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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 248

              [newspaper clipping]
                    IN MEMORIAM.
  We much regret to announce the death of
Mr. George William Curtis, the well-known
American politician and writer, which took
place on Wednesday at New York.  Mr. Curtis
was born in 1824.  He began life as a merchant�s 
clerk, and in 1842 was placed, together with an
elder brother, at the Brook Farm Socialistic 
Institution in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where
they remained about eighteen months, when
they were transferred to a farm in Concord, 
where they remained another eighteen months.
In 1846 Mr. Curtis visited Europe, residing
mainly at Berlin and Syria.  The outcome of his
travels were �Nile Notes of a Howadji� (1850)
and �The Howadji in Syria� (1852).  Meantime
he had become connected with the New York
Tribune, and was also one of the editors of
Putnam�s Monthly, in which he had shares.
The failure of the magazine involved him in
financial difficulties, from which he was fifteen
years in clearing himself.  He lectured on social
and aesthetic topics throughout the country, and
became a regular contributor to Harper�s
Magazine, to which, besides many occasional 
articles, he long furnished a monthly paper
under the general title of the �Editor�s
Easy Chair.�  In 1857 Harper�s Weekly,
Mr. Curtis soon became its principal editor.
When the Civil War broke out, this journal
took a decided political tone, and became
an influential organ of the Republican party.
In the canvas of 1868 he was made a presiden-
tial elector on the Republican �ticket,� and
warmly supported the election of President
Grant, who in 1871 appointed him a member of
the Commission to frame rules for the regulation
of the civil service.  He, however, opposed the
candidature of President Grant for a third 
term, both in 1876 and in 1880, and was a 
prominent leader of that wing of the Republican 
party which secured the nomination of Mr.
Hayes and of Mr. Garfield.  During the agita-
tion for a reform in the civil service Mr.
Curtis vigorously supported the movement.  In
1884 he opposed the nomination of Mr. Blaine
as the Republican candidate for the Presidency,
and was a supporter of the Democratic nominee,
Mr. Cleveland.  He was in 1867 elected a
delegate to the Convention for revising the
Constitution of the State of New York; and in
the same year was appointed one of the Regents
of the University of that State � a body which
has the general supervision of the higher grades
of institutions for public instruction.  In 1884
he was elected Chancellor of the University.
He published the following works, all made up
of previous contributions to various periodicals:
�Lotus Eating,� a series of newspaper letters
from watering-places, 1852; �The Potiphar 
Papers,� 1853; �Prue and I� in 1856, and
�Trumps,� 1862; besides several addresses.               
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