Havre, France: H. Bret, Rue de Paris, 86, Ca. 1840. The widow of Captain Latham's printed invitation to "American Officers" stationed in this French port town, for the boarding house which she has just opened. Mrs. Latham's new venture is located at No. 44 Rue de Dauphine, "where every essential comfort will be provided. Their patronage is most respectfully solicited".
The officer seems to be Rev. George Latham, a US Naval officer who died in January 1847 aged about 40. He is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk Virginia. According to U.S. Officers of the Continental and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900, he was a chaplain. His wife was Lucy Taylor Mauzy. It is not clear that she ever had ever been in France, but through Ancestry.com, she is listed as a widow in Virginia in 1850 and 1860. There is no evidence that her husband had any connection to Paris or even that he was involved in any conflict. She could have left the country after the Civil War, as her last children would have been grown. (Reference provided on request.)
The printer at Havre was, H. Bret, who obtained 18 March 1839, a license to lithograph printing, and was installed at a modest studio at no. 86 rue de la rue de Paris. He printed drawings and caricatures in satirical journals, notably in the Courrier d'Ingouville, d'Autin. He worked until 1870.
5 1/2 x 8 1/4", lithograph, printed on one side. Very good condition. Item #24967