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Letters and diaries as useful tools in the construct of history: a case study of emigration from Frauenstein to Australia 1852-54.

In constructing our history, scholars utilise whatever materials they can to form their views. Nevertheless, our construct of history, particularly from previous centuries when not all the populace was literate and the written word was largely the province of the aristocratic and middle-class members of society, has been biased by the availability of the written word, provided mainly by the literate upper classes. Personal information given by those living at the time, often in the form of letters and diaries of working-class people, was considered to be the province of family history, and hence devalued as unreliable and of little worth in creating history.

Despite this negative attitude to these sources, the private writings of less literate people can shed further light on our history, especially when these personal accounts are compared with government or official sources that normally form the foundations of our written history. Contact with family is so important that people, even those with limited finances, will spend money to send letters about their thoughts and experiences through the post to their relatives who, valuing the exchange, often hold onto them and store them long after the sender and recipient have passed on. For this reason, migrant letters can provide us with invaluable insights into the lives of ordinary working people as they experienced it, but they must be used with caution.

In recent years, scholars have looked to letters and diaries to complement the view of history, constructed from government statistics, newspapers and other 'reputable' historical sources. The letters of the Irish immigrants to Australia from the 19th century have come to life in the work of Fitzpatrick, (1) and Kamphoefner, Helbich and Sommer (2) have similarly published letters from German immigrants writing home from America, while letters of Norwegian migrants have been published by Blegen. (3) However, despite the valuable record provided by these sources of material, it is important that they be considered beside other regular sources of information, and given an historical context. One of the problems with accepting letters, in particular, at face value has been that correspondence is often written for a reason. (4) Cropley (5) has suggested that emigrants, when interviewed, will provide a 'hit parade' of reasons for their migration, many designed to make the migrant feel good or to ensure that the recipient (often the person remaining at home) sees their decision as valid. Often the main reason for leaving is decided and not necessarily truthfully offered. This does not invalidate the letters but merely makes it imperative to place these sources within an historical context.

Primary sources like letters and journals help reconstruct aspects of Australian migration history in the mid-19th century when Australia and the British government imported tens of thousands of settlers to fill labour shortages which could not be accommodated by the thousands of British people prepared to emigrate. These letters shed a different light on this migration than has hitherto been available, based on official documentation.

Many historians suggest that the migration to Australia of thousands of German-speaking citizens to fill labour shortages in Australia was based on poor socioeconomic conditions in central Europe in the mid-1850s, and as a result, when offered the opportunity to emigrate using the facility of indenture, thousands of poverty-stricken people availed themselves of this opportunity. A new school of thought has suggested that there is a psychological component to migration.

Frauenstein is today a suburb of Wiesbaden in the state of Hesse, in central Germany near Frankfurt. Prior to 1866, the village was part of the Duchy of Nassau, a relatively wealthy region bordered by the Rhine river to the south and the Lahn river to the north. It consisted of woodlands and fertile river valleys like the Rheingau, with minerals, game and fish. Using the case study of the village of Frauenstein, (6) it can be seen that these emigrants were not poverty stricken, destitute people driven to migration by their circumstances, but rather self-selecting, migration-prone people who chose to come to Australia, seeing it as an adventure.

Robin Haines has also found that assisted English emigrants to Australia in the 19th century were not the poorest people or 'indigent misfits' but rather 'shrewd operators' . (7) In her analysis of the massive 19th century migration of English people to Australia, of whom 50 per cent of 1.5 million were assisted, she found that the emigrants had to have at least two sets of clothes, had to be able to avail themselves of information and get to the exit ports, and hence tended to be more literate and to have more assets than those who remained behind. These epithets could also be applied to the Frauenstein emigrants.

In the 19th century, much German migration was believed to have been driven by religious persecution or severe poverty. While religious persecution occurred in a few, isolated cases, scholars have now come to accept that for the most part this was not true, despite many letter writers claiming they were persecuted for their religious beliefs. Many of the 'religious refugees' would appear to be economic migrants. This has led to a distortion of the reasons behind the German migration to Australia in the 19th century. Similarly, this idea of socio-economic migrants, driven to migrate by poor circumstances, could well be challenged by the Frauenstein emigration.

Many German-speaking settlers were brought to Australia in the 1850s, predominantly as indentured labour; others came as self-selecting migrants who paid their own way. At that time, Germany consisted of a myriad of small states, dukedoms, kingdoms and other principalities (8) and some authors (9) have suggested that the massive German migration of the 19th century which saw some 5 million people emigrate from German-speaking areas predominantly to North America, was driven by socio-economic problems.

The migration of German-speaking people to Australia in the mid-19th century has also been deemed a labour migration by many scholars: the country of origin was less attractive than the country of settlement, causing the emigrants to be 'pulled' towards their new country, 'pushed' from their old, adhering to a push-pull theory of emigration which has underpinned much of modern migration theory. (10) E. G. Ravenstein (11) advocated this theory in 1885 and it has since been given wide acceptance by many modern scholars who have generated a newer version of the theory, calling it the modernisation theory, which suggests that people move from areas of abundant labour and limited capital to those with limited labour but excess capital, forming an equilibrium between population pressure and resources. (12)

All variations of the push-pull theory are based on aspects of the environment affecting the individual's psyche and generating their migration urge rather than their own personality. However, modern psychologists working in Hamburg with potential emigrants have been able to demonstrate a spectrum of personality types, varying from stay-at-home (ocnophilic) to migration-prone (philobatic) with a range of behaviours in between. (13) They found that migration-prone people are highly self-reliant and welcome 'the dissolution of attachments to objects (here defined as people and culture) at the place of origin and the establishment of object relations at the place of destination'. (14) While these migration-prone people could give a plethora of reasons for their decision to migrate, the authors found that it was the person's innate, internal voice which dictated that they should emigrate, and not external factors such as poor socio-economic conditions. Many of the motives given by these migration-prone people were no more than baseless chatter designed to justify their decision to colleagues, relatives, friends and even themselves rather than serious reasons for leaving.

In studying data from the village of Frauenstein, letters written by those who did not emigrate to Australia (The Frauenstein Letters--Muller letters), are as useful as letters from some who emigrated and then wrote home to Frauenstein (The Frauenstein Letters--Fuchs/Klein letters). (15) At the same time, diaries from Frauenstein, such as the diary of Anton Schneider, have also proved to be a useful tool in analysing the migration as well as diaries from Australia. (16) What these people wrote has been compared with some of the official records such as land tires (showing the land ownership of the migrants as an indication of their personal wealth), the census data (potential changes in population and hence overcrowding), and other demographic data such as migration information for the village and the Duchy (source of overcrowding).

From 1816-1845, the population of the Duchy of Nassau increased by 37 per cent. (17) Much of this was by natural increase as opposed to immigration. During this period, there were 8275 emigrants and 4026 immigrants, showing that overall the Duchy of Nassau was migration positive, further supporting the idea that conditions were not so dreadful that people were driven from their homes. (18) Nevertheless, migration from the Duchy of Nassau was not uniform. From 1816-1868, the major period of migration was from 1852-54, with the majority of the emigrants going to the United States. There were several smaller peaks from 1833-38 and again from 1840-45. The Australian emigration from the Duchy of Nassau was greatest from 1854-55, whereas that from Frauenstein was from 1852-54. (19) Only 12,500 people emigrated from 1816-45 and a further 11,000 from 1849-68, from a total Duchy population of about 400,000 citizens. (20)

While some areas of Germany (and its associated principalities) suffered poverty and some of their citizens may have found it necessary to emigrate, this reason can be shown to be not true for the migration of the villagers from Frauenstein.

One hundred and forty-two people emigrated from Frauenstein in basically five waves from 1852-54. A local resident, Anton Schneider, whose two sisters emigrated in 1854, wrote that the 'spirit of migration' was first awoken in the citizens in the spring of 1852. (21) He described the people and groups, the first leaving on 28 March 1852. Schneider claimed that the effect of the positive letters arriving from Australia was to generate the migration of the second group on 8 November 1853. This group included the Burgermeister Nicholas Horn, and his seven children.

The final three groups all left between 28 September 1854 and 12 November 1854, these latter three groups containing nine, 45 and 38 people respectively from Frauenstein. (22)

One of these groups, including Schneider's sisters, travelled on the Caesar, which had cholera on board. The death rate on this ship was about 15 per cent (23) and Schneider lost his sister, a nephew and a niece. There were 19 adults and 25 children from Frauenstein on this ship. (24) While the German migration to North America favoured young and single people, those coming to Australia from Frauenstein were predominantly married couples, many with significant numbers of children because the authorities were only prepared to indenture married couples in the belief they were of sound character.

At the time of these migrations, the Australian and British authorities offered an inducement in the form of indenture to citizens they wished to recruit to fill labour shortages. Indenture bound the worker with a contract to remain with their sponsor for two years in return for wages (20 [pounds sterling] a year), a home and weekly rations (101b meat, 101b flour, and sugar, tea or coffee) but importantly, provided for their transport and that of their families to Australia. (25) At different times these regulations varied, being first introduced for German vine-dressers in 1838 when the Macarthur family introduced six families from the Rhine area. Subsequent German indentured labour was not really affected until 1848 when four ship-loads of emigrants were brought via England on the Beulah, Parland, Harmony and Balmoral.

Official records at Frauenstein portray a more composite picture of the emigrants' lifestyle prior to emigration. From demographic data (26) of the Duchy of Nassau at the time, a comparison of those villages that lost migrants with those that did not showed there was no statistical difference. (27) A comparison of the number of people per house and number of families per house suggested that two families (or an extended family) lived in each house and this is verified by the Frauenstein letters in which Christina (28) says they have the three widows, Eckerich, Schmitt and their mother, all living with them. In a previous letter, Christina remarked that they had a Jewish female boarder. (29) Despite the number of people per house varying from 6.4 to 7.1 people, (30) there was no statistical difference between villages that had emigrants and those that did not, and hence there is no suggestion that there was overcrowding in the Duchy and specifically in the village of Frauenstein. Similarly there was no statistical difference in the numbers of people per family when comparing those villages that had emigrants and those which did not. The average amount of land held by each person varied from 3.9 Morgen to 6.0 Morgen, but this was not statistically significant. (A Morgen was a unit of measurement which varied from region to region. A Nassau (Hessen) Morgen was 2500 [m.sup.2] or 0.65 acres.)

At the time they left, the majority of Frauenstein emigrants owned land or had parents who did. Jacob Muller came with his wife and three children, his wife giving birth to their fourth child a week after they arrived at Coolangatta, where Jacob Muller was indentured to Alexander Berry. Jacob Mailer's land holdings were similar to those of other citizens. He began buying land in 1846 as a single man and continued for the next eight years until August 1853, buying jointly with his wife after their marriage in 1850. However, the salient point is that at the time of his migration Jacob and his wife owned 4 Morgen of land. They bought a house as late as April 1853, and then sold all their real estate to his mother-in-law only two months before emigrating on 4 November 1854 from Antwerp on the Cateaux Wattel, suggesting a very precipitous decision to leave. (31) Jacob Muller did not plan this migration but hurriedly accepted the conditions, prepared himself, and left. His response was repeated many times by fellow villagers.

By comparison, Jacob's sister, Eva Leitz, who remained in Frauenstein and never contemplated emigration, owned only 1 Morgen of land and yet she and her husband describe buying two houses over the course of their lives, all paid for by manual labour (she carted fruit to sell in the markets in Wiesbaden, and her husband worked in the fields). At the time, it was believed that 10 to 15 Morgen of land (32) were needed to maintain a family of six, but many of the Frauenstein families had considerably less, supplementing their income by selling their labour (for example, as maids in service or by chopping wood) and by growing produce to sell (for example, vegetables, fodder, fruit and wine). (33)

Eva Leitz also detailed the myriad of crops she and her family sold for profit, this diversity assisting their survival in periods of environmental trauma. She wrote of her family's response to the potato blight which decimated areas of Ireland and which was reputed to have generated the massive Irish emigration to North America in the mid 1840s:
 We bought pears for 50 Gulden, but they got a disease and many
 rotted, so our plan did not work out. All through summer we traded
 fruit. Almost all of it we bought in Ober and Nieder Ingelheim.
 Here at our place there was almost nothing but nuts. There were a
 lot of potatoes but they were diseased and rotted so we had to
 throw them away. The field produce was successful, and we had corn,
 wheat, oats, and barley. A pound of bread costs about 14 Kreuzer.
 We also bought a pig for 21 Florins so it could eat the rotten
 potatoes. On the path from Johann Hoffmann's at the three-ways, we
 bought the field with the four apple trees, three years ago, but we
 have not had any apples since. (34)

Her letters do not suggest they were impoverished (for example, buying land, pigs and houses) even though Eva complained about how difficult the economic conditions were.

In the literature, there are several other factors like war and conscription that scholars believed stimulated emigration. Again, when official documents are compared with letters and diaries written by individuals living at the time, a more composite picture is provided which challenges the posited view. Official records for the month of September 1854 from the district of Eltville show that 65 per cent of adult males who applied to emigrate had already fulfilled their military obligations, thereby reinforcing the idea that conscription may not have been a factor in stimulating migration. (35) The letter writers also support this view. Christina Schmitt (36) wrote that her brother, Johann Schmitt, had been conscripted for two months in place of their younger brother Peter, who had emigrated clandestinely to Australia. As Johann had served instead of Peter, the military were prepared to permit Peter Schmitt to return whenever he chose, despite his absconding from military service and not advertising his intention to emigrate in the local newspaper, the Herzogliches Nassauisches allgemeines Intelligenzblatt, as was required by law. Jacob Muller's advertisement is shown above.


Similarly, Christina Schmitt also referred to a cessation in the war (37) with sorrow because the military paid good wages and without this money, her brother Johann would be forced to seek employment as a day labourer earning significantly less money; reduced wages were the problem, not war or conscription per se. During the Franco-Prussian war, Eva Leitz wrote with pride in her letters to Australia that 900 Saxon troops had been billeted in Frauenstein and that the soldiers liked the local wine. She was not distressed to have an occupation in the town but was concerned that some of the local lads who were married had died in this war. Thirty men had gone from Frauenstein (38) to serve in the war and four had been killed, two of whom were married. (39) These brief references reinforce the notion that neither war nor conscription were the onerous factors that drove emigration, as some scholars have suggested.

The Frauenstein letters (40) also reveal the effect of indenture on the emigrants and non-emigrants alike and the speed with which the momentous decision to emigrate was made by the Frauenstein emigrants and the effect of indenture on their decision. Of the adult males who emigrated to Australia from Frauenstein, 79 per cent were indentured. That the emigration occurred over such a small period of time (1852-54) also reveals that outside pressures (such as the facility of indenture, which was only available for an extremely limited time) were operating on the Frauenstein citizens and affecting the decision to emigrate.



George Muller, whose brother Jacob emigrated to Australia with wife and three children, went to Karlsruhe in 1851 before the emigration from Frauenstein, but when he eventually wrote to his brother in Australia 10 years after the emigration, he wanted information about migration. He asked Jacob to let him know about conditions in Australia in case he should want to emigrate, but he also stressed that Jacob was not to make any contracts for him: 'Under no circumstances make any commitments for me because if I ever should migrate I do not want to be committed. You should never have done this but since you needed to pay your travel costs, it was necessary. (41) The precipitousness with which Jacob and his family migrated is supported by Margaretha Muller (Jacob's sister-in-law) who wrote saying that 'you and your fellow citizens decided very quickly'. (42)

The other aspect of indenture that cannot be easily dismissed is that although Frauenstein citizens could support themselves, providing the fare for emigration of an entire family must have been quite difficult. Christina Schmitt would have liked to emigrate with her sister Anna Maria Mtiller and family, but this was not possible as she did not have the money. Instead, caught up in the 'spirit of migration' which swept the village, Christina wrote to her sibling in Australia requesting help to migrate. Initially in her letter of 1856 Christina thought she and her boyfriend, Matthias, would come alone:
 We will not be able to have the repairs done this year but we feel
 fortunate that in such expensive times that we can lead an honest
 life. Since we received your letter, we have stopped worrying
 anymore about things here because we have decided that, bit by bit,
 we would come over to Australia. (43)

 Dear Sister and Brother-in-Law, my mother wants me to marry Demant
 but first I must discuss it with you. In the next two years it will
 be impossible for me because firstly, I have the little Elisabeth
 Emmelheinz with us in the back room, and for two years, I will
 receive 96 Gulden for her which is a beautiful surplus for my trip.
 Also in two years time, our Eva will also have reached a point
 where she can do well in business. (44)

Two years later in 1858, Christina was still petitioning her sister, Anna Maria Muller, to help the entire family emigrate:

I must beg you not to think I'm rude, but... it occurred to me that your employer (45) must be not only distinguished, but also very rich, and if you intend to stay on with him a while longer, you could ask him to lend you the money for our fare. We would of course, pay interest as well. Once we were with you, we could easily work off the capital very quickly because Demant, Eva and I are very good workers, and our mother is still capable of a good day's work as well, and our brother, Johann, is also a very clever musician. You might write to us and tell us which workers are needed where you are. I have no doubt that people would like to dance in a country with an abundance of food, drink and money! (46)

This suggests that the travel costs were far more onerous for potential emigrants to manage than any other part of the emigration process and that the assistance provided by the indenture program should not be underestimated. Even their elderly mother had been swept up in the migration fever and had accepted the idea of emigration to Australia:
 It is very strange with our mother. She tells everyone she does not
 want to die in Frauenstein but would rather travel to you, as soon
 as possible. We secretly laugh about it for we realise it is
 impossible. (47)

While Christina laughed about their mother's enthusiasm to emigrate, saying it would be impossible, she nevertheless asked her sister for help for the entire family, showing how chain migration can and did occur and also the effect of the cost of travel on migration plans.

A local diarist, Anton Schneider, (48) writing about the emigration, reported that the 'spirit of migration' first awoke in Frauenstein in 1852. Schneider also reinforced the idea that the decision was speedily taken and that this migration fever was driven by the reports received from the letters of the first group of emigrants who left in 1852. He said that 'as a result of the positive letters arriving from the migrants on the other side, the spirit of migration has been advanced in our local mayor, namely Burgermeister Horn, who resigned his position and migrated with his family'. (49) Horn departed on 8 November 1853 with his wife, his seven children, Anton and Maria Fuchs (siblings who were listed in the records as a married couple, possibly to take advantage of the indenture agreement), and the extended Klepper family. (50) Horn did not appear to have been indentured (51) and neither did members of the Klepper family, suggesting that they were swept up in the fever of migration but had sufficient funds of their own to emigrate.

Schneider's diary (52) also revealed the level of community interaction that the Frauenstein emigrants enjoyed in their society, having access to a local school since the early 1800s, to a church with regular worship, pilgrimages to Trier, and a cohesive community that could support its members as the need arose. (53) By contrast in Australia, many of these facilities did not exist. (54)

The Frauenstein emigrants were not desperately poor, most selling land before emigration as the land titles for Frauenstein show. (55) The driving force behind their emigration would appear to have been a 'migration-prone' personality which could accept the 'dissolution of attachment' from their community and loved ones, and the presence of indenture, a facility used by the British and colonial authorities in Australia, to provide workers for the developing Australian wine and pastoral industries. The Frauenstein villagers came predominantly in five waves of migration from 1852-54 when 142 (or 17 per cent of the village population) emigrated. They were given an opportunity and took it. This was not a planned migration but a quick response to an opportunity.

The letters and diaries of the Frauenstein emigrants, and those of the villagers they left behind reveal that these were neither religious refugees nor economic migrants driven by poor environmental circumstances to emigrate. The Frauenstein citizens made a conscious decision to emigrate, and had enjoyed a lifestyle in Frauenstein that could be considered superior to that which they would experience in Australia, although few would have realised the difference prior to arrival. (56) The official documents when combined with the letters and diaries show that the picture presented of hapless, impoverished citizens leaving a poverty-stricken society was not always correct; it was often an opportune response. Letters and diaries can thus enhance our view of history, especially when juxtaposed against official documentation.

Member RAHS


(1) David Fitzpatrick, Oceans of Consolation, Dublin, 1994.

(2) Walter Kamphoefner, Wolfgang Helbich, and Ulrike Sommer (eds.), News from the Land of Freedom--German Immigrants Write Home, New York, 1991.

(3) Theodore C. Blegen (ed.), Land of Their Choice: The Immigrants Write Home, Minneapolis, 1955.

(4) For example the Fuchs/Klein writers were reporting that life was expensive in Sydney, despite higher wages. In reality, they were trying to dissuade their relatives from emigrating since there was, at that time, an elderly father to be cared for in Germany. Kathrine M. Reynolds, The Frauenstein Letters--Aspects of the nineteenth century emigration of indentured workers from the Duchy of Nassau to Australia, PhD thesis, University of Sydney, 2008, p. 227.

(5) Arthur Cropley, 'Psychological factors in the satisfaction of post-World War II German migrants with life in Australia', paper presented at the conference 'The German presence in South Australia', University of Adelaide, September 30-October 1,2005, pp. 5-6.

(6) Today called Frauenstein-Wiesbaden, a suburb of Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt on the Main. In 1852-54 when the emigration to Australia occurred, Frauenstein was a village in the district or Amt of Wiesbaden, in the Duchy of Nassau. The Duchy was annexed by Prussia in 1866.

(7) Robin Haines. 'Indigent Misfits or Shrewd Operators? Government-assisted emigrants from the United Kingdom to Australia 1831-1860', Hinders University, Working Papers in Economic History, no. 61, 1993.

(8) John Breuilly, Austria, Prussia and Germany 1806-1871, London, 2002, p. 24.

(9) Klaus J. Bade 'Germany: Migrations in Europe up to the end of the Weimar Republic', in The Cambridge Survey of World Migration, Robin Cohen (ed.), Cambridge, 1995, pp. 131-135.

(10) Jiirgen Tampke, The Germans in Australia, Great Britain, 2006, pp. 8-16. Tampke's ideology is problematic: he suggests that the 'push-pull' theory explains the vast majority of German migration to Australia but he does acknowledge, at the same time, that most newcomers were adventurers (Tampke, p. 20).

(11) E. G. Ravenstein, 'The laws of Migration', Journal of the Statistical Society of London, vol. 48, no. 2, 1885, pp. 167-235.

(12) Caroline B. Brettell and James F. Hollifield (eds.), Migration Theory, London, 2000, pp. 102-3.

(13) Martin F. Luthke and Arthur Cropley, 'Decision making and adjustment difficulties: a counselling strategy for working with migrants', Australian Psychologist, vol. 25, no. 2, 1990, pp. 147-164.

(14) Luthke and Cropley, p. 153.

(15) Mr Harald Strauss and Mrs Ursula Strauss of Frauenstein transcribed the Frauenstein letters, and Ms Emilie Kolb, Dr Reingard Porges and Mrs Irene Reuter assisted with translation. The letters have been published in the transcribed German (Reynolds, 2008, PhD thesis) as well as in English (Reynolds, 2009, (in press) see note 34).

(16) Anton Schneider, Diary, 1829-1899,; Johann Muller (Berry--unpublished); Johann Mtiller (Mudgee--unpublished); Peter Rheinberger (Mudgee--unpublished).

(17) In 1818, the total population of the Duchy was 305,319 whereas 37 years later in 1845, it had reached 417,400 (Wolf-Heino Struck, Die Auswanderung aus dem Herzogtum Nassau (18061866), Wiesbaden, 1966, p. 132). Other scholars compute this proportion slightly differently. One suggestion is that the increase in population from 1816-1849 was 40 per cent from 302,769 to 426,686 (Wolfgang Jager, Staatsbildung und Reformpolitik XVII, 132, Wiesbaden 1993, p. 193). Nevertheless, both computations are similar, viz 40 per cent.

(18) Struck, pp. 121, 131.

(19) Struck, pp. 121, 131.

(20) Reynolds, 2008, p. 53.

(21) Schneider, p. 41.

(22) Schneider, pp. 41, 42, 45.

(23) Reynolds, 2008, p. 69.

(24) Reynolds, 2008, p. 61.

(25) The Berry Papers, Mitchell Library (ML MSS 315/72, p. 25).

(26) Vogel, writing in 1843, presented data on the number of people in each of the 803 villages in the 28 districts as well as their religion, the number of houses and the number of families (C. D. Vogel, Beschreibung des Herzogthums Nassau, Wiesbaden, 1843).

(27) Reynolds, 2008, p. 56.

(28) Reynolds, 2008, p. 172.

(29) Reynolds, 2008, p. 169.

(30) Reynolds, 2008, p. 56.

(31) Reynolds, 2008, p. 104; Frauenstein Stockbuch, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden [HStAW] Abt. 362/33 Frauenstein A.

(32) There is no discussion of the quality of the land needed which would obviously affect productivity.

(33) Ten to 15 Morgen of land were needed to feed a family of six, and in 1819 there were 26,038 field farmers of whom more than 24,000 (91 per cent) had only one carriage and hence were seen as small farmers (Jager, p. 193).

(34) Letter 8, The Frauenstein Letters (Kathrine M. Reynolds, The Frauenstein Letters--Aspects of the nineteenth century emigration of indentured workers from the Duchy of Nassau to Australia, Berne, 2009 (in press); Reynolds, 2008, p. 190).

(35) The file in which people applied to the authorities for permission to emigrate is not available for Frauenstein as it was destroyed in World War II. However, another file for emigration from Eltville for September 1854 is available and has been used for comparative purposes: 65 per cent (47/72) had completed their military service at the time of emigration indicating that for this group, emigration was not a way of avoiding military service. This proportion represents those who stated they had completed or not completed their service; some of those who made no comment may not have been called up and hence the actual number who had completed their military service (that is, 65 per cent or 47 men) may in fact be higher than these figures suggest (Eltville migration file, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden [HStAW] Abt 223/1446, 1854).

(36) Letter 2, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, p. 171; Reynolds, 2009).

(37) Christina reports that the heat of summer caused the guns to jam and so the war was called off until the weather cooled (Letter 6, The Frauenstein Letters, Reynolds, 2008, p. 181; Reynolds 2009).

(38) The town had about 190 adult males, so 30 was a significant number (Frauenstein Census Data, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden [HStAW] Abt. 246/406).

(39) Letter 22, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, pp. 218-220; Reynolds 2009).

(40) The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, pp. 166-244; Reynolds 2009).

(41) Letter 9, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, pp. 191-193; Reynolds 2009).

(42) Letter 9, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, pp. 191-193; Reynolds 2009).

(43) They had only received one letter from their sister in Australia but already her siblings were planning how they, too, could follow Anna Maria and migrate to Australia.

(44) Letter 2, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, p. 171; Reynolds 2009).

(45) Jacob Muller's employer at Coolangatta, New South Wales, was Alexander Berry, known also as the laird of the Shoalhaven. It is unlikely he would have been enthusiastic about the idea, especially as one of the males was a musician and the two girls were seamstresses. Christina wrote another letter a few months later but then there was a break in the correspondence for about five years. It is possible her request for money for travel was the cause of this break in letters, which was never satisfactorily explained.

(46) Letter 4, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, p. 176; Reynolds 2009).

(47) Letter 4, The Frauenstein Letters (Reynolds, 2008, p. 176; Reynolds 2009).

(48) Anton Schneider, Diary, 1829-1899, 26.01.2005.

(49) The Klepper family consisted of a widow and her son with his wife and children (Schneider, p. 42 [translated by E. Kolb and K. Reynolds]).

(50) Schneider, p. 42.

(51) The regulations would have precluded a family with eight children from sponsorship, and while Kleppers would have been eligible, their elderly mother would not. As all disembarked in Melbourne, it may be that news of the gold rushes stimulated their migration as much as the positive news from return letters of migrants.

(52) Schneider, Diary, 1829-1899.

(53) In Australia in many wilderness areas, there were few ordained clerics, and church services were irregular at best in some areas, for example, Mudgee (Johann Muller [Mudgee], Diaries [unpublished]).

(54) Johann Mtiller (Berry) complains about the lack of a regular priest and that school, too, for the younger children was irregular (Johann Mtiller [Berry], Diaries [unpublished]).

(55) Frauenstein Stockbuch, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden [HStAW] Abt 362/33 Frauenstein A.

(56) This is not unique to the Frauenstein migration.
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Title Annotation:Frauenstein, Germany
Author:Reynolds, Kathrine
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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