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In 1834, a German immigrant to Texas, D. T. F. (Detlef Thomas Friedrich) Jordt, aka Detlef Dunt, published Reise nach Texas, a delightful little book that praised Texas as “a land which puts riches in [the immigrant’s] lap, which can bring happiness to thousands and to their descendants.” Dunt’s volume was the first one written by an on-the-ground observer to encourage German immigration to Texas, and it provides an unparalleled portrait of Austin’s Colony from the lower Brazos region and San Felipe to the Industry and Frelsburg areas, where Dunt resided with Friedrich Ernst and his family.

Journey to Texas, 1833 offers the first English translation of Reise nach Texas. It brings to vivid life the personalities, scenic landscapes, and customs that Dunt encountered in colonial Texas on the eve of revolution, along with his many practical suggestions for Germans who intended to emigrate. The editors’ introduction describes the social, political, and economic conditions that prompted Europeans to emigrate to Texas and provides biographical background on Dunt and his connection with Friedrich Ernst. Also included in the volume are a bibliography of German works about Texas and an interpretive essay discussing all of the early German literature about Texas and Dunt’s place within it. Expanding our knowledge of German immigration to Texas beyond the more fully documented Hill Country communities, Journey to Texas, 1833 also adds an important chapter to the story of pre-Revolutionary Texas by a sophisticated commentator.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477313503
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 507,706
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

The late Anders Saustrup was one of the foremost experts about German immigration to Texas in the 1800s. He served as Senior Editor of the Handbook of Texas, as well as a historical editor of James Michener’s novel Texas.

James C. Kearney has published two previous books, Nassau Plantation: The Evolution of a Texas German Slave Plantation and Friedrichsburg: A Novel, which won the Summerfield G. Roberts Award from the Sons of the Republic of Texas.

Geir Bentzen is an independent historian. This is his first book.

Table of Contents

An Introduction (James C. Kearney and Geir Bentzen)

Journey to Texas, including Information about This Country, for Germans Intending to Go to America (Detlef Dunt, translated by Anders Saustrup)



Departure from Oldenburg for New York by way of Bremerhaven, with Pertinent Observations. Report of a Letter from an Oldenburg Man in Texas. Description of New York, etc.

Departure from New York for New Orleans. Description of This City. Observation on the Most Essential Needs of the Colonist in Texas.

Travel from New Orleans to Brazoria in Texas. Staying There and at Varner’s Creek; Departure for San Felipe and Mill Creek. Observations Concerning These Localities.

Further Observations Concerning Texas. Report on the Most Essential Parts of the Colonization Law and the Constitutional Acts.

Some Observations Concerning the Quality of the Soil and the Procedures Followed in Agriculture and Horticulture.

The Author’s Return Trip to Germany.


Appendix 1: Louise Ernst Stöhr (Anders Saustrup)

Appendix 2: Caroline Ernst von Hinueber (Anders Saustrup)

Appendix 3: Wolters-Achenbach (Anders Saustrup)

Appendix 4: Nomenclature of Measures, Weights, Currency, and Other Terms of Designation (Anders Saustrup)

Early German Literature about Texas and Detlef Dunt’s Place in It: A Bibliographical Essay (James C. Kearney)

Chronological Bibliography of Nineteenth-Century German Works That Discuss or Mention Texas (James C. Kearney)

What People are Saying About This

James E. Crisp

"Dunt’s firsthand observations of German and other settlements in pre-Revolutionary Texas are extremely valuable, and made more so by his efforts to explain to Germans matters that might seem ordinary and thus literally unremarkable to North Americans."

Meredith McClain

"Vivid reports on everyday life in the first Texas settlements. . . . Texans specifically will find this documentation of the earliest years of development toward the Republic of Texas to be of interest. There is also a large population of German Texans . . . no longer conversant in German, who will welcome this publication. . . . Dunt’s book will take its place at the very beginning of the chronological list of similar works and will help us to understand the influence his reports on Texas, as well as his advice to the Germans planning to come to the area, really had."

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