Category: Articles

The Last Voyage of the Brig Reform

By 1853 many Old Lutherans had left Europe for Australia and the United States. This article tells the story of thirty-five Wends who had initially planned to go to Australia, but in July of 1853, changed their minds and instead sailed to Galveston, Texas.1 The thirty-five were the...

Zombie Ideas

A working definition of the word zombie would be “the walking dead.” If such a being or beings could actually exist, I suppose there could also be zombie ideas. These would be ideas that are not valid and previously had been duly buried, but continue to emerge in...

Folklore of the German-Wends in Texas

On the morning of December 16, 1854, the immigration authorities at Galveston went out to meet the Ben Nevis, an English sailing ship, which had arrived in the harbor. On board they examined the papers and the physical condition of the five hundred some Wends who had come...

The Joys of Being Wendish, Festival and All

The New York Times recently published an article featuring the Texas Wendish Heritage Society. This article, written by Corrie MacLaggan for The Texas Tribune, is entitled The Joys of Being Wendish, Festival and All. Several festival attendees are briefly interviewed, including Evelyn Buchhorn, Russell Schwausch, Dwight Nitsche, George...

Death on the Irish Sea

The optimism of the Wends as they left their European homeland for a new home in Texas was soon tempered by the recurrent deaths within their group. The first death took place in Hamburg on September 10 even before they boarded a ship. That death may not have...

The Wends In Germany and In Texas

The Wends or Sorbs of Germany are an originally Slavic group in what is now southern East Germany, in the area called Lusatia (Lausitz), around the cities of Bautzen and Cottbus. They were surrounded and infiltrated by the German expansion to the east in the middle ages, and...

It Must Be The Noodles

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had time to think about our Wendish preoccupation with our heritage, our history and our specialness. In a previous column, I decided it had to be the noodles, because we are so proud of our yellow, egg-rich Wendish noodles (you can...

Serbin

How do you get to Serbin? Here are the directions Pastor Johann Kilian gave to Pastor Th. Brohm in 1870 for finding his way from New Orleans to Serbin: “When you come to Galveston go to J. Kauffman & Co. with whom I have dealt for many years....

Who Are the Wends?

In December of 1854, an English sailing vessel, the Ben Nevis, docked in Galveston harbor loaded with some 500 immigrants from Lusatia, an area in Germany comprising parts of Saxony and Prussia. These immigrants were not the typical lot of Germans, Swedes, Czechs, and Poles who flocked to...