SCHURZ, CARL (1829-1906), German-American statesman and reformer, was born in Liblar, near Cologne, on March 2, 1829, the son of a school-teacher. He studied in the Jesuit gymnasium of Cologne in 184o-46, and then entered the University of Bonn, where he became a revolutionary and assisted Gottfried Kinkel professor of literature and history in editing the Bonner Zeitung. On the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 he took the field, but when Rastatt surrendered he escaped to Zurich. In 1850 he re turned secretly to Germany, rescued Kinkel from prison and helped him to escape to Scotland. Schurz went to Paris, but the police forced him to leave France on the eve of the coup d'etat, and until Aug. 1852 he lived in London, making his living by teaching German. He married in July 1852 and removed to America, living for a time in Philadelphia.
In 1856 after a year in Europe he settled in Watertown, Wis consin, and immediately became prominent in the Republican Party. In the Illinois campaign of the next year between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas he took part as a speaker; and later in 1858 he began to practise law in Milwaukee. In the State campaign of 1859 he made a speech attacking the Fugitive Slave Law and in the same year he delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston, an oration on "true Americanism," which coming from an alien was intended to clear the Republican Party of the charge of "na tivism." In the Republican national convention of 1860 Schurz was chairman of the delegation from Wisconsin. Lincoln sent him in 1861 as minister to Spain. He returned to America in Jan. 1862, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers in April, and in June took command of a division under Fremont, and then in Sigel's corps, with which he took part in the second battle of Bull Run. He was promoted major-general of volunteers on March and was a division commander at Chancellorsville of the XI. Corps, under Gen. 0. 0. Howard. He was at Gettysburg and at Chattanooga and was then put in command of a corps of instruc tion at Nashville; he was with Sherman's army in North Carolina in the last months of the war and resigned immediately after the close of hostilities. In 1865 President Johnson sent him through the South to study conditions; but Schurz's valuable report, sug gesting the readmission of the States with complete rights and the investigation of the need of further legislation by a Congres sional committee, was not heeded by the president. In 1866-67 he
was chief editor of the Detroit Post and then became editor and joint proprietor with Emil Praetorius (1827-1905) of the West liche Post of St. Louis.
In 1869-75 he was U.S. senator from Missouri, and made a great reputation by his speeches on financial subjects. During this period he broke with the administration : he started the Liberal Republican movement in Missouri in 1870 and in 1872 he presided over the Liberal Republican convention. He opposed Grant's Santo Domingo policy, his Southern policy, and the Government's selling arms and making cartridges for the French army in the Franco-Prussian War. But in 1875 he campaigned for Hayes, as the representative of "sound money," in the Ohio gubernatorial campaign. In 1876 he supported Hayes in the contest for the presi dency, and Hayes made him in 1877 his secretary of the interior. Upon his retirement in 1881 he removed to New York city, and from 1881 to 1883 was editor-in-chief and one of the proprietors of the New York Evening Post. In 1884 he was a leader in the Independent (or Mugwump) movement against the nomination. of James G. Blaine for the presidency and for the election of Grover Cleveland. In 1892 he succeeded George William Curtis as president of the National Civil Service Reform League and held this office until 1901. He succeeded Curtis as editorial writer for Harper's Weekly in 1892-98, in which he did much for civil service reform and for Cleveland's nomination and election in 1892. He opposed W. J. Bryan for the presidency in 1896, speak ing for sound money ; in 1900 on the anti-imperialism issue he supported Bryan. He died in New York city on May 14, 1906.
Schurz published a volume of Speeches (1885); Henry Clay (1887) in the "American Statesmen" series; Abraham Lincoln (1889) ; and Reminiscences (1907-08), in the third volume of which is a sketch of his life and public services from 1869 to 1906 by Frederic Bancroft and William A. Dunning.