Weitz and Stille/ Krumme

In Martin Weitz’s letters he discusses his journey to America and how expensive it is to travel to the United States.  In one of his entries he talks about how lucky he was to make friends in America because he was able to find a job fairly quickly and found a place to live as well.  He writes to his family about other members coming to America; chain migration was common and he wrote them to encourage some of his friends going to live in America.  In Weitz’s life we see a standard example of young men coming to America and sending money back home as an extension of the household income. Similarly, to Stille and Krumme there he talks about how he moved around looking for work and there were times that he was out work (shows job insecurity; especially in factory work). 

The Stille and Krumme letters dictate what it was like emigrating to the United States and how their lives were better in the US than in Germany.  In the life of Wilhelm Stille we see how the American dream plays out for him and how once he arrived in America he found work and eventually saved enough money to buy his own farm and slowly wanted to add to his wealth (a house, a farm, equipment).  Another common thing throughout the reading was how often he and the other men (Ernst Stille) had to move around to find jobs; Wilhelm discusses how he would travel down the river to New Orleans to find work and then return when he had enough money.  I found this an interesting point because while I was aware that there was internal migration for work I did not realize that it was really common and that seasonal work was something that many living at this time were reliant upon.  Another interesting part in terms of seasonal work was that during the 1830s many emigrated from Europe because there was a lack of seasonal work and so they had to leave. 

One thought on “Weitz and Stille/ Krumme

  1. Both Weitz and the couple expressed high costs of migration in different parts of their journey, but Stilles had moved to more rural areas at a latter point, then reducing the costs. I do think both accounts supported a better life in the U.S. for them as individuals in the sense of opportunity, and even Weitz had felt confident through crises he could better support his wife in America.

    What is most prominent in what you mention of their similar experiences having to move around, and struggle finding is their extremely diverse crises types. Weitz’ struggle was that of a large city majority and national political divide over slavery, but effecting and pressuring immigrant caution and lifestyle, but we also heard of political turmoil in his homeland as well. With mirroring turmoil, this may have contributed to Weitz’s confidence in keeping persistent in his growth in America instead of back home, even for is marriage.
    The troubles faced by Stilles and Krumme were a lot less complex and more consistent in their struggles with land expansion, up front, high price, materials necessary or maintenance necessary of land, etc. I actually feel their letters were a lot more detailed in culture and chain migration connections than completely driven by national issues, and even then, theirs were solely economic and partially social, not political.

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