The Feeding of Paris During the Siege

[alternative title: The Feeding of a Large City Under Siege]

(L’Alimentation de Paris pendant le Siège or
L’Alimentation d’une grande ville assiégée – 1871)

by Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)

Translation by Roderick T. Long

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FPS.I.1 In a tightly blockaded city, as Paris has been these past three and a half months, the ordinary conditions of economic life are profoundly altered. With provisions ceasing to be kept up by daily influx of new supplies, those who possess them find themselves endowed with a fortuitous monopoly whose power increases in proportion as the existing quantities diminish. If matters were left to follow their ordinary course, prices would rise progressively according to the commodities’ degree of necessity, in such a way as to become inaccessible first to the poorest classes, who would be reduced to dying of hunger, and then upwards by degrees to the other layers of the population, reaching the richest classes last. These would be subject to the inconvenience of high prices; but their existence, at least, would not be threatened so long as provisions were not completely exhausted. It must be noted that events cannot actually proceed in this fashion, and that even viewed exclusively from the standpoint of the requirements of defence, abstracting from all consideration of justice and humanity, the government of a besieged locale cannot leave one part of the population exposed to the horrors of hunger while those classes favoured by fortune are barely touched by the deprivations. Owing to the blockade, the ordinary system of distribution of subsistence goods, and in general of all the articles indispensable to life, must evidently be modified; in proportion as the regulative action of competition ceases to make itself felt, it becomes necessary to look for one or another means of replacing it, or at any rate to correct the effects of monopoly. When liberty can act no longer, the role of authority begins. Only this role is not as easy to play as the economists of the clubs imagine [Online editor’s note: these are the socialist discussion clubs depicted in Molinari’s book The Red Clubs During the Siege of Paris. – RTL], especially when the besieged locale is called Paris and contains more than two million mouths to feed.
FPS.I.2 From the beginning of the siege, the partisans of “revolutionary methods” have been inviting the government to replace commerce with itself, purely and simply, by requisitioning all food products and undertaking to distribute them in equal rations to all the inhabitants, making no distinctions among them. This is what has since been called the system of “free and compulsory rationing.” The promoters of this system eagerly made use of an all-purpose analogy. Paris under siege, they said, is a ship on the open sea. One does not engage in commerce aboard ship; the captain, responsible for the common welfare, takes charge of the provisions, which are collected in a storehouse to which he maintains the key, and in case of need he can, indeed he must, ration them out to the crew and passengers, without making any distinctions among them or enlarging the rations of the rich passengers to the detriment of those of the poor. This analogy would be valid if a small fortress were at issue, one whose population would not exceed that of a large ship; it might again be so if the “commissariat” had for years been responsible for nourishing the Parisians as it nourishes armies and fleets; but Paris contains within its walls a thousand times more inhabitants than even the largest battleships have ever contained, and it is commerce that has until now served as their commissariat. One could not, therefore, reasonably suppose that in the besieged city of Paris the system of control and distribution of food by way of authority could be substituted, overnight and wholesale, for the régime of liberty in provisioning and consumption. Suppose, for example, that, as the communists of the clubs demanded, the government had requisitioned all the foodstuffs belonging to wholesale and retail traders and even to private individuals – what would have been the result? If these food products, whose conservation requires care at all times, had been transported to public storehouses and there placed under the supervision of functionaries unprepared for the occasion, they would certainly have been subject to considerable wastage; one might cite as a supporting example the wastage due to frost in the provisions of potatoes at Les Halles, and many similar facts in addition. If, as was lately advised by Messrs. Dupont de Bussac, Victor Considérant, etc., in a proclamation of the Republican Union, the government had left the requisitioned food products in commercial stories or in the pantries of individuals, confining itself to drawing up the inventories and appointing “the former holders as provisional guardians of the expropriated goods,” the loss caused by lack or insufficiency of the attention needed for their conservation would most likely have been scarcely less, even assuming that the former holders would have accepted with good grace their not especially agreeable or rewarding role as “guardians of the expropriated goods.”
FPS.I.3 The requisition or, what amounts to the same thing, the general expropriation of foodstuffs was plainly the system least suitable for guaranteeing the proper conservation of food supplies, no less invaluable however than ammunition supplies. Was this system any more worthwhile from the standpoint of the equitable and useful distribution of the food? One must surely be permitted to doubt it. First of all, would it not have been singularly difficult to improvise a general and complete census of all the mouths to feed, with even an approximate estimate of the needs of each? This problem could have been overcome, the proponents of the system assured us, by establishing “categories.” Very well; but how to establish categories without subjecting the consumers to the discretion of the census-takers and opening the door to all the abuses of arbitrary authority? How, moreover, to organise in a tolerable manner the daily distribution of the infinite variety of requisitioned food to a population of 2 million individuals? It is superfluous to insist on the impossibilities involved in applying this system of general requisition and free and compulsory rationing which comprises the economic portion of the program of the “commune.” These impossibilities are only too visible. Yet could the government leave matters to themselves in the exceptional situation which the interruption of communications, and the at least partial suspension of the action of competition, were bound to create for the Parisian population? Of course not, and nobody ever advised it. The intervention of the government was indispensable for bringing together and ensuring the timely delivery of a mass of provisions calculated on the basis of the probable duration of the siege; for preventing articles of first necessity from rising to prices of monopoly and famine; for supplying the insufficiency in means of existence of that part of the population which found itself deprived of ordinary resources; and even, where necessary, for feeding at public expense those who were not in a position to feed themselves at their own expense. In a word, the task of the government was, following the English expression, to act with “expediency,” that is to say, economy applied to circumstances, and to avoid communistic schemes. – Thanks to the convergence which has imparted to the government a moderate cast of opinion [Online editor’s note: a delicate reference to Napoléon III’s capture by Prussian troops at Sedan on September 1st, 1870, and the subsequent rise of a more liberal provisional government. – RTL]; thanks to the curb which this put on the socialistic, maximistic, or ultra-regulatory tendencies of certain administrations of recent date; and again thanks to that “force of things” which excels at rectifying errors in doctrine and correcting faults in conduct, the government has managed honourably the difficult task presented by the feeding of Paris during the siege.

FPS.II.1 As of the beginning of August, the question of the provisioning of Paris in case of siege was put to the legislative body; considerable purchases of cattle, grain, dry vegetables, rice, and preserves were ordered on the account of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce; the inhabitants of the suburbs were invited to take refuge in Paris with their provisions, and those who possessed grindstones for wheat in sheaves were particularly advised to transport them without delay inside the fortified walls. Finally, after the disastrous day of Sedan, the administration prevailed upon the “useless eaters” to leave Paris, and called the attention of the inhabitants to the necessity of providing themselves with household supplies. The obstruction caused by the movement of troops and the transport of ammunition on the railways partly prevented these regulations from being followed, and on the other hand some time was required for the population to accustom itself to the idea that the Prussians were really marching on Paris. This stupefying invasion affected them like some sinister nightmare, and even the pessimists could not seriously believe in the possibility of a hermetic blockade lasting several months. The enemy were believed to be attempting to make themselves masters of a fort, in order to command one of the weakest sides of the area, and preparations for undergoing a bombardment were made with more curiosity than alarm; but neither the besieged nor perhaps the besiegers – as the correspondence of the German soldiers with their families bears witness – imagined that the siege of Paris would last an entire long winter. Government, commerce, and individuals alike, therefore, failed to make all the preparations that a blockade requires; the ordinary provisions of the Parisian grocers, for example, had only just been ordered when the siege began. Happily, the storehouses of Parisian commerce have depths somewhat reminiscent of the purse of Fortunatus; one may draw from them unceasingly, without seeing the end. Isn’t this response of a grocer to his client, who asked him for jam, characteristic? – Jam! I have no more jam left; but I will make some tomorrow. – There is no more jam, no more butter, no more lard, no more preserves; but don’t worry, more is being made. One should just not be too curious.
FPS.II.2 We have only incomplete information on the quantity of resources of wheat, flour, and meat at the beginning of the siege. The Administrative Bulletin of the municipal government, however, eight days after the siege commenced (September 27th) gave some summary indications in this regard. According to the Bulletin, the government had in its storehouses on that date 292,000 metric quintals of grain and flour, and commerce for its part had provisions estimated at 155,000 quintals; thus 447,000 quintals in all, forming, at a rate of 6 to 7,000 quintals per day, the quota necessary to provide for the consumption of bread as far as December 15th, which at that time appeared quite sufficient; but events have shown that the municipal government was not aware of all our food resources. The commercial stores were more numerous and better supplied than had been believed, and the provisions of grain from the suburbs added to these a respectable supplement in addition; finally, the storehouses of the commissariat were overflowing with flour, rice, and other provisions for the use of the army. When the flour intended for the civilian population had been exhausted around December 15th, as the Bulletin had indeed forewarned, the commissariat lent a portion of its own flour, in the expectation that grinding services could be organised in such a way as to provide entirely for the needs of consumption. Today this service appears to be up to date, and the borrowings have ceased. According to the Bulletin of the Municipality, the extant stock of cattle at the same date of September 27th amounted to 24,600 head of beef, 150,000 sheep, and 6,000 swine, comprising a provision of butcher’s meat for approximately two months; to this requisitions have since added 4,700 milk cows, of which have been preserved only the number strictly necessary for the services of hospitals, to feed children and the sick. This supplement of milk cows would, however, have increased our supply of livestock only very slightly, and we would to all appearance have been deprived of fresh meat as of the beginning of December, if necessity had not overcome the prejudices which until lately were the despair of the hippophages [Online editor’s note: eaters of horses. – RTL]. The eating of horse has been bravely tackled; the leisured classes set the example, and little by little the popular repugnance for this unfamiliar food has been surmounted. Some domestic servants of good houses still refuse to touch the remnants of the filet or rib steak which was the pièce de résistance of their masters’ dinner; but the number of these recalcitrants declines day by day, and the convinced hippophages are not far from believing that the introduction of horsemeat into the public alimentation may well compensate to some extent for the evils of the siege and the disasters of invasion. We have no wish to trouble their joy; but it is clear that the experiment will not be decisive until after the return of beef and mutton. In the meantime, hippophagy has placed at the disposal of the Parisian population a nearly inexhaustible mine of meat which had not been reckoned with, and which is presently in full exploitation. Only for the sake of an accurate record shall we mention the dog, the cat, and even the rat, who also contribute their share to our alimentary resources. [Online editor’s note: Victor Hugo in his memoirs mentions the popularity of rat pâté during the siege, though he himself, having connections at the Paris Zoo, was dining on elephant and antelope. – RTL] Such is the “game of the siege.”
FPS.II.3 The wheat, the flour, the cattle, and finally the horses were requisitioned. In a city under siege, the right of requisition could not be disputed, and one must commend the government for having made use of it to prevent the price of bread and meat from rising to levels that competition had ceased to limit. Perhaps it did not pay for the wheat and flour at a sufficiently equitable price; perhaps also, in its excessive haste to “requisition” pureblood horses whose provender was assured, it yielded to the temptation to make itself popular; but leaving aside such details of application it must be recognised that these measures were dictated by the circumstances. The government thus became the sole proprietor and sole vendor of the two chief items of first necessity, wheat and butcher’s meat. What use did it make of this double monopoly? It kept the price of bread at 45 centimes per kilogram; this was the average price at which bread was selling before the siege, and it was “expedient” not to depart in this respect from the expectations of the populace. One must also commend the government for having recoiled before the difficulties and dangers of rationing bread in a city of 2 million souls; it would indeed have been impossible to put such rationing into effect with the exactitude necessary to give each his due, and any error or mistake in calculation, bearing on a basic raw material of life, would have had disastrous consequences. Furthermore, the blunders committed in the rationing of butcher’s meat must have persuaded the government to demonstrate prudence.
FPS.II.4 Having become sole proprietor of cattle, the government left the price of butcher’s meat, like that of bread, at the rate where competition had fixed it before the siege, namely at 2 francs 10 centimes for the first category of beef and 1 franc 70 centimes for the second; experience has shown that this was perhaps a bit too low, since, the prices of vegetables and other articles of food being raised successively in proportion as the siege was prolonged, the ordinary ratio between these prices and those of butcher’s meat was disrupted to the advantage of the meat, the consumption of which was thus artificially encouraged at the very moment when it would have been most urgent to restrain it. Admittedly, an attempt was made to remedy this drawback by rationing the butchers’ clientele. Unfortunately, this measure – whose advisability could hardly be disputed, since it is essential in a besieged city to economise on provisions of fresh meat – was completely spoiled by blunders of execution. It would have been easy for the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce [Online editor’s note: Joseph Magnin (1824-1910), darling of the mainstream history books. – RTL.] to come to a direct and amicable agreement with the butchers, for whom he was henceforth the sole provider, to carry out the rationing to everyone’s satisfaction. All he would have needed to do was to persuade them to keep their stalls open, which was in their interest in any case, and not to sell any meat except to their regular clientele, rationing each buyer at the same rate as the ration imposed on themselves. If need be, distrustful customers could have been given a quite adequate guarantee by inscribing their names on a register while regularly bringing to their attention the quantities supplied to the butcher; but that would have been too simple. The administration began by fixing the price of livestock in such a way as to impose on the butchers a loss of about one-fifth; the majority of them closed their stalls rather than sell at a loss. The customers of the butcher shops that had closed were naturally diverted toward the butcher shops that were open, and one soon saw forming those interminable queues that have been the housewives’ despair. After long and fruitless meditation, the organisers of rationing finally recognised that the length of the queues was in inverse ratio to the number of butcher shops, and they endeavoured in turn to get those shops to reopen whose closing had been their own doing. A certain number of consumers were assigned to each butcher shop; in other words, each of these now “municipal” butcher shops was given an artificially constituted clientele, and the situation became more or less tolerable. In the interval, it had become necessary to lower the daily ration successively from 200 grams to 50 grams, and to replace beef with horsemeat. Still recently, the need to economise on livestock induced the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce to place at consumers’ disposal a portion of his provisions of rice, cod, salted fish, and preserves. These various items were divided into portions forming pretty nearly the equivalent of the meat ration, and sold below the market rate in the municipal butcher shops.
FPS.II.5 These distributions – quite meager, since 250 grams of rice were given for three days, at a rate of 60 centimes per kilogram – brought consumers only slight assistance; they had the further drawback of allowing rich or leisured consumers to profit just as much as poor ones from the chance to buy at reduced prices. The government has been reproached, however, for not having made them with a more liberal hand. Without going so far as to force private individuals to place their household provisions in common, nor yet to suppress entirely all trade in foodstuffs, the government, said the partisans of a happy medium as regards subsistence, ought to have requisitioned a greater quantity of food products in order to be able to increase the quantity and variety of distributions at reduced prices. The Minister of Agriculture and Commerce seemed initially rather disposed to take this route, but the negative result of placing potatoes under requisition fortunately convinced him to go no further. Indeed, toward the end of November he was requisitioning potatoes by giving their sellers a five days’ deadline to make a declaration of the quantities in their possession. On the fifth day, the declared quantities rose to four bushels. This did not prevent potatoes from becoming virtually impossible to find from the day of requisition onward, and the price of these precious tubers rose by 100 percent. They had been selling at 6 or 8 francs per bushel; henceforth they brought 15 francs or more. The requisition had suppressed the regular market; it was no longer permitted to put potatoes up for sale, so they became available only under the counter. How could the price not be expected to rise, given the decrease in goods available and the increased risk of confiscation which the seller ran? The Minister of Agriculture and Commerce profited from the lesson, and ceased requisitioning. He was further reproached for not having had recourse to the restraint of price ceilings to prevent an excessive rise in the prices of all the articles being used as food, instead of confining himself to setting prices for bread and meat. Undoubtedly, given the monopoly which the interruption of communications conferred on all the holders of comestibles, groceries, etc., there would have been nothing inherently illegitimate about a price ceiling; but no measure is more difficult to apply or easier to evade, as the example of the first revolution bears witness. At that time, as everyone knows, there came to be two markets: one public, in which the merchants exhibited only the worst portions of their stock, in the least quantity possible, and the other clandestine, in which the merchants sold their best stock at uncontrolled prices1. The same phenomenon could hardly have failed to reappear in besieged Paris. Moreover, can the rise in price of items of secondary necessity or simple comfort be regarded as a calamity in a city subjected to a hermetic blockade? The aim which those besieged must constantly keep in view is surely to prolong to maximum extent the duration of resistance. This aim cannot be achieved except on two conditions: in the first place, to conserve with minimum waste the existing food supplies; in the second place, to economise as far as possible on their consumption. Yet does not experience teach that private individuals and merchants are better suited than government to exercise vigilant concern for the proper conservation of subsistence goods, and furthermore that a rise in price has as its inevitable effect the limitation of consumption? It was thus vital that the government avoid substituting itself for private individuals and merchants, and that it likewise abstain, except in the case of articles indispensable for life, from preventing rises in price which, though cruel to bear, answered a pressing need of defence. Has not this harsh “rationing by dearness,” which has provoked such lively clamours, contributed in an effective manner, owing to its very harshness, to the prolongation of the resistance?
FPS.III.1 The government has certainly been right in not abusing its powers of requisition and regulation in order to satisfy the exigencies of an exceptional and unprecedented situation; but it is surely permissible to regret that its foresight has not always equaled its moderation. If it could properly leave to their own devices the rich or leisured classes which in their various degrees form a considerable portion, if not the majority, of the Parisian population, it had on the other hand an obligation to assist the rest. The war so imprudently begun in the month of July, and later on the besieging of Paris, have deprived of labour the greater part of the populace, and have ruined a great many heads of small home-industries, and a great many tradesmen, to say nothing of proprietors who are receiving no rents. Furthermore, the population of the suburbs has taken refuge within the walls of Paris, abandoning – along with their homes, now devastated – the lines of work which provided them with the means of existence. One of two things needed to be done: either to give these different categories of victims of the war and the siege the means to procure for themselves the things necessary for life, or else to take on the responsibility of feeding some and assisting others. In how imperfect a fashion this problem – incidentally a singularly complicated one – was solved is well known. The government allocated a salary of 1 franc 50 centimes per day to those members of the National Guard who have no other means of existence, and later a supplement of 75 centimes to the wives of those National Guards of this category; it took on the responsibility of providing them with jackets and other items of outfitting; finally it used its powers of requisition to lodge, in unoccupied residences, those families that had immigrated from the suburbs, and to provide credit to their municipal administrations for relief to the poorest.
FPS.III.2 No doubt granting a salary to the National Guard was hardly something that could have been avoided; but we should not hide from ourselves the fact that this salary will be more difficult to remove than it was to decree. And yet, even including the supplementary 75 centimes accorded to the wives, does this salary not grow more inadequate with each passing day? How many of the remaining families have no share in it! How many single women and crippled old men receive no part of this allocation! How many women whose husbands are enlisted in mobilised battalions are reduced to living, along with their children, on this supplement of 75 centimes! How many others, whose unions were never regularised at the mayor’s office, lack even this meager resource! Would it not have been preferable to lower the monetary compensation of members of the National Defence Workshop, reducing the burden on the treasury, and to organize timely distributions in kind, extending them in proportion to the needs of population? The superiority of this system of allocation is now consecrated by experience. The English government employed it with decisive success in 1847 to combat the famine in Ireland. For nearly a year, millions of famished Irish were fed at government expense without imposing excessive costs on the treasury, and without the gradual reduction in distribution of “prepared foods” causing the least disorder. “The ration comprised a pound of biscuits or flour, with or without bran, or 2 pints (1.14 litres) of thick floured soup, plus a quarter ration of bread, biscuit, or flour. It became recognised through experience that the best form in which food could be given was a steam-cooked mixture of maize flour and rice. This experiment of ‘prepared foods’ was especially effective in cutting short all abuses. Uncooked flour could have been converted into money by those who did not need it to feed themselves; there were none but the most indigent who would not exchange it for tea, tobacco, or liquor; but the mixture which was distributed, and which would turn sour if it were kept, had no commercial value; and only those who really needed it to assuage their hunger asked for it. ... The multitude sharing in the rations were gradually and peacefully returned to relying on their own resources for subsistence by harvest time, at which point new and abundant provisions were at everyone’s disposal. On September 12th, the distributions ceased entirely. The expense was modest in light of the size of its object; it did not exceed 1,557,282 pounds Sterling (approximately 39 million francs). The famine was thus arrested at minimum expense, and, it may be added, with minimum abuse.2.” [Online editor’s note: retranslated quotation pending identification of the original. – RTL]
FPS.III.3 This was an example to imitate, and it is to be regretted that the government gave thought to it rather late. As usual, private initiative showed it the way to follow, by creating canteens and soup kitchens. The Administration of Public Assistance, the Society of St.-Vincent de Paul [Online editor’s note: a Catholic charity founded in 1833. – RTL], the Philanthropic Society, private individuals, and later on municipalities, had opened 186 canteens and soup-kitchens by the beginning of December, and it has been estimated that the rations of prepared food which were there distributed twice daily have fed about 100,000 people; but the queues which besiege them attest how insufficient they are to meet all the needs. In a meeting of the mayors [Online editor’s note: each arrondissement, or district, of Paris has its own mayor. – RTL] which took place at the Hôtel de Ville on December 23rd with a view to developing a system of relief in the form of prepared foods, the numbers of the needy enrolled in each arrondissement and receiving aid in various forms were added up; the total for the 20 arrondissements was 471,754 individuals3. The arrondissements responsible for the greatest number of indigents are, unfortunately, those where lack of resources has made it impossible to multiply canteens as much as would have been necessary, while elsewhere, in the ninth arrondissement for example, households well provided with resources are fed gratis. On December 3rd, the government issued a new decree having as its aim the defrayment of the costs of installing and organising such canteens as would be deemed necessary to create. These costs range from 800 to 1,000 francs, approximately, for each one, with the consequence that the subsidy allocated by the decree of December 3rd should permit the establishment of another 5 or 600 of them. But it is not enough to organise canteens; they must be provisioned regularly, and must furthermore be placed under vigilant and severe control, and in this double regard much, unhappily, remains to be done.
FPS.III.4 All the same, even if the government can be reproached with certain failures of foresight and skill, it deserves our gratitude for having resisted the demands of the proponents of “general requisitioning,” and for having by no means undertaken to feed the Parisian populace through “revolutionary means.” It had the good sense to defer to the counsel of the enlightened portion of the population and to recall the dire lessons of the first revolution. It is thanks to this wise moderation in the use of extraordinary measures with regard to subsistence goods, to this abstention from the revolutionary methods extolled in the clubs, that we have been able to make it to the fourth month of the blockade. The population has undeniably had to submit to painful deprivations, and now that the unseasonable rigours of an early winter have been added to the other ills, it has endured cruel sufferings; nevertheless, it has been able to live! We cannot say what further trials are still in store for it, or how long it will be in a position to prolong its resistance against the common enemy [Online editor’s note: in fact Paris would surrender within the month, on January 28th, 1871. – RTL]; the food supplies of a hermetically blockaded city are not, alas! inexhaustible, especially when it is a city that contains two million mouths. Let us not forget, however, that all the forecasts and calculations which were made with regard to the possible duration of our provisions have been exceeded, and may well be further so, thanks to the fund of resources of every sort which converge on an immense center of activity, commerce, and industry such as Paris. Yesterday, barrels of dried cod, forgotten these past twenty years, were discovered; then there was the rice of which someone had unknowingly had enormous provisions; or, again, the oats piled up in the attics of the local train company, which are going to be made into bread. Don’t the Scots make cakes from them? Finally, the Parisian populace has disappointed all the hopes that Germany could have founded on its softness and spirit of indiscipline; its delicate women have gone for long months without butter, eggs, or milk; they have become accustomed to eating horsemeat; they have stood in queues for long hours in rain, snow, and fog to obtain their meager daily ration. People have paid, without raising an eyebrow, 30 francs for a chicken and 25 centimes for one potato. There have been outcries, to be sure, against hoarders; and unauthorised “vigilance committees” have gone in search of “hidden caches” of ham and cheese; but there have been no riots instigated by hunger, nor yet has anyone been hanged from the lampposts. This Parisian populace which has been called soft and corrupt has withstood the harsh trials of a siege with unshakable constancy; it has flexibly accommodated itself, with remarkable facility and good grace, to the most painful deprivations; and whatever may come, it will have deserved the esteem, indeed the admiration, of the world.

Revue des deux mondes. Vol. 91. – 1 January 1871 (pp. 112-123).

FPS.n1.1 1 Thiers, History of the French Revolution, Book 23. [Online editor’s note: French statesman and historian Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877). – RTL]
FPS.n2.1 2 History of the Famine in Ireland in 1845, 1846, and 1847, by Mr. C.-E. Trevelyan [Online editor’s note: controversial English civil servant Charles Edward Trevelyan (1807-1886). – RTL], translated by M. A. Mothéré.
FPS.n3.1 3 Here is how the figures break down: 1st arrondissement, 8,000; – 2nd, 12,000; – 3rd, 24,000; – 4th, 19,000; – 5th, 15,000; – 6th, 15,000; – 7th, 10,800; – 8th, 8,000; – 9th, 14,500; – 10th, 20,000; – 11th, 30,000; – 12th, 25,000; – 13th, 34,000; – 14th, 15,000; – 15th, 30,000; – 16th, 12,000; – 17th, 39,454; – 18th, 60,000; – 19th, 66,000; – 20th, 20,000. [Online editor’s note: one suspects that the 17th arrondissement is the only one where they actually counted. – RTL]

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