The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 139

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Diary of Adolphus Sterne

Monday 26 Novr 1838. Took passage for Galveston in Texas
pr the Brig "Empresario," Capt Wm Longcope- Left the Levee
of New Orleans in tow of the Steam Boat "Shark" at 6 P. M.
The cabin so crowded with passengers I could not obtain a berth,
had to sleep on the table-
27th- Over the Bar at 7 A M-wind N E, which freshened
towards evening- At noon 35 miles off the Bar- 8 knots.
28th- Fresh breeze all night- fair wind- Course W by N
after passing the Oyster Bank- at noon 105 miles off the en-
trance to Galveston-- at 7 P M. arrived off the Island- lay off
and on all the night-
29th. Made the land at 8 A.M, foggy- about 15 miles to the
southward of the port- Wrought up & anchored in the Offing
'Adolphus Sterne was born in Cologne, Germany, April 15, 1801; his
father was a Jew, his mother a Lutheran. At the age of sixteen he
emigrated to America landing at New Orleans, in which city he resided for
several years, working in a store for a livelihood and reading law. The
date of Sterne's coming to Texas is usually given as 1824, but in his
application for land (Original Titles, 26, 361-366, Spanish Archives, Gen-
eral Land Office) made at Nacogdoches, August 7, 1835, he himself states
that he came in 1826, and in Taylor's "List of Orders and Surveys
(Spanish Archives, General Land Office), Tennessee is given as the place
whence Sterne emigrated. In the Fredonian Rebellion Sterne's sympathies
were with the Edwards party which he aided with munitions secreted in
bales of dry goods and barrels of coffee and smuggled in. This device
discovered by the Mexican authorities, Sterne was tried by military court
and sentenced to be shot. Pending the approval of the sentence by the
military commander at Saltillo, the Masons, which order he had joined
in New Orleans, interceded in his behalf and he was liberated on parole.
It was this parole which prevented his taking an active part with the
colonists in the disturbances of 1832 which culminated in the Eastern
settlements in the battle of Nacogdoches. From 1831 to 1833 Sterne was
successively second and first regidor, alcalde interino, and holder of
municipal funds ("Minutes of the Ayuntamiento," January 7, 1830-May
25, 1833, Nacogdoches Archives, Texas State Library). Houston states
that Sterne was elected to the Convention of 1833 and voted for the con-
stitution adopted by that body (Winkler, Secret Journals of the Senate,
Republic of Texas, 1836-1845, 20-22). At the outbreak of the Revolution,
Sterne as a Texan agent at New Orleans raised and equipped one of the
companies known as the New Orleans Greys. His claim for $820 thus
expended was approved by the comptroller in 1837 (Comptroller's military
service records, No. 5858, Texas State Library). Ehrenberg in his Texas
and seine revolution, 8-28 (Leipzig, 1843) gives a colorful account of
Sterne's activities at New Orleans and his entertainment of Captain
Breese's company at Nacogdoches.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. ( accessed July 29, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.