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Add to schedule: Emigrate to Sophienburg

By Myra Lee Adams Goff

Do you keep a schedule? Do you stick to it or once you write something down, your brain says, “OK. That’s done”? Lists, like grocery lists, are a little like schedules and come in handy. For example, when you get home from the grocery store, you can check off what you forgot.

Maybe Prince Carl kept a schedule and maybe it looked like this:

  1. Have the servants pack for a trip to Texas. What should I take? Maybe a bathing suit? Trinkets for Indians? Guns? I’ve heard about buffalos. Never seen one but I hear they come in handy.
  2. Get to Texas before the emigrants do and buy land so that they have some place to pitch their tents.
  3. Land in Galveston. This does not look like Germany. Where are the trees?
  4. Lasso a horse.
  5. Meet the emigrants at Indianola. Cut down an oak tree for a Christmas tree. Sing Christmas carols.
  6. Go to San Antonio to buy land. Check it out.
  7. Meet the emigrants at the Guadalupe River and cross over with them.
  8. Start to build a castle on the hill and call it the Sophienburg after Sophie, my love. Try to convince her to come over here. It’s a pretty pitiful looking castle, but I don’t have time to finish it because I’m out of here!

What would the schedule of German emigrant Heinrich Bremer look like in 1844? It could have looked like this:

  1. Talk the family into going to Texas. This won’t be easy because the misses is six months pregnant.
  2. After #1 is accomplished, begin the packing. What to take? Along with our trunks, the ship will carry kegs of fresh water, salted ox meat, sauerkraut, potatoes, peas, rice, cabbage, and pork. Swatches of hair from family and friends to remember them by, flax to spin into linen and a spinning wheel. Guns and tools.
  3. Get on board in Bremen and sail for six weeks.
  4. Help the missus after the baby is born near Cuba.
  5. Land at Galveston
  6. Get on the third Schooner going to Indian Point. Don’t panic when the schooner springs a leak.
  7. Tie yourself to the pump to bail the water out.
  8. Hold on as the winds shift and begin blowing from the south and move the schooner back to the Texas Coast.
  9. Land on the coast at Indian Point. Move with the group to Agua Dulce and christen the new baby Carolina Anna Bremer. Choose Prince Carl as the Taufpate (sponsor)
  10. March 21, 1845.Cross over the Guadalupe to the new settlement.

If I could hop in my time machine, what would my schedule be? What would I take?

  1. Grab the cell phone, batteries and charger. What? No tower? A credit card for gas, rented car, hotels, food. No credit card? What will I do now?
  2. I’m on the ship. These people have got to be kidding. Don’t they know “there’s no place like home”?
  3. They’ve lost me on the seasick part. I’m out of here. Sing and it will go away. I start with “You Are My Sunshine” and end with “Over the Waves”.

Don’t you like the way the English say Schedule? Shed’yool. I do write up a shed’yool. I check off what I have accomplished and then the next day I circle the items that I didn’t do. This system works pretty well unless the circled items are things like: breathe, do something worthwhile, cook and clean.

The point of this diatribe is to inform you of the shed’yool of the Sophienburg for March;

  1. March 10. Decorating Easter Eggs. Call 830-629-1572
  2. March 19 Guten Appétit! New Braunfels. Enjoy recipes from cookbook. Call.
  3. March 21. Reflect on the first crossing of the emigrants.
  4. March 22. Sophienburg annual meeting. 7:00 p.m. Old and new members welcome.
  5. Anytime in March. Sophie’s Shop Easter goodies.
Karen Baese will teach the art of hand-painting Easter eggs. Classes March 10 at 10:00 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. Call for reservation.