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Texas Matters: A German's Journey In 1833 Texas



German immigration had a major impact on the settlement of early Texas. The settlers came in droves as they sought land and opportunity. Many of the immigrants caught the bug to come to Texas from reading a book about the opportunities, nature and landscape of the Texas frontier. It was "Journey to Texas, 1833" by a German immigrant to Texas, D. T. F. (Detlef Thomas Friedrich) Jordt, aka Detlef Dunt. The book 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.

This is the first English translation of the earliest German book about Texas and offers a unique portrait of colonial Texas on the eve of revolution and of the nascent German communities in Austin’s Colony.

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.

- See more at: http://www.utexaspress.com/index.php/books/dunt-journey-to-texas#sthash.aMNheSed.dpuf
"Journey to Texas, 1833" is translated by Anders Saustrup, edited and with an introduction by James C. Kearney and Geir Bentzen.

The book is published by the University of Texas Press.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi