Biography of Danton, Georges - Archontology
Danton, Georges

Georges-Jacques Danton

b. 26 Oct 1759, Arcis-sur-Aube, Champagne [1]
d. 5 Apr 1794, Paris

Title: Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention)
Term: 25 Jul 1793 - 8 Aug 1793
Chronology: 25 Jul 1793, elected, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [2]
26 Jul 1793, assumed the chair, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [3]
8 Aug 1793, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [4][5]
Attended a seminary at Troyes; educated by the Oratorians at Troyes (1773-1775); studied at Paris and received a degree in law at Reims (1784); bought the office of advocate in the Conseil du Roi (1787); enrolled in the civic guard (1789); was a founder of the Club of the Cordeliers (1790) and a member of the Jacobin Club; was known as brilliant orator and became increasingly prominent in the revolutionary movement; elected a member of the Commune of Paris (1790); elected administrator of the département of Paris (31 Jan 1791); elected second assistant to the public prosecutor of the Commune of Paris (1791); was credited with successful inspiration of the insurrection of 10 Aug 1792; approved as minister of justice (10 Aug 1792 - 6 Oct 1792) by the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly); elected (6 Sep 1792) to the Convention nationale (National Convention) (1792-1794) as a deputy for Paris; called for reconciliation between the revolutionary factions; voted for the death sentence in the trial of King Louis XVI; was elected a member of the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Safety) (7 Apr 1793 - 10 Jul 1793) and dominated this body until its reorganization after the expulsion of the Girondins; appeared as the leader of the moderate opposition (les Indulgents); served as President of the National Convention (25 Jul 1793 - 8 Aug 1793); disapproved the Reign of Terror and refused to serve on the Committee of Public Safety after he was elected for the second time (6 Sep 1793); challenged the policy of the Jacobin government; was arrested (30 Mar 1794) and tried by the revolutionary tribunal; sentenced to death and guillotined.
Biographical sources: "Danton: A Study" by Hilaire Belloc (New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1899) (web site); "Danton", by Louis Madelin (Paris: Hachette, 1914) (web site); Dictionnaire des Conventionnels, 168-176; Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889, 2:253-255; "Danton: Documents authentiques pour servir à l'histoire de la Révolution française", ed. by Alfred Bougeart (Brussels: A.Lacroix, van Meenen et Cie, 1861) (web site)

Candidate Votes (25 Jul 1793)
Georges-Jacques Danton 161
Pierre-Joseph Cambon 12
Jean-Jacques Régis (de) Cambacérès 4
Jacques-Louis David 4
Pierre-Toussaint Durand-Maillane 3
Jean-Jacques Bréard, dit Bréard-Duplessis 1
Georges-Auguste Couthon 1
Maximilien-Marie-Isidore Robespierre, dit Robespierre aîné 1
voters/absolute majority 186/94
Source of electoral results: Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 69:523; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 17:243.

[1] "Du registre des actes de l'état-civil de la ville d'Arcis pour l'année 1759, a été extrait ce qui suit: Le vingt-six octobre mil sept cent cinquante-neuf, George-Jacques, fils de Jacques Danton, procureur en cette justice, et de Marie-Madeleine Camut, son épouse de cette paroisse, né et baptisé cejourd'huy, par moy vicaire soussigné..." (Danton: Documents authentiques, op. cit., p. 11)
[2] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 69:523; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 17:243.
[3] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 69:524.
[4] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 70:531; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 18:218.
[5] Danton did not attend the sessions of the National Convention held on 5 Aug 1793, 6 Aug 1793 and 7 Aug 1793 due to sickness. In each case, Jean-Jacques Bréard chaired the Convention as ancien président.
  Image: portrait by anonymous artist, musée Carnavalet, Paris.