Jean-Paul Marat 1793

Letter to the Convention on the Sections

Source: La Correspondance de Marat, recueillie et annote par Charles Vellay. Eugene Fasquelle, Paris, 1908;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2004.

June 21, 1793

My Citizen Colleagues:

An inflammatory illness, the result of the torments I have ceaselessly inflicted upon myself over the last four years in defending the cause of freedom, afflicts me for the past five months and keeps me today in my bed. Given the impossibility for me to go to the Convention I ask you to have read the enclosed[1]. It will convince you of the need to call Chalier to your bar, not only to remove him from the ferocity of the aristocrats of Lyons, but also to learn from him the causes of the troubles in that city. I expressly ask for this.

I ask also that Laussel, procurator of the commune of Lyons and signatory of the enclosed, be called as well.

I also ask that you render against the popular tribunal of Lyons the same decree that you rendered against that of Marseilles.

Finally, I ask that the permanence of the sections be suppressed throughout the republic. This permanence is the principal cause of the disasters that have occurred over the past while in several of the large cities of the state. For the rich, the schemers, and the malicious go in crowds to the sections, render themselves masters and have them make the most liberticide decisions, while the day laborers, the workers, the artisans, the retailers the farmers, in a word, the mass of unfortunates forced to work in order to live, cannot participate in order to repress the criminal maneuvers of the enemies of freedom. Ten days ago I presented this last measure to your Committee of Public Safety. It felt its importance and promised a report. I don’t know the reasons for its silence.

1. The letter was from Laussel and informed of counter-revolutionary activity in Lyons.