Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rhtree eeratiows of Zexas opoyraplers
NAN THOMPSON LEDBETTER
IVING IN AUSTIN TODAY are two men who represent the third
generation of their family to serve as topographical map-
makers for the State of Texas. Ernest J. and Herman U.
von Rosenberg followed in the footsteps of their father and grand-
father when they chose topography as their profession.
Their story reaches directly back to Prussia more than one hun-
dred years ago, to a day in June, 1849, when Karl Wilhelm von
Rosenberg, a licensed surveyor with the rating of "excellent" and
a royal architect for the Prussian government, was dismissed from
his job and, furthermore, advised to resign his commission as
lieutenant in the Reserve Army or else run the risk of a dishon-
orable discharge. The cause of these drastic actions was Karl
Wilhelm's outspokenness, his frank expression of democratic ideas
during the 1849 period of political unrest in Germany following
the Revolutions of i848, which sought to replace the despotic
nature of the government.
Wilhelm, then twenty-eight years old, realized that his notions
were too liberal for his country and for the times; therefore, like
many of his countrymen, he decided that he would seek a new
life in America. Since much had recently been written and
printed in Germany about Texas, especially as a result of the
efforts of the German Emigration Company, it is not surprising
that Wilhelm chose Texas as his new home.
His father, Peter Carl von Rosenberg, was also liberal and dem-
ocratic in his views, and it may be that he too was having difficul-
ties. At any rate, there was a depression in the land, the family
was one of strong ties and affection, and rather than have Wilhelm
leave his father and mother, eight brothers and sisters, it was
decided that all eleven would go together to America. Shortly
before sailing, however, Wilhelm married Auguste Anders, and
it was a group of twelve which made the voyage from Bremen to
Galveston, October to to December 6, 1849.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed December 21, 2013.