Jovan Mićić

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Jovan Mićić
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Died1844(1844-00-00) (aged 58–59)
  • Zlatibor hajduk
  • Fighters (First Serbian Uprising)

Jovan Mićić (1785-1844) was a Zlatibor hajduk and one of the fighters in the First Serbian Uprising. During the Second Serbian Uprising, he was the leader of the Zlatibor people, and after the uprising, in Obrenović's Serbia, with the title of Prince of September, Serdar of the Užice Nahiye and Colonel of the Užice, he absolutistically ruled this area. He was very loyal to the Obrenović dynasty, and he was a very close friend of Miloš Obrenović. He was also a brother of Smail-aga Čengić and a friend of Prince-Bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš. He was a very influential person at that time in every respect. However, with the first fall of Obrenović, Jovan Mićić also fell. He died of starvation in captivity, as predicted by the Tarabić prophets, when it was least likely.

In the first half of the 18th century, Jovan Mićić's father, Gavrilo Garab, whose ancestors are descended from the famous Montenegrin hero and hajduk Bajo Pivljanin, moved to the Zlatibor village of Mačkat, where Jovan was born around 1785. Gavrilo soon returned to his homeland with his family, but immediately before the Serbian Revolution, he came to Zlatibor again, now to the village of Rožanstvo. He did not stay there long either, but after a short time, he went to Čajetina and built a house in the hamlet of Musvete. Today, there are no direct descendants of Jovan Mićić in Zlatibor, but the descendants of the Zlatibor family Mićić still live in Rožanstvo and Čajetina.

The first Serbian uprising

Before the First Serbian Uprising, Mićić joined the hajduks, but as soon as Zlatibor was liberated from the Turks, he joined Miloš Obrenović personally. Thanks to his heroism, he soon became a boluk-bashi of the then Duke of Zlatibor, Mihailo Radović, who was the organizer of the uprising on Zlatibor. There is no more complete information about his activity in the first uprising, except that he distinguished himself in the battle near Loznica in 1810, and he probably also took part in the battles with Sulejman-paša Skopljak and Bubnjević-aga. During this period, his role was not particularly important, which is understandable, because he fought in the shadow of the insurgent dukes and their glory.

After the uprising broke out, Mićić, like Mihailo Radović, retreated to the forest, where he had safe strongholds with his hijackers.

Another Serbian uprising

He began his war and political career only in 1815 when he distinguished himself with his heroism in Ljubić (near Čačak) and Ljubanje (near Užice). Since then, for many years, he was one of the first associates of Miloš Obrenović, and with his rise, he reached a high position in the state administration.

When the first administrative government began to be formed in the liberated parts of Serbia at the end of 1815, the name of Jovan Mićić was mentioned, but without any title. In the same year, he collected taxes and handed them over to Miloš Obrenović, but in what capacity, it is not known. In a letter dated 22 September 1817, Jovan Mićić, Mihailo Radović and Jovan Demir confirmed Miloš Obrenović's acceptance of the firman, so it is clear that in the first days after the Second Serbian Uprising, Mićić shared power with two other people, i.e. that this area was ruled by the triumvirate Mićić - Radović - Demir. When the title of serdar was established in 1815, which was given to the most deserving people, it also belonged to Mićić. He received the title of the Knyaz on 13 December 1819, at a time when Radović was seriously ill, and in September of the same year, Prince Miloš gave him supervision over the Užice and Sokol districts. During his departure to pay homage to the Sultan in Constantinople in 1835, in addition to precious gifts, Prince Miloš also received 22 decorations, to distribute them to his most prominent people. Among those who received a medal was Jovan Mićić.

At the beginning of his ascent, Mićić built a house in Čajetina with all the necessary buildings surrounded by a stone wall. It was known in Čajetina under the name of konak (serdar's konak), and in it, one room was called a colourful room, because it was small, and he received official visits to it. During the Second World War in 1941, the Germans destroyed the dormitory with tanks. Only the door to the colourful room has been preserved, and it is now in the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade.

Mićić's permanent headquarters were located in Čajetina, while sometimes, especially in winter, he stayed in Arilje, where he also built a house. He had a personal escort of about 40 boys, who were without family obligations. He supported them at his own expense and often undertook attacks on his own with them.

Milan Milićević in his "Principality of Serbia" describes Jovan Mićić as follows: Gunj embroidered with a braid, silver buckles on his chest, a well-worn suit and beautiful dolma adorned Mićić's middle and full stature and made his appearance striking. Easy on the step, as fast on the road as a real child from Zlatibor. Quick in the decision, over and often reckless in actions. Vuk Karadžić advised Prince Miloš to reprimand him for certain recklessness, and only the prince could calm Mićić's restless and mountaineering nature. [1]

Mićić played a major role in the showdown between Prince Miloš and the Karadjordjevics. In April 1823, Miloš handed over Mladen Milovanović, Karađorđe's former president of the all-Serbian National Council (Soviet), to Kragujevac to escort him to Lim and transfer him to Montenegro.[2] However, Mićić's boys Leko and Simo Kovač killed him in Očka Gora in an alleged attempt to escape, and his body was thrown into the Zvekar cave. His share was also great in quelling the revolts that broke out against the prince's absolutism. When Miloš heard that Đakovo's revolt was being prepared in 1825, he told Jovan Mićić to come to Kragujevac. He immediately hurried with 500-strong cavalry and, together with Vučić, dispersed Đakovo's army. Serdar did not leave Miloš even during the greatest rebellion, raised at the end of 1834 and the beginning of 1835 by the Resava serdar Mileta Radojković.

The situation on Zlatibor, due to the proximity of the border, was uncertain, so it always required the presence of a good organizer, diplomat and fearless hero, and all these qualities were possessed by Jovan Mićić. Serbia's political and diplomatic ties with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina passed through it. Serdar had a lot of reliable informants, who crossed the border and brought him the news, and he sent them on to Miloš. On 9 August 1827, he informed Prince Miloš that the envoys sent to the Montenegrin bishop had returned, while in a letter dated 14 October of the same year he announced that he had received a letter from the Montenegrin metropolitan, brought by Father Moses with a recommendation to deliver it to the Lord.

Mićić used Zlatibor kiridžija to collect military-political data in Bosnia and Montenegro. Their role as informants was invaluable, as their data was always fresh and credible. The most news was collected by the experienced kiridžija Tešan Penezić, who, for example, came to Užice on 27 January 1832 with very important and convincing data. At the suggestion of the Užice court, and at the request of Jovan Mićić, Prince Miloš rewarded him with 20 Groschen. Serdar sent Kiridzija Stefan Stanković to reconnoitre the condition of the Turkish army in Bosnia, and when, at the beginning of 1838, he returned from the road back to Cajetina, among others, he brought the news that the Montenegrin bishop had attacked the town of Klobuk. When Sima Milutinović Sarajlija returned from Montenegro from Njegoš, he reported to Prince Miloš and got a temporary service with the Belgrade police, but a little later he was appointed assistant to the then already famous September serdar Jovan Mićić. It is probable that Milutinović had a special mission in connection with the diplomatic activity that went from Montenegro through Mićić.

Jovan Mićić's connections with the fortune-teller-beer and Drobnjak Muslim Smail Agha Čengić are also interesting. From the thirties to the forties of the 19th century, they had excellent relations, as evidenced by a number of documents. They even became brothers and godparents to each other. On 20 March 1836, the corrector of the Užice District Court received a letter from Čajetina from Serdar, informing him that two sons of Smail-aga would soon arrive in Užice on the way to Vidin. In August 1838, Mićić informed Jovan Obrenović that a certain Karadžić from Kriva Rijeka, returning from Turkey, told him that Smail Agha was under Durmitor. Finally, Serdar found out about the death of Smail Agha Čengić only after a few days.

When Prince Miloš left Serbia in 1839, Mićić retained the duty of the head of the Užice district, to which he was appointed a year earlier. He remained loyal to the Obrenovićs. In August 1842, Toma Vučić Perišić's revolt against Obrenović broke out. On August 20, Prince Mihailo ordered Mićić from Sopot to come to Kragujevac with Jovan Obrenović urgently and take cannons and ammunition before the rebels. At the first word about Vučić's revolt, Mićić ordered the uprising of the people of the Užice district, and with Jaković, the captain of Zlatibor, and several hundred Zlatibor citizens, he immediately rushed to the aid of the ruler. [3]

Mićić came to the Vraćevšnica monastery below the Rudnik mountain with armed people. From there, the army moved in a disorganized manner and came to Trbusnica on 31 August, where Mićić buried himself, refusing to negotiate with Vučić. He had no choice but to prepare the army and accept the fight. However, when a decisive clash was expected, Stevča Mihailović broke up the people of Čačak and went to negotiations with Vučić. Mićić was left alone, but new troubles arose for him because a certain part of the army had already left him, which forced him to withdraw to Zlatibor. His intention was to move to Montenegro via Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After these events, Mićić remained the head of the Užice District for some time, but only formally, because he was temporarily replaced by Stevan Radulović. However, with this title, the new district chief Miljac Trifunović was given the task of depriving Jovan Mićić of his freedom. With the cops and the Vračar army, the new chief, after the fight, captured Mićić on the Zlatibor pastures in Zova (today it is part of Kraljeva Vode; while according to another story, Mićić was captured in the Zlatibor village of Semegnjevo, in a forest that

After these events, Mićić remained the head of the Užice District for some time, but only formally, because he was temporarily replaced by Stevan Radulović. However, with this title, the new district chief Miljac Trifunović was given the task of depriving Jovan Mićić of his freedom. With the cops and the Vracar army, the new chief, after the fight, captured Mićić on the Zlatibor pastures in Zova (today it is part of Kraljeva Vode; while according to another story, Mićić was captured in the Zlatibor village of Semegnjevo, in the forest now called Serdar gaj). From there, he was taken to Belgrade, where he was exposed to public ridicule. He was driven through the town in a bullock cart pulled by buffaloes. His arms were tied with ropes, and his legs were chained in heavy chains. Vučić walked next to the car and said to the gathered mass: "Well, here is the terrible Mićić, our enemy and yours, who are faithful to our merciful emperor and the emperor's constitution. Well, don't be afraid of him anymore, he's as meek as a lamb now...."

Serdar was lucky that he was not thrown into the Vračarske rupe (Vračar hole), like other dignitaries of the former regime, some of whom ended up there.

Jovan Mićić and his like-minded people were expelled from Belgrade (but not by a court decision but by a decision of the Guardianship of Internal Affairs) to the Crnorečki district, in Zaječar, and detained there. They were chained and kept under strict police control.

According to the Zlatibor historian, Professor Milisav R. Đenić, Serdar was first imprisoned in Vračarske rupe, and then in the city of Belgrade, and then reached the infamous Gurgusovačka kula (Gurgusovac tower).

In Gurgusovac, Mićić survived his most difficult days. The heavy irons on his swollen legs created wounds on him, while his hands, which had once so skillfully handled the scythe and shot from the holster, were now trembling. The Russian consul in Belgrade was also interested in the September prince. He demanded that Cvetko Rajović and Jovan Mićić be released from prison, so Russia will recognize Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević. Under these circumstances, Mićić came out of the Gurgusovačka tower in the summer or autumn of 1843, but he was arrested again in February of the following year.

When he was released, he came to Cajetina and locked himself in his dormitory, placing barricades made of chests and wood on the doors and windows. Since he did not want to respond to the call and come to Užice, the policemen sent by the police captain arrived in Čajetina in February 1844. They violently broke through the door and defeated Mićić after suffocation and a short knife fight. He was taken to Užice, after which he was taken to Kragujevac with his legs tied under his horse under strict guard. There, the Extraordinary Court, which had the character of a court, sentenced him to death and deprived him of all medals, ranks and pensions.

However, his death sentence was replaced by "eternal imprisonment in light iron". He was taken to Gurgusovac and in the dungeon, in a dark and crumbly cell, in extremely inhumane and bad conditions, he died at the end of December 1844. He died of starvation, begging for some soup. His body was transferred in 1856 and buried in the gate of the Church of St. Achilles in Arilje.


  1. Милан Ђ. Милићевић, Кнежевина Србија
  2. Новости, 12 June 2013, Нићифор Нинковић, Невоља ствар голема, фељтон
  3. Милева Алимпић, „Живот и рад Ранка Алимпића“, pp. 47

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