THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL
NAPOLEONIC SOCIETY FOR 2012

 
Dear Friends and Fellows of the INS,
 
It has been an exciting, if sometimes frustrating, year for the INS and for your president. One of the most important things I do as president is to represent the INS at various Napoleonic functions, where I recruit Fellows, participants in our Congresses and contributors to our journal.
In February, my wife Edna and I attended the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, one of the premier scholarly organizations that study our field. This time I did not present a scholarly paper, but I did talk about the INS and its activities at the dinner. Edna presented a paper on issues related to Moscow campaign using Google Maps, period maps, bulletins and other original material.


David Markham, Président
We are always anxious to encourage the development of unofficial chapters of the INS throughout the world. These groups cooperate with the INS and we do joint projects. In early March I helped inaugurate the Napoleon Society of Ireland in Dublin. In a well-attended ceremony I presented Derek Byrne with the eagle of the FINS as well as the Member of Honor medal for his hard work in putting the group together. It is already a very active group and will host the INS Congress in 2016.
In April, Edna and I gave a joint presentation on the 1812 campaign to a class at Central Michigan University, followed by a faculty/student reception in our honor. The future of the INS and, indeed, of our field of study, lies with students across the world, so I am always pleased to be able to encourage students to work in our field.
The most loyal and active historical group affiliated with the INS is the Israeli Society for Napoleonic Research. Mordechai Gichon, a dear friend to me and to Ben Weider, founded this group. Under his leadership they have sponsored an INS Congress and several one-day seminars. In early June they sponsored a special program to honor Mordechai for his 90th birthday, and invited me to be the principle speaker. I was among those who praised Mordechai, and later gave a paper on the Moscow campaign to the overflow crowd. Edna gave a paper on the Battle of Mt Tabor (which we had visited a few days earlier). I have many dear friends in Israel and they were anxious to make Edna’s first trip to Israel a great one. In this they had great success and we are both anxious to return.
The highlight of any year is the INS Congress, and this year was no exception. In July we went to Moscow and Borodino where the Russians went all out to produce a truly outstanding program. Held in association with the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Science, the Russian State University for the Humanities, the Association Dialogue Franco-Russe, and the State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve, we had a non-week of excellent papers and historical visits. Edna and I each gave papers on the Russian campaign of 1812. The conference featured participants from around the world and very large audiences of students and scholars alike.
The premier Napoleonic organization in the United States of America, besides the INS, is the Napoleonic Historical Society. I served as president for three years and have been on the board of directors since before the dawn of civilization! So in September we participated in their annual conference, which was held this year in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I gave a paper on-surprise!-the Russian campaign, as well as a brief presentation of a piece of important Napoleonic art from 1812 in my collection. I also presented Member of Honor medals to outgoing NHS president Shepard Paine and long-time Executive Director Todd Fisher. These two men have made very important contributions to promoting Napoleon.
November brought a very nice surprise. I was informed by Count Artur Wójtowicz of Poland that I was to receive the Otto von Habsburg Merit Medal for my work in promoting Napoleonic history. The medal and certificate have arrived and I am quite honored to receive this very special recognition.
On December 2nd, we celebrated four important Napoleonic events: The Coronation, the Battle of Austerlitz, the coup d’etat of Louis Napoleon, soon to become Napoleon III, and the first anniversary of Edna’s and my wedding. Also this month I contributed to a short article in Investors Business Daily (http://news.investors.com/management-leaders-in-success/121312-636942-napoleon-bonaparte-military-prowess-civil-code-reform.htm).
I am not the only person working hard for the INS, of course. My Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Mikaberidze has put together an outstanding journal. And my assistant Rowayda Guirguis improved the INS website (http://www.napoleonicsociety.com , As you know, you are always invited to submit articles and news for inclusion on the website. When new articles are posted, Fellows will receive an email notification.
As you can see, it has been a very busy year with a great deal of positive activity. But there have been some disappointments as well. I had hoped to hold the 2013 Congress in Leipzig, but at the last minute negotiations fell through and it will not be possible. I am working on three other possibilities and will let you know the results as soon as possible.
While most of the work for INS journal #5 has been completed, we were unable to get it published before the end of the year. This is almost entirely my fault. In addition to my INS work, I have been working on immigrating to Canada and moving my considerable Napoleonic collection here. This has taken far more time and effort than I had anticipated and I was at times simply overwhelmed. I am sure you will understand. I assure you that we will work to get it out early next year. These difficulties have also delayed the launch of the improved INS website.
That said, I am proud to tell you that 2012 was a truly outstanding year for the INS. We continue to move forward in making the INS more important throughout the world and, of course, in promoting Napoleonic History. I am sure that our founder, Ben Weider, would be very pleased. But we can do nothing without your help. Please consider contributing an article to our journal or our website, and please especially consider participating in one of our Congresses. For your information, I have already lined up locations for the following years:
2014 Corsica and Elba
2015 Brussels and Waterloo
2016 Dublin, Ireland
2017 Havana, Cuba
As always, I send you my very best Napoleonic greetings,
J. David Markham
INS President