The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 228
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228 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
While on our way to our new home, we stayed in San Felipe for
several days at Whiteside Tavern. The courthouse was about a
mile out of town, and here R. M. Williamson, who was the alcalde,
had his office. I saw him several times while I was here, and re-
member how I wondered at his crutch and wooden leg. S. F.
Austin was in Mexico at the time, and Sam Williams, his private
secretary, gave my father a title to land which he had originally
picked out for himself. My father had to kiss the Bible and prom-
ise, as soon as the priest should arrive, to become a Catholic. Peo-
ple were married by the alcalde, also, on the promise that they
would have themselves reunited on the arrival of the priest. But
no one ever became Catholic, though the priest, Father Muldoon,
arrived promptly. The people of San Felipe made him drunk and
sent him back home.
My father was the first German to come to Texas with his family.
Hertzner, a tailor, and Grossmeyer, a young German, at Mata-
gorda, both unmarried, were in Texas when my father came. There
was also a Pennsylvanian, whom they called Dutch Henry, and a
Dr. Adolph v. Zornow, had traveled through Texas, but did not
stay long. My father wrote a letter to a friend, a Mr. Schwarz, in
Oldenburg, which was published in the local newspaper. This
brought a number of Oldenburgers and Miinsterlinders, with their
families, to Texas in 1834.1
1 [Robt. J. Kleberg, Sr., writes: "We had accidentally got hold of a letter
written by a gentleman, who had emigrated some time before us from the
Duchy of Oldenburg and who lived where now is Industry, Texas, Fritz
Ernst, by name. In this letter he had described Texas, then a province
of Mexico, in very glowing colors, mentioning also the advantages offered
to immigrants by the Mexican government, namely, a league and labor for
every man with a family and 4 league for every single man. This letter
caused us to change our first intention to go to one of the northern states
and to choose Texas for our future home. At the time we left, hardly
anything was known of Texas, except that my ideas and those of my party
were formed by the above mentioned letter, in which Texas was described
as a beautiful country, with enchanting scenery and delightful climate,
similar to that of Italy, the most fruitful soil and republican government,
with unbounded personal and political liberty, free from so many disad-
vantages and evils of old countries. Prussia, our former home, smarted at
the time we left under a military despotism. We were enthusiastic lovers
of republican institutions, full of romantic notions, and believed to find in
Texas, before all other countries, the blessed land of our hopes." This is
taken from notes written by him in 1876.-R. K., Jr.]
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/232/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.