The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 230
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
facturer of iron and steel, Eduard enjoyed all the privileges and
advantages conferred by membership in one of the oldest, wealthiest,
and most politically influential families in Westphalia. After receiving
a sound education in mathematics, natural science, and foreign lan-
guages at the school in Hagen, which his father had helped establish,
Eduard Harkort began his apprenticeship in the family business. In
1819, after working only a few unhappy months in the Harkort firm,
he married-against the wishes of his conservative, Protestant family-
a widow who was twenty years his senior and a Catholic with six chil-
dren.3 Harkort never again worked in the family business. For a
couple of years he supported himself and his new family as a surveyor
and private tutor, then served a year in an artillery regiment of the
Prussian army. Upon his return to Hagen, he worked as a surveyor in
the land registry for about two years. In the fall of 1825, when the
work of the land registry was completed, he decided to give up the low
pay and insecurity of an independent surveyor for a career in miner-
alogy and mining. The following January he traveled to Freiberg,
Saxony, and in March, 1826, he was granted admission to the Royal
Mining Academy there.4
Harkort studied about eighteen months at Freiberg. By September,
1827, when he completed his course of study at the academy, he had
gained a reputation among the students and faculty as something of a
virtuoso in mineralogy. He had excelled in all his courses, had de-
veloped a new blowpipe technique for the quantitative analysis of dry
3A certified excerpt from the baptismal records of the Lutheran Church at Hagen,
Germany, sent by the Gesamtverband der Evangelischen Kirchengemeinden Hagen to
L. E. B., June 19, 1979. The details of Harkort's youth, as well as much valuable genea-
logical data about his family and ancestors, are to be found in Eberhard Winkhaus, Wir
stammen aus Bauern- und Schmiedegeschlecht: Genealogie eines sisderlandischen Sippen-
kreises und der ihm angehorenden Industriepionieie (G6rlitz, 1932), 20-33, 62-63. See
also Richard Althaus, Hagen in alten Bildern (2 vols.; Gummersbach, 1977), I, 72-73. In-
formation about his marriage is from a typed one-page excerpt from Henriette Kuhne-
Harkort's "Lebensgeschichte," an unpublished autobiographical sketch, supplied by
Eduard Harkort's great-granddaughter, Gertrud Herrmann-Kdhne, of East Berlin, Ger-
many, to L. E. B.
4Winkhaus, Bauern- und Schmiedegeschlecht, 63; Kiihne-Harkort, "Lebensgeschichte,"
typed excerpt; Academic Archives of the Bergakademie Freiberg, Saxony, Oberbergamt
(OBA) File 9980, Vol. 14, fols. 165-166, 171-172, 174-176. Harkort appears to have left his
wife and family behind when he went to Freiberg. In 1829 his daughter Henriette went to
live with her father's brother Carl in Leipzig. The fate of Harkort's wife is unknown.
Winkhaus, Bauern- und Schmiedegeschlecht, 63; Kiihne-Harkort, "Lebensgeschichte,"
typed excerpt. Unfortunately, Eduard Harkort's German military service records were
destroyed in 1945, along with the military archives containing those documents. Letter,
Geheimes Staatsarchiv, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, West Berlin, Germany, to L. E. B.,
June 29, 1979.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/278/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.