Archive for June, 2018

Prelude: The Saxon Emigration of 1838

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Prelude: The Saxon Emigration of 1838 (SE)
The Saxon Immigration of 1838 presents a complex, fascinating, yet controversial chapter of German-American emigration. Martin Stephan was a powerful figure in the German Lutheran Church, leading over six hundred confessional Lutherans from Saxony to America. His wife Julia remained behind with seven daughters, while their only son Martin Jr. accompanied his father.
The leader of this emigration was Bishop Martin Stephan, my Great-great Grandfather What is my mission with this Reflections blog? To honor Bishop Martin Stephan’s contributions to the SE and rehabilitate his tarnished reputation. I base my conclusions on primary sources, research, family documents, travel, correspondence, and personal contacts.
The Saxons sailed in a fleet of five ships to New Orleans and on by steamer to St. Louis, landing in 1839. A few hundred Lutheran immigrants in New York and a smaller group led by a Pastor Karl Gruber joined them for a total of 900 souls.
The SE plan was launched by Great-great Grandfather in 1831. Seven years of intense and careful planning ensued. After sailing to America, Martin’s role ended with armed arrest on May 28, 1839, in his cabin near the Mississippi in Perry County, Missouri. Outside, an armed mob of hundreds stood encircled, demanding expulsion of their leader from the colony. Some of them, including children, filled the cabin to hear Attorney Carl Vehse, (a fellow passenger with Stephan), spew forth invectives upon the helpless and naked Bishop.
What followed were horrific acts of attempted murder, false accusations, injustice, removal of Stephan from his title as Bishop, and banishment from the SE colony. After Martin was rowed over the Mississippi, a new church body was formed on a rock of crime, contempt and lies.

Emigration of Germans in the Mid-19th Century

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Perhaps the reader of this blog is also of German heritage - or you married into the Saxon ethnic group, and you want to know more about how this settlement of a large religious community (and later church synod called The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod = LCSM), comprising mostly of these emigrants from Saxony and […]

Martin Stephan: Portrait of a Man

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God . . .

A man of intense, internal power, no wonder Martin felt attracted to just that Bible passage above, pictured in the photo.

He would need all of God’s power he could get.