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Status: Emigration from Southwest-Germany > Famous Emigrants > Lorenz Brentano

Lorenz Brentano

Pursuing a Political Career
Lorenz Brentano (1813-1891)

In the 40s of the 19th century Lorenz Brentano was one of the most outstanding opposition leaders in Baden. Born in Mannheim in 1813 he studied law, and became a lawyer at the law court of the Mittelrheinkreis. Since 1845 he had been a representative in the Second Chamber of the Baden Parliament. During the revolution in Baden in 1849, after the Grand Duke had fled, he became leader of the Government. Because of that position he was taken to court for high treason after the people's uprising was put down. In 1850 he was sentenced for life in his absence. He had already fled to America in June 1849 and had become a farmer in Michigan. Thereafter he published the German-language newspaper "Illinois Staatszeitung" in Chicago and was elected President of the Chicago city council. He supported the Republican Party, notably Abraham Lincoln, whose personal ambassador for Scandinavia he became in 1862. At the same year he also became an elected member of the Illinois Congress for four years, and from 1876 to 1879 he was a member of the Washington Congress. From 1872 to 1876 he represented the USA as consul in Dresden. At that time he could visit Baden, his former home, for the first time after his flight to America. He died as a highly esteemed person in Chicago, September 17, 1891.