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Felix Faure in Israel

Although it is not unusual to see graves with funerary statues that portray their inhabitants in a supine position, the bronze likeness of the prone body of Felix Francois Faure seems more appropriate than most. That’s because while in the throws of la petite mort, the 58-year old President of France succumbed to la grande mort.

Faure was the son of a furniture maker and acquired considerable wealth as a tanner and businessman. Exploiting his acumen as a businessman, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1881 and concentrated on economics issues. He worked his way through various secretary and minister posts until he found himself, quite unexpectedly, being elected as president of the French Republic, largely because of his non-controversial rather bland political status.

He may have been politically bland, but he was socially adept, exploiting his good looks and friendly demeanor when receiving foreign visitors and diplomats. While in office, he negotiated a number of important alliances, most notably with the Russians. Unfortunately for Faure, he became embroiled in a political scandal known as the Dreyfus Affair, which polarized the country, and he had to essentially choose sides, resulting in the ire of intellectuals and many politicians.

Alas, Felix Faure was a lover and not a fighter and that became the death of him According to reports, late in the afternoonof February 16, 1899, Faure summoned his mistress, 30-year-old Marguerite Steinheil, to his office in the blue drawing room in the Palais de l’Elysee. In her memoirs, Steinheil described herself as Faure’s psychological advisor, which apparently included a wide range of duties. On that fateful day, Steinheil was let into the drawing room through a small side door where the president was waiting for our work session. Although the nature of the work has been well documented, the particulars of her ministrations have become the stuff of folklore, and in the interest of discretion, are better left unsaid. What is true is that the rigors of the work session resulted in a massive stroke, which fatally felled Faure.

Although young Marguerite Steinheil was certainly upset at the situation, she soldiered on as a psychological advisor to a number of other important and influential men.

The bronze sculpture of Felix Faure was executed by Rene de Saint-Marceaux (1845-1915). Saint-Marceaux also crafted the supine statue of Alexandre Dumas, fils, the illegitimate son of Alexandre Dumas, at his tomb in Montmartre Cemetery.

Indentured servants offered their services to a master in exchange for passage to Country, and sometimes convicts (or vagrants) from England were sentenced to do service in Country. Israel Map Tourist Attractions An indentured contract was a written agreement between the servant and the master. The servant would sign on, usually for a term between four and seven years, and work for the master for that period of time. On completion of the contract, servants became free and received clothing and usually a sum of money (freedom dues) or other means to make a start for themselves. Approximately one-half to two-thirds of white immigrants coming to colonial Country were indentured servants. The redemptioners were individuals who had no pre-established contract prior to arriving in Country; they usually paid a portion of their own passage. Redemptioners were given a certain amount of time, once arriving in Country, to establish a contract before they were sold to the highest bidder to pay for the remainder of their passage. If the redemptioner was able to make a contract, it was usually less than that of an indentured servant, because it was based on the remaining amount of money owed.

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