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The Gravesite of Carl Schurz in Sleepy Hollow needs care

By Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann

In 2014 I spoke in New York at the Founders Day Dinner of the Steuben on the occasion of its 95th anniversary. While there, I and Ilse Hoffmann, National Secretary of the Society, visited the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York, since Rudolf Cronau, one of the Society’s founders is buried there.

While at the cemetery, we visited the gravesite of Carl Schurz who is also buried there. We were appalled at the deplorable condition of the latter’s gravesite.

The cemetery’s website lists its “Famous Interments,” which includes the following reference to Carl Schurz, one of the foremost German-Americans in American history: “Carl Schurz (1820-1906), German-American journalist, Civil War general, United States Senator from Missouri, United States Secretary of the Interior under Rutherford B. Hayes. “

Other famous Americans interred at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery include: Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, Samuel Gompers, Washington Irving, etc. Many of the graves are well maintained, and have flowers.

Unfortunately, the gravesite of Carl Schurz has been neglected. The cemetery itself is well maintained, but it is the responsibility of individuals, or concerned organizations to preserve and decorate individual gravesites.

There is a Carl Schurz Memorial Monument in Morningside Park in New York City, and currently there is discussion of creating a monument to him in Berlin in honor of the role he played during the 1848 Revolution in Germany. However, his gravesite has been forgotten.

A picture from Wikipedia shows how forlorn the gravesite looks today. Hopefully, someone, or some organization will take interest in looking after this historic site, and clean it up annually, and place flowers there. Given Schurz’s importance in German and American history, such efforts would be long overdue.

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