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Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1, Ruhr-University of Bochum (Englisches Seminar), course: The Culture of the American Civil War, language: English, abstract: We are fortunate to have a lot of information about Schurz's life and political career in the United States from his own pen - on the one side his Lebenserinnerungen (Reminiscences) and on the other side different letters he has written to his wife or his former fellow student Theodor Petrasch. But we also have to be careful with using these sources of information because one has
to keep some aspects in mind. First, although Schurz claims that he has written down his Reminiscences only on request of his children and therefore only for them and his closer family and friends, he might still have had in the back of his mind that it would be published for a much larger audience as it was originally supposed to be. 1 Second, the same thought applies to the letters he has written to different people. He might already have know that he would turn so famous that his letters will be published and so he might have written down exactly the thoughts and stories the reader nowadays should read and remember. He might have reproduced only the world view the reader should get. I do not want to state that this compellingly is the fact, but one has to keep these assumptions in the back of his mind when relating to Schurz's letters and Reminiscences.
It is also important to know that all of the letters Schurz had received and written to his wife during his military service were lost in a fire. So we do not have as much information about that time as we do have about the time before and after that.
In the following pages I want to take a closer look on the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Carl Schurz. Both men influenced each other in a way that is not negligible. It was a complex relationship in which both men respected each other with similar aims and the same ability to persuade and inspire an audience. They also had their differences and especially these
differences are interesting and let us gain an insight into the way the two friends coped with each other.
After the most important facts about the lives of Lincoln and Schurz I will take a closer look at the first meeting of the two, the Presidential Election Campaign in which Schurz was extremely involved, the time after the election with Lincoln in office and the development of his friendship with Schurz, the Civil War in which Schurz took over a command and acted as correspondent from
the front to Lincoln, and last Lincoln's assassination and its impact on Schurz and the American people.