The Anthony P. Campanella Collection of Giuseppe Garibaldi

THE KVATERNIK LETTER, APRIL 1864

Introduction | Images | Trascription | Garibaldi Collection

Introduction

One of the most important documents in the Campanella Collection is a three-page manuscript letter from Eugen Kvaternik (1825-1871) to Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Eugen Kvaternik was born in Zagreb and educated in Budapest. In his early twenties, he was inspired by the revolutions of 1848, led in Hungary by Kossuth, and in Rome by Mazzini and Garibaldi. As a leader among those who rejected any continuing role for Croatians within the Austro-Hungarian empire, he was banned in 1857from practicing law in Croatia and moved briefly to Russia. Disillusioned by the conservative Russian pan-Slav policy, he returned briefly to Zagreb, before going into exile again, in Paris and Turin. Increasingly he looked for his model to Italian nationalism and its fight against Austria (in which many Croatians died). His book, La Croatie et la Confederation Italienne(Paris, 1859) demanded the unification of Croatian land as an independent Croatia, a demand subsequently taken up by the nationalist Party of State Right. In 1871, Kvaternik led the short-lived Rakovica rising, in support of Croatian independence from the Austro-Hungarian empire, and was killed by Austrian troops during the suppression of the revolt.

In this letter, written in French and dated April 6, 1864, Kavaternik, signing himself as a former deputy in the Reichsrat for Croatia, wrote to Garibaldi (then in Turin). The manuscript was preserved among a cache of Garibaldi's incoming correspondence by his assistant Giuseppe Guerzoni (1835-1886) and acquired by Dr. Campanella from a book dealer in the 1950's. Dr. Campanella described the context of the letter and published a transcription in an article in Italian in Il Risorgimento, 13:3 (Milan, October 1961): 119-127. In response to a number of inquiries, the letter has been digitized in two forms: as images of the letter itself, and as transcribed by Dr. Campanella.

P.G.S.

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