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Bonaparte in Lewis County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The French Emigres

Historic New York

 
 
The French Emigres Marker image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, June 26, 2012
1. The French Emigres Marker
Inscription.  Following the social upheavals of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era, some French aristocrats sought refuge in the wilderness of Northern New York. The vast Macomb Purchase provided lands for speculators who sold to French promoters. In 1782, J. D. Le Ray de Chaumont, scion of the noble family which sponsored Benjamin Franklin in Paris, came to America and became principal developer of the region. He laid out an estate, built a mansion and promoted settlement. In 1792, William Constable sold 200,000 acres to a Paris company for "Castorland," but many of its plans were visionary and impractical.

After Napoleon's fall in 1815, a new wave of refugees came to the region, including Joseph Bonaparte, the emperor's brother and erstwhile King of Naples and Sicily and Spain. While staying at Lake Bonaparte, he entertained fellow emigres and plotted to rescue Napoleon from exile. But pioneering life was not easy, and few emigres remained after Europe became more tranquil.

Permanent settlement expanded about 1820 with an influx of New Englanders attracted to the timber and mineral resources. Lacking good transportation, the region developed

The French Emigres Marker as seen from Rte 3 image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, June 26, 2012
2. The French Emigres Marker as seen from Rte 3
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slowly. Today, the rugged country and the lakes and streams afford excellent opportunities for recreation.
 
Erected 1963 by Education Department, State of New York, & the NYS Thruway Authority.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Historic New York State series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1782.
 
Location. 44° 6.268′ N, 75° 24.562′ W. Marker is in Bonaparte, New York, in Lewis County. Marker is on New York State Route 3 west of Richardson Rd, on the right when traveling east. This is the first parking area on Rte. 3 east of Watertown. If headed west on Rte. 3, it's shortly after the road signs for the shores of Lake Bonaparte. It is marked from both directions a mile out as "Parking Area." So that if you follow the above directions, it can't be missed. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisville NY 13648, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Railroad Depot (approx. 5.4 miles away); Grist Mill (approx. 5˝ miles away); Harrisville Central School History (approx. 5˝ miles away); Chair Factory (approx. 5.6 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 11.7 miles away).
 
NYS Rte 3 facing east from marker's rest area image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, June 26, 2012
3. NYS Rte 3 facing east from marker's rest area
NYS Rte 3 facing west from marker's rest area image. Click for full size.
By Yugoboy, June 26, 2012
4. NYS Rte 3 facing west from marker's rest area
Joseph Bonaparte banner on display in Bordentown, New Jersey image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 14, 2020
5. Joseph Bonaparte banner on display in Bordentown, New Jersey
Elder brother of Napoleon, and exiled King of Spain and Naples, Joseph Bonaparte settled in Bordentown in 1816 where he purchased land overlooking the Delaware River and Crosswick Creek. In 1820 his original mansion was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in even grander fashion. His estate at Point Breeze was a destination for famed domestic and international dignitaries. It was home to the largest library and art collection in the newly founded United States. While spending more than 20 years in Bordentown, his home was said to be the most impressive house in the United STates after the White House.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2012, by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York. This page has been viewed 682 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 4, 2012, by Yugoboy of Rochester, New York.   5. submitted on November 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 16, 2021