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Kehrwecker Family Papers - MS 641
Greetings and God's blessings:
We would be very happy if this letter reaches you in good health. We would like to let you know about how things are here. Our father has been ill for five weeks. We had to change his position in bed often, and he is paralyzed on one side. We have nothing but worries with him. Besides that we are healthy, thank God. We received your letter on January 7, 1831. We had to pay one Heller and 50 Groschen for it. How things are here we do not need to tell you, because you know that things have not improved and everything is getting worse. If you have a good place to stay, maybe you could help us out, in case we would come to you, until be recuperated. Let us know if it would be good for us to come or not. You know, it would not have to be right away, maybe in two or three years. By then you also will know better how things are in America.
Michael Rossler hopes to go to America this spring, if he can travel through France. He has already sold all his possessions. Martin Reiter has not written yet, but if I hear from him, I will write to his father and let him know where you are, so that you could see each other. He has not written to anybody, not even to Graf, that he is in New York. Klaus from Ochsenbach has also not written. But after receiving your letter I let the people in Ochsenbach know that we had heard from you. Hollwart has not left yet, but we know that Heinrich Gink is in Philadelphia. Heinrich Rossler went to visit Philadelphia and went to see Gink. Rossler had to give Gink five dollars, because they had no money left to buy food. Everybody was seasick and his son apparently died. The old Mains does not come to America anymore, he killed himself by drowning on Whit Sunday. Johannes Wiegand is dead, too. He was not ill when he went to see his brother, but had a sudden hemorrhage.
I will leave for America on April 1st. If you would like to go further inland, you could join me when I go to my brothers, Michael Rossler and Jakob Friedrich Rossler, in Millersburg, Bergs County, Penn., North America, Pethel Post Office. It is approximately 10-12 hours from your place.
Kindest regards from Johann Kehrwecker and Wilhelm Kull. Also greetings from the widow of Conrad and her daughter, and from the daughter of Michael Conrad, Gottliebe, and from your comrades. Your guardian, Johann Rossler wishes you all the happiness. I do not need to tell you how to be happy, you will know that yourself.
I would like you know if you have delivered my letter to my brother yet. It is important for me, because my brother Michael is coming to America soon.
Right now your father is very ill and I am afraid he will not live very long anymore.
Schutzingen, February 5, 1831
Since we have the possibility through Martin Bauer, we would like to write to you a little bit about our affairs. What our health concerns, we are all well, thank God. There was a scarlet fever epidemic and many children died, but ours are well again. We cannot tell you anything about our brother-in-law, Wilhelm Kull, since we have not heard from him yet. We are waiting daily to get some news. You suggest that he should have come to America. That would have been too expensive for him, and there would not have been any money left for him to start with. We were told so often that it is not good for a family to come without money to America. They decided instead to go to Russia, since one can have land there for free. Maybe they stayed in Poland, since a lot of farms have been abandoned, and the Russian government wants to sell them. Andreas Karl Kummer is also off to Poland and the shepherd Hiller went with him. But Hiller came back again in rags and with lice. You know that Hiller is no good, and Kummer only persuaded him to come along because he had some money. When that was gone, the stupid Hiller had to go and the provisions are cheap. But in fall we had bad weather with hailstorms, and in the fall of last year we had a cold spell, where a lot of grapes got frost.
We hope that this letter will reach you in good health. Be true to your master and work hard and everything will be fine. Don't forget what you learned in school. With God's will we will meet again. We give you the best greetings from all the friends and also from your guardian. As soon as we know something about Kull we will write to you.
Your guardian, Johann Rossler,
Mulhauser and Paul Reuter, both single, and Karolina Sautter left in spring 1832 for America. There has been no news from them. One says they are dead. Martin Reuter is supposed to be in Canada.
Dear brother and sister-in-law,
I would like to give you my kindest regards. This could be the last time that you hear from me, since my health is failing. Johann wrote me that you have many children. Best wishes to them and God's blessing.
My daughter Friedrike is getting married to Christof Burer this spring, and my oldest son is married, too. Dear brother, our nephews, who will be coming to you, same to see me. I am very sad to see them go, but maybe they will have a happier life in America.
I do not know what else to write to you. My sincere regards to you, dear brother, to your wife, and the children. Say hello to Johann Kehrwecker and to his wife. May God be with them.
Dear brother, I will send you a little present to remember me.
I and my children send you the best regards, and we wish you happiness and God's blessing.
In my own handwriting, greetings from your sincere friend,
[verso] Letter to Georg Kehrwecker.
Received on June 2nd, 1859.
With great longing I am waiting for a letter from you. After receiving this letter, please, answer promptly. But should you have written to us to Germany in the meantime, there is no need to write again until Johann and Johannes have their money. The money is there, but the court has not taken care of the bill yet. It should be taken care of soon, and then they will get their money. In Christian's case it is the same, a lot of petty details have to be taken care of. In my next letter I will send you Christian's bill.
I also would like you to know how I was received in Reutlingen, where I was visiting Georg Renz's sister-in-law. They took me in with great happiness and wanted to know everything about their sister and brother-in-law. I was invited to eat and drink with them quite often and had to answer many questions. They also wanted to know what you will be doing with that much land and that you had demanded to get the estate of your deceased sister. Barbara Hack told me she would not be writing to Georg Renz for 14 months, because he has not answered her letter for that long and she does not know if he has received the money or not. She had asked me in a letter from March 19th if I would be going to America this year or not. I explained my circumstance and wrote her that I would not be leaving this year. When I went to see them they gave me two pairs of stockings and two hats for the children. Mrs. Renz saw the envelope again which she had left behind for her sisters. They gave me also a nice notebook for Friedrich Renz, which I will send back to Reutlingen, since I am not going to America this year.
I delivered the portraits which I took along to Germany and I also showed them around, as you told me. The people in Reutlingen would have loved to keep them all, but I told them that I had to deliver them. Barbara Hack said she wished Friedrich Renz had come with me. An when they saw Georg Renz's wife they asked if all women were so beautiful in America. I told them, not all of them. They gave me a Prussian dollar for my travels, and in case that this should not be sufficient, their brother-in-law should give me the difference when I am back in America. I delivered all the things as I was told.
It took five days to travel across Baden. First I went to Enzberg, then to Eutigen, Pforzheim, and to Dietlingen. I also went to Dietenhausen to see the father of shoemaker, M. Kais, who had worked with shoemaker Jakob in Westfield, who you should know.
I went to have a glass of wine in the inn "Zum Adler" and inquired about the old Michael Kais. The innkeeper went to get him immediately and I gave him the things his son had given me for him. He started to cry. After that we had supper together. Next morning I left for Konigsbach to see Kurt's brother. There were a lot of friends and it was like a wedding. They took me to Eisingen with two horses, where I stayed overnight. Dear cousins, I send you some cabbage seed from the Filder.
Kindest regards to all of you,
Philipp Gottlieb Kehrwecker
Also best greetings from my mother, who has not left bed yet.
Since I wrote to you after my blessed mother's death, but have not heard from you in the meantime, I will take the liberty to write to you again about the conditions here. The past years were not very good. We had hardly any wine or fruit. Last year we lost most of our plum trees and other fruit trees due to heavy frost. This year is too dry and everything ripens prematurely. The wine should be fine if we have a nice fall, but we need some rain soon. These are the reasons why a lot of people are leaving for America. More than 40 people left this summer from Schutzingen along and many more would go if they had the money to do so.
Dear cousin, I have two sons who also would like to go to America, especially since their godfather, Gottlieb Kehrwecker, who had also been visiting with you in America, is encouraging them to do so.
Last year we had hardly any wine to sell, and we had also a very bad harvest. Thus, it would be very difficult for me to let both my sons go to America. My godfather urged me to write to you, dear cousin, and asked me not to stand in the way of my sons, especially since he regrets to have come back here and not to have left for America after his mother's death. I myself regret not to have emigrated while I was still single, especially since you had promised your help, dear cousin. For that reason I will let my two sons go to America, even though it will be very difficult for me. My oldest, Gottlieb, is 23 years old. The other, Christian, who just turned 18, is a blacksmith. I have also two daughters, Friederika, who is 25, and Christine, who is 16. My sister Friedrike has no children and my brother Wilhelm is not married. My brother Friedrich has five children. We are all well, thank God, and we hope that this letter reaches you in good health.
Best wishes from us to you,
Dear cousin, my sons would like to leave for America this fall, and Gottlieb Kehrwecker, their godfather, has encouraged them to do so. I am not sure if I will have the money to pay for their trip, and I would prefer them to postpone their trip until next spring. I would be very grateful, dear cousin, for your advice. The photos which you sent my mother, are now hanging in our living room and we are looking at them very often.
I would like to end this letter now with the kindest regards to you from my wife, my children, and myself.
I received your letter on October 17th. My children, my sisters and brothers, and I were very happy to hear from you, especially since you wrote that everybody is healthy. I am especially glad that you will do me the favor to take in my sons. We are sure that you, dear cousin, will enjoy them very much. They will be very grateful to you. If my dear mother would still be alive she would be quite happy to know that my sons found a good home.
After receiving your letter I made up my mind to send my sons to America, even though it will be hard to lose them, and to get the money together for the trip. But it was their ardent wish to go to America. They will travel to their new homeland from Rotterdam. The ship's name is "Amsterdam". The fare to New York is 188 Marks. If they will have the money to continue their trip is not sure. In any case, they will write to you from New York to let you know. They will leave Schutzingen on November 15th, and on November 19th they will board the ship.
I will come to an end now. My sons can tell you everything after their arrival. Best greetings from all of us, my wife and the children, the brothers and sisters. Our regards to Mr. Kehrwecker.
Schutzingen, Nov. 1, 1881
Dear friend and schoolmate,
Since I have the opportunity to write something to you, I don't want to forego that chance. I have been thinking about you so many times, and I read your long letter and learned from it that you and your family are well, which made me very happy.
Greetings from your friend,
Christoph Burer and his wife Friederieke Burer
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