The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ican historians, a position which Bancroft never would have
doubted was his due. The book follows Bancroft to his death in
1918 and the library into the University of California.
EUGENE C. BARKER
The University of Texas
Against the Current: The Life of Karl Heinzern. By Carl
Wittke. Chicago (University of Chicago Press), 1945.
Pp. x+-342. Frontispiece. $3.75.
The first half of the title of this intensely interesting bio-
graphical study is part of a sentence which Heinzen wrote in
Der Pionier early in 1860. He was then nearing fifty-one
years of age and had neither money nor influence, nor had he
accomplished much either in Germany, his native land, or in
the United States, the land of his adoption. The complete
"against the current" sentence reads: "It is hard to swim
against the current, but it is upstream that one finds the
source, and the clearer, fresher water."
Karl Peter Heinzen was born on February 22, 1809, in
Grevenbroich in the district of Duesseldorf, Germany, to Joseph
Heinzen and Lisette Heinzen, n6e Schmitz. Heinzen spent eight
years in the gymnasium at Kleve and entered the University
of Bonn in 1827 to study medicine. Two years later the rector
of the university dismissed him because "of inattention to his
academic duties and too much student life." In 1835, after
six years of service both as a soldier in the Dutch foreign
legion and as a minor public official, he tried but failed to be
readmitted to the university to continue his medical studies.
Nothing characterizes Heinzen so much as his radicalism.
This was no doubt inherited from his father who in 1797
"agitated for the establishment of an independent republic on
the left bank of the Rhine, based on the French revolutionary
principles of the rights of man." Wittke blames Heinzen's
father, who was "severe and pedantic, rather than friendly,
flexible, and understanding," and says that he must "bear his
share of responsibility for a son who developed an untractable,
irascible, rebellious temperament which he could not shake off
during his entire lifetime." It may be, of course, that radical-
ism was just simply a part of Heinzen's nature and that the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/. Accessed August 27, 2014.