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[NAPOLEONIC WARS: Collection of Five Original Documents Related to the Career of Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, Including a Naval Pass Signed by Smith as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ottoman Porte and Commander of the British Naval Squadron in the Levant; Autograph Letter Signed by Smith to French General Duc de Maillé Regarding a Frenchman Relieved from Slavery in Algeria, and Three Other Original Notes and Letters Written by Smith or Addressed to Him; With: a Large Stipple Engraved Portrait of Smith printed on the same leaf with a Copper Engraved Scene of the Siege of Acre].

by [SMITH, Admiral Sir William Sidney] (1764-1840)

Condition: Very Good


Handwritten. Very Good. No Binding. [Mediterranean] & Paris, ca. 1799, 1818, 1835-1838. Five documents of different size from Octavo (ca. 21,5x14 cm) to Folio (ca. 34,5x22,5 cm). In total 6 pp. of text. All documents in French. Brown ink on woven and laid paper, one note on decorative printed letterhead. Fold marks, paper slightly soiled and age toned, but overall a very good collection. The portrait: London: Anthony Cardon, 1804. Stipple engraving by A. Cardon after the portrait by Rober Ker Porter. Printed on the same leaf with the "Siege of Acre" scene, engraved by James Mitan. Size of both images together: ca. 40x21 cm (15 ¾ x 8 ¼ in). Paper slightly soiled around edges, with minor creases on the right margin, otherwise a very good engraving. Interesting collection of original manuscripts and a printed document authored by or addressed to Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, famous British naval commander of the Napoleonic Wars. The earliest document dating ca. 1799 relates to the peak of Smith's naval career - his service in the Mediterranean and successful defence of the fortress of Acre against the troops of Napoleon (20 March - 21 May 1799). The Siege of Acre was one of Napoleon's few defeats and became the turning point in the French invasion of Egypt and Syria. The document is a naval pass, printed in French and signed by Smith who is titled as a Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ottoman Porte and a Commander of the British Naval Squadron in the Levant. The pass is unfilled, it bears an official Ottoman stamp, and a red wax seal under paper embossed with the British stamp; according to the note on the bottom margin it was issued by the order of Smith's secretary John Keith. Noteworthy is the fact that Smith's title given to him in 1799 and endowing him with both political and naval authority caused a conflict with his direct superiors Lord St. Vincent and Admiral Nelson. Another interesting document is Smith's recommendation letter written in 1818 and addressed to French General Charles-François-Armand, duc de Maillé (1770-1837). The letter discusses one Dumont, a French mariner who was released from slavery after being held captive in Algeria for many years. Smith asks for a possibility of a pension for Dumont, sharing his impression of the mariner: "His story is so simple and so detailed, his character even if simple, is so candid and truthful in all that I could check of him, that I have no doubt that he had been a castaway as he says on the coast of Africa onboard the Corvette Le Lievre, then a boy of 14 years of age, and a servant to the aide-de-camp of Mr. Duc de Maille..." The letter illustrates Smith's active involvement in the anti-slavery and anti-piracy movement against the Barbary pirates of the southern Mediterranean in the 1810s. Among the other documents related to the time of Smith's residence in Paris later in life, is a manuscript note from Smith requesting for an audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding an urgent and important matter; a note to one "Mr. Sasa" who "has been invited by Admiral Sir Sidney Smith to review some lifesaving machines of his own inventions <...> He has also been granted permission to bring along with him some acquaintances of his who might take an interest in those devices" (dated 1838 and signed "W.S.S."), as well as a letter to Smith, from his friend, apparently a free-mason who was unable to attend a gathering in the lodge owing to professional duties. Overall an interesting collection from the archive of a renowned hero of the Napoleonic Wars. "Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith was the British admiral of whom Napoleon Bonaparte said, "That man made me miss my destiny" (Wikipedia)..


  • Bookseller: The Wayfarer's Bookshop ABAC/ILAB/PBFA CA (CA)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 001588
  • Title: [NAPOLEONIC WARS: Collection of Five Original Documents Related to the Career of Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, Including a Naval Pass Signed by Smith as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ottoman Porte and Commander of the British Naval Squadron in the Levant; Autograph Letter Signed by Smith to French General Duc de Maillé Regarding a Frenchman Relieved from Slavery in Algeria, and Three Other Original Notes and Letters Written by Smith or Addressed to Him; With: a Large Stipple Engraved Portrait of Smith printed on the same leaf with a Copper Engraved Scene of the Siege of Acre].
  • Author: [SMITH, Admiral Sir William Sidney] (1764-1840)
  • Book condition: Used - Very Good
  • Bookseller catalogs: Exploration, travel & voyages;



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edges
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folio
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octavo
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