By George Cadogan Morgan, Richard Price Morgan
In July 1789 George Cadogan Morgan, born in Bridgend, Wales, and the nephew of the prestigious radical dissenter Richard expense (1723-91), came upon himself stuck up within the beginning occasions of the French Revolution and its results. In 1808, his relatives left Britain for the USA the place his son, Richard fee Morgan, travelled generally, made a descent of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers via raft and helped construct many of the early American railroads. The adventures of either males are comparable the following through letters George despatched domestic to his relations from France and during the autobiography written via his son in the United States.
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Extra info for Travels in Revolutionary France and a Journey Across America
But it is hard not to read this eruption – destructive, energetic, frightening, beautiful, world-changing – as a sublimated metaphor for what he has seen over the past few weeks. 75 It is significant, too, that the written-up text as we have it stops here with the words ‘The End’. Although the travellers would be another fortnight on the road, visiting Germany and the Low Countries, those experiences were not subsequently included in Morgan’s tour. The Revolutionary tense: travel writing, time and narrative control If the Revolution thus grandly reveals itself in the text as metaphor, it also registers its disruptive presence at the more structural level of narrative.
Little excesses’ such as this were a characteristic feature of the French countryside in the weeks that followed the uprising in Paris. Georges Lefebvre’s classic study, La Grande Peur de 1789, has tracked the nervous state of huge swathes of the French population during precisely this period. 65 Beyond the militarization of local populations (particularly noted in Lyons, which, as Morgan recognized, had started its own revolution independently of Paris),66 the travellers also record in the course of their journey an increasing hostility to the aristocracy.
They soon relieved us by retiring in great tranquility. That peaceful denouement notwithstanding, this is now urgent, immediate, gripping reportage – the Revolution is literally knocking at their door. By now, and in a manner completely unlike his other letters home, Morgan is writing in a form of present tense: The whole night has been employed in surveying the mob as they pass and repass. Their multitudes is immense, amongst them I have number’d some hundreds of the soldiery. All are arm’d – and the whole city is still in confusion and riot.
Travels in Revolutionary France and a Journey Across America by George Cadogan Morgan, Richard Price Morgan