Skip to main content

Hill Country

April 2023
1min read

Your February 1988 article “Starting Out in the Hill Country” is of particular interest to my family. My great-grandparents Ludwig and Charlotta Sahm and their five children were some of the “innocents,” of whom Carla Davidson writes, who were lured to Texas in 1844 from Germany. They became original settlers of New Braunfels, Texas.

Under the terms of the Fisher-Miller grant, German families were offered six hundred acres of land to settle in Texas. Along with other hopeful immigrants, the Sahm family had a less than promising introduction to the United States. The ship that brought them from Germany ran aground near Galveston, Texas. In an unsuccessful effort to free the vessel from a sandbar, the captain had all the passengers’ belongings thrown overboard. A U.S. Navy ship rescued the bedraggled families, who then spent New Year’s Day 1845 huddled together on the Texas shore without food, shelter, or dry clothing. However, the state of Texas did provide some relief as the immigrants were moved inland, eventually to settle the city of New Braunfels.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "May/June 1988"

Authored by: Peter Andrews

In 1904 the Olympics took place for only the third time in the modern era. The place was St. Louis, where a world’s fair was providing all the glamour and glitter and excitement anyone could ask. The Games, on the other hand, were something else.

Authored by: John Maass

Whistler named his most famous
portrait Arrangement in Grey and Black . Here, for Mother’s Day,
are notable arrangements by various artists of their first loves.

Authored by: Bill McCloud

That was the question an Oklahoma high school teacher sent out in a handwritten note to men and women who had been prominent movers or observers during the Vietnam War. Politicians and journalists and generals and combat veterans answered him. Secretaries of Defense answered him. Presidents answered him. Taken together, the answers form a powerful and moving record of the national conscience.

Authored by: Edward Sorel

In Clare Briggs’s cartoons nobody got chased by twenty cops, nobody broke a plank over the boss’s head, nobody’s eyes popped out on springs. People just acted the way people do, and as a result, the drawings still make us laugh.

Authored by: Garry Wills

The distasteful questions we ask our presidential hopefuls serve a real purpose

Authored by: Joseph Fox

It didn’t last long. But we never got over it.

Authored by: Thomas Fleming

Early in the century a young American accurately predicted Japan’s imperialism and China’s and Russia’s rise. Then he set out to become China’s soldier leader.

Featured Articles

The world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios, proving that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

Rarely has the full story been told about how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.