Capitol of Hesse, principal provider
of so-called mercenaries to British
Where: 51.3197 9.475 Cassel (Kassel)
Maps: [map notes]
- Edward Jackson Lowell, The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, p.1-3, 1884, Harper & Bros.
The three or four hundred thousand
inhabitants lived chiefly by the plough, but the Landgraves
were in business. It was a profitable trade
that they carried on, selling or letting out wares which
were much in demand in that century, as in all centuries,
for the Landgraves of Hesse-Cassel were dealers
in men; thus it came to pass that Landgrave Frederick
II. and his subjects played a part in American history,
and that " Hessian" became a household word, though
not a title of honor, in the United States.
The Landgraves were not particular as to their
market or their customers.
...The Landgraves of Hesse were not the only princes
who dealt in troops. In the war of the American
Revolution alone, six German rulers let out their
soldiers to Great Britain. These were Frederick II., *
Letter of Sir Joseph Yorke to the Earl of Suffolk, quoted in Kapp's "
Soldatenhandel," 1st ed. p. 229.
Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel; William, his son, the independent
Count of Hesse-Hanau ; Charles I., Duke
of Brunswick ; Frederick, Prince of Waldeck : Charles
Alexander, Margrave of Anspach-Bayreuth ; and Frederick
Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst. The action
of these princes was opposed to the policy of the empire
and to the moral sense of the age: but the emperor
had no power to prevent it, for the subjection
of those parts of Germany -which were outside of his
hereditary dominions was little more than nominal.
The map of Germany in the last century presents
the most extraordinary patchwork.
- Kitchin, Thomas, "Composite: Europe", 1787. Note listing of principal cities in lower left margins.