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Hill Country

June 2024
1min read

Your February 1988 article “Starting Out in the Hill Country” is of particular interest to my family. My great-grandparents Ludwig and Charlotta Sahm and their five children were some of the “innocents,” of whom Carla Davidson writes, who were lured to Texas in 1844 from Germany. They became original settlers of New Braunfels, Texas.

Under the terms of the Fisher-Miller grant, German families were offered six hundred acres of land to settle in Texas. Along with other hopeful immigrants, the Sahm family had a less than promising introduction to the United States. The ship that brought them from Germany ran aground near Galveston, Texas. In an unsuccessful effort to free the vessel from a sandbar, the captain had all the passengers’ belongings thrown overboard. A U.S. Navy ship rescued the bedraggled families, who then spent New Year’s Day 1845 huddled together on the Texas shore without food, shelter, or dry clothing. However, the state of Texas did provide some relief as the immigrants were moved inland, eventually to settle the city of New Braunfels.

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