Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, was exiled to Saint Helena where he landed in October 1815. He set up a mock class with his few companions in misfortune, under the close supervision of the United Kingdom which consecrated 2,000 soldiers and 500 sailors under the command of Hudson Lowe to ensure his surveillance. From December 10, 1815 until his death on May 5, 1821, the Emperor lodged at Longwood House an isolated house in badly exposed conditions, blown by winds on this pebble thrown in the middle of the Atlantic.
During the Second Empire, Longwood became French property and is still in the hands of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. The property is divided into two parts: the Imperial Apartments and the Generals Wing where Las Cases, Gourgaud, Montholon and Doctor O’Meara lived. This last part now includes a collection of prints, furniture and contemporary objects from the detention. However, major works are to be expected on the roof which is unsuitable for the difficult climate of the island, it is also necessary to do work to meet the current needs of public reception: restoration, or even partial reconstruction. , is being considered.
To find funds, the Fondation Napoléon and the Souvenir Napoléonien have joined forces with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are launching a large international fundraising initiative.
This international subscription is placed under the high Patronage of S.A.I. Prince Napoleon.
The Honorary Committee is chaired by Professor Jean Tulard, member of the Institut de France, assisted by Mr. Victor-André Masséna, Prince d'Essling, President of the Fondation Napoléon, and by Mr. Christian Fileaux, President of the Napoleonic souvenir.