All posts by Dorris Keeven-Franke

Public Historian, Author, Archivist and Curator.

German Abolitionists

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect, freeing slaves in all Confederate-held territory. But Lincoln’s decree did not extend to Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland, all of which were slave states that had remained loyal to the Union.

In 1864 some of the Missouri Germans backed an attempt to challenge Lincoln from the Left by nominating a Radical anti-slavery man for president. When Lincoln outflanked them by endorsing the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the Germans returned to the Republican fold and put their energies into revising the Missouri constitution to abolish slavery in their state

Legal freedom for all African Americans slaves in Missouri came by action of a state convention meeting in the Mercantile Library Hall in St. Louis. The convention convened slavessoldierson January 6, 1865 with German immigrant and abolitionist Judge Arnold Krekel serving as president. Radical Republicans, many of whom were also German-Americans, comprised two-thirds of the convention seats. A vote on the “emancipation ordinance” passed overwhelmingly 60 to 4 on January 11, 1865, with no compensation to slave owners. A month later the convention adopted the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the country.

Eight of the sixty-six delegates to the Missouri Constitutional Convention were born in Germany. One of the immigrants, Arnold Krekel, was elected Convention President. thWhile nearly all native-born Republicans believed that Missouri’s blacks should be freed, the status of blacks in freedom was contentious. Many thought that blacks, if they were free, should not be given the right to vote. Even among whites, women and young people under the age of 21 were not allowed to vote. One could be both a citizen and be deprived of the privilege of voting in 19th Century America.

The St. Louis Community College’s program THE GERMAN ABOLITIONISTS AND THE CIVIL WAR explores the relationships between the Germans and the enslaved community that they worked to emancipate. The program will be at the Missouri History Museum, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 10:30 am in the Lee Auditorium will have speaker Dorris Keeven-Franke, Executive Director of Missouri Germans Consortium. The program is free as always and open to the public.

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How German are we?

The St. Louis Metro area is considered the third largest German-American community in all of America! From the Library of Congress: “The German immigrant story is a long one—a story of early beginnings, continual growth and steadily spreading influence.” U.S. Census (2017) reports show that German is the largest ethnic group with approximately 44 Million in America who claim it as their heritage. And among the 53 U.S. metro areas with at least one million people those considered to be among the most German are Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul and St. Louis” according to Cincinnati.com who ranks fourth. Three of these: St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati are considered the German triangle of America where you will find the highest concentration. In Missouri alone 1,376,052 reported their ethnic background to be German, and we definitely know how to celebrate National German-American Day on October 6th.

High Resolution Graphic
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
No wonder St. Louis knows German so well! With German-American Day coming up soon, if you are looking for a family friendly way to connect with your roots, check out these three great events.  On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 at 7 pm at the Missouri History Museum,  the series German Heritage: History, Culture and Community opens with “What Makes Missouri So German?” with speaker Dorris Keeven-Franke. The program is at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, 63177 in the Lee Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.

 

On Saturday, October 6th, 2018 National German-American Day opens at the German Cultural Hall of St. Louis at 3652 Jefferson Avenue with a Fest and Feast! Join all of the St. Louis German American organizations when the hall opens at 10 am. Meet members of each of the 18 German organizations of the German American Committee and learn about their history. Then at 1 pm. the Missouri Historical Society hosts a German Feast with culinary samplings from around Germany! Take a culinary tour and sample the entire country. For more information or to make reservations for the dinner visit http://mohistory.org/events/german-american-day-fest-and-feast_1538848800 and click on the register link at the bottom or call 314-746-4599 and ask for reservations. Enjoy the music, dancing and food of the Germany. Following the Feast at 3pm will be FREE performances by St. Louis’ own Mannerchor (Men’s Choir), Dammenchor (Women’s Choir) and our own Liederkranz, the oldest combined men and women’s German singing group west of the Mississippi.

Finish your week off with “What STILL Makes St. Louis so German” and a panel discussion moderated by Dorris Keeven-Franke. Joining us will be German Consul General Herbert Quelle to share his views on the German-American Community today. He will be joined by Dr. Steven Belko of the Missouri Humanities Council sharing Missouri’s German Heritage Corridor and Susanne Evens, President of St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities who will be discussing St. Louis’ Sister Cities programs. The program will be on October 10, 2018 at 7pm at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, 63177 in the Lee Auditorium. The program is free and everyone is welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related links:

German-American Day Fest and Feast: http://mohistory.org/events/german-american-day-fest-and-feast_1538848800

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/2017/october/german-american.html

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/09/20/how-german-cincinnati-region-among-top-five-among-biggest-us-metros/1359288002/

German-American Day

The German American Committee of St. Louis and the Missouri History Museum present

GERMAN AMERICAN DAY

Fest and Feast

OCTOBER 6, 2018

3652 S. Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63118

10 am – 4 pm Join us for a FEST of German organizations! Meet and Greet the 18 German Organizations of the St. Louis Region and learn more about how you can become more involved and connect with your heritage! The hall is open from 10am to 4 pm and everyone is invited. Enjoy a day with all of the German organizations in St. Louis.

1 pm – 3pm Feast your way through Germany with a culinary tour! Enjoy an afternoon feast highlighting the culinary specialties of Germany! The Feast takes place in the Grand Hall and reservations must be made in advance as space is limited. For the dinner reservations $25 in advance go to http://mohistory.org/events/german-american-day-fest-and-feast_1538848800 and click on the register link at the bottom or call 314-746-4599 and ask for reservations. Enjoy the music, dancing and food of the Germany.

3-5 pm Following the Feast will begin FREE performances at 3pm by St. Louis’ own Mannerchor (Men’s Choir), Dammenchor (Women’s Choir) and our own Liederkranz, the oldest combined men and women’s German singing group west of the Mississippi.

JOIN US FOR A DAY LONG CELEBRATION OF THE ST. LOUIS GERMAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND NATIONAL GERMAN-AMERICAN DAY

This day is presented as part of

Germans in St. Louis: History, Culture, Community

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  • Oct 3 –  Germans in St. Louis: History, Culture, Community – What Makes Missouri So German?  Missouri’s German roots run deep, but why? What were the driving forces behind German emigration, and why did so many Germans end up in our region? Join Dorris Keeven-Franke, Missouri Germans Consortium, for a look at the earliest waves of German settlers in Missouri, from the early 1800s through the Civil War. This program is free and takes place at the Missouri History Museum, at 7pm in the Lee Auditorium.
  • Oct 6 GERMAN AMERICAN DAY = FEST & FEAST  Start by soaking up the culture and heritage of Missouri’s German American community, then enjoy an afternoon feast highlighting the culinary specialties of Germany!
    This event opens at the German Cultural Society of St. Louis at 3652 S. Jefferson Ave., 63118 when the Hall opens at 10 am. Visit the hall and meet representatives of all 18 active German-American organizations in the St. Louis region. The Fest is free and is open until 4pm!  The Feast begins at 1pm and is a delicious German meal and is $25 per person (or $20 for MHS members) and registration is required at mohistory.org/german. There will be lots of German entertainment and celebration throughout the day!
  • Oct 10 What STILL Makes Missouri so German – Missouri Germans Consortium – This Panel will include Consul General Herbert Quelle, Dr. Steve Belko, and others. It explores the German-American culture and community of today –  the topics will include the German Heritage Corridor, Sister Cities and German Language Initiatives, and more. This event is free and takes place takes place at the Missouri History Museum

by The German American Committee of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, and the Missouri Germans Consortium.  For more information call 636-221-1524 or please visit one of our websites for more information

GermanAmerican Committee of St. Louis

Missouri Historical Society

MissouriGermans Consortium

history culture community