Give and Take

[Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, promotional letter]

A promotional letter from the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas

Individuals such as Valentine Hoch may have heard about emigration to Texas through a number of means. Early german settlers wrote about the favorable conditions in Texas and some of these writings ended up in German publications. To support this and lead those interested to the Adelsverein, the society also published promotional letters like the one to the left.

This document gives insight into many details of the process that prospective emigrants would have to go through in order to make it to Texas. It very clearly details both what was asked for from the individual and what would be provided by the society.

What was asked for:

A character reference and passport or emigration consensus.

Payment of transport and maintenance costs of 98 Rhenish florin or Rheingulden or 56 Thaler Prussian Kurant (about $1,120 today) per person, regardless of age.

A letter to the general agency in Mainz giving the names, residence, and ages of all family members as well as 10 gulden (about $114 today) security per head.

Signed contract regarding the granted land before sea crossing.

Vertrag [Contract of advance]

Contract from the Adelsverein for an advance of 81 gulden (about$1,021 today) to Johann Schafer to be paid or worked off

What was provided:

320 acres for every family and 160 acres for every single man seventeen and older.

Ships to Galveston and Indianola.

First accomodation at either Galveston and Indianola.

Transport wagons for women, children, and luggage all the way to New Braunfels.

Depots at the colony that hold “all supplies necessary for the livelihood of the immigrants until the next harvest, including food, farm equipment, and tools….These low priced items can be drawn from the depot upon payment.”

If a person had to wait more than 6 days at the place of embarkation after expected date of departure, the society would pay cost of living from the 7th day on.