9780292737693: Hardback
Release Date: 1st May 2012

8 photos, 17 line drawings

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 312

Series Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture

University of Texas Press


A Novel

Hardback / £24.99

Winner, Summerfield G. Roberts Award for a Work of Creative Writing, Sons of the Texas Republic, 2013

Founded in 1846, Fredericksburg, Texas, was established by German noblemen who enticed thousands of their compatriots to flee their overcrowded homeland with the prospect of free land in a place that was portrayed as a new Garden of Eden. Few of the settlers, however, were prepared for the harsh realities of the Texas frontier or for confrontation with the Comanche Indians. In his 1867 novel Friedrichsburg, Friedrich Armand Strubberg, a.k.a. Dr. Schubbert, interwove his personal story with a fictional romance to capture the flavor of Fredericksburg, Texas, during its founding years when he served as the first colonial director.

Now available in a contemporary translation, Friedrichsburg brings to life the little-known aspects of life among these determined but often ill-equipped settlers who sought to make the transition to a new home and community on the Texas frontier. Opening just as a peace treaty is being negotiated between the German newcomers and the Comanches, the novel describes the unlikely survival of these fledgling homesteads and provides evidence that support from the Delaware Indians, as well as the nearby Mormon community of Zodiac, was key to the Germans’ success. Along the way, Strubberg also depicts the laying of the cornerstone to the Vereinskirche, the blazing of an important new road to Austin, exciting hunting scenes, and an admirable spirit of cultural cohesion and determined resilience. In so doing, he resurrects a fascinating lost world.

  • Translator's Note
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Friedrichsburg: Colony of the German Fürstenverein
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1
    The Solitary Rider. The Wild Ones. Friedrichsburg. Early Morning Hour. The Lovers. The Major. The Two War Comrades.
  • Chapter 2
    The Fürstenverein. Prince Carl Solms. The New Braunfels Colony. The Colonial Director Dr. Schubbert. The Cornfield. The Town. The Man from Frankfurt. The Quartermaster. The Cannons of the Verein. The Shawnee Indians. Supper.
  • Chapter 3
    Kateumsi (the Archer). Call for Peace. The Path through the Wilderness. The Beautiful Valley. Laying out the Road. Ambush by the Comanches. The Saving Shot. The Night Camp. The Buffalo.
  • Chapter 4
    The City of Austin. The Delegates. The Wild Horsemen. Scurvy. The Gathering of Herbs. The Rattlesnake. The Sick One. The Convalescence. The Nanny.
  • Chapter 5
    The Slacker. The Stranger. The Mormons. The Three Happy Ones. The Miser. The Rats. The Invalid. Imagination. Death. The Gruesome Apparition. Ready Money. No Peace in the Grave. The Rat King.
  • Chapter 6
    The Delaware Indians. The Chief. Believed to Be Dead. The Request. The Hunting Horse. The Trial Shot. The Irreconcilable Enemy. The Ride through the Forest. Welcome. The Presents. The Wild Friend.
  • Chapter 7
    The Settlement of the Mormons. The Bloodhound. The Bear. The Jaguar. The Fandango House. The Arrow Shots. The Hunt.
  • Chapter 8
    Great Concern. The Old Peace Chief. The Wax Lanterns. Sudden Flight. The Mill. Springtime. The Flourishing City. The Grab. Munitions. The Cannons. The Night Music. The Old Friend. Coffee.
  • Chapter 9
    The New City. Government Officials. Big Preparations. Day of Festivities. Grand Entrance of the Guests. The Proud Savage. The Parade. The Conclusion of Peace. The Feast. The Departure.
  • Chapter 10
    The Vicious Foe. The Challenge. Defiance. Hostile Appearance. Warning Shot. Caution. Fall Day. Lottery. Pleasure Ride.
  • Chapter 11
    The War Party. The Flight. The Storm. The Heroine. The Prisoner. The Honored One. The Triumphal Procession. The Grateful Indian. Undisturbed Tranquility. The Pleasure Trip. Good Advice. Freedom from Care. Charming Night Camp.
  • Chapter 12
    Careless. Cry of Terror. Scalping. The Flight. Ruse. The Return. The Death Notice. Sympathy. Funeral Procession. Heavy Gait. Notification. Ill Foreboding. The Hearse. Composure.
  • Chapter 13
    The Return Trip. Bad News. The Horror. Night of Love. Melancholy. Desire for Revenge. The Friendly Room. The Journey. The Delaware Chieftain.
  • Chapter 14
    The Bear Hunt. Indian Sign. Concern. On the Look-out. The Lovely Young Lady. The Deadly Enemy. Blood. Dismay. Chase.
  • Chapter 15
    Much Excitement. Foundation Day. Hurried Preparations for the Festival. Morning of the Festival. Laying of the Cornerstone. Celebratory Feast. The Dance. The Promenade. Sitting at the Fireplace. Alone. The Frightful Face. The Abduction. Anxiety. Despair. The Wild Friend.
  • Chapter 16
    The Warriors. On the Trail. The Bandits. Deception. The Valley. The Cave. The Prisoner. The Posse of Revenge. The Wounded. The Departure.
  • Chapter 17
    The Enamored Savage. The Grey Bear. The Victor. The Friends. The Bound and Tied Captive. Passion. Horror. The Shot. Rescued. The News. The Return Trip.
  • Chapter 18
    Dismay. The Messenger of Glad Tidings. Jubilation. Yearning. Reunion. The Welcome. The Abandoned Town. The Wedding Day. Presentation of Gifts. The Polonaise. The Honored Guest. Merriment.
  • Notes
  • Appendix: Chronological Bibliography of First Editions by Friedrich Armand Strubberg
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited
  • Index

Friedrich Armand Strubberg (1806-1889) was a German physician who lived for several years in the German Texas settlement of Fredericksburg.

James C. Kearney has published two previous books, Nassau Plantation: The Evolution of a Texas German Slave Plantation and Friedrichsburg: A Novel, which won the Summerfield G. Roberts Award from the Sons of the Republic of Texas.

"But it is Kearney’s introduction to Friedrichsburg that makes this volume a must-read for historians as well as descendants of these German immigrants…for descendants of German immigrants who wish to experience the kind of popular literature that entertained their ancestors, even the melodramatic episodes of this novel will be informative and entertaining."

Texas Books in Review

Summerfield G. Roberts Award for a Work of Creative Writing, Sons of the Texas Republic - 2013