Heinrich BAUMANN (1716-1790) is a German clergyman. Born in East Prussia, Baumann first studied at home, then at Liepaja City School. After studying theology at the University of Jena, which was dominated by Lutheran orthodoxy, ideas of piety and Enlightenment, in 1739 he temporarily stayed with brother, Jaunpils pastor Joahim Baumann. However, Heinrich Baumann was not tempted by Courland, so he found employment as a tutor to Captain von Bornemann in Gaujiena. Baumann is a pastor of Liezere (1741-1760), Cesis (1760-1790) and later a dean (1771-1790). In addition to his work as a pastor, Baumann took interest in local culture: collected materials and news about the history and statistics of Vidzeme, as well as Latvian culture and collected folk songs, which later fell into the hands of Johann Gottfried Herder through Hupel.
Heinrich Baumann was born into a family of twelve children, his father Joahim Baumann (1669-1746), a Vogt in Liepaja, owner of the Kretingale manor, later superintendent at the Königsberg Customs (Ober-Insp.b. Lizentamt), mother Sofia Elizabeth, born Hoyer (died in 1730), daughter of a merchant in Liepaja. In 1744, Heinrich Baumann married Eleonor Elizabeth von Heugel (1715-1754) from Schlesien in Liezere. The family had two daughters, Anna Salome and Martha Juliane.
"My dear friend, I have some Latvian songs here. Believe me, my dear friend, that I had never heard of this poetry. On the 30th day of this month, when I received your dear letter, I told my family of the requested songs, they were so captivated by the joy and yoke that I could barely restrain them. What I enclose here is just the beginning, and more will come. You will find here this and that what would not have been expected from Latvians."
Extract from a letter from Heinrich Baumann to Benjamin Fisher, October 31, 1777. Quoted in: Beata Paškevica. Latviešu tautasdziesmu teksti, to pierakstītāji un sūtītāji J.G.Herderam "Tautasdziesmu" izdevuma vajadzībām. book.: Vienotība un atšķirība: Johana Gotfrīda Herdera filozofija. Sast. R.Bičevskis. Rīga: FSI, 2017, 293. pp.
"Tell me, my dear friend! What does General Superintendent Herder - his quite successful portrait is in my Vidzeme collection - want to do with our Latvian folk songs? This great man! This is an enigma I can't solve."
Extract from a letter from Heinrich Bauman to Benjamin Fisher, March 13, 1778. Quoted in: Beata Paškevica. Latviešu tautasdziesmu teksti, to pierakstītāji un sūtītāji J.G.Herderam "Tautasdziesmu" izdevuma vajadzībām. book.: Vienotība un atšķirība: Johana Gotfrīda Herdera filozofija. Sast. R.Bičevskis. Rīga: FSI, 2017, 299. pp.
"Born Prussian and former Kurzeme pupil and student, Baumann, however, deliberately chose Vidzeme as his fatherland, denying Kurzeme. As a patriotic educated man, he did not think within the current political dimension: this dimension is not revealed by his efforts around the Latvian language related to its systematic understanding, nor his future historical and cultural interests, which always included Kurzeme, though he often encountered the strict boundaries set by his friends and acquaintances there, and he even found it difficult to obtain the information he needed from Kurzeme people. Baumann saw the promotion of homeland welfare in concern for its history, good school education and upbringing, and education in general [Der gebürtige Preuße und ehemalige kurländische Schüler und Student Baumann hatte sich dabei bewusst für Livland als Vaterland entschieden, in Ablehnung gegen Kurland. Als patriotischer Gelehrter wiederum dachte er nicht in aktuellen politischen Dimensionen: Nicht nur sein Bemühen um die systematische Erfassung der lettischen Sprache transzendierte nämlich diese Dimension, sondern auch sein weiteres historisches und kulturelles Interesse bezog Kurland immer selbstverständlich mit ein, obwohl er gerade hier oft an die Grenzen seines Netzwerks stieß und Schwierigkeiten hatte, die entsprechenden Informationen aus Kurland zu bekommen. Das Wohl des Vaterlandes zu befördern sah Baumann neben dem Bemühungen um die Geschichte im Bemühen um ein gutes Schulwesen und gute Erziehung und Bildung allgemein.]"
Anuschka Tischer. Der Sammler als Aufklärer: das Leben und Wirken Heinrich Baumanns (1716-1790). In: Aufklärer im Baltikum. Europäischen Kontext und Regionale besonderheiten. Hrsg. Ulrich Kronauer. Hedelberg: Winter, 2011, S. 160.
Pastoral work and care for the education of the new generation
Collection of Latvian folk songs
At the request of J.G. Herder, Heinrich Baumann recorded Latvian folk songs for August Wilhelm Hupel, but initially Baumann had no direct contact with Hupel. The folk songs collected by Baumann presumably first came into the hands of his friend Jacob Benjamin Fisher, who in turn passed them on to Hupel for sending to Herder.
On October 31 and November 28, 1777, H. Baumann sent Latvian folk songs to J.B. Fischer in two consignments [cf. LVVA f. 4038, ap.2, case 304, 40-41].
Cultural and historical research on Vidzeme (manuscripts)
- Livländisches Gelehrtenlexikon or Bibliotheca Livonica [Vidzeme scholarly lexicon, not preserved]
- Bibliotheca Lettica [The Latvian Library or an overview of all Latvian books, working on it 1764-1783, located in the State Historical Archives of Latvia: LVVA f. 4038, Apr.2, case 1540]
- Lettischsprachige Reformationsgeschichte [Reformation history in Latvian, not preserved]
- Diptycha Wendensis [Cesis diptych, an enlarged church book containing brief descriptions of the life of deceased congregation members, 1760-1782; LVVA f. 4038, Apr.2, case 35]
- Tagebuch [diary, to 1773; LVVA f. 4038, Apr.2, case 91]
His correspondence with colleagues [LVVA f. 4083, Apr.2, file 304] and his personal library book catalog with 500 entries [LVVA f. 4038, Apr. 2, l. 70, 115] are also of great cultural and historical importance.