Pieces of Our Past

August 31, 2012

Artifact: Olbers Passenger List

Size: 7.5 x 11 inches

Date: presumably November 1838

Significance: The Olbers was one of five ships that carried the Saxon Emigration Society to America. The Olbers set sail from Bremen on the morning of 18 November 1838 and arrived in New Orleans sixty-four days later. Rev. Martin Stephan, leader of the group, is listed as a passenger on this ship along with other prominent immigrants, including Adolph Marbach, Carl Vehse, Rev. O. H. Walther and Theodor Brohm. Martin Stephan was born 235 years ago this month, on August 13.


Translation:
Olbers.
Passenger. List
A.
1st. Cabin.

1. Herr Pastor Stephan                      61 years old
2.     ”    Martin Stephan                     16     ”
3.     ”    Lawyer Marbach                   40     ”
4.          Madame ”                                36     ”
5.          Gustav ”                                   10     ”
6.          Klara ”                                      6        ”
7.          Victor                                        5        ”
8.          Martin        ”                            2        ”
[illegible] 20 November 1838 died on the journey.
9.     ”    Dr. Vehse                               35     ”
10.         Mathilda ”                              9       ”
11.    ”    Merchant Fischer                40     ”
12.          Madame Fischer                  30     ”
13.    ”    Pastor [O. H.] Walther        29     ”
14.    ”    Master [of Arts] Wege         38     ”
15.    ”    Candidate Brohm                 30     ”
16.    ”    Gustav Jäkel                          32     ”
17.          Widow Schneider                 45     ”
18.          Louise Günther                    28     ”
19.    ”     Painter Löschner                40     ”

 

In addition to this list of passengers, the Instituteʼs “Saxon Immigration Collection” also includes lists of the other passengers on the Olbers and the other four ships, along with other shipping related documents, such as lists of the baggage for each passenger.

An interesting part of the collection is a diary by Theodor Julius Brohm, candidate of theology, written while on the Olbers and the steamboat Selma. From it one can gain a true sense of what it was like for the immigrants on their journey. He lists both the hardships faced (seasickness, turbulent storms and the death of Adolph Marbachʼs son on the second day of the voyage) as well as the joys experienced (peaceful days at sea, magnificent views of the coastline and the comfort of the sunʼs rays).

Visit the Concordia Historical Institute Museum at the LCMS International Center to see selections of Brohmʼs diary on exhibit, or come to the Instituteʼs research room and read a translation of the whole diary.


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