Purge of the Girondins. Part 3

5th. The Jacobins and the municipality are being frustrated by the Committee of Public Safety,1 which has declared that it is unable to proceed against the 22 members of the Convention who have been arrested, and is requesting that those who brought the case provide evidence of their guilt. Chaumette proposes to the municipality that he will go and collect this from among the people, and this offer is accepted. The departments and the sections appear already to be splitting between support for the Mountain or the Right wing.


1. The Committee of Public Safety had been been set up a month previously (6 April) by the Convention in a bid to improve France's deteriorating military situation. Convention deputies were elected to it by their peers. By the autumn of 1793 the Committee had morphed into the preeminent executive branch of national government and its influence spread far beyond military planning. It became the ideological and bureaucratic hub of the Terror. [back]


The political implications of the Purge of the Girondins began to be felt immediately, and the duchess emphasises the political importance of the Paris Commune during this tumultuous period. 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

5 June 1793, Paris



Archives nationales de France, F7 4775/1 ( notebook 6, p. 151).