Last Updated: 29 May 2003
ANDREAS "SANDWIRTH" HOFER
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Tyrol [Tirol] was in West Austria in the Alps. The capital was Innsbruck, known, now, for it's excellent skiing where the Winter Olympics occured in 1964 and 1976. It's history isn't complicated. Rome had conquered the area in 15 BC, later it became part of the Frankish Empire. The Holy Roman Empire divided the area into two fiefs. Tyrol became part of Austria in 1801. When Napoleon marched across Europe, he gained control of Tyrol through the Treaty of Pressburg and then he gave Tyrol to Bavaria in 1805... Then it became part of a tug-of-war between France and Austria ....
Andreas Hofer was bron on the 22nd of Nov 1767 in St. Leonhard in the Passeier valley in Tyrol where his father owned "AM SAND INN, which Andreas inherited. He became known as "Sandwirth". His occupation was more than just an innkeeper. He traded in wine and horses in Tyrol and as far as northern Italy, which was at this time ruled by the Austrians.
Afer the French Revolution (1789), the revolt of peasanty throughout Europe began. This spread not just in France but in surrounding countries.... The French Revolutionaries troops invaded the German states...... Later, these French troops were lead by Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars lead the troops to victories over the German States as well as Austria and others....
Andreas Hofer, who had fought in the war against the French as a "sharp shooter" and then as a captain of "militia". Austria was defeated by the French. Andreas did not like his home and the area around him being taken by the enemy who then gave it to Bavarian Hofer rose as one of the
Andreas Hoffer with his men who defeated the French and the Barvarian Troops at Battle of Sterzing,
12 April 1809
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leaders of the "agitation" against Bavaria and the French. Two years past before he went to Vienna with an invitation from the Archduke John in hand and when he left he had the promise of support of a uprising. In April 1809 it was Andreas Hofer, the elected commander of the rebellion, rose with his troops at Sterzing (11 April 1809) and was victorious. Hofer and his troops quickly occupied Innsbruck. Unfortunately, the Austrians troops, under Archduke Charles, were defeated. This exposed Tyrol and Hofer and his men were forced to retreat from the French and Bavarian troops. When the bulk of the French and Bavarian troops were withdrawn, Hofer and his Tyrolese troops saw their second chance. Two battles were fought at Iselberg. The first on 25 May and the second four days later on 29 May. Hofer and his men were victors on both days. The French and Bavarian troops retreated. It is said that Hofer received a promise from Emperor Francis I of Austria that Tyrol would not be returned to Bavaria or the French if another Treaty would occur. Hofer and his troops reoccupied Innsbbruck. Thinking his service to his Emperor was completed, he returned home. Meanwhile, the Austrians were being defeated in other places by the French under Napoleon and his Grand Marshals. Two months later, the Austrians had to ask for an armistice and signed on 12 July the Armistice of Znaim which, once again, surrendered Tyrol and Voralberg to the French. This time, Napoleon sent in 40,000 soldiers , retook Innsbruck and assumed this was the end to farther trouble. They went as far as placing "a price on the head of Andreas Hofer" in hopes to send this "rascal" to flee. This meant Hofer had to go into hiding which was called "a temporary hesitation". Since the Tyrolese viewed the French as "atheists" who were "soldiers of the anti-Christ", it wasn't difficult for Hofer to raise another uprising against the French invaders. Hofer and his troops defeated The French Marshal Lefebvre and Hofer reentered Innsburck. The Tyrolese elected Hofer as their new Governor of Tyrol. He was given quarters in the Hofburg in Innsbruck. This lasted two months. Evidently, Hofer held the intelligence to set up an administration for the people under the name of his Emperor Francis to whom he remained faithful. On the 29th of Sept. Hofer received from Francis I the chain and medal of honor. Hofer believed the earlier betrayal of his Emperor was not a personal betrayal but something his Emperor had to do under the circumstances. False reports of Austrian victories were sent to Hofer by the Austrians while Francis I was, again, being defeated by the French. These false reports of victories continued as Francis I signed the temporary Treaty of Schoenbruenn on 14 Oct and five days later the Ratification of Peace Treaty (19 Oct). Quickly, the truth of what really happened reached Hofer and the others who had no choice but give their submission to the French. But this wasn't the end of Francis I's false promises to Hofer and his troops. Apparently, there may have been other false reports, which indicated this Treaty was to be brief and Hofer and his troops were asked to regroup and wait for new orders to take up arms, again, against the French. Hofer and his troops retreated and waited in the mountains. A man by the name of Josepf Raffl is said to have been the person who told the French where Hofer had camped. Marshal Lefebvre, who had suffered defeat by Hofer earlier, and, who had eluded Lefebvre in a lengthy pursuit in the mountains, was more than happy to capture Hofer on the 2nd of Jan 1810.
There was no escape for Andreas Hofer from the French who took him to Mantua, Italy. There he was tried, convicted and executed on 20 Feb 1810.
His execution caused a great deal of sensation through Austria and the Germany states. Many believed Andreas Hofer had been a "sacrificial lamb" handed over by the Austrians.
Why would people think Andreas Hofer was betrayed by his King? The Hapsburg's found this popular Andreas Hofer a threat to their own popularity. It was possible that this Innkeeper's military genius continued, that would leave the Hapsburg in the dust. Also, Andreas voiced words like "nationalism", which was a ugly word to the Hapsburgs, who's long reign had demanded absolute sovereignty and spouted, "Ahhh... yes, Hofer is a patriot but is he a patriot to us?".
The Germans took the opportunity to inflame their countrymen with the story of Andreas Hofer. Why? The term "nationalism" was becoming a great interest in the house of the Prussian Royal Family von Hohenzollerns.
The pen of those who also voiced "nationalism" made the Tyrolean innkeeper into a Austrian national hero.
Napoleon found it necessary to state that he regretted the execution of Anderas Hofer who had been executed by "over zealous generals".
Not forgotten by the Austrians, in 1818 the "patent" of nobility was "conferred"upon Andreas Hofer and family based on the earlier bestowment by the Austrian Emperor [King] Francis I in 1809.
1823 Andreas Hofer's body was removed from Mantua and reburied at Innsbruck to the Franciscan Church where a state of him was erected over his tomb.
At Meran, the patriotic deeds of Andreas Hofer heroism is the subject of a festival in Iselberg each year.
It is known that some of Andreas Hofer's family fled eastward to Russia. At the moment, I do not have the list of family members. Some of the family remained Catholic. Some of the family denied not only their past with Austria, they, also, left the church and became Protestant. All of this needs to be researched farther. With all the new information coming out of Russia, we might be able to discovered the truth of these stories handed down by various family members.
It was the Hohenzollerns who continued to stir up the idea of "German nationalism" and would become Kaisers [Emperors] of Prussia which held most of the Germans states accept Austria.
Just a note, Marshal Francois J. Lefebvre would later fight in the Battle of Borodino, was made a peer of France of the Bourbons after he voted in favor of Napoleon's abdication, rejoined Napoleon in the Hundred Days, defeated who lived in disgrace for four years and restored to favor because of the popularity of his wife in 1819 shortly before his death in 1920.
Andreas (Andre) Schade b. 20 Feb 1928 d. 16 Nov 2001 On Vashon, Island, King County, WA, USA m. 12 Oct 1971 Ft. Bragg, Mendacino Country, CA to Arlene Ann Wright West (widow of James West). She is still living [27 March 2003] [Andre was original owner of family photographs given to Ken Schade, R-112, who is informant of this line See Letter] No issue by this marriage
In a message dated 10/5/03 12:31:32 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< I just had a curious experience.
I was searching in the Dogpile search engine and I put in Andreas Hoffer and up popped a response message to a Patricia, (which is my mother's name) regarding a search of Andreas Hoffer.
I am a little perplexed because my mother believes she may be (and ultimately the rest of my family as well) a descendant of Andreas, through my biological grandmother, who was a Hoffer. Then I found a list of additional emails that have been exchanged since 1999 to July 2003, culminating in your message which I am hoping to contact you about here.
Can you let me know if there were any further contacts and if there was any resolution to the issue of whether Andreas has offspring. >>
<<Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. As for Russia, I don't think so, as the information that I have, which was created by my great grandfather before he passed in 1930/31 was that his father, (John Mead Hoffer) was of Swiss decent and his mother was of Scottish decent, (Simonia Catherine Smith). I don't have birth dates or further information prior to 1860, when my great grandfather, John Nunnelly Hoffer indicates that his father died at the Menker Hotel in San Antonio in 1860, just a few months after John Nunnelly was born and his mother remarried William Pitts Boynton. I also have no information regarding those dates, however both William Pitts Boynton (who served in the Civil War) and John Nunnelly Hoffer were Texas Rangers and John Nunnelly had a cousin, Francis Hoffer who also served and who subsequently changed his name to Huffard sometime thereafter. I have found some information about Francis through this site, but none of my grandfather and greatgrandfather..>>
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