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A German emigrant guidebook, 1841

Schilderung des Wisconsingebietes in Nordamerika (Description of Wisconsin Territory in North America)


Carl E. Hasse (1802-1872) came from his home near Leipzig, Germany, to visit Wisconsin in 1838. He stayed several months and wrote this 80-page pamphlet when he returned. In it he says he doesn't want to persuade anyone to emigrate to America, but only to provide accurate information based on his own experiences to people who are thinking about it. His account is among a handful of works credited with starting the large-scale immigration of Germans to Wisconsin which peaked after the country's failed 1848 revolution. Hasse immigrated to Wisconsin with his family about 1845, settling in Greenfield, outside Milwaukee. He became a community leader, serving as a justice of the peace and elected twice to the state Assembly (1852 and 1859). After the Civil War, he appears to have followed his eldest son's family to Missouri, where he died in 1872.

Hasse's pamphlet is extremely rare: only three copies exist in U.S. libraries. This one may have belonged to the author, since it was given to the Wisconsin Historical Society by his granddaughter, the influential librarian Adelaide Hasse (1868-1953). It is entirely in German and printed in the Fraktur script; no English translation is known to exist. Following the text is a large map of Wisconsin and Iowa territories, with an inset of the settled portion of southern Wisconsin, dated 1841. It should not be confused with another contemporary account of Wisconsin, written by a German schoolteacher named Carl de Hass, also available at Turning Points in Wisconsin History.



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Related Topics: Immigration and Settlement
19th-Century Immigration
Creator: Hasse, Carl E. 1802-1872
Pub Data: Grimma: Drud und Verlag des Verlags, 1841. Digitized from a copy in the Wisconsin Historical Society, call number Rare Book Collection F586 H37 1841
Citation: Hasse, Carl E. Schilderung des Wisconsingebietes in Nordamerika (Grimma: Drud und Verlag des Verlags, 1841). Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1713; Visited on: 4/18/2014
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