Tag Archives: Krekel

Missouri’s Emancipation Proclamation

AN ORDINANCE ABOLISHING SLAVERY IN MISSOURI Be it ordained by People of the State of Missouri, in Convention assembled That hereafter, in this State, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; and all persons held to service or labor as slaves are hereby declared free.

One hundred and fifty four years ago today, Missouri freed their enslaved. The State’s constitution allowed slavery with the Missouri Compromise, as it gained statehood on August 10, 1821. Many would later reflect as this was the beginning of the “War between the States” otherwise known today as the Civil War.

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln would issue his famous Emancipation Proclamation, and the former enslaved would literally dance in the street. However, Lincoln’s Proclamation did not free those within the State of Missouri. And that would take a Constitutional Convention, of the elected officials of the State of Missouri, with a Representative from each county. That Convention convened on January 6, 1865 in St. Louis. On the opening day, the first order of business would be to elect a President to preside over this history making event, as the Convention had been called in order to deal with the issue of “Emancipation” for those enslaved.

They elected a German born immigrant, who had arrived in Missouri on November 1, 1832. His father had brought the family to America, because he had been told by his friend Gottfried Duden, about this wonderful place that was full of opportunity for a better life. Arnold’s mother died on the journey west to Missouri. Arnold would attend school in St. Charles, become an attorney, begin a German newspaper, found the town of O’Fallon, Missouri (named for his friend John O’Fallon, William Clark’s nephew, both of who were slave owners) and become a highly respected member of the Statehouse.

By the 10th of January, a new Ordinance had been written and laid upon the table to be read before the proceedings the next day. On January 11, the Convention dispensed with the rule that the new Ordinance must be read three separate times. The first reading was held, and the vote was 60-4. With three members not present. There was some discussion, and a few words were substituted but the essence of the motion remained the same. The second reading was held, and a highly respected Unitarian minister who was present to witness as a spectator, William Greenleaf Eliot offered a prayer for the proceedings. Drake had asked that the 44th Rule be suspended and that the Constitutional Amendment be adopted. And for the third and final reading, William G. Owens from Franklin County, called for the vote, and the issue was so adopted. From that moment forward, all of those who had been born enslaved, brought to Missouri to continue their enslavement, and any in the future, would be forever free.

Source: Journal of The Missouri State Convention, Held at the City of St. Louis January 6- April 10, 1865, Missouri Constitutional Convention

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December zeitung

Missouri Germans Consortium Newsletter  December 2018

Missouri Germans Consortium would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays! We invite you to the many wonderful programs that we and our friends have planned for next year.  As 2018 draws to a close, we are thankful for our many great friends, and appreciate all of those  who have blessed us this year. Please enjoy this year’s final newsletter, and feel free to share with your friends and family so that we may all enjoy and appreciate each other’s love of our rich history and heritage.

The Emancipation of Sage 

On Thursday, January 10, 2019 we invite you to join MGC and At the Mic with Bernice Bennett for Research at the National Archive and Beyond for her Blog Talk Radio show program  THE EMANCIPATION OF SAGE Use the Link in the Location to Listen ONLINE! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett

Background:   Imagine what it must have been like to have heard of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in January 1, 1863, only to be told that it did not mean you. It declared “that all persons held as slaves”within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of black military units among the Union forces. An estimated 180,000 African Americans went on to serve in the army, while another 18,000 served in the navy. This clearly made the Civil War about the issues of slavery.  Missouri’s identity for Statehood was based on slavery, with its’ residents from the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee bringing thousands. The Missouri Compromise, trying to bring balance, would allow one “slave” state to join the Union, to balance every “free” state. All it really did was postpone war.

In the 1830s German immigrants had begun flooding our state. Knowing it was a slave state, they had hope that it would change.  As thousands arrived from Germany, those fleeing the failed revolutions of 1848, would become vocal and involved in government.

Germans had fled a divided overpopulated famine ravished country and watched with fear as States seceded.  Slave owners were the same feudal aristocracy,who controlled the government with their wealth. Here, they saw freedom and Democracy, and the ability to throw off the yoke of kings.

In Missouri, Germans would purchase slaves to free them, hire them, and rent them from “hard” masters to give them a better life. German newspapers fueled the struggle and informed the public. When the government enacted laws to make it illegal to teach the slaves to read or write, Germans would find ways, carefully. Slave Patrols were created just as much to catch someone in the act of “aiding and abetting a slave” as they were to catch a fleeing slave. German homes became”stops” on the Underground Railroad with wine cellars becoming hidden rooms, and church pulpits covering trapdoors. With the call to form black military units, Germans would step forward to lead as officers. Those that could not serve, women and children, filled Contraband camps, protected as best as possible by the military or hidden away. Life was becoming volatile. Homes and families’ lives were threatened.

At the beginning of January 1865, Missouri would move to change this. Calling forth a Constitutional Convention in St. Louis, they elected a German born attorney named Arnold Krekel as President of the Convention. Arnold’s father Franz, a friend of the German writer Gottfried Duden, would be one of the first to arrive in the flood of immigrants, bringing his small family in 1832. Seventeen-year-old Arnold would study English, surveying and law. He would become a State Representative and begin St. Charles’ County’s first German newspaper. And then, he would be the first one to sign, Missouri’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 11, 1865, thereby freeing all the enslaved of the state.

Gitana Productions’ “The Face of Love” symposium will explore the remarkable shared history of African Americans and German immigrants in their quest for freedom

Gitana Productions, in collaboration with the Missouri German Consortium, will explore and celebrate the remarkable contributions of German immigrants to the abolition of slavery in Missouri at The Face of Love: Symposium on the Common History of German and African Americans. Historians, community leaders and artists will come together to discuss the shared African American and Missouri German history on Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the German Cultural Society’s Jefferson Hall at 3652 S. Jefferson Avenue. This event is free to the public.
Please register at www.gitana-inc.org.

Germans came to America in the 1800s seeking freedom from oppression in Prussia. Remarkably, many German immigrants in Missouri also fought to free oppressed African Americans. Using the lens of history, the symposium will bring to life what it means to strive for social justice for “others” while also advocating for one’s own cultural group.
The rich and shared history between Germans and African Americans in St. Louis isn’t widely known and we want to change that,” said Cecilia Nadal, executive director of Gitana Productions. “Many German immigrants, who often spoke no English, recognized that the hope for a growing democracy in America could only be realized if slavery was abolished. Often threatened and even run out of town by Missouri slaveholders, these men and women even started newspapers to spread their ideals for a color-blind democracy.”
The symposium also will explore the challenges created by contradictions in values and belief systems. While many German immigrants who settled in the Midwest before and after the Civil War staunchly defended freedom for slaves, some chose to set
aside those values to survive. Those tensions, with roots in the past, continue today within many American cultural groups.

KETC-TV “Living St. Louis” producer and reporter Ruth Ezell will moderate the symposium, with special guests Colonel John Hayden, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Police Commissioner, and Herbert Quelle, German Consul General.
Speakers include:
● Dr. Sydney Norton, assistant professor of German Studies at Saint Louis University and author of German Immigrant Abolitionists : Fighting for a Free Missouri
● Dorris Keeven-Franke, executive director of Missouri Germans Consortium and author of Missouri – Where the Sun of Freedom Shines in ” Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America ”
● Dr. John W. Wright, author of Discovering African American St. Louis – A Guide to Historic Sites
● Rev. Starsky Wilson, CEO and president of the Deaconess Foundation and social activist appointed in 2014 by Governor Jay Nixon to head the Ferguson Commission
Entertainment will be provided by the local German and African American communities.
In June, Gitana Productions also will present a provocative original play inspired by the amazing stories of remarkable German immigrants who became leading abolitionists in Missouri. The performances will be held Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 at Kranzberg Art Center.
For more information, visit http://www.gitana-inc.org or contact info@gitana-inc.org or 314-721-6556.
Partial funding and support for Gitana Productions are provided by the Missouri Humanities Council, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council. Additional co-sponsors include Saint Louis University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the African American Studies
Department.
ABOUT GITANA PRODUCTIONS
Gitana Productions, Inc. is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural awareness and collaboration using music, dance and drama in the St. Louis region. Gitana events present a rarely seen diversity of international and
local artists exhibiting an array of traditional and innovative artistic expressions. Gitana also developed Global Education through the Arts, a community project that uses the arts to promote intercultural competence between youth of diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit www.gitana-inc.org or contact Gitana Productions at (314) 721-6556.


MISSOURI GERMANS CONSORTIUM
eMail: missourigermans@gmail.com

Dorris Keeven-Franke, Executive Director

Life of a German Emigrant Family

In 1832, the Krekel family settled in the far southwestern corner of St. Charles County, in the Femme Osage Township, next to the border of Warren County. This community was dudenknown as Dutzow, where a village had been founded by the “Baron” Johann Wilhelm Bock which was named after his former estate in Germany. Bock had established his village on the southern edge of the farm of Gottfried Duden, an author who had published a book called “A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America” in 1829. Duden’s book was the impetus for a huge wave of migration from Germany to Missouri in the decade of the 1830s.

“Before leaving Europe my father had decided to settle in this neighborhood. A criminal Judge named Duden with whom my father was personally acquainted had come to America several years previous and wrote such favorable letters to Europe that my [father] thought well of this country” In sight of our home in Germany was the home of Carl Deus. Carl’s father was a brewer, distiller and coal merchant. The family was quite wealthy and of high social class. In the year 1832 when Carl’s father heard that our family intended going to America he asked my father to wait until ’34 when there was a colony coming over, but my father was of a disposition not inclined to subject himself to another’s dictation so came alone with his family. The Deus family consisted of himself and wife and three daughters…two sons…Peter and Carl. The family settled within a mile of our home and we children became playmates and later good friends. Many a Sunday afternoon did my sister Kathryn and myself spend with them playing “Hopfen Suchen” (Hide and Seek).”

In the summer of 1834, founders of the Giessen Emigration Society, Friedrich Muench

muenchs-haus1
Home of Friedrich Muench built in 1832

and Paul Follenius would settle their families in the Dutzow community as well, near the northern border of Gottfried Duden’s farm. Members of the Society would also settle in the St. Paul, Cottleville, and Hamburg communities. Nicholas Krekel would spend time on Friedrich Muench’s farm, working alongside other young men who had also recently immigrated.

“I never was strong and the hardships of pioneer life did not strengthen my in no way good

Nicholas Krekel
Nicholas Krekel

constitution. On account of the unlimited hospitality of people in those days and the very limited accommodations of the home at that time … [I] got the itch. I cannot describe the suffering I endured from it. After that I had the typhoid fever which left me very weak and blind for eleven months. During those months sister Kathryn dear faithful girl was my constant companion. Near our house was a ten acre field we had cleared during our first winter there. There were many stumps in it. I was put to plough it…”

“During the high water of June 1844 I was working for Steven Hancock who lived in Hancocks bottom in a double log house later owned by the Kunsels [Kuenzel] next to Anton Reuther’s farm. Before the water was at the highest point the stock and horses were in a pasture that was somewhat higher … than most of the farm. One morning when we got up we found the pasture under water the stock in the pasture were up to there [sic] neck in the water. Myself and Mr. Hancock’s son Dan rode in and drove them out, the fences at that time all made of rails were raised in the water and moving slowly up and down. As long as the “top rail” is still there it is safe but as soon as it is gone and the weight is lifted the fence will raise again and another rail go off, so in a short time the fence will be gone. We took the stock to a higher place near the river bank. Mr. Hancock went to Washington Mo to get one of the boats that would come down the river to take us to Washington. Five boats came by and all passed and gave no attention to our signals of distress. The water was up to our knees and young Hancock cryed [sic] fearing we would drown. Towards evening a boat came down the river named Wapella. It took us and all the stock to the other side.”

The flood of 1844 filled the river bottoms of the Missouri River where hundreds of German families had established homes. Today this is part of Missouri’s “German Heritage Corridor” as established by the Missouri Legislature on July 1, 2016.

images-4
Missouri River Valley

According to the History of St. Charles, Warren and Montgomery Counties Nicholas “was reared in this county and remained at home on the farm with his father until he was nearly approaching majority. He then went to St. Louis and was connected with the manufacture of shot at the shot-tower in that city, the first one established west of the Alleghenies, for some seven years. Meanwhile, however, the Mexican War having broken out, he enlisted for the service of his country under Gen. Price and served with conspicuous courage and fidelity until the triumphant close of that struggle. In 1856, still a young man, he located at O’Fallon, Mo., and built the first house that reared aloft its walls at this place.”

“Wilhelmina Moritz and Nicholas Krekel were married August 15, 1857 at St. Louis coming to O’Fallon Missouri shortly after, where I [Nicholas] had built a home, having come there on August 6, 1856 … Wilhelmina Louise Moritz was the oldest child and daughter of Casper and Sophie Moritz of Bielefeld, Westfalen Germany. She was born July 17, 1838 and came to America … by way of New Orleans. Her father and brother came … sooner by way of New York where Mrs. Moritz had a brother living at Buffalo….”

This is the “voice of Nicholas Krekel” and the story as told to his daughter Bertha BerthaKrekel. He was the founder of O’Fallon, Missouri, born in Germany on August 30, 1825 and emigrated with his family to America in 1832. The story was shared in his final years just shortly before his death. The journal has been graciously shared with me by a descendant, John Griesenauer. The author extends her utmost appreciation for allowing her to share this wonderful piece of family history. The home is the Nicholas Krekel home on Main Street of O’Fallon being renovated by Jason and Jessica Orf.

St. Charles County History

In 1832, the Krekel family settled in the far southwestern corner of St. Charles County, in the Femme Osage Township, next to the border of Warren County. This community was dudenknown as Dutzow, where a village had been founded by the “Baron” Johann Wilhelm Bock which was named after his former estate in Germany. Bock had established his village on the southern edge of the farm of Gottfried Duden, an author who had published a book called “A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America” in 1829. Duden’s book was the impetus for a huge wave of migration from Germany to Missouri in the decade of the 1830s.

“Before leaving Europe my father had decided to settle in this neighborhood. A criminal Judge named Duden with whom my father was personally acquainted had come to America several years previous and wrote such favorable…

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