Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.


Urbain, formerly head master of an academy, was elected to the Commune, and became, in virtue of his former office of teacher, a member of the Committee of Instruction, retaining at the same time his office of mayor.  He finally installed himself in his mayoralty about the middle of April, with his sister and young son, and gave protection there to his mistress, Leroy, who had great influence over him, and who used to frequent the committees and clubs.  At the mayoralty of the 7th Arrondissement this woman, in the absence of the mayor, took the direction and management of affairs.  During the administration of Urbain searches were made in private and in religious houses, this woman, Leroy, sometimes taking part in the proceedings; on these occasions seizures were made of letters and articles of value, which were sent to the mayoralty and from thence to the police-office.  Urbain and the woman Leroy are accused of having appropriated to themselves money and jewellery.  At the mayoralty of the 7th Arrondissement there were deposits for public instruction to the amount of 8000 francs, which had dwindled down to 2900 francs.  Urbain confesses having employed this money in helping persons compromised like himself.  It is certain that during the residence of the woman Leroy at the mayoralty the expenses exceeded the sum allowed to Urbain.  According to the evidence of a domestic everybody tad recourse to this unfortunate deposit, and it is stated in the instructions that the accused had left by will to his son a sum of 4000 francs in bank notes and gold, deposited in the hands of his aunt, Madame Danelair, while there is clear proof that before the days of the Commune he did not possess a sou.  Madame Leroy herself, who came to the mayoralty without a penny, was found in possession of 1000 francs, which she said were the results of her savings.  It appears from the statement of M. Laudon, inspector of police, that the search made at his house resulted in the subtraction of a sum of 6000 francs, and that he has seen a ring which belonged to his wife on the finger of the woman Leroy.  Though not taking a conspicuous share in the military operations, Urbain played an important part.  His duty was to visit the military stations and to take possession of the Fort d’Issy, which had been abandoned.  He admits that he thus visited the barracks and the ramparts.  He ordered the construction of barricades, and says that, on the occasion of the repulse of the 22nd May, he resisted the entreaties of the woman Leroy, who wished him to give up the struggle and to betake himself to the Hotel de Ville, with the view of remaining at his post.  As a politician, Urbain, in the discussions of the Commune, was very zealous and spoke frequently.  By his vote he gave his sanction to all the violent decrees relating to the hostages, the demolition of the Column, the destruction of M. Thiers’ house, and the Committee of Public Safety, of which he was one of the most ardent supporters.  To him is to

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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