The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 208
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
as I thought they would be of service to me in the new countries
of America, toward which even that early my thoughts were
It was a bold dream then, that of going to America from Austria.
For Austria did not encourage emigration; she barely permitted
it, and would not allow a youth of the age for military service
to leave the country unless he gave good security for his return
at a stated time. Austria wanted her subjects for her own service;
she wanted the young men of her land for foreign wars. Austria
has advanced much since then. At that time she ruled with a
despotic sway, and was much behind Germany. The latter coun-
try compelled a man on reaching the age of twenty to serve in
the army, but so far behind this was Austria that she exempted
no age from conscription, and a boy of fifteen was liable to it.
She pressed her subjects at a moment's notice, and rushed them
off to some foreign war for, perhaps, a fourteen year's term of
I was sent to the Polytechnic Institute at the age of twelve.
The regulations did not admit any one under fourteen, but as
we had friends of influence to help us, and as I had advanced
sufficiently, I was smuggled in, and there received instruction in
science generally for nearly two years. Then my father died,
leaving an encumbered estate, and I went home to work and to
help take care of my mother and the younger children.
My father's apprentice managed the business, but one day the
proper authorities suddenly notified this young man that he had
escaped his fate long enough. He was a Bohemian, and had been
overlooked for such a length of time-ever since his presence in
the city--that he had imagined himself to go free. But follow-
ing this notice of conscription, he was marched off in such haste
that he had not even time to come to us with the news. We,
however, knew well enough where to look for him, and I tried
to get a few parting words with him when I carried to him a
bundle of his clothes and belongings. I saw him among the
other soldiers with a musket on his back, and as I said farewell
to him I also said farewell to Austria as the land of my allegiance.
As it happened his fate helped to settle mine. My mother
began to worry over my conscription; I ivas now past fourteen.
Austria was a land of bribery, and the oppressed people thought
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/214/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.