Dear Diary,

The day started just as any other. I woke up in my small house just outside of Paris to the already busy roads. It may be the crack of dawn, but in the commoners’ village, rest is for the sick and  starving. Quickly putting on my dress and coat, I grabbed my fruit baskets and hurried out the door. To get a good spot in the market, I have to wake up nice and early each day. Before I got the marketplace square, I stopped by friends Francis and Josephine DuPoint to buy some bread from their bakery. Yet again, they raised the prices on me. I mean I know it’s not their fault, they need to pay the outrageous taxes too, but how can us commoners pay for food, when the Royal families are on out back collecting taxes every five seconds. Thankfully, my parents left behind a fruit business for me to pay my bills. Francis and Josephine seem to be getting by though. It worries me to see so many starving commoners lately. As much as I try to help them, I need to sell my fruit as expensive as I can.

Once I got to the Square, I realized this day wouldn’t be the same. One of Louis XVI’s Nobleman was standing in the front steps of the square. I all ready knew what was happening. The taxes got raised again. Anger filled my body. I could feel my fists clenching. How could they do this to us. Does the Royal family not understand how difficult it is for us to pay this anyways? If it weren’t for my self control, I would have flung myself attacking smug looking Nobleman. Sadly, a man did not have the same control I did. He started screaming at the Nobleman demanding to see someone about this. Everyone in the Square watched as two other King’s men took the man forcefully into a back room. I still don’t know what happened to him but we can all jump to conclusions. What a way to start work, right?

Now this is where my day got even more different. As usual, my buyers and I would chat about recent events around the marketplace, mostly just rambling gossip, sometimes about how us women should have more of a say in voting. But today, every time I had a conversation with a buyer, the tax raise would come up. What was different about these conversations were the anger in everyone’s voices. It sounded almost as if we could still do something. We could even start a huge riot. Not a small one that no one will remember, but one that will change our ways for the better.

The sun started to sink low into the sky, and this is when I knew to start packing up. Around this time, Josephine found me, on her way back to the bakery. She apologized to me for having to raise the bread prices again, which I appreciate. I know it isn’t her fault, but it is time to do something. We need a change around here, and if know one is going to take charge over this, maybe I will have to. Honestly, I don’t even know if I can make any impact. These days, to be powerful, you have to be born powerful. Its simple as that. I just won’t have enough influence.

-Reine Audu.

primary resource used”Petition of Women of the Third Estate to the King” (1 January 1789)