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The First Polish Americans: Silesian Settlements in Texas Paperback – August 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This 1979 work won several regional history awards. As the title indicates, it chronicles the earliest Polish communities in Texas in the mid-1850s. Libraries serving these constituents?in Texas or elsewhere?will want this.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

T. Lindsay Baker has written many books on western and Texas history and material culture. He is director of academic programs and graduate studies for the Department of Museum Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890967253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890967256
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,017,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orville B. Jenkins VINE VOICE on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully presented story of the first Polish settlements in the United States. The first settlers came from Upper Silesia, a part of Poland that was at that time part of the Prussian Empire. This excellent story flows here from the author's personal research from historical sources and personal interviews on site in the Hill Country of Texas.

This is a fascinating story and he details the story of US and world events form the Silesian Polish perspective from the 1830s and 1840s. Great boatloads of Silesians shipped to Texas to escape the famine and poverty imposed by the feudalism still prevailing in 19th century Prussia and eastern Europe. This was exacerbated by the huge loss of the potato crop in a drought.

These Silesians migrated to Texas to establish anew life. This story covers their story in every fascinating detail introducing us to the key people, places and events in Texas history. This story fills in a lot of common gaps in the connections related to the US Civil War and European events of distress.

This story tells how the Polish language and culture were planted in Texas, and later the upper Midwest in areas like Wisconsin and Illinois. In the Texas Hill Country towns Americans and Germans learned Polish as they lived among the majority Poles in certain towns. Tidbits of the likewise intriguing story of German Catholic settlers is intertwined here.

Ethnic Germans from various parts of the Prussian Empire had settled in Texas the early 1800s, and continued to immigrate through the 19th century. There were connection and similarities between the Poles and Prussians who found themselves together in Texas counties as a result of their separate migrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlene A. Hathaway on January 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
The main reason I bought this book is because my great grandmother and my grandfather are on the cover. I love the book! I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Ostrowski on May 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One major flaw in this book is that it kicks off with making a statement that the 1854 Silesian settlement in Texas was the first Polish settlement in America. Polish settlement in America dates back to the early Jamestown and Dutch New York settlements. The father of the American Calavary Casimir Pulaski encountered several Poles who belonged the Polish Protestant 'Brethren Faith'. They furnished his Polish Legion with material goods in their quest to aid the American Revolutionaries. In fact Polish settlement in Texas dates back to 1813 and in 1836 many Poles fought and died in General Houston's fight for Texas. I am not even American and yet I know this.
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