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 issue23MILITARES Y AGENTES NAPOLEÓNICOS EN LA INDEPENDENCIA DE AMÉRICA LATINA: DE FORJADORES DE LOS EJÉRCITOS NUEVOS A ACTORES DEL DEBATE POLÍTICONOTES ON NAPOLEONIC MILITARY OFFICERS IN THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Almanack

On-line version ISSN 2236-4633

Almanack  no.23 Guarulhos Sept./Dec. 2019  Epub Dec 13, 2019

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2236-463320192304 

Fórum

ON INDIVIDUALS AS ACTORS OF HISTORY: CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE ARTICLE BY PATRICK PUIGMAL1

Lucia Maria Bastos Pereira das Neves2  3
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0235-4764

2Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Rio de Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil.


Abstract

In this article, we discuss some reflections suggested by Patrick Puigmal in his article “Military and Napoleonic Agents in the Independence of Latin America: From Forgers of the New Armies to Actors of the Political Debate” (translation by the author), and raise some questions about the action of these individuals in the Ibero-American independence processes. Based on a theoretical analysis of political history with its new assumptions, which included biographical studies and a broader history, we sought to extract the most essential points from the article, especially those highlighting Brazil’s case. We further analyzed the exchanges and circulation of men and ideas and their meetings in Ibero-America so as to go beyond a history solely focused on national borders.

Keywords: Napoleon Bonaparte; independence of Ibero-America; military; cultural transmitters; Atlantic history

Resumo

Esse artigo propõe-se a dialogar com algumas das reflexões sugeridas por Patrick Puigmal, em seu artigo intitulado “Militares y agentes napoleónicos en la independência de América Latina: De forjadores de los exércitos nuevos a actores del debate político”. Propõe-se, assim, a levantar algumas considerações sobre a ação desses indivíduos nos processos de independência da Ibero-américa. Debruçando-se sobre uma análise teórica acerca da história política em seus novos pressupostos, que incluiu os estudos das biografias e de uma história mais ampla, procurou estabelecer pontos essenciais do texto, especialmente, aqueles que destacavam o caso do Brasil. Ressaltou-se ainda a análise das trocas, circulação de homens e de ideias e de seus encontros na Ibero-América a fim de se ultrapassar uma história simplesmente focada em fronteiras nacionais.

Palavras-chave: Napoleão Bonaparte; Independência da Ibero-américa; Militares; Transmissores Culturais; História Atlântica

Historical science leaves us in uncertainty about individuals. It only reveals to us the points by which they have attached themselves to general actions. It tells us that Napoleon was suffering on the day of Waterloo, that Newton’s excessive intellectual activity must be attributed to the absolute continence of his temperament, [...] and that Louis XIV’s fistula may be the cause of some of his resolutions [...]. All of these individual facts have value only because they changed events or because they could have deviated the series. They are real or possible causes. We must leave them to the wise.

Marcel Schwob, Vidas Imaginárias. Preface.

In 1903, Francois Simiand published in the Revue de synthèse historique the text “Méthode historique et science sociale” which, besides being the object of strong discussion, made a virulent attack on the “idols of the historians’ tribes” at that moment: the political idol, individual idol and chronological idol4. These objects compromised historical research, in their view, although highly revered by historians of the so-called “methodical school”. His criticism of the individual idol turned to the habit of conceiving history as a story of individuals and not as a study of facts, a custom that, according to Jacques Revel, led to ordering research and work around men rather than a social fact. For this author, the historian’s field has nothing to do with the sovereignty of the individual, but with social choices and strategies5.

Much time has passed and different transformations have occurred in historiographic production, especially in the last thirty years of the twentieth century. If, in March-April 1988, an editorial by Annales published “Histoire et sciences sociales. Un tournant critique?”, warning of a period of uncertainty and criticizing what was stigmatized in current historiography: “the return of the narrative, the event, the politician, the biography”, several authors were on alert, such as Denis Peschanski, Michael Pollak and Henri Rousso, claiming that such an attitude meant ignoring the recurrent and fundamental questions about the ways of writing history6. As a result, by the end of 1989, an issue was coming to light in which the Annales editorial took up the previous year’s call, “Tentons l’expérience,” as it sought to redefine a project of the moment that was not linked to the fidelity of ambitions the magazine had had since its founders. In this issue, there was an article by G. Levi about the uses of biography!7.

This introduction goes back to the end of Patrick Puigmal’s thought-provoking study entitled “Militares y agentes napoleónicos en la independência de América latina: De forjadores de los ejércitos nuevos a actores del debate político”, when he references the quote by Marc Bloch: “el objeto de la historia es esencialmente esencialmente el hombre. Mejor dicho: los hombres. Más que el singular…, favorece a una ciencia de lo diverso el plural… La historia quiere aprehender a los hombres”. Not men in an isolated manner, but inserting them in a context, which, according to his “mental tooling”, in the expression by Lucien Febvre8, allows us to hear the voices of the past, making it possible to unravel how these individuals structure a discourse and seek to answer their questions. issues through practices and principles that, to some extent, accepted or challenged according to prevailing conventions at a given time, as J.G.A. Pocock and Javier Fernández Sebástian9 have already pointed out.

In this key argument lies the great highlight of the work of Patrick Puigmal, which launches clues that lead from the individual - in this case, the military and Napoleonic agents - to the actors of history in the period of independence of Ibero-America. Fruit of over twenty years of research, as he himself affirms, the study goes beyond a story of the life of these men10, it seeks to connect their action to the process of formation of the independent societies in the early 19th century to a ampler history - the Age of the Revolutions of Hobsbawm11, or also to an Atlantic history12, the one who indirectly makes mention, when affirming that he intends to analyze the role of these actors in these countries that are found in the Atlantic the point of conversion of ideas, whose states know a global Atlantic confrontation, that culminates with a redefinition of the sovereignty between Iberian empires and its old colonies in America. Actors who assume, from revolutions and wars of independence, a radical change, allowing the entry of these societies in what François-Xavier Guerra called modern politics13 .

Thus, his proposal to narrate a story open in its exchanges, its circulation of men and ideas and their meetings stands out. Going beyond a story that simply focuses on national boundaries, he looks for other approaches that can breathe new life into story writing.

Before entering in some more specific points of the text, it is fitting to inform that, beyond the work on the screen, I also used an article published by the professor Patrick Puigmal, in 2013, in the magazine Historia, entitled “Brasil bajo influencia napoleônica y francesa. Los mensajeros de la independencia: militares, libreros y periodistas”14, whose objective is related to the theme in question - that is - to seek to demystify the classical historiography that analyzes the independence of Brazil with a singular fact, isolated from continental events. On the contrary, its purpose is to place Brazil’s emancipation in a broader context and to demonstrate the important Napoleonic role in the framework of the independence wars and the formation of the new State of the Empire of Brazil. In this way, it uses, in practice, the perspective of a global history, integrating the history of Brazil into the Ibero-American independence movement.

It should also be noted that the study of the theme related to Napoleon Bonaparte has always been of great interest to me. Fascinated by the political pamphlets, for over 25 years, I came across the work on the pamphlets of Independence, with those who criticized the Luso-Brazilian world, Napoleon Bonaparte, his politics and his followers. Several times, they came to light and became an obsession until I decided to dwell on such writings and discover, through representations, the images the Portuguese world had made of France and what was considered the great myth of the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the eighteen hundreds. This study resulted in my head professor’s thesis (2003), published under the title Napoleão Bonaparte: imaginário e política em Portugal, c. 1808-1810 (2003)15. Therefore, reading Professor Puigmal’s works was not only a delight, but also a way of discovering questions that were still up in the air, as they escaped my object of analysis. Thus, starting from my interests, I intend to dialogue with the main axes of the text. It is not intended to seek final and finished answers, but to seek, in the new methodologies presented, different interrogations for the analysis of the trajectories of the military and Napoleonic agents as forgers of the historical process, in this specific case, of the formation of the states in Ibero-American America.

The text is based on two key points, which can be briefly addressed: first, the uncertainty of the moment when the American elites were not knowing where the new paths of independence led them; second, the role of the Napoleonic military and agents who arrived here in America after the definitive defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. Thus, we present a rich field of reflection on the independence process and its parallelism in the different countries of South America, besides abandoning the explanations of 19th century historiography, which were limited to analyzing the independence within a strictly national scope.

The uncertainties and indecisions of the elites, which led to the multiple processes of emancipation and which allowed the exit from colonial rule, even though through wars of independence, made possible, according to the author, the outbreak of broader and more costly civil wars than the initial wars. The diversity of thought, the different political, economic and ideological positions led to the proposal of various models for societies newly liberated by the ruling elites, which eventually imposed themselves through conflicts. Taking into account the case of Brazil, also analyzed in both articles, it is worth raising the reflection proposed some years ago by historiography, considering the wars of independence as a civil war between Portuguese who lived on this side of the Atlantic - those favorable to the national or Portuguese cause, i.e. supporters of the Courts of Lisbon16. In that context, the writings of the time gave new meaning to the concept of Civil War. In Moraes Silva’s dictionary, Civil War was defined as that which “takes place among the citizens of the same state”17. Although the fights that had as objective the unit of the territory under the imperial crown, there was a glimpse of a rose-colored legend, born at that moment and kept per many decades for the historiography of 19th and even 20th century, of that the separation of Brazil from Portugal was an episode that the world has seen few times, therefore it represents “a people that reassumes the inalienable rights of its independence, breaks the shameful irons of their reproach and enters, without having past for the horrors of the civil war and the anarchy, in the circle of the free nations of the universe”18. Therefore, in this circumstantial literature, the struggle for unity did not represent a war, unlike what had happened in Hispanic America. Just a fair achievement to keep the Empire under a unity guaranteed by the Braganza Dynasty. Only in the texts by more radical liberals, which bore evidence of a republican civic tradition embodied, for example, in Cipriano Barata, the sense of independence struggles acquired a character of civil war. In his newspaper Sentinela da Liberdade na guarita de Pernambuco, commenting on the various conflicts resulting from the clashes between “Portuguese” and “Brazilians”, Cipriano wrote about Paraíba:

The successes of this Province cannot be fully narrated today: it is enough to say in general that the Governor of Arms Albuquerque [the Viseo] excited the civil war by being overthrown; there was a lot of fighting, deaths and injuries, etc. Finally the Viseo was arrested: now thank heavens that Brazil is being discharged from the weight of these Demons called Governors of Arms; goodbye plague; goodbye scoundrel; goodbye old men; they will promote absolute government in Hell; in Brazil only free government is allowed, free sovereign Courts; Free Emperor by the Free Constitution and no other way19.

He referred to the misgivings of the governors of arms, who were, as a general rule, Portuguese-born, and proclaimed themselves faithful to the Cortes of Lisbon. These ideas related to a civil war between those who defended the Brazilian cause and those who defended the Portuguese cause, were born in Brazil or in Portugal, they had incited and they found greater repercussion after the closing of the Assembly in 182320. This opens up the possibility of another analysis: the establishment between civil wars and wars of independence, thinking in the case of Chile and Brazil. And, in these, without a doubt, the role of the Army in formation, above all with the entrance of the military and Napoleonic agents.

Another point of prominence in its text, most excellent, is related it the role of the military and Napoleonic agents who had arrived here in America, especially, after, 1815. Two aspects become crucial: to highlight the actions of these individuals as actors in the political process, but also, to see them as active cultural transmitters, the passeurs in the expression of historian Diana Cooper-Richet, that is, men who contributed to the circulation of ideas between the two shores of the Atlantic, indicating the existence of various exchanges at the time of the early eighteen hundreds. These individuals came to represent important political forces in making choices about the politics of the time from their experience of European culture21.

Similarly, the study shows the diaspora of men and ideas that allow us to understand how nineteenth-century societies produced alterity with distance and identity with hostility, in Boucheron’s view22. That is, the text tells us an open story about the world, its exchanges, its circulations and its encounters. In this case, the meeting of civilizations as distinct as the Ibero-American and the French through the ideas that, in essence, came from the French Revolution, since beyond the military came Bonapartists, a term that according to Puigmal shows different meanings depending on the period in which the displacements are situated: favorable to the more despotic side of the Empire or to a character closer to the popular and the republican, with the French Revolution at its center. By reviewing facts of historiographic writing, the author intends to push the boundaries of nation-state history, that is, to write in a different way from the same story narrated for so many years, as in the most recent work organized by Patrick Boucheron - Histoire Mondiale de la France, which aroused so many controversies in French historiography23.

The text also highlights the importance of biography, especially the historicity of biography. Narrative and the construction of an existence depend closely on the mindsets, the cultures, the rules that stipulate what can or cannot be said, and the manner of exposition. The history of biography is thus that of its successive restarts, of its adaptations to the new images of man. According to Levillain, the biography is not intended to explore the absolute of self, of a character as once intended and even today it wants more than it should. It does not intend to create ideal types. It can be a way of showing the ties between past and present, memory and project, individual and society, and of experiencing time as proof of life24. This was Puigmal’s aim in using various methods for the study of biography, in particular, in preparing a prosopographic analysis of his more than two thousand Bonapartists in his dictionaries and articles. Such methodology allowed not only the characterization of these individuals, but also their social networks in France, as in the Napoleonic Lyceum, and Ibero-America, as well as the gathering of countless documents which were “slumbering in the bottom of obscure chests”, resulting in other thought-provoking works of the author, as cited in his text.

In this study, another primordial point turns to understand why such men connected with Napoleon Bonaparte came to lands so distant and distinct from their civilization. On the one hand, there is an answer: problems of insertion in the daily life of France after the definitive defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte; on the other, ideological problems, because, as the author states, the Bonapartist who came to America after 1815 was “a militant”25 - closer to liberal and even republican ideas, having as a reference General Bonaparte of the time of the French Revolution. .

In tracing such individuals, Puigmal demonstrates that the military, in addition to engaging in the independence wars in America, devoted most of their time to a civilian life, mainly directed at intellectual and cultural formation, both through military teaching establishments as well as their activities in the press, in print shops and bookstores26. This finding can be proved in the case of Brazil, from 1814, when the Portuguese Crown began to adopt a new policy towards France. This change in attitude resulted from two facts: the defeat of the Napoleonic armies by the European Allied forces, with the consequent restoration of the Bourbons on the French throne, and the rise to the ministry of Navy and Overseas Domains of Antonio Araújo de Azevedo, future Count of Barca. Adept of the so-called French party, Araújo’s return to power meant a new perspective on the Luso-Brazilian diplomatic policy, different from that defended by D. Rodrigo de Souza Coutinho, in favor of the English, until the time of his death in 1812. It cannot be said that Araujo de Azevedo was a radical liberal or advocate of Jacobinist ideas; however, he advocated a policy of rapprochement with both France and England, since, in his view, the central consideration was Portugal’s position in Europe, and no longer the Luso-Brazilian Empire27.

Thus, as early as July 1814, an agreement was signed between the Portuguese representative, Count of Palmela and the Secretary of State of Louis XVIII, Talleyrand, to establish “a provisional adjustment for the renewal of diplomatic and trade relations between Portugal and France”, whose ordinance was dated September 1815. As a result of the new bonds of friendship, the two monarchies reestablished trade relations, and the vassals of each of the two states, residing in the other, in particular, the ambassadors and diplomatic agents, enjoyed “the same advantages over the foot of the most perfect reciprocity”28. A commercial policy was sought, in which cultural goods were not excluded. And, much less, the Bonapartists.

Consequently, the so-called French Mission or French Colony, which arrived in Rio de Janeiro in April 1816, brought a good number of artists by profession to reside in this capital, in order to implement the arts useful to the country, but in fact, they were convinced Bonapartists, fugitives from France, unemployed and in crisis, like the Taunay brothers29. Still, one of its members Jean-Baptiste Debret, a well-known artist favored in the Johannine period and the First Reign, was one of the collaborators of the Napoleonic administration in helping to build a pictorial memory of the Napoleonic era, keeping the historical moment for the arts for the “eternity”. He was, therefore, a painter in the Napoleonic art school, run by Jacques Louis David (his cousin), of which he was a student at the French Academy of Fine Art30. This learning also contributed to an equal participation in the construction of the artistic memory of the celebrations of acclamation of D. João VI and the Coronation of Pedro I, besides immortalizing, through painted portraits, the members of the royal and imperial family. Debret thus forged, in the mold of the Napoleonic empire, the image of a strong and sovereign government in the construction of the Empire of Brazil.31

Also landing in Rio de Janeiro, in 1816, is Pierre Constant Dalbin. A native of Versailles, it is not certain whether he participated in the Great Armada campaigns during the Napoleonic Empire, according to Puigmal. He settled in the Court as a bookseller and publisher, becoming known as a Bonapartist who had several problems with official censorship for trying to introduce in Brazil works that he imported from France, including Montesquieu, Alphonse Beauchamp, Marmontel, Chateaubriand and Denis Diderot. In 1820, his activity as editor led him to print a catalog of the works he sold at his house, at Rua Direita, 9. There were about 170 books, written in Portuguese, French, Spanish and Latin. There was even a dictionary in Chinese, French, and Latin. His work in editing and diffusing French-themed works makes him a passeur and justifies his presence among the Bonapartists, who contributed his ideas to the configuration of the future State of the Empire of Brazil32.

Other names appear such as Jean Auguste Bellard. Originally from Bordeaux (1795), he actively participated in the Napoleonic armies, joining Bonaparte in return from his exile on the island of Elba. He came to Rio de Janeiro in 1816 with his companion, Pauline de Ranchou, the famous Pauline Foures, who, between 1798 and 1799, was Napoleon’s lover during the Egyptian expedition. He settled at the Court, in November of that year, as a jewelry merchant, joining other French, such as L. Dumont, Luiz Nicolau Dufrayer and Ambroise Bourdon, setting up an import business for French products on Rua do Ouvidor. The first was also a goldsmith and sold French luxury goods such as paintings, painted paper, cannilleries, porcelain, crystals, glass33; others worked with various products, including books, which were generally prohibited in Brazil, such as Rousseau’s Artworks and the writings of La Fontaine or Benjamim Constant, which, according to the royal censor José da Silva Lisboa, held. “Fashion Doctrines on Constitutions, Freedom of Worship and the Press”34. They were all Bonapartists, seeking in their role as cultural transmitters to spread the ideals of revolutionary and Napoleonic France in the lands of America. It should also be noted that Bellard’s performance continued in the First Reign, having been chosen as a member of the Foreign Corps, created by Pedro I, in January 1823, forming an army division composed of Swiss immigrants from Nova Friburgo and foreigners who were living in Rio de Janeiro35. This Corps was made up of two Grenadier battalions who wore uniforms similar to Napoleon Bonaparte’s grenadiers.

In this subtle way, Bonaparte’s allies made possible the French presence in the daily life and ideals of the Ibero-American elites. As Puigmal points out, they were individuals who were approached by common, often radical, political thinking and close experiences that were spelled out in the newspapers they published. The role of the writings of circumstances of that time - newspapers, flyers and political pamphlets - that commented on the daily information, bringing such news to a wider audience, who began to see them as news no longer in the private domain, but in the public domain, should be highlighted. These Napoleonic agents, not only for their participation in the struggle, indoctrinated readers, formulated, interpreted, fought and defended ideas, proposed solutions, represented interests36.

An example given in the text is the approach of two radical leaders in Chile - Benjamin Viel and Pedro Chapuis. The first was a military man, who wrote several articles in the journal El True Liberal belonging to the latter. Advocating more liberal and radical points than the criollas elites, both ended up being exiled from Chile, although they later returned, during governments closer to their ideals. The circulation of men and proposals is proven with the coming of Peter Chapuis for Brazil, even before his stay in Chile. A still little studied figure, he was a military man, considered a deserter of the French army at the time of the Restoration, having a troubled life ever since. Defender of liberalism and republicanism, he arrived here in 1825, after the constitution granted by Pedro I, very close to the model of the French Constitutional Charter. He printed the journal O verdadeiro liberal, in 1826, which bore the title: “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas”, a Latin proverb attributed to Aristotle, which meant that as important as the source of a quotation, one should first of all seek to know and adhere to the Truth. He also published “Réflexions sur le traité d’indépendance et le décret promulgué par sa Majesté Fidélissime”, making several criticisms of the points that supported the independence treaty signed the previous year with Portugal, by direct intervention by England. This document provoked a profound discomfort, being criticized by the Diário Fluminense which called him a “Citizen of the whole world to sow discord in it” and the revolutionary sect. Hence he is expelled from all the countries of Europe because of their radical republican principles37. He also clashed with another Bonapartist, Pierre Plancher de la Noe, also based in Rio de Janeiro, but presenting a posture of a more moderate constitutionalism, which allowed him the title of Imperial Impressor38. He was editor of the newspaper Spectador Brasileiro, considered by Chapuis as “a fool”, who only pleased those who sent him to print39. Chapuis was arrested and sent to Europe. Years later, he returned to Chile, fact commented by another Napoleonic agent who arrived in Brazil in 1816 - Henri Plasson. He acted in Bahia’s independence wars and then came to Rio de Janeiro. In 1828, he launched Le Courrier du Brésil: feuille politique, commerciale et littéraire, which circulated until March 1830. In his journal, he made numerous accolades to Chapuis; in July 1828, when he announced his arrival in Rio de Janeiro, heading to Chile, where he would lead a group of teachers to create a public school. On the front page of the journal, it read:

Pendant son séjour dans cette partie de l’Amérique du Sud, m. Chapuis s’est attiré l’estime et la considération des hommes plus éclairés du Chili, qui l’ont fortemente invité à se fixer dans leur patrie, lui assurant la protection du gouvernement pour toutes les entreprises utiles dont il serait le créateur. Ce publiciste distingué a trouvé dans la république du Chili une honorable compensation à l’acte arbitraire qui l’a eloigné du Brésil, et nous ne doutons pas que le succès le plus complet ne couronne cette fois ses efforts, et ne lui assure une vie tranquille, après tant d’orages et de persécutions40.

From all this imbroglio, two aspects become fundamental: the presence of Bonapartist agents in America, which, wherever they circulated, produced information and brought to light the new ideas of the revolutionary world and the network of sociability that they eventually established, although many did not necessarily know each other before their arrival on this side of the Atlantic.

Also, demonstrating this circularity of individuals, it is worth mentioning the preponderant role of Pedro Labatut in the struggles for the independence of Ibero-America. After participating in some Napoleonic battles in France, he came exiled to the United States, later acting in the campaigns of Francisco Miranda in Venezuela; he then fought in Cartagena, defeating the realists but performing some acts considered unseemly by the Republicans, who qualified him as an independence lover, but “a dangerous republican, similar to the Jacobins who shook Paris and France.” His travels did not cease. He tried to return to France and the United States, preparing invasion projects from New Granada and Mexico (1817-1818), finally deciding to travel to Brazil in 1820, putting himself under the orders of Pedro I (probably his name was suggested by Napoleonic general von Hogendrop, then exiled in Rio). He directed an elite army, acting against the Portuguese forces in Bahia, being named brigadier after July 3, the date of independence of that region. If, on the one hand, he had talents and prestige, he often acted violently, being taken to the War Council. His performance did not end at that time. He returned to Brazil again in the 1930s and as a field marshal fought in Rio Grande do Sul in the official tops against the farrapos. Later, he settled in Bahia, where he died in 1849. A man of struggle and war, he often failed to demonstrate his most radical thinking, linked to Napoleonic ideals41.

Perhaps one of the most curious and thought-provoking cases of Napoleonic agents in Brazil refers to that of Napoleon Bonarparte’s field assistant - Dirk Thierry Van Hogendorp - “a counter example to debate,” as Patrick states in his text on Brazil. He was a Dutch general, a Prussian mercenary, who, however, had attended Kant’s classes, in which he acquired principles that had served to direct his relations with human beings. He enlisted in the French troops, becoming Councilor of State in 1806, Minister of War at the time of Louis Bonaparte and Count of the Empire, in 1811. Endowed with rare qualities of honesty and disinterest, he gained the trust of Napoleon and was elevated to the emperor’s field assistant, campaigning in Russia. Despite being French by adoption, he found himself struggling after the restoration of the Bourbons, and with great effort and economy, emigrated to Brazil, as recorded by the Police General’s Office: “Count d’Hogendorp: resident in Cosme Velho, born in Heuliet, age 56, nobleman, widower, hails from Nantes, in 1816 to settle in agriculture”42.

About Hogendorp’s stay in Rio de Janeiro, there are some reports of foreigners, who, attracted by the fame of his adventures and his allegiance to the deposed sovereign, would seek him out at his home. He welcomed them all with a captivating conversation, though he lived almost alone on the Corcovado slope. Maria Graham was also impressed by the earl’s enthusiasm for “his Imperial Lord”, of which he “spoke incessantly”, but he understood Hogendorp’s feelings when he showed him a written letter from the emperor’s own fist at the death of her son, for whom, in addition to “routine kindness”, she displayed a “kind note” that she had not imagined finding43.

Accompanied by a Prussian servant, and some Africans, former slaves whom he had freed when he bought them, he lived in an office house with books, maps, and prints; a bedroom with walls painted black and displays of life-size skeletons, all in cheerful attitudes, reminiscent of Holbein’s “Dance of Death”; and a third room, filled with orange wine barrels and grumixama liqueur jars, which, added to the coffee sales he had planted, secured his small income44.

However, not only foreigners were attracted to this fascinating character. The Francophile Count of Barca, Archduchess Leopoldina, who had met him in Vienna, and Prince D. Pedro himself, as Hogendorp narrates in a letter to his brother dated 1821, climbed the Corcovado slope to hear him. In fact, according to Alfredo de Carvalho, upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro, D. João VI would have offered Hogendorp a high post in the United Kingdom army, which he had rejected, and there are allusions that D. Pedro, after Independence, would have invited him to be Minister of Foreign Affairs - an unlikely hypothesis, but one that suggests the admiration that he had aroused in the young emperor of Brazil. When he died in 1822, Hogendorp had not received the amount of one hundred thousand francs that Napoleon had left him in his will about a year earlier, but had it recorded in a death note, published in the newspaper O espelho, the care of D. Pedro for him:

Necrology

The Earl of Hogendorp, who was Napoleon’s Lieutenant General and Field Assistant, aged 63, died on the past 29th at his Old Cosme Farm, where he divided his time between agriculture and his literary works. This man distinguished by his lights, and his probity after taking his first jobs in the Bonaparte Government, which had given him all his confidence, came to end such a brilliant career in our mountains, having only to meet his first needs. S.M.I. has more than once honored him with his visit, and lately had given him proof of his generous affection by granting him a $600 réis pension. When S.M.I. heard of his death, he immediately ordered Mr. L’Abbé Boiret, to make the expense of his funeral in his name, sparing nothing to give this funeral pomp all the decency, which suited the birth and the rare qualities of this respectable Elder. However, the Consul of His Nation, thanking S.M.I. for this act of generosity, did not allow it to have an effect45.

Perhaps behind this singular figure was a deeper myth - that of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is worth remembering that the Brazilian Empress D. Leopoldina was the sister of Maria Luísa, archduchess of Austria, who married Napoleon Bonaparte and who ruled the Napoleonic empire during the Russian campaign. At the time of Bonaparte’s death, in her correspondence to her sister, D. Leopoldina presented her “sincere condolences”, because as she knew her sister’s “good heart and noble way of thinking”, she was convinced that she was desolate, although Maria Luisa refused to follow the former emperor in his exile46.

Next, it is noteworthy that Bonaparte did not fail to inspire, through the mise-en-scène of the celebrated Bonapartist Jean-Baptiste Debret, the coronation ritual of D. Pedro, on December 1, 1822, as already mentioned. According to the baron of Mareschal, an Austrian representative in Brazil, the ritual of the ceremony had been copied, in part, from the coronations of Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperors in Francfort and even, without mistake, the Hungarian rulers, who also performed the gesture of splitting the air with the sword. It was a weapon against democracy, concluded the Austrian Baron, supporter of the Old Regime47. The extraordinary character of this ceremony was recorded at that time in the periodical press in O Espelho: “a strange spectacle in the Lusitanian fastos and astonishing for America”, since no king of Portugal, according to tradition, after the disappearance of d. Sebastião, had been crowned48.

Even on the same day of the coronation of Pedro I, with the practice of an emperor who exercised political power to its full extent and knew how to use inherent authority, a new honorary order, the Imperial Order of the Cruzeiro, was created by decree. In his preamble, he made specific references to the old orders established by his “August Kings, my predecessors.” It should be noted that, shortly after being proclaimed consul for life, Napoleon Bonaparte also created the Legion of Honor49. José da Silva Lisboa compared, at the time, the order of the Imperial Cruise to the French Legion of Honor, which had achieved such healthy effects by “exalting the national spirit”, being “intended for remuneration of distinct merit and not of barren birth.” For him, this was also “the fate of the Imperial Order of the Cruzeiro, the brilliant constellation of Antarctic America.”50 However, if the legion of Honor symbolized a true militia of the regime, a national decoration, Pedro I surpassed the former emperor, since he made the Imperial Order of the Cruzeiro a means of social distinction, redoing nobility, albeit of functions. In this sense, a comparison can be made between various acts of the government of Pedro I and Napoleon Bonaparte, demonstrating how the hero of the century fascinated the young emperor of Brazil.

By way of Conclusion

These various examples, in the case of Brazil, some being commented, in some way, by Patrick Puigmal, confirm their assertions in his thought-provoking article. The study of the presence of Napoleonic agents in Ibero-America enables numerous developments that go far beyond the analysis of micro-biographies. Often present in the struggles for independence of the former Iberian colonies, in addition to their role as military personnel, providing some avenues for the new history of the states that were being built, their presence also showed prominent figures in the exchange of ideas, such as booksellers and men linked to periodism. Bringing in their “horizon of expectations”51 the proposals of a modern policy, the opinion of these Napoleonists did not only mean the circulation of ideas that crossed the Atlantic, but constituted a two-way road by verifying that texts published in the France52, some even in Portuguese, kept pace with political activity on this side of the Atlantic.

Finally, the work of Patrick Puigmal is current, as it demonstrates a numerous migration built from various political-cultural concepts, as he claims, focused on multiculturalism, liberal republicanism, the desire to create a new society characterized by modern politics. They are diverse men in their postures, the vast majority advocating liberal rights - claiming that only about 20 out of 2,000 can be considered conservative. Among these, one of them came to Brazil, Cailhé de Geine, spy of the Police Intendance under the command of Paulo Fernandes Viana53. As he concluded in his work, this set of men allows for their individual fortunes and their own experiences to understand the history of what they have lived differently as historiography has so far reported. These are voices from the past, many unknown, that need to be heard. These are narratives that surpass the national through their encounters, exchanges, contacts with each other and between the two shores of the Atlantic. These are ways of proposing a story of men, as Marc Bloch and, now, Patrick Puigmal have said. More than the singular. A story that wants to apprehend men in their diversity.

Therefore, if we live in a time when society wishes to harmonize functions, techniques, customs and the mental universe with conservative orthodoxies, we must not forget that history must be conceived as the science of differences. As Ariès states in his Le Temps de l’Histoire [1954], a series of post-war studies that demonstrate his attitude toward history in a true ego-history enterprise avant l’heure: “A une civilisation qui elimine les différences; l’Histoire doit restituer le sens perdu des particularités”54.

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1 Text linked to the Project Cientista do Nosso Estado/FAPERJ, 2018-2021 (Guerra civil, motim e revolução nos primórdios do Império do Brasil: os panfletos políticos de 1822-1825), and to the CNPq and Prociência/UERJ Productivity Scholarship. FAPERJ bore the costs of the translation into English, and I thank Camila Elias for the translation.

4 Méthode historique et Science Sociale. Étude Critique d´après les ouvrages recentes by M. Lacombe et de M. Seignobos. Révue de Synthèse Historique, Paris, t. 6, n. 17, avr. 1903, p. 154-156. Available at https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k101532s. Accessed on: 10 Oct. 2018.

5 Interview with Jacques Revel. Estudos Históricos, Rio de Janeiro, v. 10, n. 19, 1997, p. 121-140.

6 PESCHANSKI, Denis; POLLAK, Michael; ROUSSO, Henri. Le temps présent, une démarche historienne à l’épreuve des sciences sociales. In: ___ (Dir.). Histoire politique et sciences sociales. Paris: Editions Complexes, 1991, p. 17-24.

7 Tentons l’expérience (editorial). Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations. Paris, a. 44, n. 6, nov.-dec. 1989, p. 1317-1323. For G. Levi’s article in the same journal, see Les Usages de la biographie, p. 1325-1336.

8 FEBVRE, Lucien. Comment reconstituer la vie affective d’autrefois? La sensibilité et l’histoire. In: ___ In: Combats pour l’Histoire. 2è. Ed. Paris: Armand Collin, 1965, p. 221-238.

9 FERNÁNDEZ SEBASTIÁN, Javier. (org.) Diccionario político y social del mundo iberoamericano. La era de las revoluciones, 1750-1850. Madrid: Fundación Carolina, Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, Centro de Estudios Políticos, 2009, p. 25-48. POCOCK, J. G. A.. Politics, Language and Time. Essays on Political Thought and History. New York: Atheneum, 1971.

10 It should be noted that this research by P. Puigmal resulted in the publication of 3 dictionaries about the military and Napoleonic agents who came to America. Cf. PUIGMAL, P. (comp.). Diccionario biográfico y prosopográfico de los militares napoleónicos durante las campañas de la independencia de Argentina, Chile y Perú (1810-1830). Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, t. I, 2013; Idem. Diccionario de los militares napoleónicos durante la independencia de los países bolivarianos (Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá, Bolivia, Ecuador). Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, t. II, a 2015 and last volume, in process of publication, that cover the agents who went to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Brazil. I thank P. Puigmal for kindly sending me the files of the three dictionaries.

11 HOBSBAWM, Eric. A era das revoluções. Europa 1789-1848. 4ª ed., Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1982. See also ARMITAGE, David Armitage; SUBRAMANYAM, Sanjay (eds.). The Age of Revolution in Global Context, c. 1760-1840. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, p. XII-XXVI.

12 ADELMAN, Jeremy. Iberian Passages: Continuity and Change in the South Atlantic. In: ARMITAGE, David Armitage; SUBRAMANYAM, Sanjay (eds.). Op. Cit., p. 59-64.

13 GUERRA, François-Xavier. De la política antigua a la política moderna. La revolución de la Soberanía. In: ___; LEMPÉRIÈRE, Annick et al. Los espacios públicos en Iberoamérica: ambigüedades y problemas. Mexico: Economic Culture Fund, 2008, p.109-139.

14Revista História. Chile, n. 46, ene.-jun. 2013, p. 113-151. Available at: http://revistahistoria.uc.cl/index.php/rhis/article/view/64/58. Access on 30 September. 2018.

15 São Paulo: Alameda, 2008. The book was considered by Professor Patrick, in his article on Brazil, as one of the pioneering works on the matter.

16 HOLANDA, Sérgio Buarque de. A herança colonial: sua desagregação. In: ___. História geral da civilização brasileira (v. 3: O Brasil monárquico). São Paulo: Difusão Européia do Livro, 1965, p. 9-24. For a more recent view, cf. RIBEIRO, Gladys Sabina. A liberdade em construção: identidade nacional e conflitos antilusitanos no Primeiro Reinado. Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 2002.

17 Antonio de Morais Silva. Diccionario da língua portuguesa. 2ª ed. Lisboa: Tip. De M. P. Lacerdina, 1813, v. 1, p. 675 (Ed. Fac-simile de 1922).

18Diário do Governo. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, nº 28, 5 February 1823.

19Sentinela da Liberdade na guarita de Pernambuco. Recife: Typ. From C & C, nº 50, 24 September 1823.

20 MOREL, Marco (org.). Sentinela da Liberdade e outros escritos (1821-1835). São Paulo: Edusp, 2009, p. 20-21.

21 COOPER-RICHET, Diana. Paris, capital editorial do mundo lusófono na primeira metade do século XIX?. Varia História. Belo Horizonte, v. 25, nº 42, jul/dez. 2009, p. 539-555. __. Transferts culturels et passeurs de culture dans le monde du livre (France-Brésil, XIX siècle). Patrimônio e Memória. São Paulo/Unesp, v. 9, nº 1, jan-jun. 2013, p. 128-143.

22 BOUCHERON, Patrick (dir). Histoire Mondiale de la France. Paris: Seuil, 2016, p. 7-13.

23 The purpose of the book is to show that the history of France is meaningless if it is not inscribed in world history. From the establishment of 146 dates, with which it is not intended to trace “the great events” of national history, the book aims to use them to show how from prehistory to the 21st century, France has not ceased to meet in interaction with its neighbors and the world. For an analysis of these debates, see France. Les Querelles de l’ Histoire. Le Monde. Hors-Series. Paris, oct.-déc. 2017, p. 14-55.

24 LEVILLAIN, Philippe. Os protagonistas da biografia. In: RÉMOND, René (org.). Por uma história política. 2ª ed. Rio de Janeiro: Editora da FGV, 2003, p. 141-183.

25 Patrick Puigmal’s expression in his text.

26 Cf. the Introduction of volume III of his Dicionário about Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Brasil.

27For an analysis of the policy of the Count of Barca, cf. SILVA, Armando B. Malheiro da. In: SILVA, M. Beatriz N. da Silva (coord.). Dicionário da história da colonização portuguesa no Brasil. Lisboa: Verbo, 1994, p. 99-100; DIAS, Graça and DIAS, J. S. da Silva. Os primórdios da maçonaria em Portugal. 2a ed., Lisboa: Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica, 1986. v. 1, t. 2, p. 422-429; ALEXANDRE, Valentim. Os sentidos do Império: questão nacional e questão colonial na crise do antigo regime português. Porto: Afrontamento, 1993, p. 290-305.

28Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, no 5, 17 January 1816.

29For the arrival of the French Mission, see Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, no 28, 6 April 1816. For the analysis of the French Artistic Mission, cf. TAUNAY, Afonso de E.. A Missão Artística de 1816. Brasília: Ed. da Universidade de Brasília, 1983. For controversy between French mission or French colony, see SCHWARCZ, Lilia Moritz. O sol do Brasil: Nicolau Antoine Taunay e as desventuras dos artistas franceses na corte de D. João (1816-1821). São Paulo: Cia das Letras, 2001.

30 Cf. the entry Jean-Baptiste Debret of Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal .

31 See NEVES, Lucia Maria Bastos Pereira das. Against the Grain: Portugal and Its Empire in the Face of Napoleonic Invasions. In: PLANERT, Ute (ed.). Napoleon’s Empire: European Politics in Global Perspective. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, p. 101-113.

32 See the entry Pierre Constante Dalbin of Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal. See, also, NEVES, Lucia Maria Bastos Pereira das. Comércio de Livros e Censura de Ideias: a atividade dos livreiros franceses no Brasil e a vigilância da Mesa do Desembargo do Paço (1795-1822). Ler História. Lisboa, nº 23, 1993, p. 61-78.

33Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, no 26, 29 March 1817.

34 See the entry Jean Auguste Bellard from Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal. For the others, see NEVES, Lucia Maria Bastos Pereira das. Comércio de Livros e Censura de Ideias ... Op. Cit., p. 61-78.

35 Cf. ARQUIVO NACIONAL. Os franceses residentes no Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1820. Rio de Janeiro: Publicações do Arquivo Nacional, 1960, p. 24.

36 CARVALHO, José Murilo de; BASTOS, Lucia; BASILE, Marcello. Introdução Geral: a Independência do Brasil narrada pelos Panfletos Políticos. In: ___. Guerra Literária. Panfletos da Independência (1820-1823). Belo Horizonte: Editora da UFMG, 2014, p. 11-41.

37Diário Fluminense. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, nº 26, 3 February 1826.

38 For Plancher, see MOREL, Marco. As transformações dos Espaços Públicos. Imprensa, atores políticos e sociabilidades na cidade Imperial (1820-1840). São Paulo: Hucitec, 2005, p. 23-28.

39Diário Fluminense. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, nº 26, 3 February 1826.

40Le Courrier du Brésil. Rio de Janeiro, nº 31, 23 jul. 1828. Translation: “During his stay in this part of South America, Mr. Chapuis earned the esteem and consideration of the most enlightened men in Chile, who insistently invited him to settle in their homeland, ensuring him government protection for all relevant companies that he created. This distinguished publicist found in the Republic of Chile an honorable compensation for the arbitrary act that drove him from Brazil, and we have no doubt that the most complete success will crown his efforts this time, and will assure him of a peaceful life after so many storms and persecutions.” The translation was done by Isabel Lustosa in Henri Plasson and the first French press in Brazil (1827-1831). Revista Escritos. Revista da Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa. Rio de Janeiro, nº 9, 2015, p. 77-93. Available at http://www.casaruibarbosa.gov.br/escritos/numero09/cap_03.pdf. Access on March 20, 2019. For Henri Plasson’s biographical data, see Dicionário, v. III, p. 144

41See the entry Pierre Labatut in Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal.

42Os franceses residentes no Rio de Janeiro (1808-1820). Rio de Janeiro, Publicações Históricas do Arquivo Nacional, v. 45, 1960, p. 22. MÉLON, Pierre. O General Hogendorp. Soldado de Frederico, o Grande, Governador em Java, Ajudante-de-campo de Napoleão Bonaparte, Eremita no Rio de Janeiro. Niterói: Casa Jorge Editorial, 1996. For attending Kant’s classes, cf. LOUDEN, Robert B.. “A segunda parte da Moral”: a antropologia moral de Kant e sua relação com a metafísica dos costumes. Ethic@. Florianópolis, v.1, nº1, jun. 2002, p. 28. NEVES, Lucia Maria Bastos P. das. Napoleão Bonaparte: imaginário e política em Portugal, c. 1808-1810. São Paulo: Alameda, 2008, p. 116-118. See also entry Dirk the Thierry Van Hogendorp in Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal.

43 GRAHAM, Maria. Diário de uma viagem ao Brasil. Belo Horizonte/São Paulo, Itatiaia/Edusp, 1990, P. 210. For information on other visitors, cf. MÉLON. Pierre. O General Hogendorp ... Op. Cit, p. 181-192; LEITHOLD T. Von; RANGO, L. Von. O Rio de Janeiro visto por dois prussianos em 1819. São Paulo, Ed. Nacional, 1966.

44 Maria Graham. Diário de uma viagem ..., Op. Cit. p. 210-211.

45 O Espelho. Rio de Janeiro. No. 104, November 15, 1822. Cf. SOUSA, Octavio Tarquínio de. A vida de Pedro I. Rio de Janeiro, José Olympio, 1954, v. 2, p. 496-497 and GRIECO, Donatello. Napoleão e o Brasil. [1939]. Rio de Janeiro, Biblioteca do Exército Editora, 1995, p. 114-116. See also Napoleon’s Will. Codicille dated 24 April 1821. In: DE LAS CASES, Emmanuel. Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène. Paris, Seuil, 1968. v. 2, p. 1814; and CARVALHO, Alfredo de. O Solitário da Tijuca (1817-1822). Revista Americana. Rio de Janeiro, No. 6, May 1911, p. 337-347.

46 D. Leopoldina. Cartas de uma imperatriz. Pesquisa e seleção de cartas Bettina Kann e Patricia de Souza Lima. São Paulo, Estação Liberdade, 2006, p. 383. Letter from Leopoldina to Maria Luísa, July 2, 1821.

47 For the ceremonial, see Cerimonial da sagração e coroação do Imperador Pedro I, na Capella Imperial de Nossa Senhora do Monte Carmo do Rio de Janeiro, pelo Bispo Capelão-Mór, no dia 1o de dezembro de 1822. [Rio de Janeiro], Tipografia Nacional, [1822]. For Mareschal’s opinion, cf. MELO, J. A. F. de. A Correspondência do Barão de Wenzel de Mareschal. Ofício 3 December 1822. R.IHGB. Rio de Janeiro, nº 134, 1916, p. 133-135.

48O Espelho. Rio de Janeiro, no 109, 3 december 1822.

49Decreto de 1 dezembro 1822. Rio de Janeiro, Imprensa Nacional, 1822. For Napoleon Bonaparte, see LEFEBVRE, G .. Napoleón. Paris: P. U. F., 1969, p. 136-137.

50 LISBOA, J. da Silva. História dos principais sucessos políticos do Império do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1826. Parte X, seção III, p. 94. There are still references to the decree in Idem. Império do Equador na Terra de Santa Cruz. Voto philantrópico de Roberto Southey, escriptor da História do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1822. Part X and XIII.

51 KOSELLECK, R. Futuro Passado. Contribuição à semântica dos tempos modernos. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto: PUC, 2006 p. 305-327.

52 RAMOS, Vitor. A edição de Língua Portuguesa em França (1800-1850). Paris: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian/Centro Cultural Português, 1972.

53Cf. entry Cailhé or Cailhet de Geine, Francois Etienne Raymond in Volume III of the Dictionary by Patrick Puigmal. Cf. NEVES, Lucia Maria Bastos P. Corcundas e Constitucionais: a cultura política da Independência. Rio de Janeiro: Revan/FAPERJ, 2003, p. 242-244. See also VIANNA, Hélio. Capítulos de história luso-brasileira. Lisboa: Academia Portuguesa de História, 1968, p. 283-291.

54 ARIÈS, Philippe. Le Temps de l’Histoire. Paris: Seuil, 1986, p. 248.

Received: August 19, 2019; Accepted: September 20, 2019

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She is currently a full professor of Modern History at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, teaching in the undergraduate course and in the Postgraduate Program in Political History, where she was and is responsible for guiding master dissertations and doctoral theses. Coordinates the Research Group Ideas, Culture and Politics in the Formation of Brazilian Nationality, registered in GRPesq / CNPq since 1996, as well as the Laboratory of Power Networks and Cultural Relations, together with Professor Lucia Maria Paschoal Guimarães. Coordinated the Pronex / CNPq / Faperj Project: “Dimensions and borders of the Brazilian State in the 19th century” (2010-2014).

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