These he had expected to find up the Rhine, and he was not disappointed. Hundreds responded from Alsace; some in Strasburg itself, and many from the surrounding villages, grain-fields, and vineyards. They presently numbered nine hundred, husbands, wives, and children. There was one family named Thomas, with a survivor of which I conversed in 1884. And there was Eva Kropp, nee Hillsler, and her husband, with their daughter of fifteen, named for her mother. Also Eva Kropp’s sister Margaret and her husband, whose name does not appear. And there were Koelhoffer and his wife, and Frau Schultzheimer. There is no need to remember exact relationships. All these except the Thomases were of Langensoultz.
As they passed through another village some three miles away they were joined by a family of name not given, but the mother of which we shall know by and by, under a second husband’s name, as Madame Fleikener. And there too was one Wagner, two generations of whose descendants were to furnish each a noted journalist to New Orleans. I knew the younger of these in my boyhood as a man of, say, fifty. And there was young Frank Schuber, a good, strong-hearted, merry fellow who two years after became the husband of the younger Eva Kropp; he hailed from Strasburg; I have talked with his grandson. And lastly there were among the Langensoultz group two families named Mueller.
The young brothers Henry and Daniel Mueller were by birth Bavarians. They had married, in the Hillsler family, two sisters of Eva and Margaret. They had been known in the village as lockmaker Mueller and shoemaker Mueller. The wife of Daniel, the shoemaker, was Dorothea. Henry, the locksmith, and his wife had two sons, the elder ten years of age and named for his uncle Daniel, the shoemaker. Daniel and Dorothea had four children. The eldest was a little boy of eight years, the youngest was an infant, and between these were two little daughters, Dorothea and Salome.
And so the villagers were all bound closely together, as villagers are apt to be. Eva Kropp’s young daughter Eva was godmother to Salome. Frau Koelhoffer had lived on a farm about an hour’s walk from the Muellers and had not known them; but Frau Schultzheimer was a close friend, and had been a schoolmate and neighbor of Salome’s mother. The husband of her who was afterward Madame Fleikener was a nephew of the Mueller brothers, Frank Schuber was her cousin, and so on.
SIX MONTHS AT ANCHOR.
Setting out thus by whole families and with brothers’ and sisters’ families on the right and on the left, we may safely say that, once the last kisses were given to those left behind and the last look taken of childhood’s scenes, they pressed forward brightly, filled with courage and hope. They were poor, but they were bound for a land where no soldier was going to snatch the beads and cross from the neck of a little child, as one of Napoleon’s had attempted to do to one of the Thomas children. They were on their way to golden America; through Philadelphia to the virgin lands of the great West. Early in August they reached Amsterdam. There they paid their passage in advance, and were carried out to the Helder, where, having laid in their provisions, they embarked and were ready to set sail.