Sunday, February 21, 2010

Germans in America

If you've read some of my other blogs you've noticed the emphasis upon the German population of the United States during the Great Depression years. How many Germans were there? Here are a few facts.

  • The first German American, Dr. Johannes Fleischer arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.
  • Waves of Germans settled in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Louisiana and Massachusetts during the 18th century.
  • Thousands of German soldiers came to support King George III, Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War. 
  • Between 1840-48 Germans were the largest group of immigrants to America.
  • The cities of Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Chicago, New York and Baltimore were the favored destinations of Germans. 
  • By 1900 the populations of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Hoboken and Cincinnati were all more than 40% German.
  • In Texas, where I live, many Germans came through the port of Galveston to farm and later to take industrial jobs in Houston. The Germans built the brewing industry in Houston. By the 1920s college-educated German Americans were moving into the chemical and oil industries.
I've already noted how President Roosevelt and the FBI feared what Germans favoring Nazism might do leading up to and during WW II.

Many other fascinating facts can be found on Absolute Astronomy under the topic German American.

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