Lives and Letters of an Immigrant Family: The Van Dreveldts' by Kenneth Kronenberg

By Kenneth Kronenberg

Anton and Theodor van Dreveldt grew up in Emmerich, Prussia, because the sons of a Catholic priest and his housekeeper—a state of affairs their father attempted to hide by means of featuring himself as their uncle. As younger males, either Anton and Theodor came across their lives more and more . Anton drank seriously, and Theodor’s profession used to be jeopardized by means of his participation in a banned political association. those issues, mixed with starting to be Prussian authoritarianism, ended in their self sustaining emigrations to the USA, Theodor in 1844 and Anton in 1849.Theodor, laid low with malaria and fiscal problems, again to Germany, yet Anton and his son Bernhard, who emigrated after Theodor’s go back, remained. This separation helped produce a amazing physique of correspondence describing the van Dreveldts’ usually relationships with one another, their fatherland, and the USA. Their letters examine the age-old tribulations of Europe opposed to the promise and demanding situations of a brand new nation. The van Dreveldts’ studies offer a desirable glimpse into the complexities of immigrant existence.

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Extra resources for Lives and Letters of an Immigrant Family: The Van Dreveldts' Experiences along the Missouri, 1844-1866

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Thus, at a meeting of Hanseatic cities in Lübeck in 1439, Emmerich agreed to pay for the upkeep of the Rhine dike between Emmerich and Dornick. This dike helped protect territory as far off as Zutphen on the Ijssel River in Holland. 3 Yet farmers also realized that the floods renewed the soil by depositing tons of organic silt on the land, despite the simultaneous destruction of crops. Soil and river: just as these elements affected their forebears in the Rhine region, they would also come to figure prominently in the lives of the van Dreveldts in the New World.

By June 1807 the French Empire extended all the way to the Russian border. Germany was completely demoralized. However, it was precisely at this point that an awareness of German nationality came to the fore as a reaction to Napoleonic victories. This new nationalism took various forms, some of which will be important to our story; some were to have terrible echoes in twentieth-century Germany. How Provost Goossens was affected by and what he thought about these events is not known; there are no records or correspondence.

The town was an ideal place to flee to because it was separated from French territory by the Rhine, so if matters deteriorated, there would be somewhat more time to retreat further inland; Emmerich was also the headquarters of General Blücher, the commander of the Prussian observation army who would come to play a decisive role in Napoleon's ultimate defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Consequently, in 1796 eleven Catholic priests and a nun, whom Provost Goossens would have come to know well, sought and were given refuge by the town.

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