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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1021
AUTHOR: Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin (1807–74)
QUOTATION: There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to ALEXANDRE LEDRU-ROLLIN, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France.

James Michael Curley uses this quotation as an epigraph at the beginning of chapter 4 of his autobiography, I’d Do It Again, p. 44 (1957), and attributes it to a French Revolutionist.

Attribution to Gandhi of “I must follow the people for I am their leader” is made by Leon Howell, “The Delta Ministry,” Christianity and Crisis, August 8, 1966, p. 192.

Alvin R. Calman, Ledru-Rollin and the Second French Republic (Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, vol. 103, no. 2), p. 374 (1922), says Ledru-Rollin’s use of “I am their chief; I must follow them” is probably apocryphal.
SUBJECTS: Leadership