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Topics in Chronicling America - The Dreyfus Affair

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
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Important Dates:

  • Oct. 15, 1894: Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French artillery Captain, is convicted of selling military secrets to Germany and sent to prison on Devil’s Island.
  • 1896: The French Chief of Staff (Lieutenant-Colonel Piquart) suspects Major Walsin Esterhazy of being a spy and doubts Dreyfus’ guilt.
  • Jan. 13- Feb. 23, 1898: Emile Zola publishes an open letter in the French newspaper L’Aurore to the President of France titled J’Accuse!, defending Dreyfus and charging the government with forgery of evidence.
  • Aug. 1898: Colonel Henry is arrested after confessing to forging evidence in the Dreyfus case, and he commits suicide in his jail cell.
  • Sept. 1898: Esterhazy admits to authoring the original piece of evidence used to convict Dreyfus.
  • Aug.-Sept. 1899: Another Court-Martial is issued, and Dreyfus is found to be guilty again.
  • Sept. 1899: President Loubet pardons Dreyfus on the condition that he not appeal his case.
  • July 12, 1906: Dreyfus is fully exonerated by the High Court.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Alfred Dreyfus, Walsin-Esterhazy, Piquart, Emile Zola, L’ Accuse, France, Jew, Loubet.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  January 28, 2013
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