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George William Curtis
February 24, 1824 – August 31, 1892
George William Curtis, a prolific writer, renowned orator, and co-founder of Putnam's Magazine (1852), settled in Staten Island in 1855. As the editorial writer for Harpers' Monthly and Harper's Weekly, Curtis sought to influence public opinion to support emancipation, and social equality for African-Americans, Native Americans, and women. In 1862, Curtis delivered his "Doctrine of Liberty" address at Harvard University, and throughout the Northeast, to gather support for President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Appointed by President Ulysses Grant in 1871 to establish rules for the Federal Civil Service, he served as President of the National Civil Service Reform League until 1892. Elected Chancellor of the University of New York State in 1890, Staten Island's first high school was named for him in 1904. Curtis continues to be immortalized by an endowed prize for oratory, named for him, and given annually by Columbia University.
New York, NY 10310