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Johann Heinrich Jung,

named Jung-Stilling



Translation: Karl Heinrich Stamm, Göttingen




1740 Sept. 12: Johann He(i)nrich Jung is born in the village of Grund in the former principality of Nassau-Siegen. He is the son of Johann Helmann Jung (1716-1802) and Johanna Dorothea (called "Dortchen"), née Fischer (1717-1742). His father is a tailor and occasionally works as a schoolmaster; besides he helps his brother Johann Heinrich Jung (1711-1786) who is a land surveyor and in later years becomes 'Oberbergmeister' (senior mining official) in the principality of Nassau-Oranien.


1742: After the death of his mother, his father for a period of time suffers from fits of depression. So the little boy is brought up by his grandfather Ebert Jung (1680-1751), owner of a small-holding and a charcoal burner, and his wife Margarethe, née Helmes (1681-1765); besides, there are several aunts to help educate the boy. - In a discussion the Separatist Niclas finally convinces the father to take on responsibility for his son.1747-1750: Johann Heinrich Jung attends the village schools of Grund and Allenbach (today both villages are incorporated into the small town of Hilchenbach).


1750-1754: Scholar at the Latin school of Hilchenbach.


1755: Easter: Confirmation. - Johann Heinrich Stilling becomes a teacher at the village school of Lützel (near Hilchenbach). The local minister, who supervised the teachers and their work in those days, does not consider his results good enough so that the young man returns home where he works as a tailor for a time. - Later he is given a job as a tutor at Plettenberg. Being ill-treated there, he again returns home, working in his craft and as a farm labourer.


1757: Teacher at Dreisbach (today: Netphen); because of differing views on teaching methods he resigns; at home again, he takes up work as a tailor. After some time he gets a teaching position at Klafeld (near Siegen). Here it was chicanery which leads to his being dismissed. Once at home, he works in his craft and as a farm labourer. - The remarriage of his father (1756) leads to an open breach between father and son.


1762 April 12: Johann Heinrich Jung decides to leave home. As a journeyman tailor he travels to the Bergisches Land (area between the Ruhr and Sieg rivers). He earns his living by working in his trade. At Solingen he finds work with a Pietist tailor named Stöcker. - Johann Heinrich Jung concludes a "covenant with God". - He becomes a tutor of the children of the wealthy merchant Peter Hartcop (1724-1770). Because of the humiliations he has to suffer from him, he gives up this Job and finds work with Johann Jakob Becker (1706-1767), tailor at Radevormwald ("Master Isaak" in his autobiography). He then gets a job as a tutor and foreman with the merchant and landowner Peter Johannes Flender (1727-1807). It is here that he has the chance to study both the practice and the fundamental principles of economy, agriculture and commerce. He considers those years as his "academy" (cf. his "Autobiography, German edition, p. 231).


1768: Johann Baptist Molitor (born Saalhausen 28.05.1702, gest. 1768), a Catholic priest and lay doctor at Rahrbach (Kirchhundem), leaves Jung a cryptograph with prescriptions for the cure of eye diseases. This is the beginning of Jung's work as a lay ophthalmologist; since 1773 he performs eye surgery particularly as 'Starstecher' (person who removes a patient's cataract). Over the years Jung may have operated on some 3000 patients and given ophthalmological advice to more than 25000 people.


1770: In February, engagement to Christine Heyder (1749-17781), the sickly daughter of a merchant. - In the autumn of that year, after a longer period of private study, he registers as a medical Student at the University of Strassburg (Alsace). He gets into contact with Daniel Salzmann (1722-1812) and his circle, later also with Friedrich Rudolf Salzmann (1749-1821); a great deal of correspondence with the latter follows. - Friendship with Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) and Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803).


1771 June 17: Marriage to Christine Heyder (the couple had three children).


1772: Examination at Strassburg. - May l: opening of a practice at Elberfeld (today: Wuppertal) where he work s for seven years as a general practitioner. - Friendly relations with Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819), Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801), Johann Hasenkamp (1734-1777) and others.


1773 April 22: On presenting a doctoral thesis to the University of Strassburg, Johann Heinrich Jung is conferred the degree of an M. D. in absentia. - August 26: First eye Operation at Wichlinghausen (today: Wuppertal).


1774 July 22: Goethe visits Jung at Elberfeld (so-called Elberfeld meeting) and takes the manuscript of "Henrich Stillings Jugend" (Henrich Stilling's Childhood) with him. - Unfortunately Professional jealousy and mistrust make life difficult for Jung at Elberfeld.


1775: Composition of "Die Schleuder eines Hirtenknaben gegen den hohnsprechenden Philister, den Verfasser des Sebaldus Nothanker", Friedrich Nicolai (1733- 1811) (The Sling of a Herdboy against the Philistine, the mocking author of 'Sebaldus Nothanker').


1776: Publication of "Die große Panacee wider die Krankheit des Religionszweifels" (The Great Panacea against the Malady of Religious Scepticism); the essay is followed by the "Theodicee des Hirtenknaben als Berichtigung und Vertheidigung der Schleuder desselben" (Theodicy of the Herdboy as a Correction and Defence of his 'Sling').


1777: "Henrich Stillings Jugend" (Henrich Stilling's Childhood) is published; 'Stilling' is now closely related to the name of Johann Heinrich Jung. And since then Jung-Stilling has belonged to the classical authors of German literature and literary history.


1778: Jung is appointed Professor of Political Economy (Cameralistics) - chair of Agriculture, Technology, Commerce and Veterinary Medicine at the Kameral Hohe Schule (College of Cameralistics) - of Kaiserslautern. - Publication of "Stillings Jünglingsjahre" (Years of Adolescence) and "Stillings Wanderschaft" (Stilling's Life as a Journeyman). - Financial problems cause him to write not only textbooks but also novels.


1779: The "Geschichte des Herrn von Morgenthau" (The History of Herr von Morgenthau) is published as a novel. At the same time he begins to write tales for the 'Kurpfälzischer Kalender'.


1781 Oct. 18: Death of his wife Christine at Kaiserslautern. - The novel "Die Geschichte Florentins von Fahlendorn" (The History of Florentin von Fahlendorn) is printed. In 1794/95 (the year III of the French Republic) it is translated into French.


1781-84: Jung-Stilling publishes the monthly magazine "Der Volkslehrer" (The People's Teacher). The articies and stories are by himself.


1782 Aug. 14: Jung-Stilling marries 'Selma von St. Florentin', i. e. Maria Salome (= Selma) von St. George (1760-1790). The marriage was arranged by the authoress Sophie von La Roche (1730-1807). There are six children by the marriage.


1783: "Leben der Theodore von der Linden" (Life of Theodore von der Linden) appears as a novel.


1784 November 13: Jung, hitherto extraordinary member, becomes ordinary member of the ‚Kurpfälzische Deutsche Gesellschaft in Mannheim’ (Mannheim German Society of the Electorate of the Palatinate), which had been founded in 1775.


1784: The Kaiserslautern College of Cameralistics is transferred to Heidelberg and becomes a department of the University as "Staatswirtschafts Hohe Schule" (School of National Economy and Administration)


1784-85: The (autobiographical) novel "Theobald oder die Schwärmer" (Theobald, or the Fanatics, a True History) appears in print.


1785 March 31: Jung is appointed 'Hofrat' (Court Councillor) by Elector Karl Theodor von der Pfalz-Bayern (Palatinate-Bavaria) (1724-1799) (cf. 1808).


1786 Nov. 8: The degree of Hon Ph. D. (Doktor der Weltweisheit - doctor of worldly wisdom) is conferred on Jung.


1787: Removal to Marburg, where he becomes Professor of Economy. For a time he lives in Barfüssergasse 28 (today: Barfüsserstraße), house "Engel". He edits the short-lived "Intelligenzblatt für Hessen" (Advertiser for Hesse) and also contributes articles to that weekly. - Publication of the "Blicke in die Geheimnisse der Naturweisheit; den Herren von Dalberg, Herder und Kant gewidmet" (Glances into the Secrets of the Wisdom of Nature: dedicated to Herr von Dalberg, Herr Herder and Herr Kant) as well as a translation of Virgil's "Georgica" (Georgics). In addition, he publishes both the "Jubelrede über den Geist der Staatswirthschaft" (Commemorative Speech on the Spirit of National Economy - delivered on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the foundation of Heidelberg University) and the "Lehrbuch der Staats-Polizey-Wissenschaft" (Handbook of Political and Administrative Science) with the biographical sketch "Meine Geschichte als Lehrer der staatswirthschaftlichen Wissenschaft" (My History as a Professor of National Economy - instead of a preface). - Oct. 9: Jung-Stilling becomes a member of the "privileged Leipzig Economic Society.


1788 to 1798: The "Erzehlungen des Bauernfreundes" (Tales of a Peasant's Friend) appear - at first anonymously - in the "Hessen-Casselischer Kalender", an almanac.


1789 June 20: Jung reads out the thirty-page "Rede über den Werth des Leidens, gehalten im Kreise einiger vertrauter Freunde, am 30. Geburtstage seiner Gattin, den 20. Jun. 1789 (Speech on the Significance of Suffering, held in the circle of close friends on the 30th birthday of his wife, June 20, 1789). - Correspondence with Immanuel Kant (1724- 1804), eminent philosopher at Königsberg/Prussia.


1790 May 23: Death of his second wife. - Publication of "Stillings häusliches Leben" (Stilling's Domestic Life) and of the "Lehrbuch der Cameral-Praxis" (Textbook of Cameralistic Practice). - Nov. 19: Third marriage to Elisabeth (Elise) Coing (1760-1817). Four Children spring from this marriage.


1791: Publication of his book "Die Methode den grauen Star auszuziehen und zu heilen - nebst einem Anhang von verschiedenen anderen Augenkrankheiten und der Cur-Art derselben" (Method of Removing and Healing a Patient's Cataract, together with an appendix on various other eye diseases and the ways to cure them).


1794: The first volume of the novel "Heimweh" (Homesickness) appears in print. - (cf. 1796).


1795-1816: "Der graue Mann, eine Volksschrift" (The Grey Man, a popular magazine) appears in 30 issues.


1795-1801: The "Szenen aus dem Geisterreich" (Scenes from the Spiritual Word/ Scenes in the World of Spirits) are published. Several reprints have been made to this day.


1796: The fourth (and last) volume of the novel "Das Heimweh" (Homesickness), whose first part appeared in 1794, appears in print, it is supplemented by the "Schlüssel zum Heimweh" (Key to 'Homesickness')


1799: "Die Siegsgeschichte der christlichen Religion in einer gemeinnüzigen Erklärung der Offenbarung Johannis" (The History of the Victories of the Christian Religion - a Popular Explanation of the Revelation of St. John) is published anonymously.


1803 to 1807: "Der christliche Menschenfreund in Erzählungen für Bürger und Bauern" (The Christian Philanthropist – Stories for Townsmen and Country Dwellers) is published in a series of brochures.


1803: Removal to Heidelberg, Steingasse. Jung-Stilling is appointed adviser to the Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden (1728-1811). He now works as a free-lance religious writer.


1804: "Heinrich Stillings Lehrjahre" (Heinrich Stilling's Years of Apprenticeship) appear in print.


1806: Removal to Karlsruhe, the residence of Karl Friedrich von Baden. - It was only some time later that he moved his family to their new home.


1808: The "Theorie der Geisterkunde" (Theory of Pneumatology) is printed at Nürnberg. The book is still available in several editions. - Some time before March 7, 1808, Johann Heinrich Jung is appointed privy councillor in ecclesiastical affairs by Karl Friedrich von Baden (cf. 1785).


1814 to 1815: Jung-Stilling's "Erzählungen" (Stories) appear in three volumes; with a preface by Johann Ludwig Ewald (1747-1822).


1817 April 2: Johann Heinrich Jung named Stilling passes away at Karlsruhe, where he is also buried. He dies eleven days after his third wife.


Ich danke Herrn Karl Heinrich Stamm für die Übersetzung!





See also the long and informating text from 1838 concerning the works here. - An autobiographical text from 1803 here.

See 1795 in the Bibliographie.


Calvin Ellis Stowe (1802-1886) here.

Thomas Carlyle äußert sich zur "Jugend" (auf dieser Seite meiner web-site.)

Jonathan Swifts „A Tale of a Tub“ und Jung-Stilling- siehe hier.

Samuel Francis Smith, (1808-1895), rezensierte 1844 Jung-Stillings Werke - siehe hier.



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