November 26, 1869

On board the Franziska in the Gulf of Mexico . November 26, 1869.

Thanks be to God, we are now confidently looking forward to the imminent end of our voyage. On the 26th at 2:00 a.m. we passed between Cuba and Santo Domingo (Hispaniola) and are now sailing along the southern coast of Cuba. We hope to sail around the Cuban west coast tomorrow, since we have a favorable wind, which, if it holds, will bring us to Galveston in a week. Although here on the ship there is no opportunity to spend money, this situation, though bringing freedom from care, is yet unpleasant, and we shall all be heartily glad to see the end of this voyage.

The two farmers mentioned above were formerly lawyers: their names are Mr. Engelking and Mr. Wagner. Eighteen years ago Engelking was a Prussian law clerk. He has spent ten years in Texas and lived through the times of disorder (Texas Revolution). He is of an impetuous but upright character, and since he lives between the Brazos and Colorado rivers, he is very well known to Preacher Fuchs in Wild Cat Spring, and so for now we are relying on his counsel, which he gives with great caution.

Originally it was my intention to go from Galveston to Houston by steamboat and then make an exploratory trip to Bastrup, however, we shall travel with Engelking to St. Philippe de Austin and explore first from there. For a year there has been steamboat service on the Brazos, so that one can go directly from Galveston to St. Philippe de Austin in two days. This is very advantageous, especially as concerns the baggage, for shipping freight wagon is very expensive.