32-WATERLOO 1815

 

When Napoleon returned from Russia, Nathan decided it was time to get rid of him. Nathan financed all the warring factions, not only Napoleon’s Army, but that of Austria, Prussia, Russia and England. Since the days of Aboukir, financing all sides continued to be a way of getting the desired results. Napoleon suffered defeat upon defeat, and after his encounters with Wellington in Spain, he was forced out of the Iberian Peninsula. He had by then lost most of his power. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814, abdicating in the process, and was sent to the Island of Elba.

Something very odd happened concerning Napoleon on February 26, 1815. In wanting to completely uproot Napoleon’s dynasty by destroying what was left of the Imperial Army, Nathan probably arranged to have him escape Elba and have him march on Paris. As the British guard ships looked the other way, Napoleon slipped away from Portoferraio on board the warship Inconstant with some 1,000 men, and landed between Cannes and Antibes on March 1. He knew that Royalist Provence would not be very friendly to him, and so, he avoided Provence by taking a route through the Alps.

Without firing a single shot, he marched unimpeded in a country in which he was reviled, and his troop numbers swelled until they became an army. On March 5, the Royalist 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who would later be executed for treason by the Bourbons. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon’s charisma. When Royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon’s force at Grenoble, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said “If any of you will shoot his Emperor, here I am.” The men acclaimed him as they had when he had first gone to Italy.

Marshal Ney now a military commander under Louis XVIII was heard to say that Napoleon should be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on March 14, that same Ney rejoined his old comrade in arms, Napoleon, with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and an elected assembly to the acclaim of the crowds, Napoleon entered the capital from which Louis XVIII fled.

In the meantime, the Coalition countries met in Vienna and declared Napoleon an outlaw as they each pledged 150 000 men to defeat him. Unperturbed, Napoleon decided to take the offensive by going after the weakest army, that of Wellington, which had marched into Belgium. Because English troops were still committed to the War of 1812 in America, Wellington didn’t have what could be called an elite army.

The Duke of Wellington with 110,000 men, and Prussia’s Field Marshal Blucher with 120,000 men were the only two armies close enough to threaten France, and so Napoleon decided to strike before the Russians and the Austrians arrived. Moving with stunning speed, he invaded Belgium with 125,000 men in a bid to split Wellington and Blucher’s armies, and defeat each separately.

Marshal Grouchy went to meet Wellington’s army while Napoleon defeated the Prussians. Then, with the Prussians on the run, Napoleon decided to personally go after Wellington to the north. Marshal Grouchy was to make sure the defeated Prussians to the east would not come back and join up with Wellington. However, it took more time than expected for Napoleon to drive through Wellington’s defenses, and surprisingly, Marshal Grouchy was unable to hold back the weakened Prussians. When Blucher’s forces joined up with those of Wellington, Napoleon didn’t have a chance. That was the end of the Battle of Waterloo.

On the day the battle ended, on the other side of the Channel, Nathan was in London waiting for the official results of the battle with a formidable communications network in place. Even though Nathan was financing all the armies and knew that Napoleon didn’t have a chance, he wanted, nonetheless, to be absolutely sure before putting his devilish stock exchange swindle in motion. Nathan held a good portion of the 300 million pounds’ worth of Consols, the debt England had consolidated in funded government securities that were traded on the London Stock Exchange, but he wanted to own it all. As soon as the battle outcome was confirmed by his personal couriers who had waited for the carrier pigeons to arrive, and who had then rushed to the London Stock Exchange to inform the great man, Nathan started dumping all the Consols that he owned, making sure all the traders saw what he was doing. In no time at all, convinced that Nathan knew something they didn’t, the traders started dumping their Consols until the price of Consols dropped to ten percent of their value. When Nathan gave the signal, his aides bought back all the Consols as fast as they could. When the outcome of the battle was made public a short time later, and when everybody realized it had been Wellington, and not Napoleon, who had won, the price of Consols skyrocketed past their original high, and in a single day, Nathan had taken charge of the entire English debt and consolidated his control over the Bank of England.

Napoleon was exiled to St. Helens, and Louis XVIII was encouraged to try and establish a French constitutional monarchy, failed, and was subsequently removed from power. There would be two more tries at establishing an English style monarchy, but both failed, and around 1850, Lionel, Nathan’s son, decided that enough was enough. Paris, the center of power, would be transformed into the City of Lights, and France would return to being a republic as established under Napoleon, the only difference being that the Emperor would now be an elected President.

31-MOSCOW CAMPAIGN

 

Shortly after the War of 1812 began, Nathan, confident that the American politicians would renew his bank’s charter, turned his attention to Europe. He was anxious to send Napoleon to Russia. Like his father, he believed that more gold bullioto the Uralsn was needed if the number of central banks, and hence the amount of credit, was to grow. It was crucial to accumulate as much gold as possible, at least until the US paper dollar became as good as gold, but that would take a lot of gold and a lot of years. The problem in 1812 was that gold mining was still in its infancy, and that even exploiting alluvial gold deposits was a problem. However, it just so happened that the most advanced mining engineering school in the world was in Paris. L’École des Mines de Paris founded in 1783 had developed the latest techniques for extracting alluvial gold, and this gave Nathan the wherewithal to pursue his plan.

In 1803, alluvial gold had been discovered on the western slope of the Urals in Russia, and it was well known that the Tsar wanted to keep it a secret, for he didn’t want the serf population to start a gold rush. In 1810, Nathan who was setting the world price for gold bullion out of the City in London, was well aware of that situation. Therefore, he would entice Napoleon to go and force Tsar Alexander’s hand to open the country to private gold mining. Napoleon would take a corps of engineers with him, and once Alexander was forced into accepting, that elite corps would be sent to the Urals in order to launch and supervise mining operations. Of course, Napoleon was to keep all the proceeds from the sale of the mined gold. Nathan would open a Russian bank and buy all the gold as it was being produced while giving the Tsar his royalties. Letters of exchange in pounds would be sent to Napoleon in Paris, and the gold would find its way to Nathan’s vaults in the City. Napoleon and the Tsar would get the paper, and Nathan would get the gold.

Napoleon started the Russian campaign in June, 1812, and he was heading into a Russian winter which made absolutely no sense. After major losses, he entered Moscow. But since the retreating Russian Army had burned and stripped the city of supplies, it was a deadly place to be for a starving army. He could easily have gone on to Saint Petersburg to defeat Tsar Alexander and winter his troops in that city, but he chose to stay in Moscow for a whole five weeks instead. Napoleon was obviously waiting for an answer from the Tsar, to whom he had issued an ultimatum regarding opening the country to gold mining. After likely receiving assurances from Tsar Alexander that it would be done, Napoleon decided to spare Saint Petersburg, and took off as fast as he could for France, but not before dispatching to the Urals a contingent of 22 000 men headed by the engineers from l’Ecole des Mines de Paris. If Napoleon then took the same direct way back to France, knowing full well the countryside was totally devastated by the passing of his army on the way to Moscow, and that winter was around the corner, it was because he was in a hurry to reap the benefits of the campaign and was willing to gamble. Napoleon made it OK, but his army wasn’t so lucky. Winter set in early, and his army was completely annihilated.

Later that year, the Russian Senate issued an Act authorizing subjects and private companies to mine gold and silver ores providing they pay royalties to the Severnaya Kazna National State Bank. As expected, numerous private mining companies with Russian names started mining operations, and the country’s gold output was as much as 2 tons in that first year. Financing research and development in gold mining technology and buying the gold produced at the price set by Nathan in the City would become the modus operandi for all time.

Meanwhile, in Judengasse, Mayer’s health was failing. Upon receiving the bad news, Nathan duly rushed to Frankfurt, and was at his father’s bedside when he died on September 19, 1812. One can only wonder if the War in America declared on June 18, 1812, happening at the same time Napoleon was starting his Russian Campaign, didn’t adversely affect Mayer’s health. Did he think Nathan was in too much of a hurry? Did he think too many people were being killed needlessly in the name of gold? Or was 68 considered a ripe old age for the times? No matter, the greatest man who ever lived passed away in almost total anonymity in his German ghetto.

One thing is certain, Gretel must have reminded Nathan of the absolute necessity for discretion and anonymity so dear to his father. In London, Nathan had been doing exactly the opposite of what Mayer had always done, that is, keep a low profile while building the greatest financial dynasty of all time. Gretel couldn’t have been too happy with Nathan’s extravagant ways.

Nathan attended his father’s funeral with his son Lionel, who was four years old at the time. Gretel bonded instantly with her grandson, and when he took over the reins of power after his father’s death in 1836, Gretel was still living in Judengasse. She died much later, in 1849, and Lionel visited the old woman he loved as often as he could. Gretel had a great influence on him, for under his direction, the dynasty built by Mayer slowly went back to keeping a low profile, to the point where most people today wonder if it ever really existed. Nonetheless, to this day, Nathan’s bank in the City fixes the world price for gold out on a daily basis.

30-NAPOLEON, THE PUPPET

When Nathan moved to the City and took charge of the English monetary system, he was also taking charge of Bonaparte. One of the first things he did was direct Ouvrard to have Talleyrand convince Bonaparte to sell the French territory known as Louisiana to the Americans. It turned out to be quite a successful intervention in that the Treaty of Mortefontaine and the Treaty of San Ildefonso were both signed in 1800. Following the signing of the agreements, Bonaparte then sent 35,000 French troops to free the eastern part of Santa Domingo in order to give it back to the Spanish as promised. But Bonaparte had another idea in the back of his head, for he intended to double-cross whoever was financing the deal. Once in Hispaniola, instead of freeing the island, he would use it as a secure military base. Being close to the USA, he could then easily land his troops in New Orleans and occupy Louisiana instead of selling it, and there was nobody to stop him. By occupying the land west of the Mississippi, a land they already owned, the French would create a bigger and more important country than the 13 loose-knitted English speaking Colonies on the east coast.

Not surprisingly, Nathan got word of his intentions, but before he could send in the English Navy to put things right, Bonaparte’s army was wiped out by yellow fever, and the few remaining troops had to return to France. Bonaparte then had no choice but to sell Louisiana to the Americans as planned. But he hadn’t lost out completely, for he still pocketed the sale proceeds. It was a win-win situation for all parties. The Americans got a deal beyond their wildest dreams, and the 15 million dollars went directly to Bonaparte. It was enough to satisfy all of Bonaparte’s ambitions, and he following year, in 1804, he crowned himself Napoleon. The megalomaniac had become emperor, and it was henceforth up to Nathan to keep him in check.

After the signing of the Treaty of Mortefontaine with the USA, and the Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain, the Quasi-War came to an end. The promised Louisiana Purchase that had been the bait was completed in 1803. But where did America get the money? At the time of the Louisiana Purchase, the thirteen Colonies had around seven million dollars in revenues, a 3.2 million dollar deficit, and didn’t yet collect taxes. Naturally, Congress asked the First Bank of the United States for a loan just like Mayer had expected. Lending to a government was the whole idea of banking.

When Congress offered to pay fifteen million dollars for the port of New Orleans, to everyone’s surprise, Napoleon sweetened the deal by throwing in at no extra charge all of the French possessions, including Rupert’s Land, a territory that in large part is Canada today. That was, indeed, a mind-boggling offer, and though Congress couldn’t believe its luck, it didn’t bother to question this ‘divine’ intervention. What is never mentioned is that in 1867 most of Rupert’s Land north of the 49th parallel was quietly united to Quebec, then known as Lower Canada. The straight line represented by the 49th parallel was seemingly drawn by the same ‘divine’ power that had devised the Manifest Destiny concept. America was on its way to becoming a coast to coast nation with Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south. However, the Mexican border would take a little longer to establish, for Spanish troops were still present on North American soil.

On the European front, Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor Napoleon at Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Paris, on December 2, 1804. Being in a position of strength, he rammed through the Civil Code on March 21, 1805. The Catholic Royalists opposed it violently because it meant they no longer had legal recourse with regards to their confiscated property. Napoleon had done exactly what was expected of him. Backed by Fouché’s dreaded state police, the Prefects had full powers in the departments, and the mayors answered directly to them. The Civil Code, a written law contrary to common law, was easy to interpret and easy to enforce. France thus became a centralist state that would endure time.

Nonetheless, in 1804, the French Navy was still a royalist fiefdom and still viable even though it had received a severe blow at Aboukir, in 1799. Therefore, in wanting to finish off the French Navy, Nathan, knowing full well that Napoleon wanted to invade England, told Ouvrard to promise the Emperor all the financing needed if he decided to do so. The plan would unfold, and when the French fleet would be at its most vulnerable, Nathan would leak the information to the English Admiralty who would be more than anxious to have Admiral Nelson join the fray.

Since Aboukir, the French Navy had been rehabilitated by Latouche-Tréville, but it was Admiral Villeneuve, the same one who had fled at Aboukir who was given command of the fleet. Nelson, who was chosen to command the English fleet and who had great respect for Admiral Latouche-Tréville who had once routed him, didn’t know that the French had replaced him with Villeneuve. So, when Villeneuve took off for the Caribbean, Nelson thought it was Latouche-Tréville, and that he was headed for Egypt. Thanks to favorable winds, Villeneuve kept well ahead of Nelson and Napoleon’s deception worked. Villeneuve went to the Caribbean, and Nelson went to Egypt. By the time Nelson realized his mistake, Villeneuve had had time to rendezvous with other French units in the Caribbean thirty-two days ahead of Nelson’s arrival. Villeneuve’s Navy was shipshape, superior in fire power, and could have easily defeated Nelson, but instead of engaging the English fleet, Villeneuve, who had fled before Nelson at Aboukir, fled yet again.

Napoleon then devised a clever plan. By having his navy invade a few islands, he made the English Admiralty think the French were taking over in the Caribbean. Then, as expected, most of the English Navy was dispatched to the Caribbean, thus freeing the French ports that had been under siege. Villeneuve seized the opportunity and took off as fast as he could for Europe, heading for Boulogne-Sur-Mer where Napoleon and his Imperial Army were waiting. All the French ships from the now liberated French ports were to join him there and everything was going marvellously well for Napoleon. Then, for some unknown reason, Villeneuve made the worst decision possible, one that was as catastrophic as the one taken by de Brueys at Aboukir. Instead of continuing on to Boulogne, he turned back and headed south for the Spanish port of Cadiz. No doubt, Villeneuve had been intercepted and ordered to do just that. Until then, the plan to invade England had been unfolding flawlessly. Understandably, Napoleon was furious at Villeneuve and immediately sent orders to have him removed from command. However, before receiving those orders, Villeneuve joined up with the Spanish fleet and went to attack Nelson’s fleet that had been spotted approaching from the west. Why on October 21, 1805, off Trafalgar, Villeneuve decided to attack Nelson in the worst possible weather conditions remains a mystery.

At the head of a disorganized Franco-Spanish fleet, practically in a dead calm, Villeneuve headed north to engage Nelson. When Nelson saw that Villeneuve’s ships were scattered six miles wide, he seized the opportunity and, contrary to tradition, he divided his fleet into two columns, one of which cut the Franco-Spanish fleet in two. That column went in at right angles, firing broadsides to port and starboard while remaining totally immune to enemy fire. The other column went northward and sank any enemy ship that decided to turn about and come to the rescue of the sister ships being attacked. The whole Franco-Spanish fleet was either sunk or captured. The score at Aboukir had been 13 to 0 in favor of Nelson, and now at Trafalgar it was 33 to 0 in his favor, notwithstanding the fact that he died after being shot by a French sailor from one of the damaged ships.

Nathan had to be very happy with the results, for that meant the Atlantic Ocean was now under the control of only one navy, the English Navy. The Atlantic community could now flourish. Napoleon had to abandon his plan to invade England, and was encouraged instead to go seek fame and fortune by attacking the Ancien Regime powers to the east. And since he kept all the spoils of victory, he was doubly motivated to go on the warpath. He defeated the Austrians in Italy and continued right into Austria where he defeated both Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II at Austerlitz. It marked the beginning of the end for all Ancien Regime countries. A year later, the Holy Roman Empire was abolished and replaced by the Confederation of the Rhine, with Napoleon as ‘protector’.

Napoleon then took time out to tidy up his personal life. He wanted a male heir, and since Josephine couldn’t give him one, he divorced her. He married Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810, and the King of Rome was born in 1811. As far as Nathan was concerned, with the French Navy gone, with Napoleon having restructured France and with the Holy Roman Empire defeated, the Emperor and his Imperial Army were no longer needed. But there was one more thing Napoleon could do before he was given the coup de grace, he could go to Russia and force the Tsar to let private companies mine for gold in the Urals.

29-TAKEOVER IN THE CITY

Prior to sending Bonaparte to Egypt in 1799, Mayer, who now controlled the English monetary system, had wanted to end the Quasi-War by destroying the very royalist and redundant French Navy. Because the Goldsmid Bros., who represented Mayer’s interests in the City, didn’t have the drive and energy to get the job done, Mayer decided to send Nathan, his very capable 21 year-old son, to England and take charge of things. If Bonaparte was to be instrumental in stopping the Quasi-War, it had to be done without his knowledge, and since he was a dangerous megalomaniac, he had to be handled with care. Under his father’s direction, Nathan had told Ouvrard, to do whatever was necessary to get Talleyrand and Barras to send young Bonaparte on his Egyptian campaign, and we know the results of that campaign.

The Quasi-War had to do with the signing of Jay’s Treaty in 1793, a trade agreement that Mayer and Benjamin had deemed indispensable to the growth of the American economy. America and France had signed a Treaty of Alliance in 1778, and Jay’s Treaty was technically superseding that agreement. The French and many Americans had been incensed. It had been seen as a treacherous act by both the US Congress and the Directorate in France. Naturally, the French revolutionaries insisted on the return of the 500 tons of French gold given to America in 1778. However, Congress didn’t have any way of doing that, for as far as it was concerned, the gold was all spent.

In trying to avoid retaliation by the French, Mayer had asked Morris to get Congress to send an American delegation to Paris to negotiate a repayment scheme involving the purchase of Louisiana. Mayer was proposing a plan on how to broker a deal between America and France. If America bought Louisiana from France, the latter would receive a huge sum of money in compensation, and the Quasi-War would stop. But first, France had to reclaim the port of New Orleans that they had ceded to the Spanish when they left America after the Treaty of Paris, in 1763. Barras was to get Talleyrand to have the Spanish sign a treaty. He was to promise the Spanish that the half of San Domingo that belonged to them and was presently occupied by France would be returned to them in exchange for New Orleans. Once this was done, he would get the Americans to buy the whole of Louisiana from the French, and it would more than compensate for France’s generosity in 1778.

However, when the American delegation consisting of three diplomats arrived in Paris. They were treated very poorly by the Marquis of Talleyrand who had the gall to request personal compensation in order to intervene on their behalf. The American diplomats were so shocked by this turn of events that they returned immediately to America to report to Congress. Both parties in Congress spoke with one voice in condemning the French response to their genuine peace overture. Meanwhile, the French Navy started seizing and sinking American merchant ships in the Caribbean, while the fledgling US Navy retaliated as best it could. That’s where things stood in late 1797, and from Mayer’s point of view, the Quasi-War had to be stopped before it escalated.

Mayer didn’t want the English Navy getting involved in the Quasi-War. He controlled the American monetary system, that of England through the Goldsmid Bros., and indirectly that of France, and he didn’t want the three countries who were now under his financial control to be fighting each other. France was definitely not an enemy, but its very powerful royalist navy was a real nuisance, for it was hampering trade in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. America, England and France were unofficially trading partners, and one navy was all that was needed, the English Navy. If the Quasi-War was to be nipped in the bud, the French Royalist Navy had to be destroyed.

In France, Mayer had directed Ouvrard to finance both Barras and Talleyrand, his main advisor. Mayer was happy with the Barras-Talleyrand team, for such individuals were easily bought and disposed of. But it was time to start thinking about having a strong man to replace them. Bonaparte would take over from Barras, and his son Nathan, the pugnacious one, would take over from the Goldsmid Bros. in the City.

In order to ensure his anonymity, when Nathan first arrived in England, he set himself up as a textile merchant from Frankfurt. By 1810, he was the wealthiest banker in the City, and he was setting the price of gold for the whole world on a daily basis. Maybe the expression ‘rags to riches’ was inspired by Nathan’s apparent exploit. In fact, Mayer had wanted to make sure Nathan didn’t have any official ties with him or the First Bank of the United States. When Nathan opened his bank in the City, using his own name, all possible ties to his father, the First Bank of the United States, and the French real estate scam disappeared. Nobody would ever know where all that power, wealth and gold came from. Anonymity was the key to success.

Other than wanting to do a good job and making his father proud, Nathan had another pressing personal matter. He had been introduced to two families in London, and though it had been Moses Elias Montefiore’s family that had taken him in, Nathan had closer ties to the Levy-Barent Cohen family from when he was 18. In 1795, on a trip to America with his father and brothers, they had stopped over in London, and that’s when Nathan had met Hannah Cohen who was 12 at the time. When he arrived in London in 1798, he was quite anxious to see the girl he had dreamt about during all those years.

He lost no time in founding a family. In 1806 he married Hannah Cohen, in 1808 Lionel was born, and in 1809 he moved to St. Swithin’s Lane in New Court, where he proceeded to set up the official home of his banking dynasty. But first, Nathan had to take over from the Goldsmid Bros.

He was helped by destiny in that Benjamin Goldsmid committed suicide in 1808 just prior to Nathan’s moving to Swithin’s Lane. It was said that Benjamin had been depressed for some time. When his 19-year old son converted to Anglicanism, it had shaken him up, and when his wife and daughters followed suite, it appeared to do him in. At that time, he had expressed the thought that he was saddened to be the last Jew in his family, and that no doubt had led him to be further depressed, enough to take his life. One morning, he was found in his bedroom dangling at the end of his bathrobe chord.

Abraham was troubled by his brother’s suicide, and doubly so because he was now alone in facing his firm’s business obligations. He had bought £14,000,000 of Government Consols, and in order to do so he had contracted a sizeable loan with the East India Company in Amsterdam. In 1810, for reasons unknown to the public, the East India Company called in Abraham’s loan. That of course forced him to sell the Consols at a loss, thus making him suffer a huge loss that resulted in the insolvency of the firm. Abraham honorably used the whole of his personal assets to pay back what he owed, and that left him penniless. He committed suicide in 1810. A handgun was found near his body lying in a wooded area not far from his home.

Nathan was a very able and energetic young man. The French Navy was given a serious blow at Aboukir in 1799, and was completely wiped out at Trafalgar in 1805. He ended the Quasi-War by arranging the Louisiana Purchase and making funds available to the US Congress regarding the actual purchase. The proceeds of that sale were given to Bonaparte who immediately crowned himself Emperor Napoleon. Napoleon then turned France into an orderly centralist state before taking off and defeating the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz. By 1810, Napoleon had served his purpose, and it was time to get rid of him. But Nathan thought he could use him one last time by sending him to Russia in order to force the Tsar to open the country to gold mining companies. There would always be time to get rid of Napoleon.

28-BATTLE OF THE NILE

 

Because Bonaparte was popular and a nuisance, Talleyrand and Barras encouraged him to go to Egypt. Mayer had told Ouvrard to agree to the financing, and Bonaparte was quick to go and seek glory. Bonaparte didn’t know that Nathan in the City wanted to destroy a redundant French Navy which happened to be the fiefdom of royalists. After Bonaparte unloaded his troops along the Egyptian coast, the French Fleet would naturally find a place to lay at anchor while waiting for the troops to return. Ouvrard would then inform the Goldsmid Bros. who in turn would leak the information to the Admiralty in London, and the British Navy would naturally be rushed to the spot in order to sink the French Navy. A new war tactic was being created, that of financing both sides in order to get the desired outcome.

When Bonaparte went off to Egypt in early 1798, the Directorate had chosen Admiral de Brueys to command the fleet. Bonaparte had no choice but to accept this incompetent, boot-licking coward, but he wasn’t overly concerned, for all he wanted was to get as many men as he could to the other side of the Mediterranean. Bonaparte even sacrificed space and sailors aboard the ships in order to transport more soldiers. Bonaparte was quite eager to go to the Middle East. He must have dreamt of riches and glory in wanting to reclaim Palestine, and to dominate trade with India by constructing the Suez Canal. Pillaging Egypt was no doubt in the back of his mind as well.

Admiral Horatio Nelson was the one chosen by the English Admiralty to command the English Fleet. Nelson was taking the looming battle very personally and very seriously. Like most of his countrymen, he wanted to settle the score for what had happened at Yorktown. The English Naval defeat in America had not gone down well, and Nelson had taken off with fourteen ships filled with hooligans hell-bent on killing frogs. Meanwhile, unsuspectingly, after unloading Bonaparte’s army, De Brueys anchored down in the Bay of Aboukir.

Although his naval force was inferior to that of Admiral de Brueys, Nelson was itching for a fight. When the English fleet was spotted in early afternoon on August 1st, 1798 by the artillery unit deployed on the heights dominating the entrance to the Bay of Aboukir, the Commandant of the French unit duly gave the alert, but there was no reaction on the part of Admiral de Brueys. His ships were at anchor, chained together from bow to stern, thus forming an impenetrable line of defense… or so he thought. Many of his more intrepid officers, Vice-Admiral Cheyla and others insisted he recall the sailors who were on shore and immediately take the offensive, for the favorable winds would have given them a decisive advantage. But he chose to do nothing as fourteen ships filled with vengeful, bloodthirsty Englishmen came bearing down on him.

Admiral de Brueys reasoned that it was 5:00 pm and was too late in the day for the English to attack. Not only did he not recall the men on shore, but he didn’t even see the need to position frigates at the head of his anchored fleet to stop Nelson from sailing behind his position. It was as though he had decided to self-destruct. The great admiral kept repeating that Nelson would not attack on that day. So, the canons were not in position, and the decks were cluttered with everything except cannon balls, powder, and artificers.

Upon seeing the French fleet in such a vulnerable position, Nelson kept on going and attacked the ships on both port and starboard sides simultaneously. The French fleet was blown out of the water, while Nelson’s ships remained unscathed. Admiral Villeneuve, who commanded the flotilla at the head of the line and who could have used the favorable winds to counterattack, decided to escape, thus saving two ships of the line and two frigates.

The Egyptian campaign thus began in defeat. The only good thing that came out of the whole campaign was due to the great number of scientists Bonaparte had brought along with him. They, at least, were responsible for some major scientific discoveries. Politically, Bonaparte also left behind a more efficient Egyptian governing body. However, with regards to the survey of the proposed Suez Canal, the plan to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea was stopped dead in its tracks. Because it was wrongly concluded that the waterway would require locks to operate and would be very expensive and take a long time to construct, it was abandoned. The survey report made clear that the Red Sea was 33ft higher than the Mediterranean, an error of monumental proportion.

Bonaparte had several costly victories in Palestine, but they all went for naught. He had accumulated tons of artifacts, but since he had no ships to bring them back to France, it turned out that it was the English Navy that eventually transported most of those artifacts back to London. As for Bonaparte, he left his army behind in Egypt and took off for Paris. When he arrived, his propaganda machine had worked wonders, and he was again acclaimed as a hero. Thereafter, Barras quietly retired, while Sieyes was given the responsibility of working on the Civil Code with Cambaceres, and Bonaparte casually assumed power by declaring himself 1st Consul.

27-RECRUITING BONAPARTE

 

1n late 1793, news arrived regarding the Vendean genocide that had claimed another 6000 Catholic mothers, fathers and children, and the Toulon massacre where another 1000 innocent were massacred. This was very hard for Gretel to swallow, for she hadn’t yet gotten over Marie-Antoinette’s execution on Oct. 14th of that same year. If her man was the most powerful banker in the world, and he was, he just had to do something about stopping the Illuminati from venting their hatred on the people.

Mayer agreed to do something. The time had come to put an end to the terror. He wrote to Ouvrard telling him to finance Barras when the latter arrived in Paris. He was to give him all the means necessary to put an end to the Paris Commune working out of Paris City Hall. Not only was Robespierre running the guillotine at full speed, but he had set up procedures for mass trials where 50-60 were executed at a time.

Barras became very affluent in a very short period of time, and he took charge of the Convention. He was named commander of the Paris military forces and charged with protecting the Convention. In July, 1794, he pushed a vote through for the execution of Robespierre and all the other lunatics. The French Revolution ended overnight. When the Royalists threatened to take control of the Convention, Barras readied his military forces to stop them, which they did on October 5, 1795. It was on this occasion that he employed an idle Bonaparte who had long sought from the revolutionary government to be reinstated as brigadier general. Barras employed him in the most useful way possible, he gave him command of his forces. After the massacre of 300 royalist parliamentarians on the steps of St. Roch Church, the young general received all the honors of victory. Barras praised him highly in the presence of the assembly, and his appointment to the rank of general of division was voted by acclamation while his protector, Barras, settled in the Luxembourg Palace.

Barras was much less concerned with business than with pleasure. He soon had horses, hounds, servants, and a court full of beautiful mistresses in his different estates, and he maintained his authority over his fellow directors by the violence of his character. While he seriously lacked in eloquence, he made up for it by dominating discussions with boldness and crudeness.

However, careful not to show blatant greed, Barras was more disposed to accept huge sums of money from military suppliers and big business in a covert way. Ouvrard himself gave him a contract to supply the Navy. To his many friends, he handed out huge quantities of worthless Assignats along with confiscated national properties such as the Hotel de la Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, the Hotel de la Rue de Babylone, and the Castle of Ruel. He kept for himself the Castle of Grosbois which became both his summer headquarters and his hunting lodge. Suppliers, solicitors, horses, and adventurers of all kinds, accompanied Barras wherever he went. Barras was the most popular of the five directors even though his government was composed of many nobles. His court presented a singular mixture of the biggest names of old aristocratic France and of ‘nouveaux riches’. He could afford to do so, being indirectly financed by Mayer, and having the full support of Bonaparte to whom he had given his mistress, the widow of General Beauharnais.

From his headquarters in Luxemburg Palace, Barras became known as the rotten king. Of course, this dictatorship wasn’t meant to please the Royalists who were almost totally excluded from power, but they weren’t about to demonstrate in the streets of Paris again, especially since Bonaparte, the ruthless one, was in charge of the Paris garrison and was protected by Barras. After the Toulon massacre, when Barras had asked him to take charge of the Paris Garrison and protect the Convention, Bonaparte had warned Barras, “Once my sword is drawn, it will not be sheathed until order is restored”.

On March 9, 1796, Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauharnais. Two days after his marriage, Barras sent him off to take charge of the Army of Italy. It was quite a promotion, but what he found was an army that was weak, hungry, tired, and running out of supplies. Nonetheless, in less than one year, he had recruited one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers, five hundred and forty cannons, not to mention horses, uniforms and weapons for all.

When he went to Italy, he was quite aware that his future rested on his grognards’ shoulders, and he set about turning them into soldiers. In no time, he had them eating out of his hand, and if they called him “Petit Caporal,” it was not because of his rank or his size, it was an affectionate term they used in addressing a great General who spoke their language. He made them feel he was one of them by showing great familiarity without ever jeopardizing his commander status. He was a man of stature who treated them with respect.

Bonaparte authorized his soldiers to take what they needed in an orderly way, and because northern Italy was such a rich region, the conquering army soon started looking like one. As Bonaparte’s fame and fortune grew, so did his soldiers’ self-esteem, for they were the recipients of many promotions and decorations and they basked in glory, as well. In no time at all, the “grumblers” were draped in well-fitting uniforms, had shining weaponry, and the officers were riding spirited horses. The medals that were handed out in profusion made the spectacular uniforms even more striking. It was only natural for Bonaparte to make Italy his home base, where he accumulated victories and worked on his propaganda machine, for he had Italian blood and spoke Italian.

While he ruled in Italy, Bonaparte never stopped chasing the Austrians. Throughout the autumn of 1796, he whittled away at the Austrian army with victories at Castiglione, Bassano and Arcole. In March 1797, just two months after routing the enemy at Rivoli and driving them from northern Italy, he crossed the Alps into Austria itself, and by April 7, 1797, was within seventy-five miles of Vienna. Stunned by the advancing French armies, the Austrian Emperor sued for peace. Bonaparte personally negotiated with the Austrian diplomats.

His way of fighting was like no other before him, he made great use of artillery, moved his army with lightning speed, and never satisfied with just winning a battle, he always went in for the kill. He was a ruthless foe, using tactics unknown until then to Ancien Regime field commanders.

Each victory was not only related in detail, often in advance, but embellished as well. In every French village, it was a common occurrence to hear the church bells heralding a news bulletin describing the great exploits of Bonaparte, the crier never failing to stress the General’s great courage and prowess. The fact that these bulletins were more often than not written by the great man himself didn’t seem to bother anybody. The French were a battered people and they couldn’t get enough of these great military feats involving brave Frenchmen. Bonaparte was building a solid reputation that no one in metropolitan France would dare attack, not even the newly-entrenched landed gentry. Understandably, when he returned to France in 1797, he was acclaimed as a hero.

Because Bonaparte was popular and a nuisance, Talleyrand and Barras encouraged him to go to Egypt. Mayer had told Ouvrard to agree to the financing, and Bonaparte was quick to go and seek glory. Bonaparte didn’t know that the bankers in the City wanted to destroy a redundant French Navy which happened to be a Royalist power house. After Bonaparte unloaded his troops along the Egyptian coast, the French Fleet would naturally find a place to lay at anchor while waiting for the troops to return. Ouvrard would then inform the Goldsmid Bros. who in turn would leak the information to the Admiralty in London, and the British Navy would naturally be rushed to the spot in order to sink the French Navy. A new war tactic was being created, that of financing both sides in order to get the desired results.

When Bonaparte went off to Egypt in early 1798, the Directorate had chosen Admiral de Brueys to command the fleet. Bonaparte had no choice but to accept this incompetent, boot-licking coward, but he wasn’t overly concerned, for all he wanted was to get as many men as he could to the other side of the Mediterranean. Bonaparte even sacrificed space and sailors aboard the ships in order to transport more soldiers. Bonaparte was quite eager to go to the Middle East. He must have dreamt of riches and glory by reclaiming Palestine and constructing the Suez Canal in order to dominate trade with India. Pillaging Egypt was no doubt in the back of his mind.

Admiral Horatio Nelson was the one chosen by the English Admiralty to command the English Fleet. Nelson was taking the looming battle very personally and very seriously. Like most of his countrymen, he wanted to settle the score for what had happened at Yorktown. The English Naval defeat in America had not gone down well, and Nelson had taken off with fourteen ships filled with hooligans hell-bent on killing frogs. Meanwhile, unsuspectingly, after unloading Bonaparte’s army, De Brueys anchored down in the Bay of Aboukir.

Although his naval force was inferior to that of Admiral de Brueys, Nelson was itching for a fight. When the English fleet was spotted in early afternoon on August 1st, 1798 by the artillery unit deployed on the heights dominating the entrance to the Bay of Aboukir, the Commandant of the French unit duly gave the alert, but there was no reaction on the part of Admiral de Brueys. His ships were at anchor, chained together from bow to stern, thus forming an impenetrable line of defense… or so he thought. Many of his more intrepid officers, Vice-Admiral Cheyla and others, insisted he recall the sailors who were on shore and immediately take the offensive, for the favorable winds would have given them a decisive advantage. But he chose to do nothing as fourteen ships filled with vengeful, bloodthirsty Englishmen came bearing down on him.

Admiral de Brueys reasoned that it was 5:00 pm and was too late in the day for the English to attack. Not only did he not recall the men on shore, but he didn’t even see the need to position frigates at the head of his anchored fleet to stop Nelson from sailing behind his position. It was as though he had decided to self-destruct. The great admiral kept repeating that Nelson would not attack on that day. So, the canons were not in position and the decks were cluttered with everything except cannon balls, powder, and artificers.

Upon seeing the French fleet in such a vulnerable position, Nelson kept on going and attacked the ships on both port and starboard sides simultaneously. The French fleet was blown out of the water, while Nelson’s ships remained unscathed. Admiral Villeneuve, who commanded the flotilla at the head of the line and who could have used the favorable winds to counterattack, courageously escaped, thus saving two ships of the line and two frigates.

The Egyptian campaign thus began in defeat. The only good thing that came out of the whole campaign was due to the great number of scientists he had brought along with him. They, at least, were responsible for some major scientific discoveries. Politically, Bonaparte did leave behind a more efficient Egyptian governing body. However, with regards to the survey of the proposed Suez Canal, the plan to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea was stopped dead in its tracks. Because it was wrongly concluded that the waterway would require locks to operate and would be very expensive and take a long time to construct, it was abandoned. The survey report made clear that the Red Sea was 33ft higher than the Mediterranean, an error of monumental proportion.

Bonaparte had several costly victories in Palestine, but they all went for naught. And although he had accumulated tons of artifacts, he had no ships to bring them back to France. Leaving his army behind in Egypt, he took off for Paris. But his propaganda machine had again worked wonders, and when he arrived in Paris, he was again acclaimed as a hero. Barras quietly retired, while Sieyes was given the responsibility of working on the Civil Code with Cambaceres, and Bonaparte casually assumed power by becoming 1st Consul.

26-TERROR

 

In the latter part of 1792, the Illuminati set up a shadow government, the Paris Commune, in the Paris City Hall. Sitting as Montagnards in the Legislative Assembly, their representatives voted to abolish the Assembly and replaced it with a new political body, the Convention. That’s when the September Massacres were perpetrated. For a whole week, teams of workers went about butchering a lot of innocent people. They would leave Paris City Hall in the morning, with their aprons and hatchets, and go and butcher inmates and patients in prisons and hospitals. They would return at night with bloodied axes and sullied aprons to collect their day’s pay. It transfixed the French and all of Europe with fear. And even worse, as the September Massacres were being carried out, the guillotine started beheading innocent people by the thousands. The Illuminati were not only bringing down the Ancien Regime, the political system, they were also venting their deep festering hatred. Unfortunately, it was the citizens who were taking the brunt of the violence.

Needless to say, as Terror spread to the other French cities, and especially after the royal family was guillotined, the Roman Catholic Empire put all its might behind the Federalists in order to protect the catholic populations that were resisting in the Vendean region to the west and most of the major French cities.

In retaliation, the revolutionary government gave orders to apply scorched earth tactics to the Vendean region, and a genocide was carried out. Terror was also being carried out in other cities, especially in the port of Toulon to the south. The Federalists had taken Toulon with the help of the French navy whose many Royalist commanders espoused their cause. However, once in command of the port, faced with a superior advancing Convention army who had just defeated their counterparts in Nimes, Avignon and Marseille to the west, the Federalists decided to surrender their city to the English whose navy had been blockading the port. With thousands of English soldiers occupying the port, the Convention forces would easily be kept at bay.

Mayer was appalled by the Vendean genocide where thousands of Catholic men, women and children were in the process of being exterminated. When he heard what was happening in Toulon, he was fully aware of the magnitude of the Terror. The year before, one Paul Barras, an aristocrat, had been elected to the Convention Assembly as a Montagnard representing the Var region. He was an unscrupulous, penniless and debauched individual from a well-to-do and respected family. He was initiated as a Freemason and joined the Jacobin Club like all Illuminati recruits of note. Since he represented the Var and had a military background, he was sent as emissary to the Italian Army Command which had been sent to liberate Toulon. When he got there, the military command was in disarray, and nothing was being done. That’s when a young artillery lieutenant called Bonaparte suggested to the generals that it would be best to shell the port before attempting a frontal attack. The generals paid no attention to him, but Barras did. Since Barras had the authority, he told the generals to give the young man permission to get his canons. In quick order, Bonaparte proceeded to gather all the artillery he could from Marseille and other surrounding cities as well as the Italian Army Command to which he belonged. From the heights of Toulon, Bonaparte had a great advantage over the English forces, and after relentless shelling, the English were forced to flee taking some Federalists with them. But when told what happened to those Federalists who were left behind, Mayer was aghast. Barras and Freron had led their troops into the city and had butchered the Federalists by the thousands. Notably, a wounded Bonaparte hadn’t participated in the massacre, had been made General, and he owed it all to Barras.

While the revolution was being carried out, Ouvrard had kept busy. He had reported to Mayer that the perfectly crafted assignats printed by François in Lyon were circulating without a hitch. In the last three years, his agents working out of the newly-established Masonic Lodges throughout France had purchased tens of thousands of the most prestigious French properties. All the properties had been bought in the name of fictitious individuals, and there was absolutely no trace leading to Ouvrard or Mayer.

The assignats had lost half their value since the first issue in late 1789. Since the Convention insisted on maintaining the original value of the assignats, those with hard currency and bullion hidden away under mattresses, or floor boards, no longer wanted to buy up the assignats. They saw the end of the Terror, the return of law and order and real currency, and they wanted to get their hands on tangible assets. They wanted to buy real estate without having to buy assignats, and getting it at reduced prices was definitely an added incentive. On his own initiative, Ouvrard had started selling off the unwanted secondary assets of the great estates he had purchased. The sale of the detached lands and buildings, as well as the furnishings and livestock, had almost doubled their capital, and the offerings had pacified the local notables and farmers who didn’t have enough money to bid at auction and felt the revolution had cheated them. By encouraging them to pool what metal money they had, Ouvrard had made it possible for them to buy a lot of good property and chattels at an affordable price.

Ouvrard told Mayer that he sometimes hesitated selling off the properties because he didn’t know what prices to set. So far, he was using the original Convention evaluations set in livres, but he wanted to confirm with Mayer what the gold equivalence was. Although there was hardly any metal money in circulation, fortunes in silver and gold were waiting to be invested.

Mayer had obviously thought it all out. The French livre would remain fixed to the English pound. 4 livres worth 1 oz of gold or 16 ozs of silver. With regards to the property values, the Convention evaluations would do just fine. Mayer told Ouvrard he was primarily interested in receiving gold as payment without telling him why. He explained simply it was because of the sixteen to one weight advantage. The accumulated silver was to be used to cover Ouvrard’s commission along with that of his agents. Whatever silver remained was to be converted into gold and sent on by land first to David in Amsterdam, and then by boat to Montefiore in London. Montefiore would see that it was deposited in the Goldsmid Bros. vaults. Mayer estimated that at the present rate some five thousand tons of gold would be deposited in the City before it was all over.

The agents in France were extremely motivated, for they were becoming rich beyond their wildest dreams, commissions on billions of pounds were being paid out in silver. However, Mayer had wanted to thank them in a special way. He told Ouvrard that when the bulk of the Émigré real estate was bought up, he and the agents would be free to use their commissions to bid on any property they wanted. When the auctions stopped, he was to tell François to stop printing assignats. Mayer would acquaint François with that decision from his end.

Soon, Mayer would need to have one of his sons take charge of family affairs in the City. Amschel, eldest son and future head of the family, would remain in charge in Frankfurt. Nathan, the pugnacious one, would be sent to the City in London when he reached 21, in five years’ time. Nathan had met a lot of people when they had stopped in London on their way to America in 1790, and particularly remembered one Levy Barent-Cohen, a gruff older gent who had a delightful daughter. Nathan was looking forward to going to London for several reasons.