Notes and Documents
The Journal of Col. Eduard Harkort, Captain of
Engineers, Texas Army, February 8-July 17, 183 6
Louis E. BRISTER*
IN JUNE 1832, DURING HIS CAPTIVITY BY CENTRALIST FORCES IN THE
fortress San Carlos de Perote, Eduard Harkort began a journal of his
colorful adventures in Mexico, first as a silver reduction specialist for a
British mining company and then as an artillery officer in the Federalist
army during General Santa Anna's 1832 campaign to overthrow
President Anastasio Bustamante.' Harkort's prison journal, which ends
on December 28, 1832, and a letter he wrote in February 1834 to a
friend in Germany relating subsequent details of his life were published
by Gustav Kuhne, Harkort's son-in-law, in 1858 as Aus Mejicanischen
Gefdngnissen: Bruchstiick aus Eduard Harkorts hinterlassenen Papieren.'
Kiuhne, who had married Eduard Harkort's daughter Henriette in 1841,
had discovered the journal and the letter among the many notes, letters,
and sketches that were in the possession of Harkort's heirs. Some were
probably in Henriette's possession and others were likely in the hands of
Eduard's brothers, Carl and Gustav Harkort. Until 1856 they all lived in
* Louis E. Brister is professor of German at Southwest Texas State University. The manuscript
for this article was examined and copied when the author was in Hagen, Germany, in May 1993
for an invited lecture on Harkort's adventures in Texas.
SA much abbreviated account of Harkort's eventful life in Germany and Mexico before coming
to Texas can be found in Louis E. Brister, "Colonel Eduard Harkort: A German Soldier of
Fortune in Mexico and Texas, 1832-1836," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 88 (Jan., 1985),
2 Harkort's prison journal with the letter from February 1834, supplemented by two additional
letters to another German friend, the artist Johann Moritz Rugendas, have been published in
translation by Louis E. Brister (trans. and ed.), In Mexican Prsons: The Journal of Eduard Harkort,
1832-1834 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986).
VOL. CII, No. 3 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/. Accessed July 12, 2014.