Ephemera

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A lengthy document detailing praise to a Fioranvante Usoni from the Artigiana Catholic elders rest home (termed here a commercial association as it was free of church or state control) in Constantinople dated beginning (1 January) of 1856. Translations of pages follows:

This page mentions the “happiness and honour” Artigiana had of having Fioravante Usoni as Director in 1850. That year, the document says, Artigiana had been threatened by the possibility of “falling in the powerless hands of those who managed it in a bad and unhealthy way”. This management is described also as “selfish, religious, destructive of any positive progress”, “insinuating in the mind of the youth despicable ideas of hypocrisy and superstition”.

Usoni, “banned from Italy for having loved his country” (it seems to suggest some kind of political exile), had arrived in Istanbul and having found Artigiana’s homes abandoned, “its hosts left alone and almost dying from hunger”, had reversed its fortunes bringing a new order.
He created new rules, instituted monthly pensions for those living there, he created two separate schools for girls and boys.

... people hosted by the institute found help and generosity “despite coming from a different religion than the one of the Institute” (so not only Christians or Catholics were hosted).

Highlights again how Usoni did not care about neither the religion nor the nationality of the hosts, helping every person in need. The only condition was being a person of “good spirit”. This is the reason why Usoni had been called an “unitarian philanthropist”, according to the document.

On September 30 of the previous year (therefore 1855) Usoni had threatened to abandon the position of director of the institute due to the “lack of appreciation” he personally felt in this regard. He changed his mind after many people had shown their thankfulness and gratitude.

Among the series of positive donations provided by Artigiana to its hosts it mentions “good quality flour, coal” and shoes for the students of the school.

The writer guarantees that Usoni’s contribution will always be remembered and expresses personal fear that Artigiana will fall again in the shameful conditions it was in the past with his departure.
This document is part of the archive of the Artigiana old people’s home, Harbiye, Istanbul that continues to provide residential care for the elderly of all communities.

Fioravante Usoni was registered at the Italian Consulate of Constantinople on January 23d, 1867: son of Luigi, born in Venice, age 52 (°1815). Fioravante Usoni died in Constantinople on January 17, 1876. Underneath the record from the church Ste Maria Drapéris of Pera. He was buried in the Feriköy Catholic cemetery.

In the death record his age and origin are mentioned: He was born in Venice and was around 70 years old, which gives a birth year around 1806.

Artigiana appeal document