Louis Kossuth (1802-1894) spent his life in politics, working for Hungarian independence. He participated in nationalist, liberal reform movements. Hungarian aristocrats formed a national diet in 1825; and Kossuth served as secretary to one of the ministers. After the diet was dissolved, Kossuth published his own accounts of their sessions and eventually was arrested.
The note has the fabric of other American "wildcat" banknotes of the era. It is tissue-thin, yet tough, printed on one side only. The firm Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co., is known for its banknotes and its US Government postage stamps. These notes were issued as 1- 2- and 5-Forint. The fives are common. My 1-forint is the only example that I have seen. I have never seen a 2. You can find them all on eBay, including uncut sheets. (I bought mine on a bourse floor from an ANA-member dealer.) They never circulated. They easily fit within the "cinderellas" of failed states. They are not rare, only that some kinds are more commonly available. As I understand the story, these were sold in America for dollars to raise money for the next revolution which never happened.
After the failure of the 1848 revolutions, Louis Kossuth escaped via the Ottoman Empire to
. He then
went to the France UK before coming
in December 1851. Here he was treated
like USA ,
given parades, having towns named for him.
He met Abraham Lincoln in Lafayette . However, he fell into diplomatic
embarrassments and returned to the Springfield ahead of more serious
problems. Speaking to a German-American
club in favor of the election of Franklin Pierce in the 1852 election was a
blunder. (See the XYZ Affair.) Conspiring
with American military officers to overthrow the government in UK was far
beyond any limits. Haiti
It was also typical of Kossuth. In 1851, he was aboard an American ship, the USS Mississippi from
Turkey, in , when he
insisted on speaking to a public gathering.
French president (not yet emperor) Louis Bonaparte forbade it. Kossuth
spoke anyway, and in so doing violated the neutrality of his American
hosts. He was put off the France Mississippi at Gibraltar.
Louis Kossuth was an aristocrat and a Hungarian. He had no sympathies with those outside his class and few with the other ethnic groups within the Hungarian domain. Other revolutionaries found him impossible to work with. On the plus side, during his imprisonment 1837-1840 he taught himself English by reading Shakespeare. When he visited the
even his political enemies were impressed with his speeches. UK
He is considered a national hero. Only King Stephen ranks higher. Kossuth has been honored on several series of coins and notes since
complete independence from
following World War One. Austria