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Wilhelm Georg Rapp (born July 14, 1827), in what is now the Baden-Württemberg region of southwest Germany. As a student at Tübingen University Rapp participated in the German revolution of 1848, and was imprisoned for a year for his activities. Upon his release Rapp lived in Switzerland, where he taught school before emigrating to the United States in 1852.
Rapp edited Die Turn Zeitung in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, then moved to Baltimore in 1857 to become editor of the Baltimore Wecker. Rapp's anti-secessionist and anti-slavery views made him the target of mob violence, and in 1861 he narrowly escaped lynching by fleeing to Washington D.C. disguised as a minister.
While in Washington, Rapp met with Abraham Lincoln, who offered him the position of postmaster general. Rapp declined, instead moving to Chicago to become editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung. Rapp remained in Chicago until his death at age 80 on February 28, 1907. He and his wife Gesine had three daughters: Emilie, Frida, and Mathilda, and a son, William Jr.