This story is about Rhinelanders who left their home to build up a new life for themselves in America. Nonetheless, they always kept in touch with their German relatives. We will accompany them through German and American […]
New Homeland Pennsylvania America Anton Tombach, master-builder in the service of the Elector-Archbishop of Cologne Andrew, also called Andy, his foster son Cathy, his wife, an Irish emigrant Sean, Cathy’s brother, Bradock, their fatherly friend Lady Meredith, […]
My emigration story begins around 1700 in the Rhineland. Back then, our region belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a conglomerate of a few big and medium and many small and micro states. […]
Major General Allen was in command of the American Forces in Germany from July 1919 until January 1923. Since May 21, 1920 he was also the American representative on the Interallied Rhineland High Commission. For all his […]
Part 1 takes place around 1700 in the Rhineland, and then in colonial America. Anton from Bonn and his Mennonite foster son Andy fell in disgrace and had to flee. They found a new home in Pennsylvania.
[Rhineland, 1714] After many years of fighting, the War of the Spanish succession (1701-14) was finally over. But large parts of the region lay in ruins, and many people suffered hardships or were prosecuted.
[Atlantic Ocean, 1714] The coast of Europe became smaller and smaller, then it was out of sight. Anton was feeling anxious and heavy-hearted. He had barely had time to come to terms with what had happened.
[America, 1715] On the ship to North America, Anton and Andy had made friends with Irish emigrants and an English lady. Together they settle at the Brandywine Creek, and a new life begins for all of them..
[America, around 1725] For ten years Anton and his foster son Andy had been living in Pennsylvania. They had a fine stone house at the Brandywine Creek, and all their friends lived nearby.
[America, around 1740] Andy and Cathy, now husband and wife, own a country inn, the “Merry Dragon”. They have two children, Ambrose and his little sister Betty, named after Anton’s beloved wife Lizbeth.
[America, 1754] England and France, colonial powers and in dispute for supremacy in Europe, fight over the St. Lawrence River in Canada. After the English king, is called King George’s War.
[America, 1776] After winning the French and Indian War, Great Britain was the dominant colonial power. Yet, the war had doubled the British Empires’s national debt, and the Crown sought sources of revenue to pay it off.
[America, 1781] Finally the Revolutionary War was over, and a new nation had come into being. Ambrose and his relatives returned sound and safe. Also Fritz, the Hessian, could soon go back home to his family.
Part 2 takes place at the time of Napoleon and the following years of bitter oppression. Back home on the Rhine, the Bergmann brothers had been subjects of their sovereign, now they were citizens of the USA.
[Rhineland, 1794] While at the Potomac the new capital came into being, no stone remained unturned in Europe. The French Revolution shattered Europe’s monarchies, soon war broke out.
[America, 1812] Napoleonic wars in Europe. Although the United States were neutral, again and again American vessels were captured by British ships and Americans were forcibly recruited.
[Europe, 1812] Napoleon’s “Grande Armée”, reinforced by troops from Prussia, Austria and the Confederation of the Rhine, set out to invade Russia. The Bergmann brothers Heinrich and Niklas were among them.
[Rhineland, around 1815] After 20 years of war, life in the countryside was very hard. Many soils were ruined, there was too little to live on, almost no medical care and infant mortality was very high.
[America, around 1815] A few months later, Hedy Bergmann and her sons had left their home in the Duchy of Berg, to build a new life for themselves in America. Yet, parting had been hard.
[America, 1821] The entire Bergmann family was in Washington. President James Monroe, on whose ship Emmett, John and Laurie had sailed to Europe about twenty years ago, was sworn in for his second term.
[America and Europe, around 1830/1840] For some years now Niklas and Heinrich Bergmann had been living in America. It was a good life, they had worked hard and could live in financial security.