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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Francis Lieber

LIEBER, Francis, publicist, born in Berlin, Get-many, 18 March, 1800; died in New York city, 2 October, 1872. His father, William, was engaged in commerce, and suffered heavy losses during the Napoleonic wars of 1789-1815. The son had begun the study of medicine when, in 1815, he joined the Prussian army as a volunteer, fought at Ligny and Waterloo, and was severely wounded in the assault of Namur. At the close of the campaign he returned to his studies and entered the gymnasium of Berlin, but was arrested as a Liberal and confined several months in prison. After his discharge, without a trial he was prohibited from studying in the Prussian universities, and accordingly went to Jena, where he took his degrees in 1820, but was again persecuted as a member of a students' society, he then went to Halle; but, being subject to surveillance, he sought refuge in Dresden, and afterward took part in the Greek revolution. He spent one year, in 1822-'3, in Rome in the family of Niebuhr, then Prussian ambassador, as tutor to his son. While there he wrote in German a journal of his sojourn in Greece under the title of "The German Anacharsis" (Leipsic, 1823). With the king's promise of protection he returned to Berlin in 1824, and went to the University of Halle, but was again imprisoned at Kopenick, where he wrote a collection of poems entitled "Weinund Wonne Lieder," which on his release, through the influence of Niebuhr, were published under the pen-name of "Franz Arnold " (Berlin, 1824). Annoyed by persecutions, he fled to England in 1825, and supported himself for a year in London, giving lessons and contributing to German periodicals. He also wrote a tract on the Lancasterian system of instruction. In 1827 he came to this country and lectured on history and politics in the large cities. He settled in Boston, where he edited the "Encyclopedia Americana," based on Brockhaus's "Conversations Lexicon" (13 vols., Philadelphia, 1829-'33). At this time he made translations of a French work on the revolution of July, 1830, and of the life of Kaspar Hauser by Feuerbach. In 1832 he received a commission from the trustees of the newly founded Girard college to form a plan of education (Philadelphia, 1834). He resided in Philadelphia from 1833 till 1835, when he accepted the professorship of history and political economy in the University of South Carolina, Columbia, remaining there until 1856, when he was appointed to the same chair in Columbia college, New York. He held this until 1865, and in 1860 became also professor of political science in the law school of that institution, which post he held until his death. His inaugural address as professor at Columbia, on "Individualism; and Socialism, or Communism," was published by the college. As early as 1851 he delivered an address in South Carolina warning the southern states against secession, and during the civil war was active in upholding the Union, frequently being summoned to Washington by the secretary of war for consultation on important subjects. In 1863 he was one of the founders of the "Loyal publication society," of which he served as president. More than one hundred pamphlets were issued by it under his supervision, of which ten were by himself. His "Guerrilla Parties considered with reference to the Law and Usages of War," written at the request of General Halleck, was often quoted in Europe during the Franco-German war; and his "Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field" (Washington, 1863) was ordered by President Lincoln to be promulgated in the general orders of the war department, and has formed the basis for many later European codes. In 1865 he was appointed superintendent of a bureau in Washington that had for its object the collection, arrangement, and preservation of the records of the Confederate government, and in 1870 he was chosen by the United States and Mexico as final arbitrator in important disputes between the two countries, which work was not completed at his death. In 1844 he visited Europe, when he published in Germany an essay on "Extramural and Intramural Executions," proposing measures which have since been adopted, and also "Fragments on Subjects of Penology." In 1848 he revisited Europe, and published several essays on political science. He translated the work of De Beaumont and De Tocqueville on the "Penitentiary System in the United States," adding an introduction and notes (Philadelphia, 1833), and was the author of "Letters to a Gentleman in Germany, written after a Trip from Philadelphia to Niagara" (Philadelphia, 1834; republished under the title "The Stranger in America," 2 vols., London, 1835). His other works are "Reminiscences of Niebuhr" (Philadelphia and London, 1835); "Manual of Political Ethics," which was adopted by Harvard as a text book (2 vols., Boston, 1838; revised ed., edited by Theodore D. Woolsey, Philadelphia, 1875); "Legal and Political Hermeneuties, or Principles of Interpretation and Construction in Law and Politics" (1838; 3d ed., edited by Professor William G. Hammond, of Iowa university, St. Louis, Missouri, 1880); a translation of Lewis Ramshorn's "Dictionary of Latin Synonymes" (1839; Philadelphia, 1870); "Laws of Property: Essays on Property and Labor" (New York, 1842); "Great Events described by Great Historians" (1847); "The West and other Poems" (1848); and "Civil Liberty and Self-Government" (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1852; new ed., adopted as a text book by Yale, 1874). Special branches of civil polity also largely occupied his attention, particularly the subject of penal legislation, on which he wrote "Essays on Subjects of Penal Law and the Penitentiary System," published by the Philadelphia prison discipline society; "Abuse of the Penitentiary Power," published by the legislature of New York: "Remarks on Mrs. Fry's Views of Solitary Confinement," published in England; "Letter on the Pardoning System," published by the legislature of South Carolina. Among his more notable occasional papers are "Letter on Anglican and Gallican Liberty," translated into German, and annotated by the distinguished jurist, Mittermaier, who also superintended a translation of "Civil Liberty"; a paper on the vocal sounds of Laura Bridgman, the blind deaf-mute, compared with the elements of phonetic language, published in the "Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge"; a series of political articles in "Putnam's Monthly" on "Napoleon" and "Shall Utah be admitted to the Union?." and numerous anniversary and other addresses. In 1867 he published "Reflections on the Changes Necessary in the Present Constitution of the State of New York," "Memorial relative to the Verdict of Jurors," and "The Unanimity of Juries," and in 1868 "International Copyright and Fragments of Political Science, or Nationalism and Internationalism." As regards the exterior relations of political economy he believed in free-trade, and his pamphlet "Notes on Fallacies of American Protectionists" was published in this country and in England. He also contributed articles on political subjects to the New York "Evening Post," under the signature of "Americus." Dr. Lieber was a member of the French institute, and of many learned and scientific bodies in Europe and America. A volume of his minor works has been issued entitled "The Miscellaneous Writings of Francis Lieber" (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1880). This also contains a discourse on his life, character, and writings, delivered before the Historical society of Pennsylvania by M. Russell Thayer, and previously printed (Philadelphia, 1873). See "Life and Letters of Francis Lieber," edited by Thomas S. Perry (Boston, 1882).--His son, Oscar Montgomery, geologist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 8 September, 1830; died in Richmond, Virginia, 27 June, 1862, was educated at Berlin, Gottingen, and Freiburg. He was state geologist of Mississippi in 1850-'1, engaged in the geological survey of Alabama in 1854-'5, and from 1856 till 1860 held the office of mineralogical, geological, and agricultural surveyor of South Carolina. His first annual report of the last-mentioned survey was published in 1857, and the fourth and last in 1860. In 1860 he accompanied the American astronomical expedition to Labrador as geologist. At the beginning of the civil war he joined the Confederate army, and died of wounds that he received in the battle of Williamsburg. He was the author of "The Assayer's Guide" (Philadelphia, 1862); "The Analytical Chemist's Assistant," translated from the German of Wohler's "Beispiele zur Uebung in der analytischen Chemie," with an introduction (1852), and various articles on mining in this country in the New York "Mining Magazine."--Another son, Hamilton, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 June, 1835; died in Baden-Baden, Germany, 18 October, 1876, entered the volunteer army at the beginning of the civil war as 1st lieutenant, 9th Illinois regiment, and was badly wounded at Fort Donelson. Afterward he was appointed a captain in the veteran reserve corps, and served during the draft riots in New York city in 1863. In 1866 he was made a captain and military storekeeper in the regular army, and was retired on account of disabilities contracted in the line of duty.--Another son, Guido Norman, born in Columbia, South Carolina, 21 May, 1837, was graduated at the University of South Carolina in 1856, and at Harvard law school in 1859, and in that year was admitted to the bar of New York. At the beginning of the civil war he became 1st lieutenant in the 11th infantry, United States army, and was appointed regimental adjutant, and served during the peninsular campaign under McClellan, being brevetted captain for gallantry at the battle of Gaines's Mills, 27 June, 1862. He was with his regiment at the second battle of Bull Run, Virginia, 27 August, 1862, being then appointed aide-de-camp to the general-in-chief. In 1862 he was appointed major and judge-advocate, and he served in this capacity in the Department of the Gulf, being present in the Teche and Red River campaigns. For gallantry during the latter he received another brevet, and he was brevetted a third time for services during the war. He also served as adjutant-general of the department, and as judge of the provost court in New Orleans. He was then transferred to the judge-advocate-general's office in Washington, and subsequently appointed assistant to his father, Dr. Francis Lieber, in the bureau of Confederate archives. He afterward served as judge-advocate of various military departments and divisions, being, when stationed in New York. one of the founders of the Military service institution. He was professor of law at the United States military academy from 1.878 till 1882, when he was assigned to duty in Washington in the bureau of military justice. In 1884 he was appointed assistant judge-advocate-general, with the rank of colonel, and he has since then been on duty as acting judge-advocate-general of the army.

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