Chapter 16 Revolution in the Toggenburg and the approach of death:

In early September all was quiet in the Toggenburg, the Abbey felt able to agree to some of the people's demands, but at a price. Abolition of feudal death duties and other taxes was offered for 20,000 guilders [Chronik, pp 447-8]. On 5th September a meeting of the Landrat to consider this was disrupted by an uprising led by Gallus Schrumpf, demanding that the matter be referred to the assemblies of the communes. This was done, and at the same time the communes were asked to comment on supplementary documents to both petitions to the Prince-Abbot. [Chronik, p 452]

September (no exact date) [Voellmy dates this as 1779, but the Chronik (p 448) confirms that this was a mistake.] "The storm of revolution reaches the Toggenburg"

"In September it began to make itself heard in the Toggenburg too. For until then the Toggenburg has kept itself calm, commendably and much to its credit, had been an inactive spectator, in spite of the fact that many, for example men of Glarus and Appenzell, had been calling on it to revolt. On that account too the land of Toggenburg has been commended by the monastery of St. Gallen, with much satisfaction to its people the best offers were made concerning the commutation of some taxes such as the death duties, the Shrovetide hens and the like; other supposed grievances or ancient rights of the court of St. Gallen should be partly done away with or diminished.

In spite of this some agitators and factionists succeeded in stirring up an uprising, just as the Landrat [provincial council] was in the process of electing ambassadors from its members, to go to Schwarzenbach and there negotiate amicably with the delegates of the prince. Several hundred men, mostly out of Lower Toggenburg and also some from this and neighbouring communes who wanted to distinguish themselves, gathered before the town hall in Lichtensteig and formally laid siege to the assembled Landrat, allowing no man to leave the hall, until the council should have made resolutions according to their wishes. Of course amongst this crowd there were, as usually is the case with uprisings of the common people, also the lowest of the low, who expressed themselves with coarse and hurtful abuse and some who resorted to physical insult. Their demand was not for freedom, nor for regulation, or what was being demanded of the prince and so on, their demand was the renewal of the threefold Landrat. This would be 180 men, from whom one would first have to elect men who would come to an understanding with the prince's deputies concerning the business of our land. Well, our council members strove for a long time to present this demand as something unusual and contrary to agreement. However, after they had refused to act until late at night, they thought it best to give way to compulsion, or risk being starved out of the council hall. And so most of them voted for the creation of a threefold Landrat.

Already some individuals here and there had let themselves be voted for as supplementaries, as they were called, or new provincial councillors. But after this the Landrat revoked the decision that it had made under compulsion. Many of them wanted to resign, if they could not be allowed and guaranteed full authority and security. News of this scene was sent in all haste to St. Gallen, Zürich and so on, but together with that the whole of the people of Toggenburg were summoned and in all communes of the whole province assemblies were announced, and all on the same day, so as to prevent faction and conspiracy.

Well, the day arrived. The assemblies of the communes took place. About four communes recognised by a majority of votes the forced decision of the council in its power and validity. Some communes, however, wanted to wait a week before the collection of votes, so as to know beforehand how Wattwil had voted. There, things went on in a fairly tumultuous fashion. A crowd of people streamed in from all directions, to be eyewitnesses of how these communes decided. At the beginning the leaders of the communes were not far from being at loggerheads with each other, because even they were of different opinions. This made the people mad with rage. For a few hours a bellowing confusion and uproar reigned, so that one could not hear