Moments during Pasquale Paoli’s youth

His family was a family of sturdy peasants. A miller’s grandson, and with work, merit and reading, this self-taught man who was trained by his father, will become at a certain moment the most famous Corsican of his time.

Apparently, his mother died when he was very young
‘I never saw the eyes of a loving woman leaning over me’ 

As far as his childhood is concerned, from 1725-1735, we know only very little.
In 1735, Pasquale is ten years of age, and a character who will play a leading role in history, appears in Corsica – this person is Théodore de Neuhoff.
His father, Hyacinthe, became one of the three ‘Generals of the Corsican Nation’ (with Giafferi and Ceccaldi), which then became the main supporters of King Théodore. However, in 1736, he was beaten and forced into exil, and all three were in turn, obliged to emigrate: Ceccaldi to Spain, Giafferi and Hyacinthe Paoli to Naples (1739), where he landed with his fourteen year old son Pasquale.

In Naples, the days went by very simply indeed.

Pasquale had a rather mediocre career as a sublieutenant, with no possibility for social ascension – he was not noble.
He even wrote letters within which he blames his father for leaving Corsica, saying:
‘As long as you were my father in Corsica, you were General of the Nation, and you could make colonels, and now that you are really a colonel (colonel of the King of Naples), you are not able to make your son a simple lieutenant’. 
Pasquale thus remained sublieutenant, and his mediocre career lasted until 1753 – 1755. 

 

 

Source: Michel Vergé-Franceschi 
Photo: Pasquale Paoli by Doyen le Jeune
1880 (according to a portrait made from memory by Masutti) 
Text via: Augustin Chiodetti 

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