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Gottfried Kinkel was born in Oberkassel, Germany in 1815. After university he lectured in Bonn on theology, poetry and the history of art. He wrote books on art and published poetry including the well-received, Otto der Schutz (1846).
Kinkel was involved in the 1848 Revolution in Germany and after his arrest was imprisoned in Spandau. He escaped and managed to get to the United States. He later moved to England where he taught German in London until 1866 when he was appointed professor of archaeology and art in Zurich. Other books by Kinkel included Freiligraph (1867) and Rubens (1874). Gottfried Kinkel died in 1882.
Johanna Kinkel: Composer, Author, Revolutionary
Johanna was born in Bonn on 8 July 1810 to Peter Joseph Mockel and his wife Marianna. Much to their alarm, their daughter proved to be exceptionally intelligent and musical.
She began studying under Franz Anton Ries, a violinist who had tutored Beethoven a few decades earlier. Ries’s pupils formed a group known as the Singkränzchen, or the Singers’ Circle. Johanna must have demonstrated great character and ability, because she assumed leadership of the Singkränzchen when she was just a teenager. She mined her experiences as a choral director for her op. 1, “The Birds’ Garden for Five Voices with Piano Accompaniment: A Musical Joke,” in which five birds hold a rehearsal and argue with one another over who has more talent. (A modern edition of the piece is available here.)
In 1831, Johanna met a pious Catholic bookseller and music merchant named Johann Paul Mathieux. Desperate to escape the oppressive home of her parents, she agreed to marry him. Almost instantly, she realized she’d made a terrible mistake. Mathieux had been faking his religiosity and he abused his wife. Six months after the wedding, she moved back into her parents’ house and filed for a divorce (which Mathieux refused to grant). The town gossips blamed the failure of the marriage on Johanna’s un-feminine nature. Her doctor diagnosed her with a “nervous breakdown with emaciation fever” brought on by the “abuses conveyed by [the] selected torments” of her ex. (x)
She only began to recover in the mid-1830s. To earn her keep, she taught piano and also returned as director of the Singkränzchen. She even presented and directed entire operatic acts in the musical homes of Bonn.
In 1836, she secured an introduction to Felix Mendelssohn via his spirited, strong-willed aunt, author Dorothea von Schlegel. He pronounced Johanna talented and encouraged her to move to Berlin. There she studied piano with Wilhelm Taubert and composition with Karl Böhmer, earning her living by teaching and composing.
In 1838 she published her op. 7, a volume of songs. Critic Oswalk Lorenz, writing for Robert Schumann’s Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, labeled the work “ladylike.” She wasn’t happy being pigeonholed based on her gender. To protest, when Schumann himself wrote Kinkel and asked for another of her compositions, she mailed him “my wildest drinking song for a male choir.” (x)
In Berlin, Johanna became a live-in music teacher to Bettina von Arnim‘s daughters. She also found her way to Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel‘s famous star-studded musicales. Eventually she earned enough money to rent her own apartment.
Her career might have continued blossoming unabated, but in 1839, she received a letter that would change the course of her life: Mathieux was finally agreeing to the divorce. The catch was that she’d have to return to Bonn as the legal process played out.
Back in Bonn, she taught piano, resumed her choral directorship, and began mounting salon concerts à la Fanny Hensel. She also began making friends with local intellectuals. Together she and those intellectuals founded the Maikäferbund, or the Cockchafers’ Association. The Cockchafers sought to break free of the constraints of bourgeois conformism. It was the 1840s, and revolution was in the air.
Johanna’s Sechs Lieder, Op. 19, No. 2 and No. 3. (The score is here.)
One of the Cockchafers was a man named Gottfried Kinkel, a twenty-five-year-old theology professor who became a dear friend of Johanna’s. He was engaged to the daughter of a Protestant pastor, so he was, romantically speaking, off-limits. Their bond developed on an intellectual plane, and Johanna denied having any feelings for him. But everything changed on 4 September 1840. Gottfried and Johanna were in a boating accident on the Rhine and, both convinced they were about to die, fell into each other’s arms and kissed. Kinkel’s engagement to the upstanding Protestant girl was over. For her part, Johanna was hesitant to remarry, but ultimately she gave in. She converted to Protestantism, and on 22 May 1843 Johanna and Gottfried were wed.
Their scandalous relationship proved professionally harmful to both of them. Gottfried lost his teaching position and all hope of securing a faculty appointment as a theologian. (He began pivoting his expertise to art history instead.) Johanna also lost most of her students, as she was ostracized by Bonn society yet again.
Despite others’ disapproval, the marriage was a generally happy one. Johanna had four babies in quick succession: Gottfried in 1844, Johanna in 1845, Adelheid in 1846, and Herrmann in 1848. During her time as a mother to toddlers, she wrote:
I no longer get the chance to hear any music. My grand piano is only used for the purpose of drying freshly ironed diapers. But things cannot continue like this. I shall open it up next week, for I yearn for a note of music. If I could give lessons to my stupidest pupils and play four-hand pieces by Wanhal, it would be a refreshment for me. But I must deny myself the possibility of swimming in my own element until the children have grown beyond the first dangerous years during which one dare not lose sight of them at any time. (x)
Despite being consumed by motherhood, she somehow found the time to direct concert performances of Gluck’s Iphigenie in Auslis and Spohr’s Pietro von Abano, as well as write a novella called “Musical Orthodoxy.”
Fatefully, the Kinkels found themselves swept up in the revolutionary fervor gripping Europe in 1848, and as time went on, both became increasingly convinced of the necessity of a German democratic republic. Gottfried became the editor of the Neue Bonner Zeitung, as well as a spokesman for the revolutionaries. After his political duties took him from Bonn, Johanna assumed the editorship, along with one of Gottfried’s students named Carl Schurz. It was a weighty responsibility: Johanna labeled the Neue Bonner Zeitung the “last free press in our region.” (x)
In 1849, Gottfried joined the Rebellion of Baden, which ultimately failed when the revolutionaries’ last stronghold, the Rastatt fortress, fell to Prussian troops. Gottfried was arrested and sentenced to death by firing squad. A desperate Johanna leveraged her influential social connections, seeking clemency. Ultimately, his sentence was reduced to life in prison.
But Johanna wasn’t satisfied. She and Carl Schurz planned his escape from jail, which involved bribing the prison warden. Incredibly, their gamble paid off. Carl Schurz and Gottfried Kinkel fled to London in November 1850, and Johanna followed with the children in 1851.
Although elated to be reunited, life in London as a refugee family proved to be difficult. Gottfried’s daring escape had brought him renown within the emigrant community, and exiles were constantly descending on the Kinkel household, all searching for employment, housing, and money. Johanna supported the family by teaching, but it wasn’t easy to find good pupils.
Before they had much of a chance to get settled, Gottfried decided to capitalize on his newfound notoriety to promote his political interests. He left Britain for America in September 1851, and stayed there for months, attempting to fundraise for another German rebellion. In January, an exasperated Johanna wrote him, “You men talk about glory, sacrificing the family for the fatherland. Have you also thought out all the consequences, and do you know what a sacrificed family looks like?” (x) Johanna, for all intents and purposes a single mother of four children under the age of eight, certainly did.
“How am I?” she wrote author Fanny Lewald in November 1851. “I could be splendid if I could live just for my own affairs. But countless people claim me for their concerns. Each one needs perhaps just a few of my days or hours, doesn’t even feel obliged to thank me, thinks I could have done ten times as much – but these days and hours add up to a burden that destroys my existence. I am being buried alive with all my talents, am nothing but a duty machine.” (x)
Things seem to have improved somewhat upon Gottfried’s return in early 1852. (The hoped-for revolution, however, never materialized, and the Kinkels would remain marooned in England.) As her children got older, Johanna began returning to intellectual pursuits, visiting the British Museum regularly, and even giving lectures on music. “I have been engaged to give lectures on music,” she wrote, “and it seems that these have been successful. This gives me joy, not so much because it’s better business than teaching lessons, but because I have discovered within me the ability, at an older age, to embrace a completely new life activity… What had lain under the snow, now suddenly wants to sprout forth.” (x) Although she’d never had any formal musicological training, she presented groundbreaking lectures on Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn.
She added another feather to her creative cap when she wrote a two-volume novel, Hans Ibeles in London. It was semi-autobiographical, focusing on a musical emigrant family exiled to Britain. Shortly before her death, she confessed to her doctor that she felt guilty about using her friends as inspiration for various characters, which may be why the manuscript wasn’t published in her lifetime. Gottfried had Hans published posthumously in 1860, and the first English translation was made in 2016.
Johanna’s health deteriorated while in Britain, and she was eventually diagnosed with heart trouble. (It’s possible that her suffering was aggravated by the chest-tightening symptoms of depression and anxiety.) On 15 November 1858, she fell out of her open bedroom window and died. No one knows if it was a suicide or not. It appears from his letters that Gottfried may have been unfaithful, and the pressures of her creative work combined with her domestic duties continued to be immense. On the other hand, she may have had trouble breathing, opened the window for air, then suffered a stroke or heart attack.
It is impossible to pigeonhole Johanna Kinkel, and it would take a lifetime of study of music, literature, and mid-nineteenth century political history to fully understand and appreciate her countless contributions. Despite all there is left to discover about her, however, one thing is clear: she deserves to be remembered.
There are three words inscribed on Johanna Kinkel’s tombstone: Freiheit, Liebe, Dichtung (Freedom, Love, Poetry).
A huge shout-out to the patrons who make this series of articles on forgotten musical women possible! It wouldn’t happen without you. These articles come out every other Wednesday. If you want to support the series for as little as a dollar a month, click here.
Allegory and Impasse: Revolutionary History and Revolutionary Modernity in Marx and Engels
Deborah Elise White is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Emory University. She is the author of Romantic Returns: Superstition, Imagination, History (Stanford University Press, 2000) and of essays on Romanticism, Theory, and Deconstruction.
Paul de Man’s “Literary History and Literary Modernity” serves as a telling point of departure for reexamining the configuration of revolutionary history and revolutionary modernity in polemical writings written by Marx and Engels in the aftermath of the 1848–1849 European Revolutions. What de Man calls “literature” models an impasse between modernity understood as an aspiration to pure action free from the mediation of history and history understood as the inevitable recursivity through which such action finds itself caught in reflections on—and repetitions of—the past. Marx’s early “Letters to Ruge” already hints at the potential conflict and co-implication of a backward looking-left melancholia with a forward-driving revolutionary project. These issues get taken up not only in the much cited Eighteenth Brumaire but in the more purely polemical writings of Marx and Engels’s London exile. In these writings, Marx and Engels explore how the anarchic putschist fantasies of their fellow communists (August Willich and Karl Schapper) paradoxically converge with the most retrograde apologetics of their liberal opponents (Gottfried Kinkel and Arnold Ruge). They detail the short circuit between calls for an immediate renewal of revolutionary action and a nostalgic retreat from any action into secondhand literary posturing. At the same time, Marx and Engels’s own relation to that short circuit proves difficult to stabilize. Their allegory of history as long-term struggle does not conceal their ironic imbrication in the aporias they delineate. The conclusion is not that revolutionary Marxism has no alternative but to reiterate the same short circuit, but rather that it must recognize, with Marx and Engels, how revolution inevitably turns on the impasse as it takes place in a disjunction of time with itself: a conjuncture whose status remains radically undecidable.
ART ON PAPER
The Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich is one of the largest collection of prints and drawings in Switzerland. It contains some 160,000 high-quality artworks on paper from the 15th century to the present day. From Albrecht Dürer to Emmanuelle Antille and Louise Bourgeois, from Rembrandt van Rijn via Pablo Picasso to Silvia Bächli, and from Francisco de Goya via Miriam Cahn to Andy Warhol – important national and international names are represented as well as young artists.
The collection has grown over the decades as a result of continuous purchases and numerous gifts and has become far more than the study collection which was originally intended. Today it continues to grow as it absorbs the latest national and international trends, particularly with regard to contemporary art. In addition to a main area of focus in the field of the old masters, it also includes sizeable groups of works comprising Swiss prints and drawings from the 19th to the 21st century.
Peter Fischli / David Weiss, Farbproofs zu „Blumendrucke“, 1998, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
In 2017 the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich was celebrating its 150th anniversary. It was founded as a typical university collection twelve years after the inauguration of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in 1855 (known today as the ETH Zürich). Gottfried Kinkel (1815‒1882), Professor of Archaeology and History of Art, was charged with the task of building up a collection for study and teaching purposes.
Initially it served aspiring art historians, archaeologists and architects primarily as observation material. The basis of the collection acquired by Gottfried Kinkel in 1870 consisted of approximately 11,000 single sheets and some 150 bound engravings from the collection of the Swiss artist Rudolf Bühlmann (1812-1891), who had lived in Rome for over thirty years.
The collection owes its most valuable addition to the Zurich banker Heinrich Schulthess-von Meiss (1813‒1898). In 1894 he donated over 12,000 highly valuable sheets from Schongauer to Goya to the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich. Schulthess-von Meiss’s donation demonstrates that close relationships with collectors have always been of central importance to the ETH’s Collection of Prints and Drawings.
Even before Schulthess-von Meiss, his cousin, the town councillor Johann Heinrich Landolt, had left it 9,000 graphic works by old masters. The collection continues to enjoy the trust of patrons, as has been reflected in various legacies, donations and donations/purchases.
Francisco José Goya y Lucientes, Bis zu seinem Urahn, Blatt 39 der Folge „Los Caprichos“, 1799, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
Francisco José Goya y Lucientes, Wendigkeit und Waghalsigkeit des Juanito Apiñani in der Arena von Madrid, 1816, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
Rembrandt van Rijan, Landschaft mit drei Bäumen, 1643, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
At first the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich was only open to visitors from the academic world. From 1891 it was also made accessible to the general public by showing three to five exhibitions every year based on its extensive stocks. It has always been located in the main building of the ETH Zürich, which underlines its importance.
Since 1924 the collection of prints and drawings has been housed in its present premises in the South-West Wing of the building designed by Gottfried Semper. Before the collection was installed there the historic rooms were renovated by the architect Gustav Gull.
Felix Vallotton, Le Ménsonge, 1897, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
Fragile works on paper
The collection of prints and drawings is not on permanent view because of the nature of the materials of which it is comprised. Some parts of the light- and temperature-sensitive works are presented to the general public in four to five temporary exhibitions per year, with further explanations in catalogues and through an educational programme. Interested persons may examine and study works from the collection in the Study Room by prior appointment. Part of the stocks can also be viewed on the internet in the Collection Catalogue Online. The Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich also has available a wide-ranging specialised reference library.
Johann Gottfried Kinkel - Encyclopedia
JOHANN GOTTFRIED KINKEL (1815-1882), German poet, was born on the IIth of August 1815 at Obercassel near Bonn. Having studied theology at Bonn and afterwards in Berlin, he established himself at Bonn in 1836 as privat docent of theology, later became master at the gymnasium there, and was for a short time assistant preacher in Cologne. Changing his religious opinions, he abandoned theology and delivered lectures on the history of art, in which he had become interested on a journey to Italy in 1837. In 1846 he was appointed extraordinary professor of the history of art at Bonn University. For his share in the revolution in the Palatinate in 1849 Kinkel was arrested and, sentenced to penal servitude for life, was interned in the fortress of Spandau. His friend Carl Schurz contrived in November 1850 to effect his escape to England, whence he went to the United States. Returning to London in 1853, he for several years taught German and lectured on German literature, and in 1858 founded the German paper Hermann. In 1866 he accepted the professorship of archaeology and the history of art at the Polytechnikum in Zurich, in which city he died on the 13th of November 1882.
The popularity which Kinkel enjoyed in his day was hardly justified by his talent his poetry is of the sweetly sentimental type which was much in vogue in Germany about the middle of the 19th century. His Gedichte first appeared in 1843, and have gone through several editions. He is to be seen to most advantage in the verse romances, Otto der Schutz, eine rheinische Geschichte in zwälf Abenteuern (1846) which in 1896 had attained its 75th edition, and Der Grobschmied von Antwerpen (1868). Among Kinkel's other works may be mentioned the tragedy Nimrod (1857), and his history of art, Geschichte der bildenden Kiinste bei den christlichen Volkern (1845). Kinkel's first wife, Johanna, née Mockel (1810-1858), assisted her husband in his literary work, and was herself an author of considerable merit. Her admirable autobiographical novel Hans Ibeles in London was not published until 1860, after her death. She also wrote on musical subjects.
See A. Strodtmann, Gottfried Kinkel (2 vols., Hamburg, 1851) and O. Henne am Rhyn, G. Kinkel, ein Lebensbild (Zurich, 1883).
Gottfried Kinkel was the eldest son of the art historian, publicist and politician Gottfried Kinkel (1815–1882) and the composer Johanna Kinkel , née Mockel (1810–1858). He had three younger siblings: Johanna (1845–1863), Adelheid (1846–1928, married to Adolf von Asten) and Hermann (1848–1897).
From 1846 Kinkel's father was associate professor for art and literary history at the University of Bonn . During the revolution of 1848/1849 he was one of the most prominent representatives of the democratic movement. After his participation in the Baden-Palatinate uprising (1849), he was arrested in Rastatt and sentenced to life imprisonment. After his transfer to Spandau prison (1850), he was released from prison on the initiative of his wife Johanna and his friend Carl Schurz in November 1850 and fled to London , where his wife and four children followed him in January 1851. After her untimely death (1858), Gottfried Kinkel senior married Minna Werner (1827–1917) in 1860, with whom he fathered five more children, three of whom reached adulthood.
Gottfried Kinkel junior studied classical philology at the University of Zurich . There he was particularly influenced by the philologist Hermann Köchly (1815–1876), who, like his father, went into exile after the revolutionary years and had taught in Zurich since 1851. When Köchly accepted an offer at Heidelberg University for the summer semester of 1864 , Kinkel went with him. Hugo Stadtmüller was one of his fellow students in Heidelberg . Probably on Köchly's advice, Kinkel went to the University of Leipzig for a few semesters in 1865 , where he belonged to the Philological Association together with Friedrich Nietzsche and Erwin Rohde . After graduating as Dr. phil. Kinkel returned to Heidelberg University for the summer semester of 1866, where he prepared his dissertation on the Hesiod manuscripts of the English libraries for printing.
After completing his studies, Kinkel went to teach at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich in 1866 , where his father had received a professorship for archeology and art history that same year. In 1867 , Kinkel junior qualified as a professor at the University of Zurich and since then has given regular lectures on Greek literature and history as well as English history and politics (until 1890). He continued his scientific work, which was initially aimed primarily at the poet Hesiod, but gradually spread to other epic poets . However, no academic career was on the horizon. In 1869, Köchly proposed him, along with others, for a professorship at the University of Basel , which Friedrich Nietzsche then received.
Kinkel's most ambitious project was a collection of fragments from the Greek epics. The first volume, which reached up to the time of Alexander the Great , appeared in 1877 and was judged rather negatively by experts. The other volumes, which would have included the epic poets of Hellenism , the Imperial Era and Late Antiquity , did not appear. In the 1970s, Kinkel was also busy editing Köchly's small writings, which he had already supported with his Hesiod edition (1870).
After the death of his father (1882), Kinkel junior took over his estate, which he worked on intensively and partly published. He died on the night of May 22nd to 23rd, 1891 in Poppelsdorf. His own estate and that of his father ended up in the archives of the University and State Library in Bonn .
Johann Gottfried Kinkel was a German poet also noted for his revolutionary activities and his escape from a Prussian prison in Spandau with the help of his friend Carl Schurz.
He was born at Oberkassel (now part of Bonn). Having studied theology at Bonn and Berlin, he established himself at Bonn in 1836 as a Privatdozent, or theology tutor, became master at the secondary school there, and was for a short time assistant preacher in Cologne.
Changing his religious opinions, he abandoned theology and delivered lectures on the history of art, in which he had become interested on a journey to Italy in 1837. In 1843, he married Johanna Mockel (1810&ndash1858), a writer, composer and musician who assisted her husband in his literary work and revolutionary activities. They had four children. In 1846 he was appointed extraordinary professor of the history of art at the University of Bonn.
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The UCL History of Art department began awarding degrees in the subject in 1965, but the presence of the History of Art in the College goes back much further, even beyond the founding of the Slade School of Art in 1870. This film touches on some of the major moments for the Department from the founding scholars arriving as emigres from Germany to ideological changes of the 60s-80s to greater interdisciplinary range and development from the 90s onwards.
History of the Department
by Professor David Bindman
The UCL History of Art department began awarding degrees in the subject in 1965, but the presence of the History of Art in the College goes back much further, even beyond the founding of the Slade School of Art in 1870. The first person to give lectures on the History of Art in the College was the remarkable figure of Gottfried Kinkel, a German émigré who had been professor of art history at Bonn University, but whose active participation in the revolution of 1848 had caused him to be jailed under a life sentence. He was sprung from Spandau prison by a devoted student disguised as a guard, and he made his way to London where his romantic presence and exploits made him a public figure. He was a compelling figure and a charismatic lecturer, but he excited the jealousy of Karl Marx who saw him as a threat to his leadership of the German community in exile. In 1853 he gave a series of lectures on medieval art at UCL which were an enormous success and brought in crowds of admirers. Marx, who evidently attended the lectures, was sarcastic about them and claimed that Kinkel gave the lectures without payment 'in the hope that he will be able to worm his way into the post of Professor of Aesthetics at London University'.
This did not happen and there is no evidence that the history of art was taught again before the foundation of the Slade. History of art in some form was taught to art students from the foundation of the school, but it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that notable figures began to teach there. D.S. McColl taught the subject from 1903-09, and in the latter year the famous critic Roger Fry was employed to teach a course entitled 'The Appreciation of Design in the History of Art' in a position he held until 1914. These were part-time lecturers, mainly employed elsewhere, but in the 1920s the Slade Professor Henry Tonks felt the need for a stronger presence for the subject, to complement his own emphasis on traditional drawing methods. He was able to convert an endowment left by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence in 1914 into a chair in the History of Art. Durning-Lawrence himself had no recorded interest in the subject he was famous only for his passionate belief that Shakespeare could not have written the plays under his name, and he wrote books claiming Francis Bacon as the true author. The first holder of the chair was Tancred Borenius, known as 'the Flying Finn', who remained professor until his death in 1947.
He was succeeded in rapid succession by two of the most eminent art historians of the century, Rudolf Wittkower and Ernst Gombrich, who both gave notable lectures to Slade students, notes for which are still preserved in the Department. They also brought in outside lecturers such as Isaiah Berlin, and younger scholars of note including Francis Haskell and Michael Kitson. Gombrich was succeeded by another German émigré, Leopold Ettlinger, and it was he who, in 1965, set up a separate Department of the History of Art, teaching a BA in the subject and several combined honours degrees with other subjects, while continuing to provide teaching to Slade students. Under his successor, the distinguished Italian Renaissance scholar John White, the Department expanded considerably, consisting by the time of his retirement in 1990, of nine teaching staff. Expansion continued under his successor David Bindman, under whose headship was introduced the current MA programme, Core Courses for the BA and MA, and the History of Art and Material Studies (HAMS) course. He was succeeded in succession by Helen Weston, Thomas Gretton, Tamar Garb, Frederic J. Schwartz, Alison Wright, and by the present Head of Department, Robert Mills.
In its 50 years of separate existence the History of Art Department at University College London has become recognized as one of the most distinguished departments in its subject in the world. Its staff, which like its students come from many different countries, are preeminent in their respective fields of research, and many of our students have gone on to notable careers in the academic world and in museums. Its teaching methods, with a carefully structured balance between theory and working with the object, have over the years become a source of pride to the staff and a model for other departments.
Gottfried Kinkel - History
After this picnic Mr. Westphal named his garden "Johannisthal" [St. John's Valley], but the people in general always called the popular picnic ground "Westphal's Garden".
In the year 1852 the Association arranged another picnic on St. John's day, and notwithstanding the bad spell of weather the attendance was as large as the first time - a proof that the previous picnic was still in everybody's mind and that it had taken prodigiously.
Kinkel's and Kossuth's Visit in Buffalo
After the curtain had dropped for the last time at the closing of the last act in "Freedom's Tragedy" of the revolutions of 1848 and "order" was re-established in Germany, the leaders of the revolutionary movement elected London for their city of refuge. These men were not by any means discouraged and believed that the discontent was not removed, but that it was only suppressed and that the revolution in their native country would break out after a short intermission. For this reason a revolutionary committee was appointed whose duty it was to work for the acceleration of the "out-break" by strong agitation. In order to signify the "famous German unity", two committees were appointed instead of one, of which one intended to agitate more quickly and more radically in their work. The first and most important duty of these committees was to collect enough money to pay the expenses of the agitation. After this a National Loan should be made for the German Republic that was to be created, and the first sum of $20,000 should be payable in rates of $5.
Caption under picture at center reads Group of Liedertafel Members of 1860
Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.
They expected to raise this sum of the Germans in the United States. Amand Goepp of the radical committee, and Gottfried Kinkel of the moderate one, were intrusted with the mission to visit America and to raise the National Loan among their German-American fellow countrymen.
Gottfried Kinkel had taken an active part in the Palatine-Baden Revolution after the adjourning of the Frankfurter Parliament. He was wounded, taken to prison and condemned to lifelong imprisonment in a fortress. Through the aid of the student, Carl Schurz, he succeeded in escaping out of the fortress in November, 1850, and fled to England. Amand Goepp was highly praised as a organizer of people, a brilliant orator, and a member of the provisional Government in Baden.
Kinkel landed in New York on the 14th of September 1851 and arrived here on the 15th of November on board of a boat from Cleveland after a trip in the West. The German Young Men's Association had made preparations for his reception. He was welcomed by a deputation of the society and escorted to the Mansion House. To honor him a procession with torches was arranged the evening of the same day, in which every German society took part. In the evening of the 19th of November Kinkel spoke at a mass-meeting in "Concert Hall", corner of Main and Swan Streets. As soon as he was introduced to the audience, he was welcomed by the assembly with deafening applause. Wherever in the utmost corner of the heart there was still a spark of German idealism, Kinkel's burning speech fanned it into bright flames.
With rapt attention the audience followed all his words, and the applause that was payed to his speech, and especially at the end, was extremely demonstrative. The motion for a subscription for the German National Loan was carried. For this purpose the following officers were appointed: Dr. K. Weiss, Dr. Fr. Dellenbaugh, Dr. Czesda, M. Juengerich, J. Reichert, Dr. C. de Haas, Dr. H. Baethig, E.G. Grey, Philipp Dorschheimer, Dr. Brunck, Dr. Hauenstein, F.A. Georger and Fr. Berger. This committee called upon all the German citizens of Buffalo and the surrounding towns for a contributation.
on the 19th of May 1852, as other large cities in this country had done before. J. Beyer was elected president of this society and Carl de Haas secretary. In this mission Kinkel and Goepp had very little success, as might have been expected for the enterprise was ill-managed in theory and practice.
Ludwig Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian revolution, was received by the authorities and citizens with the greatest enthusiasm, as he traveled through the United States. The Americans knew but little of the importance of the German revolution, but they were well-posted about the battles of Hungary's heros. These were highly admired by everybody. Kossuth's name was mentioned all over the country. As everyone knew, during the Hungarian revolution Kossuth had been made governor of the Austrian-Hungarian part of the empire. After the failure of the revolution he sought refuge in Turkey, with the aid of Russian soldiers and under the protection of the "Half moon". In Turkey he remained for some time and in spite of Austria's strong protest he was, with his followers, escorted safely to the United States on one of the American war-ships.
When Kosssuth visited America (he landed in the harbor of New York on the 5th of December 1851), to thank the government and the American people for their sympathy and aid, Hungary had already long been pacified. Nevertheless, he was here considered as the governor of Hungary, and was received and welcomed by our public administrators as the head of the Hungarian state.
In a mass-meeting, which took place on the 22nd of December, they decided to appoint a committee of 25 citizens, whose duty it
Caption under picture at center reads Group of Liedertafel Members of 1868
Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.
should be to work with similar committees of other cities, to be known as the Hungarian Executive Committee of the City of Buffalo. Money had to be raised to further the cause of Hungary and to take all necessary measures, which would support the wishes and intentions of Ludwig Kossuth.
On the afternoon of the 27th of May 1852, when Kossuth arrived in Buffalo, he was received by a reception committee and a cavalry company, as guard of honor, and escorted from the depot to Niagara Square. Here were posted the military companies, the fire department and many different organizations. About ten thousand men and women had assembled here, to welcome the famous statesman and hero, whose picture they already knew. The reception took place in the "Court House Park" (Lafayette Square).
After the close of the festivity Kossuth and his followers, escorted by military companies, went to the Mansion House, where they had taken quarters. About this reception the "Courier" says:
"It was the grandest demonstration that was ever witnessed here. We are assured that not less than 20,000 people were assembled in and about the park. Until late at night the streets were unusually alive with people."
The Germans were as enthusiastic over the head of the Hungarian revolution as the American citizens. Inspired by the German Young Men's Association, a mass-meeting was held on the evening of the 28th of May in the Concert Hall, to which Kossuth was escorted by a deputation of the society. When he made his appearance he was enthusiastically greeted by a large audience. After the introductory speech of Dr. Brunck, Kossuth made an extremely brilliant speech in the German language. Following him, Amand Goepp, who was still in Buffalo, spoke. The meeting came to such as abrupt end, that the resolutions, prepared for Kossuth's farewell greetings, were not read. Kossuth was escorted by a great number of his former officers, who in their
Caption under picture at center reads Active members and Officers in 1883 [Liedertafel]
Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.
In the year 1856 the German Young Men's Association moved into rooms in the "Hauenstein Block", which suited the active society better than the rooms in Miller's Building, No. 515 Main Street, where they had remained for about two years after their removal from the Kremlin Block. In the new quarters, on the northwest corner of Main and Mohawk Streets, there was on the second floor a large library room furnished, and below were rooms that served as reading-room, office and playing-room. In the large half of the building a stage had been built for the convenience of the amateurs, where performances were given every three weeks for all members and free of charge. By this enterprise the society gained many new members.
From this year until his departure Julius Vortriede was a member of the Association. He became later on proprietor of the "Toledo Express" at Toledo, O., and died on the 25th of January 1899. Heinrich Karl Julius Vortriede was born at Enger (Westphalia) on the 25th of December 1820, and is well remembered by the older German-American citizens of Buffalo. In the Spring of 1850 he came to America, driven away from his native country by the reaction in Germany, which was caused by the political movement in 1848 and 1849. After he had worked as teacher in Dayton, Louisville and Toledo, he settled in Buffalo toward the end of 1857, and here he edited the "Buffalo Telegraph" from 1858 to 1872. For some time he was employed as teacher of the German language in the Central High School, being the first German who taught German in that school. This was in the year 1870. Mr. Vortriede was one of the five commissioners who were appointed by governor John Thompson Hoffman in 1870 to amend the Charter of Buffalo which became law in 1872. In 1872 he accepted the position as editor of the "Toledo Express", which he retained for 20 years. He was then compelled to give up his regular journalistic work on account of his impaired health, although he still remained active up to the time of his death.
Escape from Spandau Prison
Migration to New Worlds: A Century of Immigration reminds me of a photo-mosaic. The resource sweeps across several cultures, tens of decades and thousands of miles to explore mass migration in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but this rich narrative is actually comprised of a multitude of stories of the individuals, families and communities that decided to up sticks and ship themselves off to a whole new life. A particular story about one man’s emigration caught my eye whilst delving into the sources from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania – and it’s a bit of a swashbuckler!
Carl Schurz was a German revolutionary, born to humble origins in Liblar, and grew up with equally humble dreams of becoming a professor of history. Taught by Gottfried Kinkel at the University of Bonn, Schurz was inspired by him to join the revolutionary movement of 1848-1849. Kinkel was imprisoned by the Kaiser in 1849, and later that year Schurz narrowly escaped capture by the Prussian army through the sewers of the Rastatt fortress and absconded to Switzerland.
Carl Schurz started life as a revolutionary in Germany, and went on to become a revered American statesman. Image © Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
At that time, intellectuals and revolutionaries from all over Europe were fleeing political persecution and seeking sanctuary in the United States, a route the twenty-one year old Schurz surely sought to take. He just had one last thing to do before leaving Europe… spring his favourite teacher from Spandau town prison.
Several sources from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania contain details of Schurz’s cunning plan, and an article from the American-German Review tells us how booze played a starring role in this exciting tale. In the article, Dr Erich Krüger relates the tale told to him by his grandfather, Friedrich Krüger, who was instrumental in assisting Schurz rescue his friend and mentor.
Krüger was an influential inn keeper and town councillor, but his liberal politics led him to sympathise with Kinkel’s position and help Schurz. He allowed his inn to become the headquarters of the rescue as Schurz tried and failed on several occasions to bribe the guards in Spandau penitentiary. Schurz needed a guard to lower Kinkel by rope from the prison’s attic window to the ground, where Schurz would be waiting with the get-away carriage. When a candidate was finally appropriately greased, Krüger emptied the prison of its principal guards with a bit of good old fashioned boozing:
This article from the American-German Review provides an account of Schurz's rescue mission. Image © Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
“On the night of the break, my grandfather invited the prison superintendent with his officers to his inn, treated them liberally to drinks and arranged it so that Schurz, who had bought Kinkel immediately to the inn, could toast the exploit with a draft of the heady punch made for the warders.”
So drunk were the prison guards that they didn’t notice that they were sharing their beer with their most famous prisoner. Schurz was then able to smuggle Kinkel on to a boat bound for Britain, where Kinkel settled (and incidentally, proceeded to fall out rather publicly with Karl Marx).
This incident made the Kaiser furious, and Schurz notorious. From Britain, Schurz migrated to the United States in 1851, where he achieved further fame as an orator, lawyer and reformer. He served as a Union Army General in the American Civil War, campaigned passionately against slavery and spoke up for an inclusive concept of Americanism. He also served in Lincoln’s ministry and was the first German-born American to be elected to the United States Senate. His prolific life and career was faithfully documented by the National Carl Schurz Association, and it is their collection of letters, papers and ephemera that is available in the Migration to New Worlds project.
Carl Schurz, right, pictured with friend and mentor, Gottfried Kinkel. Image © Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Available from November, the first part of Migration to New Worlds tracks the migration of people from Great Britain, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia.
Can’t wait until November? Quench your thirst for Schurz by searching for him within our American History, 1493-1945 resource, which contains material on Schurz’s career in the Union Army. Full access restricted to authenticated academic institutions who have purchased a licence.