Insurrection de Francfort

A recent addition to the large collection of imagerie plates in the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, is a colored wood-engraved broadside (40 x 60 cm) published by the well-known imagerie company of Pellerin located in the French city of Epinal in 1833. This striking representation of the ‘Frankfurter Wachensturm’ depicts 50 militants, mostly students, who attempted to incite a revolution in Germany. The event took place on the night of April 3, 1833 with an attack on soldiers and policemen in the Hauptwache and Konstablerwache, two famous squares situated in Frankfurt.

The French text below the image ends with the statement: ‘‘Telle est la première tentative d’une révolution imminente dans un pays où les peuples supportent en silence, mais non sans impatience, le joug de fer de la Conféderation germanique.’

The revolutionaries waving a tricolour flag bearing the words ‘Liberté de l’Allemagne’, were easily overcome by troops, their plot having been betrayed in advance to the authorities. Several of those involved subsequently fled to North America. One of these, Gustav Koerner, who escaped to France disguised in female dress and then to New York, rose to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Illinois.

This was one of the most important revolts in the years proceeding the revolution of March 1848.

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