Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Struve, Gustav von

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

STRUVE, Gustav von, German agitator, b. in Munich, Bavaria, 11 Oct., 1805; d. in Vienna, Austria, 21 Aug., 1870. He studied law, spent a short time in the diplomatic service of the duke of Oldenburg, then settled as an advocate in Mannheim, Baden, and soon became known as a Liberal journalist and political speaker. He also gave attention to phrenology, and published three books on the subject. As editor of the “Mannheimer Journal,” he was repeatedly condemned to imprisonment. When he was compelled in 1846 to retire from the management of this paper, he founded the “Deutsche Zuschauer,” in which he addressed his radical sentiments to a larger circle of readers. He was one of the leaders of the Baden uprising of 1848, and attempted, with Friedrich Hecker, to establish a republic. After the failure of the first insurrection, he fled to France, and thence to Switzerland, where he and Carl P. Heinzen drew up a “plan for revolutionizing and republicanizing Germany.” In September, 1848, he returned with a body of followers to Baden, and stirred up a second insurrection. After his defeat at Stauffen, he was arrested, 25 Sept., 1848, and

on 30 March, 1849, was condemned to five years' solitary confinement for high treason. He was taken to the Bruchsal penitentiary on 12 May, but on the following day the revolutionists took possession of the government, and set him free. He went to the fortress of Rastadt, and stirred the soldiers of the garrison to revolt and fight on the side of the people against the Prussians. He was the leader of the Republican party in the constituent assembly. When that body was dissolved after the victory of the Prince of Prussia over the armies of Baden and the Palatinate, Struve again escaped into Switzerland. The authorities, after two months, expelled him from that country. He went to France, and afterward to England, and in 1851 emigrated to the United States. He edited the “Deutsche Zuschauer” in New York city, but soon discontinued its publication because of insufficient support. He wrote several novels and a drama in German, and then undertook, with the assistance of his wife, the composition of a universal history from the standpoint of radical republicanism. In the beginning of the civil war he entered the volunteer service as an officer in the 8th New York regiment, but retired when Prince Felix Salm Salm succeeded Louis Blenker as its colonel. In 1863 he returned to Germany, availing himself of a general amnesty, and thenceforth he devoted himself to literary pursuits and lectured on phrenology in Stuttgart, Coburg, and Vienna. He was appointed U. S. consul at Sonneberg in 1865, but the Thuringian states refused to issue his exequatur. His publications include “Politische Briefe” (Mannheim, 1846); “Das öffentliche Recht des deutschen Bundes” (2 vols., 1846); “Grundzüge der Staatswissenschaft” (4 vols., Frankfort, 1847-'8); “Geschichte der drei Volkserhebungen in Baden” (Bern, 1849); “Weltgeschichte” (6 vols., New York, 1856-'9; 7th ed., with a continuation, Coburg, 1866-'9); “Das Revolutionszeitalter” (New York, 1859-'60); “Diesseits und jenseits des Oceans” (Coburg, 1864-'5); “Kurzgefasster Wegweiser für Auswanderer” (Bamberg, 1867); “Pflanzenkost die Grundlage einer neuen Weltanschauung” (Stuttgart, 1869); “Das Seelenleben, oder die Naturgeschichte des Menschen” (Berlin, 1869); and “Eines Fürsten Jugendliebe,” a drama (Vienna, 1870). — His wife, Amalie, d. on Staten island, N. Y., in 1862, was the author of “Erinnerungen aus den badischen Freiheitskämpfen” (Hamburg, 1850); and “Historische Zeitbilder” (3 vols., Bremen, 1850).