A Guide to the Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge Family Papers, 1769-1935
Born in Mascherode, Germany, Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge (1814-1888) was one of four children of Johann Heinrich Peter Baethge and Sophie Marie Auguste Achilles. A farmer by profession, Baethge worked at a mill in Germany. His wife, Sophie Christine Conradine Pape (1824-1888), also born in Mascherode, was the daughter of Johann George Ludwig Pape (d. ca. 1846) and Dorothea Juliane Fredericke Isensee (d. 1858). Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge married Sophie Christine Conradine Pape on October 16, 1846. Two of their children, Johann Heinrich (b. 1849) and Dorothea Fredericke Juliane (b. 1852), were born in Germany, while their two younger children, Heinrich Ludwig Ferdinand Baethge (b. 1855) and Conradine Baethge (b. 1858), were born in America. On November 3, 1854, Baethge embarked with his family on the ship Neptune, en route to America. They landed at Indianola, Texas, and settled in Fredericksburg, Gillespie County.
Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge’s youngest son, Heinrich Ludwig Ferdinand Baethge, married Louise Elisabetha Eckert (1866-1935), whose family also emigrated to America from Germany. Her brother, Ludwig Eckert (1834-1920) lived in Fredericksburg with his wife Karoline Herber (1843-1897) and five children. In addition, Baethge’s brother, Peter Baethge (d. 1876) had several children who emigrated to America and settled in Fredericksburg, including Heinrich (1835-1887), or “Professor Baethge,” a well known violinist.
The Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge Family Papers, 1769-1935, is composed of correspondence, legal documents, ledgers, receipts, and newspaper clippings that chronicle the lives of the Baethge, Pape, and Eckert families as German immigrants in Texas. The majority of the papers pertain to Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge and his immediate family, including his birth certificate (1814), a prenuptial agreement with Sophie Christine Conradine Pape (1846), a boarding pass contract to America (1854), and a deed to purchase land in Fredericksburg, Texas (1857). Also included is correspondence between Baethge, Pape, and Eckert family members in Mascherode, Germany and Fredericksburg, Texas. The collection contains a substantial amount of correspondence to Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge’s nephew Heinrich “Professor Baethge,” concerning the latter’s career as a violinist after his emigration to America (1859-1887). Additionally, the collection contains documents pertaining to Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge’s brother, Peter Baethge, such as receipts for renting farmland (1842), and to the Eckert family, including a German passport issued to Ludwig Eckert (1856), as well as correspondence between Eckert family members (1872-1918), among other items.
This collection is open for research use.
Johann Heinrich Ludwig Baethge Family Papers, 1769-1935, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection contains unprocessed materials.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers