US Legation Paris passport 1814 Talleyrand

The following passport belonged to a dedicated collector of Napoleonic period items who bought it because of an early signature of a man who becomes later well know by the name TALLEYRAND. US Legation Paris passport

US Legation Paris passport
Portrait of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord by François Gérard © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The United States passport issued at the Legation in Paris in 1814 granting John.P.Todd freedom to travel from Paris to Ghent (signed by Todd as attaché with the American mission). Signed by William.H.Crawford, the American minister to France. After returning to the US, he served as War and Treasury Secretary and was later a candidate for the presidential nomination, which he abandoned to make way for James Monroe. Signed by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister with an early signature as Prince de Benevento. US Legation Paris passport

This portrait of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (1754-1838), Prince of Benevento, reflects its subject’s reputation: fearless and serene, with a slight smile (even a smirk?) on his lips. When Gérard painted it during the year 1807-1808, Talleyrand had resigned as Napoleon’s foreign minister on 10 August 1807 because of his opposition to the Emperor’s plans for an alliance with Russia.

The portrait remained in the Talleyrand family through the Prince of Benevento’s nephew until 2012 when it was sold, through the dealer Wildenstein, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.



The US Legation Paris passport

In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the US minister to France during the waning years of Napoleon’s First French Empire. Crawford served until 1815, shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Today, when speaking of the art of diplomacy, the phrase “he is a Talleyrand” is used to describe a statesman of great resourcefulness and craft. The American Legation passport issued in Paris is in overall great condition. Signed by Crawford and Talleyrand. The Red wax seal is complete and crisp.

US Legation Paris passport
American Legation Paris, July 15, 1814
US Legation Paris passport
Talleyrand’s’ early signature Prince de Benevento1814 as French foreign minister

A beautiful passport historical document with signatures of two significant persons in history. Many thanks to Bill de Montigny, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for permitting me to display this extraordinary passport. US Legation Paris passport


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