Fr. Rev. (1789-1799)

Tales of Charlotte Corday’s Head

After Charlotte Corday’s execution for assassinating Jacques-Jean Marat, her body and guillotined head were said to have been buried in Ditch No. 5 of the cemetery of the Madeleine on rue Anjou Saint-Honore in Paris. Ditch No. 4 held the body of Louis XVI, and Ditch No. 6 would be readied shortly for Marie Antoinette…

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Bastille Day or Fête de la Fédération in 1792

Bastille Day or Fête de la Fédération was first celebrated in 1790. It was a day set aside to commemorate the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille that occurred on 14 July 1789. That event ushered in the French Revolution and each year thereafter people celebrated their patriotism for their new republic with…

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The Executioner’s Account of Louis XVI’s Execution

Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793. Three weeks after his execution, a revolutionary journal called Thermomètre du jour published an inaccurate account claiming the King was led to the scaffold with a pistol to his temple, the guillotine struck his neck instead of his head, and the King died without courage. Because the…

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September Massacres and French Fashions

Between the 2nd and 7th of September of 1792, a slew of massacres took place in Paris that became known as the September Massacres. The massacres were caused by exaggerated fears that foreign and royalist armies were posed to attack Parisians and France. Parisians also thought inmates in local jails would join the foreign and…

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Jean Sylvain Bailly – Mayor of Paris

Jean-Sylvain Bailly was born 15 September 1736 in Paris at the Louvre. He was the son of Jacques Bailly, an artist and supervisor of the Louvre. As Bailly’s family was involved with the arts, it was only natural he would follow in their footsteps, which he did initially, showing talent in poetry and letters. However,…

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The Favras Plot

There were numerous plots afoot to save the royal family after the French Revolution began. One well-known plot involved Louis-Alexandre de Launay, Comte d’Antraigues who was a French pamphleteer, spy, and political adventurer. D’Antraigues had been elected to the Estates-General in 1789 and initially supported the French Revolution. However, after Versailles was stormed and the…

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