"This collection of letters, written by a young German colonist in Dr. John Charles Beales's ill-fated colony "Dolores," provides an almost daily account of the colonists' journey to the Rio Grande from New York City harbor and their labors to establish a settlement there on Las Moras Creek. Ludecus's record of life in the colony emphasizes the deprivation suffered by the colonists. From the day of their arrival at the colony site to the day most of the colonists abandoned the settlement in desperation, Ludecus's letters are filled with descriptions of the colonists' hardships and frustration as they tried to protect themselves from Indian attacks; cope with an almost total lack of stone and timber for constructing houses, outbuildings, and fences; and survive the effects of extreme heat, barren soil, and a limited supply of water." Eduard Ludecus's letters are also an important source of valuable information about life and culture in prerevolutionary Texas. His letters are but one of a handful of eyewitness reports about the early Texas frontier. His observations are those of a young, well-educated German merchant who had traveled from the urbane environment of Weimar, the center of art and literature in Germany in the early nineteenth century, to the raw, hostile environment of Texas. He writes with sophistication, a wry sense of humor, a sharp eye for detail, and (at times) a wide-eyed sense of awe as he describes the people, customs, conflicts, flora, fauna, and land in his new environment.