Notes and Documents
W. Steinert's View of Texas in 1849
Translated and Edited by GILBERT J. JORDAN*
Fredericksburg, June 20
YESTERDAY WE TALKED FAR INTO THE NIGHT. SEVERAL NEIGHBORS
came over, among them a young merchant who had come here upon
the advice of his brother. He regrets very much that he did not stay in the
eastern part of North America. He has also been in Brazil, and he liked it
better there than in North America. He manufactures cigars now, and he
wants to return there as soon as possible. If the road to California should
go by way of Fredericksburg (but this is hardly to be expected)," things
can improve quickly. How great the speculation on this matter is can easily
be seen from the following event. Recently the newspapers spread the rumor
that the government would put this road through Fredericksburg. Imme-
diately nine American families moved in with bag and baggage. When they
saw that they had been deceived, they sold their merchandise at any price
and moved home again.*
Yesterday morning we, that is to say D5bbler, Ranzleben, Neubert,
Specht, Bading, and I, rode to the Pedernales to look at some land. It is
situated four miles from Fredericksburg in a beautiful region. Several of
the people from Fredericksburg have built their houses there. The upper
Pedernales offers excellent places. This morning we went to Crab Creek.79
From one of the mountains we had a pleasant view over the valley in
which Fredericksburg is situated.
Mr. Ranzleben from Berlin has had much misfortune in his family. At
the present time he is living on an American farm near New Braunfels. He
was formerly a merchant. Mr. Neubert is not involved in any business so
*The Americans can move easily. They can transport all their household belongings
and families on one wagon without difficulty. (Steinert's note)
*The third part of a five-part translation.
s7The road to California-the so-called Upper Emigrant Road-was, indeed, laid
out through Fredericksburg, and Fredericksburg was the last settlement before El Paso.
Jordan, German Seed, 17o; Biesele, German Settlements, 149.
79In all probability he means Crabapple Creek, north of Fredericksburg. See Webb
and Carroll (eds.), Handbook of Texas, I, 430.
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 July 5, 2015.