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Appendix D. Slave Inventories

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Chapter 13. The Adelsverein, the Plantation, and Slavery

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Secession was above all about slavery. The slaveholding power elite in Texas joined with the other Southern states to withdraw from the

Union for the primary purpose of maintaining and expanding slavery when it had become clear to them that they would not be able to take their slaves with them into the new territories of the West which were then opening up.

To be sure, Texas (as did two other Southern states) held a referendum on the question of secession and close to 70 percent of the male population cast their vote in favor. This left a substantial minority, however, including the governor of the state, Sam Houston, who were opposed to secession, and this produced a cauldron of seething tension, hostility and, at times, naked violence, representing the true

“Civil War” for Texas of the period. Indeed, with the surrender of the

Confederacy at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, the bloodshed did not come to an end in this other civil war. Rather, it ushered in another phase where the “lost cause” became a pretext and cover for terror and lawlessness, rendering Texas the most violent state in the Union for a decade after the war had ended.

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Chapter 3. The Plantation

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currency of the republic, the notorious “red backs,” had been drastically discounted.2

The lack of close access to a bank or credit institution in Texas with European ties created problems for the Society. So Count BoosWaldeck opened an account with Messrs. Schmidt & Co., one of several banking establishments in New Orleans with European correspondents. Later, officials did business with Lanfear & Co., another

New Orleans firm with similar connections.

Finally, New Orleans continued to serve as one of the major ports of entry for German immigrants bound for the Midwest.3 Consequently, there was a large German quarter where one could catch up on news from the homeland and be among native speakers.4

Boos-Waldeck and his party spent a couple of weeks in the city, and with the assistance of Charles Fordtran completed the initial purchases for the plantation. They departed New Orleans bound for

Galveston on February 14, 1843, on the steamer Neptune.5 The bill of lading listed eleven slaves, three wagons, and several thousand pounds of goods of all sorts.6 The eleven slaves included six men and five women. Except for one older man, Richard (fifty), all the men were around twenty years old. The women also were young with one, Hanna, being only fourteen years old. The slaves cost about $6,000.7

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Chapter 5. The Runaways

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ties of the plantation followed the general plan and concept of Count

Boos-Waldeck. He seems also to have been directly responsible for supervising the work on the Herrenhaus. It was left to the overseer,

William Bryan, who did live at the plantation, to take care of the dayto-day tasking of the slaves.

Judging from his reports and letters, Fordtran applied himself conscientiously to his duties. With fences to construct, fields to plow, and buildings to complete, both Bryan and Fordtran had full plates.

Fordtran had accompanied Boos-Waldeck to Galveston. He returned with a wagonload of supplies to Nassau Plantation on November 10, 1843. It had been a rather difficult trip due to wet weather and swollen streams. He detailed his return trip and the situation at the plantation in a long report sent to Boos-Waldeck, dated November

15, 1843.1

In the report, Fordtran mentioned that Wilhelm Etzel, the former servant of Boos-Waldeck, was happy and had big plans for the future.

He continued to be diligent in his work on the manor house but did not get along well with his associate, a man named Stuesse. In consequence, Stuesse had collected his wages, twenty-eight dollars, and departed even though his work was not completed. Fordtran thought it would be best to contract outside labor for the completion of the stall, which was to be built next to the manor house with dimensions of twenty-two feet by fourteen feet by fourteen feet. Fordtran also expressed concern about the condition of the oxen, which were so indispensable for the work of breaking the fields and transporting the rails for the fences. They were in bad shape, he reported, and only three pairs remained to do the work. He suggested to Bryan, the overseer, that he make the rails, of which 4,000 had already been split, lighter and shorter, and, therefore, reduce the work for the oxen. One can detect in this letter a growing rift between the two.2

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Chapter 11. Otto von Roeder

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unrest manifested itself quickly in the Rhineland and Hessian provinces due to their proximity to France. Here the French ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality had taken root among the students and the middle-class Bürger of the cities. Revolutionaries even briefly occupied the city of Mainz, which was in a sense the birthplace of the

Society. In one of the more dramatic episodes in all of Germany, a mob of 30,000 farmers, apprentices, and handworkers, armed only with pitchforks, scythes, and axes, descended upon the Wiesbaden castle of Adolph Duke of Nassau. When the duke promised reforms, the crowd peacefully dispersed.2

The old order in Europe was confronted with an explosion of frustration and resentment from the common man: the exclusion from political life, the denial of basic freedoms of expression and assembly, the lack of religious freedom, the absence of economic opportunity, the onerous burden of late-feudal privileges—all these factors combined to threaten the noblemen in Germany from within even as their plans from across the sea floundered. The turmoil of the revolution compromised the Society in Germany in many ways, especially in the ability to raise funds.3

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