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His family

His brothers: Hippolyte

Photographic portrait of Hippolyte de Tocqueville, Nadar;

Photographic portrait of Hippolyte de Tocqueville aged, Nadar © BNF

Hippolyte, the eldest child of the Clérel de Tocqueville family, was born on October 1, 1797. At the fall of the First Empire, he decided to pursue a military career. Along with his father, he joined the King's Guards on July 1, 1814, and remained in the army throughout the Restoration. He resigned on October 15, 1830, after having refused to swear an oath to the new regime, and never, despite several attempts, was able to rejoin. From this moment on, he devoted himself to his new domain, the chateau de Nacqueville, of which he had become the owner through his marriage to Émilie Evrard de Belisle de Saint-Rémy in 1826. He also nourished political ambitions, but these were sustained only by his extremely volatile convictions and patent opportunism: in 1833, as an impassioned legitimist, he published Lettres aux Normands, in which he expressed his horror of the triumph of the bourgeoisie and the middle ground under the July Monarchy. This, however, did not keep him from turning republican in 1848, and swerving resolutely to the left when he was elected, with the help of his brother Alexis, conseiller général of the department of La Manche.

« My poor Hippolyte, what poor character, but what a heart of gold! »
(Letter to Gustave de Beaumont,
February 3, 1859)

After the events of December 2, 1851 and the reestablishment of the Empire, he aligned himself with the new power, and openly took Edouard's side in his quarrel with Alexis over the attitude they should adopt towards the new regime. This last about-face ended up exasperating his Alexis de Tocqueville, who by then was accustomed to being criticized for his brother's political antics. All of these political differences did not, however, completely estrange the two brothers, and Alexis was profoundly touched, for example, to see Hippolyte at his bedside during his last winter at Cannes.   play sound extractlire l'extrait sonore  
After Alexis's death and the fall of the Second Empire, Hippolyte used the prestige of his younger brother's name one last time to get elected Senator for Life under the Third Republic, before dying in 1877 at the age of eighty.

Château de Nacqueville

Château de Nacqueville
© Ville de Cherbourg-Octeville

Archives

Letters from Hervé de Tocqueville as Prefect of the Moselle in support of his son Hippolyte

Letters from Hervé de Tocqueville as Prefect of the Moselle in support of his son Hippolyte
© Archives de l'armée de terre

Autorisation du mariage d'Hippolyte de Tocqueville

Hippolyte de Tocqueville's permission to marry
© Archives de l'armée de terre

Détail des services d'Hippolyte de Tocqueville

Detail of the marriage of Hippolyte de Tocqueville
© Archives de l'armée de terre

Letter of resignation by Hippolyte de Tocqueville, dated January 14, 1831

Letter of resignation by Hippolyte de Tocqueville, dated January 14, 1831
© Archives de l'armée de terre

Letter from Hippolyte de Tocqueville to his brother Edouard, November 17, 1858

Letter from Hippolyte de Tocqueville to his brother Edouard, November 17, 1858,
Private collection
© AD Manche / Poirier

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