The New International Encyclopædia/Hecker, Friedrich Karl Franz

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HECK'ER, Friedrich Karl Franz (1811-81). A German revolutionist and American soldier. He was born at Eichtersheim, in Baden, September 28, 1811, and after studying law in Heidelberg became, in 1838, advocate of the Supreme Court in Mannheim. Elected, in 1842, a member of the second Chamber in Baden, he abandoned his profession for political life, and soon grew popular among the more advanced elements of the opposition. He sat and voted with the Extreme Left, and his influence helped to oust the Blittersdorf Ministry from office. In 1845, in conjunction with Itzstein, he conducted a democratic campaign in Germany, during which he was arrested at Berlin and expelled from Prussia. In 1848 he employed his eloquence in revolutionary agitation, and he and Struve became leaders of the advanced Revolutionary party. When the preliminary convention of the German nation (Das Vorparlament) met at Frankfort, Hecker endeavored, with the influence of his whole party, to constitute it into a permanent republican assembly. The frustration of this effort led him to attempt to surprise the smaller governments of Southern Germany with the bands of artisans which had come from France. Defeated at Kandern, in Baden, April 20, 1848, he fled into the Canton of Basel, where he conducted a radical newspaper, and wrote his work, Die Volkserhebung in Baden. On being refused admission to the National Assembly at Frankfort, though twice elected to represent Thiengen, he emigrated to America, where he bought a farm at Belleville, Ill. The Baden Revolution (1849) brought him back to Europe; but finding the revolution over on his arrival, he returned to America. He was a colonel and brigadier-general in the Union Army during the Civil War. During his later years Hecker watched with interest the founding of the new German Empire, and was a stanch supporter of German interests in America. He died at Saint Louis, March 24, 1881. His Reden und Vorlesungen were published in Germany in 1872, and were followed two years later by Betrachtungen über den Kirchenstreit in Deutschland und die Infallibilität.