CLAREN, OSCAR VON

Clinton P. Hartmann, rev. by Brett J. Derbes

CLAREN, OSCAR VON (1812–1845). Oscar von Claren, naturalist, was born in Germany in 1812. As a colonist of the Adelsverein, he migrated from Hanover to Galveston aboard the Apollo with Richard Cloudt, and arrived on December 20, 1844.  He settled in New Braunfels, Texas, to join Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels by March 21, 1845. Von Claren was elected commandant of a local militia that protected settlers on April 28, 1845. He associated and traded with local Tonkawa Indians to acquire animal skins. Von Claren owned property at the corner of modern-day Comal Street and San Antonio Street. His family correspondence indicated his interest in botany and wildlife of the New Braunfels area, and he collected turtles and snakes to sell to naturalists in Germany. He wrote Indianer bei Neu Braunfels im Jahre 1845 (1845), a group of essays depicting Texas Indians. On October 24, 1845, while on a collecting trip to Austin, Claren and his companion, Friedrich Wilhelm von Wrede, were killed and scalped by Comanche Indians near Manchaca Springs. He was buried at Nassau Farm in Fayette County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). S. W. Geiser, "A Century of Scientific Exploration in Texas," Field and Laboratory 7 (January 1939). Chester William Geue, and Ethel Hander Geue, A New Land Beckoned: German Immigration to Texas, 1844-1847 (Baltimore: Clearfield, 1966). Oscar Haas, History of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, 1844-1946 (Steck Company, 1968). New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, August 18, 1938, October 26, 1983, November 2, November 16, November 23, 1983. Selma Metzenthin Raunick, "A Survey of German Literature in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33 (October 1929). San Saba Star, Sepember 30, 1943. Schwedler, Ferdinand A. von, "Deutsche Einwanderer in Texas (USA) 1844," Genealogie 9 (May 1968). Solms-Braunfels Archives (transcripts, Sophienburg Museum, New Braunfels, Texas; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin).

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Clinton P. Hartmann, rev. by Brett J. Derbes, "CLAREN, OSCAR VON," accessed January 20, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fclac.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 23, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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