Friday, July 10, 2009

Jacques-Francois Menou

Jacques-François de Menou, baron de Boussay was a French general under Napoleon I of France. Born Jacques Menou in Boussay (Indre-et-Loire) on 3 September 1750, he died in Mestre in the Veneto on 13 August 1810. In 1798 Le Moniteur documented Napoleon's conversion to Islam, claiming his new Muslim name as ‘Aly Napoleon Bonaparte’.[1] The newspaper referenced Manou's Islamic conversion, who changed his name to Abdullah Jacques-François de Boussay, baron de Menou. He later later married an Egyptian woman, Sitti Zoubeida, the daughter of a bath-house keeper. She was possibly a descendant from the line of prophet Muhammad. [2]

Captain Pierre-François Bouchard reported to him the discovery of the Rosetta stone, a vital key in unlocking the lost language of hieroglyphics.[3]

On the assassination of Jean Baptiste Kléber on 14 June 1800, Menou, as senior officer, succeeded to the command of the Army of Egypt. After a dismal tenure, he surrendered Alexandria, the last French position in Egypt, on 30 August 1801.

He was appointed to the Tribunate in 1802. Administrator of Piedmont, he was appointed Governor of Tuscany in 1805, and later Governor of Venice.

Recalled to France 23 July 1810, he died at Mestre in the Veneto 13 August 1810.

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