This is incredible history…it saddens me to think that our ancestors did not feel welcome in the Houston area.
909 Fannin, Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77010
- This was the conditions on most of the early ships in the 1850's that made the voyage from Europe to America, carrying our ancestors and many other things; and then returning with various products and livestock for Europe.Cullis
From: Paula Foster <pfosterbmt@...>
Sent: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 10:50 am
Subject: [TexasCzechs] Continuation
This group went to Hamburg Germany to board a German Ship directly for Galveston. In Hamburg they were defrauded by a man named Hirman who talked them into abandoning their plans. He talked them into going to Liverpool, then New Orleans, and finally Galveston. His selling point even though the trip would be longer and there was 3 transfers it was cheaper. It cost the lives of half of the group.
Some Historians believe that a ship of the Victoria line took the group from Hamburg to Hull England and then overland to Liverpool.
This small ship with only 1 main deck and 1 poop deck left Liverpool on December 1, 1851 with Czechs, Germans, and Irish Immigrants. Conditions were deplorable. It included congested living conditions, food was scarce/inferior quality/stale, and rationed water was dispensed in an unsanityary fashion. Many of the passengers became ill.
The Maria arrived in New Orleans on 2-3-1852. May of the Czechs who had became ill entered the hospital in New Orleans and several of them died. Much of their finacial resources were exhaused in medical payments/living expenses since they had anticipated delay in their journey to texas.
After 10 days in New Orleans 34 of the healthest left on February 17, 1852 for Galveston then via steamer up the Buffalo Bayou. Two infants died and were buried in Galveston Bay.
Stay in Houston 14 days due illness and difficulity in obtaining land transportation. Houston was not friendly, newspaper articles suggested that the Czechs were a burden on Houston and perhaps should not be allowed to land. 18 or or more of the group died including Johanna Balcar Silar. The are presumed to be buried in the old city cemetery by Jeff Davis Hospital.
They then went to Cat Spring Area mostly on foot. A few individuals and heavier possessions by ox-drawn wagon. They left March 4th arriving at the Brazos River near Brookshire. The river was flooding so they camped 18 days where they were reunited with what was left of the New Orleans Group. They ran out of food and had pay a high price for supplies from Houston. 6 more died before crossing the Brazos. They arrived in cat Spring about April 5, 1852. There is no accurate record of how many made it. Most estimates are that fewer than half (34) reached Cat Springs after the 5 month journey. Apparently the entire Szornovsky and Votava families died or went elsewhere from New Orleans (there are no known records in Texas of them. Of the Lesikar family (this was not Josef Lidumil Lesikar family) only 2 small children reached Cat Spring where they were raised by other families.
In Volume I of the Czech Family Histories by the Texas Czech Society there is so much information and pages I wished I had the time to email it all. I am going to send the names of some of the people who passed on. paulasmaggie