Fritz Anneke and Mathilde Franziska Anneke Papers, 1791-1884

Scope and Content Note

The Anneke papers are most numerous for the years 1859 to 1872, and practically all of them are in German script.

The Anneke correspondence is primarily of importance for the biographical information it contains on this gifted and articulate pair who undoubtedly exerted an immeasurable influence through their writings, lectures, teaching, and personal example on immigrant thought and action. The papers are like-wise valuable for the observations and comments made by these keen observers of world events through a quarter of a century. They reflect Fritz Anneke's interest, either as a participant, a journalist, or a patriot, in the German Revolution, the Garibaldi campaigns,. the American Civil War, and the wars of German unification. Among many other topics touched upon more or less closely are the attitudes and beliefs of other German-American leaders such as Carl Schurz, Gottfried Kinkel, and Karl Heinzen; the life of the radical group who gathered about Ferdinand Lassalle in Zurich during his last years; the high era of “kultur” in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and other cities with large Teutonic populations; some phases in the career of other leaders in Milwaukee -- the editor Sherman Booth, the newspaper correspondent John Knell, and Peter Engelmann, who conducted a rival English-German Academy there; early phases of the suffrage movement in the United States; German American journalism, education, and literature; immigration life and problems; and the inculcation and dissemination of socialistic political theory in the United States.

The greater part of the correspondence is that between Fritz and Mathilde Franziska Anneke. The fact that they were separated from each other frequently and often for long periods, and that they kept up a correspondence throughout most of these separations, that they were both able writers, and interested in each other's opinions on social and reform movements and literary pursuits, all contribute to making this set of correspondence a particularly rich one.

Filed among the ANNEKE FAMILY DOCUMENTS (GERMANY) series are some very early papers of Mathilde Franziska's family, the Gieslers, including one written by Baron von Stein in 1791; a letter from her first husband, Alfred von Tabouillot; letters between Fritz and Mathilde before and during the revolution; an issue of the Neue Kolnische Zeitung, September 10, 1848, edited by F. Anneke and F. Beust; an issue of the Frauen-Zeitung, September 27, 1848, edited by Mathilde Franziska while her husband was in prison, and some other documents and newspapers connected with the revolution.

The FRITZ AND MATHILDE ANNEKE CORRESPONDENCE series contains a number of letters to each other during the period of immigration and resettlement, and in particular reflect the vicissitudes of the period from 1850 to 186O. Also included are a few letters from other members of both families, including some from Mathilde's daughter Fanny by her first marriage. Additional letters extending over a long period of time were written by some of the early friends of the Annekes whose friendship persisted through all their changes in residence and fortune: Mathilde Franziska's cousin, Franziska Rollman and her husband, Friedrich Hammacher; and the poets Gottfried Kinkel and Ferdinand Freigrath, and members of their families. There are also a half-dozen letters 1844-1880, written by Karl Heinzen, mainly on the subject of radical democracy.

The FRITZ ANNEKE PAPERS consist of letters written by him to his wife during the years between his departure for Switzerland in 1859 and his death in 1872, and a box of Civil War correspondence and records doubtlessly kept to show a justification for his actions. The Civil War papers include a number of letters by Fritz Anneke to General McClernand and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton giving the history of his case; letters from members of his regiment assuring him of their confidence and support; letters on the same subject, from German-American leaders in Wisconsin among whom were Adolf J. Cramer, John Knell, Henry Orff, and Governor Salomon; a group of papers dealing with his court-martial; and a collection of orders and other official papers connected with his army career. Also included in the series are a few letters, 1860-1870, from newspaper publishers; some short articles written by Anneke; and a collection of tributes paid to him after his death, in the form of letters to Mrs. Anneke and newspaper clippings.

The unsettled life of the Annekes was a deterrent to the preservation of manuscripts. The husband, however, who was the greater wanderer of the two, was the more careful and methodical in this matter, and as a consequence there is a much larger collection of Mathilde Franziska's letters than of his replies. Her letters, from 1859 to 1872, number about four hundred, and are included in the MATHILDE FRANZISKA ANNEKE PAPERS series. Also filed under this heading is a large collection of letters, 1867-1883, from Cecilie Kapp. Miss Kapp, the daughter of a Zurich professor, accompanied Mathilde Franziska to America in 1865. She was actually the organizer of the school which was carried on for eighteen years by Madame Anneke, but left at the end of the first year (1866) and thereafter was for many years professor of German at Vassar College. There are about two dozen letters from Mary Booth, 1863-1865, during her occasional separation from Mathilde Franziska in Europe and after the former's return to New York. Other small groups of letters in the series are from the Countess Sophie von Hatzfeldt after the death of Ferdinand Lassalle, describing her loneliness and despair; another group from the Hammachers, mostly for the year 1866; and a few from Emma Herwegh, the wife of the poet Georg Herwegh.

Most of the papers on the part Madame Anneke took in the equal suffrage movement in the United States are from the years 1869-1882. Among the correspondents are Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mathilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Smith Miller. There are a few drafts of replies by Madame Anneke and of addresses she delivered, and a mass of drafts of articles, lists, and addresses, mostly in German.

Other manuscripts of Madame Anneke consist of a small group of letters from publishers, mainly for the early 1860's, when she was in Switzerland; a folder of miscellaneous letters; the manuscripts of a number of her lectures, addresses, articles, and poems; a two-volume manuscript translation of Oithono and a volume of manuscript poems. There is also some correspondence connected with her school in Milwaukee, and a quantity of unfinished articles and addresses. Nine small combination diaries and memorandum books kept by Madame Anneke over a period of years, but not consecutively, contain her notations on correspondence, expenditures, accounts with newspapers for which she wrote articles, addresses of her friends, bits of verse, and other miscellaneous information.

The BIOGRAPHY AND APPENDIX are two volumes prepared by Miss Henriette M. Heinzen, herself a descendant of German '48ers, working under the direction of Mrs. Hertha Anneke Sanne, the only surviving child of the Annekes. Miss Heinzen also examined, studied, identified and carefully arranged the papers themselves. The volumes contain lengthy extracts from the papers of the collection in translation, with some study of the Annekes' characters and an evaluation of their work and their contribution to American life.