Walking Tour of Fredericksburg - Marktplatz 3
Behind the Vereins Kirche is a statue commemorating the treaty between the German settlers and the Comanche Indians.
The land between the Llano and Colorado Rivers made up the Fisher-Miller Land Grant to the German Adelsverein for settlers from Germany. However, this land was also the hunting grounds of the Comanche Indians. Government officials weren’t able to guarantee military assistance and surveyors refused to enter the region of the grant for fear of being attacked by the Indians. Since the grant required that the land had to be surveyed by the fall of 1847, surveyors had to enter Indian Territory. The Adelsverein always planned to make an agreement with the Comanches, it wasn’t until John Meusebach became the commissioner that any progress was made.
On January 22, 1847, a party made up of well-armed Germans, Mexicans, and several American surveyors set out from Fredericksburg. Meusebach joined them in camp a couple of days later. Also in the party was geologist Ferdinand von Roemer, who wrote a detailed report on the expedition in Roemer's Texas 1845 to 1847 (With Particular Reference to German Immigration and the Physical Apperance of the Country: Described Through Personal Observation). Despite warnings from the governor of Texas, James Pinckney Henderson, Meusebach made contact with the Indians and began negotiations. The final session took place on March 1 and 2, 1847, at the lower San Saba, about twenty-five miles from the Colorado River. Comanche chiefs Buffalo Hump, Santa Anna, and others, met with Meusebach (who was called El Sol Colorado by the Comanches, because of his red flowing beard) and his party.
The treaty was signed in Fredericksburg two months later. The treaty allowed German settlers to go unharmed into Indian territory and the Indians to go to the white settlements; promised mutual reports on wrongdoing; and provided for survey of lands in the San Saba area with a payment of at least $1,000 to the Indians. The treaty opened more than 3 million acres of land to settlement.
In 1970, Irene Marschall King, John Meusebach’s granddaughter, brought the original Meusebach-Comanche treaty document from Europe in 1970. She presented the document to the Texas State Library in 1972, where it is on display.
On Memorial Day in 1997, the near-life-size statue called “Gathering, Lasting Friendship, 1847-1997” was dedicated as a part of the city's 150th anniversary.
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