Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Follen, Charles

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FOLLEN, Charles (1796-1840) brother of the preceding, was born at Romrod, in Hesse-Darmstadt, September 4, 1796. He studied theology and law at Geissen, where he acted for some time as privatdocent. His liberal sentiments and writings, and the part he took in the defence of popular rights, made him obnoxious to the Government of his own province. He accordingly went to Jena to lecture there, but the assassination of Kotzebue by Sand happened almost immediately after his arrival, and the Government believed or affected to believe that Follen was an accomplice. The inquiries that were made conclusively proved his innocence, but notwithstanding this he found it necessary to remove to Switzerland, where he taught in the cantonal school of the Grisons at Chur, and at the university of Basel. Whilst thus engaged the Prussian Government demanded his surrender as apolitical prisoner. Twice the Government of Basel refused, but the third request was so peremptory that they were unwillingly preparing to comply, when Follen saved himself by a hurried flight In the beginning of 1825 he arrived in the United States, and was employed for the next ten years in teaching ecclesiastical history, ethics, and the German language and literature at Harvard College. He then acted as Unitarian clergyman at New York and East Lexington. He perished, along with 175 fellow-travellers, at the burning of the steamship “Lexington,” in Long Island Sound, January 13, 1840. Follen was the author of several very celebrated and popular songs written in the interests of liberty. The best is perhaps the Bundeslied, beginning “Brause du Freiheitssang.” It is certainly one of the most spirited odes in modern German lyric poetry. Whilst in America Follen wrote a German grammar and reader. His wife Eliza 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, 1841).