GROUP OF THE MONUMENT ERECTED BY THE NATIONAL GERMAN AMERICAN
ALLIANCE TO THE MEMORY OF THE SETTLERS OF GERMANTOWN, PA.
MODELED BY ALBERT JAEGERS.
A Tribute to the memory of the men and women,
who worked, fought and died for the welfare of
this country; and a recognition of the living who
with equal enterprise, genius and patriotism helped
in the making of our
By RUDOLF CRONAU
RUDOLF CRONAU 340 EAST 198th ST., NEW YORK
COPYRIGHT 1916 by RUDOLF CRONAU
WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR
Geschichte der Solinger Klingenindustrie (Stuttgart, 1885).
Von Wunderland zu Wunderland. Landschafts- und Lebens-
bilder aus den Staaten und Territorien der Union (2 Vol.,
Fahrten im Lande der Sioux Indianer (Leipzig, 1886).
Geschichte, Wesen und Praxis der Reklame (Ulm, 1887).
Im wilden Westen. Eine Kunstlerfahrt durch die Prairien
und Felsengebirge der Union (Braunschweig, 1890).
Amerika, die Geschichte seiner Entdeckung von der altesten
bis auf die neueste Zeit (2 Vol., Leipzig, 1890-92).
America, historia de su descubrimiento desde los tiempos
primitivos hasta los mas modernos (3 Vol. Barcelona,
Illustrative Cloud Forms for the Guidance of Observers in
the Classification of Clouds (U. S. Publication No. 1 12.
Washington, D. C, 1897).
Our Wasteful Nation. The Story of American Prodigality
and the Abuse of Our National Resources (New York,
Drei Jahrhunderte deutschen Lebens in Amerika (Berlin,
Do We Need a Third War for Independence? (New York,
The British Black Book (New York, 1915).
England a DestrqjferC of'$£tio&i (New York, 1915).
Our Hyphenated Citizens, Are They Right or Wrong? (New
York,/>9'l6)i. V:'- : -I: : ;/. :
To the millions of children, born of German
parents and raised in German American homes,
the Hope and Future of our United States, this
book is dedicated by
Mediaeval Germany and the Causes of German Emigra-
German Predecessors of the Puritans 13
Pastorius and the Settlers of Germantown Id
The Coming of the Palatines 25
The Life of the German Settlers in Colonial Times 29
Promoters of the Cause of Liberty 37
Heroes in the War for Independence 45
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the Organizer of the
American Army 55
Pioneers of the Ohio Region 63
Pioneers of the Mississippi Valley and the Far West. . 70
The Men of 1 848 79
Distinguished Germans in American Politics 81
The German Americans in the Wars of the 1 9th Century . 96
Leaders in Agriculture, Industry and Commerce 1 08
The North American Turner Bund and its Influence on the
Physical Development of the American Nation ... 121
The Influence of German Learning and Methods on Edu-
cation in the U. S 124
Eminent Scientists 130
Great Engineers 134
Organizers of American Traffic and Transportation. ... 147
The German American Press 151
Noteworthy Authors and Poets 155
German Music and Song in America 1 72
The German Drama and Opera in the U. S 1 78
Well-known Artists, Sculptors and Architects 183
German^ American Women and their Works 207
Monuments of Philanthropy 212
The National German American Alliance and its Pur-
The Future Mission of the German Element in America. 224
HE great world war which has plunged the
European nations into endless misery, suffering
and death, has brought embarrassment also
to all American citizens of German descent.
Sowing in unprecedented manner discord, envy,
calumny and prejudice, it compelled the German
Americans constantly to parry most unwarranted insinuations,
launched by men who ought to know better, yet apparently
find delight in questioning the loyalty of the German Americans
toward the land of their adoption.
If there be any one inclined to lend an ear to these most
despicable and baseless insinuations, let him inform himself
through the pages of this book of the glorious past of the
German element in America, of its well-nigh endless record
of achievements and sacrifices on behalf of the nation, of its
enduring patriotism when others failed of their duty or knew
not where to turn.
The descendants of Germans in this country may justly be
proud of the fact that their ancestors were among the first
American pioneers; that they were the makers of true American
homes, and that they participated in laying the foundations
upon which the entire present-day structure of our United
States has been reared.
That the reverent love which the Germans bear the land
of their birth in no way tends to diminish the loyalty which
they owe to the country of their adoption, is a fact which no
fair-minded man requires to be proved, but of which this
record bears ample witness. In defense of the Constitution,
for the preservation of liberty and the rights of man they will
stand firm and unafraid as of yore.
In view of these facts it is the paramount duty of all Amer-
icans of German descent to unite in order to take appropriate
measures in self-defense as well as to protect their good name.
Not only is it their task to convince their fellow citizens, irre-
spective of origin, of the unswerving loyalty of the German
element through making them acquainted with its glorious past
and enduring patriotism, but, above all, they must inform their
own children of the achievements of their ancestors. Only in
this way can they make them proud of their origin and interest
them in the great mission which the rising generation is
expected to fulfill.
The conditions, created by the war in our United States,
made apparent the need of such a book as is offered herewith.
Having been welcomed by thousands of enthusiastic readers
and the entire German American press, it appears now in its
third edition. May it continue to set aright the opinion of our
American people with regard to their German fellow-citizens,
and may it inspire our young generation to emulate the
industry, enterprise and patriotism, which have distinguished
the men and women of whom it tells.
Mediaeval Germany and the Causes of
Far beyond the Atlantic, occupying the greater part of
central Europe, lies a country dear to all Americans of
German descent. It is known as a land of romantic scenery,
where the most beautiful of rivers, the Rhine, sweeps through
vineclad mountains; where gray old churches and majestic
cathedrals point heavenward; where in crumbling castles,
sombre forests and silent valleys cling thousands of legends
and fairy tales. It is praised as the home of science; as the
birthplace of eminent philosophers and poets, whose names
are known throughout the world. It is hailed as the land
of great artists, sculptors and composers; as the cradle of
most important inventions, that gave new impulse to mankind.
Americans of German origin cherish it as the land of their
ancestors, as the "Old Fatherland," and when speaking of
it, they feel a longing tugging at their heartstrings.
Reminiscences of the past are then revived. Noble heroes,
none greater known to history, arise before their minds:
Hermann the Cheruskan, the Emperors Karl and Otto the
Great, Frederick Barbarossa, Rudolf and Maximilian, who,
during the middle ages, made Germany the most prosperous
and powerful empire in Europe.
Under the sceptre of such brilliant rulers beautiful castles
and palaces, imposing churches and cathedrals arose every-
where. Villages and cities sprang into existence and became
the homes of able craftsmen, who united into powerful guilds.
Enterprising merchants opened commerce with all countries
of Europe and the Orient. Many of these merchant-princes
became famous for their wealth. As for instance the Fuggers
of Augsburg, who amassed a fortune amounting to more than
60 Million Gulden; then the Welsers, who were able to
advance to Emperor Charles V. a loan of twelve tons of gold.
These merchants, however, were not lost in selfishness.
Proud of their native cities, they contributed freely to their
beauty and importance. And so the German cities of the
Middle Ages gained steadily in splendor and influence. To
further their interests, many of these cities combined to form
powerful federations. The cities of Southern Germany for
instance founded the "Schwaebische Staedtebund ;" the cities
of Northern Germany the "Hansa," which, embracing 85
cities, became the most famous of all.
Emperors, princes and magistrates vied with one another
in beautifying their cities. To impress foreigners with the
cities' importance and wealth, the entrance gates as well as
the town halls, proud symbols of self-government, were
adorned with magnificent portals, colonades and sculpture
work. The great show pieces of these buildings were, how-
ever, the state or banquet halls, on which often enormous
sums were lavished. Here were to be found exquisite carvings
in wood, costly tapestries and paintings. From the ceilings
hung elaborate chandeliers and models of merchant vessels
or men-of-war. The ornaments of the fire places bore the
coat of arms of the city or of such families, which had played
in the history of the community important roles. Richly
carved closets and chests contained the treasures of the city:
beautiful dishes, bowls and cups of ebony, ivory, crystal,
silver and gold. And over all this splendor rays of sunshine,
breaking through beautiful windows of stained glass, cast a
In the public squares, fronting these city halls, arose mag-
nificent fountains, topped with the figures of the city patrons
or famous knights or kings.
While thus the rulers and magistrates beautified all public
buildings and squares, the burghers did their best to complete
the picture. The innate sense for art accomplished wonders
in many cities of Germany. Loving their homes, the citizens
adorned the front of their houses with carvings and allegorical
paintings. Even such inconspicuous objects as weather-vanes
and door-knockers became in the hands of skilled craftsmen
specimens of genuine art. However, these efforts to beautify
the exterior of the houses, were not accomplished to the
neglect of the interior. Wealthy families took pride in artistic
furniture, beautiful carpets, precious objects of crystal and
silver, and in paintings and etchings by famous masters.
This period of prosperity and culture was also a time of
great ecclesiastic architecture. Especially the architects of
the 1 1th, 12th and 1 3th centuries created cathedrals, which in
bold construction and sublime beauty surpass everything
hitherto and since accomplished. The cathedrals of Worms,
Speyer, Mayence, Frankfort on the Main, Ulm, Strassburg,
Cologne and other cities rank among the greatest master-
pieces of Romanic and Gothic art.
The Middle Ages were also a period in which great German
poets, artists, inventors and reformers flourished. Then it
was, that one of the masterpieces of the world's literature,
the "Nibelungenlied," was written. Then it was, that Walter
von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Heinrich von
Offterdingen, Frauenlob and many others wrote the most
inspiring poems in praise of womanhood. It was also the
time of Albrecht Duerer, Hans Holbein, Lucas Cranach,
Stephan Lochner, Peter Vischer and other artists, who belong
to the greatest of the great. Berthold Schwarz invented gun-
powder, causing thereby a thorough revolution in warfare.
Johannes Gutenberg, by inventing movable type, made the
art of printing the most effective means for distributing
knowledge and enlightenment throughout the world. The
astronomers Kopernikus and Kepler opened new vistas by
establishing the fact, contrary to the teachings of the Bible,
that the sun does not move around the earth, but is a center,
around which the earth and many other planets revolve.
Another imposing figure of these great times was Martin
Luther, who gave to his people not only the German Bible,
but with it, a literary language. Whereas, up to his time, every
German writer had written in the dialect with which he was
familiar, the language used by Luther in his translation of the
Bible became the common one in all Germany, proving the
most powerful factor toward forming national unity and in
establishing a national literature.
In view of all these facts we may well ask, why people
abandoned such a glorious land and emigrated to far distant
countries of which they knew nothing and where their future
In history we find the answer.
The reformation, initiated by Luther, resulted, unfortunately,
in conflict among religious creeds and was followed by the most
overwhelming calamity that ever befell any country. Begin-
ning in 1618 and lasting till 1648, the so-called Thirty Years*
War swept over Germany like a hurricane, ruining it beyond
recognition. Hundreds of cities and villages were burned by
Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch and Swedish soldiers, who
made Germany their battleground. Of the 1 7 million inhabi-
tants of Germany 1 3 millions were killed or swept away
through starvation and the pest. In Bohemia the population
was diminished from 3,000,000 to 780,000. In Saxony,
during the two years 1631 and 1632, 943,000 persons were
slaughtered or died through sickness and want. In Wiirtem-
berg over 500,000 lost their lives. The Palatinate, having
had a population of 500,000, suffered a loss of 45 7,000.
In some parts of Thuringia ninety per cent, of all the people
perished. Agriculture, commerce, industries and the arts
were annihilated. Of many villages nothing remained but
their names. According to the chronicles of these times, one
could wander for many miles without seeing a living creature
except wolves and ravens. It was during those dreadful years
that Alsace and Lorraine, two of the richest countries of
Germany, were stolen by France.
The terrors of all these calamities were not forgotten,
when, at the end of the 1 7th and at the beginning of the
18th centuries, the "most Christian king" Louis XIV. of
France ordered his generals to raid the countries along the
Rhine and to make them one vast desert.
In obeying this cruel command the French armies destroyed
everything that had survived the ravages of the Thirty Years'
War. Dozens of cities were laid in ashes. Villages without
number went up in flames. The ruins of hundreds of beauti-
ful castles on the Rhine, Moselle and Neckar, among them
Heidelberg, are lasting reminders of the years when the
demons of rape and devastation held sway.
Besides such calamities, many German countries suffered
from oppression by their own princes, who tried to ape the
splendor of the court of Louis XIV., and indulged in brilliant
festivals, the cost of which had to be borne by the people.
And in accordance with the old motto "cujus regio, ejus
religio" ("Who governs the people, gives them also their
religion") these princes quite often forced their subjects to
change their faith according to their own belief. The Pala-
tines, for instance, were compelled to change their faith
several times. From Catholics they had to become Protestants,
then Reformed, later on Lutherans and finally Catholics once
In 1 756 the long suffering inhabitants of Germany were
overrun again by the furies of war, when France, Russia,
Poland, Sweden, Saxony and Austria sought to divide the
kingdom of Frederick the Great.
The desperate struggle, then ensuing, is known as the Seven
Years' War, Only 42 years later it was followed by the
onslaught of that monstrous adventurer Napoleon I., by
whom Germany was humiliated as never before. The whole
country was subjected to systematic plundering. The imperial
crown of Germany was trodden into the dust. The German
states were torn apart and given by Napoleon as presents to
his favorites, who made the German cities resound with gay
life, at the burghers* expense.
Under the burden of all these sufferings many inhabitants
of Germany despaired of a future in their native country and
resolved to emigrate to America, hoping that there they would
enjoy not only better material existence, but also freedom of
worship. The report, that William Penn had thrown open his
grant of land, Pennsylvania, as a place of refuge to all who
suffered persecution on account of their religious faith, served
as a special inducement for many Germans, to emigrate to
that part of the New World.
Germans Predecessors of the Puritans,
Long before the Puritans, glorified in our Colonial History,
thought of emigrating to America, Germans had already
landed in several parts of the New World. At the very time
when the British "Heroes of the Sea," the Hawkins, Drake,
Cavendish, Morgan and others were engaged in abominable
slave trade and in plundering the Spanish Colonies, numerous
German mechanics, artisans, traders and miners busied them-
selves with all kinds of useful work.
As early as 1538, Johann Cromberger, a German, estab-
lished a printing office in the City of Mexico, and issued
numerous books, that bear the notice "Impresso en la gran
ciudad de Mexico en casa de Juan Cromberger."
From the Colonial history of Venezuela we know, that the
German explorers, who came to that country in 1528 to
1 546, also brought a printing press with them. Besides, they
took with them fifty miners, to explore the mountains of
Among the first English settlers, who came with Captain
John Smith to Virginia, were also a number of German
craftsmen, who had been procured by the British Colonial
Office, at Captain Smith's suggestion "to send to Germany
and Poland for laborers."
German traders also appeared in different parts of North
America. Soon after Henry Hudson had discovered the
noble river which now bears his name, a German, Hendrick
Christiansen of Kleve, became the explorer of that stream.
Attracted by its beauty and grandeur, he undertook eleven
expeditions to its shores. He also built the first houses on
Manhattan Island, 1613, and laid the foundations of the trad-
ing stations New Amsterdam and Fort Nassau, the present
cities of New York and Albany. In what light Christiansen
was regarded by his contemporaries, may be learned from
a passage in the "Historisch Verhael" of the Dutch chronicler
Nicolas Jean de Wassenaer, who wrote: "New Netherland
was first explored by the honorable Hendrick Christiansen of
Kleve Hudson, the famous navigator, was also there."
A few years after this enterprising German had been
killed by an Indian, another German, Peter Minnewit or
Minuit, became Director-General of New Netherland, the
colony established by the Dutch at the mouth of the Hudson
River. Minnewit was born in Wesel, a city on the lower
Rhine. Not much is known of his earlier life, but it is stated,
that he was a Protestant and for some time held the position
of deacon in the Reformed Church.
When, during the Thirty Years' War, the countries of the
Lower Rhine and of Westfalia, Ditmarsen, Friesland and
Holstein were being ravaged by Spanish soldiers, Minnewit,
like many other Protestants fled to Holland, to escape certain
death. In Amsterdam Minnewit entered the service of a
trading company, for which he made several trips to the
East Indies and South America. These voyages were so
successful, that the leaders of the "Dutch West India Com-
pany" selected Minnewit as a director-general for her colony,
New Netherland. They entrusted him with almost absolute
power. Minnewit arrived in New Amsterdam on May 4,
1626. To secure title for the colony, one of his first acts
was the closing of a bargain with the Manhattan Indians, by
which, in exchange for such trinkets as colored cloth, beads,
kettles and small looking glasses to the value of 60 guilders,
or $24, the whole of Manhattan Island, containing about
22,000 acres, became the property of the Dutch.
"f fcrt TVteuw lAmjherlam, of cUManhatans
NEW AMSTERDAM AT THE TIME OF PETER MINNEWIT.
(From an Old Engraving.)
By dealing fairly with the Indians Minnewit won their good
will. From them New Netherland had nothing to fear. But
the colony had dangerous neighbors, the English in Massa-
chusetts, who started a number of settlements there and who
claimed the whole Atlantic coast as far south as the 40th
degree. To protect New Netherland against an attack by
these steadily encroaching neighbors, Minnewit erected a fort
at the south end of Manhattan Island.
Under the able management of this German, the trading
station developed successfully. While in 1624 the output in
furs amounted to 25,000 guilders, the export increased within
a few years to 1 30,000 guilders.
Minnewit remained at his post till 1631. Soon afterwards
he became the founder and first director of New Sweden, a
Swedish colony at the mouth of the Delaware River. Unfor-
tunately this energetic man lost his life in the West Indies
during a hurricane. He had set sail with two vessels to open
up trade relations with these islands.
His successor in New Sweden was a German nobleman,
Johann Printz von Buchau, a giant in body and energy.
During his regime, which lasted from 1643 to 1654, the
colony New Sweden became very successful and thereby
aroused the jealousy of the Dutch, who, while Buchau was on
a trip to Europe, attacked the colony and annexed it to New
Netherland. In 1 664 it fell a prey to the English together
with all of New Netherland. As is well known, the English
now named the colony New York, in honor of the king's
brother, the Duke of York.
When this event took place, the colony already had
among her citizens numerous Germans, of whom several held
responsible positions in the Dutch West Indian Trading
Company. There were also German physicians, lawyers and
merchants. One of the latter, Nicholaus de Meyer, a native
of Hamburg, became in 1676 burgomaster of New York.
To the most prominent men of that period belonged also
Augustin Herrman. a surveyor, who made the first reliable
maps of the colonies of Maryland and Virginia.
The unknown interior of the latter colony was first explored
by a young German scholar, Johann Lederer. who, born in
Hamburg, came to Jamestown in 1 668. Here he made the
acquaintance of Governor Berkeley of Virginia, who sent him
to explore the mountains in the western part of the colony,
in the hope of finding a passage to the Indian Ocean, which
was believed to be just beyond the western slopes of the
Appalachian Mountains. During the years 1669 and 1670
Lederer made three expeditions to the west and southwest.
It seems that he traversed not only Virginia, but also a part
of South Carolina. But in spite of the most heroic efforts it
was impossible for him to cross the many parallel ridges of
the Appalachian Mountains. When he had succeeded in
scaling one, he saw from its summit in the distance other still
higher ones. To cross them was impossible because of insuf-
ficient outfit and provisions.
Lederer's itinerary, written in Latin, abounds in highly-
interesting descriptions of the country and the different Indian
tribes he encountered. These notes were translated by Gov-
ernor Talbot of Maryland into English. Printed in 1672 in
London, they constitute one of the most valuable documents
in the history of the exploration of our North American con-
Franz Daniel Pastorius and the
Settlers of Germantown.
What Plymouth Rock is to Anglo-Americans, Germantown
is to Americans of German descent: a spot consecrated by
history, a spot where every American should stand with
uncovered head !
At Plymouth Rock we cherish the memory of the Puritan
Pilgrims; in Germantown that of those pious Mennonites, who,
after their arrival in Philadelphia, broke ground for the first
permanent German settlement in North America.
There is no chapter in our colonial history, which in general
interest and elevating character surpasses the story of that little
town, which to-day is one of the suburbs of William Penn's
famous "City of Brotherly Love.'' Like the Puritans, the
Mennonites, followers of the reformer Menno Simon, had
been subjected to so many restrictions and persecution, that
they gladly accepted the invitation of Penn, to settle in his
American domain. The first group of Mennonites, that
crossed the ocean, came from Crefeld, a city of the lower
Rhine. Numbering 33 persons, they landed, after a voyage
of 73 days in the good ship "Concord," in Philadelphia
October 6, 1683. They were received by William Penn
and Franz Daniel Pastorius, a young lawyer from Frankfort
on the Main, who had hurried to America in advance of the
Mennonites, in order to prepare everything for their arrival.
The first problem was to select a suitable location for the
future town of the Mennonites. After due search they decided
upon a tract near the Schuylkill River, two hours above Phila-
delphia. Here they broke ground on October 24.
For the first year the life of the settlers was but one con-
tinuous struggle against the vast wilderness, whose depths
no white man had ever penetrated. Trees of enormous size,
hundreds of years old, and almost impenetrable brushwood
had to be removed to win a clearing for the little houses.
The trials of the settlers, who by occupation were weavers and
not accustomed to hard work, were often so great, that it
took the combined persuasion of Pastorius and Penn, to
encourage the Mennonites to persist in the bitter fight against
the cruel wilderness. But when at last the work was done,
Germantown was well worth looking at. A street 60 feet
wide and planted with peach-trees on both sides, divided
the village in two parts. Every house was surrounded by a
three-acre garden, in whose virgin soil flowers and vegetables
grew in such abundance, that the settlers raised not only
enough for their own use, but were also able to provide the
market of Philadelphia.
Special care was given to the cultivation of flax and grape-
vine. The flax was of importance, as the Mennonites con-
tinued in their profession as weavers with such success, that
the linen and other woven goods from Germantown became
famous for quality. As the inhabitants of Germantown came
from the Rhine, their hearts were open to blissful enjoyment
of life, and wine was appreciated as the means to drive away
all grief and sorrow. Before long the windows and entrances
of the houses were surrounded by heavy grapevines.
Certainly it was a happy idea, when Pastorius, in designing
an official seal for the town, selected the clover, the leaves
of which were to represent the grape-vine, the flax blossom
and the weavers' shuttle. These were surrounded by the Latin
motto: "Vinum, Linum et Textrinum" (Vine, Linen and
Weaving). With this he indicated, that culture of the grapes,
flax-growing and the textile industries were the principal occu-
pations in Germantown. At the same time it indicated the
mission of the Germans in America, to promote agriculture,
manufacture and enjoyment of life.
Happy hours these German Pilgrims must have had in
Germantown, when at eventide, after the days work had
been done, they sat on the benches by the doors, listening
to the cooing of the doves, and enjoying the fragrant odor
of the manifold flowers, the seeds of which they had brought
with them from their native home.
While attending to their daily work, the inhabitants of Ger-
mantown did not neglect their intellectual life. Pastorius,
this true shepherd of his flock, was its center. He established
a school and arranged also an evening class, in which he
imparted freely of his great wisdom to all who were eager
to enrich their knowledge.
When Germantown was incorporated as a town, Pastorius
was of course elected its first burgomaster. How deeply
rooted in his heart was the love of his old Fatherland and
his countrymen, is indicated by a "Greeting to Posterity,''
which he wrote on the first page of the "Grund- und Lager-
buch," the first official document of Germantown. Translated
from the Latin it reads as follows: "Hail Posterity! Hail to
you, future generations in Germanopolis! May you never
forget that your ancestors, of their own free will, left the
beloved land, which bore and nourished them — ah! for those
hearths and homes! — to live the rest of their days in the
forests of Pennsylvania, in the lonely wilderness, with less
care and anxiety, but still after the German fashion, like
brothers. May you also learn, how arduous a task it was,
after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, to plant the German race
in this part of North America. And, dear descendants, where
we have set an example of righteousness, follow our footsteps!
But where we have turned from the straight and narrow path,
forgive us! May the perils which we encountered, make you
wise! Farewell, Posterity! Farewell, my German Kin! Farewell,
forever and ever!"
Undoubtedly Pastorius was also the author of a document,
by which the inhabitant of Germantown set an everlasting
monument to themselves.
The importation of negro slaves from Africa to America
had been practised by the English and Dutch since the 1 6th
century. Slaves were sold to the English colonies without
disapproval of the Puritans and Quakers, who claimed to be
defenders of human rights. The Germans, however, who
had suffered so much in their own fatherland, regarded in
just appreciation of the personal rights of others the traffic
in human flesh as a heavy crime against the teachings of
Christ. For this reason they drew up on February 1 8, 1 688,
a protest against slavery, the first ever written in any
language. This remarkable document reads as follows:
"This is to ye Monthly Meeting held at Richard Warrel's.
These are the reasons why we are against the traffick of men
Body, as followeth: Is there any that would be done or
handled at this manner? to be sold or made a slave for all
the time of his life? How fearfull and fainthearted are many
on sea when they see a strange vessel, being afraid it should
be a Turk, and they should be taken and sold for slaves into
Turckey. Now what is this better done as Turcks doe? Yea
rather is it worse for them, which say they are Christians; for
we hear that ye most part of such Negers are brought hither
against their will and consent; and that many of them are
stollen. Now, tho' they are black, we cannot conceive there
is more liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other
white ones. There is a saying, that we shall doe to all men,
like as we will be done our selves; making no difference of
what generation, descent or colour they are. And those who
steal or robb men, and those who buy or purchase them, are
they not all alike? Here is liberty of conscience, which is
right and reasonable; here ought to be likewise liberty of ye
body, except of evildoers, which is another case. But to
bring men hither, or to robb and sell them against their will,
we stand against. In Europe there are many oppressed for
conscience sake; and here there are those oppressed which
are of a black colour. And we, who know that men must
not commit adultery, some doe commit adultery in others,
separating wifes from their husbands and giving them to
others; and some sell the children of those poor creatures to
other men. Oh! doe consider well this things, you who doe
it; if you would be done at this manner? and if it is done
according to Christianity? You surpass Holland and Germany
in this thing. This makes an ill report in all those countries of
Europe, where they hear off, that ye Quackers doe here handel
men like they handel there ye cattel. And for that reason
some have no mind or inclination to come hither, and who
shall maintaine this your cause or plaid for it? Truly we can
not do so, except you shall inform us better hereoff, that
Christians have liberty to practise this things. Pray! What
thing on the world can be done worse towards us, then if
men should robb or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to
strange countries, separating housbands from their wifes and
children. Being now this is not done at that manner, we will
be done at, therefore we contradict and are against this
tramck of menbody. And we who profess that it is not lawful
to steal, must likewise avoid to purchase such things as are
stollen but rather help to stop this robbing and stealing if
possible; and such men ought to be delivered out of ye hands
of ye Robbers and sett free as well as in Europe. Then is
Pennsylvania to have a good report, instead it hath now a
bad one for this sacke in other countries. Especially whereas
ye Europeans are desirous to know in what manner ye
Quackers doe rule in their Province; and most of them doe
look upon us with an envious eye. But if this is done well,
what shall we say is done evill?
If once these slaves (which they say are so wicked and
stubborn men) should joint themselves, fight for their freedom
and handel their masters and mastrisses as they did handel
them before, will these masters and mastrisses tacke the sword
at hand and warr against these poor slaves, like we are able
to believe, some will not refuse to doe? Or have these Negers
not as much right to fight for their freedom, as you have to
keep them slaves?
Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad? and in
case you find it to be good to handel these blacks at that man-
ner, we desire and require you hereby lovingly, that you may
inform us here in, which at this time never was done, that
Christians have such a liberty to do so, to the end we shall
be satisfied in this point, and satisfie lickewise our good friends
and acquaintances in our natif country, to whom it is a terrour
or fairfull thing that men should be handeld so in Pennsilvania.
This is from our Meeting at Germantown held ye 1 8. of the
2. month 1688. to be delivered to the monthly meeting at
derick op de graeff
Francis Daniell Pastorius
Abraham op Den graeff.'*
This protest was submitted at several meetings of the
Quakers, who, however, found the question too important to
take action upon, since this question stood in intimate relation
with other affairs. The document, set up by the humble
inhabitants of Germantown, however, compelled the Quakers
to think. Becoming aware that the traffic in human beings
did not harmonize with Christian religion, they introduced in
1711 "an act to prevent the importation of Negroes and
Indians into the province," and later on they declared against
slave trade. But as the Government found such laws inad-
missible, the question dragged along, until 150 years later
this black spot on the escutcheon of the United States was
Pastorius, the noble leader of Germantown, departed this
life about Christmas of 1719, much deplored by his many
friends, who, like William Penn, respected him as "an upright
and courageous, moderate and wise man, a shining example
to his countrymen."
AN OLD GERMAN PRINTING PRESS.
(In the Museum of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.)
A few years after Pastorius' death another remarkable
person made Germantown his home: Christoph Saur, a
native of Westphalia. Being a printer, he published here in
1 739 the first newspaper in German type, and also in 1 743
the first German Bible in America. This antedated, by forty
years, the printing of any other Bible in America, in an-
other European language. Besides Saur published numerous
other volumes, among them many textbooks for schools. To
him is due also the founding of the Germantown Academy,
which still exists.
Germantown deserves credit also as the place, where Wil-
helm Rittenhaus established in 1690 the first paper mill in
America. So the name of Germantown is connected with
many events of great importance in American history. No
one who intends to give a true idea of the origin and develop-
ment of American culture, can omit to mention Germantown
and its founders.
The great success of the Mennonites inspired many other
German sectarians to follow their example and emigrate to
the Western hemisphere. Among them were the Tunkers or
Dunkards, whose cloister Ephrata in Pennsylvania became
famous as a seat of learning. It had its own printing press,
paper mill and book bindery, and published in 1 749 the
"Martyrer Spiegel," a folio volume of 1514 pages, the great-
est literary undertaking of the American colonies.
Furthermore, there were the Herrnhuter or Moravians, the
founders of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other settlements in
Pennsylvania and Ohio. Many of these Moravians devoted
themselves to missionary work among the Indians. Some of
these devout emissaries, for instance Christian Friedrich
Post, Johann Heckewelder and David Zeisberger per-
formed most valuable work among the Delawares, Mohicans
and other tribes.
The Salzburgers, driven from their homes in the Alps in
1731, established in Georgia a flourishing colony, named
Ebenezer. Other German sectarians founded Zoar and Har-
mony in Ohio, Economy in Pennsylvania, Bethel and Aurora
in Missouri, Amana in Iowa, and other colonies, many of
which created world-wide attention because of their success-
ful application of communistic ideas.
THE SEAL OF GERMANTOWN.
The Coming of the Palatines,
Of all the German states which suffered from the terrors
of the Thirty Years' War and the raids of the French, the
Palatinate fared worst. During the first catastrophe one
hundred and forty-seven towns and villages were wiped out
of existence, so that nothing remained but their almost for-
gotten names. Everything which escaped the ravages of that
dreadful war, was destroyed by the soldiers of the "most
Christian King'' Louis XIV. of France. In utter despair, the
few thousand survivors of the carnage and plundering resolved
to give up their homes and emigrate to any country, where
they would be free from the terrors of war.
The first Palatines to emigrate were 55 Lutherans. Under
the leadership of their minister, Josua von Kocherthal, they
arrived in New York in the winter of 1 708. Upon the western
shore of the Hudson they established a settlement, which they
called Neuburg, from which the present city of Newburgh
takes its name. —
In the following year the Rhine became the scene of an
extraordinary event. Vast fleets of boats and rafts glided
down the river, all crowded with unhappy people, who
carried their few belongings with them in bundles and boxes.
How many thousand persons there were, is not exactly
known. Estimates vary from 15,000 to 30,000. The fugi-
tives went to Holland and from there to London, to beg the
British government for transportation to America. Several
thousand were sent to Ireland; several hundred to Virginia,
Carolina and New England, and more than 3,000 to New
York. The latter embarked in ten vessels in January, 1710.
The voyage across the ocean took several months; the last
boat did not arrive in New York before July. Accommo-
dations and food on the vessels were so poor that 470 of
the emigrants perished during the trip; 250 more died on
Governor's Island, where the Palatines were kept in quaran-
tine for many weeks without any apparent reason.
Furthermore, the government, instead of granting the
Palatines the same privileges that other emigrants received,
treated them as serfs, who ought to make good by their labor
for everything the government had done for them. So the
Palatines were settled along the shores of the Hudson, where
we now find Germantown and Saugerties. Here they were
forced to raise hemp for cordage, and to manufacture tar
and pitch, so that the government would no longer be obliged
to buy these much-needed objects for ship-building from
Unfortunately, the contract for supplying the Palatines
with all necessities of life was given to Robert Livingston, a
perfect type of those disreputable men, who came to America
only to get rich quickly. In Albany he had been made Town
Clerk and Secretary for Indian Affairs. Later on to these
offices were added those of Collector of Excise and Quit
Rents, Clerk of Peace and Clerk of the Court of Common
Pleas. A born grafter, he associated himself secretly with
the famous pirate Captain Kidd, and thereby added greatly
to his fortune.
When in 1 701 he could not account for large sums, said to
have passed through his hands, he was deprived of his offices
and his estates were confiscated. However, upon going to
London he obtained from the Queen a restoration of his
offices, returned to New York in 1 709, became, through
bribery, a member of Assembly and secured a repeal of the
act confiscating his estates.
Such was the history of the gentleman, into whose care the
unfortunate Palatines were given. Naturally, they fared badly.
While they almost starved to death, the bills, handed by
Livingston to the government, ran to enormous sums. From
November 10, 1710, to September, 1712, they amounted
to 76,000 pounds sterling!
During the severe winter of 1712-13 the distress of the
Palatines became unbearable. They had neither food nor
clothing. Suffering from hunger and cold, their clamor
became so heartrending that the Indians, who dwelt in the
neighborhood, came to their assistance, and presented them
with a stretch of land in the valley of the Schoharie River,
whereto the Palatines might emigrate.
Seeing no other course before them, the Palatines resolved
to escape to this place. They started in March, 1713. As no
roads existed and deep snow covered the ground, the trip
was exhausting. The fugitives had neither wagons nor animals
for the transportation of the sick, the aged, the women and
children. All belongings had to be carried upon their backs.
And, of course, there was nothing to eat. If the Indians had
not helped, the Palatines would certainly have perished.
Hardly ever were settlements started under greater diffi-
culties than these in the Schoharie Valley. Rough logs fur-
nished the material for the huts. Clothes were made from
the skins of wild animals. As no one possessed a plough, the
settlers were obliged to dig furrows into the ground with
their knives. They then sowed the only bushel of wheat they
had bought in Schenectady with their last money. As they
had no mill, the first harvest was crushed between stones.
After toiling for several years, the Palatines, never giving
up hope, began to look for a better future, when suddenly
came the news, that the governor had ceded their land to
some speculators, among them Livingston, with whom the
Palatines must come to an agreement. That the land had
been given to the Palatines by the Indians, and that by the
right of first settlement they had an indisputable claim, the
governor would not acknowledge. Furious about their escape,
he molested the Palatines so persistently that the majority
decided to move again. Several hundred quitted the in-
hospitable colony of New York forever, and went to Penn-
sylvania. Others moved to the valley of the Mohawk River,
occupying a strip of land which was donated to them by the
The first settlement there became known as the German
Flats. But in the course of time the Palatines founded many
other villages and towns, some of which betray their German
origin by their names, as Mannheim, Oppenheim, Frankfort,
Palatine, Herkimer, Palatine Bridge, New Paltz Landing
and Palatine Church. —
The Palatines who had been brought to Carolina, Virginia
and New England also founded numerous villages and towns,
whose original German names, however, became so distorted
later, that to-day they can hardly be recognized. —
Through a strange irony of fate the Palatines, who had
emigrated from Germany to escape the brutalities of the
French, were compelled to again face the same enemies in
America. It was during the years 1 754 to 1 763, when the
French, assisted by their Indian allies, the Ottawas, Hurons,
Miamis, Shawnees and Illinois, made frequent raids from
Canada and the Ohio Valley on the settlements of the
Palatines, who in fact had been placed by the government
as outposts on the frontier against the French and Indians.
In assisting the Germans in the defense of the frontier the
government was always so tardy that the Germans often
resorted to drastic demonstrations to compel the authorities
to do their duty. In November, 1755, when the Palatine
settlements in Pennsylvania had been raided, several hundred
Germans marched to Philadelphia, to demand measures of
defense. They brought with them a number of bodies of
friends murdered, mutilated and scalped, and displayed them
at the doors of the assembly hall. This gruesome exhibition
created great sensation, yet the government did not call the
militia before spring of the next year for the protection of
the suffering settlements. Many members of this militia were
Palatines. They were also largely represented among the
"Royal Americans," a regiment of 4000 Germans of Penn-
sylvania and Maryland, which under the able command of
Henry Bouquet, a native of Switzerland, in the wars against
the French and Indians won a glorious record.
Out of the ranks of the Palatine colonists came many
vigorous men, who gained renown in American history. As
for instance Konrad Weiser, Peter Zenger, and Nicholas
Herchheimer, who, like all their countrymen, served this
country devotedly in timeq of peace, and gladly gave their
lives for it in times of war.
Their descendants, reinforced by large numbers of Palatines,
who arrived during the 1 8th and 1 9th centuries, number at
present many hundred thousands, a valuable army of diligent,
industrious and contented people. Where energy and per-
sistence are needed, where experience, mechanical or artistic
abilities are required, the Palatines take no second place. We
find them engaged in all trades, in the fields, the orchards
and vineyards, and always devoted to the place which gives
them support. None of their beautiful farms in the Schoharie
and Mohawk valleys, or in Pennsylvania, ever had to be
abandoned because of exhausted soil, as was the case with
so many thousands of Yankee-farms in the New England
States. Like all other German immigrants that settled in
America, the Palatines took great care to uphold and increase
the fruitfulness of their farms, and the good name and credit
of their business, in order that they might pass them on to
their children and grandchildren as valuable inheritances.
Besides their diligence and industriousness, the Palatines
in America have also preserved their genuine Rhenish cheer-
fulness, their love for poetry, music and song. Some of their
poets rank among the best our country has produced. Their
singing-societies are of the first order, while their festivals
are brimful of harmless fun and rejoicing.
What virtues they brought with them from the Fatherland
they have preserved and transmitted with great success and
to their own honor from generation to generation. And so
the Palatines will live in the history of America; and future
generations will celebrate the great influx of the Palatines in
1710 as an event which became a blessing to this nation.
The Life of the German Settlers in
To take a glimpse at the life of the early pioneers in
America is certainly interesting. It will be remembered that
the British government purposely placed many of these Ger-
mans at the most exposed parts of the "frontier," where their
settlements would serve as outposts and as protection against
the French and their Indian allies. In this way the Germans
in the valleys of the Mohawk, of the Susquehanna, Shenan-
doah and Wyoming and at the Blue Mountains formed the
vangard of civilization.
For their own safety's sake these settlers were compelled
to place their log houses close together, so that in case of
danger they could be better protected. The intervals between
the houses were closed with palisades, ten or twelve feet
high. Sometimes these rude fortresses were surrounded by
deep ditches. In the center of the village stood a very strong
blockhouse, which served as a place of refuge in case of
extreme danger. It had mostly two or three stories, the upper
projecting over the lower. The heavy walls were pierced by
numerous loop-holes. In greatly exposed villages there were
three or four such strongholds at the corners of the village, so
that the gunfire of the defenders could sweep in every direc-
The ever present danger compelled the settlers to keep
constant guard. Every man was obliged to perform sentinel
duty at times. As soon as the scouts noticed any danger they
gave signals, the meaning of which was understood by all.
In case of siege, all men and boys had to hurry to their
respective posts at the stockade. The women assisted in load-
ing guns, in casting bullets, in providing the men with food
and water, in taking care of the wounded, besides looking
after the children and cattle.
As the very existence of the whole settlement depended
upon preparedness, it was every man's duty to keep his arms
and ammunition in perfect condition and ready to be used
at a moment's notice. Skill in the use of weapons was highly
valued and encouraged. Even small boys were allowed to
carry guns and hunting-knives. Bows and arrows and toma-
hawks they handled with an Indian's dexterity. Racing, jump-
ing, swimming, climbing, wrestling and all other physical exer-
cises, the knowledge of which could be helpful in the hard
struggle for existence, were encouraged. Challenges for
shooting and fighting-matches were frequently exchanged
between neighboring settlements, and when these contests were
fought out, enthusiastic spectators were never wanting.
As the population of Germany during the 1 7th and 1 8th
centuries supported itself mainly by agriculture, naturally the
majority of German emigrants consisted of farmers. Of their
splendid qualities the accounts of many travellers and states-
men bear testimony. When the famous French botanist Andre
Michaux visited North America, he was surprised at the fine
condition of the German farms. In mentioning them he says:
"The superior culture of the fields and the better condition
of the fences indicate that here are settlements of Germans.
Everything breathes comfort and well-being, the reward of
diligence and intelligent work. These Germans live under
much better conditions than the American descendants of the
English, Scotch and Irish ; they are not so much given to strong
drink and have not that restless spirit, which frequently
induces settlers of other nationality to move, for the most
trifling reasons, to distances of perhaps hundreds of miles in
search of more fertile land."
In still more enthusiastic terms Dr. Benjamin Rush, Surgeon
general at the time of the Revolution, spoke after passing
through all the colonies. In 1 789 he published "An Account
THE FIRST HOME.
of the Manners of the German Inhabitants of Pennsylvania."
In this classic little essay Rush, who has justly been called
the Tacitus of the German-Americans, enumerates the partic-
ulars, in which the German farmers differed from most of the
others. "In settling a tract of land they always provide large
and suitable accommodations for their horses and cattle,
before they lay out much money in building a house for them-
selves. The first house is small and built of logs. It generally
lasts through the lifetime of the first settler and hence, they
have a saying, that a son should always begin his improve-
ments, where his father left off."
"They always prefer good land, or that land on which
there are great meadows. By giving attention to the cultiva-
tion of grass, they often in a few years double the value of
an old farm, and grow rich on farms, on which their pre-
decessors, of whom they purchased them, had nearly starved."
"In clearing new land they do not simply girdle or belt the
trees, and leave them to perish in the ground, as is the custom
of their English or Irish neighbors; they generally cut them
down and burn them. Underbrush and bushes they pull out
by the roots. The advantage is that the land is fit for culti-
vation the second year."
"They feed their horses and cows well, thereby practicing
economy, for such animals perform twice the labor or yield
twice the amount of the less well fed. A German horse is
known in every part of the state."
"The German farmers are also great wood-economists.
They do not waste it in large fire-places, but burn it in stoves,
using about one-fourth to one-fifth as much. Their houses
are made very comfortable by these stoves, around which
the family can get a more equal chance than when burning
faces and freezing their backs before open fire-places."
"The Germans live frugally in regard to diet, furniture and
dress. They eat sparingly of boiled meat, but use large quan-
tities of all kinds of vegetables. They use few distilled spirits
(whiskey and rum), preferring cider, beer, wine, and simple
water. In their homespun garments they are likewise econom-
ical. When they use European articles of dress, they prefer
those of best quality and highest price. They are afraid to
get into debt, and seldom purchase anything without paying
cash for it."
"Kitchen gardening the Germans introduced altogether.
Their gardens contain useful vegetables at every season of
the year. Pennsylvania is indebted to the Germans for the
principal part of her knowledge of horticulture. The work
of the gardens is generally done by the women of the
family. Hired help is procured only in harvest time. The
favorable influence of agriculture, as conducted by the Ger-
mans, in extending the most happiness, is manifested by the
joy expressed at the birth of a child. No dread of poverty
or distrust of Providence from an increasing family depress
the spirits of this industrious and frugal people."
"In their children they produce not only the habits of labor
but a love of it."
"When a young man asks the consent of his father to marry
the girl of his choice he does not inquire so much whether
she be rich or poor, or whether she possess any personal or
mental accomplishments, but whether she be industrious, and
acquainted with the duties of a good housewife."
Ennumerating other good qualities of the Germans, Rush
says: "They are no strangers to the virtue of hospitality. The
hungry or benighted traveller is always sure to find a hearty
welcome under their roofs. They are extremely kind and
friendly as neighbors."
As stated in former chapters, there were also among the
German immigrants many mechanics, who found everywhere
remunerative work for their skill and reliability. The condi-
tions, prevailing in the colonies, were very favorable, as the
practice of the different professions was not, as in Europe,
restricted by the rules of guilds. Such corporations had not
yet been started. In fact, they were impossible, as in the
thinly settled and very extensive colonies all had to rely upon
their own abilities. As in the solitude of the wilderness the
farmer had of necessity to be a "Jack of all trades," so in
the villages and cities such craftsmen were most welcome,
who could be helpful in many different ways. As Gottlieb
Mittelberger, a German teacher visiting Pennsylvania in 1 750,
stated in one of his letters: "No profession is restrained by
the laws of guilds. Every one can make his living according
to his choice. He may carry on ten different trades, and
nobody will hinder him."
A splendid type of such many-sided men was Christopher
Saur, the famous printer at Germantown. Of him Pastorius
speaks in his notes: "He is a very ingenious man, who learned
about thirty different professions without the help of an in-
structor. He came here as a tailor; but now he is a printer,
apothecary, surgeon, botanist, watchmaker, carpenter, book-
binder and newspaper man. He made all his tools for print-
ing; he also makes paper, wire, lead, etc."
Such ingenious craftsmen were the very first in starting
many industries in America, which flourish to-day. The
earliest iron-works on record were operated by miners from
Siegen, Germany, who on invitation of Governor Spotswood
established a settlement Germanna at the Rapidan River in
Virginia in 1714. Two lears later Thomas Ruetter or Rut-
ter from Germantown, Pa., founded the first ironworks in
Pennsylvania at the Matawny Creek, Berks County. The first
hammer-works and smelting furnaces were constructed in
1 750 by Johannes Huber. His furnace, located in Lancaster
County, Pa., bore the inscription:
"Johann Huber ist der erste deutsche Mann
Der das Eisenwerk vollfiihren kann."
In 175 7 he sold his works to a German Baron, Friedrich
Wilhelm von Stiegel, a genuine "captain of industry."
Engaging large numbers of German smiths and other work-
men, he started the town of Mannheim, where he made iron
stoves, wagons and many other things.
Perhaps the greatest of all American industrials of the 1 8th
century was Peter Hasenclever, born in 1 7 1 6 in Remscheid,
a city in Rhenish Prussia, famous for her iron-industry. Having
been informed, that North America was rich in iron and forests
and that the English government was compelled to import
annually more than 40,000 tons of rod-iron, he submitted
plans to work these mines and, by manufacturing rod-iron,
make England independent of other countries. As his propo-
sitions were favored, he emigrated to New York in 1 765 and
established numerous smelting and stamping works, forges
and other factories in the neighborhood of the German Flats
in the Mohawk Valley. From his native home he imported
550 miners and smiths, for whom he built 200 houses. By
damming several creeks he provided cheap and constant
water power; by constructing good roads and bridges he also
procured means of communication.
Within a few years the establishment grew to a most prom-
ising seat of industry, with all prospects for a bright future.
But unfortunately the English partners of Hasenclever, living
in London, were dishonest people. Leading a very luxurious
life, they burdened the establishment with such heavy debts,
that Hasenclever, in spite of all efforts, was unable to prevent
its bankruptcy. To save his good name he went to England
and instituted proceedings against his partners. The lawsuit
dragged along for twenty years, but was decided after Hasen-
clever' s death in favor of his heirs, to whom the accused party
had to pay one million Thalers indemnity.
Another enterprising German of the 1 8th century was
Johann Jacob Faesch, owner of the Mount Hope forges.
During the war for independence he supplied the American
army with large quantities of cannon and ammunition. Other
Germans furnished it with splendid guns, with which the
Minute Men worked great havoc in British lines. The bored
rifles in particular, made by German gun-smiths in Lancaster,
Pa., were highly prized in all colonies.
The first glass-factory was started in 1 738 near Salem,
N. J., by Kaspar Wiister, a native of Heidelberg. His name
became corrupted to Wistar. That the manufacture of glass
was exclusively in the hands of Germans, is proved by a
letter of Lord Sheffield, who, in writing about the glass-
works of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said: "Hitherto these
manufactures have been carried on by German workmen."
The inhabitants of Germantown were noted for their
splendid textile fabrics. Germans were also the pioneers in
the manufacture of felt, hats, leather wares, watches, bells,
and many other things. As early as 1 730 German mechanics
in America began to make musical instruments. In the year
mentioned Heinrich Neering of New York built the first
organ for the Trinity community. And in 1775 Johann
Behrent constructed the first pianoforte in America.
Besides these farmers, craftsmen, artisans and industrials
there were also many German merchants, for whom Dr. Rush
also expressed appreciation. In his booklet he says: "The
genius of the Germans is, however, not confined to agriculture
and the mechanical arts. As merchants they are candid and
punctual. The Bank of North America bears witness to their
fidelity in all pecuniary transactions."
These merchants traded in spices, drygoods, hardwares,
agricultural tools, books, musical instruments, clothes and
many other things. The larger cities had also German apothe-
caries and inns, as for instance in Philadelphia "The King of
Prussia," "The Black Eagle" and "The Golden Lamb."
Furthermore, there were also a number of German printers,
who, like Christoph Saur and Peter Zenger, published news-
papers, calendars and books in German as well as in English.
Benjamin Franklin states, that of the six printing houses in
Pennsylvania four were German or half German, while only
two were entirely English. He mentions also, that the Ger-
mans imported many books from abroad.
They also had their own ministers and teachers. A pamph-
let, printed in 1 755 in Pennsylvania, states: "The Germans
have schools and meeting houses in almost every township
thro' the province, and have more churches and other places
of -worship in the city of Philadelphia itself than those of all
other persuasions together."
In view of all these facts there can be no doubt, that the
Germans, living in the colonies, were a very useful and valu-
able element, well deserving the high esteem, extended to
them by all fair-minded people. Concluding his essay about
his German fellow-citizens Dr. Rush said:
"Citizens of the United States, learn from the German in-
habitants of Pennsylvania, to prize knowledge and industry in
agriculture and manufacture, as the basis of domestic happi-
ness and national prosperity.
Legislatures of the United States, learn from the wealth
and independence of the German inhabitants of Pennsylvania,
to encourage by example and laws the republican virtues of
industry and economy. They are the only pillars which can
support the present constitution of the United States.
Legislators of Pennsylvania, learn from the history of your
German fellow-citizens, that you possess an inexhaustible
treasure in the bosom of the State, in their manners and arts.
Do not contend against their prejudice in favor of their lang-
uage. It will be the channel through which the knowledge and
discoveries of the wisest nation in Europe may be conveyed
to our country. Invite them to share in the power and offices
of government: it will be a bond of union in principle and
conduct between them, and those of their enlightened fellow-
citizens, who are descended from other nations. Above all,
cherish with peculiar tenderness those sects among them who
hold war to be unlawful. Relieve them from the oppression
of absurd and unnecessary military laws. Protect them as
the repositories of truth of the gospel, which has existed in
every age of the church, and which must spread over every
part of the world. Perhaps those German sects among us
(here are meant the Mennonites, Moravians and Tunkers),
who refuse to bear arms for the purpose of shedding human
blood, may be preserved by divine providence as the centre
of a circle, which shall gradually embrace all nations of the
earth in a perpetual treaty of friendship and peace."
Promoters of the Cause of Liberty.
Tacitus, the great Roman Historian, writing of the early
Germans in his famous book "Germania," declared one of
their noblest characteristics to be their independent spirit,
lauding their strong love for nature and liberty. Grown up
among majestic forests and breathing the pure air of the
mountains they regarded towns as prisons and refrained from
building them. So great was their love of freedom that it
frequently led them to suicide rather than surrender into
Unconquered by the Romans this spirit survived throughout
the many centuries following the famous battle in the Teuto-
burgian Forests. Many thousands of Germans were moved
by it to emigrate to America, in order to escape intellectual
or bodily servitude, threatening during the Thirty Years' War.
So also during the raids of the French into the Palatinate and
other borderlands of the Rhine.
Picture then the dismay of the Germans, who, hoping to
find freedom and liberty in America, became aware of the
fact that many of the detested institutions of Europe had been
transplanted to the New World and had become firmly
rooted. Favorites of the British king, after squandering their
money in gambling and high living, were entrusted with the
government of the colonies and assumed office merely to
recoup their lost fortunes. The colonies were overrun, too,
by hordes of impoverished aristocrats, cunning adventurers
and unscrupulous speculators, all incited by the mad desire
to get rich quickly.
By bribing the governors and other officials many of these
questionable gentlemen had succeeded in obtaining valuable
privileges or securing titles to large tracts of land, where they
lived in the luxurious style of lords.
The common people found small protection against the
insolence of these drones of society, who looked with disdain
upon "the rabble." Immigrants, who could not speak English
fluently, were often treated worse than slaves, these insolent
officials and aristocrats holding the view, that the English were
the cream of creation, and that an imperfect command of their
language meant defectiveness. Irritated by their arrogance
and oppressions, the people resented their disdain with ill-
The antagonism between the two classes grew to bitter
party-strife and revolt during that stormy period, when the
crown of England passed from the Catholic King James II.
to the Protestant William III. Amidst the upheaval, caused
in the colonies by this sudden change, Sir Edmond Andros,
Governor-General of the combined colonies of New England,
New York and New Jersey, was seized by the people of Boston
and together with fifty of his followers sent to England. His
representative in New York, Francis Nicholson, a most un-
popular official, fled to the fort at the Southern point of Man-
hattan Island, but he was captured, as the people had been
aroused by the alarming rumor, that he intended to burn the
city and deliver the colony to the French. The majority of
the people being Protestants, they resolved to hold the
colonies for the new King William.
To save New York from greater disorder and defend it
against an invasion by the French, it became necessary to
elect a temporary governor. It was then that the people
chose a German, Jacob Leisler, a native of Frankfort-on-the-
Main, who, upon coming to New York in 1 660, had attained
great success as a merchant. A man of great energy, high
spirits and of noted integrity, he was senior captain of the
militia. By marriage he was connected with the Dutch aristo-
cracy of the town. Thus Leisler appeared to be the right
person, to save the colony from further unrest and calamity.
However, the people's party had under-estimated the hatred
of the Aristocrats. From the moment Leisler assumed charge
of affairs, the latter began to denounce him as a demagogue.
In connection with the rest of the officials, who had fled to
Albany, they started a regular campaign of secret intrigue
and open hostility. Flooding the government in London with
complaints, they decried Leisler and the members of his
council as foreign-born plebeians, mutineers and tyrants,
falsely alleging that they had seized their offices only to
enrich themselves and to defraud the government of its taxes.
At the same time they declined to acknowledge Leisler and
his councilors, and incited all colonists to refuse obedience.
To remain silent under such calumniation and provocation
was impossible. Leisler commissioned a company of soldiers
under command of his son-in-law, Major Jacob Milborne, to
go to Albany to compel the aristocrats to acknowledge him
and to occupy the fort, as at the Canadian border hostilities
by the French and their Indian allies were imminent. Un-
fortunately the company was not strong enough to capture
the fort, the Aristocrats being on their guard and defending
Albany successfully, so that Milborne had to withdraw. Soon
afterwards, however, the nearby town of Schenectady was
surprised by the French and Indians, while the unsuspecting
inhabitants were asleep. The whole settlement was burned,
60 people killed and 90 carried away as prisoners. When the
news of this assault reached Albany, the frightened aristocrats
fled to Massachusetts, leaving the defense of the city to Leisler,
who once more proved himself equal to the emergency.
Convinced that the colonies would never be safe unless
the French were driven from Canada, and that for an effective
resistance against the formidable foe co-operation on the part
of all colonies was essential, Leisler invited the governors of
all the other colonies to a council at New York. It was the
first ever held, and by this act Leisler aroused the colonists
to a sense of common interest, which kept on increasing and
was destined to culminate in the Continental Congress of
That memorable council took place on May 1, 1690,
attended by delegates from New York, Connecticut, Massa-
chusetts, Plymouth, New Jersey and Maryland. It was
resolved, that 855 men, assisted by an auxiliary force of 1600
Mohawk Indians, should attack Canada by land, while at the
same time a fleet of 32 vessels should ascend the St. Lawrence
River and bombard Quebec. The campaign was undertaken
by the colonies at their own cost and responsibility, without
the aid of the mother country.
Unfortunately its aims were not realized, as the leaders
of the two expeditions, lacking energy, were not victorious
in their attacks. Leisler himself, however, gained a success
by capturing six French vessels, which had dared to come to
the vicinity of New York.
The campaign, undertaken on Leisler's recommendation,
burdened the colonies with considerable expense. Its failure
was of course used by his enemies to make a scapegoat of
him and to undermine his reputation by malicious slander.
This was the situation, when in January, 1 69 1 , a vessel
from England brought the news, that the home government
had appointed a new governor for New York in the person
of Colonel Henry Sloughter. It was stated that this official
had set out with several vessels and many troops to take
charge of the colony.
By misadventure a heavy storm separated his vessel from
the fleet and compelled him to a delay of several weeks at
the Bermudas. In the meantime the fleet, with Major Ingoldsby
the second in command, arrived in the harbor of New York.
The aristocrats at once set out to win the favor of the new
arrival and to influence him against Leisler. These efforts
proved successful when Ingoldsby's demand, to surrender the
fort at once, was answered by Leisler with the request for
documentary proof of Ingoldsby's authority. As such docu-
ment was not at hand, Leisler refused to give up the fort.
Ingoldsby, feeling himself aggrieved in his honor as an officer,
ordered his soldiers to take the fort by force, but was repelled
and lost several of his men. Ingoldsby now laid siege to the
fort for several weeks; meanwhile Leisler's enemies continued
their slanderous activity with renewed vigor.
On March 1 9 the vessel of Governor Sloughter finally hove
into sight. Ingoldsby delivered his report. Amplified by the
complaints of the aristocrats, who hurried to pay their respects
to the new governor, it so enraged Sloughter that he demanded
immediate and unconditional surrender of the fort. Although
Leisler immediately complied, he and the members of his
council were placed under arrest, and thrown into prison.
Paying no attention to Leisler's side of the story Sloughter
next instituted a court martial, appointing several personal
enemies of Leisler as judges. These acts sealed the fate of
Leisler. Charged with rebellion and high treason, he as well
as Milborne were condemned to be executed.
In view of the manifest injustice of this decision Sloughter
hesitated to sign the death warrant. But the aristocrats,
having invited him to a banquet, procured his signature while
he was intoxicated. Even before he could regain his sober
senses, the two condemned men were dragged to the place
of execution, where, on March 16, 1 69 1 , they were hanged
and their bodies beheaded.
Thus died Jacob Leisler, the first martyr in the long struggle
of the American people for liberty, the first of the men chosen
by the people in their efforts to wrest the right of self-govern-
ment from the hands of their oppressors.
While the aristocrats rejoiced in triumph, their villainous
acts aroused bitter resentment in all parts of the colony, and
a popular uprising was imminent.
From the tombs of the murdered men arose the spirit
of revenge. To perpetuate the memory of its former leader,
the people's party now named itself "The Leisler Party,"
henceforth steadily gaining ground. In the elections of 1 699
this party cast 455 votes, while its opponents had only 177;
it gained 1 6 seats out of the 2 1 in the assembly. Resistance
to the insolence and domination of the aristocrats became
stronger and stronger and spread to all the other colonies.
•t* r£* V *f*
About that time a German lad, thirteen years of age, arrived
in New York. His father, one of those unhappy Palatines
who were driven from their homes by the French, had died
at sea. But the name of this helpless orphan: Johann Peter
Zenger, has gone into history and it behooves every lover
of American liberty to remember it.
Soon after his arrival Zenger became an apprentice to
William Bradford, a printer, who had been allowed by the
government to establish a printing office in New York. This
permission had of course been granted under great restrictions,
as the British government did not look with favor upon the
great invention, made by Johannes Gutenberg in Mayence.
The crown regarded it as a dangerous means of distributing
unwelcome political news, and apt to inform people about
incidents and transactions of which it wanted them to remain
ignorant. For this reason the few printers who had drifted to
the colonies, when attempting to publish newspapers, incurred
disfavor and were discouraged at the start. The "Public
Occurrences," edited on September 25, 1690, by Benjamin
Harris of Boston, were at once stopped. In Virginia and
Maryland it was strictly forbidden to set up a printing press.
In Philadelphia William Bradford was ordered, in 1692, to
close his office. Moving to New York, he succeeded, after
many petitions, in getting permission to publish "The New
York Gazette." Of course this paper was the organ of the
governor's party and promoted his interests and those of the
Having served as an apprentice in Bradford's office for
several years, Zenger later on became Bradford's assistant
and partner. In 1733, however, he left the partnership,
probably because his political views were in too strong a con-
trast with those of Bradford, who remained a devoted instru-
ment of the government. Zenger, on the other hand, had
become an active member of the people's or Leisler's party.
His first step after his separation from Bradford was to
start an independent newspaper, the "New York Weekly
Journal." First issued on November 5, 1 733, it voiced the
sentiments of the people. Among its supporters and contrib-
utors were some of the ablest men of the colony, lawyers and
judges, who took up all grievances of the public against the
government and discussed them in bold and sometimes satir-
To give an idea of the articles that found their way into
the columns of the "Journal," we quote the following sentence
of one of the contributors, a former judge. "We see men's
deeds destroyed, judges arbitrarily displaced, new courts
erected without the consent of the legislature, by which it
seems to me trials by jury are taken away when a governor
pleases; men of known estates denied their votes contrary to
the recent practice of the best expositor of any law. Who is
there in that province that can call anything his own, or enjoy
any liberty longer than those in the administration will con-
descend to let them, for which reason I left it, as I believe
Such plain speaking had never before been heard in the
colonies. No wonder the governor became highly incensed
at the "Journal" and directed the Grand Jury to indict Zenger,
the publisher, for libel. At the same time he ordered that
four numbers of the offending paper be publicly burned by
the hangman, "as containing many things derogatory of the
dignity of His Majesty's Government, reflecting upon the
legislature and tending to raise seditions and tumults in the
province.'' The mayor and the city magistrates were requested
to be present at the burning of the papers.
But the Grand Jury failed to see any cause for the accusa-
tions against Zenger, nor was the Colonial Assembly willing
to concur in a resolution of the council, that the objectionable
numbers of the "Journal" be burned by the hangman. The
burgomaster and the magistrate also refused to be present
at the act and prohibited the hangman, who was subject to
their jurisdiction, from executing the mandate of the governor.
Wild with rage, the governor now caused the four issues
of the "Journal" to be burned by a negro slave, in the presence
of the sheriff and the recorder of New York. Not content with
this action he ordered the arrest of Zenger, and had him
confined in prison, denying him all writing material. To pre-
vent his release, his bail was fixed at eight hundred pounds,
a sum so high at that time, that it was impossible for the
printer's friends to raise it. Nevertheless Zenger continued
to edit his paper, dictating instructions to his employees
through a crack in the prison door.
The Grand Jury again in January, 1 735, found that no
cause for indicting Zenger existed, whereupon the Attorney-
General filed an Information for Seditious Libel against him,
and arraigned him for trial before the court he had censured.
Zenger's lawyers attacked the constitutionality of the court,
but by this objection so enraged the president of that court,
that they were at once disbarred for contempt of court and
the case adjourned.
As there were no other advocates in New York who dared
to defend the printer, his case seemed hopeless. The trial,
however, had become more than a personal matter; the cause
of all the people being at stake. The friends of Zenger suc-
ceeded in summoning to his aid the most famous advocate in
the colonies, Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia. This gentle-
man presented his arguments so adroitly, and pleaded the
cause of his client so eloquently, that the jury could do nothing
else but set Zenger free.
Admitting at the outset, that Zenger had published the
articles, Hamilton maintained that the question for the jury
to decide was not whether or not the articles had been printed,
but whether or not the articles which he had printed were a
libel. These articles had been described as "false, scandalous,
malicious and seditious." Hamilton explained that there was
nothing false in these articles, but that they were statements
of true facts and that the unreserved expression of opinion,
on such true facts, was the undeniable right of every free
British citizen. If the paragraphs, published by Zenger, gave
nothing but true facts, they could not be condemned as a libel.
In conclusion Hamilton said: "The question before the court,
and you, gentlemen of the jury, is not of small nor private
concern, it is not the cause of a poor printer, nor of New York
alone, which you are trying. No! It may in its consequences
affect every Freeman that lives under a British Government
on the main of America! It is the best cause, it is the cause
of Liberty, and I make no doubt but your upright conduct,
this day, will not only entitle you to the love arid esteem of
your fellow-citizens, but every man who prefers freedom to
a life of slavery will bless and honor you as men who have
baffled the attempts of tyranny; and by an impartial and
uncorrupt verdict have laid a noble foundation for securing
to ourselves, our posterity and our neighbors, that, to which
nature and the laws of our country have given us a right —
the Liberty, both of exposing and opposing arbitrary power
by speaking and writing Truth!"
When the jury returned with their verdict of "Not guilty!"
the entire population of New York indulged in wild demon-
strations in honor of both Hamilton and Zenger, as the heroes
of a trial, whereby one of the highest privileges — the
freedom of the press — became established in America.
Encouraged by this success to a realization of its inherent
power the people aimed now to free themselves from material
oppression by the government and from the greed of English
merchants. While the governors always strove to curtail the
colonies in those privileges which had been guaranteed to
them by their charters, the merchants in London had suc-
ceeded, after the French war, in influencing Parliament to pass
certain laws, which were in their own favor, but gave not the
slightest consideration to the needs and welfare of the colonists.
By these laws the latter were forbidden to manufacture any
articles that could be procured in England, especially cloth
and articles composed of iron. No hats, no paper, no plough-
shares, no horse-shoes were allowed to be made in the
colonies. Whatever they required of European goods, the
colonists were obliged to buy in England, and to have brought
over to America in English vessels. Thus the English mer-
chants might set the price to suit themselves, while English
ship owners might wax fat on freights. Another law forbade
the selling of products, such as tobacco, cotton, hides and furs
to any country other than England. This meant that prices
offered by the English merchants, although much lower than
might have been obtained in international trade, had to be
accepted. And worst of all, the colonists were burdened with
heavy taxes without the right of representation in Parliament.
No vigorous, self-respecting people would submit to selfish
measures of this sort for any length of time. Of men, grown
up in the freedom of the American forests and mountains,
such servile submission could not be expected, and least of
all of these citizens of foreign birth, who had no reason to
be loyal to a king because of national ties.
It is therefore not surprising that the Germans in America
stood in the front ranks of the patriots who protested against
unjust oppression. As early as 1 765 many Germans signed
a manifesto in which the merchants and traders of Philadelphia
threatened to boycott all English goods, in case the govern-
ment did not repeal the stamp-act. Several years later, in
1 772, the Germans joined "The Patriotic Society of the City
and County of Philadelphia," to defend those rights and priv-
ileges, which had been granted to the province in former times*
It is recorded also that they took part in a mass-meeting, to
protest against the threatened closing of Boston Harbor on
account of the tea episode. This mass-meeting was attended
by 8000 persons, and a "Correspondence Committee" was
elected for the purpose of consulting with all other colonies
about concentrated action for an energetic repulse of English
The Germans living v in these other colonies also held mass-
meetings and adopted resolutions of strong protest. A meet-
ing held on June 16, 1774, in Woodstock, Virginia, with
Rev. Peter Muehlenberg as chairman, passed a resolution,
bolder in language than any other. The following passages
show the spirit pervading it: "Resolved, that we will pay due
submission to such acts of government as His Majesty has a
right by law to exercise over his subjects, and to such only.
That it is the inherent right of British subjects to be gov-
erned and taxed by representatives chosen by themselves only,
and that every act of the British Parliament respecting the
internal policy of America is a dangerous and unconstitutional
invasion of our rights and privileges.
That the enforcement of said acts of Parliament by a mili-
tary power will necessarily have a tendency to cause a civil
war, thereby dissolving that union, which has so long happily
subsisted between the mother country and her colonies; and
that we will most heartily and unanimously concur with our
suffering brethren in Boston and every other part of North
America, who are the immediate victims of tyranny, in
promoting all proper measures to avert such dreadful calam-
ities, to procure redress of our grievances, and to secure our
The spirit of rebellion was also active among the Palatines
of the Mohawk Valley, in the province New York. On August
24, 1774, they united in a declaration, never to become
slaves, but to defend their liberty at any price.
That these were not empty words, they proved, when the
great struggle for independence began.
Heroes in the War for Our Independence.
When Patrick Henry with his stirring words: "Give me
liberty or give me death!" raised the battle cry, great excite-
ment spread through all the colonies. Interest in trade, crops,
hunting or fishing was no more! The shops of the workmen
and the offices of the merchants were deserted. Only in the
sooty workshops of the armourers and gun-makers sounded
the hammers, ground the files and whirled the whet-stones
untiringly. The whole country, united in its glowing passion
for liberty, prepared for war.
Among the most enthusiastic patriots were the Germans.
Everywhere the young men responded to the call of Congress
for volunteers. The spirit of that response may be judged
by the example given by Pennsylvania. On June 14, 1775,
Congress ordered that province to furnish six companies of
sharpshooters. Instead, Pennsylvania provided nine, four of
which were entirely German and were commanded by Ger-
man officers. Several divisions of these, commanded by
Colonel Nagel and Colonel Daudel, immediately marched to
Boston to join Washington's army. The first to arrive were
sharpshooters of Berks County, splendid fellows, every one
of whom would have been welcomed by King Frederick the
Great into his famous body-guard of giants. These sun-burnt
backwoodsmen, dressed in deer skin or homespun hunting
suits, and wearing fur caps, armed with rifles, tomahawks and
hunting knives, created a great sensation everywhere. On the
breast of each, written in large letters, appeared their watch-
word: "Liberty or Death!"
Similar squads of German sharpshooters made the long
march from Virginia to Massachusetts with Daniel Morgan.
When Washington espied them from a distance, he galloped
up to them, and when they reported: "Sharpshooters from
the right bank of the Potomac!" he jumped from his horse
to greet them. Tears of joy streamed over his face upon
beholding these splendid men, who' had tramped six hundred
miles to come to his assistance.
During the siege of Boston these German sharpshooters
rendered invaluable service. Carrying bored rifles, which at
that time were made onlv by German gun-smiths of Penn-
sylvania, they surpassed all other Americans in marksmanship.
Aiming especially at the officers, they caused such havoc
among the British regiments, that one of the members of the
Parliament cried: "Those Americans know more of our army
than we dream of. They shut it up, besiege it, destroy and
crush it. Wherever our officers show their noses, they are
swept away by American rifles."
The splendid work, done by these German marksmen,
induced Congress on May 25, 1 776, to call for the formation
of an entirely German batallion, whose eight companies should
be made up half of Pennsylvanians, and half of Marylanders.
The Germans of Pennsylvania, however, not content with
doing their share, provided in a few weeks five complete
companies. This batallion distinguished itself at Trenton,
Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and in the border fights
at the headwaters of the Susquehannah and Potomac Rivers.
Unfortunately we have no certain knowledge of the par-
ticipation of the Germans of Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, New York and the New England col-
onies, as almost all muster-rolls and other documents relating
to the Revolutionary War were lost in a fire, which in 1 800
destroyed the War Department at Washington. But it is a
well-known fact, that the Germans were very numerous in all
regiments furnished by these colonies.
The fact that Washington's body-guard was made up
exclusively of Germans from Berks and Lancaster Counties,
Pa., furnishes the best proof of their entire trustworthiness
and reliability. 150 strong, they were commanded by Major
Bartholomaeus von Heer, a former Prussian officer. Jacob
Meytinger served as colonel, and Philipp Struebing and
Johann Nutter as lieutenants. This body-guard accompanied
Washington throughout all the seven years of the war,
guarding him faithfully.
In the spring of 1777 the British made a supreme effort
to separate the Northern colonies from those in the South, in
order to defeat the American armies more easily. At this
time the American forces held positions on the Hudson, near
West Point. To crush them, the British planned a simul-
taneous attack from three different points. General Burgoyne,
with 8000 men, was to swoop down from the North. From
the South a strong fleet under General Howe was to go up
the Hudson River. From the West Lieutenant-Colonel St.
Leger, with 1 700 regulars and 1 000 Indians, was to clear
the Mohawk Valley, and then unite at Albany with Howe
and Burgoyne for concerted action. This was decidedly the
most critical time of the entire war.
It was through the Palatines of the Mohawk Valley, that
the scheme of the British was defeated. As soon as these
Germans were informed by some friendly Oneida Indians,
that St. Leger with his forces had invaded the upper part of
the valley, they entrusted the protection of their houses and
families to the aged men and the women, and marched, 800
strong, under command of Nicolas Herchheimer toward Fort
Stanwix, which was already besieged by the enemy. The fort,
situated at the headwaters of the Mohawk River, had to be
relieved and the enemy driven back, to prevent his joining
Unfortunately the approach of the Palatines was discovered
by the Indian scouts of the British. They hurriedly prepared
an ambuscade by placing a strong body of sharpshooters
and several hundred Indians in a densely wooded ravine,
through which the advancing Palatines must pass. As soon
as the unsuspecting Germans entered this, they were met by
a terrific volley, accompanied by the gruesome war cry of
the redskins, who broke forth from the underbrush, and with
hideous yells fell upon the surprised Palatines. But these,
old Indian fighters, stood their ground bravely. Repelling
the onslaught they stormed a hill, where, taking advantage
of whatever opportunity offered for defense, they formed
into squads. Herchheimer was one of the first to be wounded.
A bullet smashed his left leg below the knee and killed his
horse. But not for an instant did this hero lose his presence
of mind. He directed his men to carry him to a slight eleva-
tion where he could overlook the battle. Seated upon his
saddle and propped against a large beech tree, he calmly
lighted his pipe and continued to give his orders. He thus
animated his men to such bravery, that they resisted every
charge of the enemy with dauntless courage.
The conflict increased in fury. The bulk of the British
consisted of "Johnson's Greens," many of whom had been
former neighbors and acquaintances of the Palatines, but who
had at the outbreak of the revolution fled to Canada. Here
they joined the army in hope to take revenge on those, who
had compelled them to leave their homes. The Palatines
recalled what they had for many years suffered from Tory
arrogance and treachery. And so the two opposing parties
were imbued with such bitter feeling, that they literally longed
to get at each others throats. The passion of the men, who
met here in battle, turned the pretty valley into a hellish
slaughter pen. While the British were burning with a mad
thirst for revenge, the Palatines fought with firm resolve to
save their homes and families. The third party consisted of
wild Indians, raging with the lust to kill and destroy.
For hours and hours the fierce struggle went on. German
vigour and energy stood against Indian cunning and agility.
So bitter became the strife, that even death itself could not
separate the fighters. Men were found locked in each other's
arms, a knife in each breast, or with throats cut, in deadly
«embrace, the tenacity of which bespoke their infernal passion.
In the heat of conflict no one had noticed the coming of
a thunderstorm, which suddenly broke forth with terrific
violence. The heavy downpor of the rain, the howling of
the wind, the blinding lightning and the crash of thunder
made the fighters stop for a while. But as soon as the fury
of the elements had passed, the grim struggle began anew.
The pause, however, had been of advantage to the Palatines.
Herchheimer had noticed that the redskins always watched
the tree, from behind which a Palatine was ready to shoot.
As soon as he had fired, Indians immediately leaped forward
in order to tomahawk the man before he could reload his
gun. Herchheimer defeated this game by posting behind
each tree two men, one of whom stood ready as soon as the
other shot. If now an Indian exposed himself by jumping
forward, he was killed by the other marksman. By these
tactics the Indians suffered so heavily that they lost all courage
and fled. When at the same time from the direction of Fort
Stanwix the roar of cannon was heard, the British soldiers,
fearing an attack in the rear, also retreated in haste, leaving
the battlefield to the jubilant Palatines. Arriving at their
camping ground before Fort Stanwix, they found that the
American garrison had made a sortie and had captured five
standards, several guns and twenty wagon-loads of provisions.
Over the five flags an improvised American banner, which
had been made out of a white shirt, a blue blanket and a
woman's red petticoat, floated in triumph.
The losses the Palatines had suffered in the battle were,
however, so severe, that they were unable to follow up their
victory. All the men of several families had been wiped out.
Among the 240 killed were four Wollhoevers, five Bellingers,
five Fuchs and nine of the Schell family. Almost all of the
survivors were wounded. So Fiske in his "History of Amer-
ican Revolution" was justified in calling the battle of Oriskany
"the most obstinate and murderous encounter of the revolu-
When the Germans with their dead and wounded comrades
returned to their villages, heartrending lamentations were
heard everywhere. But the men had no time for mourning,
as Fort Stanwix was not yet relieved. And so the Palatines,
reinforced by a body of regulars, who had arrived in the
meantime, once more marched forth against the British. The
latter, however, were seized by a panic. Leaving tents and
ammunition behind, they hurried back to Canada. Thus their
junction with the army of Burgoyne was frustrated.
Released from this danger, the Palatines and Americans
could now throw their combined forces against Burgoyne, who
had entered the upper valley of the Hudson River and stood
at Saratoga. Here, however, he was surrounded and so hard
pressed by the Americans, that he was compelled to surrender
with his whole army on October 8, 1777.
Through these events the British campaign became a com-
plete failure. Washington himself acknowledged the great
services of the Palatines by stating that Herchheimer and his
men had turned the darkest hour to one of brightest prospects.
But alas! Herchheimer himself did not live to hear his
appreciation. Ten days after the battle of Oriskany his shat-
tered leg had to be amputated. It was done by an incom-
petent surgeon in such unskillful manner, that the hero bled
to death. His end was that of a philosopher. Feeling his
life ebbing away, he sat in his bed, cheerful as ever, smoking
his pipe. Toward evening he called for a Bible and read to
his family the 38th Psalm. Gradually his voice grew weaker
until it died away altogether.
Two beautiful obelisks, one erected over Herchheimer's
grave and one on the field of battle, keep alive the memory
of the heroes of Oriskany for future generations.
In front of the City Hall in Philadelphia stands a monument
erected to the memory of Peter Muehlenberg, a Lutheran
minister, the same who in 1 775 acted as chairman of that
memorable mass-meeting at Woodstock, Virginia, which
adopted such forceful protests against British oppression.
When the war clouds began to gather, this minister, not
satisfied with a written protest, informed the members of
his community of his intention to resign — and that he would
preach but once more. This news attracted crowds of hearers
from near and far, as Muehlenberg was one of the most pop-
ular ministers of Virginia, In his forceful sermon he spoke
of the duties citizens owe to their country. In closing he said :
"There is a time for preaching and praying. But there is
also a time for fighting. Now this time has come!"
At the same moment he threw off his clerical garment and
stood in the pulpit in the uniform of a colonel of the
Continental army. Hailed by enthusiastic outbursts of his
community, he slowly descended from the pulpit. Outside,
drums began to rattle. Martial trumpets called the men to
the struggle for freedom. Before the sun had set, several
hundred sturdy Germans had enlisted as recruits, resolved to
follow their minister to war.
In former years Muehlenberg had been officer in a British
regiment. As he was acquainted with active service, he was
entrusted with the command of a regiment, made up entirely
of Germans. It fought with great honor in South Carolina
as well as in the North. Later on, Muehlenberg was promoted
to the rank of brigadier-general. As such he distinguished
himself in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Mon-
mouth. During the siege of Yorktown he held the most
important positions, captured the strongest redoute of the
(Statue in front of the City Hall at Philadelphia, modeled by J. Otto Schweizer).
enemy and became so very instrumental in the fall of the
fortress. For his excellent services he was rewarded with the
title of major-general. George Washington counted him among
his confidential friends.
Having given due credit to the noble services of that soldier,
it is not more than just, to also remember the gallant Major-
General Johann von Kalb, a native of Bavaria. Having
participated in the Seven Years' War, he came to America
in 1777 with Lafayette. Appointed as major-general, he
operated in New Jersey, Maryland and South Carolina and
was regarded as one of the most experienced, calculating and
cautious officers of the whole army. After having served
most honorably for three years, he gave, as the inscription
on his monument in front of the military academy in Annapolis
states, "a last noble demonstration of his devotion for the
sake of liberty and the cause of America in the battle of
Camden, where he, leading his soldiers, inspired them by his
example to deeds of highest bravery." Riddled with bullets,
he fell; but when an officer came to assist him, he said: "This
is nothing. I am dying the death I have longed for. I am
dying for a country fighting for justice and for liberty!" The
noble man expired on August 19th, 1780.
We cannot take space, in the present volume, to do justice
to all other German heroes of our Revolutionary War. There
was George Gerhard von der Wieden, a Hanoveranian, who
appears in American histories under the name of Weedon.
In many battles he fought with such distinction and bravery,
that he was made a brigadier-general. We must remember
also Colonel Kichlein, a Pennsylvanian, who, after the battle
of Long Island, covered with his company Washington's
retreat. Of him and his gallant soldiers an historian said:
"Long Island was the Termopylae of our War for Independ-
ence, and the German Pennsylvanians were its Spartans."
Furthermore there was Leonhard Helm, the brave defender
of Fort St. Vincennes; also Alexander Gillon, son of a Hessian
merchant in Charleston, S. C. In May, 1777, this daring man
fitted out a vessel, with which he captured three British cruisers.
In 1 782 he brought together a squadron and annexed the
It is not more than just to remember also Michael Hillegas,
a merchant of Philadelphia, who as treasurer of Congress filled
the most difficult and trying position the struggling nation had
to offer. Without adequate means to replenish the funds of
the Treasury, the Government was constantly in financial
embarrassments, which the British successfully increased by
flooding the country with enormous quantities of counterfeits
of the paper money issued by the American Government.
Hillegas, loaded down with care, nevertheless served the
country faithfully for fourteen years, from 1775 till 1789,
when, at his request, he was relieved of his burden.
Evidences of highest patriotism were given also by many
other non-combatant Germans. When Washington's soldiers
were starving, nine Germans donated $100,000 — a very
large sum in those days — to buy provisions. Also the Mor-
avians, Mennonites and Tunker gave everything they were
able to spare. And when in Philadelphia the motion, to
collect money to purchase arms, was negatively debated,
Christopher Ludwig, a German baker, arose and thus cut
short the flow of rhetoric: "Mr. President, I am only a poor
gingerbread baker, but write me down for two hundred
pounds." This same patriot, an example of unselfishness
and honesty, served as superintendent of bakers for a number
German women also distinguished themselves by true
patriotism and bravery. In Philadelphia Mrs. Margarete
Greider, whose maiden name was Arkularius, devoted not
only 1500guinees to the cause of liberty, but for several
months provided the American soldiers with bread, refusing
to accept compensation for it.
Every American knows the story of Molly Pitcher, who
got that name because she used to supply the fighting soldiers
with water brought in a large pitcher. Born on October 1 3th,
1 754, in New Jersey, she was of Paletine ancestry, her maiden
name being Marie Ludwig. Her husband, John Hays, was a
gunner. When at the battle of Monmouth he was wounded
and no other man was available for serving the cannon, Molly
Pitcher took his place and helped, during the most critical
moments, in loading and firing with such dexterity, that
Washington, after the battle, appointed her to the rank and
pay of sergeant.
Another heroine was Elisabeth Zane, the handsome and
vivacious daughter of Colonel Zane (Zahn), a Pennsylvania
German, the founder of Wheeling, W. Va. At the site of
the present city, not far from Zane's log house, a fort had
been erected, which in 1 782 was attacked by a band of 40
British soldiers and 186 Indians. The defenders of the fort
held out bravely, but their number decreased from 42 to 12.
Besides, the situation became critical, as the supply of powder
was running dangerously low. There was a full keg of powder
hidden in Zane's log house, but to get it, a distance of about
sixty yards must be traversed, which was covered by the guns
of the enemy. When volunteers were called, to procure the
powder, Elisabeth Zane stepped forward, insisting she be sent,
as no man in the fort could be spared, while a girl would not
be missed. Refusing to listen to any objection, she slipped
out of the gate, as though there were no redskins in the whole
world. The Indians, not knowing the reason of her stroll,
let her pass without interfering. Not till the young heroine
reappeared, carrying the keg under a table cloth, did the
Indians realize the meaning of the girl's mission and at once
opened a brisk fire on her. But the girl sped with the fleetness
of a fawn and reached the fort in safety amid a shower of
bullets, several of which passed through her clothes. By this
daring act the little garrison was enabled to hold out, until
We cannot close this chapter without mentioning also the
brave Johann Christian Schell and his wife. These two
Palatines with their six sons occupied a lonely log house three
miles northeast of the present city of Herkimer, in the Mohawk
Valley. In August 1 781 Schell, while at work with his family
in the field, was attacked by 1 6 Tories and 48 Indians, who
succeeded in capturing two of the younger sons, while Schell,
together with his wife and the four elder sons were able to
reach the house. Here they were besieged for the rest of the
day, but defended their home so successfully, that the enemy
did not dare to come near. In the dusk of the evening, how-
ever, the Indians crept up toward the house to force an
entrance. The captain of the raiding party, McDonald, suc-
ceeded in reaching the door, which he attempted to pry open
with a lever. But he was shot in the leg and sank to the
ground. Quick as lightning Schell unbolted the door and
dragged the wounded man into the house, thus saving the
house from being set fire to, for the leader of the attacking
party within, would likewise perish in the flames.
While the enemies held council, what next to do, the brave
Palatine and his family prepared for the next assault. Getting
their rifles ready, they began to sing the famous battle hymn
of the Reformation, "A mighty fortress is our God." Just
when they had finished the verse
"Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel war',
Und wollt' uns gar verschlingen,
So fiirchten wir uns nicht so sehr,
Es muss uns doch gelingen!"
the marauders jumped up to the walls of the house and pushed
their guns through the loop holes, to drive the men inside from
Seeing the danger, Mrs. Schell seized an axe, and beat the
gun-barrels so that they bent and became useless. At the same
time Schell and his boys delivered so many effective shots,
that the enemy soon withdrew for good, having suffered a
loss of eleven killed and twelve wounded seriously.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the
Organizer of the American Army.
The winter of 1777 to 1778 was the darkest time in the
military career of George Washington. His troops had
been defeated at Brandywine and Germantown; Philadelphia
had been captured by the British, who also held control over
the Delaware River. The American army, counting less than
5000 starving and discouraged men, had taken refuge in the
dreadful winter quarters at Valley Forge. Here they lived in
destitution and in rags. And there were literally no supplies,
as the Board of War had failed completely to provide them.
When the distress seemed deepest, there appeared a man,
who proved to be the most valuable help, which the colonies
received in their struggle for freedom: Baron Friedrich
Wilhelm von Steuben.
A descendant of a noble military family of Prussia, Steuben
had led a soldier's life since his fourteenth year. Reared in
the rigorous military school of Frederick the Great, he had
taken actual part in many battles of the Seven Years' War
and had not only become an officer of distinction, but also
the personal aide of the king. In this position he had enjoyed
exceptional opportunities to familiarize himself with all ques-
tions pertaining to warfare, with the drilling and training
of soldiers; with the important tasks of providing for and
equipping the troops; of securing and caring for arms and
ammunition, their inspection and control. Recognizing his
great abilities, King Frederick distinguished Steuben by
bestowing on him decorations of high order.
When the Seven Years' War was over, Steuben quitted the
King's service and accepted the position as Court marshal to
the Prince of Hohenzollern Hechingen. While on a visit to
Paris, he became acquainted with Benjamin Franklin, the
American emissary to France, who among other functions
had the special commission to secure, if possible, the service
of such able European officers, who might be useful to the
American cause. This question was of greatest importance,
as the American army consisted only of volunteers and militia
men, who, while they were able Indian fighters, had, however,
no training in regular warfare. For this reason they had been
defeated by the well organized British soldiers in all open
battles As decisive results could be gained only in such
MAJOR-GENERAL VON STEUBEN.
(Statue in Washington, D. C, modeled by Albert Jaegers).
battles, it was an absolute necessity to put the army in such
condition that it could risk challenging their opponents in the
open field. But as the Americans had no experts in the science
of war, they had to turn to Europe for trained officers.
The army of Frederick the Great was regarded as the most
exemplary in existence and as the model for all others. For
these reasons Franklin, assisted by the French Secretary of
War, eagerly tried to secure Steuben's service for the Amer-
ican cause. To their great joy they did not require much
persuasion. Steuben had followed the struggle of the Amer-
icans for independence with great interest and heartfelt sym-
pathy. How strongly the cause of the Americans had appealed
to him, appears from the letter, in which he after his arrival
in America offered his services to Congress. Belonging to the
noblest documents of those heroic times, it reads as follows:
"Honorable Gentlemen! The honor of serving a nation,
engaged in defending its rights and liberties, was the only
motive that brought me to this continent. I ask neither riches
nor titles. I am come here from the remotest end of Germany,
at my own expense, and have given up honorable and lucra-
tive rank. I have made no condition with your deputies in
France, nor shall I make any with you. My own ambition
is to serve you as a volunteer, to deserve the confidence of
your general in chief, and to follow him in all his operations,
as I have done during the seven campaignes with the King
of Prussia. Two and twenty years spent in such a school
seem to give me the right of thinking myself among the
number of experienced officers, and if I am possessed of the
acquirements in the art of war, they will be more prized by
me, if I can employ them in the service of a republic such
as I hope to see America soon. I should willingly purchase
at the expense of my blood the honor of having my name
enrolled among those of the defenders of your liberty. Your
gracious acceptance will be sufficient for me, and I ask no
other favor than to be received among your officers. I venture
to hope that you will grant this, my request, and that you
will be so good as to send me your orders to Boston, where
I shall await them and take suitable measures in accordance."
Congress was only too glad to secure the services of such
a distinguished soldier, who was actuated by such noble
motives. And when Steuben arrived at Washington's head-
quarters, he was at once appointed inspector-general of the
To transform that "army," which he found in the winter
quarters at Valley Forge, into an efficient fighting machine,
was, however, the most desperate task any drillmaster had
ever undertaken. The Americans, backwoodsmen most of
them, although accomplished Indian fighters, had yet no notion
of military tactics, movements or discipline. To make matters
still worse, the whole camp was one chaos of confusion and
dissatisfaction. Steuben found one regiment that had only
thirty men, and one company consisting of only one corporal.
As the recruits enlisted for six or nine months only, there was
constant coming and going. Furloughs and discharges were
granted by officers without the knowledge of their superiors.
The officers did not stay in camp with the troops, but lived
apart, sometimes several miles away. Proper administration
did not exist. No one kept records or accounts except the
contractors who provided the army with different articles,
and made bills to suit themselves. The troops were almost
naked. The very fewest officers possessed uniforms, and these
were of any kind and color. At a "dress parade" Steuben
saw several officers in gowns, made from old woolen blankets
and bed spreads.
To increase the difficulties of the Americans, the British had
by counterfeiting the paper money, issued by Congress, suc-
ceeded in bringing paper money in such discredit, that forty
paper dollars were equal to one silver dollar. Four hundred
to six hundred dollars were asked for a pair of boots, and
it took a month's pay of the common soldier to buy a
All these facts must be recalled in order to appreciate at
its full value Steuben's great sacrifice in accepting the position
offered to him and remaining at such a post. No soldier of
fortune out for pecuniary gain or other advantage could have
been induced to face a situation which promised nothing but
Steuben, however, did not shrink from the difficult task
of bringing order out of the chaos. Selecting 120 of the best
men, he provided them with like uniforms and weapons, so
that they appeared like real soldiers. These men he drilled
in the presence of the whole army personally twice daily.
From easy exercises he gradually went to more difficult ones,
until they had become acquainted with all movements, which
had helped the Prussian army to so many amazing victories.
These exercises were a source of astonishment and wonder
to the American officers and troops. But they very quickly
grasped their importance, as they became aware, that their
former defeats were due to their inability to sustain a contest
against the organized English soldiers. Then, by placing his
men as drillmasters at the head of smaller divisions, Steuben
within a few months infused the whole army with a sense of
discipline and order. Thus giving confidence to the officers
and men, and enabling the troops from different parts of the
country to act together with unanimity and effect, he made
the army into an efficient fighting machine.
At the same time Steuben introduced a rigid system of
inspection. By holding every man responsible for his arms,
ammunition and outfit, by insisting on strict accounting for
everything ordered and delivered for the army, he put an end
to graft and frauds and general dishonesty. And so he saved
the nation vast expense at a time, when her very existence
depended on economy in the army.
The results of the many improvements, enforced by Steuben,
became apparent in the spring and summer of the following
year, first in the fights at Barren Hill and Stony Point, and
later in the battle of Monmouth. At the latter place the
Americans, through the incompetence or treachery of General
Lee, were almost defeated, when Washington and Steuben,
informed of the situation, appeared on the battlefield. Wash-
ington took command, and ordered Steuben to collect the
fleeing troops behind the line of battle and lead them back
again. Steuben performed this difficult task so splendidly and
so rapidly, that the day was saved for the cause of liberty and
ended with the retreat of the enemy. Colonel Alexander
Hamilton, who was an eye witness, declared that he then
for the first time became aware of the overwhelming import-
ance of military training and discipline. The greatest success,
however, was, that Steuben's system of reviews, reports and
inspections imbued the officers as well as the soldiers with the
confidence, that from now they were on equal footing with
the armies of the enemy.
When winter set in again, interrupting military operations,
Steuben wrote his famous "Regulations for the Order and
Discipline of the Troops of the United States," a handbook
which in 25 chapters embodied everything necessary in con-
nection with troops, their weapons, exercises, marching, camp-
ing, mancevering, signal service, inspection, aid and treatment
of the sick and wounded. This invaluable book remained
in use for a long time after Steuben's death, until new inven-
tions and new conditions in the mode of warfare made changes
In Washington's Council of War Steuben was the most
influential person. It was he who worked out the plans for
the campaigns, which were followed almost to the letter.
It is only natural that Steuben should desire to take in these
campaigns active part also, and thereby win yet greater fame.
He would not be merely the drillmaster of the troops, but
wished to lead them personally in battle. Washington granted
this request several times, and so Steuben operated successfully
as commander of large armies in the South. His greatest
triumph he earned in 1781 at Yorktown, the fortress into
which the British General Cornwallis had retreated with
his army. As Steuben was the only American general who had
previously participated in the siege of fortresses, he made the
plans for the Yorktown campaign, during which he as com-
mander of the troops of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia
occupied the center of the American army. When Cornwallis
raised the white flag of surrender, Steuben's regiments held
the most advanced trenches. And so it happened that the
commander of the last British army handed his capitulation
to a German. Washington in his army order of the following
day specially mentioned that to the gallant Steuben belonged
a great part of the credit of victory.
How much Washington appreciated his comrade in arms,
appears also from a letter, the very last document Washington
wrote before resigning his commission as Commander-in-Chief
of the American Army. It reads as follows:
Annapolis, Deer. 23d. 1783.
"My dear Baron!
Although I have taken frequent opportunities both in public
and private, of acknowledging your zeal, attention and abil-
ities in performing the duties of your office, yet I wish to make
use of this last moment of my public life to signify in the
strongest terms my entire approbation of your conduct, and
to express my sense of the obligations the public is under to
you for your faithful and meritorious service.
I beg you will be convinced, my dear Sir, that I should
rejoice if it could ever be in my power to serve you more
essentially than by expressions of regard and affection. But
in the meantime I am persuaded you will not be displeased
with this farewell token of my sincere friendship and esteem
This is the last letter I shall ever write while I continue
in the service of my country. The hour of my resignation is
fixed at twelve this day, after which I shall become a private
citizen on the banks of the Potomac, where I shall be glad to
embrace you, and testify the great esteem and consideration,
with which I am, my dear Baron, your most obedient and
After peace had been secured, Congress considered Steu-
ben's services too valuable to discharge him. Remaining in
his office, Steuben worked out the plans for the establishment
of a standing army of 25,000 men and for the founding of a
Military Academy for the education and training of officers.
Both recommendations were adopted by Congress. The
academy, suggested by Steuben, is West Point, on the Hudson,
which has given to the United States so many able com-
So Steuben was in fact the father of the American Army,
and if history honors Washington as the leading spirit of the
war for independence, then Steuben was the strong arm, that
enabled him to strike, and to lead his troops to victory.
The American nation did not hesitate to express to Steuben
appreciation and gratitude. Congress presented him with a
gold-hilted sword of honor, and the States of New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia donated him with valuable
grants of land.
During his last years Steuben lived in New York, making
a summer home of his farm in Oneida County and occupying
his time with agricultural pursuits and scientific studies.
Shortly after his sixty-fourth birthday this noble warrior was
suddenly stricken and died on November 28, 1 794.
On Oneida's heights, in an old forest reservation, rest the
mortal remains of the gallant soldier, whose memory will be
held sacred, as long as defenders of liberty shall arise, as
long as American life and liberty shall exist.
STEUBEN'S TOMB IN ONEIDA COUNTY.
Pioneers of the Ohio Region.
As is well known, the fur trade was during the 1 7th and
1 8th centuries one of the chief resources of the European
colonies of North America. Giving subsistence to many
thousand people it brought about not only the founding of
numerous trading stations, but resulted also in originating
special types of men, characteristic of America: the trappers,
voyageurs and traders.
Men more daring have never existed. Mostly alone, some-
times in pairs or small troups they penetrated on foot or by
canoe the unknown interior of our continent, following the
rivers or narrow trails of wild animals and Indians.
The life of these fearless pioneers of civilization was an
unbroken chain of hardships and dangers. Frequently they
were compelled to cut a way through the dense underwood
by means of their hatchets, or they had to wade through
dismal swamps, or swim across foaming rivers. They faced
encounters with ferocious beasts and venomous reptiles. They
had to bear hunger and thirst, depressing heat in summer
time, and bitter frost in winter. When entering the domains
of hostile tribes, they could not dare to break their lonesome-
ness with a happy song, or to kindle a warming fire, as this
might attract the enemies most to be apprehended, the red-
skins, who hated these trappers, not only because they were
of another race but also because they looked upon them as
intruders on their hunting grounds.
Woe to those unfortunate men who fell into the hands of
these savages. With rare exceptions they had to breathe their
last at the stake, under fearful tortures, such as could be
invented only by the brains of enemies full of hatred and
Among the hardy men, who bravely defied such hardships
and dangers, were many Germans. From the valley of the
Mohawk River they invaded the countries south of the Great
Lakes. By crossing the Alleghany Mountains they came from
Eastern Pennsylvania and explored the valleys of the Ohio
and its tributaries. From Virginia and Carolina they entered
the wilderness of Kentucky and Tennessee.
One of the most noted of these heroic "Dutchmen" — so
the Germans were called by the English after their own
denomination "Deutsche" — was Konrad Weiser. Born in
the Palatinate, he came as a boy with the great influx of the
Palatines to New York in 1710 and was among the poor
fugitives, who escaped the maltreatment of Livingston by
moving to the Schoharie Valley.
In steady contact with the friendly Mohawk Indians Weiser,
then a lad of sixteen, developed so much liking for their mode
of life, for nature and adventure, that he, with the consent of
his father, accepted an invitation by Chief Quagnant, to live
with him in his camp and learn the Mohawk language. In a
short time he acquired such knowledge of the several dialects
of the Iroquois, that he was able to act as an interpreter in
all councils of importance held between the chiefs and the
representatives of the Government. As he observed strictest
impartiality, he won the confidence of the Indians in such
degree, that they insisted always on his mediation, declining
to participate in any negotiations where he was not present.
In 1 737, when a destructive war between the Iroquois and
the Cherokees and Catawbas was imminent, Weiser was sent
by the Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia to persuade
the different tribes to keep the peace. Directing his efforts
to that end, Weiser acted with such prudence, that hostilities
were averted, enabling those counties, which would have
served as the battleground, to develop peacefully.
The most valuable service Weiser rendered during the wars
against the French, when the latter through their agents made
great efforts to persuade the Iroquois to join in their raids
against the British colonies. As the British had cheated the
Indians of large tracts of land and had committed also many
other offenses against them, the Iroquois were in bad spirits,
and with the probability that the French agents might succeed,
the situation was very threatening. It was then, that Weiser
was sent out to appease the bitter feeling of the Indians. Trav-
elling for many months through unbroken wildernesses, he
visited one tribe after another, with the result that the Iroquois
not only kept away from the French, but entered into an
alliance with the English colonies.
During the French wars of 1 745, 1 748 and 1 754 Weiser
gave also many proofs of his loyalty and heroism. But the
countless hardships, suffered by him during his numerous expe-
ditions into the wilderness, consumed his strength. He died
in 1 760, the sunset of his life brightened by the fact that the
French rule in North America had met a complete break-
down in the battle at Quebec.
The old chronicles of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio
contain the names of many other German trappers and traders.
Martin Hertel erected in 1 739 a trading station at the same
place, where now the city of Toledo stands. Two German
Poles, Jacob and Joseph Sodowsky, established in 1 728 at
the southern shore of Lake Erie a trading station, which was
the beginning of the present city Sandusky, whose name, with
slight alteration, preserves the memory of her founders. Of
Jacob Sodowsky it is said, that he was the first man from the
British colonies, who paddled in a canoe down the Ohio River
into the Mississippi and followed the seemingly interminable
course of the "Father of the Waters" all the way to New
Enterprising men of like character were Thomas Mehrlin
and Johann Sailing. In 1 740 these two built at the head-
A PIONEER OF THE WILDERNESS.
waters of the Ohio a boat, on which they travelled down the
river. One day, however, they were intercepted by a band
of Cherokee Indians. While Mehrlin made good his escape,
Sailing was captured and taken to the village of the band.
He was not killed, but was made a member of the tribe.
Painted and dressed like one of them, Sailing accompanied
the Cherokees on many of their war parties, until he was cap-
tured by the Illinois Indians and brought to Kaskaskia, to be
tortured at the stake. An old squaw, however, who had lost
her only son, came forward, adopted him and so saved him
from a terrible death. Afterwards, when the Illinois met a
caravan of Spanish traders, Sailing was sold and travelled in
their company through Arkansas and Texas to the Gulf of
Mexico. Later on he was captured by the French, who brought
him to Canada. Here he was set free, and, after an absence
of many years, he managed to reach his former home in
It was in 1 748, when traders of Virginia formed the Ohio
Company, which received a royal grant of half a million acres
between the Monongahela and the Kanawha Rivers on
condition of settling this territory. To explore this grant the
company dispatched another trapper of German descent,
Christopher Gist or Geist, to find a pass leading into the
unknown country. At the same time he was to draw a map
of it and spy out the strength of the different Indian tribes
inhabiting the valley of the Ohio.
Gist went on his dangerous errand in October, 1 750, first
crossing the Blue Ridge and the valley of the Shenandoah.
After traversing the snow-covered Alleghany Mountains, he
entered the hunting grounds of the Ottawa Indians, who
respected him as a messenger of the king of England, but
otherwise treated him very coolly as they were leaning toward
the French. Later on Gist visited also the Wyandots, Dela-
wares, Shawnees and Miamis and induced them to sent emis-
saries to a great council, which took place in June, 1 752, at
Logstown, an Indian village near the present state line between
Ohio and Pennsylvania. Gist, Colonel Frey and two other
Virginians represented at this council the Ohio Company,
which was eager to have its title acknowledged by the Indian
tribes. But the redskins, anxious of their own future, could
not be persuaded to assent to these wishes. "The English,"
so they objected, "claim all territory on the left banks of the
Ohio River; the Frenchmen demand everything on the other
side. Now, what will be left to the Indians? Raising this
question they refused to sign any treaty.
Another German pioneer of the wilderness was Georg
Jaeger or Yaeger, known also by his nickname "the long
Dutchman." As a boy he was captured by a band of maraud-
ing Indians in Pennsylvania and brought to Kentucky, where
he roamed extensively in company with the redskins. In 1771
he met at the Kanawha River Simon Kenton, the future hero
of the Ohio Valley, and George Strader or Straeter, the latter
most probably a Pennsylvania German. Together these three
proceeded down the Ohio as far as the mouth of the Kentucky
River, in search of some rich cane-land, Jaeger had seen dur-
ing one of his former voyages. Some time afterward Jaeger
was killed by Indians.
Michael Steiner or Stoner was the name of one of the first
pioneers of Tennessee. Kasper Mansker belonged to a party,
which in 1 769 set out from North Carolina for a hunting
expedition into the western regions. Attracted by the beauty
of the country and its abundance in game the party forgot
almost to return and stayed for over a year. For this reason
the members were called "the long hunters." Mansker was
known as a never-erring marksman. The report of his rifle
haunted his foes like a message of doom. And in imitating
the many different sounds of beasts and birds he surpassed
A similar son of the forests was Michael Schuck. When
he was a boy, his parents, brothers and sisters were killed
by Indians. Left alone in the wilderness, he was put on his
own wits. Gifted with the instinct of a panther and the keen
eyes of an eagle, the boy grew to a mighty hunter, command-
ing enormous strength. All the forests between the Alleghanies
and the Mississippi were his domain. In his later years,
when his hair, which used to fall in long black tresses over
his shoulders, had turned white as snow, he moved to Missouri,
in whose unknown interior all further traces of him were lost.
Other noted trappers and Indian fighters of German origin
were Georg Rufner, Friedrich Behrle, Daniel Bolaus, Peter
Nieswanger, Johann Adam Hartmann, Johann Warth and
The most famous of all, however, was Ludwig Wetzel, the
son of Johann Wetzel, a Palatine and one of the first settlers
in West Virginia. One day, a band of Indians attacked the
house, killing the father and several other members of the
family, and taking two of the boys prisoners. During one
of the following nights the boys managed to escape. Reaching
home, they found nothing but the charred ruins of the log
house, and in its ashes the mutilated and scalped bodies of
their father and sisters. Raving with mad desire for revenge,
Ludwig swore to kill every Indian he could seize. And never
was a vow more faithfully kept than his. Devoting his whole
life to the one thought of retaliation he became one of the
most feared Indian-fighters of the 1 8th century. Accounts
of his marvellous adventures and escapes fill many chapters
of the old chronicles of West Virginia and Ohio. It is said
that more Indians were slain by his hand than were killed by
either one of the two large armies of Braddock and St. Clair
during their disastrous campaigns.
Wetzel's ferocity toward the redskins became at times a
source of great trouble to the government, which, having con-
cluded treaties of peace with the Indians, had the greatest
difficulties in getting Wetzel to discontinue his relentless war-
fare against the redskins, and finally was obliged to secure
peace by confining him in prison. But Wetzel managed to
When captured a second time, numerous frontiersmen of
Ohio enforced his release by the threat, that they would wipe
the fort, wherein Wetzel was imprisoned, from the face of
the earth unless Wetzel was liberated. As there were no
indictments against him, and no witnesses to prove that he
had killed the Indians, and as it was unlawful to force him
to incriminate himself, he was set free.
Unfitted for any settled mode of life and tired at the
prospect of a monotonous peace, Wetzel went to the Spanish
territories at the lower Mississippi River. After many adven-
tures he died near Natchez, having been one of the most
notable representatives of those trappers and Indian fighters,
who took part in the long and bitter struggle for the valley
of the Ohio River.
In time these daring pioneers were followed by the back-
woodsmen, a peculiar product of American growth. These
men were, as S. A. Drake has described them, "the result of
continued expansion of territory, but never the voluntary
agents of civilization. They were like the foam blown from
the crest of its ever-advancing wave. Recluses of choice and
having no higher aspiration than to live apart, they made in
the dense forest little clearings, where they built rude cabins
and lived by hunting. Hanging on the skirts of civilization,
but scorning to become part of it, they shouldered their rifles
and packs and without regret left the home, scarcely made,
as soon as they felt the approach of fellow men."
Behind these restless backwoodsmen, like a vanguard of
an army taking the field, came the emigrants. The tread of
their oxen, the print of their wagon-wheels followed close in
the blazed footpath of the departing pioneer. On foot the
emigrants trudged at the head of their worldly possessions, as
light of heart as the birds singing in the forests about them.
In the wagon the household utensils were stowed away, with
the wives and little ones, while the bronzed and barefooted
boys drove the cows and hogs along the road behind it."
Troups of such emigrants crossed over the Alleghanies to
the head of navigation on the Ohio. Here they constructed
flat-boats, which they loaded with their belongings. Then they
glided down the broad river, day after day, week after week,
until they found a place to suit them.
These men came to stay. They felled trees for permanent
dwellings, cleared the ground to plant corn and potatoes and
kept poultry and swine. Though the comforts of life were
scarcely attainable to them, they lived content and enjoyed
the freedom of the forests and mountains. Unlike the back-
woodsmen they had the desire to better their condition, —
to grow up with the country, not to abandon it with the first
sign of progress.
The discovery of immense deposits of coal and iron in the
Ohio regions opened a new field to the iron industry. As the
Germans had been a great factor in this industry on the East
side of the Alleghanies, so they helped here in its develop-
ment. Georg Anschiitz, a native of Strassburg in Elsass,
became in 1 792 the pioneer of the iron industry at Pittsburgh.
Georg Schoenberger founded in 1 804 the Juniata Forge in
Huntington County. Jacob Meyers established on State Creek,
Kentucky, a smelting work, where he manufactured all kinds
of tools, stoves, gun-barrels, cooking-pots, and other things.
For several years his workmen suffered from frequent attacks
by the Indians, so that half of the men were obliged to be
under arms. But as by and by the redskins disappeared, the
settlements could develop in peace.
Now the clearings grew to extensive fields. The rude
dwellings were replaced by pleasant cottages, separated from
each other by gardens and streets. The stockades and block-
houses, which in time of danger had served as places of refuge,
fell into decay and became dismantled.
Many of such new settlements were founded by Germans
or by men of German origin. Columbia, now within the pre-
cincts of the city of Cincinnati, was founded in 1 788 by Major
Benjamin Steitz, an officer of the Revolutionary War, and
by Martin Denmann, a Pennsylvania German. Israel Ludlow
started together with some Americans in 1 795 Dayton.
Ebenezer Zane or Zahne erected in 1 796 the first houses of
Zanesville. There are in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana
and Illinois many places, whose names indicate their German
origin, as for instance Frankfort, Hanover, Potsdam, German-
town, Berlin, Freiburg, Wirtemberg, Osnaburg, Oldenburg,
Hermann, Spires (Speyer), Betzville, Baumann, New Bremen,
Wartburg, New Elsass, and others. Germans also founded
Steubenville, commemorating the famous organizer of the
Above all, young and enterprising folks from the East
settled here, eager to try, like their fathers, upon new grounds
their own abilities. Reinforced by a steady flow of immigrants
from Germany, these settlers gave to many towns and cities
the same peculiar character, that had been impressed by
the older German immigration on many parts of the Eastern
States. Highly respected by their fellow-citizens for their
thrift, diligence, endurance and sense of order, they helped
in peaceful competition to convert the wilderness into those
fertile regions, which to-day are counted among the most
flourishing in the United States.
Pioneers of the Mississippi Valley
and the Far West.
Fully equal to the part played by Germans in the colonizing
of the Eastern and Central States was their share in the devel-
opment of those immense regions stretching from the banks
of the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. When Louisiana was
added to the United States in 1803, the most important prob-
lem became that of diminishing the long distance between
the settlements in the upper valley of the Ohio River and
New Orleans. The natural advantages of that city destinated
it to become the emporium of trade for all imports and exports
of the entire area surrounding the Mississippi and its tributaries.
Communication by rafts and flat boats, which served as the
first means of transportation on these waters, was extremely
slow. Besides, these clumsy carriers were of use only for one
trip down stream, as it was impossible to force them against
the strong current of the rivers. In consequence the crew were
always compelled to abandon these rafts and boats at the
points of their destination and to make their return in canoes.
Even when keel-boats came into use, a round trip between
Pittsburgh and New Orleans consumed a whole year! This
time was cut in half, when Martin Baum, an energetic and
prosperous German merchant in Cincinnati, engaged a former
skipper on the Rhine, Heinrich Bechtle, to build several sail-
boats, with which Baum now opened the first regular service
between Cincinnati and New Orleans.
Several years later, in 1811, another German, Bernhard
Rosefeldt, constructed in Pittsburgh the first steamboat on
the Western rivers. This vessel, named "New Orleans," made
her first trip to that city. The captain was Heinrich Schreve
(Schriewe), a German, from which Shreveport in Louisiana
derives it name. For the development of traffic on the
Western rivers the activity of this man was of greatest import-
ance, as a steam-saw for cutting "snags," those unrooted trees,
which, when entangled in the mud of the rivers are the great-
est danger to Western navigation, was his invention. In 1829
Shreve built the snag-boat "Heliopolis," and had charge of
the removal of the great Red River Raft, an accumulation of
trees, logs and driftwood of every description, firmly imbed-
ded in the channel of the Red River for more than 1 60 miles.
The completion of this tedious and difficult task opened the
river to navigation for a distance of 1200 miles.
Germans also gave the first impulse to the work of con-
structing a canal, enabling vessels to go around the falls of
the Ohio River at Louisville, which had been another great
hindrance to navigation.
With the institution of steam-boats and the simultaneous
construction of canals several new ways toward the West were
opened. The most frequented route led from New York up
the Hudson River to Albany. Here the travellers took Canal
boats and went via the Erie Canal to Buffalo, where they
boarded steamers, that carried them over the Great Lakes
to Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Other vessels made regular trips from European harbors and
ports at the East coast of North America to New Orleans,
where comfortable steamers carried the passengers to the
points of their destination in the interior.
To these means of transportation new ones were added by
the invention of railroads, which the Americans exploited
with the same zeal displayed by them in making nature
subservient so as to yield her riches. Enmeshing the country
with whole networks of railways, they pushed them far into
the uninhabited parts of the continent, in order to provide
for the settlers easy ways to new territories with new possi-
With this era of steamers and railways began the great
American migration, which differs from the migration in
ancient Europe in that it was not caused by powerful nations
driving weaker ones from their abodes. It consisted of indi-
viduals and families, parting voluntarily from the communities
in Europe and of the Eastern States to participate in the con-
quest of the uncultivated western regions of the United States.
The majority of the immigrants from Germany consisted,
as before, of farmers, craftsmen and artisans. But with them
came also many representatives of the cultured classes, men
who, disappointed by the unfortunate political affairs of the
fatherland, hoped to find more congenial conditions in Amer-
ica. Many of those immigrants devoted themselves to farming
and became the founders of the "Latin Settlements," so called,
because their owners, former students of German universities,
were able to converse in Latin fluently and took pleasure in
keeping alive their learning by a study of the classics in prefer-
ence to idling and indulging in disputes in the saloons.
Large numbers of these "Latin Farmers" settled in the
Mississippi Valley. Opposite St. Louis they founded Belle-
ville, a prosperous little city, which became the birth-place of
many men of prominence.
Immigration into the Mississippi Valley increased from year
to year. Its magnitude may be judged from the fact, that during
January, February and March of 1 842 St. Louis saw the
arrival of 529 steamers with 30,384 passengers. St. Louis
grew to be a city of 40,000 people. That among them were
many Germans, is indicated by the fact, that they maintained
two daily papers in the German language.
Attracted by enthusiastic descriptions, whole expeditions of
emigrants set out from Germany, to establish new settlements
in these new regions. One of these undertakings was that of
the Giessener Emigration Company, started by Paul Follenius,
a lawyer, and Friedrich Munch, a minister of Giessen, a city
in Hessen. Several hundred strong, the members of this party
started in 1834 from Bremen for Missouri. But here they
separated, as many preferred to proceed independently.
A similar undertaking was that of the Mainzer Adelsverein,
which acquired in 1 842 large tracts of land in Texas, northeast
of San Antonio. Here several German settlements were
started, among them New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. But
soon afterwards the company dissolved, when in 1 848 Ger-
many was upset by revolutionary movements. The settlers,
left to their own resources, struggled against the greatest diffi-
culties through many years, but, by their energy and thrift,
succeeded in time to make their colonies the most flourishing
of all Texas. —
Among the regions, most favored by the Germans for their
fertility and beautiful sceneries, were the Upper Mississippi
Valley and the countries lying west and south of Lake Michi-
gan and Lake Superior. New settlements, towns and cities
sprang up here like mushrooms. Alton, Quincy, Keokuk,
Burlington, Davenport, Dubuque, La Crosse, Winona, Red
Wing, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Duluth and
other places became brisk with German life. And at the
same time starting points for parties of enterprising Germans,
who established new settlements at the tributaries of the
Mississippi as well as at the borders of the countless lakes,
glimmering like blue eyes among the forests and prairies of
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. As in
the region south of the Great Lakes so here many settlements
indicate by their names their German origin. In Iowa we find,
for instance, Guttenberg, Minden and New Vienna; in Wis-
consin Germantown, New Koeln, New Holstein and Town
Schleswig; in Missouri Westphalia, Hermann, New Hamburg,
Altenburg, Wittenberg, Carola, Dammueller, and Frohne. In
Minnesota a number of enterprising Germans from Chicago
established in 1856 New Ulm, a settlement which grew within
six years to a lively town of 1 500 people, but in 1 862 suffered
a sudden set-back, when large bands of Sioux Indians, embit-
tered by the countless impositions of dishonest Indian agents,
went on the war path and in mad desire for revenge swooped
upon the settlements. New Ulm, being farthest west, was
attacked on August 19, 1862. Not prepared for the sudden
assault, the inhabitants retreated toward the center of the
town, where hastily a large square was formed of boxes,
barrels, wagons, ploughs and all kinds of materials, the women
and children huddling together within this barricade. After
severe fighting, which lasted through the entire day, the
enemies were repelled. But on August 23d they returned in
far larger numbers, resolved to finish the town.
Their advance upon the sloping prairie in the bright sun-
light was a most picturesque and exciting spectacle. When
within about one mile of the Germans, who awaited the attack
outside of the town, the savage warriors, all on horseback and
bedecked with gay colors and fluttering feathers, began to
expand like a fan. Then, uttering terrific yells, they came
down like the wind. Again the settlers were compelled to
fall back into the town, which the Indians promptly com-
menced to set afire. The wind, coming from the lower part
of the place, fanned the flames and permitted the Sioux to
advance behind the smoke. The conflagration became general
and brought the defenders of New Ulm into a most critical
situation, as the space, held by them, grew smaller and smaller.
Finally they were concentrated upon the barricaded square
in the center of the town. They defended this last position
so gallantly during the rest of the day, during the night and
the following morning, that at noon the enemies, despairing
of success, retreated. 1 78 dwellings had gone up in flames,
and many men, women and children were killed or wounded.
As other attacks were likely, the survivors left the destroyed
town and retreated to points in the neighborhood that could
be more easily defended. Here they remained until order
was re-established. During this revolt of the Sioux 644 settlers
and 93 soldiers lost their lives, while the material damage
amounted to more than 2,000,000 dollars. Later on many
of the inhabitants of New Ulm returned. And as the govern-
ment reimbursed the settlers for their losses, the town soon
regained its former bright appearance.
5js >|c :J: ;fc
Back in 1803, when Louisiana became a part of the United
States, nothing was known about the immense territories west
of the Mississippi. No boat had plied yet upon the mysterious
rivers rushing forth from the endless prairies, which no white
man had ever traversed. Accordingly, on the maps, the
region between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean was a
blank spot bearing the ominous inscription: "The Great
American Desert; unexplored."
But American energy would not tolerate such conditions.
Soon after the Louisiana purchase had become perfect, the
captains Lewis and Clarke were sent on their memorable
exploring expedition, which led them up the Missouri River
and through the passes of the Rocky Mountains to the mouth
of the Columbia River, whose harbour had been mentioned
by early navigators. The feasibility of an overland route
having thus been demonstrated, an enterprising German mer-
chant, Johann Jacob Astor, was the first to follow it.
Born 1 763 in Waldorf, a little village in Baden, Germany,
he came to New York in 1 784. At once he engaged in the
fur trade, his attention having been called to its vast possi-
bilities by a fellow-countryman. Entering this occupation
with unremitting vigor and keen judgment he rose, in a com-
paratively very short time, to be one of the most renowned
merchants of America. During the first years his enterprise
called quite often for his presence among the Indian tribes,
with whom he established trading relations. In company of
trappers and voyageurs he traversed the forests of New York,
Michigan and Lower Canada. In a birch canoe with a couple
of redskins he shot the dangerous rapids of Sault Sainte Marie.
He camped with the Iroquois of the Mohawk Valley and with
the Chippewahs of Lake Superior. But wherever he went he
dealt with the Indians in a spirit of fairness and humanity.
In a dozen years Astor had diverted some of the most profit-
able markets from his competitors, and was head of the Amer-
ican Fur Company, which had branches in Albany, Buffalo,
Pittsburgh and Detroit. The furs, collected at these places,
were shipped to London, the vessels returning with English
goods. It was not long before Astor was able to buy ships of
his own, and before the end of the century he had, to quote
his own expression, "a million dollars afloat," invested in a
fleet of a dozen vessels. Astor was the first American to
conceive the idea of regularly circumnavigating the globe,
sending vessels with American furs to England, thence carrying
British goods to China, and return to New York with tea, silk
and other Oriental ware. For about twenty-five years his
ships sailed round the world, some going eastward and some
westward, each occupying two years, more or less.
With the ascertaining of the overland route to the Pacific
Astor conceived the idea of organizing the fur trade from
the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean, by establishing a line
of trading stations which should stretch from the Great Lakes
along the Missouri River and across the Rocky Mountains to
the mouth of the Columbia. The end station was to be located
at the latter point and was to be provided from New York
by vessels loaded with wares suited to the Indian traffic. Then
the same vessels were to carry the furs, collected at that
station, to China, where a large demand for furs had arisen.
There the vessels were to be freighted with tea for England,
and finally they were to return with British manufactures to
Preparations for the realization of this great plan were made
on a most liberal scale, and nothing was left to chance. While
an expedition of 60 trappers, agents, guides and interpreters
went from St. Louis overland, following the route of Lewis
and Clarke, the ship "Tonquin," with an equipment of every-
thing a new-fledged colony could require, sailed from New
York around Cape Horn to the mouth of the Columbia, arriv-
ing there in March, 1811, nine months ahead of the land
expedition. A site for a trading station was chosen ten miles
up the river, and the erecting of comfortable dwellings and
ware houses began at once. In honor of its projector the
settlement was called Astoria. When in January 1812 the
men of the overland party arrived utterly destitute, they found
relief within its walls.
Unfortunately the history of this great undertaking was brief.
While the "Tonquin" was on a trading expedition, she was
approached by large numbers of Indians, offering furs, and
apparently unarmed. In violation of Astor's instructions that
Indians were to be allowed on shipboard only a few at a time,
they were suffered to clamber up the sides of the ship and
to come on deck. Drawing knives, concealed in the bundles
of fur, which they pretended to sell, the redskins fell upon
the whites before the latter had time to prepare for an attack
and massacred them. Only four of the crew escaped the
slaughtering and barricaded themselves in the cabin. They
even succeeded in ridding the ship of the invaders by opening
a brisk fire from their rifles. But when on the next morning
the enemies appeared again in overwhelming masses and
swarmed on deck with yells of triumph, the sailors exploded
the powder magazine, killing themselves and hundreds of
To the loss of the "Tonquin" came another mishap, much
more serious. During the war, which broke out in the same
year between the United States and England, the government
was unable to defend Astoria. Finding themselves cut off
from help and threatened with capture by a British gun-boat,
Astor's agents sold the property to the Hudson Bay Company,
which took possession of the station and held it till 1 846, when
England was compelled to abandon all claims on the region
of the Columbia River.
While Astor's plan ended in failure, it stands nevertheless
among the great commercial undertakings as a shining monu-
ment of German American enterprise, the more, as it found a
historian in Astor's famous friend Washington Irving, whose
classic work "Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond
the Rocky Mountains" was read in all civilized countries of
the world with great interest.
As Astor is known as the first to initiate a commerce with
the farthest Northwest, so another German is the most promi-
nent of the pioneers of California: Johann August Sutter.
Born in February 1 803 in Kandern, Baden, he visited a mili-
tary school in Switzerland and, later on, became a colonel
of a batallion of infantry. In 1834 his adventurous spirit
brought him to St. Louis, then the center of the western fur
trade. From here in every spring numerous caravans of traders
went forth to purchase the pelts, the Indians and trappers had
collected in wintertime. Other caravans went from St. Louis
over the so-called Santa Fe Trail to the far Southwest, to trade
with the inhabitants of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Cali-
fornia. One of the most successful of these merchants was
A. Speier, whose expeditions went as far as Chihuahua. As
a member of such caravans Sutter made several trips to Santa
Fe. In 1838 he went with a number of trappers to Oregon,
Vancouver Island and Hawaii. At Honolulu he bought a
vessel and undertook a trading expedition to Alaska. Two
years later Sutter obtained from the Mexican Government
the titles for two landgrants, comprising together 141,000
acres at the Sacramento River in California. Here he estab-
lished a settlement, which he named New Helvetia. For its
protection he built Fort Sutter and surrounded it with high
adobe-walls, through whose embrasures forty guns pointed in
every direction. The garrison was composed of Americans,
Europeans and Indians. In view of Sutter's former training
it can not surprise, that he maintained a sort of military dis-
cipline, and that every evening the garrison was drilled by an
officer, generally a German, marching to the music of fife
In recognition of his valuable services Sutter was made a
governor of these most northern possessions of Mexico. He
lived here, however, rather independently, raising with Indian
laborers enormous quantities of wheat and large herds of
cattle. The number of men employed by him ran from
100 to 500, the latter at harvest time. Among them
were blacksmiths, carpenters, tanners, gun-smiths, farmers,
vaqueros, gardeners, weavers, hunters, sawers, sheep-herders,
trappers, millwrights and distillers. In a word, Sutter started
every business and enterprise conceivable. The prospects for
the future of the colony were unparallelled, and Sutter was
regarded as the richest man in California, when suddenly, by
one of the queerest caprices of fate, came frustration and ruin.
On January 19, 1848, soon after California had been
annexed by the United States, James W. Marshall, a carpenter
in Sutter's service, while building a saw-mill, discovered in
the millrace many flakes and kernels of yellow metal. All at
once it flashed upon him, that these shining" particles might
be gold. Gathering a handful, he rode in hot haste to the
fort, to inform his employer of his find. When chemical tests
proved the truth of Marshall's assumption, Sutter, fearing that
the news would upset all conditions of his colony, made efforts
to keep the discovery a secret. But in vain. It leaked out
and was soon known in the fort and at the mill. And now
the cry "Gold! Gold!" was borne on the wings of the wind
to the sea-coast, and from the sea-coast to the four quarters
of the globe.
What Sutter had apprehended became true. Almost all his
men deserted him. The whole population of New Helvetia,
of San Francisco, of Monterey, of California was caught with
the infection and started to the gold fields, which soon were
disclosed in many districts. Public buildings in the towns and
cities became deserted, as the officials abandoned their posts.
Newspapers suspended their issues indefinitely, as the editors
vanished without asking furlough. Vessels were unable to
depart, as their crews deserted. Workshops, stores, dwellings,
and even fields of ripe grain, wines and families were left to
take care of themselves. Even churches had to be closed, as
their ministers also succumbed to the lure of the yellow metal.
And when reports of the discovery of gold reached the Atlantic
States, thousands and thousands of men left their homes, to
seek their fortunes among the gulches of the wild Sierra.
Whole armies of adventurers and desperate characters, all
craving for gold, swarmed over Sutter's property, trampling
down his crops, killing his cattle and turning everything upside
down. Without power to drive the intruders away, Sutter saw
his property ruined. All remonstrations remained unheeded.
Even his titles to his estates were disputed, as they had been
acquired from the Mexican government, but not indorsed by
the United States. All appeals for justice were in vain. Never
regaining possession of his property, he would have died in
poverty had not the State of California voted to him in 1865
a pension of 3000 dollars annually for seven years, on account
of state taxes which Sutter had paid on the land when it was
no longer his property. When Sutter died in 1 888, America
lost one of her most remarkable men, whose memory will
survive in the history of California for all time to come.
More favored by fate was another German pioneer, who
arrived in California in 1841 : Karl Maria Weber. For some
time he was in Sutter's service, but later on became a great
cattle-raiser of his own. Leading an adventurous life, he was,
like Sutter, one of the earliest promoters of American against
Mexican interests. For this reason he was several times con-
demned to be shot by the Mexicans. After the discovery of
gold Weber founded the "Stockton Mining Company" and
laid out a city, Stockton, which received her name in honor
of Commodore Stockton, who aided in getting the concessions
for the colony. Weber made not only the plans for this city,
but supplied her also with macadamized streets, natural gas,
electricity and other modern improvements. Before his death
he donated also all real estate needed for the erection of
public buildings and parks.
Another remarkable German pioneer of the Far West was
August Laufkoetter, who with a band of 26 Delaware Indians
made trading expeditions to Arizona. Later on he was among
the first settlers of Sacramento, California.
In Texas and Arizona Herman von Ehrenberg, a topograph-
ical engineer, made history. He was one of the 600 men, who
in 1835 drove 2000 Mexicans from San Antonio and forced
the fort Alamo to surrender. He had also part in the battle
at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, in which the independence
of Texas was secured. Later on Ehrenberg was a member of
the commission to establish the frontier between Arizona and
Mexico. Afterwards he organized the Sonora Exploring and
Mining Company, and also became a great landholder. Ehren-
berg, a city on the lower Colorado River in Arizona, was
named after this enterprising German.
To this brief list of German pioneers of the Far West many
other names might be added. Wherever we investigate the
history of our Western States and communities, we discover
German names, made known by their bearers in some
The Men of 1848.
The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed the arrival
on American shores of a vast number of German immigrants,
who gained a most significant place in American history: "the
Men of 1848."
Their peculiar name needs explanation. As is commonly
known, all political conditions of central Europe had at the
beginning of the nineteenth century been overthrown by
Napoleon Buonaparte, that great adventurer, who aimed at
the erection of a Caesarean Empire, the like of which the world
had not seen before. This dream was defeated in the great
battle at Leipzig by the inhabitants of the kingdoms and prin-
cipalities of Germany and those of Austria. Having taken such
a heroic part in this gigantic struggle for liberation, the people
had hoped for the establishment of constitutional govern-
ments, in which they might have part. But this justified expec-
tation was sadly deceived. The rulers, forgetful that the
people had saved their thrones, denied them such right, and
opened instead a long period of reaction, which manifested
its triumph in dark acts of oppression and tyranny. Dissatis-
fied by the ingratitude of the sovereigns, many patriots, detest-
ing violence, turned their backs on the land of their birth,
hoping to find in America new fields for their abilities. Others,
unwilling to submit to the petty tyranny of the rulers, resolved
to resist and became leaders in a bitter struggle for liberty,
which, dragging along for many years, culminated in the
revolutionary outbreaks of the year 1 848. The symbols of
that sanguinary year were chosen to denote all those Germans
and Austrians, who took part in the long struggle, though
their participation dated back to earlier years. Among these
men were thousands who had reached the highest pinnacle
of intellectual development, men with ideal aspirations, who
became in America successful promoters of the ethical, moral
and material welfare of the people, and gained also wide-
spread influence in the direction of affairs in our federation
Among the earlier arrivals, who came between 1820 to
1848, were Karl Follen, Karl Beck, Franz Lieber, Joseph
Grund, Johann August Roebling, Georg Seidensticker and
Max Oertel, every one an apostle of science, art and home
Among the men, who came in 1 848 and the years following,
were Karl Schurz, Franz Sigel, Peter Osterhaus, Friedrich
Hecker, Gustav Korner, Gustav von Struve, Karl Heinzen,
Hans Kudlich, August Willich, Konrad Krez, Max Weber,
Karl Eberhard Salomo, Julius Stahel, Hermann Raster, Johann
Bernhard Stallo, Friedrich Kapp, Lorenz Brentano, Friedrich
Hassaureck, Oswald Ottendorfer, Caspar Butz, Theodor Kirch-
hoff, Karl Douai and many thousand others. In all, Germany
lost during the so-called "Reaktionszeit" more than one and
a half million of her best citizens.
Germany's loss meant for the United States an invaluable
gain, as so many hundred thousands of highly cultured men
and women came into this country. While the former German
immigration had consisted essentially of farmers, workmen
and traders, now scholars and students of every branch of
science, artists, writers, journalists, lawyers, ministers, teach-
ers and foresters came in numbers. The enormous amount of
knowledge, idealism and activity, embodied in these political
exiles, made them the most valuable immigrants America
ever received. As they accepted positions as teachers and
professors at the schools and universities, or filled public
offices, or founded all sorts of newspapers and periodicals,
learned societies and social clubs, these men inspired the
hitherto dull social life of America, that it gained a much freer
and more progressive character.
Under their able leadership the older German element in the
United States improved also greatly. Formerly without close
connection and compared with an army of able soldiers but
without officers, it now began to form under the leadership
of the men of 1 848 a community, whose prime efforts were
directed toward the welfare of their adopted country and to
keep unsullied the fountains of liberty and the rights of men.
That among the exiles of 1 848 were characters of the same
calibre as Franklin and Washington, though the revolution at
home had been unsuccessful, will be clearly revealed by the
shining examples of which the coming chapters will relate.
Distinguished Germans in
While it is true that comparatively few men of German
birth are found holding political office and that representation
of the German element in the halls of the legislatures and in
administrative places is in no way commensurate with its
numerical strength, it must not be assumed that its influence
in American politics is or was negligible. Here as elsewhere
we find the Germans disposed to deal with public affairs as
statesmen rather than as politicians. Precisely this quality,
however, gave their views an importance which exerted a
considerable and wholesome influence on American politics,
oftimes sufficient to render them the decisive factor in great
issues. Thus, for instance, in the question of slavery, first
raised, as shown in a previous chapter, by the inhabitants of
Germantown. They steadfastly advocated its abolition through
all the 18th and the 19th centuries, standing their ground
until the issue was decided in accordance with their views.
Due to their verdict also were the prevailing of common
sense and true statesmanship in the political battles waged
for Sound Money, Civil Service, Party Reform, Conservation,
Temperance and Personal Liberty.
In the discussion of all these questions the German
Americans were invariably guided by men of sound judgment
and keen intellect. Pastorius and Leisler were followed by
Zenger, Saur and the Muehlenbergs, the latter family repre-
sented by several eminent members, who distinguished them-
selves in public and political life. Peter Muhlenberg was a
member of Congress during three sessions. His brother,
Frederick August Muhlenberg, was not only member and
speaker of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, but also a
member of the First, the Second, the Third and Fourth
sessions of Congress. Manifest proof of the excellency of his
character was the fact, that he, a citizen of foreign origin, was
elected as the very first Speaker of the House of Representa-
tives, and that he was re-elected to the same position during
the third session. His son, Henry August Muhlenberg, was
one of the representatives of Pennsylvania for a period of
The most remarkable German leaders of the 19th century
were Franz Lieber and Carl Schurz. Lieber, born on March 1 0,
1800, in Berlin, received his training in science at the Univer-
sities of his native city and of Jena and in close intercourse
with some of the most noted men of his time, especially Lud-
wig Jahn, the famous promoter of physical exercise. Through
him Lieber became imbued with the deep love for liberty,
which distinguished those noble patriots, who in the years 1813
to 1815 threw off the yoke of Napoleon. Unfortunately the
reactionary men, then at the helm of government in his native
country, regarded all persons with liberal sentiments as
enemies of the state. So it came to pass that Jahn and
Lieber were placed several times under arrest. Heavy of
heart, Lieber emigrated to America, arriving here in 1827.
Before he found permanent employment, his struggles were
very hard. In 1828 he began with editing the "Encyclopaedia
Americana," an adaptation of the famous "Brockhaus Con-
versations Lexikon," but containing many original articles,
written by Lieber on political science and subjects. This work
was first published in Philadelphia, later on as the "American
Encyclopaedia" by Appleton in New York.
In 1835 Lieber was appointed professor of history and
political economy at South Carolina College, Columbia, S. C.
This position became untenable, when the question of slavery
grew acute, and Lieber, whose whole soul longed for liberty,
became one of the earnest advocates of the abolishment of
In 185 7 Lieber accepted a call to Columbia College, New
York City. This was the first recognition by a Northern
college of History and Politics as properly co-ordinated sub-
jects. Lieber spent nearly forty years at imparting a knowl-
edge of this most vital branch to the youth of the republic.
During this time he wrote three monumental works, whereby
he founded his fame as one of the greatest publicists of the
world. In his "Manual of Political Ethics," published in 1837,
he gave the first great original treatise on political science in
America. Its subjects include the ethical nature of man, public
opinion, parties, factions, opposition, love of truth, persever-
ance, the duty of representatives, judges, lawyers, office hold-
ers, and the pardoning power. The keynote of this remarkable
work is Lieber's favorite motto: "No right without its duties:
no duty without its rights."
Two years later this great work was followed by another
important contribution to political science, "The Legal and
Political Hermeneutics." Its value was recognized in the
"Nation" as follows: "Many of the topics discussed in this
book were at Lieber's time new, doubtful, and difficult. Of
the conclusions arrived at by Lieber and first expressed by
him, writers of the present day often speak as familiar political
truths, without, perhaps, any conception on their part of the
source whence they were derived."
In 1853 appeared Lieber's greatest and best known work:
"Civil Liberty and Self -Government." Another great work
on the "Origin and the National Elements of the Constitution
of the United States," which promised to be Lieber's best,
unfortunately remained a fragment.
During the later years of his life Lieber became deeply
interested in the subject of international law. He was the
first to propose the idea of professional jurists of all nations
coming together for the purpose of working harmoniously
together, and seeking to establish a common understanding,
and thus serving as an organ for the legal consciousness of
the civilized world. From this impulse proceeded Rolin-
Jacquemyn's circular letter, to found a permanent academy
of international law, the "Institut de Droit International,"
which was started in Ghent in 1873, only one year after
Lieber's death, which occurred on October 2, 1872.
While Lieber's heart was devoted to the welfare of his
adopted country, he never descended to the level of the part-
isan. The motto of his study and life was: "Dear is my
Country; dearer still is Liberty; dearest of all is Truth!"
Inspired by the same idealism was Carl Schurz, the greatest
of all Germans, who made America their home. Born on
March 2, 1 829, in Liblar, near Cologne, Schurz, as a student at
the University of Bonn, also became so deeply involved in the
revolutionary movement ot 1 848, that he was compelled to
flee. After a stay of several years in England and France he
arrived in 1852 in Philadelphia. Here he resided for three
years. Later on he went to Wisconsin, where he practiced
law. At this time the great struggle between the North and
the South was brewing and it became evident that the old
cause of human freedom was to be fought out on the soil of
the new world.
Like Pastorius and the inhabitants of Germantown had
been opposed to slavery, so almost all Germans in the United
States favored abolition. Schurz became at once their most
eloquent spokesman and most potent leader.
"Before the Lincoln presidential campaign," so Andrew D.
White states in his autobiography, "slavery was always dis-
cussed either from a constitutional or philanthropical point of
view, orators seeking to show either that it was at variance
with the fundamental principles of our government or an
offence against humanity. But Schurz discussed it in a new
way and mainly from the philosophic point of view, showing
not merely its hostility to the American ideas of liberty and
the wrong it did to the slaves, but, more especially, the injury
it wrought upon the country at large, and, above all, upon
the Slave States themselves. In treating this and all other
public questions he was philosophic, eloquent and evidently
While taking an active part in the campaign of the Repub-
lican party against the extension of slavery, Schurz attained
an influence in the councils of the party and with the voters,
especially the Germans, that made his role in the struggle of
1860 extremely important, and, in the reckoning of shrewd
observers, wellnigh decisive. Lincoln, after his election,
acknowledged the great services of Schurz by appointing him
U. S. Minister to Spain. But his stay at this post was only of
short duration. As soon as the Civil War broke out, Schurz
resigned in order to enter the Union Army. His part in the
dreadful struggle is outlined in another chapter.
On conclusion of the war President Johnson commissioned
Schurz to make a tour through the Southern States, to inves-
tigate their conditions. His report was full of valuable sug-
gestions and was the basis of the reconstruction policy adopted
by Congress, with the difference, however, that Schurz steadily
pressed the enactment of general amnesty and of impartial
In the Presidential campaign of 1 868 Schurz was again one
of the most effective speakers of the Republican party, and
in the following year was chosen United States Senator from
Missouri. The Senate was the forum, where his great gifts
and extraordinary eloquence came to full development.
"Schurz' s greatness as an orator," so said the N. Y. Evening
Post in an editorial of May 14, 1906, 'lay in this, that he not
only spoke as a rational man to rational men, but as a man of
heart and conscience, who judges every man by himself and
feels that his best hold is in appealing to the better nature of
his hearers. Unlike many of his most distinguished colleagues,
he never resorted to inflated or bombastic rhetoric and never
stooped to any of the well-worn artifices with which dema-
gogues from time immemorial have been wont to tickle the
ears of the mob. What he said of Sumner in his unsurpassed
eulogy of the Massachusetts Senator, that 'he stands as the
most pronounced idealist among the public men of America,'
might with equal truth be said of himself."
That Schurz was among the American Statesmen an idealist
of the noblest type, who believed in the great mission of the
United States, and himself strove at the highest goal, is indi-_
cated by a significant remark, made by him one day: "Our
ideals resemble the stars, that illuminate the night. No one
will ever be able to touch them. But the men who, like the
sailors on the ocean, take them for guides, will undoubtedly
reach their goal."
And another motto of Schurz may find a place here,
as it is the key for his attitude in all political questions: "My
Country! When right keep it right; when wrong, set it right!"
In 1877 President Hayes selected Schurz for Secretary of
the Interior. His administration of this office was marked by
energy, integrity, and a determination to enforce the laws.
At the same time he introduced many reforms, the great
importance of which was acknowledged and appreciated only
in later years. So for instance he was the first official, who
called the attention to the preservation of our forests and
other natural resources, which were ransacked by rapacious
corporations without the slightest regard of the future.
Further, Schurz applied in his department, immediately
after his appointment, the methods of civil service reform.
The many evils, connected with the spoils system, inaugurated
under President Jackson, had under President Grant grown
to unheard-of proportions. Embezzlement, graft, bribery and
all other forms of corruption went hand in hand with incap-
ability and neglect, and threatened to demoralize the whole
administration. Public scandals, in which high officials were
involved, became daily occurrences. The taint of dishonesty
affecting official life caused many able citizens, especially the
German Americans, to look upon politics as something to be
Schurz at once made good behavior, honesty and efficiency
the first condition for all appointments, removals and promo-
tions in his department. A board of inquiry, composed of
three clerks of the highest class, was designated to investigate
and determine all cases in regard to these questions.
This strict application of the principles of the merit system,
inaugurated by Schurz for the first time in the history of any
department of the United States Government, has since
become the criterion of most of the succeeding administrations.
For many years Schurz was a member and president of the
National Civil Service Reform Association, and in this cap-
acity, by fighting the spoils system with all his determination,
intelligence and patience, he rendered, perhaps, the greatest
service to this country.
With equal energy he devoted his efforts to the exposure
of the grave perils involved in paper money, the "silver
craze," and all other wild financial schemes, by which the
basic principles of sound currency during the period from
1860 to 1896 were threatened.
During his political life Schurz firmly maintained a position
of independence of judgment and of action, and held himself
wholly free to follow the dictates of his conscience and to
pursue what he believed, on mature reflection, to be the best
policy for the public good. Of course this independence
would have been of little avail had it not been accompanied,
on the one hand, by generally sound and intelligent judgment
in the formation of his opinions, and, on the other, by the
very great powers of persuading and convincing the minds
of men. Both these Schurz had in an extraordinary degree,
and he exercised them with an energy, a patient persistence,
with an amount and kind of skill and penetration and a fervor
of advocacy that, on the whole, have not been surpassed in
the history of the United States in the latter half of the nine-
teenth century, momentous as that period was and rich as was
its product of able men. In the six volumes of his speeches,
correspondence and political papers, selected and edited after
his death by the Carl Schurz Memorial Committee, he appears
as the highest personification of true Americanism, as a shining
light, which served many of his contemporaries as a safe and
reliable guiding star. —
Other distinguished German leaders of the 1 9th century
were Friedrich Munch, Gustav Korner, General J. A. Wag-
ener, Gustav Schleicher, Michael Hahn, Johann Bernhard
Stallo, Samuel Pennypacker and many others, who as mem-
bers of Congress, governors, mayors, or in other high positions
worked faithfully for the welfare of our United States.
One of the most remarkable figures in Congress was at the
end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century
Richard Bartholdt from Missouri, who as representative of the
Tenth Missouri District served for 22 years. During this long
period he was one of the most ardent defenders of personal
The attitude of Bartholdt and of the whole German element
on this question, which comprises the so-called Temperance
Question and Sunday Observance, has been denned in a clear-
cut manner many times. The Germans believe, that the Pro-
hibitionists do not keep the ideas of temperance (moderation)
and prohibition (disallowance) apart. Temperance is — so
the Germans explain — a virtue, which should be acquired by
self-control. It is practiced and recommended by the Germans
just as strongly as by all other reasonable men. Prohibition,
on the other hand, is regarded as a restriction in contravention
of the right of personal liberty guaranteed to every citizen of
the Republic by its Constitution. This restriction is insisted
on by certain elements, who have no understanding nor feeling
for true liberty, liberal thoughts and the cheerful enjoyment
of life by others. It interferes with the customs and necessities
of many million inhabitants of the United States, who have
the same right on American soil as those holding Puritan views.
In regard to the Sundav question the German American
Alliance expressed in 1903 the following views: "Sunday
should be interpreted as a day of rest and recreation. Man
was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man. The
individual should be given perfect liberty to spend the day as
he wishes. The fanatic would suppress all public life on
Sunday, including traffic, the selling of newspapers and the
necessities of life. The question of Sunday observance as a
day of prayer and repentance is a religious one, and the state
must remain apart from the church in consonance with the
principles laid down in the Constitution."
Bartholdt's activity during the 22 years of his service in
Congress was furthermore devoted to the improvement of
the immigration laws and to the interests of international
peace. Having become acquainted in 1 899 in Christiania,
Norway, with the Interparliamentary Union he organized in
Congress an American group of this union, was elected her
president and held this position till 1915, when he returned
to private life. It was through his influence that the union
held in 1904 its annual meeting in St. Louis, which was
attended by 156 delegates from European countries and sev-
eral hundred delegates of American republics. Here Bart-
holdt was elected president of the Union for the same year.
It was by his efforts, that the Second Peace Conference at
The Hague in 1907 came to pass.
His last great speech in Congress Barthold delivered
on February 19, 1915. It was devoted to the defense of the
American citizens of German descent, who have been made
the objects of gross insults by many American newspapers
since the outbreak of the European war for their sympathies
with the Fatherland. As Bartholdt's speech treated a subject
of vital interest to the population of the United States, the
most important parts may find here a place.
"The United States has a composite population. Not Eng-
land alone, but all Europe is its mother, and contributions to
the blood which now circulates through the Nation's veins
have been made by practically all countries, the largest share
next to Great Britain having been contributed by Germany
or the States now constituting the German Empire. American
statesmen recognized early in our history that ours was not
a ready made nation, but a "nation to be" whose character
was to be shaped by the impress made upon it by the various
elements constituting its growing population. It was also
recognized that Saul could not at once turn into Paul, that
the newcomer could not change his traits overnight. It is
probably true that the Anglo-Saxon is less free from racial or
national prejudices than the cosmopolitan German — a strange
phenomenon, for they come from the same cradle — yet such
was the tolerance of our older statesmen that they never
regarded the love of the immigrants for the old country as in
any wise irreconcilable with his allegiance to the new. And
why? Because reverence for the mother never detracts from
love for the bride, and, furthermore, because that reverence
is a natural impulse which can no more be regulated or con-
trolled than can the throbs of the human heart. We can
educate an immigrant in our way of thinking, induce him to
adopt our customs and make a good American citizen of him,
but we cannot change his heart to the extent of eradicating
his regard for his native land. Along with freedom of thought
and conscience we must grant him the liberty of placing his
sympathies and affections where he pleases. It is a natural
right which no law can limit and no government can deny him
as long as our own country is not involved. American states-
manship had the choice of either closing the gates of the
country or of taking its chances with the constant human influx.
It chose the latter course, and history does not record a single
instance to prove that policy to have been a mistake. While
the people of the United States have been gathered from all
nooks and corners of the globe, while many of them still differ
in habits, customs, and language, and while on occasions the
sympathies of the first, second, and even third generations still
go out to the land of their ancestors, no serious problem has
thereby been created. Our adopted citizens and their native
descendants have stood the test of loyalty in every crisis in
the country's history, and thus irrefutable proof has been
adduced that memories of the Fatherland conjured up by
impulses of the heart do not and will not detract from the
allegiance due to the adopted country.
"Because of their sympathies with the Fatherland, the Amer-
icans of German descent have been openly accused of divided
allegiance and downright disloyalty. They know this wanton
insult to emanate from English and French press agents, and
consequently treat it with the contempt it deserves. But what
they resent is that, in the face of our own history, the American
press should have opened its columns to such calumnies.
Germans have fought and bled on the battlefield of four
American wars and furnished a larger proportion to the fight-
ing strength of our country than any other of the so-called
foreign elements. In the Revolutionary War, with Baron Steu-
ben they espoused the cause of the Colonies, and the implicit
confidence which the Father of our Country placed in their
loyalty is a matter of history. In 1861, when many of the
English, with instinctive aversion to American naturalization,
took out British protection papers, the Germans — that is,
nearly 200,000 of them — rallied around the flag of Abraham
Lincoln to save the Union. They displayed the same valor
in the War of 1812 and in the Spanish-American War, and
their loyalty to the flag in times of war is equaled only by
their loyalty to American ideals in times of peace. I should
have much preferred if just at this time these historical truths
had been uttered by other than a German-American tongue;
but while our pro-English press is ignoring them, Americans
of German blood should at least have expected immunity from
libels and insults. Yet such insults are heaped upon that
element by newspapers permitting agents of the allies to use
their space for that purpose. We can best judge the future
by the past, and the lessons of the past justify me in proclaim-
ing it as an irrefutable fact that if unfortunately the United
States should ever again be embroiled in war, which the
Heavens forbid, the Germans of this country would again as
loyally rally around the Stars and Stripes as they did against
our enemies in every crisis of the past. Let me again assert
in most positive terms what I said on the floor the other day,
that the Germans are for America against England, for
America against Germany, for America against the world!
They will never waver for one second in their allegiance to
the land of their choice and adoption.
These few words will suffice, I trust, to lay bare the
charge above referred to in its whole naked infamy. But let
me proceed with my argument. If sympathy for Germany
is an evidence of disloyalty, as is claimed by our traducers,
you will agree that sympathy for the allies is exactly the same
thing; and if that be true, we would be confronted with the
monstrous fact, that the whole American press printed in Eng-
lish, with but few exceptions, is disloyal to the United States.
It is absurd, of course, but I make this deduction merely to
show that I am not a less patriotic American by sympathizing
with the Fatherland and its ally than I would be if my sym-
pathies were for England and her allies; and certainly no true
American will claim that to side with England and to oppose
Germany is a prerequisite of loyal American citizenship, for
that would mean both truckling to a former enemy and the
betrayal of a traditional friend, of course absolutely unjustifi-
able by any standard of American loyalty.
There is no question, but what at the present time the
Germans of this country are stirred as they were never stirred
before. Their state of mind manifests itself in great mass
meetings and in hundreds of thousands of petitions addressed
to Congress in favor of an embargo on arms. It would not
be quite correct, however, to ascribe the prevailing excitement
solely to sympathy for Germany. In reality it is as much, if
not more, injured pride and an outraged sense of justice which
have caused their indignation to rise because of the outrageous
prevarications of truth and the cruel misrepresentations of
Germany, her people, and institutions contained in the manu-
factured news from England and reprinted in the American
newspapers. Proud of their American citizenship, they have
in a political sense absolutely nothing in common with
Germany or its government, but their more or less accurate
knowledge of conditions in that country taught them that the
alleged news we were getting was a brutal attempt at defama-
tion to poison the American mind against Germany. The war
was started with a monstrous lie, and in order to support it a
thousand other lies had to be told. The Germans were
denounced as Huns and barbarians, as ravishers and plunder-
ers, and as perpetrators of the worst imaginable atrocities.
The Emperor was described as an Attila, who one day had
had 1 1 Socialist deputies executed ; the Crown Prince as a
thief, and so forth. You might say that it is natural for enemies
to revile each other, but I must answer that, so far as Germany
is concerned, she herself, though obliged to fight the lie as
one of the worst of her many enemies, has not yet stooped
to a departure from the truth either in her own newspapers
or in the messages she has sent out to the world. *) And permit
me to add parenthetically that to the neutral world the present
struggle has an enhanced significance in that it is also a warfare
*)This fact has been acknowledged by several American papers. We
quote here the following remarks of the New York American:
"We are bound to say one thing about the German press. The
serious and dignified tone in which the German newspapers have
invariably discussed the progress and the problems of the war is an
example which the American press might follow with benefit to itself
and to the public.
We do no see in any German newspaper opprobrious epithets
applied to the American people. We do not see any cartoons ridiculing
of falsehood against truth. If the international lie should
succeed, I believe the world would eventually suffocate in
The Germans of this country could understand why Eng-
land to secure recruits should want to incite her own people
by these falsehoods, but they could not understand nor will
they forgive the American newspapers for reprinting them in
our country. To do so was a most serious and unpardonable
reflection on the German element of this country. As an
integral part of the American people, whose characteristics
and virtues are reflected as much in the composite character
of this Nation as are those of the citizens of English descent,
they believed themselves to be entitled to some consideration
at the hands of the press of their own country. Such con-
sideration was denied them, however, and with utter disregard
of their feelings they were rudely informed that their brothers
on the other side of the ocean are barbarians, ghouls, and
vandals, and that is not all. From the first day of the war
up to the present whatever the allies did was right, while every
act of the Germans was all wrong, even if it was an exactly
similar thing; for instance, the dropping of explosives from
aeroplanes. The alleged violation of Belgian neutrality was
harped upon with sickening persistence even after it had been
ascertained that the neutrality treaty had expired in 1872, and
that, if it had still been in force, the Belgian Government had
itself thrown it overboard by its secret agreement with Eng-
land regarding the landing of English troops on Belgian soil.
On the other hand, not a word is said about the violation of
Chinese neutrality by Japanese and English troops, although
this matter is of infinitely greater consequence to American
interests than the affairs of Belgium can possibly be. The
present international status of China is due to the skill of
American statesmanship, it being an achievement of John Hay,
made possible by the support of Germany alone. The integrity
of China, already violated by England and her ally, should
be restored and maintained at all hazards, but we look in vain
for any appeals in the press in favor of the conservation of
American interests in that quarter. It might embarrass Eng-
land, you know, if just now the press insisted on our own
rights. As to Belgian atrocities, five American newspaper men
or picturing the President of the United States as a ruffian and
In fact, we have not seen in any German newspaper a single word
or a single picture which was intended to express hatred or contempt
or bitterness against America.
In the face of the bitter and ugly and vulgar and unmanly billings-
gate, abuse and pictorial ridicule and hatred heaped by so many of
our newspapers upon the German people and the German government,
we are bound to say, in common fairness, that the dignity and self-
control of the German press are highly to its credit."
of the highest standing affirmed under oath that there was
no such thing, yet these alleged atrocities are presented to
American readers in glaring headlines, while the authentic
refutation of the stories is published in small type on the six-
teenth or seventeenth page. We may be foolish, but we are
not blind to such notorious evidences of partiality. The
Americans of German blood are a unit in bitterly resenting
not only these unneutral efforts to poison the fountainheads
of American public opinion against Germany but also the
palpably unneutral "most-favored-riation" treatment system-
atically accorded to Great Britain. Touching the last-named
fact, it seems to them as if we were using kid gloves against
England and the mailed fist against Germany, as if, indeed,
everything was being avoided, even to the disregard of Amer-
ican interests, that might embarrass the former country in her
effort to crush Germany.
The bill of complaints is too long to recite here in full, but let
me merely ask: Have we protested against American citizens
having been dragged from neutral steamers and thrown into
English prisons simply because those men, Americans to the
manner born, happened to bear German names? No. Have we
protested against England's inhuman policy to starve to death
the noncombatant population of Germany, by stopping, in
open violation of international law, all food supplies, even if
carried from a neutral country and in neutral bottoms? No.
Have we protested against England declaring the whole North
Sea as a war zone? No; but when Germany did the same thing
in practically the same language we immediately dispatched a
stiff note to Berlin, while the milder one was directed to Eng-
land, though it would seem that the latter country was the
chief offender in allowing the use of false flags. However,
whatever the administration does in foreign affairs, as Amer-
icans it will be our duty to uphold it.
After this explanation can you understand, Mr. Chairman
and gentlemen of the House, why the German mind in this
country is agitated, and can you blame that element if its
feelings are ruffled? When, moreover, it dawned upon them
that all our arms factories were running night and day to
supply the allies with weapons for use against their brothers
and kinsmen, nothing could convince them that the United
States was not actually a silent partner of the allies. Then
it was that they demanded, and they are still demanding an
embargo on arms to enforce honest neutrality, the kind of
neutrality which the President proclaimed when he said: "We
should be neutral in fact as well as in name, and should put
a curb on every transaction which might be construed as
giving a preference to one party to the struggle above
another." This shameful traffic in arms, they argue, gives the
lie to our prayers for peace, because it tends to prolong the
war, and its permission by international law, they believe,
imposes no obligation on our citizens to carry it on, no more
on us than on the other neutral countries which have all
stopped it upon the demand of England herself. I should like
to discuss this important question at length, if my time per-
mitted, but let me say just one more word. Whether the
President would use the authority or not, there ought to be a
law on our statute books which confers such authority upon
him in order that he might enforce his demands for a free and
open sea and unrestricted commerce in noncontraband goods.
In our present demands against England our only alternative
is either to give in or declare war. The threat of an embargo
on arms, however, would quickly bring the "Mistress of the
Seas" to terms and without war. Hence the legislation
demanded by what the pro-English press is pleased to call
German mass meetings, will be a preventive of, rather than a
provocation to war with England, and thus falls to the ground
another of the silly charges preferred by the press bureau of
the allies against me and the several millions of American
citizens who think as I do on this subject.
Continuing as an interpreter of the feelings of these millions,
all good American citizens, permit me to say that the hostility
of the Anglo-American press against Germany and the Ger-
mans has forced many to a conclusion which, if correct, would
be the most painful disappointment of my life. They believe
this attitude to be less pro-English than anti-German, and,
indeed, regard it as the outgrowth of racial prejudice against
the Germans even of this country, and as a revival of the old
Know-nothing spirit which aimed at a sort of guardianship by
those of English descent over this country, to the exclusion of
all other elements, the latter to be classed simply as "foreign-
ers," and degraded to the rank of second-class citizens. How
could such a conclusion be reached? Well, they ask whether
the history of the American Germans has not been an honor-
able one. They fought for independence, opposed slavery,
and loyally gave their bodies and lives that the Union might
live ; they were almost a unit for sound money, and are imbued
with the true American spirit of freedom to such an extent
that they love liberty better than whatever good might come
from its restriction. As a rule, they modestly refrained from
seeking political preferment, but filled America's life with
music and song and innocent social pleasures. They are
peaceful and law-abiding citizens, who by industry and thrift
have made the best of the opportunities which the country
of their choice generously offered them, and thus they have
contributed their honest share to the growth, the development,
and the grandeur of the Republic. If such a record of good
citizenship is not sufficient, it is argued, to insure the German
element immunity from libels and insults, what else can
account for it but racial aversion, the innate prejudice of the
Anglo-Saxon against everything foreign?
There should never be a division in the United btates upon
racial or national lines. Under the American sun, in their
capacity as citizens, the Teuton and the Slav, the Irishman and
the Englishman, the German and the Frenchman extend to
each other the hand of brotherhood as equals, and the great
flag covers them all. Ancient prejudices have melted away
under the sun of freedom until, no longer English, Irish,
German, Scandinavian, we are, one and all, heart and soul,
In conclusion let me reiterate the steadfast devotion of all
citizens of German blood to American ideals and the flag.
Impatient of injustice though they be, their hearts are true to
the core. They feel themselves as one with every other citizen
of the Republic, and they will share the fate of their adopted
country and of their children's fatherland. Whatever their
secondary sympathies may be, they are with all other true
Americans for America first, last, and all the time. They are
for a united Nation, and shall ever uphold the ideal of national
unity and dignity with that loyalty which has characterized
their whole history on American soil."
The German Americans during the
Wars of the 19th Century.
Splendid as had been the proofs of loyalty to their adopted
country shown by the Germans during the War for Independ-
ence, equally impressive evidence is found in the staunch
support invariably extended by them to this country in the
wars in which the United States was involved during the 19 th
When the British in 1812 had captured the city of Wash-
ington and burned the Capitol, the Executive Mansion, the
Treasury, the State and War Department as well as many
other buildings, they also set out to take Baltimore. It was
then, in the defense of the city, that two Americans of German
origin took the most prominent part. The commander of
the militia was General Johann Strieker, born at Frederick,
Maryland, in 1 759.
The enemy having landed at North Point, he led his men
against him in a running skirmish, in which General Ross, the
British commander, was killed.
Fort McHenry, protecting the harbor of Baltimore, was
gallantly defended by Major George Armistead, the son of
Johann Armstadt, a Hessian, living in New Market, Va. It
was in the morning of September 12, 1814, when the British
fleet, consisting of sixteen frigates, opened a terrific bombard-
ment on the fort, which was held by a garrison of one thou-
sand men. The cannonade lasted for 36 hours. It was on
the waning of that memorable night of the 1 2th to the 1 3th,
that Francis S. Key, while detained on board of a British ship,
watched during the long hours, anxiously asking:
"Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming."
That the star spangled banner still waved, was due to the
bravery of the noble defender of Fort McHenry and his men.
They answered the terrific fire of the enemy so effectually,
that on the morning of the 1 4th the fleet withdrew, without
having attained any success.
* * * *
In the war with Mexico, during the years 1846 and 1847,
many Germans also served with great distinction. Among
them were numerous officers, who had been active in the old
Fatherland and, later on, during the Civil War and the Indian
Wars, came to great renown; as for instance August Mohr,
von Gilsea, August V. Kautz, Samuel Peter Heinzelmann
The most dashing soldier of German origin in the Mexican
War was, however, Johann Anton Quitman, the son of Fried -
rich Anton Quitman, a Lutheran minister at Rhinebeck-on-the-
Hudson. Born in 1 798, Quitman had emigrated to the South-
west, where he took part in the struggles of Texas, striving to
separate herself from Mexico.
When in 1 846 the war with Mexico broke out, Quitman
was made a Brigadier-General. With greatest distinction he
fought at Monterey, and it was he, who at the head of his
soldiers reached as the first the market place of the hotly
defended city. He also raised the victorious American flag
on the tower of a church.
During spring of 1847 Quitman was in command of the
land batteries, which in conjunction with the American fleet
bombarded Vera Cruz and compelled this strongly fortified
city to surrender.
Also he distinguished himself at Cerro Jordo, after which
engagement he was brevetted Major-General, and was voted
a sword of honor by Congress for gallantry. On September
1 3th he stormed with his men the old fortress of the Monte-
zumas, Chapultepec, which the Mexicans believed to be
impregnable. On the following day he opened the bombard-
ment of the City of Mexico, effecting an entrance on the 1 5 th.
In appreciation of his gallant service General Scott appoin-
ted Quitman governor of the city, which position he held till
order was established. Several years later he was elected
governor of Mississippi. Elected to Congress by large majori-
ties, he served from 1855 to 1858, the year of his death.
Historians, who studied the part taken by the Germans in
our Revolutionary War, have not hesitated to declare that the
independence of the United States would probably not have
been attained without the patriotic support of that element.
There is also good reason to doubt, whether without its
loyal aid the preservation of our national unity would have
That the Germans were opposed to all forms of oppression
and that in their agitation against slavery they overshadowed
all foreign-born citizens, has been shown in former chapters.
Consistent with such sentiment the overwhelming majority of
the Germans gave aid to the North, convinced that the future
of the whole country depended on the preservation of the
Union. And so thousands and thousands of Germans com-
bined, firmly resolved that slavery must be abolished and
that not one of them would permit a single star to be ruthlessly
torn from the blue field of the nation's glorious banner.
How many Germans and German Americans hurried to the
arms, in order that the stars and stripes might continue to
"O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave"
cannot be told with absolute correctness, as during the bitter
conflict between the North and the South no statistics about
the nationality or extraction of the soldiers were kept. Not
before 1 869 was any attempt made to answer proximately
this interesting question. From investigations, made by Dr.
B. A. Gould, it appears, that of the 2,018,200 white soldiers
who fought for the Union, 45,508 were English, 144,221
Irish and 176,817 Germans. William Kaufmann, author of
the valuable work, entitled: "Die Deutschen im amerikanischen
Biirgerkriege," believes, however, that the volunteers born
in Germany, numbered roundly not less than 216,000. It
appears thus that the contingent, furnished to the armies of
the North by the Germans, was far greater than that of any
other nationality. To the above number must be added many
hundred thousand men of German origin included in those
1,523,207 soldiers who registered as "native Americans."
How considerable must have been the quota of Germans
among these men, may be judged from the number of mem-
bers contributed to the Northern armies by the well-known
family Pennypacker, descendents of Heinrich Panneb acker,
a German who immigrated in 1 699 and settled on the
Shippack Creek in Eastern Pennsylvania. This family was
represented by 2 major-generals, 1 lieutenant-general, 1
colonel, 2 physicians, 2 captains, 1 lieutenant, 5 sergeants,
8 corporals, 1 musician and 65 common soldiers; in all 88
The great value of the contingent of the Germans, born
abroad, was increased by the fact, that large numbers of them,
especially the officers, of whom there were more than 5000,
had received practical training in the military academies and
in the armies of their fatherland. The participation of so
many efficient officers and soldiers was of immeasurable
importance to the North, for at the outbreak of the war the
Confederates had far the greater number of officers who had
received their training at West Point.
Like in all former wars so the Germans inspiringly demon-
strated their loyalty in many ways. As early as January 9,
1861, Karl Leopold Mathies, who later on became a general,
offered to the Union a company of soldiers, the whole equip-
ment of which he paid from his own purse. Equally generous
was Dr. Karl Beck, professor at Harvard, when his request for
his own enlistment had been refused in view of his age, which
was 60 years.
And when President Lincoln, on April 15, issued his first
call for volunteers, the Germans responded in masses. Not
more than three days thereafter 1200 Germans in Cincinnati
stood ready to march. It was the "Ninth Regiment of Ohio,"
which for its gallant service won distinction and fame. In
addition the Germans of Ohio formed the regiments No. 1 1 ,
28, 37, 47, 58, 67, 74, 106, 107, 108 and 165. Also the
third regiment of cavalry and three batteries.
In New York the Germans were not less enthusiastic. The
Turners formed the regiment "United Turner Rifles," whose
entire outfit was donated by German citizens. Other German
regiments were the Steuben Regiment; the 1st German Rifles;
the 1st Astor Regiment; the 5th German Rifles; the Fremont
Regiment; the Sigel Rifles; the 54th Regiment of Schwarze
Jaeger; the 86th Regiment or Steuben Rangers; furthermore
the Dickels Mounted Rifles; the 4th New York Cavalry; and
The Germans of Pennsylvania formed the regiments 74 and
75, besides furnishing strong contingents to numerous other
regiments. In Indiana the 36th regiment was entirely German;
in Illinois the 24th and the 82nd. The 43rd regiment con-
sisted entirely of the sons of "Latin Farmers" of Belleville.
The Germans of Wisconsin were represented by the 9th and
26th regiment of that state; the Germans of Missouri in the
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 39th, 40th and
4 1 st regiment.
This splendid response aroused in all Northern states bound-
less enthusiasm. Augustus Choate Hamlin, Lieutenant-Colonel
and historian of the 1 1 th army-corps, writes in his remark-
able work "The battle of Chancellorsville" : "The country
rejoiced with great joy when it became known that the entire
German population of the North rallied without hesitation to
the support of the endangered Republic. The support was
magnificent, and deserving the highest gratitude of the country.
It is also remarkable that all of the revolutionists then in this
country, and who had followed Kossuth, Garibaldi, Sigel and
Hecker, should offer their services to the United States. It was,
indeed, a grand sight, when the entire mass of German-speak-
ing and German-born people rose as a man and stood firmly
by the flag of the Republic. What would have been the fate
of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, at the commencement of
the war, had it not been for the patriotic efforts of Sigel, Oster-
haus, Schurz and Hecker, and their resolute German follow-
ers? Has the country yet recognized the importance and the
full weight of these facts? Missouri certainly would have drifted
away with the Southern tide, had it not been for the influence
and resistance of these gallant men. The Germans were the
first to take up arms and attempt to save the state. The first
three loyal regiments raised in St. Louis were Germans almost
to a man, and when the Home Guards of Missouri were first
formed, none but Germans joined them. This movement on
the part of the Germans was of vast aid to the Northern cause,
and contributed greatly to its final success, and its influence
and its value cannot be estimated with the gold of the nation."
Of the officers of German birth or origin many attained the
highest military honors and degrees. Inseparably connected
with the history of this great war are the names of the Major-
Generals Peter Osterhaus, Karl Schurz, Franz Sigel, Julius
Stahel, Samuel Peter Heinzelmann, August Kautz, G. Penny-
packer, Friedrich Salomon, and Gottfried Weitzel. Also the
names of the Generals Ammen, Louis Blenker, Louis von
Blessing, Heinrich von Bohlen, Adolf Buschbeck, Adolf
Hassendeubel, Friedrich Hecker, J. H. Heinzelmann, Knobels-
dorff, Johann A. Koltes, William C. KufTner, Konrad Krez,
Karl Leopold Mathies, August Mohr, Julius Raith, Prince
Felix Salm-Salm. Karl Eberhard Salomon, Georg von Schack,
Alexander von Schimmelpfennig, Alban Schopf, Alexander
von Schrader, Schriver, Schiras, Adolf von Steinwehr, Louis
Wagner, Hugo Wangelin, Max Weber, August Willich, Isaak
Wister and others.
The limited size of this volume forbids a recital of all gallant
services performed by these Germans during the Civil War.
We can mention only a few. First of all it should be remem-
bered, that on April 18, 1861, three days after the fall of
Fort Sumter, when the whole administration was in consterna-
tion, 530 Pennsylvania Germans rallied round the flag and
entered Washington, to shield the capital from a threatening
assault of the Secessionists. This resolute step and the fact,
that the German Turners of Baltimore declared for the Union,
kept Washington and the wavering State of Maryland from
the hands of the Confederates.
The State of Missouri, the most important of all the uncer-
tain border states, was also saved for the Union by German
volunteers. The situation here was most critical, as in the
city of St. Louis was located the great United States Arsenal
of the West, containing the arms and amunition for at least
40,000 to 50,000 soldiers. Floyd of Virginia, while Secretary
of War preceding Lincoln's administration, had stocked this
arsenal to its utmost capacity in the expectation that it would
certainly fall into the hands of the South. His hope in this
respect was strengthened, when Governor Jackson of Missouri
manifested the stand he would take in his reply to President
Lincoln's requisition for Missouri's quota of the first call for
troops with the defying words: "Your requisition, in my judg-
ment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its
object; inhuman and diabolic, and cannot be complied with."
It was during this time, when the magnitude of the danger
threatening the country was barely realized, that the German
Turners of St. Louis passed a resolution by which the Turn-
Verein was dissolved, and in its stead a military organization
formed to guard the Union and to sacrifice life and property,
if necessary, to keep the county of St. Louis loyal to the admin-
istration in case the State of Missouri should decide to secede.
When it became known, that the Secessionists planned an
assault on the arsenal, the Germans of St. Louis quickly formed
four companies of volunteers under the command of their
leaders Blair, Lyon, Sigel, Osterhaus, Schaefer and Schuett-
ner. Then they took possession of the arsenal, and also cap-
tured on May 10, 1861, one thousand Secessionists, who had
assembled at Camp Jackson near the southern part of the city,
to seize the arsenal.
Among the higher German officers the most prominent
were Osterhaus, Sigel and Schurz, conspicuous types all three
of those champions of liberty, who upon the failure of the
German revolution of 1 848 came to America as political exiles.
Peter Osterhaus had become a citizen of Belleville, 111.
When the situation became critical in Missouri, he took an
active part in organizing the German volunteers of St. Louis
and in the capture of the arsenal and Camp Jackson. He was
valiantly engaged in the battles at Wilsons Creek and Pea
Ridge as well as in the campaign against Vicksburg. During
the terrific struggle at Chatanooga in November 1863 he com-
manded the first division of General Grant's army corps and
won glory in the famous "Battle among the Clouds'' on Look-
out Mountain. After fighting for hours, his troops ascended
step by step the steep and rough mountain side, through deep
gullies and ravines, over great rocks and fallen trees, until,
reaching the earth-works of the enemy on top of the mountain,
they carried his positions one and all.
Subsequently Osterhaus was with his troops in the daring
assault on Missionary Ridge. Here he defeated the southern
wing of the enemy, making many thousands of prisoners. As
commander of a strong division Osterhaus participated also
in Sherman's famous "March through Georgia." Later on he
was chief of staff to General Canby during the Mobile cam-
paign and at the surrender of General Kirby Smith's army.
Franz Sigel, who in 1 848 had been general of a revolution-
ary army in Baden, was at the outbreak of the Civil War a
citizen of St. Louis. During the occupation of the arsenal
and the capture of Camp Jackson he was one of the leaders.
These feats accomplished, he fought as commander of several
regiments and batteries in Missouri and gained on March 6,
1862, with General Curtis against overwhelming forces the
glorious victory at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The battle lasted for
three days. The decision came, when Sigel ordered his regi-
ments to fall back behind the lines of artillery, as if preparing
for retreat, while the artillery fired only blank shots, as if short
of ammunition. Deceived by the ruse, the Confederates, sure
of victory, advanced in close formation. But at once Sigel's
regiments re-entered their positions between the batteries and,
supported by the heavy guns, opened a rapid fire on the
enemies, who thus surprised, were thrown into confusion. At
this moment Sigel's cavalry dashed amidst their lines, slashing
down all who had been spared by the bullets.
MONUMENT TO FRANZ SIGEL IN NEW YORK.
(Modelled by Karl Bitter).
Promoted to the rank of major-general, Sigel afterwards
was ordered to Virginia. At Bull Run he commanded the
right wing of Pope's 1st army corps and won on August 29
a decided advantage over Jackson. This success, though,
was fruitless, as on the following day Pope's regiments were
defeated by the enemy's forces, vastly superior in number.
Sigel covered the retreat in masterly fashion, preventing a
After this battle Sigel commanded several army-corps in
Pennsylvania, suffered at New Market a defeat by over-
whelming forces, but made good again by repelling obstinate
attacks on Harper's Ferry and the Maryland Heights.
Like all other German officers Sigel was greatly hampered
by the petty jealousy and disdain of the American comrades
in arms. Especially reprehensible in this regard was the
conduct of those who were graduates of West Point. Of
this circumstance Lieutenant-Colonel Hamlin, the historian of
the 1 1 th army-corps, in one of his works records a bitter
complaint. Sigel felt himself in his operations so much hindered
by such jealous men, that he resigned in May 1 865 and
returned to private life.
Similar were the experiences of Carl Schurz, who had been
appointed brigadier-general in the army of the Potomac,
which, however, in consequence of a continual change of
commanders-in-chief, one unfit man following on the heels of
another, went from defeat to defeat. The most serious were
those at Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At
Chancellorsville the division of Schurz, together with those
of Adolf von Steinwehr and General Devens, formed the 1 1 th
corps, which under command of General Howard, held the
right wing of General Hooker's army. In the morning of
May 2, 1863, Schurz, Steinwehr and other German officers
discovered that the enemy, feigning a retreat, was preparing
to turn the right wing of the Federal army. Without loss of
time Schurz and Steinwehr informed headquarters of these
suspicious movements, urgently requesting leave to take timely
counter-action. But Hooker, believing that the enemy was in
full retreat, did nothing to protect the threatened wing.
Schurz now on his own responsibility ordered his regiments to
take up positions fronting toward the West, from where he
anticipated an attack. It came at 5 o'clock in the afternoon,
when suddenly 18,000 Confederates, commanded by the able
General Stonewall Jackson, burst from the forests and over-
ran the division of General Devens. It was swept away in
wild disorder, threatening to carry with it the German regi-
ments. These, however, only 3000 strong, made the most
strenuous efforts to stem the assault. It was pending these
efforts that Colonel Friedrich Hecker, one of the men of 1848,
was wounded seriously as he led his troops to a charge, carry-
ing the flag of his 82d Illinois Regiment in hand. The situation
became still more critical when the enemies appeared also
in the rear, compelling the Germans to withdraw to better
positions. But here their resistance was so obstinate, that the
further advance of the Confederates came to a standstill.
Among the officers, who fought here like heroes, were
Colonel Buschbeck, and Captain Hubert Dilger, whose battery
was most effectual in blocking Stonewall Jackson, who for-
feited his own life for his victory.
The German regiments of Schurz and von Steinwehr held
also in the battle at Gettysburg the most exposed positions,
namely on the famous Cemetery Ridge, the strategic import-
ance of which Steinwehr had first recognized. The battle,
the bloodiest of the whole war, lasted for three days and
culminated on July 3, 1863 in a grand assault by the Con-
The prelude to this attack was a bombardment from 145
heavy guns, which blazed forth like so many volcanoes.
The air seemed full of missiles from every direction, their
explosions enveloping Cemetery Ridge in clouds of smoke
and poisonous gases. The terrific fire, answered by 1 00 guns,
lasted for two long hours. Then suddenly emerged from
the forests 15,000 Confederates, rank upon rank in gray, with
shining bayonets, a never-to-be-forgotten sight. Approaching
in double-quick pace, they reached in spite of the volleys of
the Union soldiers the positions of the latter, and now a
desperate struggle ensued man against man, during which the
mutilated bodies of human beings and horses towered to heaps
and hills. But the furious onslaught shattered on the heroic
resistance of the defenders of Cemetery Ridge. The Con-
federates were thrown back with fearful loss in utter dissolu-
tion and compelled to retreat to Virginia, having lost more
than 30,000 in killed, wounded and prisoners. The loss of the
Federals amounted to 23,000.
Schurz, Osterhaus and Steinwehr participated also in Sher-
man's march to Georgia and fought with distinction in the
battles at Tunnel Hill, Buzzards Roost, Dalton, Resaca, Mari-
etta and Atlanta.
Many were the skirmishes and engagements of minor
importance in which it fell to the lot of the German soldiers
to bear the brunt of battle. In what esteem their bravery was
held by friend and foe, may appear from the following two
episodes. When on June 7, 1862, the soldiers of General
James Shield during the campaign in the Luray Valley com-
plained of the hardships they had to endure, he answered,
"The Germans are not half as well off as you are, but they
hang on the enemy without respite." And General Lee, the
commander-in-chief of the Confederate army, is reported, on
best authority, to have exclaimed: "Take only these Dutch out
of the Union army, and we will whip the Yankees easily."
A testimonial of great weight is also the splendid work on
"The Battle of Chancellorsville" by Augustus Choate Hamlin,
lieutenant-colonel and medical inspector of the U. S. army.
Of the major-generals and generals, born in Germany,
several fell. The brilliant career of Heinrich von Bohlen
ended on August 22, 1862, in the battle at Rappahannock
River, while leading his troops to attack. Adolf Engelmann
and Julius Raith were killed in April 1862 at Shiloh; Johann
Koltes died on August 30, 1862, in the battle at Bull Run.
Franz Hassendeubel was mortally wounded during the siege
of Vicksburg and died July 16, 1863. Hugo Wangelin lost
at Ringgold his left arm, but after his recovery reported again
for service and did valuable work in Georgia and Missouri.
Max Weber was wounded in the battle at Antitam so seriously,
that he had to quit service. The number of colonels, majors
and other officers of German origin, who died on the battle-
field, runs up to several hundred, that of the soldiers to many
thousands. Almost all German regiments suffered terrific
losses. The Sigel Rifles, forming the 5 2d regiment of New
York, returned in October 1864 under command of Major
Retzius with only 5 officers and 35 men. Brought up once
more to its original strength of 2800 men, it came back at
the end of the war only 200 strong. Of the 1200 United
Turner Rifles only 462 returned; of the 1046 men of the
De-Kalb regiment only 1 80.
So the history of the Civil War exhibits abundant evidence,
that the German-Americans offered readily blood and life for
the preservation of the Union.
* * * *
Many officers of German stock fought also with great
distinction in the numerous Indian wars. The best known is
General George A. Custer, whose ancestor, a Hessian
soldier, was paroled in 1778 after Burgoyne's surrender at
Saratoga. His name, Kuester, hard to pronounce for English
tongues, was, like so many others, changed to a form of easier
pronunciation. Custer was a graduate of West Point. As a
commander of cavalry divisions he fought in many battles
of the Civil War, and was appointed brigadier-general for
gallantry. With great distinction he served in several cam-
paigns against the Indians. But on June 26, 1876, when he
with 250 men dashed into overwhelming masses of Sioux
Indians, he became surrounded. In the desperate battle Custer
as well as his brother, First Lieutenant Thomas Custer, and
all soldiers were massacred to the last man. The fight is
known as the Custer-massacre at the Little Big Horn River,
* * * *
Of German origin too, was Admiral Winfield Scott Schley,
the hero of the great naval battle at Santiago de Cuba.
The first American ancestor of the Schleys was Johann
Thomas Schley, a German schoolmaster, who in 1 745 erected
the first house in Frederick, Maryland. Many of his descend-
ents became prominent in public life; but none of them rose
to such fame as our admiral, who was born near Frederick
October 9, 1839. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy
at Annapolis, he took part in many engagements during the
Civil War. In 1871 he participated also in the attack on the
forts at the Salu River in Corea.
In 1 884 he commanded a relief-expedition, sent out to
find the Arctic explorer A. W. Greely, whose whereabouts
were unknown. Schley succeeded in discovering him and six
other survivors at Cape Sabine. All were in the very last
stage of starvation. But by utmost care it was possible to
keep the explorers alive and bring them back to the United
During the Spanish-American War of 1898, when Spain
sent out a fleet of four cruisers and three destroyers, Schley
was placed in command of the "Flying Squadron," which
was dispatched to ward the hostile fleet off the coast of the
United States and to prevent the same from reaching Havana
along the north coast of Cuba. Admiral Sampson at the
same time received orders, to close with a strong fleet the
Channel of Yucatan. Deficiency in coal had compelled the
Spanish fleet to seek refuge in the harbor of Santiago de
Cuba. Here it remained, till forced by a strong American land
army to leave this retreat. The sally occurred on July 3, at a
time, when Schley happened to be in immediate command of
his "Flying Squadron" as well as of the fleet of Sampson,
who with one of his vessels was absent. The Spanish cruisers,
followed by the destroyers, left the harbor in full speed, to
make good their escape. But the American vessels kept close
at their heels, opening at the same time a bombardment with
their heavy guns. One after another the Spanish cruisers, hit
by shells, caught fire and were run ashore by their crews,
only to become total wrecks. 2000 of the crews, among
them Admiral Cervera, were made prisoners. The news of
the great victory reached the United States on the morning of
the Fourth of July.
Never before, perhaps, was the great national holiday
celebrated with such overwhelming enthusiasm.
Leaders in Agriculture, Industry and
Great as were the services rendered to this country by
German Americans in times of war and in political progress,
these cannot be compared with the mighty impulse given to
American culture. Everywhere about us in the United States
can be found lasting evidence of the development wrought
by their hands.
Viewing the hundreds of thousands who with their fellow
citizens of native or alien birth marched into the virgin wilder-
ness of the New World, we see them transforming the former
abodes of beasts and Indians into fruitful lands and pleasant
homesteads. Numerous States, especially Pennsylvania, New
York, New Jersey, Maryland, the Virginias, Ohio, Indiana*
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa,
Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, California, Oregon and Washing-
ton owe their prosperity essentially to the Germans. As agri-
culturists they won the admiration of all their neighbors. The
comparative meagreness of the soil of their fatherland taught
them to take care of their farms in a wise and economical way.
They never fell into the habit of abusing the soil, which, as
shown by many examples, in the New England States and
in other parts of the country, results eventually in soil-
exhaustion and the abandonment of farms. Whoever visits
the beautiful counties of Pennsylvania, settled by the so-called
Pennsylvania Dutch, must agree that farms in better condition
than those which exist there cannot be found. And these
farms are still inhabited by the descendants of the early Ger-
man settlers, who attained prosperity by diligence and rational
The great importance of the Germans in American agricul-
ture is best seen by the census of 1900, showing that in this
year 525,250 farms, or 10.6 per cent, of all farms in the
United States were in German hands and that 41.3 per cent,
of the whole farming population were Germans. These num-
bers include, however, not the farms owned by Americans
of German stock.
Among the German farms of the Western and Northwestern
states many embrace enormous stretches of land. To fence
for instance the wheat fields owned by Johann P. Vollmer in
Idaho, 250 miles of wire are required. Similar big farms are
owned bv A. L. Stuntz in Idaho; S. A. Knapp in Iowa; John
Dern in Nebraska, and others.
German influence on development in American agriculture
during the 1 8th century has been sketched briefly in a former
chapter. To the Germans is attributed by Rush the distinction
of being the first to use artificial fertilizer.
Johann Schwerdkopf was the first who grew strawberries
by the acres on Long Island and provided with these luxurious
fruits the markets of New York. Other Germans, as Thomas
Echelburger in York, Pa.; the Rappists of Harmony, Indiana;
Martin Baurn in Cincinnati ; George Husmann, Michael Poschel,
Hermann Burkhardt in Missouri and many others followed
the example of the settlers of Germantown and began to culti-
vate grapes in different parts of the United States.
The Germans were instrumental also in establishing the
culture of vine, oranges, lemons, apricots, pears, apples,
prunes, cherries, figs, and many other fruits in California and
elsewhere. They also introduced the sugar-beet, the culture
of which has in recent years grown in many states to immense
For the scientific development of agriculture the works of
Eugene Woldernar Hilgard became of greatest importance.
This man was born in 1 833 in the Palatinate, but was brought
by his father at an early age to Belleville, Illinois, the center
of the "Latin Settlements." Later on Hilgard studied in Ger-
many, then became a professor of geology and agricultural
chemistry at the University of California and director of the
State Agricultural Station. In this position he devoted his
efforts to the utilization of the arid deserts of California and
Arizona, and succeeded in transforming many of them into
fertile regions. Of his literary works his book on "Soils,"
published in 1906, is one of greatest value among writings on
A similar position as that of Hilgard was held for many
years by Charles A. Goessmann, a native of Naumburg, Ger-
many. He has been director of the Massachusetts Agricultural
Experiment Station and professor of chemistry in the Massa-
chusetts Agricultural State College. George Ellwanger, a native
of Wiirtemberg, founded in 1839 in Rochester, N. Y., a
nursery in fruit- and ornamental trees, which in time became
the most famous in America and a model-institution for others.
Forestry was also taken up by the Germans. George H.
Wirt, Samuel Pennypacker, John Frederick Hartranft and
Carl Schurz called the attention of the American nation to the
heavy sin, committed by the thoughtless or covetous destruc-
tion of the forests, of which many had disappeared entirely.
At first, people would laugh about the "German idealists,"
but soon they became aware, that these were right. The
reports Schurz had made to Congress on this subject were
remembered, and when at the same time Baron von Steuben,
a Prussian high-forester and a relative of Major-General von
Steuben, visited the United States and called attention to the
rapid decline of her forests, public interest on the question
was aroused. On suggestion of Bernhard E. Fernow, a prac-
tical forester, in 1 882 an American Forestry Congress was
called to meet in Cincinnati, resulting in the organization of
the American Forestry Association. Through the agitation
of this society the Department of Agriculture as well as numer-
ous states and universities were induced to establish schools
of forestry, which promise to become a real blessing to our
The custom of the Germans, to beautify their homesteads
with trees and flowers, led to horticulture, which is still a
specialty with the German Americans. Many of the most
beautiful parks and cemeteries of the United States were
planned by German landscape gardeners. Of these one of
the most successful was Adolf Strauch, a native of Silesia.
His training he received from the famous landscape gardener
of the Imperial parks at Schoenbrunn and Laxenburg, near
Vienna. While visiting America in 1854, he was induced to
design the plans for several private parks near Cincinnati.
His greatest work was the Spring Grove Cemetery of the same
city, an artistic combination of park and burial ground. A
complete artistic success when finished, Spring Grove Cemetery
served as a model for many other cemeteries, among them
Woodlawn, New York; Crown Hill, Indianapolis; and others
in Chicago, Nashville, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Hartford,
etc. In laying out the world-known Central Park of New York
in 1859, Germans performed by far the largest share.
In the manufacturing of food products the German
Americans have long been in the lead. The American Cereal-
or Quaker Oats Company in Akron, Ohio, was organized by
Ferdinand Schumacher, a Hanoveranian. The Havemeyers
in New York and the Spreckels in San Francisco made them-
selves the chief factors in the American sugar industry. The
former became the sugar-kings of the East and organized the
American Sugar Refining Company, better known as the Sugar
Trust, who commanded in 1900 a capital of more than
$150,000,000 and occupied in its twenty refineries and many
offices more than 20,000 people, while other 1 0,000 were kept
busy in the barrel-factories, in shipping and other work.
The Spreckels monopolized the whole sugar production west
of the Mississippi. When Claus Spreckels, the founder of the
Company, died in 1908, he left a fortune of more than 60
The H. J. Heinz Company in Pittsburg, founded by Heinrich
J. Heinz, a Pennsylvania German, is known throughout the
United States for their "5 7 varieties" of preserved fruits and
vegetables. Its plants cover an area of more than 1 60 city
lots; in addition branches are maintained in other states as
well as in Canada and Spain. The products of more than
30,000 acres flow into the different factories, which keep
4000 persons permanently busy, while at the time of gathering
in the crops about 40,000 people are employed. A rival firm
in the preserving and pickling business is that of the Lutz &
Schramm Company, also in Pittsburgh. Other well-known
pickling establishments are the J. O. Schimmel Preserving
Company of Jersey City, and the Bosnian & Lohman Company
at Norfolk, Va.
The most prominent firms in the production of bakers' and
confectioners' supplies are also of German origin. William
Ziegler, a Pennsylvania German, was the founder of the Royal
Baking Powder Company in Chicago. John Valentine Hecker,
member of the German firm Hecker Brothers, manufacturers
of the Heckers' self-raising flour, effected a consolidation of
the flour-mills of New York, called the Hecker-Jones-Jewell
Milling Company, of which Hecker became president.
Karl and Maximilian Fleischmann organized the Fleisch-
mann Company, which is the most prominent concern among
producers of yeast.
In the coffee trade Hermann Sielcken made the importing
firm of Crossman & Sielcken in New York one of the leading
In the production of beverages German Americans take the
lead, — especially in the brewing industry, which grew to
astonishing proportions through their energy. Beer had been
brewed in America by the Dutch and English during the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1810 the whole output
amounted to 182,000 barrels. This quantity increased to
740,000 barrels in 1850. The brewers, up to that time exclu-
sively Anglo-Americans, produced a heavy, very intoxicating
beer similar to the English ale. In the place of this the Ger-
mans introduced the lagerbeer, which contains much less
alcohol and for this reason is more suited to the American
climate. In time it displaced the ale almost entirely, incident-
ally it helped greatly to lessen the consumption of whiskey and
other liquors, in which the people of America were wont to
indulge heavily in former times. And so the claim, that the
introduction of the lagerbeer had beneficial effect upon the
population in behalf of temperance, is, to some extent, justified.
To what enormous proportions the brewing industry has
been developed by the Germans is seen from the fact that at
present the output of beer amounts to more than 66 million
barrels per year. According to the census for 1910 in that
year 54,5 79 workmen and 1 1,507 clerks were employed, who
received in wages $64,000,000. The value of the capital
invested in this industry amounted to $671,158,000, the
value of material used to $96,596,000 and the value of the
production to $374,730,000. The establishments of many of
the large breweries, such as, for instance, of the Anheuser-
Busch Brewing Association in St. Louis, the Pabst- and the
Schlitz Breweries in Milwaukee, the Ehret- and the Ruppert
Breweries in New York, and others rank among the industrial
wonders of America.
As tobacconists G. W. Gail and Christian Ax started in
Baltimore the firm Gail & Ax, which was combined with the
American Tobacco Company in 1 89 1 . The same city also is
the seat of the great tobacco firm of Marburg Brothers.
Among Americas great cattle-men Heinrich Miller, born
1828 in Wiirtemberg, and Carl Lux from Baden became the
most successful and the wealthiest. When they arrived in
1 850 in New York, both were poor fellows. But they worked
hard and had a keen sight for opportunities. In 1856 they
began in California with cattle-raising. Providing the markets
of San Francisco and other cities, they became not only the
largest land-owners but also the greatest stock-owners in the
Far West. In California they owned 800,000 acres, 80,000
heads of cattle and 100,000 of sheep. Also they controlled
extensive stretches of land and large herds in Oregon and
Nevada. Other great stockmen of German descent are James
C. Dahlman in Nebraska and S. A. Knapp in Iowa.
Among the meat packing houses the firm of Schwarzschild
& Sulzberger in New York ranks among the most important
in America. Founded in 1853 by Ferdinand Sulzberger from
Baden, it employs at present an army of 10,000 men, and
its transactions amount to more than 100,000,000 dollars
As tanners and manufacturers of leather German Americans
have been very resourceful and are contributing a material
share to the commerce of this country. One of the largest
tanneries is that of the firm Robert H. Foerderer in Frankford,
Pa. ; others are Pfister & Vogel, and Trostel & Zohrlant in
Milwaukee, the Charles A. Schieren Co., Oscar Scherer &
Bros., and Charles Hauselt in New York; Schoellkopf & Co.
in Buffalo; Schmidt & Co. in Detroit; the Ruepping Leather
Co. in Fond du Lac; C. Moench & Co. in Boston; the Wolff
Process Leather Co. and the Keystone Leather Co. in Phila-
delphia; Kaufherr & Co. and William Zahn in Newark.
Of German origin is also the American Felt Company.
Its large factories at Dolgeville, N. Y., were founded by Alfred
Dolge, born 1 848 in Chemnitz, Saxony. He came to America
in 1 869 and in the town, now bearing his name, began the
manufacture of felt, especially of the material used in piano
actions. In 1903 he organized in connection with H. E. Hun-
tington extensive felt factories in New Dolgeville, Cal.
That the Germans are entitled to the credit of having estab-
lished the iron- and steel industries in America, has been shown
in a former chapter. It may truly be said that they laid the
foundation to the greatest steel corporation now existing.
Andreas and Anton Klomann from Trier in Rhenish Prussia
started in the middle of the 1 9th century in Pittsburgh a factory
for the production of axles for railway cars. In forging these
axles, they used a treatment invented by Andreas Klomann,
which had so many advantages, that for their superior quality
these axles were preferred by all railroads. Among the regular
customers of the Klomanns was the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne
and Chicago Railway Company, the purveyor of which,
Thomas Miller, bought a share in the Klomann factories in
1859. When the Civil War brought large orders, and, at the
same time, an increase in the price for axles from two cents
per pound to twelve cents, larger factories became necessary.
At the same time the firm was made a corporation, known
as the Iron City Forge Company. While its business flourished,
the harmony among the partners, however, failed. First,
Anton Klomann was bought out in 1863; the same happened
to Andreas Klomann, when on May 2, 1 864, Andrew Carnegie
entered as a member of the company. With the phenomenal
growth of this enterprise came consolidations and several
changes in name, first to Union Iron Mills Company, then to
Carnegie Steel Company, and finally to United States Steel
With the history of this concern the names of two Penn-
sylvania Germans, Henry C. Frick and Charles M. Schwab
are closely connected. Frick organized, besides, in 1 882 the
Frick Coal and Coke Company, which is now the largest coke
producer in the world, operating about 40,000 acres of coal
and 12,000 coke ovens with a daily capacity of 25,000 tons
Schwab became president of the Carnegie Steel Company
in 1897. When the Carnegie interests were merged in the
larger United States Steel Corporation in 1901, he became its
first president, remaining until 1904, when he resigned, to
become president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Another German captain of American industries was
Heinrich Wehrum, the creator of the great Lackawanna Iron
and Steel Works at Buffalo and Seneca, N. Y. The name of
F. Augustus Heinze, born in Brooklyn, N. Y., is inseparably
connected with the history of the American copper industry.
He was to his death president of the United Copper Company,
which he had organized. Johann August Roebling, the famous
bridge-builder, was the father of the great cable wire spinneries
John A. Roeblings Sons Company at Trenton, N. J.
Conspicuous is the record of Germans who founded car
building factories of great magnitude. Johann Georg Brill,
born in Cassel, created the J. G. Brill Company, whose estab-
lishment in Philadelphia is unsurpassed in the production of
electric street cars and trucks. The sons of the founder acquired
many additional plants in Elizabeth, N. J. ; Springfield, Mass. ;
Cleveland, O. ; Danville, 111. ; and St. Louis.
J. H. Kobusch established an extensive concern in 1887 at
St. Louis known as the St. Louis Car Company, which manu-
factures street and railway cars. Webster Wagner, descending
from a Palatine family in Palatine Bridge, N. Y., organized the
Wagner Palace Car Company, whose excellent railway cars
are unequalled for comfort and beauty.
The largest vehicle factories of America, operated by the
Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Ind., and Detroit,
Mich, are the crowning result of untiring work by five Penn-
sylvania Germans, the Studebaker brothers, whose family name
originally was Stutenbacker. Their annual output amounts at
present to over 100,000 vehicles including more than 10,000
In the manufacture of machinery German genius, capacity
and efficiency have been so well exemplified that it becomes
difficult to single out a branch wherein some German has not
pointed the way. The Aultman & Miller Company in Canton
and Akron, Ohio, started by descendents of Pennsylvania
German families, was one of the foremost producers of agri-
cultural machinery and has lately become a part of the great
International Harvester Company.
Large firms in the manufacture of agricultural implements
were organized by Orendorff in Canton, 111., and by Weusthoff
& Getz in Dayton, Ohio.
Ferdinand Thun, a native of Barmen, Rhenish Prussia,
founded the Textile Machine Works in Reading, Pa., whose
output by its excellence has practically transplanted from
Europe to America a number of industries which give bread
to veritable armies of workmen.
Peter Pauly founded in 1856 the Pauly Jail Building Com-
pany in St. Louis, Mo., whose specialty is the construction and
furnishing of jails and other houses of correction. At the same
place Wilhelm and Friedrich Niedringhaus created the National
Enameling and Stamping Company, which converts tinplates
into products of endless variety. As producers of fine pottery
and art tiles the plant of Balthasar Kreischer in Kreischersville,
Staten Island, N. Y., is acknowledged to be the oldest and
most extensive in the United States.
As skillful cabinet makers the Germans have been renowned
for centuries. Their handicraft has reared in the United States
an industry of high order, giving employment to thousands
and thousands of busy hands. Among the many firms, devoted
to this industry, one of the most notable is the Dubuque
Cabinet Makers Association, the founder and president of
which is Richard Herrmann, born at Chemnitz, Saxony.
In close relation with cabinet making is the manufacture
of musical instruments. That Germans were the first who
made organs and pianos in America, has been pointed out in
a former chapter. That was during the 1 8th century. Since
then this industry has been principally in the hands of Ger-
mans. In 1833 Conrad Meyer constructed the first pianos with
full iron frames. This innovation, made with regard to the
peculiar climatic conditions of the Eastern United States,
proved such a success, that it found acceptance also in all
European countries. The 1 9th century saw the rise of a large
number of manufacturers of pianos. Wilhelm Lindemann
established in 1836 the firm Lindemann & Sons in New York.
In the ensuing year Wilhelm Knabe started manufacturing in
Baltimore with an ever growing plant, which in our days
became the nucleus of the American Piano Company. In 1852
Albert Weber founded the Weber Piano Company; in 1853
Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, assisted by his sons Karl, Hein-
rich, Wilhelm, Theodor and Albert established the firm of
Steinway & Sons, which at present produces not less than
7000 pianos annually, and for the quality of its instruments
gained the highest distinctions at the World's expositions held
in America as well as in Europe.
Kranich & Bach, Sohmer & Co., Decker & Son, Steck &
Co., Strich & Zeidler in New York and many more in other
cities may well inscribe their German names as a mark of merit
upon their splendid instruments.
The pioneer in making violins in America was Georg
Gemiinder, born 1816 at Ingelfingen, Wurtemberg. The
instruments made by him and his sons in Astoria, L. I., rival in
their wonderful quality of tone the best found anywhere.
What can be accomplished by energy, perseverance and
technical skill is illustrated by the great success of German
Americans in the various branches of the textile industry, par-
ticularly in the Eastern parts of the United States. Thus guided
are the Botany Worsted Mills, the Gera Mills and the Garfield
Mills in Passaic, N. J., establishments engaged in making
worsted goods. Likewise the Fern Rock Mills at Philadelphia.
Wilhelm Horstmann, born 1 785 at Cassel, was the pioneer in
American silk passamenterie. The concern in Philadelphia,
which still bears his name, grew in time to be one of the largest
in this country.
Friedrich Baare established the silk spinneries in Schoharie,
N. Y., and Paterson, N. J.; H. Schniewind those in Sunbury,
Pa.; Robert Schwarzenbach those in Altoona, Pa., and the
brothers Robert and Hermann Simon those in Union Hill,
N. J., and Easton, Pa. Ludwig Sutro is the founder of the
Sutro Bros. Braid Company in New York. Ferdinand Thun
and Henry Janssen established the Berkshire Knitting Mills
and the Narrow Fabric Company at Reading, Pa. At the
same place are located also the great glove- and hosiery fac-
tories of Nolde & Horst and E. Richard Meinig.
With the great forward strides of chemistry in Germany
the sons of the Fatherland in America are striving to keep
pace. There is almost an endless list of firms engaged in the
production of pharmaceutical preparations, of artificial fertil-
izer or of colors for ceramics and the dyer's trade. Among
such firms those of Roessler & Hasslacher, H. A. Metz & Co.,
Heller & Merz, Maas & Waldstein, Eimer & Amend in New
York, Louis & Karl Dohme in Baltimore, Weightman & Rosen-
garten in Philadelphia, Herf & Frerichs and the Mallinckrodt
Chemical Works in St. Louis are regarded as the most
The manufacturing of lead pencils was begun in 1 849 by
Eberhard Faber, a member of the well-known Faber family
in Niirnberg. The present factories of the firm are located
in Greenpoint, L. I., and employ about 1000 men. A rival
concern is the Eagle Pencil Company, organized in 1865 by
Foremost place in the production of scientific and optical
apparatus is held by the firm Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. in
Rochester, N. Y. The establishment was founded in 1853 by
Johann Jakob Bausch, born July 25, 1830, in Wiirtemberg,
and Heinrich Lomb, born November 24, 1828, in Hessen
Cassel. To-day it ranks among the best in America and is
unsurpassed for the quality of its products.
As engravers in wood and copper many Germans have won
distinction. While in the now abandoned art of wood engrav-
ing Gustav Krull, Friedrich Jungling, Henry Wolf, Ernst
Schladitz, William Miiller and others were perfect masters,
Louis Prang in Boston was the pioneer and successful devel-
oper of lithography in America. The most admirable of his
reproductions were a set of views from the Yellowstone
National Park, after water color paintings by Thomas Moran;
a series of battle-scenes of the Civil War after paintings of
famous masters; and reproductions of the most select Chinese
ceramics in the William Th. Walters Collection at Baltimore.
The well-known American Lithographic Company, the
prominent lithographing firms of J. Ottmann and Julius Bien
in New York, the Gugler Company in Milwaukee, the Hoen
Company in Baltimore, the Goes Company in Chicago and
many others were established by men of German origin.
The same is true of the F. A. Ringler Company, in New
York, which is one of the largest institutions for designing,
photo-engraving and electrotyping. The founder, F. A. Ring-
ler, was born 1852 at Friedwald, Hesse-Cassel.
Of the men, who became widely known for their organizing
talents and as leaders of American industries, several are of
German origin. Friedrich Weyerhauser, born 1834 in Nieder-
Saulheim in Hessen, rose from the owner of a small saw-mill
to be a ruler in the American lumber business. Having control
over the Weyerhauser Syndicate, he was commonly known as
the "Lumber-king" and it was said of him that his fortune
even surpassed that of John D. Rockefeller. This monarch of
the Standard Oil Company also acknowledged German origin.
His American ancestor, Johann Peter Rockefeller (Roggen-
f elder) came in 1 735 from Bonefeld in Rhenish Prussia and
is buried at Larrison Corners, N. J. John Wannamaker,
descending from a Pennsylvania German family Wannen-
macher, is known as the originator of the modern department
store. Having opened in 1861 a small store in Philadelphia,
he managed by the reliability of his goods to secure public
attention to his store in such a degree, that he soon could open
in Philadelphia as well as in New York establishments on the
grandest scale, the transactions amounting to millions in every
month. The so-called department stores became the models
for countless similar institutions in almost every American and
To the list of such leaders of industry the names of many
other men might be added, who at the helm of great corpora-
tions and enterprises have built for themselves enviable reputa-
tions by upholding German traditions of business probity. In
conclusion it should be stated, that this chapter intends to
convey only some idea of the enormous activity of men of
German birth or lineage in the agricultural, industrial and
commercial life of the United States. To do justice to all
entitled to have their achievements recorded in this connection,
would be an undertaking far beyond the possibilities of this
The North American Turner Bund
and Its Influence on the Physical
Development of the
When in the years 1810 and 1811 the nations of Europe
longed to throw off the heavy yoke of Napoleon I., Germany
possessed among her patriots a man, who recognized the
necessity of preparing the people systematically for the great
coming struggle. This man was Dr. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn,
a native of the province Brandenburg, Prussia. To make the
German youth capable of bearing arms and to harden them
for the imminent war of liberation, he resolved to introduce
gymnastic exercises among his students and to infuse them at
the same time with a patriotic love for freedom. In the spring
of 1811, Jahn opened in the Hasenheide near Berlin the first
public "Turnplatz," where 500 young students responded to
his call and indulged in gymnastic exercises under his direc-
tion. In spite of the freedom he accorded his scholars, Jahn
was, however, a stern disciplinarian in many other respects,
and compelled them to maintain good order and to observe
Aided by men of like sympathies Jahn founded in the same
year the "Deutsche Bund," an organization, the members of
which were drawn from students of all German universities.
In this way the great movement spread over all Germany.
Everywhere the young men banded together for patriotic
motives and formed gymnastic societies.
In what enthusiastic manner these Turners responded to
the call to arms in 1813, and how great their part was in
the liberation of Germany, are facts well known to every
student of history.
Three disciples of Jahn, namely Carl Beck, Carl Follen,
and Franz Lieber, introduced Jahn's system of physical train-
ing to the United States and incorporated it in the liberal
education of the colleges and universities. Supported by
John G. Coffin, John C. Warren, George Bancroft, Daniel
Webster and J. G. Cogswell, the Germans established in 1826
at Harvard University, in Boston and Northampton, Mass.,
the first gymnasiums in America based on Jahn's models.
Beck also translated Jahn's book "Deutsche Turnkunst" into
English and published it in Northampton. Also through public
lectures the three pioneers of gymnastics made it clear, that
for a republic the advantages of such exercises consist in that
they unite the different elements of the people in common
activity and bring classes into close contact, which by their
different education and mode of life would otherwise remain
apart. Furthermore, they stated that the American climate
with its sudden changes, the easiness of travel without physical
strain, the free institutions and the dependency of the country
on the great masses of the people in case of war demand
gymnasiums. "For a time," so Dr. Warren of Harvard stated,
"the introduction of gymnastic exercises throughout the country
promised to be the beginning of a new epoch of education.
As long as they charmed by their novelty these exercises were
pursued with zest, but since their value and importance was
not generally understood, they were gradually neglected, and
finally forgotten. However, tho results which these institutions
accomplished excelled in my opinion, the most extravagant
The movement came to new life again when the great tide
of the Men of 1848 flowed into this country; these hundreds
of thousands of enthusiastic young men, who bore in their
breasts the famous motto of the German Turners: "Frisch!
Fromm! Frohlich! Frei!" and were convinced, that a sound
body is the necessary preliminary condition for a sound mind.
Eager to conserve their own elasticity and to bequeath to
their children the physical and ethical education they had
received in the fatherland, these men organized everywhere
gymnastic societies, the "Turn-Vereine." The first, established
in November 1 848, was the Cincinnati Turngemeinde, which
still exists. The New York Turngemeinde was organized in
the same year and was followed soon by numerous others,
which in 1850 centralized in the "North American Turner-
bund" or "The Gymnastic Union." Its societies endeavor
to extend the practice of physical training to all without dis-
crimination as to age or sex. The boy, the man, the girl, the
woman, even the father and mother, are not merely tolerated,
but are urged to participate in the gymnastic exercises of the
society. According to the statistics, compiled January 1, 1915,
the Union is composed of 2 1 8 societies and a membership
of 37,941. The enrollment in the various gymnasium classes
was as follows: 4989 Seniors; 3090 Juniors; 2502 Business
Men; 7198 Women; 9264 Boys; 7958 girls. The singing
and dramatic sections had 2286 members and the women's
section 6770. In all the Union had 54,999 members over 14
years, and 17,322 members under 14 years.
Many of the societies also maintain elementary schools,
freehand and mechanical drawing schools, schools for the
study of German, and girls' industrial schools. From time to
time they also arrange free lectures and sessions, in which
topics of common interest are discussed. By holding occa-
sionally gymnastic festivals, the attention of the public is kept
alive. Every four years the Union arranges national festivals
with competitive gymnastics between the societies. At such
festivals often more than 3000 active turners participated.
They always aroused such interest, that the practice of the
German system of physical training was gradually taken up
by all large cities in the land.
But the Union was not satisfied with these results.
When in 1 880 the Turnerbund held a convention at Indian-
apolis, the suggestion was made to introduce physical training
into the public schools. "We could not conceive of a more
beautiful gift," said the first speaker of the executive commit-
tee, "than this to bestow upon the American people. It seems
to me that this should be a worthy enterprise, for whosoever
has conquered the youth has gained the future." After this
proposition had been accepted, every favorable opportunity
presenting itself was used to petition boards of education to
introduce gymnastics. Always ready to co-operate with school
boards, the turner societies often gave their teachers gratu-
itously for years, in order to let results convince skeptical
school boards of the value of school gymnastics.
From the annual report of the Turnerbund for the year 1914
it appears, that gymnastics were introduced into the schools
of 76 cities either by the direct efforts of the Turner societies
of these cities or through the efforts of the district organiz-
ations. Many colleges and universities, also the Military
Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis
joined the movement, engaging mostly teachers which had
received their physical training at the training school, the
Union maintains since a number of years in Indianapolis.
In nearly all of these institutions the participation in the exer-
cises is obligatory.
As the activity of the North American Gymnastic Union
extends now over a period of more than 66 years, it is clear
that many millions of American children, men and women
have profited greatly by these exercises. As they improved
in body as well as in spirit, the whole nation gained immensely.
That the German turners belong to the most loyal citizens
of the Union, they demonstrated, as has been told in another
chapter, by their participation in the Civil War, during which
they fought with heroic enthusiasm for the preservation of
From all these facts it appears, that the German Turners
have contributed their share toward the cultural development
of the American nation.
The Influence of German Learning and
Methods on Education in the
Germany is proverbially known as the land of great think-
ers, philosophers and scholars. Through many centuries her
brightest intellects have been at work perfecting her educa-
tional institutions. From an experience covering a period of
over a thousand years of indefatigable research and discrim-
inative investigation, have been evolved superior methods of
instruction which cannot but present the highest standards of
thoroughness and efficiency.
This ardent love for science, characteristic of the German
nation, distinguished also many of those Germans, who in
Colonial times made America their home. Numerous teachers
were amongst them, as for instance Johann Thomas Schley,
the ancestor of the family of which Admiral Schley was a dis-
tinguished member. Another of such teachers was Christoph
Dock, who for his excellent methods of teaching has been
called "the American Pestalozzi" and whose work on peda-
gogics, written in 1 754, was the first published on this subject
The value of these methods was appreciated by no one
more than Benjamin Franklin, in whose printing office many
of the schoolbooks used by the Germans were printed.
Having become acquainted on a trip through Germany with
the splendid institutions of the university at Goettingen, he
gave the impulse to a transformation of the Public Academy
of Philadelphia into a seat of learning along corresponding
lines, creating an institution, out of which developed the
present University of Pennsylvania. At his request this
university opened a department for German language and
literature. Franklin also donated $1000 to the Franklin High
School, which was established by the Germans in Lancaster,
Pa., and exists still to-day.
Among many other schools, maintained by the Germans,
a seminary for female teachers existed in Bethlehem, Pa. How
far ahead on the subject of women's education were the views
of these Germans over those of the Puritans in New England,
may be judged from the fact, that, when a proposition was
made in 1 793 to establish a similar seminary in Plymouth,
Mass., this project was defeated as undesirable on the ground
"that in such a school women might become more learned
than their future husbands!"
A more liberal spirit took place in the New England States,
when during the first half of the 1 9th century many Americans
of high standing went to Germany, to complete their studies.
Among these men were Emerson, Longfellow, Bancroft,
Everett, Curtis, Ticknor, and the noted pedagogues Griscom
of New York, Bache from Philadelphia, and Stowe from Ohio,
who travelled to Europe to study the methods of teaching.
To these visitors referred Professor Charles W. Eliot, Presi-
dent Emeritus of Harvard University, when he, at a banquet
given on May 9, 1913, by the German Publication Society,
responded to the toast "The Debt of America to Germany."
He said :
"The educational obligations of America to Germany are
indeed wide and deep. They relate to literature, science,
art, education, and religion. The German gifts were first
communicated through a few young pioneers from America,
who, after having received a partial education here, went over
to Germany to study more deeply and intensively. The
universities to which these American students resorted in the
early part of the 19th century were in part recent creations,
and in part reconstructions on old foundations; but how rich
they were, how free, and how strong! — The American
pioneers brought back various knowledges, various skills, and
many pregnant doctrines. The variety of knowledge and
skill which could be procured at the German universities at
that early day was something astounding to these American
youths, something indescribably rich and various. With their
own personal experiences and gains they brought back also
to America the structure of the modern German university,
then young in Germany and in America not yet conceived of.
They had, moreover, absorbed that noble German policy of
academic freedom, freedom for the student and the teacher
alike. This academic freedom meant emancipation from
tradition and prejudice, and from authority, whether govern-
mental or ecclesiastical. They saw, also, how two great
doctrines which had sprung from the German Protestant
Reformation had been developed by Germans from seed then
planted in Germany. The first was the doctrine of universal
education, developed from the Protestant conception of indi-
vidual responsibility; and the second was the great doctrine
of civil liberty, liberty in industries, in society, in government,
liberty with order under law. These two principles took their
rise in Protestant Germany; and America has been the great-
est beneficiary of that noble teaching.
The pioneers from New England in the first half of the 19th
century have been followed by a stream of American youth,
going over to enlarge their experiences, to make new observa-
tions, to put in practice the inductive method of arriving at
the truth, and to learn to think profoundly and accurately in
the German universities. That stream has flowed backward
all over this country, fertilizing it with German thought and
German methods. These thousands of American students
have absorbed in Germany that splendid spirit of scientific
research now developed in all fields of knowledge on the same
method and in the same spirit. Scientific research has been
learned through practice in Germany by thousands of American
students and teachers. It is impossible to describe or even
imagine what an immense intellectual gift this has been from
Germany to America. For this perfected spirit and method
of research America is more indebted to Germany than to
any other nation, because the range of German research has
been wider and deeper than has been seen in any other nation.
There is another bond of union between Germany and
America. The Teutonic peoples set a higher value on truth
in speech, thought and action than any other peoples. They
all love truth; they seek it; they woo it. They respect the
man who speaks and acts the truth even to his own injury.
The English Bacon said of truth: "It is the sovereign good
of human nature." That is what all the Teutonic peoples
believe. They want to found their action on facts, not fancy;
on truth, the demonstrated truth, not on imagination. I say
that here is a fine bond of union, a real likeness of spirit, a
community in devotion and worship among the Teutonic
peoples. Let us hope that at no distant day this common
worship, this common devotion, will result in common benefi-
cent action." —
Of Germans, appointed as teachers at American colleges
and universities, Karl Beck, Karl Follen and Franz Lieber,
spoken of in former chapters, were the first. As among their
pupils we read the names of A. P. Peabody, Longfellow,
Emerson, and Margaret Fuller. When Follen in 1825 opened
the first class at Harvard for German language and literature,
there were no German books procurable, and so Follen was
obliged to compile text books of his own. Peabody in his
"Reminiscences" says about it: "The German Reader for
Beginners, compiled by our teacher, was furnished to the
class in single sheets as it was needed, and was printed in
Roman type, there being no German type within easy reach.
There could not have been a happier introduction to German
literature than this little volume. It contained choice extracts
in prose, and poems from Schiller, Goethe, Herder, and
several other poets of kindred if inferior fame. But in the
entire volume Dr. Follen rejoiced especially in several battle-
pieces from Korner, the soldier and martyr of liberty. I never
have heard recitations which have impressed me so strongly
as the reading of those pieces by Dr. Follen, who would put
into them all the heart and soul that had made him too much
a lover of his country to be suffered to dwell in it. He
appended to the other poems, anonymously, a death-song
in memory of Korner, which we all knew to be his own, and
which we read so often and so feelingly, that it sank indelibly
into permanent memory; and I find that after an interval of
sixty years it is as fresh in my recollection as the hymns that
I learned in my childhood." —
It was only a few years later, that a number of eminent
American schoolmen, among them Horace Mann from Massa-
chusetts, went to Europe for the special purpose of studying
the methods of education in the different countries. Their
reports, together with the work on Prussian schools, by the
French professor Victor Cousin proved to be of enormous
influence in matters of education and led in 1 837 to the estab-
lishment of the University of Michigan, planned and patterned
entirely after German ideas.
To a like extent at the foundation of Johns Hopkins Uni-
versity in Baltimore the principles of German universities were
adopted, among them freedom from all denominational influ-
ences; high standards and high ideals; encouragement in every
manner of the spirit of research in creation of a school for
post-graduate studies, etc. Of the earlier members of the
faculty nearly all had received their degrees at German uni-
The example, set by Johns Hopkins University, was fol-
lowed by the University of Chicago, Leland Stanford Univer-
sity in San Francisco, Harvard University in Cambridge, Yale
University in New Haven, Columbia University in New York,
and by many others since.
To make her system of education accessible to the study
of all American pedagogues, Germany presented it at the
world's expositions at Chicago and St. Louis in the most com-
prehensive manner, hoping to perform herewith an act of true
friendship toward a young nation, to which it had contributed
so many of her own children. —
By calling prominent German professors to occupy chairs
at American universities, German influence on education
has been greatly heightened. At Harvard University on insti-
gation of Kuno Francke, professor of German language and
literature, a Germanic Museum has been established, which
aims by means of excellent casts, engravings, drawings, and
photographs to acquaint the American student with the best
specimens of German art and craft. Another excellent innova-
tion was suggested by the same scholar in 1902. He proposed
a regular system of mutual exchange of professors between
German and American universities in every branch of science,
in order to effect by the interchange of thought, ideas and
opinions, resulting from such direct intercourse, a more intimate
fusion of the learning of the German and the American people,
as well as a more fraternal feeling between them. He expected
that this would be brought about by the greater number of
students who would be thus afforded an opportunity of com-
ing into close contact with the most eminent scholars of both
This plan, greatly encouraged by Emperor William II. as
well as by President Roosevelt, was taken up first in America
by Harvard, later on by Columbia and other universities.
Carried on from 1904 to 1914, it was crowned with excellent
results, for in America as well as in Germany thousands of
students, teachers, professors, journalists, statesmen, merchants
and industrial workers, all desirous of learning, listened to
these emissaries of a friendly nation. Among the notable
German scientists, who thus came to America, were the pro-
fessors Kiihnemann, Ostwald, Penck, Clements, Lamprecht,
Dahnel, Schumacher and others; among the American profes-
sors, who visited Germany, were Burgess, Peabody, Richards,
Smith, Adler and others. That this friendly intercourse
between the two great nations has been interrupted, is one
of the many unfortunate results of the European war.
The influence of German methods of education extended
also to the lowest grades in schooling, to the kindergarten.
This institution, founded by Friedrich Frobel, was first brought
over to America by the followers of Friedrich Rapp, the
sectarian who founded the communistic society New Harmony
in Indiana. The kindergarten of this community was started
in 1826. The next ones were attempted by Caroline Franken-
berg in Columbus, Ohio, and by the wife of Carl Schurz in
Watertown, Wisconsin. Others rapidly followed, when Miss
Elizabeth Peabody, having studied Frobel's institutions in
Germany, organized the "American Frobel Union" in 1867.
Of great influence on American education were also many
private schools, established by able German schoolmen in
America. The best known was founded in 1851 by Peter
Engelmann, a refugee of the revolutionary period of 1 848,
in Milwaukee. This institution, still existing under the name
"Deutsch Englische Acadernie, ,, received in 1878 a higher
mission by its close connection with the German American
Teachers' Seminary, an institution which is supported by vol-
untary contributions and gives its pupils a thorough education
free of cost. Sending out every year large numbers of excellent
teachers, this seminary has become a great factor in education.
Hand in hand with all these institutions go several German-
istic societies, which strive to spread the knowledge of German
culture in America by arranging lecture tours for prominent
scientists, and by the publication of the works of the best
writers. Among the eminent Germans, who followed the
invitations of such societies, have been Carl Hauptmann,
Ludwig Fulda, Rudolf Herzog, Ernst von Wolzogen, the
scientists Sombart, Delitzsch, Paszkowski, Bezgld, Hotzsch,
Lehmann and many others.
It is of course impossible to ascertain in a statistical or any
other way the magnitude and importance of the influence of
German methods of teaching on American institutions. But
certainly the remarks made by Andrew D. White, President
Emeritus of Cornell University, are true: "We may well recog-
nize in Germany another mother country, one with which our
own land should remain in warmest alliance. For, from the
universities and institutions for advanced learning in Germany,
far more than from those of any other land, have come and
are coming the influences which have shaped and are shaping
advanced education in the United States."
If it were necessary to demonstrate the internationality of
science, there is no better evidence than the surprisingly large
number of learned Germans who participated in the founding
and development of science in America. Indeed, a catalogue
of their names and an enumeration of their works would
hardly find room in this volume.
Following the German pioneers of science, already men-
tioned in former chapters, as for instance Lederer, Pastorius,
Herrman and Rittenhausen, there appeared in later times a
legion of others, many of them the authors of excellent works
and regarded here as high authorities in their special lines.
We enumerate Gotthilf Heinrich Muhlenberg (1753-1815)
as the first to publish a series of books on the flora of Penn-
sylvania. One of the "Latin farmers," Georg Engelmann,
was the first to describe the unknown vegetation of the Far
West. Not less than 1 1 2 valuable monographs are the product
of his pen and the results of his extensive and often dangerous
trips through the swamps, prairies and forests of Louisiana,
Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and other states. American scien-
tists acknowledged his labor and perpetuated his memory by
naming one of the most beautiful pines of the Rocky Mountains
The same honor was extended to Ferdinand Jakob Lind-
heimer in appreciation of his splendid investigations of the
flora of Texas. As botanists distinguished themselves also
Adolf Wislizenus, David von Schweinitz, Johann N. Neumann,
Wangenheim, Fendler, Rbmer, Creutzfeld, Bolander, Hoff-
mannsegg, Rothrock, Hartweg, Kuhn, Metzger and many
The first scientist, who investigated the fishes of American
waters, was David Schopf, a physician, who during the war
for independence came to this country with the Hessian
soldiers. After the war he remained here to study the fishes
of New York Bay, of which he furnished splendid descriptions.
The first entomologist was Friedrich Valentine Melsheimer
(1749-1814). He published the first work about the insects
of the Eastern United States. His brother Ernst Melsheimer
is the author of a voluminous work on the bugs of North
America. Samuel Haldeman was author of several works
about the sweet-water mollusk of our continent.
Gerhard Troost, a pupil of the famous mining academy at
Freiberg, Saxony, was the first who lectured in America on
geology. From 1 8 1 to 1827 he was professor of mineralogy
in the Philadelphia Museum, and was also the founder and
first president of the "Academy of Natural Science." In 182 7
he went to Nashville, where he was appointed professor of
chemistry, geology, and mineralogy, a chair which he held
until 1 850, the year of his death. He was also State geologist
of Tennessee. One of his colleagues, Karl Rominger, was
State geologist of Michigan. The reports of his explorations,
carried on for many years, were published in four volumes in
1873 to 1881.
The famous naturalist Johann Ludwig Rudolf Agassiz must
be regarded as a German scientist, as he received his training
at the universities of Zurich, Heidelberg and Munich. At the
latter place he took his degree as doctor and became assistant
of the famous naturalists Oken, Schelling, Dollinger, Spix
and Martius. When the two last named scientists returned
from their celebrated Brazilian tour, Agassiz was selected to
describe the fishes, brought home from this expedition. By
this work his name became so favorably known, that the king
of Prussia in 1 846 sent Agassiz to America, to investigate the
natural history of the United States.
The lectures he delivered here made such deep impression,
that the Harvard University offered him a professorship under
so tempting conditions, that Agassiz accepted them and
remained in America for the rest of his life. His many expedi-
tions through North America, to the Gulf of Mexico and the
Amazonas River form one of the most brilliant chapters in
the history of American science. At Harvard the splendid
Museum of Natural History, founded by him is a lasting monu-
ment to this brilliant scientist. To Agassiz principally is the
credit due of having animated immensely the interest of the
American public in natural history. His power of description
in lecturing as well as in writing was so inspiring, that he was
able to collect great sums for his expeditions and his museum.
German naturalists participated also in many of the explor-
ing expeditions sent out by the U. S. Government. Emil
Bessels was in 1871 a member of the famous "Polaris Expedi-
tion" under Captain Francis Hall. After the leader's sudden
death Bessels took charge of the expedition, which, after a
terrific trip of 196 days on a huge block of ice, was saved by
the steamer "Tigress." Bessel's work about the "Polaris Expe-
dition" appeared in three volumes.
To these able naturalists in recent times the names of many
others could be added, as for instance of the paleontologist
Timotbaus Conrad, the biologist George Eugen Beyer, the
ornithologist Heinrich Nehrling, who wrote a splendid volume
about the birds of North America. Furthermore, there are
the entomologists Georg H. Horn, Hermann von Bahr, William
Beutenmuller, the geologist Eugen W. Hilgard, George Fer-
dinand Becker, Karl Schuckert and Rudolf Rudemann, the
latter State geologist of New York.
Of German descent is also George Frederick Kunz, gem
expert and author of the books "Gems and Precious Stones of
North America," ''Investigations and Studies in Jade," and
the "Book of the Pearl," all of which were published in the
most luxurious form.
In the wide field of archaeology and ethnology a number
of German American scientists have achieved most remark-
able results. Philipp Valentini, Karl Hermann Berendt, Gustav
Briihl and Karl Rau wrote splendid monographs and works.
Adolf Franz Bandelier, born in Bern, Switzerland, spent a
life-time in exploring New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, Central-
and South- America in the interest of the "Archaeological Insti-
tute of America" and the "American Museum of Natural
History." Franz Boas, born in Westphalia, made extensive
investigations among the Esquimaux of Baffin Land. He was
also the originator and director of the so-called "Jesup Expedi-
tions," sent out by the American Museum of Natural History.
These expeditions, financially supported by Morris Jesup,
began in Spring 1897 and lasted for about ten years, embrac-
ing the whole territory of the Northwest coast of North
America, Alaska and a great part of Siberia, including the
Amur. Their main purpose was the ascertaining of the
connections between the aborigines of Northeastern Asia and
Northwestern America. The exceedingly valuable results of
these expeditions are laid down in numerous monographs,
published in twelve volumes by the American Museum of
Natural History, which also owns the rich collections, brought
together by the several expeditions.
Of Boas' pupils the German American Alfred L. Kroeber
became known very favorably by his works on the Indians
of California. William S. Hoffmann, a Pennsylvania German,
made himself known as author of highly interesting mono-
graphs about the Menomonee Indians and the Esquimaux.
Important works about different Indian languages have been
written by the Moravian missionaries David Zeisberger and
Johann Heckewelder, and by Albert S. Gatschet.
As scientific director of several expeditions, sent by the
University of Pennsylvania to Asia Minor and Babylonia,
Hermann Volrath Hilprecht has become widely known. The
results of these researches have been published in several valu-
able works, of which the book "Explorations in Bible Lands
during the 19th Century" has found wide circulation.
Of the excellent works of Franz Lieber mention has been
made in another chapter.
A man of equal eminence was Hermann Eduard von Hoist,
professor of American history in the University of Chicago.
His principal work is "The Constitutional and Political History
of the United States," which appeared first in the German
language under the title "Verfassung und Demokratie der
Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika."
Splendid works on politics, science and political economy
have been produced also by Karl Gustav Rumelin, Friedrich
List, Johann Tellkampf , E. R. Seligman, Frank William Taussig
and Paul S. Reinsch. Of the German philologists Alexander
J. Schem produced in 1869-1874 a German-American Con-
versations Lexikon of eleven volumes.
Many are the works of German scholars of more recent
times. Especially noteworthy among these men are Karl G.
von Jagemann, Hermann Collitz, Julius Goebel, Georg Hench,
H. G. Brandt, Camillo von Klenze, Hermann Schoenfeld,
A. R. Hohlfeld, Ernst Voss, Karl Jessen, Richard C. Schiedt,
Friedrich Hirth, Paul Haupt, Hermann Knapp and John M.
Schaeberle. Albert A. Michelson, professor of physics at the
University of Chicago, well known for brilliant research work
in light, won the rare distinction of being awarded the famous
Noble Prize of $40,000.
Kuno Francke, since 1 884 professor of German literature
in Harvard, and since 1903 curator of the Germanic Museum,
is author of a number of widely read works, among them
"A History of German Literature," "German Ideals of To-
day," "Glimpses of Modern German Culture," etc. To the
fertile pen of Hugo Miinsterberg, professor of psychology in
Harvard, we owe "Psychology and Social Science," "Eternal
Values," and several other valuable works.
Of the works of Felix Adler, the founder of the "New York
Society for Ethical Culture," the volumes "Creed and Deed,"
"Life and Destiny," "Marriage and Divorce" deserve mention
as of lasting merit.
German scientists have by example and exhortation intro-
duced into the scientific research work of America persever-
ance, seriousness and thoroughness, qualities which for true
science mean infinitely much. "German thoroughness," so
said Professor Ira Remsen, President of Johns Hopkins Uni-
versity, "is an expression often used. To the scholar it means
everything. Whatever other virtues science may have, they
count little without thoroughness. If I were asked, what
America owes to Germany most, I would answer without
hesitation: the virtue of thoroughness."
Engineers of Distinction.
The United States are admittedly a country of great
engineers. This fact is not surprising, as the topographical
conditions of no other country offer to engineers so many and
extraordinary opportunities to display their abilities and genius.
The country abounds in broad rivers and deep canons; vast
prairies and deserts are to be transversed; steep mountain
ranges must be overcome. To conquer all these obstacles,
where they interfere with commerce and communication, are
fascinating problems that call for the exercise of highest mental
powers, for rare ability and genius.
Among the masterminds who grew with the solution of
such problems, we find so many Germans and German Amer-
icans, that it is indeed not said too much, that the history of
engineering in the United States is almost identical with the
history of the German-American engineers.
When in 1813 Ludwig Wernweg built a wooden bridge
across the Delaware River at Trenton ; when Albert von Stein
constructed the waterworks of Cincinnati, Richmond, Lynch-
burg, New Orleans, Nashville and Mobile; when he also made
the Appomatox Canal in Virginia; when the Swabian Gindele
dug a canal connecting Michigan Lake with the Mississippi,
and also the great tunnel, through which Chicago is provided
with fresh water from the Michigan Lake, all these works were
admired as such, doing great honor to the skill of their makers.
But far greater works were still to come. Hermann Haupt,
born 1817 in Philadelphia, a graduate of West Point, con-
structed in 1856-1861 the famous Hoosac-tunnel in Massachu-
setts, having a length of 4^4 miles and costing 1 6 million
dollars. He, too, demonstrated the possibility of carrying coal
oil long distances by pipes, effecting thereby to the refineries
a saving of enormous sums.
Gifted with equal genius was Adolf Sutro, born 1830 in
Rhenish Prussia. Having received his training in a German
polytechnic school, Sutro came to New York in 1850. Ten
years later he transferred his activity to Nevada. Here the
Comstock silver mines, discovered in 1859, yielded enormous
profits, but the work could be carried on only under enormous
difficulties, as the shafts had been sunk to a depth of 2000
feet. In these great depths the miners suffered not only by
almost unbearable heat and poisonous gases, but also from
large quantities of water, collecting in the shafts. Several
of the mines had been flooded and were abandoned.
While visiting the Comstock mines, Sutro conceived the idea
of connecting the widely separated mines by a wide tunnel,
which was to serve not only as a ventilator and a drain, but
would also be an important factor in cheapening the cost of
hauling ore. It took many years, before Sutro succeeded in
convincing the mine operators of the feasibility of his plan.
And when their timidity and objections had been overcome,
he was compelled to defend his project against envious rivals,
who were eager to snatch the fruits of his labors from him.
After innumerable troubles and disappointments Sutro at last
came into position to begin on October 19, 1869, with the
gigantic undertaking. 1 800 feet below the surface of the
earth he constructed a tunnel, 1 feet high, 1 2 feet wide and
20,489 feet long. In connection with this main tunnel were
several lateral ones, leading to the various mines. The total
length of all the tunnels was 33,315 feet, or about 6J miles.
The difficulties to be overcome were extraordinary, as with
the progress of the work the temperature at the face of
the rock increased from 72° to 114° Fahrenheit. Two or
three hours of work were all the strongest and most experi-
enced miners could endure. The mules often refused to enter
the tunnel, and they were dragged by main strength from the
air-escapes. Endurance was being strained to its utmost cap-
acity. Man after man dropped down on the rocky floor and
was carried to the surface, babbling and incoherent, to slowly
recover from the poisonous air.
To the terrific heat came the constant battle with streams
of hot water, the temperature of which was never below 1 00°,
and which often entered the tunnel at 130° and even 160°
Fahrenheit. To get rid of it, a thousand workmen began to
cut a drain channel five feet wide down the middle of the
tunnel floor. The amount of flow in 1 880 was not less than
1,300,000,000 gallons, and as other mines began to use the
tunnel, the total annual drainage rose at times to nearly two
In October 1878 the tunnels were completed and ventilated
by several vertical airshafts. Furthermore they were provided
with a net of railways and stations, where by immense
machines the ore was lifted to the surface. The whole cost
amounted to about 6J million dollars. The tunnel proved to
be all that its projector had anticipated, and though in later
years it fell in disuse, it was looked upon as one of the greatest
triumphs of engineering.
Other mining engineers of note were Frederick Anton Eilers;
Max Boehmer; Albert Arents, inventor of the lead-mine
machinery; C. W. Kirchhoff ; F. Augustus Heinze, founder of
the Amalgamated Copper Company, C. de Kalb, Herman
Gmelin, and others, who as consulting engineers or presidents
of mining corporations rank high in their profession and are
known throughout the Union.
Herman Schiisseie constructed the great waterwork of San
Francisco. His monograph on "The water supply of San
Francisco before, during and after the earthquake of April 1 8,
1906," is a valuable contribution to technical literature.
The greatest achievements in engineering, however, have
been accomplished in America by German bridge-builders.
The names of Albert Fink, Adolf Bonzano, Heinrich Flad,
Johann August Roebling, Washington Roebling, Konrad
Schneider, Gustav Lindenthal, Eduard Hemberle and Paul
Wolfel are inseparably connected with the history of engineer-
ing in America. Several of these men were rufugees of 1 848,
as for instance Albert Fink. Born 1827 at Lauterbach, he
had been trained at the polytechnic school of Darmstadt. In
1 849 he emigrated to America and entered the service of the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, for which he constructed many
viaducts and iron bridges, among them the great iron bridge
over the Ohio River at Louisville. In the construction of these
bridges he employed an invention of his own, a system of
girders allowing of a length of span theretofore unknown.
The greatest of these girders are found in the Ohio River
Bridge at Louisville, which has a total length of 5,310 feet.
Of its 2 7 spans the largest measure 340 and 360 feet.
Several of the viaducts, constructed by Fink, especially
those over the ravines of Cheat Mountain, were considered
the most marvellous of their kind. A brilliant test of the
abilities of Fink was the Civil War, during which he was
charged with the supervision of all military railroads in Ken-
tucky and Tennessee. On this most contested battleground
the Confederates made it their rule to destroy all railways,
bridges and viaducts they could lay hand on. But as soon
as they retreated, Fink followed in their wake, rebuilding with
astonishing rapidity what they had demolished, aquitting him-
self of this task of highest military importance in a most credit-
A factor of no less importance in this regard was Heinrich
Flad, born in 1824 in Baden. Having studied engineering at
the university in Munich, he participated as colonel of a batal-
lion of engineers in the revolution of 1 848. In 1 849 he arrived
in America and was for a number of years very successful in
constructing of western railroads. At the outbreak of the Civil
War he entered the 3d regiment of volunteers of Missouri, but
soon became captain of the Western Regiment of Engineers.
In this capacity he rendered services in the reconstruction of
destroyed roads, the value of which can be appreciated only
by those who know the eminent importance of railroads for
the movements and support of armies engaged in actual war-
After the war Flad designed in connection with J. P. Kirk-
wood the plans for the waterworks of St. Louis, and later on,
in connection with Captain James B. Eads the plans for the
famous Mississippi River Bridge at St. Louis. It was in the
execution of this structure, that Flad's skill in the overcoming
of technical difficulties and in the application of scientific
principles appeared in the most brilliant light.
After the completion of this bridge, which is of classic
beauty, Flad was elected president of public works in St.
Louis, and in 1890 was appointed by President Harrison as
chief of the Mississippi River Commission, which office he
held until his death in 1898.
A contemporary of Fink and Flad was Adolf Bonzano,
born 1830 in Wiirtemberg. As chief engineer and vice-presi-
dent of the Phoenix Bridge Company he made the designs
for many railroad-bridges. The most interesting of his works
was a viaduct across the valley of the Kinzua River in Penn-
sylvania, which is 1800 feet wide and 270 feet deep. This
viaduct, completed in 1882, rested on twenty towers, each
constructed of four iron pillars. The aspect of this work,
which was completed within only 8 months, was most startling.
A complete revolution in bridge-building was brought about
during the midst of the 19th century by Johann August Roeb-
ling, born June 12, 1806, at Mtihlhausen, Thuringia. Soon
after his graduation from the Royal Polytechnicum at Berlin
he emigrated to the United States and established himself at
Saxonburg, Pa. There he developed the manufacture of wire
cable for use in bridge construction to a degree unknown before.
Bridge-building then was, in comparison to its present perfec-
tion, in the first stages of development. Suspension-bridges were
known, but the platforms were hung on heavy iron chains,
the links of which possessed notwithstanding their weight no
great holding capacity. Besides, for spans of more than 1 80
feet they were impracticable. It remained for Roebling to
substitute a system of wire-cables, the enormous carrying cap-
acity of which he demonstrated first in 1 845 in a suspended
aqueduct of the Pennsylvania Canal carried across the Mon-
ongahela River. This was soon followed by the Monongahela
suspension bridge at Pittsburg and the suspension railway
bridge across the Niagara River.
When Roebling made public the plans for the latter
undertaking, the most eminent engineers of America and
Europe regarded a bridge of this kind foredoomed to
failure, no suspension bridges having ever been built for
railway traffic, and the width of the enormous gorge, cut
into the rocks by the foaming river, being more than 820
feet. Not discouraged by such apprehensions and dire predic-
tions Roebling went to work in September 1852. Difficulties
came with the question of how to carry the first wire across
the ca;7on, as no boatman nor swimmer would risk his life in
the terrific whirlpools of the river. After many fruitless efforts
Roebling conceived the idea of bringing a strong silk thread
from the American to the Canadian shore by means of a kite.
This idea proving successful, the first wire was pulled over,
and now the spinning of the cables began. There were four
of them, every one consisting of 3640 strands. The ends of
these cables were attached to cast-iron shoes and anchored in
JOHANN AUGUST ROEBLING.
chambers cut in the rock behind the two towers, which carried
the cables. The superstructure of the bridge had two floors,
the upper one for railroads, and the lower one for vehicles
and pedestrians. The bridge was commenced in September,
1852, and opened for traffic on March 16, 1855. Its cost
amounted to only 400,000 dollars.
The location of this bridge was the most picturesque in the
world. With its shapely towers rising from either bank of the
Niagara River, and the long, graceful sweep of its cables, it
seemed almost a natural part of the surrounding scenery. The
famous Falls in the distance and the Whirlpool Rapids beneath
lent a particular charm to the airy appearance of the bridge
In 1855, when the first train passed over the bridge, loco-
motives did not exceed 25 tons in weight, and cars had a
capacity of 16 tons; now, engines weigh 1 00 to 150 tons, and
cars carry 30 to 40 tons of material. In addition, the number
of trains passing to and fro has increased enormously. In
consequence, the bridge in late years was taxed far beyond
the capacity for which it was designed, and was taken down
in 1897, giving place to a wider and heavier structure propor-
tioned to the requirements. When the bridge was taken apart,
the cables, manufactured by Roebling forty-five years ago,
were found to be in perfect condition, and as elastic as they
had been when originally put into their places.
The completion, in 1867, of the still more remarkable
suspension bridge over the Ohio River at Cincinnati with a
main span of 105 7 feet added greatly to Roebling's reputation.
This bridge is carried by two cables, each consisting of 1 0,360
The last and greatest masterpiece of Roebling was, however,
the famous suspension bridge between New York and Brook-
lyn. The rapid growth of the two cities and the inability of
the ferries to handle the enormous traffic made better con-
nections between the cities an imperative necessity. But an
increase in the number of ferries was out of question, as there
was no more space for landing slips. The only solution was
a bridge. But the local conditions were so extraordinary,
that no one believed in the feasibility of such an idea. Not only
was the distance between the shores of Manhattan and Long
Island very great, but also the East River between was too
deep and rapid, to permit the laying of a foundation for a
pillar in its midst.
In view of this desperate situation Roebling concluded to
apply his system of suspension bridges, which had so far stood
all tests, at this place also. It took ten years to design and
digest the plans for the gigantic undertaking, as the conditions
to be reckoned with commanded the most careful attention to
the smallest details, as the slightest error in the calculation of
the strength of the cables, towers and foundations might result
in terrible disaster. Just as difficult as this preliminary work
was the task of procuring the building funds. At many places,
where Roebling hoped to receive assistance, he found closed
doors. Of the 1 \ million dollars subscribed by the City of New
York and of the 300,000 dollars subscribed by Brooklyn, large
sums disappeared into the pockets of dishonest city officials,
who had been entrusted with the administration of the funds.
In the end Roebling succeeded in interesting a rich banker in
his scheme, who organized the New York Bridge Company
with a capital of 5 million dollars.
In spring of 1 869 all these preliminary steps had been
completed. Now at last the practical work could begin. But
an envious fate stepped in to prevent the great engineer from
witnessing his highest triumph. While personally engaged in
laying out the towers of the bridge, Roebling was unfortunately
injured by a falling piece of timber so that several of his toes
had to be amputated. The operation was successful; but a
few days later tetanus set in, to which the great man suc-
cumbed, July 22, 1869.
The grave responsibility of superintending the enormous
work now fell to Roebling' s oldest son, Washington Augustus
Roebling. Problems of greatest difficulty came with the pro-
viding of secure foundations for the two stone towers, on
which the four cables of the bridge were to rest. To give free
passage to all vessels, the platform of the bridge had been
projected 1 35 feet above high watermark. Accordingly the
two towers were to have a height of 2 76| feet above high
water. As they were to be of granite, it was necessary to
construct exceptionally strong foundations. By careful investi-
gations it was found, however, that solid rock, on which the
towers could safely rest, was 80 feet below the water level.
To reach it, enormous banks of mud, mixed with gravel and
stones, must be penetrated. So it became necessary to con-
struct over the places selected for the towers two enormous
caissons, boxlike chambers of iron and heavy beams. The
caisson on the Manhattan side was 120 feet wide and 172
feet long. Their lower parts formed into air chambers 7 feet
high and resting upon the bed of the river. Air was pumped
into these sub-aqueous and gas-lighted rooms by powerful
machines at a pressure corresponding to their depth below
the surface of the water, while the excavating was carried on
by men working in the compressed air as in a large diving
bell. Day in and out 236 men were here engaged in remov-
ing the mud and gravel, while at the same time the building
of the towers on top of the caissons went on, forcing with
their ever increasing weight the lower end of the caissons
deeper and deeper into the river bed.
It cannot surprise, that the daily work in such sub-aqueous
rooms, under high pressure, caused serious inconveniences to
the laborers. Soon they began to suffer from the dreadful
caisson-disease, many cases of which resulting in death. Roeb-
ling also was prostrated early in 1872 with it and was com-
pelled for a while to give up active work, but his intellectual
faculties remained unimpaired. There were also other unfor-
tunate events. In January, 1871, in the caisson at the Brooklyn
side a fire broke out, causing a loss of 15,000 dollars. A fire
below the waves of East River!
After many difficulties the foundations as well as the towers
were completed and now the construction of the four cables
was to begin. As it would have been impossible to lift their
enormous weight to the top of the towers, there was no other
way than to spin them between the towers in open air. The
first strand was run out May 29, 1876. Others followed and
soon the workmen could be seen, hanging at these strands in
little boxes, and busy to unite 5296 galvanized steel-oil-coated
wires into a solid rope 1 5f inches in diameter.
Serious accidents happened here also. When after two
years' labor the four cables were finished, on June 19, 1878,
suddenly the anchorage of one of the cables broke and the
cable fell with tremendous noise into the river, killing several
of the workmen. So the difficult work had to be done
At last, on May 24, 1 883, the tremendous work was accom-
plished. The day of its dedication was a national event. All
vessels in New York Bay appeared bedecked with flags, while
the numerous men-of-war saluted. The President of the United
States and more than 100,000 visitors from all parts of the
country paid homage to the memory of the genius, whose
master mind had conceived this colossal work.
To give an idea of the great work, it may be stated that
it measures 5989 feet in length. It consists of a central span
1595^ feet in length from tower to tower, and of two spans
of 930 feet, and 1860 feet, respectively, from the towers to
the anchorage on either side. The length of the Brooklyn
approach is 971 feet, and of the New York approach 1562
feet. The bridge has a width of 85 feet. The roadway is
divided into a central promenade with a single track on either
side for rapid transit, and a platform for passengers, which is
in turn flanked by a tramway for wheeled vehicles.
The actual cost of the bridge, which has withstood in the
course of now 33 years harder usage than any other bridge
in the world, was nearly $15,000,000.
Another prominent builder of bridges was Conrad Schneider,
born 1843 in Apolda, Thuringia. While he was not the first
man to build a cantilever bridge in the United States, he,
however, developed this system to perfection. His most
remarkable work is the Niagara Cantilever Bridge, two miles
below the Niagara Falls. Spanning the chasm of 850 feet in
width, the main body is 2 1 feet above the surface of the
roaring river. The structure has a double track. It consists
of two cantilevers, each 395 feet, resting on the towers, the
shore end being anchored to the anchorage piers, and the river
ends connected by an intermediate span. The work was begun
in 1882, but so vigorously pushed, that the bridge was com-
pleted and opened for traffic December 20, 1883.
Schneider also constructed the cantilever bridges crossing
the Fraser River in British Columbia. Furthermore he designed
the plans for the Washington Bridge over the Harlem River
at 181st Street, New York City.
Among the most efficient bridge builders of recent times is
counted Eduard Hemberle, who constructed several railroad
bridges across the Hudson, the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri;
furthermore Paul L. Wolfel, chief engineer of the American
A worthy successor of Roebling appeared in 1874 in the
person of Gustav Lindenthal, born 1850 in Brunn, Austria,
and a student of colleges in Brunn and Vienna. Having been
employed on survey and construction of railroads and bridges
in Austria, Switzerland and some Western railroads, he moved
in 1892 to New York, where he was appointed bridge com-
missioner during the administration of Seth Low. He com-
pleted the construction of the so-called Williamsburg Bridge,
a suspension bridge over the East River between New York
and Long Island, a short distance north of Roebling's bridge.
He also made the original plans for the Blackwells Island
Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
Lindenthal was also a member of the board of six consulting
engineers, which planned the tunnels and terminal of the Penn-
sylvania Railroad under the East River and the Hudson River.
Another of his works is a railway-bridge, which spans the
canon of the Kentucky River at a place where it is 1 000 feet
wide and 345 feet deep.
Lindenthal is likewise engineer and architect of Hell Gate
Bridge, a mammoth steel structure, and the most imposing
part of the Connecting Railroad, which is six miles long and
forms a link in through transportation between Quebec,
Canada, and Tampa, Florida. The whole length of the bridge
from the New Haven tracks to the Long Island connection
with the Pennsylvania Railroad's passenger tunnel is a little
over three and a half miles. The steel arch, rising to 320
feet, has a clear span over the main channel of 1017 feet.
The clearing from the high water to the platform is 1 35 feet,
the same as the other bridges across the East River. The
arch is able to support not only its own vast weight of 28,000
tons, but the added load of forty-eight of the heaviest loco-
motives. Unquestionably the bridge can be regarded as the
biggest and strongest in the world, for there is no other bridge
in existence or proposed that is expected to bear a burden
of this colossal character. The structure has four railroad tracks.
For a number of years Lindenthal has been at work on the
plans for a bridge across the Hudson River between New York
City and New Jersey. According to these plans the bridge
will be in all dimensions twice as large as Roebling's Suspen-
sion Bridge between New York and Brooklyn. The main span
is intended to be 2900 feet long and the height of the two
steel towers 660 feet. Unfortunately the plans came to a
stand-still when the Pennsylvania Railroad, to which falls the
lion share of traffic between New York and New Jersey,
decided to built instead of a bridge a tunnel. Still, this does
not mean that Lindenthal's scheme will be abandoned. The
marvellous increase in the traffic between New York and New
Jersey compels the adoption of ever new and greater means
of communication. And so it is quite possible that within
the space of ten to twenty years from now the two shores of
the Hudson River will also be linked by a wonderful bridge,
the masterpiece of a German engineer.
Of electrical engineers, a great number of whom are Ger-
mans, Emil Berliner should be mentioned, the inventor of the
grammophone. Furthermore F. B. Herzog, inventor of auto-
matic switch-boards, elevator signals, police calls, and tele-
phone devices; so also Bernhard Arthur Behrend, advisory
engineer of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing
Company and inventor of electrical machines, which received
a grand prize at St. Louis in 1904.
Frank Koester in New York is known as creator of great
electric power stations, among them those of the Potomac
Electric Power Company in Washington, D. C, and of the
Delaware & Hudson Company in Mechanicsville, N. Y.
Most famed of electrical engineers is Karl P. Steinmetz. born
at Breslau in 1865. When a student at the university he
became soon deeply interested in electricity. At that time little
was known about this mysterious power. Arc-lights were
looked upon as a curiosity. Of dynamos, motors and other
electric apparatus nobody had conceived any idea. Since his
arrival in the United States Steinmetz became one of the most
successful investigators of electricity.
His own discoveries and brilliant inventions in this field are
too numerous and complicated for description in any but a
professional work. Since a number of years Steinmetz occupies
the position of consulting engineer at the "General Electric
Company" in Schenectady, N. Y. Here he stands at the head
of an army of about 35,000 men. In what respect he is held
by scientists, appears from a remark made by the president of
Harvard University. When this institution bestowed upon
Steinmetz the degree of an honorary doctor, the president said:
"I confer this degree upon you as the foremost electrical
engineer of the United States, and, therefore, of the world!"
Organizers of Traffic and Transportation.
It is a well known fact that certain important inventions and
innovations have been made simultaneously at widely sep-
arated places of the globe. So for instance the institution of
the railway can be ascribed to England as well as to America.
As in England the first railroads were installed for the trans-
portation of coal to the sea, so a Pennsylvania German,
Thomas Leiper of Philadelphia, constructed in 1 806 what is
believed to have been the first railroad in America. It was
used for the transportation of stone from Leiper's granite
quarries in Delaware County, Pa., to a boat landing on Ridley
Creek, a distance of about one mile. To facilitate the haul for
the horses, Leiper invented special trucks, whose wheels of
cast-iron he fitted exactly to two iron rails. This made the
hauling so easy, that one horse could draw loads of from three
to four times the former weight.
On the further development of railroads in America men
of German descent have exerted considerable influence. In
the hands of companies of German origin, such as the J. G.
Brill Company in Philadelphia, the St. Louis Car Company
and the Wagner Palace Car Company, the making of railroad
cars of all kinds became a regular science. Their excellent
cars are known for comfort and beauty.
An invention of greatest importance for the safety of pas-
sengers, the celebrated Westinghouse air-brake, has also been
made by an American of German origin, George Westinghouse.
As is stated in "Men and Women of America" (edition
1910, page 1571) the Westinghouses came from Germany
and settled in Massachusetts and Vermont. Westinghouse's
father was an inventor, who moved to Central Bridge, Scho-
harie County, N. Y., where George Westinghouse was born
October 6, 1846. In 1856 the family moved to Schenectady,
where young Westinghouse visited the public and high schools.
Much of his time he spent in his father's machine shop, and
a rotary engine was invented by him before he was fifteen.
Going to Troy one day, a railroad accident suggested to him
the idea that a brake under the control of the engineer might
have prevented the accident. After several trials his first
patent was issued April 13, 1869, and the Westinghouse Air-
Brake Company was formed on the 20th of July following.
In 1883 Westinghouse became interested in the operation of
railway signals and switches by compressed air, and developed
and patented the system now manufactured by the Union
Switch and Signal Company. The "Pneumatic Interlocking
Switch and Signal Apparatus," whereby all the signals and
switches are operated from a given point, using compressed
air as the motive power and electricity to bring that power
into operation, has been successfully introduced. Among the
accomplishments of Westinghouse in the electrical field may
be mentioned the unit switch system of multiple control for
the simultaneous operation and control from one common
point of all the motors in a train; and the single-phase motor
for street railway service.
Wilhelm Eppeisheimer, a native of Frankfort-on-the-Main,
was the inventor of the cable street cars, first used to a great
extent in San Francisco and other cities of California.
Most remarkable was also the German influence on the
inner organization of the railway traffic in America. Both as
civil engineer and organizer no man has rendered more con-
spicuous service than Albert Fink, widely known as one of the
pioneers in the construction of iron bridges. Seeing the many
evils resulting from the unrestrained and ruinous competition
among railroad companies and steamboat lines, Fink rec-
ommended that all competing corporations should elect a
common board of directors with authority to settle all tariff
questions in regard to the transportation of persons as well
as of freight.
Fink, not believing in railroad wrecking, but in co-operation,
explained that the interests of the transportation companies
and the public are not hostile to one another but mutual, and
that a regulated tariff with fixed prices, leaving a reasonable
profit to the companies, would be much more advantageous
to all than a constantly changing one, resulting in disorder
and bankruptcy. In consequence of this recommendation the
Southern Railway and Steamboat Association was formed,
of which almost all railroad- and steamboat companies of the
South became members. In 1877 Fink, on invitation of the
presidents of the great railroad companies of the East and
North, made similar arrangements for a still greater combina-
tion. Accordingly he organized the Trunk-Line Commission,
which soon embraced nearly all the railroads East of the
Mississippi and North of the Ohio, including the railways of
Canada. The object of this association was to prevent destruc-
tive rate-wars. As chairman of this commission Fink became
the most influential factor in all tariff questions of the largest
railroad companies of the United States. Fink also initiated
the system of through freight and through passenger service
now in general use.
Very numerous are the men of German descent who, by
keen foresight and by technical knowledge and experiences,
have made names for themselves and became presidents and
managers of American railroad companies and steamboat lines.
Among them have been Henry Fink, president of the Nor-
folk & Western Railway; J. Kruttschnitt, general manager of
the Southern Pacific Railroad ; R. Blickensderf er, general man-
ager of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad; Karl Gustav
Memminger, president of the Charleston & Cincinnati Rail-
road; Heinrich Hilgard or Henry Villard, president of the
Oregon & California Railroad, of the Oregon Steamship Com-
pany and of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which was com-
pleted in 1883 under his direction.
In the field of navigation we find a similar array of prom-
inent men as presidents and managers. Friedrich Kiihne
established in 1 872 the Adler Line, which maintained a regular
service between New York and Hamburg. Klaus Spreckels,
the sugar king of California, organized in conjunction with his
sons Johann Dietrich and Adolf Bernhard Spreckels the
Oceanic Steamship Company, which made regular trips to
Hawaii, Tahiti and ports of Australia. John H. Gans has been
founder and president of the Gans Steamship Line in New
York, which sends vessels to all parts of the globe.
As American director and general manager of the famous
Hamburg American Line the late Emil Boas was very success-
ful. Till 1892 the line had been represented in New York
by the firm C. B. Richard & Boas. When the line opened her
own bureau at Broadway, Carl Schurz became her first Amer-
ican director. After his retirement Emil Boas was appointed
his successor. He filled this responsible position up to his
death, which happened on May 3, 1912. Since then the Ham-
burg American Line has been represented in New York by
Karl Biinz, the former German Consul General in New York
and later German Ambassador in Mexico.
The American affairs of the North German Lloyd have
been successfully managed for many years by the firm of
Oelrichs & Co., of which Gustav H. Schwab, born in May,
1 85 7, was the senior-chef. What an enormous amount of busi-
ness is carried on by the New York Agency of the North
German Lloyd may be seen by the fact that it handled during
the period from January 1, 1873, to December 31, 1913,
5,588,598 passengers. Since the death of Gustav H. Schwab
in November, 1912, Karl von Helmolt has been the director
of the New York Bureau of the North German Lloyd.
In the interest of navigation also the services of Ferdinand
Rudolf Hassler and of Julius Erasmus Hilgard have proven
of the greatest value. While the former was professor of
mathematics at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point,
he directed the attention of the Government to the necessity
of a correct survey of the coasts of the United States as
essential for the safety of commerce and navigation. In com-
pliance with this recommendation a special office, the Coast
Survey, was established, with Professor Hassler as the head.
He remained in office from 1807 to 1843. Hilgard was one
of his successors, resigning in 1885. To the Coast Survey
the commercial world is indebted for splendid charts, the
value of which to navigation can not be over-estimated.
A fact not generally known is that the two families of naval
architects, the Cramps and the Herreshoffs, are of German
The ancestor of the Cramp family was Johann Georg
Krampf, a native of Baden, who arrived in America at the
end of the 1 7th century and made his home on the banks of
the Delaware River. Here the members of his family, the
name of which changed to Cramp, took to shipbuilding, which
occupation they have continued for several generations. Under
the management of William Cramp and Charles Henry Cramp
the ship and engine-building enterprise has grown to a very
The American history of the Herreshoffs begins with Karl
Friedrich Herreshoff, a native of Minden, an accomplished
engineer, who in 1 800 arrived in Providence, Rhode Island,
where he married the daughter of the shipbuilder John Brown.
Their son as well as their grand-sons devoted themselves to
naval architecture and made a specialty of fast steam- and
sailing yachts and of torpedo vessels of high speed. The most
interesting figure of the family is John B. Herreshoff, who in
his fifteenth year became totally blind. In spite of this handi-
cap he brought the business he had inherited to great prosper-
ity. He also made the models for several of those fast sailing
yachts which defended the "America Cup" against the English.
The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company has its seat in
Bristol, R. I.
A name well known to the commercial world was that of
Thomas Eckert, also a man of German descent. In 1852 he
supervised the construction of a telegraph line from Pittsburgh
to Chicago, and was superintendent until it became a part of
the Western Union Telegraph Company. During the Civil
War he was general superintendent of military telegraphy and
reached the rank of brigadier-general. He became assistant
secretary of war in 1 864. After having been appointed
in 1866 as general superintendent of the Western Union Tele-
graph Company, he became, in 1881, president and general
manager of this concern and also director of the American
Telegraph and Cable Company and several railways, among
them the Union Pacific Railroad. The brilliant record of
General Eckert assures him a permanent place in the ranks
of those who faithfully served the Union.
The German American Press
The history of the German Press in America can be traced
for nearly two centuries. When we ask what during this long
time has been its essential characteristic, we name the single
word : Truth !
Truth was the object Peter Zenger, the first German journal-
ist in America, fought for in his "Weekly Journal." Publishing
nothing but the truth, he won honor and everlasting fame for
himself and liberty for the whole American people.
Truth was also the aim of Christoph Saur, the printer of
Germantown. Nothing grieved him more than to have some
news creep into his paper which afterwards proved incorrect.
The example set by these founders of the German press
in America has been followed with fidelity by all their suc-
cessors. Truth has been their guiding star, and by pursuing
it the German press of the United States has won for itself
among its readers a degree of confidence not enjoyed to like
extent by our English press, whose editors do not care as
much for the truth as for the sensational effect of their pub-
This contrast between the German and the English press
of the United States was never so apparent as during the years
1914 and 1915. While the editors of the German papers
endeavored to give to their readers such news only, as in
their best judgment seemed reliable and trustworthy — a most
difficult task because the British had cut all means of communi-
cation with the Central Powers — many editors of the Anglo-
American press assisted without restraint and discrimination
in the world-wide campaign of slander, inaugurated by London
with the deliberate intent to destroy the good reputation of
the German nation, its Emperor, army and navy. These
editors, ignoring the fact that the people of the United States
are drawn from many nations and that, therefore, impartiality
and fairness to all concerned should be strictly observed, com-
mitted, by participating in a systematic poisoning of public
opinion, nothing less than hostile act against the vital interests
of the United States. For only so long as the various elements
of the nation respect each other and work together in harmony,
according to the motto "E pluribus Unum," can this country
No similar act of disloyalty to the interests of the United
States can be charged against the German American press.
On the contrary, their course has been at all times genuinely
American. Collectively and individually its editors have advo-
cated whatever is good in the institutions of our political system,
while sharply and relentlessly criticizing its faults; and they
have been ready promoters of everything tending to secure
order, personal liberty and prosperity. For this reason they
never neglected to urge their readers to become good Amer-
ican citizens and as such to contribute to the common welfare.
In accord with many thousands of intelligent Americans,
who know Germany and its people from personal observation,
the editors of the German American press have always
regarded it as their special mission to foster the friendly rela-
tions uninterruptedly maintained between Germany and the
United States since the latter came into existence. They have
done this in the conviction, that these two countries have much
in common and that it is to the interests of both to work hand
in hand for progress and civilization.
In May 1914 the citizens of St. Louis dedicated a monument
to the memory of three distinguished German journalists:
Emil Preetorius, Carl Schurz and Carl Danzer, who for many
years were chief editors of the Westliche Post, the leading
German paper of Missouri. The front view of this monument
shows a naked figure, representing Truth, holding in each
hand a torch, the symbol of enlightenment. It is a fit monu-
ment indeed, not only for the three journalists named, but
for the whole German American press, which, it is our hope,
will never forget the inspiring motto of the great German
American publicist Franz Lieber: "Dear is my Country; dearer
still is liberty; dearest of all is Truth!"
*^ v v *£*
It may be added here that the printer's art in America is
greatly indebted to German inventors. As printing with
movable letters was devised by Johannes Gutenberg in May-
ence, so the rapid steam press was the invention of Friedrich
Konig, born in 1774 at Eisleben, Thiiringia. The process of
making paper from wood-pulp was discovered by Friedrich
Gottlob Keller, born 1816 in Saxony.
It is due to the enterprise of Albrecht Pagenstecher, a
prominent paper merchant of New York, that this process was
transmitted to the United States. He brought over two wood-
grinding machines from Germany and set them up at Curtis-
ville, near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1867. Here he
successfully produced a wood-pulp which was immediately
pronounced by neighboring paper mills an excellent material
for employment in their manufacture. The introduction of
this new method of producing paper was without question of
momentous import. By providing a raw material offering an
enormous saving in cost as compared with rags, the only
material theretofore available, the price of newspapers could
be reduced to such extent, that a fabulous expansion of the
demand resulted. The newspaper of to-day, in its many-paged
issues, would not have been possible without it.
Another invention of like importance was made by Ottomar
Mergenthaler, born May 10, 1854, at Mergentheim, Wiirtem-
berg. He came to Baltimore in 1872, where he constructed
a type-setting machine, which casts and sets types, while the
operator touches letter after letter on a key board.
The first "Linotype Machine" was used in 1886 in the com-
posing rooms of the New York Tribune. It proved such a
great success as a time- and labor-saving machine, that it is
now used in many countries of America and Europe as well
as of Australia.
Meisenbach in Munich is the inventor of the so-called "Half-
tone process," the cheapest way to reproduce drawings and
photographs for newspapers and books. The "Rotogravure-
process," used by many American papers for the illustration
sheets of their Sunday editions, is an invention of Karl Klic
in Freiburg, Baden. So also the idea of news-collecting and
distributing by special agencies has been conceived and accom-
plished first by a German, Paul Julius Reuter, born 1 82 1 in
Cassel, from which the well known Reuter Bureau in London
derives its name. It is perhaps not out of order, to bring these
facts to the notice of those Anglo-American editors and those
professors, who are assisting in the defamation of the German
people and who would make the world believe that the Ger-
mans are barbarians absolutely devoid of any culture.
MERGENTHALER'S FIRST LINOTYPE MACHINE.
Noteworthy Authors and Poets
Reviewing German poetry in America we must begin with
Pastorius, the noble founder of Germantown. Like all sec-
tarians disinclined to partake in the noisy vanities of worldly
life, he enjoyed the solitude of his flower-garden and praised
its peaceful charm in many verses. He also loved to garb
his philosophical ideas, his conception of life and his experi-
ences in short rhymes and epigrams, many of which have come
down to our days and make interesting reading.
His contemporaries Johann Kelpius, Konrad Beissel and
other leaders of German sects were prolific in mystic love
songs to the Heavenly Bride, to the glorification of whom
they devoted many volumes.
Much freer in their conception of life than these visionaries
were the non-sectarian German settlers of the 1 7th and 1 8th
centuries. While they, too, were religious, they never lost
sight of the charms of this worldly life, which they held them-
selves fully entitled to enjoy. Their ideas found a most beauti-
ful expression in a poem, addressed by William Henry Timrod,
a German of Charleston, S. C., to his little son. These lines,
which have a pathetic interest, read as follows:
Harry, my little blue-eyed boy,
I love to have thee playing near;
There's music in thy shouts of joy
To a fond father's ear.
I love to see the lines of mirth
Mantle thy cheek and forehead fair,
As if all pleasure of the earth
Had met to revel there;
For gazing on thee, do I sigh
That those most happy years must flee,
And thy full share of misery
Must fall in life on thee!
There is no lasting grief below
My Harry! that flows not from guilt;
Thou canst not read my meaning now —
In after times thou wilt.
Thou'lt read it when the churchyard clay
Shall lie upon thy father's breast,
And he, though dead, will point the way
Thou shalt be always blest.
They'll tell thee this terrestrial ball
To man for his enjoyment given,
Is but a state of sinful thrall
To keep the soul from heaven.
My boy! the verdure-crowned hills,
The vales where flowers innumerous blow,
The music of ten thousand rills
Will tell thee: 'tis not so!
God is no tyrant who would spread
Unnumbered dainties to the eyes,
Yet teach the hungering child to dread
That touching them he dies!
No! all can do his creatures good,
He scatters round with hand profuse —
The only precept understood,
Enjoy, but not abuse!
The boy to whom these words were addressed inherited
the literary gift from his father and became one of the most
cherished poets of the South. That he inherited also a pro-
found enthusiasm for all that is beautiful as well as the sense
for the high office of the poet, appears from his following
"All lovely things, and gentle — the sweet laugh
Of children, Girlhood's kiss, and Friendship's clasp,
The boy that sporteth with the old man's staff,
The baby, and the breast its fingers grasp —
All that exalts the grounds of happiness,
All griefs that hallow, and all joys that bless,
To me are sacred ; at my holy shrine
Love breathes its latest dreams, its earliest hints;
I turn life's tasteless waters into wine,
And flush them through and through with purple tints.
Wherever Earth is fair, and Heaven looks down,
I rear my altars, and I wear my crown."
Enjoyment of life is breathed also by the many poems
written by the political refugees who came to America during
the first half of the 19th century. As appears from the fore-
going chapters, these fugitives were men of vigour and bound-
less enthusiasm, with open hearts for all the sunshine of this
world. For the spirit of American liberty, for the splendor and
sublimity of nature, for women's virtues and beauty, they had
a warm, receptive mind. They sang of spring, love, wine and
song, praised manliness and bravery, oblivious of the cares and
hardships of the day, and oblivious of themselves and their
Countless are the names of German poets of these and
later times, who amidst the restless business life of America
cherished their ideals and encouraged others to adhere to
them.*) Some of the most impressive poems, written by the
"men of 1848," are devoted to the Fatherland. Could it be
otherwise? These refugees loved the land of their birth from
the bottom of their hearts. For its unity and greatness they
had worked many years; to it went their thoughts in time of
day and night; to its valleys they hoped to return some future
years, and in its sacred soil they wished to be laid at rest.
They, who had striven for nothing else but Germany's glory,
were banished from it. This caused them bitter grief, but could
not change their love.
A deep longing finds expression in the poems of these
exiles. In touching tones they sing, such as have not been
heard since the strains that floated across the waters at
Babylon, as the Jews sang of far away Zion.
Perhaps the most impressive and best known of these poems
has been written by Konrad Krez, a Palatine, who on account
of his participation in the revolution of 1 848 had been con-
demned to death "in contumaciam." Making his escape, he
arrived in 1850 in America, practicing law in Sheboygan, Wis.
During the Civil War he participated in the siege of Vicksburg
and the campaigns in Arkansas and Alabama, and was
appointed brigadier-general. His poem "An mein Vaterland,"
written in America about the year 1860, expressed the feelings
of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, who, like him,
were compelled to leave their native country.
An mein Vaterland.
Kein Baum gehorte mir von deinen Waldern,
Mein war kein Halm auf deinen Roggenfeldern,
Und schutzlos hast du mich hinausgetrieben,
Weil ich in meiner Jugend nicht verstand,
Dich weniger und mehr mich selbst zu lieben,
Und dennoch lieb ich dich, mein Vaterland!
Wo ist ein Herz, in dem nicht dauernd bliebe
Der siisse Traum der ersten Jugendliebe?
Und heiliger als Liebe war das Feuer,
Das einst fur dich in meiner Brust entbrannt;
Nie war die Braut dem Brautigam so teuer,
Wie du mir warst, geliebtes Vaterland.
Hat es auch Manna nicht auf dich geregnet,
Hat doch dein Himmel reichlich dich gesegnet.
Ich sah die Wunder sudlicherer Zonen,
Seit ich zuletzt auf deinem Boden stand;
Doch schoner ist als Palmen und Citronen
Der Apfelbaum in meinem Vaterland.
*) For these names the reader may be referred to the Anthologies:
"Deutsch in Amerika" by G. A. Zimmermann, Chicago, 1894; and
"Vom Lande des Sternenbanners" by G. A. Neeff. Heidelberg, 1905.
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THE MOST FAMOUS GERMAN POEM WRITTEN IN AMERICA.
(After the original in the possession of Rudolf Cronau.)
Land meiner Vater! langer nicht das meine,
So heilig ist kein Boden wie der deine.
Nie wird dein Bild aus meiner Seele schwinden,
Und kniipfte mich an dich kein lebend Band,
Es wiirden mich die Toten an dich binden,
Die deine Erde deckt, mein Vaterland!
Oh, wiirden jene, die zu Hause blieben,
Wie deine Fortgewanderten dich lieben,
Bald wiirdest du zu einem Reiche werden,
Und deine Kinder gingen Hand in Hand,
Und machten dich zum grossten Land auf Erden,
Wie du das beste bist, o Vaterland!
Another gem has been written by Konrad Nies in praise of
German song, that most beautiful gift, which accompanies
the sons and maidens of the "Fatherland," wherever they go.
Das Deutsche Lied.
Als wir entfloh'n aus Deutschlands Gauen,
Durchgluht von jungem Wanderdrang,
Um fremder Lander Pracht zu schauen,
Zu lauschen fremder Sprache Klang,
Da gab zum Segen in die Feme
Die Heimat uns ihr deutsches Lied,
Das nun, gleich einem guten Sterne,
Mit uns die weite Welt durchzieht.
Wohin auch unsere Wege fiihren,
Zum Steppensaum, zum Meeresport;
Wo immer wir ein Heim uns kiiren,
Im tiefen Siid, im hohen Nord:
Der deutschen Heimat Segensgabe
Von unsrer Schwelle nimmer flieht,
Und als des Herzens schonste Habe
Bleibt heilig uns das deutsche Lied.
Es klingt um hohe Urwaldtannen,
Am blauen Golf, am gelben Strom,
Fern in den Hiitten der Savannen
Und ferner unterm Palmendom.
Es braust aus frohem Zecherkreise,
Es jauchzt und schluchzt mit Mann und Maid
Und klagt in heimattrauter Weise
Von alter Lust und altem Leid.
Und wo es klingt, da bricht ein Bliihen
Und Leuchten auf im weiten Rund ;
Wie Veilchenduft und Rosengliihen
Geht's durch der Herzen tiefsten Grund.
Was langst zerronnen und zerstoben,
Was mit der Kindheit von uns schied:
Es wird in Traumen neu gewoben.
Wenn uns umrauscht das deutsche Lied.
Wir schau'n der Heimat griine Tale,
Der Schwalbe Nest am Vaterhaus;
Wir zieh'n im Morgensonnenstrahle
Durchs alte Tor zur Stadt hinaus;
Wir horen ferner Glocken Klingen
Und deutscher Eichenwalder Weh'n,
Wir fiihlen junges Friihlingsringen
Und erster Liebe Auferstehn!
Und ob auch Fruchte viel und Bliiten
Die Hand auf fremder Erde zieht,
Wir wollen hegen doch und hiiten
Den Friihlingsspross, das deutsche Lied,
Das uns zum Segen in die Feme,
Die Muttererde einst beschied,
Und das, gleich einem guten Sterne,
Mit uns die weite Welt durchzieht.
As American artists of German descent were the apostles
of the grandeur of American scenery, so we owe to German
poets many masterpieces of descriptive poetry. Rich in color,
for instance, is Udo BrachvogePs
Den Hiigel noch empor, mein wackres Tier,
Dort lichtet sich der Wald, dort halten wir —
Fiihlst du den Sporn? Hinan mit fliicht'gen Satzen!
Schon schliesst sich hinter uns die Tannennacht;
Frei schweift der Blick — ha, welche Farbenpracht!
Erschloss sich Scheher'zadens Marchenpracht,
Rings alles zu bestreu'n mit ihren Schatzen?
Der Himmel leuchtet, ein saphirner Schild ;
Es strahlt an ihm die Sonne hehr und mild,
Nicht todlich, nein, nur schmeichelnd allem Leben.
Am fernen Horizonte rollt der Fluss;
Jedwede Wog' umspielt des Mittags Kuss,
Sie bebt und zittert unter ihm, — so muss
Die Braut am Herzen des Ersehnten beben.
Und schimmernd liegt das Tal, wie Mosaik,
Wie reicher es und blendender dem Blick
Noch niemals unter Kiinstlers Hand entglommen.
Hin stromt es zwischen dunklem Braun und Griin
Gleich Flammen, die aus Goldtopasen spriihn,
Gleich Purpurmanteln, die um Schultern gluhn
Von Konigen, die von der Kronung kommen.
Der Ahorn lodert, wie im Morgenhauch
Einst Moses brennen sah den Dornenstrauch,
Gefacht von unsichtbarer Engel Chore.
Dort rankt sich's flimmernd und verzweigt sich's bunt,
Wie die Koralle auf des Meeres Grund,
Und drangt sich urn das silberfarbne Rund
Des Stamms der koniglichen Sykamore.
Und einsam ragt und priesterlich zumal
Die Lorbeereiche aus dem Bachanal
Von Licht und Glanz, von Farben und von Gluten.
Doch auch von ihrer dunklen Aeste Saum,
Aus ihrer Krone tropft wie Purpurflaum
Die wilde Reb' ; es ist, als ob der Baum
Sein Herz geoffnet habe, zu verbluten.
Das Eichhorn springt. Es lockt mit tiefem Klang
Der Tauber seine Taube nach dem Hang,
Wo iiberreich sich Beere dringt an Beere.
Die Drossel stimmt ihr schmelzend Tongedicht,
Der Falter badet sich im Sonnenlicht,
Und aus der Sumachbusche Scharlach bricht
Das scheue Reh, des Waldes Bajadere.
'Und dies ist Herbst? So sterben Wald und Flur?
Wie ist dann das Erwachen der Natur,
Wenn noch ihr Tod sich hullt in solches Leben?" —
So ringt sich's von des Reiters Lippe los, —
Da rauscht's ihm Antwort aus des Waldes Schoss —
Ein Windstoss braust heran und noch ein Stoss,
Und lasst ein Meer von Blattern niederbeben.
Rings quillt es plotzlich auf, wie Schleierflug,
Schneewolken weh'n daher in dichtem Zug,
Vom Norden pfeift's, und triibe wird's und triiber.
Der Taube Ruf verstummt; ein Biichsenknall,
Im Blute liegt das Reh, und in dem Fall
Der Blatter rauscht's wie leiser Seufzerhall:
Noch eine Nacht, und alles ist voriiber!
Der Reiter frostelt in des Nordwind's Hauch,
Er ruft: "Und dennoch ist dies Tod, ob auch
Gleich Hochzeitskleidern prangt sein Leichenlinnen.
So stirbt ein Tag im reichsten Abendrot,
So kiisst die Lippen einer Braut der Tod,
So fiihlt ein Jiingling, rings vom Feind bedroht,
Aus Wunden tausendfach sein Herzblut rinnen!" —
One of the most beautiful poems, composed by Germans
in praise of their adopted country, is Theodor KirchhofFs hymn
Warum du mir lieb bist, du Land meiner Wahl? —
Dich liebt ja der warme Sonnenstrahl,
Der aus Aetherstiefe, azurrein
Deine Fluren kusst mit goldenem Schein!
Dich liebt ja des Siidens balsamische Luft,
Die im Winter dir schenket den Bliitenduft,
Deine Felder schmiickt mit smaragdenem Kleid,
Wenn's friert im Osten und stiirmet und schneit!
Dich liebt ja das Meer, das ,,Stille" genannt,
Das mit Silber umsaumt dein griines Gewand,
Das dich schiitzend umarmt, mit schwellender Lust
Dich wonniglich presst an die wogende Brust! —
Wie dein Meer, wie der Liifte Balsamhauch,
Wie die Sonne dich liebt, so lieb' ich dich auch.
Seine Sonne zumal, — ihr rasches Blut,
Pulsierend in frohem Lebensmut,
Deine Tochter mit Wangen frisch und gesund,
Die Seele im Auge, zum Kiissen der Mund.
Warum du mir lieb bist? — Nicht ist es dein Gold,
Du Land, wo die westliche Woge rollt.
Ich wahlte zur Heimat diesen Strand,
Weil ich offne, warme Herzen hier fand,
Weil fremd hier der niedrige, kleinliche Sinn,
Der nur strebt und trachtet nach kargem Gewinn,
Weil die eigene Kraft hier den Mann erprobt,
Nicht ererbtes Gut den Besitzer lobt.
Eine Welt fur sich, voll Schonheit, trennt
Dich die hohe Sierra vom Kontinent;
Doch schlugst du mit eiserner Briicke den Pfad
Ueber wolkentragender Berge Grat,
Und taglich vernimmst du am goldenen Port
Von den fernsten Gestaden der Volker Wort.
Du bewahrtest das Feuer der Jugend dir,
Den Geist, dem Arbeit des Lebens Zier,
Der wagt und ringet und nie verzagt,
Und wo es sich zeiget, das Gliick erjagt.
Ja! ich liebe dich, bliihendes, westliches Land,
Wo die neue, die schone Heimat ich fand.
Wer friige wohl noch, der dich Herrliche sah,
Warum du mir lieb, California!
George Sylvester Viereck at the hundredth anniversary of
Bismarck's birth penned the following verses:
The Iron Chancellor
Above the grave where Bismarck sleeps
The ravens screeched with strange alarms,
The Saxon forest in its deeps
Shook with the distant clash of arms.
The Iron Chancellor stirred. '"Tis war!
Give me my sword to lay them low
Who touch my work. Unbar the door
I passed an hundred years ago."
The angel guardian of the tomb
Spake of the law that binds all clay,
That neither rose nor oak may bloom
Betwixt the night and judgment day.
"For no man twice may pass this gate."
He said. But Bismarck flashed his eyes:
"Nay, at the trumpet call of fate,
Like Barbarossa, I shall rise.
"In sight of all Gods Seraphim
I place this helmet on my brow.
For lo! We Germans fear but Him,
And He, I know, is with us now."
The dead man stood up in his might,
The startled angel said no word,
Through endless spheres of day and night
God in His Seventh Heaven heard,
And answered thus: "Shall man forget
My laws? They were not lightly made,
Nor writ for thee to break. And yet
I love thee. Thou art not afraid.
"Bismarck, from now till morrow's sun
Walks as a wraith amid the strife,
And if thou find thy work undone
Come back, and I shall give thee — life."
With stern salute the spectre strode
Out of the dark into the dawn.
From Hamburg to the Caspian road
He saw a wall of iron drawn.
He saw young men go forth to die
Singing the martial songs of yore.
Boldly athwart the Flemish sky
He marked the German airmen soar.
A thousand spears in battle line
Had pierced the wayward heart of France,
But still above the German Rhine
The Walkyrs held their august dance.
He saw the sliding submarine
Wrest the green trident from the hold
Of her whose craven tradesmen lean
On yellow men and yellow gold.
In labyrinths of blood and sand
He watched ten Russian legions drown.
Unseen he shook the doughty hand
Of Hindenburg near Warsaw town.
The living felt his presence when,
Paternal blessing, he drew nigh,
And all the dead and dying men
Saluted him as he passed by.
But he rode back in silent thought,
And from his great heart burst a sigh
Of thanks. "The Master Craftsman wrought
This mighty edifice, not I.
"No hostile hoof shall ever fall
Upon my country's sacred sod;
Though seven whirlwinds lash its wall,
It stands erect, a rock of God.
"I shall return unto my bed,
Nor ask of life a second lease.
My spirit lives though I be dead,
My aching bones may rest in peace."
Up to his chin he drew the shroud,
To wait Gods judgment patiently,
While high above a blood-red cloud
Two eagles screamed of victory.
Kuno Francke, who worked so faithfully for friendly rela-
tions between America and Germany, is the author of the
Ich weiss von einem Lande, dem bietet Jahr fiir Jahr
Des reichen Glanzes Fiille die Hand des Schicksals dar.
Auf Flachen unermessen, aus tiefem Bergesschacht
Reift golden ihm die Ernte, quillt ihm der Erze Pracht.
Gewaltige Strome rauschen, rings flutet das Weltenmeer,
Aus Urwald und Prairie stiirmt machtiges Leben her,
Und in dem Volke brauset titanenhafter Sinn,
Nach allem Hochsten greifet sein kiihnes Wagen hin.
Es riittelt an den Bergen, es taucht in Meeresschlund,
Es spannt mit Eisennetzen den Fels und Urwaldsgrund,
Es tiirmet Quader auf Quader bis zu den Wolken grau,
So werkelt es und hammert an der Freiheit Riesenbau. —
Ein ander Land auch kenn' ich, ein Land gar lieb und wert,
Dort wird vergang'ner Zeiten Geheimnis noch geehrt,
Dort fliistern noch die Walder manch altes Sagenwort,
Dort rauscht noch in den Wogen der Nibelungenhort,
Dort ragen noch alte Dome dunkel und wundergleich,
Dort sehnen noch Kinderherzen sich nach dem Himmelreich.
O Deutschland, von all' deinen Kindern liebt keines dich so
Als wir, die fremdgeword'nen, die Deutschen iiberm Meer.
Du bist uns mehr als Mutter, du bist unseres Lebens Ruh,
Du bist unser Weinen und Lachen, unserer Arbeit Segen bist
Du setzest dem rastlosen Wagen bedachtig Mass und Zeit,
Du weisest dem hastigen Blicke den Weg zur Ewigkeit.
Loyalty to the great cause of liberty can not find a more
beautiful expression than in Friedrich Albert Schmitt's spirited
Sterne und Streifen.
Im Morgenwind in der Sonne Gold
Der Freiheit heiliges Banner rollt;
Sein Rauschen tonet wie Adlerflug
Um Alpenhaupter im Siegeszug.
Es klingt wie das Rauschen im Urwaldsdom,
Es klingt wie das Brausen im Felsenstrom,
Es klingt wie die Brandung am Klippenstrand ;
Von See zu See und von Land zu Land:
Wie die ewigen Sterne vom Himmelszelt
Herniedergrussen zur traumenden Welt,
Wie im blauen Aether ihr Licht ergluht,
Erfreuend, erhebend das Menschengemiit,
So griissen die Sterne des Banners, wenn hold
Es den staunenden Blicken der Volker entrollt,
So kundet ihr Anblick vom heiligen Hort
Dem Lande der Freien das herrliche Wort:
So zog es voran einst der Vater Heer,
Als die Knechtschaft draute und Fesseln schwer;
So hat es ermutigt die Volker im Streit,
So hat es die Waffen der Krieger gefeit,
So hat es die heilige Liebe geschiirt,
So hat es zum herrlichen Sieg sie gefiihrt,
So hat es gewahrt ihnen kostlichen Lohn,
So hat es geheiliget der Union
Ihr Sterne so hehr und ihr Streifen so hold,
Oh, rauschet zum Feste, oh rauschet und rollt
Und kundet den Kindern und Enkeln es an,
Was einst um die Freiheit die Vater getan!
Oh, rollet und rauschet ein ewiges Lied,
Dass tief in den Herzen es woget und gliiht,
Oh, rollet und rauschet, dem Segen geweiht,
Ob dem Lande der Freien in Ewigkeit!
Among the numerous works of German prose writers in
America those treating historical subjects are perhaps of great-
est value. During the years 1850 to 1860 Gustav von Struwe
wrote a history of the world in eight volumes, published at
New York. This book is of special interest, as the author
reviews events and personalities from a strong democratic
Robert Clemens published a "History of the Inquisition"
(Cincinnati 1849). Philipp Schaff wrote a "History of the
Christian Church" (Mercersburg 1851) and "America, and
Its Political, Social and Religious Conditions" (Berlin 1854).
Gustav Briihl, a physician in Cincinnati, was author of the
valuable volume "Die alten Kulturvolker Amerikas."
Ernst Richard is author of a valuable "History of German
Civilization" (New York 1909).
Historical subjects are also treated in several works of
Rudolf Cronau. During the years 1890 to 1892 he wrote his
book "America," which was published simultaneously in Ger-
man (Leipzig, 1892) and in Spanish (Barcelona, 1892). It
gives a review of the discovery and exploitation of the New
World from the earliest to the present times. Purposing to
acquire authoritative information from original sources and to
make himself acquainted with the countries discovered by
Columbus, Cortes, Coronado, Cartier, La Salle, Champlain,
Pike, Lewis, Clarke and others, the author made extensive
journeys through the West Indies, Central America, Mexico,
the United States and Canada, following the tracks of the
great explorers. Two questions of paramount interest, con-
cerning which wide differences of opinion existed, were the
subject of exhaustive investigations by him: the location of the
first landing place of Columbus, and that of the actual place
of repose of the great discoverer's remains. Cronau's con-
clusions as to these questions, based on researches made on
these trips and included in the above named work, have been
accepted as decisive by the most critical authorities.
Another historical work by the same author appeared in
1909 at Berlin under the title "Drei Jahrhunderte deutschen
Lebens in Amerika," giving to German readers a comprehen-
sive review of the achievements of the German element in the
A number of able writers have contributed works bearing
on this same subject, from various points of view, and collec-
tively presenting an array of facts, which will prove a solid
wall against present day efforts to minimize the German as a
factor in America. Among these writers are
Franz Loher, ("Geschichte and Zustande der Deutschen
in Amerika," Cincinnati, 1847); Anton Eickhoff ("In der
neuen Heimat," New York, 1884); Georg von Bosse ("Das
deutsche Element in den Vereinigten Staaten," Stuttgart,
1908) ; Albert Bernhardt Faust ("The German Element in the
United States," Boston, 1909) ; Julius Goebel ("Das Deutsch-
tum in den Vereinigten Staaten," Miinchen, 1904) ; and Max
Heinrici ("Das Buch der Deutschen in Amerika," Philadel-
Friedrich Kapp wrote a valuable "History of Slavery" (New
York, I860): furthermore splendid biographies of Friedrich
Wilhelm von Steuben and von Kalb; and "Geschichte der
deutschen Einwanderung in den Staat New York" (New York,
Oswald Seidensticker penned "Bilder aus der deutsch-penn-
sylvanischen Geschichte," a magnetic and finely written work
on local history. Very valuable monographs about the German
immigrants and sectarians of Pennsylvania have been published
by the "German Historical Society of Pennsylvania." Among
the contributors are Julius Sachse, Samuel Pennypacker,
Daniel Rupp, Daniel Cassel, Oskar Kuhns, Diffenderfer, Hart-
ranft, Schmauk and others. Hermann Schuricht wrote a com-
prehensive work about the Germans of Virginia; Emil Klaup-
recht and H. A. Rattermann edited similar books about the
Germans of Ohio; Joseph Eiboeck about the Germans of Iowa;
Wilhelm Hensen and Ernst Bruncken about the Germans
of Wisconsin; Hanno Deiler about the Germans at the lower
Mississippi. Gert Goebel described the life of the German
backwoodsmen; and Friedrich Riibesamen supplied vivid
pictures of the frontier life in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Gustav Koerner compiled valuable historical notes in his book
"Das deutsche Element wahrend der Periode 1818 bis 1848"
(Cincinnati, 1880). Of equal value are the many historical
essays of H. A. Rattermann.
A most noteworthy writer during the last century was Karl
Heinzen, a refugee of 1 848, who as one of the leaders in the
United States of the radical German democrats brilliantly
advocated their principles. As editor of the weekly "Pioneer"
as well as author of the works "Deutscher Radikalismus in
Amerika" and "Erlebtes" (Boston, 1864 and 1874) he
exerted a remarkable influence on his countrymen in the
Of the German writers, whose mastership of the English
language was almost equal to that of their own, Franz Lieber
and Carl Schurz are the best known.
Of Lieber's eminent works on international law and social
ethics has been spoken in a former chapter. The literary
works of Carl Schurz contain magnificent biographies of Henry
Clay (Boston, 1 887), and President Lincoln (London, 1892).
Of greatest interest are also Schurz's "Reminiscences of a Long
Life" (New York, 1906), wherein the author reviews the
many memorable incidents of his career, so exceedingly rich
in struggles, hopes, disappointments and success. For the
study of the German revolution of 1 848 and the political con-
ditions of the United States during the period from 1850 to
1900 these reminiscences are sources of first order. The same
must be said of the collection of his speeches, correspondence
and political papers, which in 1913 were edited by the "Schurz
A prominent writer of the 19th century was Charles Nord-
hoff, born 1830 in Westphalia, but brought to this country
while still a child. In 1 844 he entered the U. S. Navy, serving
three years, and making a voyage around the world. He
remained at sea in the merchant, whaling and mackerel fishery
service until 1853, when he entered journalism and occupied
editorial positions on the "New York Evening Post," and later
on the "New York Herald." Of his many books the best
remembered are "Communistic Societies in the United States
(1875) and "The Cotton States" (1876). The latter pro-
voked a heated controversy, because NordhofF placed responsi-
bility for the terrible conditions, prevailing then, on the
Republican "carpetbaggers," who invaded the South after the
The experiences during his former sea-life were described
by Nordhoff in the works "Whaling and Fishing;" "Man-of-
War Life;" "Stories of the Island World" and others.
In his book "Our Wasteful Nation. The Story of American
Prodigality and the Abuse of Our National Resources" (New
York, 1908) Rudolf Cronau treated the weighty problem of
conservation, showing conclusively that the American nation
suffers losses amounting to many hundred millions of dollars
annually by sheer carelessness and wasteful methods. The
twelve chapters of the book bring to view the enormous waste,
committed by the American people by the destruction of its
forests, the waste of water, soil, mineral resources, the exter-
mination of birds, fishes, game, fur- and great marine animals,
the waste of public lands, privileges, money, property and
To the Travel Literature Theodor Kirchhoff, the "Poet of
the Golden Gate," contributed highly interesting works in his
"Calif ornische Kulturbilder" and "Reisebilder und Skizzen"
Rudolf Cronau published "Von Wunderland zu Wunder-
land, Landschafts- und Lebensbilder aus den Staaten und
Territorien der Union" (Leipzig, 1885) ; "Im fernen Westen.
Eine Kiinstlerfahrt durch die Prairien und Felsengebirge der
Union" (Braunschweig, 1890), and "Fahrten im Lande der
Sioux" (Leipzig, 1885).
Robert H. Schauffler, born in Briinn, Austria, became
widely known by his attractive books "Romantic Germany"
(New York, 1909) and "Romantic America" (New York,
1911), "Through Italy with the Poets" (New York, 1908).
Of the numerous German novelists in America the best
known during the midst of the 19th century was Carl Postel,
who wrote under the pseudonym Charles Sealsfield. Having
travelled for several years in the Southern States, he published
in Philadelphia in 1828 his first great novel "Tokeah or the
White Rose," which later on was followed by "Nathan the
Squatter-Regulator; "The Legitimate and the Republicans;"
"Virey and the Aristocrats" and many others. His prolific
pen drew fascinating sketches of the life on Southern planta-
tions, of the lower Mississippi River and the plains of Texas.
Endowed with a rich imagination, he unrolled to his readers
a new world alive with people never before described. With
characteristic strokes he drew the smart Yankee, the light-
minded Frenchman, the considerate German, the sensuous
Creole and Creoless, the daring trapper and the tough back-
Related to the works of this novelist are those of Friedrich
Gerstacker, Balduin Mbllhausen, Otto Ruppius and other
writers, who travelled extensively in North America and
enriched the German American literature by numerous fascinat-
ing works of fiction, which found large circulation in Germany
as well as in the United States.
Other noted fiction writers are Friedrich Hassaureck
("Hierarchie und Aristokratie" and "Das Geheimniss der
Anden") ; Friedrich Dresel ("Oskar Welden;" "Doppelehe
oder keine Doppelehe;" "Bekenntnisse eines Advokaten");
Friedrich Lexow ("Auf dem Geierfels," "Imperia," "Vornehm
und gering") ; Rudolf Lexow ("Der Rubin"); Karl Dilthey
("Die schonsten Tage einer Tanzerin," "Henriette Sonntag") ;
Reinhold Solger ("Anton in Amerika") ; von Jakob ("The
Exiles") ; Adolf Douai ("Fata Morgana") ; Willibald Winkler
("Der Sklavenjager" ) ; Udo Brachvogel ("King Korn");
Adolf Schaffmeyer ("Ein Phantom," "Auf steiler Hohe," "Die
ewige Jagd" and "Im Wirbel der Grossstadt") ; Dorothea
Bottcher ("Der Sohn des Bankiers" and "Der Erbschleicher" ) ;
Hugo Bertsch ("Bob der Sonderling" and "Die Geschwister" ) ;
Henry Urban ("Maus Lula," "Lederstrumpf's Erben," "Aus
dem Dollarlande," etc.); Hugo Moller ("Aus Deutsch
Amerika" and "Grand Prairie") ; George Sylvester Viereck
("The Vampire," "The Candle and the Flame" and "Game
of Love") .
The great European War brought forth not only numerous
pamphlets, but also several noteworthy books, written by
Germans in the United States. Hugo Munsterberg discussed
in his works "The War and America" and "The Peace and
America" the essential factors and issues in the great war and
their meaning and importance for America. Edmund von
Mach in his book "What Germany Wants" gives a clear-cut
statement of the German side. Frank Koster tells in "Secrets
of German Progress" (New York, 1915) the fascinating story
of Germany's efficiency and her amazing rise to that industrial
power, which aroused England to such jealousy, that it made
most careful preparations to isolate and crush this new com-
petitor on the world's markets in the same manner as it had
done with all former rivals.
The story of these destructive British wars has been given
by Rudolf Cronau in "The British Black Book" (New York,
1915). Based on historical facts, it shows how England by
her machinations has kept the world aflame for centuries, first
robbing Ireland, Wales and Scotland of their independence;
then successively destroying the power of Spain, Holland,
France, Denmark and India; how she poisoned the Chinese
with opium and suppressed the free Boers for the sake of their
gold and diamond mines; how she conspired with France and
Russia to strangle her most successful rival in commerce,
Germany, and how in the midst of a mercenary war she seeks
to throttle the prosperity of the United States.
Alexander Fuehr, doctor of law, in his book "The neutrality
of Belgium" (New York, 1915) makes three claims: first,
that Belgium was not neutral territory when the German army
invaded it; second, that, according to the Law of Nations,
the treaty guaranteeing Belgium's neutrality had been void for
many years and was considered so by Great Britain, prior to
the war; third, that, even if the guarantee treaty had still been
in force, International Law fully permitted Germany to invade
Belgium under the particular circumstances. To substantiate
these claims the author presents large numbers of documents
and affidavits, which give full account of the origin and the
break-down of Belgium's neutrality.
Among the German American publicists, who came to the
front during the great European war, the most notable is
George Sylvester Viereck, who in the weeklies "The Father-
land" and "The International" wrote numerous strong articles,
which imparted to the American public undistorted views of
the cause of the great conflict and unvarnished truth about
the many serious questions connected with it.
Undaunted fighters for truth have been also Frederick
Franklin Schrader, Francis Dorl, editor of "Issues and Events,"
Bernard Ridder of the "New York Staatszeitung," Marcus
Braun of the "Fair Play," and William Ries of the "People's
German Music and Song in America
If for no other contribution to its culture and development,
the American people owe a debt of gratitude to the Germans
for having brought into its social life some brightening rays
Whoever studies the social life of the early settlers, in par-
ticular that of the Puritans, Quakers and other sectarians, will
find that it was dominated by two aims strangely opposed to
each other, the one, an intensive striving for material gain,
the other, laying up stores for the life hereafter.
The pursuit of these objects rendered the earthly existence
of the Anglo Americans so grave and joyless that visitors
to this country were repelled by its melancholic monotony.
Such was the experience of the British authoress Mrs. Frances
Trollope recorded in her famous book "Domestic Manners of
the Americans." Having travelled in this country from 1827
to 1831, she felt herself justified in saying: "I never saw a
population so totally divested of gayety; there is no trace of
this feeling from one end of the Union to the other. They
have no fetes, no fairs, no merry-makings, no music in the
In confirmation of her own impressions the authoress
quotes also the following remarks of another woman: "They
do not love music, oh no! and they never amuse themselves —
no; and their hearts are not warm, at least they seem not so
to strangers; and they have no ease, no forgetfulness of busi-
ness and care — no, not for a moment. But I will not stay
long, I think, for I should not live." —
To have brought a change in this joyless life, is the great
merit of the Germans, who made America their home. When
they emigrated from the beloved fatherland, their cheerful-
ness, good humor and love for music and song were the most
valuable treasures, they brought with them to our shores.
With their sunny mind they enriched our nation, while she
was in the process of evolution, to such degree, that the
American people should have to the Germans no other feeling
but deep gratitude.
There was a great difference between the religious services
of the Puritans and Quakers and that of the Germans. While
the first abhorred music and singing the latter enjoyed the
wonderful impressive hymns and the great symphonies of
Martin Luther, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and other com-
posers of the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries. Visitors who heard
these songs in Bethlehem and in the Ephrata cloister, confessed
that they were overwhelmed by the impressive cadence of
the chorals of the combined choirs, and by the angelic or
celestial quality of the vocal music.
But these musical exercises were not confined to religious
meetings exclusively. From the history of the Moravians we
know, that they had songs for their daily work as well. Bishop
Spangenberg, head of the community during the middle of the
18th century, states: "Never since the creation of this world
have been invented and used such lovely songs for shepherds,
farmers, reapers, threshers, spinners, seamstresses and other
working people than here. It would be easy, to make up a
whole volume with these beautiful melodies."
It did not take long for the conquering power of music and
song to make itself felt even in New England. A Handel and
Haydn Society was started in 1 786 in Stoughton, Mass. In
June 1815 it was followed by a similar one in Boston, organ-
ized by Gottlieb Graupner, a German musician, who founded
also the first orchestra, the Philharmonic Society.
Societies with like purposes were formed in New York,
Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other centres of German
life. New York had the Euterpean Society, founded in 1 799 ;
the Sacred Music Society, founded in 1823; the Choral- and
the Harmonic Society. To these early clubs came in 1 842
the famous Philharmonic Society, which still exists. Her
members, mostly Germans, aimed not for financial gain, but
to reach in their art perfection. From 1842 to 1865 U. C.
Hill, Georg Loder, H. C. Timm, Theodor Eisfeld and Karl
Bergmann alternated as conductors; from 1865 to 1876
Bergmann conducted exclusively and led the society to its
Bergmann was also a pioneer in another direction. He had
come to America as a member of the Germania Orchestra,
which consisted of fifty political refugees of 1 848. Being
elected as its conductor, Bergmann boldly began to make con-
cert tours with this orchestra, visiting many of the eastern cities.
After his resignation Leopold Damrosch became his suc-
cessor as conductor of the Philharmonic Society. At the same
time he founded the Oratorio Society and the Symphony
Society of New York, which under his leadership gave, from
May 3d to 7th, 1881, a grand festival in the armory of the
7th New York Regiment. It was a musical event of the highest
order. The chorus consisted of 1200 select voices, which
were supported by 1 000 young ladies of the high schools of
New York and by 250 boys of the choirs of several churches.
The orchestra numbered 250 instruments. The most important
works of the program were Handel's Messias and Te Deum,
Rubinstein's Erection of the Tower at Babel, Berlioz's Missa
Solemnis and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The artistic suc-
cess as well as the financial results of this festival surpassed
Now came a period of great conductors, among them
Theodore Thomas, Karl Zerrahn, George Henschel, Wilhelm
Gericke, Anton Seidl, Walter and Frank H. Damrosch, Emil
Paur, Frank van der Stucken, Ernst Kunwald, Franz H. Arens,
Fritz Scheel, Louis Kommenich and others, under whose
able leadership many of the musical societies reached highest
Several of these conductors have won, by their genius, an
everlasting place in the history of music in America. This is
especially true in regard to the Damroschs, Theodor Thomas,
Karl Zerrahn and Anton Seidl, all of whom were born in
Germany. Thomas, a native of Northern Germany, was per-
haps the greatest of these leaders. When twenty years old,
he started a society for chamber concerts. Several years later
he organized also his own orchestra, with which he, from 1 864
to 1 89 1 , made tours throughout the United States. While
these tours were, from a financial standpoint, not a success,
their educational value was immense. To hundreds of thou-
sands of people the Thomas-Orchestra was the first wonderful
revelation of the power of instrumental music. John C. Griggs
says in his "Studies about Music in America": "I can never
forget the deep impression the Thomas-Orchestra made upon
my mind. It was like a glance into a new world."
Thomas conducted five music festivals in Cincinnati (1873,
1875, 1878, 1880, 1882), one in Chicago (1882) and one
in New York (1882). In 1891 he was called to Chicago,
to organize a symphonic orchestra, which he conducted with
great success. He also distinguished himself as musical director
at the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Indeed, there could be no adequate sketch of the grand
orchestra that did not pay a tribute to Theodore Thomas,
practically speaking the great missionary of the orchestra in
America. He did not create it, but he introduced and devel-
oped and extended it, and above all, as Charles E. Russell has
correctly said, "he made it intelligible to the public, spreading
abroad the understanding of and the taste for orchestral art,
patiently teaching its rudiments and by exposition making clear
A position similar to that held by Thomas in the middle
States was held by Karl Zerrahn in the New England States.
He conducted not only for many years the Philharmonic
Orchestra and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, but
also the concerts of the Oratorio Society in Salem and the
famous Worcester festivals in Worcester, Mass. Of him Elton
in his work "National Music of America" said: "Zerrahn was
the bridge, by which New England travelled to its modern
goal in classical music."
The names of Leopold and Walter Damrosch are connected
with the brilliant history of the Oratorio- and Symphony
Societies of New York, the names of Karl Bergmann, Anton
SeidI, Gustav Mahler and Joseph Stransky with the history of
the unsurpassed Philharmonic Society of New York.
Georg Henschel, Wilhelm Gericke, Arthur Nickisch, Emil
Paur and Karl Muck habe been the leaders of the Boston
Symphony Orchestra, that pride of the Hub and America
generally. After having been supported by Major Henry
L. Higginson for thirty years, this orchestra now plays to
paying audiences, and its concerts, given in Boston, New York,
Brooklyn, Baltimore and Washington, are financially success-
ful, as they are artistically most brilliant.
No higher encomium could be framed for these orchestras
than that the greatest leaders and virtuosos of Germany were
glad to come here and as guests take part in performances
of genuine worth.
Among such conductors were Max Bruch, Hans von Bulow,
Felix Weingartner, Richard Strauss, and others; among the
virtuosos men like August Wilhelmj, Rafael Joseffy, Anton
Rubinstein, Thalberg, Scharwenka, Louis Maas, Franz Kneisel,
Schultz, and many more, who by the masterly rendition of
the works of great composers helped in paving for music, the
most pleasing and elevating of the muses, the way to victory.
To-day almost every considerable city has its symphony
orchestra, voluntarily organized and maintained not for profit
but voluntarily supported by public subscription as a public
educator. So rapidly has the number of such grand orchestras
grown, that only the specialists maintain any knowledge of
this most significant development of our culture. The orchestra
is already a feature of American city life, and the cities that
have orchestras feel in them steadily increasing pride and
interest and give to them steadily increasing support.
Vocal music, introduced so effectually by the German
sectarians of the 1 8th century, found great stimulation through
the efforts of the political refugees of the period 1 820 to 1 848.
Among these high-spirited heroes of an unsuccessful revolution
there were many musicians, enthusiastic followers of their art.
Disappointed by the monotony of American life, these men
banded together and formed, for their own entertainment,
singing societies, in which they cultivated the inspiring songs
of liberty, written by Uhland, Herwegh, Freiligrath, Hoff-
mann von Fallersleben, Lenau and other great German poets.
The first of such singing societies was the Philadelphia
Mannerchor, founded in 1835, and still flourishing. The next
was the Baltimore Liederkranz (1836), followed in 1838 by
the Deutsche Gesangverein von Cincinnati; in 1844 the Phila-
delphia Liedertafel was born, and in 1847 the Deutsche Lie-
derkranz von New York.
Since then the increase of such societies has been enormous.
To-day there is hardly any city with a German population,
that has not its singing societies.
Occasional visits of one society to others led to the forma-
tion of unions for the purpose of holding regular singing
festivals with a competition for prizes. The first Sangerfest
was held in June 1 849 in Cincinnati and resulted in the found-
ing of the Deutsche Sangerbund von Nordamerika. Two days
were devoted to concerts; on the third day all members, more
than one thousand, went in richly decorated steamers up the
Ohio River to the romantic Bald Hill, where Sunday was
spent with singing and all kinds of entertainments. This
festival was for the American press a source of wonder. "The
music on the high hill, in the midst of a pleasant grove, by
nearly two hundred singers, was grand beyond our power of
description." So wrote the Cincinnati Gazette.
Continuing, it said: "Enjoyment seemed to be the object
of all, and about the whole assembly there was an air which
spoke plainly as words:
Let us be young again
And o'er the grassy plain
Gambol like children,
And give care the slip.
We do not think the Sabbath under all circumstances a
proper day for festivals of this character, but we think they
should at proper times be much more frequent than they are
now. Americans do not allow themselves enjoyment enough
of this kind.
In our too plodding homes, we ponder over tomes,
Ledger and day-book, till we quite forget
That there are fields and bowers and river-banks and flowers.
And that we owe our languid limbs a debt:
A debt most sweet to pay — a needful holiday —
A brain-refreshing truce, 'mid intellectual strife,
That, fought too keenly out, impairs the mortal life."
The example, set by the singing societies of the Central
States, was followed by the societies of the East and North-
west, of Texas and the Pacific States. At present we have
the Nordostliche Sangerbund, the Deutsch Texanische Sanger-
bund, the Nordwestliche Sangerbund, the Pacific Sanger-
bund and the Nord Pacific Sangerbund. All hold at
regular intervals great Sanger-festivals, combined with a
competition for valuable prizes. Among these prizes have
been some donated by the German and Austrian Emperors,
and it was due to the competition for these trophies of high
artistic value, that some of these festivals became events of
extraordinary magnitude. There have been such festivals, in
which several thousand active singers took part, as for instance
in July 1900 in Brooklyn, which was visited by 1 74 societies
with more than 6000 singers. Many of these festivals gained
a special splendor by the active participation of famous soloists,
as Henrietta Son tag, Amalie Mater na, Etelka Gerster, Johanna
Gadski, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and others, who made
the American public acquainted with the most beautiful crea-
tions of German song.
Captivated by the magic spell of these songs the Americans
began on their part to organize singing societies, with such
eminent success, that to-day they are able to compete with
their German American fellow-citizens in the perfect rendition
of the most difficult compositions of the German masters.
And so the German American Sangerbiinde can point with
great pride to the work of culture accomplished by them and
can say indeed that no other societies have in like manner
contributed to the elevation and advancement of the popula-
tion of our country.
German Drama and Opera in the
Together with the oratorios and symphonies of great
German composers the dramas of German poets found their
way to the United States at an early day. Schiller's "Rauber,"
"Wilhelm Tell," "Don Carlos,' "Cabale und Liebe" were
given as early as 1 795 in English translations on the stages
of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Several dramas
of Kotzebue, Zschokke and Halm were given also with great
success and brought full houses.
Since these times countless other works of German play-
writers have been presented in English to the American
public, among them the best pieces of Paul Heyse, Gustav
von Moser, Roderick Benedix, Hermann Sudermann, Anzen-
gruber and Gerhardt Hauptmann. That all these great works
had a stimulating influence on American playwrights as well
as on actors, can not be denied.
This influence was perhaps strongest during the last half
of the 1 9th century, when Adolf Neuendorf, Carl Hermann,
Gustav Amberg, Heinrich Conried and others founded Ger-
man theatres in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati,
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis, and brought the most
famous actors of Germany into this country. Among them
were Friedrich Haase, Daniel Bandmann, Bogumil Davison,
Ernst Possart, Karl Sontag, Ludwig Barnay, Friedrich Mitter-
wurzer, Joseph Kainz, Adalbert Matkowsky, August Junker-
mann, Magda Irschick, Franziska Ellmenreich, Georgine von
Januschowsky, Kathi Schratt, Josephine Gallmeyer, Marie
Seebach, Hedwig Niemann-Raabe, Marie Geistinger and
others, who, by their excellent play aroused not only the
German Americans to enthusiasm, but also the managers and
actors of the Anglo-American stage.
"In reviewing these times," so a noted critic said, "it is
difficult, to refrain from such language, as not to be suspected
of exaggerating. No one in our prosaic days can realize the
ecstasy, by which then New York was taken, not simply the
Germans, but all New York."
The managers and members of the Anglo-American theatres
were the most impressed, because almost every figure, played
by these great German actors, was a study, unsurpassable in
charm, accomplishment and truthfulness. How deeply inter-
ested the best Anglo-American actors became in the play of
their German colleagues, can be judged by the fact, that
Edwin Booth, delighted with the acting of Bogumil Davison,
invited the German to play with him in "Othello." In this
performance, which took place in January, 1867, Davison had
the role of Jago ; Methua Scheller, a German actress, gave the
Desdemona, using in the scenes with Booth-Othello the English
language, while in the scenes with Davison she spoke German.
In the same year Booth also invited Fanny Janauscheck to
act with his company "Lady Macbeth" in Boston. Although
she spoke in German, she aroused such great enthusiasm, that
the houses always were sold out.
Still greater triumphs were achieved by several German
companies who visited the United States. The most note-
worthy were the "Munchener," the "Schlierseer," and a part
of the "Meininger troups."
The Meininger, organized under the protection of the Duke
of Saxe-Meiningen, had become famous in Germany for their
wonderful ensemble as well as for the great attention they
devoted to historic truthfulness in costumes and scenery. In
contrast to the American "star-system," by which one partic-
ular actor or actress, assisted by some performers of minor
grades, glories in the main role, the Meininger troupe laid
great value on the equality of all actors, in order to accomplish
the most harmonious and most artistic interpretation of a
This idea of ensemble effect had been developed by Richard
Wagner, who in the presentation of his operas in Bayreuth
secured his triumphs to a great extent by the equality of the
most selected singers as well as of the members of the
orchestra. As the "Meininger," the "Munchener" and "Schlier-
seer" observed in their dramatic presentations the same prin-
ciples, their visits to America made the deepest impression on
the public as well as on the managers and members of the
Imbued with the same ambitions, which inspired the man-
agers of the above-named troupes, was Heinrich Conried, who,
having been an actor himself, assumed the directorship of
the Irving Place Theatre of New York City in 1 892 and held
this position till 1907.
Under his regime numerous other celebrities of the German
stage were presented to the American public, among them
Adolf Sonnenthal, Georg Engels, Felix Schweighofer, Rudolf
Christians, Ferdinand Bonn, Harry Walden, Agnes Sorma,
Helene Odilon, Anna Dierkens, Agathe Barsescu and Mia
Werber, who by their great art won new laurels for the German
theatre in the United States.
To interest American students in the great dramas of
German literature, Conried also gave a number of high-class
performances of Goethe's "Iphigenia," Lessing's "Minna von
Barnhelm," Freitag's "Journalisten" and other dramas at
several Eastern universities, donating the entire income of such
entertainments to the library fund of the respective institutions.
Emulating this munificence Charles Frohmann arranged on
June 22, 1909, for the benefit of the Germanic museum of
Harvard University a similar magnificent performance of
Schiller's "Jungfrau von Orleans," with Maud Adams in the
title role. About 1500 people took part in the pageantry
and battle scenes, while the audience, numbering more than
15,000 persons, occupied every seat of the huge semicircle
of the stadium, which served as a stage. The great success
of this performance on so large a scale was acknowledged
by the audience as well as by the critics of the many papers,
represented at this occasion.
Conried's successors, among them Maurice Baumfeld and
Rudolf Christians, did their best, not only to keep up the high
standard the German drama had reached in former days, but
even to surpass it. In similar ways strove the managers of
German stages in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis and San
Francisco, with the history of which the names of Leon Wachs-
ner, Alexander Wurster, Ferdinand Welb and Ottilie Genee
are insolubly connected.
So the German theatres in the United States have fulfilled
their high and sacred mission, to cultivate German dramatic
art and to transmit its rich treasures to many millions of
Americans and Americans of German descent, to whom the
highest performances of German poetry would otherwise
remain an unknown realm.
# * # #
Of like great influence as the German Drama has been the
German Opera. Overtures and other parts of the "Frei-
schiitz," "Martha," "Czar und Zimmermann" had been played
by American orchestras as early as 1839. But the first per-
formances were not given before 1855, when twelve evenings
were arranged in Niblo's Garden in New York by Julius Unger.
Four years later Karl Bergmann, the leader of the Philharmonic
Society, introduced Wagner's "Tannhauser," which was fol-
lowed in September 1 862 by a season, during which Karl
Anschiitz produced the "Zauberflote," "Don Juan," "Stra-
della," and other German operas.
Soon afterwards Adolf Neuendorff brought for the first time
Wagner's "Lohengrin," "Der fliegende Hollander" and
"Rienzi" before the American public. Assisted by such
eminent singers as Theodor Wachtel, Theodor Habelmann,
Wilhelm Formes, Eugenie Pappenheim, Pauline Lucca, Ines
Lichtmay and others these performances were such brilliant
artistic and financial successes, that it was easy for Leopold
Damrosch, leader of the Philharmonic Society, to persuade
the directors of the Metropolitan Opera House, to arrange in
1 884 a series of German operas in place of the Italian operas,
which had resulted in serious financial loss. During this season,
which consisted of 5 7 evenings, the American public became
acquainted with the operas "Fidelio," "Die Hugenotten," "Die
Stumme von Portici," "Der Prophet," and, last but not least,
In selecting his artists Damrosch, breaking with the Amer-
ican star-system, followed the example set by Wagner in
Bayreuth. Without regard to cost, he brought together a
magnificent ensemble of first-class singers, of whom Amalie
Materna, Marianne Brandt, Marie Schroeder - Hanf stangel,
Auguste Seidl-Kraus, Joseph Staudigl, Adolf Robinson and
Anton Schott were the most notable. While the artistic
success of this season was overwhelming, the financial result
was also such as to induce the directors of the Metropolitan
Opera House to make plans for a second, still greater season.
But the enormous strain of the work had proved fatal to the
inspirer of the new venture. Leopold Damrosch suffered a
complete break-down and died on February 10, 1885, just
when his triumphs were brightest. The season was brought
to a successful close by Walter Damrosch, the son of the
In the next season he was followed by Anton Seidl, a
member of Richard Wagners household, who had also con-
ducted many of his operas in Italy and at the theatre in
Bremen. While almost all of the great singers of the first
season were re-engaged, Seidl brought with him several other
accomplished artists, such as Lilli Lehmann, Albert Stritt, Emil
Fischer, Gudehus and others. With such an army of most
accomplished singers victory was assured. And indeed, the
interpretation given by Seidl to the great works of the master,
Richard Wagner, and to other operas, aroused an enthusiasm
never before experienced. And when during the seasons of
1885 to 1891 Seidl presented all the other great operas of
the Nibelungen Ring, "Rheingold," "Siegfried," "Gotterdam-
merung," and when he brought also the eminent Fanny
Moran-OIden, the matchless Albert Niemann, the brilliant
Theodor Reichmann, and the ideal Max Alvary (Achenbach)
into play, the unbelievable became a fact, that all the dried-up
business-men of New York became "Wagner-fiends," and that
on afternoons they deserted their offices, hastening to the
Opera House, to delve into the mystic world of ancient Ger-
man gods and heroes. No wonder that, when Seidl suddenly
died, on March 28, 1898, every lover of art felt this as a
Several seasons, started by Walter Damrosch and the man-
agers Abbey and Grau, brought other numbers of eminent
German singers to America, among them Rosa Sucher,
Johanna Gadski, Marie Brema, Ernestine Schumann-Heinck,
Ernest van Dyck, Konrad Behrens and Andreas Dippel,
which were joined by Marie Rappold, Katharine Fleischer-
Edel, Marie Mattfeld, Alois Burgstaller, Albert Reiss, van
Roy, Karl Burrian, Heinrich Knote, Otto Goritz and others,
when in 1903 Heinrich Conried became manager of the Metro-
politan Opera House. Assisted by these brilliant singers and
the eminent conductors Felix Mottl, Gustav Mahler and Alfred
Hertz Conried presented to the public not only the entire
"Nibelungen Ring" several times, but also Wagner's "Meister-
singer," Strauss' "Salome," Humperdinck's "Hansel und
Gretel," Goldmark's "Konigin von Saba," and Wagner's last
great work, "Parcifal." This consecrational festival play was
enacted for the first time in America on Christmas Eve 1903.
Never before had such great care been devoted to any opera.
While the corps of artists was the most select, utmost attention
had been given also to the costumes as well as to the sceneries.
The result was a performance which, as was stated by the
most able critics, even surpassed those given in Bayreuth.
Thousands listened to the last message of the great German
master in deep devotion, and all agreed that this sublime play
left with them a most ennobling impression. In the history
of music the event was epoch-making, as it was for the first
time that "Parcifal" was given anywhere outside the sacred
temple of Bayreuth, and for this reason the attention of all
Europe was directed on New York.
Under Conried's regime the members of the Metropolitan
Opera made also several tours through the western parts of
the United States, visiting Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis,
Kansas City and San Francisco.
After the resignation and death of Conried the management
of the Metropolitan Opera House became a double one. While
the Italian Gatti Casazza was general manager, the care of
the German opera was turned over to Andreas Dippel, who
deserves great credit for the institution of a German chorus.
After two successful seasons Dippel resigned, to organize the
Philadelphia-Chicago Opera Company, which he led to many
Under the regime of Gatti Casazza the public became
acquainted with Richard Strauss' "Rosencavalier" and Hum-
perdinck's "Konigskinder." Also a number of new brilliant
German singers were engaged, among them Frieda Hempel,
Margarethe Ober, Margarethe Matzenauer, Karl Jorn, Herman
Weil, Johannes Sembach, Robert Leonhardt and Karl Braun,
who, with Alfred Hertz and Arthur Bodansky as leaders,
brought the performances to the highest degree of perfection.
And so the German stage in America has never failed to inspire
the love for works of standard literary merit and of the highest
Well Known Artists, Sculptors and
A history of American Art would be imperfect without
giving credit to a large number of German painters, sculptors
and architects, who made the United States their home or
were born here from German parents.
The first examples of German art in America date back as
far as the middle of the 1 8th century. There lived among
the Moravians at Bethlehem, Pa., a painter, Johann Valentin
Haidt, born at Danzig, Eastern Prussia, in 1 700. Attracted
by the pious life of the Moravians, he joined their sect and
made his home in Bethlehem. Here he painted numerous
Biblical scenes, some of which may still be seen in the archives
of the Moravians.
At the end of the 18th century Jacob Eichholz, born 1 776
in Lancaster, Pa., a pupil of the famous Gilbert Stuart, ranked
among the best portrait painters of Philadelphia. Several of
his works, among them a portrait of the Moravian Missionary
Johann Heckewelder, are in the collection of the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts.
Public interest in arts at that time was very low. Just as
Muther stated in his "History of Modern Painting: "people
ate and drank, and built and reclaimed the land and multi-
plied. A large bar of iron was of more value than the finest
statue, and an ell of good cloth was priced more highly than
the "Transfiguration" of Raphael."
J. L. Krimmel and Paul Weber are the names of two artists
who lived during the first half of the 19th century. While of
their work but little is known, we are much better informed
about three artists, of whom each one became a pioneer in
some distinct line of painting in America. These men were
Emanuel Leutze, Karl Friedrich Weimar and Albert Bierstadt.
Born in Germany, these three came in their early years to
America, received here the first stimulus for art, then going
abroad to complete their studies at Dlisseldorf, the famous
art center situated at the lower Rhine. Leutze arrived there
in 1841 ; Weimar in 1852, and Bierstadt in 1853. It cannot
surprise that their paintings show in composition, color and
technique the unmistakable stamp of the Diisseldorf school
at that time. But in their subjects they are entirely different.
Instead of choosing for themes the scenes of happy family
life, or romantic knights, or peaceful landscapes of the Rhine
and Switzerland, they present men and sceneries of an entirely
different world, scenes from the lives of great discoverers, of
Indians and trappers, and of the battles, in which the Amer-
icans fought for their liberty. Their hearts beat with enthusi-
asm in admiration of the heroes whose bravery and patriotism
had won the war for independence. Again, their skillful brush
portrayed the sublimity of nature not yet touched by man.
To them the picturesque aborigines no less than the men who
formed the vanguard of the white races were neverfailing
founts of inspiration. It is a peculiar fact, that these German
American artists proved in spirit as well as in their choice of
subjects far better Americans than any of their colleagues
born on American soil.
Leutze was greatly interested in the figure of Columbus.
He painted the great discoverer explaining his ideas to the
High Council of Salamanca; in audience with his noble patron-
ess Queen Isabel; and in the brilliant entrance at Seville after
the return from his first successful voyage. Again he portrayed
him loaded down with chains in the dungeon, suffering the
abuses heaped upon him by an ingrate government.
The last painting, which won him a gold medal at Brussels,
was followed by another historical subject, "The Landing of
the Norsemen in Vinland." While Leutze established his fame
with these paintings, he will, no doubt, be remembered longest
by his large painting "Washington crossing the Delaware.
Executed 185 1 in Diisseldorf, it is now one of the gems of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The episode is depicted in the early hours of a cold winter
morning. The last star still is gleaming in the sky. A little
flotilla of boats, rowed by sturdy men, seeks a way through
the heavy packs of ice, floating on the river. In the leading
boat the hero of those stirring times stands erect, his clear
eyes seeking to pierce the distant haze.
When exhibited in Germany this painting made such deep
impression, that the Prussian Government honored the artist
by bestowing on him the great medal for science and art.
In America it has been reproduced more often than any other
picture. Making its way into hundreds of thousands of humble
huts as well as into rich palaces it became indeed a national
possession of the American people.
Among the numerous paintings following, the most notable
were "Washington at Monmouth;'* "The Settlement of Mary-
land by Lord Baltimore," and "Westward the Course of
Empire Takes Its Way." The last one, finished in 1862, is a
large mural painting in the Capitol at Washington and shows
a caravan of those emigrants who, enticed by the discovery
of gold in California, made with their linen-covered "prairie-
schooners" the long journey from the Mississippi to the Pacific,
to establish there new homes. The picture presents the weary
travellers as having crossed a pass on the Sierra Nevada. In
the far distance they see the New Canaan, stretching like a
mirage of hope before their eyes and bathed in the glorious
lights of a Western sunset.
Of the few American artists of the 19th century who
created historical paintings, Emanuel Leutze was the greatest.
Imbued with a patriotic love for America, its history and the
spirit of its institutions, he was at the same time a man of large
mould, capable of grand enthusiasm, and aspiring to grasp
soaring ideals. Although his art was often at fault, it makes
us feel, notwithstanding, that in contemplating his works we
are in the presence of a gigantic mind. He drew from wells
of seemingly inexhaustible inspiration. He was Byronic in the
impetus of his genius, the rugged incompleteness of his style,
the magnificent fervor and rush of his fancy, the epic grandeur
and energy, dash and daring of his creations. To him is well
applied the German motto:
"Wer den Besten seiner Zeit genug gethan,
Der hat gelebt fur alle Zeiten." —
How much men are the products of environment and
impressions, is shown also by the life of Karl Ferdinand
Weimar, or, as his name is Americanized, Wimar. Born 1828
in Siegburg he came in 1 844 with his parents to St. Louis, then
a regular frontier town and a station of the American Fur
Company, from where large trading expeditions went to New
Mexico, California and Oregon. To this place the Indians
and trappers of the upper Mississippi and Missouri made
annual pilgrimages for the purpose of exchanging furs for
guns, ammunition, cloth and such other commodities as were
needed in their wild life. Greatly attracted by these pictur-
esque figures, Weimar began to sketch them, but feeling his
shortcomings he went in 1852 to Diisseldorf to study. Here
he enjoyed the instruction of such famous artists as Oswald
Achenbach and Emanuel Leutze, who just then were at their
height. In Diisseldorf Weimar finished several paintings, of
which "The captive Charger" was the most impressive. It
shows several Indians in possession of the beautiful horse of
an American officer, who has been killed in battle.
Having acquired the technique of his art, Weimar returned
in 1856 to St. Louis. Taking part in several expeditions of
the Fur Company to the upper Missouri, he made studies for
several paintings, among them "Indians hunting buffaloes."
He had just begun to make the drawings for a number of
mural paintings for the cupola of the courthouse in St. Louis,
when he fell a victim to consumption.
His desire to portray to later generations faithful scenes of
the fast vanishing Indian life Weimar could fulfill only to a
small degree. But he is entitled to recognition for having been
the first to discover and utilize in worthy manner the superb
picturesque qualities of the Indian, while this theme was prac-
tically ignored by contemporary artists. As Wm. R. Hodges
says in a biography of Weimar: "It is most strange that none
of our early painters seemed conscious of the existence of the
Indian save as the blood-thirsty and implacable enemy of the
white man. It is possible that race hatred blinded their eyes
to his pictorial value, and that it was reserved to one foreign
born, with a mind unclouded by the recollection of centuries
of relentless warfare to perceive with an artist's eye a virgin
field unequaled in dramatic and pictorial interest."
So Weimar was the forerunner of Remington, Schreyvogel,
Demming, Leigh and other artists, who in our times by repres-
entations of Western life have recorded such great success.
While thus Leutze was a pioneer on historical and Weimar
on ethnological subjects, so Albert Bierstadt is entitled to the
honor of having disclosed first to the Americans the grandeur
of Western sceneries. Born 1 830 at Solingen, Rhenish Prussia,
he went in 1853 to Diisseldorf, where he was a pupil of
Lessing and Andreas Achenbach.
On his return to America he accompanied an exploring
expedition under command of General Lander to the Rocky
Mountains. The results of this venturesome journey consisted
in several powerful paintings, which were revelations throwing
beholders into an ecstacy of delight. These landscapes were
no prosaic copies from nature, but poems in color, wherein
the author expressed with great effect the overwhelming
grandeur of his scenes.
This first trip into the sublime wildernesses of the Far West
was later on repeated many times. "Landers Peak," "Mount
Corcoran," "Mount Hood," "The Domes of Yosemite Valley,"
"Evening at Mount Tacoma" are the titles of a few of Bier-
stadt' s canvasses, which may be justly ranked with the best
examples of landscape painting of the 19th century.
The influence of Bierstadt on American art was very remark-
able. Among his followers were Thomas Hill, Thomas Moran,
Julian Rix,- William Riess, and others, who in their spirited
works glorified the wonders of our Far West. —
A contemporary of Leutze was Christian Schussele, born
1824 in Gebweiler, Elsass. He came to America in 1848 and
was appointed professor of drawing and painting in the Penn-
sylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Attracted like
Leutze by the great figures of American history, he painted
among other scenes "Franklin before the Lords in Council;^
"Washington at Valley Forge;" "McClellan at Antietam;"
"Men of Progress" and "The Moravian Missionary Zeisberger
preaching to Indians." (See page 24.) All were reproduced
by eminent engravers and widely circulated.
Theodor Kaufmann, a Hanoverian, selected scenes of the
Civil War for his canvasses. His paintings "General Sherman
at the Camp fire," "Farragut" and "Lincoln's Death" have
also been reproduced in engravings.
The Pennsylvania German Peter Rothermel is represented
in the collections of the Pennsylvania Art Society by the paint-
ing "The Statehouse on the Day of the Battle at Germantown."
He also produced a gigantic canvass "The Battle of Gettys-
burg," which was one of the attractions of the Centennial Fair
at Philadelphia in 1876.
Thomas Nast, born 1 840 at Landau in the Palatinate, is the
author of two well known paintings: "Lincoln's Entrance Into
Richmond," and "The Departure of the 7th New York Regi-
ment on April 19th, 1861." (See page 100.) This brilliant
canvass adorns the armory of said regiment.
A real "Painter of the Western Frontier" was Charles
Schreyvogel, of New York. Having studied under Karl Marr
' Ml* Sbj
A SURE SHOT.
and Kirschbach in Munich, he leaped after his return in 1 890
into fame at one bound with his spirited picture "My Bunkie."
It shows a handful of U. S. cavalrymen in a running fight with
Indians. One of the troopers, dismounted, is seen by his
"bunkie" and drawn up on the latter's mount. Everything
is on the gallop. The free action of the horses and the
strain of the soldiers are superbly reproduced. But the great
points of the picture are its immense nerve and its atmosphere.
At a glance it is seen that "My Bunkie" is true to life.
In rapid succession this painting was followed by others,
reflecting with admirable fidelity the strenuousness of Western
life. "Defending the Stockade" is the title of one of these can-
vasses. The scene is the interior of a fort, which is held by
hardly a score of men. Everywhere is passionate action and
hot fight, everywhere curls the yellowish smoke of powder.
Already the redskins are mounting the palisades, eager to drive
the soldiers away by the flames of burning brushwood thrown
at them. In desperate desire for combat the gallant soldiers
hurry, to repel once more the bloodthirsty enemy, which seems
to be in overwhelming majority.
"The Fight for the Waterhole" is a similar painting, full of
action. In the middle of a desert, overflowed by the setting
sun with magic light, stretches a little pool of water. Its posses-
sion means life or death, as animals and men have suffered
terribly under the intense heat of the day. But a band of
hostile Indians occupies the place, determined to hold it to the
last man. Upon them breaks a troup of cavalry with irresistible
vehemence. The horse of the officer rears up like a bolt, as
the deperate struggle for the precious liquid grows in violence.
Many other paintings of equal value followed in rapid suc-
cession, among them "How Cola," "The Despatch Bearer,"
"A Sure Shot" and others, reproductions of which have found
wide distribution. Unfortunately the prolific artist met a pre-
mature death in 1911.
Rudolf Cronau, born in Solingen, Rhenish Prussia, in 1855,
painted "A Rencountre in the Far West." The canvass shows
the weird scenery of a valley of the Green River, Utah.
Gigantic rocks rise to towering height, like sentinels guarding
the entrance of the valley for ages past. A band of hostile
Indians has surprised a group of prospectors, encamped in
an exposed position, and it is left to the beholder to picture
to himself the outcome of the combat about to develop.
"Sunset of the Red Race" is the title of another work of
the same artist. A Sioux Indian, seated at the foot of some
burial scaffolds of his ancestors, glances over a wide river-
valley, flooded with the rays of the setting sun. Once this
valley belonged to the hunting grounds of his tribe, but now it
is traversed by the locomotive, the yelling whistle of which
sounds the doom of the red race. —
Cronau painted also numerous sceneries of the West Indies,
Southern Spain and Morocco, among them a series of water
colors from the Alhambra.
Albert Groll is an artist whose brush conveys glorious
pictures of the deserts of Arizona, so wonderful in color.
Friedrich Dielman, born 1847 at Hanover, is like many
American artists a former student of the Royal Academy of
Munich. Living since 1876 in New York, he devoted himself
to historical and mural painting. Examples of his work are
to be found in the Congressional Library, in the building of
the "Washington Evening Star" and in the building of the
Savings Bank in Albany, N. Y.
The same specialty has been selected by Arthur Thomas in
New York. He decorated the City Hall at St. Louis, the
Memorial Hall at Columbus, Ohio, the Court House at South
Bend, Indiana, and other public buildings with historical and
allegorical paintings, distinguished by clear conception, excel-
lent design and brilliant color.
Among the noted painters, who in their subjects confined
themselves to sceneries of the East and of the Middle States,
were Wilhelm Sonntag, Hermann Fiichsel, Heinrich Vianden
and Gottfried Frankenstein. The latter' s paintings of the
Niagara Falls conveyed to Europe an estimate of this marvel
in nature with compelling force.
A highly esteemed landscape painter was also John Henry
Twachtman, born in Cincinnati in 1853. He studied in Munich,
Venice and Paris. In his contemplative attitude toward nature,
in his almost ethereal character of his technic, in the purity
and simplicity of his emotion he reminded much of Corot and
Whistler. He spiritualized the objects he painted and at the
same time he has spiritualized his paint. It has been said of
him, that "ethereal color and form seem to have blown into
the canvas, and that his art was a victory of the creator over
his materials." He died in Gloucester, Mass., in 1902.
Another splendid artist, carried away much too soon, was
Robert F. Blum, born 1 867 in Cincinnati. His excellent scenes
of Venice and Japan are full of sunlight and lustrous color.
Also they are distinguished by careful drawing. His "Japanese
Sugar-Huckster" is one of the gems of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York. At the same museum we find
two remarkable paintings of Charles F. Ulrich, born 1858 in
New York: "The Glass-Blowers in Burano," and "The
Promised Land." The Corcoran Gallery in Washington has a
painting showing the arrival of immigrants in Castle Garden,
the former landing place in New York. These pictures are
distinguished by a mild lustre of color and sobriety in tone.
A very productive genre painter was also Henry Mosler,
born in 1841 in New York. One of his best, "A Wedding
in the Bretagne," is in the Metropolitan Art Museum. "The
Dawn of Our Flag," a symbolic glorification of the Star-
spangled Banner, is owned by the Corcoran Gallery in Wash-
Several of the most noteworthy of American artists of
German descent who went to Germany to study, have made
that country their permanent home, feeling that they would
enjoy there a much richer artistic atmosphere and greater
appreciation than in their native country. Among these artists
were Carl Marr, Toby Rosenthal, Gari Melchers and Hermann
Hartwich. Marr was born at Milwaukee, in 1858. Having
studied in Munich he has remained there ever since, honored
by being appointed as a professor at the same Royal Academy
where he had pursued his studies. One of his first paintings
was "The Mystery of Life," showing Ahasver, the wandering
Jew. Tired of life, he meditates, his gaze fixed on the lifeless
body of a beautiful young girl, which has been tossed up by
the sea on a gloomy shore. This painting as well as another,
"Gossip," showing two girls spinning, are owned by the Metro-
politan Museum of Art in New York.
Perhaps the most powerful painting of Marr, the "Procession
of Flagellants" is owned by his native town, Milwaukee,
to which it was donated by some of her citizens. When this
painting was first shown in the Munich Exhibition of 1889,
it was placed most effectually. Entering the exposition build-
ing from the street, one passed through a vestibule which by
the aid of Oriental rugs had been converted into a mass of
soft, richly subdued harmonies. From this vestibule one
entered a room, where a screened skylight diffused a twilight
effect on groups of palms. From this dimly lit apartment a
door ten feet wide gave entrance to the picture gallery, and
on the wall opposite was the painting, the only one that could
be seen. The whole arrangement gave the effect of looking
from a window on the self-tortured, fanatical wretches, who,
scourge in hand, led by the hermit Rainier, overran Italy in
the 1 3th century. So strong was the illusion, so intensified
by the picture's realism, that it required only a slight exaltation
of the senses to hear the hiss of the scourge as it fell on the
lacerated and bleeding back of the devotee, the praying, the
groaning and the weeping. It was certainly no small honor
to the picture to place it thus in an exhibition which repre-
sented not only the best of German, but also much of the best
of French art. But it was, together with the gold medal
awarded the painting, an honor which was well deserved. An
excellent composition containing over two hundred figures, all
well drawn; a story requiring much historical research, well
told, although not without some warrantable artistic license;
stirring and dramatic action without a suggestion of the stage;
the whole, if not vigorously, at least well painted — the artist
had produced in this work a picture which in its technical
qualities easily took rank with the average in the exhibition,
and in its quality of invention stood almost alone.
The "Flagellants" have been followed by many other
paintings, very few of which, however, found their way to
America, as they have been mostly acquired by German
galleries and connoisseurs.
Munich became also the home of Toby Rosenthal, born in
1 848 at New Haven, Conn. He created numerous paintings,
showing scenes of every-day life, many of which breathe a
Gari Melchers, born in 1 860 at Detroit, is of all the Amer-
ican artists, living abroad, the best known in this country, as
many works of his virile art have been included in American
galleries. "Skaters" is in the possession of the Pennsylvania
Art Academy in Philadelphia; "Penelope" belongs to the
Corcoran Gallery in Washington; a portrait of ex-President
Roosevelt is in the National Gallery, Washington; others are
to be found in the Art Museums of Detroit, Chicago, and Pitts-
burgh; one of the very best, "Madonna," is owned by the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
All the paintings of Melchers, who occupied for several
years a professorship at the Academy of Art in Weimar, Ger-
A MONARCH OF THE NORTHERN FORESTS.
(From a painting by Karl Rungius.)
many, are extremely interesting in the charming play of light
and color, and no one can imagine a more wholesome correc-
tive against the excrescences of the so-called "modern art," as
futurism, cubism and other insane "isms."
Among the best American portrait painters we find Adolf
Miiller-Ury, Emil Fuchs, Paul Selinger, Karl L. Brandt, W. J.
Baer, Wilhelm Funk, and Karl Gutherz, the latter also the
author of a painting in the Congressional Library, "The Light
An excellent painter of animal life is Karl Rungius. The
majestic Wapiti of the Rocky Mountains, the graceful antelope
of the plains, the shaggy moose of the Northern forests have
been presented by this artist in unsurpassable manner. A
specialty of Edmund H. Osthaus in Toledo is the dog.
The number of first-class illustrators of German origin is very
large. Among them are Max F. Klepper, Joseph Leyendecker,
Charles Reinhardt, L. W. Zeigler, Blumenschein, Julius Loeb,
A. B. Wenzell, Benjamin W. Clinedinst, Erich Pape and others,
many of whom are former pupils of the Art Academies of
# * * *
While at the beginning of the 19th century the interest of
the young American nation was very low in regard to paint-
ings, it was entirely absent in regard to sculpture. The Puritans
and Quakers in their prudishness abhorred all representations
of the human body, with exception perhaps of some sexless
cherubs. So the meagre orders given to the masters of the
chisel were confined to the execution of tombstones, and, after
the Civil War, to a few soldiers' monuments.
Such unfavorable conditions embittered the life of several
German sculptors, born in the United States or drifted to this
country by some caprice of fate. There was for instance Ferdi-
nand Pettrich, a former pupil of the famous Thorwaldsen.
Born at Dresden, he came in 1835 to Philadelphia, hoping to
find work. But the only commissions he succeeded in getting
were some monuments for tombs. The figures of an "Amor
defeated" and of "Mephistopheles," done in the sculptor's all
too many leisure hours, induced President Tylor to commission
Pettrich with the execution of four large reliefs for the base
of a monument to Washington. Congress, however, could
not be induced to grant the money for the work, which had
already been finished in clay. Disappointed the sculptor
returned in 1845 to Germany.
Francis Dengler, Franz Meynen, Christoph Paulus, Heinrich
Baerer, Georg Hesse, Ephraim Kaiser and Caspar Buberl
suffered greatly under similar difficulties. Few and far between
were the opportunities for them to exhibit their ability, such as
was shown by Buberl in five great reliefs for the Garfield
monument in Cleveland. These reliefs, showing the martyr-
President in different phases of his life, contain more than one
hundred figures in full life size. The Patent Office in Washing-
ton has, by the same artist, several allegorical groups: "Elec-
tricity and Magnetism;" "Fire and Water;" "Invention and
Industry;" "Agriculture and Mining." The National Museum
is in possession of a colossal group "Columbia as Protectoress
of Science, Art and Industry."
William Rinehart, the son of a German farmer in Maryland,
had the good fortune, to be sent by the great art collector
W. S. Walters in Baltimore to Italy, where he studied and
made two bas-reliefs, "Night" and "Day." For a short time he
came back to Baltimore, but, missing here the atmosphere so
necessary for artists, he returned to Rome, where he made
many beautiful sculptures, of which "Clytie," a life-sized nude
marble, is in the Peabody Museum, while "Latona and her
Children" is in the Metropolitan Museum.
Joseph Sibbel and Joseph Lohmuller in New York were
very prolific during the latter part of the 19th and the begin-
ning of the present century in beautifying the cathedrals and
churches of America with reliefs of Biblical scenes and the
statues of Madonnas, Martyrs, Saints and Apostles.
More favorable times for the masters of the chisel came
with the great expositions in Chicago, Omaha, Buffalo, St.
Louis, Portland and San Francisco. To break the tiresome
monotony of the enormous palaces and temples, of the wide
courts and endless colonnades it was necessary to adorn them
with allegorical groups and statues, such as had been seen at
the exposition grounds of Europe. Here, at last, came for
American sculptors welcome opportunities to show their abili-
ties. No one answered the call with greater enthusiasm than
Karl Bitter, born in 1867 at Vienna, and a former student
of the Academy of Fine Arts of his native city. He arrived in
New York in 1 889, at a time, when architects prepared plans
for the great Columbian Exposition in Chicago. To Richard
M. Hunt, one of the foremost architects in New York, had
fallen the task of designing the stately Administration Building.
On his invitation Bitter executed the elaborate sculptural dec-
orations for this building with such success, that he was
requested to furnish also the sculpture works for the Liberal
Arts Building and other palaces. They were done in such
masterly way, that several years later, when Buffalo prepared
for the Pan-American Exposition, the National Sculpture
Society nominated Bitter as the director of sculpture. In this
position Bitter, with an inspiration that captured the Board of
Architects, conceived a scheme of sculpture, which illustrated
the purposes and objects of the exposition as an inherent rev-
elation of the delevopment and various forms of energy and
activity of the Western Hemisphere. That it should be merely
ornamental did not satisfy him. Hence his scheme was a
progressive composition: first, Nature; then, Man; and then
the Genius of Man. Nature was expressed by fountains and
groups entitled Mineral Wealth, Animal Wealth, and Floral
Wealth. The Fountain of Nature was balanced by such sub-
jects as the Savage Age, the Age of Despotism and the Age
of Enlightenment. In the division showing the Genius of Man,
there were groups representing the human emotions and the
human intellect; the birth of Athene typifying the intellect.
Science, Agriculture and Manufacture were counterparts on
the Fountain in the center, and the great tower was surmounted
by the Goddess of Light. The main approach to the exposi-
tion, called the Triumphal Causeway, was symbolical of the
National spirit. The groups in the niches represented Courage,
Patriotism, Truth and Benevolence; the fountains between
which one paused symbolized the Atlantic and Pacific; and
the mounted standard bearers crowning the four pylons of
the causeway were, with their accessories, designed to express
Power and Peace. There were more than five hundred of such
groups and figures. In selecting his collaborators, in supervising
the tremendous work and in placing the finished groups in
position, Bitter displayed such infinite tact, thorough knowl-
edge, and extraordinary executive abilities, that this part of
the Pan-American Exposition was its greatest success.
So it was only natural, that, when the projects for the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis and for the Panama-
Pacific Exposition at San Francisco were discussed, Bitter's
services as director of all sculpture work were regarded as
indispensable. His general schemes for these expositions
manifested again the boundlessness of his inventive spirit, the
breadth of his mind and the wide range of his powers. They
illustrated the marvellous natural gifts of the Western regions,
their development by men, the rise of the West, the contact of
American culture with that of Asia, and the great benefit man-
kind will derive from the completion of the Panama Canal. —
While Bitter was engaged in all these herculean works, he
found nevertheless time to create a large number of statues,
monuments and portrait-busts. The most remarkable of these
works are an equestrian statue of General Franz Sigel (see
page 103) and a Carl Schurz Monument. Both have been
made for New York and are notable for their dignity. Besides,
Bitter made for the University of Virginia a wonderful figure
of Thomas Jefferson; furthermore the beautiful Villard
Memorial in Sleepy Hollow at Tarrytown, N. Y., showing a
workingman at evening's rest, having forged great things on
the anvil of life.
When Bitter in 1915 lost accidentally his life in his forty-
seventh year, America lost a genius, who had gained the un-
bounded admiration of all his fellow-craftsmen.
The expositions at Chicago, Buffalo and St. Louis were also
the grounds, where Isidor Konti, coming from Vienna, found
opportunities to give full rein to his rich imagination. In St.
Louis the Great Cascade with an abundance of water-gods,
nymphs and phantastic creatures of the ocean was his work.
At the same place he exhibited a group "The Despotic Age.*'
It showed some workmen who, loaded with chains and almost
breaking down, pull a heavy triumphal car, on whose platform
sits a brutal despot, whose hard cruel eyes betray, that pity
is a virtue unknown to him. At the side of the car walks a
fury, driving on with her whip the groaning human beasts of
burden to still greater efforts.
A tragedy of life was also the subject of Alexander Wein-
man's most impressive group "Destiny of the Red Race,"
symbolizing the irrevocable fate of the North American
Indians. As their existence was depending upon the existence
of the buffalo, which provided them with food, clothing and
even shelter, the artist placed this now almost extinct animal
at the head of a small group, consisting of a chief, a warrior,
a squaw and a boy. With them vanishes Manitou, the Great
Spirit, to whom the red men directed their prayers and hopes.
Frederick W. Ruckstuhl, born in 1853 in Alsace, executed
two colossal marble statues, "Wisdom" and "Force," placed
at the steps of the Appellate Court House, New York City.
Other works are "Defense of the Flag" at the Confederate
Monument at Little Rock, Ark.; "Solon," "Macauley,"
"Franklin" and "Goethe" in the Library of Congress; several
soldiers' monuments and statues, among the latter an equestrian
statue of General Hartranft, at Harrisburg, Pa.
Max Mauch, A. SchafF, Bruno Louis Zimm, Carl Heber,
F. E. Triebel, Henry Linder, Theodor Baur, Gustav Gerlach,
Max Bachman, M. Schwarzott, Rudolf Schwarz, Frank Hap-
persburger, Leonard Volk, Carl Gerhart, A. Weinert, E.
Wuertz, C. F. Hamann, Charles Henry Niehaus, Otto Schwei-
zer, Albert Jaegers, Friedrich Roth, and Charles Keck are
American sculptors of German descent, all of whom have
done very creditable work.
Niehaus, born in 1855 at Cincinnati, studied also in Munich.
After his return he opened a studio in New York, where he
created numerous statues of noted Americans, among them
those of the Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, Harrison and McKin-
ley. At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition he was represented
by a powerful equestrial statue of Louis IX, King of France,
from whom Louisiana derived its name.
The city of Indianapolis owns perhaps the most imposing
soldiers' monument in the United States. While its architectural
part was designed by the famous architect Bruno Schmitz in
Berlin, the four magnificent groups of warriors and sailors
have been modelled by Rudolf Schwarz, who immigrated in
1897 from Vienna. The same artist made also the soldiers*
monuments in South Bend, Terre Haute, Dayton, and other
cities of Indiana and Ohio.
Otto Schweizer in Philadelphia is engaged in the same line
of sculpture. In front of the City Hall of Philadelphia we find
his statue of General Peter Muhlenberg (see page 51); Utica,
N. Y., and Valley Forge have Steuben monuments; Buffalo
a Schiller monument. Also he created numerous statues of
American statesmen. Among his recent works is a monument
to the memory of Molly Pitcher in Carlisle, Pa.
Albert Jaegers, born at Elberfeld, Germany, 1 868, came
to Cincinnati while still a child. Entirely self-taught in his
profession, he won a number of competitions inaugurated and
decided by the National Sculpture Society. He was also the
winner in a competition for a monument of Major-General
Baron von Steuben. This statue, standing at the northwest
corner of the famous Lafayette Park in Washington, D. C,
shows the general as standing on an eminence inspecting the
great maneuvres held by him in Valley Forge in spring of
T 7 78. He is heavily cloaked; the hand lightly at rest on the
hilt of his sword. So he follows with keen interest the unfolding
movement of the troops (see page 56). At the base of the
statue are two groups, the one, "Military Instruction," rep-
resenting Steuben's life work, the drilling and training of
the American Army. An experienced warrior is shown
instructing a youth in the use of the sword. In the second
group, "Commemoration," America is teaching youth to
honor the memory of her heroes. A foreign branch is grafted
into a tree of her national life. She welds to her heart the
foreigner who has cast his life and fortune with the weal and
woe of her people, embodying the idea of unity and fraternity
of all nationalities under the guidance of a great republic.
The statue was unveiled in presence of President William
Taft and of almost 20,000 delegates of German American
Societies on December 7, 1 9 1 0. A chorus of 1 000 members
of the Northeastern Singers' Association, accompanied by the
United States Marine Band, sung the "Star-Spangled Banner"
in a most inspiring manner. Then followed a salute of honor
fired by a battery, amid the cheers of a delighted multitude
gathered to do honor to the great hero, who had contributed
so generously to the success of the Continental Army.
A second great success was achieved by Jaegers in the
competition for a monument in commemoration of the landing
of the German settlers of Germantown.
The main statue of this monument represents, throning high
upon a rock, the sacred light bearer, whose escutcheon, Sieg-
fried killing the dragon, typifies the eternal warfare against
the powers of darkness. Reposeful and mighty, the goddess
leans toward the oak, that fine emblem of German sturdiness.
This statue, as the crowning feature, viewed from a certain
distance, assumes the importance of the monument proper; but
upon nearer approach the center figures of the main group
below, the German Pilgrim Father, absorbs the attention until
it is realized that this is the great note of the monument.
Fearless and true, this Pilgrim steps forth into the New World,
a prayer in his heart, his protecting arm around his mate —
to face his labor and his destiny (see frontispiece). Ever at
his side walks the spirit of joy and music, the spirit that points
On the sides and rear of the pedestal reliefs reveal the
important part the German Americans have taken in the mak-
ing and development of their adopted country. In the one
physical labor is shown as the fundamental principle upon
which art and science arise. Another shows the war volunteer,
who freely sheds his blood for the independence and union
of his country. The last one commemorates the protest against
slavery made by the inhabitants of Germantown in 1 688.
As conspicuous as is the influence of German painting and
sculpture on American art, so the influence of German archi-
tects on American architecture has been very remarkable.
Indeed, it can be said, that the most beautiful buildings of our
United States have been designed by architects of German
To begin with the most prominent building of our country,
the Capitol at Washington, D. C., it can be stated, that its
grand dome as well as the extensions of the Houses of Senate
and Representatives have been designed and executed by
Thomas U. Walter, the grandfather of whom, Jacob Friedrich
Walter, had immigrated from Germany.
The dome is an object of imposing beauty, to be seen for
miles around. No edifice in the world possesses one equal to
it in classic symmetry. Of cast iron, great engineering skill
was required in its erection. The walls had to be trussed,
bolted, girded and clamped in every conceivable way to hold
in position the immense superstructure. To appreciate its
immense weight is scarcely possible. Walter calculated its
8,909,200 pounds of cast and wrought iron as giving a pressure
of 13,477 pounds to the square foot at the basement floor,
and the supporting walls as capable of holding 755,280 pounds
to the same area. The pressure upon the walls of the cellar
floor, exclusive of the weight of the bronze statue of the
Goddess of Freedom, on top of the dome, weighing 14,985
pounds, is estimated at 51,292,25 3 pounds. The dome is
composed of two shells, one within the other, which expand
and contract with the variations in temperature; between these
the stairway winds in its ascent. The greatest diameter at
the base is 1 35 feet 5 inches.
The lower portion of the exterior is surrounded by 36
columns representing the 36 States in the Union at the time it
was designed. The 1 3 columns which encircle the lantern
above the tholus are emblematic of the 1 3 original States. This
lantern is 24 feet in diameter and 50 feet in height. Its light
notifies the surrounding country for miles of a night session in
either House. The cost of the dome was $1,047,291.
Walter constructed also the U. S. Treasury Building, the
east and west wing of the Patent Office, and the beautiful
Girard College in Philadelphia.
In the immediate neighborhood of the National Capitol is
the impressively beautiful Library of Congress, also a work of
German architects, namely Johann I. Schmitmeyer, a native of
Vienna, and Paul Johannes Pelz, born at Seitendorf Prussish
Silesia. The latter, a pupil of Detlef Lienau, a noted architect
in New York, had, previous to his work on the Congressional
Library, been connected with the U. S. Lighthouse Board, for
which he made the designs for many lighthouses, who in 1873
won the first prize at the World's Exposition in Vienna. In
the same year he formed with Schmitmeyer in Washington a
business agreement, to participate with him in the competition
for the architectural plans of the Congressional Library. Of
twenty-eight designs, submitted by the foremost architects of
America as well as Europe, Schmitmeyer and Pelz were the
winners, holding the ground also in a second competition, in
which the number of participators rose to forty. Having gained
final victory, the two Germans remained for thirteen years at
work, furnishing the designs for every detail. By making
several trips to Europe, they studied also the arrangements of
all great libraries existing. Merging the practical knowledge
of former centuries with modern innovations, the two architects
created thus the magnificent palace which stands in all respects
among the libraries of the world unequalled.
Without question this building is the most beautiful in
America. Finished in Italian Renaissance style, it is with
its numerous spacious halls, stairways, corridors, assembly
rooms and its magnificent reading-rotunda a triumph of
In view of this fact and considering the diligent work of
the architects, who spent almost a lifetime in their efforts to
reach in every point highest perfection, it is deeply to be
regretted, that the two masters neither received an adequate
material compensation, nor the artistic recognition to which
they were entitled. After their designs had been finished, the
Library-Committee, appointed by Congress, removed the two
architects and assigned General Thomas L. Casey, chief of
the U. S. Corps of Engineers, to take charge of the actual
building of the structure. As he commanded a military educa-
tion only and was unable to supervise also the artistic part,
his son Edward, a young man twenty-five years of age, who
had studied for a short while at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris,
was made artistic supervisor, receiving a salary twice as high
as that paid to Mr. Pelz, the real architect. But this was not all.
To crown these foul tricks a plate of marble was inserted over
the main entrance of the building, bearing the following in-
Erected under the Acts of Congress of April 15, 1866,
October 2, 1888 and March 2, 1889, by
Brig. Gen. Thos. Lincoln Casey, Chief of Engineers,
U. S. A.
Bernhard R. Green, Supt. and Engineer.
John L. Smithmeyer, Architect.
Paul J. Pelz, Architect.
Edward Pearce Casey, Architect.
Thus the chief engineer of the U. S. Army was stamped as
the creator of the library. The real designers were to content
themselves with the third and fourth place and to share their
just title with an inexperienced young man, who had con-
tributed hardly anything toward the artistic design or finish
of the w T hole building. Messrs. Schmitmeyer and Pelz remon-
strated against this diminution of their credit, nevertheless the
marble plate was inserted and is still there, a visible monument
of influences at work upon a Congress of our United States.
How professional men judged of this matter appears from
the following declaration of the president and the secretary
of the "American Institute of Architects": "We are familiar
with this building, from the beginning to the present time,
and feel that no one can, with propriety or honesty, be entitled
to the credit as architects of this building except J. L. Smith-
meyer and Paul J. Pelz. They have devoted the best years
of their lives, from 1873 to 1893, in perfecting the plan and
in designing the exterior and interior of that building." —
And the magazine "Architecture and Buildings," in its num-
ber of April 3, 1 89 7, explained : "It looks queer to professional
men that the names of the paymaster who drew the money
for the building out of the Treasury on his signature, and the
clerk of the works or superintendent, with the supernumerary
and superfluous title of engineer (as if there had been anything
to "engineer" in the building, save the appropriations in Con-
gress) appear above those of the architects, who created it
in their minds and who are in truth the fathers of the structure.
Why does there appear a line of demarkation below the Chief
of Engineers, putting the architects "below the salt" as it
were? — It must be remembered here that the advent of Gen-
eral Casey was at a time, when Messrs. Smithmeyer & Pelz
had, like Columbus, already discovered America; their plans
were complete and ready to be proceeded with." —
German American architects furnished also the designs for
many other important public buildings. Hornbostel designed
the beautiful Technical High School in Pittsburgh; also the
Memorial Building and the Educational Building in Albany,
N. Y. Alfred C. Clas erected the Public Libraries of Milwaukee
and Madison, Wise. H. C. Koch made the plans for the City
Hall in Milwaukee; Theodor Karl Link made the plans for
the City Hall and the Union Station in St. Louis; Otto and
Cyrus Eidlitz are the architects of the New York Times Build-
ing, the Public Library in Buffalo and many business buildings.
The brothers Hertel erected the beautiful palace of the Vander-
bilts on Fifth Avenue, New York ; Henry J. Hardenbergh con-
structed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the Plaza, Manhattan,
Dakota Hotel and others. G. L. Heins, as member of the firm
Heins & La Farge, designed many churches and the magnifi-
cent Protestant-Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in
New York. Heins, born in 1 860 at Philadelphia, has been also
the State architect of all New York State buildings since 1 898.
No pretense is made of the completeness of this chapter,
outlining the works of American artists, sculptors and archi-
tects of German descent. To do justice to all is impossible
here. But enough has been shown to prove, that in all the
different realms of art, representing the highest stages of human
culture, America is deeply indebted to German Americans.
Among their works are many, that for their noble conception
and artistic execution deserve a place of honor among the
art treasures of the New World.
German American Women and their
A history of the German Women in America has not yet
been written. But the theme is such an attractive and superb
one that, we hope, only an incentive like this is needed, to
direct the attention of some competent authoress to this task
and inspire her to take it up. What more beautiful theme could
she find than to collect all the scattered evidences of heroism,
greatness, fortitude, perseverance and compassion the German
women have exhibited during the three centuries of German
participation in the development of this country?
Imagine the indescribable hardships and perils the wives of
those German pioneers had to face, who in the 1 8th century
were placed by the British Government at the most exposed
localities on the frontier, where they formed bulwarks for the
English settlements against the French and Indians. And
imagine the horrors these women were subjected to, when
during the period from 1777 to 1 782 the British, to annihilate
their own subjects, engaged Indians as allies and inflamed their
bloodthirstiness by offering prizes of 8 to 20 dollars for every
American scalp, be it of man, woman or child. What tragedies
may have been linked with the 1 062 scalps of American
country folks, found by Captain Gerrick among British booty,
and intended to be sent by the Indians as a token of their
loyalty to the king!')
It is necessary to remind of these dreadful times and such
events, that we may recognize what German women endured
and suffered. That among them were many heroines, we know
*) The report of Captain Gerrish was published by Benjamin Frank-
lin. It refers to a skirmish, in which the Americans captured from
the British a large quantity of furs. The report has the following
passage: "The peltry amount to a good deal of money, and the
possession of this booty at first gave us pleasure; but we were struck
with horror to find among the packages eight large ones, containing
scalps of our unhappy country folks, taken prisoners in the three
last years by the Seneca Indians from the inhabitants of New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and sent by them as a present
to Colonel Haldimand, Governor of Canada, in order to be by him
transmitted to England as a token of the loyalty of the Indians to
the king." The packages contained 1062 scalps. In accordance with
the well known policy of the British Tories in the United States to
eliminate from American histories and school books everything averse
to English interests, great efforts have been made to discredit the
report of Captain Gerrish and make it appear as a fabrication of
from the lives of the wife of Christian Schell, of Elisabeth
Zane, Emilie Geiger, Molly Pitcher and many others.
The praise conferred by Dr. Rush on the German women
of the 1 8th century is due also to the German wives and
mothers of to-day. But to the virtues of bygone times have
been added other charms, which make these wives in fact
comrades to their husbands in the highest meaning of the
word. Having entered the wide avenues, opened for their sex
by such intellectual pioneers like Susan Anthony, their minds
and characters extended in greatness as well as in richness
Many highly gifted German women arrived in the United
States with the political refugees of 1 848. One of the most
remarkable was Mathilde Franziska Anneke, who at the side
of her husband, a former Prussian artillery-officer, had gone
through all the hardships of that stormy period. While in
Germany, she had argued for equality of the sexes and the
opening of channels for woman's work, but the journals she
published in this behalf, were suppressed by the reactionary
government. After their arrival in America Mrs. Anneke
became one of the most enthusiastic champions for women's
rights. In delivering the many lectures in behalf of this move-
ment, she was frequently interrupted in the beginning by
howling mobs, but, by the forcefulness of her arguments,
remained victorious and was listened to with respectful atten-
tion. Making her home in Milwaukee, the German-American
Athens, she was appreciated as a poetess and fiction writer
as well as leader of a private school, in which she distributed
freely of the great wisdom and beauty of her noble heart.
Well remembered are also Mrs. Carl Schurz, nee Margarethe
Meyer, who in 1855 instituted in Watertown, Wise, a Frobel
Kindergarten. The memory of Anna Uhl-Ottendorfer is also
alive, who, after the death of her first husband, successfully
managed the New Yorker Staatszeitung for a number of years.
Among German American women notable for their abilities
in the realms of literature, science and art, one of the best
known during the first half of the 19th century was Therese
Albertine Louise von Jacob, better known by her nom de
plume "Talvj," formed of the initials of her name. She was
born in Halle, Germany, the daughter of the eminent professor
von Jacob. In 1830, when she became the wife of the Amer-
ican Orientalist Edward Robinson, professor at Andover, she
had already attained fame by her splendid translations of
Slavic folk songs into German. In America she became inter-
ested in the colonial history of the United States and in Indian
folk lore, and wrote among numerous other works "A History
of Captain John Smith" and "The Colonization of New Eng-
land." In New York the home of the Robinsons was the
place where the literary life of that time focussed.
A similar rendezvous for all intellectual people was the
home of Mrs. Bayard Taylor, the daughter of the distinguished
German astronomer Peter Andreas Hansen. Her memoirs
have been published in America under the title "On Two
Continents." They are full of interesting reminiscences of
the most prominent authors and authoresses of the middle
of the 19th century.
That among the German-American women are many highly
gifted priestesses of poetry, may be learned from the beautiful
contributions of Dorothea Boettcher, Minna Kleeberg, Marie
Raible, Pauline Wiedenmann, Bella Fiebing, Marianne Kuen-
bold, Fanny Gumpert, Amalie von Ende, Elisabeth Mesch,
Anna Kirchstein, Edna Fern, Laura Wilhelmine Krech, Sophie
Neeff, Anna Nill, Elisabeth Rudolph, Henni Hubel, Martha
Toeplitz and Carrie von Veltheim-Huelse to the two anthol-
ogies "Deutsch in America" (by Dr. G. A. Zimmermann,
Chicago, 1892) and "Vom Lande des Sternenbanners" (by
Dr. G. A. Neff, Ellenville, N. Y., 1905). Several of these
women are also widely known for their novels, short stories,
travelogues and other prose works.
The four sisters Klumpke of San Francisco, daughters of an
early German pioneer in California, distinguished themselves
in different lines of activity. Anna Elisabeth Klumpke became
a noted artist, following the footsteps of her friend, the famous
Rosa Bonheur, who, in appreciation of her great talent,
bequeathed to her her chateau as well as her fortune. Augusta
Klumpke devoted herself to medical work and became
professor in the medical faculty of the University of Paris.
Julia Klumpke distinguished herself as violinist, and
Dorothea Klumpke won laurels as an astronomer, by per-
forming such spendid work at the Observatory at Paris, that
she was made an officer de TAcademie of France.
As dramatic artists Helene Hastreiter, born in Louisville,
and Marie von Ellsner, born in New York, belonged to the
great stars of the latter part of the 1 9th century. Helene Louise
Leonard, better known under her stage name Lillian Russell,
is also of German origin.
One of the most famous of the great singers America pro-
duced was Minnie Hauck, born in New York in 1853 as the
daughter of one of the German refugees of 1 848. During
her many European and American tours she was everywhere
received with great enthusiasm and won the rarest distinctions
ever bestowed upon such artist. Her most fortunate role, in
which for a long time she was unapproached, was "Carmen."
Other great German singers who made America their home
are Emma Juch, Johanna Gadski, Fritzi Scheff and Ernestine
Schumann-Heink, all of whom have on their frequent tours
throughout the United States won the hearts and souls of their
enchanted hearers with their beautiful voices.
The American people are indebted also to the German
women for making them acquainted with the German idea
and celebration of Christmas, the sweetest festival of Christian-
ity. By introducing the Christmas-tree and the custom of
exchanging gifts to one another, they made the day of the
birth of the Saviour from one of solemnity to one of joy, as
Christmas should really be to us, at which we more fully live
up to "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men."
Most influential in this direction have been the efforts of
Miss Carla Wenckebach, Mrs. Elise Traut and Mrs. J. B.
Herreshoff. Miss Wenckebach, professor of German language
and literature at Wellesly College, in 1898 published the
charming essay: "A Christmas Book. Origin of the Christmas
Tree, the Mistletoe, the Yule Log, and St. Nicholas." Mrs.
Elise Traut, living in New Britain, Conn., is authoress of a
similar work, having the title: "Christmas in Heart and
Home." In this book she speaks of the deep significance of
Christmas and the most inspiring manner of its celebration.
Mrs. J. B. Herreshoff, a descendant of the famous ship-builders
family, succeeded in 1912 in making a profound sensation by
having shipped a gigantic fir of 80 feet from the Adirondack
Mountains to New York City, where it was erected in Madison
Square. On Christmas eve, when darkness came, the chimes
of the Metropolitan Tower began to play sweet melodies, and
then at once the gigantic tree, which had stood in mysterious
gloom, burst forth in the splendor of thousands of electric
lights, in red, white and blue. The effect was so overwhelming,
that the immense crowd, assembled there, broke into shouts of
delight. The joy increased, when one thousand poor children
were presented with Christmas gifts.
The deep impressiveness of this celebration caused its repe-
tition on all the following years. Boston, Philadelphia, and
many other cities imitated the example set by New York, and
so the Christmas celebration was successfully introduced in
American civic life. —
The philanthropic character of German-American women
was manifested in many splendid works of charity. The names
of Anna Ottendorfer and Anna Woerishoffer are inseparably
connected with the German Hospital, the German Dispensary
and the beautiful Isabella Home in New York. Catherine L.
Wolfe, whose ancestors came from Saxony, is known as the
founder of the Home for Incurables at Fordham, New York.
Also Eleonore Ruppert in Washington and Lauretta Gibson,
nee Bodman, in Cincinnati are remembered for their great
liberality toward similar institutions.
Mrs. Catherine L. Wolfe was one of the patrons of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, to which she
donated not only her beautiful collection of paintings, but
also a fund of 200,000 dollars for their preservation and
increase. And another million dollars were bequeathed by
her to several educational institutions founded by her father
Another proof of the benevolence of the German-American
women is the success of the many grand bazaars held since
the outbreak of the European War in all United States cities
having a percentage of German population. Although the
general management of these affairs was in the hands of men,
the greater amount of work was, however, performed by
women, who with wonderful enthusiasm labored for many
weeks in advance to secure the desired financial success. That
their unbounded inspiration was not transient, but deeply
seated, has been shown by the repetition and increasing results
of these affairs. The great German Bazaar, held in New York
during December, 1915, brought 350,000 dollars, and the
financial result of the bazaar held in Madison Square Garden
from March 11th to 23d, 1916, amounted to more than
But far more elevating than these splendid results was the
spirit, with which the enormous amount of work was accom-
plished during these weeks by delicate women and girls. From
noon until late into the night they worked with untiring zeal,
and when at midnight the legions of these volunteers, thor-
oughly exhausted, hurried to their far away homes, their eyes
nevertheless brightened at the thought of the opportunity
which enabled them to join in such a noble work of charity.
That these bazaars became such wonderful demonstrations of
self-sacrifice, was in the first line due to the German-American
women, who by their efforts added another leaf to their
wreath of gold.
Monuments of Philanthropy.
As glorious as are the physical and ethical contributions of
the German element to American culture, so glorious are also
the many works, which manifest their benevolence as well
as their public spirit and love for justice.
The origin of several of these philanthropic institutions
goes back to the 1 8th century.
It was on Christmas Day of 1 764, that in the little Lutheran
schoolhouse in Philadelphia a number of German citizens
organized the German Society of Pennsylvania, in order to
fight the horrible abuses, which had arisen with European
immigration. To review these evils means to open the blackest
pages of our Colonial history. English and Dutch shippers,
not supervised by the authorities, who took no interest in
the proper treatment and future of emigrants, committed the
most abominable crimes against these poor people. Pre-
tending to be willing to help all persons without means,
they offered such people credit for their passage across the
ocean, on condition that they should work for it after their
arrival in America, by hiring out for a certain length of
time as servants to colonists, who would pay their wages in
advance by refunding the passage money to the ship-owners.
As these persons were redeeming themselves by performing
this service, they were therefore called "Redemptioners."
With this harmless-looking decoy many thousands of poor
human beings were lured to sign contracts, only to find out
later that they had become victims of villainous scoundrels
and had to pay for their inexperience with the best years of
The abuses of this system grew in time to such an extent,
that the redemptioners were in fact not better treated than
slaves and were often literally worked to death, to say nothing
of insufficient food, scanty clothing and poor lodging. Of
the right to punish redemptioners, many heartless people made
such frequent and cruel use, that laws became necessary where-
by it was forbidden to apply to such servants more than ten
lashes for each "fault." Female redemptioners were quite
often by all kinds of devilish tricks forced to lives of shame,
conditions, which some of the peculiar laws of the colonies
Incidents of such character stirred the German citizens of
Philadelphia to revolt against such infamous treatment of
immigrants. Forming the German Society of Pennsylvania,
they secured in time laws by which ship-owners as well as
the captains and other officials became subjected to strict
control and many of the worst abuses were successfully
The German Society of Pennsylvania became the model for
many similar institutions in the other parts of our continent,
as for instance in New York, Charleston, S. C, Baltimore,
Birmingham, Boston, Pittsburgh, New Haven, Rochester,
Hartford, St. Louis, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, San
Francisco, Portland and Seattle. By uncovering evils and
vigorously persecuting guilty persons, by continuously framing
and recommending efficient laws, these societies secured at last
a better treatment of the immigrants on the ocean as well as
after landing. With full justice these German Societies may
be called the true originators of our modern immigration laws.
When in time the regulation and enforcement of these laws
became national affairs, the German Societies, thus released
of a part of their work, directed their efforts to other problems,
that became more important and difficult to solve, as the
exodus to America gained tremendous proportions.
To give an idea of their benevolent work, no better illus-
tration can be found than the German Society of New York,
which grew to be the most important of all when New York
became the principal immigration port of the United States.
Founded in 1784, the society has at present about 1200
members who pledge themselves to contribute each at least
$10 annually. It directs its efforts principally to relieve the
distress of such immigrants as are unable to find work, or are
reduced by sickness or other unfavorable circumstances.
Meals, coal and other necessities are distributed among the
needy. Numerous physicians in the service of the society make
free calls among deserving families and provide free medicines.
A special department secures positions for persons looking for
work; an information bureau gives practical advice and infor-
mation either personally or by letter. A banking department
offers cheap and safe ways for the transaction of money
matters, procures railway and steamboat tickets, performs
notarial acts and other services. All profits deriving there-
from are turned over to the society's funds for charity.
To illustrate the activity of the German Society of New
York it may be stated, that it distributed in 1915 to deserving
people $16,911 in cash; 5565 meal-tickets; 2312 tickets for
lodgings and 632 half tons of coal. The physicians of the
Society made 3347 free calls to sick people, to whom also
$2241 in free medical stimulants were distributed. 2297 men
were provided with work; and $23,000 as profit of the busi-
ness departments were turned over to charity.
As one single grain of seed often bears many fruits so the
German Society of New York further created the German
Savings Bank, the German Hospital, the German Rechts-
schutzverein, and, through the latter, the Legal Aid Society of
The establishment of the two latter institutions resulted
from the desire, to assist immigrants who had been wronged
and were too poor to pay for legal assistance. To procure
justice for them the Rechtsschutzverein was founded in March
1876, with its own bureau and lawyers, to hear and right the
complaints of German immigrants.
But immigrants of other nationalities came also, suffering
from bitter wrongs. To send them away would have been
cruel, impossible. Therefore it was decided in 1890, that the
bureau should give assistance to all who might ask legal help
without considering their nationalities. But as such liberality
threatened the means of the Society with exhaustion, it was
suggested to invite the help of the general public for the good
work. At the same time it was resolved to change the name
of the institution to Legal Aid Society, to indicate its general
Under the able leadership of Arthur von Briesen, who
remained at the helm of the Legal Aid Society from the
beginning until 1916, a period of 26 years, the business of the
Society increased tremendously.
Taking the Legal Aid Society of New York as a model,
similar institutions have been established in Boston, Philadel-
phia, Washington, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago,
San Francisco and Atlanta; also in Berlin, Hamburg, Kopen-
hagen and many other European cities. When in October
1913 in Nuernberg, Germany, the first international conven-
tion of Legal Aid Societies was held, it appeared, that in Ger-
many alone 3 1 2 of such corporations had been organized, all
after the model of the New York society.
Thus we see that since the Christmas meeting at the Lutheran
schoolhouse in Philadelphia untold millions of people profited
by the earnest work, begun by that small band of Germans,
who had the welfare of their poor countrymen so much at
heart, and who showed what genuine Christmas spirit can do
for humanity, if only put to proper purpose.
* 4S * #
German charity is responsible also for many splendid hos-
pitals, orphan asylums, homes for aged people and similar
Reverend William Augustus Muhlenberg, belonging to the
famous Muhlenberg family, was the founder of the beautiful
St. Luke's Hospital in New York and was in charge of it as
superintendent until his death in 1877. He also was originator
of St. John's Land on Long Island, with homes for old men
and crippled children. Similar institutions were founded by
Johann D. Lankenau and Peter Schem in Philadelphia; by
Georg Ellwanger in Rochester ; by Anna Woerishoffer, Edward
Uhl, Henry Villard, Georg H. Schrader, H. O. Havemeyer
in New York, Louis Zettler in Columbus, Ohio, and many
others. German charity directed its attention also to the proper
care of dumb animals. The organization in 1 866 of the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York
is due to Henry Bergh, born in 1 823 in New York of German
ancestry. Through his efforts cock- and dog fights were pro-
hibited, and also the transportation and killing of cattle, the
care of the horse and other beasts of burden greatly improved.
By inventing clay-pigeons he found a substitute for live pigeons
in shooting-matches, and to him is due also the erection of
watering places for animals in large cities. Making frequent
lecture tours throughout the country, he implored also the
clergymen to preach at least once a year in the behalf of those,
"who could not speak for themselves." The splendid results,
obtained by this society, encouraged Bergh, to organize also
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children."
Noted as an indefatigable organizer of charity institutions is
also Louis Klopsch, a journalist born in 1852 in Germany.
Through his magazine The Christian Herald he conducted
large philanthropies, raising and distributing over 4,000,000
dollars, including the Russian famine relief, the Indian famine
relief, and the relief of the starving reconcentrados in Cuba.
Enormous sums were also raised for famine sufferers in Italy,
Sweden, Finland, China, Japan and elsewhere. —
The Germans' great regard for science and learning mani-
fested itself in many gifts to public libraries, museums, schools,
universities and similar institutions. One of the first and most
significant donations of this kind in America was that of the
famous Astor Library to the City of New York by Johann
Jacob Astor, the founder of the American Fur Company.
This library had several hundred thousand volumes. Opened
on February 1, 1854, it has been to many millions of people
a never failing source of edification. For its maintainance
and increase it was endowed by Astor and his descendents to
an amount of $1,700,000. In 1895 this library was merged
with the famous Lenox and Tilden Libraries into the New York
Public Library, which since May 23, 1 9 1 1 , is housed in the
beautiful marble palace at 42d Street and 5th Avenue.
Oswald Ottendorfer made a similar gift to New York in
1 899 in the form of a Germanistic Library, which mediates
to students the rich treasures of ancient and modern German
In Philadelphia William Wagner, an enthusiastic friend of
natural history, founded in 1855 the Wagner Free Institute of
Science, which besides containing priceless collections, employs
an able corps of lecturers, who give free instrutions in natural
The Germans also contributed freely to the University of
Pennsylvania. General Isaac Wistar (Wtister) presented not
only the building for the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and
Biology, but provided it also with a liberal endowment.
Anthony J. Drexel, son of Franz Martin Drexel of Tirol,
founded the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry.
The cost of the beautiful building was about $4,500,000.
The institute is devoted to the education of young men and
women in arts, technics and craftsmanship.
Jacob Tome, born in Manheim, Pa., as the son of a German
Lutheran family, left about 3,000,000 dollars for the estab-
lishment of the Tome Institute at Exeter and Andover, Pa.,
which is a preparatory school for poor children for college.
The heirs of Johann Kraus in Syracuse donated in his
memory the beautiful Crouse Building, the home of the
musical department of the Syracuse University.
Louis Miller, the son of a Maryland German, born in 1 829
in Greentown, Ohio, conceived and organized the famous
Chautauqua institution, located at Chautauqua in Western New
York and devoted to educational, religious and social work.
There has been established a Summer School, which is noted
for its lectures, classes and summer recreations and was the
incentive for the founding of sister institutions in many parts
of the United States.
Richard Hermann founded in Dubuque the Hermann
Museum of Natural History. Adolf Sutro gave to San Fran-
cisco a public reference library of 200,000 volumes, a large
collection of paintings, a public park, public baths and a
replica of Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty. Claus Spreckels, the
Sugar king of California, supported liberally all benevolent
enterprises and donated to the Golden Gate Park of San
Francisco a beautiful music pavillion, costing 100,000 dollars.
Adolphus Busch, the late president of the Anheuser-Busch
Brewing Association in St. Louis, contributed 250,000 dollars
to the Germanistic Museum at Harvard University in Cam-
bridge, Mass., and gave a similar amount to the Washington
University at St. Louis; also many hundred thousands of
dollars to charity. To the generosity of Friedrich Pabst and
Joseph Schlitz the inhabitants of Milwaukee are indebted for
a beautiful theatre and a public park.
John Fritz of Bethlehem gave the Lehigh University a
thoroughly equipped engineering laboratory, valued at over
$50,000. Other Germans of Pennsylvania made gifts to the
Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster.
C. A. Ficke in Davenport made very valuable donations
in money as well as in archaeological and ethnological collec-
tions to the Davenport Academy of Science.
Henry Villard provided the means for several scientific
expeditions to Peru and Bolivia, which were under supervision
of the famous archaeologist Adolf Bandelier and enriched the
American Museum of Natural History.
William Ziegler, the organizer of the Royal Baking Powder
Company, furnished the money for an exploration expedition
which penetrated the Arctic regions by way of Franz Joseph
Land. Through the same source Lieutenant Peary was enabled
to make in 1906 one of his memorable expeditions toward the
John D. Rockefeller, a descendant of Johann Peter Rocke-
feller of Germany, gave untold millions to the General Educa-
tion Board, the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Insti-
tute for Medical Research in New York, to Yale, Brown,
Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Vassar Universities and other institu-
tions. James Lick, descendant of a Pennsylvania German
family Luck, left to California several million dollars for
scientific and benevolent purposes. Among these donations
were those for the construction of the Lick-Observatorium on
the summit of Mount Hamilton, California, which is world-
famous for its magnificent discoveries in astronomy.
The National German American Alliance
and its Purposes.
The beginning of the 20th century marks also for the
German element of the United States the beginning of a new
and promising era. Alive to the great advantages of centraliza-
tion a small number of representative citizens of various States
of the Union assembled on October 6, 1901, in Philadelphia,
the old stronghold of German effort in America, to organize
the National German American Alliance, not for the purpose
of forming a State within the States, but to consolidate the
enormous forces of the German American population for the
BUILDING OF THE GERMAN SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE
BIRTHPLACE OF THE NATIONAL GERMAN AMERICAN ALLIANCE.
sole purpose of promoting everything that is good in German
character and culture and that might be to the benefit and
welfare of the whole American nation.
The constituting convention took place in the hall of the
German Society of Pennsylvania and was combined with a
celebration of the "German Day," in commemoration of the
landing of the German Pilgrims in Philadelphia on October
The platform adopted by the National German American
Alliance in this convention sets forth and explains its purposes.
It reads as follows:
Principles of the National German American Alliance of the
United States of America.
The National German American Alliance aims to awaken
and strengthen the sense of unity among the people of German
origin in America with a view to promote useful and healthy
development of the power inherent in them as a united body
for the mutual energetic protection of such legitimate desires
and interests not inconsistent with the common good of the
country and the rights and duties of good citizens; to check
nativistic encroachments; to maintain and safeguard the good
friendly relations existing between America and the old
German fatherland. To read the history of German immigra-
tion is to be convinced how much it has contributed to the
advancement of the spiritual and economic development of
this country, and to realize what it is still destined to con-
tribute, and how the German immigrant has at all times stood
by his adopted country in weal and in woe.
The Alliance demands, therefore, the full honest recognition
of these merits and opposes every attempt to belittle them.
Always true to the adopted country, ever ready to risk all for
its welfare, sincere and unselfish in the exercise of the duties
of citizenship, respecting the law — still remain the watch-
word! It has no exclusive interests in view, nor the founding
of a State within a State, but sees in the centralization of the
inhabitants of German origin the shortest road and the surest
guarantee for the attainment of the aims set forth in this con-
stitution. It calls, therefore, on all German organizations —
as the organized representatives of the German spirit and
manners — to co-operate with it for their development, and
recommends further the formation of societies in all the States
of the Union for the preservation of the interest of German
Americans, looking toward an eventual centralization of these
societies into a great German American Alliance, and would
have all German societies consider it a duty and an honor
to join the organization in their respective States. The Alliance
engages to labor firmly and at all times, with all the legal
means at its command, for the maintenance and propagation
of its principles, and to defend them energetically wherever
and whenever they are in danger. Its purposes are the follow-
1 . The Alliance, as such, refrains from all interference in
party politics, reserving, however, the right and duty to defend
its principles also in the political field, in case these should be
attacked or endangered by political measures. The Alliance
will inaugurate and support all legislation for the common
good that is sure to find unanimous approval of its members.
2 . Questions and matters of religion are strictly excluded.
3 . It recommends the introduction of the study of German
into the public schools on the following broad basis:
Along with English, German is a world language; wherever
the pioneers of civilization, trade and commerce have pene-
trated, we find the people of both languages represented;
wherever real knowledge of another language prevails more
generally, there an independent, clear and unprejudiced under-
standing is more easily formed and mutual friendly relations
4 . We live in an age of progress and invention ; the pace
of our time is rapid, and the demands on the individual are
inexorable; the physical exertion involved increases the
demand on bodily force; a healthy mind should live in a
healthy body. For these reasons the alliance will labor for
the introduction of systematic and practical gymnastic
instruction (physical culture) in the public schools.
5 . It further declares in favor of taking the school out of
politics, for only a system of education that is free from
political influence can offer the people real and satisfactory
6 . It calls on all Germans to acquire the right of citizenship
as soon as they are legally entitled to it, to take an active part
in public life, and to exercise their right at the polls fearlessly
and according to their own judgment.
7 . It recommends either a liberal and modern interpretation
or the abolition of laws, that put unnecessary difficulties in the
way of acquiring the right of citizenship, and frequently entirely
prevent it. Good character, unblamable upright life, obedience
to laws should decide, and not the answering or non-answering
of arbitrarily selected political or historical questions, that
easily confuse the applicant.
8 . It opposes any and every restriction of immigration of
healthy persons from Europe, exclusive of convicted criminals
9 . It favors the abolition of antiquated laws no longer in
accord with the spirit of the times, that check free inter-
course and restrict the personal freedom of the citizen, and
recommends a sane regulation of the liquor traffic in conformity
with good common sense and high ethical principles.
10. It recommends the founding of educational societies
that will foster the German language and literature, teach
those anxious to learn, and arrange courses of lectures on art
and science and questions of general interest.
11. It recommends a systematic investigation of the share
Germans have had in the development of their adopted
country, in war and in peace, in all kinds of German American
activity, from the earliest days, as the basis for the founding
and continuance of a German American history.
1 2 . The Alliance advocates all legal and economically
correct measures for the protection of the forests of the
1 3 . We deem it our duty to assist as much as possible
original ideas and inventions of Americans of German birth
or descent for the common good of our country.
14. It reserves the right to extend or supplement this plat-
form when new conditions within its scope and its aims make
it desirable or necessary.
This platform contains nothing whatever that is not in full
accord with good citizenship and to the best interests of the
whole country. In recognition of this fact the Alliance was,
after a very painstaking investigation of its aims and purposes,
incorporated on February 27, 1907, by an Act of Congress.
The Alliance was fortunate enough to find in Dr. Charles
John Hexamer an enthusiastic leader, who since the founding
of the organization has kept it in the right channel. That the
movement met the enthusiastic response from the whole
German American population, is seen by the rapid extension
of the Alliance, which now has organizations in every State
of the Union, even in Hawaii.
Its whole membership amounts to about 2Vz to 3 millions.
The national conventions are held biannually and have taken
place as follows: 1903 at Baltimore; 1905 at Indianapolis;
1907 at New York; 1909 at Cincinnati; 1911 at Washington;
1913 at St. Louis; and 1915 at San Francisco.
One of the first acts of the constitutional convention of
October 6, 1901, was the adoption of a motion made by
Rudolf Cronau, the delegate from New York, that a monument
be erected to the memory of Franz Daniel Pastorius and the
Founders of Germantown. For this purpose the Alliance
collected from its members $30,000, to which the U. S. Con-
gress in recognition of the great contributions of the German
element to American culture granted an additional sum of
$25,000. The monument, executed by Albert Jaegers in New
York, has been described in another chapter.
In like manner the memory of the Major-Generals von
Steuben and Muhlenberg has been honored by the erection of
beautiful statues in Washington, D. C, in the Valley Forge
National Park, in Utica, N. Y., and in Philadelphia. The
Johnstown branch of the Pennsylvania organization erected
a monumental fountain with the bust of Joseph Schantz, the
first settler of that city, a German. The United Societies of
New York City did homage to the memory of Jakob Leisler
by planting an oak tree in City Hall Park. In response to its
advocacy the name of a public park bordering on East River
was changed to Carl Schurz Park. The New York State
organization succeeded in having a bill passed in legislature by
DR. CHARLES JOHN HEXAMER.
which the old homestead of Nicolas Herchheimer was pur-
chased and made a historic museum, containing relics of the
General and the war for independence. For Major-General
Peter Osterhaus and to the widow of Franz Sigel pensions were
secured. Large sums were collected and distributed to the
San Francisco Earthquake Sufferers, and to the wounded and
the war-widows and orphans in Germany and Austro-
Hungary. The sums raised for these humanitarian purposes
amounted in spring 1917 to one million dollars.
In accordance with its principles the German American
Alliance promotes the culture of gymnastics, song, music, art
and the study of the German language and literature in the
public schools. By pointing out the great achievements of the
German element in America it seeks to secure a proper respect
and fair regard for this element. By founding a Junior Order
in 1908 it seeks to inspire the younger generation to continue
the work of their fathers, and to display the same industrious-
ness, enterprise and patriotism. By lifting its members from
the narrow limits of club-life, it induces them to participate
as true citizens of the Republic in all public affairs. Through
its committees it makes practical recommendations for the
preservation and wise utilization of all natural resources of
And so it strives in many directions to win recognition for
its motto: "Always true to our adopted country; ever ready
to risk all for its welfare; sincere and unselfish in the duties
of citizenship ; respecting the law — is and always shall remain
EMBLEM OF THE NATIONAL GERMAN AMERICAN ALLIANCE.
The Future Mission of the German
Element in the United States.
When the National German American Alliance held its
sixth convention at Washington, D. C, in October 1911, the
delegates were welcomed in hearty editorials by all papers
of our Capital. One of these editorials read as follows:
"The German Americans.
Throughout American history runs testimony bear-
ing on the value and high character of the Germans
who have made the new world their home. It is
beyond the powers of estimation for even the shrewd-
est judge of historical values to determine how great
has been the benefit bestowed upon the western repub-
lic by the sturdy sons of the Fatherland who have
come here to settle, to build, to prosper and to become
an integral part of our nation. The fact that they main-
tain "German American" societies and institutions in
no wise lessens their value to this country or their
loyalty to it in all its activities. The "German Amer-
ican" is first the American, and it is to his credit that
he retains an affection for the land of his birth or of
the origin of his parents, and preserves its traditions
and continues the use of its language.
The sessions of the National German American
Alliance now in progress in this city are attended by
men who command unqualified respect for their char-
acter, their progress, their influence in their communi-
ties and the constructive work that they have been and
are doing in the upbuilding of the nation. They are
what are known as "good citizens," law abiding,
charitable, considerate and patriotic. Such men as
these were of the most substantial service to this gov-
ernment fifty years ago, when it was menaced with
destruction. In statesmanship, in science, in business,
in the professions, the trades and the arts the German
Americans have contributed many leaders and have
written a record of great achievements.
Washington welcomes these men, who stand for so
large a part of the American life of to-day, and trusts
that their visit to the capital will make them appreciate
the fact that they are citizens of a country which offers
more of opportunity than the land whose memory they
honor and to which America feels grateful for contrib-
uting them to it."
This appreciation of the German element of the United
States was received by all delegates to the Convention of the
National German American Alliance with great satisfaction.
Recognizing that the aims and efforts of the Alliance were
well understood and valued, the delegates were inspired to
continue in their work as well as in the resolution, never to
relax in the duties owed by them to this country as loyal
Of these obligations the most sacred is to guard for all future
generations that precious gift derived from our ancestors, won
with their blood and the sacrifice of their lives:
The Independence of our Country.
To keep this country free and independent is a duty equally
incumbent on German Americans as on all other loyal citizens.
This task requires constant vigilance, for danger is ahead !
All who have eyes to see and ears to hear must be aware,
that another struggle for the freedom of our United States is
impending, as was pointed out in 1914 by the author of this
work in the pamphlet: "Do we need a third War for Inde-
pendence?" It may become the most difficult and desperate of
all, as for many years mighty powers and numerous shrewd
men have been at work, to deliver our republic back into the
hands of that country which since the days of our Declaration
of Independence has been the worst and unscrupulous enemy
of our United States: England.
The origin of the conspiracy to reunite the destiny of our
republic with that of Great Britain dates back to September 1 9,
1877, when Cecil Rhodes, the "Diamond King of South
Africa," and the intellectual originator of the infamous
Jameson-Raid and the war of conquest against the South
African Republics, made in the first draft of his will provisions
for the following purpose:
"To and for the establishment, promotion and
development of a SECRET SOCIETY, the true aim of
which and object whereof shall be the extension of
BRITISH RULE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
and especially THE ULTIMATE RECOVERY OF
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS AN IN-
TEGRATE PART OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE."
Rhodes, possessing all the ingenuity, audacity and unscrupu-
lousness of his prototypes Robert Clive, Warren Hastings
and other transgressors who were so instrumental in the
extension of the British Empire, was actuated by a passionate
desire to make for himself a great name in history. With this
aim in view he conceived the idea to make England and the
Anglo-Saxon race the dominating powers of the world.
To bring about the union of all English speaking people,
Rhodes established, in the conviction that educational rela-
tions make the strongest tie, the so-called "Rhodes Scholar-
ships," for which he set aside a fund of several million pounds.
This institution provides for the election of three to nine
scholars from each of the British Colonies, and two from each
State and Territory of the United States, or one hundred
Americans in all. Each scholarship covers a three years' course
at the University of Oxford, and each student receives an allow-
ance of 300 pounds a year, which is equivalent to $1500. In
awarding the scholarships account shall be taken of various
qualities, among them the desire to serve in public affairs.
On July 1, 1899, Rhodes dictated another draft of his
last will, in which the provisions for the scholarships are more
specified. In January, 1901, he added the following codicil:
"I note the German Emperor has made instruction
in English compulsory in German schools. I leave
five yearly scholarships at Oxford of 250 pounds per
annum to students of German birth, the scholars to
be nominated by the German Emperor for the time
That these dispositions are not fully approved at Oxford,
appears from an article "The American Rhodes Scholars at
Oxford" in the "Educational Review" of February 1905. On
page 1 1 7 it says :
"Oxford is carrying out the Rhodes bequest without
being in sympathy with the Anglo-Saxon ideal. When
the Dons think aloud they blurt out the truth that in
their estimation the Colossus of South Africa made a
gigantic mistake in undertaking to educate Germans,
Americans, and even Colonials, at Oxford on terms of
equality with Englishmen. They do not hesitate to say
that it would have been better if he had left his
fortune to the university itself, which is not well
endowed, although the colleges themselves are rich.
They consider it a misfortune that the Rhodes' Scholar-
ship Trust is diverted from the education of English-
men, Welshmen and Scotsmen, and possibly Irishmen
as well, to a missionary enterprise for converting
Germans, Americans, and Colonials into good Anglo-
Saxons. They would certainly have dropped the
Germans, if they could have had their way; for they
do not believe that the students nominated from the
palace in Berlin will ever be good Anglo-Saxons. Some
of them say outright that the Rhodes' Scholarship
Trust will enable the German Emperor to give candi-
dates for the diplomatic service a good training in
English studies without expense; and that when they
leave Oxford they will be more uncompromising
Germans than ever. The Americans are regarded as
more hopeful subjects of Anglo-Saxon missionary
effort than the Germans."
These last remarks indicate clearly the object of the Rhodes'
By taking from their native country in every year such large
numbers of American students and by placing them for so
long a time under the strong influence of British students and
professors at a British university, such an institution clearly
aims at nothing less than to form, in time, of the recipients
of these scholarships a vast army of active agents, who may
be counted upon to carry out in the United States England's
fond hopes, as they become influential citizens or leaders and
official representatives of the American people.
The great danger to the freedom of the United States
from this institution becomes clear when it is shown that
Rhodes' idea of a World Empire under control of Great Britain
is endorsed and furthered by Andrew Carnegie and many
other men of great influence. An article, published over Car-
negie's signature in the North American Review of June 1893,
under the heading "A Look Ahead" contains the following
"Let men say what they will, I say that as surely
as the sun in the heavens once shone upon Britain and
America united, so surely is it one morning to rise,
shine upon and greet again the "RE-UNITED
STATES," THE BRITISH AMERICAN UNION."
The purpose of this union Carnegie set forth in the same
article as follows:
"The advantages of a race confederation are so numer-
ous and so obvious that one scarcely knows how to
begin their enumeration. Consider its defensive power.
A reunion of the Anglo-Americans, consisting to-day
of one-hundred and eight millions, which fifty years
hence will number more than two hundred millions,
would be unassailable upon land by any power or
combination of powers that it is possible to create. We
need not, therefore, take into account attacks upon the
land; as for the water, the combined fleets would
sweep the seas. The new nation would dominate the
world and banish from the earth its greatest stain —
the murder of men by men. It would be the arbiter
between nations, and enforce the peaceful settlement
of all quarrels. Such a giant among pigmies as the
Re-United States would never need to exert its power,
but only intimate its wishes and decisions.''
And at another place Carnegie says:
"Were Britain part of the Re-United States, all that
she would be interested about in Europe would be
fully secured; namely the protection of her own soil
and the command of the seas. No balance of power
or any similar question would be of the slightest im-
portance. The re-united nation would be prompt to
repel any assault upon the soil or the rights of any of
We leave it to those readers acquainted with the history of
England to imagine the consequences, which such a union,
under the leadership of the unscrupulous diplomats of
England, would have for all other nations.
Carnegie not only expressed his resolution to bring about
this reunion in the words: "Whatever obstructs reunion, I
oppose; whatever promotes it, I favor!" but he also spent
many million dollars for this same purpose. Numerous Amer-
icans believe that the establishment of a discretionary endow-
ment pension fund of almost $20,000,000 for American
college- and university professors has been made with no
other design, than to influence these professors to lend their
great moral assistance to Carnegie's aims, just as such help
is expected from that army of men, who received the "benefits"
of the Rhodes' Scholarships.
Surmise is rife also, that Carnegie's endowment of
$10,000,000 for "International Peace" has no other end than
to proclaim through its large staff of well paid orators and
lecturers to the people of our republic the blessings they are to
get when they will forget the evil doings of Jefferson, Franklin,
Henry, Washington, Herchheimer, Muhlenberg and all the
other foolish mutineers of the "War of Rebellion," and will
return to their original vassalage of England.
To discredit these "rebels," numerous orators and authors
are constantly at work. Harvard professors have explained
in public lectures, that George Washington had an unexampled
temper and neither possessed large brain power nor educa-
tion; that Benjamin Franklin was a liar and dressed freakishly
to be a social lion; and that Patrick Henry, Jeremiah Belknap
and Noah Webster speculated on inside tips received from
Congressmen. It fell to the lot of Poultney Bigelow to besmirch
the memory of Steuben by publishing in the New York Sun of
May 2, 1915, that "the famous Steuben obtained his rank in
the American Army by a pious Prussian fraud," and that "he
was one of the alleged patriots, who came to Washington
with bogus titles to rank, and sought for the triumph of Amer-
ican liberty only in so far as a salary followed in its wake." —
The gradual elimination from our public school histories of
all reference to the nefarious part played by England in Amer-
ican history; the movement to ignore the celebration of the
Fourth of July and substitute the signing of the British Magna
Charta to be celebrated by American youth as the true origin
of our independence, as proposed by Carnegie, are so many
indications, whither currents are carrying our people.
Distrust in the real objects of the "International Peace
Society" grows, when we note that its president is Elihu Root,
England's solicitor in America; and that among its vice-
presidents are men like Dr. Charles W. Eliot, President
Emeritus of Harvard, and Joseph H. Choate, U. S. Am-
bassador to Great Britain. The former is the man, who
in 1 9 1 3 at a banquet in New York lauded German civilization
to the skies, stating that to no other country America is so
deeply indebted as to Germany. Since the outbreak of the
European Conflict this same person has become notorious
for expressing diametrically opposite views and for suggesting
urgently that the United States should prepare to enter the
war in aid of the Allies and help in the destruction of Germany.
Ex- Ambassador Choate startled in January 1916 his hearers,
when at a banquet of the "Pilgrims Society" he addressed
the guests in the words: "I now ask you all to rise and drink
a good old loyal toast to the President and King George of
Hand in hand with such "patriots" works a powerful pro-
British press, influenced and controlled by Lord Northcliffe,
publisher of the London Times, and by J. P. Morgan, the
American financial and munition agent for Great Britain.
By displaying an exceedingly hostile attitude toward every-
thing German; by accusing the German element in the United
States of disloyalty toward the land of its adoption; by work-
ing up a strong anti-German sentiment; by supplementing their
abusive language with drawings and cartoons of the most insult-
ing and abominable character; and last but not least, by their
incessant efforts to force the United States into war with
Germany, this un-American press has not only degraded itself
but has made evident its bondage to British dictations.
Inveigled into this dangerous conspiracy are the owners and
presidents of hundreds of factories making arms and ammuni-
tion; Senators and Representatives, interested in the stocks of
those establishments, which provide "things to kill" or are
needed to bring our country into the state of "preparedness;"
furthermore university professors, ministers, authors and many
other American citizens of prominence.*)
What havoc and dreadful demoralization has already been
caused by this pro-British propaganda among our people,
appears from the fact, that an "American Legion" has been
*)For full information about this subject we refer to Carnegie's
article in the "North American Review" of June 1893; to the publi-
cation "The Conquest of the United States," distributed by the
"American Truth Society" in New York; to the well documented
disclosures appearing in the "Fatherland" of March 22, and April 26,
1916; to S. Ivor Stephen's booklet "Neutrality," New York, 1916;
to "Issues and Events," "Fair Play" of 1916, etc.
formed, to fight in British uniforms in Flanders against that
country which since the birth of our Republic has been a true
friend of our United States: Germany.
To give the reader an idea of the demoralization that has
taken place among our people, we quote here verbally from
a lengthy article, which under the heading:
"First of American Legion off for Flanders"
appeared in the Magazine Section of the New York Times of
May 28, 1916. Approving the formation of the "American
Legion," this paper states, that the legion consists of American
citizens and that they adopted "as their brigade badge the coat
of arms of George Washington (!) on the Canadian maple
leaf. The recruiting station of the legion is Toronto, and here
have assembled representatives of forty-five States and Terri-
tories of the United States, and here, without renouncing
American citizenship, they have made oath, each of them,
"I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty
King George V. and I will, as in duty bound, honestly and
faithfully defend his Majesty in person, crown, and dignity
against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of his
Majesty and of all the Generals and Officers set over me."
The same article contains also the interesting notes, that "at
every meal in the mess room, decorated, by the way, with both
the United States and British flags, the American officers rose
and drank the toast "The King."
Much ado has been made in our histories about the poor
Hessian soldiers, who, having no free will, during the 1 8th
century by their rulers were hired out to King George III. to
fight his battles and suppress the Americans in their heroic
struggle for liberty. It was left to our 20th century to witness
the much more shameful spectacle, that free American citizens
voluntarily hired themselves to King George V., to fight his
mercenary battles and help to crush a friendly nation, which is
struggling heroically for its existence.
And these men wear a badge showing the coat of arms of
Against this profanation of the escutcheon of the "Father
of our Country" and against the gross offences committed by
these and many other Americans against the spirit of true
neutrality none of the above named "patriots" has raised one
single word of protest. While they joined in baseless insinua-
tions and unjustified attacks upon the character of the German
American element, they remained singularly silent in face of
the pro-British propaganda carried on in our country to verify
the dreams of Rhodes and Carnegie of the "Re-United States."
It have been these deplorable conditions which incited a
true American, Mr. Frank Pease, to express his disappointment
in bitter words. In the "International" for March, 1917, he
says: "Until 1914 America possessed a great and noble myth,
perhaps the greatest and noblest that has yet appeared on
ear th — the Epic of 1776. Its central point of irrefutable
datum of history, this myth so dear to the ardent fancy of
each new generation of our schoolboys, rallied in its penumbral
train a pictured pageant of heroes and heroines, brave men,
intrepid women, surprising tales of exploit, undying loyalty,
supreme defiance to oppression, and, finally, that masterpiece
of human inspiration, Victory. Across the luminous tapestry
of tradition these shadowy-real figures moved as gods in the
creating of our national myth. (Perhaps they were gods!) At
all events each generation of American youth since has viewed
them as gods, paid them the homage that gods should be paid
— which is unquestioning faith — re-created the epic of their
labors in sublimations of fancy, but, chief of all, youth incor-
porated much of their heroic virtues in the development of its
own character. But this was prior to 1914.
In 1914 what happened? What became of our national
myth? Who stole or destroyed it? Who robbed our cradles
and despoiled our future of its noblest psychological possession
— the Epic of '76? Who or what has so confused and dis-
connected contemporaneity from our past that there exists not
a single schoolboy capable of discerning truth from falsehood:
the truth of that stalwart myth from the present falsehoods of
contradictory sentiment in favor of the one-time enemy? How
comes it the once diamond-clear Epic of '76 is now so blurred,
so seemingly irrelevant, so indecisive in our present? Was it
all delusion? Was there no tyrant? Were there no heroes,
no clash of arms, no triumphs? Have our schoolboys, then,
imbibed a false history and a false idealism?
Myths are very important factors in the making of nations.
He who robs a nation of its myth violates its soul. No nation,
be it young or in the full prime of its maturity, can afford to
be robbed of its myth. It could not persist for a single genera-
tion without its myth. A myth is the very cement of a nation's
substance. Now could there be discovered a nation where the
social cement of its myth is a more important ingredient than
in America, composed as it is of the most diverse aggregation
of men and manners ever assembled under one rule, one ideal,
one common interest?
Since 1914 we are beginning to reap that ill harvest, sown
by the muckraker. What we are witnessing to-day is the
result of undermining. Nowhere is this more apparent than
in the irrelevancy, the dimness and the forgetfulness toward
that grand panorama of psychological values embodied in our
national myth. This myth has become the obscure property
of antiquarians, Fourth of July orators, and emerged politicians.
No longer does it breathe upon youth the sacred fire of valor,
the lesson of separateness, the high resolve, the old proud will
In its place we have the wide talk of "rapprochement," the
"consanguinity of race," the "common medium of language,"
and there goes about the sinister story of a "secret alliance,"
connived at, indeed striven for, by some of the highest officials
of the nation.
Anglo-maniacs, in attacking all that was fixed, sacred, in-
valuable to the perpetuity of our myth, attacked the very
fundament of our national faith. The direct pro-English propa-
ganda is the profoundest blow ever leveled at the traditions
of American separateness and self-sufficiency. Substituting
the myth of the British Empire for our own Epic of '76, it is
an underhand attempt to de-nationalize us and implies em-
barkation upon undiscovered, and — who could doubt —
To uphold true American ideals, and to frustrate the sinister
plots against the independence of our country are the ends all
German Americans must strive for with might and main. In
conjunction with other loyal citizens they must demand that
the noble heroes of our two wars for independence shall not
have fought in vain and that the achievements of Jefferson,
Franklin, Washington, Herchheimer, Steuben and all the other
patriotic men of those great times shall not become obliterated.
They must insist, that our republic has a higher destiny than
that of becoming a satrap of a country the history of which is
made up of the most abominable crimes against liberty and
of incessant outrages against every country and island too
feeble to offer resistance.
Now is the time when every citizen should take to heart
the admonition of Carl Schurz:
"MY COUNTRY! WHEN RIGHT, KEEP IT RIGHT;
WHENWRONG, SET IT RIGHT!" which far surpasses the
saying "My Country right or wrong!"
The German Americans, whose duty it is to protect, like
all loyal citizens, the independence of our country, must
continue to use the effective weapon Truth against misrepresen-
tation and deception.
Only by adhering to the excellent advice given by George
Washington in his Farewell Address, to avoid all entangle-
ments with foreign nations, our citizens can maintain this
country as "the Land of the Free," and enable it to become a
model for other nations by virtue of Impartiality, Love of
Justice and Sincerity of Efforts to restore to mankind the
blessings of Peace.
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