The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Lieber, Francis

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The American Cyclopædia
Lieber, Francis
Edition of 1879. Written by E. A. DuyckinckSee also Francis Lieber and Oscar Montgomery Lieber on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

LIEBER. I. Francis, an American publicist, born in Berlin, March 18, 1800, died in New York, Oct. 2, 1872. He had begun the study of medicine when in 1815 he joined the Prussian army 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, suffered persecution in 1819 as member of a Burschenschaft, and in 1821 proceeded to Greece to take part in its struggle for independence, travelling on foot through Switzerland to Marseilles. After enduring various privations, he returned to Italy, and passed the years 1822 and 1823 at Rome in the family of Niebuhr, then Prussian ambassador. He wrote while there a journal of his sojourn in Greece. Returning to Germany in 1824, he was imprisoned at Köpenick, where he wrote a collection of poems, which, on his release by the influence of Niebuhr, was printed at Berlin under the name of Franz Arnold. Annoyed by persecutions, he went to England in 1825, and supported himself for a year in London as a private teacher. In 1827 he came to the United States, and lectured on history and politics in the larger cities. While residing at Boston he undertook the editorship of the “Encyclopaedia Americana,” based upon Brockhaus's Conversations-Lexikon. It was published in Philadelphia in 13 volumes, between the years 1829 and 1833. He also made translations of a French work on the revolution of July, 1830, and of the life of Kaspar Hauser by Feuerbach. At New York in 1832 he translated the work of De Beaumont and De Tocqueville on the penitentiary system in the United States, adding an introduction and notes. On invitation of the trustees of Girard college he furnished a plan of education and instruction for that institution, which was published at Philadelphia in 1834. In the same year appeared his “Letters to a Gentleman in Germany, written after a Trip from Philadelphia to Niagara,” and in 1835 his “Reminiscences of Niebuhr.” In this year he was appointed professor of history and political economy in the South Carolina college at Columbia, and discharged the duties of this chair till 1856. In 1857 he was appointed to the same professorship at Columbia college in New York, and subsequently accepted the chair of political science in the law school of the same institution. During this long period he published numerous important works, among which are: “A Manual of Political Ethics” (2 vols. 8vo, Boston, 1838), adopted by Harvard college as a text book, and commended by Kent and Story; “Legal and Political Hermeneutics, or Principles of Interpretation and Construction in Law and Politics” (1838); “Laws of Property: Essays on Property and Labor” (18mo, New York, 1842); and “Civil Liberty and Self-Government” (2 vols. 12mo, Philadelphia, 1853; new ed., 1874). Special branches of polity or civil administration also engaged his attention, particularly the subject of penal legislation, among his writings on which are: “Essays on Subjects of Penal Law and the Penitentiary System,” published by the Philadelphia prison discipline society; an essay on the “Abuse of the Pardoning Power,” republished by the legislature of New York; “Remarks on Mrs. Fry's Views of Solitary Confinement,” published in England; and a “Letter on the Penitentiary System,” published by the legislature of South Carolina. Among his occasional papers are a “Letter on Anglican and Gallican 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;” and numerous addresses on anniversary and other occasions. He published his inaugural address as professor in Columbia college on “Individualism and Socialism or Communism,” which he regarded as the two poles on which all human life turns; also his introductory discourse to a course of lectures on the state in the college law school, entitled “The Ancient and the Modern Teacher of Politics.” In 1863 he was one of the founders of the loyal publication society, of which he served as president. More than 100 pamphlets were published under his supervision, of which 10 were by himself. His “Guerrilla Parties considered with Reference to the Law and Usages of War” (1862), written at the request of Gen. Halleck, was often quoted in Europe in the discussions evoked by the Franco-German war; and his “Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field” (1863) was ordered by President Lincoln to be promulgated in the general orders of the war department. In 1867 he published “Reflections on the Changes Necessary in the Present Constitution of the State of New York,” “Memorial relative to Verdicts of Jurors,” and “The Unanimity of Juries;” and in 1868 “International Copyright” and “Fragments of Political Science on 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. In 1865 he was appointed superintendent of a bureau at Washington for the preservation of the records of the confederate government, and in 1870 he was chosen, by the united approval of the United States and Mexico, as final arbitrator in important cases pending between the two countries. This work was not completed at his death. — See “The Life, Character, and Writings of Francis Lieber,” a lecture delivered before the historical society of Pennsylvania, by M. Russell Thayer (Philadelphia, 1873). II. Oscar Montgomery, son of the preceding, born in Boston, Sept. 8, 1830, died in Richmond, Va., June 27, 1862. He was educated in Berlin, Göttingen, and Freiberg. He was the author of “The Assayer's Guide,” “The Analytical Chemist's Assistant,” translated from the German of Wöhler (1852), Der Itacolumit, seine Begleiter und die Metallführing desselben (1860), and of various articles on mining in reference to this country in the New York “Mining Magazine.” He was state geologist of Mississippi in 1850-'51; was engaged in the geological survey of Alabama in 1854-'5; and from 1856 to 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. He joined the confederate army at the outbreak of the civil war, and died of wounds received in the battle of Williamsburg.