Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte

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Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte
Prince Napoleon
Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte-Patterson (1805-1870).jpg
Jerome Napoleon Patterson-Bonaparte in his mid-forties
Born(1805-07-05)5 July 1805
95 Camberwell Grove, Camberwell, London, England
Died17 June 1870(1870-06-17) (aged 64)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
(m. 1829)
IssueJerome Napoleon Bonaparte II
Charles Joseph Bonaparte
FatherJérôme Bonaparte
MotherElizabeth Patterson

Jérôme Napoléon "Bo" Bonaparte (5 July 1805 – 17 June 1870) was a French-American farmer, chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Society, first president of the Maryland Club,[1] and the son of Elizabeth Patterson and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon I.[2]


Bonaparte was born in 95 Camberwell Grove, Camberwell, London, but lived in the United States with his wealthy American mother, Elizabeth. His mother's marriage had been annulled by order of Jérôme's uncle, Napoleon. The annulment caused the rescission of his right to carry the Bonaparte name, although the ruling was later reversed by his cousin, Napoleon III.

It is speculated that Jérôme's prospective title is a reason the 11th Congress of the United States in 1810 proposed the Titles of Nobility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would strip an American of his citizenship if he accepted a title of nobility from a foreign nation. The amendment has never been approved, and lacked the approval of only two state legislatures at that time.[3]

He graduated from Mount St. Mary's College (now Mount St. Mary's University) in 1817[4] and later received a law degree from Harvard, but did not end up practicing law.[5] He was a founding member of the Maryland Club, serving as its first president.[6]

In November 1829, Jérôme Napoleon married Susan May Williams, an heiress from Baltimore, and it is from them that the American line of the Bonaparte family descended. They had two sons: Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte II (1830–1893), who served as an officer in the armies of both the United States and France, and Charles Joseph Bonaparte (1851–1921), who became the United States Attorney General and Secretary of the Navy, and also created the Bureau of Investigation, which was later rechristened the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Jérôme Napoleon had refused to wait for an arranged marriage to a European princess, instead opting for the $200,000 fortune that Susan brought to the marriage. In an attempt to match the railroad heiress's dowry, the groom's maternal grandfather, William Patterson — one of the wealthiest men in Maryland — gave the couple Montrose Mansion as a wedding gift.[7]

Jérôme Napoleon Bonaparte died in Baltimore, Maryland, and is buried in the Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore.


  1. ^ Shannon, Selin. "Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon's American nephew". Shannon Selin. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ Marshall, Bill, and Cristina Johnston. France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History : a Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, Inc, 2005. "Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte was born in England on July 7, 1805. Betsy and her son returned to Baltimore in September 1805. At Napoléon's behest, Jérôme married Princess Catherine of Württemberg in August 1807." - Page 162. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  3. ^ "The "Missing Thirteenth Amendment": Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility". Thirdamendment.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  4. ^ Edward Francis Xavier McSweeny. The Story of the Mountain: Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary. Volume I, p. 70. Retrieved 22 November 2015
  5. ^ Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Volume I, p. 341.
  6. ^ Gunning, Brooke; O'Donovan, Molly (2000). Baltimore's Halcyon Days. Arcadia Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 9780738506319. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Maryland State Archives, Montrose Mansion and Chapel" (PDF). Retrieved February 25, 2013.