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Why did Texas Germans not own slaves?

German Immigrants and Their Relationship to Slavery in Civil War America

In this episode, I talk with Andrew Torget about the connection between Bremerhaven and Galveston, German migration to Texas, and the role of Texas Germans’ in the American Civil War (1861–1865). The two port cities were important engines of regional development and played a significant role in the transatlantic migration of the nineteenth century. Andrew and I use this traditional connection between Bremen and Texas as a starting point for a transatlantic conversation about Texas German history.


Picture 1: “Treue der Union”-Monument,

Picture 2: From the Old to the New World, in: Harper's Weekly, New York 1874,

Song: Turkey in a Straw, 1942.


Guest: Andrew Torget is a historian of nineteenth-century North American history at the University of North Texas. He came to the University of Bremen this semester as a Fulbright scholar to work on his next book. At Bremen, Andrew taught courses on “The Rise and Fall of American Slavery” and on “American History since 1865”.