We are celebrating! Besides the birthday of Gottfried Duden, Missouri Germans is also excited about two new projects with German heritage partners, the Missouri Immigrant and Refugees Advocates (MIRA) and the German American Heritage Foundation (GAHF) in Washington, D.C.. In March, we shared the opening of the MIRA exhibit Missouri Immigrant Experience: Faces and Places when it opened in the Rozier Gallery at the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site in Jefferson City. The exhibit is funded by the Missouri Humanities Council with recent additions featuring the German Heritage Corridor. Missouri Germans’ Executive Director Dorris Keeven-Franke was curator of additional photographs and texts that explain Missouri’s German heritage. We are now excited to announce that this wonderful Missouri based exhibit will open at GAHF’s museum on June 1st in Washington, D.C.. Their museum is located in Hockemeyer Hall, located on 6th Street NW in the heart of the old European-American section of Washington, D.C..
Other exciting news we would like to share is the German American Heritage Foundation’s new Heritage Survey which was announced in their recent April Newsletter. “We are pressing onward with our efforts to conduct a nation-wide German-American Heritage Survey, which will help us in our work with local partners to create heritage routes connecting sites important to the American story of German-speaking settlement and migration. Our friends in Europe are interested in promoting these heritage routes as part of a broader picture of emigration routes from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and German-speaking minority areas throughout Europe. Join in our efforts to make certain that sites important to you are nominated for the German-American Heritage Survey!” GAHF was impressed and inspired by the Missouri Humanities Council recent German Heritage Corridor which surveyed hundred of sites which represent the German Heritage of Missouri. Missouri German’s Director Dorris Keeven-Franke also collaborated on that project as well, and will work with the staff of GAHF on their project as well” announced their President Mark Wheat in their May Newsletter.
Missouri’s German heritage began in the 1820s when a German attorney named Gottfried Duden visited the three-year-old State called Missouri, for three years. In 1829, Duden published A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America, which described his recent stay here. The small book was a huge success, being just the right words at just the right time for many Germans. What followed was a flood of immigration that began in the 1830s with over 120,000 Germans coming to America in that decade. What was even more amazing was that of those thousands of immigrants, over a third of those immigrants, approximately 40,000 Germans, settled in Missouri. Because of Duden’s writing those Germans filled the state especially the Missouri River valley, today’s German Heritage Corridor. Those 16 Counties and the City of St. Louis saw immigrants arrive and settle in the cities and towns of Saint Charles, Washington, Hermann, Concordia, and even Jefferson City and Arrow Rock. Read more on Gottfried Duden…
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