1861 05

Submitted By Roy Pfeiffer

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Letter from Maria's brother Erhard in Germany to another brother, JOHANN, in Texas.

(( 1 OF 1, INCOMPLETE ; A TRANSLATOR WILL BE ABLE TO ADD TO THIS FROM THE ORIGINAL ))

LAABER MAY 5, 1861,

DEAR BROTHER,-

I RECEIVED YOUR LETTER DD MARCH 5, 1861 AND WAS GLAD TO LEARN THAT YOU AND ALL OTHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE WELL AND ALIVE AS WE HAD NOT HEARD FROM YOU IN THREE YEARS.  SINCE THAT TIME THERE HAVE BEEN MANY CHANGES IN OUR HOME.  I CAN WRITE YOU SAD AND GLAD NEWS.  FIRST OF ALL THE LORD HAS CALLED TO HIM OUR DEAR FATHER IN THE YEAR 1856 ON THE 19TH OF MARCH.  HE DIED AFTER A LONG AND LINGERING ILLNESS.  BEFORE HIS DEATH, HOWEVER HE DID NOT LOOK AFTER THE FARM.  WE AND MOTHER LOOKED AFTER IT AND THIS WENT ON FOR A YEAR WHEN AGAIN THE LORD TO WHOM NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE CALLED OUR DEAR BROTHER JOSEPH OUT OF THIS LIFE AFTER A SIMILAR ILLNESS (( 1Q1857 )). SO I CONTINUED WITH MOTHER THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ESTATE FOR THREE YEARS. YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT IT IS TO MANAGE A FARM LIKE OURS WITH ENTIRELY STRANGE PEOPLE AND AN OLD MOTHER AND THAT WITH MANY DEBTS;  HOWEVER AS THE WELL KNOWN PROVERB SAYS THAT GOD NEVER FORSAKES A GERMAN,  SO HAS MY SADNESS CHANGED TO JOY.

AS YOU HAVE KNOWN OUR FATHER, HE NEVER STOPPED BUYING AND BUILDING.  IN THE YEAR 1859 (( THIS IS 3 YEARS AFTER HIS FATHER'S DEATH. )) HE HAD BUILT A WHOLE NEW TOWN (( WHAT COULD THIS BE? )), AND  HE BOUGHT MUCH FIELD, WOODLAND AND PASTURE.  AS AGAIN THE PROVERB SAYS: "SO FATHER, SO SON".  SO HAVE I BOUGHT MANY THINGS AFTER FATHER'S DEATH AND HAD THEM EQUIPPED AND CONSTRUCTED; I HAD A WELL DUG, THAT ME 26\50M COST, AND THEN HAD CEMENT MADE AND A CAVE DUG.  THAT ME AGAIN 100M COST.  THEN I BOUGHT IN ADDITION THE BLASEBAUERN HOUSE.  ?? THE TOWN COURT YARD AND A FEW ROUGH FIELD AND PASTURES FOR 6 TO 7 DAYS WORK FOR 1344M AND 11P- I HAD TORN DOWN THE HOUSE AND TOWN, HAD IT CLEANED UP AND HAD AN ORCHARD WITH 64 FRUIT TREES AND GRASS PLOT PLANTED.  THIS HAS COST AGAIN 200M.

AS I HAD CONTRACTED MANY DEBTS, SO CAME THERE AS I HAVE TOLD YOU ALREADY A JOY IN MY LIFE AS NONE OF YOU HAS NEVER HAD NOR WILL HAVE.  I FELL IN LOVE WITH A GIRL WHO AT PRESENT IS MY WIFE AND SHE HAS GOTTEN ME OUT OF DEBT AS IT SEEMS.  MY NAME HAS BEEN NONE OF THE LEAST.  (( THE MATERIAL IN NEXT PARAGRAPH SEEMS OUT OF PLACE, BEING AS IT IS, IN THE MIDDLE OF A MARRIAGE STORY.))

WITH DEAR JOHANN HAVE I BEEN IN THE BEST OF RELATIONS ((THIS SARCASTIC REMARK RELATES TO JOHANN'S PROBLEMS IN DUCKING MILITARY SERVICE IN GERMANY WHEN HE WENT TO TEXAS. )).  AS YOU KNOW YOU HAD GONE BEFORE THE CONSCRIPTION.  SO THE COURT OF JUSTICE WISHED ME TO PUT A MAN IN YOUR PLACE; THERE, AS I HAVE TOLD YOU, I HAD SUCH A HARD NUT TO CRACK, REMAINED FOR YOU ONLY SIX YEARS AS A SOLDIER AND 2 IN A FORTRESS.  IF YOU WANT THOSE IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO GO BACK TO YOUR NATIVE COUNTRY.

AS I WANT TO WRITE YOU ABOUT MY  PRESENT CONDITION, SO LEARN AS FOLLOWS: I CELEBRATED MY WEDDING JANUARY 8, 1861.  MY WIFE IS [FROM] BODENMUHL NEAR NEUMARKT; HER FATHER IS A COUNTRYMAN OF OUR MOTHER.  HE IS FROM KERSBACH NEAR SCHNEITAG AND HIS WIFE FROM OBERWALT.  THESE [PEOPLE, HER PARENTS] HAVE BOUGHT THE DODENMUHL (( BODENMUHL? )) AND HAVE ONLY ONE DAUGHTER - MY WIFE.

MY WIFE IS ONLY 18 YEARS OLD BUT IN SMARTNESS HER EQUAL IS FAR TO SEEK.  SHE HAS BROUGHT ME A CAPITAL OF 9,000M AND WHAT IS TO COME.  HER PARENTS HAVE NO DEBTS AND NO OTHER CHILD.  THEY ARE LIVING ON THEIR FARM AND ARE PLEASED WITH US AND WE WITH THEM.  I HAVE CONSOLED MYSELF SOON WITH MY FATHER AND JOSEPH; REMAINED A BACHELOR FOR A YEAR AND A HALF, WAS NOT IN GOOD HEALTH.

FURTHER NEWS I CAN WRITE YOU THAT JOHAN MERENZ AND BARBARA NEIGLER FROM LAABER WERE MARRIED AND HAVE BOTH DIED.  THE FARM WAS SOLD AND JOHANN BLASBAUER FROM NIEGLER BUYS THE BARTBAUER FARM AND HE DIVIDES HIS OWN, AND I HAVE BOUGHT THE KONIGSBERG.  THE KELLERMEIER CHILDREN MANAGE THE FARM TOGETHER. (( THIS LETTER IS INCOMPLETE.))

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