The mob, now openly joined by the French guards, force the prisons of St. Larare, release all the prisoners, and take a great store of corn, which they carry to the corn market. Here they get some arms, & the French guards begin to to form & train them. ...As Jefferson himself wrote after recounting the episode, Vive la revolucion! For more background see novelist Catherine Delors' blog post from last year's Bastille Day titled, "The 14th of July 1789: What really happened on Bastille Day?"
“[At the Bastille] They took all the arms, discharged the prisoners & such of the garrison as were not killed in the first moment of fury, carried the Governor & Lieutenant governor to the Greve (the place of public execution) cut off their heads, & sent them through the city in triumph to the Palais royal.”
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Jefferson recalls liberation of Bastille prisoners
Today France celebrates the 220th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, perhaps the only national holiday I'm aware of in any country celebrating a prison break. (Really, the mob was after gunpowder stored in the garrison and releasing the prisoners was an afterthought, but that's the popular portrayal.) As Thomas Jefferson described the spectacle in a letter to John Jay: