August Ludwig Follen was born in Germany in 1794. He led radical students in Giessen and Heidelberg and this led to his imprisonment in Berlin (1819-21). On his release he moved to Switzerland and taught in Aarau (1821-24).
Follen's radical political views made him unwelcome in Switzerland and in 1824 he emigrated to America. He taught German at Harvard University but was dismissed in 1835 for his outspoken opposition to slavery.
Follen, who was the author liberal songs such as Brause, die Freiheitssang, died in 1855. His epic poem, Tristans Eltern, was published posthumously in 1857.