Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/56

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
39
ARAGO—ARCH.

at which latter place he occupied himself with literary studies and editing his "Souvenirs." While at the head of the Post-office, M. Arago introduced the cheap postal stamp system into France, and while in exile in Belgium, he organised a charitable society for poor emigrants. In 1859 he returned to France. At the time of the war with Germany he was Mayor of Paris, which office he resigned in Nov. 1870, when he was offered the post of Commissioner-General of the Paris Mint, but he declined to accept that sinecure. On Feb. 8, 1871, he was returned to the National Assembly for the department of the Pyrénées Orientales, but he resigned the seat on the plea of old age. At this period he was sent on an extraordinary mission to Italy, the object of which did not transpire. After this he withdrew from public life. He was appointed archivist to the École des Beaux Arts in 1878.


ARAGO, Francois Victor Emmanuel, a nephew of Etienne Arago, born at Paris, June 6, 1812. Adopting the profession of letters, he brought out a volume of poems and several farces; but at the age of twenty-five he renounced literature for the bar, and was admitted an advocate. He espoused the cause of the Republicans, and, in 1839, was engaged in the defence of Martin-Bernard and Barbès. In the events of February, 1848, he took an active part; and on the 24th of that month, forcing his way into the Chamber of Deputies, he protested against the Regency, and demanded the deposition of the Orleans family. Immediately afterwards he was sent, with the title of Commissary-General of the Republic, to Lyons, and became extremely unpopular, in consequence of his taking, from a fund of 500,000 francs intended for the National Bank of Lyons, the sum necessary for the support of the national workshops. This summary measure, however, saved the city, and M. Arago's conduct was formally approved by a vote of the Constituent Assembly in 1849. The department of the Pyrénées Orientales now elected him to the Assembly, but he rarely made his appearance there; and soon afterwards the Executive Commission sent him as Minister Plenipotentiary to Berlin, where he used his influence in favour of the Poles of the grand-duchy of Posen, and succeeded in procuring the liberation of General Mierolawski. On receipt of the news of the election of the 10th December, he sent in his resignation, and hastened to Paris. M. Arago, who ordinarily voted with the "Mountain" in the Legislative Assembly, protested energetically against the expedition to Rome. After the coup d'état of Dec. 2, 1852, he withdrew for some years from political life, but continued his practice at the bar. In 1869 he was returned to the Legislative Assembly for the 8th circonscription of the Seine. After the fall of the Empire in 1870, he took a prominent part in public affairs; and, on M. Crémieux being sent to Tours, just before the siege, to represent the Government of the National Defence, he succeeded that statesman at Paris as Minister of Justice. On Feb. 6, 1871. he was nominated Minister of the Interior, and, ad interim, Minister of War, in the place of M. Gambetta. Two days later he was returned to the National Assembly as one of the representatives of the Pyrénées Orientales; and on the 19th of the same month he resigned the office of Minister of the Interior, which was conferred on M. Ernest Picard. M. Arago was elected, in January, 1876, a senator for the department of the Pyrénées Orientales. His term of office expired in 1882.


ARCH, Joseph, leader of the agricultural labourers' movement, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, Nov. 10, 1826. His father was a labourer, and he himself had, from