1)R198419 Décret de l’Assemblée nationale, du 21 juin 1791 (Paris: Imprimerie de Ballard, imprimeur du département de Paris, rue des Mathurins, c.21 June 1791). ‘Proclamations: French Revolution 1789-1799’, Box V.
2)R198420 Aux Citoyens (Rennes: Imprimerie de J. Robiquet, c.23 June 1791). ‘Proclamations: French Revolution 1789-1799’, Box V.
3)Décrets (Rodez: Imprimerie de Marin Devic, Imprimeur du Département de l’Aveiron [sic], c. 25 June 1791). ‘Proclamations: French Revolution 1789-1799’, Box V.
(For background, see my previous post on ‘The disappearance of Louis XVI’)
R198419 (this is a new JRL accession number, generated by this research project), the ‘Decree of the National Assembly, from 21 June 1791’ is a full copy of the immediate, official reaction to the King’s escape from the capital by the nation’s deputies, produced and distributed by the Paris department. Both the simple layout and the absence of any additional content (even counter-signatures) from this departmental authority suggest that the broadside was produced extremely quickly, perhaps even on the same day (the printers were only on the rue des Mathurins, which links the southern parts of the 8th and 9th arrondissement only a short walk from where the National Assembly sat in the Tuileries palace complex). The opening words of the decree itself show that the nation’s deputies were particularly concerned about their audience within the capital: ‘The National Assembly declares to the Citizens of Paris, & to inhabitants of the Empire…’. It is also striking from the two orders at the end of the decree how Parisians were singled out as a revolutionary entity in a way that other parts of the country were not. Thus, in the capital it was required that ‘the Citizens of Paris hold themselves in readiness to act for the maintenance of public order [l’ordre public], & in defence of the Patrie’, whereas everywhere else it was up to the local authorities ‘to guard public order [la tranquillité publique] carefully’.
R198419 Decree of the National Assembly (1791) Photo: CHICC (JRL)
To the left is a copy of the broadside (thank you again to CHIC for producing the image). If you CLICK HERE: R198419 annotated you will find an annotated copy with additional comments and translations. Hopefully the latter (a tactic I will repeat in future) will be particularly useful for any readers who are struggling to make sense of these text-heavy documents!
The JRL also holds a copy of the same decree reproduced in Rodez by the Directory of the Aveyron department, this time paired with a second National Assembly response from 21 June relating to the control of France’s border areas in anticipation of a coordinated push by the revolution’s enemies to spirit arms, money and people out of the country. This is the ‘Décrets’ listed at the start of this post. However, other authorities clearly felt the need for adaptation when passing the National Assembly’s message on. Our final broadside comes from the departmental printing presses for Ille-et-Vilaine (eastern Brittany) in its capital, Rennes. It offers a major variation on the original decree. (more…)