Louis Charles Delescluze

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Louis Charles Delescluze

Louis Charles Delescluze (2 October 1809 – 25 May 1871) was a French journalist and 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 he 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 he moved 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. After the failed insurrection of 13 June 1849, his paper was suppressed, and he fled to England, where he continued his journalistic work. In 1853 he was back in Paris, where he was arrested and then deported to a penal colony in French Guiana. Throughout his six-year imprisonment, he composed a memoir that was in 1869 published in Paris as De Paris à Cayenne, Journal d'un transporté.

Released under the amnesty of 1859, he returned to France with his health shattered but his 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, was suppressed, and he again fled to Belgium.

At the Siege of Paris (1870–1871) he fought with courage, and he was then elected in 1871 to the National Assembly, becoming afterward a member of the Paris Commune. Delescluze died on the last of the barricades (25 May 1871) during Adolphe Thiers' assault on Paris.


  • 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.