An executive order in Napoleon's hand, with a substantial letter in Arabic

Napoleon, Emperor of the French (1769-1821). Autograph executive order, signed twice ("Bonaparte").

[Cairo], 29 Brumaire an VII [19 Nov. 1798].

Folio (ca. 230:335 mm). Manuscript document in French and Arabic. 1 page.


Napoleon's order is inscribed and signed in his own hand on a petition from Sheikh Mohammad al-Mahdi, on behalf of the Divan (written on the lower half of the page, with the stamp of the Divan at the bottom), regarding one Sheikh Ahmed ben Ûleieh, who has been detained on suspicion of committing a "prétention de caffé" against Adbullah Bacha. Mohammad al-Mahdi declares that, whoever might be the owner of the "caffé" in question, Sheikh Ahmed himself ("homme de bien") has never had any contact with Abdullah Bacha, and that he feels sure that Napoleon (as "Général-en-chef") would not wish to create dissension amongst people who have nothing to do with the matter. Indeed, Napoleon orders the release of Sheikh Ahmed ben Ûleieh: "[...] Le commandant de la place faira sortir le dit homme et mettre en liberte, Bonaparte [...]". The contemporary French translation and Napoleon's two-line autograph reply, with instructions to have the complaint from the Divan forwarded to Citoyen Poussielgue, are written above the Arabic text, on 29 Brumaire.

Whilst documents signed by Napoleon are not uncommon, this manuscript contains an executive order in his hand, signed twice. It is also notable for the presence of the substantial letter from Mohammad al-Mahdi in Arabic, to which he is responding, complete with the stamp of the Divan at the foot of the page.

Light browning to upper margin, otherwise in excellent condition.

Stock Code: BN#51293 Tags: , ,