A native-born German revolutionary, Carl Schurz won fame in this country as an author, diplomat, editor, secretary of the interior, Union general, and U.S. senator. Schurz fled his homeland in 1852 at the age of 23, after revolutionary uprisings were suppressed. He quickly became known as an anti-slavery orator, Republican campaigner, and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. Minister to Spain from 1861-1862, he resigned to enter the Union Army as a brigadier general.
He saw action at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Second Battle of Bull Run. In 1865, as an emissary from President Andrew Johnson, Schurz toured the South and concluded that blacks should be given the vote. He served briefly as a newspaper writer and editor before his election to the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 1868. President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Schurz to his cabinet, where he worked for Indian rights and conservation, and instituted the merit system for his bureau.