Type of Document Dissertation Author Greene, Karen Leigh Author's Email Address Hoche1789@msn.com URN etd-04072004-135325 Title The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary: The Political Career of Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron, Representative on Mission and Conventionnel, 1754-1802 Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department History, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Donald D. Horward Committee Chair Dr. Patrick O'Sullivan Committee Member Jonathan Grant Committee Member Nathan Stoltzfus Committee Member Peter Garretson Committee Member Keywords
- French Revolution Journalists
- Representatives On Mission
- Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron
- National Convention Members
- Orateur Du Peuple
Date of Defense 2004-04-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractTHE RISE AND FALL OF A REVOLUTIONARY:
THE POLITICAL CAREER OF LOUIS-MARIE STANISLAS FRÉRON,REPRESENTATIVE ON MISSION AND CONVENTIONNEL, 1754-1802
Name: Karen L. Greene
Major Professor: Dr. Donald D. Horward
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Term Degree Awarded: Spring, 2004
This dissertation examines the Revolutionary career of Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron (1754-1802). Fréron was born the son of Élie-Catherine Fréron, was a prominent author and literary critic who championed the traditional institutions of France against the philosophes. But, with the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Fréron made a complete break with his father's principles. He joined the Jacobin Club, embraced republicanism, and became a well-known, radical journalist through his notorious newspaper L'Orateur du Peuple. Along with his work as a journalist, Fréron pursued a political career. In 1792 he was elected to the National Convention and was subsequently sent as a representative on mission to the departments of southeast France (1793-94). It was here that Fréron gained a notorious reputation as a ruthless Terrorist, especially as a result of his activities in the cities of Marseilles and Toulon.
Fréron later played a leading role in the coup of 9 Thermidor (27-28 July 1794) that toppled Robespierre's government and began the process to dismantle the Terror. During the following chaotic period of the Thermidorian Reaction, Fréron sought to disassociate himself from his past activities as a Jacobin and agent of the Terror. But, public knowledge of Fréron's
past activities as a representative and participant in the Terror as well as his support and encouragement of violence after Thermidor ultimately brought him criticism and condemnation. His political career was irrevocably damaged.
In the final days of the National Convention, Fréron obtained one last assignment as a representative on mission to southeast France. On this mission Fréron showed great moderation and sagacity in the implementation of his duties, but found it impossible to cleanse his tarnished reputation or silence his political opponents. As a result, the last seven years of Fréron’s public and private life were plagued with disappointment and failure. Fréron drifted, debt-ridden, able only to obtain insignificant employment. In 1802 he was appointed to a position as sous-préfet to the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti). But this mission was to be his last. He contracted yellow fever, just weeks after his arrival there, and died alone and forgotten.
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