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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 191 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANTOINE JOSEPH SANTERRE (1752-1809), French revolutionist, was born in Paris on the 16th of March 1752. Like his father, he was a brewer, and gained great popularity in faubourg St Antoine by his beneficence. In 1789 he was given the command of a battalion of the National Guard, and took part in the storming of the Bastille. After the affair of the Champ de Mars (July 17th, 1791) a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he went into hiding. He emerged again in the following year, and took part in the events of the loth of June and the loth of August 1792, when he led the people of the faubourg St Antoine to the assault of the Tuileries. He, however, protected the royal family against the violence of the mob and, on the 7th of August, even attempted to bring about a reconciliation, but his efforts were frustrated by Marie Antoinette. He was made commanderin-chief of the National Guard, and appointed by the Convention warder to the king, in which position he did all in his power to alleviate Louis's captivity. He notified Louis of the sentence of death, and was present at the execution. Accounts differ as to his conduct at the execution, some stating that he ordered a roll of drums to drown the king's voice. The family tradition, how-ever, is that he silenced the drums to enable Louis to speak to the people, and that General J. F. Berruyer, who was in sole command, ordered the drums to beat and thus drowned the last words of the king's speech. Santerre was appointed marechal de camp on the 23rd of October 1792, and subsequently general of division. In May 1793 he was temporarily replaced as commander of the National Guard in Paris, so that he might take command of a force which he had organized to operate in La Vendee. As a military commander he was not a conspicuous success, his debut being signalized by the defeat of the republicans at Saumur. He was variously reported to have been wounded and killed in this affair, and the wits of the reactionary party circulated his epitaph: Ci-grit le general Santerre Qus n'eut de Mars que la biere. He was scarcely more popular among the sans-culottes of his army. Wounded soldiers, returned to Paris, reported that he was living let-bas, " in Oriental luxury," and complained that, since their defeat had been due either to his treason or his incompetence, he should have been either guillotined " like other generals " or superseded. He was, however, not in supreme command, and therefore not responsible for the ill conduct of the war; he distinguished himself in various actions; and when, in October, he returned to Paris his popularity in the faubourg St Antoine was undiminished. But his report on this expedition, in which he drew attention to the evil plight of the republican arms in the Vendee, aroused suspicion. He was accused of " Orleanism " and imprisoned, and was not released until after the fall of Robespierre. He then gave in his resignation as general, and returned to commerce_; but his brewery was ruined, and after many vicissitudes of fortune he died in poverty in Paris on the 6th of February 18o9. See A. Carro, Santerre general de la republique francaise (Paris, 1847), compiled from Santerre's MS. notes; P. Robiquet, Le Personnel municipal de Paris pendant la Revolution (Paris, 189o); C. L. Chassin, La Vendee et la Chouannerie (Paris, 1892 seq.); " L'Etat des services de Santerre dresse par lui-meme," in the third volume of Souvenirs et memoires (1899), published by Paul Bonnefon.
End of Article: ANTOINE JOSEPH SANTERRE (1752-1809)

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