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Broadside entitled 'Speech of M. Dupont, the French Atheist'


This report begins: 'The late Enormities committed in France need not be so much wondered at, as any Man of common Humanity would otherwise do, when it is considered that the Leaders of that miserable Country have thrown off all Regard to Religion.' The broadside does not carry the name or place of its publisher or its date of publication, but it is noted that it was sourced and translated from 'Le Moniteur' of Sunday, 16th December 1792.

This broadside claims to carry a faithful translation of a speech by Pierre-Samuel DuPont de Nemours (1739-1817), although the headline suggests that the broadside author opposes Dupont's beliefs. DuPont, the son of a watchmaker, was a precocious humanities student whose philosophical study of economics, 'Physiocracy', influenced the famous Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723-90). DuPont was elected president of the post-Revolutionary National Assembly in 1790, but by 1797 his moderation as a political reformer had turned radical elements in the government against him, and he was imprisoned. In later life he was a leading opponent of Napoleon Bonaparte's government, and was forced to flee France for America after Napoleon's return from exile on Elba.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date published: 1792   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(005)
Broadside entitled 'Speech of M. Dupont, the French Atheist'
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