The Teuthorns of Massachusetts (X)

There was a couple of brothers of the Teuthorn family who in the middle of the 19th century emigrated to Boston/MA. Their history cannot actually be separated from that of the Leipzig / Saxony branch of the family.

Their father, Carl Friedrich Teuthorn (1782-1838), belonged to the 2nd generation in Leipzig. His roots lead via Artern to Frankenhausen. Carl Friedrich had been busy in transportation and we are told that his business fell down by the invention of railways. We ignore what sort of transports he exactly made, possibly such around the activities of the famous annual fair, the Leipziger Messe. It is clear that until the first third of the century transportation of goods and passengers had been practised by horse wagon. But from 1835 onward railways rapidly changed the structures of overcome technique [1] .

When Carl Friedrich died December 1838 he left his wife Christine Charlotte, born Schilling, with three sons. They were

24 years old  Johann Carl Wilhelm
18 years old  Friedrich Philipp Bernhard (Fred B.) and
14 years old  Julius Adolph Dankegott

The oldest, who obviously had studied chemistries, later founded a production of fertilizer in Leipzig. Significance of artificial fertilizing had just become aware to farmers and the public by scientific studies and inventions of Justus Liebig. So it was a modern business with which Carl Wilhelm tried and probably managed to become economically independent. - But in 1838 - after their father's death - the family obviously lived in poor conditions.

The second son, Friedrich Ph. Bernhard, learned the profession of typesetting (Schriftsetzer) which then was a difficult and important trade. It did not only mean a challenge to skilfulness, but above all domination of language. Having completed the apprenticeship there followed the obligatory journey from town to town for two to three years. So it may be assumed that about 1840 Bernhard had entered the city of Hanau in the state of Hessen-Darmstadt.

When Friedrich Philipp Bernhard Teuthorn later emigrated to the U.S. he called himself Fred B. Teuthorn. Let me start writing that abbreviation right here. Fred joined the "Verein" Hanauer Turner, i.e. the Gymnastics Club of Hanau, although this translation doesn't really fit the German expression and meaning. It was one of the numerous Vereine which Germany was famous for at that time. This was a form of organization for common social activities, such as e.g. sports, as the title of our example indicates. As Germans at that time were deeply occupied by economical problems but even more concerned of the development of democratic institutions and political freedom, public discussion of such items was strongly limited by political censorship. Political parties were forbidden at all. So the Vereine, especially the 'Turner' did not only gradually develop into platforms for political discussion, but by 1848 they had become one of the motors for political change.

Fred was actively involved in the Southern German Revolution of 1848/49, which aimed to establish a republic instead of a constitutional monarchy. His participation is proved by at least two documents. One of them is a letter [2] to Johann Philipp Becker (1809-1886), revolutionary leader, politician and publisher. It was written on September 28, 1848 in the French city of Strasbourg. Fred had obviously travelled there in order to collect useful information, and he walked, without any doubt, amidst conspiracies. The letter ends with announcing his return to Hüningen (near Lörrach) on the German side of the River Rhine.

When in May 1849 the Baden revolution arose again, on June 2, 1849, 500 members of the Haunauer Turner marched out to support the revolution. But already on June 15 troops from Hessen and Bavaria fought down the Hanauer Turner on the Castle of Hirschhorn. The Hanauers fled across the Swiss boarder. One of them was Fred B. Teuthorn. He belonged to the 2nd company of the Hanauer Turner. The 15th of July 1849, 9 days after they had crossed the boarder, he could leave the camp in which the political refugees from Germany were gathered. His intention was to look for a job; he stayed in the city of Bern, but in September of 1850 occurred in the Canton of Fribourg. As he presented a false card of identity  (Heimatschein) he was refused asylum by decision of the Bundesrat (Swiss government) from Feb. 24, 1851 [3]. - The reason for presenting the false document is unknown. We have to consider, that thousands of Germans looked for asylum. From actual times we know, that in such situation administration generally tries to limit immigration by any reasons. Why should such procedure have differed in 19th century Switzerland?

It was by pure chance, that I found the note that uncovered the fact of this political flight. It allows conjecturing that his decision to emigrate to the U.S. was in consequence of the deportation from Switzerland as well as the certain insight of return to his home country being impossible. Although no ship list gives testimony of Fred's crossing the Atlantic we may suppose, that he still was passenger of a sailing ship with all the risks of unfavourable storms, diminishing food and epidemics. 

In the Leonhardt family history, where the Leipzig Teuthorn family occurs with connection to the Kaphahn family, there is the following quotation: "Bernhard was taken to America by a friend, founded a bookstore in Boston and, when it ran well, let follow his brother Julius." Really good sources to learn where the family lived and what professions were exercised are the U.S. census data and the city directory of Boston.

Fred B. Teuthorn is in the Boston city directory for the first time in 1855. His business "toys and books" is in 518 Washington Street. It would be boring to repeat all the details of the following years at this place. You find them in the German version of this text. Additionally you should look at the list of descendents. The rough draft is as follows:

Business and occupation vary the following years and up from 1854 his brother Julius joins the business. The Leonhardt story gives the information for Julius, "without job, stayed for a longer time in Culmitzsch, then to America", and we learn from Martha Teuthorn that this emigration took place in 1854. Julius has taken the shop as "books and library" already before 1865, Fred owns a printing office. Directions move a little southward from the Boston centre during the next years. In 1853 Fred marries Clara, a physician. They have get three children, 1858 the youngest son, FREDERIC. In the 1860 Census he seems have been seperated from his children's wife. Now Mary is mentioned as his wife.

The most exciting news - due to Dr. Alexandra Haueisen's recent research - is, that Fred founded and ran the German "Bostoner Intelligenzblatt", offering mainly advertisments for the German speaking inhabitants of Massachusetts.

When Fred B. Teuthorn dies on May 15, 1868, the living children Rosa and Frederic live with Clara. But also his brother Julius - without marriage - cares for them, especially when Clara dies in 1872. Julius had the idea to have the children educated and prepared for profession in Germany and had been corresponding on that matter with Fritz Kaphahn who then ran a profitable wine business in Altenburg. Rosa is 14, Frederic 11 at that time. But plans don’t become reality when 1870 the German-French War breaks out.

Julius dies July 20, 1880. Owner of the "books and stationary" in 10 Beach Street is in 1885 Frederic, who now has taken exactly his father's name Fred B. Teuthorn. He marries Louise. The couple has two sons, Frederic (*1880) and Nathaniel C. Teuthorn (*1884). Frederic was traffic man in Boston. His second marriage was Mathilda and both moved to Los Angeles, where they died 1970 and 1972 [These data will have to be revised and to be checked again especially as to Nathaniel.], probably without children.  Nathaniel was locomotive engineer, married in 1915 Blanche Coon and died 1972 in Quincy, Mass. It seems he was the last of the Leipzig-Massachusetts Teuthorns.

Family's communication between Boston and Germany may have existed until WWI. But there is no evidence for Boston and Chicago Teuthorns knowing from each other. At least I did not find any hint for that. At a stay in New York on my journey to Mexico in 1970 I was lucky to meet Anna and Fannie Hessel, charming old ladies at that time.  They were the daughters of Petra Teuthorn, youngest sister of the four Teuthorns who had emigrated from Kiel to Hoboken and Chicago. Of course we discussed all family relations. But they did not mention the Boston Teuthorns.

Boston in the 2nd half of the 19th century

Through the Boston streets mapping directrory (Internet project of Tufts University) we get the possibility to accompany development of the Boston Teuthorn family whithin the city. I visualized the places of living and profession on a mapquest plan. Here Boston Teuthorns lived and worked. When searching for sights of historic Boston I was successful in the foto archieves of Tufts University.


©Peter Teuthorn
2006-06-15, completion 2010-12-20

The above history actually has to be updated by two sources which I discovered recently. Fred has been involved more deeply in the Baden revolution than described in the above article from June 2006. The actual state of the article will soon (probably June, 2011) be available in German.

[1] Dec. 7, 1835 the first German railway ran from Nürnberg to Fürth. The line from Leipzig to Dresden (116 km) was constructed from 1837-1839.  Most of rails in the German Reich were built between 1870 and 1910.
[2] http://www.iisg.nl/archives/en/files/b/10729054full.php (visited 2006-08-28), Johann Philipp Becker Papers, D III 8 Teuthorn, Fr. B. 1848. 1 Brief. A copy owned by Peter Teuthorn.
[3] "Zettelsammlung Euler" im Institut für Personengeschichte Bensheim.


Genealogie Nachfahren des August Ludwig Teuthorn (*1735)

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