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New York Times Review in Book Shelf by Sam Roberts , “Louis Hensel, the autobiographical subject of “My Life in America Before, During and After the Civil War” (Jo-An Books; $26), never occupied the public stage. A German immigrant, he arrived in New York in 1842. His life spanned most of the 19th century, and, like a poor man’s de Tocqueville, he revealed it in letters, which have been translated from the German by Sigrid Wilshinsky, herself a German immigrant to the United States. “Louis Hensel was born in 1817 and lived a life of travel and adventure. Hel worked and traveled from Germany to France and Holland and finally arrived in New York City in 1848. On his first day in Manhattan, he sought and found a job and began working as a carver of artistic ivory pieces in an Art Shop. He later moved to Long Island to become a farmer. His very realistic descriptions of adventures with animals and people give a spellbinding view of his life and events. At the onset of the Civil War, he entered the Cavalry regiment in Brooklyn as an Officer and Master of the Horse. Later, Hensel spent many years traveling with the German Opera Company of New York which performed city to city, from New Orleans to St. Paul, where he vividly describes a wanton destruction and disruption of Southern cities in the path of the War. Hensel had the opportunity to meet President Abraham Lincoln which facilitated a visit to the White House on March 27, 1863, where Lincoln greeted representatives of the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Arapaho, Comanche, Apache and Caddo Tribes in the East room of the White House. This meeting is mentioned in an edition of The Atlanta Century of March 29th 1863. The eye-witness report by Hensel, of this meeting, to our knowledge, has never been revealed before. Hensel ended his years as a music teacher in the town of Hawley, PA as his base. His insightful recollections and description of country life and changing society takes one back in History as if one is being spoken to through time by Hensel, himself. His fascinating letters tell an exciting and inspiring story about surviving in America before, during and after the Civil War era that one can easily relate to in today's times.
|Publisher:||Jo-An Pictures, Ltd|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||278 KB|
About the Author
Louis Hensel was born in Germany in 1817 and worked and traveled from Germany to France, Holland, and then arrived in New York City in 1848 with his wife Sowie. He worked in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long island besides the many years he spent traveling with the German Opera Co. of New York to the North and South of the Eastern United States. He settled in Hawley, PA with his family, and in his later years, became a music teacher and taught violin and guitar. Hensel wrote these letters about his life in America to his granddaughter in Germany during the last 10 years of his life. He died in Hawley, PA in 1908.