Before Boerne

According to the Texas General Land Office, when the Republic of Texas won the Texas Revolution against Mexico and became an independent nation in 1836, they acquired 216 million acres (about 350,000 square miles) of unappropriated land. A vast portion of the space was basically uninhabited due to the fierce Comanche, Apache and other Native-American tribes who roamed throughout the region keeping settlement at bay. The Republic was financially impoverished. It had a desperate need for loyal settlers to begin the processes of commerce and economic growth, as well as to keep others from encroaching on their newly acquired land. Fortunately for the Republic, landownership was a commodity that appealed to a broad section of American and European immigrants. They were able to use their abundance of land to attract economic growth and often used land in place of currency.

Eyes on the prize

The Western Hemisphere was growing in strength and, as a new, independent nation, the Republic of Texas stirred the interest of many around the world. A group of German nobles, the Adelsverein, were among those who wanted a piece of the action. In the 1840s, these Germans obtained land in the Texas Hill Country where they began sending settlers. On December 29, 1845, when the Republic of Texas became the 28th state in the United States of America, many of these German immigrants became proud citizens of the U.S. The German immigrants who were associated with the Adelsverein were meant to stay together and keep ties to Germany. However, conditions in the new nation were harsh. Following the path which had been planned for them was easier said than done. After arrival, some of the German immigrants began making their own way throughout the Texas Hill Country.