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French General who threatened to topple the Republic
Autograph Letter signed: "Général Boulanger", 1p with blank integral leaf, 5x8. Newport, 1881 October 30. No addressee. In French, translated in full: "Thanks, my dear General, for your very friendly letter. I accept, with very great pleasure, for my officers and myself, your gracious invitation, and if agreeable to you, we shall go with you on Saturday 5th (inst.), before lunch. Kindly let me know, by a note to the 5th Avenue Hotel, where we should be on the 4th, at what hour you will send for us. Kindly accept the sincere expression of my respectful and fully devoted gratitude." Accompanied by handwritten translation (unknown hand) on matching paper. Georges Boulanger (1837-1891) was a French officer who distinguished himself in France's successful colonial wars, especially in Indo-China, and less successful European conflicts, notably the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). He was awarded the Legion of Honor for his part in the latter, losing cause, and then led the effort to suppress the Paris Commune uprising in the war's aftermath. An outspoken conservative, Boulanger espoused his own version of the "three R's": "Revanche" (revenge against Germany), "Revision" (of the French Constitution) and "Restauration" (of the monarchy). As War Minister (1882-1887), he undertook a military buildup near the German border, which caused Germany to call up reservists. Removed from the Cabinet, Boulanger entered politics, attracting a large popular following as "the man on horseback" who would save France. Elected to parliament in defiance of the ban on candidacies by military officers, he seemed poised to take power. When his supporters set in motion a coup attempt in January 1889, however, Boulanger hesitated, and then fled France to avoid arrest. Two years later, he committed suicide on the grave of his mistress in Brussels. Boulanger was in the USA in 1881 as part of a French military delegation to the centennial celebrations of the victory at Yorktown. Mailing folds. Fine condition.

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Born: Circa 1837
Died: Circa 1891

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