History

Fredericksburg, Texas: Leading the Way

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No town embodies the spirit of the Texas Hill Country better than Fredericksburg. Its amazing history and vibrant personality make Fredericksburg the Hill Country’s most popular tourist destination, and while we always encourage visitors to explore the entire Hill Country, Fredericksburg would be our choice if we could visit only one town.

Fredericksburg was founded quite abruptly on May 8, 1846 by a group of German immigrants who understood little of the tremendous adversity they faced. Their courage, ingenuity and determination have tremendously impacted the entire Hill Country, and we all still benefit from the ripple effects of their success. This short article won’t do justice to the brave men and women who worked so hard and accomplished so much; we urge everyone to study Fredericksburg’s history more thoroughly elsewhere.

After Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836, reports spread around America and Europe of its beauty, its good climate, abundant wildlife, vast expanses of fertile land – and true freedom for its inhabitants. The dream proved irresistible for thousands, and the population of eastern Texas surged. But the rugged terrain and fierce Comanche residents kept pioneers out of the Hill Country for another decade, and Texas became the 28th state in the U.S.A. on December 29, 1845, before there was any major settlement in the Hill Country. In the meantime, Germany was undergoing a turbulent period of famine and political unrest in the early 1840s, and a group of 21 noblemen founded the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (or Adelsverein) to promote German settlements in Texas. The Adelsverein offered transportation to Texas, 320 acres of land per family, a good log house, financing for the first year’s expenses and a complete system of utilities for each settlement: gins, mills, hospitals, churches, orphanages and asylums. The promises sounded good to Germans from all walks of life, and hundreds of families embarked on a journey to the new world.

Fredericksburg Texas
Photo: redsign.com