaint evidence of the far-away ports with which their vessels traded, while the whole town was permeated with the odor peculiar to shipping districts.

The first theatre troupe that took the town by storm played in one of the old warehouses, whose walls re-echoed the approbation of the pleasure-hungry audience, among whom were no fastidious critics to pick flaws in “King Richard III.,” and still less in “A Miss in her Teens,” which followed. Baltimore never had the qualms of conscience which afflicted some of her puritanical sister towns concerning the pleasures in which she might rightly indulge. She looked out upon life, rather, with a liberality of mental vision which partook of the breadth of the seas her merchantmen traversed.

The brick theatre built in 1781 became one of the most revered spots in the town, and when the actors came her way, Baltimore turned out en masse to give them royal welcome.

At the close of the Revolutionary War a number of the French officers of the army and navy who had remained in this country settled in Baltimore, thereby adding a foreign flavor to the social side of its existence, which, like that of all the cities and towns of the young Republic, was characterized more or less by a wholesome simplicity.

In the town, a dozen years before it blossomed into the city, before its streets were paved, when its only communication with inland towns was by means of the stagecoach, and three years before Maryland had ratified the Constitution of the new union of States, there was born to one of her merchants, William Patterson, a daughter, the repute of whose beauty was destined to fill two continents, the spicy aroma of whose wit to penetrate the sacred precincts of imperial throne rooms, and the story of whose life to touch the hearts of many generations.

The daughter of one of the self-made men whose sterling qualities have lent such stability to the industries and development of the country, who, born of Irish parentage and coming to this country in his fourteenth year, had carved his own way shrewdly and judiciously to the position of distinction he held among his fellow-townsmen and the people of his adopted country, Elizabeth inherited many of his dominant characteristics. He was estimated to be the wealthiest merchant, and, with the possible exception of Charles Carroll, the wealthiest man, in the United States. Her mother, Dorcas Spear, came of good Maryland lineage, and was a woman of gentle character and cultivated mind. She superintended for the most part Elizabeth’s education, which, if somewhat erratic, was, nevertheless, superior to that enjoyed by the average woman of that period. It is said that she acquired an early familiarity with Rochefoucauld’s “Maxims” and committed to memory Young’s “Night Thoughts.” Lady Morgan, whose friendship she formed later in life, realizing the brilliancy of her mind, regretted that its earlier direction had not been more systematic.

Her father, from his own statement, seems to have looked after the conduct of his family with the same minute vigilance which he bestowed upon his financial concerns.

“I always consider it a duty to my family,” he said, “to keep them as much as possible under my own eye, so that I have seldom in my life left Baltimore either on pleasure or business. Ever since I had a house it has been my invariable rule to be the last up at night, and to see that the fires and light were secured before I retired myself, by which I found little risk from fires and managed to have my family keep regular hours. What I possess is solely the product of my own labor. I inherited nothing of my forefathers, nor have I benefited anything from public favors or appointments.”

Strangely similar is the concluding sentiment to that expressed by the founder of another family on another continent, Napoleon Bonaparte. “Sole fabricator of my destiny, I owe nothing to my brothers,” said he, whose fortunes, though he had reared them upon a loftier pinnacle, were, nevertheless, to be crossed by those of the Patterson family.

The eldest daughter in a family of thirteen children, Elizabeth Patterson grew up at a period when the beaux of society read Chesterfield, when no man begrudged the time expended on the profound and sweeping bow then dictated by gallantry, and when fencing and dancing formed a part of every gentleman’s education.

“She possessed the pure Grecian contour; her head was exquisitely formed, her forehead fair and shapely, her eyes large and dark, with an expression of tenderness that did not belong to her character; and the delicate loveliness of her mouth and chin, the soft bloom of her complexion, together with her beautifully rounded shoulders and tapering arms, combined to form one of the loveliest of women.” She had had numerous offers of marriage before she reached her eighteenth year, her father’s wealth and prominence, independent of her own attractive personality, having insured her social prestige, but as yet she walked heart whole and fancy free.

In the summer of 1803 Jerome, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and then less than nineteen years of age, detaching himself from naval duty in the West Indies and following the bent of his own inclination, eventually put into the port of New York. Whatever breach of military discipline this implies will in no way astound those familar with Jerome’s character.

Too young to have taken part in the struggles that had elevated his family to such dizzy heights, he yet, at an age most susceptible to the altered conditions of his life, came into the full enjoyment of all the advantages they offered. Napoleon was wont to take a humorous rather than a serious view of this “mauvais sujet,” as he frequently called Jerome. Madame Junot relates a characteristic anecdote in her memoirs which, she says, she had from the Emperor himself. Returning to Paris after the battle of Marengo, Napoleon was presented with various bills contracted by Jerome during his absence. One of these, to the amount of twenty thousand francs, was for a superb shaving set in gold, mother of pearl, silver, ivory, and costly enamels. It was a work of art, but of no possible use to Jerome, who, being but fifteen years old, was without the suggestion of a beard.

To his mother he was an idol, and to the end of her life he was able to extract from her in generous measure much of that substance which she expended grudgingly-even upon herself.

Enveloped in the glory of a great name, Jerome’s advent into the social current of New York was noised abroad in the few and ordinarily but little read newspapers of the day.

By stage the news was brought to Baltimore. The returning coach took an urgent invitation to Jerome and his suite to visit that city from Commodore Barney, who had been his recent comrade-in-arms in the West Indies. They accepted the invitation, and early in September found themselves the objects of a lavish hospitality.

Shortly after their arrival one of Jerome’s suite. General Rewbell, lost his heart to Miss Henrietta Pascault, one of the belles of the town, to whom he was, after a brief courtship, married.

At the fall races, which were in progress when he arrived in Baltimore, Jerome for the first time saw the woman in whose life he was thereafter destined to play so conspicuous a part. We may well believe that she was radiantly beautiful in a gown of buff silk with a lace fichu and a leghorn hat with tulle trimmings and black plumes.

He had already heard of the beautiful Miss Patterson, and had declared with youthful impetuosity that he would marry her. The fact that she was aware of his preconceived sentiments gave a piquancy to their first meeting, which was enhanced by the boyish enthusiasm with which he referred to her as his ”belle femme.” The coquetry with which she resisted his too evident admiration had the invariable effect of further ensnaring his princely affections.

They met frequently in those centers of hospitality, the home of Samuel Chase, who twenty odd years before had put his name to the Declaration of Independence; at “Belvedere,” the home of Colonel John Eager Howard, the hero of Cowpens; at “Greenmount,” “Druid Hill,” and “Brooklandwood,” where three other afterwards celebrated beauties were in course of development.

When the festivities in honor of Jerome were at their height, Elizabeth was borne away to the seclusion of a Virginia estate, under the wing of a vigilant mother, who rightly interpreted the course of events and foresaw the obstacles that loomed in the pathway of their happy termination. There only an occasional echo of the gayety that was rife at Baltimore reached her, making unbearable that rural quiet, which means happiness only to a contented mind, and is a veritable torture to such a restless spirit as ever possessed Elizabeth Patterson. Her entreaties at length prevailed, and she was brought back to the city, where, on the 29th of October, to prove how futile the separation had been, scarcely eight weeks after their first meeting, Jerome procured a license of marriage.

He was probably remonstrated with by the members of his suite, whose age and the length of whose friendship made possible that liberty. Rewbell, in the first flush of his own happy union doubtless gave Jerome a reckless support that not even the crafty Le Camus could counterbalance. To such opposition as Elizabeth’s family offered, she replied that she “would rather be the wife of Jerome for one hour than of any other man for a lifetime.”

On Christmas Eve, 1803, Jerome Bonaparte, brother of the man who five months later declared himself Emperor of France, and Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of an American merchant, entered into that union whose subsequent rending was to echo throughout Christendom. The ceremony was performed in the home of Elizabeth’s father, according to the rites of the Catholic Church, by the Right Reverend John Carroll, first archbishop of America. It was witnessed by the French Consul at Baltimore, M. Sotin, Alexander le Camus, who was Jerome’s secretary, and the mayor of Baltimore.

The marriage contract, which was drawn up by Alexander J. Dallas, afterwards Secretary of the Treasury, bears evidence of the apprehension felt by Elizabeth’s family as to the outcome of this international union with so youthful a bridegroom.

The dress worn by Elizabeth on her bridal night was of exquisitely fine white muslin, elaborately embroidered. She said of the gown in after years that it was one she had frequently worn, as she particularly desired to avoid anything like vulgar display. ” And to tell the truth,” she added, “there was as little as possible of any gown at all, dress in that day being chiefly an aid in setting off beauty to advantage,” which concurs with the statement made by a man who was present at the wedding, to the effect that he could have put all the clothes worn by the bride into his pocket.

The honeymoon days of Jerome and Elizabeth were passed at her father’s estate outside of Baltimore, “Homestead.” Late in January they were mingling with the merrymakers one afternoon in Market Street. There was good sleighing, and the crisp air rang with the joyousness of an old-time winter. A snowball, sent with the unerring aim and democratic disregard of a small boy of the town, struck Elizabeth. Jerome was outraged at the indignity, and offered a reward of five hundred dollars for the discovery of the youthful miscreant. How trivial seems this “missile light as air” by comparison with those shafts sped later by a not less unerring hand, and striking into the very soul of her womanhood, Jerome making no effort to avert them.

In February this bride and groom of the early century went to Washington, whither since have wended their way so many happy bridal couples. Of the journey there, made in a stagecoach. General Samuel Smith, member of Congress from Maryland, wrote to Mr. William Patterson describing the runaway of the horses as they entered the city and Betsy’s presence of mind. The driver having been thrown from his seat, Jerome sprang from the coach with the hope of catching the horses. But as they still sped on, and her danger increased as they penetrated towards the centre of the straggling little capital, Elizabeth opened the door and jumped out into the snow without injury.

While in Washington they were the guests of the French Minister, General Tureau. Aaron Burr, then Vice-President of the United States, meeting Elizabeth at this time, wrote to his daughter Theodosia, whom he thought Elizabeth much resembled, and referred to her as “a charming little woman with sense, spirit, and sprightliness.”

Jerome’s thoughts were already turning towards France, where every effort was being made to bring about his return alone. While in New York during the following summer he was made acquainted with the annulment of his marriage, as follows: ” By an Act of the 11 Ventose, all the civil officers of the Empire are prohibited from receiving on their registers the transcription of the act of celebration of a pretended marriage that Jerome Bonaparte has contracted in a foreign country during the age of minority, without the consent of his mother and without the publication in the place of his nativity.”

In February following the marriage Mr. William Patterson had written to our Minister at Paris, Robert Livingston, enclosing him letters from the President and Secretary of State, to be presented to Napoleon with the hope of obtaining his approval, or at least mitigating any displeasure the marriage might have caused. “I can assure you,” he wrote to Livingston, “that I never directly or indirectly countenanced or gave Mr. Bonaparte the smallest encouragement to address my daughter, but, on the contrary, resisted his pretensions by every means in my power consistent with discretion. Finding, however, that the mutual attachment they had formed for each other was such that nothing short of force or violence could prevent their union, I with much reluctance consented to their wishes.”

He had, moreover, despatched his eldest son, Robert Patterson, to Paris, to discover which way the wind of the imperial temper blew. As the matter lay rather outside the pale of usual diplomatic issues, it required most delicate manipulation, and while young Patterson received kindly yet cautious expressions of interest and goodwill from Napoleon’s brothers, an ominous and forbidding silence enveloped the First Consul. His indignation increased with Jerome’s continued absence, and when at length he spoke through his Minister of Marine, it was to bid Jerome, as lieutenant of the fleet, to return to France, at the same time forbidding all captains of French vessels to receive on board “the young person to whom Jerome had attached himself.” Through the same channel Napoleon offered his forgiveness to Jerome on condition that he abandon Elizabeth and return to France, there to associate himself with his fortunes. Should he persist in bringing her, she would not be allowed to put foot on French territory. Jerome’s mother wrote to him at the same time, suggesting that he return to France alone and send his wife to Holland. Robert Patterson, however, who succeeded admirably in keeping himself posted on the variations in the attitude of Jerome’s family, advised that Jerome should not return to France without his wife.

Though he made several efforts during the year that followed to return thither, there is only one on record when it was his purpose to sail alone.

In September, 1804, General Armstrong sailed from New York to replace Livingston at Paris. He had agreed with Jerome to take Madame Bonaparte with him, Jerome himself intending to go on one of the French frigates then in New York harbor. She could thus, at least, have landed in France as a member of the family of the American minister, who might have succeeded in presenting her to Napoleon, with whom she could, no doubt, have pleaded her cause with more effect than could have been produced by any amount of diplomatic correspondence or family intervention. She had the gifts which he most admired in women, great personal beauty and wit, and though the latter might have been too keen for his entire appreciation, she no doubt would have been shrewd enough to temper it to his taste.

She wrote her father from New York, September 5, 1804, of her disappointment at Armstrong’s having sailed without her. The reason given was that Jerome and Elizabeth had arrived by stage a few hours after the ship had sailed.

An effort to sail during the following month ended in shipwreck off Pilot Town, where they were finally landed and temporarily housed by one of the inhabitants, on whose clothes-line Madame Bonaparte dried her wardrobe, and from whose hospitable board she enjoyed a dinner of roast goose with applesauce, being in exuberant spirits over her rescue.

On March 11, 1805, they finally made their departure from Baltimore in the “Erin,” a ship belonging to Mr. Patterson. Though they sailed at an early hour in the morning, and the arrangements for their departure had been conducted with much secrecy. General Tureau wrote from Washington two days later to Mr. Patterson to ask what disposition had been made of Jerome’s four carriage horses, and to suggest, if they were to be sold, that he should like to be considered as a purchaser.

The “Erin” reached Lisbon on April 2, whence Jerome wrote in English to his father-in-law of their safe arrival, and took the opportunity to express his affection for and gratitude towards his second family. He spoke of Elizabeth having been very seasick, and added,

“But you know as well as anybody that seasick never has killed nobody.”

Napoleon’s ambassador met the ship upon its arrival, and called upon Elizabeth to ask what he could do for her, addressing her as Miss Patterson.

“Tell your master,” she replied, “that Madame Bonaparte is ambitious, and demands her rights as a member of the Imperial family.”

She was forbidden to land, and Jerome, taking that farewell of her which fate had destined should be his last, went overland to Paris, while the “Erin” sailed for Amsterdam.

On his way to Paris Jerome met General and Madame Junot en route for their new post in Spain. He breakfasted with them and opened his anxious young heart to them, showing them a miniature of Elizabeth, from whom, he declared, nothing should ever separate him.

Upon reaching Paris he went at once to Malmaison and sought an audience with Napoleon, who refused to see him, bidding him write what he wished to say. He wrote, simply announcing his arrival, and received the following reply:

“I have received your letter this morning. There are no faults you have committed which may not be effaced in my eyes by a sincere repentance. Your marriage is null and void, both from a religious and a legal point of view. I will never acknowledge it. Write Miss Patterson to return to the United States, and tell her it is not possible to give things another turn. On condition of her return to America, I will allow her a pension of sixty thousand francs a year, provided she does not take the name of my family, to which she has no right, her marriage having no existence.”

From this position Napoleon never swerved. The annuity was paid to Elizabeth after her return to America until the fall of the Empire, and formed the basis of the fortune of one and a half million dollars, accumulated through a long life of frugality and cautious investment, of which she died possessed.

The reply of Pope Pius, to whom Napoleon appealed for the annulment of the marriage, accompanying his request with a costly gold tiara, to the effect that after mature deliberation he had been able to discover no grounds on which the marriage could be cancelled, though it chagrined the Emperor to an extent which he never forgave, did not yet alter the stand he had taken. When Jerome was finally admitted to his presence, he greeted him with that magnetic smile whose potency swayed men and women alike.

“So, sir, you are the first of the family,” he said, “who has shamefully abandoned his post. It will require many splendid actions to wipe off that stain from your reputation. As to your love affair with your little girl, I pay no attention to it.”

The “Erin,” meanwhile, arrived in the Texel Roads, where, though flying the flag of a friendly power, and a merchant vessel whose clearance from Baltimore showed that she carried no guns, she was placed under guard of two French men-of-war and all communication with the shore prohibited. Through the intercession of Sylvanus Bourne, our Consul at Amsterdam, she was permitted at the expiration of a week to depart, and, bearing her full measure of human desolation, she headed towards the shores of England. The fame of her fair passenger had preceded her, and so large a concourse of people had gathered at Dover to witness the landing of Madame Jerome Bonaparte that Mr. Pitt, then Prime Minister of England, sent a military escort to protect her from possible annoyance of a sympathetic though curious throng.

At Camberwell, near London, her son was born on the 7th of July, 1805, and named Jerome Napoleon.

In June of that year, two months after his return, Jerome had been restored to his rank in the navy and was cruising off Genoa, whence he wrote, through his secretary, Alexander le Camus, to Mr. William Patterson, of Baltimore, expressing his dissatisfaction at Elizabeth’s having gone to England, that country being at the time at war with France. The tone of the letter betrays the change that was already working in Jerome’s feelings, though he was at that time sending Elizabeth by every available opportunity messages and pledges of his unswerving love for her.

When we judge him, let us bear in mind not only his youth and all the circumstances of his life, but, above all, that soul crushing will which he, weakly enough it seems to us, was striving to stand against.

In a subsequent letter to Mr. Patterson, written also by Mr. le Camus, in the course of which Jerome expressed the desire that Elizabeth should return to America and wait there in her own home till he obtained her recall from the Emperor, one feels instinctively that between the lines is written the finale to the short chapter of the romance of Elizabeth Patterson and Jerome Bonaparte.

She returned to her father’s home in the fall, though she had written shortly before that she was glad to be among strangers, because “in Baltimore, where people are always on the watch,” she would be more observed.

On August 12, 1807, Jerome married Princess Frederika Catherine, daughter of the King of Wurtemberg. As King of Westphalia he offered Elizabeth a home within his dominions, with the title of Princess of Smalcalden and a pension of two hundred thousand francs per year. In regard to the former, she replied that Westphalia was a large kingdom, but not quite large enough for two queens, and with regard to the pension, having already accepted Napoleon’s annuity of sixty thousand francs, she made the oft-quoted response that she preferred “being sheltered under the wing of an eagle to being suspended from the bill of a goose.”

Napoleon, with his high appreciation of a bon mot, desired to know what favor he could bestow upon a woman capable of this witticism. Elizabeth replied through the French Minister at Washington that she was ambitious, and would like to be a duchess.

The Emperor promised the gift, but never conferred it. Notwithstanding her unremitting yet ever futile struggle for recognition, Madame Bonaparte cherished always the most enthusiastic admiration for the genius of the man who had blighted her life. In one of her letters to her father, written from Europe, whither she returned after the fall of the Empire, she said, “They do not in England pretend to revile Napoleon as we have done. His stupendous abilities are admitted; his misfortunes almost respected by his enemies. I listen silently to any discussion in which he bears a part. I easily perceive that he has more justice done him here than with us.”

In a subsequent letter she details more fully her attitude towards the entire family.

“I cannot say,” she writes, also to her father, “that I have the least reliance on that family, although I am inclined to reciprocate their kind words and receive their offers of friendship without allowing myself to be deceived by either.” And farther on in the same letter she says, in regard to allowing her son to visit Pauline Bonaparte, then the Princess Borghese, at Rome, “My resolution is uninfluenced by personal feelings, never having felt the least resentment towards any individual of that family, who certainly injured me, but not from motives which could offend me. I was sacrificed to political considerations, not to the gratification of bad feelings, and under the pressure of insupportable disappointment became not unjust.”

From her letters there seem to have been frequent rumors afloat in regard to her marrying again, both in this country and in Europe, where she was greatly admired. In one letter to her father, written in 1823, she says that while the American newspapers were marrying her she was making her will.

Though she obtained from the Maryland Legislature a divorce, after the fall of Napoleon, it seems to have been rather as a precautionary measure against any possible demands Jerome might make upon her financially than with a view to marrying again.

Tom Moore, whom Lady Morgan sent to her with a letter of introduction, afterwards described her as a beautiful woman, but destitute of all sentiment and with a total disbelief in love, on which, indeed, she bestowed only ridicule. There can be no doubt, however, of the concern and tenderness which she expended upon a dog, Le Loup, which belonged to her son, and which she said was ” superior to half the persons one meets in the world.” There are many traditions of her wit, which, though tinged with asperity, was ever ready and scintillating. The Honorable Mr. Dundas, who sat beside her at a dinner in London, she speared so unsparingly with the shafts of her sarcasm that his egotism never forgave her. When he asked her, finally, if she had read Captain Basil Hall’s book on America, she replied affirmatively. “And did you observe,” he continued, bluntly, with the hope of avenging his wounded self love, “that he called all Americans vulgarians?” “Yes,” replied Madame Bonaparte, while the table paused to listen, “and I was not surprised. Were the Americans descendants of the Indians and Esquimaux, I should have been. But being the direct descendants of the English, nothing is more natural than that they should be vulgarians.” For both her wit and her beauty she was admired by men and women of fastidious taste, among whom were Sir Charles and Lady Morgan, Talleyrand, Gortschakoff, and Madame de Stael. She so fascinated the Prince of Wurtemberg, uncle of Jerome’s second wife, that he confessed his wonderment that Jerome could ever have abandoned her. “Si elle n’est pas reine de Westphalie, elle est au moins reine des coeurs,” was Baron Bonsteller’s tribute to her.

She seldom alluded to Jerome, though she believed that she always stood first in his heart. She referred in a letter to her father to the probability of his coming to Rome while she was there, but added that she should not see him, “nor would he like it himself after the unhandsome way in which he has always conducted himself I shall hold my tongue, which is all I can possibly do for him.”

Though the greater part of her life was spent in Europe, and she was for a time on terms of considerable intimacy with his family, she met Jerome but once, when they passed each other in the gallery of the Pitti Palace in Florence, Jerome with the Princess Catherine upon his arm. Though they recognized each other, they passed without greeting, Jerome exclaiming, “That was my American wife.” Jerome Napoleon, the son of his American wife, was frequently his guest, and was treated with much kindness by the Princess Catherine. Jerome, however, added practically nothing to this son’s material comfort, much to his mother’s chagrin, and at his death in i860 it was found that he had not even mentioned his name in his will, a lack of recognition which wounded both mother and son in a more profound sense than his lifelong failure to make provision for him had done. So great was his son’s resemblance to his family, and particularly to the Emperor, that the charge d’affaires of France at Amsterdam, in 1820, refused his mother a passport for him to travel through France. It was a strange coincidence that Madame Jerome Bonaparte herself should bear a remarkable resemblance to the Bonaparte family, particularly to Napoleon and Pauline, even having some of their mannerisms.

In August, 1855, Louis Napoleon offered to create Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte Duke of Sartene, but he declined the honor, as the object was to take away his name and the rights he possessed as his father’s eldest son.

At the request of his half-brother a family council was called, before which the celebrated Berryer pleaded the cause of Madame Jerome Bonaparte and her son, whose rights were ultimately defined as limited exclusively to the use of the name.

On November 3, 1829, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, to his mother’s intense dissatisfaction and disappointment, married an American, the lovely Miss Susan Mary Williams, of Baltimore. During a long residence abroad Madame Bonaparte had become imbued with the idea that it was a duty her son owed both to her and to himself to ally himself matrimonially with some European family of distinction. Writing to her father from Florence, where she was residing at the time of her son’s marriage, she said, “I would rather die than marry any one in Baltimore, but if my son does not feel as I do upon this subject, of course he is quite at liberty to act as he likes best.”

Her father died in 1835. He had never been in sympathy with her desire to live in a foreign country, and had frequently upbraided her for her prolonged absence from home. In his will he denounced her as an undutiful daughter, bequeathing her a few small houses besides the home in which she was born, on the east side of South Street, with the lot surrounding it.

In April, 1879, Madame Bonaparte, who was then in her ninety-fifth year, having outlived her son and all of her own generation, passed from the sphere where she had been so conspicuous a figure. She died in a boarding house in her native city, where she had acquired the reputation of being a keen, eccentric old woman. The sorrows of her youth, belonging to the early days of the country, were too remote to be remembered by her later day contemporaries, who discovered in her no trace of the bewitching Elizabeth Patterson who had taken by storm the heart of the youthful Prince Jerome.

She rests today in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, in a small triangular lot which she selected shortly before her death, saying that as she had been alone in life, so she wished to be in death. On her monument are graven the words that express so much for her, “After life’s fitful fever she sleeps well.”




MLA Source Citation:

Peacock, Virginia Tatnal. Famous American Belles of the Nineteenth Century. K. B. Lippincott Company. 1901. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 24 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/maryland/elizabeth-patterson-madame-jerome-bonaparte.htm - Last updated on Aug 26th, 2013


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