Alsace to Texas

This is a story of two emigrant families led by the Patriarch who, succumbing to the lure of large free tracts of land and at the urging of his grown children, sells his holdings in the former Duchy of Alsace Haut Rhin. With a majority of his large family he then journeys to the new Republic of Texas in America leaving their homeland in October 1843.

It follows their travels aboard a barge on the Rhone Canal to the great Rhine River and then north to its mouth in Belgium. Then they board a three masted Belgian Bark and sail into the North Sea, then south through the English Channel, and southwest across the wide North Atlantic to the Caribbean Sea. Their ship turns north in the Caribbean then passes through the Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico. Having crossed the Gulf of Mexico they land on the Texas coast at the port of Galveston in December 1843 during a cold heavy fog.

After staying a few days in that port they load all their possessions including wagons and sail north though Galveston Bay then up the Buffalo Bayou to Harrisburg/Houston a former Capital of the Republic of Texas. There they outfit for the trek to their destination, San Antonio de Bexar, that is finally reached over a month later in their wagons pulled by oxen in February 1844.

They live in San Antonio until February 1845 disappointed and disgusted. With new promises they journey to the Gulf of Mexico port of Carlshaven. Joining the German Immigration Company at that place they travel north along the east bank of the Guadalupe River to a new way station called the Comal Tract. The Comal Tract is their final destination, and they become the first founders of this way station that is named New Braunfels by a German Prince in the 28th State of the United States.

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Copyright © 2012 Edwin W. Mergele
Last Updated: August 22, 2012