Antoine Momoro 1791

Petition to the National Assembly

Source: Petition à l’Assemblée Nationale, [n.p. Paris], [n.d. 1791];
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2004.

Translator’s note: After the flight of the king on June 20, 1791 the Cordelier Club wrote a petition refusing any recognition of Louis XVI as king. On July 17, at the demonstration on the Champ de Mars at which the petition was to be signed, stones were thrown at the National Guard troops under the leadership of Lafayette. The situation degenerated and the troops opened fire on the crowd, killing 50. Antoine Momoro was imprisoned for his part in the events and released in September 1791. He then submitted this petition protesting his treatment.

A number of virtuous citizens, friends of liberty and the constitution and electors of the Department of Paris were slandered, persecuted, accused, and tossed into irons. Their honor was compromised and reparation is due them

As the trial for the events relating to the petition of the Champ de Mars was ending, when the gathering of evidence and the questioning of witnesses was going to be closed and judgment rendered, a decree emanating from your body put an end to any trial for involvement in revolutionary and prohibited tribunals from continuing those already begun. This prevents citizens from proving their innocence by demonstrating the odious plot that brought about the dark day of July 17 and the criminal authors of that infernal plot.

These citizens will thus have felt all the horrors of captivity, will have suffered the most atrocious slanders, yet they cannot obtain justice. A decree prevents this.

I am one of these oppressed citizens. I am a father who was torn from my home in the middle of the horrors of the night by a large number of guards, pitilessly put in irons, dragged like a low criminal to the tribunals, mixed in with rogues and assassins, and in contempt of the law deprived of the sweet consolation of seeing friends. For twenty two days I suffered the horrors of captivity, and at the end of this period, based on a simple report on the trial, my freedom was returned to me (a manifest proof that it had been taken from me unjustly).

At the end of my captivity a cruel illness nearly took me from a young wife and my young child. My means of existence were wiped out and, to complete my misfortune, at the moment when my justification was going to be revealed a decree absolved me, despite myself, of an imaginary crime.

Can my outraged honor allow me to profit from the benefit of a decree that was only made for the guilty?

In vain is it spread about among the public that we are the ransom for illustrious émigrés: does so much honor return ours to us?

As an act of justice I demand of the National Assembly reparations proportional to the persecutions of which I was the unfortunate victim. I dare to hope that my request will be received. A judgment would have satisfied me.

First Printer of National Liberty
Elector of the Department of Paris.