Letter from E. A. Richter to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen


Letter from E. A. Richter to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen


Emigration and immigration


Letter from E. A. Richter, Leipzig to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 19, 1849, with a translation from the original German.

Biographical notes from the submitters, Laura and Nicola Kaftan, great-great-granddaughters of Findeisen: "Gottlieb was born in Saxony in 1818. We have his travel papers (Heimathsfchein) dated 1839. I believe he arrived in the US on July 13, 1842, although the ship log is not clear. We have his intention to become a citizen from St. Clair County Michigan, 1844. Interesting: he calls himself Theophile William Findeisen, which we think was his idea of a translation of his German name. According to pension papers, we know he fought in the Mexican War around 1846. We have his naturalization papers from Fairfield County, Ohio from 1848. By 1849, he was in Milwaukee. And we have a letter addressed to him in Fond du Lac in 1850. He was married at Grace Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, to Carolina Maier in 1852. They settled in Fond du Lac and he had a grocery store according to city directories and church records (he switched to the Episcopal Church) He died in 1866 and is buried in Rienzi Cemetery outside Fond du Lac."


Richter, E. A.




Verikas, Elizabeth


Published by Recollection Wisconsin with permission of the submitter.










Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin


Leipzig, April 19, 1849
My Old Good Friend!
Even when many years went by without us having heard or seen each other, there still remained with
me always the remembrance of my old friend Findeisen. Since 1843 I received any news from you.
Only during the last two years came some news from your brother-in-law, Gutzebauern(?). The main
reason why I now write you is not just to write about my earlier life, but also to ask you to as soon as
possible answer the questions. Your good old friend and colleague, J. F. W. Sturm, is asking all these
questions as he thinks he wants to emigrate to the USA this summer. Your long years there make it
possible to answer and advise him freely as I think you have a healthy and practical view of everything
But first I will tell you about my life. Since 1843 I was no longer at my Uncle Güldner
's any more in Freiburg. But Dresden was my first place where I worked at the hardware store of
Höffer's for some 1½ years, where I lived a dog's life concerning that business. To tell you all about
that would be too boring. But I can tell you that much, I learned a lot about the world. And concerning
my personal life, I found many a pretty girl and fell in love with them.
Funker's mother lives with her son in Leon for the last two years. I visited them often and she is well.
I did not stay long in Dresden, but went in 1844 to Leipzig to work in the engror? business of Chr.
Morgenstern and I am still here. However, I will leave in May and go back to Freiberg in order to take
over my uncle's business. I am a guy of 30 years and alas not independent, but I do not worry too
much about that as I lived here very well for 5 years and if I had my own business I could not live so
careless as now. During this time I saw and learned a lot of new things and opinions which I now
brought home with me. I am different from when I left home. The lively fantasy has calmed down
during the rough reality of bitter self-denial and the young dreamer became a man. The feeling for all
good, noble and beautiful is led more by reason and understanding. Concerning business life is here
much more pleasant too. One lives alone and after closing in the evening one is on his own. The Fair
here and in Frankfurt wherein I participated offered a lot of interesting things. And I was afforded
many trips and saw many nice towns and other places. Even if I am not yet engaged. But a lot of
pretty girls will live in my memory of happily spent hours. My sister whom you remember, is already
happily married one year to Dr. Dreschke. Of my brothers, one is chief executive of the city council
and the other one is Huttenmann (owner in (of) an iron ore mine)
My parents live, thank the Lord, yet. Also, my uncle Sundlner, and all are in good health considering
their ages. About the other old Freiburger acquaintances I am unable to report much because I lost
contact with them.
Now to my questions to which I beg you to answer as soon as possible for the family Sturm depends on
it as they do not want to take unnecessary risks as they want to go to America this summer.

What is the best season for buying a farm?
What state is more beneficial and has more Germans?
What capital does one need for the purchase of a farm?
Is it better to leave in the first year and how much would it cost?
Do the Germans have good harvests or is their land not yet cleared and arable? And where is
the land cheapest and what state is it sold and what doe it cost for instance one acre?

6. Is it advisable to bring your own seeds and to bring something one could sell over there?
7. What ready-made clothing and household goods would be right to bring to America?
8. How much did the trip to New York cost you and is a second class cabin available on a sailing
ship and would that be sufficient for us?
9. What food supplies, etc., even at free meals, should we take along?
10. Does on have to be fluent in English if one wants to work in a business?
11. What kind of work is paid well in the countries as well as in cities/towns in case I would have to
take a job?
In case you have to add something to all of this I would be very grateful. We have a Fair here right
now and we are very busy.
Farewell, dear friend. I think of your from time to time. And please write your old friend Richter.
God be with you.
With all love.
Your friend E. A. Richter
Adv. E. Richter at Chr. Morgentern (Cp?) Leipzig
Mstr. Wilhelm Findeisen
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
via England, United States of North America
(translated by Elizabeth Verikas)

Original Format






Richter, E. A., “Letter from E. A. Richter to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen,” Recollection Wisconsin, accessed July 6, 2022, https://recollectionwi.org/items/show/24.

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