Billaud-Varenne, Jacques-Nicolas

Jacques-Nicolas Billaud, dit Billaud-Varenne

b. 23 Apr 1756, La Rochelle, Charente-Inférieure, France
d. 13 Jun 1819, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Title: Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention)
Term: 5 Sep 1793 - 19 Sep 1793
Chronology: 5 Sep 1793, elected, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [1]
6 Sep 1793, assumed the chair, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [2]
19 Sep 1793, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [3]
Names/titles: Original surname: Billaud; registered as Billaud de Varenne in an advocate register of Paris (1785); sometimes spelled Billaud-Varennes
Biography:
Descended from a lawyer's family of La Rochelle; pursued classical studies at the Collège d'Harcourt, Paris; studied law at Poitiers (1774-1778); was admitted to the bar at La Rochelle; moved to Paris; taught at the Oratorian college at Juilly; named an advocate in the Parlement of Paris (1785); criticized the ancien régime in pamphlets; was a member of the Jacobin Club and the Club of the Cordeliers; elected a deputy prosecutor of the Commune of Paris (9 Aug 1792); supported the September massacres of 1792; was elected (7 Sep 1792) to the Convention nationale (National Convention) (1792-1794) as a deputy for Paris; became one of the most prominent leaders of the Hébertists; attacked the Girondins; voted for the death sentence in the trial of King Louis XVI; was elected president of the Jacobin Club (18 Feb 1793); served as President of the National Convention (5 Sep 1793 - 19 Sep 1793); was elected a member of the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Safety) (6 Sep 1793 - 1 Sep 1794) along with his friend, Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois; secured passage of a law giving the committee absolute authority over provincial officials (4 Dec 1793); opposed Georges Danton and contributed to his downfall and execution (5 Apr 1794); challenged the authority of Maximilien Robespierre and conspired to overthrow the Jacobin dictatorship; after the coup of 9 Thermidor, Year II (27 Jul 1794) resigned the membership in the Committee of Public Safety (1 Sep 1794); was accused of complicity with Robespierre and condemned to exile (1 Apr 1795) at the same time as Collot d'Herbois, Bertrand Barère and Marc Vadier; sent to the Isle of Oléron and then to French Guiana, where he lived until 1816; immigrated to the United States (1816); settled in Haiti (1817).
Biographical sources: Dictionnaire des Conventionnels, 56-58; Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889, 1:321-322; "Curiosités révolutionnaires. Billaud-Varenne, membre du comité de Salut public. Mémoires inédits et correspondance accompagnés de Notices biographiques sur Billaud Varenne et Collot-d'Herbois", ed. by Alfred Bégis (Paris: Librairie de la Nouvelle Revue, 1893) (web site).
Elections:

Candidate Votes (5 Sep 1793)
Jacques-Nicolas Billaud, dit Billaud-Varenne 149
voters/absolute majority 217/109
Source of electoral results: Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 73:442; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 20:102.

[1] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 73:442; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 20:102.
[2] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 73:443.
[3] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 74:500; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 21:87.
Last updated on: 04 Oct 2013 12:15:24