Why did they move?

Political emigration: Theodor Hilgard

Theodor Erasmus Hilgard (1790-1873), was a respected and politically committed jurist. He was a justice of the court of appeals at Zweibrucken in the Palatinate from 1821 to 1835 and a member of the provincial assembly until 1826. Hilgard was one of those German liberals who were influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution and sympathised with the German movements aiming at political freedom and national unity. Another of these early liberal pioneers was August Follen, who emigrated in 1824.

Because Hilgard actively criticised the actions of the authorities he was regarded as ‘politically unreliable’. His name, and the names of several of his family members, were taken down in the ‘Black Book’ of the authorities at Frankfurt am Main. As a result, Hilgard emigrated, with his family, in 1835. He settled in Belleville, Illinois. For the rest of his life until he died in 1873, Hilgard had a significant political impact, on the German-American community in the United States and on his home country.


To learn more about August Follen, CLICK HERE


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