Notes and Documents
William von Rosenberg's Kritik: A History
of the Society for the Protection of
German Immigrants to Texas
Translated and Edited by Louis E. BRISTER*
O N OCTOBER 8, 1849, PETER CARL JOHANN VON ROSENBERG, HIS
wife Amanda, his son Carl William and daughter-in-law Auguste,
and seven younger children sailed from Bremen aboard the Franziska,
bound for Texas. Sixty days later, on December 6, they landed at Gal-
veston. The following week this immigrant family of German nobles
traveled by mail coach and wagon down the coast to the mouth of the
Brazos River, where they boarded a steamer and continued their
journey to San Felipe de Austin.- The mother, Amanda von Rosen-
berg, her daughter-in-law, and the younger children remained in San
Felipe, while the father and his eldest son, Carl William, traveled to
Bastrop and then to La Grange, seeking to purchase a farm on which
to settle the large family. Four weeks later the elder von Rosenberg re-
turned to San Felipe the proud owner of the manor and 8oo acres of
the famous Nassau Farm. For $1,8oo he had bought from Otto von
R6der the main house, the outbuildings, and 8oo acres of the 4,428-
acre tract once purchased by Count Joseph of Boos-Waldeck for the
Mainzer Adelsverein, the Society for the Protection of German Immi-
grants in Texas. The house had been inhabited by Boos-Waldeck, by
Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, and by subsequent officers of the So-
ciety's colony in Texas. With the purchase of the Nassau farm and
*Louis E. Brister is professor of German at Southwest Texas State University. James A.
Wilson, professor of history at SWTSU, and Charles W. von Rosenberg of Dallas rendered
valuable assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.
1A detailed account of the journey from the family estate, Eckitten, near Memel, via
Berlin to Bremen, to Galveston, and to Nassau, and of the Rosenbergs' first impressions
of Texas is to be found in Amanda F. von Rosenberg, "Emigration of the Von Rosen-
bergs to Texas 1849," trans. Walter O. Wupperman (Austin, 1938). This abridged and
translated collection of letters to relatives in Germany and of diary entries, as well as two
typescripts of the German originals, is available in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History
Center, University of Texas, Austin. See also "Letters of the Rosenberg Family, August,
1849-January, 1851" and "Letters of the Rosenberg Family, August, 1849-April, 185o"
(Archives, University of Texas Library, Austin).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/. Accessed May 23, 2015.