The Serene Republic was too vain and proud to accept that humiliation; and they instead decided to carry on their intrigues with the French Court, and try again to bribe and buy the loyalty of the islanders…and if all those measures failed, they continued to stir-up discontent, bigotry and revive the vendetta on the Isle!
To protect Corsican liberty, Pasquale Paoi, with a fleet of 2 Ships and about 250 men, sailed into Capraja on the 15 February 1767, into the harbor of Macinaggio. Gian Battista Ristori walked from his Corsican ranks, and made a declaration to the peoples of Capraja:
When at daybreak, the Genoaese commander, Baron Oltre, saw the flying Corsican Flag, he at once proclaimed that Macinaggio would be razed to the ground….Instead, the Genoaese ended-up having to flee. A felucca brought back the good news to Paoli in Centuri….
He treacherously (knowing that it was highly not the case) offered Corsica her independence IF THE GENOESE SUZERAINTY WAS FORMALLY RECOGNIZED AND THE GENOESE WERE ALLOWED CONTROL OF THE SEAPORTS! Choiseul was well aware that “The Treaty of Compiègne” had only a year left to run. If the French would then retire as agreed, the Corsicans would certainly be liberated masters of their own Isle.
One of the most respected officers in the Genoaese Service, Major Quenzi, resigned his commission rather then lead men against his countrymen.
The French knew that Genoaese rûle was a fiction; and that only their French troops in Corsica stood in the way of Corsican full Independence. The reports that Chauvelin received from Dumouriez convinced him and the French government that French troops could indeed overthrow Paoli. The French sought to annex Corsica. (This was already widely believed since 1735, as Campredon’s position.) It was to stop the progress of Britain in the Mediterranean, who already held Gilgraltar and Minorca. [AND JUST SEE WHAT THEY DID TO THOSE ISLANDS!!] France already lost Canada to the British in the “Seven Years French & Indian War” and Choiseul, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, knew it meant high recognition for him if he could so regain French Pride in harnessing Corsica.
Paoli may have been trusting; but he certainly was no fool: on 03 June, Paoli rejected the offer.
Choiseul subsequently proposed that Genoa should maintain garrisons in Bastia, San Fiorenzo and capo Corso….Obviously Paoli rejected this as well.
Going on at the same time of these “negotiations”, was the Jesuit expulsion from Spain.
The Pope was unwilling to see all the Jesuit Fathers wandering homeless in Europe. So, he proposed to the Genoaese Senate, if they could be permitted to set-up home in Corsica. France, though, who already had expelled the Jesuits, was angered that the Genoaese was so quickly to offer them succor!…As a mark of displeasure, on the day that the Jesuit Fathers landed in Ajaccio, the French retired from the town…as a gesture, surrendering the fort to a Genoaese garrison before they officially left.
Immediately, Ajaccio was overrun and occupied by Paolists; and besieged the fortress. The Genoaese, in desperate straights, summoned MARBEUF who in-turn requested Paoli lift the siege.
Paoli did this, innocently and willing as ever to prove his respect for the French.
But still, the Jesuit Affair led to bitter enemity between the French and Genoaese Courts. The Genoaese knew though, that without the French protecting the Corsican ports for them, they would elsewise have to accept any terms Paoli pressed forth on them. The disastrous defense of Capraja cost them, 3,000.000 lires. G.B. Brignole of the Genoaese Senate planned for the Genoaese leave of the Island by accommodating the French, if only the French declined to formally relinquish recognition of Genoa’s authority and suzerainty over the Isle. The seaports that were leased to France in 1764, the French would continue to exercise autonomy, as well as other locations on the Island which the French deemed necessary for the safety of French troops. The French possession of the Isle was to be security for the repayment of expenses incurred by the French during the occupation.
This “Treaty of Genoa” proposed that at any time, the Genoese could reassert her rights to turn the French out IF THEY COULD PAY THE COST TO DATE OF THE LEASED OCCUPATION. For ten years, France was to pay the Serene Republic 200,000 livres a year for the advantages of governing-occupation of the Isle. In the bargain, the French were to free from Corsica, the island of Capraja and return Capraja to Genoa. In effect, the Genoaese just ceded the Isle of Corsica over to France!
Sorba sought that this treaty was effected.
But, everyone was skeptical of the sincerity of the French…knowing their full interests in the matter; as well as their desire to have complete autonomy over Corsica.
On 15 May 1768, Sorba and Choiseul negotiated and signed the GenoaeseTreaty! This was power politics as naked and unashamed as any power-politics could possibly be! All this was done without any approval by the Corsican people.
Marbeuf IMMEDIATELY requested that Paoli totally leave the town of Ajaccio.
Paoli did not know the complete scheming going on. He relied on the good relations which existed between his government under the old Treaty of 1764. Paoli knew nothing of the closing provisions of the new treaty. Paoli therefore, asked point-blank for an explanation of the request to leave Ajaccio! Marbeuf lied to him brazenly: He told Paoli that the evacuation was requested so that the Treaty of 1764 could be terminated without any legal squabbles with the Genoese…and [deceivingly and out-right lying] said that this in no way affected the original Treaty or the determination of the French NOT TO ALTER THE STATUS OF THE ISLAND!
Paoli may have been doubtful; but he had no cause to distrust the French as the end of their occupation under the Genoaese was so near; AND HE DARED NOT DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE CONSTRUED AS HARMFUL TO THE “DE FACTO” RELATIONS WHICH EXISTED AS OF YET WITH THE FRENCH and his (Paoli’s) government. On the19th of may, Paoli withdrew his forces from Ajaccio.
“We had reached a position which I hoped would soon enable me to declare to the nation that our long labor was on the point of being crowned by an honorable peace. ON THE CONTRARY, all is now doubtful, dark and confused. Peace now appears further away from our shores. Our enemies sound more menacing. Our very existence may now be in danger…
The French had assured me, that if we suspended our operations against the ports that they had occupied, that they would retire at the end of the four-years’ agreement and we Corsicans would be free to assert our rights. I sacrificed all the manifold advantages we had because I honored the French King’s intentions toward us.”
“If foreigners land on our shores to sustain the pretensions of their allies, we will face them!…may our resolution never fail and may our enemies, whatever may be their name, learn by experience that the conquest of Corsica is not an easy task. There are in this country free men and free men know how to die!”
General Paoli was indeed uneasy, but prepared to hold his forces in check until the truce between the French and Corsican people expired on 07 August.
Until the French actually attacked, he had estimated that a free Corsica and her people could still be a reasonable expectation.
(Some months back, a Tunisian ship ran aground near Balagna’s coast. When Paoli heard of it, he gave immediate instructions that the Tunisian sailors were to be succored and all Tunisian goods returned to them.
Paoli’s order was obviously obeyed; for the Balagna people counted Paoli’s word as divine. Paoli then offered to repair the ship and provisioned with a new set of sails along with many gifts for the Bey of Tunis.
The Bey of Tunis was astounded that Christians would act so toward them; and he repaid the Corsicans and Paoli in kind. “The Bey salutes you and wishes you well”, one of his secretaries announced as they landed at Isola Rossa in July. Paoli at Corte shook his hand, and catching him at his arm, conducted the ambassador to the Palace. There followed a series of talks and gift-giving. Paoli was given an Arabian horse, two ostriches, a tiger, pistol-pair, and a diamond sword.
The Ambassador attended Paoli’s “Council of State” to see how the Corsicans operated.)
The Soubise regiment of Calvary disembarked at San Fiorenzo, and demanded to be permitted to procede to Bastia. Paoli, still suspicious (but diplomatic as ever) agreed PROVIDED THAT THE THE REGIMENT PROCEED ONLY WITH UNLOADED WEAPONS.
Agreeing, the French continued onto Bastia unmolested.
STILL, in reality, the French had already decided upon war: all they needed now was a pretext/ an excuse.
Finally, Marbeuf informed Paoli that the Marquis de Chauvelin was on his way to the Island ready to fully explain the intentions of the Duc de Choiseul. Paoli MUST, along with the village of Isola Rossa admit all the coming French troops!
Paoli surely felt that the time for diplomacy was at an end. A clear Corsican stand had to be made…But before he had even time to reply to Marbeuf, the FRENCH LAUNCHED THEIR FIRST ATTACK!
Such was the act of French cynical “chagrin” complete, especially now that they were in a strong, fortified position on the island. Marbeuf’s extremely heavy attack overwhelmed the Corsican forces. The unexpectedness of the attack, the perfidy of “good-will”, the so-many “professions of friendship”. The keys to Capo Corso were lost to the French.. Before long, the French occupied all the peninsula coast. Corsican men were either killed or captured. The French attacked the defenders even on the east coast. Casella had sent the remainder of his garrison to the aid of Barbaggi’s Tower. The next day, the sentinels in the tower saw the approaching French troops. A feeling of defeat was finally coming over the Corsican people.
But Casella feigned-on; fooling the French that he had a batallion of men with him. A white-flag came toward him at the fortress-tower, asking him terms for surrender….Casella demanded that his garrison should march out with full honors of war, and furnish horses to draw away the cannon. Grand French-General Maison consented. Accordingly, with the Documents of capitulation exchanged, French granadiers lined-up at the foot of the tower to render the honors due to the surrendering “garrison”. The door opened, and out-marched Casella. The French commander inquired of the old-man, “Where is the rest of your garrison?”….Casella proudly exclaimed “I am the garrison”! The terms for the capitulation were accurately observed….
The deliberate “chagrin” of the French roused the Islanders to a fury. Once again, the clergy were preaching a Holy War in the glens..Clemente Paoli managed to repulse the French forces of the Marquis de Chauvelin (who had managed to sail back to Corsica from the ports of Provence with an official French commision)! But the marquis brought some 9,000 additional troops making a total under his command of 13,000. The arrival of Chavelin spelt an end to Corsican libertarian hopes. The English government, led by the Chathamites, under their Prime Minister Grafton, was completely opposed to any Corsican aid. Weymouth and the Bedford Whigs were unanimous. This was the main decision rendering in Choiseul thinking. Since England would not go to war over Corsica, he was free to press forward with his attack upon Corsica.
But the sudden “dénouement” was unexpected by Paoli. Upon the arrival to Corsica of Chauvelin, Paoli announced, “While Rome deliberates, Saguntuum is lost.”
Along with the hoards of French troops, Chauvelin proclaimed he and the French WERE THEIR LEGITIMATE RÛLERS, announced his “Social Contract” over Corsica….and immediately forbade them to ever sail under the Corsican national-flag. Paoli replied:
“Already our nation has shown how little claim the Genoaese had to our island. All the powers of Europe, especially France, have recognized us in practice AS A FREE AND INDEPENDENT PEOPLE. So France has treated us, until the last few years. Even if Genoa had possessed the sovereignty she falsely claimed, would she now be able to transfer it to another nation WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THOSE SHE PROFESSED TO GOVERN? SHE HAS NO RIGHT TO DO SO, FOR THE BASIS OF SOVEREIGNTY IS THE PEOPLE.”
Paoli issued a call to all the Corsican Islanders to keep the ranks they had closed against the Invaders. The French again had taken over the old-malfia Genoaese tactic, assuring the Islanders that the King of France was going to make Corsica a model French state! And that Paoli was leading them astray. Falsely he Chauvelim said he would pardon the chiefs who deserted General Paoli and submitted to the King! The Chiefs would be paid handsomely for their submission….
Paoli aimed to counter the French blandishments with his ernest appeal to the Islander’s love of country and liberty. His inspiring proclamation reads:
“Let each take-up his appointed position. We will show them that we are not to be treated like a flock of old sheep bought in a market-place; for, that is what they are trying to do. Always, there have been strangers between ourselves and the Genoaese, preventing us from a decision by negotiating or by the force of our arms, and always, as a result, Justice and Honor have been trampled in the mud. Now we are face to face with our last enemy. Citizens, I know the danger is great but I know too, we are not accustomed to count the number of our foes.”
Corsicans could not be divided and intended to fight. Chauvelin quickly came to this realization and launched a full scale attack to crush the Corsicans. The French brought with them all the necessary weapons for an unpresidented attack, hailing a shell of bombs and bullets, Furiani was taken. The town was reduced to ruins. Houses were set afire.. But the French were less successful in their attempts to storm the passes of the Nebbio; still, effectively pinned-down, Clemente Paoli’s forces could make no progress. The French advanced to the bridge across the Golo.* Chauvelin used french warships and transports to effect a landing in the rear of the defenders of the Golo. The French commander, Arcambal landed and attacked with all their force the bridge of the Golo. Corsicans, who in the last stage of the Great Battle, fought from behind a rampart of their dead. The traitor, Buttafucio occupied his native village of Vescovato.
The Junta of the Casinca, established at the Convent of San Antonio della Casabianca (where Paoli’s Gereralship was inaugerated), counter-attacked. It became a rallying place. Clemente Paoli rode rapidly from Nebbio’s mountains to take command of the forces at Casinca. But the French were everywhere. Emmisaries of Bottafucio, came down proclaiming the Corsican cause to be lost; so please surrender! Clemente Paoli, this warrior-monk to be, turned these village traitors over to the Fathers of the Commune for trial and punishment; and then launched a furious attack on Vescovato. The French viciously burned the olive and chesnut groves in the area; but they were overwhelmed by the onrush of Clemente’s militia. Vescovato fell, the French army split…retreating to Penta. Heavy losses or not, Clemente Paoli wasted no time, and pushed-on with his detachments, storming Penta.
As soon as it was reported to him of his brother’s successes, Pasquale Paoli gave orders to all his Commanders on every front to make an all-out attack on the French positions…. The French were highly unused-to such furious and impetuous attacks and were successfully driven from Vignale, after suffering heavy losses, leaving their munitions and provisions for a whole division, in the hands of the Corsicans. Colle pursued the French across the “macchia” of Nebbio.
Clemente Paoli, led by Serpentini, mopped-up the French forces in the Casinca. General Arcambal regrouped at Loreto and made head for the Golo. Clemente detached his best troops over the mountains to help sieze the Bridge over the Golo (*: as I previously reported)
The French arrived at Lagobenetto, finding the bridge occupied by the patriots…. Gen. Arcambal ordered his troops to swim or ford across the river. Of the 2000 French, only 500 made the far-bank. In Borgo, the French believed that they were safe….On the night of 07 October, Paoli issued orders to all his commanders in the east to gather under the walls of Borgo. He held a council of War with them; at which unanimously they decided to attack the village. On the evening of 09 October the assent to capture Borgo began. The French had 4000 infantry, 300 Calvary, nine pieces of artillery, and were commanded by the Marquis de Chauvelin. Added to that were the 1500 men of Gen. Maison who had attempted to advance to the mountains of Oletta…. At mid-day, Nabonne-Fritzlar (commanding the German genadiers of the Saxony & Rovergue Regiments) ORDERED A SUICIDAL bayonet-charge. The Corsicans held firm and the French finally retreated. Colonel de Ludre suffered the humiliation of seeing the Corsical national-flag flying from the ramparts of the town.
For France to have suffered such a defeat astonished all of Europe. But Paoli’s Captain Ristori was being held captive in Bastia. Paoli wrote:
“Against their own best interests the French today make war against a people which had always delighted to be on good terms with them. And now they complain that I am seeking assistance from a foreign power, as if that were a crime! Indeed, if I were the master of thunder I would use it for the defense of the liberty and independence of my country. On the other hand, I would not, however, refuse any proposal from the King of France, which might spare us our National identity. We would really respond to any overtures of that nature, but if they do not come, I know where my duty lies and be assured I will do it.”
If England attempted to give Corsica even a shadow of support…such would, he hoped, persuade France to recognise the danger of having another enemy in the Mediterranean. The British government dissolved in November 1768, but even with the new Parliament, a “Corsican” motion was defeated 230 votes to 84. They had more things to worry about, particularly in the Americas.
French money seems to be accomplishing what French arms could not. Chauvelin’s agents in Capraja bought Astolfi, and Astolfi surrendered Capraja without even one shot. But at Leghorn, Angelo di Franceschi would not assent to the King. He answered that he already owed allegiance to a Queen [Mary] who favored her subjects with Liberty.. Yet Paoli would not punish the families of those who gave their allegiance to France. Paoli stated that he would not sacrifice the many innocent for the sake of the few guilty.
Paoli’s friend, the Abbé Rostino, said of him:
“We do not believe that he can be deceived or that he will ever deceive us.”
And, the islanders were willing to follow Paoli wherever he led them. But Paoli was no vain dreamer: He understood that fighting a guerrilla war would not only hurt the trust of honor shown him by the world; but that with the passage of a short time, France would remain strong, and Corsica gradually would become weaker and weaker, without a male patrimony to sustain her as a nation. So, Paoli wrote to the Duc de Choieul, his enemy, and outlined a plan which he presumed would satisfy both France and his nation….
Paoli proposed that royal Authority would be recognized by Corsicans; but that the Corsican people would have (and perpetually retain) their own right to manage her own affairs internally, and continue to make he own laws, as per sé the Constitution that was already operative. France should protect Corsica from any further aggression or attacks; and Corsica would supply France with troops if France became militarily involved with any other power…an equal number of Corsicans would serve France in any possession she might stipulate on the continent or the Americas.
There was agitated discussion at the French court; for it was widely believed that the King was thinking about accepting Paoli’s proposal. But Choiseul would not make any attempt in replying to Paoli. It offended his “pride” too much. Besides, Choiseul now saw what his money could buy; and he was ready to make more purchases..
Balagna was behind Paoli all the way…
At the Port of Isola Rossa, two Englishmen, Fawkener and Menzies awaited him. They had ascribed for the Corsican patriots 8,000 British Pounds Sterling. They regretted that the legacy was so small. It was bestowed by an old man who said “he left his little fortune to Liberty and its struggle with Royal despotism on the island of Corsica.” He gave it “to that liberty, for which heroes shed their blood and sacrifice their lives.”
Then there were two emissaries from France who wished to see Paoli as well.They were the priests, Guasco and Morazzini. Paoli met them in the company of Falkener and Menzies at the Convent of Santa Reparata on the 13th of November 1768. They conveyed Chauvelin’s hope for a winter “reprisal” or temporary “armistice”. Paoli sent them back, telling them that “it was a matter of indifference to us whether we die in one season, or another.”
Chauvelin took the news just as he suspected. He knew that his new well-laid plot was about to be hatched.: Guido Peraldi and Fillipo Banconi, making contact with Abbé Fabbiani, seduced the weak abbot by promise of ecclesiastical promotion! Fabbiani was thus able to subvert his nephew who was an officer at Isula Rossa.
But, when confronted by the suggestion, Fabbiani’s nephew (totally devoted to Paoli) outright refused partaking in the scheme.
Then Dumouriz played another “plan”: The Abbé contacted Comte de Perez (captain of Paoli’s naval Fleet) whose flagship presently lay in the Bay of Isola Rossa.. Accepting the bribe, Perez was to persuade his crew consisting of the Paoli loyal Knights of Malta, which were protecting [for Paoli] the Corsican coasts. Most of these Maltese refused, so, boat-loads of French at night boarded the vessel and ousted the Maltese and Paoli’s dedicated followers.
Perez then hoisted a lantern aloft as a signal to the French warship cruising just off-shore, “La Provence”, which rapidly then landed their French troops just outside Isola Rossa,sailing into the harbor, opening fire on the citadel. Paoli’s guard was out-numbered, BUT from the surrounding houses came Paoli’s followers. So Dumourez and Perez scuttled swiftly back to their boats…BUT the traitor Abbé Fabbiani drowned as his bateau overturned!
Perez hardly landed his treacherous crew at Ajaccio when again he was proposing another scheme to the Comte de Narbonne (who was commanding the French troops on the western end of the Isle…. He proposed enlisting the Oltremonti Greek decendents on the Isle (which had been transported by the Genoese to Ajaccio from the Peloponnesos in 1676); whom he thought were outcasts to Paoli’s people, as they were not “Roman” Catholics. He would supply them with weapons!
note from “maccorsica”:
I should point out that the Greek Church at Cargese is not Greek Orthodox, but a Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite. That’s how they are allowed to have a single priest serving both churches; the Vatican would never allow one of its priests to conduct a Greek Orthodox mass.
When the Greeeks came to Corsica (to escape the Ottomans) at the invitation of the Genoese Government, it was made a condition of entry that they should abandon Greek Orthodoxy (with its different date for Easter, Patriach of Constantinople etc) and embrace the Roman Catholic Faith. They were however allowed to continue to celebrate their masses in the Greek language.
There have been more than a few hints over the years that some of the community have leaned in the direction of Orthodoxy despite their ancestors’ assurances, but now, sadly, the community does not even speak Greek as its first language any more. Cargese’s last Greek speaker died in the 1970s.
Abbatucci was laying ill, but he dragged himself out-of-bed to lead the Ajaccienne faithful to victory…Again driving back Perez! Perez took ship, as quickly as possible, for France…. Next, the French tried bribing young Matteo Massesi. He would be given a high position in the new French Government to be set-up in Corsica! Oddly enough, the letter to Matteo fell out of his pocket, was intercepted; and Paoli’s followers sent Matteo to Corte to be tried. The young man, ashamedly confessed..along with the Viceroy.
Chauvelin planned a concerted attack, and the Corsicans were raised to a new degree of boldness and commitment. Within a week, they had swept the French out-of almost all the of Murato. They stormed and took back their village of Barbaggio.
Chauvelin finally reached the conclusion that Corsica was not worth the expense of men and monies necessary to achieve a conquest…resulting in Chauvelin being recalled to France on 28th December 1768. The Comte de Marbeuf was promoted to Lieutenant General. Oletta held a garrison of some 1500 French troops, quartered mainly at its great Church which the French turned into barracks! Grand-Maison governed the village by a deliberate system of terror and repression. Any Corsican found, without a French issued pass or not back a an appointed time, would find his entire family imprisoned or worse. All Corsicans were totally disarmed, were not permitted to hunt. Any violation would mean instant execution without trial for the perpetrator and his family….Grand-maison had ordered martial law; summery executions were publicly made…and a church-plot to blow-up the Church in Oletta was foiled.
“Since all Corsicans enjoy the same advantage of Liberty it is just that they all take part in its defense.”
Priests and Monks preached a holy war against their French invaders. Paoli knew that the French had, at the commencement of de Vaux’s attack, as many men as there were living, native inhabitants of Corsica. Perhaps Paoli, as a devout Catholic, hoped in his innermost heart for a miracle. If Corsica was defeated as a nation, its overthrow would be that of a nation, not of a guerrilla-band. He also believed in the ultimate victory of Justice over Evil. He was sure, that if Corsica would not be free within his own lifetime, in the fullness of time, eventually Corsica would be a free nation before God.
Initially it was Paoli’s express wish that the Golo was to be held at all costs. The bridge at Pontenuovo was protected by 15,000 troups under his Commandere Saliceti. he sent 1000 more men from Rostino.
But Gaffori, the turn-coat, neglected to fortify Lento (believed intentionally), and this is where we get the widely used term of “a gaff”! There was hopeless confusion.. The Corsicans put-up a desperate resistence until nightfall. Their heroic struggle was in vain. the french had unlimited numbers of reinforcements.
Pontenuovo was obviously the decisive battle. Treachery had caused the Corsican defeat. There were so many accounts of treason at this bridge! The despair this caused was increased was only increased as it became known that Cavavaggia was betrayed by Grimaldi!
Les dessins du Paoli 3 sont terminés (PASQUALE PAOLI) posté le dimanche 06 septembre 2009 18:59
Et bien voilà, cette fois l’aventure Pasquale Paoli touche à sa fin. C’est aujourd’hui qu’Eric Rückstühl a terminé les dessins du Paoli 3. Une aventure de trois ans qui se termine. L’album, qui s’intitulera “Ponte Novu”, est actuellement à la couleur (Bruno Pradelle) et sortira en décembre prochain. L’album sera également vendu dans un coffret collector. Néanmoins, ma collaboration avec Eric va continuer, puisque nous avons deux autres séries qui débuteront en 2010 : les Petits Bagnards (titre provisoire), ainsi qu’une série d’humour qui se déroule en Corse. J’ai également d’excellentes nouvelles de mes autres projets. Mais c’est secret pour l’instant…
The defeat at Pontenuovo caused such a loss of heart that the people were unwilling to continue the struggle.
de Vaux bribed the villages of the interior…but along with blandishments, also came intimidations so severe: Any Corsican found with an arm, with or without ammo would be sent directly to the gallows.
4000 French marched out of Calvi. de Vaux’s troops advanced from the South. The Corsicans were held-up at Isola Rossa; and as many of them as possible embarked on an English vessel and were taken to Ajaccio. Paoli shifted his headquarters to Vivario. Abbatucci held the French troops off until his people and command were successfully on a transport sailing out-of Ajaccio. Clemente informed his brother Pasquale that the “other side of the mountains” had no more troops to spare. The Corsicans caused the French disproportionate losses, but Paoli was now discouraged with the knowledge of such great miseries a continuance of guerrilla warfare would impose on the Corsican populace. From Vivario, Paoli gave the order to continue fighting only for long enough to enable the most deeply compromised of their leaders to “make their way to the other side of the mountains” or, if that be impossible, to some place on the east coast where they might embark for Tuscany.
Paoli himself waited, entrenched in Vivario, until he was completely ensured that this had been accomplished. Then Paoli made his way to Porto-Vecchio, where on the 12 June, he was enabled to embark on an English vessel placed at his disposal by Admiral Smith. With him went 300 of his most faithful accomoraderie. About 300 others escaped intermittently to the Leghorn.
Paoli advised those who remained in Corsica to try to make peace with the French.² He could not believe that the cause of Liberty for Corsica was lost forever. In England, if and when he reached there, he would plead his cause to the world. But, Paoli’s first task was to see to the well-being of his fellow refugees. Corsicans were widely popular in Tuscany. They found employment in army and civil life. Still, many like Clemente, retired to a Monastic life or to Convents in Tuscany… Some eventually went to the New Smyrna colony of St. Augustine, Florida in the new World!. [Andrew Tumball, the Scot and physician of the East Florida Society in London conceived of a plan to bring colonists to Florida.]
The French had little affection for the Corsican monks who had supported Paoli. The French were all too aware that the Monasteries still kept the memory of Paoli hallowed. The Civil Commission was to appease those, who remained on the island and did not too radically deviate from Paoli’s system of government. But the islanders rejected the taxes. A shepherd said to the French collection officials, “Yes, we GAVE it to Paoli; but YOU TAKE IT FROM US!” The Corsicans viewed themselves as a defeated Nation, NOT as a conquered people.. Their clan system had been slighted, their chosen leaders were driven into exile, their liberty lost. They resented everything “French”! Out of sight of the island, merchant ship hoisted the Corsican National Flag, but this time with bandaged eyes. But then the French proceeded to re-organize the Paoli government into their French-government away from Corsicans.. The French began to enforce their ways all the more firmly. Suspected liberating sympathisers were quickly cut-down without trials, and stigmatised Corsican “bandits” were to hung from the nearest trees immediately, without any court proceedings. Families of those Corsicans who had gone into “Diaspora” were quickly deported. On 20 April 1771, and person helping or aiding a “bandit” or who had even written to a Corsican exile was to be immediately arrested and imprisoned. The “Podesta Majors” were commanded to squeal on any citizenry and provide lists of any suspected deviators. Fires could not be lit, or any other action that could be construed a signal. In August 1772, draconian measures were implanted. No Corsican could absent himself from the village without written French authorical permission. Everyone had to be enrolled upon a register. If not enrolled, he was proclaimed a fugitive.. If one did not return to his village before 6 months passed, he was declared a criminal and all his possessions were convascated. Four territorial juntas were set-up which had to cooperate with French troops. Mounted police were established in Bastia. Corsican politicians were to be “broken at the wheel”. many houses were burned to the ground; no Corsicans would hold any office again.
By 1774 pressures were mounting so high, that it exploded into a revolt. Corsicans were brought out in defense of Corsica, just at the mention of Paoli’s name….
Sionville overran the fortress of Bastia. He attempted NO JUSTICE. In every village, men between 8 and 60 were dragged out of their habitations and automatically hung. What was so hideous about Sionville’s vengeance over the Corsican people, remains in Corsican popular memory and song. Sionville repeatedly hanged any relatives of rebels he could find. No one was immune to his wrath. Not even those of second-degree cousinhood were safe from Sionville and his punishments. , To those that freely surrendered to him (at his word that he would place them in exile only) he DID NOT KEEP HIS WORD. He strangled some on the spot; others were sent to rot in dungeons on the continent at Toulon. His cynicism, brutality and arbitrariness sunk firmly into the Corsican conscience…. 20 years later, Corsicans were telling Pasquale Paoli of the horrors inflicted by the marching brigadiers.
Narbonne-Fritzlare was hated as much as Sionville. He governed the island from August 1774 to May 1775. He was ruthless. His year of governance was smoky, bloody, full of trampling troops, blazing cabins…and he filled from the streets of Bastia cartloads of his prisoners…sending them on loathsome, overloaded ships to Toulon.
Marbeuf returned then to rûle. He took within his quarters a mistress, Madame de Varese. he was full of injustices, vanity and pride. One of his most infamous of procedures was his condemnation of GIACOMO PIETRO ABBUTUCCI to the gallows (Paoli’s former side-Lieutenent in the “Olremonti”). Abbutucu had freely surrendered to the French. Why did Marbeuf hate Abbutucci so much? Abbutucci retained the respect and liking of even the most intransigent of Corsicans by his sweet disposition, moderation and good sense. His most damaging crime in the view of Marbeuf was that he authored a pamphlet complaining about Marbeuf’s mode of rûle!.
Marbeuf established foreign colonies from Lorraine who spoke only German, at Poretto. At Chiavari and galeria he settled genoese.. At Cargese, in 1774, he established Greeks, who were refugees from Ajaccio (after turning on their Roman Catholic brothers). Marbeuf died in 1784. [Upon the opening of the French Revolution, the citizens of Bastia smashed his marble tomb within the Great Cathedral to bits and pieces.]
In 1784, on the demise of Marbeuf, Vicomte de Barrin took over. Pasquale Paoli kept a close watch on Corsican Affairs.
²: Hundreds of eyes were said to scan the horizon off of the Corsican coasts for any boats bringing news from France; but no one was permitted to write to any relatives who might have sought refuge off of the Island. Tod do so meant to be executed immediately by the French without trial or notification to family members. This was “the great diaspora”, where knowledge of families were lost for generations! There were an exceedingly large number of French troops on the island. The remaining population was agitated by French taxes Corsicans officials were constantly being replaced by foreign entrepreneurs and others placed into positions of authority by the French who knew or cared little for the Corsican people or their customs. France was determined to make Corsica into a model French State.
Cherier, on 07 September professed that he would not permit Corsicans commerce. He would not allow money be passed”to the enemies of France”; he would hang them first before this would happen! This declaration was seen as a threat to all Corsicans remaining on the Island.
When Cherier left his house, he was attacked. Pro-French families prudently took ship for Provence. Ajaccio soon followed the example of Bastia. At Corte and Sartene and Bonifacio similar occurrences prevailed. The villages of the interior were uncontrollable. There, the French government collapsed. In glen after glen, communities were personally electing commitees to take over French appointed officials. When news reached Paris, on what was disastrously happening to the French in Corsica, Saliceti and Cesari devised a plan. They were to set-up a “National Committee”, composed of 22 members from the island. The Commitee would have an executive inspector in each of the 12 French-created jurisdictions. The Committee would be responsible to the decrees of the French National Assembly. even though this proposal would have given Corsicans a larger measure of autonomy, and many Paolists embraced it. Barrin rejected the whole plan, and ordered that French troops would be sent again to the island to restore french order. General Gaffori once united the Island…and his memory was still revered was sent to Ajaccio. Once he landed, he said that his sole ambition was to release Corsicans from servitude to liberty. The name he bored assure good-will and an assurance of Freedom. But the town was divided. Gaffori’s patriots hoped to pluck at least a degree of independence for their compatriots. Among them was Napoleon Bonaparte, a 20 year-old artillery lieutenant (who father was Paoli’s secretary). He had recently returned to Corsica, hopeful of employment. Paoli at first also believed that “The Constituent Assembly” would freely grant Corsica her liberty. His expectation was a disappointment. The Corsican cause WAS his cause. Paoli sent Masseria on two rejected the National Committee of Saliceti and Cesari as dangerous and impositions. There were many good intentions towards the General on the Island; but none expected the Corsicans to regain their freedom. In October, Paoli tried dialogue to break the status quo. He sent Antonio Gentili to Paris, where Gentili conversed with Lafayette and la Tour du Pin. Gentili explained that Paoli had given-up on the idea of an Independent Corsica in hope of creating a government in accordance to his Constitution implemented from 1755, along with the ancient character and Institutions and Traditions of the Isle. NOT TO BE BASED UPON THE SLAVISH FRENCH MODEL. Gentili recalled the happy days of Monsieur de Cursay where Corsican customs mingled with the happy Corsican rûle. He wanted to recreate a similar, happy state of affairs. La Tour du pin and Lafayette had firm doubts of ANY collaboration with General Paoli. The peace that Gaffori hoped to establish could NOT endure. The Manifesto of the Twelve rejected the proposals of Saliceti and Cesari.
A manifesto, by the hand of Napoleon Bonaparte who led the Ajaciennes, was presented on 31 October. Meanwhile, Narbonne commanding 50,000 troups relieved Gaffori and reasserted a Tyranny on their Island. Ajaccio was seething. Bastia broke into open rebellion. the French saw Bastians as “beggars and Italians”. Civil War loomed again….
In 1773 Corsica was rûed by France’s “Ministry of War”. Financial matters were under the control of Abbé Terany. His agents were reckoned amongst the blackest of all the island’s oppressors. They were two Lorrainers: The Coster Brothers. They themselves remained in Versailles. they sent their representatives…hoards of their relatives and clients who fed greedily upon Corsican natural resources and the people.. To be part of the governing administration, it was said one must be a Lorrainer or related to a Lorrainer.. The reign of the Costers was truly deplorable.. Almost everything they used was imported from France (dress, food, drink, furniture, etc.). The French Inspector of Agriculture would not give permits to native Corsicans to farm. During the 20 years of French rûle, no benefits came came from agriculure and husbandry. They were not permitted to pasture their land, cultivate their fileds, etc. In 1789, when Paoli came back, he noted that Corsicans had neither ploughs, nor stables, nor dairies. Paoli who always treasured the choice Corsican Vineyards, was broken-up viewing the condition from neglect of the orchards of his land. French custom dues were unusually heavy. Fishermen were forbidden to fish by The French Royal African Company. Prior under Paoli’s administration, there numbered over 140 craft; and over 1000 men were employed in their coral-fishing industry alone!
Paoli had an extensive road-system built, and he improved the roads throughout Corsica by 1768; now, they were in a state of ruin and people had to resort to using the old mountain passes and back alleys. Public works under the French, were executed by swarms of money-bagging entrepreneurs…acting like locusts. (They charged three times the amount any decent Corsican would ask for the same work performed.) The French also introduced a system of monopolies. The rights to sell, especially farmed-meats, skyrocketed. And since they were forbidden to hunt, they were forced to pay exuberant prices for meats and meat products. The monopolies also cornered the corn and chestnut industries. They held all the granaries. They forced those who lived in the Interior to repay the sellers on their borrowings from them into the next years harvests!. Everything was costly and uncertain. The judicial system which the French set-up obviously malfunctioned in vice of greed and special interest groups. The juntas overruled any court procedures and were oppressive. The Supreme Council was staffed by unqualified foreigners and lawyers with no legal-experience (only family ties to the rûlers on the Continent).
To the great Corsican people, whom Paoli had taught to respect law-givers and teachers as amongst the noblest of professions, the French officers were truly an incompetent bunch of thugs.
In Dec. 1789 the newly formed the “Constuent Assembly” in France declared that Corsica was no longer just a possession but a full fledged “Department of the Country of France. Napoléoné was saddened, and ordered his mother Letizia to hoist up banners: “Viva la Nationé; Viva Paoli”….
From 1789-1791, Paoli only wished to preserve good relations on the Island with the French Government.
Paoli was 64 years of age; and Letizia in her mid-thirties believed Paoli was making unwarrented advances toward her! Things got very mixed-up…with Paoli believing that Napoléoné was rejecting his authority….Nothing could have been further from the truth; as Napoléoné adored Pasquale Paoli.
Napolèoné believed a HIGHER VENGEANCE at work; that over all human affairs there broods a DIVINE regulative JUSTICE! In the reforms Napoléoné wished accomplished, he saw the tragic fate of those he envisages for the reformation….BUONAPARTé wrote a 40 page essay, of which he submitted for a prize of 1200 livres offered by THE ACADEMY OF LYON in answer to the QUESTION: “What are the Most Important Truths and feelings to instill into men for their happiness?”
Napoléoné began with an epigraph: “Morality will exist when governments are free” [echoing Raynal’s “Good morals depend upon good government”]. Napoléoné writes: “Man is born to be happy: Nature, an enlightened mother, has endowed him with all the organs necessary to this end. So, happiness is the enjoyment of Life in the way most suitable to man’s constitution.And every man is born with a right to that part of the fruits of the earth necessary for subsitence. Paoliìs chief merit lies in having assured this.”
On ‘feeling’, Napoléoné says that man experiences his most exquisite pleasure when he is alone at nightfall, meditating on Nature’s Origin; and such sentiments would be man’s most precious of gifts, among which also must be included as, LOVE OF COUNTRY, LOVE OF WIFE, and “DIVINE FRIENDSHIP”. He writes: “A wife and children! A father and a mother, brothers and sisters, a friend! yet, surprisingly, some people find fault with nature, and ask why they were ever born!…. Feelings make us love what is beautiful and just; but, they also make us rebel against tyranny and evil. It is the second aspect we must try to develop and protect from perversion. The good legislator must therefore, guide feeling by reason. At the same time, he must permit complete and absolute frredom of thought, and freedom to speak and write (except where this would endanger/DAMAGE the social order. Tenderness, for instance, must not degenerate into flabbiness….It is reason which distinguishes genuine feeling from VIOLENT Passion, reason that keeps society going, reason that develops a natural feeling and makes it great: To LOVE one’s country is an elementary feeling; BUT to love it above everything else is the ‘love of beauty in all its energy, the pleasure of HELPING TO MAKE A WHOLE NATION happy’….But there is a perverted kind of PATRIOTISM, engendered by ambition.” Napoléoné denounces this fanatical ambition, “with its pale complexion, wild-eyes, hurried footsteps, jerky jestures and sardonic laugh.”….Napoleon repeastedly comments in his notebook “To what lengths can a man be driven by his passion for fame!” Napoléoné contrasts the ambitious egoist with the genuine PATRIOT: the man who lives in order to HELP OTHERS. Through courage and manly strength, the patriot attains true happiness. To live happilly and to work for others’ happiness is the only religion of God. He says, what pleasure there is to die surrounded by one’s children and be able to say, “I have insured the happiness of a hundred families: I have had a hard life; but the State will benefit from it. Through it, my fellow citizens live calmly; through my perplexities, they are made happy, and, through my sorrows, they are joyous.”
SUMS IT THUS: “This was the essay written by Second Lieutenant Buonaparté in his cramped billet in Auxonne(Auçun) between parades and sentry duty…The patriot is clearly Napoléoné himself. His aim in life is to work for others’ happiness….he sees himself as a member of a greater community, working for “a hundred famiies”…and he is not now a soldier; but a civilian. Napoléoné, on 12 June 1789, wrote to General Pasquale Paoli: “I am still young, and maybe rash to undertake this: but I shall be upheld by my love of thruth, of my country and my compatriots, and by the enthusiasm I never cease to derive from the prospect of an improvement of our state….”
Robespiere, with his “new edict of Nantes”, declared war on the Roman Church by the oath required of priests November 27, 1790 the day after Christmas Federation. Its adapted declaration , stifled religious consciences, and compelled religious-opposition, in declaring war on the Roman Church, by the oath required of priests 27 November 1790 the day after Christmas Federation.
“This meeting will, in earnest, bring bishops, priests, vicars, to swear to the constitution within a week, otherwise they will be deemed to have waived their office. The mayor is held eight days later to denounce the lack of swearing. And those who, on oath, to fail, would be cited in district court and those who refused to interfere in their former office, prosecuted as disturbers.”
It is the creation of “the constitutional church”, the priests philosophers who confuse law and morality, the sworn priests who turn away from the Pope, to stand up against him. The fanaticism of refractory priests transform this into a heretical schism, especially in the West, Brittany and Vendée.
On 28 February 1792 Saliceti ordered the suppression of Corsican convents in Ajaccio, Bastia, Bonifacio and Corté!. In Ajaccio on 25 March, Capucins delivered Easter Communion. The receivers of Holy Communion declared it was by religious men, and not the bought “priests” of the Directory.
In San Francesco a delegation of faithful Corsicans petitioned a stay of the Orders from Saliceti. It was JOSEPH Buonaparté who ordered them home! When Napoléoné heard about this, he was angered and upset. (It is told that Paoli told Napoléoné: “go forth and be the successor of Alexander.”) Napoléoné was a second lieutenant in the Artllery. Two lieutenant-colonels were to be elected for each batallion. One candidate, Quenza, qas also favored of Paoli. Napoléoné kept “open-house” for his Volunteers. He was very impressed that one decided to stay at his home. The election came the next day, at the Church in San Francesco. Matteo Pozzo di Borgo entered-in like a Malfia bully with arms; and Naopoléoné’s followers marked him down openly with shouts and dragged him from the platform; And against the French law, Napoléoné got himself elected “lieutenant-colonel” with his Corsican Militia along with Quenza.
Joseph Buonaparte sent the company of Volunteers to Ajaccio. On 02 April 1792 they were formerly inspected by the French garrison official, Colonel Maillard. Maillard insisted that only a quarter of the Volunteers [Napoléoné included] could stay in Ajaccio, the rest, under Rossi would have to go into the interior. The “Ajaccienne division” would be given barracks just outside of Ajaccio’s walls. Son fighting broke-out between the Volunteers and the Ajaccio mariners. Many families fled the city and took ship for Italian ports.
Easter Sunday, the nonjurying priests offered Mass at the Convent of San Francesco. On 09 April, the Faithful made a Procession. 17:00 hours in the evening. Violance broke out again between the sailers and the Volunteers. One of Napoléoné’s lieutenants, Rocco-Serra, was murdered beside him. Napoléoné with some others ran through the Ternano mansion to escape…right aside the Cathedral Square…where the seminarians sheltered them. He tried to go to and explain to Colonel Maillard. But Maillard refused Napoléné’s admittance to his residential-governing house in Ajaccio,The Volunteers needed to be within the cidadel for their safety. Napoléoné relentlessly pleaded with Maillard; but said only the King’s orders could permit that!.
and he refused to give Napoléoné and Quenza municians they so badly needed. The next day some unruly Jacobeans, accused of being among the Volunteers of Napoléoné, killed Abbé Santo Peraldi, a widow and a young girl, 13 years-old. The Abbé’s father, Mario Battista Peraldi, with some parishoners, attacked the Seminary. The Volunteers counter-attacked and had to occupy the local houses. The ancient Church of the Jesuits was stormed. . The townsfolk blamed Napoléoné for causing a riot. The French Governor Maillard said that he would attack and destroy the Volunteers if they did not withdraw immediately!
Both Napoléone and Quenza were “men of religion”; and were well known to Abbé Coti, the Procurator Syndic of the District of Ajaccio. Abbé Coti, acted on his own Authority, knowing Napolèoné….Maillard finally agreed to make peace with the Volunteers. Napoléoné that night had attacked the Benelli mansion; so on 10 April, in the meeting with Quenza, Napoléoné, some other officers and Maillard, there was drawn-up an armistace….But the armistance was not being obeyed! There was a break-ot of violence again over a water-fountain. Napoléoné saw these French troops, and Maillard who led them, as disreputable bullies and is believed to have organized an insurrection against Maillard. On the 11th, Maillard reversed his armistace and gave the Municipality cannons to fight the Volunteers.
The French government sent two commisioners, Cesari and Bartolemeo Arrighi to Ajaccio. Meeting them ahead in Bocognano, Napoléoné gave them the true story. Paoli himself gave Napoléoné and Quenza the right of arms to bring-down the violence in the city of Ajaccio! On 16 April, Cesari and Arrighi entered Ajaccio. The Commissioners sent Quenza to Corté; despite Napoléoné’s pleas; but his brother Joseph interceded against his brother’s wishes, and Napoléoné had to give way. There was no “cuccagna”! Abbé Coti was threatened with suspension of his position and called to Corté. In Paris, Pozo and Peraldi spoke-up against Napoléoné and Paoli. Carlo Andrea Pozzo was made in Paris one of the Four Commissioners of War! It became increasingly plain, that Pasquale Paoli was the one sure center of Corsica: and the only one who could guarantee Corsica’s security. Saliceti deplored Paoli, seeking his “power”. When Napoléoné came to Corté with his batallion in May, he immediately sought out Paoli. He proposed a new batallion under his command on 13 May. Joseph told Napoléoné: “It seems to me, that your most prudent course of action would be to leave the island immediately and return to France.” Letizia and Joseph convinced Napoléoné to go to Paris to defend himself and Paoli.
Napoléone told his brother Joseph on 29 May 1792: “Keep on close terms with General Paoli. He is everything, and can do everything. He will be all important in a future that no one in the world can predict….”
His sister, Maria-Anna was at St Cyr: the aristocratic convent school where her name became Elisa. The Invading Prussian Army were raping and murdering in the wild unruly atmosphere of Paris. The prisons were broken into by them; and they butchered 14,000 prisoners by September! The Revolutionaries tried to stop Napoléoné and Elisa …only thing stopping them from being slaughtered was he and his sister’s Corsican tongue, his uniform and his Corsican passport. They made it back to Ajaccio.
Napoleon despised Robespierre, was very fearful of the The “Commitee of Public Safety”. He loved the ringing of Church bells; and said that he firmly believed that only religion could answer man’s thirst for perfect justice….
Napoléoné was reinstated, and Letizia wrote Louis XVI a letter of thanks…one of the last letters of correspondence sent to the great constitutional-Bourbon King! At this time, Robespierre had supressed all regious Orders. in two weeks time, by August, the Tuilleries were attacked; and then began the mass public executions! The Royal Family had been imprisoned in the Temple!
Napoléoné condemned the beheading of the Royal family, therefore by 1793, came “the severe rupture”.
Pasquale Paoli understands that the revolution is falling into the errors of terror, and turns away from France…after a confirmed meeting with General Napoléoné Buonaparté…who was highly critical of “the Commitee for Public Safety” and the Directory of Robespierre!
“The federalism discordant sects vanished in unity, indivisibility of Reason>>.
When King Louis XVI was executed, Pasquale Paoli said to Lucien Buonaparté: “The wretches have guillotined their King: the best of men, a Saint! No Corsican wants anything to do with them [the Robespierreists]…shame on anyone who side with the brigands!”
It was LUCIEN [not Napoléoné] who made accusations against Paoli in the Toulon Revolutionaries Club. “The Convention” orderered Paoli’s arrest….Thus these advents fulfiled the old Archdeacon Luciano’s prophecy concering young Lucien…..
On 11 July 1793, they all finally were enabled to rondevous together out of Ajaccio with the French vessel commadered by Napoléoné; and they sailed for Toulon. They landed in two days time. Napoléon [removing the “é” from his Christian name, and the u and accent of his surname] landed with his family in Toulon, 14 July 1793. France had as its new Government “The “Commitee of Public Safety” ( a Commitee of 12 likened to the 12 Apostles!) …the whole clan and the Fesch’s…into the scheming arms of Lucien, who felt no remorse….
On 16 November 1793, the Convention says Catholicism is “deprived of public worship>>. The most concrete consequences of this, lie in the confiscation of Church property. “In principle all buildings used for worship and housing of his ministers should serve as an asylum for the poor and establishment for public instruction>>. Thus began a process of dispossession of all Church properties!!!
Just after this, the British win control of Corsica.
Paoli despised the French, was afraid of his own head be taken…And although having no great love for the English, Paoli hoped that the English would grant Corsica the liberty and freedom of State that France was denying Corsica…as he made a few prominent English “friends” to Corsica’s “cause”….But little hope, commitment and no money was coming from the English Government; and from his so-called “friends”, came but a few British pounds Sterling.
Napoléon plucked the Convention on Freedom of Worship, on 21 November 1793, hoping to calm the spirits of the nation, and restore sanity to the “state”!.
Paradoxically, Napoléon intended to induce the clergy to respect “the powers of the state”, Catholicism, still widely popular, especially for the needs of the masses, finally
A French naval squadron had appeared in Ajaccio, and Paoli decides to abdicate his power, as he [General Paoli ] will not serve under England’s [Sir Eliot’s] incompetant
Paoli resides in London under the hope that someday his ideals will see the free light of a republic of Corsica and the Western would would follow suit in return…He hoped that if General
*A “Man of Faith”, Napoleon was, have no doubt.
“The existence of God is reflected in everything that affects our imagination and if our minds does not reach Him , it is that we did not allow that our
An honest man never doubts the existence of God; because, if reason does not understand, the instinct of the soul adopts. All things that make the soul,
There is no doubt of Napoléon’s sincerity iin making these statements. In other circumstances, he will summarize in more explicitly: “Our credulity is
It seems that the Spirit continually lived in Napoléon’s measurable periods: Premonition… this question was addressed, as sort of meditation aloud,
“Who knows if the happiness of today is not the misfortune of tomorrow? Religion offers comfort in all phases of life – We are less unhappy when given
The spiritual foundation of the Catholic Church has never been questioned and no persecution took place under the Empire:
“The most sacred among men is the consciousness that man has a secret voice crying that nothing on earth can make him believe what he does not believe.
At a minister, whose name we would now be destined to laugh at, Bigot, truly Bigot de Preameneu said by way of injunction:
“The officers and prisons should never be a means of reducing practice of religion.
We can bring the conscience of a man to no court; and, no one is accountable for his religious opinions to any earthly power>>.
Napoleon believed in God, he advocated freedom of conscience; but also, he admits the need for the Church:
“Society can not exist without religion. When a man dies of hunger near another who is full, it is impossible to make him admit the difference if there is not an Authority who tells him: “God wills it: It must be that there are poor and the rich in the world; but, then and for eternity, the division will otherwise cease>>.
Priests are required to pass through the beautiful liturgy of mysteries.
The Justice of God’s power is given to the people through the power of priests>>.
How is Napoléon to be more explicit in his definition of religion in the public interest?
“Religion is still a sort of inoculation or vaccination, which satisfying our love of the marvelous, guarantees us quacks and sorcerers, as well as the priests who are better than Cagliostro, Kant and all the dreamers of Germany>> .
And the best way to maintain/supply this wonderful need is through the Ritual Offices.
“Does the Catholic religion speak more to the imagination of the people by the pomp of her ceremonies than by Her Supreme Morality? When you want to electrify the masses we must first talk to them>>.
Under this aspect [and only in respect] of the necessary annals of Liturgical-Ritual, a sort of audio-visual storytelling [which permits man with the understanding of the Holy precepts]; and so, this remains validly clear today. Napoleon was a family-minded traditionalist who was willingly suited the nostalgic moment….
( Read Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop of Epon, who is still a figure of thought with close to the thinking to that of the Emperor Napoléon.)
The policy of the Eternal Church is made of a diplomacy of small steps.
Napoleon, found in religion a natural adjuvant against tyranical-monarchy.
“The biggest Republican is Jesus Christ. Aristocracy is in the Old Testament, democracy in the new.
The moral of the Gospel is that of equality and therefore most favorable to republican government.
Popular sovereignty, freedom, equality, is the code of the Gospel>>.
For other reasons, the Roman Church in France [banned under the Revolution, then tolerated with the legal separation of church and state], was re-proclaimed by the Convention of February 21, 1795. It remains even today, very faithful to the Pope and continues to be favored by French Catholics.
Thus, popular with the large French majority, The Church condemned The Revolution; yet it bustled with vitality and holiness. Bishop Gregory, accused the State of being subservient to power of the Revolution !.
Unfortunately, the Roman-Catholics hierarchy mistakenly identified with a con-revolutionary “spirit”. Napoléon tried to counteract this attitude.
For him, the body of the State is willing to concede to religious Authority and a republic.
“Priests have an administrative function: they are on the verge of civil service”.
“A priest must be a natural judge, the moral head of population.
The priests, in the true spirit of the Gospel, must contribute to the public peace by preaching the true mission of charity>>.
And that’s a chagrin that never fails:
In 1796: upon hearing of Napolèon’s triumph in the abolishment of the Republic of Genoa, Paoli cried out: “It is by the hand of a Corsican that Genoa has received “la Coup de Grace!”
Therefore, Paoli fortunately, was able to see his vision fulfilled during his lifetime. though but for a short while (For when Napoléon was exiled, Corsica returned as part of France.):
The wedding present Napoléon gave to his sister Elisa and the Corsican Patriot Felice Pasquale Bachiochi (a distant cousin of his on his maternal-side) consisted of 40,000 francs and a military Command for Bachiochi in Ajaccio. The only condition he imposed upon them was that their “civil” marriage should be as soon as possible be blessed by a Catholic Ceremony in Mombello.
The Priest who blessed their union, on the same day blessed the marriage between his other sister, Pauline and Officer Victor-Emmanuel leClerc.
When Corsica was liberated [the previous October],
In 1805, Paoli continued to make sure his dream of Corté University in Corsica was a reality. Napoléon’s Prefect in Corsica was Pietri. To him, Paoli outlined in great detail, what each of the chairs should be teaching, the syllibus for each Corsican instructor: the completed project should produce a responsible and educated electorate, politicians which were solely devoted to the well-being of their Corsican Nation, and an educated and responsible Clergy.* He desired a school be errected in his native glen of Rostino where all children could be educated. He also desired that 5 scholarships be available to young Corsicans to be enabled to go to the mainland and study at a University of their choice.
*: Each professor is given a two year course. First Chair: to teach the fundamentals of natural theology and revealed Catholic religion and examination of religious Texts; Second Chair was the teaching of Political Science and Philosophy, using his conscribed Constitution for the Corsican Nation, so that the students will learn to govern well and with probity. The Third Chair would go to logistics, metaphysics and math. Logic and Metaphysics were to accomplish and “direct and assist man’s natural faculties of reasoning and understanding in consideration of general ideals”; and math was to provide the foundation for future studies of the natural sciences, as well as establish a future administrator to manage the nation’s finances in the wisest manner.
BOB CALDWELL, DEC.2010
Resistance clans then because if Corsica was never a conglomeration of tribes they suffered and still suffers from the
division of his children, the spirit of party or faction.
If he had to deal with the notables of the island he never failed to surround himself with exceptional men, clergy or laity, who had no
concern that the common good.
From this perspective it is necessary to analyze its implacable opposition to the then Matra Bonaparte, Trojans occupant. Ruling clans
he preferred the power of the people and devoted all his efforts to establish a constitution adapted nourished our community traditions
and the prestigious precedent Bastianu COSTA.
He was always saving money for the state and turned partisan, like Machiavelli, a popular army.
Resistance to violence and finally by the uncompromising struggle he undertook against the perverted institution of the feud.
Refusing the fratricidal clashes he realized before anyone else, that the major issue was the education and training policy of the people.
Building on the youth he favored only merit as the University of Corti in his administration. He was the inventor of the “community of
fate” not hesitating to accept Jews or descendants of Genoa rallied to the cause of Corsican. More than the feeling he was the champion
of the national consciousness Corsican considering that for his time, freedom must first be summed collectively.
He opposed the peace on behalf of peace, hoping that later the great philosopher Immanuel Kant called “universal peace” based on
international law fair and mutual respect among peoples. If Paoli has crossed into our hearts and our memory space that joins the
ideal to reality simply because it was a strong positive, a builder, but focused dignity safety.
More than a true monument remains our very breath, that which makes us even today, be inflated with hope, men still standing.
Paoli’s genius lies in his astonishing ability to understand the past to enlighten the future.
In the intellectual formation of Paoli, there are two poles, his classical culture with perfect knowledge
of Greek democracy and republican Rome, and also acquired the Christian lucid and not bigoted.
Corsica in 1755 did not emerge from a period of slavery, she knew neither the horrors of fratricidal
wars of religion, nor the absolute power of crowned despots. She has always fought against the invaders
now in its successive democratic gains very old. At all times, the Corsican communities have lived in the
expression of direct democracy, electing their representatives.
Each citizen has always been able to speak whatever his rank, gender or origin.
All decisions involving the lives of communities were taken together in the most perfect democratic transparency.
It was thus in 1755 a democratic secular tradition, alive and well, respects the opinions of each individual freedoms,
concerned about the public good and always driven by strong Christian values. Corsica was then a set of Pieve,
provincial, self-managed and highly conscious of their independence as decision-making may be the family unit.
The genius of Paoli was summarizing his theoretical knowledge and culture to achieve unity of a nation, respecting
the diversity of its components. Here is the modernity of the great man. In Europe, political construction, we are
witnessing a similar process across a continent. The nation states formed in the 19th century, or after conflicts of 14-18
and 39-45, decompose and regional communities in Europe reappear to claim their sovereignty.
All diplomatic maneuvers Paoli had intended that the recognition of national sovereignty and protection, not in the
sense of colonial protectorate, but the meaning of mentoring. This has happened today with the European construction.
In this process, subsidiarity is put forward, is to approximate the maker of the citizen to delegate executive power to regions
and empower the elected decision makers in the eyes of their constituents citizens. The motto of the EU “in pluribus unum”
Is not the essence of the Corsican nation, unity in diversity. What elements should we draw from the legislative work of Paoli?
A popular representation holds legislative power, omnipotent in all areas. An executive appointed by popular representation
responsible for implementing policies set by the majority. A judicial review exercised by a court independent, responsible for
auditing the public finances but also say the law in all areas. A constitution reduced to essentially changed by the Cunsulta which
is a code of good functioning of institutions and not a regulatory straitjacket.
The broad application of the principle of subsidiarity in the decision-maker closer to the citizen, and policies to empower citizens
in their rights and duties, the state being there to inspire policy and to exercise its sovereign powers, justice, education, health ,
budget and national solidarity, security.
This is where the legislative work of Pasquale Paoli is modern, it has respected the traditions and customs, religions and respect the
secular without being an atheist, organize an effective state where energy is not lost in the miles leaves administration. The nation
Corsica tomorrow plural respectful individuals, sitting on his historic achievements, a stakeholder in this Europe will be our tutor
in the comity of nations.
Already looms the faded image of a consensual Paoli amputated his more flamboyant impulses, who made him a chief of collecting,
as he wrote September 15, 1755, all efforts “to fight for country and against the common enemy of our nation “(1)
Soon’s plot came mystification of those who have always opposed the concept of homeland and nation as understood Paoli, will fight to
become the testamentary heirs. Leaves to completely alter the thinking and the message, even to diminish the magnitude for the swallow
to the rank of first President of the General Council that has served him “the council once November 11, 1790 (2 ) as he haughtily refused
such pseudo powers.
Similarly, the controversy opened by Michel Franceschi Verge that the nationalist movement was wrong “to see him (Pascal Paoli) the
enemy of France because he does not lie simply in terms of states, Genoa, France, the England, and this narrow view is an insult to his
memory as a citizen of the world “(3) has no place and finds its clearest refutation in the texts of Paoli reported by the same historian in
his book: Pascal Paoli, a Corsican of the Enlightenment. It is clear that Paoli was still vehemently opposed to France and this at every
stage of his life.
Young head of state, when August 27, 1768 he said to Mann: “If my country is crushed, I do not stay in Corsica or in a territory of the
French Empire, so I can escape. Everything will be done to oppress me personally and to tear all my messages so that they may one
day see the light, could enlighten the world about how the ministers of France consider fair. “(4)
Exiled, in 1770 when he wrote in his pamphlet “Corsican national feelings against the invasion of their country” about the surrender
of Corsica to Genoa by France: “It is outrageous to think that the rights of sovereignty that a monarch or a republic have on rights can
be transferred to another sovereign without their free and spontaneous. “(5)
When Prophet October 24, 1793 he takes this final statement: “the flag of the French republic is no longer that of the Corsicans’ (6).
Male age, when in 1798 he regretted the death of his sister: “My sister has left to live and France cruel, and the rapacity of his
government have made too many bitter last moments of his life. (7)
The vision of the Corsican nation as a free nation is at the heart of thought paoline as an act of faith which explains everything and justifies
everything. In the embodiment of that dream was realized the staggering challenge of an independent Corsica at the end of a journey
chaotic but always consistent. When Paoli endorses the ideas of the revolution, it is to ignite a vision of the French nation is that of a
temporary state exporting lights and fighting for the sacred values of freedom and natural rights .
In fact, as confirmed and disappointment quickly and continued his political struggle, it is for Paoli adherence to an ideal and a choice of
absolutely pure ethics and philosophy, not d a rallying tutoring bearer of authority and power distributor. In his mind the vision of Corsica
as a nation is still intact as the show closer to the England with which it deals “on a footing of equality between nations. (8)
So those who do not see the future shining in the flame of the Corsican nation, can not say all the heirs of those who wrote to King George III:
“The Corsican people is resolved to maintain its freedom and independence.” (9)
The son of Paoli are now looking into the ranks of those fighting for an ideal, more than ever this year with tributes a constant presence and vigilance,
they will protect the integrity and express vitality.
Dr. Augustus Bagnaninchi
(1) PASCAL PAOLI CORRESPONDENCE VOLUME I, took power in 1749 -1756, page 177, ANTOINE MARIE GRAZIANI, Editions Alain Piazzola.
(2) PAOLI A CORSE OF LIGHTS, MICHEL VERGE Franceschi, Editions Fayard, page 450.
(3) Corse Matin of 14/01/07, page 6.
(4) Michel Franceschi VERGE op. Sit. page 359.
(5) Ibid page 400.
(6) IB. page 473.
(7) IB. page483.
(8) IB. page 474.
(9) IB. Page 472.
The work of Pasquale de’Paoli is exceptional and can only be glad to see that even pro-French leaders clanistes fight to
celebrate the bicentennial of his death. If one day they are really interested in the history of Corsica, which still does
not appear in the curricula of schools and colleges of Corsica, they will find that Paoli was exactly the opposite.
A character who has always put the interests of Corsica first. A character who was willing to sacrifice everything
for that Corsica can be free. A man of charisma certainly uncommon and has contributed so much not only to
Corsica, but also to Europe and America. Its work is universal and timeless.
For cons, the work of leaders clanistes Corsican remain as one of the greatest betrayals in history. How sad to hear
these clanistes implore the French government to put an imprisoned Corsican patriots who defend this land,
many sacrificing their lives, often risking their freedom.
Paoli’s work is universal. Appointed by the convent Cunsulta
Sant’Antoni di Casabianca was General in Chief of the Corsican
Nation 13 and July 14, 1755, Pasquale de’Paoli immediately
declare the independence of Corsica in the name of the right
of peoples to dispose of themselves.
The Cunsulta the burden of writing a constitution.
Merely thinking of writing one is a feat in the Europe of the eighteenth century! From 16 to 18 November 1755, at a Cunsulta to Corti,
the constitution is proclaimed. She is the heiress 25 years of revolution and inspired by the philosophies of the Enlightenment of the
early eighteenth century, including Montesquieu. This constitution preamble to “the Corsican people, legitimately master of himself.”
Those who would commemorate Paoli today would do well not to forget. De facto, the Constitution proclaims the equality of all before
the law, long before the French revolutionaries did so. While the France of the ancien regime favors Nobles and traps right and left
without reason, independent Corsica became the first modern-style democracy in Europe.
Paoli Corsica organizes independent and must fight Matra will eventually seek the help of the Serenissima before dying in combat.
Betrayal is a constant in our history, and Matra has nothing to envy clanistes current leaders who are under orders from Paris.
Gradually, all pieve Corsica Paoli acknowledges as general of the nation and participate in independence.
Paoli put into practice the universal suffrage and even gives the vote to women, when they are heads of household. Recall that,
in most “democracies” today, it was not until the twentieth century that women could vote. The French for example have the right
to vote in 1944 and vote for the first time the following year, ie almost two centuries after some Corsican women.
Paoli will also give Corsica a navy, while using the race, an army regular, albeit limited, but all the villages will be mobilized by third
parties where necessary. The Corsican flag will be formalized in 1762. A national printing will be created, and of course that money, i soldi.
Pasquale de’Paoli will also open the first university in the history of Corsica, in January 1765. It will give much attention to this university
and exams in May, it will pull itself out to the subjects and students make their presentations before the Cunsulta.
The University will close its doors at the military conquest of Corsica by the troops of the King of France. Corsicans (well some) require
reopening for two centuries. Only when that finally riacquistu and cons of the opinion leaders clanistes of the time, the French government
will accept the reopening of the university in 1981. Since then, a very short memory, heads clanistes Corsican regularly come celebrate
the 10 years, 20 years … This university, as they had fought for its reopening! But nothing stops them Paoli who see a champion of
nonviolence, Corsica French and therefore no loss of identity and culture of Corsica …
Forced into exile after the defeat of Ponte Novu marking the bloody end of the independence of Corsica Pasquale de’Paoli will be celebrated throughout Europe and received by the King of England as head of state that it was.
In 1774, the United States of America declared their independence. In 87, they proclaim their constitution. Some do not hesitate to say it was inspired by that of Paoli. In any case, Paoli is known and celebrated in the U.S. that pay homage to freedom fighter. Several cities set up right now bear his name and still exist today.
The return of Paoli
In 1789, the French Revolution broke out and then they are ideas of democracy and freedom that we had practiced that triumph.
It is therefore logical that Paoli is received in triumph by the Paris Convention. The French revolutionaries fighting for her weaving praise, and the Marquis de Lafayette will serve him well as a guide to Paris. Corsica accepted at this time to “integral part of the French empire.” Paoli was appointed head of the Corsican National Guard and President of the General Council.
But in 1793, is the rupture. Paoli understands that the revolution is falling into the errors of terror, and turns away.
This time the English who remained passive in 1769 intervened militarily to help us release new Corsica. It is the
creation of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom, the second independence. This kingdom will fail because the English decide
to appoint Sir Eliot, one of them, Viceroy of Corsica and Paoli not, but still this episode Anglo-Corsican has enabled
our nation to avoid the bloodshed of Terror as the Vendee was able to know.
Finally, in 1796, isolated in the Mediterranean, threatened by the Italian Campaign of General Bonaparte, the British
left Corsica and the French troops reoccupied. This episode is known in official history as “the issue of Corsica, but in fact
it is a re-occupation that has lasted more than two centuries.
If he remains today of the Corsicans who are fighting to liberate our land, there are still men who think they can sacrifice
everything for their country, there are still people who believe that the Corsican nation must continue to live, it is because
they are conscious of being heirs of Paoli and his national eighteenth century.
Ghjuvan Filipu Antolini