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1842 - The firewood riot

stacked firewood backgroundNine years later, the city council, running short of cash, decided to tax the wood which local people, especially the poorest, would, for a token payment, gather from the forests to heat their houses. The move went down badly and in June 1842, the people decided to occupy Mayor Chappuis´ town hall in protest.

The leaders were arrested and thrown into jail. The next day, a sale of wood in the Niederwald forest was interrupted by an excited bunch of locals, somewhat the worse for drink. Encouraged by their initial success, they decided to march into the city with the firm intention of seizing the Mayor, who, panic-stricken, called in a squadron of lancers from Selestat, along with 4 companies of the 7th line regiment of Strasbourg. The money raised by the tax was gobbled up by the expense of having all the troops in the city. The affair cost the city council all its credit.