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Goldhammer, Henry Died 1876


Posted By: Linda Linn (email)
Date: 4/6/2014 at 23:15:58

REPUBLICAN Waverly, Iowa May 24(?), 1876 Biography: DIED In this city (Waverly, Iowa) May 19th, 1876, of heart disease, Henry Goldhammer, aged 62 years. By request, M. E. Billings, Esq., has furnished [us]with the following brief history of Mr Goldhammer: Henry Goldhammer was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany. He was of aristocratic titled parentage. He was finely educated both in German, Latin, English and other languages. When the great uprising of all of Europe in 1848 was in embryo, Goldhammer was Chief Secretary in the office of the Secretary of State or Home Secretary of Hanover. He among many of the far seeing minds of Europe thought he saw the dawn of the "Universal Republic," and signed a paper favoring it. After the Republican uprising was surpressed, and Franz Sigel and Carl Schurtz were exiles in the United States, there to rise to the highest positions of honor, Henry Goldhammer was tried for treason, convicted, sentenced to be confined to the 'bounds' of Hamburg, separated from his wife and children, his estates confiscated, and he left to wander a pauper under the surveillance of police, and disowned by his kindred. He managed to get aboard an American vessel and escape to America. Here, unused to toil, and old, he taught his mother tongue in American schools. When our Civil War broke out he enlisted in a Missouri regiment, served about a year and was discharged a private for disability. He reenlisted in the Heckar Regiment (82nd ILL INF), from Chicago and served as a private till the end of the war, when he was discharged a white-haired, feeble old man. He came to Iowa in 1870 and lived precariously at Waverly; teaching from home to home, German. Goldhammer was a beautiful scribe in English. some of his translation and penmanship can be seen in the Selk Estate papers in the circuit court records. Goldhammer was proud, even haughty with a lofty bearing. He was scrupulously neat and bore the air of a gentleman, but many can testify to the sweet childlikeness of his refined nature when alone with trusted friends. He lived some time with Comrade Dodge, at Janesville, whose son speaks and reads German like his mother tongue. Mrs Dougherty, of Janesville, also studied German with Goldhammer and I have seen translation of one of Sehiller's poems by her that is a fine piece of work. Goldhammer often came into my office (law office of Myron E Billings) and talked German with me (he could speak but little English) for hours, telling me of his early life and of the cruel 'langweile' of his present cruel lot. I have many times endeavored to get him to accept a little money, but he was too proud to receive a gratuity, often walking to Janesville, when I offered to pay his railroad fare. While I was so busy in the last April Term of Court, he came to me, saying he was sick and that he would soon come to town and get me to assist him in making some papers for his friends in Germany. He said he could not pay me, but would thank me as he had once before for a similar service, bu doing it through the press. I did not see nor hear from him again until he was dead. The following is the notice he referred to published in your paper of August 7th, 1873: Editors, REPUBLICAN: Through your columns, I wish to say a word about a persevering Attorney; While in the US Army, I was paid by check $80. I sent it home, but it was captured by the Rebels. I have repeatedly tried to get my pay throught Attorneys, but failed. I at last called on Col. M. E. Billings, Attorney, who made application to the Treasury Department for a new check, but was informed that after three years none could be issued. Nothing daunted Col. Billings, (he) applied to Congress for a special relief Bill and by the good offices of Hon. W.G. Donnan and Senator Wright, the bill was passed and I now have my pay. One thing more, Col. Billings charged me nothing for this great assistance. He says he charges a soldier nothing for anything pertaining to their good claims. Such generosity will some day bring its reward. (signed) Henry Goldhammer. The proud old man would not accept his money until I consented to his publishing the above and I tresure it as a tribute from a broken hearted old patriot, banished from all he held dear, by the cruel fiat of Monarchy.

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