Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
(800) 937-3880

Lot #206
Lajos Kossuth

“MY PRIDE IS TO BE A HUNGARIAN”: Lengthy Kossuth letter on Protestantism, Christianity, and his native land

This lot has closed

Estimate: $0+
Sell a Similar Item?


“MY PRIDE IS TO BE A HUNGARIAN”: Lengthy Kossuth letter on Protestantism, Christianity, and his native land

Hungarian statesman (1802–1894) who played a leading role in bringing parliamentary government to that country. After abdicating his briefly held post as Regent-President in the turmoil that followed the ascension of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1848, the fugitive leader made a successful tour of Britain and the United States. Lengthy ALS signed “Kossuth,” six pages on tissue-thin paper, 8 x 10.5, May 31, 1855. Kossuth writes from London to the editor of the Independent in New York, providing a detailed examination of his religious beliefs, possibly for publication. In part: “Is it not of the depravation of Christianity I spoke? And have I not drawn a parallel—by no means flattering our own self esteem…. between Christians and Mahometan Turks with regard to the attachment to their respective religions?… I am a Protestant by birth, education, and conviction. I belong to that which professes in principle the Augsburgian evangelican confession…. Our heroes have fought, have vanquished and conquered and laid down their victorious arms, when they said the vanquished persecutor plead repentence [sic], and swear to respect the freedom of conscience. They trusted a Christian’s oath from the lips of a king…. Oh country of my birth how I love thee! My nation how proud am I of thee! The more I have seen the world, the more I love and esteem thee, people of my native land. Antiquaries have taken the pains to trace from roman records my genealogy to the first wife of Julius Caesar, Cosset by name. Whether true or not, what care I for such nonsense. My pride is to be a Hungarian…. There with you in America Sir! (as far as I can judge from the public papers) the Roman Catholic clergy could succeed in converting the people of their religion in tools for political, civil, and administrative intrigues…. You may imagine how I must love this my people; you may guess the pang I must feel at knowing this my people, downtrodden, oppressed; you may guess what to a Hungarian it must be, to be an exile; and you will not grudge to the exile the consolation of exulting in the merits … not of himself, but of his people.” In very good condition, with ink erosion holes at some cross outs, light soiling, wrinkling, and handling wear. The writing is otherwise dark and clear throughout. R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008