Although it was not until the interwar period when the post-1830 Polish exile to Western Europe became known as the Great Emigration, the contemporary refugees themselves were fully aware of the unique character of their exile. As the editors of a short-lived Pismo wzajemnego oświecania się [A paper of mutual enlightenment] put it in 1833, ‘Polish emigration is one of the rarest and the strangest events of our age; thus collecting and preserving materials that one day will serve to write its history is the most important of our duties.’ 1 That awareness makes research on the subject of the Great Emigration much easier for all historians and, not surprisingly, the subject has received a lot of attention from Polish scholars.