The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


My last to you was of the 18th of June. Within a day or two after, yours of May the 9th came to hand. In the rest of Europe nothing remarkable has happened; but in France such events as will be forever memorable in history.

The tumults in the city had pretty well subsided, but to-day they have been revived by a new incident. Foulon, one of the fugitive ministers, was taken in the country, (it is said by his own tenants,) and brought to Paris. Every possible effort of persuasion was exerted in vain to save him. He was forced from the hands of the Gardes Bourgeoises by the mob, was hung, and after severing his head, the body was dragged by the enraged populace through the principal streets of Paris. The Intendant of Paris (de Chauvigny), accused of having been in the plots with the late ministry, and who had fled, was taken at Compiegne, and a party of two hundred militia horse are now gone for him. If they bring him to Paris it will be impossible to save him. Monsieur de La Luzerne was reappointed minister of marine yesterday. Your last letter says nothing of my leave of absence. The season is so far advanced towards the Equinox, that if it comes to hand I shall not leave Europe till that be over. Indeed this scene is too interesting to be left at present But if the permission does not come in time for my passage in the fall, the necessity of my going is so imperious, that I shall be in a most distressing dilemma.

to James Madison, 22 July 1789