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The first part of the book includes a complete reprint of Kingsbury’s pamphlet, today a rare document, giving insight into the historical context and rhetoric of Texas immigration. The realities faced by the early settlers stand in sharp relief to Kingsbury’s sometimes extravagant claims. In the second part, the experiences of the immigrants themselves are illuminated through Wright’s private diary. His 1879 journey began with a shipwreck off the coast of Spain, but, undaunted, he continued in another ship and eventually was able to record his firsthand impressions of the land and people of Texas. The third section of the book narrates the story of a group of thirty-six men, women, and children that left their rural Moravian homeland in 1873 to pursue dreams of prosperity and the good life in Texas. Their ship ran aground in the Bahamas, and they were left to ride out a terrible hurricane before continuing to Galveston and, finally, to the peaceful farmlands of central Texas.
The experiences of the English and Czech immigrants are vividly recounted here; the two stories share hopes and perils, hardships and enthusiasms. Kingsbury’s pamphlet gives insight into the sparsely settled region and the dreams that led not only to the cultivation of the land but eventually to the cities that now rise from once-barren plains of Texas.
|Pt. I||W. G. Kingsbury and his pamphlet for the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad||13|
|A description of south-western and middle Texas (1877)||18|
|Pt. II||The Texas diary of William Wright, February 13-July 1, 1879||71|
|Pt. III||The wreck of the Missouri and Czech immigration to Texas in 1873||103|
|The last voyage of the Missouri||121|
|From shipwreck to storm||124|
|End of the journey||137|
|Excerpts from Texas co cil stehovani (Texas as a destination for emigration, 1882)||145|