Email this citation

Chapter 3: For Morale or Propaganda? The Newspapers of Bonaparte

A Need For His Own Press


While Napoleon Bonaparte's propaganda strategies to present himself in the image of the revolutionary hero seemed effective for the majority of the French public, not everyone was taken in. As Jeremy Popkin notes in his The Right-Wing Press in France, 1792—1800, many right-wing journalists warned of the Corsican general's unbridled ambition, some as early as October 1795 when Napoleon fired his famous "whiff of grapeshot" in defense of the Directory. 1 In March 1796, even before the Italian campaign had really begun, the editor of the Messager du Soir likewise called attention to Bonaparte's ambitions, and once the Italian army had embarked on its successful campaign, right-wing papers continued to issue caveats about the successful 2 general. By the spring of 1797, these attacks had intensified, leading Bonaparte, through his lieutenant General Augereau, to petition the government for relief from the virulent attacks of "certain journalists" in the form of censorship. 3 Despite the government's public expressions of satisfaction with Bonaparte's military and political actions in Italy, however, the attacks of the right-wing press did not slow. 4 In June, La Censure compared Bonaparte to the Grand Turk and accused him of placing himself above the Directory. 5 In July, the editor of the royalist L'Invariable wrote concerning the Army of Italy and its commanding general: "Does it remain a French army? The conduct of Buonaparte seems to answer in the negative ... it is characteristic of a dictator." 6 On another occasion, the editor criticized the general for "abuse of authority," and in early August he called attention to Napoleon's conduct in the creation of the Cisalpine Republic, noting that the general "seemed to have made himself more a dictator than a protector of the Italian republic." 7 The editors of L'Historien raised a similar question: "Buonaparte, is he any longer a general of a republic, or a new Omar?" 8 Bonaparte's role in the purge of royalist factions from within the government during the coup of 18 fructidor also served to eliminate any support the right-wing press may have been willing to extend to "le Général Vendémiaire." 9 Just as Bonaparte was attempting to affect French public opinion and to create a favorable political climate for his ambitions, a potentially strong enemy appeared to challenge his rising political fortunes. The Club Clichy, a group of influential royalist politicians and journalists, attacked Napoleon's "Jacobin background" as a threat to a Bourbon restoration. So virulent was their opposition that Bonaparte, in late June 1797, drafted a letter to the Executive Directory requesting to be allowed to resign: "I need to live quietly, if the daggers of Clichy will let me live at all." 10 Although the letter was never sent, it does suggest how seriously Napoleon took the accusations against him.


What Bonaparte needed, in addition to intensifying his manipulation of the domestic press, as was discussed in the previous chapter, was a propaganda tool to counteract the opposition of the right-wing press: newspapers–specifically newspapers which the general could dominate and in whose columns he and his supporters could directly address the issues raised by his political opponents in France. 11 Napoleon forged this tool by establishing (or achieving control of) six newspapers: the Journal de général Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux, the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, and La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie, in 1797, and the Journal de Malte, the Courier de l'Égypte, and La Décade Égyptienne in 1798. The first three proved to be the most important to the political fortunes of the young commanding general of the Army of Italy. The second set (though they were of considerable importance for the morale of the Egyptian army) had little impact on the French reading public because of Bonaparte's isolation during the Egyptian Campaign.


The first hint of Bonaparte's journalistic plans emerges in Napoleon's letter to the Directory (following the Battle of Lodi) on 26 August 1796: "It would be good if journalists did not publish their accounts of absurdities that one sees printed everyday. ... Perhaps it would be useful for an official newspaper to insert an article that denied these ridiculous and absurd clamorings." 12
archive Battle of Lodi
Bonaparte follows up this complaint with the suggestion that he be allowed to distribute a newspaper to his soldiers that would, among other things, explain the Italian policy of France and the commanding general of its army in Italy. The Council of Ancients rejected this proposal, perhaps in part because they sensed the political potential of such a journal. 13 For the moment, Bonaparte would have to rely on the impact of his published reports and dispatches to counter the negative reports from right-wing journalists.

The Journal de Bonaparte et des Hommes Vertuex


Shortly after Bonaparte's long-awaited capture of Mantua in February 1797, however, he began experimenting with a new propaganda tool-the Parisian Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux. According to François Monnier, the Journal was founded by Bonaparte himself. 14 It is an extraordinary newspaper, not only because of its blatant purpose–the promotion of Napoleon Bonaparte–but also because its title could be seen as a challenge to the moral character of the government itself. The journal first appeared 19 February 1797 and enjoyed a run of some 40 issues, with the last one published on 31 March 1797. 15

The Format and Content of the Journal


In appearance, the four quarto-page Journal was typical of newspapers of the era, with sections devoted to foreign news, official government press releases, "Varieties," and a synopsis of sessions of the Conseil des Anciens and the Corps-Légistlatif. The difference between this newspaper and most others is that its contents dealt almost exclusively with Bonaparte and his achievements in Italy. In this the first issue is typical. The first article under "Foreign News" is a letter from Citizen Dupuy, commandant of the fortress at Milan, confirming the disposition of forces in northern Italy. Next is news from Germany with a report from Vienna that ignores activities along the Rhine, in favor of the "disagreeable news that [Austrian] military operations on the frontiers of Italy have yet to achieve the desired success." 16 The section reporting official government news is a nearly three-column extract from a procès-verbal of the Executive Directory session of 30 pluviôse (18 February 1797), announcing a reception for the flags captured in Italy. In "Varieties" one finds a poem, written for the occasion of Bonaparte's recent victory at Mantua, "Chanson sur la prise de Mantoue et sur les autres conquêtes de Bonaparte [Song of the Fall of Mantua and Other Conquests of Bonaparte]." Of the four pages of the first issue, the only space not devoted to the achievements of Napoleon is a single column of legislative news.


The message of this paper was simple, if filled with bravado: Napoleon is the hero of the war who defends the ideals of the Revolution as he liberates Italy. The editorial position of the Journal was made abundantly clear in the epigram of the masthead: "Hannibal slept at Capua; Bonaparte sleeps not in Mantua." Not only is Bonaparte compared with one of the greatest generals of antiquity, he is shown to be superior. Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps and brought a war of liberation to peoples of Italy, ultimately failed to capture Rome because of inactivity following his capture of Capua; Napoleon's comparable campaign would not fail to defeat the Austrians in northern Italy because of his ceaseless activity. On Bonaparte's shoulders rested the hopes of ultimate victory.

The Weaknesses of the Journal


However, this first trial of Bonaparte's new propagandistic tool revealed several weaknesses. To begin, the editors, S. A. Hugelet and M. J. Lefevre, in trying to idolize Napoleon, filled each issue with material so overwhelmingly pro-Bonapartist that the Journal lacked objectivity. It was as if the French Republic revolved around the commanding general of the Army of Italy. Even more of a drawback was the fact that Napoleon did not write a single article for the paper; thus the Journal–despite its enthusiasm for Bonaparte-lacked the general's authentic and distinctive voice. Finally, the paper lasted for only 40 issues, which was probably a testament to its small readership, which in turn was perhaps affected by the previous two handicaps. 17 Bonaparte's own military newspapers, founded several months later, did not suffer from these shortcomings; indeed, according to Marc Martin, in many respects they exemplify the best qualities of the eighteenth-century French military press. 18

The Courrier de L'Armée d'Italie

The Transformation of the Army of Italy


A fact often overlooked by historians is that the Army of Italy of 1797 was not the same army that had won the Battle of Lodi in 1796; that army had numbered perhaps some 41,570 effectives. 19 By the summer of 1797, however, Bonaparte's army had increased in size to more than 100,000 men, with reinforcements streaming in from all across France and from the various armies of the Republic. 20 These new soldiers had not shared the Army of Italy's victories at Montenotte, at Millesimo, at Mondovi, at Dego, or at Lodi: many had experienced only retreats and a lack of success along the Rhine; others had been only part of a garrison or an army of the reserve. Because of such diversity, the addition of these soldiers temporarily created difficulties for the young commanding general. Bonaparte needed some way to indoctrinate these men and to incorporate them into his victorious army. While some of these soldiers had had no previous experience with the military press, many had. In May 1797, however, delivery of the important military newspaper, Journal des Défenseurs de la Patrie, was interrupted, cutting off the soldiers from a major source of French news. 21 Napoleon seized the opportunity to again petition the Directory for permission to begin his own military newspaper. Jacques Godechot notes, in his definitive Histoire Générale de la Presse Française, that by the summer of 1797 Bonaparte's political clout had now grown to the point that the government could deny him nothing, particularly his request for a newspaper. 22

The Birth of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie


The Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, founded on 20 July 1797, became everything a military newspaper should be and more. 23 Not only did it raise the morale of troops stationed far from home and serve as a means of disseminating important administrative information, but it also operated as a vehicle for conveying Bonaparte's political ideas both to his army and to the larger audience of France itself. The paper was distributed gratis to the soldiers of the Army of Italy, and it was for sale in both Milan and Paris. 24 As Bonaparte's popularity increased at home, and the demand for information about him and his army increased during the summer months of 1797, many Paris-based newspapers, such as the Ami des Lois, turned to articles reprinted from the Courrier to meet these demands. 25 According to Marc Martin's analysis, one Parisian journal, the pro-government Journal des Hommes Libres, reprinted at least a dozen Courrier articles in August of 1797. 26 The combination of these circumstances inadvertently gave Bonaparte's military gazette even greater public exposure than one would have anticipated, especially considering the history of the French military press prior to the Revolution.

The Role of Marc-Antoine Jullien


Unlike most newssheets associated with other armies, such as Lazare Hoche's Bulletin de l'Armée de l'Océan, which was run as an adjunct to the military headquarters, Bonaparte's newspaper was located in Milan at the former Church of St. Zeno and was edited by a professional journalist, 25-year-old Marc-Antoine Jullien (called Jullien de Paris). A young republican idealist, son of the member of the Convention Jullien de la Drôme, and student of Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Machiavelli, Jullien had much in common with Bonaparte. 27 Like the general, during the Terror Jullien de Paris had been a protégé of Maximillien Robespierre; he was also one of the editors of L'Antifédéraliste ou Correspendant des Sociétés populaires et des armées, a solidly republican newspaper known to Bonaparte. 28 After a brief association with Gracchus Babeuf following the fall of Robespierre, Jullien (whose political leanings were actually closer to Jacobinism than to those of Babeuf) became one of the editors of the anti-Babouviste L'Orateur plébéien. The commanding general was apparently less familiar with this later work and the editor's association with Babeuvism. 29 In the spring of 1797, Jullien de Paris joined the Army of Italy as a common soldier and almost immediately distinguished himself by preventing the capture of nearly a half-million gold ducats by corsairs between Venice and Trieste. 30 This moment of fame, Jullien's firm republican ideals, and his stance against political factions (outlined in his letter of introduction to Napoleon) attracted the general's attention. 31 Jullien's previous experience as a journalist also made him perfect for the job of running Bonaparte's new newspaper. 32

The Characteristics of the Courrier


From its inception, the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie demonstrated both a professional character and a sense of institutionalized permanence. Indeed, Marc Martin's analysis of the French military press concludes much the same thing. 33 The Courrier was printed on high-quality paper, an unusual characteristic, especially considering its Italian production (French paper was generally considered to be superior to Italian). In addition, its editors used at least a dozen different Roman and Italic type sets to add variety and emphasis to the articles contained within each issue. Finally, the Courrier, unlike many military newspapers, was attractively designed, with a summary of the contents just below the masthead and with well-positioned columns on its quarto pages. 34 Added to these superior physical qualities was an editorial staff of professional journalists of some renown. The result was a superior newspaper, whether for the military or civilian press. 35 The success of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie can also be measured in its longevity. While the lifespan of most Revolutionary gazettes can be measured in weeks or months (the pro-Bonapartist Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux, for example, had lasted only two months), the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie ran for a year and a half, surviving several changes of editors and even a succession of commanding generals following the departure of Bonaparte in October 1797. 36 One final characteristic set the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie apart from other newspapers of the day, especially other military newspapers–its unique role as Napoleon Bonaparte's mouthpiece.


Here, at last, was a propagandistic tool that Bonaparte could use to champion his ideas and to answer his political detractors. In short, with his military newspapers he could control everything he needed in order to ensure that a favorable image of himself remained before the public. Unlike the Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux, however, the Courrier offered balanced content, complementing the various aims of the newspaper. Much of the paper's four quarto pages, for example, were devoted to news from France–not simply official news from Paris (Nouvelles), but in almost every issue, news from the various regions of France (Nouvelles de l'intérieur). Other sections of the Courrier reported on events in Italy (Nouvelles d'Italie) and conveyed information about the army itself, not only administrative information and excerpts of official dispatches, but also open letters from soldiers, addressing a variety of topics. As with the Journal de Bonaparte, the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie also contained a section of "Variétés," but while many of the poems and songs lauded the achievements of the commanding general, others celebrated the achievements of the army itself. If an important essay or political commentary required additional space, a supplement was included with the paper. 37

Bonaparte, The Club Chichy, and The Coup d'État of 18 Fructidor

Bonaparte's Articles


One other feature distinguishes Bonaparte's Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie and other military gazettes from the Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux, namely Napoleon's active involvement in its production, most importantly through his own written contributions to the newspaper. Not only were his proclamations and orders of the day occasionally printed in the Courrier, but also entire editorial articles–sometimes written by Bonaparte himself–analyzing the current political situation in France were found among the gazette's pages. 38


Perhaps the most remarkable of this latter type of article was a piece entitled "Dialogue entre un citoyen arrivant de France et un officier de l'Armée d'Italie" [Dialogue between a citizen arriving from France and an officer of the Army of Italy], found in the 1 August issue of the Courrier. Among the topics discussed are the impending peace between Austria and France, France's great desire for peace, and the problems posed by political factions. The Officer asks, for example, how the French are dealing with the prolonged negotiations. The Citizen responds that the royalists know that the signing of the peace treaty will benefit the republicans and the government and not themselves. The Officer then asks, "Do you believe then that the royalists of the interior have placed themselves as obstacles to peace?" and the Citizen replies, "Without a doubt." 39 The Officer later asks about the role of the Club Clichy and is told that the Clichyens are only one of several factions working to undermine the government and the negotiations:


Do not speak only of the Clichyens. They do not act alone; they have their auxiliaries in every department. One vast plan is organized. They have their constituents, their principal agents and second line, their writers, their armed forces, their hired assassins, finally all who comprise the bulk of the royalist faction. 40


The Officer cannot fathom their organization, expressing his belief that the royalists had lost all power in France, but by the end of the discussion the Officer comes to understand that these royalist "malcontents are the cause of crimes and unhappiness in the world." 41 Two things make this dialogue interesting: it sets the tenor of the paper until the coup of 18 fructidor, and it echoes the style and ideas set forth in Napoleon's earlier work Souper de Beaucaire, written in the summer of 1793 while he was a captain stationed in Nice. 42 In this earlier dialogue, Bonaparte condemned fédéralisme, factions, civil war, and the work of federalist assassins. 43


Perhaps the most important aspect of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, and one noted by Martin, was the way Napoleon used it to influence the morale of the Army of Italy. 44 Of nearly equal importance, however, the paper provided Bonaparte with a platform from which he could address accusations leveled by his political enemies in France. Finally, the newspaper provided Napoleon with an outlet for expressing and developing his emerging political ambitions.

The Courrier as Morale-Builder


By the summer of 1797, the status of the Army of Italy had changed. The series of Austrian attempts to relieve Mantua had been repulsed by Bonaparte's forces; that fortress-city finally fell in February. Everywhere the French appeared triumphant, and in April Napoleon had secured a preliminary peace with the Austrians. 45 For a moment there was a lull in the campaign, and many of Bonaparte's troops now found themselves spread out over northern Italy sharing the monotony of garrison duty. With time on their hands, they sought news of home, but that news was hard to come by, especially since the interrupted delivery of Journal des Défenseurs de la Patrie in May 1797. 46 There were also no French-language newspapers printed in northern Italy at the time, though the French occupation would bring about several bilingual Milanese newspapers. 47 In addition, what news that did arrive from France (particularly from Paris and the North) was frequently several weeks old. 48 For the soldiers of the Army of Italy, these were severe hardships. As Bonaparte himself noted in an issue of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, the soldiers of France were no mere automatons, but thinking and reading individuals who required both reason and love of country to "command" their loyalty. In other words, they needed to be reminded of why they were fighting; they needed to be reminded of home. 49 Many of Bonaparte's original soldiers had been continually fighting in a foreign land for over fifteen months, with only limited news from home. Even the new reinforcements had been in Italy for at least six months. Under such conditions the morale and the integrity of the army suffered, making the rank and file vulnerable to royalist propaganda, especially among the newly arrived soldiers from the Army of the Sambre and the Meuse. 50 The news briefs from the various regions of France–from the very homes of Bonaparte's soldiers–and the reports about the Army of Italy contained in every issue of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, which appeared five times a décade, helped to reduce the impact of royalist propaganda and to acculturate these (and other) soldiers to their new army. 51

The Club Clichy and the Royalist Threat


As Martin notes, however, while news from home was included in the Courrier, it was news filtered through the editorial staff, and often it was news selected to serve an agenda. 52 One cannot read through the pages of the first 30 issues of Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, for example, without finding at least one article (and often most of the paper) speaking out against political factions, and especially against the Club Clichy. Between the founding of the paper and the coup d'état of 18 fructidor (4 September 1797) one can, for example, find the word Clichy or Clichyens mentioned at least 71 times; royalistes are mentioned another 24 times. During the same period, at least sixteen right-wing newspapers were also denounced as promoting anti-republican and subversive sentiments. 53 In other words, the right-wing enemies of the Directory were mentioned in every single issue until Bonaparte's lieutenant, General Augereau, helped to purge the government of its opposition.


What is more, the Courrier mentioned at least five different reports of murdered republicans and numerous attacks in at least twelve different regions of France, including Côtes du Rhône, the Vendée, Arras, Tours, Lyons, and Bordes de la Garonne. It seemed to Jullien de Paris and to Bonaparte that a conspiracy was afoot to destroy good republicans everywhere. From the very first issue, their counter-offensive was plainly launched: the royalists did not want peace, but "an eternal war" directed against citizens, which was organized by the Club Clichy. 54 In the 9 August issue of the Courrier, readers discovered an example of that war in the murder of Charles Durand. Despite Durand's having been killed in front of witnesses, his murder remained unsolved. 55 Later on, the editor pointed to a pattern in these attacks: "Between Avignon and Tarascon, Republicans have been massacred, with their murderers shouting publicly, ‘Vive Louis XVIII.'" 56 This news article is followed by an editorial article, "Sur les Clichiens" [On the Clichyens], explaining the divisive nature of these royalists. "Far from being the defenders of public tranquility," wrote the editor, the Clichyens are the directors of a "frightening system of assassins" and "have denounced in the Corps-Législatif, the measures taken to restore tranquility in Lyon ... and you [royalists] call them the friends of peace and humanity and of order and public happiness." 57 These attacks and political accusations, the Courrier argued, also affected the Army of Italy, delaying a definitive peace because the enemies of France saw a nation divided:


The Clichyens and their papers have announced to Europe that division reigns among the five directors; they have presented the majority of the Directory as a "Triumvirate" and the recall of several ministers as an act of the "triumvirs." They have alleged the Directory's conspiring for the disordering of national representation. 58


The readers of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie could hardly have missed the point. Like every good propagandist, Bonaparte did not allow the "facts" to speak for themselves. He interpreted them for his audience so as to leave no room for confusion: France was under siege from within as well as from without.

Bonaparte's Response to the Club Clichy


Confirming the effectiveness of Napoleon's political counter-attack on the Clichyens, the Courrier published an open letter from "a soldier of the Army of Italy" who condemned General Pichegru for his royalist and Clichyen tendencies. 59 The battle against the Club Clichy and political factions in general, however, had only just begun. In the months leading up to the coup of 18 fructidor, Napoleon intensified his attacks on factionalism–in his dispatches to Paris, as has already been seen, and in his own newspapers. By mid-August, reprints of Bonaparte's controversial speech of 14 July (in which he had promised that his army "would surmount [the mountains] with the rapidity of eagles" to preserve the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic) had been widely circulated in the French press. This speech, and a subsequent public oath of loyalty sworn by the Army of Italy on 10 August, created a furor within the Club Clichy. They renewed their accusations by comparing Bonaparte to Caesar on the eve of the Civil War. Bonaparte responded in the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie:


Who are the true faction-makers? The orators of Louis XVIII and the emigrés, of dishonest royalists who publicly regret Capet and Antoinette? ... Who are the true fractioneurs who aspire to drown the Constitution in rivers of blood? ... who are they to challenge an oath of obedience and loyalty to the republican government?


Who desires anyone who speaks affectionately of Caesar and the crossing of the Rubicon, of Pompey and the Civil Wars, which wrenched the heart of the Roman Republic? ... They wish that civil war would also come to France and ruin the country, torn to shreds by foreign hands." 60


For Bonaparte and the Army of Italy, the answer to these questions was simple: the Club Clichy and their royalist and emigré allies. In an attempt to show that the Clichyens were in the minority, the Courrier reprinted letters and petitions over the next several weeks, responding favorably both to the 14 July speech and the 10 August oath of loyalty. 61


Shortly after the coup of 18 fructidor, the Courrier published a second round of these letters to demonstrate popular support for the actions of the Army of Italy; because of their timing, they also seemed to support Bonaparte's recent actions in the coup d'état. The commander of the 19th Military Division wrote that, "The address to the Army of Italy has kindled the sacred fires of liberty [among his troops]." 62 Other letters, from various groups of civilians in the department of Puy-de-Dôme, rejoiced in the "republican manner with which you celebrated the fête of 14 July! Vive, vive mille et mille fois the invincible Army of Italy," and denounced "the deadly divisions which have risen even in the very seats of the supreme senate of France." 63 Just as he manipulated the timing of his military dispatches, Napoleon also timed the release of these letters from home for the greatest possible effect on his audience.

The Role of Censorship


A related tool that Bonaparte used to limit the impact of the pro-royalist sentiments of the Club Clichy was censorship. On 14 July 1797, for example, he instructed his chief of staff, General Alexandre Berthier, "to prevent the introduction into the army of any newspaper tending to spread discouragement, to incite the soldiers to desert or to lessen [their] enthusiasm for the cause of liberty." 64 This edict, directed at cutting off the subversive, royalist messages of the Club Clichy, is also one of the first examples of Napoleon's censorship of the press, a tool he would use effectively once he had become master of France. 65 In September, to replace this potential loss of news (albeit subversive) from home, the Courrier advertised a prospectus of "‘three republican journals which the Club Clichy will no doubt call anarchist. These will join other good republican papers: Journal des Hommes Libres, Ami des Lois, and the Révélateur." 66 It was important for Napoleon's army of thinking citizen-soldiers to be well informed; from Bonaparte's perspective, however, it had to be informed in the correct way.


The verbal counter-offensive against the Club Clichy and the various other political factions working against the government intensified during the month of September, culminating in the announcement of the coup of 18 fructidor. On 6 September, in a section entitled "Some Considerations on the Situation of the Republic," the Courrier noted that:


Two parties exist in the Corps-Législatif and perhaps also within the Executive Directory-each of the parties accuses the other of a conspiracy. Each member of these parties declares themselves to be the friend of the Constitution, peace, and public happiness. 67


The article concluded that between these two factions was a third, a centrist mass of questioning citizens being pulled between the Right and the Left. This group, the author stated, needed to vigorously uphold the Constitution to safeguard their happiness and liberties.
archive Constitution of the Year III
In the next issue, the editors continued to bemoan the influence of divisive political factions in France. Factions are "enemies of liberty," they wrote, going on to suggest that both the Clichyens and the Jacobins are conspiring to bring down the Directory–a strange, but, according to the editors, plausible conspiracy. 68


Several days later, Bonaparte's Courrier launched a diatribe against the press in general:


The press is becoming the means of destroying, as it was the means of creating, the Republic. The deputies have publicly cooperated with the journals that preach murder and carnage, and they have openly protected the murderers-this gives the presses daggers and [gives] companies of writers and bands of royalist thugs a means to kill republican opinion and to kill republicans. 69


This issue also contains an almost prophetic analysis of the Constitution, noting that "by its organization, it finds in the Corps-Législatif a rival [of the Executive Directory], . . . which only seeks to weaken it more . . . the government is weak and powerless ... it is no longer necessary to tell you of these fatal truths [the truths are self-evident]." 70 In these lines, and in the series of articles leading up to them, one finds not only a justification for the imminent coup, but also a justification for Bonaparte's own coup d'état of 18—19 brumaire. 71


In the next issue, the editors refocused their attention on the problem of royalists in the legislative bodies, accusing most of the members of the councils of being royalists: "Are you the delegates of the French Republic who wished for the Republic and who have rejected kings, or aren't you, above all else, citizens of Kings and deputies of Louis XVIII? You have renounced neither the emigrés nor the royal assassins, but the republican soldiers." 72 Having been bombarded with such commentary on the problems of factions and on the weaknesses of the Constitution of the Year III, the audience was prepared for 18 fructidor (4 September), which had already occurred in Paris. 73

The Coup d'État of 18 Fructidor


On 16 September, news of the coup d'état was announced in the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie with an anecdote about the role of General Augereau, who had been dispatched to Paris in late July in anticipation of the coming coup. 74 At four o'clock in the morning on 18 fructidor, the general arrived outside the gates of the Tuileries gardens, demanding admittance, but the guards of the Corps-Législatif refused. Augereau warned them aside, and the commander of the guards allowed the general to enter, whereupon Augereau tore the epaulets from the officer's shoulders and rallied the guards to his side amid cries of "Vive la République." 75 This anecdote, which tied the Army of Italy to the events of the coup because of General Augereau's participation, was followed by a reprinting of a proclamation from the Directory to the citizens of Paris. Beginning "Royalism ... has come to menace the Constitution," it proceeded to justify the extraordinary measures taken to preserve the Constitution of the Year III from the threats of royalists and subversive journalists. The last pages of the issue also announce the deportation of various representatives and the arrest of a number of journalists. 76 The course of events, which Bonaparte's newspaper had helped in shaping, had reached its zenith.


Over the next several weeks, the events of the coup were once more revisited with letters, proclamations, and various other pieces expressing support for the actions taken. Again, Napoleon did not permit any potential misunderstanding of events, nor did he leave to chance the possible divided loyalties of his soldiers or of his larger audience in France. On 22 September, for example, the Courrier reprinted an extract from a letter of an officer in the Army of Italy to his brother in France, supporting the actions taken on 18 fructidor and discussing a belief that the armies of the Republic are the "guardians of the eternal Constitution of the Republic." 77 This was followed by a proclamation to the armies from the Minister of War, General Scherer, announcing that "the deadly veil, which covered the Republic, has been lifted" and encouraging the soldiers to remain calm in the midst of events in order to experience the fruits of their "triumphs, sacrifices, and devotion." 78 Later in the month, professions of loyalty to the Directory and reports of diminished royalist activities and more assurances from government officials echoed these sentiments. 79 On 1 October, the Courrier also published a letter from Louis XVIII to his commissioners in Paris, containing evidence of the widespread royalist plot that had been undone by the coup of 18 fructidor. 80 Such articles served to reassure Bonaparte's troops that they had acted properly and that support for their actions was widespread, maintaining their morale and reinforcing the politics of their commanding general.

The Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie as Morale-Builder


Following the successful coup d'état, the focus of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie shifted from politics to the army itself, having at least two possible ulterior motives: strengthening army morale and increasing Bonaparte's bargaining power at the negotiating table at Campo Formio. As mentioned previously, the hostilities between France and Austria in Italy had ceased on 18 April with the preliminary peace at Leoben. Almost seven months would pass before the signing of the definitive peace at Campo Formio on 17 October, and during those months Napoleon believed the Austrians to be delaying, hoping for an opportunity to catch the Army of Italy off guard and achieve more favorable terms.


Bonaparte's best asset in negotiating the peace lay in his ability to convey a position of strength and invincibility.
archive Campaign histories
One way he did this was to request histories of the campaign from every demi-brigade of his army. 81 Many of these were then reprinted in the Courrier with the stated purpose of "reproducing the heroic acts that have immortalized the warriors of liberty" for "our fellow citizens in the interior [of France]," in order to prevent another royalist uprising. 82 Over the next weeks, unit history after unit history recounted the campaign in the most glowing terms, comparing the soldiers of the Army of Italy with the greatest figures of antiquity; the army itself was likened to the Spartans under Leonidas (only this time the heroes left the field of battle victorious instead of dead). 83 These articles were dominated by little vignettes of common soldiers performing prodigious acts of heroism. On 2 November, for example, the readers of the Courrier learned of a soldier named Beneseth, who was "killed on 30 ventôse at Ospitalette while single-handedly holding up an enemy column. He was loved and admired by his comrades, who regarded him as a Hercules for his strength and audacity and as an Ajax for his valor and impetuosity." 84 On another occasion, the soldier-hero was Color Sergeant Bernard, who carried the flag for the 14th demi-brigade at Rivoli. Mortally wounded, he cried: "Comrades, save the flag, and I will die content." 85 With such brave and selfless soldiers, it is a wonder Bonaparte ever agreed to terms with the Austrians at Leoben.

The Courrier as Diplomatic Weapon


Part of Napoleon's intent behind the reproduction of these histories was to reinforce the carefully crafted image of the invincibility of the Army of Italy and to force the Austrians to sign a definitive peace as quickly as possible. While many of these messages were subtle, a piece inserted in the 29 September issue–probably by Bonaparte himself–was anything but subtle:


All is ready. The military dispositions, the measures necessary for both offense and defense, the provisioning of troops, the reinforcement of allied states–an army of 80,000 effectives, newly provisioned, refreshed by months of rest. 86


In other words, if the Austrians did not speed up negotiations, Bonaparte's invincible Army of Italy would force the issue and resume the campaign.
archive Treaty of Campo Formio
Two weeks later, the war officially ended: France was victorious, the Treaty of Campo Formio was signed, and Napoleon Bonaparte was the man responsible. In a month the héros italique was back in Paris, the toast of the town.

The Long-Term Political Impact of the Courrier


The political philosophies of the future Consul and Emperor can also be gleaned from the pages of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie. 87 Undeniably, one reason for the long-term political success of Napoleon Bonaparte was his ability to project an image of himself as a man above politics. This ability can be seen most clearly in his war against the Club Clichy. As seen earlier, Bonaparte repeatedly returned to the idea that political factions undermine liberty, security, and the happiness of citizens. Very much related to this idea is Bonaparte's hatred of civil war. One sees it in all of his newspapers, one sees it in his Souper de Beaucaire, and one could also see it in Napoleon's earlier refusal to serve in the Vendée. 88 Above all else, Bonaparte seemed to stress the unity of France, calling for domestic peace to match the external peace he was about to give the nation. These principles, coupled with the heroic image he fostered, made him more than a match for the corrupt and ailing government of the Directory when he returned from Egypt in 1799.

La France Vue de l'Armée d'Italie


That Napoleon Bonaparte took sufficient interest in the power of the press to found a newspaper such as the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie is remarkable, but in those months prior to the coup of 18 fructidor, when his battle with the Club Clichy intensified, General Bonaparte started a second military gazette as well, La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie. Founded on 3 August 1797, only two weeks after the Courrier first went to press, this second paper, with its calls for reconciliation, added a voice of moderation to Bonaparte's more vehement counter-attacks on the right-wing Parisian press. Although this newspaper was edited by a professional journalist of some renown as well, it did not enjoy the success experienced by Jullien de Paris's Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie.

The Role of Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély


This lack of success is surprising, considering the background of its editor, Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély. A long-time client of the Bonaparte family, Saint-Jean d'Angély served the Army of Italy as a military administrator. Prior to that, he had been a deputy to the Estates-General in 1789 and soon after developed his writing talents as a journalist. His first efforts were on the Journal de Versailles, and in 1790 he founded the Ami des Patriotes with a partner. During the period of the Legislative Assembly, Saint-Jean d'Angély succeeded Condorcet as editor of the very important Journal de Paris. However, with the fall of the monarchy on 10 August 1791, as Marc Martin notes, Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély's journalistic career suddenly stopped. 89 A constitutional monarchist, the former editor resumed a more public career after the fall of Robespierre, becoming a civilian administrator in the Army of Italy. In the summer of 1797, Bonaparte recruited Saint-Jean d'Angély to edit La France.

The Politics of La France


In appearance, La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie bore little resemblance to its sibling publication. Printed only once a décade in Milan, each issue comprised sixteen, single-column octavo pages. Also, in comparison to the Courrier it was less an instrument of delivering the news than it was a platform for more thorough analysis of political events. As Martin points out, its primary mission was to debunk fallacious reports in the Parisian press, especially items regarding events in Italy. 90 One of the first examples of this can be seen in the second issue, where the editor challenged the accuracy of a letter reprinted in L'Historien: "One of the most esteemed journals of the capital, L'Historien, published a letter of which several phrases attest to the ignorance or the bad faith of its writer." 91 The balance of this front-page article, in the next three and a half pages, attempted to correct the inaccuracies of the reports, for example by rejecting the idea that Bonaparte's soldiers were poorly dressed, poorly fed, and otherwise miserable. Also typically included in each issue was news about Italy and the Army of Italy, which might include reprints of official correspondence to and from Bonaparte, open letters to the editor, and reports about the finances or the general disposition of the army.


This paper was also more politically moderate than the Courrier. 92 While La France challenged certain royalist sentiments in France and within the Army of Italy, it also pointed out difficulties with the Constitution of the Year III. In what appears to be an apology by the editor, he argued that loyalty was owed to the Constitution, not because of its many virtues, but because failure to do so would lead to other, greater problems. 93 In other places, the editor attacked not only the royalists of the Club Clichy, but Jacobins as well:


We want to prove to each side that there are wrongs to appease, faults to confess, errors to repair. We want to arrive, then, at the consequence that naturally comes of this truth: that instead of a threatening attitude, it is necessary to be more peaceful; that instead of defensive measures, it would be necessary to become more conciliatory; and finally that, renouncing the dangers of accusation and the misfortune of conflict, it would be necessary to try the advantages of a reconciliation to ensure the return of good reason and an end of all fears. 94


In other words, the editor argued that neither side was without fault and that if both sides stopped their bickering it would be better for France. Such calls for moderation played a very important role, as Marc Martin points out:


He [Bonaparte] needed both [newspapers]. If he had only Le Courrier, he would have reinforced the image of a Jacobin general. If he had only La France, he would have awakened the mistrust of the revolutionaries. Just as he had refused to be a direct participant in the coup d'état, he also refused to allow himself to be caught in narrow political limits of 18 fructidor. 95


By carefully using the political potential of both newspapers, Napoleon was able to keep his options open for the future. 96

The Audience of La France


Like its counterpart, La France was intended for two different audiences: the first, of course, was the Army of Italy itself; the second was the readers of the Parisian press. Annual subscriptions sold for 16 livres in both Italy and France, with additional copies available in Milan, Paris, and Lyons. And, like the Courrier, articles from La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie were frequently reprinted in a number of Parisian gazettes, most notably the sympathetic Clef du Cabinet. 97 The 30 September issue of that newspaper, for example, reprinted a 12 September article from La France. 98 The Clef du Cabinet also reprinted other La France articles in its 17 October and 18 October issues, giving Bonaparte's second newspaper a greatly expanded audience. 99 This point was well understood by Napoleon, as can be seen in his letter to the ambassador to Genoa, Faipoulat: "The journal published by Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély, La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie, has had the greatest effect in Paris." 100


Despite its impact on the Parisian press, La France suffered from a number of problems. Among these was a disagreement between Bonaparte and Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély over the political direction of the gazette. 101The tenure of the editor was limited to only the first six issues. He was replaced by another military administrator, Chicoilet de Corbigny; however, Corbigny had no journalistic experience. As a result, the quality of La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie suffered, marking the paper for its eventual demise. 102 Ultimately, only 18 issues of this military gazette were to appear; printing ceased about the time Napoleon left for his heroic return to Paris, but this second gazette had played a role in creating and defending the general's heroic image.

The Journal de Malte


Of the remaining three newspapers run or influenced by Napoleon Bonaparte-each associated with his Egyptian Campaign of 1798-99-only one played any role in his propaganda campaigns in France, and that role was slight. Bonaparte's Army of the Orient was unlike any army he had ever commanded or would ever command; it was not only a military force, but a scientific and literary expedition as well.
archive Science and Arts in Egypt
Dozens of France's leading linguists, scientists, archaeologists, and artists accompanied the expedition. 103 Among these extramilitary members were several printers, including the former editor of La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie, Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély, and Marc Aurel, whose father had previously printed Bonaparte's 1793 Souper de Beaucaire. Napoleon also brought with the expedition three presses, compete with both Latin and Arabic letters. 104 Both the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie and La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie proved remarkably effective as tools of propaganda. Not only did they support the morale of isolated French armies by providing essential military information and news from home, but they also provided Napoleon with powerful platforms from which he could publicize his military and diplomatic victories. The purpose of the presses brought to Egypt was not only to meet the printing needs of the army with the production of bulletins and orders of the day, but also to reproduce in Egypt what had worked so well for Bonaparte in Italy-the establishment of a military gazette to help chronicle the general's anticipated successes. 105 Considering Bonaparte's innovative use of these assets during his Italian campaign of 1796-97, the accompanying journalists and their presses should not be surprising. 106


The expedition started well. Having evaded the British fleet off Toulon, the French quickly captured the island of Malta on 10 June 1798. Not long after Bonaparte had left the island to continue on to Egypt, he authorized the creation of the Journal de Malte, feuille nationale, politique, morale, commerciale et littéraire upon the request of Bosredon-Ransijat, a former Knight of Malta. 107 Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély (who had taken ill and could not accompany Bonaparte to Egypt) was named editor of this eight-page, quarto-sized newspaper. 108 While not an important journal in the career of Napoleon, several historians have noted its importance to the history of journalism. 109 The primary function of the Journal de Malte, only indirectly founded by Bonaparte, was to provide the French garrison and the literate public on Malta with reading material and semi-official news. Running for at least ten issues from June to September 1798, this unique newspaper was printed in both French and Maltese. 110

The Characteristics of the Journal de Malte


Like most newspapers of the day, each edition of the Journal followed a predictable pattern: "news" dominating the first page, followed by a section of public instruction, a discourse by General Claude-Henri Vaubois (the military commander), and finally a discourse from the French commissioner on Malta, the editor Saint-Jean d'Angély. The last three sections typically focused on a limited number of issues, such as teaching the Maltese about the importance of the press and the nature of liberty, giving instructions about the nature of French celebrations, and convincing the Maltese that the British navy posed no threat. 111 These instructional efforts frequently depicted the French as "lovers of liberty," and as "less than conquerors, but more as brothers and as friends." 112 Saint-Jean d'Angély assured the Maltese that the French intended to govern fairly and with justice and that the taxes collected were being used, not to enrich the French, but to maintain and repair fountains and other elements of public infrastructure. 113 The editor also carefully explained that, while the French were limiting the number of convents per religious order to one, Bonaparte's promise of the freedom to worship would continue. 114 Thus this newssheet provided one avenue for the French to better govern the island.


The Journal de Malte, like the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie and La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie before it, served another important role. It too was designed to bolster the morale of the isolated French garrison by establishing a link between it and France (and with Bonaparte's army in Egypt). General Vaubois and Regnaud Saint-Jean d'Angély, for example, frequently employed strategies pioneered in the earlier newspapers to remind the French soldiers (and the Maltese public) of their glorious efforts in Italy. They were "les vainqueurers d'Arcole et de Helvétie" and Bonaparte's "brave brothers in arms." 115 In fact, the editor frequently invoked the name of Bonaparte, perpetuating the mystique of the general's invincibility and enhancing the moral authority of the new French administration. In the very first number, Saint-Jean d'Angély reassured the Maltese and the French garrison that there was no reason to fear the stoppage of food convoys: "The genie of Liberty, the genie of the Republic, and the genie of Bonaparte have come to Malta." 116 In another section of that same number, the editor reminded the French garrison not to forget that "Bonaparte has left you in a post of honor with officers who have his confidence. ... Bonaparte has made Malta into a supply depot to his glory. Soldiers of his army, guard this depot with dignity." 117 In Number 4, Saint-Jean d'Angély wrote to the Maltese that, "your liberty was pronounced on 9 June, the day that the hero Bonaparte appeared on this island with his brave brothers in arms." 118 And in the final number, General Vaubois patriotically described French efforts against the allied coalition while Saint-Jean d'Angély reminded the garrison to remember "our brothers in arms under the burning skies of Egypt" 119 as they celebrated the coming Fête de la République. For the occupying French, then, the Journal de Malte became a source of reassurance that they were playing a key role in the French war effort and a reminder of their past glories. A similar theme can be seen in Bonaparte's remaining newspapers from the Egyptian campaign.

The Courier de l'Égypte


Soon after arriving in Egypt, Bonaparte established a second newspaper under the direction of Marc Aurel, a professional journalist whose father had provided the printing presses for Napoleon's earlier La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie. 120 The Courier de l'Égypte was intended to be much like its counterpart in Italy, providing news from home and disseminating important information to French soldiers in Egypt. It was also sent home to France to keep the French public informed of Bonaparte's operations. Nelson's victory at Aboukir Bay on 1 August 1798, however, shattered any hopes of this second newspaper becoming an effective tool of propaganda, as Napoleon was virtually cut off from contact with France. As a result, the Courier de l'Égypte focused on the army itself. 121

The Characteristics of the Courier de l'Égypte


First appearing in Cairo on 29 August 1798, the Courier was produced by the printer Marc Aurel on four octavo pages and was available approximately three times a month, but the period of publication varied greatly, according to the demands of the campaign. 122 It contained official military orders and information, news of Egypt, and occasionally (when a ship could pass the British blockade) news of France and Europe. 123 According to Jacques Godechot's analysis, however, the articles in this gazette were given more to propaganda than similar articles in Bonaparte's two Italian papers. 124 The reason for this difference is most likely the same reason that so much attention was focused on civic celebrations in the Journal de Malte: they were a means of connecting isolated soldiers with home. 125


On 20 November 1798, for example, European news arrived via Constantinople. This news dominated the issue, with nearly three and a half pages devoted to conveying the news from home. Tellingly, the editor informed his readers that, "the attentions of France and all Europe are focused on the Army of the Orient," that the army is "the subject of every conversation," and that the progress of the army is a cause of "alarm for the enemies of France." 126 Related news contained in this issue discussed the arrival in France of trophies captured by the Army of the Orient at Malta and a celebratory reception for the artwork captured in Italy. 127 Still other news related events in France and Europe, such as the state of the negotiations at Rastadt, the union of Geneva with the French Republic, and the appointment of General Joubert as commanding general of the Army of Mayence. Such reassurances and such news served to comfort the soldiers of an isolated army, reminding them that they had not been forgotten by their friends and families in France and that they still had an impact on events in Europe. Though cut off from home, the Army of the Orient remained vital to French foreign policy.

Coverage of Events in Egypt


Other issues discussed local festivities. On 1 October 1798, for example, the editor recounted the events surrounding the celebration of 1 vendémiaire, the first day of the French revolutionary calendar and, thus, an important civic holiday. This particular coverage focused on a French outpost under the command of General Rampon. At eleven o'clock, a procession of French infantry, Egyptian janissaries, and French hussars made their way to a designated field where a series of evolutions and precision drills impressed the locals. The editor took pride in contrasting the exactness of French movements with the fumbling imitations of the janissaries. Following the drill came the reading of proclamations from General Bonaparte, a summary of the accomplishments of the French units, a lecture on the evils of royalty, and an oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the Year III. Shouts of "Vive la République" followed, as did a translation and explanation in Arabic of the primary events of the celebration. General Rampon also took care to express French desires for friendship with the janissaries and with local leaders. At two o'clock, the participants enjoyed a celebratory meal where "the fire of patriotism supplemented the warmth of the wine." 128 Such celebrations, as Marc Martin noted, served to reinforce the link between Bonaparte's soldiers and France; they also served another purpose-demonstrating the military and technical superiority of the French over the local population. 129


This attempt to demonstrate French technical superiority can also be seen in the frequent balloon (montgolfière) flights announced in the Courier de l'Égypte. The 8 December issue, for example, gave the details of a 30 November launch. After describing the balloon itself, the editor then described the impact the flying machine had on the local population:


Viewing this experience made a great impression on the local people; they refused to believe in the possibility of flight; their disbelief lasted throughout the entire time the balloon was prepared; but they had to believe when they saw the great globe moving on its own ... they concluded that it was an engine of war ... that we would employ it to burn the cities of our enemies. 130


Just as Bonaparte projected an illusion of invincibility to throw off the Austrians and to dissuade revolts in northern Italy, so such demonstrations proving the superiority of Western technology were designed to awe the Egyptians.


Another important aspect of the Courier de l'Égypte was its coverage of local news. Even from this coverage, however, elements of propaganda can be gleaned. On 1 October 1798, for example, the Courier de l'Égypte announced the arrival of a Nubian caravan. This caravan was laden with such exotic materials as elephant tusks, ostrich plumes, gold dust, and slaves (black and white, men, women, and children). 131 The route of the caravan was described, as were the slaves, many of whom came from the region of Ethiopia near the cataracts of the Nile. According to the editor, "The French language does not have the words to express the state of the children of both sexes, white and black, who were brought to Egypt to be sold." 132 These children were to be something less than servants and something more than slaves: they served a term of indenture, but had legal recourse if they were mistreated. In the same article, the editor also took the opportunity to give a bit of historical background about the slave trade in Egypt. For about twelve hundred years, the Mamelukes ruled Egypt as absolute masters, "whose reign only ended with the Battle of the Pyramids." 133 During that time they sold enslaved children to the powerful and wealthy of Constantinople. Using this example, the editor contrasted "the most frightening tales of despotism" with "the philosophy and humanity brought to the banks of the Nile by [the French] triumph," to demonstrate French superiority and the civilizing nature of the Egyptian campaign. 134 Thus the editors elevated the aims of the Army of the Orient to something higher than simply waging an indirect war against the British.


In his analysis of the Courier de l'Égypte, A. Périvier also found that this propaganda tended to be strongly republican and that it served as a means of preparing its audience, not only for the demands of the campaign, but also for Bonaparte's political future. 135 At the same time, local news received much attention, particularly relating to local customs and religious festivities. The editors made an effort to instruct French soldiers as to appropriate behavior in a foreign land. 136 Already cut off from France, with hostile forces all around, Bonaparte did not want to add to the list of enemies by having his soldiers insult the local civilian population.

La Décade Égyptienne

The Characteristics of La Décade Égyptienne


One last journal established by Napoleon deserves attention: La Décade Égyptienne, the official publication of the Institute of Egypt. The scientific and literary journal was edited by Tallien and first appeared in Cairo soon after the first meeting of the Institute on 3 fructidor, an 7 (20 August 1798). 137 Its 36 octavo pages appeared approximately once a décade (every ten days), although this period of publication sometimes varied. Although this newspaper was clearly intended for a more educated audience, it was advertised occasionally as a "literary journal" in its more popular counterpart, the Courier de l'Égypte 138. Typically the issues contained summaries of the various meetings and reports from the individual members of the Institute.


Perhaps surprisingly, Napoleon Bonaparte was not a dominant figure within the Institute or its journal. The mathematician Gaspard Monge, for example, was the president of the Institute while Bonaparte served as vice-president. 139 In the first session of the Institute, for example, the general called the Institute of Egypt into existence, then posed a set of problems and questions for groups of savants to consider and solve (all of which directly related to the French occupation). The six commissions addressed such issues as finding modifying ovens to bake bread, finding a suitable substitute for hops for the production of beer, discovering ways to make Nile water potable, constructing water or wind mills, finding the materials necessary to manufacture gunpowder, and evaluating and modifying local laws to ensure fair governance for the local population. 140 After the initial session of the Institute, however, the pages of La Décade reveal that Bonaparte played a limited role within the organization, no doubt necessitated by the military and administrative demands of the campaign. Other than J. J. Marcel's translation of an Arabic ode on the general and the French conquest of Egypt in Number 3, Napoleon Bonaparte's name was rarely mentioned in La Décade Égyptienne. 141

Changing Editors


This did not mean, however, that his interests in the activities of the Institute or its official journal had waned. On 4 frimaire, an 7 (24 November 1798), the General-in-Chief ordered that Marc Aurel be replaced as the printer and editor of La Décade. Among the reasons cited for this change were that the quality of printing, to date, had been poor and that the printing schedule of the paper was not consistent. Bonaparte instructed that henceforth the newspaper would be printed at the Imprimerie Nationale under the leadership of the orientalist Jean-Joseph Marcel. 142 Interestingly, Marc Aurel continued as the printer for the Courier de l'Égypte until July 1799. 143 This apparent inconsistency indicates the importance Napoleon placed on preserving a record of the activities of the Institute of Egypt and on the regular dissemination of that record. There is also evidence that news of at least some of the Institute's activities was well received in France. Both Le Moniteur universal and La Décade Philosophique recorded the arrival of the minutes of the meetings (procès-verbaux) of the Institute of Egypt from 1 frimaire until 26 frimaire (21 November to 16 December 1798). 144 La Décade Philosophique, in fact, reprinted the entire set of minutes in its 20 floréal issue. There was no mention, however, of receiving any copies of La Décade Égyptienne.

Propagandistic Effects


Although having little obvious connection with Bonaparte's political ambitions or the immediate needs of the army's morale, La Décade Égyptienne did have propagandistic potential, as indicated in its prospectus: "The conquest of Egypt by France should not only be useful to politics and commerce, it is necessary that the sciences and the arts profit as well." 145 Recalling Napoleon's election to the Institute of France in December 1797 and his recruitment of scholars to accompany the Egyptian campaign, circulation of this newspaper in France had the potential to reinforce Bonaparte's reputation as a man of learning, as is indicated by the willingness of the editors of La Décade Philosophique to fill seven pages of their newspaper with the minutes of the Institute's meetings. Unfortunately for Napoleon, Nelson's fleet rendered that potential unlikely; only rarely did the newspapers printed in Egypt (or official dispatches) evade the British blockade.


As tools of propaganda that would promote the political career of Napoleon Bonaparte, his Egyptian newspapers were much less effective than had been his earlier Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie and La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie. The destruction of the French fleet at Aboukir Bay made this inevitable-only a handful of issues made their way to France or Italy. As a morale-building tool, however, the Courier d'Égypte in particular was a worthy successor to its Italian counterparts. In its pages, Napoleon's soldiers could read of events in France and Europe, they could see that they were not forgotten in the deserts of Egypt and Palestine, but remained integral to the French war effort. They could also plainly see their military and technical superiority over the native population, which served to maintain their morale in an alien and hostile environment. It is a testament to the importance of Bonaparte's Egyptian newspapers that their publication continued in his absence and helped to maintain the Army of the Orient as a viable military force until Menou's surrender to the British in June 1801.

The Impact of Bonaparte's Newspapers


Taken as a whole, the newspapers controlled by Napoleon Bonaparte were remarkably effective as propaganda tools, particularly his Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie and his La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie. Not only did these newspapers meet the needs of isolated French armies by providing essential military information and news from home, but they also provided Napoleon with powerful platforms from which he could more directly respond to his critics in Paris. In doing so, Bonaparte complemented the propaganda campaign begun with his dispatches in April 1796, reinforcing the image of an invincible Revolutionary hero capable of defeating France's enemies and giving his country the peace it so desperately desired. With his newspapers as unique forums, the héros italique was also able to turn the tables on his Clichyen accusers by isolating them politically and showing himself to be a man above politics. This last achievement is perhaps the most important of Bonaparte's journalistic endeavors. By creating the illusion of himself as a man removed from the corrupt politics of the Directory, Napoleon made his participation in coup d'état of 18-19 brumaire, if not possible, certainly much easier. In a France exhausted by revolution, war, and corrupt politics, the man on the white horse seemed a welcome relief.



Note 1: Jeremy Popkin, The Right-Wing Press in France, 1792-1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980), 86.Back.

Note 2: Popkin, Right-Wing Press, 86; cf. Messager du Soir (Paris), 10 germinal, an 4 (30 March 1796).Back.

Note 3: Clef du Cabinet (Paris), 10 germinal, an 5 (30 March 1797).Back.

Note 4: Ami des Lois (Paris), 1 thermidor, an 5 (19 July 1797), and Clef du Cabinet (Paris), 1 thermidor, an 5 (19 July 1797).Back.

Note 5: Ami des Lois (Paris), 12 messidor, an 5 (30 June 1797).Back.

Note 6: L'Invariable (Paris), 6 July 1797; cf. Marc Martin, Les Origins de la Presse Militaire en France (1770-1799) (Vincennes: Ministère de la Défense, 1975), 343.Back.

Note 7: L'Invariable (Paris), 16 July 1797, and L'Invariable (Paris), 5 August 1797.Back.

Note 8: L'Historien (Paris), 7 July 1797.Back.

Note 9: Martin, Presse Militaire, 343.Back.

Note 10: Napoleon Bonaparte, Mombello, to the Executive Directory, Paris, 30 June 1797, in John Eldred Howard, ed., Letters and Selected Documents of Napoleon (London: Cresset Press, 1961), 192-93.Back.

Note 11: See, for example, A. Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste (Paris: Plon-Nourrit et Compagnie, 1918), 67.Back.

Note 12: Napoleon Bonaparte, Correspondence de Napoléon Ier, Vol.1 (Paris: Henri Plon, 1858), 712-13, no. 927. Hereafter abbreviated Corr. followed the volume number, page number, and by the appropriate document number.Back.

Note 13: Claude Bellanger, Jacques Godechot, Pierre Guiral, and Fernand Terrou, Histoire Générale de la Presse Française, Vol. 1 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1969), 541-42; and Martin, Origines, 341. Godechot emphasizes the extent to which the Army of Italy became Bonaparte's army "After the victory at Lodi, he volunteered to have distributed his journal to his soldiers." No doubt this sense of possession and independence is what caused the Council of Ancients to reject Bonaparte's proposal.Back.

Note 14: François Monnier, "Propagande" in Dictionnaire Napoléon edited by Jean Tulard (Paris: Fayard, 1987), 1407. While this newspaper can be seen as little other than Bonapartist propaganda, there is little evidence to suggest that Napoleon played an active role in its production.Back.

Note 15: Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux (Paris), 19 February 1797 to 31 March 1797.Back.

Note 16: Journal de Bonaparte et des hommes vertueux (Paris), 19 February 1797.Back.

Note 17: It is obvious that the editors intended the run to be much longer than it was. Even in the last issue, subscription prices were listed for 3 months (9 livres), 6 months (18 livres) and a year (36 livres).Back.

Note 18: See Marc Martin's Les Origines de la Presse Militaire en France for an analysis of the evolution of military newspapers from their beginnings in 1770 through the end of the Directory. Most of these newspapers shared the common goal of meeting the unique needs of soldiers by disseminating important administrative information and by promoting the development a sense of esprit de corps among the various armies of France. By the time of the Revolution, these newspapers also played an important role in the political indoctrination of soldiers, stressing the values of the various republican régimes and their war aims. What set Bonaparte's five newspapers apart was that, while fulfilling these more traditional goals, they also became important political tools that Bonaparte could use to counter his detractors and to develop his own political ideas in an arena more tightly controlled than more general military newspapers such as the Journal des Défenseurs de la Patrie.Back.

Note 19: David G. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1966), 1099. Actually, Chandler lists the field strength of the Armée d'Italie for the opening of the campaign on 12 April 1796 at 37,600 after subtracting sick and absentees from the total.Back.

Note 20: Martin, Presse Militaire, 340. Martin points out that on paper the size of the entire army had increased to about 145,000 men by the end of 1796.Back.

Note 21: Martin, Presse Militaire, 340-41. Martin intimates that Bonaparte may have been involved in the creation of this journal, but gives no specifics as to the extent of his involvement (341).Back.

Note 22: Bellanger, et al., Histoire Générale de la Presse, 542. François Furet also makes this point abundantly clear in his Revolutionary France, 1770-1880, trans. Antonia Nevill (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992): "... the Paris government could not survive financially without Italy's treasures ... it had even greater need of victories and glory" (188). Similar sentiments can be found in Jacques Godechot, "L'expansion française et la création de la presse politique dans le bassin méditerranéen," Les Cahiers de Tunisie (1954): 153-54.Back.

Note 23: Interestingly, when Périvier wrote Napoléon Journaliste in 1918, he knew that the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie existed, but a collection of these newspapers had yet to be discovered.Back.

Note 24: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 6 September 1797.Back.

Note 25: Ami des Lois (Paris), 13 thermidor, an 5 (29 July 1797); and Martin, Presse Militaire, 351.Back.

Note 26: Martin, Presse Militaire, 351. Based on Jeremy Popkin's "Appendix III: Circulation Figures for French Newspapers," between these two gazettes alone, an additional 8,500 subscribers would have had access to at least part of the Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie's contents. See Popkin, Right-Wing Press, 177-78.Back.

Note 27: Martin, Presse Militaire, 302; and V. M. Daline, "Marc-Antoine Jullien après le 9 thermidor," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française 36 (April-June 1964): 164. This article is the first in a series and will be hereafter abbreviated as "Jullien I." For an excellent overview of Jullien's career and the evolution of his political ideas, see R. R. Palmer's From Jacobin to Liberal: Marc-Antoine Jullien, 1775-1848 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).Back.

Note 28: Martin, Presse Militaire, 303-04.Back.

Note 29: Martin, Presse Militaire, 304. See also Godechot, "L'expansion française," 154; and V. M. Daline, "Marc-Antoine Jullien après le 9 thermidor," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française 38 (July-September 1966): 391-93. This article is the third in a series and will be hereafter abbreviated as "Jullien III."Back.

Note 30: Palmer, 80-81; and Daline, "Jullien III," 390.Back.

Note 31: V. M. Daline, "Marc-Antoine Jullien après le 9 thermidor," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française 37 (April-June 1965): 200-3. This article is the second in a series and will be hereafter abbreviated as "Jullien II." See also Palmer, 77-78; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 304-05.Back.

Note 32: Martin, Presse Militaire, 303-04; and Daline, "Jullien II," 195.Back.

Note 33: Martin argues, and rightly so, that it was largely because of the superior physical qualities of the paper that it was preserved in bound form in the Salle des Livres, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Presse Militaire, 296). The high quality paper, for example, enabled the paper to endure and attract the attention of archivists, where many other minor papers simply disintegrated over time. Having handled every surviving issue, I found, for example, only the rare issue to be on less than superior paper or faded due to inferior ink. The numbers were also consistent and predictable in their layout, making research easier than in many other revolutionary sheets whose layout or editorship changed frequently.Back.

Note 34: Martin, Presse Militaire, 296.Back.

Note 35: Martin, Presse Militaire, 296-97.Back.

Note 36: Jack Censer, Prelude to Power: The Parisian Radical Press, 1789-1791 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 8-9; Hugh Gough, The Newspaper Press in the French Revolution (Chicago: Dorsey Press, 1988), 44; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 296-97.Back.

Note 37: See, for example, the Supplement to the 7 August 1797 issue, "On political societies," which criticized political factions as "against the principles of liberty" and "contrary to the constitution." This theme would prove to be a recurring one for the editors and for Bonaparte, as will be discussed below.Back.

Note 38: Martin, Presse Militaire, 298. According to Martin's analysis, articles directly attributable to Bonaparte can be found in at least six different issues, particularly under the article title, "Considérations sur la situation de la République."Back.

Note 39: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 1 August 1797.Back.

Note 40: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 1 August 1797.Back.

Note 41: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 1 August 1797.Back.

Note 42: Martin, Presse Militaire, 299; and Christopher Frayling, ed., Napoleon Wrote Fiction (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1972), 111-18. Many versions of Souper de Beaucaire [Supper at Beaucaire] exist, but I have chosen to use Frayling's because of its good introduction.Back.

Note 43: Frayling, Napoleon Wrote Fiction, 125-27.Back.

Note 44: Martin, Presse Militaire, 306.Back.

Note 45: Owen Connelly, Blundering to Glory (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resource Books, 1987), 47-48; and Chandler, Campaigns, 121-25. On 7 April, with Bonaparte within 75 miles of Vienna, Archduke Charles asked for an armistice. On 18 April, the preliminary peace was signed at Leoben, but it would not be until October that the Treaty of Campo Formio would be signed.Back.

Note 46: Martin, Presse Militaire, 341.Back.

Note 47: Martin, Presse Militaire, 301. Martin also notes that the presence of the French was a catalyst for the expansion of the Italian press. In the city of Milan, with a population of less than 120,000 people, no fewer than 30 newspapers were founded within a three-year period.Back.

Note 48: Martin, Presse Militaire, 358.Back.

Note 49: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 21 August 1797. Earlier, in the second of his Italian newspapers, Bonaparte made a similar statement: "The soldier of today knows to think and feel. He marches, but he reasons, and his submission is not, as formerly, the result of fear or degradation that renders one a crawling and submitting slave, but of reflection or love [of country] that gives him amenable and obedient courage." (La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 3 August 1797).Back.

Note 50: Martin, Presse Militaire, 359.Back.

Note 51: Martin, Presse Militaire, 360. Under the Revolutionary calendar, the "week" now had ten days and was called a décade. The Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie, thus, appeared every other day.Back.

Note 52: Martin, Presse Militaire, 302.Back.

Note 53: These papers are: L'Accusateur (Royal), La Quotidienne (Royale), Le Thé (Royal), Nouvelles Politiques, Postillon de Calais, L'Invariable de Royou, Gazette Française, Le Miroir, Le Déjeûner, Le Censeur Royal, Contrôleur-général, Le Royal Éclair, Les Rapsodies Royals, L'Ami du Roy, Mémorial, and Les Journaux de la Cour. The first nine of these papers are in the holdings of the Salle des Livres, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.Back.

Note 54: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 20 July 1797.Back.

Note 55: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 9 August 1797.Back.

Note 56: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 9 August 1797.Back.

Note 57: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 9 August 1797.Back.

Note 58: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 9 August 1797. The irony, of course, was that the Directory was guilty of having disallowed several elections and of launching several coups d'état against itself. What the Club Clichy could only suspect was that another coup was in the planning for fructidor, one that would have the full support of Napoleon Bonaparte. The elections of Spring 1797 proved a victory for the royalists, who won virtually all the available seats in the Council of Five Hundred and the election of the royalist François Barthélémy as one of the five directors. Once in power, they began a series of measures that proved moderate to emigrés and refractory priests. Fearing a potential loss of their power and a compromise of the Revolution, the majority of the directors (called the "Triumvirate") plotted to purge the government and arrest leading royalist sympathizers. This was accomplished, with Bonaparte's support, on 4 September, or 18 fructidor on the Revolutionary calendarBack.

Note 59: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 23 August 1797.Back.

Note 60: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 15 August 1797.Back.

Note 61: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 25 August 1797, 31 August 1797, and 10 September 1797.Back.

Note 62: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 7 October 1797.Back.

Note 63: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 9 October 1797, and 10 October 1797.Back.

Note 64: Corr. III: 241, no. 2012.Back.

Note 65: See Robert B. Holtman, Napoleonic Propaganda (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 1950).Back.

Note 66: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 4 September 1797.Back.

Note 67: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 6 September 1797.Back.

Note 68: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 8 September 1797.Back.

Note 69: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 12 September 1797.Back.

Note 70: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 12 September 1797.Back.

Note 71: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 6-14 September 1797. In fact, Bonaparte's written justifications for his 1799 coup echoed these ideas, noting the unworkability of the Constitution, the disallowing of election results, and the series of government-sponsored coups as reasons for his seizing control of the government of France. See Corr. VI: 3, no. 4387; Corr. VI: 3-5 and 7, no. 4388; and Corr. VI: 8-9, no. 4391; Howard, 310-14; and D. J. Goodspeed, Napoleon's Eighty Days (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965), 141-43.Back.

Note 72: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 14 September 1797.Back.

Note 73: It is important to remember the time delay involved in the spread of news, which was generally about two weeks.Back.

Note 74: Corr. III: 266, no. 2043.Back.

Note 75: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 16 September 1797.Back.

Note 76: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 16 September 1797.Back.

Note 77: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 22 September 1797.Back.

Note 78: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 22 September 1797.Back.

Note 79: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 25 September 1797, 29 September 1797, and 15 October 1797.Back.

Note 80: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 1 October 1797.Back.

Note 81: Corr. II: 152, no. 1251.Back.

Note 82: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 15 October 1797.Back.

Note 83: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 23 October 1797 and 25 October 1797.Back.

Note 84: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 2 November 1797.Back.

Note 85: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 25 October 1797.Back.

Note 86: Courrier de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 29 September 1797.Back.

Note 87: Martin, Presse Militaire, 298-99.Back.

Note 88: See, for example, Jean Tulard, Napoleon: The Myth of the Savior, trans. Teresa Waugh (London: Methuen and Company, 1984), 48; and J. M. Thompson, Napoleon Bonaparte (New York: Oxford University Press, 1952), 57, 59.Back.

Note 89: Martin, Presse Militaire, 309; and Périvier, 68-69.Back.

Note 90: Martin, Presse Militaire, 310; Périvier, 70-71; and Godechot, "L'expansion française," 154.Back.

Note 91: La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), no. 2. A potential drawback of La France's format is its lack of dates on its first two issues. The editor began adding a Revolutionary date with the third issue.Back.

Note 92: Martin, Presse Militaire, 310.Back.

Note 93: La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), No. 3, 13 August 1797; cf. Martin, Presse Militaire, 310.Back.

Note 94: La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), no. 6, 11 fructidor, 1797.Back.

Note 95: Martin, Presse Militaire, 350.Back.

Note 96: Périver sees the ideas set forth in La France, particularly in the 18 August issue, as a "veritable plan of government," one which Bonaparte would put into effect once he had become Consul (Napoléon Journaliste, 71-72).Back.

Note 97: The Clef du Cabinet was the daily newspaper of the Idéologues, a group who included such notable figures as Siéyès, Rœderer, Dupont de Nemours, Cabanis, and Volney. For a good brief discussion of the role of the Idéologues during the Directory, see Martyn Lyons, France under the Directory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 116-22.Back.

Note 98: Clef du Cabinet (Paris), 30 September 1797.Back.

Note 99: Clef du Cabinet (Paris), 30 September 1797. The articles reprinted first appeared the 18 September, 1 October, and 2 October issues of La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie.Back.

Note 100: Corr. III: 368, no. 2168; cf. Martin, Presse Militaire, 350-51; and Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste, 76.Back.

Note 101: Saint-Jean d'Angély heralded as much in the 21 fructidor issue, when he wrote that "sudden and unexpected changes in the direction of the journal had delayed the delivery of No. 7." La France vue de l'Armée d'Italie (Milan), 21 fructidor, an 5. See also Martin, Presse Militaire, 312; and Godechot, "L'expansion française," 154.Back.

Note 102: Martin, Presse Militaire, 312-13.Back.

Note 103: J. Christopher Herold, Bonaparte in Egypt (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1962), 21; and Chandler, Campaigns, 213.Back.

Note 104: Salaheddine Boustany, "The Press during the French Expedition in Egypt, 1798-1801," Cahiers d'histoire égyptienne 6 (1954): 3; Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste, 79; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 321.Back.

Note 105: Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste, 79.Back.

Note 106: For more on Napoleon's early mastery of the press, see Martin, Presse Militaire.Back.

Note 107: Godechot, "Expansion française," 159-60.Back.

Note 108: Godechot, "Expansion française," 160; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 321.Back.

Note 109: Godechot, "Expansion française," 160; Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 1; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 321.Back.

Note 110: Only four issues of the Journal de Malte, feuille nationale, politique, morale, commerciale et littéraire have survived to become part of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France's collection (Numbers 1, 3, 4, and 10), but these issues do convey the nature of the paper and its contents. A rebellion against French rule began shortly after the publication of Number 10.Back.

Note 111: Journal de Malte, feuille nationale, politique, morale, commerciale et littéraire (Valletta), nos. 1, 4, & 10.Back.

Note 112: Journal de Malte, no. 1 and no. 4.Back.

Note 113: Journal de Malte, no. 1 and no. 3.Back.

Note 114: Journal de Malte, no. 1 and no. 3. On freedom of religion, see also Corr. IV: 232-33, no. 2687.Back.

Note 115: Journal de Malte, no. 1 and no. 4.Back.

Note 116: Journal de Malte, no. 1.Back.

Note 117: Journal de Malte, no. 1.Back.

Note 118: Journal de Malte, no. 4.Back.

Note 119: Journal de Malte, no. 10.Back.

Note 120: Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 1; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 321-22.Back.

Note 121: Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 16; and Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste, 79-80.Back.

Note 122: Martin, Presse Militaire, 322; and Godechot, "Expansion française," 161. Marc Aurel remained printer of the Courier de l'Égypte until July 1799, when the presses of the Imprimerie Nationale took over the printing.Back.

Note 123: Martin, Presse Militaire, 322-25; and Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 17-18. Surprisingly, under Bonaparte's tenure as commanding general in Egypt, approximately 33% of any issue consisted of international news and news from France (Martin, Presse Militaire, 325).Back.

Note 124: Godechot, "Expansion française," 161.Back.

Note 125: Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 17.Back.

Note 126: Courier de l'Égypte (Cairo), 30 brumaire, an 7 (20 November 1798).Back.

Note 127: In two earlier issues of the Courier de l'Égypte, the capture of Malta was recounted, giving a blow-by-blow accounting of the French victory. As with the summary of the Italian campaign, this summary served to bolster morale and to unify the army around its successes. See Courier de l'Égypte, 3 vendémiaire, an 7 (24 September 1798) and 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 128: Courier de l'Égypte, 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 129: Martin, Presse Militaire, 371.Back.

Note 130: Courier de l'Égypte, 18 frimaire, an 7 (8 December 1798). The flight had, in fact, been announced two issues earlier, but had been postponed until 30 November. See Courier de l'Égypte, 7 frimaire, an 7 (27 November 1798).Back.

Note 131: Courier de l'Égypte, 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 132: Courier de l'Égypte, 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 133: Courier de l'Égypte, 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 134: Courier de l'Égypte, 10 vendémiaire, an 7 (1 October 1798).Back.

Note 135: Périvier, Napoléon Journaliste, 81, 83.Back.

Note 136: Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 17.Back.

Note 137: Claude Bellangeret, et al., Histoire générale de la presse française, vol. 1, Des origines à 1814 (Paris: Presses Université de France, 1969), 542.Back.

Note 138: Courier de l'Égypte, 20 vendémiaire, an 7 (11 October 1798); Courier de l'Égypte, 30 vendémiaire, an 7 (21 October 1798); Courier de l'Égypte, 18 frimaire, an 7 (18 December 1798); Courier de l'Égypte, 26 messidor, an 7 (14 June 1799); Courier de l'Égypte, 19 thermidor, an 7 (6 August 1798); Courier de l'Égypte, 29 fructidor, an 7 (15 August 1799); and Courier de l'Égypte, 6 complementaire, an 7 (22 September 1799).Back.

Note 139: La Décade Égyptienne, no. 1, 1er trimester, an 7.Back.

Note 140: La Décade Égyptienne, no. 1, 1er trimester, an 7; cf. Corr. V: 70-71, no. 3459. For more on the Institute of Egypt, see Melanie Byrd "The Napoleonic Institute of Egypt" (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1992).Back.

Note 141: La Décade Égyptienne, no. 3, 1er trimester, an 7. Several of the stanzas focus specifically on "the invincible Bonaparte," "the Phoenix of his century," and "the conqueror of kings."Back.

Note 142: Corr. V: 208, no. 3672; and Martin, Presse Militaire, 322.Back.

Note 143: Martin, Presse Militaire, 322.Back.

Note 144: Gazette nationale ou le Moniteur universal (Paris), 30 germinal, an 7 (19 April 1799); and La Décade Philosophique (Paris), 30 floréal, an 7 (19 May 1799). While La Décade reprinted the entire set of minutes, the Moniteur universal merely reprinted Napoleon's cover letter to those minutes. Interestingly, this brief letter does not appear in any volume of the Correspondance de Napoléon Ier.Back.

Note 145: Prospectus for La Décade Égyptienne (Cairo), no. 1, 1er trimester, an 7; cf. Godechot, "Expansion française," 162; and Boustany, "French Expedition in Egypt," 23.Back.


The Genesis of Napoleonic Propaganda, 1796-1799