Our 2023 Annual Conference
was held November 10-12 in Austin, Texas

Driskill Hotel We had a particularly fine conference in Austin. The historic Driskill Hotel was beautiful, and we had some especially interesting talks.

We visited the room where LBJ learned of his 1948 Senate and his 1964 Presidential election victories. We also visited a room where the hotel displayed a series of mirrors that belonged to Empress Carlotta, who was installed along with Emperor Maximilian by Napoleon III.

A highlight of the conference was Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze’s talk at our Saturday banquet. He discussed the life and career of a Mameluke Of the Guard, who grew up in Georgia, was kidnapped and taken to Egypt to become a Mameluke. He was then among those Mamelukes who left with the French when they left Egypt. Amazingly, he survived more than 50 battlefield injuries. And he was one of two Mamelukes to receive the Legion of Honor when Napoleon first established the Legion. Alexander also discussed Orientalism in general during the Empire.

Friday’s dinner talk was an extensive discussion of the antecedents and economic motivations behind the Continental System.

Saturday mornings talks started off with bagpipe music and associated history in the British Army and its current use at some American military funerals. Other talks covered one of Napoleon’s mistresses, other significant French women and Empress Carlotta of Mexico (installed along with Emperor Maximilian by Napoleon III), general Santa Ana’s claim to be “Napoleon of the West,” French spies in revolutionary America, using Google Earth to study Napoleon’s movements and a comparison of Prussian and Russian Marshall’s Bl├╝cher and Kutuzov.

Some of us went on a walking tour of Austin, including the State Capital Building and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The museum is now showing Scott’s Napoleon in IMAX, but sadly we were about a week too early for that. The women in the group posed by a statue of Angelina Eberly, who fired a cannon to keep Austin the state capital in 1842.

You can view the complete program here.

A bonus was that the Driskill might have had the best hotel food we’ve had at a conference. Here was our menu

followed by our dessert.