Theodor Olshausen

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Theodor Olshausen (1802–1869) was a German author, journalist and politician, prominent in the Patriotic Party in Schleswig-Holstein. He lived and worked for over a decade in the United States.


Olshausen was born at Glückstadt, studied law at Kiel and Jena, and, for his part in the demagogic disturbances, was forced to live in France and Switzerland until 1830. Then he settled in Kiel, and became an ardent advocate of the independence of the provinces. He was imprisoned in 1846 for his bold opposition, but his influence was all the stronger in the Revolution of 1848, and he became a member of the provisional Government, resigning to enter the Diet. In 1851 he was excluded from the amnesty, went to America, and lived in New York City and St. Louis. In the latter city, he was the editor-in-chief of the Westliche Post during the American Civil War. In 1865, he returned to Hamburg. He died there in 1869.


He wrote two popular works on America, Geographisch-statistische Beschreibung der Vereinigten Staaten (Geographical-statistical description of the United States, 1853–55, incomplete), and Geschichte der Mormonen (History of the Mormons, 1856).


He was a brother of orientalist Justus Olshausen and theologian Hermann Olshausen.