In 1834, a German immigrant to Texas, D. T. F. (Detlef Thomas Friedrich) Jordt, aka Detlef Dunt, published Reise nach Texas, a delightful little book that praised Texas as "a land which puts riches in [the immigrant's] lap, which can bring happiness to thousands and to their descendants." Dunt's volume was the first one written by an on-the-ground observer to encourage German immigration to Texas, and it provides an unparalleled portrait of Austin's Colony from the lower Brazos region and San Felipe to the Industry and Frelsburg areas, where Dunt resided with Friedrich Ernst and his family. Journey to Texas, 1833 offers the first English translation of Reise nach Texas.
It brings to vivid life the personalities, scenic landscapes, and customs that Dunt encountered in colonial Texas on the eve of revolution, along with his many practical suggestions for Germans who intended to emigrate.
The editors' introduction describes the social, political, and economic conditions that prompted Europeans to emigrate to Texas and provides biographical background on Dunt and his connection with Friedrich Ernst.
Also included in the volume are a bibliography of German works about Texas and an interpretive essay discussing all of the early German literature about Texas and Dunt's place within it.
Expanding our knowledge of German immigration to Texas beyond the more fully documented Hill Country communities, Journey to Texas, 1833 also adds an important chapter to the story of pre-Revolutionary Texas by a sophisticated commentator.