Azilum: Frontier of the French Revolution | The History Bandits

The glorious opening of the French Revolution in 1789 was met with widespread celebration across the Atlantic. To Americans, it signified further victory for the shared ideals of liberty and equali…

Source: Azilum: Frontier of the French Revolution | The History Bandits

Sanson’s Account Of The Execution Of Louis XVI | History And Other Thoughts

After the execution of Louis XVI, the revolutionary journal ‘Thermomètre du jour’ published an inaccurate report of the event. The paper stated, among other calumnies, that the King had to be led to the scaffold with a pistol held at his temple and that the guillotine had struck his neck instead than his head, thus horribly mutilating him. When the executioner Charles Henri Sanson read this article, he decided to write a full account of the event to set the record straight and sent it to the newspaper. The King, according to Sanson, showed bravery and calmness of mind, which in his opinion, he derived from religion. Here’s his account:

Paris, 20 Feb. 1793; 1st year of the Fr. Rep.

Citizen,

A short absence has prevented my sooner replying to your article concerning Louis Capet. But here is the exact truth as to what passed. On alighting from the carriage for execution, he was told that he must take off his coat; he made some difficulty, saying that they might as well execute him as he was. On [our] representation that that was impossible, he himself assisted in taking off his coat. He again made the same difficulty when his hands were to be tied, but he offered them himself when the person who accompanied him [his confessor] had told him that it…

Source: Sanson’s Account Of The Execution Of Louis XVI | History And Other Thoughts.

Marie Antoinette’s Last Letter

5502This is the letter Marie-Antoinette Queen of France wrote to her sister-in-law Madame Elisabeth a few hours before her execution. (Letter translated from French to English by Charles Duke Yonge)

16th October, 4:30am

It is to you, my sister, that I write for the last time. I have just been condemned, not to a shameful death, for such is only for criminals, but to go and rejoin your brother. Innocent like him, I hope to show the same firmness in my last moments. I am calm, as one is when one’s conscience reproaches one with nothing. I feel profound sorrow in leaving my poor children: you know that I only lived for them and for you, my good and tender sister. You who out of love have sacrificed everything to be with us, in what a position do I leave you! I have learned from the proceedings at my trial that my…

Source: Marie Antoinette’s Last Letter

Charlotte Corday and the Murder of Marat | Madame Guillotine

Originally posted on Madame Guillotine.

At 7am on the morning of Sunday, the 13th July 1793, a young woman, just twenty-five years of age, with neatly arranged curling chestnut hair and clear blue eyes walked with a firm and steady tread through the already busy sun warmed streets of Paris from her lodging, room 7 in the Hôtel de la Providence, 19 Rue Hérold, to the arcades of the Palais Royal. We don’t know what thoughts ran through her head as she strolled purposely along, perhaps stirring lines written by her great great great grandfather, the celebrated playwright Pierre Corneille, or perhaps she stopped every now and again to enjoy the bustle and excitement that attended the preparations for the next day’s celebration of the fourth anniversary of the fall of the Bastille.

The elegant arcades of the former Royal palace were decorated for the occasion with tricolor banners, while the trees planted in the famous gardens were bedecked with tricolor ribbons that floated slightly in the morning breeze, while everywhere the woman looked she saw young people like herself laughing and smiling as they sang patriotic songs and looked forward to the festivities.

Marie-Anne-Charlotte de Corday d’Armont was not a Parisienne, despite the undoubted elegance of her brown striped silk dress, but was one of the last scions of a somewhat diminished aristocratic family from Caen in Normandy. The street vendor who sold her a newspaper before she…

via Charlotte Corday and the Murder of Marat | Madame Guillotine.