Today we continue our exclusive 1921 translation of the biography of one of the most successful of all Czech-American immigrants, František Korbel!

We learn more about his philanthropy, his love and support for the freedom of the Czech lands, and his early involvement as a member of the famous ‘Forty-Eight’ers’!

Enjoy more of this amazing and exclusive story!

Amerikán Národní Kalendář

Year: 1921, Volume: XXXXIV, Pages: 264-283

“Memoirs of Czech Settlers in America” 

He fought for the freedom of our nation in 1848 – and lived to see it in 1918

1921 Korbel image


Died in Prague, on the 1st of January, 1920, at the age of 89 years

“Also important were the preparations for the historical tour of Count Luetz who lectured about the Czech nation at some of the biggest American universities and also the large informational campaign about the situation of Czechs and Slovaks under Austro-Hungarian rule.  His work was published in the Anglo-American press at the outbreak of the war, which struggled successfully against the agitation of the supporters of Germany.  All of this was possible thanks to contributions of Mr. Korbel due to his establishing the Cesko-Americka Tiskova Kancelar (Czecho-American Press Office).

To learn the biography of this man who did such great work, to see his experiences, which started during his student years, is not only interesting for both Czechs in America as well as in the Old Country, but it is also an important contribution to the history of the American branch of the Czechoslovak nation.

The duty of preparing at least a short biography of the deceased patriot – benefactor František Korbel, was accomplished by our compatriot, Mr. Augustin Seifert, who published it in “Sbornik Naseho Zahranici” (Almanac of Our Foreign Countries), shortly after the death of Korbel. It included the following tribute:

On the 1st of January 1920, in Prague, passed away the well-known citizen and patriot, for whom each member of our nation had to be proud.  This includes its Czechoslovak branch in America, where the venerable old man, František Korbel, worked for 55 years.

At the age of 89 years he decided to spend the last years of his life (after his trip to America in 1908) in retirement with his memories from all the years of his life. Despite his old age, he was still interesting in the life of our nation and this remained until the last days of his life. He became younger in the late evening of his life, because on 28 October 1918 the ideals of his youth were fulfilled with his wish for the freedom of the nation and homeland.  On the face of this old man, a republican, appeared tears of happiness, when he shared with me the news about the proclamation of President Wilson asking for the independence of Czechoslovakia, and later the news about the revolution on the 28th of October.  He greatly appreciated that he could see this great moment, which he was aching for since his youth.

The barricades in Prague.

The barricades in Prague.

“It would be a great day for Jungmann, Palacky, Havlicek, and for all my comrades who fought at the barricades for our freedom in 1848!”  František Korbel was one of them!   Perhaps the last survivor of the “fourty-eight’ers”. As a student of Prague Technical College in 1848, he was active in all actions of the revolutionary students, full of slogans from the French revolution, and against the reactionaries represented by Metternich and Windischgrätz.”

Tomorrow we continue with this truly amazing story of one Czech immigrant who made a tremendous impact in America and the Czech lands as well!

Onward To Our Past®

A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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