Czartoryski, Prince Adam George
CZARTORYSKI, PRINCE ADAM GEORGE (1770-1861), a principal actor in the Polish revolution of 1830, was born at Warsaw, January 14, 1770. He was the eldest sou of Prince Adam Casimir Czartoryski ; and,•after receiving a careful education in his father's house, he completed his studies in France and Great Britain, spending some time at Edinburgh University and in London. On his return to Poland he entered the public service, and in the war occasioned by the second partition of Poland he fought bravely against the Russians. In 1795 he was sent, with his brother Constantine, as a hostage to St Petersburg. Here he became the intimate friend of the grand duke (afterwards emperor) Alexander ; and in 1797 he was appointed ambassador to the court of Sardinia. This office he held about five years ; and in 1802 Alexander I. named him assistant at the ministry of foreign affairs. In this capacity he was present at the battle of Austerlitz, subscribed a treaty with Great Britain, and accompanied the czar in the campaign of 1807 and at the conferences of Tilsit. He then retired from public life ; but in 1812 was again by the side of the emperor, and accompanied him to Paris in 1814. Prince Adam George had been named curator of the new university of Wilna in 1803, a post which he held for nearly twenty years ; and during this period, while outwardly loyal to the Russian Government, his influence powerfully contributed to keep alive and intensify the patriotic spirit of his countrymen. In 1815 he was named senator palatine of the kingdom. He attended the first diet, and spoke bravely and hopefully in favour of constitutional government ; but his efforts were fruitless, and his hopes vanished.
In 1821 charges of disaffection and sedition were made against the students of Wilna, and very severe measures were taken, - many being imprisoned, and others sent to Siberia, or compelled to serve in the army. Prince Adam George interceded for the young men, but was not listened to. He consequently resigned his office of curator, and for the next nine years he remained in retirement. The revolution of 1830 once more brought him to the front. He became president of the provisional government of Poland, convoked the diet, and when the throne was declared vacant was chosen head of the national government (January 1831). He continued to hold the presidency till the terrible and decisive days of August (15th and 16th), and then served as a common soldier in the final struggles, in which once more, by the overwhelming forces of Russia and the disintegrating forces of internal dissension, Poland fell. The prince patriot escaped to Paris. He was excluded by name from the amnesty of 1831, and his estates in Poland were confiscated. The large revenue of his Gallician estates, however, enabled him to maintain the position of a noble of the highest rank. He enjoyed the unbounded esteem of his countrymen, and was the recognized head of Polish society at Paris. In 1848 he granted freedom to the peasants on his estates in Gallicia, and gave them their lands in fee. He died at Paris, July 15, 1861.