"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Monday, April 16, 2018

Edward Henry Strobel found at Unitarian Cemetery!

Have you ever been to Unitarian Church? If not, I advise you to go! Unitarian Church has been BY FAR my favorite church and cemetery I have ever visited. A few weekends ago I went to Unitarian Church which took my breath away (see picture to the below). 
Unitarian Church
It was a big, beautiful, yellow church and had an even more beautiful cemetery (see picture below). The cemetery is overgrown with wild flowers, bushes, and weeds growing over many tombstones, which made this cemetery unique from others I have visited. 
Unitarian Cemetery

Edward Henry Strobel's Obelisk Tombstone
Front of Strobel's Obelisk 

After looking around for a little while, one obelisk tombstone really stood out, which was Edward Henry Strobel.  On the front it said, “Sacred to the memory of Edward Henry Strobel, A.B. LL.B. LL.D. of Harvard University. Born in Charleston, S.C. December 7, 1855. Died in Bangkok Siam. January 15, 1908" (see picture above). Then, on the side of the obelisk it said, “He served his country as charge O’Affairs in Spain and as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Ecuador and Chile. His college as Bemis professor of international law” (see picture below). After seeing the size of the obelisk and reading the messages on the base, I decided to research Edward Henry Strobel.
Side of Strobel's Obelisk 

After visiting this grave, I googled Edward Henry Strobel and learned that he was the Secretary of Legation of the United States to Spain until 1890 and wrote a book on the Spanish revolution. This caught my attention because my great grandparents left Spain and moved to Chile because of the Spanish inquisitions.  Strobel was also the Third Assistant Secretary of State, Secretary of Legation, Minister Plenipotentiary (as said above), head of a special mission, sole arbitrator between two powers, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the trusted adviser of a progressive oriental government. Wow!!! Strobel only lived until fifty-two years and accomplished so many admirable tasks!!

Other than Strobel’s accomplishments, he was born in Charleston from a family whose fortunes the civil war bore heavily.  Strobel grew up in Charleston, went to preliminary school in Charleston, then went to Harvard, and graduated in 1877.  In 1882 he took the bar exam to become a lawyer and passed.  Then in 1884, Strobel participated in the presidential campaign where he wrote a pamphlet on Mr. Blaine  (the Republican candidate in the 1884 election) and his foreign policy.  The pamphlet seemed to have helped Cleveland win the election, considering he became president.  After Cleveland won the election, he offered Strobel the post of Secretary of Legation at Madrid.  Strobel accepted this position and worked in Spain for 5 years, where he worked as Charge d’Affaires for part of the time.

After working in Spain, in 1888 Strobel was sent on a special mission to Morocco. He spent two years in Morocco, moved back to the United States, and then in 1893 he was appointed the Third Assistant Secretary of State. In 1894 he became Minister to Ecuador and then also the Minister to Chile. From 1894-1905 Strobel traveled around the world working for the American Gorvment.  In 1905 Strobel returned to the US after being poisoned in Egypt. Strobel suffered for fifteen months to fight off the poison. After he survived the poison, he returned to his work in Siam, Thailand, but Strobel never really fully recovered. He died three years later in Siam where he was greatly respected.  Strobel entered relations with the Siamese Government knowing it was dangerous work, but took on the role as the General Adviser to the Siamese Government because he was a brave, highly respected man. I hope that one day I can accomplish a tenth of what Edward Henry Strobel had accomplished in his lifetime. 

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