On May 6, 1860, Garibaldi sailed from Genoa with a force of slightly more than 1000 volunteers. The purpose of the expedition was the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy of Sicily and Naples and the precipitation, by this act, of unification of the Italian peninsula. The Piedmontese government, wary of a venture that it was unable, because of Garibaldi's popularity, to prevent, withheld support until it became clear with the fall of Palermo that the project stood an excellent chance of success. A plebiscite which followed the final defeat of the Bourbon army at Volturno (at which Garibaldi commanded an army of 30,000 men) indicated overwhelming support for the participation of Naples and Sicily in a united Italy under the rule of Victor Emmanuel II.
In the wake of the abortive Mazzinian revolution at Palermo on April 4, 1860, Cavour contacted La Masa, a moderate Sicilian republican, suggesting that he, rather than Garibaldi--whom Cavour believed to be too strongly influenced by Mazzini and his followers--should lead an expedition to overthrow the Bourbon regime in Sicily. In the event, however, Garibaldi led the expedition himself, preempting Cavour, who did not dare to intervene directly; La Masa accompanied the expedition as one of its leaders.
La Cecilia's two-volume account of Garibaldi's Sicilian expedition and the integration of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies into the newly unified kingdom of Italy is one of the earliest histories of these events. The work is dedicated to Garibaldi "in attestato di antica amicizia e di somma ammirazione."
Commemorative plate of Garibaldi at Milazzo (here spelt Melazzo) executed at the Richard Factory, San Christophoro, Milan, shortly after Julius Richard assumed sole proprietorship of the factory in 1870. The company now trades under the well known "Richard-Ginori" trademark.
Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to Garibaldi's son Ricciotti. Elia, a seaman from Ancona, commanded the steamer Lombardo on which Nino Bixio's men embarked for the 1860 expedition to Sicily. He was badly wounded at the battle of Calatafimi (May 15, 1860), the first significant engagement of the Sicilian campaign.
Abba, a native of Parma, was among the most prolific memoirists of Italian unification. His journal of the Sicilian campaign and invasion of Naples, published in English as The Diary of One of Garibaldi's Thousand, is a classic among the accounts of the Risorgimento. Storia dei mille, published in 1906, was written for young people.
Crispi, a republican, served prominently in the 1860 Sicilian campaign, acted as Garibaldi's secretary, and was opposed to the annexation of Naples and Sicily to the kingdom of Italy. In 1866 he announced himself a monarchist. His later distinguished political career included service as minister of the interior (1877-78) and as prime minister (1887-1896). His papers relating to Garibaldi's Sicilian venture are naturally a prime source for the period.
Broadside of December 12, 1860, containing news of the progress of Garibaldi and the Thousand. Includes the flight of Francesco II of Naples and Garibaldi's decision to rest his troops for a few days before continuing the war of unification.
Broadside issued in September 1860. An open letter to the Piedmontese army, reminding its soldiers that they have been sent to restore order in the Marches (the section of the Papal States on the Eastern Italian coast, invaded by Victor Emmanuel's troops on September 11) and not to exact revenge.
A finely produced book, with excellent lithographic illustrations, commemorating Garibaldi's overthrow of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Shown here is an heroic representation of Garibaldi's entry into Palermo. The Campanella Collection contains two copies of this work, one in original parts.
A satirical broadsheet, whose title translates as "Gossip", published in Florence. It includes the pro-Garibaldi, anticlerical cartoon, "Un banditore della verita."
This issue of the broadsheet La cicala politica("giornale umoristico con caricature") contains a double-spread lithograph commemorating the first anniversary of Garibaldi's entry into Naples. Symbolic scenes include Garibaldi's overthrow of the throne of Francesco II and his offering the crowns of Naples and Sicily to Victor Emmanuel II (center left and right). In the vignette at the foot of the sheet Garibaldi is shown in repose at Caprera.
Broadside ode celebrating Garibaldi, typical of the numerous popular effusions in his honour.
Mazurka, composed by G.H. Costa, Captain of the Naples National Guard, and dedicated to a Miss Mary Smith. The piece, with its romantic title-page vignette of Garibaldi, is representative of the wave of adulation directed towards the general in the wake of the heroic achievements of the Thousand in Naples and Sicily.