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Posted on Jul 29, 2005 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Lecture: Assassination of Napoleon, by Dr. Ben Weider

Jim H. Moreno

Assassination of Napoleon

Over 10 years ago, I wrote a book which explains the years of research that Sten Forshufvud, my colleague and friend from Sweden, and I did in order to prove without any doubt whatsoever that Napoleon was poisoned during his exile on St. Helena. The book, entitled "The Murder of Napoleon," was published in 28 languages and has sold over a million copies.

You know, people often ask me how I can be so sure that Napoleon was poisoned. After all, he has been dead for 176 years. The answer is relatively easy. Eight eyewitnesses told me so (through their books) and the information they supplied was confirmed through nuclear science. These eyewitnesses were in contact with Napoleon on a regular basis and reported what they saw in their diaries which they published once they returned home after Napoleon’s death.

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My research is based on eyewitness accounts of Napoleon’s illness, confirmed through nuclear science. However I realized right from the start that we would have a difficult time in discrediting some of the well established historians who approved and repeated the misleading cause of Napoleon’s death, as cancer of the stomach. Even though there was absolutely no proof to back up their statements.

To discredit these historians, we had to analyse all of the available evidence. I was encouraged by some of the world’s most famous Napoleonic historians, such as David Chandler of England, Don Horward of the USA and Colonel Emile Gueguen of France.

They gave me their unfailing encouragement and a great deal of support. In the course of many years of research, I learned many things, in particular that stubbornness in the face of the truth and deafness and blindness in the face of facts are a reality even amongst some of the more intelligent historians.

FACTS, AS REPORTED BY EIGHT EYEWITNESSES, WERE IGNORED, OR THEIR MEANING HAS NOT BEEN UNDERSTOOD BY HISTORIANS.

The key that led us to the poisoning was Louis Marchand, Napoleon’s first valet. He was attentive, discreet, literate, shrewd, observant and loyal beyond the call of duty. All historians agree with this evaluation of him. He was also a very good artist.

Louis Marchand. First valet to Napoleon. His careful St. Helena diary notes, 140 years after he wrote them, helped reveal a secret assassination.

Napoleon treated Marchand like a son, and left him 400,000 francs in his famous will. Napoleon’s desire was to honour Marchand with the title of "Count," and his wish was finally carried out when Napoleon III came to power.

Unlike the other companions in exile who wrote books in order to make a profit, Marchand kept a diary while in exile because he wanted his family to know what happened on St. Helena. He instructed his family never to publish these memoirs.

However, when his estate finally came up for sale, in the early 1950s, it was purchased by Commander Henri Lachouque of the French army, and he arranged to have Marchand’s diary published for the first time in 1955.

HIS BOOK WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS A "TIME BOMB" WHICH HELPED UNRAVEL THE MYSTERY OF NAPOLEON’S DEATH.

For your information, whenever I refer to Longwood House, you should be aware that it was Napoleon’s prison home on St. Helena where he lived out his exile, and where he was poisoned.

Marchand’s painstaking accuracy in recording the daily events at Longwood House, just as they occurred, made the equivalent of a doctor’s case file of careful notes detailing the progressive decline of a terminally ill patient. HIS INFORMATION WAS VITAL IN "BLOWING THE COVER" ON WHAT WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN "THE PERFECT CRIME."

Marchand took home to France some of the actual hair that was shaved from Napoleon’s head on May 6, 1821, and he very carefully put the hairs into an envelope on which he wrote: "Les cheveux de l’Empereur."

This lock of hair, in its original envelope, remained faithfully preserved through the years by Marchand’s descendants.

NEITHER HE, NOR ANY OTHER COMPANIONS OF THE EXILE COULD HAVE KNOWN THAT ONE DAY, LONG AFTER THEY WERE ALL GONE, THE CONTENTS OF THIS ENVELOPE WOULD TELL MORE ABOUT THE YEARS AT LONGWOOD HOUSE THAN THE TOTAL OF ALL OTHER CORRESPONDENCE, AND THE NUMEROUS BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS THAT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED DEALING WITH THE EMPEROR’S EXILE ON ST. HELENA.

The plot to assassinate Napoleon was to prevent him from returning from St. Helena and regaining his throne as he had done when he returned from his first exile on Elba. I submit that unless someone can produce authentic documents that refute the facts as reported by the eyewitnesses, they must accept their truth.

Napoleon was poisoned during his exile on the island of St. Helena; there is absolutely no doubt about it. He was poisoned in the classical manner of the 19th century.

Until this day, no pathologist or toxicologist has seriously opposed the thesis. I call it a thesis for want of a better word, because the poisoning is a fact.

Of the 34 known symptoms of arsenical intoxication, over 30 have been recorded by these eight witnesses. Furthermore, the presence of arsenic in Napoleon’s hair has been confirmed by modern forensic medicine and nuclear science.

Over the last 100 years, numerous medical doctors and historians have attributed Napoleon’s illness and death to over 30 different causes ranging from gonorrhea to syphilis, from scurvy to hepatitis to cancer. History records that Napoleon died of cancer, and yet he died fat. How is that possible, when we know that cancer is a wasting disease? Furthermore, Napoleon did not manifest any symptoms of cancer.
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