The Objects

3rd Apr 1815

Source: Biblioteca Virtual de Prensa Histórica, Diario Balear, 31 March 1815, by permission of the Ministerio de Cultura de España

The reaction in the Hispanic world

Contributed by: Graciela Iglesias Rogers

The images here from the periodical 'Diario Balear'  illustrate how news of Napoleon’s return from Elba arrived in the Balearic islands through private correspondence. An extract from a letter sent by an anonymous correspondent, and published by the 'Diario Balear' on 31 March, offered a detailed account of Napoleon's landing in the vicinity of Cannes and his plans to travel towards Grenoble; the refusal of the governor of Antibes to provide assistance; and the mobilization of over 6,000 men from Marseilles and Toulouse where loyalty to the Bourbon monarch had been expressed by the procession of a statue of Henry IV, shouts against the 'Tiger and Tyrant' and the dressing of all balconies with white flags.

Napoleon was travelling North and not South - a crucial piece of information for readers who had lived under the shadow of a Napoleonic invasion for almost a decade. The Balearic Islands, unlike most of mainland Iberia, had not experienced French occupation, but had suffered considerably due to a flood of immigration caused by Napoleon’s interference in both Spain and Italy. Napoleon's return was therefore the source of great speculation, and the authorities would move to introduce censorship as an attempt to take control of news that had been circulating for several weeks. For more see our entry for 27 May 1815.