The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Follen, Charles

Edition of 1879. See also Charles Follen and Eliza Lee Cabot Follen on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

FOLLEN. I. Charles, an American clergyman, brother of the preceding, born at Romrod in Hesse-Darmstadt, Sept. 4, 1795, perished in the conflagration of the steamboat Lexington in Long Island sound, on the night of Jan. 13, 1840. He was educated at Giessen, where he was distinguished for his liberal sentiments, and attached himself to the Burschenschaft, which fell under suspicion as aiming at political revolution. He wrote a defence of the Burschenschaft, and many patriotic songs, which, with others by his brother August, were published at Jena in 1819. In 1818 he received his degree as doctor of civil and ecclesiastical law from the university at Giessen, where he remained for some time as a lecturer on jurisprudence. He then went to Jena to lecture at the university, and was accused of complicity in the assassination of Kotzebue. He was twice arrested, but after a rigid examination was honorably acquitted. About the same time he was arrested on a charge of being the author of the “Great Song,” which was considered seditious, but no evidence was found against him, though in fact he was one of its composers. He was, however, forbidden to continue his lectures at Jena. He returned to Giessen, but learning that he was again to be put under arrest, he fled to Paris, and thence went to Switzerland, and was appointed professor of Latin and history in the cantonal school of the Grisons at Coire. His lectures having given offence by their Unitarian tendency to some of the Calvinistic ministers of the district, he asked a dismissal and obtained it, with a testimonial to his ability, learning, and worth. The university of Basel then appointed him lecturer upon law and metaphysics. While he was at Coire and Basel a demand was made by the German governments for his surrender as a revolutionist. It was twice refused, but on its renewal a third time in a threatening form, Basel yielded, and a resolution was passed for his arrest. He escaped from the city, and at the close of 1824 sailed for New York. He soon learned the English language, and in December, 1825, he received the appointment of teacher of German at Harvard college. In 1828 he was appointed teacher of ecclesiastical history and ethics in the divinity school, having in the meantime been admitted as a candidate for the ministry. In 1830 he was appointed professor of German literature at Harvard, which post he held for five years. In 1836-'7 he was pastor of the first Unitarian society in New York, and in 1839 he took charge of a church in East Lexington, Mass. In 1836 he published “Psychology” and an “Essay on Religion and the Church.” He was a contributor to reviews, and occasionally gave courses of lectures. His sermons and lectures, and an unfinished sketch of a work on psychology, with a memoir of his life by Mrs. Follen, have been published (5 vols., Boston, 1841). II. Eliza Lee, an American authoress, wife of the preceding, and daughter of Samuel Cabot, born in Boston, Aug. 15, 1787, died at Brookline, Mass., Jan. 26, 1860. She married Dr. Follen in 1828. Her principal publications are: “Selections from Fénelon” and the “Well Spent Hour” (1828); “The Skeptic” (1835); “Married Life,” “Little Songs,” and “Poems” (1839); “Twilight Stories” (1859); and a second series of “Little Songs” (1859).