Who was Louis Mandrin?
One purpose of the Louis Mandrin exhibit is to provide one attempt at contextualizing the lives of the individuals represented by the documents in the larger collection. Because these criminology pamphlets generally only provide readers with a description of their crimes and how they were executed, most of these individuals are defined purely by their criminal activity. Unlike the many others represented in the collection, Louis Mandrin's notorious reputation in 18th century France led to several accounts not only of his criminal acts, but also of his life in general. In Mandrin's case, therefore, these accounts allow readers to situate his crimes within a broader context so that his criminal activity can be viewed as merely one of many moments that help to define him as an individual.
Another aim of this page specifically is to historically contextualize the crimes committed by the individuals in this collection. By investigating the larger historical moment, modern readers of these pamphlets may be able to grasp a deeper sense of the lives and motivation behind some of the crimes committed by these individuals. More specifically, the multiple accounts of Mandrin's crimes add various perspectives, allowing readers the opportunity to see how Mandrin's crimes were interpreted and judged by the general public. Providing a broader historical context for Mandrin's crimes also gives a sense of the political and socioeconomic environments in which these crimes took place and hints at the general motivations of Mandrin and his band of smugglers.
The two timelines on this page provide two very different depictions of Louis Mandrin. The first timeline presents only the information provided by the pamphlet included in the larger criminology collection. The second timelines attempts to contextualize the information given in the pamphlet within a broader historical moment by providing a brief history leading up to the smuggling trade and the effects this had on the general public. Using other accounts of Mandrin's life, the second timeline also provides life events that are not mentioned in the pamphlet and that give audiences a larger depiction of Mandrin's life. Included in the second timeline are events throughout Mandrin's life, accounts of individual crimes, accounts on Mandrin's general character, as well as commentary about whether or not Mandrin should be considered a hero or an outlaw.
With these two timelines about Mandrin we hope to raise awareness for the many other individuals represented in the larger collection. Although the criminology pamphlets provide a record of these individuals' criminal activities they also only represent a small portion of their overall lives.
This first timeline depicts the life of Louis Mandrin as told by the pamphlet in our collection. It includes the dates, places, and a short description of Mandrin's crimes:
The second timeline attempts to provide a broader overview of the historical context as well as the events leading up to the smuggling trade in France. In addition to the historical context outlined in this timeline, it also uses various records and witness accounts to portray Louis Mandrin's life from birth until death.