Das Buch der Deutschen in America: Pages 288 - 290



starting from the last paragraph of page 288

Franz Lieber may be listed among the most important university instructors of American History. He was born in Berlin on March 18, 1800. He was wounded in 1815 during the Napoleonic War. He fought for the Greeks.


After being imprisoned for sometime because he participated in the German Students Association, he emigrated in 1827. He came to Boston at the invitation of his school friend, Follen. Drawing upon his singular ability he worked on the Brockhaus'sche Konversations - Lexikon für America, in English titled Encyclopaedia Americana based on the Conversations Lexicon. After 5 years of work the 13 volume set was published. In 1835 he became a professor of history and political science at South Carolina College in Columbia, South Carolina. He wrote Manual of Political Ethics (2 volumes), Legal and Political Hermeneutics (one volume) and Civil Liberty and Self Government (2 volumes).

This work secured for him a call to Columbia University in New York in 1857. During the Civil War he was an advisor to Lincoln in questions concerning public and wartime law. Of epoch-making importance is acodification of human rights during wartime, published as General Order No. 100, commissioned by then commanding General Halleck and distributed to all staff officers in the army. Critics justifiably praised this as a master work of the first order. It was republished by many others, including the Swiss jurist Bluntschli, who used it as an appendix to his Modernen Völkerrecht [Modern Civil Law].

Lieber continued to work at Columbia until his death on October 2, 1872. He was successful because he employed German teaching methods and always maintained his goal of awakening the intellect


of his students with the subjects he taught. At the end of each lecture he indicated which passages from various great authors should be read before the next class. He wrote down all definitions, proper names and dates on the blackboard to avoid any misunderstandings. Each student had to invest in a sturdy, bound notebook for his classes in which pages were set aside for important references. He knew how to hold his students' attention and the way he dealt with his students evoked their great love and respect for him.


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Text provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo NY
Imaging and translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks