The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 300
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of course, was for the prince [of Solms-Braunfels]; it was a two-story
Such a house was never built during the stay of Prince Solms in
Texas, nor later--at least not a two-story house. The houses were more
like wretched jacals [huts], built in the Mexican style. At the end of
the article in No. 129 this house is even called "Sophien-Ruh"-castle.
Apparently, the structure grew into a castle in the Author's fantasy
while he was composing the article.49
PAGE 9: "The worst aspect of the Society's operation was that the
colonists began to grow apathetic. They lost interest in their work and
turned instead to drinking, gambling, playing, and singing all day
long. A large number of the immigrants squandered away the Society's
Even today articles in Der Auswanderer and other publications ad-
vise Germans in the educated class not to immigrate. This counsel is
based on experience and is as justified now as before. Among the thou-
sands of early immigrants there were many people who were simply
unsuited for heavy physical labor. But to hold the Society accountable
for the frailty of these individuals is certainly going too far! The So-
ciety had no control over the personal attributes of the individual im-
migrants. The air was filled with these and similar complaints: "I
didn't come to Texas just to work," or, "If I had wanted to work, I
could have stayed in Germany." Such people were no doubt dissatis-
fied: they wanted to loaf at the expense of the Society. Meanwhile,
others accepted the aid of the Society to accomplish the goal that had
brought them to Texas-namely to establish a new home. These peo-
ple worked on the land the Society gave them, accepted any assistance
offered, and made the best of the conditions they found here.
Not only does the Author erroneously assert that, "until today not
a single cent of the money has been repaid," but in addition he claims
that, "a large number of the immigrants squandered away the Society's
49In a report to the general assembly of the Society (held at Wiesbaden on July 28,
1845), Prince Solms stated that in March, 1845, the first group of immigrants had begun
building houses around the town square Early in April, he reported, work had begun on
the fort, Sophienburg, which he dedicated on April 28. Chester W. Geue and Ethel H.
Geue, A New Land Beckoned (2nd ed.; Waco, 1972), 1o. A lithograph by Carl von Iwon-
ski from the year 1848 depicts the Sophienburg as a one-story hewn log structure with a
broad porch across the front. A photograph of about 188o showing some of the original
settlers assembled in front of the structure-by then decidedly dilapidated-confirms
this impression. See ibid., Plates 7 and 9; Oscar Haas, History of New Braunfels and
Comal County, Texas, 1844-z946 (Austin, 1968), 29.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/m1/346/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.