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Joseph Déjacques (1821-1864)

October 22, 1851: Joseph Déjacques sentenced to two years in prison for a volume of poetry, Lazaréennes: Socialist Fables & Poems. Escaped to London.

June 9, 1858: French revolutionary Joseph Déjacques publishes first issue of "Le Libertaire" (a journal of the social movement), in NY City.


"After the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 & the fall of the Republic...All the socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully 20 years. Nevertheless, even anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Caeurderoy), & especially Joseph Déjacque (Les Lazareacute'ennes, L 'Humanisphère, an anarchist-communist utopia..."

Peter Kropotkin, "Anarchism", from The Encyclopaedia Britannica 1910.


Filles du droit, sylphides de mes songes
Egalité! Liberté! mes amours!
Ne serez-vous toujours que des mensonges!
Fraternité! nous fuiras-tu toujours!
Non, n'est-ce pas? mes déesses chéries;
Le jour approche où l'idéalité
Au vieux cadran de la réalité
Aura marqué l'heure des utopies!

(Extrait des "Lazaréennes")


"Sébastien Faure, who founded "Le Libertaire" in 1895, is often credited with having invented the word 'libertarian' as a convenient synonym for 'anarchist.' However, Joseph Déjacques's use of the word as early as 1858 suggests that it may have had a long currency before Faure adopted it."

"Le libertaire n'a de patrie que la patrie universelle. (...) Il a pour principe, un et supérieur : la liberté en tout et pour tous".


Sébastien Faure & Joseph Déjacques:

In the book Non-Market Socialism, there is a reference in the section on anarchist communism on the French anarchist Dejacque, who was active in the 1840's and considered a precursor of later anarchist communism. One of Dejacque's demands was the right for worker's to have access to travel so national boundaries could be broken down, etc.
A prolific writer. Joseph Déjacques (1821-1864) published in New York, where he was in exile, an anarchist paper "Le Libertaire" in order to publish his utopia, L'humanisphere.

He is credited with having invented the word "Libertaire" (libertarian), but Proudhon also used it the same year (1858).

There are a few works about him in French, & a few articles appear in English.

His book A Bas les Chefs (Kill the Bosses) is possibly still available, published by Champs libres, previously Gerard Leibovici, ed.

Side-note: one of Lyon's groups of the Anarchist Federation, whose bookshop was burned down by fascists (February 1997?) is named after Dejacques...


"Vorwaerts Alle! Und mit den Armen und dem Herzen, mit dem Wort und dem Stift, dem Messer und dem Gewehr, der Ironie und dem Fluch, dem Raub, der Vergiftung und dem Brand, machen wir... den Krieg gegen die Gesellschaft!"

— Joseph Déjacques


Some Works:
Les Lazarreennes; fables, chansons, poesies sociales. 1857.
La question revolutionaire.


Biographical Information:

Joseph Déjacques was a socialist French immigrant who came to New Orleans about 1855. In February & April 1856, short poems by him criticizing New Orleans & its inhabitants & the United States in general began to appear in the papers there. His most famous work, Les Lazarreennes, was an attack on greed, the propertied classes, & social inequality. He seems to have departed from New Orleans about 1858.




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