Joseph Bonaparte in America

Daly Stew

I’m one of those people that stops and reads historical markers. Which isn’t always ideal when your driving down 9th street in Philadelphia in the evening rush hour traffic and you glance up and catch a name on one of the many blue and yellow plaques that are liberally scattered around the older parts of the city. The name that caught my attention was Joseph Bonaparte.

Now somewhere in the whiskey-soaked brain cells, I think I recalled that Joseph had fled to America after the collapse of the Bonaparte family business — you know, conquering and carving up Europe and parceling out kingdoms, countries and duchies to sundry family members and close personal friends of Napoleon Bonaparte. To whit, there were Bonapartes placed on the thrones of Spain, Naples, Westphalia, and Holland, not to mention the Emperor himself, who sat not only on the newly created imperial throne of France but also styled himself…

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