The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Foreigners in the Principal Towns of Ante-Bellum Texas

scientist, Dr. Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer, was editor of the
Neu Braunfelser Zeitung, as well as one of the best known botan-
ists in Another German, young W. H. Menger, estab-
lished a hotel in San Antonio that was quickly to become the
fashion place of the city. Several foreigners, including German-
born Ferdinand Flake of Galveston, English-born David Richard-
son of Galveston, Irish-born Andrew Daly of Houston, and Ger-
man-born Adolf Douai of San Antonio, became leading jour-
nalists of the state.81
Of course, not all the foreigners were so prominent. The
majority occupied inconspicuous positions in Texas society and
received little public attention. Some attempted to retain the
traditions and customs of their native lands; others quickly trans-
formed themselves and adapted to the new surroundings.32 Some
unfortunately were paupers and public charges, dependent upon
the financial assistance of charitable institutions. Others were law
violators and imprisoned. County and city jails in major Texas
towns contained an unusually high percentage of aliens, partly
perhaps because of a tendency of the courts to deal rather severely
with foreigners33 in addition to the difficulty the aliens encoun-
tered in fitting in with the new way of life. The Galveston
county jail, for example, contained six inmates in 186o, all for-
eigners.84 The Brownsville county jail had four inmates, two
of whom were Mexicans and two native Americans." The town
jail of Indianola had three prisoners, all of whom were foreign
born. The census enumerator listed the crime of one, a Prussian
soBiesele, History of German Settlements in Texas, 224; Ella Lonn, Foreigners
in the Confederacy (Chapel Hill, 1940), 16-17.
3lCarl Wittke, Refugees of Revolution (Philadelphia, 1952), 193-194; Biesele,
History of German Settlements in Texas, 223-224; Webb and Carroll, Handbook of
Texas, I, 608; II, 174, 469.
82Ferdinand Roemer, Texas, With Particular Reference to German Immigration,
85, complained that Germans in Texas renounced their origin all too quickly and
attempted to pass as native Americans. Olmsted, in his A Journey Through Texas,
433, noted that Germans in American towns occupied a suspected position and
therefore carefully avoided all open expression.
s3Weaver, "Foreigners in Ante-Bellum Towns," Journal of Southern History, XIII,
40One was Italian, two were Irish, one Swiss, one English, and one German.
Manuscript returns, Schedule No. 1, Free Inhabitants, United States Census, 186o,
Galveston county, City of Galveston, 2nd Ward, 63.
35Ibid., Cameron county, City of Brownsville, 9.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 29, 2014.