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Prince of Canino and Musignano, ornithologist, b. in Paris, 24 May, 1803; d. in the same city 29 July, 1857.
He was the eldest son of Lucien Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, and was educated in the universities of Italy. After his marriage to his cousin Zenaïde, daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, on 29 June, 1822, he came to the United States where his father-in-law was residing. While here he devoted himself to the study of natural science and particularly of ornithology. He undertook the completion of Wilson's "Ornithology or History of the Birds of the United States" in four volumes (Philadelphia, 1825-33). In this work he describes more than one hundred new species discovered by himself. He also published "Observations on the Nomenclature of Wilson's Ornithology" (in the Journal of the Philadelphia Academy); "Synopsis of the Birds of the United States" (in the Annals of the Lyceum of New York), etc. He returned to Europe in 1828 and took up his residence in Rome where he continued his scientific work. Upon the death of his father, Lucien, in 1840, he became Prince of Canino and Musignano and afterwards entered the political arena, associating himself with the anti-Austrian party. He did not, however, lose interest in his favourite studies for he organized and presided over several scientific congresses in Italy. He had been attached to Pius IX, but in 1848 he joined the radical party and in the following year was elected deputy of Viterbo and Vice-President of the Assembly. After the fall of the Republic he was obliged to leave Italy (July, 1849), but his cousin, Louis-Napoleon, refused to permit him to enter France until the following year when he settled in Paris. In 1854 he became director of the Jardin des Plantes.
Bonaparte had twelve children of whom eight survived him. Among them was Lucien-Louis-Joseph-Napoleon, who was ordained priest in 1853 and was made cardinal in 1868. Bonaparte became an honorary member of the Academy of Upsala in 1833, and of the Academy of Sciences of Berlin in 1843, and corresponding member of the "Institut" in 1844. Besides his published works already referred to may be mentioned: "Specchio comparativo delle ornithologie di Roma e di Filadelfia" (Paris, 1827); "Iconografia della Fauna Italica" (Rome, 1834-41). This is his principal work and is illustrated with fine coloured plates. "Geographical and Comparative List of Birds of Europe and North America" (London, 1838); "Catalogo metodico degli uccelli Europei" (Bologna, 1842); "Conspectus systematis ornitholo giæ" (Leyden, 1850); "Conspectus systematis ichthyologiæ" (Leyden, 1850); "Ornithologie fossile" (Paris, 1858).
DEBIDOUR in La grande encyc.; WOUTERS, Les Bonaparte depuis 1815; CANTÙ, Hist. de l'indépendance italienne, III; BALLYDIER, Hist. de la révolution de Rome de 1846-1850.
H. M. BROCK