Johann Gottfried Seume (29 January 1763 – 13 June 1810), German author, was born at Poserna (now part of Lützen, Saxony-Anhalt).
Seume was educated first at Borna, then at the Nikolai school and University of Leipzig. The study of Shaftesbury and Bolingbroke wakened his interest in theology, and, breaking off his studies, he set out for Paris. On the way he was seized by Hessian recruiting officers and sold to England, whereupon he was drafted to Canada.
After his return in 1783 he deserted at Bremen, but was captured and brought to Emden; a second attempt at flight also failed. In 1787, however, a citizen of Emden became surety for him to the amount of 80 talers, and he was allowed to visit his home. He did not return, but paid off his debt in Emden with the remuneration he received for translating an English novel.
He taught languages for a time in Leipzig, and became tutor to a Graf Igelstrom, whom, in 1792, he accompanied to Warsaw. Here he became secretary to General von Igelstrom, and, as a Russian officer, experienced the terrors of the Polish insurrection (Kościuszko Uprising). In 1796 he was again in Leipzig and, resigning his Russian commission, entered the employment of the publisher Göschen...
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