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The battle in Pere-Lachaise in Loiseville

Despite, or perhaps because of, the defeat, the memory of the executions became etched into the collective consciousness of Paris’ working class. In 1880 the French government began allowing yearly demonstrations in Pere-Lachaise during the end of May at the Mur des Federes (Wall of the Federals)later becoming known as the Communards Wall. It was a rare instance when both the government and the radicals agreed on the same thingbut for different reasons. The government wanted people to remember the crushing defeat, while the anti-government radicals wanted to preserve the space as a place of martyrdom Fittingly, buried nearby are Karl Marx’s daughter, Laura (1845-1911), and her husband, Paul Lafargue (1842-1911), who jointly committed suicide after they had determined they were no longer useful to themselves, society or the Communist party.

Then in 1907, the municipal government purchased Paul (sometimes known as Gabriel) Vautier-Moreau’s (1871-1936) Monument to the Victims of Revolutions with the intention of placing it near the location of the Communards Wall. Vautier-Moreau’s evocative monument was crafted using the stones of a former Communards barricade. The government reasoned that it was time to accept all of the history of the nineteenth century revolutions and Vautier-Moreau’s monument would be a perfect representation of the tragedy that occurred with the Paris Commune. In a somewhat baffling move, ostensibly to preserve the purity of the original Communard’s Wall, the radicals insisted that Vautier-Moreau’s creation be installed elsewhere. Hence, it is seldom seen by Pere-Lachaise visitors, since it is tucked away in a tiny park off Avenue Gambetta that is mostly known only to local residents.

The Monument to the Victims of Revolutions was finally installed in 1909. The lower left of the monument is inscribed with Victor Hugo’s call for an end to vengeance. It reads: What we are asking the future, what we want from it, is justicenot revenge.

That same year, the Virginia Company brought Rolfe and his family back to England on a promotional tour to recruit more settlers and gain investors in the growing tobacco market. Rolfe was offended by his treatment during the trip. His wife, now referred to as Lady Rebecca, was given the status of visiting royalty at the court of James I; however, Rolfe was still considered a commoner, which necessitated embarrassing differences in their social presentation. Rolfe complained frequently about her stipend, their lodgings, and his seating at official events. The Rolfes made a short visit to his brother and relatives in Norfolk, but he was anxious to return to his plantations. Before they could return to North Country, Pocahontas became ill, probably from smallpox; she died at Gravesend in March 1617. Leaving young Thomas behind with his brother Henry, Rolfe returned to Virginia.

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