Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.
Carl Schurz QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||2nd March, 1829|
|Death:||14th May, 1906|
Schurz was born in Liblar, Germany on March 2, 1829, the son of a schoolteacher. He studied at the Jesuit Gymnasium of Cologne, and learned piano under private instructors. Financial problems in his family obligated him to leave school a year early, without graduating, to help manage his family's financial affairs. Later he graduated from the gymnasium by passing a special examination, and he entered the University of Bonn. At Bonn, he developed a friendship with one of his professors, Gottfried Kinkel. He joined the nationalistic Studentenverbindung Burschenschaft Franconia at Bonn, which at the time included among its members Friedrich von Spielhagen, Johannes Overbeck, Julius Schmidt, Carl Otto Weber, Ludwig Meyer and Adolf Strodtmann. This fraternity experience led to his joining the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Cornell University sponsored by his former comrade-in-arms, Joseph Benson Foraker.
During the 1849 military campaign in Palatinate and Baden, Schurz was adjunct officer of the commander of the artillery, Fritz Anneke, who was accompanied on the campaign by his wife, Mathilde Franziska Anneke. The Annekes would later move to the U.S., where each became Republican Party supporters. Anneke's brother, Emil Anneke, was a founder of the Republican party in Michigan. Fritz Anneke achieved the rank of colonel and became the commanding officer of the 34th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War; Mathilde Anneke contributed to both the abolitionist and suffrage movements of the United States.
In 1855, Schurz settled in Watertown, Wisconsin, where he immediately became immersed in the anti-slavery movement and in politics, joining the Republican Party. In 1857, he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for lieutenant-governor. In the Illinois campaign of the next year between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, he took part as a speaker on behalf of Lincoln—mostly in German—which raised Lincoln's popularity among German-American voters.
I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: “Our country, right or wrong!” They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: “Our country–when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.”
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