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Lot 56: Important LAJOS KOSSUTH Manuscript Farewell Letter Signed to President Fillmore
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Hungarian Lajos Kossuth's Emotional Farewell to America!
LAJOS KOSSUTH (1802-1894). Historic Leader of the the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. Horace Greeley said of Kossuth: "Among the orators, patriots, statesmen, exiles, he has, living or dead, no superior."
January 12, 1852-Dated, Rare Content Manuscript Letter Signed, "L. Kossuth," at Washington City (D.C.), 4 pages, measuring 8" x 10.5", Choice Very Fine. The historic and famous Hungarian Patriot, who was in exile after his 1848 revolution against Austria which was crushed, here writes to United States President Millard Fillmore that, in part:
"President - The most generous invitation contained an act of the Congress of the U.S. approved and officially transmitted to me by Your Excellency having afforded me the Distinguished honor of being acceptably presented by the illustrious Secretary of State to the Chief Magistrate of the Republic: --- Having been upon subsequent resolutions of Congress received with almost unprecedented honors by the Senate and by the House of Representatives: --- ... the time has come when the exigencies of my country's affairs, require me to Depart from Washington (and return to Europe).
Kossuth came to America amidst enormous American sympathy for his cause. He was greeted in New York with fanfare not since since Lafayette's triumphal return to America. Kossuth's presence and the overt support of Secretary of State Daniel Webster led to a sharp rift in Austro-American relations. Kossuth, an eloquent speaker, caused a sensation replete with souvenir Kossuth beards, Kossuth hats, Kossuth overcoats, Kossuth cigars and more. When it became evident that Kossuth desired American intervention in Hungary, which ran contrary to American foreign policy doctrine, his popularity evaporated as quickly as it materialized.
Expected folds and light soiling. Text is still quite crisp and dark, highly readable! Outstanding bold brown signatures measures 2" long at the conclusion. An most important historical document.
Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva, archaically English: Louis Kossuth; 19 September 1802 - 20 March 1894) was a Hungarian lawyer, journalist, politician and Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848-49.
With the help of his talent in oratory in political debates and public speeches, Kossuth emerged from a poor gentry family into regent-president of Kingdom of Hungary. As the most influential contemporary American journalist Horace Greeley said of Kossuth: "Among the orators, patriots, statesmen, exiles, he has, living or dead, no superior."
Kossuth's powerful English and American speeches so impressed and touched the most famous contemporary American orator Daniel Webster, that he wrote a book about Kossuth's life.
He was widely honored during his lifetime, including in Great Britain and the United States, as a freedom fighter and bellwether of democracy in Europe. Kossuth's bronze bust can be found in the United States Capitol with the inscription: "Father of Hungarian Democracy, Hungarian Statesman, Freedom Fighter, 1848-1849".