1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Follen, Karl

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FOLLEN, KARL (1795–1840), German poet and patriot, brother of A. L. Follen, was born at Romrod in Hesse-Darmstadt, on the 5th of September 1795. He first studied theology at Giessen, but after the campaign of 1814, in which, like his brother August, he took part as a Hessian volunteer, began the study of jurisprudence, and in 1818 established himself as Privatdocent of civil law at Giessen. Owing to being suspected of political intrigues, he removed to Jena, and thence, after the assassination of Kotzebue, fled to France. Here again the political murder of the duc de Berry, on the 14th of January 1820, led to Follen being regarded as a suspect, and he accordingly took refuge in Switzerland, where he taught for a while at the cantonal school at Coire and at the university of Basel; but the Prussian authorities imperatively demanding his surrender, he sought in 1824 the hospitality of the United States of America. Here he became an instructor in German at Harvard in 1825, and in 1830 obtained an appointment as professor of German language and literature there; but his anti-slavery agitation having given umbrage to the authorities, he forfeited his post in 1835, and was ordained Unitarian minister of a chapel at Lexington in Massachusetts in 1836. He perished at sea on board a steamboat which was totally consumed by fire while on a voyage from New York to Boston, on the night of the 13th–14th of January 1840. Follen was the author of several celebrated patriotic songs written in the interests of liberty. The best is perhaps Horch auf, ihr Fürsten! Du Volk, horch auf! of which Johannes Wit, called von Dörring (1800–1863), was long, though erroneously, considered the author. It was published in A. L. Follen’s collection of patriotic songs, Freie Stimmen frischer Jugend.

His wife Elisa Lee (1787–1860), an American authoress of some reputation, published after his death his lectures and sermons, with a biography written by herself (5 vols., Boston, 1846).