La Fusillade du Champ-de-Mars – July 17th – 1791

My Dear Heart does not know what she hides from in this house. I pray she takes the children away, but I further debate the looming consequence of my position and, then, whether I might join them too. Oh Dear Heart there is nothing that I want you to see less than these sights I’ve seen today.

I will never understand the purpose of these conflicts, if you can even call them that. We all want the same thing, they just don’t seem to understand the way in which I believe we shall reach that goal.

More importantly I wish they’d not put me in these positions. Sometimes I regret why I even entered the military in the first place. A young helpless decision maybe? The French forces are the people who have the most power to make a real difference, for better or for worse, but there is not a simple way of making that change. If we should attack the royalty we’ll lose the support of half our troops, nonetheless, of course, unnecessarily kill innocent people and people who do not deserve to die.  I could never do such a thing even if my life depended upon it. The King has done so much for our country, provided funds for Amerca’s success, gathered the peoples from all across our nation. Nowhere is it written: his name accompanied by a sentence of death.

Rather on the other hand, should I lead my men at regular into the city streets banging on doors and without relent, looking to kill any loyalists, or further even revolutionaries at large, I would be destroying the very revolution that which I wanted to create.

For what is my very purpose within this turmoil? Please Lord help me, I know not what to do. I have come to confess my crimes but I fear this is not enough to account for the deadly crimes which I did commit today.

IMG_10379
http://frda.stanford.edu/en/catalog/rb028ps3693; Here I confess my sins at the Abbey of Saint Martin

I cannot ever be seen, nor heard, nor be doing the things I did today ever again. My very soul shan’t allow me to do such things. These filthy dogs left me for dead and left me for bringing death upon hundreds! Which I did not do!

This day I entered the grounds of a grand petition that was growing. I looked only to keep the peace, but upon my appearance the peoples of the radical factions erupted! There was nothing I could do! They stoned my men. They stoned me. Thank the Lord my children and wife were not present. For a time they left, relented the strength and allowed me to regain the morale of my troops. We thought it smart to stay to ensure the situation did not escalate again. But, merely hours later the citizens returned. All citizens who supported my document explicitly giving them the right to have say legally, safely, respectfully. Yet, they pursued more violence. And death. Might there have been 50,000 men there today, I did not want to fire on a single one of them. In fact, I found hope in the depths of my heart when I rode up to the grounds, seeing the masses that which had gathered for their own rights. To stand up for what they believe, and for a good cause. It lifted my spirits, after being asked to enact military power upon them, I mustn’t have been in the lightest of moods, but the lump in the pit of my stomach was lifted at this sight. My heart bloomed, and joy began to fill my body.

Only moments later I had to fire.

They gave me no choice.

What was I to do?

If only they had listened to my requests. I asked them, trust me I did. Peacefully I pleaded their cooperation for ne’er had I dreamt n my worst nightmares I’d be shooting on my friends, my fellow citizens. I hope these men can return to peace, and know I meant no intentional harm: Danton, Brissot, Marat… Robespierre.

Oh my Dear Dear Heart I came home to. She sat in her chair in the corner of our living room. Georges sitting on the floor by her feet, Virginie and Anastasie on either side of the room, all sitting at peace, unknowing of the horrors that I had just seen.

Oh please let them be safe from this terror.

Now I rest at my desk. Her breathing soothes my soul, to the depth that which it can be cleansed in these times of dread and fear, and crime. She sleeps behind me. Please keep her this way. There is nothing more pure in my life, no more beautiful or right. Right. This is what I search for: right. There may be nothing more I can do in this fight. There is no more my heart can take surely. It may now be my time, to bid adieu to my friends, those of which who still fight here in this terror, to take my family to a better place. A place where hope will not be taken from one’s soul. To a place where we can live right. 

My Dear Heart and I will truly be free.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man of the Citizen – FrenchRev

http://bastille-day.com/history/french-revolution

Above is an artistically designed representation of the Delcaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which was originally proposed and then signed in the National Assembly in 1789. This artifact is a particularly special and relevant document to my character, the one and only Lafayette, as he was the key creator of the document. He had the assistance of Thomas Jefferson before he left to return to the newly founded United States, but Lafayette was the passion behind the creation of this document for France.

Here is a link to an English translated version of the document that clearly shows the different points of the Declaration.

The Declaration plays a very large role in the French Revolution starting right at the beginning in 1789 when it is accepted by the National Assembly in August. The King is later forced to sign an agreement to the document when he is being held in house arrest at the Tuileries Palace in Paris, bringing it to the national forefront. It remains a key driving backbone behind the beliefs of the revolutionaries throughout the revolution and the events that follow years after. In fact, the Declaration officially remains in the French constitution today.

The document shows us how the many French were unhappy with the treatment of people from all backgrounds: race, religion, class. It states that they want equal representation and treatment in the court of law and opportunity to participate in society.

Lafayette wrote this to outline what was important to the people and why they wanted change. It was the beginning of his ideas of an ideal nation and what needed to become of the country. However, as radicals became more and more in power, the document was taken on backroads and roller coaster rides Lafayette may not have intended it to go on. With the extremist groups rising and the violence being created, Lafayette may not have intended the document’s meaning to stretch so far as to justify such actions. Nonetheless, in the end, it had its glory, and the real fight, for the rights of man, came true.

My Dear Nation – August 29th, 1781

My Dear Heart,

I’ll be home. Whilst my heart is with this fight, it is also with you. My Dear Heart, I know you are strong enough for us to be apart for else I’d not have left you for this time. Please know that. But I must have this fight. This fight is for my Papa, for me, for us. I pray for nothing more than this to be us one day. You cannot understand the want I have for our own freedom in France. To create what we are creating here: There would be nothing greater for our nation. This war will give us that chance. I will come home, to you, and Henriette, and Anastasie, and my dear little son Georges. Oh I do hope Georges is well. I trust that the deliverer of your next letter can tell me of this, of our child’s state. Please pass this on to me, for I wish to love him and to see him and to hold him. I do wish I could be there with you now as he comes to be a young boy but I shall be there soon. We shall finish this battle soon. I trust we’ll not be longer in this fight.

It’s been very hot here of late. We sit in our canvas tents by night, awaiting any sign of the British. I have been moved to Malvern Hill where we are expecting a large contingency of British any time now. I can hear the York River nearby, and all the peaceful birds that accompany its existence. It is so at peace with itself, with the rest of nature, it occurs so fluidly. I dream that maybe one day we can live in such a way, that people of all religions and beliefs can coexist with equal rights for pay, land, and vote. I know it’s a big dream, but I think we can do it my Dear Heart, I truly do. With these men I have come to know as my brothers and cousins I believe we could do anything. With Washington at the lead, guiding us as a father, down the streets of history and through roads that which we’ve not seen before. Washington has helped me more than I could have ever asked for. Upon my return he has taken even greater action in making sure I am respected amongst our fellow Continental militia. He is making sure that I am being valued for my intellectual skills that can help us conquer the British in seemingly insurmountable circumstances.

Not quite a month ago I was alone with only a small number of troops when the British set siege upon us from every angle. I organized expeditions run by small groups to do the same to them, and while we executed short and powerful sessions against them they became fearful there were more of us than there were. This led to their retreat only a week later. Washington has recognized my abilities and trusts me to get the job done whatever the situation.

He has become a father to me more than my own ever got the chance to be. Though I hold it not to be the one who wishes against my birth parent, George has done more of a job than I could ever imagine a father could do. He comforts me in the quiet of his home on leave, but allows me lead in the heat of battle. He cares for me with more honour and heart than anyone ever has before and I don’t know in what position I would be without his support to this point. I don’t know how I would be here, and without you, surviving if it was not for his words of love. I’ll not look ahead to the time I must bid him adieu, to the time beyond when I can no longer embrace him after an unpleasant adventure or a a disappointment that breaks me to the bone of my heart. ‘Twill not be a pleasure for the neither of us. I do wish he could come and live with us, a a grandparent to our little ones and teach them as he has taught me, all the most important and moral lessons of one’s life. But that, for obvious reasons, will not be a feasible future.

However at the present I am still here, and the good man has told me of our plans for the battle to end it all. Yorktown shall be the place, a fight for the history of our young nations. Not only shall we overcome the British but this shall prove the possibilities of belief. From here we can bring these ideals to France and our beloved people. Washington, Jefferson and the others can help me prepare for our own fight. I promise it will be the best outcome for you and our young children, I would not nothing more than to provide your babies with a society of utmost civility and liberty.

Upon my last visit, though short, I was able to gain some support from the reluctant French militias, and with the surviving Continental contingent I should think it likely we can pull off the victory.

Oh how I do wish to see your face my Dear Heart. When my brothers have their women about them at night I imagine myself with you in your gracious presence, and how you would outshine them as the brightest star fills the night sky. You are but the Sun in my universe and I will revolve around you my Dear Heart. For this time parted is not of my enjoyment. Please forgive me for my absence, for  upon my return I’ll have though of you every step of the journey.

Please set a kiss upon the heads of our little ones, and though I think it not necessary to present, I only wish to set a kiss upon yours my glorious Dear Heart.

Lafayette