New Worlds to Seek: Pioneer Heinrich Lienhard in Switzerland and American, 1824-1846

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New Worlds to Seek: Pioneer Heinrich Lienhard in Switzerland and America, 1824-1846. Translated and annotated by Raymond J. Spahn. Edited by John C. Abbott. Foreword by John Lienhard IV. (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999. Pp. 299. Cloth, $39.95.)

Before reading this book one should consult the excellent bibliographical essay by Rodney 0. Davis on "The Frontier State, 181848" in John Hoffmann's A Guide to the History of Illinois. This essay identifies the promotional literature and the book-length reminiscences to which New Worlds to Seek is an important addition. The two segments of the book (pp. 89-226) that deal with the Prairie State treat essentially the same topics as the earlier works: frontier agriculture, the crude food, travels on the Mississippi, and contacts with Native Americans, to cite a few examples. John C. Abbott, professor emeritus, Lovejoy Library, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, has edited fifty-one chapters of Lienhard's huge autobiography. And Raymond J. Spahn, professor emeritus of German at the same university has given a sharp translation that retains the flavor of the German syntax and idiom.

The book covers Lienhard from his birth on January 19, 1822 at Ussbuehl, Switzerland through his boyhood in the Glarus Canton from 1824 to 1843. The story continues through his emigration to Illinois in 1843, his residency in Highland, and, finally, his journey in the Upper Mississippi Valley until his departure in April 1846 for California. …