School Papers

Like early European settlement. New Braunfels was established

Like many cities across the United States it’s evident that the culture and architecture of New Braunfels, Texas is greatly influenced by early European settlement. New Braunfels was established in 1845 by German settlers. One of the most important people in making this happen was Prince Carl Solms Braunfels. Prince Carls full name was Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Ludwig Georg Alfred Alexander, Prince of Solms, Lord of Braunfels, Grafenstein, Münzenberg, Wildenfels, and Sonnenwalde. Prince Carl was a very complex man, known for being handsome and highly connected. Prince Carl served in both the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Prussian Army  and Austrian Army. But his joining Adelsverein is what led him to having a vital role in the early settlement of Texas.Prince Carl was born in Neustrelitz, Germany on July 27th 1812. Since birth Prince Carl was destined for greatness. Being born a prince and having been so closely connected to other nations Royalty paved the way for his busy yet successful life. He was a well educated, adventurous man and loved to explore. Even being so highly connected couldn’t keep Prince Carl from being briefly incarcerated for being absent without leave during his time serving for the Prussian military. Soon after that he had some marital problems due to him marrying below his social status. In that same year after separating  from his wife and kids, he joined Austrian Army. While serving in the Austrian Army he was stationed in Bohemia, the Balkans and the Rhineland. He read many books about Texas but none more important than the novel he read by Charles Sealsfield. After reading Charles Sealsfield’s book about Texas it really sparked his interest to see this new land for himself so he joined Adelsverein. Adelsverein begin organizing on April 20th 1842. This group was known by many names but if translated to English was officially named the “Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas”. The group’s leaders had a grand idea of a New Germany but on U.S soil. The plan was to accomplish this task by mass immigration. At the time they had a vision but no funds or financial supporters to follow through with the dream of  New Germany. The Prince took it upon himself to start getting everyone else excited about the possibility of establishing a new world and raising money to make it happen. He reached out to all his friends and family in high places. His connections expanded as far as to reach Prince Albert. Prince Carl was relentless with his efforts of finding support for his colonial project. His adventurous nature even led him to go on secret missions to France and Belgium. Due to Carl’s valiant efforts Adelsverein was established in 1844 with the support of England, France and Belgium. Also in the same year he was promoted to Commissioner-General.As Commissioner-General he began his settlement by purchasing land along the Matagorda Bay. The land he purchased was a good start, with it he was able to set up a port. After exploring the land more and mapping his exploration, he convince his society to purchase more land. Carl took his exploration more inland stumbling upon San Antonio while leaving his followers temporarily behind in Victoria. Soon he purchased land along the Gaudalupe and Comal rivers. He went back to gather the settlers that were waiting in nearby Victoria and on that land New Braunfels was established on March 21, 1845. Before leaving Texas for good and heading back to Germany, Carl set up a Fort at Sophienburg. Carl and his men left behind a legacy and a culture rich community that holds on to it’s German roots still to this day.