At sea, October 8, 1849
My dear Hannchen,
The captain has_just promised me that I can send a letter, to be mailed in Bremen, along with the one that he is sending to his wife. Since I only have a few hours, and seasickness can strike at any moment, I must hurry to write. We are allwell. We let the recent storms pass in Bremerhafen and slept well last night, even though the waves crashed against our side of the ship and the storm raged over us. We are putting out to sea now “with a’ fine_, fresh wind. Our group is very refined and interesting. As much as time permits, I shall introduce them. hg of the list. Pastor Fuchs, who sent us the nice letters is his neifhbor, Kleberg is his brother-in-law, and one of Roeder’s charming daughters is, as Pastor Fuchs writes, his wife. This meeting is a very happy one for us. Our Texan tells us a lot, corrects many exaggerated hopes and erroneous conceptions, but also much that he reports is better than he had believed. If time permitted, I could tell you so many things. The first thing, though, is that the initial costs will not be as expensive as we had thought.
Everywhere that one wishes to travel, transportation can be rented, and farms are rented according to the arable land. Since at all times one can rent farms, this can be done until one is ready to buy a farm. One can buy established farms everywhere, cheaply’ or more costly a cording to conditions The larger the farm, the cheaper the land Never yet in the ten years that he has 1ived in Texas has Mr. Engelking heard of a fatal snake bite. Only twice have his people been bitten by snakes, and only one suffered for any length of time. On farms, where there is little wealth, the buildings are small.
For example, the house has only one room. In front of and behind the house is a veranda, a porch under the same roof. The kitchen, and sometimes the dining room, are in a separate building – because of the hot climate. If the family’s needs increase, a room is added, and so on. If possible, the buildings are joined by the roof. This provides better ventilation.
There are mosquitoes only in certain regions, and no farmer would build there. If, however, a farm does have mosquitoes, they soon leave. They and all pests, which include snakes, wolves, and wild animals, all flee from civilization.
In Texas there is a surplus of food. – Breakfast is just being served. There is always plenty, and a terribly lot is eaten and drunk. We are having zwieback, white and black bread, Dutch Cheese, butter, and coffee.
In the cabin across from us is the deputy from Austria, Merkel, with his wife and child. He fetches water, shines shoes, even does the laundry and cares for the child. The man is continually busy with his family. Then, there is another family with one child. The husband is a tanner (manufacturer) from Cologne and is buying a farm in Texas. Leather-making is poorly done in Texas. Next is the Ginter family from Silesia. The husband is very portly and modest. He is emigrating because of his political views (Democrat). Then, there is a Mr. Mereau, whose father was a lieutenant-colonel and fought at Waterloo, and a Mr. Dietz, whose father was at the head of the controversy regarding state lands in Nassau in 1830. And_ finally there are a number of young businessmen, etc.
Captain Hagedorn promised to have the pilot mail this letter, so I am not putting a stamp on it. Excuse my poor handwriting because of the situation. As long as I was in Bremerhafen, I spent every afternoon with Mrs. Hagedorn, who is a lively and charming lady. The afternoons passed as though only moments long with conversation and jokes. I believe my friendship with his charming wife has won me favor with the captain.
Farewell, farewell to all my loved ones, and a thousand greetings,
A. Von Rosenberg.