The most enduring influence of the 1838 flood is symbolic. In a time of crisis a member of Hungary's tided nobility made a decision to rescue needy souls, regardless of their social status. A prominent national figure manned a boat to save imperiled lives rather than simply occupy space on the national stage. Wesselényi's conduct during the flooding reflects the congruence between his thoughts and actions. His liberal principles were guiding forces of action which directed him in a time of trouble. At a time when his own life was on the line and when he was racked with bodily pains he opted not to focus on his own personal woes, but repeatedly rowed out into the watery darkness to rescue his fellow men.
In April, 1806, nearly four hundred nobles met in a session of the Közép-Szolnok county assembly in Northern Transylvania. The speaker before them came from a prestigious family whose ancestors had addressed that body for two centuries. None of this was unusual. What was extraordinary was that the speaker was nine years old. In his youthful voice, he announced to them his intention to become a patriot: