Freidenker (Nineteenth Century Freethinkers) - Marker in/near Comfort

Updated: Feb 16, 2021


Marker #11673 - 2000 From 1845 to 1861, a number of German Freidenker ("Freethinkers") immigrated to the Texas hill country. Freethinkers were German intellectuals who advocated reason and democracy over religious and political authoritarianism. Many had participated in the 1848 German revolution and sought freedom in America. The Freidenker helped establish Bettina, Castell, Cypress Mill, Luckenbach, Sisterdale ,Tusculum (Boerne) and Comfort. Laid out in 1854, Comfort soon was home to about half the population of hill country Freethinkers. Freethinkers valued their newfound freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. Their settlements, where a knowledge of Latin was considered essential for a cultured intellectual society, became known as "Latin Colonies." They strongly supported secular education and generally did not adhere to any formal religious doctrines. They applied themselves to the crafts of physical labor and divided their time between farming and intellectual pursuits. Freethinkers advocated universal equal rights, and their moral values were dominated by their respect for life. They actively supported such social issues as the abolition of slavery and the rejection of secession. Their loyalty to the Union during the Civil War cost many their freedoms and their lives. Following the war, many Freethinkers relocated to nearby urban areas, while others returned to Germany. (2000) (301 SH 27, Comfort)

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