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MAUROGONATO, ISACCO PESARO:

Italian legislator; born in Venice Nov. 26, 1817; died in Rome April 5, 1892. He was a member of a prominent family of Ferrara. His father, Israel Pesaro, removed to Venice on his marriage, and the son took the name of Maurogonato in addition to the family name in consequence of an inheritance left him by one of his mother's relatives. He studied law, and afterward finance and political economy. Maurogonato took an active part in the organization of the Venetian revolution of 1848-49; on its outbreak he was elected to the assembly, and was later made minister of finance. He succeeded in supplying an empty treasury with funds for carrying on the war, and was Manin's and Tommaseo's right hand. When the Austrians examined the municipal accounts after regaining possession of the city they found them absolutely correct. General Gorskowski exclaimed in surprise, "I never could have believed the rascally Republicans were so honest!" On the collapse of the revolution Maurogonato was one of the forty excepted from the amnesty; with Manin and Tommaseo he was compelled to leave the country. He went to the Ionian Islands, but in a few years was allowed to return to Italy and engage in business at Vicenza.

In 1866 Maurogonato again entered public life as a member of the chamber. When in 1884 the recognition of the loans made to the Venetian revolutionary government of 1848-49 was proposed in Parliament, Maurogonato—who thought the proposition a just one, but did not feel that he could conscientiously advocate it to his own gain—turned over his claims, before the discussion began, to the municipality of Venice. They brought about 16,000 francs, and that sum became the foundation of a fund for furnishing annual subsidies to the veterans of the revolution. He became vice-president of the chamber and was for a number of years a member of the general budget commission. The portfolio of finance was several times offered to him, Victor Emanuel even personally urging him to accept, but he steadily refused. On Oct. 27, 1890, King Humbert made him a senator. Both houses of Parliament, the government, and the municipal councils of Venice and of Rome took official notice of his death, and King Humbert sent his condolences to his family. Imposing public funeral services were held at Rome and at Venice, in which latter city, hewas buried. Throughout his life Maurogonato was devoted to the interests of his coreligionists.

Bibliography:
  • Arch. Isr. 1892, pp. 156-157;
  • Il Vessillo Israelitico, 1892, pp. 123-124.
S. N. D.
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