Purge of the Girondins. Part 1

29th and 30th. The latest news from all the armies is bad. The Mountain wants to exploit this to disband the Committee of Twelve, and to set the people against the first two Orders. So on the 31st the alarm canon is fired,1 the tocsin is rung, the sections descend on the Convention, and all of Paris has taken up arms.


1. Located on Pont Neuf, very close to where the Convention met. [back]


Another entry which speaks to the possible political implications of the military pressure the Republic was under. The duchess believes this to be the key factor in enabling the Montagnard faction in the Convention (‘the Mountain’ in this entry) and their allies within the local Parisian political network to attempt a coup against their increasingly bitter rivals, the Girondins. In the event, the uprising of 31 May stalled – but this was only a temporary setback for its organisers, as the duchess’s report on events at the start of June shows. This entry comes from the section of the Elbeuf manuscript comprising short daily entries rather than the much longer letter entries found earlier in the notebook series.

Date and place of writing

29 May - 31 May 1793, Paris



Archives nationales de France, F7 4775/1 ( notebook 6, p. 150).