University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Von Rosenberg Family Letters, 1849-1951



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Von Rosenberg family
Title: Von Rosenberg Family, Papers
Dates: 1849-1951
Abstract: Correspondence and a reminiscence compose the von Rosenberg Family Letters, 1849-1951, documenting the lives of the Rosenbergs and their life in Texas.
Accession No.: 1939; 81-119
Extent: 2 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born to Johanna Dorothea (Frölich) and Peter Carl Johann von Rosenberg on their East Prussian estate, Carl Wilhelm von Rosenberg (1821-1901) entered military service in 1841, studying surveying and architecture in Berlin. Due to his outspoken democratic views, Rosenberg resigned his post in 1849, determined to leave the country. Accompanied by his family and new wife Auguste Franziska (Anders), Rosenberg arrived at Galveston, Texas, in December 1849. The family settled on Nassau Farm in Fayette County, where Wilhelm farmed, learned English, and became an American citizen, adopting the Anglicized name of William. In 1856, Rosenberg was appointed draftsman of the General Land Office in Austin and rose to the post of chief draftsman in 1861. During the Civil War, he served as a topographical engineer in the Confederate Army. Rosenberg formed a partnership with land agency operator Clement R. Johns after leaving the General Land Office during Reconstruction. The firm collapsed in 1876, prompting Rosenberg to open his own, which he operated until his death. Rosenburg was also a founding member of St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin and authored the book Kritik (1894), the first critical account of German immigration to Texas.

Rosenberg had twelve children, including Ernst, chief draftsman in the General Land Office, and William Jr., Travis County judge. His daughter Lina married fellow German immigrant Arthur Meerscheidt.

Source:

Louis E. Brister. “Rosenberg, Carl Wilhelm von.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 23, 2011.


Scope and Contents

Correspondence and a reminiscence compose the von Rosenberg Family Letters, 1849-1951, documenting the lives of the Rosenbergs and their life in Texas. The reminiscence of Wilhelm von Rosenberg includes a brief family history from 1150 to 1870 and the story of his life and work in Germany and Texas. Transcripts and translations of letters between Rosenberg family members in Texas and Germany describe the family’s decision to leave Germany, family activities and events, the Texas landscape, and life on Nassau Farm. Correspondents include Wilhelm von Rosenberg, his stepmother Amanda, and his half-sister Lina. The translations include a genealogy and notes on the letters as well as letters of the Meerscheidt family, primarily from Arthur to his mother still in Germany.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Von Rosenberg family -- Archives
Rosenberg, von family
Meerscheidt family
Rosenberg, Carl Wilhelm von, 1821-1901
Rosenberg, Amanda von
Rosenberg, Peter Carl Johann von
Meerscheidt, Arthur
Meerscheidt, Lina
Subjects (Organizations)
Texas. General Land Office -- Officials and employees -- Biography
Subjects
Germans -- Texas -- History -- 19th century
Places
Fayette County (Tex.) -- History -- 19th century
Texas -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- 19th century

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Von Rosenberg Family Letters, 1849-1951, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

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

 

Inventory

box
2H127 Handwritten reminiscence of Wilhelm von Rosenberg, undated
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2Q395 Letters (typed transcripts in German):
August 1849 - April 1850
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2Q396 August 1849 - January 1851
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2.325/M18b Ancestral Voices, The Letters of the von Rosenberg and Meerscheidt Families, 1844-1897, translation compiled by Charles W. von Rosenberg