Preetorius was a journalist and politician. His parents selected as his avocation in life the practice of law and with this in view he took degrees both at Glesen and the University of Heidelberg. In the disputations of his class he early displayed a clear, logical mind and was a forcible and persuasive speaker. About the time he attained his majority the political affairs of Germany became intensely heated and with his youthful enthusiasm he essayed a part in the revolutionary measures of 1848-1849. To such an extent, indeed, was this carried that he was compelled to become a refugee from his native land and in the year 1853 the young Preetorius was on American soil, seeking a home in the land of liberty. This home he found in St. Louis. In Germany he had embarked in the profession chosen for him, but, without knowledge of the English language, this field offered him no allurement in his newly adopted country. For some years he was engaged in commercial pursuits, but in 1860, supporting the cause of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, he entered the field of politics and took the rostrum. In 1862 he was elected to the Missouri Legislature as an emancipationist. Preetorius took charge of the editorial columns of the "Westliche Post," one of the most influential German Republican newspapers of the West, early in 1864. It was this paper which organized the revolt against the Radical Party of Missouri and created the Liberal Republican party.
∼Newspaper editor. Preetorius became editor of the Westliche Post in St. Louis, Missouri in 1864. He was pro reintegration and may have not supported the more draconian measures which the "radical" Republicans advocated which in some instances amounted to confiscation of property of the secessionist leadership, denial of full citizenship rights, etc. A memorial named "The Naked Truth" commemorating Carl Schurz, Dr. Emil Preetorius and Carl Daenzer was a gift to the city of St. Louis from the German-American Alliance and was unveiled on May 27, 1914. The statue is a nude figure of a woman seated on a stone bench with arms outstretched, holding torches. The figure symbolizes truth and the torches represent the enlightenment of Germany and the United States. The figure is bronze in heroic size and the eyes are painted to resemble Greek bronze figures and many modern German statues. The inscription on the back of the monument, written in both English and German, expresses the devotion of German-American citizens to their new country. Dr. Emil Preetorius was buried at BELLEFONTAINE CEMETERY, St. Louis, MO (bio by: David H. Hagen)
Bio by: Connie Nisinger
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