Theodore Pavlovic - Life, Work, and Legacy: The Complete Story of the Serbian Intellectual

In the depths of Serbian history, Theodore Pavlovic stands as a pillar of intellectual richness and national dedication. His life, intertwined with the strength of character and deep love for his people, tells a story of relentless effort and commitment that guided him through all challenges and obstacles. Born at a time when the Serbian people were seeking their identity, Pavlovic emerged as a prominent member of society, recognized for his exceptional talent and leadership abilities.

An attempt to diminish this great work by Pavlović also evident in the monument for the centenary of Matica "Matica Srpska 1826-1926." where Pavlović's role in obtaining permission for Matica's operation and publishing the Letopis is minimized. Similarly, in the case of the establishment of Tekelijanum and Tekelija's philanthropy in general, there is an attempt to diminish Pavlović's role in that matter. Namely, Tekelija's inclination, which we do not doubt, to assist in the education of Serbian children is emphasized.

The monument highlights that Sava Tekelija had no children and was married to Amalija Beseg, who they say was extravagant. He endeavored to support the education of Serbian students with his vast wealth. In pursuit of this goal, he invited twelve wealthy Serbs from Arad in 1810 to jointly establish a fund, the interest of which would be used to assist in the education of Serbian students, with the other half serving to increase the fund.

The proposal was accepted, and the fund was established. At the founders' request, permission was obtained to operate in 1813 as an association to aid Serbian students.

This foundation operated until most of the founders passed away, and their heirs were not interested. Tekelija allegedly exerted great effort to persuade them to leave their assets in the fund, which amounted to 20,000 forints at the beginning of 1838. These funds were distributed, and the remainder was offered by Tekelija to Emperor Ferdinand in mid-1838 as the protector of all public foundations.

It is difficult to accept that this fund managed such large assets (20,000 forints) and that Tekelija handed over its remainder to Emperor Ferdinand in mid-1838 when he had already written his Founding Charter on August 21, 1838, establishing his Tekelijanum. The entire foundation seems unbelievable. Especially, that it endured from 1813 to 1838 without Matica, or anyone before it, initiating actions to more widely utilize these funds. Despite all our skepticism, we have presented this to avoid accusations of concealing it to aggrandize Pavlović's merits.

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