Friday, February 22, 2008
Colloquia: Joseph Bonaparte's Point Breeze Estate
“HE WILL BE A BOURGEOIS AMERICAN AND SPEND HIS FORTUNE IN MAKING GARDENS”: A Preliminary Examination of Joseph Bonaparte's Point Breeze Estate, Bordertown, New Jersey
Richard Veit, PhD
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Monmouth University
Recent archaeological excavations in Bordentown, New Jersey, have begun to unearth the remains of Joseph Bonaparte’s palatial estate, Point Breeze. Joseph, the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte and former King of Spain and Naples, fled to the United States in 1815. He lived in New Jersey from 1816 until 1839. His home was a center for French refugees in America. His library and art collections were the largest in country. At Point Breeze, he entertained many of the leading intellectuals, politicians, artists, and military figures of the day. The excavations have revealed the remains of an exceptionally large structure believed to be the first mansion and a rich artifact assemblage.
Richard Veit is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University and Director of the University’s MA program in Liberal Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Historical Archaeology/Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. His research has focused on the historical archaeology of New Jersey, particularly ethnic lives in the 18th and 19th centuries.