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Lieber, Francis 1800-

Publicist; born in Berlin, Germany, March 18, 1800; joined the Prussian army in 1815 as a volunteer; fought in the battles of Ligny and Waterloo, and was severely wounded in the assault on Namur. He studied at the University of Jena, was persecuted for his republicanism, and in 1821 went to Greece [389] to take part in the struggle of its people for independence. He suffered much there. Retiring to Italy, he passed nearly two years in the family of Niebuhr, then Prussian ambassador at Rome. Returning to Germany in 1824, he was imprisoned, and while confined he wrote a collection of poems, which, on his release, were published at Berlin under the name of Franz Arnold. After spending about two years in England, he came to the United States in 1827, settling in Boston. He edited the Encyclopaedia Americana, in 13 volumes, published in Philadelphia between 1829 and 1833. He lectured on history and politics in the larger cities of the Union. In New York his facile pen was busy translating from the French and German. In 1832 he translated De Beaumont and De Tocqueville on the penitentiary system in the United States, and soon afterwards, on invitation of the trustees of Girard College, furnished a plan of instruction for that institution, which was published at Philadelphia in 1834. In 1835 he published Recollections of Niebuhr and Letters to a gentleman in Germany, and the same year was appointed Professor of History and Political

Francis Lieber

Economy in the South Carolina College at Columbia, S. C., where he remained until 1856. He was appointed to the same professorship in Columbia College, New York City, in 1857, and afterwards accepted the chair of Political Science in the law school of that institution, which he filled till his death, Oct. 2, 1872.

Dr. Lieber had a very versatile mind, and whatever subject he grasped he handled it skilfully as a trained philosopher. In 1838 he published A manual of political Ethics, which was adopted as a textbook in the higher institutions of learning; and he wrote several essays on legal subjects. Special branches of civil polity and civil administration engaged his attention, and on these subjects he wrote earnestly and wisely, especially on penal legislation. He wrote some valuable papers in the Smithsonian contributions to knowledge, and his addresses (published) on anniversary and other special occasions were numerous. While in the South he had warmly combated the doctrine of State supremacy, and when the Civil War broke out he was one of the most earnest and persistent supporters of the government. In 1863 he was one of the founders of the “Loyal publication Society.” More than 100 pamphlets were published under his supervision, of which ten were written by himself. He wrote, at the request of the general-in-chief (Halleck), Guerilla parties, considered with reference to the law and usages of War, which 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 was directed by the President to be promulgated in a general order (No. 100) of the War Department. Numerous essays on public subjects followed. He was an advocate for free-trade, and wrote vigorously on the subject. In 1865 he was appointed superintendent of a bureau at Washington for the preservation of the records of the Confederate government, and in 1870 was chosen by the governments of the United States and Mexico as arbitrator in important cases pending between the two countries. This work was unfinished at his death.

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