The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 458
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Jan. 3, 186o
Finally, after several restless days, I am ready to pour my heart out to
you and tell something about the trip. After a voyage of to w[eeks], 3 of
which were in a big storm on the North Sea, we finally landed at
Galveston on Christmas Day. I will tell about the disagreeable part of the
trip later. Our butter and cucumbers lasted pretty well through the
whole voyage. On the second Christmas Day we at last went ashore.
Imagine what a sensation that was, following 7 w[eeks] in which we saw
nothing but sky and sea, with only some windy days for diversion.
The first thing we did ashore was to begin eating properly again.
Everything in America, including food, is pretty expensive, but we treat-
ed ourselves after so long a deprivation. We stayed at Galveston for 2
days. Then we went to Houston by steamship. That was a very different
trip. The American steamships really move along, with 4 feet draft and
2-3-4-stories height. There was a room 20 feet long in it, furnished in
We had very good traveling companions from Germany, Mr. [M.
H.]Brandt and Mr. Fischer who had gone back to visit their fatherland.
We also had another wonderful traveling companion, Varnhagen,
cousin to the writer.4 He wants to locate here also. Brandt speaks English
very well, which is a big help to us. I was surprised how well adapted they
are, but I later learned about the circumstances of that.
At present the main thing is that I am staying with Brandt, who
besides farming, is very busy with cabinetmaking and carpenter work.
He learned it on his own, without apprenticeship. One can make a lot of
money here that way. He is also an overseer or administrator. Carpen-
ters are paid $2 a day and more here in the States, as also are most other
Uncle [Ernst] is staying with Brandt's father-in-law, from Clausthal, a
very spry man for his age.5 His family consists of three sons and 5 mar-
church was established there in 1861, about the time Boesel's residence in the area. Carole E.
Christian, "Greenvine, Texas" in ibid., III, 322. See also Rudolph L. Blesele, The Hstory of German
Settlements in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930), 42-65.
3M. H. Brandt (born c. 1838), was about the same age as Ferdinand Boesel. He lived in the
Chappell Hill community, Washington County, Texas, at the 186o census, and listed his profes-
sion as cabinetmaker. Boesel said Brandt was married to one of the daughters of Christian
Glesecke, but the census schedules list his wife as American-born. Geue, New Homes in a New
Land, 57; United States Eighth Census (1860), Washington County, Texas, Population
Schedules, 159 [microfilm; hereafter cited as U.S. Census (1860)]. Mr. Fischer was probably A.
Fischer from Ostende. See Geue, New Homes in a New Land, 68.
4 This is probably Adolph Varnhagen (born c. 1832) a native Prussian who, at the 1860 cen-
sus, resided in the Round Top area of Fayette County, not far from where the Boesels lived. U.S.
Census (1860), Fayette County, Texas, 280, household no. 331.
5 Georg Christian Friedrich Giesecke (born c. 1795) is the old man mentioned. The extended
Giesecke family migrated to Texas from Clausthal, a mining town in the Harz Mountains of
Germany, in 1846. The sons and daughters of Christian Glesecke and his wife Friedrike (nde
Stahrenburg) that we could tentatively identify were Gustav, Julius, Bertha, Pauline, Friedrich,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/529/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.