Longwood [St. Helena]: 19th of June 1817.
1 p. pen and ink on paper, docketed on separate sheet. 8vo. Napoleon's Physician. Old folds, letter tipped onto separate sheet, else very good. Item #251160
A letter written during Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on St. Helena, by his personal physician, to Major Gideon Gorrequer, Aide-de-Camp and Acting Military Secretary to Governor Sir Hudson Lowe. O’Meara’s mention in the letter of Lt. Colonel Fagan being received, precedes an interview that Lt. Colonel Christopher Fagan, an officer in the Indian Service and the Judge Advocate General in Bengal, had with Napoleon that day, in which Fagan was accused of the “terrible crime” of referring to Napoleon as the “Emperor.” (Chaplin, Arnold, A St.Helena’s Who’s Who, London, 1914, p.66)
Reading in part: “I have explained the loss on the Dollar to Gentilini which I have calculated to be £ 1 13 4 and accordingly send you (?) Dragoon piece, six shilling pieces, & 3 shillings and 4 pence in copper. Lt. Colonel Fagan comes to Longwood today he will be received as it were by accident.”
Barry Edward O’Meara (1786-1836) was an Irish surgeon who began his career in the British army but was forced to resign after acting as a second in a duel. O’Meara then joined the British navy and was the surgeon on the “Bellerophon” when Napoleon surrendered on board the ship on July 15, 1815. He accepted the post as Napoleon’s physician, after Bonaparte's French physician refused to accompany him to St. Helena. O’Meara is also remembered as the author of Napoleon in Exile, or A Voice from St. Helena (1822), in which he created a sensation by accusing Sir Hudson Lowe of mistreating the former French emperor.
“Gentilini” mentioned in the letter was an Elban native and footman at Longwood.
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