Louis Damoiseau and the French horsebuying expedition of 1818

By Joe Achcar

Posted on June 28th, 2008 in France, Syria

Louis Damoiseau was born in 1775 in Chartres (France). In 1818 France interior minister M. Laine sent M. de Portes to Syria on the head of a mission to buy some 40 Arab Stallions. The aim was to replace the Arab and Oriental stallions bought by Napoleon and taken from the Imperial French Studs in 1814 and 1815 by the European armies who had invaded France (Prussians, Austrians, Hungarians).

Louis Damoiseau was the veterinary of the mission, which bought 40 stallions and some mares from the Syrian Desert, Aleppo, and the Lebanese coast until Acre. Some legendary names like ”Massoud” the founder of the French Anglo-Arab race and ”Nichab” Lady’s Stanhope’s mare. When he returned to France Damoiseau wrote a book edited in 1833.

One of the many interesting things in the book is a testimony of life in Aleppo, Tripoli, Beirut, Damascus, Saida, etc.. Plus families that Edouard, his father and myself know; The way in which the horses were medically treated or defigured to hide them from a greedy Turkish pasha, and the presence of many non-arab horses at that that time are also interesting aspects.

Moreover, apart the love letters (in French) Count Rzewuski sent to Lady Stanhope, we have a third party testimoning on the Count’s horses in Aleppo as Damoiseau met several times with him, sometimes wanting to buy the same horses.

I own the original edition of the  Damoiseau book. If you want to know more let know, as i will post (In French) the  book most interesting parts.   

3 Responses to “Louis Damoiseau and the French horsebuying expedition of 1818”

  1. Please do, especially information about strains at such an early time. Thank you, Edouard

  2. I would love to read more (le francais est ma langue maternelle!), I have never read any of the french books on the subject being now on the other side of the Atlantic.


  3. Christine, there is a bunch of them under the heading “Books I read” in the column of the middle if you scroll down.

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