This is a featured article from Comal County Genealogy Society?s Family Footsteps. This is a great example of some of the material found in the society?s publication. The article was serialized in Volume II, No. 3&4, 1985, pp. 34-37, Volume III, No. 1, March 1986, pp. 2-8, and Volume III, No. 2, June 1986, pp. 83-94. ? To obtain a copy of these issues, please see the Comal County Genealogy Society?s Publication list.
Translation of Letter by Charles W. Presler from Texas to His Family in Germany
Austin, Travis County
State of Texas
My dear ones!
Your letter arrived just in time, since I took the notion to leave Texas pretty soon. Thinking I will have more luck in South America. I am planning to leave for New Granada, however, this depends on the passage I will get from New Orleans. I changed my former plans to settle in California on account of the Mormons who are dominating there. Also in Texas 50-60 Mormons settled about 23 English miles north of Austin. They have built a mill and everybody seems to be very
industrious up there. However, rumors tell about their communism, that they do not stop to take other people’s property. News from California seems to underline this attitude since the Mormons, after their half year trek through the rocky mountains finally reached San Francisko. Here they bought a few head of cattle to feed themselves. They let the other know that this is the first and last time that they bought or will buy cattle from any other man.
Your letters arrived in December 1846 with Sorgelt. However, I did not get them before March. Accomplished by Julius who sent those letters from New Orleans.
You hardly can imagine how excited I was hearing from you. I could not even sleep after looking at all the pictures you sent me from home. To tell the truth, I am not happy here at all. How could I? Here they despise our fatherland and give us a dirty look when we talk German with another fellow or show interest in what is going on in Germany. Yes, we are free here, backed up by nobody in a nation without a heart and feeling. It is hard to be happy under those conditions.
I might not regret to leave America again but I am sure I will regret it if I return to Germany. Being under the pressure of government employees, police and a government which mistreats all human rights.
Our English will always have an accent, and we will be recognized as a foreigner always right away. It is better to stay out of politics here. We are no Germans and no Americans and we will forget our own language more and more. I just received a letter from Fritz dates the 16th of April 1846. His advice to look up Klappenbach, asking him for aid from the Verein is out of question. I do not favors, especially from the German Verein. According to August’s letter, I have to assume that none of my letters have reached you. Therefore I will repeat my diary.
I already wrote that Julius and I decided to join the troops in the war against Mexico. Since I don’t own a horse,
Julius promised me to help me so I helped him on his farm. We worked hard for two-three days making fences and plowed quite a bit. But Julius backed out and he told me to stay too. I cannot join by myself and I did not want to be ungrateful to him. From our log cabin looking down the hill we can see the road from Washington to LaGrange leading to West Texas. Often we saw volunteer companies from East Texas and the northern states passing by quite cheerfully. I was sad that I could not go along with them.
The way Julius is farming here will never amount to anything. Of course he has to save his money. I have been working for him already three months, still he does not have a cow which means we have no milk in the house. We fenced 2 1/2 acres carrying all the lumber on our bare back. It took us a full week. A sled with one ox only could have done the work in one day. With three more men we turned the soil (2 1/2 acres) in two weeks where two men, one ox and a plow could do the job in two days. Don’t you see, under those circumstances I will never get any place. I talked things over with Julius, Fritz Kannengiesser and Schafer and we decided to separate from S. Believe me, it was hard for me to leave him and I would rather set my own interest back if it was not for you. Julius and I left in June while Fritz and Schafer more tied up in the place stayed with S.
We left for Austin (95 English miles), hoping to find some employment there in the general land office. All I had was $10. – while Juluis has little more besides his violin on his back. One loaf of cornbread was all we took along. At noon we camped near a small creek enjoying there a slice of our bread. Julius played the violin when all of the sudden a Yankee showed up. After listening for a while, he showed us the way he was playing the violin. In the evening, we made LaGrange on the east side of the Colorado River. It is the largest settlement in Fayette County,, with 70-80 log cabins and frame houses, surrounded by beautiful live oak trees. The other side of the Colorado River is 150-200 ft. higher. Being the main place of the county, people buy and sell their goods here or attending court and political elections. It looks more like a German marketplace than a city. They have press, hotels, warehouses, and even a stock market office (which is mostly closed). Big signs with hot chocolate and confection are all over the town but if you ask for it they don’t have it.
Julius wanted to stay here and had several offerings as a building contractor. So I left him and headed for Austin all by myself. You don’t find any hospitality here and every morning I had to pay 1/2 dollar for one cup of coffee, cornbread and the universal food here, bacon. After three days I reached Bastrop, in Bastrop County seated on the Colorado River also. Since the revolution, an important town but not looking like La Grange. First I thought I met Schmidt her from Torgab, but this one was from Elsas. No news from from Schmidt. Someone from Galveston told he is living in Corpus Cristi on the delta of the Nueces River. On the fifth day, I came to Austin, the capital of Texas and Travis County. Pretty on the East side of the Colorado River, surrounded by hills. Do not expect places here. Not at all. Only log and frame houses like elsewhere even the the capitol and governor’s home, 50-60 homes. The last settlement on the river, not even a farm above – all Indian territory.
The next day I called upon a German who is working in the land office drawing maps. He told me he could not help me on account of my poor English. He tried to speak to Colonel Ward, but without success. I tried everything but after having $2 debts already in the hotel, I finally worked in a bakery as a helper for $9 a month and free room and board. The boss was a German who owned a bakery and brewery here. The beer is good and the cookies. You would lick all fingers. After 14 days, my friend Kreuzbauer from the land office came to tell me Colonel Ward wants to see me. He offered me a job for two months. I made my visity a la Texas style. Cotton pants and a short blue coat, one trouser let in the boot, my felt hat on my head.
I was introduced by Kreuzbauer he offered me a chair and told me I would work her for 2 months for $20 a month and free room and board. I got a room in a log cabin with a sofa, upholstered chairs, a mirror with a golden frame, and a bed with mosquito net. Here I lived very happy for a couple of months. Colonel Ward was a grand old soldier of the Texas Revolution and San Jacinto as well as Alamo where his lost his right leg and arm.
Now I had good meals again. Poultry of all kinds, pastetes, ham, peaches, figs, watermelon, etc. I wish Julius was still with me. Three meals a day and according to the custom here three times a day a warm meal every one like a big German supper. Mostly of course meat. I am missing only greens.
The work was not hard at all, just drawing maps from 9-12 and 2-5 pm. To enjoy the meals really a Negro had to fan with a big flag to bring a kind of a cooling effect in the room and shew the flies away. Our drinks were water, sweet milk or buttermilk, which always was made fresh half an hour before dinnertime. In the meantime, the 4th of July came closer. Independence Day was celebrated of course with a big ball in the Capitol. I did not join on account of having no Congress coat. However, I peeked around and enjoyed it from the outside.
An American played the first violin while a German played the second and a Negro a triangle. That was the band. You see, Uncle Sam’s daughters are easily satisfied. The daughter of the governor even said she never saw such a fine big orchestra. From there I went right away to a funeral. Our office surely was not a health center. Surrounded by small mountains, we lost three persons out of fifteen in the last fourteen days. We just buried our Spanish interpreter, who had to translate all Spanish documents. The coffin was placed on the wagon drawn by four horses. A Negro was driving and everyone else was riding on horseback along. Some in blue coat. Some dressed in white, some in black, white hats or dark hats up to the cemetery in the woods. However, the coffin was too big for the grave and we all had to dig a little wider before we could let the doffin go. Then we all filled the hole with soil. On the 25th of August my work was done and I had to quit, however, the world looked brighter with a saving of $35 in the pocket.
The war with Mexico is almost over. The Americans took California and all towns of the Rio Grande from Matamorol up to Santa Fe. Chihuahua is taken. Taylor is in Monterray and Satillo. All harbors are in American hands, a heavy toll is on all imported goods. Captain Scott sailed from Vera Cruz to Jalapa. Much gossip in the newspapers about the conditions of peace(?) Some talk about a line from the spring of the Rio Grande down to the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco including Tehantupec in the south to have a chance of building a canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Others say the investments would be too big and it would be better to take over all of Mexico. It is true the war cost an enormous amount of money. Just think 20,000 men and 8,000 foreign volunteers are provided with everything: clothing, rifles, horses, etc. $3 a month salary. 12,000 volunteers who furnish their own horses, rifles, clothes etc. They are getting $25 a month and free meals. Not German recruit cooking! Meat as much as you want, good flour, rice, beans, coffee, sugar, candles, soap, etc. Even grain for the horses. Does his horse have an accident he gets another one without paying for it. Everything is shipped to Matamoros and from there into Mexico. In case of peace with Mexico it sure will cost Uncle Sam plenty. They cannot take Mexico. It is almost in private hands which they have to respect like they had to in Texas. The hate of the Mexicans is big against every. American and they have to keep always a well trained occupation-army there.
Lately we had a seldom, however, a remarkable event in the senate. A senate member, the editor of the newspaper “The Union” was thrown out of the senate after publishing some articles against other members of senate. In an election, they voted 27-21 against him and he had to go. Does that here in the South already show American freedom? They mention always the increasing power of the United States and the solid foundation of the Government; however, I have to think about mushrooms, too. They say we have freedom of Religion, and nobody will ask you of course what do you believe. But you let them know you are atheist or of another religious group and you are living between Methodists or any other religious group, your property and life is in danger. I met an American from the Trinity River who was living between Methodists. They threatened to lynch him and set his house afire if he would not become Methodist. He left for the West.
I was witness in a Methodist church in Houston one time where the preacher told them to join the Methodist church otherwise they will never go to Heaven. Three ladies finally came out of the crowd and trumpets announced their new membership. Astonished that no men started to join, he told the crowd to think what a menace it would be for the men to go to Hell instead of going hand in hand to Heaven with the ladies. An old man finally went up to the alter. Another trumpet announcement. I left scared! It is my belief that Germany after becoming a free Republic will build up a better nation than America. The national pride of the Americans is really hard to understand. They never pronounce a Latin word like the Romans. Everything in their American way, even English is already an insult. Remarkable are the efforts of the Americans to show the world what great men they have produced. Shortly, I read in the papers that even the Pope has been in America as a missionary on account of his liberal ideas. A famous English General, I forgot the name, was tried to be of American origin and even the Spanish Dancer La Mola is claimed of American stock. In a social gathering one time a doctor told everyone that English is the most expressive language in poetry. More than French, Italian, and German. Especially German, he said, was not fit for poetry. Very probably to insult the present Germans. When I asked him whether he could speak French, Italian, and German, he had to deny it; and, I told him that he was unable to judge about those things. Kreuzbauer asked Governor Henderson’s wife, who speaks all three languages, and she, being English, told the doctor that German poetry is the best. This made him so made that he tries to insult us whenever he sees a chance.
In everything they use the superlative. For instance, a farmer tries to sell a horse. You should listen to his approach. The Best I ever have ever seen, even if the horse is stiff and crippled; the tamest horse of the Union, the best horse ever raised in Texas. etc. Only a few government jobs open to German-like draftsmen, Spanish clerks, for instance, on account of shortage of Americans – they always prefer Americans even if they are not fit. All this will show you we do not have an easy life here under the Americans. Therefore, my reasons to leave Texas again. The Germans are mistreated here-“God damned the Dutchmen,” that’s what you hear everyday.
The idea of a reunion with you all here and to live far from all god damned Yankees, a quiet life, encourages me to look around until fall. You have to decide now and have to let me know at once whether you plan to come or not. My address is: Houston, Jacob de Cordoba, Esqu.
I cannot give you any advice at all thinking you might not like it here. Therefore, I am a little afraid to tell you all the nice or bad things so you might think I encourage or discourage you. But I want to go on with what I have done here. When I was ready to leave Austin on August the 25th, I planned to join General Wool’s volunteer army in San Antonio which was heading for Chihuahua. However, the same day I became acquainted with an Jamaican in the land office. His name is Jacob de Cordoba. He is a real estate man. Knowing all about real estate, I offered him my service and agreed under the same conditions I was getting here in the land office – $20 a month and free room and board. Texas has given free land to all first settlers. Every soldier got a Certificate and was paid in acreage. The owner of a Certificate can claim his land where he wants it. There are plenty of those Certificates issued and Cordoba buys those or stakes the claims for other people out. He is looking after it himself to be sure those people get good soil. His fee is 1/8 of the claim.
We left the other day for San Antonio right away on horseback, both equipped with a good rifle. He has twelve horses distributed over the country. After crossing the Colorado River at Austin we are in the prairie wide open with some mesquite trees (a kind of locustus) and live oak trees. Only on river sides we find a narrow spot of trees. Clear nice waters and dark fertile soil; good grazing land. I read in Germany one time that this grass stays always green even through wintertime. This is not true. It is harder to kill but still not enough to keep cattle through wintertime. The loss is big and it is hard to get milk and butter during that time. Hay has to be imported if some one wants milk and butter throughout the winter months. There are no barns for the cattle and the cattle have to be rounded up from a distance of thirty English miles sometimes. In springtime they have their round-up and picking up of the calves. After crossing Liveoak Springs, a place where Captain Wrede was scalped and killed half a year ago, we arrived at the San Marcos River in the evening. A nature wonder! A small spring in a little pond running up to a stream of twenty-five ells width and six feet deep. The water of those rivers is so often so clear that even at twenty feet you can see every little rock and fish at the bottom. The water must have quite some calcium to be that clear just like our little spring at home in Gringelglock which contains quite some calcium compounds, too. All the water of these west rivers are very transparent.
We stayed here overnight sleeping on the ground and wrapped up in a blanket after having a supper invitation by an American who is going to settle here. He is living in a tent and his Negroes erecting a log cabin here. One of the Negros had to stay up all night to save our scalp and horses from Indians. Already twenty houses are here since the last half a year.
The next day around noon we reached Braunfels on the Guadalupe River, already a nice and important little city. The third biggest in Texas with about 3,000 inhabitants. (Galveston 5,000, San Antonio 4,000). Here is the seat of the German noblemen. But many have a hard life and often you see a baron sawing wood to make his living. Some, of course, still sponsored by the club and take it easy. However, some day there will be an end and the money gone, then they will have to work and have to learn to make a living. I stayed with Henkel who owns a restaurant and little shop here in partnership with someone else. He is making a good business and always has taken me in very friendly. His name Henkel, Count of Dommersmark he has cut down, calling himself Henkel only. The price of an acre here climbed up to $10-$20. Some places in town they have paid already $300. No threatening of Indians here anymore, only occasionally they steal horses and a scalp is lost. Between here and the coast is everything free of Indians and it is a lie if German papers say immigrants were attacked by Indians of their trek from the coast. They might as well write Indians attacked Berlin. I will drop my claims about the 160 acres only if they make me stay on it before it is deeded to me. We left Braunfels at 2 p.m. and reached the Cibolo (Mexican name for buffalo) at sundown. The river is absolutely dry here while up and down this place it is quite a running stream. We noticed that quite often here in the West. Late at night we saw the rivers of the Alamo, the tragic end for Travis, Bowie, and Crockett. Half an hour later we reached San Antonio after riding fifty-three miles (12 German miles). The crossing of the Antonio River was quite difficult; it was a dark night and the crossing path not straight. But we made it.
San Antonio, founded in 1731 by a colony of Spaniards from the Canary Islands is quite a sight. The older buildings partly in ruins are made of walls three to four feet thick.
One story buildings with a shingle roof or flagstones supported by 4×4 posts which stick out the walls. The top of the roof is covered with four to five feet of soil against the sun which provides them a cool house in summertime and a warm one in winter.
In the middle is a big gate and doors leading from both sides into the rooms. The floor is covered with hard rock floor covering. Even open fireplaces in the rooms. The rooms have only a small window. Between those big houses are small ones. Living quarters of the Mexicans (half Indians). Poles from mesquite trees close, one by one, dug in the ground, raw cowhides plugged through and covered with a loamy soil. Palm leaves furnish the roofing materials. Four of the five Spanish missions are close up, but also ruins. One of the favored sports of the Mexicans is swimming in the Antonio River. Often I saw Mexican children between seven to ten years old swimming aside big logs down river so directing them. The river is divided in several arms and channels but partly fallen to pieces and covered with mud.
I found along the river Indisches Blumenrohr (Indian or Hindoo cane), passion flowers of pale red colors, fig trees, peach trees, and Granatapfel (pomegranate) wild growing remains of earlier settlements. Quite often around San Antonio are cactus four to five feet in height, a plague for everyone in their thickness. Even cattle try to avoid these spots. Also Yucca, which resembles very much the aloe are found here three to four feet high. The leaves end in a sharp point hurting often the horse. der Blutenshand (flowering) is similar to our Armleuchter (stonewort with yellow parts like tulip bells.) From the different cactus I found six to eight specimens.
I met here persons more than 100 years old. Not more than four feet high, and bent, with hair as white as snow. Nothing but skin and bones. After eight days, we finally went surveying in the western hills – Indian country. The next town we reached was Castroville on the Medina River, twenty-five miles from San Antonio. A nice little town stocked with Germans, Frenchmen, and Mexicans. Castro not very much liked in Germany, has done a good job here and nobody was unfriendly to him. However, those settlements here and elsewhere have the disadvantage of very expensive living, for instance for two pound of batatas you pay one half dollar. Good flour in Houston runs $6 per barrel. For freight you have to pay $3 per 100 pounds. To Austin takes $12-$14 per barrel of flour while in San Antonio you have to pay $21 already. So is everything very much higher.
We camped down the river here several days, waiting for some more men to join us. At night we always had a man on guard on account of Indians. One day I found some nuts along the river as big as our hazelnut, in a triangular shell. I showed those to the Americans and we tasted them. Very sweet. But they gave me right away throat troubles and I stopped eating them, but not the Americans. After a couple of hours they all became very sick. Attracted by the fire we killed two bucks. They are much smaller than ours. Similar to our does. We mostly kept the back part of the tongue since we had plenty of game around here. However, don’t get selfish about it – deer prepared in your kitchen is much more tasty than ours just seasoned with salt or powdered and barbequed in open fire within fifteen minutes. You can imagine after preparing it in this way it is still tough and has not lost that certain smell. After the others showed up here – eleven altogether now – started and reached the Quihe settlement – all German – belonging to Castro’s colony – we found twenty to thirty houses here located on the Quihe River. However, almost everybody was sick from drinking the water out of the pond. This was for a long time the last settlement in the West. However, five miles farther a new settlement – Vandenberg – is here. After that, nothing but prairie up to the Rio Grande.
We followed the Presidio del Norte road trailed by thirty to forty Comanches. They always watched us from a certain distance, naked with bow and arrow on horseback. We were lucky to meet about 200 volunteers who came back from the Rio Grande, so we ran the Indians off. After passing the Hondo and Seco, we left the road following the Sabinas River towards the hills. Quite often we run into rattlesnakes here – not big – the largest had nine rattles. The Americans are afraid of these snakes but one cook – a Mexican – dismounted and killed them with his whip, bringing the rattles back as a souvenir. We crossed Canon de Uvalde where a few Mexicans fought several hundred Indians and drove them back. The surroundings are quite nice out here. All hills have hardly trees but would make good goat ranches. We found quite some wild turkeys out here. There are just as big as the tame ones. Black feathers shining copper and green. They are hard to hit. During the Pearungszeit you can hide somewhere imitating the call of the female turkey with a feather to attract the male ones. The best chance is just before sunrise or in the evenings. They sleep in trees. During daytime you will not find them in trees. For in the evening, a male will call for at least half an hour to gather the hens (sometimes five to twenty) and they are easy to find that way.
We spent a month out here without further excitement except one day we found a tree full of bees. Yes, Texas is the land of milk and honey. Only milk is rather expensive and honey not to get in all places. Well, I tell you it was quite a lucky day to run into these bees. We run out of sugar and honey for a long time. Our Mexican discovered the trees; all excited, he yelled, “treebee, treebee.” We chopped the tree with axes – a big oak- fighting the bees a while, but we made it and everybody was happy. What & fun with all the sticky beards after two or three pound pieces in the hands. The rest of six gallons of pure honey we squeezed it out with our bare hands, saved in a fresh buckskin, of course, in the inside and tied on mules. On our way back we followed an old Indian trail. No wild life at all here and all we had were fish for eight days. We made San Antonio, hungry, but quite well.
I left San Antonio all by myself headed for Austin via Bastrop altogether 920 English miles. In Braunfels I had bad luck. The first norther hit here early in the morning on a mid October day so I could not leave Braunfels on account of the heavy rain. I did not know the river crossing and nobody was around to ask for details. When I crossed the river, I thought I found the right place; however, as soon as I was in water the horse started swimming, half the way across the current was really dangerous. My horse and I almost drowned and I lost my bag with money and clothes. Several Americans on the other side watched me but did not help at all. All they had to say after I reached the other side was, “He made it!” I would not reach another settlement that day and had to camp in the open prairie. I was all wet. Another norther came up and I caught a bad cold. Finally I made Austin with high fever and terrific headaches. Five days later, Cordoba arrived, told me to wait here for papers and left for Houston. I followed five days later although still fever in every bone. Friends told me not to leave, but I did. But soon the fever made me stop and rest for a whole day. I made Bastrop in two days this time, otherwise it took me only three-fourths of a day. From there I crossed the Colorado River, following the river on the eastside. Hardly any settlements around here. Then another fever attack. No water and the hot sun! Like Hell! Finally I saw a log cabin. Nobody at home. I broke in the locked kitchen. No water in the house. Outside no water in the well. Back to the kitchen, I looked everything over; nothing to drink. I fainted and after a while the fever eased off. Then I saw a milk pitcher full of milk. I emptied it an aid down on the floor covered with my blanket. I fell asleep and late in the evening I was awakened by a woman. I told her everything. She saw my weakness and kept me till the next morning without charging anything for the milk. I felt even worse the next day. At noon I came to another log cabin occupied by a Negro woman. A ten year old boy fed my horse and I asked for buttermilk which I got. In the evening, a man came home for supper. We talked a while and I told him I planned to leave at one o’clock. He advised me not to leave on account of straying Negros around here. Not long ago they killed two ranchers and last week they tried to get in his mill, 500 feet away from the house, to steal some flour. However, they could not open the door. He went back to his mill with rifle and two pistols. I slept in he attic. A ladder from the only room in which the old Negro woman slept, was leading upstairs. I must have slept till one, when I was awakened by upcoming horses. Someone knocked at the door, and when the old woman opened, two Negros came in asking for something to drink. Others were still outside. They asked her whether she was by herself and she finally told them a sick German was in the attic. Although they spoke quite easy now, I still could hear them saying, “Let’s kill the saddlehorse.” I was prepared for everything, looking for some kind of a weapon in the attic. But I did not find anything. The two finally went outside again offering the others something to drink. Talking things over, they finally decided to go to another place first and come back later. The old Negro woman told them not to kill him. After I calmed down, I stepped down the ladder, the blanket around my shoulders, and walked outside. My papers and my money hiding under the blanket. I locked the door from the outside, jumped several fences and ran into the prairie hiding in the high grass. At 3 a.m., I heard them coming back. At daybreak, I went back, doors all open and nobody around. I saddled my horse and left.
I did not notify the sheriff about it, which I should have done, since it may mean they may run me out of Texas after it becomes known that I knew about those straying Negros. If I still have time left at the end, I will tell you about the disadvantages I had from this adventure.
Reaching La Grange I asked for Julius. They told me he has worked here over the summer months, however, left for Houston or Galveston. The next day I came to Sorgel’s farm. Nobody was at home. I stepped into the garden over the field but could not find anybody. I had fever again and felt like lying down. Then Julius and Fritz came up, they had been picking up pecans in the woods. Cheerfully we exchanged our experiences for quite a while. Sorgel was not at home, he found a job with the Verein. He was in Galveston, sick since a quarter of a year. Schafer had left Sorgel in the most unfair way. Fritz was all by himself. Sorgel left nothing and Fritz had to borrow everything for one quarter of a year. I don’t know what to think about Sorgel. A letter from Julius told me later that Schafter died in Galveston. Julius had worked in La Grange during the summer, saved $50, and came up to Fritz, left here with $20 in his pocket for Galveston saying he was going to look after his things. But I think he thought of the tasteful beer there. He spent his $20 in a hotel and came back to Fritz, homesick. There is no place in Germany where he could save $50 within four months! Then he left for New Orleans, hunting a job as a lithographer while he could make more money here as a brick layer. I do not understand him. To bind him here I sent him with my horse and papers to Cordoba. I could not go farther with my fever. I also gave him a letter of recommendation along knowing Cordoba could use a horseman.
Here I received your letter from March 1846. The cause of the late arrival was due to the boat which was shipwrecked in front of Galveston. Quite a number of immigrants lost their lives and the others had nothing but themselves. The mail bag was under water for two days before they could save it. I was worried about your sickness, dear Herman, and I am glad you recovered so well. I enjoyed reading cousin Karges report about the progress of the year, Klora Flag festival, etc. Many nice hours I have spent with old Fritz talking about Paule and Ferline, brother in laws Kannengiasser and his mustache, which he used to have when he was captain in the army, brother-in-law Burgel from Erfurt, Mienchen, August, Fritz, Kell(?), aunt Sittogen (?), of cousins and aunts. We talked everything over cornbread and kaffee to go with it. These have been the most beautiful fourteen days I have seen in Texas.
I tried to cure the fever with water but without success. Finally I sent Fritz to the German settlement Industry, a German physician gave me some quinine. I had to
portion that into six parts. Taking one dose every two hours. After four parts the pain and fever went and I became so hungry that I ate for five. Talking about health, here many settlers suffer under fever, even the old ones. Some have it two to three times every year. Some get over it while others, even newcomers, don’t get it at all. There are two different types of fever. People who eat plenty meat and sit around much mostly get a kind of gaul fever, periodic fever like I had. It is described as – Nathan the first squatter in Texas. Yellow fever, although not so common, is said to be due to the climate here. It is estimated that one third of all immigrants more or less get sick and die. This is true at least in respect to all of our tripmates from the ship I came over with.Many Germans have quite some trouble with their feet here. A kind of blister. The Americans say our blood is too thick and has to become thinner. Well, I am quite all right now. Julius is back from Houston. Cordoba treated him nice, gave him $6, and promised him a job with $20 a month.
In the middle of November, 1846, we went together surveying in the hills around the Rio Blanco, a side arm of the San Marcos River between Guadalupe and Colorado. Lead our usual life in the backwood. Two Indians from the Delaware tribe were scouts and hunters. Their names were Black Bear and Black Biber. We had plenty bear meat. Julius sure like it. Rice steamed in honey, turkey, deer, and bear, etc. I was as usual sick. Had fever again. After it became cold, below freezing point. Cold showers with northers gave me rheumatism. Julius did not pay much attention to the horses like he used to do first, and when we came back to Austin after one four weeks of surveying, Cordoba fired him. He borrowed a horse from Cordoba expressing he would like to go to Houston. Cordoba told him not to ruin the horse and he should take it easy. However, Julius stopped on the way at Fritz and lost there Cordoba’s horse. Very probably it was stolen.
Cordoba and I left Austin early the next morning and rode to Houston in three and one-half days –195 English miles (43 German miles). Days and weeks went by without news from Julius. I travelled around, went first to Galveston where I took care of our boxes and sent them to Houston. From Galveston I went via Harrisburg, Lynchburg, both on Buffalo Bayou to San Jacinto, then passed Liberty, went down the Trinity River to the coast and back to Houston. Left Houston again for Oyster Creek, close to the mouth of the Brazos River, and spent Christmas Eve in an alligator Swamp. The first holiday saw me on the road again. I left Houston on New Year’s day and met Cordoba in Austin. Here Cordoba had a letter from Julius telling him about the stolen horse. Around the 10th of February we left for Rio Blanco without Cordoba this time. We were only six men. I refused to go first with only five, but Cordoba could not get any while almost every young man had joined the army. So we six went alone. Quite often we ran into buffalos. Fifteen to fifty heads we met quite frequently. It sure is a sight to see them running head down and tail straight in the air. We killed three. On our trip I killed a mountain lion. We ran into four and one jumped on a tree giving me a chance to kill him. The others got away. He was the size of a German butcherdog. His color was gray-brown. They do not attack anybody. This time while tossing down a bee tree we caught a waschbar. He jumped out the tree when the tree fell. An American caught his tail and another one killed him with a handaxe. He gave a good meal. In the evening around eight o’clock on February 13, we noticed a several minutes long trembling of the ground. The Austin paper write that Seguin, fifteen miles below Braunfels felt it quite a bit. It is said that a Volcanic stripe, reaching from Lake Ontario down to middle America goes through this part of Texas. A little later, a paper recorded that on February 14, all of a sudden the ice on Lake Ontario split and the water showed a moving tendency.
We are surveying now already three weeks and had to combine our work with some on the Guadalupe. We worked towards the Guadalupe through hilly country to a well known point and went back to the Blanco River. Here we had a nice but poor camp. Camping in a canyon on the highest point where both rivers meet, we could see far into the country. But water and grass. Besides that, it was really cold.
The next day we expected to be through with our work and wanted to be back in a settlement. We went down the valley through brushy country. Everyone killed a deer. Two stayed to hide them and we four went farther down to the selected campsite. Thinking that all the shooting was done, nobody reloaded the rifle pushing it off at the camp. All of a sudden we were attacked by thirty to forty Wichita Indians, naked with bow and arrows and tomahawks. War paint on face and body.
The nearest one from us four was caught with a lasso and killed instantly with a tomahawk. One turned around, and the only one who’s gun was loaded, was hit by three arrows in the back, fell over and was killed with his own gun. The third of us got two arrow heads in his chest, turned around but six Indians killed him right away. I was all by myself. The two left behind had run off. I was encircled by the Indians but I had a good horse, took a pointed angle and came through their circle without a scratch, followed now by the Indians who were trying to cut me off from the settlement. They knew the hills very well. After a ride of five miles, I reached the Blanco River again. But the other side was very steep and I could not cross with my horse. I jumped off my horse, loaded my rifle and pistol and crossed the river. My shoes started hurting me so I took them off. But soon my feet were torn to pieces and bleeding. I crossed the Blanco, ran into a cedar brush and hid there till the next day, asleep from exhaustion and hunger.
After three miles I made the San Marcos settlement close to the spring. It was noon and after a quick bite I started with twenty young men back to find the dead ones. We buried them together under a pile of rocks. On top we cut their names with a knife in a big flat stone. We caught my horse again and went back. I rode to Austin and had to stay in bed for fourteen days on account of my feet. A fine opportunity to finish my letter.
I wanted to quit Cordoba first but thought it over. But thinking of you made me change my mind again. I will wait till fall. I will have saved then some more money. Don’t think I am everytime in trouble. I told Cordoba of course never to survey with only five men but a month later we started again with five. We went to the Blanco once more. But no buffalos this time. However, wild cows and mustangs crossed our way. I celebrated my birthday with a good piece of turkey spiced with wild onions. I thought of you quite often. My savings run up to $150 already and I think I will be able to get $200 or even $250 in the fall.
I think to follow my old plan then, going into the rope business in Galveston together with Fritz. We will try it anyway. If it turns out all right then the brother-in-law and Rie can come abroad without risk. I would like to farm but if you don’t have money and Negros it sure is a tough life.
A farmer here had hardly any money – no helping hands and if he gets some he has to pay $7 – $10 a month. You can imagine how hard it is for the wife. Besides the household, whe has to milk the cows. We get our ropes via New Orleans and Kentucky. They grow hemp there quite a lot and work it up in factories already there. If we buy hemp only we still have to pay the same freight rates and the question arises, will we be able to sell for the same price? They work with cheap Negros up there, too. However, in case you two come abroad I am going to farm, too.
I think Cordoba is going to help me. He is leaving for New York this summer to sell Texas land and in case he does a good business, he wants to buy cattle, make me his foreman and promises me to let me have every third and fourth calf out of a bunch of a hundred cows and the same amount of sheep. I think it is worth it. You see how uncertain I am what to do. To answer all your questions I have to look over your letters again. Don’t get angry in case I mix them up a little. In case you are going to leave Germany, sell everything you can without a too big of a loss. Only money counts here. Americans like to speculate and if he has a new idea he sells his property for half the price against cash. You see, it always helps to have cash on hand. If you have to buy on credit or terms or want to trade, you mostly have to pay twice the price. I saw an American selling his one third of a league (1476 American acres) for half a dollar an acre. Excellent soil, three miles out of Braunfels. Mostly they get $2-$3 per acre there. He sold to a German who paid cash.
Speaking of tools like axes, Handaxes, saws, drills, etc. Don’t bother with them. They are just as cheap here.. and even better in material and more practical. It sure is a pleasure to pick up an American ax. Sharp as a razor and made perfect. You can put them in a show case they are so nice. A German ax looks awful, like an az made by villains. The price of a good ax is one and one half dollars. However, don’t sell your porcelain, gold and sterling silver. Here even Americans are proud to have it and show it. Be careful in packing it right so it will not be damaged. They handled those boxes rather rough. The German plow is considered better by German farmers here; it turns the heavy soil over while the American plow only loosens the soil up. You get a plow here for four dollars. Wagons built sturdy but not too heavy, iron axles and high wheels will cost you up to $150. You might take some axles and wheels along from Germany.
I don’t know much about the style here. Men usually wear a long coat and the women’s skirt shows almost the knee. The American women act just as funny as the Germans in this point. Is the skirt a little bit too short, they gossip about it. I heard a good joke about it not long ago at a little party. Someone’s skirt was a little short and the others said she cut it twice and still it is too short. They don’t mind the material and color so much, that does not count too much.
In wintertime the farmers mostly wear a coat made out of a blanket. All colors, red, blue, green, it does not matter. The wintercloth has to be just as warm as the one in Germany. You might laugh about thinking about the Breitengrad of the Sahara; however, one norther here will teach you a lesson. Summer wear could be lighter than the one in Germany.
Tablecloths, bedsheets, napkins( I have not seen any so far), you might as well bring along. They do not have any featherbeds around here. The covers are filled with cotton and stuffed.
Two kinds of shirts we have here. Wool ones for wintertime and cotton shirt for summertime. The latter are styled the English way. Inlaid Vorheust and french cuffs. Better ones are made of pure linen. I bought some in Houston for one and one half dollars each. Workshirts are made of heavy material, mostly striped in blue or red. It is said linen shirts are not too good for your health here. When soaked by perspiration, they cool too much.
I had to buy some clothes too, here; to be in style. A pair of pants, a long coat and a black felt hat. I paid $4 for the trousers, $6 1/2 for the long coat, and $3 for the hat. They don’t wear any caps around here. Shoes and boots are high in price. I advise you to wear the same as over there. In summertime, they wear big hats like the one they wear in Helgoland. Of course every woman has to have a riding dress. Made out of silk and I think you ought to buy some silk, too, and have it tailored here a la New Orleans style. I want to show off with you too.
Don’t forget to bring along all the blankets, get the big ones so you can wrap yourself in it. The blankets here are of lighter material and higher in price. At least have two for each person. Talking about rifles, take only the good one, but watch out they don’t need a too heavy load. Turkeys, geese, and ducks are shot to pieces otherwise. You pay 10 cts./lb. for lead here. The American shotgun is longer, lighter in weight, and of a smaller caliber. The price is between $15 and $20. Our knife and dagger leave at home. The Bowie knife is better and more practical.
The Prussian Thaler (money) which has been in exchange for 75 cents at the time of our arrival dropped down to 69 cents and it is said it will be 65 cents pretty soon. So the best thing to do, exchange your money in French 5 Franc pieces. You get 95 cents for it over here.
The best time to sail is the summer – in August. You don’t have to fear the Acquinoctial storms in the German Sea and the English Channel, and you’ll be here in time when the Gulf of Mexico is not rough at all. It is also the best time to start here grain and maise is cheap then and you can stock it for the winter.
The time of year is also most suitable. Roads are in fair condition while in the raining season and afterwards up to fall, the roads are hardly passable. The main roads are worse than our little farm roads abroad. You don’t find any bridges here. Big rivers have a ferry. The small ones are mostly fried up in summer. However, after a heavy rain they often carry so much water that you hardly can cross them. Some less important roads like Houston-Liberty are no roads at all – it is just the saying “take the road to Liberty.” You travel through brush and prairie by some directions until you hit the place, that’s all. Last summer I went to a farm six miles from Houston. I arrived there the next morning beaten up by mosquitos.
Coming back to your sailing, I advise you to take cabin class for the ladies. The men can sail underdeck. Small rooms with a bed six feet wide occupied by four men (and women among them) two feet away from the ceiling gives you an idea of the trip. Insects of all kinds you will find, too, especially in the last weeks of your crossing.
However, before you take an immigrant boat look out for others. They are just as cheap and often less expensive and have better quarters. Don’t take a “Verein Ship” and do not join them. You will get land without their aid. Take a good captain if you can, get an American or any other nation. He will treat you as an American right away. The passage will cost money, around 35 Thaler in gold underdeck, 40-45 Thaler in gold 2nd class and between 60-80 Thaler in gold for cabin class. Take plenty bottles of soda water along. The drinking water on the boat is terrible. In the last three weeks you can smell it fifteen feet away from you. Don’t forget apples, lemons, vinegar, ham and smoked sausage, Madeira, and Malaga wine, sugar, tea as well as tin plates and mattress. You can buy everything cheap in Bremen. Lately, a mail boat is running once a month between New Orleans and Bremen. However, I do not know about the charge. The meals in cabin class are fair. In 2nd class and under deck are terrible. But this depends mostly on the captain in charge. Provide yourself sufficiently with cigars in Bremen.
In Galveston rent a room like we did. We paid $7 a month for an unfurnished, to the rental people. Our own mattresses spread out on the floor. We did our own cooking outside. You can buy everything on the market, meat, greens, butter, eggs, etc. Beisner in Hotel Washington might know where I am, otherwise write to Cordoba in Houston. The trip from Galveston to Houston will cost you $3, but you can ride the credit car, too, if you want to.
Speaking of Texas, you will be disappointed in many things. You expect a nice climate and tropical vegetation. Nothing at all. The summer is hot. I remember one day sitting in the breeze on the porch, we still had 85 degrees F at 6 P.M. From March till May, thundershowers quite frequently. Fritz was frightened one time when we had fourteen days long one thundershower after the other one. One half hour sunshine between these. We had to move out of our log cabin. The water was running in through every hole. After this period rain is getting rare and the dry season started. Always sunshine but the temperature change is quite a difference. You could not wear a coat in daytime on Christmas day while in the same night the temperature fell below freezing. The ground was frozen one finger deep. The terrible northers show up already in October and last mostly three days in a week. This is going on up to March. It is hard to believe how cold it gets here. The sudden temperature drops are not healthy at all, not to speak of maise and greens, which is often killed by the frost. Tomorrow we write the 1st of April and the woods are hardly green. Vegetation is here not better than abroad.
I know about ten different kinds of oaks here but seldom see a real big one like we have them in Germany. Most shrubs and trees are similar to those we have abroad. The cotton-tree is nothing. And then a poppel, Eschen, platanen like maple (Uhorn) I found pfaffenludchen Hollander, der immergrun kind of hickories, beech, walnut, and pecans. The first one making food lumber, the latter excellent nuts. Maulbeerbaun (mulberry) and Mina baum. Along the coast magnolia trees and palms. Wild plums and peaches like our Schlehe. From berry, only Brombeeres (brambleberries). The only good fruit is the Spanish and American persimmon. Two kinds of wildgrowing vines, a big one, grape (blackblue) in color, high up to the top of a tree. I saw trunks twenty-eight inches in diameter, but of such a sour taste it hurts your mouth after tasting only a few. Then a little blue one, sweet, in growth like a German vine; however, the seeds are too big. They sure would make a good grape after some improvements have been made. They have not tried out vineyards here but I think it could be done with quite a success.
Peaches are a sight here. I saw some in Houston ten inches in diameter. Also figs and Granatapfel are found in the coastal region. Up here it is already too cold. In an old Spanish settlement close to the Trinity River I saw for the first time orange trees packed with oranges. Apples, pears, and other German fruits are not found and they doubt whether they will grow here. However, a German farmer told me his neighbor had ten bearing trees full of fruit.
Speaking of vegetables like beams, peas, beets, cabbage, salad, etc., it looks like German specimens don’t do so well here. They have some kinds here which stand the climate better. However, most German farmers do or have to do the planting in freshly broken soil. That makes a difference. It pays always to take some seeds along, bring some black roman waxbeans, you will find them at August. Then Esperette, and luferus, wild ahafle, as well as himbeere (raspberry) and vine trunks. But be sure and seal those in bottles. The salty air on the sea will greatly influence their germ bud. Many vegetables, like cucumbers, you can harvest twice a year. Cucumbers and melons are here at home. Especially the watermelon is a delicious fruit. The flesh is red and foamy going up in juice in your mouth. Tell Hermine the melon is so sweet you don’t have to use any sugar and sure can make a good syrup out of it. Then Kurbis, (pumpkin) makes a good meal and of much more taste than the German ones.
But like at home, the change in climate destroys often the whole crop. Frost kills the maise, heavy rain the peaches, the cottonworm the cotton, rabbits and all kinds of insects destroy the young plants. Guords are useful fruits here. They give you all kinds of containers in the household or serve as drinking flasks on your trips.
Maise is harvested only once a year here, not like they said twice. But there is no comparison between German and American maise. Maise is planted in March and harvested in September. Often I counted corn crops from twelve to twenty rows each each row between forty to fifty kernels so tight they look like pressed together. After peeling the corncob, the trunk is often hollowed out and used as a pipe.
Our own Texas tobacco is not good at all. Please don’t forget to bring three pipes along like the one Julius took along. If you have not enough room in your baggage anymore, bring them without the mouthpieces.
Corn is planted in two rows, four feet apart, so you can plow the weeds down later. Germans here often planted too close the plant needs air and sun. Otherwise it will not do very well. A medium crop of twenty-five bushel per acre is considered fair. Some farmers get fifty bushel per acre. In figuring out the supply for your own need, you can estimate fifteen bushel of corn per person per year. It takes three bushel of corn per horse, mule or ox per week during the plowing and harvesting time. Otherwise, one half bushel per week. During the planting season it is estimated that a man can handle between eight to ten bushels. The price is a function of the harvest, location, and the time of year. On the average, twenty-five cents per bushel right after the crop is taken in, up to seventy-five cents per bushel just before the new crop in the following year is in. By the way, corn does not like freshly broken soil too much so the first two harvests are not too good.
Also wheat and oats do well down here. Oats are brought in already in June. Potatoes do not so well. They have a soapy taste here. Sweet potatoes, a climbing plant similar to the Geogines but a little more stocky and quite a sweet taste. They are planted rather early, in February, close together in heaped rows. They root very easy. In October, harvested, they often bring between fifty and three hundred bushel per acre. The price is two bits per bushel on the average.
Here they have plenty colored hands. However, cotton is more and more given up on account of the cottonbug. A Red River plantation supplying the market annually with six hundred bales of cotton could deliver only eight bales. It is figured one acre will bring one to two bales of seed free cotton. Each bale is five hundred pounds heavy. The cotton price is ten cents/pound or $50 per bale.
Sugar plantations make more money, however, the maintenance and price of a sugar mill, boiler house and many Negros cost quite a bit. Texas sugar is of finest grade.
Planting tobacco is just in the beginning, although it is quite profitable and suitable for white man. It takes quite some work but it is not hard labor. A man can take care of two acres. The Texas tobacco is not a first quality, although the bad taste is due more to the inexperienced refiner who does not know too much about the fermentation process. Just above San Felipe (Catspring) several cigarmakers from Bremen have established a little business. They make a good cigar. One thousand cigars for eight dollars. But they have hardly any customers. Americans hardly smoke.
Pharmaceutical plants like sasparilla, ipecacuanha, sassafras, and curispurgabe (?) are found here. Curispurgabe (?) seeds are known for the source of castor oil.
Farmers use horses, oxen, or mules around here. There are three variations of horses. The American horse, big and strong, best suited as a team but most expensive, from forty to one hundred dollars. Then the Mexican, a small, fast and very ausdanarides (?) horse, twenty-five to fifty dollars, like the cosack horse mostly used as a saddle horse. And finally, the mustang of all different variations. Mostly used as a saddle horse also twenty to one hundred dollars. Mostly they use ox teams up to ten in one team, but they are slow workers and do much less than a horse. Mules are very good for plowing and easy to satisfy in feeding, twenty to thirty dollars is the price for a good one. Plowing is not a hard task here in comparison to our German meadows. Grass is not too thick and kept down by burning.
A cow with a calf will cost you between eight and fifteen dollars. Nobody is looking after them in wintertime, therefore the farmers hardly have milk and butter. In spring is the round up. They are driven together and the calves are fenced in. The cows now mostly stay within reach. Twice a day we let the calves out and afterwards we milk the cow clean.
Hogs are easy to keep. They find their food outside, nuts, acorns, and grass is all they use. Shortly before butchering time they are mostly fed with corn. But you have to be careful what you buy. Some don’t eat grass and hardly gain in weight. It depends on the location of the farm, too. We bought a hog with four little ones. Paid four dollars.
Poultry of all kinds (one chicken – two bits) chickens, turkeys, guineas, ducks, geese, etc. are easy to keep. However, you have to build a chicken house on account of snakes, foxes, wolves, cats, racoons, which do quite some damage. Even owls you have to watch for. But the flock is mostly staying around the house and they got used to our feeding bell calling them whenever they get fed. We raised forty baby chicks from twelve hens within three months.
Wild animals like panther, bear, alligators, snakes, tarantels, and scorpions are not so dangerous as you find them in a book. We feel quite safe here. The sting of a scorpion is not more painful than stung by a bee. I know it from experience. Snakes are plentiful around here. Some are real dangerous but a cane is always a good weapon. Butterflies like we have in Germany (Admiral, Segelfalter, Trasurmantel and goldfalter). Mosquitos of a steel color like their kin in Germany. They are quite a mass around here. Further little tiny insects, called redbugs, just as big as a need head. They irritate the skin after digging themselves into it. They sure can give you an itch.
Fish and turtles are plenty here. I do not know the names except what I have caught so far. Catfish up to ten lbs., buffalofish (5 or 6 lb. ) flounders (1 lb.). They are easily caught with a pole using birdmeat as bait. Your device, Herman, to catch crabs is known and we used it, too. Nevertheless, we thank you anyhow for your help in trying to add another dish to our meals. I know four different kind of turtles here. One you will find along the coast, one and one half feet in diameter, the second one on land and easy to pick up in the grasslands. You mostly step on it. The other two in rivers and creeks. One has a hard shell, the other one a soft leatherlike shell. The first and the last kind make a delicious meal.
Talking about minerals, Texas has quite a good supply in building stones. Close to Austin you will find clean chalk and loam, close to Houston good material for bricks. The soil is good and bad; it depends on the location, like in Germany. One will find large areas of good as well as bad land. The river bottoms are superior in quality and heavily wooded. But they are flooded easy and not healthy at all. A black, largely mixed with sand, and therefore light soil is to be found in many parts as for example between the Colorado River and the Brazos River. This ground is wooded with postoaks without any underbrush, which offers grazing for animals at the same time. The soil is fertile but also easily used up and the terrain is usually very torn; and therefore, it is practically impossible to have a level field. Soon the heavy rains wash away the fresh dug soil and form gouges.
I went recently to the territories in East Texas. If you have a map, this was my last route; Nasheville on the Brazos River, Boonville, Crockett, Fort Houston, Douglas, Nauceydeckes, San Augustine, Shelbyville, and Hamilton on the Sabine River, and back to San Antonio. The fir and pinetree soil consist just like over there; out of almost white sand, which can be found on some stretches along the Neches and Sabine Rivers. The western lands are dry and sandy with a small number of people living there due to the scarcity of water. Partially, in East Texas and also around Houston, the soil is very clayey and water can not penetrate it very well. Although some farmers have shown that the soil becomes more fertile and also much looser if it is plowed often enough.
One can buy land at all quantities, anywhere from ten to one hundred thousand acres. Outside of the settlements an acre sells for 25 cts. Inside, one has to pay approximately two dollars per acre. Close to a town the prices run up to five or six dollars per acre. In German towns acreage is comparatively high priced, because newcomers seem to like to settle among Germans and therefore the demand is greater, as for example in New Braunfels. I would advise Germans, especially those who are poor, to settle close to market, because it will really help them if they are able to sell eggs, butter, vegetables, poultry, etc.
As far as the Germans are concerned there are some very nice families over here. The educated German is not quite happy among Americans. The common laborer likes it the best. He only sees his daily wages and does not have any other interest. Blacksmiths and coach and wagon makers are in good business.
Before I could finish my letter an important telegram arrived and I had to leave Austin but now I have returned from my 120 mile trip. I went to New Braunfels because I heard that Henkel left for Germany; now what will you think if he will not bring any letters from me along. But I did not know about this in time. I hope he will bring me some news from you when he comes back. You would not believe how much I am longing for you and how much it will comfort me to hear from you. From the above letters you will see in what a terrible situation I am, not seeing a way out yet. Among these people I will never be happy. I am too proud of being a German. But I don’t want to return either, partially because I am too proud; and, also because I am positive not to retain happiness over there. I still had liked the school of architecture and I had hoped to get enough schooling but I was through working for the Prussian State.
I don’t know anything about Julius or Fritz. Fritz has not even written to me one time, although he knows my address. When you come, take Mienchen along and give her my best greetings. Where is she? Fritz says in his letters that he would like to come, but I don’t believe that there is any money in that business over here. Every art is made of plain trade. You don’t have any idea how quackery is practiced here. If he wants to farm he will have a good start, but it is a lot of work. He would have to clear the land and plow and I don’t believe that he would like that kind of work. Send my regards to him and his dear wife Luline; and give him my congratulations for the glorious increase of the Pressler family. Concerning my future wife, I say that I haven’t decided yet; but speaking of him I think he should take everything useful into sharp consideration. In the manner of the holy propocol he should tell about the different charms, defects and deficiencies, etc.