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1847 07

Submitted By Roy Pfeiffer

Following is the first letter from Germany to Georg Anton Pfeiffer and his wife Maria Anna Deinhard  after their arrival in America.  It is one of thirteen which were studied by a descendent, Roy Pfeiffer, prior to researching Pfeiffer and Deinhard ancestors in Germany in 1992.  Other letters of this series are available with study notations included. 

The original of these letters are included in a group of 20 items held by Anton at the time of his death and available for study at the University of Texas Library.  They were placed there December 20, 1931 by a grand daughter, Ruby Pfeiffer Holden.  

LAABER JULY 14, 1847

Dear son-in-law and daughter:

I have expected your letter longingly, but as I read the first letter and learned what happened to you, I was thunderstruck, for one should combat evil before everything and leave all misfortune to God.  For evidently one has seen the omnipotence and salvation of God.  Just confide in him, and do not forget him.  He shall conduct everything for the best. 

I have received your dear letter on June 20th and it has found us in the best of health which we wish and hope will be the case with you.  ((This may refer to this tale: During their journey to America, the ship and its passengers suffered severely from a storm.  Much of the cargo was tossed overboard in order to keep the damaged vessel afloat.  Also, a child, close to this family, died and was buried at sea.  Although the name and passenger list of this vessel have not been found, a check of Requests for Permission to Immigrate from Velburg and Neumarkt, name Johann Pfeiffer age 3, as the only child from the home villages of Anton and Maria.  The earliest written family story says the trip took 6 months while civil records in Germany indicate the trip took place after September 1846.))

As news, I will write you that Michael((Maria Deinhard’s brother)) is no more soldier, but he has not done better as he has gone to America.  At his request, I put a man in his place while he got ready to go to America.  Then there came a letter and as it arrived, impious …  And also one from Breitenwin which showed that they are not very pleased with America, and as Michael believed that your letter might be retarded til the fall,  he went to the foreign land and had not landed when your letter came.  And the two letters from you were received in Laaber and you can readily imagine what was said.  Kerschenmeir Is still the same old man as he used to be, but does not attract much attention with his talk, as nobody believes him.  Barbara and Michael((These siblings of Maria arrived in Texas in 1848.  Barbara married Peter Kellermeirer and raised a family with many remaining in the McDade/Pinoak community until some resettled in west Texas.  Daughters of this family married into the Meuth and Beck families and remain either in Bastrop County or nearby.  As other letters will indicate, Michael died from Yellow Fever leaving no descendents)) are firmly determined to come back every five years, although who comes with them we do not know, as they have bid us goodbye.

I have received the books you ordered and have delivered them in Nurenberg against receipt.  They were addressed to Bastrop, with a notice that if you were no longer in Bastrop, the German named Schmitt would know where to find you.

As further news, I can tell you that the feed corn and the seed corn sells For 40(p), the wine  for 48? And the oats for 15?.  We are mowing at this time - a good harvest which God may bless.

When you can write to Simon Deilhard please greet both him and his wife cordially as well as his mother and sisters.  And when it is possible try to make the best of your life in America for here it is getting worse every day.  And  you should write often as your parents wish.

A special greeting for your brother from the sister-in-law from Longenfelt.Write me soon on receipt of this letter of your experiences and where you are, for we think of you daily and  it is our dearest wish that you are in good health and may live to old age contented in america.The drills you ordered I did not send as you need them only occasionally.  Write me when I shall send them for what I can do shall be done; for I will look after you as well as possible.  Only do not

forget God and everything will come out right.  ((it is truly surprising that someone would delay sending the drills, used in planting, until the last minute knowing the time required by mail was uncertain.))

In conclusion be greeted cordially from all of us and we remain your friend until death.  Pray for us as we pray for you also.

Sincerely, John and Margaretha Deinhard, innkeeper