Georg Stiebeling - June 4, 1895 New Yorker Volkszeitung

Obituary for Dr. Stiebeling - New Yorker Volkszeitung

Death of Dr. Stiebeling


Freethinker, Socialist, Abolitionist and Scholar


A Loss for the Party


Life and Work of the Deceased
With speech and writing, he championed the cause of the proletariat.

After prolonged suffering, Dr. George C. Stiebeling, one of the oldest and most famous of American Socialists, passed away early yesterday morning at his residence, No. 71 St. Mark’s Place. Upon his death, the Socialist Labor Party and social science suffered a bitter loss, since his death occurred after a lifetime of zealous striving with all his strength for the cause of the Proletariat of all countries. Through personal participation in the work of the organization and agitation, written and spoken, Dr. Stiebeling has supported the efforts of the enlightened organized workers in this country considerably, and thousands who knew him and honored him are mourning his death.

His body will be cremated at Fresh Pond Crematorium tomorrow afternoon. The funeral is set to depart from the deceased’s house promptly at 2 o’clock.

George Christian Stiebeling was born 6 November 1830 in Gedern, Hesse, the son of wealthy burghers. He attended primary school and high school, then studied medicine at the Universities of Gießen and Marburg during the years 1850 to 1854. After he had his medical degree, he emigrated to the United States and took up residence in New York. He quickly established a rewarding practice, and enthusiastically took part in the agitation in favor of abolishing negro slavery. Then when President Lincoln’s proclamation on the formation of volunteer regiments was adopted in 1861, Dr. Stiebeling was one of the first to offer their services to the Government in the struggle against the slave barons. He was assigned as Regimental Surgeon with the 52nd New York Volunteer Regiment and served in the State of Virginia, until he was forced by an injury to one of his eyes to resign his service in the Army. He therefore returned to New York to resume his private practice.

Always a progressive man, Dr. Stiebeling took part in all of the enlightenment movement. Thus, as a founder of of the Federation of Freethinkers, he always defended the rights of the oppressed classes of people at its meetings. And as the International Workers’ Association began to expand in the United States, he was one of its first members. He joined the 5th Section of New York after organizing the F.F.A.A. and being elected its Treasurer.

After the demise of the International itself, Stiebeling took part in organizing the Social Democratic Labor Party of North America, the precursor of the Socialist Labor Party in whose meetings he gave inspirational speeches and he always counseled and supported the newpapers die “Arbeiterstimme” [“The Workers’ Voice”], “Standard”, “Volkszeitung” [“People’s Daily], “Voice”, “Leader” and “People”. From time to time he contributed worthy scientific articles for publication.

Dr. Stiebeling was regarded as an authority in the social science, and his work in the field of statistics has seldom not been quoted in trade publications. Dr. Stiebeling spent a large portion of his free time studying the social question, writing scientific works, essays, dissertations, propaganda pamphlets, and historical studies. In 1870 he published a pamphlet against Eduard von Hartmann’s bourgeois “Philosophen der Unbemußten” [“Philosophy of the Unconscious”] titled “Naturwissenschaft gegen Philosophie” [“Science versus Philosophy”], in which the inconsistency of Hartmann’s fantasy was revealed. Other Stiebeling writings followed under the titles “Das Werthgesetz und die Profit Rate” [“The Law of Value and the Rate of Profit”], “Untersuchungen über die Rate des Mehrwerthes und des Profits” [“Studies on the Rate of Surplus-Value and Profits”], und das “Lesebuch für das Volk”, translated into English as “The Peoples’ Reader”. Statistical works worthy of mention are “Erzeugnung und Vertheilung des Arbeits Estragen in der Vereinigten Staaten von Nord Amerika” [“Production and Distribution of Labor in the United States of North America”] and “Die Werthschaftliche Entwicklung der Vereinigten Staaten von Nord Amerika in dem Jahrzehnt von 1870-1880” [“Economic Development of the United States of North America in the Period from 1870-1880”]. One of Stiebeling’s interesting historical pamphlets is “Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Internationalen Arbeiter Association in Nord Amerika” [“A Contribution to the History of the International Workers’ Association in North America”], which mentions, among other things, some of the reasons for the dissolution of the organization. Among the scientific writings of the deceased deserving mention are “Socialismus und Darwinismus” [“Socialism and Darwinism”], published in 1872, and “Über den sogenannten Instinct des Huhns und der Ente” [“On the So-Called Instinct of the Chicken and the Duck”], New York, 1872. More recently are articles by Stiebeling that appeared in “Neue Zeit” in Germany, and his controversy with Friedrich Engels and Kautsky.

Translation of obituary
New Yorker Volkszeitung
4 June 1895

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