Sometimes referred to as “the Dreamspinner” by the German government in 1830, today’s equivalent of “Fake News!” Duden was a man ahead of his time. He saw a need, wrote… Read more Gottfried Duden →
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There is something about fall weekends, with the cooler weather and the beautiful img_3657changing colors of the trees, that makes one want to get outside. And, if you love history, and the stories of the early German immigrants then you will want to visit Deutsch Country Days located on the Luxenhaus Farm (18055 State Highway O) near Marthasville, Missouri. The once-a-year living history that demonstrates the folkways and skills of the early Germans in Missouri is open for its’ 35th year on October 15 & 16th, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. You will find me on the front porch of the Huber Haus, which was built in the 1830s. I’ll be sharing the history of the farm, the Germans and the German Heritage Corridor.
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.
There were as many reasons to be an emigrant, as there were immigrants
To decide that conditions are no longer tolerable, and to sell everything you own, and say good-bye to all of your friends and family is not an easy decision. It is not one any one who has made a decision to emigrate, made very lightly. And besides the push, there has to be a pull from a place to be significantly sufficient. When Duden’s book is published, there are hundreds of similar books being published suggesting emigration to Russia, Brazil and England to name a few.
What makes you think of the German Heritage in Missouri? Missouri Germans Consortium has partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council to create Missouri’s German Heritage Corridor. MHC’s new Director Steve Belko is…
Everyone is an immigrant…
“like Friedrich Muench, who as “Far West” went on to write books about Missouri for Germans, urging them to emigrate.”