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New World View

Letters from a German Immigrant Family in Texas (1854–1885)


Edited By Ruth Cape

New World View: Letters from a German Immigrant Family in Texas, 1854–1885 is a bilingual and annotated edition of a collection of letters written by a 19 th century German immigrant family in Texas. Christian Friedrich Bergmann and his family belonged to the large wave of German immigrants that came to Texas in the 1850s. Born in April of 1817 in Ebersbach, a small village then located in the Kingdom of Saxony, Bergmann – together with his wife Johanna Christiane Luise Bergmann and his three sons, Friedrich, Karl, and Christoph – embarked on an overseas journey to America in August of 1854; in November of 1854, they arrived in Texas. The family first resided in San Antonio before later settling on the Guadalupe River near Boerne, where Bergmann bought 320 acres of land and he and his family became farmers and ranchers, as well as active members of their community.
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 th century. At the same time, it details the numerous challenges many immigrants faced in their attempts to adapt to American culture and succeed in the New World. The book, which includes a historical and biographical introduction, is a valuable source for scholars and students in various disciplines, but also addresses readers with a general interest in the social history of German immigration to the United States and, specifically, to Texas.

BIC Classifications

  • Humanities (H)
    • History (HB)
      • Regional & national history (HBJ)
        • History of the Americas (HBJK)
  • Society & social sciences (J)
    • Psychology (JM)
  • Earth sciences, geography, environment, planning (R)
    • Geography (RG)
      • Physical geography & topography (RGB)
      • Regional geography (RGL)

BISAC Classifications

  • History (HIS)
    • United States (HIS036)
      • HISTORY / United States / 19th Century (HIS036040)
  • Psychology (PSY)
    • PSYCHOLOGY / General (PSY000000)
  • Science (SCI)
    • SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography (SCI030000)

THEMA Classifications

  • Society & Social Sciences (J)
    • Psychology (JM)
  • History & Archaeology (N)
    • History (NH)
      • History of the Americas (NHK)
  • Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning (R)
    • Geography (RG)
      • Physical geography & topography (RGB)
      • Human geography (RGC)
      • Regional geography (RGL)
  • Geographical qualifiers (1)
    • The Americas (1K)
      • North America (USA & Canada) (1KB)
        • United States of America, USA (1KBB)
        • Canada (1KBC)
  • Time period qualifiers (3)
    • c 1500 onwards to present day (3M)
      • 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899 (3MN)
      • 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 (3MP)
      • 21st century, c 2000 to c 2100 (3MR)