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German and Swiss Colonization in Morgan County, Tennessee

 Collection
Identifier: MS-1026

In this thesis (submitted to the University of Tennessee in 1925), author Hobart Cooper describes an apparent first attempt to colonize foreign immigrants in Tennessee. His sources include interviews, letters, diaries, maps, court records, newspapers, and census reports. Also included are photographs, negatives, several blueprints, a map, and excerpts from his interviews and documents.

Chapters include: German Immigration Between 1840-1860, Morgan County--The Site of Colonization, The Tennessee Colonization Company, Colonizing in Morgan County, Economic Aspects of the Colony, Religious and Educational Activities, Social and Civic Interests of the People, and Effects of Colonization.

Photos include: Wartburg, Tennessee, 1922; George F. Gerding; Johann T. Etter; residence of Johann Kreis; Edward O. Goetz; Coat of Arms for Goetz; German Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1855; St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1923; German Lutheran Church, 1923; first building of Wartburg; residence of Charles G. Kraemer; Haag's Tavern; residence of Christian Kreis; Scott's Tavern; Brandau-Kiensbusch Cigar Factory and Store; residence of Peter Henry (Heinrich); remains of Daniel Bonifacius' dwelling; Morgan County Courthouse, 1924; environs of Wartburg, 1924; John F. Wilken; Otto C. Praetorious; John G. Goehringer; John P. Barkow; Johann Bardill; Rudolf Freytag; Maria Z. (Kaufmann) Kreis; and Annie F. Freytag. Most have captions with genealogical information.

Dates

  • 1925

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

2.8 Linear Feet

Abstract

In this thesis (submitted to the University of Tennessee in 1925), author Hobart Cooper describes an apparent first attempt to colonize foreign immigrants in Tennessee. His sources include interviews, letters, diaries, maps, court records, newspapers, and census reports. Also included are photographs, negatives, several blueprints, a map, and excerpts from his interviews and documents.

Biographical/Historical Note

Hobart Schofield Cooper was born to William R. and Clara (Mynderse) Cooper on March 2, 1897. He earned his B.A. (1924) and M.A. (1925) at the University of Tennessee. He married Jessie M. Van Metre, and they had one son. Hobart Cooper died on October 19, 1959.

In 1844, George F. Gerding, a New York businessman, and Theodore de Cock of Antwerp created the East Tennessee Colonization Company. The two purchased 170,000 acres of land in Morgan, Cumberland, White, Fentress, and Scott Counties in an effort to attract German and Swiss settlers to the area. The first fifty settlers arrived in East Tennessee from Mainz in 1845, followed by two more groups in 1846. Many of the immigrants to Wartburg were professionals, including an architect, a university-trained musician, eight physicians, and a German nobleman. Conflicts over the price of land and the lack of development, religious disputes between the Reformed Church and the Lutheran Church, and the lingering effects of the Civil War combined to produce the decline of the community in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1870, only fifty-seven German- and forty-one Swiss-born residents remained in Morgan County.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single box.

Existence and Location of Copies

A final copy of this thesis has been cataloged into the circulating and Special Collections stacks (Thesis.C777).

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may also wish to consult:

  1. MS.1286: Hobart Cooper Papers Regarding German-Swiss Colonization in Morgan County, 1846-1925
  2. MS.2568: Wartburg (Tenn.) Collection, 1864-1925 (bulk 1864-1896)

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480