Curtis, George W. (1824 – 1892)

Curtis, George W. (1824 – 1892)

  • <p>George W. Curtis. Image by Mathew Brady - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.</p>

Audio clip: The Words of George W. Curtis read by Christopher Franz.

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George William Curtis was an American writer and public speaker, born in Providence, Rhode Island. A Republican, he spoke in favor of African-American equality and civil rights. In New York he obtained a post on the Tribune, and became a popular lecturer.

In 1855 he married Anna Shaw, daughter of abolitionist Francis Shaw, and sister of Robert Gould Shaw whose Civil War exploits became well known, and are represented in the movie Glory.

George was involved in the founding of the Republican Party, and he engaged actively in John C. Fremont's presidential campaign of that year (the Republican campaign headquarters were located not far from his Staten Island home).

Curtis was one of the original members of the Board of Education for what would become New York City, and advocated educational reforms. He was a member of and frequent speaker at the Unitarian Church on Staten Island (the congregation still meets in the same building).

Read about George William Curtis at:

  • <p>George William Curtis House. 234 Bard Avenue, West New Brighton, Staten Island Photograph, 1950. Collection of Staten Island Museum.</p>