The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 102 - 106

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After this picnic Mr. Westphal named his garden "Johannisthal" [St. John's Valley], but the people in general always called the popular picnic ground "Westphal's Garden".

In the year 1852 the Association arranged another picnic on St. John's day, and notwithstanding the bad spell of weather the attendance was as large as the first time - a proof that the previous picnic was still in everybody's mind and that it had taken prodigiously.

Kinkel's and Kossuth's Visit in Buffalo

After the curtain had dropped for the last time at the closing of the last act in "Freedom's Tragedy" of the revolutions of 1848 and "order" was re-established in Germany, the leaders of the revolutionary movement elected London for their city of refuge. These men were not by any means discouraged and believed that the discontent was not removed, but that it was only suppressed; and that the revolution in their native country would break out after a short intermission. For this reason a revolutionary committee was appointed whose duty it was to work for the acceleration of the "out-break" by strong agitation. In order to signify the "famous German unity", two committees were appointed instead of one, of which one intended to agitate more quickly and more radically in their work. The first and most important duty of these committees was to collect enough money to pay the expenses of the agitation. After this a National Loan should be made for the German Republic that was to be created, and the first sum of $20,000 should be payable in rates of $5.

Caption under picture at center reads Group of Liedertafel Members of 1860

Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.

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They expected to raise this sum of the Germans in the United States. Amand Goepp of the radical committee, and Gottfried Kinkel of the moderate one, were intrusted with the mission to visit America and to raise the National Loan among their German-American fellow countrymen.

Gottfried Kinkel had taken an active part in the Palatine-Baden Revolution after the adjourning of the Frankfurter Parliament. He was wounded, taken to prison and condemned to lifelong imprisonment in a fortress. Through the aid of the student, Carl Schurz, he succeeded in escaping out of the fortress in November, 1850, and fled to England. Amand Goepp was highly praised as a organizer of people, a brilliant orator, and a member of the provisional Government in Baden.

Kinkel landed in New York on the 14th of September 1851 and arrived here on the 15th of November on board of a boat from Cleveland after a trip in the West. The German Young Men's Association had made preparations for his reception. He was welcomed by a deputation of the society and escorted to the Mansion House. To honor him a procession with torches was arranged the evening of the same day, in which every German society took part. In the evening of the 19th of November Kinkel spoke at a mass-meeting in "Concert Hall", corner of Main and Swan Streets. As soon as he was introduced to the audience, he was welcomed by the assembly with deafening applause. Wherever in the utmost corner of the heart there was still a spark of German idealism, Kinkel's burning speech fanned it into bright flames.

With rapt attention the audience followed all his words, and the applause that was payed to his speech, and especially at the end, was extremely demonstrative. The motion for a subscription for the German National Loan was carried. For this purpose the following officers were appointed: Dr. K. Weiss, Dr. Fr. Dellenbaugh, Dr. Czesda, M. Juengerich, J. Reichert, Dr. C. de Haas, Dr. H. Baethig, E.G. Grey, Philipp Dorschheimer, Dr. Brunck, Dr. Hauenstein, F.A. Georger and Fr. Berger. This committee called upon all the German citizens of Buffalo and the surrounding towns for a contributation.

Through Kinkel's influence the women also took an interest in the German battles of the future. In a meeting of women he also made a speech. A Women's Union was formed with Mrs. F.A. Georger as president and Mrs. A. Baethig as secretary. A short time after this a fair was held for the benefit of the German National Loan. By a speech in the hall of the German Young Men's Association Amand Goepp filled the audience with so much enthusiasm, that they decided to found a branch of the "American Revolutionary Society for Europe"

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on the 19th of May 1852, as other large cities in this country had done before. J. Beyer was elected president of this society and Carl de Haas secretary. In this mission Kinkel and Goepp had very little success, as might have been expected for the enterprise was ill-managed in theory and practice.

Ludwig Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian revolution, was received by the authorities and citizens with the greatest enthusiasm, as he traveled through the United States. The Americans knew but little of the importance of the German revolution, but they were well-posted about the battles of Hungary's heros. These were highly admired by everybody. Kossuth's name was mentioned all over the country. As everyone knew, during the Hungarian revolution Kossuth had been made governor of the Austrian-Hungarian part of the empire. After the failure of the revolution he sought refuge in Turkey, with the aid of Russian soldiers and under the protection of the "Half moon". In Turkey he remained for some time and in spite of Austria's strong protest he was, with his followers, escorted safely to the United States on one of the American war-ships.

When Kosssuth visited America (he landed in the harbor of New York on the 5th of December 1851), to thank the government and the American people for their sympathy and aid, Hungary had already long been pacified. Nevertheless, he was here considered as the governor of Hungary, and was received and welcomed by our public administrators as the head of the Hungarian state.

In a mass-meeting, which took place on the 22nd of December, they decided to appoint a committee of 25 citizens, whose duty it

Caption under picture at center reads Group of Liedertafel Members of 1868

Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.

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should be to work with similar committees of other cities, to be known as the Hungarian Executive Committee of the City of Buffalo. Money had to be raised to further the cause of Hungary and to take all necessary measures, which would support the wishes and intentions of Ludwig Kossuth.

On the afternoon of the 27th of May 1852, when Kossuth arrived in Buffalo, he was received by a reception committee and a cavalry company, as guard of honor, and escorted from the depot to Niagara Square. Here were posted the military companies, the fire department and many different organizations. About ten thousand men and women had assembled here, to welcome the famous statesman and hero, whose picture they already knew. The reception took place in the "Court House Park" (Lafayette Square).

After the close of the festivity Kossuth and his followers, escorted by military companies, went to the Mansion House, where they had taken quarters. About this reception the "Courier" says:
"It was the grandest demonstration that was ever witnessed here. We are assured that not less than 20,000 people were assembled in and about the park. Until late at night the streets were unusually alive with people."

The Germans were as enthusiastic over the head of the Hungarian revolution as the American citizens. Inspired by the German Young Men's Association, a mass-meeting was held on the evening of the 28th of May in the Concert Hall, to which Kossuth was escorted by a deputation of the society. When he made his appearance he was enthusiastically greeted by a large audience. After the introductory speech of Dr. Brunck, Kossuth made an extremely brilliant speech in the German language. Following him, Amand Goepp, who was still in Buffalo, spoke. The meeting came to such as abrupt end, that the resolutions, prepared for Kossuth's farewell greetings, were not read. Kossuth was escorted by a great number of his former officers, who in their

Caption under picture at center reads Active members and Officers in 1883 [Liedertafel]

Enlargements of pictures of the Liedertafel can be found at http://www.archivaria.com/liedertafel.html.

. picturesque, gold-trimmed uniforms, and with their martial mustachios had quite a warlike appearance. The consequence of the visit of these Hungarians was that afterwards mustachios and Kossuth-hats became the style in the United States. After his return to Europe Kossuth retired to Turin.

In Hauenstein's Building

In the year 1856 the German Young Men's Association moved into rooms in the "Hauenstein Block", which suited the active society better than the rooms in Miller's Building, No. 515 Main Street, where they had remained for about two years after their removal from the Kremlin Block. In the new quarters, on the northwest corner of Main and Mohawk Streets, there was on the second floor a large library room furnished, and below were rooms that served as reading-room, office and playing-room. In the large half of the building a stage had been built for the convenience of the amateurs, where performances were given every three weeks for all members and free of charge. By this enterprise the society gained many new members.

From this year until his departure Julius Vortriede was a member of the Association. He became later on proprietor of the "Toledo Express" at Toledo, O., and died on the 25th of January 1899. Heinrich Karl Julius Vortriede was born at Enger (Westphalia) on the 25th of December 1820, and is well remembered by the older German-American citizens of Buffalo. In the Spring of 1850 he came to America, driven away from his native country by the reaction in Germany, which was caused by the political movement in 1848 and 1849. After he had worked as teacher in Dayton, Louisville and Toledo, he settled in Buffalo toward the end of 1857, and here he edited the "Buffalo Telegraph" from 1858 to 1872. For some time he was employed as teacher of the German language in the Central High School, being the first German who taught German in that school. This was in the year 1870. Mr. Vortriede was one of the five commissioners who were appointed by governor John Thompson Hoffman in 1870 to amend the Charter of Buffalo which became law in 1872. In 1872 he accepted the position as editor of the "Toledo Express", which he retained for 20 years. He was then compelled to give up his regular journalistic work on account of his impaired health, although he still remained active up to the time of his death.

On the 11th of May the fifteenth anniversary of the Association was celebrated by a public meeting, where Wm. Dorschheimer, Dr. Esselen, Dr. F.C. Brunck and F.A. Goerger spoke, and which was followed by a banquett which passed solemnly and agreeably.


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Revised March 27, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks