I thought this day would never come. I’ve spent years, maybe even decades dreaming of the day the venomous king and queen would be executed by the people. I’ve always thought that immediately after the righteous execution took place, a strong wave of hope for France’s government would come across me; but instead I feel an abrupt sense of skepticism seeping through my pores.
Why should I trust these foolish men with something as powerful as the government? What exactly are the requirements to become a revolutionary writer? Is the mind of the average French man strong enough to conduct an effective revolution? In all honesty, I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species, and I don’t believe France needs any form of revolution. Yes, we should be taking steps towards political reform, but to abolish the system entirely and then put everything in the hands of the uneducated masses? Ridiculous.
These “revolutionaries” are snakes who steal ideas from the works of great philosophers such as myself. They’re nothing if not incompetent writers who claim to be inspired by me, yet embody everything I despise. I’ve always stood for a constitutional monarchy that cares for the rights and lives of men! I want a philosopher king, who has the gift of logic and will work towards a better society for the people! How will we ever achieve that with these silly men in power?
Now that the revolution is in the hands of the Girondins and Jacobins, I know that France will be in ruins soon. It’s extremely foolish of us to allow these men to have such radical ideas, especially those Jacobins… Sooner or later, we’ll have mobs of mini Rousseaus setting fire to the streets of France! Incompetents! I can only hope for a TRUE philosopher to save these men by spreading Voltaire’s ideas across the masses!
My Dear Heart does not know what she hides from in this house. I pray she takes the children away, but I further debate the looming consequence of my position and, then, whether I might join them too. Oh Dear Heart there is nothing that I want you to see less than these sights I’ve seen today.
I will never understand the purpose of these conflicts, if you can even call them that. We all want the same thing, they just don’t seem to understand the way in which I believe we shall reach that goal.
More importantly I wish they’d not put me in these positions. Sometimes I regret why I even entered the military in the first place. A young helpless decision maybe? The French forces are the people who have the most power to make a real difference, for better or for worse, but there is not a simple way of making that change. If we should attack the royalty we’ll lose the support of half our troops, nonetheless, of course, unnecessarily kill innocent people and people who do not deserve to die. I could never do such a thing even if my life depended upon it. The King has done so much for our country, provided funds for Amerca’s success, gathered the peoples from all across our nation. Nowhere is it written: his name accompanied by a sentence of death.
Rather on the other hand, should I lead my men at regular into the city streets banging on doors and without relent, looking to kill any loyalists, or further even revolutionaries at large, I would be destroying the very revolution that which I wanted to create.
For what is my very purpose within this turmoil? Please Lord help me, I know not what to do. I have come to confess my crimes but I fear this is not enough to account for the deadly crimes which I did commit today.
I cannot ever be seen, nor heard, nor be doing the things I did today ever again. My very soul shan’t allow me to do such things. These filthy dogs left me for dead and left me for bringing death upon hundreds! Which I did not do!
This day I entered the grounds of a grand petition that was growing. I looked only to keep the peace, but upon my appearance the peoples of the radical factions erupted! There was nothing I could do! They stoned my men. They stoned me. Thank the Lord my children and wife were not present. For a time they left, relented the strength and allowed me to regain the morale of my troops. We thought it smart to stay to ensure the situation did not escalate again. But, merely hours later the citizens returned. All citizens who supported my document explicitly giving them the right to have say legally, safely, respectfully. Yet, they pursued more violence. And death. Might there have been 50,000 men there today, I did not want to fire on a single one of them. In fact, I found hope in the depths of my heart when I rode up to the grounds, seeing the masses that which had gathered for their own rights. To stand up for what they believe, and for a good cause. It lifted my spirits, after being asked to enact military power upon them, I mustn’t have been in the lightest of moods, but the lump in the pit of my stomach was lifted at this sight. My heart bloomed, and joy began to fill my body.
Only moments later I had to fire.
They gave me no choice.
What was I to do?
If only they had listened to my requests. I asked them, trust me I did. Peacefully I pleaded their cooperation for ne’er had I dreamt n my worst nightmares I’d be shooting on my friends, my fellow citizens. I hope these men can return to peace, and know I meant no intentional harm: Danton, Brissot, Marat… Robespierre.
Oh my Dear Dear Heart I came home to. She sat in her chair in the corner of our living room. Georges sitting on the floor by her feet, Virginie and Anastasie on either side of the room, all sitting at peace, unknowing of the horrors that I had just seen.
Oh please let them be safe from this terror.
Now I rest at my desk. Her breathing soothes my soul, to the depth that which it can be cleansed in these times of dread and fear, and crime. She sleeps behind me. Please keep her this way. There is nothing more pure in my life, no more beautiful or right. Right. This is what I search for: right. There may be nothing more I can do in this fight. There is no more my heart can take surely. It may now be my time, to bid adieu to my friends, those of which who still fight here in this terror, to take my family to a better place. A place where hope will not be taken from one’s soul. To a place where we can live right.
I’m writing this letter with the hope that it will clear my conscious or at least help me cope with what is happening. It has been two short months since the convention came to the decision that terror was the order of the day and it has already become difficult to justify the killing of innocent citizens. The idea that anyone can be determined an enemy and killed on the spot is ludicrous. However despite how crazy this all is and how much I despise it I cannot take action or speak my mind for that maniac Robespierre would kill me on the spot. I cannot live with a clear conscious knowing that this bloodshed is taking place. For now I’ll continue my duty of running the revolutionary army.
Through the course of my In-Depth project I have not only come to love the sport of mountain biking but also the wonderful culture that surrounds it. The exuberance and passion of mountain bikers is matched by no one, we are enthusiastic and loud and we’re not afraid to say what we think. Most of all, all of us display a true love for the sport and everything that surrounds it.
That being said, today we lost one of the true legends of the sport. Stevie Smith, the greatest Canadian mountain biker ever, died in a tragic dirt biking accident this weekend. Stevie truly embodied all the great qualities of a mountain biker and had many idolizing fans, myself one of them. He will be remembered as carefree and happy, someone who truly lived life to have fun. From his days shuttling up his hometown mountains on Vancouver Island, BC, to his 2013 world cup downhill win Stevie spent his life doing what he loved, riding his bike. I will always look up to you Stevie. Ride in Peace. #LongLiveChainsaw
Seeing Louis’ head roll was a morbid reminder that I made the right choice to leave politics. The public’s anger at the nobles bubbled up faster and more violently than I thought possible, and Robespierre channelled that into the razor sharp blade of the guillotine. I tried to please the people by fighting for fair taxation but I lacked the power to enforce my idea. All I had was big words, and when the people realized that, they shifted their support to the radical Jacobins, who had the potential to make things happen. Despite my defeat, I’m thankful I was able to step down quietly. The king and queen were not nearly as lucky as me. They tried to flee, but were forced to go back. The people were determined to hold them accountable for the desolation of this country. I thought they got off easy when the National Assembly still wanted Louis as king in a constitutional monarchy. Still, I can’t personally condemn them for running away, which is essentially what I did. However, the rest of France seemed willing to condemn them anyways. In protest of the National Assembly’s’ decision, they stormed up to the Champ de Mars and provoked the National Guard until they shot into the crowd. If only I succeeded in getting the clergy and nobles to pay more tax, this wouldn’t have happened. But as much as I hate my defeat and being powerless, if being connected with the king means losing my head, I’m happy to give up my position and retire rich. Now that the monarchy has been disposed of, I’m sure that France will settle down quickly. Robespierre will lead well, for he will defend the revolution from corrupt enemies. I only hope he does not go overboard.
Two months ago my head was sent flying into a crowd of screaming men and women in the name of justice and glorious progress. Now it is plain to me that I was a scapegoat, a puppet used to distract the public from the “new governments” shortfalls and failures. This new republican government is failing in all of the same aspects that led to my downfall and inevitable execution at the hands of the Jacobins. Grain is still to overpriced for the common people to afford, the government is unstable and is in a push and pull situation between the girondians and the Jacobins, and the streets are still an unsafe place to be due to the excess crime being committed by the scum of Paris. My death was supposed to start a new era of peace and progress for our great nation but it only worked as a way for greedy men to grasp power from the massive hole that I left. Robspierre and his dammed Jacobins called for my head and the public eagerly rushed to his side, thinking only of finally removing me from power and not about this foolish leaders ulterior motives. I swear that that man is going to cause more damage to this country than I ever could have. I remained loyal to a country that wanted me dead to the point where I made my final words, (I pray that my blood may be of use in restoring peace to France.) You will never see that cowardly snake robspiere lay down his life for our great nation. My only goal going forward is to act as a guide for those that haven’t already been dragged into robspiers radical and insane ideals. My guardsmen and subjects need to try and maintain order so that our country doesn’t fall into ruin after my passing. I have heard that my wife will be joining me soon. Robspiere and his toadies plan on executing her in an attempt to execute the last great French monarch . She has done nothing wrong except leading a lavish lifestyle worthy of her position. Once again Robspiere grabs power through the execution of an innocent women, I hope that this doesn’t become a recurring theme. I hope that the people will see what the republic is becoming and will be able to stop it before it sends our country spiraling down into ruin. I will be known as the king that led his country go to ruin, I will be known as the man who let thousands starve, I will be known as a traitor to the people, and I will be known as a tyrant. What the history books will leave out however is that I tried to help the people, I listened to their pleas, I stayed in my country when I should’ve fled, and I gave my life for a country that will only remember me as a tyrant. I hope that my beloved France will survive this ordeal and come out hardened by the times they have been through.
Life has been crazy over these past few years. I knew I should have been cautious of all those desperate lower class citizens trying to accuse us aristocrats of being anti-revolutionaries. They had these ideas imprinted in their minds that all people born with more wealth and opportunities were opposing ideas of change and revolution. This was possibly put in place by articles such as these that classify all upper class members as selfish, spoiled and stupid. I bet Robespierre couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity to turn them against us, and lately, I’ve found myself behind bars. I mean, what power do I have in prison? I found myself awaiting my execution along with several other innocent people, only dreaming of a brighter future where people didn’t take our opinions and ideas for granted.
Thank goodness I met Jean Lambert Tallien— my get-out-of-jail ticket. He is such a wealthy and powerful man, and he’s head over heels in love with me. The only problem is that his job can get extremely cruel and disturbing, and we certainly don’t agree on everything. I still cannot believe he voted for the murder of the king. However, without him by my side, I cannot have had half the influence I do right now while manipulating this man to obey my wishes. He listened to me as I requested the release of many aristocrats from their fate in prison, including my own, and I feel like there is a lot of potential for creating a change together that will impact the terrors that are sure to come with this Robespierre character coming into play. Now all we have left to do is seal the deal and put a ring on it.
We’re quite the interesting pair, Jean Lambert Tallien and I— a founding member of the Committee of Public Safety and an aristocratic prisoner with the intention of springing many other inmates from jail. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being called to Paris to explain his case to the leaders. After all, there is only so long he will go without becoming suspicious as I have.
I am Charles-Henri Sanson, ex-royal executioner for the monarchs. I terminated this position by terminating the king, and now I am the high executioner for the first republic of France.
The conflict I am feeling rivals that of the war tearing our country apart. From the senseless murders of the Champ de Mars massacre by the National Guard to the out of control riots in our streets by the radicals, both sides of this conflict have blood on their hands, and so do I.
“Son of Saint-Louis” Source: Cornell 4606.15.J19
I recently executed king Louis XVI. I had respect for the man; I punished and took the lives of thousands of criminals in the name of his law. Yet there I found myself on the scaffold, taking his head in return for the acts of treason the revolutionaries claimed he committed against his own country. Robespierre stated that Louis must die so France can live… In the end, the dismissed king met his death with pride still in his heart.
I have my reasons for switching to the revolutionary side. Though I had some respect for the monarchs, all they have done for France is plunge us into more debt and perpetuate heavy taxes and grain shortages. The monarchy made weak attempts to cooperate with the demands of the people through a representative government, but they failed to be effective. The end of their power was like a composite volcano… pressure built up around them to an incredible amount until Louis and Marie couldn’t take anymore, and the existing government exploded.
I will continue to enforce executions against those who have wronged France. I believe we are in a time of change for the better, and I have hope that our new, more representative government will be better than the system ever was under the monarchy. I have to believe we as a country are changing to benefit the people of France, as I carry out punishment after punishment.
I am a strong supporter of the guillotine, which was officially adopted as the means of execution by beheading in 1992. Cutting off heads with a sword doesn’t always get the job done properly, but the guillotine is humane and reliable. With all the execution sentences being carried out, the guillotine is a lifesaver. I fear I may have to retire soon, though, and let my son take over as I did for my father.
I sense a rough transitional period ahead for this country. Although I have been part of almost 3,000 executions at this point, I feel the terror is just beginning. The question is, how many more lives will be sacrificed until France is stable once more?
I used to dream of an independent Corsica after it was sold to France. However, now I think that the revolutionary government would be the best course of action for Corsica. I came to this idea after meeting some Jacobins in Corsica particularly Augustine Robespierre. Although my connection to Augustin backfired and resulted in my family and I being forced to leave Corsica. I have returned to my command in the Artillery and my Family has moved to Toulon a city near France.
I had thought Toulon would be a good place to say and it probably was until French Royalists handed it over to Britain. The leaders of Toulon being Royalists welcomed a British fleet. This rebellion was a serious blow to France’s naval power as it is a vital naval port. It was also important because it could lead to even revolts in other areas. I being a artillery officer have been sent there to aid in the seige.
The Chief of Artillery, Commander Elzéar Auguste de Dommartin was wounded in a previous battle. So as a result I was put in charge thanks to help from my friend Augustin Robespierre. Thanks to that I was able to requisition equipment and canons from the surrounding area. I was also able to then get retired artillery officers to re-enlist. However, I wasn’t satisfied and intensively trained majority of the infantry to deploy and fire artillery.
Even after those successes I still wasn’t confident in this siege. I found my officers to be incompetent often causing needless delays. I wrote to the Committee of Public Safety requesting assistance. I suggested they appoint someone to a higher command then myself so they could lay down the law and keep my officers in order. Anyways the siege had begun. Based off of the reconnaissance I have drafted an attack plan. Which starts with he construction of more batteries (fortified emplacement for artillery).
There was an issue with the inexperienced Francois Doppet being appointed commander after Jean Carteaux was dismissed. Apparently he’d been a doctor before this which makes sense, because he has no military talent. Thank God he resigned after realizing how incompetent he was. The next commander appointed was Jacques Dugommier. He was much better suited for the task and even decided we should follow my attack strategy.
November 28th 1793
With the constant threat of bombardment from the increasing number of batteries we had built the enemy decided to launch a “sortie”(sortie is the displacement of military units from a defensive position.) We responded with a counter attack led by Jacques Dugommier and me. It was a success and resulted in the capture of a British General. This capture led to the negotiations of surrender and the disarming of Royalist Battalions.
Today is the day that my response to the ever so closed-minded Edmund Burke’s attack on revolution in France is published. His arguments against change are so narrow-minded and inflexible, it’s frustrating that people actially agree with his baseless views on the revolution. He believes that France will not be able to govern itself under a new system, simply because it hasn’t been done before! They say you miss every shot you don’t take, and if France doesn’t fight for their freedom now, they will be at the mercy of a self-serving government forever. Does he not see that the monarchy will do nothing for France? Does he not see all there is to be gained? Before the start of this revolution, people were starving, farmers were barely able to provide for their own family. If he thinks a government that lets the majority of it’s subjects struggle just to survive, it’s obvious that he isn’t to be taken seriously. That doesn’t matter now. My novel, The Rights of Man, thoroughly dismantles his arguments, and will reignite the drive of anybody who may have been swayed by Burke’s propoganda. I also include a plan for the forming of a new government based off of the American model, a large part of which I helped to develop. I have a vision of a government that is fair and representative of it’s people. A government that will lead France to a brighter future. The current monarchy will not come through for the people of france, and it’s time for change. To the revolution!