Immigrant Women in the Settlement of Missouri

By Robyn Burnett; Ken Luebbering | Go to book overview

Chapter 17
Missouri s Patchwork Quilt

Immigrant women came to Missouri in the nineteenth century and still come today for many different reasons. Their experiences have varied tremendously, depending on the strength, skills, and other resources they brought with them and the conditions they found when they got here. Individual women's experiences also depended on other factors: the era in which they immigrated; their age at the time of immigration; whether they settled in a city, in a small town, on an established farm, or in a previously unsettled frontier area; whether they came as part of a family unit, with an organized group, or by themselves; and whether they settled in an ethnic enclave or a predominately Anglo-American area. Women's experiences also varied depending on what fortune or misfortune they met here.

Not all nineteenth-century immigrant women were successful. Some died before they reached their destination in the New World; some shortly after their arrival, as Elise Dubach's mother, Jeanette, did. Some died before their children grew to adulthood, as Beatrice Finck did. Some bore great sorrow as they buried their children, as Jette Bruns did. Some gave in to homesickness and grief and went home, as Luise Marbach did, and some who stayed felt that they had paid too high a price. In 1857, after more than twenty years in America but even before the deaths of her nephew, son, and hus-

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