Gustave Koerner – The Man and His Times

About Koerner | Koerner’s Youth | Emigration | Travel in U.S. | Politics and Lincoln | Civil War | Spain | Publications By or About | Family
Explore Koerner’s fascinating life in the themes developed below through his own words shared in Memoirs of Gustave Koerner 1809–1896 and translated works, research commissioned by the Koerner Committee, original records at the county, state, federal, and international level, and articles and books published by others.
[Coming Soon] Koerner’s Youth: Parental and community influence, Education in Heidelberg, Revolution!

[Coming Soon] Emigration in 1833 See Koerner’s entry in the “Black Book,” picture him in disguise as he flees his beloved fatherland for the Utopia known as Missouri described by Gottfried Duden.

[Coming Soon] Travel with Koerner in “The West” (now the mid-West). Still the political activist, Koerner attains his American Law degree in Kentucky, settles in as Attorney in Belleville, Illinois, becomes Supreme Court Judge, and Illinois’ Lt. Governor 1852–1856

Koerner’s Connection with Lincoln, Political Involvement, and anti-slavery beliefs are explored – Koerner became a close Lincoln confidant, joined Lincoln, Horace Greeley and others who, fired by the passions of the times, came together to create the Republican Party in 1856. Democratic Party member until 1854, Koerner was president of the State Convention securing Lincoln’s nomination to the U.S. Senate and helped write the 1860 Republican Party platform.

[Coming Soon] Civil War – Koerner was an ardent anti-slavery proponent and, as a German emigre, played a key role in allying western America’s German population with the Union cause. Read about these efforts and “Koerner’s Regiment” – the 43rd Illinois and more.

Minister to Spain in 1862, technically titled Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotenciary, Koerner’s experiences come to light once again in his Letter to Family from Madrid (translated), and Despatches from Spain.

Publications By or About Gustave Koerner provide an insight into this fascinating man.

[Coming Soon] Family – 50th Wedding Anniversary, Wife and Children, Descendant

The Koerner House Restoration Committee is working with a team of consultants to prepare a Historic Structure Report. Selective demolition of the structure’s modern components commenced in May 2005. Once completed, the home will be reopened as a museum, where Koerner’s life and political career will be interpreted.

The Gustave Koerner House

200 Abend
Belleville, IL 62220

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Restoring this important piece of Illinois history is a labor-intensive yet very worthwhile endeavor. Please consider donating any amount to help us preserve this important historical treasure.