Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 87
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Immigrants in Texas" in 1843, under the
patronage of a number of German no-
blemen. At that time, the Republic of
Texas was a seven-year-old nation of
uncertain destiny. The United States was
in the throes of a political fight over
annexation, and European nations were
watching uneasily. The willingness of
certain German leaders to sponsor colo-
nization in Texas, together with internal
conflict that had caused many Germans
to turn their eyes to new countries in
search of a future home, were largely
responsible for the first colonization
The organization mentioned above pur-
chased the Fisher-Miller grant of land
lying between the Colorado and the San
Saba Rivers. In 1844 three shiploads of
immigrants landed at Galveston and pro-
ceeded by schooner toward Lavaca Bay,
where they began their trek to the
Fisher-Miller grant under the leadership
of Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. Be-
coming discouraged and realizing the
great distance to the Fisher-Miller tract,
the caravan went into camp at Victoria,
and Braunfels rode to San Antonio,
where he was told of the Comal Springs
and surrounding country.
Founding of New Braunfels.
Braunfels visited the place, was pleased
with its great beauty and bought the land
from its Spanish owners. The colonists
moved forward from Victoria and arrived
in March, 1845, thus establishing New
Braunfels, which has been a center of
German-American population in Texas
ever since. A later attempt of colonists to
reach the Fisher-Miller grant resulted in
the establishment of Fredericksburg, and
some other German-American communi-
ties in that vicinity. The German society
continued its colonization efforts through-
out 1845-6-7, bringing several thousand
immigrants into Texas.
Though this organized colonization
scheme did not effect any great move-
ment of Germans into Texas, it was
undoubtedly the indirect cause of the
gradual immigration of Germans into
South Central Texas, which continued
until the World War and later immigra-
tion restrictions cut it to the inappreciable
movement that it is today.
Letters of the early settlers to rela-
tives and friends in Germany were
instrumental in bringing others to Texas
from Germany and later from Austria-
The 153,362 foreign-born and foreign
stock population from Germany and the
48,920 from Austria live today largely in
an area which may be bounded roughly
by a line drawn from Houston through
San Antonio, Mason, Temple, Brenham
and thence back to Houston. San Antonio,
Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Mason
and Brenham are among the places hav-
ing large German-American populations.
The German, Scandinavian and Czech
stock in Texas is devoted primarily to
agriculture and their thriftiness is, recog-
nized. The Greek, Italian and Russian
populations of Texas are usually town
and city dwellers and are devoted to
commercial rather than agricultural
This is true, too, of the Jewish popula-
tion, which is not shown separately in the
census tables, being included largely with
the German and Russian figures. The
Jewish population of Texas is estimated
at about 45,000.
There are many interesting towns and
villages scattered throughout \Texas,
which were founded as colonies of immi-
grants from foreign countries. Many of
these places have interesting histories,
and not infrequently there are evidences
of the architecture and atmosphere of
the mother country of the immigrants.
Mason, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg
and Brenham were mentioned above as
being largely German-American. Castro-
vile is one of the unique places in Texas
because of its quaint architecture, the
town having been settled by Alsatian
French. Bandera, Panna Maria, Rowena
and a number of other towns have a
large Czech or Polish population. In
Bandera are several log residences built
in 1854 when the Polish colony settled in
the then abandoned Mormon colony.
Muenster on the prairies of western
Cooke County with its tall church spire
visible for many miles is typical of the
isolated foreign population colonies that
the traveler finds throughout Texas.
Texas Negro Population.
The Negro population of Texas in 1930
was 854,964, which was 14.7 per cent of
the total. Most of this population lies
east of the line drawn from Corpus
Christi to San Antonio, and thence along
the western edge of the blackland belt
through Austin, Belton, Waco, Fort
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/89/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.