To REVELL PHILLIPS
Zurich Septr 12. 1839
DEAR PHILLIPS,–You will probably already have read of the catastrophe of Zurich last Friday (the 8th) about 6000 of the peasantry of this canton, half unarmed, and the other half armed with scythes, dungforks & poles, led on by a mad fanatic, and aided by some traitors in the cabinet, and many in the town, effected the downfall of the government, by far the best and most liberal that the
canton ever lived under.
One of the most distinguished men, both in science and politics, Hegetschweiler, himself one of the most important members of the government, was shot in the tumult, and buried to day. Kellar was compelled to flee and is at present in a neighbouring republic; where I visited him; he desired to be remembered to you. Besides him many of the most eminent of the republic have been obliged to seek safety elsewhere.
These disorders bordering on absolute anarchy will account for my not having been able to execute the deeds and dispatch them before to-morrow as the communications were not safe. In consequence of this state of things, in which neither property nor person is secure I shall find it necessary to give up my present residence entirely. Indeed the dispersion of my friends and acquaintance all of whom belonged to the liberal party renders it nearly impossible for me to remain longer here.