The Paris Commune 1871

The Chief Executive to
Prefects and all Civil, Judicial, and Military Authorities

Translated: from the original for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.

We are masters of Paris, except for a very small part that will be occupied tomorrow. The Tuileries is in ashes, the Louvre has been saved. That part of the Ministry of Finance that runs along the Rue de Rivoli has been set on fire. The palace on the Quai d'Orsay, in which the Council of State and the Cour des Comptes were housed was also set on fire. Such is the state in which Paris has been delivered to us by the scoundrels who oppressed and dishonored it. They left us 12,000 prisoners, and we will certainly have between 18-20,000. The ground is covered with their corpses. It is hoped that this horrible spectacle will serve as a lesson to the insurgents who dared declare themselves partisans of the Commune. Justice will soon satisfy a human conscience outraged by the monstrous acts that France and the world have just witnessed.

The army was admirable. Even in our misfortune we are happy to be able to announce that thanks to the wisdom of our generals it suffered few losses.

A. Thiers
Versailles, May 23, 1871, 7:25 a.m.