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Longer than a Man's Lifetime in Missouri

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By gathering the stories of old-time settlers as well as recording his own experiences, Goebel traces Missouri’s history from pre-statehood to the 1870s; hence the title “Longer than a Man’s Lifetime.” Goebel describes farming techniques and backwoods skills learned from his new American neighbors as he and his parents worked to establish a farm in early Franklin County. He also demonstrates a keen eye and sense of humor in observing the wisdom and faults of German settlers and “Old Americans” alike while shrewdly assessing relations between these two communities. In later chapters, Goebel relies on his background as an officeholder to discuss topics such as the character of Missouri’s cities and the German influence in establishing the state’s winemaking industry. Finally, he provides a characteristically German perspective on Missouri’s Civil War experience. Goebel’s text is illuminated and enhanced by extensive annotations and an Editors’ Introduction.

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  • Table of Contents - Page 1
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Details

Gert Goebel arrived in Franklin County, Missouri, in 1834, an eighteen-year-old caught up in the early stages of a transformative immigration wave that eventually brought more than one hundred thousand newcomers from Germany to Missouri (and several million to America). Four decades later, Goebel drew from his range of experiences as a pioneer farmer, enthusiastic and wide-ranging hunter, county surveyor, and state legislator to write a vivid and insightful memoir describing German settlement, state politics, and Civil War events within Missouri. First published in German in 1877, Goebel’s narrative has long been known to scholars as a significant record of nineteenth-century Missouri history. This translation by Adolf E. Schroeder and Elsa Louise Nagel, annotated and with an Introduction by Schroeder and coeditor Walter D. Kamphoefner, offers a historical treasure to English-language audiences.