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Jean Lambert Tallien

Tallien, Jean Lambert (zhäN läNbĕrˈ tälyăNˈ) [key], 1767–1820, French revolutionary. A law clerk and later a printer, he became known through his Jacobin journal, Ami des citoyens. A leader in the attack (Aug., 1792) on the Tuileries, he became secretary of the Commune of Paris and sent circulars to the departments, urging severe punishments for counterrevolutionaries. In the Convention and the Committee of General Security he aided in overthrowing the Girondists; sent to Bordeaux in Sept., 1793, he used extreme methods to spread the Reign of Terror. Recalled to Paris in May, 1794, he was given the charge of many important prisoners, and fell in love with one of them, Theresa Cabarrus, the divorced wife of a marquis de Fontenay, whom he married. Denounced (June 12) by Maximilien Robespierre, Tallien began the attack on Robespierre in the coup of 9 Thermidor. A leader of the Thermidorian reaction, he thereafter lost importance. He accompanied (1798) Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt, was captured by the English and lived briefly in England before returning (1802) to France and comparative obscurity.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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