French Revolution 1870 - Story

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French Revolution 1870 - Story - 2 TVIIAT MOB RULE LEADS TO. fa Srjr T fttsa...
2 TVIIAT MOB RULE LEADS TO. fa Srjr T fttsa il-aTM Day' Bloody Kclva at lbs- I'm r la Caaaaaaaa Tao Ksxl ar a-Bnl"t Whlek Waa Can kH fey Oir Ptlle aa Oir B tleaal daard. M. Maxime DaCamp iinov Dubliahlnr in ths Rente det Deux Monde the most notable papers on the Common of 1871 that have ret appeared. The author devotes himself to only one division of the nbiect the prisons of Paris under the Ked Administration; and though be has not yet described the assassination of Archbishop Darhoy and the other hostages, his stud is sufficiently interesting to a merit reproduction in, of necessity, a most abridged form especially in view -of the fact that within the last few days the doctrines of the Commune hava been preached in this city, and seem to have founi advorateseven among men who might be supported to have some sense. M. ba Camp's history extends orer a brief, but pregnant, period of sixty-seven days, or from March 18 to May 24, 1871. On the lfttb a Federal battalion took possession of the Prefecture of Police and the Depot, and on the 19th General Duval, a foundrywan, was named military delegate, one Jolhvet being associated with him. M. Core, the Director of the-Deiiot, refused to admit the Federals sent to take charge, and went to discuss the matter with Jollivet, whom he found too drunk to seak. Duval agreed to consult his associate, and when Core returned in an hour they had both been swept out, and Kaoul Rigault reigned. "You are removed," said Kigault. "I can not !e without an order from the Ministry of the Interior." "We shall simplify all the-e formalities," said Kigault, hurriedly scrawling a line on a sheet of paper, and in a few moments M. Core was locked up in one of his own cells and the depot was placed under the management of one Garreau, a journeyman locksmith of twenty-four, ac-. quainted with the prisons of Paris from having repeatedly served short terms therein. Kigault, however, removed the Federals, and left the keeiiers and clerks unchanged, a for tunate circumstance for the prisoners, for ' M. Core from' his cell was thus able to exercise considerable influence. Bonjean, Chief Justice of thet?ourt of Cassation, was the first hostage taken in, being arrested March 21st, just after .the adjournment of the Court. He was a lively and clever little man of sixty-six, with tact and nerve. It was because the prison staff stuck to their posts that so many prisoners got off; it was owing to his advice that the prison staff remained at work. The employes feared that if they so remained they would be regarded as participating in the deeds of the Commune, but Bonjean sent a note secretly to Versailles explaining the matter, and secret erders were returned to ail prison officials to stand to their posts. - Once be could have escaped, when Rigault sent an order written on the fourth page of a letter, "Set the two prLsonexs mentioned on the other side of the leaf at liberty," there being writing on the first and second pages, but none on the third. The letter was shown him,, and it was suggested that the first leaf should be torn off and M. Honjean's name placed on the reverse, but be refused to go, for his escape would cause suspicion and probably insure the removal of all the old keepers. Ferre and Kigault amused themselves by visiting him at night after dinner, and endeavoring to frighten him by threats of what would be done to him and narrations of what they had done, how they had drowned Thiers and impaled Picard, how his wife and children were being held as hostages and would be shot, and so on, till the keys so trembled in the hands of the sacred turnkey who attended them that Rigault turned sharply upon him, and bade him stop that Castanet playing. Toward the end of April Garreau'was succeeded by Eugene Fouet, a lame hair-dresser, luckily a timid aud harmless man, who left his subordinates to themselves. Under bis administration the Depot was a sort of harem for the Pashas of the Prefecture, for nightly Courbet, Rigault or Ferre "drew upon" the Depot for so many women of the town as companions of their debauches, the prisoners being returned next day. The last entry of the sort was made on the night of May 20, when Rigault ordered five young girls, who were named in his note, to be sent to his rooms at supper-time. . ' During the sixty-six days of the Commune's sway the Deot received 3,632 male prisoners. "No. 3,440, Jean Veysset (bis real name was George). 59, cultivator: spy, to be kept safely for disposition by Theophije Ferre, brought in May 1st, was a most lmpor- 'tant prisoner, for he was a bold and clever agent of the Government at Versailles, and had planned the defeat of the Commune. May 11th the Flourens Avengers, with a com-missaire, had searched his rooms, RneCau-' martin, for he was suspected, and not finding bim there had arrested his wife, who bribed CoUrnet with 3,000 francs to remove Jier to St. Lazare, where, lost amid the crowd of the wives of the incarcerated tergehU-de-l xille, she felt safer than in the neigh- -borhood of Ferre. Veysset had at first tried to negotiate for a peaceable surrender, to which several of the Communist leaders whom he : had sounded were not averse; then M. Thiers engaged him to buy tip a General to admit the Versailles troops within the fortifications. He boueht the artillervmen at Montiuarte. paying an earn est of 10,000 francs when they had spiked two euns in his presence, and, faithful to their contract, next day (May 14) they killed sixty Federals at Levallois-Perret, an "accident" mentioned In the Journal Ottlciel as showing that "the aim of the nieces was not yet quite exact." Veysset had then arranged to buy ud General Dorubrowski. who was to receive for himself and his staff 1,500.000 francs and a safe conduct from France, in consideration of surrendering to the regular army the - fortifications from the gate of the Point-du-Jdur to Wagram Gate. The money, as appears by a mem orandum from a high personage at Versailles, was to be paid in bills of the Banqtie du France or drafts on the Rothschilds at Frankfort. All the preliminaries bad been settled with one ot- Dorabrowski's staff, Hutxinger, his agent, the ?0lli of May being the designated date; the guns were to be silenced and a retreat ordered, leaving the drawbridges down "to allow the General to make an inspection of the scene without," nd Veysset had the earnest of 20,000 francs in hand when he was arrested. He had seven lodgings, and dodged Rigault's agents successfully, but a woman named Muller, one of his spies, betrayed him for a small sum. Just as Veysset waa taken to the depot the gates were opened to the Versailles troops. DombrowsH, thinking himself betrayed, tried in desperation to retreat, but was shot in the stomach by a woman near a barricade. Boulevard Ornano, May 22d so M- Du Camp says, though there is good authority for saying that be waa killed by Ser- I'eant Cassonova, of the Forty-fifth of the ine; who with a Bmall force of infantry had established himself in a bouse commanding the barricade, at the corner of the boulevard and Rue Myrrha) and was buried with all honors at Pere la Chaise, where the grave-digger came with in an ace of being shot for notbeing sutflciently mournful. The first victim taken from the prisons was Jean Veillot, aged twenty-eight, -taken with arms in his hands" and 5 francs in bis pocket, which, according to the custom of the time, were confiscated by hia captors. When ciTen ,n charge of the -platoon he demanded to have the money returned to him. "You'll get your 5 franca in five minutes. Come along, replied one of the Flourens Avengers, and be was dragged out upon the Quai de PHorloge and shot. On the prison register the clerk wrote as -the door closed: "Taken out to be shot." At the dawn of Wednesday, May 24th, the cannonade recommenced, the regular army slowly but surely surrounding the island, the pivot of its concentric movements being 14 n tin art re, so easily occupied on the eve, thanks to Veysset's negotiations. But at the moment of near triumph Thiers' faithful . . i i : j . : : . i. l. : . .1 nn v. Agent had seaiea ins uerouou wini uhumiuj At eight Theophile Ferre, with a squad of Avengers, appeared at the depot. "All the sergeants de ville, all the gendarmes and all the priests are to be shot off-band. I count on you," he said, carelessly, tapping his leg with light switch. Two of the Federals protested that they were willing to fight, but were not butchers; but he reviled them as cowards, and their comrades jeered them out f their scruples. Leaving them at the on-?iS rTwent to theKClerk's office . nd leisurely ran his finger down the pages till be came to Veyssefs name. "Bring out that man." ie "re ri i.- When Vsvaaet sail- Far . ". r . : : . : : r and the firing party.ha knaw hU hour had come, out, witn an anectation of lgnonn it, said: "I had 20.000 francs on me when was arrested : where are thevT "None of your business," answered Ferre.; "besides, we shall settle all our accounts with you at once. The guard surrounded Veysset. "You axe not eoinz to shoot that man?" asked, half in remonstrance, i the clerk. "Yes. and you too. if You ear too much.' answered Ferre. . Proceeding i toward the Pont Nenf, the band halted near the statue of Henry IV. "You are to be snot; nave you anything to aayT" asked xerre. Veysset shrugged his shoulders, and aa they pushed him back against the railing be said: "I pardon you for killing me' "Fire," said Ferre. and a moment later a volley rang out. Four men lifted the corpse if It was quite a corpse, which is doubtful and threw it into the Seine. "He deserved to be struck by the iustice of the people." said Ferre to the spec tators. "You see wa don't do things in holes and cornera. It was some time ere Ferre returned to the depot, but he went back in a couple of hours wi tn nis a vengers ana lour attendants,tnclud-ing two Magistrates, and seating himself in tne virector s omce, called lor 1 the registers. Fortunately Ferre was new to the work. and fortunately the Deputy, Pierre Bra- quond, an old soldier, was determined to save the prisoners' lives at all hazards. It was only a question of a few hours, or even minutes, for the regulars were steadily pressing back the Federals, and the noise of the street-fighting was every instant becoming clearer ana nearer, un a sheet of paper already prepared Ferre wrote slowly the name of one man destined to death, "3,546, Joseph Ruault, probable Bonapartist agent." As he did so Braquond slipped away to Ruault's cell. dragged him out and whispered to him. "In here, and no matter who calls don't answer to your name," thrust him into one of the common wards, where some three hundred prisoners were crowded together. This done, Braouond slinned bark tn Ferre' nrwnw "Call out Ruault hurry." cried Ferre. and in an instant Braquond was loudly calling down the corridors: "Ruault! Ruault!' Ruault did not answer; not a soul in the ball where he was knew 'him; Braquond's assis tant took: up tne cry, and many precious minutes were consumed in the contusion. "We can t hnd him," answered Braquond "didn t you hear us calling for him?" "You are all Versaillese and traitors:" veiled Ferre, furiously striking the table; "bring out Kuault this instant or 1 11 shoot you "That won't help matters." calmlv replied the Deputy. "Citizen Delegate, you don't understand your business. We are will ing to obey you in any thing we can do, but here you are asking us to look for a man who isn't in the prison at all." "Not in the prison, where in hell is he?" roared Ferre "How do I know?" imperturbably replied uraquona; "rui i n ten you in a moment," and. taking the register from Ferre, he ran rapidly down tne pages and read: "2,oy, Kim 11 1 1 fill her t ' rlil I i na Ttrtnnnnrt iaf uwunt . , r ---ri ' 1 ...j. April 19 removed to La Sante, May 18, by oraer ot Udmona Levraalt. ierredid not notice the difference of names, offenses and numbers, but, after damnine Levrault ud and down, took the register, and after a brief examination, said: "Well, since Ruault isn't here, fetch me Michel."; "uich one? asked Braquond. Thinking that the Deputy was making game of him, Ferre burst out with a torrent of abuse, which Braquond stood with the lialf-respectful, balf-amused calm of an old soldier, then answered. "Which one, citizen? Ihereare perhaps a dozen Michels in the prison. Tell me which one you want, and you shall have him in an instant, and, tak ing up another index, he read: "Michel, I-ouis Pierre policeman. "Michel, Jules Alfred laborer. "Michel, Xavier clerk, i "Michel, Henri Louis--ex-Sergeant De Ville. "Michel, ." "That'll do," interrupted Ferre; "call Henri Michel," and at once Braquond raised a cry for Henri Michel, secure in the knowl edge that it would not be answered, for this particular Michel, brought In May 18th. had two (lavs later irons mad from excitement and fright, and in strait-jacket was dash ing himself irantically against the padded walls of a cell in the Infirmary. (It may be said here that the Ruault paved was not the Joseph Ruault sought by Ferre, but a Fran cois Kuault, The veritable Joseph was in Mazas, and was one of the hostages butchered in .the Rue Haio. ) Meanwhile the prisoners In the common wards could see eight men, led by a ninth in a highly-decorated kepi, drenching the floors and window-seats of the Prefecture with some liquid applied with large brushes; then they saw them strike matches and apply them to the woodwork:, which instantly burst into flame. Thev at once raised a cry of "Fire!" and made desperate attempts to escape or to attract the attention of the guards, but in vain. Meanwhile the attend ants were shouting uselessly for Michel; Ferre was raving in impotent wrath at their dilatoriness, and some of the bolder amonv them were already unlocking the cells and whispering to the inmates, "Keeep up your hearts it can t last ten minutes: when sud denly the most fearful shrieks were heard from the women's ward, where several hundred scared females had seen the fire bursting out in the Prefecture and bad gone wild with panic. "Make them shut up, cried rerre nervously. One of his companions slipped away, and the other, Eugene Fouet, called to Braquondto tell the women to be patient; if they did burn they were only a pack of gendarmes' mistresses. Braquond could no longer stand it, and leaping up from his chair shouted to his keepers: "Unlock every cell door: let out the prisoners from the wards," an order instantly obeyed. The wild rush of several hundreds of men and women along the corridors followed, and t-erre, starting up, ran out into the street, followed by his aveng ers. He may have feared that the prisoners would massacre him and them, or he may have recollected that the prison was pretty sure to barn, and that the vaults of the Pre fecture were full of powder any way he tied, and, after an hour aud a half of anxiety, Pierre Braauond remained master of the field. having saved every hostage in his keeping except the unrortunate v eysset. Meanwhile the people without, who knew what preparations had been made to destroy the place, and to the number of 200, three-fourths of them beins; women, set themselves to removing the barrels of powder. The first to move was a barber named Lebois; he was followed by an Auvergnat woman. Saint Chely by name, a charcoal-peeler, a female Hercules of great beauty, singular coolness and infinite jollity. I Hair loose, sleeves rolled up. she shouldered the heavy barrels, carried them to the Desaix fountain and dumped them into the basin, encouraging her companions with jests and assurances as the fire crept down the building toward the powder, that there was lots of time for one more load, and still one more, till all the powder and the 1,200,000 cartridges had been fmt out of barm's way. Ferre, by threaten-ng the firemen with death, had compelled them to remove with' all their engines, and until nearly midnight the people bad to fight the flames with 'buckets and pitchers of water, wet blankets and the like, but they succeeded in saving their houses and in res cuing most of the papers or the rreiecture. Meanwhile the inmates of the depot, surrounded by blazing buildings on every side. strove to escape. Some ventured down to the Quai de l'llorloge, others to the Quai de I'Orfevre, both of which were swept with balls exchanged by the fighting Federals and regulars. A few I escaped; many were wounded; five or six fell dead; the remainder hastened back to the prison, where Braquond received them, fastened the doors and organized them into brigades, and fought the fire with desperation ; bnt at last it established itself in the roof. Even then there were some hours before it could render the lower part of the building untenable; but eighty prisoners, becoming panic-stricken, insisted on leaving, in charge of a turnkey named Laurent. Reaching the wharf, he signaled to the regulars with a handkerchief, and they ceased firing long enough for the fugitives to cross the quay and find safety.- The remainder Lin the prison escaped burning, but came near being drowned, the great tank bursting and drenching the whole building beneath, so that the floors were ankle-deep. About five o'clock in the evening a detachment of the Seventy-ninth Regiment of the Line reached the prison, and there was no longer any fear of fire or mas sacre. Two months before to a aay rierre Braquond, not caring to take orders from Garreau, had told M. Bonjean that he in tended to make his way to Versailles he had had enough of the Com m una. "As a 7-" ' 1 ' : ' Magistrate,' rqplied M- Bonjean, "I order you m remain ; as a prisoner I beg yon to re main. II vou and your fellows leave, you will be replaced by i parcel of vagabonds and we may see another Septembrist massacre. I adjure you to stay and protect the victims of Pierre Braquond. to take up the story where M. Da Camp left off. is still at the depot, m stoat, speetaaled,. smiling man of sixty, ne go a promotion, Dut ro medal nor any cross, though before he entered the Srison service he waa thrice promised a ecoxation, twice for saving drowning comrades, once for gallantry in the field, and when a jail-guard he saed his chief from assassination by throwing himself before the assassin's knife, which entered hia breast deeply. The little barber, Lebois, still shaves, and tells how Kaoul Rigault's clerk, being unable to settle a fifteen-franc bill for hair-dressing, gave him a roll of passes to and from the prison, which helped many a prisoner to communicate with his friends and escape. As for Mme. Saint Chely, she has prospered, and knits behind the counter of a well-stocked store, broad shouldered and jolly as of yore, and having only one unpleasant reminiscence of the Commune-that, while climbing into a window (or rather backing out of it) where there was a lot of powder stored, she caught her petticoats in an inopportune nail and made a more liberal display of sturdy ankles and calves than she had intended. - MARSHAL JUET. Still Analber Hfry Abaat That Dasn-Inar French Soldier. (Auburn (X. Y.) Advertiser. Judge Hall, of this city, is authority for the information that some five-and-twenty years ago a venerable gentleman by the name of Morgan, then connected with the Treasury Department, generally known and addressed as Colonel Morgan, of Washington, Penn., and reputed -to have been the person who conveyed the information to President Jefferson of the treasonable plans of Aaron Burr, upon which the latter was subsequently arrested and tried before Chief Justice Marshall, informed him that the late Richard Rush ascertained tohis own satisfaction, while Marshal Ney was resting under his death sentence by a Bourbon court-martial, that he was by birth an American, and had previously been a restless, reckless and ambitious cavalry officer in the army of General Anthony Wayne. Our informant says he is unable to recall to his mind all the particulars of the story related to him by Colonel Morgan; but the substance of the story was something like the following: A well-known tobacco merchant in Philadelphia by the name of. Rodolph or Rudoph, a native of the Carol inas or Georgia, had a brother in the cavalry or dragoon service in the campaign of General Wayne against the North-western Indians in or about the years "J2, '03, or '04; that in consequence of some difficulty with the General he quit the service and went to bis brother's in Philadelphia: that upon arriving at his brother's he learned that his wife had been unfaithful to him during his absence from her; that, smarting under the duplicate trouble ensuing from his difficulty with General Wayne and his wife's infidelity, he resolved to seek another field for the gratification of his military ambition, and sailed from the port of Philadelphia in his brother's vessel bound ostensibly to the West Indies for a cargo of tobacco; that the vessel, after a long absence, returned without him, and his brother thereafter disclaimed any knowledge of his whereabouts; that their mother, who came to Philadelphia occasionally afterward to visit her son, frequently expressed her conjecture that he had gone to France to find military occupation away from the smoke of the native hamlet and the annoyances incident to a faithless wife; that aftec Napoleon had entered upon his high military career against the European combinations with his marshals she saw a picture or print of his marshals with Ney's face among the rest, and fancied that Ney s face was that of her son; that she found her way to impress Minister Rush with her fancy so that, after Ney was arrested he went to his prison and .ried to converse with him ; that he ascertained from him that he could speak English as well as French, and was familiar with localities in Philadelphia; that he seemed to be familiar with the family name of Rodolph or Rudolph and seemed to be gratified with Mr. Ruh'i statement that a venerable mother by that name in America and her son, a tobacco mer chant in Philadelphia, were alive and in good health; he anected entire ignorance of any relationship to them whatever; and that after the date of Ney's reported execution by a platoon of soldiers in Paris. Mr. Rush brought home with him an ac curate portrait of him and sent it to Mrs. R., at her home in one of the Carolinas or Geor gia, which confirmed Jier previous impression that Ney was her son; that he, the said Colonel Morgan, had frequently talked the subject over with Mr. Kusli in his lifetime, and learned from Ins lips that he verily be lieved Ney to have been precisely all and what this story imports the ambitious son of Mrs. Rodolph, or Rudolph, who went to the West Indies,' ostensibly alter a cargo oi tobacco, twenty or more yearsbefore. Our informant says Colonel Houston's ac count of the escape and return of Ney to North Carolina, recently published in the Advertiser, reminded him of the above story. related to him by Colonel Morgan, of Penn sylvania, hve-anu-twenty years ago, and that although he thinks Colonel Houston's story needs a great deal of corroborative evidence to make it .believable at this late day, he thinks the ''story of Colonel Morgan that Ney was a native ot one ot tne uaroli- nas or Georgia furnishes presumptions in that' direction, and renders it more credible than if it stood by itself alone. If Colonel Morgan's relation of the information he de rived from Mr. Rush is entitled to credit it indicates the place I he would naturally have sought as a refuge from the judgment of that Court-martial if he were able by col lision, stratagem, or other means to fly from France and reach any refuge whatever. It appears to be the general opinion of all Mar shal Ney s biographers mat ne was an eccentric as well as a heroic character, and that be turned up in the French array as a sort of electric prodigy. W ithout any known step-ladder or military antecedents of any conse- auence he flashed out as a hero at once. As ne was capaoie oi planning ana executing the most complicated movements in the . . II . 1 I 1 field he was also capable, no doubt, of planning and executing the adroitest plans of es cape, stranger things nave occurred man that he couuaea wun me soiaiers to permit him to feign death from their bullets and escape unscathed. Our credulity is overtaxed by the fact that when he arrived in North Carolina and', was identified as Marshal Ney the intelligence was not then blazoned bv the newspapers all over the land. The lateness of the publication smacks of the sensational smartly. As the Sedaliaand Mis souri papers appear to believe Uolonel nous-ton we stop short of pronouncing it untrue. We merely say that it is a story which needs a great deal of corroborative testimony to en title it to credit, as against an tne Biographies, and among them one by Ney's two sons, which concur in the idea that he was executed and buried in France. Previous to the appearance of Colonel Houston's history we never heard any thing concerning Marshal Ney, save that related of and about nim by his biographers. But the story of Colonel Houston adds information of him to a certain degree, and perhaps it would not be a vain idea to look into the matter while the Philip Petrie, Lucius Butler and the two Youngs, alleged to have known Ney in North Carolina, are alive. Perhaps the papers of the late Richard Rash would throw some light upon the subject if examined. It is hardly probable, however, that the Marshal ever had any different experience than that with which he is accredited by his biographers, his widow and his two sons, who certainly ought to have known his life and fate best. M. Piebbb has communicated to the French Academy of Science a strange temporary re sult of brain fever. While he was con valescent he was engaged one day reading. and be found that the letters appeared sunk for some distance into the paper, and soon fatigued the eye. After ten days of suffering from this inconvenience, the eye resumed its normal power, and ! the printed characters again occupied the usual position on the surface of the paper. - i Thk Empress Eugenie has left Spain and i returned to her residence at Chisel hurst. England. almost instantly

Clipped from
  1. The Cincinnati Enquirer,
  2. 01 Aug 1877, Wed,
  3. Page 2

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  • French Revolution 1870 - Story

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