In March of 1848, the Hungarian people, inspired in part by the American Revolution, revolted against the rulers of the Austrian Empire in a bid to gain their independence. The Hungarian Diet accepted many of the revolutionaries’ requests including:

  • freedom of the press
  • the liberation of the serfs
  • equality before the law
  • an independent Hungarian Government

Unfortunately, these gains were short lived. The Imperial Austrian Government attacked the revolutionaries and crushed the rebellion in a bloodbath that lasted into 1849. Several of the rebel leaders sought refuge in the United States, where their revolution was widely covered in the American press and supported by the American population. Abraham Lincoln even drew up a resolution which in part read:

Resolved, that in their present glorious struggle for liberty the Hungarians command our highest admiration and have our warmest sympathy-that they have struggle for liberty the Hungarians command our highest admiration and have our warmest sympathy-that they have our most ardent prayers for their speedy triumph and final success.”

Former Finance Minster, Lajos (Louis) Kossuth was one of the leaders of the rebellion who sought refuge in the United States. He raised money for the continuing struggle against the Austrian Empire by issuing Hungarian Fund banknotes, which were engraved and printed by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear and Company. The notes include some ornate designs such as:

1 ( Egy ) Forint – Hungaria standing over a defeated crowned figure ( presumably the Emperor of the Austrian Empire ) with cannons draped in the national flags; several women grace either side of the central vignette

1 (Egy) Forint
Available at robertsworldmoney.com

2 ( Ket ) Forint = A seated ‘Liberty’ with a Hungarian shield in the center, with a Ms. Justice holding the scales and a standing Athenian warrior

smallhungary2forintpS142r1-1852vg
Available at robertsworldmoney.com

5 ( Ot ) Forint = An arm and hammer, woman with a sickle and another with bales; a beehive, representing the industrious nature of the people is depicted in the bottom center of the note

smallhungary5forintpS143r1-1852vg
Available at robertsworldmoney.com

All these banknotes bear the printed signature of Lajos Kossuth.

smallhungaryset3 notes1-2-5Forint-1852
Set available at robertsworldmoney.com
Advertisements