In 1833, two university students from Giessen, Germany, Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius, decided to immigrate to America and settle in the west. They wanted to create a German “utopia” in Missouri, and they recruited others to join them by distributing throughout Germany a promotional pamphlet detailing their ambitious plans. The resulting participants spanned various religions, cities, and villages throughout the country and organized themselves as the Giessen Emigration Society. By the fall of 1834, many of the members of the original society had settled along the Missouri River, forming a vibrant German segment of the state whose cultural footprint can still be seen and felt today.
In the bilingual book Utopia, this remarkable story is brought to life through more than 200 historic photographs and documents and contributions from both Americans and Germans. The book accompanies a traveling exhibit that will began in Germany and traveled to the German-American Heritage Museum in Washington, DC, and then to the Missouri History Museum, following the path of the Germans who immigrated to America so many years before. Utopia serves as both an exhibit catalog as well as historical narrative telling the story of the Giessen Emigration Society and their plan to found a German state in America.
Distributed by the Missouri History Museum Press for Edition Falkenberg.
233 color plates and halftones
ISBN: 978-3-954945-95-5, $27.95, cloth