America was engaged in its own Civil War.
In France, Napoleon III, the nephew of the first Napoleon, was emperor, and France was in its golden age, modernizing education, law, banking, agriculture, and industry. Paris was rebuilt under the guiding eye of Baron Haussmann. Victor Hugo published Les Miserables. Perhaps the emperor read the great work, for he would give workers the right to strike and expand women’s education.
It was 1862. The star of France was again ascending.
In the ancient province of Lorraine, there was, and is, a small village called Graffigny, or Graffigny-Chemin, because the village is really composed of two villages joined along an ancient Roman highway. The origin of the word Graffigny is lost to history. But it has come down to us in literature due to Madame Françoise de Graffigny, friend of Voltaire and author in her own right. The name Chemin is nothing more than the French word for path. And it is along the Voie Romane, the Roman Way, that parallel row of houses are built.
If we wish for a moment, we can imagine Roman soldiers of the second century traveling south to join battle at Lyon, or Lugdunum, as the town was then named. The contest was between competing Roman armies for the throne of Rome.
As for our little village, it owed its existence to the fact that it had a fresh water spring and it was a day’s march from the next resting place. The tradesmen of the village would serve food, bacon and hard biscuits and soour wine to those who could afford it, and service the horses and equipment of the army. The cobbler, wearing leather sandals tied together with straps, would repair the Roman soldiers’ sandals, which were similar, but heavier and hobnailed, and known as a caliga.
Peace, if it existed, for the villagers, was due to Roman law.
Let us return to 1862.
The point of this article is to announce the birth and baptism of Julia Laure Emma Chevallier, daughter of Paul Constant Chevallier and Anne Marie Richier.