MovieChat Forums > Waterloo (1970) Discussion > The aftermath of Waterloo

The aftermath of Waterloo


When it was all over, Napoleon tried to escape to the U.S. but no such luck. Let's say he had been successful in that endeavor, where do you think he would most likely have lived? Are there any thoughts on that out there? I understand there were some members of his Grand Armee that were in Texas so that might have been a possibility.

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I think New Orleans would have been a perfect place for him. There is to this day a 'Napoleon House' in New Orleans.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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Interesting, I didn't know that. I also found out something else I wasn't aware of: his brother, Joseph, lived in New Jersey so that might have been the likely spot for Napoleon to settle.

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Yes, I've read that there were vague plans of the people of New Orleans to try to 'rescue' Napoleon from St. Helena and bring him to New Orleans. The pirate Jean Lafitte name has even been brought up as one of the suspects.

I have always found that interesting about Joseph living in New Jersey. Supposedly he witnessed the mythic 'New Jersey Devil' while hunting one day.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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The first part of what you said needs clarification. It was actually the members of Napoleon's Grand Armee who were in Texas that were going to try to rescue him from St. Helena, not the people of New Orleans, at least that's what I read. Perhaps Jean Lafitte was connected in some way but I'd say it's pretty obvious that that rescue attempt didn't get too far, did it?

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No, I don't think it got further than the planning stage. What I have read is that there was just talk by French sympathizers in New Orleans to try to get Napoleon somehow. What I have read is the speculation that Jean Lafitte was somehow involved. But so many myths have grown up around him you sometimes don't know what to believe.


Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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You're absolutely right there--you DON'T know what to believe! Just for the record I've visited both Napoleon's tomb in Paris as well as his birthplace in Corsica and if only St. Helena weren't so difficult to travel to, I wouldn't mind going there, either, to see some more Napoleon artifacts!

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That's great. I was lucky enough in the summer of 1993 to go to Memphis, TN and see an absolutely awesome collection of Napoleonic artifacts.

Really saw some great things: Napoleon's throne, the carriage he rode in to the coronation, David's painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps, a breastplate from Waterloo with a cannonball hole through it, awesome paintings of Waterloo and the Battle of the Pyramids, and a very evocative painting of Napoleon staring out of his window at St. Helena while the rain pattered on it from the outside. There were some great busts of his brothers and sisters also. I wish I could see that unbelievable exhibit again. There were over a 175 objects related to Napoleon there. It was superb!

That kindled a lifelong interest in Napoleon and his campaigns.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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That's very interesting--I didn't know there were that many artifacts right here in this country. Next time I'm in Memphis, I'll have to take that in! Speaking of St. Helena did you know that island is still accessible only by sea? So if you ever want to make a trip there the only way you could travel is the same way Napoleon did. My understanding is that they were planning on building an airport there within the next year or two but that apparently fell through or at least it's on hold. So the moral to the story is that if you ever wanted to be a recluse and really cut yourself off from the outside world, St. Helena would be the place to go!

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Interesting. A very evocative book on Napoleon's exile there and the island in the '90s is: 'The Black Room at Longwood: Napoleon's Exile on Saint Helena' by Jean-Paul Kauffmann.

I wish the Napoleon exhibit was still in Memphis but that was only a one time deal in 1993. Now those artifacts are scattered again to private collectors, France, the Smithsonian, etc.

If you haven't read it be sure to check out this article on Stanley Kubrick's proposed film on Napoleon: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/feature/2000/10/04/napoleon

I'm pretty sure it would have been awesome.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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Thanks for the info--I will check all that out!

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I also meant to post the link to Kubrick's original script of Napoleon: http://www.donkeyontheedge.com/i/napoleon.pdf

It makes for very interesting reading. I think Kubrick really would have made the visuals pop.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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Because this script covering the entire life of Napoleon, I think battle scenes will be rather cursory, more or less backdrops, sort of like those in Barry Lyndon. Contrast that with Waterloo, where the armed masses were the spectacle. I'd say that Kubrick's film, if made, would be in the same category as the 1927 classic "Napoleon" by Abel Gance, which had quite a few visual pops, IMO, especially the three-camera view visual explosion (4:1!) at the end.

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Stanley Kubrick was always one of my favorites. I think the best film he ever did was "Dr. Strangelove."

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Yes, that is one of my all time favorites, too.

Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race.

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It was part of the "Wonders" series that we hosted once
a year, each year a different sort of exhibit. It's a
shame that it was discontinued. It was a great boost to
tourism. There's a DVD of the exhibit available and this
YouTube video shows a few of the pieces along with a link
to where you can purchase the DVD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRFZjLewVDs

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Guess what. I just read that the construction of an airport on St. Helena started in 2011 and is due for completion in 2016 so it looks like it'll finally be possible to fly there. The residents of St. Helena are kind of ambivalent about that but from what I gather, the majority would prefer to keep things as is and not have an airport as it will destroy the remoteness of St. Helena which the residents, for the most part, would rather have. Just thought that might interest you.

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I believe that some of Napoleon's officers ended up in Louisiana, and some well could have gone to Texas, as other posters have mentioned.

There was an interesting episode of the PBS series The History Detectives a number of years ago involving an an artifact thought to be connected to Napoleon. A family in Louisiana had a dirk (military dagger) that family tradition held had been presented by Napoleon to an ancestor of theirs, who was an officer in his army. The family wanted to know if the story could be true. I believe that the program did establish that the ancestor had indeed served under Napoleon.

However, the antique weapons expert who examined the dirk said it was from the right era, but was a NAVAL dirk, which wouldn't have been presented to an army officer. Further research revealed that Napoleon usually gave pistols as presentation gifts, so it was unlikely the dirk had come from him.

In the course of the program, it was revealed that the family once had "an old pistol" that was lost or discarded long ago. The program managed to avoid coming right out and saying it, but it was apparent to me that if the ancestor really had received a presentation gift from Napoleon, it was far more likely to have been the long-gone pistol, and not the dirk. I had visions of them going off-camera to pound their heads against a brick wall.

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I've just discovered that Napoleon DID have (indirect) descendants living in the USA. They were the children of his sister whom he married to the guy he had set up as King of Naples, Murat.

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Yes, one of Napoleon's nephew's graduated from West Point. He served in both the US and French Army.

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I believe that some of Napoleon's officers ended up in Louisiana, and some well could have gone to Texas, as other posters have mentioned.


You might be thinking of Jean Victor Marie Moreau, a successful French revolutionary general who served under Napoleon in the early years but disputed Bonaparte's bid for imperial power as simply replacing one form of monarchy for another, and was exiled to the United States. He and his wife lived peacefully along the Delaware river in semi-retirement and was even asked by President James Madison to command US troops during the War of 1812 but he refused.

When Napoleon lost in Russia, he returned to France to fight once again for the Republic.

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Texas was not a part of the United States in 1815 and wouldn't be for another 30 years. If Napoleon had made it to the US, he would have probably lived where all the other exiles did when they came to the US, in NYC. That is, of course, assuming the British didn't resume the war with the US over the matter, which they very well may have.

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