Sarah's Chess Journal
my journal, blog, web log, blog.....about
The History and The Culture of Chess
Eugene de Beauharnais
February 12, 2005
According to a January, 1947 article in Chess Magazine entitled Automaton Chess by C. Gilmore:
One of the great American chess composers was Eugene Beauharnais Cook.
The name similarity can't be a coincidence, so we can probably assume his mother named him after Prince Eugene de Beauharnais.
Cook's mother was Martha Elizabeth Duncan Walker Cook. She was born in 1807 in the Bellefonte borough of Pennsylvania. Her father was Jonathan H. Walker*, a well-known President Judge in Centre County. He had fought in the Revolutionary War, studied law at Carlisle, and became the first Judge of of the United States Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Her brother was Robert J. Walker, United States Senator from Mississippi 1830, Secretary of Treasury of United States 1845 under Polk, Governor of the Kansas Territory.
In 1815, Martha Walker married New Jersey resident William Cook who would later become Major General Cook.
The mystery lies in why would such "American" minded people name their child after a European "Prince"?
Who was Eugene de Beauharnais?
Born in 1781, he was the son of the general Viscount Alexandre de Beauharnais and Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie. His father, who served in both the American and French Revolution was beheaded by Robespierre. His mother, Josephine, married Napoleon Bonaparte (yes, it was THAT Josephine) After Napoleon coronated himself emperor, Eugene was given the title of "Prince," with an annual stipend of 200,000 francs. When Napoleon turned the Republic of Italy into the Kingdom of Italy, Eugene was made Viceroy. He also became one of Napoleon's most successful generals. After the fall of Napoleon, Eugene retired to Munich, Bavaria, as the "Duke of Leuchtenberg" and "Prince of Eichstdt" until his death in 1824.
If I were a hostess and my Journal a feast to which you were invited, the meal today must be particularly unsatisfying - more a tidbit rather than a full course.
But it gives some food for thought.
* Interesting to note: Judge Walker was a slaveholder - see Bedford County Slaveholders
Sarah's Serendipitous Chess Page
The Life and Chess of Paul Morphy
Sarah's Chess History Forum
chess - general
chess - history
Mark Week's History on the Web
Chess Journalists of America
Chess History Newsgroup
Chess Tourn. & Match History
Super Tournaments of the Past
La grande storia degli scacchi
Bil Wall's Chess Pages
|[ comments ]|