Sunday, October 28, 1869.
A week has passed, eight fruitless days, then for 13 days we have made no progress. In the beginning the wind was against us. In the first three days of last week we had stormy weather that had an extremely bad effect on us. Seasickness, though in a milder form, attacked and we lost our appetite. After that, we were becalmed; our health returned, and the days were pleasant. In addition, the food was significantly better.
Europe does nothing for its emigrants. It lets them go quite unprotected; but for that, America shelters them so much the more diligently. For example, if ‘a ship does not take on enough water for its passengers, it is subject to American law. If it can be proved against a captain that he has deprived his passengers of water without reason, he is subject to a penalty and must pay each passenger three dollars per day. During the storm in the North Sea we had the misfortune to lose two barrels of water and parts of a couple of others, so water is being conserved._However, we received fresh water today (Sunday) for washing. There are 85 barrels of water on board, and one barrel is used every day. .
But to return from this digression to our voyage, we have had a’ good wind, though not a strong one, since yesterday (October 27th) when we celebrated Axel’s (Alexander Von Rosenberg) birthday with wine and cake. If we can reach the trade winds, then only a calm can interfere with our voyage. Today the air is mild and humid from rain showers, but we shall probably have a fair day. – The most interesting of our passengers…
– I was interrupted. The bell summoned us to prayer. How nicely chosen this was again today; at the beginning the song was read, “Thy salvation, oh Christ, etc.” It was lengthened by many, many verses, that fit our present situation. The following prayer, taken from the Meerestempel, was so beautiful, so suitable, so inspiring that many a tear wet the eyes. This poetic piece is so beautifully directed to the emigrant and the situations in which he finds himself. I shall ask the captain to let me copy it and thus later derive from it pleasant memories of this lifeat sea, that is so unique, so varied, so entertaining, s_o magnificent and sublime, but again so frustrating and full of little annoyances.
Now again back to our description of the most interesting persons. At the head of the list is Mr. Engelking. A Saxon by birth, he studied law in Halle, but at the age of 29 he followed an inner drive and went to America. There he lived with the Roeder family and finally married their daughter. He has set up his farm and now lives there happy and content. We soon became more closely aquainted with him, but in an unusual way.
From our questions this intelligent and clever man soon perceived that we were more familiar_with conditions there than can be gained from mere reading, and he asked where we had learned all this.
“From the letters of Pastor Fuchs. Do you, by chance, know him?” was my short reply.
“Yes indeed, he is my neighbor,” he answered unexpectedly.
I: “Then you also know the Kleeberg family?
He: “Kleeberg is my brother-in-law.”
I: “And the Roeder family?”
He: “Also my brother-in-law.”
I: “Our letters say that the Roeder daughters are very charming ladies.”
He: “My wife is a Roeder daughter,” and with that a benevolent, such a pleasant smile spread across his face that I could not help liking the man, who is worth our every attention. For his part, he had kind feelings for us, answered all our questions openly and frankly, and promised us every assistance and advice.
Wilhelm was making his plans for the future, and always Mr. Engelking helped us with his advice. I talked with him about housekeeping, and he _put to rest many a concern and corrected many mistaken views through what he said. Although he shattered many a hope, he also encouraged our endeavors. We learned that a farm is easy to obtain, and help is always available. The farmer needs to work only as much as an active man enjoys. Work is not toil and a burden there, but enjoyable. On the farms in all of Texas, there is a surplus of food, but also a certain prosperity, a good life, and much, much socializing. Mr. Engelking told Lina (Von Rosenberg) about the dances, what they were like, how the people danced, and so on. It appears that he loves music passionately. He often asks Mr. Marek to loan him his little music box; the man can ‘listen to this small device for hours with enjoyment and enthusiasm. With Wilhelm (Von Rosenberg) he makes drawings and plans of farms and teaches him the good points in buying a farm and how to recognize bad points, which no European would ever think of. We hope to settle near him. He is traveling with another family that has been recommended to him, but he seems not to be attached to them by any personal interest.
In steerage (2nd place) there is another American, who is returning from Europe. Mr. Wagner is held in high regard here on the ship. He worked for the Roeder family for a long time before buying his own farm. He knows Mr. Engelking well and has a very high opinion of the latter. Mr. Engelking is also a judge in his county. He (Mr. Engelking) does not seem to be rich, yet well-to-do. His whole bearing is plain but gentlemanly; he seems serious, but merriment and satire mark each corner of his-mouth. Never, never would he indulge in flattery, but an attention from him is the highest compliment. By nature he is serious and upright. Mr. Wagner says ‘that he combines the uprightness of the such American with the Gemdtiichheit (joviality) of the German. But Mr. Wagner is also an upright person, who lives much, much farther to the west.
(Continued under the date of December 2, 1849.)