Notes and Documents
W. Steinert's View of Texas in 1849*
Translated and Edited by GILBERT J. JORDAN
Wednesday, June 6
MY LEG IS SO INFLAMED TODAY THAT I HAD TO STAY INDOORS. THIS
is probably a result of my work yesterday. Wilke, his brother-in-
law, and I planted sweet potatoes-called "batates." I will take this op-
portunity to introduce to you the family of my good and highly esteemed
host. Mr. Wilke, a former Prussian officer, his wife, mother-in-law, sister-
in-law, and two brothers-in-law have been in Texas for seven years. Later
his brother came too. Three healthy children are a joy and pleasure for
the family. None of the family wishes to go back to Germany, although
they have suffered various kinds of affliction. Before Wilke came here, he
was an official of the Society on Nassau Farm36 and later in Indian Point,
etc. He now owns forty acres, half of which are under cultivation. A small
house consisting of a living room and a bedroom provides shelter for the
family. It is customary here that the outside door opens directly into the
living room. Those who find no place in the house sleep in the corncrib or
on the wagon. They provided for me well in their house. I am sorry that I
have to be such a burden to these good people. The corn gives promise
of a good harvest, and one-half acre of the field has a good stand of rye.
Several kinds of melons are beginning to ripen, and there are beans,
cucumbers, etc., in the garden. The cows furnish sufficient butter, milk,
etc. Three horses are used to work the field. In this short time I have be-
gun to feel entirely at home in the circle of this family.
Thursday, June 7
Yesterday afternoon I managed to ride to town in spite of my pains.
The wagons have not yet arrived, nor any of my travel companions. How-
ever, news has come that they are at Peach Creek, but cannot cross it. It
will probably taken them another week to get here, but if it starts to rain
again, it might take several weeks. It is nothing new on this road for team-
*The second part of a four-part translation.
"3Nassau Farm was a plantation in Fayette County. See also notes 85 and gI.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed December 10, 2013.