The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Müller, Johannes von
MÜLLER, Johannes von, a Swiss historian, born in Schaffhausen, Jan. 3, 1752, died in Cassel, May 29, 1809. He completed his studies at Göttingen, where Schlözer diverted his attention from theology to history. He was professor of Greek in Schaffhausen from 1772 to 1774, when he removed to Geneva, where for a time he supported himself by teaching. In 1781 he accepted a professorship in Cassel, but returned to Switzerland in 1783 to prosecute historical labors, lecturing occasionally, but generally depending upon friends and incurring large debts. From 1786 to 1807 he was in the service, in various capacities, of the elector of Mentz, the emperor, and the king of Prussia, and received several titles and patents of nobility. After the occupation of Berlin by the French, he incurred the displeasure of his German friends by his subserviency to Napoleon, and by holding office under his brother, King Jerome of Westphalia. This sentiment, however, subsequently gave way to a general acknowledgment both of his extraordinary merits as a writer and the noble traits of his character. His most celebrated work is Die Geschichte der schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft (4 vols., 1780-1805), extending to 1489, and continued to the end of the 16th century by Glutz-Boltzheim (vol. v., 1816) and J. J. Hottinger (vols. vi. and vii., 1825-'9). A French translation by Monnard and Vulliemin extends to the 19th century (19 vols., Paris, 1837-'51). Among his other writings are minor political essays; Essais historiques, published in French under the auspices of Frederick the Great (Berlin, 1780); Reisen der Päpste (new ed., Aix-la-Chapelle, 1831; French translation, 1859), written against the anti-papal reforms of Joseph II., although he was a Protestant; and Vierundzwanzig Bücher allgemeiner Geschichten, lectures delivered in Switzerland (3 vols., Tübingen, 1811; often republished). His complete works have been published in 27 vols. (Stuttgart, 1810-'19), and 40 vols. (1831-'5). Among his biographers are Heeren (1809), Wachler (1809), and Woltmann (1810).