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German-American Accounts of Texas Online

February 20, 2012
Front page of Verbands-Bote

Front page of Verbands-Bote

From 1850 to 1900, German-Americans made up about 5% of the total Texas population, making them the third most populous ethnic group in Texas during the nineteenth century.  Because German immigrants gravitated towards enclaves in eastern and south-central Texas, their economic and cultural influence were greater than numbers alone might suggest.

Immigration to Texas began to be publicized in Germany in the late 1830s, and as the process gathered steam throughout the 1840s, an increasing number of travel accounts, guides, and fictionalized memoirs were published for readers both in Texas and Germany.  Through interupted by the Civil War, immigration resumed in the latter decades of the century and new German colonies continued to be established in Texas until the 1920s.

UTSA’s small but selective assemblage of German-American travel accounts, novels, and newspapers provides a valuable window into the motivations, challenges, and historical impact of German settlers in Texas. Through a Texas Cultures Online grant from the University of North Texas, several of these items have been digitized and are now available through The Portal to Texas History. These images will also be harvested and indexed by UTSA’s Library Quicksearch.

Travel Accounts

Cover of Amerikanische jagd-und reiseabenteuer... (1858)

Cover of Amerikanische jagd-und reiseabenteuer... (1858)

Roemer, Ferdinand. Texas : mit besonderer rücksicht auf deutsche auswanderung und die physischen verhätnisse des landes nach eigener beobachtung geschildert : mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen anhange und einer topographisch-geognostischen karte von Texas. Bonn : Adolph Marcus, 1849. [Special Collections John Peace F391 .R71 1849].

Strubberg, Friedrich A. Amerikanische jagd-und reiseabenteuer aus meinem leben in den Westlichen Indianergebieten. Mit 24 vom verfasser nach der natur entworfenen skizzen von armand.  Stuttgart und Augsburg: Cotta’scher, 1858. [Special Collections PT2532.S3 Z462 1858 ]
Note: An English translation of this title is available in Special Collections: The backwoodsman : or, Life on the Indian frontier, edited by Sir C.F. Lascelles Wraxall [PT2532.S3 Z462 1864]

Menzel, Gottfried. Die vereinigten staaten von nordamerika mit besonderer aucthlichtaus deutsche auswanderung dahin nach eigner unschauung bescrhieben.Berlin, Reimer, 1853.[Special Collections E166 .M55 1853]

German Fiction set in Texas

Die Auswanderer nach Texas (1841)

Title Page from Part I of Die Auswanderer nach Texas (1841)

Belani, H.E.R. (Häberlin, Karl Ludwig).  Die Auswanderer nach Texas. Historisch-romantisches gemälde aus der neuesten Zeit. Leipzig : C. L. Fritzsche, 1841.[John Peace F390 .H3] Part I, Part II, Part III

Sealsfield, Charles. (Karl Postl). Das Cajütenbuch : oder nationale Charakteristiken. Stuttgart : Verlag der J.B. Metzler’schen Buchhandlung, 1846. [John Peace PT2516 .S4C35 1846].

Sealsfield, Charles and Ch. Fr. Mersch. The cabin book : or, Sketches of life in Texas. New York : J. Winchester, 1844. [John Peace PT2516 .S4C3513].Note: This is an English translation of the preceding title.

Hormann, P. Alto. Die Tochter Tehuan’s, oder, Texas im vorigen Jahrhundert. Cincinnati, O. : Benziger Brothers, 1866. [PZ3.H672 T63 1866]

Texas Newspaper (primarily German; includes some English content)

Verbands-Bote. Jahrg. 1-3 (Januar [1920]-Juli/August 1923) = Nr. 1-17. San Antonio, Tex. : Katholischer Staats-Verband von Texas, [1920]-. [BX1415 .T4 V47]. v. : ill. ; 27 cm. 423 pp. Issues 1-17 (January 1920-July/August 1923).

One Comment leave one →
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