A major collection of rare objects exhibited at the Château de Chantilly in France through June 30 retraces a century of Franco-American relations.
Franco-American friendship is far more than just the War of Independence! The exhibition America ! La Maison d’Orléans et les Etats-Unis looks back over the transatlantic exchanges of the 19th century, a lesser-known period of Franco-American history but one just as important as the exploits of Lafayette and Rochambeau or the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
The artefacts showcased at the Château de Chantilly portray the relations between the dynasty of Orleans and the young American republic from the Louisiana Purchase and the start of the American Frontier to the Civil War and the fight to abolish slavery. Visitors will discover such gems as the American travel journals of the young Louis-Philippe, the last king of France, a map from 1807 showing the voyage of the Chevalier de Rohan-Chabot through the Great Lakes region, and a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel belonging to Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale and the last owner of the Chantilly estate.
Other objects include the Prince of Joinville’s watercolor paintings depicting the American Civil War taken from the archives at the French-American Museum at Blérancourt, and a photo of the Count of Paris taken on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1890. Together, they mark the advent of heritage tourism.
The future king Louis-Philippe kept a journal of his travel to the United States in 1798. Here, he writes about his encounter with a Cherokee tribe. © Maison de France/Archives nationales
A copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin belonging to Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale.
When the Civil War began in 1861, the Count of Paris was named a captain in the Union army. © Maison de France/Archives nationales
Between Septembre 1861 and June 1862, the Duke of Chartes fought alongside the Potomac Army. © RMN
During the Civil War, François d’Orléans, Prince of Joinville, followed the Potomac Army and produced an extensive series of watercolors. © Musée de Blérancourt
America ! La Maison d’Orléans et les Etats-Unis
Through June, 30, 2018
Cabinet des Livres du château de Chantilly
60500 Chantilly, France