1902 Encyclopedia > Frederick Augustus I

Frederick Augustus I
King of Saxony

FREDERICK AUGUSTUS I. (1750-1827), king of Saxony, son of Elector Frederick Christian, was born at Dresden, 23d December 1750, succeeded his father, under the guardianship of Prince Xavier, in 1763, and was declared of age in 1768. In the following year he married Princess Maria-Amelia of Deux-Ponts. On account of the claims of his mother on the inheritance of her brother, the elector of Bavaria, he sided with Frederick the Great in the short Bavarian succession war of 1778 against Austria; and he afterwards joined the league of German princes formed by that monarch. In 1791 he declined the crown of Poland. He refused to join the league against France in 1792, but when war was declared his duty to the German empire necessitated his taking part in it. He maintained his neutrality during the war between France and Austria in 1805, but in the following year he joined Prussia against France. After the disastrous battle of Jena he concluded a treaty of peace with Napoleon at Posen, 11th November 1806, and, assuming the title of king, he joined the Bhenish confederation. Having taken part in the subsequent wars of Napoleon, he fell into the hands of the allies after the entry into Leipsic, 19th October 1813 ; and although he regained his freedom after the congress of Vienna, he was compelled to give up the province of Wittenberg to Prussia. The remainder of his life was spent in developing the agri-cultural, commercial, and industrial resources of his king-dom, reforming the administration of justice, establishing hospitals and other charitable institutions, encouraging art and science, and promoting education. He had a special interest in botany, and originated the beautiful botanical garden at Pillnitz. His reign throughout was characterized by justice, probity, moderation, and prudence. He died May 5, 1827.

See lives by Weisse, Leipsic, 1811; Herrmann, Dresden, 1827; and Politz, Leipsic, 1830.

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