Several branches of my family emigrated from Germany to the US, so lately I've been doing some background reading on German history. Today I came across The German in America by F. W. Bogen (link goes to, where there's a full scan of the book). It's a guidebook for German immigrants published in 1852. The book is in German with a facing-page English translation and contains advice about travel arrangements, learning English, finding work, and adjusting to American ways, as well as the full text of the US Constitution and biographies of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

It's neat to think about the possibility that my ancestors might have used this book or one like it.

Here's my favorite passage:

"If you intend to go to the interior, be not detained either in New-York or in other great cities by Germans residing there. They will tell you stories about bears and wolves, and impenetrable forests, and poisonous swamps, which they say, are in the interior; they will paint before you phantoms of terror of every kind, in order to detain you in the cities. Believe them not! Be not deceived thereby! If you have relations or acquaintances in the interior, who have written you, travel to them. If you were accustomed to a country life in Germany, and like it, a country life in America will please you, as many thousands of your countrymen are very much pleased with it, and are doing very well."


genealogy: Cover of the Register for Alameda County 1904 (Default)
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