Henryk Kamieński 1813-1866

B. Feb. 25, 1813, Ruda (Lublin region), first cousin of another leading radical democrat, Edward Dembowski. In 1842 he began political activity as the intellectual leader of the radical Society for the Polish People (Stowarzyszenie Ludu Polskiego); next year he went abroad, where he came in contact with members of Polish Democratic Society (Towarzystwo Demokratyczne Polskie). Having outlined in the treatise O prawdach żywotnych narodu polskiego (“About the Vital Truths of the Polish Nation”, 1844) his conception of revolution as an act of the masses, he began setting up at home a network of propagandists, for whom he published in Paris the famous Katechizm demokratyczny czyli opowiadania słowa ludowego (“The Democratic Bible, or Folk Word Narratives”, 1845). 1843-45 he put out the work Filozofia ekonomii moralnej ludzkiego społeczeństwa (“A Philosophy of Moral Economy for the Human Society”). Arrested in 1845 and exiled to Vyatka, after five years he returned home, and in 1852 he left for Switzerland to settle there. He retreated from the radicalism he had previously espoused and turned towards conceptions of social mutuality and praising the aristocratic Polish past; the fragment quoted below and Demokracja w Polszcze (“Democracy in Poland”, 1858) are from this period. D. Jan. 14, 1866, in Algiers.


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