Armand Carrel (1800-1836)
He was born at Rouen. Entering the army as sub-lieutenant he took a secret but
active part in the unsuccessful conspiracy of Belfort. On the outbreak of war
with Spain in 1823, Carrel, whose sympathies were with the liberal cause,
resigned, and succeeded in escaping to Barcelona. He enrolled in the foreign
legion and fought gallantly against his former comrades. Near Figueres the
legion was compelled to surrender, and Carrel was taken prisoner by his old
general, Damas. There was considerable difficulty about the terms of
capitulation, and one council of war condemned Carrel to death. The sentence was
not carried out, and he was soon acquitted and freed.
Carrel decided to devote himself to literature. He came to Paris and began as
secretary to Augustin Thierry, the historian. His services were found to be of
great value, and he obtained admirable training in habits of composition, and
was led to investigate for himself some of the most interesting portions of
He gradually became known as a writer in various periodicals; but it was not
till he formed his connection with the National that he became a power in France.
The National was at first conducted by Adolphe Thiers, François Mignet and
Carrel in collaboration; but after the revolution of July, Thiers and Mignet
assumed office, and the whole management was left to Carrel.