The Wends of Texas by Anna Blasig

We present here the Preface and Bibligraphy of The Wends of Texas to inform you of the book and to aid in your Wendish research. The book can be purchased from the Texas Wendish Historical Society located in Serbin, Texas.


Preface

The intent of this centennial story is to relate the background and the frontier experiences of the Wendish colony established in Texas in 1854 which, according to the knowledge and belief of the writer, is the only Wendish colony established in Texas and in North America. Other Wends came over with German colonists to parts of the United States and Canada, but not as a colonial group.

In presenting the story of these pioneers, the writer has endeavored to give a brief sketch of the Wends’ Slavic ancestry to answer the questions frequently asked, “Who are the Wends?” and “Where did they come from?”

The Wends never had a nation of their own. They emigrated to this country from Germany. They came from the Lusatias, located on the Spree River, which today have diminished to a mere geographical expression. They were rugged, freedom-loving individuals who hoped to achieve in Texas the economic, political and religious freedom denied them by the German rulers who were determined to Germanize them. After settling the portion of Bastrop County, which in 1874 was included in the newly-created Lee County, the Wends maintained an isolated existence. Their hardships and experiences are typical of frontier settlers.

It is not the purpose of the writer to describe the recent history of the Wends, but merely to add enough facts to present a complete story.

In Appendix II is an abstract of the original ship register which the writer has translated from the German into the English language. A special effort was made to include all the details given in this original document which is located in The University of Texas archives.

Appendix I contains a copy of the last plea the Wends made in 1943 to Winston Churchill for a separate national existence.

The writer is indebted to Dr. H. Bailey Carroll of The University of Texas for his able supervision and constructive criticism of this manuscript which was initially written as a thesis for a Master of Arts degree.

The writer is also indebted to her late father, Hermann Schmidt of Giddings, Texas, for supplying a considerable amount of historical information; to the late August Prellop of Giddings, Texas, for translating the Wendish minutes of the Serbin church; to the late John Miertschin of Giddings, Texas, for his translation of the Wendish material used in the biographical sketch of Johann Kilian; to the late Mrs. Emma Schneider of Warda, Texas, for the rare tintype pictures of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and of Rosina Tanger Dube, one of the original settlers; to Mrs. Anna Blasig of Giddings, Texas, whose reminiscences of life in the old Wendish community were helpful; to her husband, Carl A. Blasig, and her daughter, Carolyn Anne Blasig Walther; to Luther Poellot; to Martin H. Schmidt and to each person listed in the bibliography who contributed information through interviews.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources

Manuscripts

Kilian, Johann, Aufname-Schein der Königlich Preuszisch concessionirton Auswanderer-Beförderung von Valt. Lorenz Meyer in Hamburg. The University of Texas Archives, Austin, Texas.

Kilian, Johann, Diary, undated. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Kilian, Johann, Birth Records and Sterbe-Nachrichten of 1854. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Kilian, Johann, Confirmation and Wedding Records. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Kilian, Johann, Minutes of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1854-1884. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Kilian, Johann, Private Papers. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

— Minutes of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church 1884-1947. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

— Minutes of Texas Synod 1860-1870. Texas Lutheran College Archives, Seguin, Texas.

— Original Ship Register of the Wends of 1854. The University of Texas Archives, Austin, Texas.

Letters

Birkman, G., Ein Brief an einen Freund der Auskunft begehrte über die Anfangszeiten unserer Synode in Texas, October 22, 1924. Privately owned.

Kilian, Johann, Collection of Letters, November 8, 1862-September 22, 1874. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Pallmer, J, Baden, Missouri, to Johann Kilian, September 13, 1870. Serbin Archives, Serbin, Texas.

Teinert, Johann, Ein Brief. Undated and signed. The University of Texas Archives, Austin, Texas.

Interviews

Blasig, Mrs. Anna, Giddings, Texas, August 25, 1945.

Fehr, Mrs. Thelma, Austin, Texas, August 8, 1951.

Kubitz, Irene, Austin, Texas, June 13, 1951.

Miertschin, Johann, Serbin, Texas, August, 1947.

Prellop, August, Serbin, Texas, August, 1947.

Schmidt, Hermann, Serbin, Texas, August 10, 1946.

Teinert, Gertrude, Austin, Texas, August 7, 1951.

Teinert, Johann, Copperas Cove, Texas, July 13, 1930.

Wukasch, Martha, Austin, Texas, August 8, 1951.

Newspapers

Giddings News (Giddings, Texas), June 3, 1932.

Giddings News (Giddings, Texas), August 23, 1929.

Secondary Sources

Books

Biesele, Rudolph Leopold, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831-1861. Austin, 1930.

Brockhaus, F. A., Conversations-Lexik on, Allgemeine deutsche Real-Encyklopädie für gebildete Stände, Elfte Auflage. 15 volumes. Leipzig, 1865.

Cross, Samuel Hazzard, Slavic Civilization Through the Ages. Cambridge (Harvard University Press), 1948.

De Bow, J. D. B., Statistics of the United States Census of 1850. Washington, 1853.

Diels, P., Die Slaven. Leipzig and Berlin (B. G. Teubner Co.)

Dominian, Leon, The Frontiers of Language and Nationality in Europe. New York (Henry Holt and Company), 1917.

Dow, Earle W., Atlas of European History. New York (Henry Holt and Company, 1909.)

Dworaczyk, E. J., The First Polish Colonies in Texas. San Antonio (The Naylor Company), 1936.

Encyclopedia Americana. 30 volumes. New York and Chicago (Americana Corporation), 1924.

Johnson, Frank W., A History of Texas and Texans. 5 volumes. New York, 1914.

New Standard Encyclopedia. 12 volumes. New York (The University Society, Inc.), 1909.

Nicoll, W. Robertson, Kurtz’s Church History. 2 volumes. New York (Funk and Wagnall), 1889.

Nowak, Frank, Medieval Slavdom and the Rise of Russia. New York (Henry Holt and Company), 1930.

Radosavljevich, Paul R., Who Are the Slavs? 2 volumes. Boston (The Borham Press), 1919.

Rapeport, Semen, “On Early Slaves,” Slavonic Review, VIII. 27 volumes. London, 1935-1936.

Sorabicus, “The Sorbs of Lusatia,” Slavonic Review, XXIV. 27 volumes. London, 1935-1936.

The Seventh Census: Report of the Superintendent of the Census for December I, 1852.

Thompson, James Westfall, The Middle Ages, 300-1500. New York (Alfred A. Knopf), 1931.

Weigand, Fr. L. K., Deutsches Worterbuch, fünfte Auflage, Erster Band. New York (Murray Printing Company and Frederick Ungar Publishing Company), 1910.

Zaborowski, M., “The Origin of the Slavs,” Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute. Washington, 1907.

Ziehe, H. C., A Centennial Story of the Lutheran Church in Texas, 1851-1951. Taylor (South Texas Printing Co.), 1951.

Almanacs and Bulletins

Anonymous, “Jan Kilian,” Predzenak 1932, Serbska and Budysinje. (A Wendish Almanac).

Pamphlets

Domanski, Francis (S. J.), Autochthonism of the Wends or Sorbo Lusatians. Reprinted from the Quarterly Bulletin of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, July, 1944.

Kilian, H. T., K urtzgefaszter Auszug aus der Geschichte der ev. luth. St. Paul’s Gemeinde, U. A. C. zu Serbin, Lee County, Texas. 1904-1929.

Magazine Articles

Birkman, G., “Über Leben und Wirken des Seligen Johann Kilian, Weiland Pastor in Serbin, Texas,” Der Texas Distriksbote, October 1929.

Birkman, Paul G., “Church Historical Memoirs of Pastor G. Birkman,” The Lutheran Messenger, IV, No. 4, October, 1926.

Braun, C. “Kirchweih in der St. Paulsgemeinde zu Serbin (Bastrop) jetzt Lee County, Texas,” Der Lutheraner, I, No. 15.

Kretzman, P. E., “The Early History of the Wendic Lutheran Colony in the State of Texas,” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, III, July, 1930.

Pallmer, J., “Kirchweih der St. Petrigemeinde zu Serbin, Texas, Der Lutheraner, II, No. 2. 

Repp, Arthur C., “St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran Churches, Serbin, Texas, 1855-1905,” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, XV-XVI, 1942-1943.

Repp. Arthur C., “Daughters of Serbin, 1870-1905. History of the Lutheran Churches at Fedor and Warda, Texas,”‘ Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, XXI, No. 2.