A very happy 254th birthday to Lucie Simplice Camille Benoît Desmoulins! (March 2nd, 1760 - April 5th, 1794)
Desmoulins was one of the most important figures of the French Revolution, and, as it were, a childhood friend of Robespierre. A journalist as well as a politician, he helped incite the assault on the Bastille when he gave a speech on top of a table outside the Cafe du Foy and called the citizens of Paris to arms. In his writing, he was highly inflammatory and his 1789 pamphlet "Discours de la lanterne aux Parisiens" spurred on the use of Paris lampposts as makeshift gallows. As such, Desmoulins earned the nickname, “the Lantern Attorney”. A better writer than speaker, Desmoulins wrote many incendiary pro-revolution pamphlets throughout the first half of the French Revolutionary period. A member of the Cordeliers political club, Desmoulins tended to align himself with Georges-Jacques Danton more than the Committees. In his final newspaper, the seven issues of Le Vieux Cordelier, Desmoulins condemned the Reign of Terror and gained the reputation of being counterrevolutionary. After his arrest and brief trial, Desmoulins was executed alongside Danton and others.