The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Schurz, Carl
SCHURZ, shoorts, Carl, German-American publicist, editor and author: b. Liblar, near Cologne, Prussia, 2 March 1829; d. New York City, 14 May 1906. He studied at the University of Bonn, in 1848 with others published a revolutionary journal, in 1849 escaped to the Palatinate upon the failure of an insurrection which he promoted at Bonn, took part in the defense of Rastadt and upon its surrender fled to Switzerland. In 1850 he returned to Germany, going thence to Scotland and to Paris, where he was a correspondent for the German press, and, after a year in London, came to the United States (1852), where until 1855 he resided in Philadelphia. Having then removed to Madison, Wis., he identified himself with the Republican party, and by his speeches made himself an important factor in determining the German element of the State against slavery. He participated in the Lincoln-Douglas senatorial canvass in Illinois, entered legal practice at Milwaukee, was a member of the National Republican Convention of 1860 and assisted largely in the framing of its platform. During the ensuing campaign he spoke much in both German and English. He was appointed by Lincoln Minister to Spain, but in December 1861 resigned to enter the army, receiving a commission as brigadier-general of volunteers. He distinguished himself at the second Bull Run (Manassas), was promoted major-general, 14 March 1863, commanded a division at Chancellorsville, held temporary command of the 11th corps at Gettysburg and took part at Chattanooga. After the war he returned to professional practice, in 1865-66 was Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune, and was made by President Johnson a special commissioner to report on the workings of the Freedmen's Bureau. In 1868 he was temporary chairman of the convention that nominated Grant, whom he actively supported in campaign. In 1869-75 he was senator from Missouri. He vigorously opposed many of the leading measures of the Grant administration, in 1872 helped to organize the “Liberal” party and presided over the Cincinnati convention which nominated Greeley, but in 1876 supported Hayes, by whom he was made Secretary of the Interior. He introduced competitive examinations for posts in the civil service, and provided for forest protection on public domains. From the close of the administration to 1884 he was editor of the New York Evening Post. In the canvasses of 1884, 1888 and 1892 he supported Cleveland. He had been prominently identified with the Civil Service Reform League and later with the Anti-Imperialist League. His speeches and contributions to periodicals were numerous and able. Among his many publications are a volume of ‘Speeches’ (1861), a ‘Life of Clay’ (1887), and ‘Abraham Lincoln: An Essay’ (1891). A statue of him has been erected on Moringside drive at 116th street, New York City.