TO SHARE HISTORY
The French branch of the Colonna Walewski family descends from Emperor Napoleon 1er and Countess Marie Colonna Walewska born Lackzinska, their son, minister to Napoleon III, Alexandre Florian, who, as a result of his affair with Rachel, had a son named Alexandre Antoine.
This site has been conceived so that our large family, scattered in many countries today, can access my archives, to improve the knowledge of the quite extraordinary men and women who came before us.
The archives were passed down from my grandfather, André, to my father, Antoine, who entrusted them to me, and it was my duty, as the eldest member of the French branch of the Colonna Walewski family, to make them accessible to everyone.
For a few years now, the documents have been classified, protected and transcribed to computer by my wife. One last step remained: digitizing and quoting. This has now been completed.
The Polish branch, the very old and prestigious line of the Colonna Walewski name, does not descend from the Emperor and Marie. I have met members of the family many times. They have created a family museum, which I have visited, in Tubazin, Poland. They will also be interested in the site.
Professional and amateur historians often write to me. I think they will be pleased to be able to consult original and often previously unpublished documents; I hope they will find answers to their questions here.
The documents put on line do not come only from the archives sent through the family. My heart also led me to purchase particularly moving historical evidence from public auctions and private collectors. These items can also be consulted now and in the future on this site, which will be fuelled for many months.
Several thousands of pages digitized by professionals reproduce, in particular:
“First Empire” documents, and, specifically:
Letters from Emperor Napoleon 1, including several letters to Marie Walewska
Marie Walewska’s Memoirs, transcribed and translated into English for our English-speaking friends …
“ Second Empire” documents, which especially concern Alexandre Florian Walewski, minister to Emperor Napoleon III:
Items illustrating the prodigious career of this charming, unassuming and competent man, his correspondence with Emperor Napoleon III, mainly, his writings….
Private documents as well:
Civil status records, mementos of his youth, military career, letters from his Polish family
“Montagu Sandwich correspondance” from his first marriage.
Many documents from his relationship with Rachel, as well as correspondence with their son, which sheds light on another facet of the man: that of attentive and loving father.
Letters from his second wife, Marianne de Ricci Poniatowska.
Accounts given by his family at the time of his premature death in 1868.
After the army, diplomacy and politics, the descendants of Alexandre Antoine have turned to the steel and engineering industries for three generations (“Cie des Forges et Aciéries de Marine et d’Homécourt”, “Fonderies de Pont à Mousson”), ground (Taxis G7, etc.), river, rail, and seaborne container transport, capital equipment leasing, services, and finance, due in part to the marriage between my grandfather, André, and Marie Molinos, the daughter of one of the biggest industrialists of his time, Léon Molinos.
This will be an opportunity for me to tell the story of Touax SCA, one of the companies created by Léon Molinos during the Second Empire in 1853, listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1906, which has gone through three wars, and which, after being run by my grandfather, my father and me, is run today by two of my sons, Raphaël and Fabrice.
Alexandre Colonna Walewski September 2008
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