LOUIS NICOLAS DAVOUT (1770-1823) Autograph letter signed to his wife Aimée Leclerc. SKIERNIEWICE [between Lodz and Warsaw, 2 January [1808] with date stamp of [1]7 January 1808.

Lotto 515
400 500
1 p. in-4, address on back, red wax seal with shield bearing his initials on marshal sticks, red postal mark «N° 43. GRANDE-ARMÉE»; tear to address leaf due to opening without damage to text. «I AM BUSY, MY DEAR FRIEND, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE INCOME [OF THE FORMER PRINCIPATE OF LOWICZ, which he had just received as a major], this occupation of time is no fun at all. I do it with zeal, however, thinking that it is useful to my little Aimée and my children. I hope in a fortnight to have finished something and to be able to put your mind at rest by providing you with the means to pay our debts. My great means is to demand a year’s advance. Tomorrow is the day we auction off three mills. It’s an attempt, I don’t know if it will succeed. A thousand caresses to my little ones [his daughters Joséphine and Napoléone, born in 1804 and 1807] and a thousand kisses to their excellent mother. All yours for life, your good Louis». MARSHAL DAVOUT, REAL PROCONSUL OF THE GRAND DUCHY OF POLAND. After his brilliant participation in the Prussian and Polish campaigns (battles of Auerstaedt, Czamowo, Golymin, Eylau.), he was chosen in August 1807 to command the French troops stationed in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Created by the Treaty of Tilsit despite the strong reluctance of Alexander I, this political entity was to be placed in the hands of King Frederick-Augustus III of Saxony... who took a long time to take possession of it. He carried out his task with great mastery and justified the emperor’s confidence: it was thinking of the administrative qualities displayed by Marshal Davout in Poland (and later in Hamburg) that Napoleon I made him his minister of war in 1815. LARGE LAND OWNER IN POLAND BY THE MUNIFICENCE OF NAPOLEON I: Marshal Davout was experiencing personal cash flow difficulties which caused him many recriminations from his wife, who remained alone in Paris and was looking for a ‘hôtel particulier’. A man of integrity who did not indulge in depredations and prevarications like others in the countryside, he was reluctant to ask for the Emperor’s help. However, he received a large endowment in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, attached to his title of Duke of Auerstaedt, and based on the property of the former principality of Owicz, which included, among other things, the palace at Skierniewice between Lodz and Warsaw. In addition, a substantial imperial gratuity enabled his wife Aimée to acquire for them a hotel in Paris, the so-called «Hotel de Monaco» in the Rue Saint-Dominique, which had previously been occupied by the ambassador of the Ottoman Empire.