University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Samuel Maas Papaers, 1835-1850



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Maas, Samuel, 1810-1897
Title: Maas, Samuel, Papers
Dates: 1835-1850
Abstract: Consisting of letters, the Samuel Maas Papers, 1835-1850, chronicle Maas’ life after arriving in the United States in the 1830s.
Extent: 4 in.
Language: Materials are written in English, German, Spanish, French, andItalian.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Meinbeim, Baden, Germany, to wealthy Jewish parents in 1810, Samuel Maas became fluent in German, English, and French before moving to the United States in the 1830s. Maas spent a short period of time in Pittsburgh and South Carolina, where he became engaged to Carolina Hart, before moving to Texas. His first attempt ended in disaster as the ship he was traveling on sunk, costing Maas lumber intended for his house and almost his life. In 1836, Maas successfully settled in Nacogdoches County, where he quickly learned Spanish and gained employment translating Spanish land titles into English. Three years later Maas moved to Galveston where he owned a ship chandlery and two mercantiles, though Caroline Hart was unwilling to join him and the relationship ended in 1842. During a trip to Germany two years later, Maas married Isabella Offenbach, with whom he had four children. During the Civil War, he was forced to leave Galveston without his family due to allegations that he was aiding the Union due to his business debts to New York merchants. Maas returned to Galveston after the war and lived there until his death in 1897.

Source:

Perkins, Alexandra M. "Samuel Maas and the Galveston Experience." The Compass Rose. Spring 2011, p. 4-6.


Scope and Contents

Consisting of letters, the Samuel Maas Papers, 1835-1850, chronicle Maas’ life after arriving in the United States in the 1830s. A bulk of the correspondence relates to personal affairs, touching on a wide variety of topics, such as philosophy, literature, education, poetry. He also writes about America and makes comparisons between his new home and Europe as well as to Henry Castro regarding the Castro colony in Texas. Additionally, the collection also contains Dr. E. M. Stack’s index cards that note information about each letter, such as language, recipient, and content.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Maas, Samuel, 1810-1897 -- Archives
Subjects
Germans -- Texas -- Galveston
Merchants -- Texas -- Galveston
Places
Galveston (Tex.) -- Social life and customs
Texas -- Colonization
Texas -- Emigration and immigration

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Samuel Maas Papers, 1835-1850, 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
2N177 Samuel Maas Papers, 1835-1850