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Kaufmann, Alexander, poet and folklorist, born at Bonn, 14 May, 1817; died at Wertheim, 1 May, 1893. He came of a well-known patrician family, whose members were prominent during the eighteenth century, some being in the city regiment of Bonn and others in the service of the former Elector of Cologne. Kaufmann was related to the two historical painters, Andreas and Karl Müller. At Bonn he studied jurisprudence, languages, and history; in 1844 he was appointed teacher of Prince Karl von Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, who, in 1850, made him keeper of the archives at Wertheim, which post he retained until his death. He published "Gedichte" (1852), "Mainsagen" (1853), and "Unter den Reben" (1871). His original research for Karl Simrock's legends of the Rhine, and his own legends of the Main are very valuable. He collaborated with the highly imaginative poet Georg Friedrich Daumer in Mythoterpe, ein "Mythen-, Sagen- und Legendenbuch"; did critical research work on "Cæsarius von Heisterbach" (1850, 1862); and translated "Wunderbare Geschichten aus den Werken des Cæsarius von Heisterbach" (1888-91). His posthumous "Biographie des belgischen Dominikaners Thomas von Chantimpre" was published in 1899.
In 1861, Kaufmann was appointed by the King of Prussia a life member of the Upper House on the nomination of the city of Bonn. On the question of reforming the army, he voted with the so-called constitutional deputies on 11 October, 1862, for the budget as arranged by the Lower House. On the hundredth anniversary of Ludwig von Beethoven (b. at Bonn, 12 Dec., 1770), the Beethoven Hall was built. In August, 1871, the Beethoven musical festival, and in August, 1873, the Schumann festival were held, two significant musical events, the success of which was largely due to Kaufmann, and which procured for Bonn the renown of a first-class artistic centre. After the Vatican decree of 18 July, 1870, Bonn and Munich became the centres of the Old Catholic movement. Whilst several of Kaufmann's most esteemed friends joined the new sect, he always remained true to the Church. In 1874 he was unanimously re-elected burgomaster for the third time by the town council of Bonn, for a term of twelve years, but he became a victim of the Kulturkampf. Although he recognized the necessity for the government taking measures with the object of regulating its attitude towards the Church , and declared himself prepared in his official capacity to carry out the May Laws, his confirmation was refused by the administration on 8 May, 1875, a measure which resulted in an interpellation by Windt-Lorst in the Reichstag and the Prussian Diet. At the end of 1876, Kaufmann was elected to the Lower House from the electoral district of München-Gladbach, joined the Centre party, and soon became a member of its governing committee. In the Reichstag he frequently spoke in the interest of art and science. He was likewise one of the founders of the "Görresgesellschaft", for fostering science in Catholic Germany (1876), and for the first fifteen years was its general secretary. After 1882, he was vice-president of the Borromeo Society for disseminating good books. In 1886 he refused re-election to the Reichstag, and henceforth devoted himself to the promotion of art and of useful undertakings, particularly to the decoration of Bonn cathedral. Among his writings may be mentioned: "Albrecht Dürer" (Cologne, 1881; 2nd ed., 1887); "Bilder aus dem Rheinland" (1884); "Philipp Veit, Vorträge über Kunst" (1891).