a report on the
Chicago's magnificent Skyline
The 2007 conference was held at the fabled Union League Club of Chicago. The Union League is an
outstanding private club, with a magnificent private art collection. Festivities started with a
cocktail party and dinner Friday night, then continued with speakers and luncheon on Saturday,
a black-tie gala Saturday night, and brunch on Sunday, with an optional excursion in the afternoon.
At their annual meeting the Board of Directors elected attorney Charlies Osinski as president,
John Welsh as Executive Vice-President, Jak Smith as Vice-President and Barbara Chambers as
Treasurer. Todd Fisher will continue as Executive Director and David Markham will serve as Editor-in-Chief.
Past presidents of this and previous Napoleonic organizations (William Hurlbutt, John G.
Gallaher, David Markham and Douglas Allan) were given the title "President Emeritus".
The Main Dining Room at the Union League Club of Chicago
A painting by Monet, part of the Union League art collection
Our special guest for this conference was Napoleonic artist Patrice
Courcelle, who exhibited his work
for us. M. Courcelle and Mr. Robin Bates discussed his work and methods after the Sunday brunch at the conference.
The heart of NHS conferences is the presentation of papers on various Napoleonic topics. This year's speakers were:
Napoleon on Corsica - Dr. John McErlean, Professor, York University
Adam Czartoryski and Russian Foreign Policy after Austerlitz to the Congress of Vienna - Dr. David Stefancic
Was Napoleon a Mason - Philippe Milgrom
Napoleon, Strategy and Intelligence - LTC William Colligan, USA. Faculty Member/Senior Service Advisor, National
Defense Intelligence College
The Emperor and the Spanish Kings - Todd Fisher
Marie Walewska - "The Polish Esther" - Peter Friedman, Resident Lecturer, The Karpeles Manuscript Library
Napoleonic Art Exhibition - Patrice Courcelle
Dinner speaker: It’s a long way to Longwood - Jean-Pierre Miquel
(M. Miquel’s visit to St. Helena last December)
The grand climax of our conferences is the black-tie optional cocktail reception and gala dinner.
There are few better locations for such an event than the Union League Club’s elegant ballroom. Outgoing
President Douglas Allan and incoming President Charles Osinski welcomed the participants and David Markham
gave the traditional "toast to the Emperor." After an excellent dinner we
listened to a most interesting illustrated talk by Jean-Pierre Miquel, "It’s a Long Way to Longwood", based
on his recent visit to St Helena. We concluded with a presentation by Peter Friedman on an
important Las Cases letter that relates to an altercation in London between him and Sir Hudson Lowe.
Those who stayed on Sunday were treated to an additional opportunity to meet with artist Patrice Courcelles
and Robin Bates, a noted dealer in Napoleonic material.
Areal highlight of these conferences is the opportunity to spend "quality time"
with old Napoleonic friends and to meet new ones. Cocktails and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings,
interesting lunches, and a chance to chat throughout the day give excellent opportunities to
expand this social aspect of our organization. When you combine that with the outstanding talks,
it's no wonder that once you come to one of these meetings you’ll want to come to them all. ""
We hope to see you at the next one!
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