Source Problems on the French Revolution

Contents:

D. The Sources

1. Procès-Verbal De L’assemblée Nationale, No. 3, Saturday, June 20, 1789.

At nine o’clock in the morning, the hour indicated for the session of the national assembly,1 the president and the two secretaries presented themselves at the door of the principal entrance; they found it guarded by soldiers and saw a large number of deputies who could not enter. The president asked for the officer of the guard. The Comte de Vassan presented himself and said he had been ordered to prevent any one from entering the hall on account of preparations which were being made for a royal session. The president told him that he protested against the obstacles put in the way of holding the session fixed yesterday for this hour, and he declared it open. The Comte de Vassan having added that he was authorized to allow the officers of the assembly to enter to get the papers they might need, the president and the secretaries entered and saw in truth that the most of the benches in the hall had been removed, and that all the passageways were guarded by a large number of soldiers. They noticed in the court and on the outside door several placards conceived in these terms:

"THE STATES GENERAL. BY ORDER OF THE KING

"The king having resolved to hold a royal session of the states general on Monday the 22d of June, the preparations to be made in the three halls which serve for the meetings of the orders make it necessary to suspend these meetings until after the holding of the said session. His Majesty will make known by a fresh proclamation the hour at which on Monday he will betake himself to the assembly of the estates. Versailles, at the Royal Printing-house, 1789.")

The president and the two secretaries having gone out, they betook themselves to the tennis court in Tennis Court Street, where the members of the assembly successively gathered. Signed: Bailly, President; Camus, Secretary; Pison du Galland, Jr., Secretary.

On the same day at half past ten in the morning, in the hall of the tennis court, street of the Tennis Court, the assembly being complete, the president gave an account of two letters which he had received this morning from the Marquis de Brézé, grand master of ceremonies. The first is of the following tenor:

"Versailles, June 20, 1789.

"The King having ordered me, Sir, to make public by heralds his intention to hold on Monday the twenty-second of this month a royal session, and at the same time his purpose to suspend the assemblies, which the preparations to be made in the three halls of the orders render necessary, I have the honor to inform you of it. I am with respect, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant, the Marquis de Brézé.

"P. S.—I believe it would be well, Sir, if you would charge the secretaries with the responsibility of gathering up the papers for fear they might be lost. Would you also, Sir, have the kindness to have the names of the secretaries sent to me, that I may give instructions permitting them to enter, the necessity of not interrupting the task of the workmen, who have no time to spare, not making it possible to admit everybody to the halls."

The president said he had replied to this letter in the following terms:

"I have not yet received any order from the King, Sir, for the royal session, nor for the suspension of the assemblies; and it is my duty to go to the one I set for this morning at eight o’clock. I am," etc.

In reply to this letter, the Marquis de Brézé wrote him the second, the tenor of which is as follows:

"Versailles, June 20, 1789.

"It was by positive orders of the King that I had the honor to write to you this morning, Sir, and to inform you that His Majesty, wishing to hold a royal session on Monday, which calls for preparations in the three assembly halls of the orders, his intention was that no one shall be allowed to enter there, that the sessions should be suspended until after the one His Majesty will hold. I am with respect, Sir, your most humble and most obedient servant, the Marquis de Brézé."

After the reading of these letters the president gave an account of the facts recorded in the minutes of this day and had the minutes read.

The assembly, having deliberated, passed the following decree by a unanimous vote, lacking one:

"The national assembly, considering itself called to establish the constitution of the kingdom, to work for the regeneration of public order, and to maintain s the true principles of the monarchy, cannot be prevented in any way from continuing its deliberations, in whatever place it may be forced to establish itself, and, finally, wherever its members are gathered, there is the national assembly;

"Resolves that all the members of this assembly immediately take a solemn oath never to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom shall be established and fixed on solid foundations; and that, the said oath being taken, all the members and each one of them in particular shall confirm by their signatures this unshakable resolution."

The decree having been read, the president requested that he and the secretaries might take the oath first, which they did at once; thereupon the assembly took the same oath at the dictation of its president.

The president having reported to the assembly that the Bureau of Verifications had been unanimously in favor of the provisional admittance of the deputies of Saint-Domingo, the national assembly voted that the said deputies should be admitted provisionally, for which they expressed their deep appreciation. Consequently, they took the oath and were admitted to sign the decree.

The taking of the oath was followed by reiterated and universal cries of "Long live the King!" and at once the roll was called by baillages, sénéchaus-sées, provinces, and cities, in alphabetical order, and each of the members present, upon responding to the call, approached the desk and signed. . . .

[List of signers follows here.]

After the deputies had affixed their signatures some of the deputies whose credentials had not yet been verified and the substitutes presented themselves and requested to be permitted to give their adhesion to the decree passed by the assembly and to affix their signatures to it. This having been accorded by the assembly, they signed. . . .

[List of signers follows here.]

In the name of the assembly, the president notified the committee on food supply to meet to-morrow at the lodgings of the oldest member among those composing it. The assembly voted that the minutes of this day shall be printed by the printer of the national assembly. The session was adjourned to Monday, the 22d of this month, in the hall and at the usual hour. The president and the secretaries signed: Bailly, President; Camus, Secretary; Pison du Galland, Jr., Secretary.

1 At the close of the Procès-verbal, No. 2, is the statement, "The president adjourned the session until to-morrow at eight o’clock instead of nine." Nine was the regular hour.

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Chicago: "1. Procès-Verbal De L’assemblée Nationale, No. 3, Saturday, June 20, 1789," Source Problems on the French Revolution in Source Problems on the French Revolution, ed. Fred Morrow Fling and Helene Dresser Fling (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1913), 18–23. Original Sources, accessed December 15, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=EWXCRTT982M51QU.

MLA: . "1. Procès-Verbal De L’assemblée Nationale, No. 3, Saturday, June 20, 1789." Source Problems on the French Revolution, in Source Problems on the French Revolution, edited by Fred Morrow Fling and Helene Dresser Fling, New York, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1913, pp. 18–23. Original Sources. 15 Dec. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=EWXCRTT982M51QU.

Harvard: , '1. Procès-Verbal De L’assemblée Nationale, No. 3, Saturday, June 20, 1789' in Source Problems on the French Revolution. cited in 1913, Source Problems on the French Revolution, ed. , Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, pp.18–23. Original Sources, retrieved 15 December 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=EWXCRTT982M51QU.