While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


William D. Hoyt, Jr.

BONAPARTE, JEROME NAPOLEON, JR. (1830–1893). Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, Jr., was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 5, 1830, the son of Jerome Napoleon and Susan May (Williams) Bonaparte. He was the grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, the younger brother of the Emperor Napoleon I of France. While serving as a lieutenant in the French navy Jerome Bonaparte met and married Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore, "a reigning belle of that city," and the couple had one child. The emperor took exception to his brother's marrying a commoner, however, and the marriage did not last. On July 1, 1852, Jerome N. Bonaparte, Jr., graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, eleventh in his class. He was brevetted a second lieutenant in C Troop of the Regiment of Mounted Rifles and was assigned to duty at Fort Inge. On August 30, 1853, he was promoted to the substantive rank of second lieutenant. His letters from Fort Inge and Fort Ewell, now at the Maryland Historical Society, shed considerable light on the life of a junior officer on the Texas frontier in the 1850s. On August 16, 1854, after two years of frontier duty, he resigned from the United States Army when Napoleon III summoned him to Paris to commission him into the French army. Bonaparte served in Algiers, the Italian campaign, the Crimean War, and the Franco-Prussian War and eventually rose to the rank of colonel. In 1871 he returned to the United States to marry Mrs. Caroline Edgar. With the exception of a prolonged stay in Paris from 1873 through 1879, he spent the rest of his life in America. He died at Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts, on September 3, 1893. Gen. Dabney H. Maury wrote that Bonaparte's "commanding appearance, the grace and gentleness of his demeanor, and his fine intelligence win him the admiration of all who know him." Bonaparte was said to have been held high in the esteem of his kinsman, the emperor Louis Napoleon.

Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). Dabney Herndon Maury, Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars (New York: Scribner, 1894).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, William D. Hoyt, Jr., "BONAPARTE, JEROME NAPOLEON, JR.," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbo11.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...