Louis Charles Delescluze

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Louis Charles Delescluze

Louis Charles Delescluze (October 2, 1809 – May 25, 1871) was a French journalist and short-lived military commander of the Paris Commune.

He was born at Dreux, Eure-et-Loir. Having studied law in Paris, he early developed a strong democratic bent, and played a part in the July revolution of 1830. He became a member of various republican societies, and in 1836 was forced to take refuge in Belgium, where he devoted himself to republican journalism.

Returning in 1840 he settled in Valenciennes, and after the revolution of 1848 removed to Paris, where he started a newspaper called La Révolution démocratique et sociale. His zeal so far outran his discretion that he was twice imprisoned and fined. Following the failed insurrection of 13 June 1849, his paper was suppressed and he himself fled to England, where he continued his journalistic work. He was arrested in Paris in 1853, and deported to French Guiana.

Released under the amnesty of 1859, he returned to France with health shattered but energies unimpaired. His next venture was the publication of the Réveil, a radical organ upholding the principles of the International Workingmen's Association, founded in 1864. This journal, which, brought him three condemnations, fine and imprisonment in one year, shared the fate of his Paris sheet, and its founder again fled to Belgium.

At the siege of Paris he fought with reckless courage, and was then elected in 1871 to the National Assembly, becoming afterwards a member of the Paris Commune. Charles Delescluze met his death on the last of the barricades (May 25, 1871) during Adolphe Thiers' assault on Paris. He wrote an account of his imprisonment in Guiana, De Paris à Cayenne, Journal d'un transporté (Paris, 1869).


  • Karl Marx, 'Le 13 juin', La Nouvelle Gazette Rhénane, no. 26, 29 juin 1849.
  • Charles Delescluze: Affaire de la souscription Baudin : seul compte rendu complet, recueilli par la sténographie et revu par les défenseurs. Paris: A. Le Chevalier 1868.
  • Charles Delescluze: De Paris à Cayenne: Journal d'un transporté / par Ch. Delescluze. Paris: A. Le Chevalier 1869.
Jules Guesde: Le livre Rouge de la justice rurale: documents pour servir à l'histoire d'une république sans républicains; a la mémoire de Charles Delescluze. Paris: Editions d'Histoire Sociale 1871.
Reprint 1968: ([Ed. par] J[ules Bazille, dit Jules], G[uesde]). Genève: Imprimerie Blanchard; [Réimpr.:] Paris: Editions d'Histoire Sociale, 1868.