A Guide to the John O. Meusebach Papers, [ca. 1847-1889]
Born in Dillenburg, Germany, Baron Otfried Hans Freiherr von Meusebach, or John O. Meusebach (1812-1897), was one of four children to Baron Carl Hartwig Gregor von Meusebach and Ernestine von Witzleben. After studying law at the University of Bonn in 1832, Meusebach transferred to the University of Halle and took his bar examinations in 1836. A fluent speaker of English, Meusebach was appointed as commissioner general of the Adelsverein (Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas) in 1845. Arriving in Galveston, Texas, that same year, Meusebach adopted the name John Otfried in place of his noble title and established his post in New Braunfels. Despite the large influx of immigrants, the lack of funds, and a number of other setbacks, Meusebach managed to found the settlements of Castell, Fredericksburg, and Leiningen. Determined that more land could be acquired for German immigrants through the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, Meusebach and Comanche chiefs Buffalo Hump, Santa Anna, and Mopechucope negotiated and signed Meusebach-Comanche Treaty on May 9, 1847, in an effort to protect surveyors and colonists. Following his success as commissioner general, Meusebach was elected to the Texas Senate to represent Bexar, Comal, and Medina counties in 1851, advocating successfully for a bill that established public schools in 1852. That same year, Meusebach married Countess Agnes Coreth, with whom he had eleven children.
Smith, Cornelia Marschall, and Otto W. Tetzlaff. "Meusebach, John O."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 14, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fme33.
Composed of photocopies and Photostats of correspondence, legal documents, and genealogical materials, the John O. Meusebach Papers, [ca. 1847-1889], document Meusebach’s experiences as commissioner general of the Adelsverein (Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas), his activities colonizing Texas, and his family history. Correspondence consists of letters between Meusebach and members of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants, while legal papers include the 1847 Meusebach-Comanche Treaty and a "Vote of Confidence" of Meusebach by the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants. Genealogical materials concern the lineage and history of the Meusebach family.
This collection is open for research use.
John O. Meusebach Papers, [ca. 1847-1889], Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
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