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Hurmuzachi Brothers

HURMUZACHI BROTHERS, Alexandru (1823-1871), Constantin (1811-1869), Eudoxiu (1812-1878), and Gheorghe (1817-1882), members of a leading family of Romanian nobles in Austrian Bucovina, activists in the Romanian national movement in Bucovina and elsewhere. Their estate at Cernauca became a center and haven for Romanian revolutionists in exile, transit, and conspiracy during 1848-1849. The material and financial support provided by the Hurmuzachi family was indispensable for the Romanian exiles and their future activities. At the same time, the exiles had a powerful effect on the development of the Romanian national movement in Bucovina through their prolongued contact with Cernauca.

Constantin graduated in law from the University of Vienna, practiced law in St. Petersburg, Chisinau, and Moldova, where he remained until his death. He was active in legal affairs prior to 1859, a staunch unionist, and a deputy and cabinet minister thereafter.

Eudoxiu studied law in Vienna, where he graduated in 1835, then devoted a monumental effort over the next decade to the gathering of thousands of documents relating to Romanian history from Austrian archives. In 1848, he participated for a time in the citizens' guard formed in Vienna after the ouster of Metternich, before returning to Bucovina to promote the interests of the Romanian nation. He was active in the Romanian national movement, which produced a Petition to the Emperor in June 1848 and won the introduction of Romanian as a language of instruction at the theological institute. He was also one of the leaders in the successful effort to separate Bucovina from Galicia In 1849, he was part of a delegation to Kremsier which resulted in the recognition by the crown of Bucovina as an autonomous duchy in the empire. After the revolution, he continued to be a leading political figure in Bucovina, serving in the provincial and imperial chambers, as well as advising the Bach and Schmerling ministries. In 1864, he was president of the Bucovina diet, a post he held almost continuously to his death. He also continued his historical researches, which were published in five volumes of studies, and 11 volumes of documents. He was recognized as one of the most outstanding and influential representatives of Romanian culture and political life of the 19th century, being named member of the Romanian Academy (1872) and also a baron by the Habsburgs (1872).

Gheorghe was also educated in law in Vienna (1839) and in the 1840s was active in defending the autonomy of Bucovina and the rights of Romanian therein. In 1848, he was among the initiators of the program of the Bucovinian Romanians, the Petition sent to Emperor Ferdinand in June. He and his brother Alexandru were the editors of the periodical Bucovina, which was the organ of the Romanian movement in Bucovina, of pan-Romanianism in general, and which made available much of the published information about the revolutionary events of 1848-1849. After the revolution, he was among founders of the Romanian cultural organization, the Society for Romanian Culture and Literature in Bucovina, which he served as president until his death, and extremely active in church affairs and reform in Bucovina. He served as a member of the Bucovina diet and also as a representative of Bucovina to the chamber in Vienna. In 1881 he was named a baron by the Emperor.

Alexandru followed the footsteps of his brothers by studying law in Vienna (1845) and then became active in the national movement in 1848. He co-edited the journal, Bucovina, with his brother. He was a co-founder of the Society for Romanian Culture and Literature, a deputy in the Bucovina and Viennese parliaments, and a member of the Romanian Academy. He, too, was active in church reform.
Paul E. Michelson


I. G. Sbiera, "Hurmuzachi," Enciclopedia Romana, (1900), II, 736-739.

Nicolae Banescu, Corespondenta familiei Hurmuzaki cu Gheorghe Barit Valenii-de-Munte, 1911.

Teodor Balan Fratii George si Alexandru Hurmuzachi si ziarul Bucovina Cernauti, 1924.

Teodor Balan, Activitatea refugiatilor moldoveni in Bucovina Sibiu, 1944.

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