Many of the homesteaders who were pushing the Indians onto reservations were brand-new Americans. They were ambitious immigrants from the Old World. But immigrants came in all sorts and varieties, and some were the strongest supporters of freedom and equality in America. One such man was Carl Schurz , who had grown up in Germany. He wrote: "It is one of the earliest recollections of my boyhood: one of our neighboring families was moving far away across a great water, and it was said that they would never again return. And I saw silent tears trickling down weather-beaten cheeks, and some hardly able to speak. At last the train started into motion, they gave three cheers for America. And I heard many a man say, how happy he would be if he could go with them to that great and free country, where a man could be himself, and where nobody need be poor, because everybody was free ."
In 1849 Carl Schurz came to America. He settled in Wisconsin, studied law, heard Abraham Lincoln debate Stephen A. Douglas, and became a big Lincoln fan. When Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he named Carl Schurz ambassador to Spain. Then he asked Schurz to come home to fight in the Civil War and made him a general.
After the war, Schurz became a newspaper writer, an editor, a U.S. senator, and secretary of the interior . He worked to conserve the wilderness and to be fair to Indians when hardly anyone thought of those things. Like many American immigrants, Schurz had fallen in love with the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the guarantees of the Constitution: "If you want to be free," he said, "there is but one way. It is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors."