• Tourist Information
Hessen Touristik Service e.V.
Postfach 31 65
65021 Wiesbaden
Pho: +49 6 11/7 78 80-0
Fax: +49 6 11/7 78 80-40

  • Latin Farmers and Hessian Mercenaries
 The so-called "Giessener Gesellschaft" took its name from the town of Giessen. It was a society formed out of the ranks of Hessia's Grand Duchy. It was founded with the intent to fulfill ambitious projects in the Missouri and Mississippi Territories. From the 1830's onward, numerous farmers followed men like Karl Follen, Friedrich Münch and Gottfried Duden. Within a short period of time, three-fourths of the population in the proximity of greater St. Louis could boast of being German-born.. Later, many of them set out from here for destinations, farther west, on the high plains. 

One mention of the word "Hessian", will immediately remind many Americans of another story pertinent to migration history; that of the "Hessian Mercenaries". It is estimated that some 30.000 soldiers from here as well as from the Duchies of Brunswick and Anhalt Zerbst were sent to fight for Great Britain in the American Revolution. Thousands of them later decided to stay in Canada and America. Sold by the Dukes of Hessen and Hessen Waldeck, the troops fought under British command. The mercenaries made their way from Kassel, on the Weser River to Bremerhaven (formerly "Geestemünde"). 

Field excursions to these areas previously mentioned are now in preparation. Soon you will be able to trace the fates of those who embarked on the historic route from Frankfurt to the North Sea coast. During the trip, you will also hear about another migration: that of the French Hugenots to Karlsbad. We will, of course, not forget to tell about the famous Grimm brothers and their world-famous fairy tales when we travel to the historic sites!

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Hessian soldiers of the Rall Regiment, defeated during George Washington's crossing of the Delaware river, December 1776.