Fredericksburg: A Legacy of Peace and Cultural Diplomacy

Have you ever heard of Friedrich Armand Strubberg, or Dr. Schubbert, as he called himself from time to time?  Did you ever consider that the Germans settled by the Adelsverein in Fredericksburg in the middle of the 19th century lived on an Indian frontier, and that a trip to New Braunfels, or Austin could mean taking your life in your hands?  Did you know that a peace treaty between the Comanche Nation and the Fredericksburg Germans is the only known peace treaty with Native Americans in United States history never to be broken?  Each year the people of Fredericksburg and the Comanche Nation come together in Fredericksburg for a weekend Powwow celebrating the Never-Broken-Peace Treaty.

Strubberg published his novel Fredericksburg in 1867, twenty years after the signing of the peace treaty between the Germany Immigration Company and the Comanche Nation.  He was a colorful adventurer from Germany who traveled in the United States and who found himself in Texas during the 1840’s.  John Meusebach, founder of Fredericksburg, appointed Strubberg as Director of colonial Fredericksburg in 1846, and when he dismissed him a year later, Strubberg holed up in a plantation and was ousted only after a gunfight.  All in all a colorful figure, and after his return to Germany, he wrote some forty novels about his adventures and observations, interspersed with fictional and often romantic accounts.  His works fascinated German readers long before Karl May created his vision of the American West.

Randy Rupley, Director of the Fort Martin Scott Museum Association in Fredericksburg, has devoted much of his time to the study of the relationship between Indians and Germans, and Indians and the United States represented at Fort Martin after the annexation of Texas to the U.S.  He translated Stubberg’s  book Fredericksburg into English, and gives a lively talk about the life of early German settlers in Indian country.  Lack of supplies, epidemics, Indian attacks, and a host of other difficulties beset the Germans, yet they find solace and joy in community, work, hunts, coffees, dances, and a good glass of wine or beer.

Please join us in welcoming Randy Rupley on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX  77005.

We will begin the evening with our customary food and beverage reception, the program starts at 7:00 p.m.  Our meeting will be in the adult education room in the basement.  Parking is available at the Rice Parking Lot off Greenbriar across the street from the church.  Meetings fees are $15 for nonmembers, $10 for members, and $5 for students.

Registration will be at 6:15 p.m.  Please RSVP to angelika@houstonleipzig.org now so that we can plan properly for the reception.  We are looking forward to seeing you on Thursday evening.

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