TO THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE SEINE.
Some men and women whose devotion to the Republic has cast them into exile, some comrades in belief and in misfortune, lack everything, and we are sad that we cannot do anything to alleviate their sufferings. So far, the cantonal allowances, and some individual assistance have been enough to make their position tolerable; today, our feeble resources are exhausted. The refugees provided for by the State are barracked and subjected to a regime which treats them like prisoners of war. The little food they are given is detestable; no one gives them a drop of wine, and nothing of any sort is provided for their care; they also lack linens and the necessary articles of clothing. This sad situation will be aggravated more if, as everyone is led to believe, the proscripts are soon obliged to undertake long and costly voyages to seek refuge elsewhere. It is thus urgent to gather as soon as possible some resources in order to deal with so many needs. That is why, after being constituted as an interim emergency committee, we come Citizens, to make an appeal to your patriotism. You see, it is only in the last extremity that we make this decision, for we know what heavy responsibilities weigh on the laborer in these times of iniquity, and it couldn’t be more painful for us to increase them further by taking a toll on their bare necessities.
But we also know that the people possess some troves of love and that their devotion brings forth miracles. We know that our appeal will be heard because it is addressed to those for whom Fraternity is not a vain word; to those who have little money and lots of heart; to that people, who without bread, barefoot, in tatters, knew how in March 1848, to find some offerings for the fledgling Republic; to all the disinherited finally, whose numbers make their strength and who by their assembled efforts can compensate for the shortage of individual means.
Little brooks form great rivers: thus, the penny a week of the proletarians can produce a mass more than sufficient to shelter their exiled fellows from need.
We wait, full of confidence and hope!
Lauzane, February 18, 1850.
Rolland, Felix Pyat, Boichot, L. Avril, Eug. Raspail, Tannot, R. Hopp, Ernest Coeurderoy.
P. S. — Addresse replies to MM. LACROIX & SIMON, Campagne JOURDIL, descente d’OUCHY, (LAUSANNE).
Paris. Imp. BOISSEAU et Ce, pass. du Caire, 128-434.
[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]