The second lives of significant people, being remembered or not being remembered depend on a number of reasons and factors. They affect how and how often their lives and works are reflected on in the press, the re-editions are published and the commemorations and celebrations are held. The memories of the personalities seen by a national community as their representatives are some of the essential features of each nationalism. Such a memory is encouraged by commemorating them during various events and by placing them in the contexts reflecting the contemporary political needs. These needs have influenced the process of forming the individual layers of the memory of Ján Francisci (1822 – 1905), who was one of the leading figures amongst the national activists between the 1840s and the1890s. In case of Ján Francisci the most vivid memory is that of his appearance. Owing to several paintings capturing him in all the periods of his life, Francisci is usually presented as the epitome of the virtues of the Štúr generation, i.e. beautiful both in body and mind, dedicated to the national issues and the ideals of the national life. Another layer of the memory is related to his activities as the captain of the Slovak volunteers in the Revolution of 1848 – 1849. The credit he really deserves for the initiatives in the Memorandum movement, and establishing and managing the Matica slovenská is overshadowed by the memories of the first chairman Bishop Štefan Moyzes and the vice-chairman Karol Kuzmány, although the recorded agendas of the both national enterprises show a whole lot of organizational work done by Francisci. What is even less remembered is his organizational work in the student groups of the 1940s, although his leadership is accented it is usually only stated as a fact and left without argumentation. Similarly “poor” is the memory of his editorial activities in the Pešťbudínske vedomosti. The poorest is the layer of the memory of Ján Francisci´s activities during his Martin period of life, i.e. from the 1870s. He worked there as the manager of the Book Printing joint stock association organized the publishing of the literature in Slovak but this wide range of activities has not become part of the memory of Ján Francisci. The article draws attention to the selective and potentially manipulative approach, which is a side effect of the process of forming the memories of the personalities who are seen as the creators or the characters of the story of the nation.