KOSSUTH, LAJOS

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KOSSUTH, LAJOS - Hungarian Revolutionary Leader, Lajos Kossuth, Gratefully Accepts a Gift to Support 'The cause of freedom in Hungary'
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KOSSUTH, LAJOS - Hungarian Revolutionary Leader, Lajos Kossuth, Gratefully Accepts a Gift to Support 'The cause of freedom in Hungary'

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“The cause of freedom in Hungary”

 

KOSSUTH, LAJOS. (1802-1894). Hungarian patriot and statesman. LS. (“L Kossuth”). ½p. 4to. Albany, June 5, 1852. To Mrs. A.F. Page.

 

Please accept my warmest thanks for your generous gift in behalf of the cause of freedom in Hungary. It will be recorded in the book of life of my country and the remembrance of it will be always cherished by Your obdt servant…”

 

While still in his early twenties, Kossuth became a deputy in the Hungarian Diet where he regularly wrote letters to his superior of such high quality that they circulated in manuscript among political liberals. Soon he was editing his own gazette and despite the Austrian Empire’s efforts to censor and prevent the circulation of his writings, his fame and influence grew. In March of 1848, upon hearing the news of the Paris Revolution, Kossuth made a powerful speech at the Diet, which catapulted him into the leadership position of the nascent Hungarian Revolution. He became the de facto dictator of Hungary, but upon the rebellion’s failure, fled to Turkey in April 1849.

 

In September 1851, with Congressional approval, Kossuth boarded a U.S. Naval frigate in Izmir, Turkey, bound for America, where he was met with a hero’s welcome in December 1851, and was portrayed as a Hungarian George Washington. “Kossuth had come to the United States to request help - both diplomatic and financial. In speeches from New York to New Orleans, from Mobile to Boston, he would ask that the United States recognize Hungarian independence and support free trade between Hungary and the rest of the world. To help him reopen the revolution he would request a government loan, private contributions, and the purchase of Hungarian bonds. Near December’s end Kossuth began his march across the country. It ranked, said the Cincinnati Enquirer, ‘among the most remarkable events of this remarkable age.’ Behind him Americans nursed hoarse voices, swabbed out dirty cannon, tidied up littered meeting halls and parade fields, and carried slimmer purses. His audience in Baltimore waited for him for hours in the cold and called their resulting illness ‘Kossuth grippe.’ In Washington he addressed Congress and conversed with President Fillmore and Secretary of State Daniel Webster,” (“Kossuth in Indiana,” Magazine of History, Trautmann). Kossuth, only the second foreign citizen to address a joint session of Congress, was welcomed with great fanfare at the White House and a congressional banquet, and was later embraced by crowds of enthusiastic Americans. He was, however, unable to obtain official U.S. government support. He arrived in Albany in late May 1852 where he met with New York State Governor Hunt and gave a lengthy and rousing speech. He went on to speak across New York State before returning to Albany a second time where he told an audience that his task in America was finished and whence he wrote our letter. From there he travelled down the Hudson River to New York City before returning to England, where he spent the next eight years in exile attempting to lead the Hungarian independence movement.

 

Despite a new Hungarian regime’s offer of amnesty and his election in absentia to the Diet in 1867, Kossuth never reconciled himself to the new government and did not take his seat. All of his manoeuvers and plans eventually came to naught, and his involvement with Hungary’s history remains a controversial subject. His popularity, however, is evident in the towns and streets across the world named in his honor and the monuments that celebrate his bravery, including those erected in Budapest and New York City.

 

Folded, creased and lightly foxed; in fine condition.

 

 

Item #13881


This autograph will be auctioned live on May 23, 2018. For more information and to place your bid click the "BID NOW!" button above.
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