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Collection Overview

Creator:
Lassalle, Ferdinand, 1825-1864.
Title:
Ferdinand Lassalle Letters
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/vq27zn414
Dates:
1862-1864
Size:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1
Language:
German

Abstract

Consists of letters of Ferdinand Lassalle, the German "scientific" socialist who founded the Democratic Socialist Party and in 1862 proposed a theory (Lassalleanism) in opposition to Marxism.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains forty-eight autograph letters (in German), with typed transcripts, by Lassalle to an unidentified recipient on the history of the German Labor Unions, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein. Also included are two letters from the Countess Hatzfeldt to an unidentified recipient explaining Lassalle's wishes to have Bernhard Becker succeed him as president of the Workers' Association rather than S. Loewe. In addition, there is a handwritten poem by Lassalle.

Arrangement

Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Lassalle, Ferdinand, 1825-1864.

One of the chief 19th-century theorists of socialism and a founder of the German labor movement was Ferdinand Lassalle. He was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw), Poland. He attended universities at Breslau, Berlin, and Paris. It was in Berlin, towards the end of 1845, that he met the lady with whom his life was to be associated for the next ten years, the Countess Hatzfeldt. She had been separated from her husband, and was at feud with him on questions of property and the custody of their children. Lassalle attached himself to her cause, made special study of the law, and, after bringing the case before thirty-six tribunals, reduced the count to a compromise on terms favorable to his client. From 1848 to 1857 Lassalle lived in Düsseldorf, where he took part in the abortive revolutions of 1848-49 to establish a constitutional monarchy that would foster civil rights. It was there that he came in contact with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In Düsseldorf he was active as both a writer and a labor organizer and was repeatedly arrested, indicted, and imprisoned for his ideas. In 1859 he settled in Berlin where, as a political journalist, he tried to persuade workers' associations to organize into a general federation to promote voting rights at all levels of society. In 1862 Lasalle proposed a theory (Lassalleanism) in opposition to Marxism. He believed that the proletariat represented community, solidarity of interest, and reciprocity of interest. He argued, therefore, that the cause of the workers is the cause of humanity; when the proletariat gains political supremacy, a higher degree of morality, culture, and science results, furthering civilization. When the General German Workers' Association was founded in 1863, he became its president. Rejected because of his authoritarian leadership and disappointed by his political failures, Lassalle traveled to Switzerland in 1864. There he fell in love with a woman who had been engaged to another man. On August 28 he was wounded in a duel with her former fiancé, and three days later he died in Geneva.

Collection History

Acquisition:

AM10602

Appraisal

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on May 9, 2006. Finding aid written by Dina Britain on May 12, 2006. Folder inventory added by James Clark '14 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Ferdinand Lassalle Letters; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/vq27zn414
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1