The Communistic Colony of Bettina.
THE COMMUNISTIC COLONY OF BETTINA.
[The following account represents the substance of an interview with
Mr. Reinhardt, of Arneckeville, De Witt County, Texas, who is one of the
first settlers in this community. The visionary undertaking here described
has become famous among German-Americans in this State on account of
the connection with it of Hon. Gustave Schleicher, Dr. Herff, and many
other prominent men.-RUDOLPH KLEBERG, JR.]
This colony owed its origin to the efforts of Prince Solms-Braun-
fels, Baron von Meusebach, and H. Spies, each successively holding
the office of general agent of the Adelsverein.1
The colony was organized in 1846 in Darmstadt. It received its
name in honor of Bettina v. Arnim, a German writer, but it was
better known as the Darmstaedter Kolonie while its members were
generally called the Vierziger (men of the forties).
Prince Solms had been in Texas as early as 1844, and his ac-
counts, as well as those of Spies, in writings and speeches caused a
sensation among the students of the universities of Giessen and
Heidelberg. Solms also made a speech to the students of the in-
dustrial school (Gewerbeschule) in Darmstadt, where I was study-
ing, and his extravagant descriptions made the students mad. He
remarked that there was no demand in the old country for all the
professional men whom the universities were turning out, and
that they must find a new and developing country where their
1The Adelsverein, or Union of Princes, was a corporation composed of
a number of counts and dukes belonging to the lesser German nobility, and
having for its object "the colonizing and promoting of German immigra-
tion to Texas on a large scale." It is impossible here to describe in detail
the plans and history of this remarkable organization; but a full account
can be found in the memorial volume of the semi-centennial of the city of
Fredericksburg by Robert Penniger-a highly interesting sketch of a phase
of Texas history which is practically unknown in Anglo-American circles.
R. K., JR.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/. Accessed May 28, 2015.