The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 364
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
187o at the age of only forty-six years. Emma Altgelt survived her
husband by many years; she died in 1912 at the age of eighty-eight
years. Both are buried at "Wassenberg" on a burial plot sur-
rounded by a stone wall. Survived by a large family of descendants,
Emma and Ernst Altgelt deserve to be remembered among the
finest pioneers of Texas. Presented herewith in translation are
Mrs. Altgelt's reminiscences.
Even as a child I was greatly interested in reports from strange
parts of the world, the farther away they were, the more beautiful
the countries seemed to me. One of my relatives who had gone to
Texas in the forties with the Adelsverein3 had come back on a visit
to the Rhine. He told many enthusiastic stories about his new
home. I was thrilled when I listened to him describing the charms
of that recently opened paradise, the eternally blue sky, the radiant
sun about the great uncultivated, uninhabited land, tempting
tropical fruits, Indians and wild animals, too, to break the
monotony of existence, and above all else, golden freedom. Texas
became the land of my dreams. I needed only some outside cause
to induce me to carry out my secretly nurtured plans to immigrate.
It came unsolicited. Sad misfortunes in our family, the prospect of
a dependent position for the future gave impetus to the thought
of securing independence as a teacher in the country where to
work is not a disgrace, but is richly rewarded. Relatives, owners
of estates with large families, adolescent workers, were immigrat-
ing to Texas. I joined them.
I was thrilled when I saw the ocean. Entering the sea from
Bremen was not enchanting. The gray autumn clouds were pour-
ing down rain. In October, 1854, we took passage on a sailing ves-
sel for Galveston. It was our captain's first trip. Of course, he was a
good and kind man. Besides his wife, his sister was a fellow pas-
senger, both of them entertaining ladies. The captain's sister
became a friend of mine. Her sincere friendliness was like a charm
for me, whenever homesickness crept up on me. I gladly pass over
aThe Adelsverein (Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas) was a
society of German noblemen organized for the purpose of buying tracts of land in
Texas. See Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas,
x83x1-86x (Austin, 1930), 2n.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/462/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.