In March 1814 he was one of the band of students who, on the heights of Montmartre and Saint-Chaumont, attempted resistance to the armies of the allies then engaged in the investment of Paris.
On the 15th of August 1534, the Feast of the Assumption, they assembled in the crypt of the church of St Mary on Montmartre, and Faber, the only one who was a priest, said Mass.
Marmont and Mortier with what troops they could rally took up a position on Montmartre heights to oppose them, but seeing further resistance to be hopeless they gave way on the 31st of March, just as Napoleon, with the wreck of the Guards and a mere handful of other detachments, was hurrying across the rear of the Austrians towards Fontainebleau to join them.
Cannons were fired at half-hour intervals, alternately at Montmartre and Montlhery, 17 or 18 m.
The recumbent statue (1847) of Godefroi Cavaignac on his tomb at Montmartre (Paris) is one of the masterpieces of the sculptor Francois Rude.
Early trained as a comparative anatomist, the discovery of Upper Eocene mammals in the gypsum quarries of Montmartre found him fully prepared (1798), and in 1812 appeared his Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles, brilliantly written and constituting the foundation of the modern study of the extinct vertebrates.
Having adopted medicine as his profession, he settled in 1869 in Montmartre; and after the revolution of 1870 he had become sufficiently well known to be nominated mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris (Montmartre) - an unruly district over which it was a difficult task to preside.