Sredska, Ottoman Empire (now Kosovo)
|Died||23 August 1853
Kragujevac, Principality of Serbia (now Serbia)
Antonije "Anta" Simeonović[a], known as Čolak-Anta (Serbian Cyrillic: Чолак-Анта Симеоновић; 1777–1853) was a Serbian commander (vojvoda), one of the most important figures of the First Serbian Uprising. He was a military commander, Duke of the Kruševac province, and later in life, Chief Magistrate[clarification needed]. Čolak-Anta fought under Grand Leader Karađorđe, and is the eponymous founder of the notable Čolak-Antić family.
As a young man he moved to Belgrade where he was a prosperous merchant trading furs and weaponry across the river Sava with neighbouring Habsburg Hungary and Austria. His real name was Anta (from Antonije, en. Anthony), he was first nicknamed Uzun because of his height but became known by the name Čolak-Anta (çolak meaning one-armed in Turkish) when, in 1806, during a fight with an Ottoman commander, he was hit with a sabre and lost the usage of his left arm.
Ottoman Janissaries in the Sanjak of Smederevo (also known as Belgrade Pashaluk), known as the dahi, plundered and terrorized the Serbian population, which culminated in the "Slaughter of the Knezes". The massacre of the Serbian leaders led to a spontaneous revolt. On the eve of the uprising Čolak-Anta smuggled arms and ammunition from Prizren to Belgrade, and then to the town of Topola where he handed them over to Karađorđe, the rebel leader. Čolak-Anta joined the rebellion, repeatedly distinguishing himself in the battles which ensued, becoming one of Karađorđe's top military commanders. By the winter of 1806–1807 the Serbs had gained control of the whole Sanjak, including Belgrade. Ottoman Sultan Selim III offered the rebels autonomy but the Serbs refused and kept fighting for complete independence. The rebels achieved several victories and were able to withstand Ottoman forces despite the fact that the Ottoman Sultan had declared Holy War against them.
In 1810 The Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812) brought the Russians on the banks of the Danube to help the Serbs, the rebels managed to advanced towards Niš and even gained territory in Bosnia. Together with Voivoda Vujica Vulićević, Čolak-Anta led Karađorđe's offensive towards Nikšić in Montenegro. In May 1809, Čolak-Anta crossed the Lim river with 2,000 men and attacked an Ottoman garrison at Prijepolje. These victories encouraged the rebels to transform the insurrection into a general liberation movement, Karađorđe appealed to the confraternity of the Montenegrins and Bosnians to restore the unity of the Serbian nation, he sent a diplomatic delegation consisting of Čolak-Anta Simeonović and Raka Levajac. For the first time an entire Christian population had successfully risen up against the Ottomans and Serbia existed as a de facto independent state.
In 1811 a governing council representing each of the twelves districts was established, Čolak-Anta was appointed the position of vojvoda ("governor, duke"), of the province (nahija) of Kruševac, a former Serbian capital, with 31 townships under his administration.
The withdrawal of Russian troops following the Russian-Ottoman Treaty of Bucharest (1812) allowed the Ottomans to concentrate on the Serbian rebels, the treaty stipulated modest autonomy for the Serbs but the Ottomans did not accept the provision. In July, three formidable Turkish armies converged on Serbia, on three fronts, to crush the insurrection without outside interference, eventually, the rebel forces, exhausted, were compelled to retreat across the Danube to Austria and then to Bessarabia
In September 1814 Čolak-Anta and his family moved to Russia with his wife Jela and children: Jovanka, Angelka, Stevana and Kosta. His son Konstantin was accepted in the First Cadet Corps at Saint Petersburg by special decree of Emperor Alexander I.
Return to Serbia
Čolak-Anta and his family returned to Serbia in 1831 after the country became a semiautonomous state and a full amnesty was granted to those who had participated in the rebellion. Čolak-Anta was appointed Chief Magistrate, a function he held until his retirement in 1843.
He died on 23 August 1853 in Kragujevac, leaving to his descendants the surname of Čolak-Antić (Tcholak-Antitch or Colak-Antic).
With his first wife Jelena he had a son, Kosta and nine daughters, with his second wife he had a son: Paul.
His male descendants all attended the Military Academy and include:
- Lt. Colonel Lazar Tcholak-Antitch, commander of the Morava division (1839–1877)
- Cavalry Colonel Milivoje Tcholak-Antitch (1884–1944)
- Colonel Ilya Tcholak-Antitch, commander of the Ibar Army (1836–1894), married Jelena Matić, daughter of Dimitrije Matić, Minister of Justice and Education, they had a daughter, Jovanka and two sons: Bosko and Vojin.
- Dr. Bosko Tcholak-Antitch, Marshal of the King's Petar Ist Court, Envoy Extraordinary, Ambassador and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1871–1949)
- Division General Vojin Tcholak-Antitch, Chief Inspector of Cavalry, Commander of the Order of the Légion d'Honneur (1877–1945), married Mary Grujić, daughter of Sava Grujić, Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Serbia (under Obrenovitch and Karadjordjevitch), the couple had a daughter and three sons:
- Cavalry Colonel (French army) Ilija Tcholak-Antitch (1905–1974)
- Cavalry Major Grujica Tcholak-Antitch (1906–1967)
- Cavalry Lt Colonel Petar Tcholak-Antitch (1907–1964)
- Čolak Antina is a street of the western section of downtown Belgrade (Savski Venac) named after Čolak-Anta Simonović
- The town of Kruševac, central Serbia, has a street named Čolak Antina
- Čolak-Antić family page (in Serbian)
- The list of prominent personalities of the First Serbian Uprising (in Serbian)
- A list of the most prominent Serbian family in the Principality and the Kingdom of Serbia (in Serbian)
- Dušan T. Bataković -The Kosovo Chronicles, Belgrade: Plato Books 1992, ISBN 86-447-0006-5
- Srbija i Albanci u XIX i početkom XX veka: ciklus predavanja 10-25. novembar 1987 Vladimir Stojančević
- A History of the Balkan Peoples, p. 95 Ardent Media
- Glenny, Misha. The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804–1999. New York: Penguin, 2001.
- Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters, Infobase Publishing, 2009 p. 519
- The first Serbian uprising and the restoration of the Serbian state Nebojša Damnjanović, Vladimir Merenik 2004
- Petrovich, Michael Boro. A History of Modern Serbia 1804–1918 vol. 1. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.
- "Čolak Antina - Savski venac, Beograd - ulica na mapa.in.rs". beograd.mapa.in.rs. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
- "Čolak Antina, Kruševac - ulica na mapa.in.rs". krusevac.mapa.in.rs. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
- Muzej grada Beograda (1968). Annuaire de la ville de Beograd. 15. Izd. Muzej grada Beograda. Retrieved 2015-03-08.