Thursday, February 28, 2013

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

JAN 21, 2011

A Woman Scorned: 

(Scandalous Woman) Although little known today outside her native Baltimore or to Napoleon scholars, Elizabeth Bonaparte Patterson was a well-known beauty in her day. Her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother, made her a well-known celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic, and allowed her entree into the highest echelon of society.
Elizabeth or Betsy as she was known was the daughter of William Patterson, who emigrated from Ulster in Ireland and grew to be the second richest man in Baltimore after Charles Carroll, making his fortune in business, finally ending up as the owner of a line of clipper ships (Patterson Park is named after him). She met Jerome Bonaparte at a ball given by Samuel Chase, a signer of the Declaration of Independence in the fall of 1803. Joseph fell for her immediately. Although his English was limited, she spoke French fluently.

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