Czartoryski, the name of a Polish princely family, whose origin is traced to Korygiello or Constantine of Tchernigov, son of Olgierd, duke of Lithuania, and half brother of Jagiello, the founder of the dynasty of that name in Poland (1386). The name is derived from the dominion of Czartorya, and the place Czar-torysk near Luck in Volhynia. Of the two branches of the family, which belongs to the highest rank of nobility in their country, and boasts of a number of statesmen equally remarkable for wealth, talents, and patriotism, the male line of the younger branch, that of Korzek, became extinct in 1810, while the elder, that of Zukow, is still flourishing. To this elder branch belong the following. I. Mi-chal Fryderyk, born about 1695, died at Warsaw, Aug. 13, 1775. He was made castellan of Wilna in 1720, vice chancellor of Lithuania in 1724, and great chancellor of that principality in 1752. Together with his brother and other nobles, he formed an influential party, which strove to bring about a reform of the constitution of Poland designed to strengthen the influence of the king and the judiciary, and to restrain the anarchical independence of the high dignitaries of the crown.
Their chief object was to change Poland into a hereditary kingdom, if possible under a Czartoryski. To counterbalance the influence of the reigning house of Saxony, as well as that of Austria, they courted the assistance of Russia, which by money and arms, however, finally decided the matter in its own favor. II. August Alexander, brother of the preceding, born in 1697, died in Warsaw in 1782. He was palatine of Red Russia, and lieutenant general of the army of the crown. He was a zealous cooperator with his brother, but was deceived in the expectation of seating his son upon the throne. By activity and lucky speculations he added greatly to the wealth of the family. III. Adam Kazimierz, son of the preceding, born at Dantzic, Dec. 1, 1731, died at Sieniawain Gali-cia, March 19,1823. After the death of Augustus III. (1763), the party headed by his father and uncle chose him as candidate for the royal dignity. To gain the assistance of Russia, his cousin Stanislas Poniatowski was sent to the court of St. Petersburg. But Catharine II. determined to put the crown of Poland upon the head of her favorite Poniatowski himself. This being known, Czartoryski yielded to his rival, to whom he had been attached from early youth.
At the assembly of the nation preceding the election, the Czartoryskis and their adherents appeared in great numbers at Warsaw, and with them an army of Russians, sent to support the claims of Poniatowski. Adam Kazimierz was chosen marshal or president of the diet in spite of patriotic opposition roused by the presence of the Russians, and Poniatowski was elected king. After the first partition of Poland in 1772, Czartoryski, who possessed large estates in Galicia, accepted the commission of a general of artillery in the Austrian army, but still adhered to the party which worked for the restoration of the power of Poland through a constitutional reform, and distinguished himself at the long diet, which proclaimed the liberal constitution of May 3, 1791. He was also active in persuading the elector of Saxony to accept the hereditary succession to the crown of Poland, and Austria to engage in an alliance against Russia. But all these attempts failed; the confederation of Targovitza against the new constitution was assisted by the arms of Russia, Poniatowski deserted the cause of the reform, and in 1793 a new partition of Poland ensued.
Czartoryski now retired and lived at Vienna during the great rising under Kosciuszko (1794), whom he persuaded not to extend the insurrection over the frontiers of Austria; which, however, did not prevent that power from taking its share at the final dismemberment of Poland in 1795. He took no part in the events which followed the treaty of Tilsit, and the creation of the duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon (1807); but in 1812 he accepted the marshalship of the confederation, preceding the invasion of Russia, which promised the restoration of ancient Poland. The fatal issue of the great campaign foiled his hope, and Czartoryski retired to Pulawy, but in 1815 headed a deputation to the congress of Vienna, and presented to the emperor Alexander the outlines of a new constitution for the kingdom of Poland, now reorganized under his sceptre. Alexander made him senator palatine. IV. Elzbieta, wife of the preceding, born countess of Flemming in 1746, died in Galicia, June 17, 1835. She was distinguished by beauty, spirit, and patriotism, but also inclined to romantic extravagance.
Having spent several years at court, and in travels in western Europe, she retired to Pulawy, where she constructed the admirable gardens of which Delille sings in the didactic poem Les jardins, and the "temple of .the sibyl," containing a collection of relics of Polish history. She was also active in promoting industry and education. She published " Ideas on the Construction of Gardens" (Breslau, 1807), and "The Pilgrim in Dobromil" (Warsaw, 1818), a popular book on national history, for the instruction of the agricultural class. Having survived the three partitions and two restorations of Poland, she proved her patriotism in the revolution of 1830-'31, but had the mortification to see her seat at Pulawy bombarded by her own grandson, the prince of Wtirtemberg, who served in the Russian army. She passed her last years with her daughter in Galicia. The collections of Pulawy were in part dispersed, and in part transported to St. Petersburg. V. Marya Anna, daughter of the preceding, born March 15, 1768, died in Paris in October, 1854. In 1784 she was married to Louis Frederick Alexander, prince of Wtirtemberg; but as he betrayed the cause of Poland in 1792, she left him and was divorced.
Her mother says in one of her letters: "A heavenly soul, an angelic character, a charming figure, talents, virtues, and many misfortunes - this is her history." In 1818 she published a romance, Malwina, which was translated into several languages. After the revolution of 1830-'31 she retired to Galicia. The estates of the Czartoryskis in the kingdom of Poland having been confiscated, her only son Adam, prince of Wtirtemberg, who had served against the Poles, offered her a pension, which she rejected in the following words: "Sir, I have not the honor of knowing you; I have no longer a son, and care little for fortune." VI. Adam Jerzy, brother of the preceding, born Jan. 14, 1770, died at Montfermeil, near Paris, July 16, 1861. He completed his education in France and at the university of Edinburgh, fought in 1792 against the Russians, in the Lithuanian army under Zabiello, and was sent in 1795 to St. Petersburg, as a hostage for the fidelity of his family. There, being attached to the person of the grand duke Alexander, the future emperor, he became his intimate friend. In 1792 he was sent by the emperor Paul as ambassador to the court of Sardinia, whence he was recalled in 1802 by Alexander, to assist him in the department of foreign aftairs.
This situation drew upon him much censure on the part of some of his countrymen, which, however, his conduct gradually overcame. On April 11, 1805, he signed for Russia the alliance with England, and accompanied Alexander in the campaign in Austria. He also followed him to the campaign in Prussia, and to the conferences of Tilsit in 1807. The duchy of Warsaw having been created by the treaty then concluded, he left the service of the emperor and lived retired till 1813, when he again accompanied Alexander to Germany, France, and the congress of Vienna. Made senator palatine of the new kingdom of Poland by Alexander, he appeared at its first diet, acting in behalf of liberal ideas. In 1821 he resigned the curatorship of the university of Wilna, which he had held since its organization in 1803, in consequence of the extraordinary persecutions to which a number of students, accused of conspiracy, had been subjected. After the outbreak of the revolution of Nov. 29,1830, he was called to preside over the provisional government. He convoked for Dec. 18 the diet which proclaimed the independence of Poland, Jan. 25, 1831, when he became president of the national government.
This dignity, in which he sacrificed immense riches, he laid down to serve as a private soldier under Ra-morino. After the surrender of that general in Galicia, and the fall of Warsaw (September, 1831), he shared the fate of the Polish emigration in France. He was excluded from the amnesty of 1831; his estates in the Russian Polish provinces were confiscated; those in Austria were sequestered in 1846 inconsequence of a declaration in favor of the revolutionary movement which drove the Austrians from Cracow, but were restored in 1848. In March, 1848, he issued a proclamation calling upon the representatives of Germany and France to unite for the restoration of Poland. In April of the same year he abolished serfdom on his estates of Sieniawa. Being the choice of the monarchical party in the Polish emigration, Czartoryski was often violently attacked by the democrats; but together with his wife, Anna (born Princess Sapieha in 1796), he sustained his dignified position by a nearly regal munificence, which made his hotel in Paris a place of refuge for his suffering compatriots. - His eldest son, Witold, born June 6, 1824, died in Algiers, Nov. 14, 1865; and his second son, Wladyslaw, born July 3, 1828, became head of the family.
His first wife, a daughter of the ex-queen Christina of Spain, having died in 1864, he married in 1872 the princess Marguerite of Orleans, daughter of the duke de Nemours, second son of Louis Philippe.