"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Lajos Kossuth

This 1964 bas-relief of LajosLouisKossuth by Sandor Bodo is part of a plaque at the Kossuth House on Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

                           1802                                        1894                        All for the people, all by the people,
nothing about the people without the people,
that is democracy.
Spoken to the Ohio State Legislature on February 6, 1852

This house is dedicated
to the Fraternal and Cultural Endeavors of Freedom-
Loving Americans of Hungarian Ancestry and to the

Living Memory of

Lagos 〈Louis〉 Kossuth

Champion of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality
Governor of Hungary
during the fight for the Hungarian Independence, 1848-49
Kossuth House

This 1849 engraving of “Ludvig Kossuth, The Hungarian Leader” by N. Currier belongs to the Library of Congress.

 Ludvig Kossuth

Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva (Hungarian: [ˈlɒjoʃ ˈkoʃut], Slovak: Ľudovít Košút, archaically English: Louis Kossuth; 19 September 1802 – 20 March 1894) was a Hungarian nobleman, lawyer, journalist, politician, statesman and Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49. -- Wikipedia

Ludvig Kossuth
the Hungarian Leader

N. Currier includes this proclamation by Kossuth reacting to Jellachich's invasion of Hungary.  

Kossuth’s Proclamation, 

“It is an eternal law of God that whosoever abandoneth himself will be forsaken by the Lord. It is an eternal law that whosoever assisteth himself, him will the lord assist. It is a divine law that false swearing, by its results, chastiseth itself. It is a law of our Lord’s that whosoever availeth himself of perjury and injustice, prepareth himself the triumph of justice. Standing firm on these eternal laws of the universe, I swear that my prophecy will be fulfilled – it is, that the freedom of Hungary will be effected by this invasion of Hungary by Jellachich.”

The same quotation appeared in Scientific American in 1849.

This 1851 engraving, of “Louis Kossuth”, drawn on stone by P. Kramer, is also in the Library of Congress. 1851 is the year of Kossuth's triumphant tour of the U.S.

Perley Poore gives us this image of Kossuth in his 1886 Reminiscences.

Perley further gives us this description of the “Behemoth of the Magyar race”
In due time the great Behemoth of the Magyar race arrived at Washington, where he created a marked sensation. The distinguished revolutionist wore a military uniform, and the steel scabbard of his sword trailed on the ground as he walked. He was about five feet eight inches in height, with a slight and apparently not strongly built frame, and was a little round-shouldered. His face was rather oval; a pair of bluish-gray eyes gave an animated and intelligent look to his countenance. His fore-head, high and broad, was deeply wrinkled, and time had just begun to grizzle a head of dark, straight hair, a heavy moustache, and whiskers which formed a beard beneath his chin. Whether from his recent captivity or from constitutional causes, there was an air of lassitude in his look to which the fatigues of his voyage not improbably contributed. Altogether, he gave one the idea of a visionary or theoretical enthusiast rather than of a great leader or a soldier.
Perley seems to agree with General Scott that Kossuth was “A Great Humbug,”  and says the major effect of Kossuth's visit to America was to encourage the formation of the Know-Nothing Party. (See Perley's Reminisences, Pages 403-406.)

N. Currier  published this lithograph of Kossuth's reception in NY in 1851 (LOC).

Grand Reception of Kossuth
The Champion of Hungarian Independence
at the City Hall New York
December 6th 1851.
(Grosser Empfang Kossuth's: “der Kaempfer fur Ungarn's Unabhaengigkeit” bey dem Stadt Haus, New York, December 6ten 1851.)

In this 1852 print “Liberty our Aim! Washington our Example!” by Edwin H. Brigham (LOC), Kossuth and Mazzini are compared to George Washington.

 Liberty our Aim! Washington our Example!

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