Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 804 of 894
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6INDIAY N W1ARS 1AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
For more than fifty years the subject of this
memoir has been a citizen of Texas. Coming to
this country a man of superior education and
attainments, he has been an intelligent observer and
eye-witness of the multifarious changes that have
transpired since he took up his residence at New
Braunfels, and few of the old pioneers of Texas
have a mind so well stored with interesting and
instructive reminiscences, or are more entertaining
Mr. Forcke was born in Hildesheim, Germany,
April 21st, 1814, and was educated in local schools
at Hildesheim and Jena, and secured his diploma
as an apothecary and followed that avocation in his
native town. His parents were J. G. and Mrs. A.
M. J. (Grossman) Forcke, both of whom are dead,
his father dying in 1862 and his mother in 1868, at
Hildesheim. His father was a joiner by trade, and
a man much respected in the community in which
he spent his long and useful life. The subject of
this notice and his family left his home in the
Fatherland for Texas in 1845, and in talking with
him he gave the writer the following account of his
coming to and settlement in this country:"After
having joined the Fuersten-Verein, we
departed for Bremen on the 14th of November,
1845, and arrived at New Braunfels on the 14th of
July, 1846, after a voyage lasting eight months.
We suffered greatly from adverse weather and were
shipwrecked in the channel during a terrific storm,
but were happily driven to the mouth of the River
Weser after we had drifted about some four weeks.
Here a pilot came to meet us, risking his life, as
the weather was stormy, and called out to lower the
anchors. Fortunately the pumps were in order
and the vessel was kept afloat by them, going day
and night. The pilot, who was taken aboard with
much difficulty, guided the ship back to Bremerhaven.
It was nearly a total wreck and our luggage
was ruined for the greater part.
" My brother, who was a strong young fellow of
twenty-four, was stricken with typhus three days
later and died.
"' As our ship was utterly useless, we were furnished
another one, the " Creole," a strong vessel
which had just completed a voyage under Capt.
Dannemann, a very able seaman. A part of the
passengers, however, refused to continue their trip
and returned home.
"Some three weeks later, after everything had
been washed and cleaned as well as could be done,
we set sail and in time came to Dover, where we
dropped anchor. Here we^had a singular experience.
The ship, which had been secured by cables
and chains, keeled over partially when the tide went
out, but was kept from entirely capsizing by the
cables, which held it. Still, the damagt was sufficient
to spring a leak, and so we were forced to sail
for Cowes (Isle of Wight) to have the vessel calked
and its bottom coppered. This delayed us three
weeks, after which we again set sail and as we
struck the trade winds everybody rejoiced, for the
favorable current brought us nearer our aestination
by a good many miles every day.
"However, we were not so lucky as to retain
favorable winds and after a short while we struck a
dead calm. In fact, the captain declared that he had
never before made a voyage under such untoward
circumstances. Several weeks later we enco. itered
a number of whales, there must have been a dozen
of them, and several icebergs were passei at a
"Through the carelessness of the first mate we
came near colliding with a French frigate and, but
for the dexterity of the captain, both vessels might
have gone down. We now neared the West Indian
Archipelago and encountered daily storms until we
landed at Galveston, about the beginning of May.
Here we remained for several weeks and were then
transferred by schooners to Indianola, where we
were received by the physician of the society with
the words: ' I am awfully glad you have come, as
I will now have some assistance, everybody has the
"Of course we helped, and for the three weeks
we remained there, the sick were provided with
suitable medicine. On account of the very unfavorable
weather, cold and dampness, and lack of
care and attention, a great number of the patients
died, who could have been saved if it had been possible
to take them to New Braunfels.
" The only obtainable vehicle for the continuation
of our journey was an ox-cart and a pair of
oxen, by which method two families were finally
brought to New Braunfels, where I was engaged by
the society as apothecary."
Mr. Foroke prospered in business at New Braunfels
as an apothecary (in which he has since been
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/804/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .