The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 61
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A Texas Literary Society of Pioneer Days
tributed. Doubtless this method was used to encourage those who
were timid about their ability to write. A member of the organi-
zation related years afterwards that it was always interesting to
guess who might have written the various contributions.
What seem to be four such complete issues, including also some
loose sheets, evidently handed in late and not copied, are still
in existence. Such an issue was also called Prairie Blume. Of
this name it was said that the leaves of the flower symbolized
prose and the blossoms, poetry.
The members of the organizations were the young people of
the Latin Settlement (Das Lateinische Settlement) living mainly
on the Bluff and in the prairie a few miles south and southwest
of La Grange. In the pages of the Prairie Blume this community
is repeatedly referred to as the "settlement." The Latins, so called
because they were well educated, emigrated a century ago from
the small principalities of Central Europe to give their children
better opportunities for progress and to find in Texas the democ-
racy and freedom that were denied them in Europe. Some were
political refugees, who had taken part in, or were in sympathy
with, the unsuccessful republican revolution of i848.
The Latins were proud of their culture, and they spoke of
others whose interests were centered mainly in good farming and
plenty of good bacon in the smokehouse as Speck Bauern (bacon
farmers). When this expression reached the bacon farmers, who
had reason to be proud of their progress in this new land, they
retorted by calling the Latins Schwarten Bauern (bacon rind
farmers), this term being symbolical of very plain living, for,
in spite of their university education, these intellectuals often
found it difficult to adjust themselves to their new surroundings.
The reasons for the organization of the literary society and
the success of the undertaking may be found in the uneventful
daily life of pioneer times and the hunger for entertainment.
This situation is described in the Prairie Blume in a letter,
supposedly by a young woman to some friend in Europe.
When she came to Texas, she writes, there were no schools
nor time for study. Later in her desire to learn, she studied by
herself. Life was simple, a farm maiden's work "monotonous,"
and one day followed the other in "eternal" sameness. She realized
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/67/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.