Title: In Pursuit of Latvian-Lithuanian Federation: Jonas Šliūpas in Hawaii
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
James Montgomery Baxenfield, Tallinn University, Estonia
The collapse of the tsarist regime in the Russian Empire was a window of opportunity to seize independence for the Lithuanian nation. Following the February Revolution of 1917, Jonas Šliūpas (1861-1944) was charged by the Lithuanian Independence Fund to visit Russia, in order to ascertain the conditions of Lithuania war refugees, and determine what assistance the Lithuanian-American émigré might tender. However, Šliūpas also sought to promote the idea of Latvian-Lithuanian federation, and utilised this as an opportunity to pursue that ideal. Residing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Šliūpas was unable to cross the Atlantic due to U-boat activity. Instead, he embarked upon what would become a round the world journey, travelling across the United States, and the Pacific Ocean in order to enter Russia through Vladivostok. During the course of this journey, Šliūpas travelled through both Hawaii and Japan. "In Pursuit of Latvian-Lithuanian Federation: Jonas Šliūpas in Hawaii" examines the observations and musings of Šliūpas during this journey. Focusing upon his experiences in Hawaii, a glimmer of his sense of bearing, and the courage he had in his convictions can be observed.
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