Source Problems on the French Revolution

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5. Procédure Criminelle, Suite De La, No. CLXXXV, 26.

c. Gérard-Henri de Blois, forty-two years old, advocate of parliament, dwelling in Paris, Rue du Battoir, parish Saint-Côme, deposes that as representative of the commune he went to the city hall for the night service, the night of Sunday, the fourth, to Monday, the fifth, of October last. Toward seven o’clock on the morning of Monday he was alone in the police room. The first indication of a riot was the arrest of a baker, near Saint-Eustache, charged with having sold a two-pound loaf of bread seven ounces under weight. A detachment of the national guard brought him in. M. de Gouvion, major general, came to inform him of the matter, saying that the people who were in the square demanded that the baker be strung up to the lantern. After he had questioned the baker, who acknowledged his guilt, he said to M. de Gouvion, who feared that the people would come and seize the baker, that they ought, both of them, to do all they could to prevent this assassination. The baker, whom he had concealed, had the good fortune to escape before the city hall was surrounded, a movement which commenced a few minutes later. About eight o’clock in the morning, informed by M. de Gouvion that it was the intention to lay siege to the city hall, he saw, in fact, the first group of women enter the court of the city hall. They were for the most part young, dressed in white, their hair dressed and faces powdered, having a merry air and showing no bad intentions. They entered the different halls, and notably that where the police committee met, and another near by where passports are distributed. He talked with them. They were very polite, and he replied to all their questions which had no other object than to know the use of the halls. . . . The number of women increased considerably until eleven in the morning. He saw one group mount the staircase which led to the belfry and ring the bell. Another laughed, sang, and danced in the court, asking from time to time: "Where is M. Bailly? Where is M. de Lafayette?" He also saw women force the concièrge of the jail to set the prisoners at liberty. . . . Having examined the dress, the figures, and the faces of these women, he saw very few who would be classed with the vile populace. Having expressed his astonishment to some persons that only women entered the city hall, while the Place de Grève was full of men and nobody prevented them from entering, the reply was that the women had forbidden them to enter. About half past eleven he heard a great uproar on the side of the Saint-Jean arcade. Going to this side, he saw a considerable number of men force the doors which are under this arcade, with logs, hammers, and other instruments. Soon the doors were broken in and a very numerous populace spread in every direction through the city hall, without at this time, however, entering by the grand staircase. At the sight of all these people, not doubting that they had evil intentions, he left the city hall, because there were few representatives of the commune there and as the heads of the municipality were not present. Toward two o’clock he returned with M. de Vauvilliers, whom he met in the Cordeliers district. Both of them went to the room of the police committee. There he saw M. de Lafayette surrounded by two grenadiers, former French guards. One, with a very excited air, was saying to M. de Lafayette: "General, they are deceiving you." When he asked him to name the persons who were abusing his confidence, he [the grenadier] replied: "We will name them for you, but we must go to Versailles." At this remark M. de Lafayette walked off, still accompanied by the two grenadiers. Then he could hear only very imperfectly what was said, but shortly afterward some one, whose name he does not recall, said to him: "The grenadiers are forcing M. de Lafayette to go to Versailles; he is opposed to it, saying that the king might leave his usual residence; one of the grenadiers replied: ’If the king leaves Versailles we will put his son on the throne.’" This same remark was heard, no doubt, by other persons, as he heard it repeated in the hall of the commune by M. Brousse de Faucherets, among other people. The representatives of the commune being then assembled in the great hall, he saw several of the aides of M. de Lafayette arrive, one after the other, announcing that his life was in danger, that they threatened him with the lantern, that on all sides were heard the cries: "To Versailles! To Versailles!" Then the assembly thought it ought to yield to force and give the order to the general to set out for Versailles. [December 24, 1789.]

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Chicago: "5. Procédure Criminelle, Suite De La, No. CLXXXV, 26," 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), 197–200. Original Sources, accessed April 13, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=WG8SV43KB3KW6TE.

MLA: . "5. Procédure Criminelle, Suite De La, No. CLXXXV, 26." 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. 197–200. Original Sources. 13 Apr. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=WG8SV43KB3KW6TE.

Harvard: , '5. Procédure Criminelle, Suite De La, No. CLXXXV, 26' in Source Problems on the French Revolution. cited in 1913, Source Problems on the French Revolution, ed. , Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, pp.197–200. Original Sources, retrieved 13 April 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=WG8SV43KB3KW6TE.