LOUIS KOSSUTH'S VISIT to Cleveland in 1852 was part of his fundraising tour of U.S. cities aimed at raising money to achieve Hungarian independence from Austria. Prominent Clevelanders invited Kossuth to stop here during his 16-state, 152-city tour. Though the Hungarian population of Cleveland was small, the Hungarian Society of Cleveland and the Ladies Hungarian Society were organized to prepare for his visit. Mayor WILLIAM CASE headed the welcoming committee, which boarded Kossuth's train in NEWBURGH for the short ride to Cleveland; his arrival 31 January at 11 P.M. was heralded by a round of cannon fire and an excited crowd. After a 1-day rest, Kossuth spoke to a large crowd on 2 Feb. in front of the American House Hotel on Superior Ave.; that afternoon, he addressed the thousands who had paid $4 for reserved seats and $3 for general admission at the Cleveland Melodeon. Kossuth spent 3 Feb. at private receptions and departed for Columbus on 4 Feb. with over $1,500, leaving behind a public sensitized to the Hungarian cause, and hucksters enriched by the sale of Kossuth cards, satin badges, and other souvenirs.

Prior to the 50th anniversary of his visit, a Kossuth Statue Committee commissioned Andras Toth to reproduce the Kossuth memorial he had designed for Nagyszalonta, Hungary, and asked each county in Hungary for earth from local landmarks for the base of the statue. The figure was erected at UNIV. CIRCLE on a foundation of native soil, and on 28 Sept. 1902 Lajos Perczel presented the statue to the city (see KOSSUTH MONUMENT).

Louis Kossuth Letters, WRHS.

Article Categories