St. Louis County Parks is co-sponsoring at the St. Louis County Library a new series of programs called We Are St.Louis where you can learn more about all of the different backgrounds that make St Louis so great – starting with the Germans!
During the 1830s, over 120,000 Germans emigrated to the United States. Over one-third of those emigrants chose the new State of Missouri to settle in, because of a small German book published in 1829, by Gottfried Duden. They soon settled along the hillsides of the Missouri River and counties of Saint Charles, Warren, Franklin and Gasconade. Soon Missouri’s ethnic composition would become predominately German, an important factor during the Civil War, considering that Missouri had entered the Union as a slave state. Missouri’s German heritage began with these early immigrants.
The reason? A small volume simply titled “A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America”. Duden wrote “I was of the opinion that the emigrants of Europe would have to direct themselves to those regions where the mass of natives is also seeking new homesteads. I also held the view that the Europeans had best take these natives as their models in the establishment of their new settlements.” In Germany Duden’s Report would become a best seller, and soon there would be several additional editions. It was what Germans needed, and definitely the right words at the right time. Shared in the wine gardens, discussed after church, pondered at family gatherings, and read to fellow passengers headed for Baltimore and New Orleans, the book inspired thousands.
Currently we are seeking any historical societies or museums with collections that share in this story! If you have an active organization, such as a Sister City in Germany, or maybe your Church’s social group, perhaps you can share that history? Time is closing and we don’t want to miss anyone!
The Missouri Humanities Council’s German Heritage Corridor connects all of those communities along scenic byways, showcasing German heritage and creating a corridor designed to increase tourism in the entire region. It will preserve Missouri’s German heritage as a designated scenic byway preserving it for future generations to enjoy. With this book, and other applications, the German Heritage Corridor help everyone learn what this rich heritage has brought our state. We applaud the Missouri Humanities Council and Missouri Life Magazine for their work. For more information visit GermanHeritageCorridor.com or Like German Heritage Corridor on Facebook!
Missouri is well-known for its German-American heritage, but the story of 19th-century German immigrant abolitionists is often neglected in discussions of the state’s history. German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri tells the story of what happened when idealistic German immigrants, many highly educated and devoted to the ideals of freedom and democracy, came to a pre-Civil War slave state.
Missouri Germans Consortium is a free online International association of everything German in Missouri, for those interested in the German heritage of Missouri. Our mission is to partner with organizations such as ours, preserve the culture, educate on the history, promote with programs and projects, while providing an open forum for the public to come together.
The only thing more German than an Oktoberfest is a celebration of German-American Day ! The Germans of St. Louis will celebrate their annual German-American Day (October 6) on Sunday, October 4th, from 1 – 4 p.m. inside its’ own beautiful St. Louis German Cultural Society Hall at 3652 Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis, MO 63118.
Achtung! German Heritage Night on August 8, 2015 at World Wide Technology Soccer Park, German Food, German Beer, German Music.Dirndls and Lederhosen encouraged.