Gustave Koerner decided he did not want to be a “latin farmer”- a term given to university educated Germans who desired to own land, the possibility of which was denied them in their homeland. Koerner attended lectures at Transylvania University in Kentucky to become fluent in English and learn more about the American legal system. He married Sophie Engelmann in 1836 and rented a home near the law office of Adam Snyder where he worked. Snyder was a Democrat office holder and Koerner’s business association with Snyder would be Koerner’s entrée to politics. Koerner later opened an office with James Shields, who became Koerner’s “best American friend.”

Gustave Koerner’s Early Years in America: Koerner’s Concern for German Immigrants and Their Understanding of American Life and Law

We are pleased to post the scholarly writings of University of Missouri–St. Louis Professor Steven Rowan. His translations and perspectives, more fully described below, add greatly to our understanding of Koerner’s intellectual activity in the 1830s. Graduate student, Michael Beatty, contributes a transcription of Fraktur into modern typeface, and an opposing viewpoint.

Links to these pages may be made, and one copy for your personal use is permitted by law. However, you must obtain permission from the original author to make any other reproduction, distribution, or other form of publication.

An Illumination of Duden’s Report on the Western States of North AmericaTranslation ( 62 pp.; 244KB )German to EnglishProfessor Steven RowanUniversity of Missouri–St. Louis

Koerner’s Beleuchtung [An Illumination], originally written in German (1834), analyzes the impact of Gottfried Duden’s widely-read guide for German immigrants traveling to the Missouri River settlements near St. Louis.

See also Beatty’s transcription, below.

Beleuchtung des Duden’schen Berichtes über die westlichen Staaten NordamerikasTranscription, Fraktur into modern typeface (370 KB)Michael BeattyGraduate student University of Missouri–St. Louis (2009)

Koerner’s Beleuchtung . . . is shared here, courtesy of Mr. Beatty, for those who wish to read the original German.


Gustav Körner Attacks Gottfried Duden in 1834: Illinois against Missouri? (178 KB)Professor Steven RowanUniversity of Missouri–St. Louis

Presented at the 33rd Annual Symposium of the Society for German–American Studies’ Annual Symposium, New Ulm, Minnesota, April 17, 2009.

In Gesetzbuch, Koerner translated the laws of Illinois (1833) into German for newly-arrived immigrants.

Professor Rowan’s article, “Gustav Körner’s IllinoisGesetzbuch: A Legal Handbook for Illinois Germans in 1838″ summarizes the content of Koerner’s book with readers after first translating it back into English.

This Gesetzbuch article first appeared in Der Maibaum (Spring 2009) published by the Deutschheim Association, P.O. Box 16, Hermann, Missouri, 65041, digitized here with permission of the editor and author.

MaibaumSpr2009-1-0001smIn Gesetzbuch, Koerner translated the laws of Illinois (1833) into German for newly-arrived immigrants.

Professor Rowan’s article, “Gustav Körner’s IllinoisGesetzbuch: A Legal Handbook for Illinois Germans in 1838″ summarizes the content of Koerner’s book with readers after first translating it back into English.

This Gesetzbuch article first appeared in Der Maibaum (Spring 2009) published by the Deutschheim Association, P.O. Box 16, Hermann, Missouri, 65041, digitized here with permission of the editor and author.

Read Page 1, 2, 3, 4

 

In 1842 Charles Dickens visited Belleville and ate at Belleville House Hotel. His description of the area was not flattering in his book Notes on Travel in America.  Lt. Gov. William Kinney, who favored slavery, felt compelled to write a response to Dickens’s portrayal of Belleville which Kinney thought was based on Dickens’s hatred of slavery. Kinney’s small booklet was panned as an unworthy response. Read a portion of it at this link.

Gustave Koerner and his son, Gustave A., defended a lawsuit challenging German language instruction in Belleville public schools. The opinion of the Illinoi Supreme Court was issued in 1881.  The court upheld Koerner’s argument that German was an appropriate subject as long as English was the main language of instruction in the school system. Koerner Powell v Board of Education

 

The Gustave Koerner House

200 Abend
Belleville, IL 62220

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