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German scientist concludes tour of Texas


On this day in 1847, the German scientist Ferdinand von Roemer concluded his tour of Texas, begun in November 1845. Roemer, born in Hanover in 1818, studied the flora, fauna, and geology of Texas from Galveston to Houston, as far west as New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, and as far north as Waco. During the course of his wanderings, he befriended such influential German Texans as John O. Meusebach and Ferdinand Lindheimer. Roemer's account of his travels, published in Germany in 1849, became an influential source of information for European emigrants, though he did not romanticize what he found: after noting that the early settlers of Texas had included "the most degraded riff-raff, adventurers, gamblers, swindlers and murderers--the scum not only of the United States but of all nations," he added with faint praise that "the present morals and respect for the laws of the land are as a general rule not any lower than in the adjoining Southwestern States." In his native Germany, Roemer enjoyed a long and distinguished academic career before his death in 1891.

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