Louis Siffrein Joseph Loncrosé de Salamon.

Unpublished memoirs of the internuncio at Paris during the Revolution, 1790-1901 online

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zens of all orders and of all classes require the perpetua-
tion of some monument which shall conserve the principles
by which the kingdom has been governed during so many
ages ; that, in the present circumstances, this obligation
is especially incumbent on the magistrates of the Chambre
des Vacations, inasmuch as they form a part of the First
Court of the realm, and can, therefore, alone supplement
the silence of the princes, peers, and magistrates from
whom they have been separated, — formally declare, at the
same time renewing their protests of the 5th of November
against the first attacks made on the laws and constitution
of the state, that it has never been their purpose to in any
manner approve the different decrees which they have
registered; and that such registration has been entered
only on the express condition that it should be renewed
on the return of the court ; that, as this condition cannot
be realized, every registration becomes null and void ;
that they cannot recognize the results of the deliberations
of an Assembly which ought legally to consist of the


three orders composing the States-General, but which has
been deprived of its original nature and has constituted
itself by its own authority the National Assembly ; that,
finally, they protest and shall always protest against
everything that has been done or may be done by the
deputies of the States-General, which, in this pretended
Assembly, has, contrary to the express tenor of the man-
dates of its members, not only exceeded its power,
consisting principally in paying the debts of the state,
providing for the necessary expenditure by a due appor-
tionment of taxation, and establishing a wise reform in
the different departments of administration, but has even
abused it by violating property of every kind, by despoil-
ing the clergy, thereby holding religion up to contempt,
by overthrowing the noblesse, which has always been one
of the chief pillars of the state, by the degradation of the
royal majesty, reduced to an empty phantom by the blows
levelled at its authority, and lastly, by a confusion of
powers destructive of the true principles of the Monarchy.
Signed : Le Pelletier de Rosambo, Duport, H. L. Fredy,
Dupuis, Nouer, Pasquier, Amelot, Lambert, Lescalopier,'
d'Outremont, Camus de la Guibourgere, Constance,
Lenoir, Sahuguet d'Espagnac, Salamon, Agard de Mau-
pas, Fagnier de Mardeuil.

This 14th day of October, 1790.


The Committee of General Safety decrees that Le
Pelletier de Rosanbo, Fredy, Dupuis, Pasquier, d'Outre-
mont, Fagnier de Mardeuil, Amelot, Lambert, Lescalo-
pier, Camus de la Guibourgere, Lenoir, Duport, Agard de
Maupas, Sahuguet d'Espagnac, Constance, Salomon,
Roland, Ferrand, Sallier, Barreme, Oursin, Rouhette,



and Bourree de Corberon, ex-presidents or councillors of
the ci-devant Parliament of Paris, shall be brought before
the Revolutionary Tribunal, being charged with signing or
approving certain protests tending to insult the liberty and
sovereignty of the people, calumniate the national repre-
sentation and restore the reign of tyranny, decrees, con-
sequently, that the said counter-revolutionary protests and
the other articles to be produced in evidence, discovered
in the house of Rosanbo, one of the conspirators, to ivliose
care they had been intrusted^ shall be placed in the hands
of the public accuser.

The members of the Committee of General Safety :
Signed: Dubarran, M. Bayle, Vadier, Voulland,
Louis (du Bas-Rhin), Amar.


Extract from the Biographic Michaud {Art. Salamon).

"... Having been a second time indicted, he [de Sala-
mon] was obliged to make his escape. He lived for a
long time in the environs of Paris, concealing himself in
the thickets of the Bois de Boulogne,^ where he used to
sleep on a bed of leaves. He never entered Paris except
to dine at a restaurant, the proprietor of which was a roy-
alist like himself, and helped him to evade the search of
the police. He returned every evening to his asylum in
the forest, and lived thus until the fall of Robespierre.
. . ." The writer says, further on, " He was tried in 1798,
and menaced with deportation." These two errors, —
he was tried in 1796 and never menaced with deportation,
— as well as those contained in the preceding passage,

1 It is well known that the Bois de Boulogne became a pleasure
park in the early days of the First Empire. Before that period, it was
a real wood, even a forest. It is necessary to remember this in read-
ing the narrative of the internuncio.


lead me to believe that Dassance, the author of the article,
had these details from some disfigured oral tradition or


Extracts from the Newspapers of the Time on the
Prosecution of the Internuncio at the Instance
OF the Directory.

Le Veridique ou Courrier universel of the 17th Nivose,
Year V. of the French Republic (Sunday the 1st of
January, 1797).

"... Three interesting cases have been for some time
attracting great crowds to the Palais de Justice. . . .

" The third case is that of the Abbe Salamon, accused
of corresponding with the Pope. In order to have a pre-
text for depriving him, for some time longer, of his lib-
erty, the president applied the amnesty to a portion of the
crimes of which the prisoner is accused. The indictment,
therefore, was quashed, and he was remanded. He will
appear on another charge before the jury."

The Veridique of the 5th of January. Communicated by
Mgr. de JSalamon to the editor of the journal.

From the prisons of the Conciergerie,
14th Nivose (4th of January, 1797).

In the depths of my dungeon, monsieur, I am informed
that the newspapers have resounded with the judgment
delivered in my case on the 8th of this month. Their
account of it is, however, very imperfect, and I beg you
to give a correct version of the facts in your journal,
which justly deserves the public confidence.

They report that I have been amnestied as to a part of
the crime imputed to me.

Amnesty is for crime, not for a pure and stainless soul.

We have pleaded with the greatest force to avoid this


judgment. The document upon which it was based
should not have been introduced. It is a letter I wrote
during the Terror, while wandering in the Bois de Bou-
logne, and was forgotten among some of my old papers
in the country.

An amnesty is applicable only to a crime. Now, a let-
ter is not a crime ; it may be an index, a proof of a crime,
but a proof cannot be the subject of an amnesty.

I wished judgment to be given on the affair as it was,
confiding in the goodness of my cause and in the enlight-
ened justice of my jurors. I have succumbed, but it
must not therefore be inferred that I have consented to

be amnestied.

Signed, L. G. Salamon.

Ibid, of the 27th of January, 1797.

M. Salamon, ci-devant clerical councillor of the Par-
liament of Paris, accused of corresponding with the Court
of Rome, appeared to-day before the criminal Tribunal of
the Seine. If we are to judge of the intentions of the
government in his regard by the conduct of its commis-
sary in court, it cannot be denied that the Directory feels
a very great interest in the condemnation of M. Salamon,
for citizen Desmaisons ^ has gone considerably out of his
way to effect that result.

Before the opening of the case, the commissary, fear-
ing doubtless the favorable decision of the jurors, and
having more confidence in a military commission which
would be packed by the Directory, moved that the pris-
oner be sent before such a commission, and tried as a spy.
But the tribunal refused this ridiculous motion, and de-
clared it had jurisdiction to deal with the affair.

After the indictment was read, — a document based
wholly on intercepted letters, — M. Bellart, the counsel

1 He is called Boulanger by the internuncio.


for the prisoner, raised a question of the highest impor-
tance. He demanded that all these letters should be
declared inadmissible, because they had come into the
hands of the government only through a crime, that of
the violation of the secrecy of letters.

We wish it were in our power to follow the orator in the
arguments, marked by as much clearness as eloquence,
by which he proved that the Du-ectory had not the right
to appropriate the letters whose secrecy it had violated,
and make them the groundwork of a criminal charge be-
fore a court of justice. He demonstrated that, in this
case, morality was in harmony with all legislation and
jurisprudence, both ancient and modern, which prohibited
the granting of such a right to any government.

We were sure the tribunal would have honored itself
in consecrating by its decision the principles expounded
by citizen Bellart. But it has ordered otherwise. The
affair will be finally determined to-morrow.

Ibid, of Thursday, the 26th of January, 1797.

After suffering all the wearisome delays of a trouble-
some and distressing trial, M. Salamon was to-day ac-
quitted by the Tribunal of the Seine.

The great interest taken in the accused, as well as the
talents of his defender, attracted a numerous concourse
of citizens, who showed by their applause their satisfac-
tion and joy at the verdict.

The Ami des lots of the 25th of December, 1796.

The Abbe Salamon, ex-councillor in the Parliament,
charged with having conspired along with Our Holy
Father the Pope, will be tried on the 8th before the crim-
inal Tribunal of the Seine. We have under our eyes a
list of the jurors who are to decide the case, and we can
assure our readers beforehand that the Abbe Salamon
and his accomplice, the Pope, will be acquitted.


Ihid. of the 5th of January, 1797.

The Abbe Salamon has profited by the amnesty to go
to Avignon, no doubt with the intention of renewing his
intrigues in that city. But he is watched ; he had better
be prudent.

Annates cathoUques of January, 1797.

M. Salamon, ex-clerical councillor in the Parliament
of Paris, accused of a criminal correspondence with the
Court of Eome, has just been tried and acquitted by the
Tribunal of the Seine, to the great satisfaction of a nu-
merous audience, who manifested their joy by the hearti-
est applause.

MoniteuT of Nonidi, 9th Pluviose (28th of January).

Bepublique Frangaise. — Judgment acquitting the Abbe
Salamon, accused of conspiring with the Pope.


To Cardinal Gerdil.

Eminence, —

I have learned with sorrow that a letter I sent you by
Dr. Boejat, who has the honor of being known to you,
did not reach you. I have been actively engaged in
endeavoring to have the name of your nephew, M. Gerdil,
struck off the list of emigres; but affairs are marching
very slowly, and there are more than a hundred and forty
thousand names to be examined.

We have, however, some hope. The First Consul has
already permitted the return of thirteen thousand women ;
the men are to be dealt with afterward : we are searching
for some documents bearing on the case of your nephew.
When I have them in my possession, I shall use every


effort to have M. Gerdil's case attended to among the

1 am still without any occupation. Cardinal Gonsalvi
has given me hopes that the reconciliation between the two
powers, a reconciliation so desirable and necessary, may
relieve me from my enforced idleness, and may give me
that reward which the work of ten years amid storms and
tempests deserves.

I ask of your Eminence to seize any opportunity that
may be presented in my favor, to speak of me and to give
me your support. As you see, I have lost my protectors,
Pius VI. and Cardinal Zelada ; the latter hardly belongs
to this world now, and so I am like a man isolated from

I am always at your orders in this place. M. Chaptal,
the son of the Minister of the Interior, will hand your
Eminence this letter, and take charge of any reply you
may be good enough to send me.

De Salamon.

Paris, 14 of May, 1801.


Reply of Cardinal Gerdil.

In reply to your obliging letter, dated Paris, the 14th
of May, 1801, and which I received only on the 16th of
last January, I beg to assure you that I have never had
the honor of knowing, even by name, Dr. Boejat, whom
you suppose to be known to me. I must add also that
I have no knowledge as to the facts you mention with
regard to a nephew of mine, of whose condition and con-
duct I have been absolutely ignorant for many years.

I am not the less sensible, on that account, of the inter-
est you take in his lot, and I shall be well pleased to have
an opportunity of showing my gratitude, by recalling your


name to the memory of those who are able to fulfil the
benevolent wishes of Cardinal Zelada in your regard.

Accept, monsieur, the sentiments of perfect considera-
tion, et cetera.

KoME, the 6th of February, 1802.

To Madame de CajjelUs,^ in religion Sister Henriette-
Therese de Jesus, Carmelite JVun in the Monastery
of Carpentras,

EoME, the 10th of December, 1814.

I have received, my honored superioress and friend
in our Lord,^ your dear letter of the 14th of November.
As I am inclined to think that, owing to your change of

1 Henriette-Therese de Jesus de Capellis was not only a holy nun,
as the internuncio says truly, but also a woman of great intellect and
of great courage.

She never left the country during the Terror. Learning that the
property of her brother, who emigrated, was about to be confiscated
and sold, as were the properties of all the emigres, she at once hastened
to Paris, boldly visited Robespierre, gave him her name, and protested
energetically against the injustice done her by the decree of confisca-
tion, since she was her brother's heiress and had never left France.

Her heroism conquered Robespierre, who ordered the decree to be

After the peace of Amiens, her brother returned to France. His
amazement at finding all his property, which he had given up as lost,
may be more easily conceived than described.

" It is to me, it is to my courage," said his sister to him, " that you
owe all this ; but I insist that you spend a portion of your revenues in
buying back the convent of Carpentras, which has been sold as national

The brother consented to the sacrifice, with the best grace in the

2 I am indebted for the following letters, particularly the last,
to the courtesy of the superioress of the Carmelites at Carpentras.
Certain passages have only a local interest ; but, as these passages are
everywhere intermingled with reflections on political events, and as
they are calculated to add to the vividness of the curious picture the
internuncio draws of himself, I give them in full. Besides, they
redound in the highest degree to the honor of Madame de Capellis.


monastery and altars, both your own indulgences and
those applied to your privileged altar have become null
and void, I have at once asked for the renewal of all those
of your Order in general and those of your monastery and
privileged altar in particular. You will find enclosed the
rescript of the Pope, signed by Cardinal Galeffi, prefect.
The kindness of my friend, the postmaster-general, enables
me to send it to you franked. 1 flatter myself you will
see in my eagerness to serve you in this matter a proof of
my zeal for your interests, — you know how sincerely I
have been attached to you for a long time, — and also
an evidence of my remembrance of our dear and good

On the contrary, you must pray to our Lord that He
may preserve me from obtaining that hat which you wish
for me. God is my witness that I do not desire it, for I
have no ambition at all. You see that God does not aban-
don me, and that he has inspired our most Christian king
to reward me for my fidelity and my firmness in support of
good principles by giving me a post which I never asked.

You have done w^ell in coming to the aid of the perse-
cuted, but do not expect any recompense or remembrance
of your work except from God alone. These gentlemen
forget all that has been done for them, and the one you
know of thinks of nothing but becoming Archbishop of
Milan, where he was a canon.

The two Cardinals Ruffo are much more grateful.
So I often go to see them, and they come to see me.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Naples is a saint. He
gave up an income of five hundred thousand livres sooner
than take the oath to Murat.

You have no need of a,ny one's help, madame : your
asylum is yours, yours now and always ; still, should you
require the aid of the illustrious Archbishop of Rheims,
address yourself to me.

Do not set about building. Providence is great, and


will provide. You can easily suit yourself with what you
have : you take up so little room !

I am very sorry to learn that your dear cure is in bad
health ; give him my comj)liments, give them also to that

excellent lady, de L . I wrote some time ago to our

dear Henriette. We are good friends, and I love her, be-
cause she bears your name.

Do not give yourself any concern about the transmission
of the indulgences ; all has been arranged, and you shall
have them. I am well pleased, for you are sure to be
satisfied, and your holy community along with you. Pray
for me ; I still lack a little more fervor, but God will
take into account my zeal for religion and for His service.
I have caught a cold : that is all that ails me. We have
had much rain. But do you take care of your health,
which is more precious than mine : saints like you ought
never to die.

Yes, you will have a bishop at Carpentras ; I am work-
ing for it, and there is talk of M. I'Abbe Choisy. Take
good care to have nothing to do with your Bishop of

Adieu, my honored superioress ; believe in my entire
respect and devotion.

+ The Bishop of Orthosia.


To the Same,

Rome, the 15th of March.

Your dear letter of the 17th of January, my venerable
prioress and friend, did not reach me until the 8th of this
month, the King of Sardinia having deemed it proper, I
do not know why, to stop the French mail for six weeks.

I am delighted to learn that you are well, and pleased
at receiving the rescript which confirms all the indulgences


formerly granted to your convent. I will always do all in
my power to second your efforts. I do not know what
you are asking of the Archbishop of Rheims, the grand
Almoner ; if I did, perhaps I could help you. I have the
honor to correspond with him, and he has the utmost
friendship and kindness for me. He is a prelate full of
virtue, and has the love of the king.

I do not see why any one should give you any alarm
about your asylum. You are there, you have bought it,
and the Carmelites will never return. In any case,
remember that this convent has never been anything but
a hospice inhabited by a few monks, and that even here,
in the centre of religion, very few monks and nuns are
anxious to return to their monasteries, either through ill
will, or because there are no revenues, or because some
convents have been sold.

I believe the restoration of our country is very far
from being effected. You see how very little concern the
Court of Rome gives itself to satisfy the king. Our
French Church is in a state of great confusion, and there
is no hurry to remedy it. All that is thought about are
the temporalities, and it makes one groan to see how the
true interests of religion are abandoned. Bonaparte used
to say : " 7^(;is7i," and he obtained everything ; the king
says : " Jp?'a?/," and he obtains nothing.

Put your confidence, then, in God alone ; He will find
a way to restore to the Church of France its ancient
lustre, and, as for yourself, go on doing good, and I will
take care that you are not disturbed.

Continue to make yourself useful ; form little classes of

M. Michel Choisy must wait until the bishoprics are
re-established, which will be soon, and especially ours,
which is so ancient, and you will be protected by the new
prelate. I think it likely he [Choisy] maj' have a place
in the cathedral.


I am grieved about the condition of your poor cure.
It is to be lioped that God may preserve him to you.
Give him my compliments, and also his worthy brother.

I thank Mademoiselle de L for remembering me.

She is one of those I most respect, and, if I may say so,
most love : her good qualities will always make her

Just as in the case of yourself, my holy friend, all the
world loves you. If I were as holy as you, I should
make a treaty with you : it is- that whichever of us two is
the first to go to heaven should pray for the survivor,
and thereby gain the mercy of God ; being friends on
earth, one of us would thus be the friend of the other in

I commend myself to the prayers of your dear sisters.
Yes, my establishment at Eome costs me dear, but the
Minister of Foreign Affairs promises that I shall be richer
next year.

Here, everything is ostentation. When I tell you, that
I, who often found one servant too much, have three
juris-consults for the Rota, two abbes for my antechamber,
two valets de chambre, who come before me dressed in
black, and wear immense silk mantles on occasions of
ceremony, and four horses, you will understand this. I
am obliged to keep a state carriage for the abbes and
valets, and three lackeys in livery. Nor is this all : I
think I pay wages to thirteen persons ; but I only feed

I have a very nice garden. At this moment, it is full
of flowers and of orange-trees covered with fruit. I do
not know what to do with the oranges ; if we were only
nearer, I could supply you with plenty of oranges for
your collation, ay, and lemons too.

I can bear the climate very well, you see I have ac-
customed myself to it ; but I am troubled with headaches,
as I was in France. I had to work to receive the fruit of


my good conduct, and you see the king has not made me
weary with waiting. He has, of his own motion, given
me this important post, of which T certainly never thought.
Perhaps, otherwise, Providence might have placed me
near you ; but it has been ordered differently. In any
case, we must bless God.

I have always had great confidence in Divine Provi-
dence, which has guided me almost by the hand ever
since my twenty-fifth year, pure and stainless. How
grateful ought I not to be !

But our happiness is never perfect. I am isolated here
from all my friends, and particularly from you and your
dear family, whom I love from the bottom of my heart.

I am afraid our dear and amiable Henriette has lost an
opportunity of establishing herself, for which I am truly
grieved. . . . But I never know when to stop when I be-
gin speaking of you all. I must come to an end then,
my holy prioress, simply assuring you of my respectful
friendship. The Bishop.

The Abbe Joubert, a saintly priest, will bring you my


To the Same,

Rome, the 9th of December.^

I received, my dear and holy mother, your edifying
letter of the 8th of November with real pleasure. After
so long and painful a silence, what a consolation it is to
obtain news of those I esteem and love ! It is truly a
reward of Heaven for all the troubles, and, I may add,
dangers which I have encountered.

For I have actually had to meet them here !

1 Although the year is not given, the contents show that it was
written in 1815, after the Hundred Days.


That execrable Bonaparte, on the denunciation of
Fesch,^ whom I had always refused to visit, had pointed
me out to Murat, who was to take possession of Eome,
and Murat recommended me to the notice of his generals
Pignatelli and Caracossa.

I was to have been conducted to Paris under a strong
escort. The Duchess Difiano, sister of one of the Nea-
politan generals, gave me warning. Yfhile thanking her,
I said that I never yielded to fear, and that I was disposed
to suffer whatever fate decreed.

The tribunal of the Rota not having followed the Pope
to Genoa, I remained here alone, exposed to all the sar-
casms of the evil-minded ; for there are many Jacobins
and Bonapartists in this place. But I have never aban-
doned my lily, and have always worn it on my black
soutane. Fortunately, the Neapolitans were routed by
the Germans, just as they were entering Kome, and I

I have known all the magnanimity of your dear
nephew ; he is courageous, honorable, and loyal to his
king ; he is sure of success. God alwaj^s watches over

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