He received a public funeral, at which Captain Dreyfus was present.
Faure's presidency were embittered by the Dreyfus affair, which he was determined to regard as chose jugee.
On the 30th of August, however, he stated that this had been discovered to be a forgery by Colonel Henry, but he refused to concur with his colleagues in a revision of the Dreyfus prosecution, which was the logical outcome of his own exposure of the forgery.
Here he remained in hiding, writing Fecondite, till the 4th of June 1899, when, immediately on hearing that there was to be a revision of the first Dreyfus trial, he returned to Paris.
It was his conduct of the Dreyfus case, however, which placed him at the top of his profession and earned him his unique reputation.
At an early stage he came to the conclusion that Dreyfus was the innocent victim of a nefarious conspiracy, and on the 13th of January 1898, with his usual intrepidity, he published in the Aurore newspaper, in the form of a letter beginning with the words J'accuse, a terrible denunciation of all those who had had a hand in hounding down that unfortunate officer.
The time of his death Zola had just completed a novel, Verite, dealing with the incidents of the Dreyfus trial.
ALFRED DREYFUS (1859-), French soldier, of Jewish parentage, the scandal of whose condemnation for treason and subsequent rehabilitation convulsed French political life between 1894 and 1899, and only ended in 1906, was born in Miilhausen, Upper Alsace, removing to Paris in 1874.
He energetically defended the republic against the Boulangist agitation, and took an equally courageous part in the Dreyfus affair.
It was not till the Cour de Cassation ordered a further investigation, and on the 12th of July 1906 decided that his conviction had been based on a forgery and that Dreyfus was innocent, that the agitation came to a final conclusion.