Collection: Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher) Family Letters

Author: Friederike Haussman

Recipient: Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher)

Description: Letter from Friederike Haussman to Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher), August 23, 1872.

Friederike Haussman to Dorothea Schuhmacher, August 23, 1872

English Text

Nürtingen, 23 August 1872

Eternally Dear Friends,

Dear Dorothe, I have to put some thoughts to you in writing. The time with you was too short for us to talk about this and that; I could have told you so much more, and poured out my heart to you. I can tell you that my first thought, upon seeing you again, was that you are like a genuine sister to me. But now you were taken from me again, and where to - into the big wide world, perhaps never to see me again. I see your child, your father, and you, my dear Dorothe, before my eyes day and night.

I am so worried about your journey and safe arrival at your loved ones, I wish I could witness the joy of your reunion, that is such a blessing. I wish I could see my loved ones again, so the world wouldn’t seem so harsh to me, if I have to be here anyway. The Lord just took my loved ones from me, but I hope to see them soon over there.[1]

Dear Dorothea, since you were telling me about America, and that you thought I would like it there, please write to me, when you have settled in again, and tell me the whole truth - not that I would end up having it worse over there than here. Life is challenging here because my house is expensive and so I have to pay a lot. I could not buy my father’s house as it would have been too much of a burden. So I have to work hard all year and am not able to get ahead. The possibility of leaving Germany is therefore a consideration for us, and we could come to you.  But you must first speak with you dear husband, and carefully think it through, just as we will. If it is God’s will, we will be reunited. If only I didn’t already have so many children, it wouldn’t be so difficult. I will trust in God’s guidance.

Dear Dorothea, take good care of your father. You won’t have him for that much longer, so do your duty as his child, and you will have peace. I did my duty to my father and took care of him all by myself. During those three years, you never would have known that he had three other children. They didn’t make an appearance until it was time for the inheritance. If it had been up to them, I would have received nothing. This was mostly the opinion of my Seigler family members. I would rather be poor and honest; the Lord does not abandon those who serve him.

My only remaining wish is that you may arrive at home in good health and happiness. I wish you the best of luck; may God protect you and keep you healthy on your journey, and be with you until you make it home to your loved ones for your joyful reunion. Many greetings also from my husband and Rukele, to your family, whom you miss even more than we do, especially your dear husband, please send him my regards.

Best wishes to you, from you friend Friederike Haussmann, and may we see each other soon.

Do not delay in having a photograph taken, mainly because of your father.

Please write soon so we no longer need to worry. I am worried about you and whether you will still receive this letter.

My address is

Karl Haussmann

Weaver in the Strohgasse


Don’t forget me, and please forgive my messy writing, it was done in a hurry.


[1] It is not quite clear whether she is referring to deceased family, or perhaps emigrants.