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Hugo Kołłątaj

Hugo Kołłątaj

Do Stanisława Małachowskiego, referendarza koronnego. O przyszłym sejmie Anonima listów kilka. List ósmy

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Hugo Kołłątaj

Hugo Stumberg Kołłątaj of Kotwica coat of arms (1750-1812) – Polish politician, enlightenment publicist, political writer, Roman Catholic presbyter, canon, satirical writer, poet , geographer, historian. In the years 1783-1786 the rector of the Main Crown School, Referendary of Lithuania from 1786, Deputy Crown Chancellor from 1791, councillor at the treasury department of the Supreme National Council in 1794. One of the authors of the 3rd May Constitution. During the Great Sejm he was one of the most active members of the patriotic party, but during the Polish-Russian war, at the meeting of the Legal Guard on the 23rd of July 1792 he was one of those who persuaded King Stanisław August Poniatowski to jon the Targowica Confederation as soon as possible. He was involved in the preparation for and participated in the Kościuszko Insurrection, as a member of the Supreme National Council. On the 6th of December 1794 he was arrested at the emperor’s order. When in prison at Olomouc he wrote letters to his mother who then lived in the estate in Krzeszowice near Krakow that he leased in the late 18th century. One of his poems, Daremne projekta, included in his letters has sruvived: ”Krzesławice! My beloved little village, / when will I see you again, free from bondage? / As soon as I am free, I shall return to you. / I shall build a more comfortable house here / Before, I shall improve the old one as soon as possible / I shall make a modest home for myself / I will not damage a single thing, everything will be kept in place / What time has not spoiled and human effort saved. / Centuries-old lime trees will stay where they are. / Beech trees, poplars and alders will be safe / I shall plant a white beech thicket on the island… / Oh, my village! When will I see you again? / When will I tend my garden again! / Alas, my hopes are vain…”. Austrian authorities agreed to release him in December 1802, provided, however, that he would leave the territory of the Empire. Kołłątaj moved to Volhynia, where he co-founded the Lyceum in Krzemieniec. In the years 1807-1808, suspected of contacts with Napoleon, he was deported to Moscow where he was detained by the Russians. He spent the last years of his life in the Duchy of Warsaw.

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