Wisconsin German Land and Life

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This volume, an innovative approach to immigration research, is the cooperative project of a group of German and American scholars. The focus is on migrants from farming communities along the Rhine who relocated to Wisconsin in the nineteenth century: from the Westerwald to Reeseville, from the Cologne area to Cross Plains, from the Eifel to the so-called Holyland in Fond du Lac and Calumet Counties, and from Rhine Hesse to Washington and Sheboygan Counties. Taking different approaches, the authors of the essays concentrate on the migrants' relationship to the land, and use, among other sources, official records on both sides of the Atlantic, such as census and family records, and land registers, plat maps, and land surveys. The broad picture presented here includes the migrants' situation in their original home, the migration process itself, and their experience in Wisconsin.

Distributed for the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An important contribution to the limited number of studies of immigrant agriculture.”—Robert W. Frizzell, Journal of American Ethnic History

“Richly detailed and well researched. . . . By focusing on a specific geographic area (not just the state of Wisconsin but the southern part of the state), by expanding to a transatlantic view of the migration process, and by making land a central theme in the immigration experience, the authors advance our knowledge about German-speaking migration to America.”—Stephani Richards-Wilson, H-Net Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780924119262
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Heike Bungert is professor of North American history at the University of Münster. Cora Lee Kluge is professor of German and director of the Max Kade Institute, and Robert C. Ostergren is professor of geography, both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Table of Contents



Joseph C. Salmons



Robert C. Ostergren and Heike Bungert

Part I: The Premigration Situation

1. "Aus dem Wiedischen Land": Emigration from the Westerwald to Wisconsin

Anke Ortlepp

2. Before Cross Plains: The Immigrants from the Cologne Bay

Ulrich Sänger

3. Using Archival Resources in Germany for Research Focused on Emigration from the Rhineland in the Nineteenth Century

Ute Langer

Part II: The Migration Process

4. A Geographical Perspective on Nineteenth-Century German Immigration to Wisconsin

Timothy Bawden

5. The Wisconsin Commissioner of Emigration 1852-1855: An Experiment in Social and Economic Engineering and Its Impact on German Immigration to Wisconsin

Johannes Strohschänk and William G. Thiel

6. The Story of German Settlement in the Forests and on the Prairies of Wisconsin

Scott A. Moranda

7. Truthful Letters and Irresistible Wanderlust: The Emigration from Rhenish Hesse to Wisconsin

Helmut Schmal

Part III: The Experience with the Land in Wisconsin

8. "Farm, so heißt in Amerika ein Gut": Land and Agriculture in a Westerwald Settlement in Wisconsin

Kevin Neuberger

9. The Borders of the Holyland of East-Central Wisconsin

M. Beth Schlemper

10. Agriculture in the New World: A Comparative Analysis of Rhenish Prussians and Other Immigrant Groups in Cross Plains, Wisconsin

Suzanne Townley

A Transcontinental Regional Perspective on Migration: A Concluding Word

Cora Lee Kluge and Joseph C. Salmons


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