The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 174
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tell the story of the Adelsverein-its organization and activity in
Germany, its founding of New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, and of
the other settlements to which these basal colonies gave rise. Chap-
ter IX describes the relations between the frontier German settle-
ments and the Indians. Though the Germans did not wholly
escape the ravages of the Indians, their relations were remarkably
friendly--a fact that was due to Meusebach's success in negotiating
a treaty with the Comanche chiefs in 1847. Chapter X discusses
the relation of the Germans to the trying issues of State and na-
tional political issues from 1846 to 1861, and Chapter XI is an
attempt to appraise the social and economic contribution of the
German settlers to the life of the State.
In politics, the Germans were Democrats. Few of them owned
slaves. "They were opposed to slavery as a matter of principle
and would gladly have seen the institution disappear, but they
believed that the States should be allowed to solve the problem
without Federal interference." Despite this conservative attitude,
a handful of radicals have left the impression upon local history
that most of them were abolitionists. This impression was deep-
ened by the fact that in the secession crisis most Germans were
It is not easy to appraise social contributions of particular racial
elements. A considerable proportion of the Germans who settled
in Texas between 1844 and 1848 were highly educated and talented
men. They brought with them a love of learning and an interest
in schools. They maintained churches, both Catholic and Luth-
eran. They published newspapers, and found an outlet for their
love of music in the establishment of singing societies. In a meas-
ure their habits and activities did not differ from those of the An-
glo-Americans among whom they .settled, yet there can be no doubt
that they enriched the social and intellectual life of the state.
The economic contribution of the German settlers is more easily
discerned. The census of 1860 showed 20,000 inhabitants of Ger-
man birth in Texas. Most of these were farmers and most of them
were settled on the extreme frontier. They had brought under the
plow a region that otherwise must have remained long unsettled.
The book is equipped with 'nine maps, twenty-two excellent and
valuable illustrations, a thoroughly comprehensive bibliography, an
adequate index, and several important documentary appendices.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/184/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.