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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 09:59 AM
Serbske Nowiny: 1855


January 13, p. 10-11: Ze Serbow: S Wukrancžiz; S Budyschina. Translated from Upper Sorbian by Gerald Stone.

From the land of the Wends

From Weigersdorf. Although we do not intend to say that the story of forgers of counterfeit money here, which appeared in no. 52 last year, is not true, we think it right to recall in greater detail what we have heard about this matter at that time. What we heard was like this – an outsider approached a local man named M. and pretended that he wanted to buy a farm somewhere. M. was known as man who sought to make money out of selling and buying farms. So he immediately showed the stranger several farms and they drove around here and there, but it never came to a sale, because the stranger everywhere made offers that were too low. Meanwhile he had got to know M. more closely and the latter came to trust him. Then the stranger admitted to M. that had robbed a church and that now he did not know how to dispose of the stolen pewter candlesticks. But he added that he would prefer to make counterfeit money from them and said he knew how to do it, but did not know where to do it. At that M. admitted that he had already had some experience in those arts and there was great joy that such a fine pair of brothers had found each other. M. also said a lot more then, but the stranger was in no hurry to take up counterfeiting. He wanted first to do some stealing and robbery. So M. (it is said) proposed making a night raid on the house of the squire of Weigersdorf, because M. was very hostile towards him. The stranger did not immediately commit himself, opining that there was plenty of time for that later. He recommended that they first burgle a church above Reichwalde, because they could make great gains there. M. agreed and went to Reichwalde with the stranger. There they went into an inn where the stranger bought a drink and so much drink that, as you might say, the table moved. It was not long before both men were drunk and began to make a terrible noise. No one was noisier than the stranger, so the local police arrived and took them both off to jail for riotous behavior.

But it was all a put up job. For M. was really drunk and they took him to Görlitz, where he discovered that he was being imprisoned for forging money. The stranger, however, was a disguised Berlin policeman, who now got into a coach with some other policemen and drove to Weigersdorf, where they all visited one of the inhabitants and immediately demanded from him without delay the molds/plates and false money he had. At first he said he knew nothing about it, but when the stranger revealed where it was all hidden, his heart fell and he submitted. The molds/plates and money were soon collected and the policemen returned with them and with their prisoner to Görlitz.

From Bautzen. Concerning the Wends who have gone to America, their Hamburg emigration agent announces that the reason why they did not travel directly to America from Hamburg was that they wanted to be all together on one ship. No Hamburg ship, however, was that big, so they went to England and there embarked on one ship all together; but then, as we now all know, they could move no further because of the cholera. The agent, moreover, greatly praises his superior agent and explains in emphatic words how well the emigrants were looked after, supplied with food, etc., and had this all confirmed by Rev. Kilian and other emigrants. He grumbles a lot too about what the Bautzen newspapers wrote about these unpleasant experiences of the emigrants. His grumbling, however, is misplaced, for the accusations of the Bautzen newspapers are true, while what he praises may also be true, so both sides are right.

Those of the emigrants that did not die set sail for America and intended to land at Galveston. We must wait for their imminent letters from there.—

We wish to add that after the Rev. Kilian’s departure a letter from Australia arrived here, in which Kilian receives a call to a pastor’s vacancy in Australia. Obviously, the call arrived too late.

February 10, p. 43-44: Australiski list by John Miertschin. Translated from Upper Sorbian by Gerald Stone.

An Australian letter*
from Jan Měrćin of Döhlen.

Portlandbay. 19 September 1854.In God’s name, my loved ones! Much health and happiness to you all! My desire is that my letter should find you all well. Although you have already received from the others a description of our journey, I want to add something to our story, because a lot has happened to me. My dear ones, no sooner had we arrived on the ship than my two children Handrik and Marka began to suffer from diarrhoea. I immediately called the doctor to help us, but it was all in vain. As soon as we reached the open sea we had a strong, speedy wind; so nearly all of us fell ill with sea-sickness. Of us it was the children, who first felt better, but then we all got better, while they grew weaker and weaker and Marka died on 14 October at 5 in the morning. Because it was very warm, her funeral had to carried out quickly. Her little body was wrapped in a white shroud and tied to a board. Everyone on the ship, Germans and Wends, came to the funeral and they were deeply moved. First, hymn no. 416 was sung “What God does etc.”, after which a German and Wendish address was given by Peter Dejka, after which hymn no. 490 “We shall bury the body etc.” was sung. Then the captain stepped forward, took off his cap and said a prayer, and two of the senior sailors slid the little body gently down into the water.

My wife and I now devoted every care to looking after our little son and we prayed to God to bring us alive to the land. But he grew weaker and weaker and on 26 October, the day of the foundation festival (Kirmess) of the Drehsa church, at 7 in the evening, he died. So the pre-funeral evening service was held by all the Wends; they sang hymns and closed with a prayer; the next day our Handrik, like his sister, was buried with a German and a Wendish address, and by singing hymn no. 434 “Now I have the dress etc.”.

Our journey otherwise was fortunate and we did not experience any great dangers. But we had a life without peace, for the sea is never at peace, so the ship was constantly rocking and swaying, and if you do not hold tight while you are eating, you spill everything. But the time passed, so you did not know one week from another. We spent two weeks near Glückstadt and were at sea for sixteen weeks, until on the Lord’s day in the evening we came to Adelaide.

My dear ones, do not be as silly as I was when I thought the sea was a kind of nasty liquid manure. The sea is so clean that you can see many yards into its depths and you feel an urge to taste it; but when you do so, it is salty, like salt water (continuation).

*This letter is written in Wendish and was sent by Jan Měrćin to his brother Handrij Měrćin in Hochkirch. The writer emigrated to Australia with Jan Swora. Editor.

February 17, p. 50-51: Continuation of Australiski list by John Miertschin.

An Australian letter
from Jan Měrćin of Döhlen

My loved ones, I promised you that I would write to you soon, but I did not like it. The others, it is true, said “When you have been here a while, you will change your tune!” but I still didn’t like it, so I kept putting off writing. – I heard that a letter had arrived for me in Portlandbay, when I had gone away inland. And because here it is not as in the Wendish land that a messenger brings your letter to your house, and I was no longer in the town, they put it in the English newspaper, a fact of which I was not to learn for some time and so they sent it back to Melbourne. I immediately wrote for it, but I did not get it, and then I made further efforts, but it has not come, although now already four months have passed. So, dear brothers and brother-in-law, do write to me again, as soon as you can. Let me know too how things stand in the German land, because I have heard from other letters that things are looking bad, what with the war there. – We are all still well and Hana has married; she has married Jan Ponich, who at Christmas 1853 came for her here to us in Portland. They intended to go to Eben-Ezer with us, but we did not like it there, because it is a very dry place and not good for cattle. We saw no green grass there and so we went to Portland. There we lived in a German’s house by the sea and spent 18 months with him. And because we could not get any land there, and where we could, we did not like it, we roamed here and there and came to an auction near Grenich, where some people bought [land]. But the land there was very dear, from 4 to 8 pounds sterling for an acre (a pound is almost 7 thalers), so we did not buy there. Four months later there was another auction near Mount Rous, 15 English miles away, and there we all bought 624 acres, all together, namely Holber, Schirman, Bjergaŕ, I, Šćepan and Hurban, and we paid 1 pound and nine shillings for an acre. Then we divided the land between us and Holber took 150, Schirman 104, Bjergaŕ 150, I took 178, Šćepan 20, and Hurban 10 acres. Our land is of such a kind that, though I have travelled far and wide, I have not seen so much grass. I, in particular, have a lot of pasture, because I have many stony hills with a plateau, where consequently water stands. This year I sowed 6 acres and turned over about 20 acres. When I left Portland, I bought 4 oxen for 60 pounds (420 thalers) and one cow for 7 pounds (49 thalers) with a calf, and she was due to have another calf soon. But she was stolen from us, or she ran away, but we still have the calf. So from November to September we were without cows, but now I have bought two cows for 9½ pounds each. Cattle and everything is very dear here; an ox costs 15 to 20 pounds (140 thalers), a cow from 10 to 15 pounds (105 thalers), a pound of butter from 3 to 5 shillings (1 thaler, 20 new silver groschen), a pound of meat 5 new silver groschen, and that is according to the shopkeeper’s scales. So we cannot feed ourselves any more like that and therefore I shall find a job, because the wages are good and I have a promise that, if I can get this job, I shall get a pound a day. Because we have been hit by a dry year, a bag of flour is from 5 to 8 pounds sterling (56 thalers). With God’s help this year, however, we shall have our first harvest and then we shall earn our own bread, so we hope our life in the future will be a lot easier. (Continuation)

February 29, p. 59-60: Continuation and conclusion of Australiski list by John Miertschin.

An Australian letter
from Jan Měrćin of Döhlen

We hold church services in summer and winter on Sunday morning and afternoon, and also an evening prayer-hour on Tuesdays and Fridays, but the minister comes to us only once every third Sunday to Gnadenthal (as our place is called). On the other two Sundays one of us holds the service, who is appointed for that purpose.

With haulage (with the outer farm) things are very bad in Australia and that is the main reason why I don’t like it here. In spring, when there is grass and water, the roads are completely useless, and later, when the roads begin to become decent, it is not long before there is little water and grass, so the oxen may be left sometimes for several days without fodder and someone has to keep watch at night. But now there is a hope that no one will have to travel who does not want to, because we shall have a mohn*; and then, if I go somewhere, I shall have food for the cattle.

My dear ones, if things in the German land are really very bad and one or the other of you intends to follow me by emigrating, write to me soon, because I still have enough land for one; but I am not inviting anyone; because, if you did not like it, you would say it was my fault. – Yet you will ask why did Měrćin wait so long before he bought himself a bit of land? To that I answer: I went looking for a job, because I did not have one, and my wife took in washing and earned 4 shillings a day and food, and the children worked as servants. Then I was with Jan for three months in the gold fields, but I did not earn much, because I spent a hundred thalers and sold my gold for two hundred thalers. When I left the house of the German in Portland, the three of us, Holber, Hurban, and I lived together, and we paid 10 shillings (3 thalers, 10 new silver groschen) for our lodgings. –

*What ‘mohn’ is supposed to mean, we do not know. It cannot mean ‘poppies’ otherwise Měrćin would have used the Wendish word. Perhaps it means some kind of grass, so we intend to ask Höhn about it. Perhaps he can explain this matter for us. Ed.

You can see, my dear ones, how much I have travelled around in Australia; the road to the gold fields took me 180 miles away, and before that, in southern Australia, I travelled many miles before coming to Portland; nowhere, however, have I met more decent people than the Silesians; they are the best Christians. Otherwise, there are many sects and opinions, just as many as in Germany and each of them wants to be better than the next.

As for schools, things are very bad here; we have no school and so our Jan could not be prepared for confirmation, but next year I intend to send him to Grenich where Schurman teaches, so that he can learn something there. (Conclusion to follow.).

March 3, p. 67: Continuation of Australiski list by John Miertschin.

An Australian letter
from Jan Měrćin of Döhlen.

My dear ones, when I was about to close my letter, a letter came from Holber’s father in Rachlau and from it I learned that my parents had both died 11 days earlier, which made me very sad. And if you are so afraid of war that you decide to emigrate, do not go anywhere except to me in Gnadenthal in Mount Rous; you won’t find a nicer spot, where so much grass grows, and I also hope that wheat will grow here. Wherever I have been, I have not found a place I liked so much as Gnadenthal and the reason is because there is such fine pasture here and good water and plenty of it, for near Adelaide there was little water, and it was still green but not everywhere, and then there was very little land there for a Wendish parish; but here there are many hundreds of acres of good land which is now being sold.

You see, there is no abiding place on earth, not even here in Australia. Everyone has brought his wicked heart here with him, and therefore we must struggle with that. If any more of you intend to come here and you have little children, buy sugary cracknell and biscuits, because there is no food on the ship for children. And also for yourself plenty of vinegar and some rum, and also onions; plenty of tobacco, either for smoking or as snuff; and also bring warm clothes, dearskin trousers and woollen stockings and a lot of short boots and long boots too. Also bring hemp seeds, because the cobblers here sew with yarn and cotton. – Dear brother, do write to me what Höhne is doing and whether he is no longer afraid in Germany, and what Kurecża is saying now or Mětaš in Rachlau. – Many good wishes to you all and especially to Rev. Möhn, and say we often think of him and speak of him. And many good wishes to you from my wife and children. Especially good wishes to Jan Bjar in Döhlen and ask him to send me a few lines and tell me what he is doing and generally how things are going in Döhlen; for we always talk about our good neighbours, whose company I would gladly share today as well, but that is all far off.

My address is (and it must be written in Latin letters):
An J. Mjertschin in Hochkirch, bei Ramitthon in Portlandbay, Victoria, Australia.

Written 19 September 1854. Jan Mjercżin.

March 24, p. 91-92: List s Texasa. You can see the English translation of the letter by Mrs. Mathilde Helas at 034.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

April 7, p. 108: Druhi list s Texasa w Amerizy.

A second letter from Texas in America.

In the Berlin newspapers of 15 March there is printed a letter from Texas, which we here bring to your attention, because it also mentions Wendish emigrants. This is what it says:
Texas (Austin County) Charlottenruh, 13 January 1855. All our emigration ships from Hamburg and Bremen last year arrived safely in Galveston harbor and for many emigrants a very difficult time is beginning. Of the 500 Wends who traveled with a doctor and a priest intending to found a village in my neighborhood, a hundred had died by the beginning of this month, partly at sea and partly while travelling in America. A group of the poorest has stayed in Houston and many of them are bound to die there of yellow fever in the coming year; another group has set out for the interior to look for work there with the farmers (peasants); but the wealthy ones intend to try to found a village near Bastrop.

Like the Wends, a Polish priest named Mozigęba intended to found a colony in Texas. He was joined by a lot of Poles from Upper Silesia and, although some Germans in San Antonio who spoke Polish tried earnestly to dissuade them, they would not be dissuaded. But after a time their unity failed and they are returning to Antonio town and warning those who followed after them, not to join Mozigęba, because with him there is nothing but misery.

I wish further to mention that in Galveston, Houston, and other coastal towns in Texas every year one sixth of the population dies of yellow fever and that affects mainly those who have just arrived and let themselves be persuaded to stay in those towns. Texas is a fine country, but fever and diarrhea kill an awful lot of people there.

April 28, p. 131: Ze Serbow: S Wukrancžicy; S Budyschina; S Budyschina.

From the land of the Wends.

From Weigersdorf. Last Sunday 22 April a certain Mr Gumbach [Gumlich], a born German, as we hear, from the Torgau region, was inducted as minister in Weigersdorf in place of the former priest Kilian. He intends to learn Wendish later. The parish here has been forced to appoint a German minister because no Wendish candidate could be found who might have been willing to accept Kilian’s post.

From Bautzen. From Australian letters we learn that a new parish has been founded in Eben Ezer in Australia by Wendish emigrants, which has fallen away from the Evangelical Lutheran church and is teaching the millenium and the second coming of all things, and has appointed Jan Swora from Drehsa as its pastor. Many of the people who belong to this parish traveled away from us because, to their way of thinking, in our land the pure Christian doctrine was no longer being taught in the churches and schools. What they understood by Christian doctrine we now see openly.

From Bautzen. The second stone knight “Dučman,“ of which the Nowiny brought us a story a week ago, represented, according to other accounts, the first Margrave of Lusatia, who was called “Gero.” To what extent this story has a better historical basis, we do not know; but we wish to mention that the name Dučman remains obscure to us. The same story, which seems to have been taken from the book “A. Böhland, Chronik der Sechsstadt Budissin” p. 139, tells further that this statue was once made in Dresden by the sculptor Walter and cost a total of 65 thalers, 2 silver groschen and 4 new [... ?]. However that may be, we now know that the council has decided to set Dučman back on his feet and this time in front of the council tower, and in this way Dučman will remain, as formerly, our Dučman. w.

May 12, p. 147: Ze Serbow: S pola.

From the Wendish land.

From the plain. Rev. Kilian has sent here a long letter from America and, moreover, added the names of all the emigrants who died on the way to that country. In all, there are 81 of them. We intend to have their names published in Serbske Nowiny, so that the relatives of those that emigrated can discover who is alive and who died.

May 26, p. 163-164: Gemrecži amerikanszy wucžahowarjo.

The dead American emigrants.

Rev. Kilian has sent a very long letter from America and we shall in the future publish various extracts from it. First, we give a list of the dead emigrants. Of them in total 81 died on the journey, namely:

1. Marja Madlena, second legitimate daughter of Eduard Neumann of Weigersdorf, 2¾ years old, died of cholera on 19 September 1854 in Liverpool.
2. Jan Kiesling of Weigersdorf, 67 years, died of cholera in Queenstown harbor on the ship Elisa on 17 October 1854.
3. Hana, his wife, 57 years, died there too on 18 October.
4. Marja, wife of Jan Korla Teinert of Dauban, 38 years, died of cholera on the way from Ireland to Galveston, 27 November.
5. Jan, legitimate only son of Jan Kerk of Dauban, died in America of cholera on the way from Houston to New Ulm on 4 January 1855, and was buried by Rev. Kilian with a funeral sermon in the desert between the River Bazos and the town of San-Felipe.
6. Matthej Schato, called Mrósko, of Jahmen, 52 years, died of cholera in Liverpool on 22 September 1854 in a hospital there.
7. Rosina, wife of the same, 53¾ years, died there too of cholera on 18 September.
8. Hana, their legitimate only deaf and dumb daughter, died of heart disease on 16 September; (the only surviving son Jan is well and in Texas).
9. Hana Kruparjowa-Holina of Jahmen, a widow, 57 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 5 October in Queenstown harbor.
10. Hana, wife of Jan Bartl-Mertynk of Domswald [Thomaswalde] (and sister of Jan Krupar-Hola), 28 years old, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 4 October.
11. Jan, legitimate elder son of the parents just mentioned, 3 years old, died on the way from Liverpool to Queenstown on 27 September.
12. Matthej, younger son of the couple just mentioned, 1¼ years, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 11 October.
13. Jan Bartel-Mertynk of Domswald [Thomaswalde], retired, 74 years, died of cholera on the way from Liverpool, 27 September.
14. Jan Schato of Klitten, 29 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis, 30 September.
15. Hana Schatowa, his wife, died on the way from Liverpool.
16. Matthej, legitimate elder son of Jan Schato of Klitten, 8 years, died of cholera in a Liverpool hospital on 22 September.
17. Jan, younger son of Jan Schato of Klitten, 6 years, died of cholera on the way from Liverpool to Queenstown on 27 September.
18. Hana, legitimate only daughter of Jan Schato of Klitten, 1 year, died of cholera in a Liverpool hospital on 25 September (thus died the entire Schato family of Klitten).
19. Jan, legitimate only son of Khrystof Schato of Reichwalde, 4¾ years, died of cholera on the way from Queenstown to Galveston, 3 November.
20. Rosina Iseltowa, a widow, of Klitten, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 15 October.
21. [20 repeated] Hana, illegitimate daughter of Hana Matkez of Klitten, 6¾ years, died of cholera in Queenstown harbor on 4 October.
22. Khrystof Krupar-Hola of Jahmen (brother of Jan K., smallholder), 20 years, died on the ship Ben Nevis near Queenstown on 30 September.
23. Jan Schelnik of Dürrbach (brother of Schelnik, owner of a half hide of land), about 20 years old, died of cholera on the way to Queenstown on 28 September.
24. Matthej, legitimate younger son of Matthej Schelnik of Dürrbach, owner of a half hide, died, aged 6, of cholera in a Liverpool hospital on 23 September.
25. Marja, legitimate only daughter of the Schelnik just mentioned, 2 years old, died on the way from Queenstown to Galveston on 14 November
(to be continued).

June 2, p. 171-173: Continuation and conclusion of Gemrecži amerikanszy wucžahowarjo.

Dead American emigrants (continued)

Further among those who went to America with Rev. Kilian and have died are:

26. Rosina, legitimate third daughter of Jan Cžornak of Dürrbach, 4 years, died of cholera on the ship Elisa, provided for the sick, on 8 October.
27. Hanža, legitimate younger daughter of J. Cžornak, 2 years, died of cholera on 23 October just as we were leaving Queenstown.
28. Jan, legitimate younger son of Handrij Lowka of Reichwalde, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 10 October.
29. Hana Lorencžkez, unmarried, of Reichwalde, 39 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 5 October.
30. Hilžbeta, wife of G. Trinks of Sofijny Doł [Sophiental], near Muskau, 60 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 2 October.
31. Madlena Kaschparikowa [Kaspar] of Nowa Wjes (Neudorf) near Spremberg, a widow, died on the way from Queenstown to Galveston on 10 November.
32. August Hermann, legitimate younger son of Ernst Rychtar, bricklayer, of Mengelsdorf, 2 years, died of measles on the way to Galveston on 12 November.
33. Karolina Berta, only legitimate daughter of Korla Dunzer, master carpenter, of Muskau, 1¾ years, died of cholera in a Liverpool hospital on 22 September.
34. Jan Pawoł, legitimate son of J.G. Kohla of Muskau, 2 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 30 September.
35. Mattej Schołta [Schultz], formerly owner of a smallholding in Wunscha, 47 years, died of typhus in Hamburg on 10 September.
36. Mattej, legitimate second son of the last named, 11¾ years, died of cholera on the way from Queenstown to Galveston on 20 November,
37. Hana, baby daughter of Marja Kaschprowa [Kasper] of Groß Radisch, died, only a few hours old, on the way to Galveston on 6 December.
38. Marja, illegitimate elder daughter of Marja Kaschprowa, 2 years old, died in America near Rabbs Creek, from a swelling following measles in January 1855.
39. Korla August, legitimate only son of the last miller in Brusy [Prauske], Jan Dub of Kortitzmühle near Geierswalde, 1-year-old, died of cholera on 12 October near Queenstown.
40. Jan Ernst, legitimate younger son of Khrystof Wünscha of Weissenberg, 8 years old, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 10 October.
41. Handrij, legitimate eldest son of the clockmaker Jan Janasch of Weissenberg, died of cholera while in the Gulf of Mexico on 12 December.
42. August, legitimate second son of the clockmaker Janasch, 9 years, died of cholera on 10 December.
43. Emil, legitimate youngest son of clockmaker Janasch, 2 years old, died of cholera on 11 December.
44. Ernst, legitimate third son of clockmaker Janasch, 4 years old, died on 15 December as we were transferring from our ship the Ben Nevis to the steamer near Galveston, so that we could reach that town. In the uproar of that procedure the little boy died and might have brought us into quarantine* if they had not secretly carried his body back onto the ship Ben Nevis; there it was later released into the sea.
45. Handrij Mjercžin [Miertschin] of Särka, 45 years, died of cholera on 28 September on the way from Liverpool.
46. Hana, his wife, 45 years, died of cholera on 29 September.
47. Khrystiana, the wife of young Jan Mjercžin, died of cholera on the ship Inconstant on 10 October.
48. August, the young son of Jan Mjercžin, born earlier in Saxony, died on 6 October of exhaustion.
49. August, legitimate only son of Jan Neitsch of Särka, 2 years old, died on 6 October.
50. Michał Dub of Rodewitz, 47 years, died of cholera on 29 September on the way from Liverpool.
51. Marja, his poor daughter, 7 years, died of a swelling near Houston in America on 22 December.
52. Marja, illegitimate daughter of Hanža Rycžerez [Ritter] of Rodewitz, 2 years old, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 11 September [October].
53. Handrij Pilak of Rodewitz, 56 years, died of cholera on 30 September.
54. Hana, illegitimate daughter of Madlena Pilakez, 1 year, died of cholera on 7 October in a Liverpool hospital.
55. Jan Bohuwjer Jeschka of Weicha, 41 years, died of cholera on the ship Ben Nevis on 1 October.
56. August, his son (a twin), 3 years, died on the way from Queenstown on 12 November.
57. Jan Ernst, his other twin son, died in a Liverpool hospital on 23 September.
58. Madlena, wife of Jan Nowak of Gröditz, died of consumption, aged 42, on 22 October.
59. Handrij, legitimate younger son of Ernst Adolf Mierwa of Klix, aged 5, died on the way from Queenstown to Galveston of cholera on 7 November.
60. Marja, his legitimate only daughter, 2 years, died of measles on 9 November.
61. Hana, wife of Ferdinand Mierwa of Nowa Wjes (Neudorf/Naundorf?) near Guttau, 26 years old, died of cholera on the way from Queenstown to Galveston on 30 November.
62. Hańža, wife of Pjetr Pampl of Wartha, died of cholera in Liverpool on 21 September.
63. Korla Hendrich, his legitimate son, 12 years, died of cholera in Liverpool on 21 September.
64. Hańža, wife of Jan Pampl of Särka, died of cholera on the way from Queenstown on 21 November.
65. Jan August, legitimate son of Handrij Bjetnar [Buettner] of Wartha died of cholera on 19 October on the ship Elisa.
66. Madlena, legitimate daughter of Jurij Falka of Wartha, born on the ship, died on 22 September.
67. Augusta, legitimate daughter of Michał Nowak, locksmith of Wartha, 2 years, died on 16 November.
68. August, legitimate son of Jan Nowak of Wartha, 7 years, died of cholera in Liverpool on 19 September.
69. Handrij, his legitimate younger son, 2 years, died on 27 October.
70. Madlena, wife of Michał Kurecž [Kurio] of Wurschen, 32 years, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 9 October.
71. Handrij, his legitimate younger son, died of cholera on 5 October.
72. Jan Hurban, retired, of Kubschütz, 67 years, died of cholera on the ship Elisa on 10 October.
73. Ernst, legitimate son of Handrij Hurban, stonemason, of Kubschütz, died of cholera, 2 years old, in Liverpool on 22 September.
74. Jan, legitimate son of Handrij Symank of Malschwitz, 6 years, died of cholera on 30 September.
75. Hana, wife of Pjetr Brytscha [Peter Fritzsche] of Dubraucke, 38 years, died of cholera on 6 December.
76. Pjetr, his legitimate son, born on the way from Hamburg to Liverpool, died in America on 25 December.
77. Hana, his legitimate daughter, 6 years, died on 2 October.
78. and 79. Hana and Marja, twin daughters if Jurij Bórn, born on the steamer between Galveston and Houston, died in Houston of exhaustion.
80. The youngest daughter of Madlena Janaschowa, born in Houston, also died in Houston.
81. Jan Brytscha [Fritsche]of Brezynka [Briesing] died of cholera on 5 October.

Editor’s note: In future numbers of Serbske Nowiny we shall publish extracts from Rev. Kilian’s letter, in which he describes the whole journey and experiences of the emigrants and how they are getting on now in America.

*Quarantine means the time someone must spend in isolation, who comes from a country or a ship, where an infectious disease is prevalent. This period lasts, at most, 40 days (French quarante); that is why it is called quarantine.

June 9, p. 180-181: List s ameriki by Rev Jan Kilian. You can see the English translation of this letter at 035.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

June 16, p. 189-190: Continuation of List s ameriki by Rev Jan Kilian. You can see the English translation of this letter at 035.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

June 23, p. 197: Continuation of List s ameriki by Rev Jan Kilian. You can see the English translation of this letter at 035.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

June 30, p. 204-205: Continuation and conclusion of List s ameriki by Rev Jan Kilian. You can see the English translation of this letter at 035.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

July 7, p. 212-213: Druhi list s ameriki by F. G. Seydler and others. You can see the English translation of this letter at 036.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

July 14, p. 220: Continuation and conclusion of Druhi list s ameriki by F. G. Seydler and others. You can see the English translation of this letter at 036.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

July 14, p. 223: Wucžahowanje.

October 20, p. 333-334: Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misner.

Klitten, 1 October 1855. – Dear Uncle, because I promised to give you an account of my American journey, permit me now to describe the same to you in accordance with my diary.

On 25 April this year I set out from my family home on a journey to much desired America in the hope that it would be a long time before I returned to Germany. But my hopes were dashed, because I had had a totally different opinion of America and I did not find there what I had expected. I reached Bremen on 30 April and in the railway station there there were many restaurant owners enticing emigrants, promising them cheap food and lodging, which in fact turned out to be dear. So it is a good idea if emigrants on arrival in Bremen go immediately to the emigration bureau, where they can always get all necessary advice. The next day I went to Bremerhafen, where I saw the first big, sea-going ships. Here every emigrant should go to the great emigration hall, where he can live decently and cheaply and get good advice at no charge.

We left Bremerhafen on 2 May on the ship E. M. Arndt, commanded by Captain Rust and within six hours the shores of Germany could be seen no longer. – During the first days things were very lively and for a time, when it was not very windy, there was dancing. Many ships could be seen coming and going on all sides. Our sixth day at sea was the most frightening of the whole voyage, because at 9 o’clock in the evening a fearful wind overtook us, which turned our ship onto its left side, so that waves of terrifying power covered the deck and threatened to consume us. That put all the passengers in a state of the greatest fear and a fearful crying arose and many began to beg God for help. Yet after three hours the terrible wind passed. On the same day we emerged from the narrow sea between England and France, which is called the channel La Manche, into the broad Atlantic Ocean.

That frightening day made all the passengers rather sad, which passed, however, once we became accustomed to the rocking of the ship. – In the Atlantic Ocean there were many big fish to be seen, which helped to pass much of our time, but I shall mention only the so-called hogfish, which are constantly pursued by the other big fish. These fish are very much like pigs and have good meat. Two of them were caught and the cook made excellent steaks from them. As we came near to America we saw two sharks, which sometimes opened their horrible mouths at us, which was enough to make anyone fear them. But before long they disappeared into the depths of the sea. Then we saw also several sunfish and many dolphins, which were distinguished by their beautiful blue color. A dolphin was caught and he was incredibly strong.

No day passed without seeing at least one other ship, until after 42 days we noticed an increase in their number, which was a sign that we were close to the shores of America. And on the 43rd day, 5 June, a pilot came who showed us the long-awaited America. The joy and happiness of the passengers, of whom there were 248 on board, was so very great that many of them wept with joy, recalling the fear they had experienced and the plight they had suffered. The closer we came to the shore, the more beautifully the lighthouses shone, which all looked very pretty. At 11 o’clock at night the ship docked in New York outer harbor and looking at this fine town, we decided to forego sleep and waited impatiently for the morning. It is impossible to describe how beautiful it was, when in the morning the sun shone its light on the glorious New York landscape and on Long Island. This island was like a great garden with elegant joyful houses and hotels, while steamers were endlessly passing here and there from New York. – Early in the morning there came towards us a huge crowd of ronners (worthless deceitful people), who made great efforts to entice people away. Three individuals let themselves be persuaded, but returned after a few hours to the ship but without their property, which had been stolen. These ronners also knew the names of many of our emigrants and called to them by name, saying that they had been sent by their friends to meet them: which was pure falsehood. They know the names of the emigrants, because they get their accomplices to write to them from Bremen. It is shameful that these ronners are mostly Germans, and therefore the Americans do not think much of the Germans. – I advise everyone who comes to New York to go immediately to the immigration bureau, where they will explain everything in a friendly way to anyone.
(to be continued).

October 27, p. 340-341: Continuation of Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misnar (continued).

On arriving in New York I stayed with my friend L. Domschka for three days in that town and I had a look at the most prominent buildings, such as the crystal palace, the museum, the council house (city hall), the house of the Bible Society, and some big factories, etc. I wanted a job as a commercial traveler, but I could not find one, although I made every possible effort, and my friend, who is a carpenter, could not find anything either, so there was nothing for it but for both of us to make our way further into the interior. In New York at that time there were over 700 commercial travelers without jobs. Otherwise, there were many things that pleased us greatly and I recall first of all the carriages, which were built in a much more passenger-friendly style than at home. The great omnibus carriages travel along iron rails, but are drawn by horses from one end of the town to the other and you pay 6 cents for a certain part of the route. Cabs are made mostly for 10 people, but omnibuses for between 30 and 60 and they both go only along certain streets, which are written on each carriage. The New York water supply is worth mentioning. In front of every house you can see two iron pipes, about one ell in height, from which, when opened, water pours under pressure (perhaps like the one in front of the Bautzen department store. Editor). This water is also used to clean the street. But despite all the wonderful things to be found here, there is a lack of that neighborly, friendly manner, which you find in your homeland. Here everyone is only chasing after riches; nobody pays any attention to anything else.

From New York we went by the Erie Railway to Buffalo. The carriages traveled with a terrifying speed and this mode of transport seemed to me more dangerous than that previously on the ship, in which I had crossed the sea. Yet it was very cheap on the railway, because each passenger needed to pay only 7 dollars to Buffalo. But along the whole railway line there was not a single guard or watchman to be seen and with our train there were only two locomotive drivers and then one single conductor who asked the passengers for their tickets. – This journey lasted one night and two days and was very boring, for all you could see was a farmer here and there with his miserable house. Also you could see that the bit of land that he had around his house must have cost him great effort, because he had been obliged to produce it from the forest. These fields were sown mainly with rye and maize and planted with potatoes. A little further from the house was a pasture, where the livestock grazes day and night and only in the winter comes under cover. The two of us went only as far as the famous waterfall which is called Niagara and it is really worth the effort to have a look at it. Nearby there is a big, long iron bridge across the River Mississippi, and above it and below steamers are sailing. (To be continued).

November 3, p. 348-349: Continuation of Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misnar (continued).

The land around Niagara Falls was very fertile, but before it was ready to be sown it had cost a lot of effort and terribly hard work. The forest here consists of oaks, maples, acacias, and other hardwoods, but it is scarcely possible to describe how wild it still is. You see, one tree is lying across another and between them further trees are growing and they stand so thickly that it is dangerous to go into the forest, because you can easily get lost there and die of starvation. If someone wants to create an arable field there, he first burns the forest and that has the advantage that the ash becomes a fertilizer. The trees do not burn away completely, but only their branches, and so they stand, burnt on the outside like chimneys. We found many fields of this kind, where these burnt trees were still standing. Among them the farmer (peasant) plants his wheat, rye, maize, and potatoes. After a time no doubt these trees disintegrate into powder, but we also found places where the farmers had moved away, because this method caused them so much effort.

From Buffalo we traveled on by railway through Dunkirch, Erie, and Cleveland to Sandusky in Ohio, where we did not stay long, because yellow fever was killing a lot of people. So we traveled by steamer to Milwaukee, where I liked it very well, because the land there was so fertile. Here we stopped for several days to see if we could find work. But we could find nothing suitable and therefore decided to take jobs with a farmer who was prepared to pay us 1 dollar a day and free board and lodging. This farmer sent us with two other laborers onto his land, where these two and my friend Domschka reaped the corn with sickles, while I bound it into small sheaves. After half an hour my friend expressed the opinion that it would be better if we stopped, and, because I had the same thoughts, we soon stopped. The great heat, burning our backs beyond what was bearable, was really the main reason why we stopped work so soon. After working for half an hour we went back to the town, where we spent two days and mainly went sight-seeing. The surroundings were very beautiful.

From Milwaukee we went to Dearborn in Illinois, where we stayed for a whole week with farmer Weber. It was with his uncle that we had traveled to America and with him we went on a tour of the whole country nearby, which because of its fertility was among the finest we had seen. From this farmer too we were able to receive many answers to our questions about agriculture and other matters. He gave us true answers to all our questions and had a great fund of knowledge, for he had already been in America for 15 years. He said that there he had to pay almost more taxes than he would have paid in Europe. He had to pay annually for 1 horse 1 dollar (1 thaler and 12 new silver groschen) and for one cart (carriage) the same amount. For one head of cattle 6 shillings (1 dollar has 8 shillings) and for every acre of land according to its fertility. In that region many people had settled who had previously been in Texas, but could not endure it there any longer on account of the great heat and the dreadful flies and creatures. They had moved to this more northerly region also because in Texas our potatoes, as well as our rye and wheat will not grow, but only maize and so-called sweet potatoes. But the latter did not taste right and the same was true of the maize.

From Dearborn we traveled by steamer to Jefferson in Missouri, but there yellow fever was raging fiercely, so we were obliged to leave that place. The heat there was so great that it was like living in a hothouse. The comparison is also appropriate because here in the fields the finest flowers grow and in the forests everything looked like a garden. Here for the first time I ate the aforementioned sweet potatoes, but they taste disgustingly sweet, so that they cannot be compared at all to our potatoes. They were as big as a kohlrabi. Here too I found mostly maize in the fields, but little rye or wheat, which is much inferior to that in Ohio. (To be continued).

November 10, p. 357-358: Continuation of Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misnar.

From Dearborn we returned to New York by way of Cincinatti and Philadelphia. All the farmers (peasants) to whom we spoke considered that in time taxes in America will be still higher. I was convinced that this year’s harvest there was very good; last year’s, however, had been very bad. But no one should think that things grow there without effort, because the farmer who leaves his fields without manure for several years will discover that he must provide it if expects to get a good harvest. Moreover, he has a lot of trouble selling his crops, because he has to send them a long distance and usually along poor roads. Moreover, he must pay his laborers well, for a good laborer at harvest time can make 1 dollar a day (1 thaler 12 new silver groschen); at other times only 6 shillings (1 thaler). For these wages, however, he must work from sunrise to sunset in the rays of the burning sun, with the exception only of one hour from 12 noon to 1 o’clock.

Carpenters and bricklayers get from 2 to 2½ dollars and can always find work in the towns, but food everywhere is very dear. Breakfast, lunch, and supper cost 6 shillings, and a night’s lodging 2 shillings, so for that alone you have to pay 1 thaler 12 new silver groschen daily. Even though a worker has a higher wage than in Europe, he also has greater expenses. For breakfast you usually get meat, coffee, and bread made from maize, or else rye or wheat bread, but that is rare; for lunch there is meat and boiled vegetables, and for supper meat and tea. Clothing too is very dear, but the most expensive thing is fruit, so for 1 pear or 1 apple you must pay two cents (1 new silver groschen). The fruit trees there do not bear such fine fruit as in Europe, for which reason a great deal of fruit is exported to America for sale there.

The houses in the towns are built mainly following European fashion, but farmers’ or peasants’ houses are made of wood with one room and bedroom, very often without floorboards. The roof is of straw, sometimes also with boards. You rarely see a stove, because farmers do their cooking outside the house in a cauldron hanging on a pole. Yet among the richer farmers you may find better houses; they are still made of wood, but better finished and polished and for that reason very dear. (To be continued.)

November 17, p. 363-364: Continuation of Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misnar.

Consequently, when you arrive in America from Europe, you must overcome many inconveniences before you begin to feel even slightly comfortable there. You will be tormented by mosquitoes there, but bigger ones than ours. They attack people and cattle in great numbers and sting horribly, so you get very painful blisters, when they sting you. Also, there are incredible quantities of bugs there and what sort of guests these are my readers probably already know. There are several kinds of snake in America, but in the southern states they are more dangerous than in the north.

For somebody who is not used to that kind of thing and is forced to get used to various wild American ways it is very difficult to fit in here.

The situation with schools in America is very miserable, because no one needs to send his children to school and often there is no school or church for miles around. So it is no wonder that there are many young people there who know nothing of God and have no school education.

Church affairs too are in a miserable state and nowhere will you find more factions or parties than in America. These have often come into being only on account of some superficial matter and are the cause of constant disputes.

One Sunday we went to Sandusky to a service in a Protestant church there. On arrival, however, we saw that first of all there was teaching for the children. When it had finished the teacher went into the choir, where a very small organ was standing, and played some pieces of music on it, while the church gradually filled with worshipers. When he had tried that, he left the organ, on which another man then began to play, but he could not play much. The first one then, with a certain dignity, came down the steps and dressed himself in front of all the worshipers in a clergyman’s vestments, then walked here and there in the church while the singing continued. This seemed very strange to us. When the singing had finished he went into the pulpit and delivered a sermon there, such as we had never heard anywhere else, and used in it such words as were, in our opinion, inappropriate in a church. And because he spoke with such enthusiasm, he soon became very warm and began to sweat a lot. That was probably uncomfortable for him, so suddenly he removed his church robe, while still standing in the pulpit, and then continued to preach. His sermon was worse than any European churchgoer could imagine, and we were only hoping it would soon be over.

Other people, who for miles around have no other church, are therefore compelled to put up with such awful pastors, or else give up going to church. And so it happens that people who in Europe were regular churchgoers ignore the church in America and for many years have not been inside a church and this hardens their hearts. Altogether, hardness of heart is widespread in America. For example, as we were going from Dünkirchen towards a farm in that neighborhood, we saw an old man catching fish and, because we were a bit tired, we sat down beside him for a while and asked him how long he had been living in America. He answered that he been there one year and that he had two sons who had been in America a long time. He went on to say that they had invited him to America, because they thought he would bring money with him. But because that did not happen, they had thrown him out and so he had to scrape a living by catching fish, otherwise he would have starved. We learned of many more examples of this kind, if we wanted to tell them. (To be continued.)

November 24, p. 372: Continuation and conclusion of Amerikanski list by F. E. Misnaria.

An American letter from F. E. Misnar (conclusion).

Three weeks later we returned to New York and while we were staying in Raue’s hotel, City Hall 14, my friend Louis Domschka asked me to join him in making a visit to Williamsburg to see his former teacher Pohla from Bautzen. So we visited him straight away and were received in a very friendly manner, and we talked to him about many things. He greatly regretted having taken part in political affairs in Saxony in 1849, which had brought such misfortune to the German states. From him we discovered that the former Bautzen lawyer Tschirner was in New York, where he was keeping a little inn in North-William-Street, but that he had not seen him for two years. From this we concluded that they were probably not on very friendly terms. Because we were very eager to see Tschirner, we went to his inn to take a glass of Philadelphia beer. He did not say much, but when we said we were from the Bautzen neighborhood, he did not want to talk to us at all. But he drew our attention to the former Bautzen merchant Bauer, who happened to be passing, and we saw that he was in a poor state, because he was going round the town with a basket selling all kinds of small articles. Tschirner too, you could see, was not a very capable innkeeper. We further heard elsewhere that the physician Petzold was doing no better in New York than he had been in Bautzen, and that he was still more dissatisfied with various things there than he had been in Saxony.

In New York my friend found work with a carpenter, but because I could not find a position as a salesman and I heard that there were about 750 salesmen without work and I had many daily expenses, I decided to return to Europe. My friend promised me that he would follow me the sooner the better, but up till now I have heard nothing from him.

On 17 August I left New York on a steamship and in 9 days and 10 hours I was already in Liverpool, England. From there I traveled by railway via London to the sea and then on a ship to Hamburg and on 6 September I returned safely to Bautzen.

I thank God that I am back in a country where order reigns. I do not want to persuade anyone in favor of America or against. After all, some people have found happiness there.

But many thousands wish they were back in their old homeland but cannot return because in America they have been swindled out of everything. Whoever does not wish to expose himself to the risk of these experiences would do better to sing the song ‘Stay in your homeland!’

December 8, p. 389: Australiski list by John Brühla.

December 15, p. 397-398: Continuation and conclusion of Australiski list by John Brühla.
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