Letters from a German Immigrant Family in Texas (1854–1885)
Edited By Ruth Cape
The Bergmann letter collection begins with a detailed description of the sea journey and the many exciting and disheartening moments experienced while at sea. Bergmann then gives deep insight into many facets of immigrant life on the Texas frontier while narrating how he and his family built a life for themselves in Texas.
This letter collection spans a period of three decades, presenting the reader with important insight into the process of German immigrant acculturation in Texas in the second half of the 19
Part Two: The Bergmann Letters
← 29 | 30 → ← 30 | 31 → Part Two:
[Description of the sea journey to America in 1854; undated letter, probably late 1854/beginning 1855]1
Trembling and haltingly I take my quill, wondering whether my letter will find you alive or not. I am sure you longed to receive a letter from me, because I promised to write you as soon as I would stand on solid ground again. But, unfortunately, sending a letter costs a lot and since I knew Heuchling2 had written, I hoped you would find out that my family and I have reached the shore safe and sound.
Now I would like to tell you about my difficult and dangerous journey. On the first day after my farewell, we came to Leipzig3 and spent the night in the Schwarze Kreutz.4 Dear brother-in-law, you know how it is in Leipzig and everywhere all the way to Bremerhaven,5 especially regarding emigrants because they have money.6 On the second day, we stayed in Braunschweig,7 where they had a fair at the time. On the third day at four o’clock in the afternoon, we arrived in Bremen.8 We had to stay there until the sixteenth [of August]. Then we took the steamboat Roland9 to Bremerhaven where we had to go to the Immigration House.10 On our way there we were stranded around Vegesack11 because we had almost 500 passengers aboard, and were stuck for 3 hours. Since there was a high tide,...
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