Pierre Étienne Louis Dumont - French Revolution

French Revolution

In the summer of 1789 Dumont went to Paris. The object of the journey was to obtain through Jacques Necker, who had just returned to office, an unrestricted restoration of Genevese liberty, by cancelling the treaty of guarantee between France and Switzerland, which prevented the republic from enacting new laws without the consent of the parties to this treaty. The proceedings and negotiations to which this mission gave rise necessarily brought Dumont into connection with most of the leading men in the Constituent Assembly, and made him an interested spectator, sometimes even a participator, indirectly, in the events of the French Revolution.

The same cause also led him to renew his acquaintance with Mirabeau, whom he found occupied with his duties as a deputy, and with the composition of his journal, the Courier de Provence. For a time Dumont took an active and very efficient part in the conduct of this journal, supplying it with reports as well as original articles, and also furnishing Mirabeau with speeches to be delivered or rather read in the assembly, as related in his highly instructive and interesting posthumous work entitled Souvenirs sur Mirabeau (1832). In fact his friend George Wilson used to relate that one day, when they were dining together at a table d'hôte at Versailles, he saw Dumont engaged in writing the most celebrated paragraph of Mirabeau's address to the king for the removal of the troops. He also reported such of Mirabeau's speeches as he did not write, embellishing them from his own stores, which were inexhaustible. But this co-operation soon came to an end; for, being attacked in pamphlets as one of Mirabeau's writers, he felt hurt at the notoriety thus given to his name in connection with a man occupying Mirabeau's peculiar position, and returned to England in 1791.

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