Maximin Isnard - Encyclopedia




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MAXIMIN ISNARD (1758-1825), French revolutionist, was a dealer in perfumery at Draguignan when he was elected deputy for the department of the Var to the Legislative Assembly, where he joined the Girondists. Attacking the court, and the "Austrian committee" in the Tuileries, he demanded the disbandment of the king's bodyguard, and reproached Louis XVI. for infidelity to the constitution. But on the 10th of June 1792, when the crowd invaded the palace, he was one of the .deputies who went to place themselves beside the king to protect him. After the 10th of August 1792 he was sent to the army of the North to justify the insurrection. Re-elected to the Convention, he voted the death of Louis XVI. and was a member of the Committee of General Defence when it was organized on the 4th of January 1793. The committee, consisting of 25 members, proved unwieldy, and on the 4th of April Isnard presented, on behalf of the Girondist majority, the report recommending a smaller committee of nine, which two days later was established as the Committee of Public Safety. On the 25th of May, Isnard was presiding at the Convention when a deputation of the commune of Paris came to demand that J. R. Hebert should be set at liberty, and he made the famous reply: "If by these insurrections, continually renewed, it should happen that the principle of national representation should suffer, I declare to you in the name of France that soon people will search the banks of the Seine to see if Paris has ever existed." On the 2nd of June 1793 he offered his resignation as representative of the people, but was not comprised in the decree by which the Convention determined upon the arrest of twenty-nine Girondists. On the 3rd of October, however, his arrest was decreed along with that of several other Girondist deputies who had left the Convention and were fomenting civil war in the departments. He escaped, and on the 8th of March 1 795 was recalled to the Convention, where he supported all the measures of reaction. He was elected deputy for the Var to the Council of Five Hundred, where he played a very insignificant role. In 1797 he retired to Draguignan. In 1800 he published a pamphlet l'immortalite in which he praised Catholicism; in 1804 Reflexions relatives au senates-consulte du 28 floreal an XII., which is an enthusiastic apology for the Empire. Upon the restoration he professed such royalist sentiments that he was not disturbed, in spite of the law of 1816 proscribing regicide ex-members of the Convention.

See F. A. Aulard, Les Orateurs de la Legislative et de la Convention (Paris, 2nd ed., 1906).

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