Open main menu

GENSONNÉ, ARMAND (1758-1793), French politician, the son of a military surgeon, was born at Bordeaux on the 20th of August 1758. He studied law, and at the outbreak of the Revolution was an advocate of the parlement of Bordeaux. In 1790 he became procureur of the Commune, and in July was elected by the newly created department of the Gironde a member of the court of appeal. In the same year he was elected deputy for the department to the Legislative Assembly. As reporter of the diplomatic committee, in which he supported the policy of Brissot, he proposed two of the most revolutionary measures passed by the Assembly: the decree of accusation against the king's brothers (January 1, 1792), and the declaration of war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary, (April 20, 1792). He was vigorous in his denunciations of the intrigues of the court and of the "Austrian committee"; but the violence of the extreme democrats, culminating in the events of the 10th of August, alarmed him; and when he was returned to the National Convention, he attacked the Commune of Paris (October 24 and 25). At the trial of Louis XVI. be supported an appeal to the people, but voted for the death sentence. As a member of the Committee of General Defence, and as president of the Convention (March 7-21, 1793), he shared in the bitter attacks of the Girondists on the Mountain; and on the fatal day of the 2nd of June his name was among the first of those inscribed on the prosecution list. He was tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal on the 24th of October 1793, condemned to death and guillotined on the 31st of the month, displaying on the scaffold a stoic fortitude. Gensonné was accounted one of the most brilliant of the little band of brilliant orators from the Gironde, though his eloquence was somewhat cold and he always read his speeches.