Although this website is a dot com, it's not a commercial site. This site serves as my research notebook into the study of the history of Buffalo, New York and the study of German Language and Literature. Buffalo had a large German population in its earlier days, so the two fields of study come together quite nicely.

Please feel free to browse the following projects. The original pages are imaged so that you can compare the translations with the text. Translation is not rigorous science. It's not an exercise where you substitute English Word A for German Word One. There are words, there is underlying meaning, there is the intention of the writer, and there is the narrative flow to consider.

Since these pages contain many images, they take several seconds to load onto the screen. If all the images do not load the first time, press the Refresh button.


An Index to the People of Archivaria:


Whenever available, the maiden names of married women are included. Use the Find feature located in the Edit dropdown menu to ferret out distaff family members.

Full Text

Buffalo and It's German Community - Translation of the history of Buffalo from a German perspective. The work is divided into 4 sections:

  • Parts I and II: The History of Buffalo on pages 1 - 79
  • Part IIIA: A series of biographies of German citizens in Buffalo on pages 80 - 336
  • Part IIIB: A series of profiles of prominent businesses and businessmen on pages 1 - 14
  • Part IV: Niagara Falls and its German Community on pages 1 - 24

History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County
This is an oversized book. The first few pages will seem ridiculously large. I maintained the size so that the print on the pages is readable. It's a case of sacrificing aesthetics to practicality.

  • Part 1 - this section is on pages 5 through 338 of the text and is in English and German. The English text has been transcribed with notes added where the German text differs from the English.
  • An Index to the Pictures and Illustrations of Part 1
  • Part 2 - Translation of the biographical sketches on pages 1 - 120.

The Life and Experiences of a Layman - written by Charles Boller, Sunday School Superintendent of the First Church of the Evangelical Community at the corner of Spruce and Sycamore.

The Book of Germans in America - Selections from the 948-page Das Buch der Deutschen in America published in 1909 by the National German-American Alliance ("The Bund").

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The Lutherans

These texts are listed in chronological order, according to publication date, rather than alphabetically.

The Destinies and Adventures of the Stephanists who emigrated from Saxony to America - an 1839 chronicle of the immigration voyage of the Saxons, who settled in St. Louis under the leadership of Martin Stephan. This history gives details on the ouster of Bishop Stephan and the early beginnings of the group who later formed the Missouri Synod.

Pastoral Letter and Correspondence between J. A. A. Grabau and the Missouri Synod - Letters describing the doctrinal differences between the Buffalo and Missouri Synod written between 1841 and 1845.

The Third Synodal Letter of the Buffalo Synod - issued in 1853 and containing information on the excommunication of Pastor L. F. E. Krause, the schism in the Michigan Congregations of Pastor Winkler and Pastor Grabau's explanation of the difference between the visible and the invisible church.

The Fourth Synodal Letter of the Buffalo Synod - published in 1853. Included are reasons for sending a pastoral delegation to Europe, the establishment of the Martin Luther College, further disputes with Missouri, other Lutheran synods and the Lutheran press in America and Europe.

Tell It to the Church! - an appeal to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of North America written by J. A. A. Grabau and Heinrich von Rohr, outlining the Buffalo Synod's dispute with the Missouri Synod. Included on pages 7 and 9 are mentions of the takeover of the church in Eden, NY.

History of the First German Lutheran Settlement in Altenburg, Perry County, Missouri written by Pastor Georg Schieferdecker and publish in 1865. This text describes the events leading to a schism in 1857 caused by disputes over chiliasm and charges of heresy against the congregation's pastor.

Clarifications on the General Meeting held by the Synod of Buffalo by Johann An. A. Grabau - Pastor Grabau's chronicle of the 1865 - 1866 dispute in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Buffalo.

What Grabau teaches and professes! or an Explanation of the previous Disputes in Pastor Grabau's Trinity Church of Buffalo - This text, written by a member of the Trinity Congregation which separated itself from Pastor Grabau in May of 1866, provides an insider's look at the dispute which divided the German Lutheran Immigrant Community of Buffalo from 1839 to 1866.

Kirchliches Informatorium - the ecclesiastic journal of the Buffalo Synod. These articles are taken from Volumes 15, and 17 - 19, (1867 through 1872) after the three-way split of the Buffalo Synod.

  • Volume 15 - Pastor Heinrich von Rohr's recollections of his religious reasons for deciding to emigrate, his negotiations with the Lutheran Saxons under Martin Stephan in 1838 and the emigration compact of 1839.
  • Volume 17 - A tribute to former New York Governor, Washington Hunt, and the strange tale of Pastor Ehrenström.
  • Volume 18 - Examples of the emnity between Pastors Grabau and von Rohr in 1870.
  • History of the Buffalo Synod as written by Heinrich von Rohr and published in volumes 15 - 21 [?] of the Informatorium. This is a work in progress.

The Life of the Reverend J. An. A. Grabau - Imprisoned for his religious beliefs, Pastor Grabau emigrated from Prussia with his congregation in 1839. This biography describes a prison escape, a perilous journey across the Atlantic, and 3 distinct schisms in the Evangelical Lutheran population of Buffalo.

The 50 Year Jubilee of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church - A 57 page booklet issued on September 8, 1889 to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The 1835 - 1854 Old Lutheran Emigration Roster: taken from Volume II of Wilhelm Iwan's The Old Lutheran Emigration at the Middle of the 19th Century.


Buffalo Newspapers and Journals

Newspapers and Journals provide insight into the lives and concerns of the region's inhabitants. A brief history of Buffalo's German Press in the 19th Century, from the 948-page German-American history, Das Buch der Deutschen in America can be found on pages 522 - 527.

Pan Am Journal: Music and the German-American Experience - This page was originally developed for a Social Sciences Reference Project at the University at Buffalo.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! - History of the German singing societies.

The Power of Song - Translation of the June 25, 1901 coverage of the Opening Ceremonies for the 30th Song Festival of the North American Saengerbund.

The Democracy - an English language newspaper published back in the 1850s.

Täglicher Buffalo Demokrat und Weltbürger [The Daily Buffalo Democrat and World Citizen]: This newspaper was formed by the merger on April 18, 1853 of Der Weltbürger, Buffalo's oldest German newspaper which started publication on December 2, 1837, and the Täglicher Buffalo Demokrat, first published in 1851.

  • Two Poems from December 1837 issues of Der Weltbürger
  • June 29, 1839 - Reprints of articles from the June 2nd and 9th editions of Anzeiger des Westens concerning the dismissal of Martin Stephan and the steps taken to restore the Saxon Old Lutheran congregation, which emigrated from Germany in 1838.
  • Articles from 1839 - 1841 - including reports of the explosion and fire on the steamship "Erie", which killed over 200 people, most of whom were German and Swiss immigrants; a letter submitted to the paper concerning the burning of the ban issued by the Buffalo Synod against the Silesian congregation.
  • October 5, 1844 - details about the untimely death of Georg Zahm, founder of the Weltbürger, on September 28, 1844.
  • June 8, 1854 - translation of the article titled "Our Foreign Citizens" from the June 7, 1854 edition of the Democracy, with an added comment concerning who's to blame for the distance between the German and American citizens of Buffalo
  • June 1855 contains articles from June, 1855 concerning the St. John's Festival and the resolution of conflict between Bishop Timon and the Trustees of St. Louis R.C. Church.
  • September 1855 contains articles from September, 1855 concerning the meeting held by the naturalized citizens of Buffalo to defeat the Know-Nothing Party and Temperance League candidates for office in the upcoming city and county election. The names of 441 naturalized citizens are listed.

Buffalo Volksfreund was a German language, Catholic newspaper published in Buffalo from 1868 to 1982.

The Buffalo Freie Presse was born in 1860. In 1878 it purchased Die Buffalo Tribüne. The Buffalo Free Press ran Mondays through Saturdays and the Tribune became its Sunday newspaper.

As with other Sunday newspapers, Die Buffalo Tribüne was meant to educate and entertain. Actual news items were kept to the 7th & 8th columns of the front page and those were generally recaps of the week's major stories. The remaining 7½ pages were dedicated to cultural themes, serialized literary offerings, humorous tidbits and advertisements.

Cyrenius Chapin - a biography of a Buffalo physician and hero in the War of 1812, published in the 1868/69 edition of The Buffalo Medical Journal

Twenty-second Annual Report of the German Free Congregation of Philadelphia - containing names and addresses of congregation members, financial statements, library holdings, brief history of the congregation, and school curriculum.

Some Photography and Imaging

The Liedertafel of 1860, 1868, and 1883

The Saengerbund of 1864.

Buffalo Harbor during a Storm - from History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y., page 111.

The Park Bridge across Delaware Avenue, circa 1898

Map of Buffalo in 1849

Historic Tour of the Buffalo River and the shipping Canal

Cleveland

Denver

The Erie Basin Marina & The Naval Park, Buffalo NY

A Lockport Cruise on the Erie Canal

Favorite German Poetry

Hildebrand's Song - a fragment from the Old High German circa 850.

Walther von der Vogelweide - Under the Linden, a poem which made quite a fuss in its day for raising a peasant topic to a courtly form, and I sat upon a Stone, our wandering minstrel's report of 13th Century politics.

Mourning for a Devastated Germany, 1637 by Andreas Gryphius

Life and the Ideal - Friedrich Schiller was the poet, who wrote the words which put the joy in Beethoven's Ode to Joy. "Das Ideal und das Leben", as it is called in German, represents the poet's struggle to unite the classical knowledge of antiquity with the modern advances of late 18th Century science and the Philosophy of the Age of Reason. It's a monster of a poem, but if nothing else take a good look at the 8th stanza, which starts "If the dead aspire to creation".

Goethe - Goethe's exploration of the soul of man in relation to his world provided a major change in thought and helped lead the way to the modern study of psychology. Goethe's autobiography, Part I.

Friedrich Hölderlin's Bread and Wine No. 7 not only influenced the German Romantic Movement. It also influenced 20th Century German Philosophy. This poem is the basis of Martin Heidegger's essay What are Poets for?.

Heinrich Heine - In the introduction to his book 1985 Anthony Burgess wrote "Revolutions are usually the work of disgruntled intellectuals with the gift for gab." Exiled from Germany because of his political beliefs and his Jewish heritage, Heine had good reason to be disgruntled. Here are two fine examples: The Silesian Weavers, in support of the weavers' work strikes of the 1840s and The Valkyrie, with an explanation after the poem.
As an example of Post Romantic Pessimism: The Rite of Spring

Your Absent but Devoted Husband: A poem by a German singer participating at the Pan-American Exposition, transcribed in the June 24, 1901 edition of the Buffalo Volksfreund.

Hyacinths by Theodore Storm.

Lullaby by Clemens Brentano.

The Fall Day and Departure by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Venus and Mars - Poems which interpret the relationships of men and women.

This Life is a Pumpkin by Daniel Casper von Lohenstein, 1680.

The Lederhose Saga by Baron von Münchhausen, 1911.

Two Poems by Ilse Frapan


An article from the October 25, 2011 of the Frankfurter Allgemeine described the German literature of the past 25 years as the "Ichzeit," the epoch of the Superego with its excessive stress on individuality. With this in mind Archivaria presents Dilettante fiction


Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
September 1, 2014