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Solomon Haliță (1859–1926) 

Obrázek1

Image source: here.

Maxim Haliță (1826–1893) came from a border guards family in Sângeorz Băi (Sângeorzul Român, Oláhszentgyörgy). He started as a village teacher during the 1840s, then served in the 17th (2nd Romanian) Border Guards Regiment during the Revolution of 18481849. After the military border system in the area was decommissioned he started a career in local administration: village notary (1851–1872), clerk to the district sheriff’s office (1873–1873), district sheriff (1873–1875), royal head-postman (1875–1889). In 1852 he married Ileana Ciocan (adopted by the family Isipoaie), and fathered four children: Elisabeta (1853–1915), Axente (1856–1865), Solomon (1859–1926) and Alexandru (1862–1933). (more, here)

His children were part of the first generation of young people who benefited from financial support for their studies, provided by the Border Guards’ Funds, an institution created following the decommission of the military border. 

Elisabeta studied at the girls’ school in Năsăud (Naszód), then in Bistrița (Bistritz, Beszterce) and married Grigore Marica, a priest from Coșna – a nearby village. In 1879, her husband died after being accidentally wounded by her brother, Solomon Haliță (20 years old at the time), while returning from a hunting trip. As a consequence, Solomon vowed not to marry and have children, but to raise his three orphaned nephews, which he did, supporting them throughout their life. (more, here)

The youngest son, Alexander, studied Greek-Catholic Theology at Gherla (Szamosújvár) (1884–1888) and Letters at the Francis Joseph University in Cluj (Kolozsvár) (1888–1893). He was a teacher at the Highschool in Năsăud (1891–1911, 1920–1928), as well as parish priest of Năsăud and curate of Rodna (1911–1920). (more, here)

The best-known member of the family, however, was to become Solomon Haliță. He studied at the Highschool in Năsăud, where he distinguished himself and was also actively involved in the school’s literary societies (both the authorized and the secret ones). These societies were at the time a hotbed of Romanian nationalism and some of Haliță’s colleagues (Ioan Macavei (18591894), Corneliu Pop Păcurariu (18581904)) would later become journalists of the radical nationalist political newspaper “Tribuna”, and would spend time in prison for their articles. Haliță went on to study History and Philosophy, and Pedagogy at the University in Vienna, where he joined the Romanian Students’ Society “România Jună”, but also a smaller literary club called “Arborele” (The Tree), of only 17 members. The main objective of this club was to spread the cultural ideas from the Old Kingdom of Romania (in particular those of the “Junimea” Society) among the Romanians in Transylvania. (more, here) It is worth noting that more than half of its members later became public figures in the Romanian cultural and political milieu, and at least one of them (Septimiu Albini) linked up with Haliță’s former high school mates in the editorial office of “Tribuna”, and later also served time for press offences. (more, here)

After completing his studies in 1883, Haliță had difficulties finding a tenured teaching position back home, although, truth be told, he did not seem to have the patience to wait for an opening, as he emigrated very soon to Romania. In 1890 he renounced his Hungarian citizenship and became a citizen of the Kingdom of Romania. Between 1883 and 1919 he worked as a secondary school teacher in various towns, while at the same time building a bureaucratic career in the field of Public Education: 1889–1891, member of the General [i.e., National] Council of Instruction; 1896–1899, 1901–1904, 1907–1911, and 1914–1919 General Inspector of Schools. Much of his success was owed to the good relationship he developed with Spiru Haret, an important liberal reformer of education in early 20th century Romania. (more, here)

During the First World War, and especially during the retreat of the Romanian political authorities to Iași (1916–1918) Haliță developed even closer ties with representatives of the National Liberal Party, and in particular with Prime Minister, Ion I.C. Brătianu. Thus, he slowly shifted from being just an efficient and well-regarded bureaucrat in the field of Education to handling more sensitive political issues. In October 1918, he played the role of intercessor between the Romanian delegates from Transylvania and the Romanian government. He was then sent back to Transylvania to accompany Brătianu’s messages of political and military support and took part, in this capacity, at the Great National Assembly in Alba Iulia on 1 December 1918. (more, here) This privileged position explains his temporary appointment as prefect of Iași in 1919. (more, here)

Between 1920 and 1922 Haliță returned to Transylvania as General (i.e., Regional) Inspector of Schools. In 1922 he was appointed prefect of his home county, Năsăud (Bistrița-Năsăud after 1925), an office he held until the fall of the Liberal government in April 1926. It was the peak of his career, something nobody would have envisioned forty years earlier, when he had left the same county as an émigré due to not finding a tenured teaching position. He died a few months later, on 1 December 1926.

Solomon Haliță’s career highlights the opportunities for social mobility opened up by the financial support for education in the former Austrian military border area, due to the transformation of regimental funds into educational and scholarship funds. It also illustrates the constant migration of Romanian university graduates from Austria-Hungary to Romania, which populated the civil service of the latter with highly qualified personnel, at all levels and in all branches of activity. Last but not least, it shows how the combination between professionalism and personal relationships (also built along professional lines), helped maintain a high bureaucratic position despite the changes in government, and how political support helped the leap from the ministerial bureaucracy to the administrative and political elite.

 

Literature

Septimiu Albini, Direcția nouă în Ardeal. Constatări și amintiri, in vol. Lui Ion Bianu amintire. Din partea foștilor și actualilor funcționari ai Academiei Române la împlinirea a șasezeci de ani, București, 1916. (here)

Alexandru Dărăban, Maxim Haliță – locuitor de frunte din Sângeorgiul Român, în „Arhiva Someșană”, XV, 2017. (here)

Alexandru Dărăban (ed.), Solomon Haliță, om al epocii sale, Cluj–Napoca, Mega, 2015. (here)

Ironim Marţian, Figuri de dascăli năsăudeni şi bistriţeni, Editura Napoca Star, Cluj–Napoca, 2002.

Adrian Onofreiu, Ana Maria Băndean, Prefecții județului Bistrița–Năsăud (1919–1950; 1990–2014). Ipostaze, imagini, mărturii, Bistrița, Charmides, 2014.

Grigore Pletosu, Moarte prin puşcă, în „Telegraful Român”, XXVII, 1879, nr. 91, 7 august, p. 359. (here)

Mara Lőrinc of Felsőszálláspatak/Sălașu de Sus was born in 1823 in Székelyföldvár/ Războieni-Cetate (by then in the Székely seat of Aranyos/Arieș, Transylvania). 

Mara

His grandfather, bearing the same name, was assessor at the Royal Judicial Court of Transylvania. An uncle bearing the same name was officer during the Napoleonic Wars. His father, József, was provincial commissioner and later on royal judge of the respective seat, but the family also held land properties in Hunyad/Hunedoara county. He had seven children: six boys (Miklós, Lőrinc, Károly, Gábor, Sándor and György) and one girl (Ágnes, married to baron Kemény István)

Mara Lőrinc followed a military career, he graduated from the Imperial and Royal Technical Military Academy (k.u.k. Technische Militärakademie, further reading here) and served as Junior Lieutenant in the Székely Border Guards Regiment from Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc. During the 1848–1849 Revolution he served as captain in the Hungarian Honvéd Army, together with other members of the extended family (e.g., here), for which he was initially sentenced to death, but later pardoned after four years of imprisonment at Olomouc/Olmütz. In the 1860s he entered political life, as district sheriff (szolgabíró) and county commissioner (alispán). As a follower of Tisza Kálmán’s (1830–1902) party, and after two unsuccessful candidacies he finally managed to obtain a parliamentary seat in 1875, in the constituency of Hátszeg/Hațeg (in which the family estates were situated), after his party’s coming to power. He represented the constituency between 1875 and 1886 (see here), and died in 1893.

 

Mara Lőrinc was an epitome of Tisza Kálmán’s “mamelukes” – as the supporters of the Hungarian Liberal Party were called at the time – and the literary works of Mikszáth Kálmán (1847–1910) shed some light on the intricacies of his relationship with the voters, most of them Romanian villagers. Mikszáth recounts that, when one of the opposition’s candidates Kaas Ivor (1842–1910) and his supporters (some local Armenian merchants and the family of the ex-Prime Minister Lónyay Menyhért (1822–1884) tried to bribe the voters by means of bank checks instead of the usual cash in hand, Mara’s electoral agents redeemed to the villagers the bank checks’ value in cash and with this, he won the elections by making use mostly of his opponent’s money and supported by the supposedly nationally entrenched Romanians. At the time (1881), the story made its way in the regional and central newspapers, which might be the original source of Mikszáth’s story. Three years later, on the eve of a new election, a delegation of Romanian voters came to see their representative. He greeted them and asked about their wishes and requests for the upcoming elections, only to find out that they were humbly asking him to provide… a counter-candidate. When the mesmerized deputy asked for the purpose of such a request, the villagers’ leader replied: “…well, to have some joy in the district.” The trope of the voters asking for a counter-candidate mainly for the purpose of raising the stake of the electoral bribe is rather frequent in the time’s literature and press, here however it was used for underlining the connection between a local patron and his pool of voters. In Mikszáth’s story, Mara granted them this wish too. Historical sources show that Mara went on for another mandate, with the counter-candidate (Kemény Miklós) only getting seven votes.

 

As all literary sources, Mikszáth’s story was probably built around a grain of truth, despite the author’s inevitable fictional contribution. The story sheds some light not only on the voting practices of the time, but also on the voters’ expectations (i.e. the electoral campaign as a moment of feast and joy) and on the paternalistic relations enhanced by political needs.

One of his sons, also bearing the name Lőrinc, was an architect. He was married to Berta Zalandak.

Another son, László Mara, was Lord Lieutenant of Hunyad County during the First World War. In this capacity, he intervened for the liberation of a Romanian lawyer and reserve officer named Gheorghe Dubleșiu, who was imprisoned due to his nationalist rhetoric. A few years later, under the Romanian rule, Gheorghe Dubleșiu would become Prefect (i.e., Lord Lieutenant) of the Hunyad County in 1920 and between 19221926.

 

Sources:

Press

“A Hon”, XIX, 1881, 6 July, no. 184.

“Magyar Polgár”, XV, 1881, 5 July, no. 150, p. 1;

 

Literature

Mikszáth Kálmán, “Összes műve. Cikkek és karcolatok (51–86. kötet). 1883 Parlamenti karcolatok (68. kötet). A t. házból [márc. 9.]. IV. A Mara Lőrinc emberei”, electronic edition on https://www.arcanum.hu; 

Lajos Kelemen, A felsőszálláspataki Marák családi krónikája, Genealógiai Füzetek, 1912, pp. 97-10;

József Szinnyei, “Magyar írók élete és munkái”, electronic edition on https://www.arcanum.hu.

Mara Lőrinc of Felsőszálláspatak/Sălașu de Sus was born in 1823 in Székelyföldvár/ Războieni-Cetate (by then in the Székely seat of Aranyos/Arieș, Transylvania). 

Mara

His grandfather, bearing the same name, was assessor at the Royal Judicial Court of Transylvania. An uncle bearing the same name was officer during the Napoleonic Wars. His father, József, was provincial commissioner and later on royal judge of the respective seat, but the family also held land properties in Hunyad/Hunedoara county. He had seven children: six boys (Miklós, Lőrinc, Károly, Gábor, Sándor and György) and one girl (Ágnes, married to baron Kemény István)

Mara Lőrinc followed a military career, he graduated from the Imperial and Royal Technical Military Academy (k.u.k. Technische Militärakademie, further reading here) and served as Junior Lieutenant in the Székely Border Guards Regiment from Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc. During the 1848–1849 Revolution he served as captain in the Hungarian Honvéd Army, together with other members of the extended family (e.g., here), for which he was initially sentenced to death, but later pardoned after four years of imprisonment at Olomouc/Olmütz. In the 1860s he entered political life, as district sheriff (szolgabíró) and county commissioner (alispán). As a follower of Tisza Kálmán’s (1830–1902) party, and after two unsuccessful candidacies he finally managed to obtain a parliamentary seat in 1875, in the constituency of Hátszeg/Hațeg (in which the family estates were situated), after his party’s coming to power. He represented the constituency between 1875 and 1886 (see here), and died in 1893.

 

Mara Lőrinc was an epitome of Tisza Kálmán’s “mamelukes” – as the supporters of the Hungarian Liberal Party were called at the time – and the literary works of Mikszáth Kálmán (1847–1910) shed some light on the intricacies of his relationship with the voters, most of them Romanian villagers. Mikszáth recounts that, when one of the opposition’s candidates Kaas Ivor (1842–1910) and his supporters (some local Armenian merchants and the family of the ex-Prime Minister Lónyay Menyhért (1822–1884) tried to bribe the voters by means of bank checks instead of the usual cash in hand, Mara’s electoral agents redeemed to the villagers the bank checks’ value in cash and with this, he won the elections by making use mostly of his opponent’s money and supported by the supposedly nationally entrenched Romanians. At the time (1881), the story made its way in the regional and central newspapers, which might be the original source of Mikszáth’s story. Three years later, on the eve of a new election, a delegation of Romanian voters came to see their representative. He greeted them and asked about their wishes and requests for the upcoming elections, only to find out that they were humbly asking him to provide… a counter-candidate. When the mesmerized deputy asked for the purpose of such a request, the villagers’ leader replied: “…well, to have some joy in the district.” The trope of the voters asking for a counter-candidate mainly for the purpose of raising the stake of the electoral bribe is rather frequent in the time’s literature and press, here however it was used for underlining the connection between a local patron and his pool of voters. In Mikszáth’s story, Mara granted them this wish too. Historical sources show that Mara went on for another mandate, with the counter-candidate (Kemény Miklós) only getting seven votes.

 

As all literary sources, Mikszáth’s story was probably built around a grain of truth, despite the author’s inevitable fictional contribution. The story sheds some light not only on the voting practices of the time, but also on the voters’ expectations (i.e. the electoral campaign as a moment of feast and joy) and on the paternalistic relations enhanced by political needs.

One of his sons, also bearing the name Lőrinc, was an architect. He was married to Berta Zalandak.

Another son, László Mara, was Lord Lieutenant of Hunyad County during the First World War. In this capacity, he intervened for the liberation of a Romanian lawyer and reserve officer named Gheorghe Dubleșiu, who was imprisoned due to his nationalist rhetoric. A few years later, under the Romanian rule, Gheorghe Dubleșiu would become Prefect (i.e., Lord Lieutenant) of the Hunyad County in 1920 and between 19221926.

 

Sources:

Press

“A Hon”, XIX, 1881, 6 July, no. 184.

“Magyar Polgár”, XV, 1881, 5 July, no. 150, p. 1;

 

Literature

Mikszáth Kálmán, “Összes műve. Cikkek és karcolatok (51–86. kötet). 1883 Parlamenti karcolatok (68. kötet). A t. házból [márc. 9.]. IV. A Mara Lőrinc emberei”, electronic edition on https://www.arcanum.hu; 

Lajos Kelemen, A felsőszálláspataki Marák családi krónikája, Genealógiai Füzetek, 1912, pp. 97-10;

József Szinnyei, “Magyar írók élete és munkái”, electronic edition on https://www.arcanum.hu.