Take Pity on Our Glory: Men of Champ d'Asile
Kent Gardien The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 87, No. 3 (Jan., 1984), pp. 241-268 (28 pages)
“A motley collection of all nations”: the Napoleonic soldiers of Champ d'Asile as citizens of the world
Atlantic Studies Global Currents Volume 10, 2013 - Issue 1: Beyond Center and Periphery: New Currents in French and Francophone
In 1818, following Napoleon's fall and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France, a band of French veterans exiled in the United States established Champ d'Asile [“Field of Asylum”], a short-lived colony on the edge of Spanish Texas. Led by General Charle Lallemand, the settlers intrigued observers around the Atlantic and inspired a romantic, indeed utopian, mythology celebrating them as soldat-laboureurs [“farming soldiers”]. The adventure proved to be a social experiment through which the Napoleonic veterans embraced collectivist, egalitarian, and anti-capitalist ideas and practices as they redefined their own political identity. Marooned on the Texas frontier, they lived and labored alongside Native Americans and African Americans, on whom their survival depended. This essay argues that the international origins and experience of these Napoleonic veterans, and their association with Jean Laffite's ragtag band of freebooters, made them “a motley collection of all nations” – practical cosmopolitans, or citizens of the world, who challenged the limits of national allegiance. Their engagement with liberty and equality, race and slavery, and citizenship and cosmopolitanism in the south-western borderlands of North America generated an explosion of documents in French, Spanish, and English, which illuminate the French Atlantic in the Age of Revolution.
Le Champ d’Asile : une colonie bonapartiste en Amérique après 1815
From: NAPOLÉON ET LES AMÉRIQUES. Christophe Belaubre, Jordana Dym and John Savage