The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Hecker, Friedrich Karl Franz

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HECKER, Friedrich Karl Franz, a German politician, born in Eichtersheim, Baden, Sept. 28, 1811. He early acquired distinction as a lawyer and politician, and was elected to the second chamber of Baden in 1842. In 1845 he travelled with Itzstein for the purpose of disseminating radical views. At Berlin they received an order to leave Prussia in 24 hours. In the diet of 1846-'7 Hecker even opposed the liberal ministry of Bekk, and voted against taxation; but not being sustained by his party, he resigned his seat in March, 1847. He shortly afterward availed himself of a fusion between the democrats and liberals to enter the assembly again. Having allied himself with the republican and socialist Struve, and taken an active part in a meeting at Offenburg (Sept. 12, 1847), where the radical programme was drawn up, he was about to be tried for treason, but was allowed to retain his place in the chamber, where he continued to be the leader of the extreme left. He was a member of the provisional Frankfort parliament in 1848, but as his party was here left in the minority, he became a leader with Struve of the insurrection of April in the south of Baden, the object of which was the republicanizing of Germany. The gathering at Donaueschingen, however, which they announced by proclamation from Constance, proved a total failure; Hecker and Struve were beaten at Kandern; Freiburg, which the insurrectionists had occupied, was retaken by the government troops; and a legion of German volunteers from France, led by Herwegh, was dispersed at Dossenbach. Hecker fled into Switzerland, where he established the Volksfreund. In September he emigrated to America, but was recalled by the provisional government of Baden in 1849. In July he arrived in Strasburg, but, finding that the revolutionary party had been completely defeated, returned to the United States, where he became a farmer in Belleville, Ill. He commanded a regiment during the civil war, was wounded at Chancellorsville, and retired to his farm soon after the battle of Chattanooga.