The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

A SURVEY OF GERMAN LITERATURE IN TEXAS
SELMA METZENTHIN RAUNICK
INTRODUCTION
It may seem almost presumptuous to speak of a German litera-
ture in Texas, as there was comparatively little written that is
deserving the name of literature and a great deal that has no
literary value whatever. Yet much of this un-literary material
is of the greatest value in preserving for us the history of the
past and the stirring, heroic life-stories of the early German
pioneers. Many of the writings, both prose and poetry, tell of
the social conditions in Texas during her War for Independence
and of incidents in the lives of Texan and Mexican leaders;
others deal with the Civil War Period, its hardships and priva-
tions, and the division among the Germans concerning the main
issues of the war, slavery and secession. Still others deal with
the trying conditions in Europe during the first half of the nine-
teenth century, particularly during the "forties."
Apart from the cultural-historical writings are a few produc-
tions of genuine literary value, particularly in the poetry of
Johannes Romberg, Ferdinand Lohmann, Pedro Ilgen, Hulda
Walter, and Gertrude Hoff and the prose of Charles Sealsfield
(Karl Postl), H. R. Belani (Carl Haeberlin), August Siemering,
and Walther Gray (Clara Palacios).
German writings on Texas may be considered as beginning
more than a hundred years ago; i. e., about the time (1820) of
the Anglo-American colonization by the Austins in Texas. I
have divided these writings into three periods or chapters. The
first takes us to the middle of the nineteenth century, includ-
ing the years of the "Masseneinwanderung" (mass immigration),
1844-45, under the auspices of the "Verein zum Schutze deutscher
Auswanderer" (Association for the Protection of German Emi-
grants) at Mainz, Germany, and the immigration of small groups
of German radical-idealists and refugees who left their home-
land during the "forties," the period of revolutionary thought
and revolutionary uprisings in Germany and, for that matter,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/. Accessed March 2, 2015.