22 Slices
Medium 9781574412864

Chapter 2. Joseph Count of Boos-Waldeck

James C. Kearney University of North Texas Press PDF

26

James C. Kearney

A suitable technician could not be found, so the expedition was reduced to the two noblemen and their servants, Wilhelm Ötzel

(Etzel) 2 and Johann Schwind.3 The two were given the dignified title of Jäger, or “hunter,” though it is not clear that either had ever done any hunting.

Power to act on the Society’s behalf remained in Boos-Waldeck’s hands, with one exception. Special instructions for the two, drawn up by Count Castell, stipulated that both men had to concur and sign should they decide to purchase land for the

Society. Moreover, in any land deal, they were to deal only with the government of the republic and thereby avoid unscrupulous speculators. Land fraud in Texas, it seems, had already attained international notoriety. The men were to contact G. A. Scherpf,4 whose book about Texas had helped shape Christian Leiningen’s enthusiasm for Texas. He was thought to be in New York. Finally, they were to be prudent with their cash since American banks could balk at promissory notes. On June 10, 1842, Boos-Waldeck and his party shipped out of Le Havre, France,5 on a three-master, the Lorena, and arrived in New York on July 18, 1842, after a thirty-eight-day passage.6

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412864

Chapter 12. Nassau-Rosenberg

James C. Kearney University of North Texas Press PDF

166

James C. Kearney

business careers, rising to positions of prominence. As a group they were also extremely civic-minded. They established schools, churches, and clubs in many communities across the state.

They were also prime participants in an unpleasant but fascinating episode concerning the plantation; they left an extensive record of their move to and assimilation in their new country; and, finally, their presence in the Round Top area acted as a magnet to other educated Germans so that the small town and surrounding community eventually emerged as one of the more refined German settlements in Texas.1

The record they left is generally in the form of letters; most, but not all, translated and published by the family.2 Collectively, this correspondence offers a rich, absorbing, and multifaceted record of the trials and tribulations, as well as the simple joys and pleasures, of frontier (or quasi-frontier) life in Texas in the 1850s with particular reference to Nassau Plantation. Additionally, Amanda

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412864

Appendix F. Descriptions of the Herrenhaus

James C. Kearney University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix F:

Descriptions of the Herrenhaus

Description 1, Amanda Fallier von Rosenberg:

“The house is composed of two square rooms made from oak logs.

These rooms, however, are separated by a wide intervening space, something like how the threshing floor in a [German] barn unites the separate rooms. Over everything spreads a wide roof that rests in the front and the back, to the north and to the south, on columns that provide shade for two magnificent porches. When one wants to enter the house, he must go up either three or four steps, whether in the front or in the back, on to the wonderful, wide porch which runs the length of the house. Both porches have balustrades three feet high and, as mentioned, are covered by a roof supported by columns. The porches are joined by a passage, or in-between space. In this space a narrow, but decorated stairway leads to the second story where, likewise, a passage joins two rooms, one for Eugen and the other as a store room. These top rooms only have ‘Texas windows,’ that is, just slits in the wall. The bottom rooms, however, have real windows. Each room has two, one to the north with fifteen panes and one to the south, somewhat wider, with twenty panes. The most beautiful feature of the house, however, is the chimneys. They are built of stone that have been beautifully dressed and shaped (a rarity here); they are truly

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412864

Chapter 6. Carl Prince of Solms-Braunfels

James C. Kearney University of North Texas Press PDF

76

James C. Kearney

In the valley of the Guadalupe

Lives neither prince nor nobleman.

One knows not bond service,

The tithe, injustices,

No rules, no bans.2

A dashing, thirty-two-year-old German prince was traipsing across

Texas in 1845, the year Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the song; and, ironically, it was this German prince who would set the stage, more than any other person, for the beautiful Guadalupe Valley to become a destination for German emigrants.

Of all the personalities associated with German emigration to

Texas, Carl Prince of Solms-Braunfels is by far the most intriguing—a man who has captured and held the public’s fascination.

A 1930 article in the Houston Chronicle with the somewhat lurid title, “German Prince once made Whoopee on Texas Farm,” illustrates this fascination. In it, Prince Solms is portrayed as a romantic and quixotic figure on the Texas frontier: dashing, haughty, extravagant.

The quiet pastures and sturdy farm buildings of Nassau

Plantation in Fayette County, near Round Top, if suddenly given tongue, would tell a stirring tale of days when German noblemen rode spirited horses to death and made royal whoopee that burned up thousands of dollars in one wild night of merrymaking.3

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574412864

Chapter 11. Otto von Roeder

James C. Kearney University of North Texas Press PDF

154

James C. Kearney

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

See All Chapters

See All Slices