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Johann Gottfried Seume (c. 1800)
On his way to France in 1781, the Saxon writer and traveler Johann Gottfried Seume (1763-1810) fell into the hands of Hessian recruiting officers and was leased, against his will, to King George III of England, who sent him to Canada to join the fight against American revolutionary troops. In 1783, after the end of the war, he was transported back to Germany and eventually freed. He described his sufferings and the brutalities of mercenary life in an essay entitled “In Hessian Lands,” which appeared in his posthumously published autobiography, Mein Leben [My Life] (1813). This portrait of Seume appeared on a snuffbox. Oil on wood by Hans (Johann) Veit Friedrich Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1764-1841), c. 1800.