Glen E. Lich
Friedrich Münch
Photograph, Portrait of Friedrich Münch, one of the founders of Dreissiger. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Ferdinand Lindheimer
Photograph, Portrait of Ferdinand Lindheimer. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

DREISSIGER. Dreissiger is a collective term for some of the intellectual refugees of the German liberal movements of the 1830s, which, in the wake of the French July Revolution of 1832, included the Hambacher Fest of 1832 and the Frankfurter Putsch of 1833. In opposition to official repression of academia and the media, some of the liberals subsequently known as the Dreissiger organized the Giessen Emigration Society under Paul Follenius and Friedrich Münch to direct German migration to a "new and free Germany in the great North American Republic." Others continued the resistance in Germany until the failure of the Frankfurter Putsch temporarily broke the liberal backbone. The exiles included several interesting early Texas personalities, among them Ferdinand J. Lindheimer, a New Braunfels botanist and editor, and Dr. J. E. F. Gustav Bunsen, a leader of the Frankfurter Putsch who, like Lindheimer, was a teacher in Frankfurt before his exile to the United States. Bunsen and Lindheimer first settled in 1834 at the "Latin" village of Belleville, St. Claire County, Illinois, across the river from St. Louis. From there, with others, they traveled to New Orleans and eventually to Texas. Bunsen fought under Sam Houston and died at the battle of San Jacinto. Lindheimer, having missed the battle due to a storm at sea, remained in Texas as a botanical collector for George Engelmann and Asa Gray of Harvard; he also founded and edited the influential and often politically restrained Neu-Braunfelser Zeitung (later the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung). Some primary accounts of the Dreissiger were written by later Forty-eighters, notably Friedrich Kapp. Secondary studies of the Forty-eighters, a numerically more significant group, often include overviews of the Dreissiger as predecessors of the later liberals. However, in general the Dreissiger were more tolerant and more circumspect and less doctrinaire than the later, and therefore often younger, Forty-eighters. The Dreissiger generally also saw themselves as heroic adventurers, while the Forty-eighters were more corporate in their thinking and actions.


Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). William Goetzmann, ed., The American Hegelians: An Intellectual Episode in the History of Western America (New York: Knopf, 1973). Minetta Altgelt Goyne, A Life among the Texas Flora: Ferdinand Lindheimer's Letters to George Engelmann (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991). Glen E. Lich and Dona B. Reeves, eds., German Culture in Texas (Boston: Twayne, 1980). Carl Wittke, Refugees of Revolution: The German Forty-Eighters in America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1952).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Glen E. Lich, "DREISSIGER," accessed August 19, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/pnd01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on April 11, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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