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The German Settlement of the Texas Hill Country
Jefferson Morgenthaler

This is the story of the founding of New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Boerne, Comfort and the other German settlements of the Texas Hill Country.

Refugees from economic and social strife in Germany, followed by idealistic communalists and liberal political refugees, came to the Hill Country looking for freedom and opportunity. Landing on the windswept shores of Matagorda Bay, they traced a path across the plains, seeking a future in the hills beyond. There they found a raw, untamed realm where few but Comanches dared go.

Reaching for a promised land beyond the Llano River, the earliest immigrants soon realized that their dream was beyond their grasp, and had no choice but to adapt to the realities of the Texas frontier. Some fared well. Others succumbed to disease, injury, hunger and violence. Most stayed, but some retreated to less challenging locales. A remarkable few established outposts of intellectual fervor in pioneer settlements, debating the great ideas of the day in drafty log cabins.

Bringing with them traditions and perspectives rooted in the feudal and despotic European past, the Germans learned to adjust to Texan and American notions, only to find themselves divided by the great controversy over slavery and secession. This is a story of hardy, industrious people transplanted into the most challenging of circumstances. It is a story of Texan pioneers.