Johann Frederick Diederichs papers, 1847-1848

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z73b

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Diederichs, Johann Frederick, b. 1804.
Title: Johann Frederick Diederichs papers, 1847-1848
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 350
Extent: .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Typewritten copy of the diary of German emigrant Johann Diederichs.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift, 1967.


[after identification of item(s)], Johann Frederick Diederichs diary, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by MRD, April 1967.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Johann Fr. Diederichs (b. October 5, 1804) left Bremen on August 18, 1847 with his wife, his children, older boys Fred and Carl and younger children Maria and Auguste, as well as a number of other German emigrants. On August 20 they sailed from Bremerhaven and arrived in New York on October 13. They went on October 18 by steamboat to Albany, thence by train to Buffalo and by boat to Milwaukee. From there the men went to Manitowoc, purchased land, and built temporary shelters, meanwhile staying with a neighbor, Hobecker. While the other men remained to build the houses, Johann and two other ''married" men returned to Milwaukee for the women and children. In a few weeks Johann was living on his own 80 acres in a loghouse that was 25 x 16 ft and 1 1/2 stories high with 7 ft. in the first floor and 2 1/2 in the second floor, which was the bedroom. On May 15, 1848, he wrote that he was building a fence around the cleared land, had planted corn and beans, and would plant potatoes, corn and oats; his wife had planted a garden. The first year was the hardest, he said, and every year more land would be cleared and more harvested. Furthermore, as the population grew, the value of his property would increase.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a translated, typewritten copy of the diary and correspondence of German emigrant John Frederick Diederichs from 1847-1848. The papers were translated in 1954 by Rev. K. J. Steubbe, pastor of the Ebenezer Reformed Church of Newton, Wisconsin. Johann Diederichs, was one of the pioneers of the community and founders of the church.

Johann Diederichs writes in great detail of the last few days in Germany, his sorrow at leaving his fatherland, his old father and others, but also of his hope for a new life in America. Correspondence concerns the period immediately before and after the voyage across the Atlantic; the diary chronicles daily activities on the ship. Both the diary and correspondence are incredibly detailed. Diederichs describes religious services, storms at sea, seasickness, poor cooking, and the monotonous diet, mentioning even the daily menu. He describes New York City and mentions "a crowd of German agents and brokers" and hoped "no one from our ship fell in their trap."

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence and diary, typescripts, 1847-1848