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Excluded at the insistence of Maximilien Robespierre from the Jacobin Club, he remained a foreigner in many eyes. When the Committee of Public Safety levelled accusations of treason against the Hébertists, they also implicated Cloots to give substance to their charge of a foreign plot. Although his innocence was manifest, he was condemned and subsequently guillotined on 24 March 1794. He incongruously followed Vincent, Ronsin, Momoro and the rest of the Hébertist leadership to the scaffold, in front of the largest crowd ever assembled for a public execution.—Wikipedia entry on Anacharsis Cloots (Emphasis mine.)
Cloots, by the way, was born as Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, baron de Cloots. That’s right: Baron. An aristocrat cheering on the end of the aristocracy got himself shortened by a head. Ah, the French Revolution! Such a time to be alive. Puts a frisson in one’s blood, never knowing when that blood may be spilled. Sort of like the CHAZ or CHOP Zone today. Being one of the cheerleaders didn’t save Cloots, and it isn’t saving anyone today. It is easy to read about then and be appalled or even to have a bit of schadenfreude for those who went into the Revolution with full-throated cheers and came out through Madame Guillotine. It is not so funny as we watch the mobs in action in America today.
Happy birthday, Jean-Baptiste!
Seen any other parallels lately, Ricochet?Published in