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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Fears of losing his empire in North America led Napoleon I to sell the Louisiana Territory.
NAPOLEON I. (Ajaccio, Corsica, Aug. 15, 1769--Longwood, Saint Helena, May 5, 1821). Emperor of France. Napoleon's need to finance military conquests and his concern that a North American empire would badly divide his forces led France to sell the Louisiana Territory, including the future site of Dubuque.

The sale to the United States in 1803 is known in America as the famous LOUISIANA PURCHASE.

Beginning in 1971, the efforts of Helen MERCER led to several of Napoleon's personal items becoming part of the collection of the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. The possessions, including Napoleon's sword, a silver spoon reportedly used at his deathbed, and his cup and saucer were donated to the museum by Genevieve Shannon of Centralia, Iowa. Shannon is a descendant of General Perreau, a close friend of the famous French leader.