Collection: Sosnowski Family Letters

Description: Letter from Mattheus Schlemmer to his sister-in-law, Sophie Sosnowski, November 8, 1857.

Mattheus Schlemmer to Sophie Sosnowski, November 8, 1857

English Text

Pforzheim, Nov. 8, 1857.

My dear sister-in-law:

After I tore off seven months and ten days of my sixteenth-month sentence in a newly equipped penitentiary, through the bitterness of my family, I was discharged upon the request of the Most Highness the Grand Duke along with forty others, mostly political prisoners. 

It was promised to me during my incarceration as well as afterwards, upon my request to be allowed after some time to return to my profession. At times it seems to me that this is very unnecessary, and at times I see the future of Germany in a most deplorable condition, and a hard fight is not at the end. At times, it is my wife’s greatest wish to see you again, and as she has been unkindly and dishonestly treated in the places where she formerly and currently resides, so it came to my thoughts to ask for advice on what you think of it if we were to unite ourselves with you. Establish a kind of educational institution of open some kind of business so that we would be completely independent from anyone. We could bring a capital of about 9,000-10,000 sch. with us. I am very well along in English so as to be able to read very well but in some exercises in conversation, and I have taken lessons from June 1850 until January 1851 from a teacher. He had gotten along so far that in six months he read a story to me out of an English book, which I had to write down and did so without mistakes. I studied during the seven months I was in prison, and I like English very much. And it is very easy to me, being a master of Latin, French, etc. 

I could give lessons in landscape drawing, geography, and in case of necessity, astronomy and history. During this time, my wife will look after the higher duties and see that our cooking will not burn. However, all this is just a proposal to you, dearest sister-in-law. If I may consider it, and if you please to agree to it, you will communicate what your opinion is of the matter. Easily that tyrannical Russian government is coming over to Germany, and I will wish to save whatever I can. I cannot tell you how I feel when being introduced into the House of Corrections, a house fitted up to common criminals. I can therefore not feel but unkindly to a government that is charged with such guilt of blood. The hindering of our going away is our children, particularly my daughter Sophie, a true copy of you, because they are governed by the powers of their own reluctance.