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used worthily and well beyond almost human understanding,
although utterly forgotten now, he was for the last twenty-
five years of his life almost a household word in Europe
and in the two Americas.

Duke Paul Wilhelm (1797-1860) was the nephew of
King Friedrich I of Wlirttemberg. The latter, recognizing
his abilities at a very tender age, asked his brother, the
father of the boy, to give him over into his keeping. So he
was placed in the "Karl Akademie" founded by the boy's
illustrious grandfather, Duke Karl Eugen (1728-93), first

181



182 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

purely as a military school for boys, but later imparting to
it the character of a university, for which in 1792 a charter
was actually granted by Emperor Joseph II.

Although the king's purpose was that of bringing up
the boy in the traditions of the ancient house by giving him
training for a military career, he was not slow in recognizing
his other talents, and he therefore called to his court the
greatest teachers in Europe, masters in the natural and
physical sciences, in classical literature, in the ancient and
modern languages, in philosophy, diplomacy, law, and ethics.

Chief among these was Lebret, a pupil of Gay-Lussac,
Cuvier, Jussieu, and Hay. This man Lebret, of world fame,
saw at once that Prince Paul was an extraordinary child,
and he devoted all his personality to the winning of his love,
not for himself only, but for botany and zoology foremost
of all.

Paul not only read all the authors of Greece and Rome,
but he acquired an intimate acquaintance of Italian, French,
Spanish and English literature, and he was able to discuss
their philosophies and their authors in the respective idioms.

At seventeen he was raised to the rank of colonel "a la
suite," with nominal charge of the king's mounted guard.
At thirty-three he received the rank of major general from
Frederick II of Prussia, his kinsman (son of Frederick the
Great). That same year (1830) he was invested with the
then rare degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Medicine, and
Anatomy.

But eight years previous to that latter date he had
decided that the military career was not for him, nor the life
at the royal court. He wrote to the American government at
Washington for permission to travel through the domains of
the republic, his avowed purpose, he stated, being his pas-
sionate desire for more knowledge in the realms of nature.

Washington immediately replied favorably. Though
President Monroe was reluctant in permitting him to travel
incognito, as he had requested to do, he merely suggested
that he should like to reserve judgment in the matter, in



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WtfRTTEMBERG 183

the event that it might become actually a necessity of state
to modify the agreement and to conserve the true spirit of
the nation's hospitality. Moreover, unknown to the young
prince, the Secretary of State issued requests to the fed-
eral, military, and civil authorities of the West to provide
him with every means in their power to safeguard his move-
ments and to accord him military guards whenever it should
be deemed necessary.

The first trip, 1822-24, was on a three-master out of
Hamburg to New Orleans. The voyage lasted from early
October till the twentieth of December. The expedition was
made with only one attendant, a hardy hunter and master
of wood-craft.

After visiting the even then world-renowned Creole
City, New Orleans, for two weeks, he sailed for Havana, and
for a month he worked with tireless energy to study the
geological, physical, social, and political characteristics of
Cuba (even then known as the "Pearl of the Antilles") , and
more especially of Havana and its environs.

Returning to New Orleans, on which trip he narrowly
escaped from falling into the hands of an Argentinian pri-
vateer, he set out for his expedition up the Mississippi. He
wrote during his leisure hours about the social and political
life of New Orleans, about the trade that he compared as
on a par with that of Calcutta, then the biggest trade-center
of the far East ; about the vari-colored picture of life on the
streets, in the marts, in the clubs, the hostelries, and in the
cultured home circles of the French Creoles. Their spirit of
hospitality he ranked as equal to that of the Spaniards.
Their tastes were of the old-world France, and therefore the
last word in refinement.

New Orleans, in fact, is destined to become the city
where he always seeks rest and refuge, after arduous and
extended labors. He loves it as his second home. And the
people of the city always accord him the most cordial wel-
come when he comes, as to a guest whose name has become a
dear household word.



184 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

His observations about the little cities of St. Louis,
Louisville, Booneville, New Franklin, and many others are
worthy of being recorded in school histories. His survey of
Missouri, Louisiana, the country along either bank of the
Ohio, of the Mississippi as far up as St. Louis, and of the
Missouri as far up as the present site of Yankton, are of vast
interest. No native, and far less any foreign traveler, has
ever treated the varied aspects of this territory with such
clear insight, such thoroughness, and such utter frankness,
and, generally, admiration. He sees far into the future of
America, our own America; into its vast opportunities, its
problems, its looming difficulties. He sees, at the same time,
how the Anglo-Saxon of the western hemisphere is perfectly
capable of solving the questions that may arise to confront
them. He praises them constantly for their marvelous re-
sourcefulness, their indomitable courage, their extraordi-
nary intelligence and adaptability to any conditions and cir-
cumstances, and more than all for the astounding solidarity
and uniformity of adherence to the principles on which
their government is founded.

The founders of the republic he regarded in a light of a
greatness which he was loath to accord to the historically
great figures of his own continent. For a scion of a dynasty
which antedated the Carlo vingian (the succession of which
was unbroken in direct male lineage since 1060, six years
previous to the Norman Conquest) to state that for the first
time in human history a people had set out on a successful
basis of self-government, the glory of whose destiny was too
vast to predict, was a pronouncement which no European
had ever before had the magnanimity to express. To all
others it had appeared to be a precarious experiment.

Prince Paul's second expedition to the New World was
in 1829, two years after his marriage to a princess of the
House of Turn and Taxi ; and a year after the birth of their
only child, Maximilian. This lasted nearly three years and
embraced a thorough study and research of the organic life
of the northern and central tiers of states of Mexico ; of the



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WURTTEMBERG 185

Rocky Mountain flora and fauna ; of Texas, Colorado, and of
western Kansas and Nebraska, and up the Missouri river
to its sources. In the summer of 1831, three years in advance
of Schoolcraft, he reached the supposed headwaters of the
Mississippi, at Lake Itaska, under guidance of some Cana-
dian voyageurs.

The next seven years he devoted to the arranging and
classifying of the vast wealth of specimens, botanical, zo-
ological, and geological, which he had collected veritable
mountains of them stored at the port of Bremen ; and in the
building of a magnificent museum near his ancestral palatial
castle in Mergentheim, Wurttemburg.

Hardly had he completed this work when an invitation
came to him from the then Khedive of Egypt, Mehmed Ali,
to join an exploration-expedition to the upper reaches of the
Nile, for the purpose of geological and ethnological research.
He joined this organization as its virtual head and mapped
out a territory comprising over half a million of square
miles, peopled by twenty-five millions of hitherto unknown
barbarous races whom he described with the exact por-
traiture of a trained ethnologist.

The journals concerning this trip are the only manu-
scripts out of a mass of nearly four thousand pages of writ-
ings which are ordered and arranged for immediate trans-
lation and publication. For this vast exploit the English were
pleased to rank him with such great explorers as Living-
stone, Mungo Park, and Vogel, and the Germans with the
great Alexander von Humboldt. The products of his re-
search work in the fields of natural sciences, in geology and
ethnology, were of such vast importance that English scien-
tists acclaimed him the peer of Adamson, Schimper, and
Buchnell.

In 1849 he set out on his third and longest expedition,
which embraced the two new continents. First he explored
West Texas again, from San Antonio to the Rio Bravo or Rio
Grande. Then he crossed again into Mexico, sailing in the
spring of 1850 from Acapulco to San Pedro and up the coast



186 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

to the Sacramento. He spent a month with Johann Augustus
Sutter, on whose ranch gold had been discovered two years
before. There he witnessed the amazing spectacle of a con-
course of tens of thousands of adventurers whom the gold-
fever had urged to trek across two thousand miles of desert,
every mile fraught with almost superhuman obstacles and
deadly perils, to find at last, most of them, the bitter dead-
sea fruits of disappointment and despair.

Returning by the Isthmus of Panama we see him again
in New Orleans in early 1851. He writes successively about
the vast changes this city and the other communities he had
first seen in 1822 and '23 had experienced, such as Plaque-
mine, Cape Girardeau, Natchez and Memphis, Louisville and
St. Louis. He travels up the Illinois and describes the
changes which that country had undergone. St. Louis has
grown from a rough border town of 5600 souls to a magni-
ficent city of 80,000. The characterization of this and other
cities up the Mississippi is of peculiar interest to both his-
torian and lay reader.

Then he travels westward from St. Louis, penetrating
as far west as South Pass, and down the Green river and
across into the Mormon empire. He returns in the fall by
way of the Platte and reaches St. Louis in late December.

The story of the return journey from the junction of
the two Plattes is the most terrible in the annals of world
explorers. His return is hailed as a miracle, for all his
friends have given him up for dead. Editors of newspapers
from great and small places throughout the country tele-
graph to him their outspoken joy over his safe return. Offers
of money in large and small amounts come to him from
everywhere. He becomes a modern Jason who has overcome
obstacles and dangers that only a superman can live through.

The year 1852, after wintering in New Orleans, he
spent in travel through every state east of the Mississippi,
over practically every line of railway and by boat up and
down the riverboat-systems, observing the material devel-
opment of the states and their respective larger cities ; not-



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WDRTTEMBERG 187

ing down the trend of popular feeling on the political issues
of the times, in terms so impartial, so logical, so philosophi-
cal, that one is amazed at his perspicuity, judgment, and
fairness. Indeed, had the great leaders of both sections of
the country been guided by such a moral force as his reason-
ings indicated, there would never have been any division,
any civil war.

In 1853 we see him in South America, exploring the
headwaters of the Amazon, the Orinoco, the Magdalena, and
the Rio Plata. He travels through the Latin-American re-
publics, marvels at their vast resources, at their beauteous
cities and at the fine beginnings they have made as free and
independent commonwealths.

He explored Patagonia and the Tierra del Fuego archi-
pelago ; then sailed up along the Chilean coast to Valparaiso,
Callao, Lima and Guayaquil. The description of this expe-
dition is interesting past all belief.

He returned again to New Orleans by way of the Isth-
mus. There he wintered till the early spring of 1854. The
following two years were again spent in making the rounds
of the states east of the Mississippi. He saw for the first
time at St. Anthony Falls the infant twin cities of Minne-
apolis and St. Paul. New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Balti-
more, and all the lovely cities of the South were shown to
have progressed immensely since he had seen them before.

Returning to Germany in 1856, he stayed a year in his
homeland, where he became during this time the recipient of
honors from scientific societies from all over the civilized
world.

In the spring of 1857 he again returned to the United
States, and in 1858 he went on to Australia, where he ex-
plored a great portion of its southeastern section, traveled
up the Murray River to the gold diggings and invaded the
interior for a long distance, studying the aboriginal races.
He returned to Europe by way of Ceylon, the Red Sea,
Syria, and Greece.



188 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

He was a fine sketch artist, and thousands of proofs of
his skill portray practically every interesting and dramatic
experience of his ; also of birds, reptiles, mammals. He drew
in pen and ink, and there are some very fine reproductions of
pencil sketches and water colors from his own hand.

Thus he sketched from memory the Indian attack at the
junction of the two forks of the Platte in the fall of 1851,
and that terrible experience, less than a week later, when
his wagon was marooned in the quicksand in the middle of
the South Platte where by a misadventure he had missed the
ford, and where, surrounded by floodwater, in a veritable
blizzard, he had to spend the long night all alone.

Sketches he made of small towns, now cities of Illinois,
Iowa, Wisconsin; of all types of aborigines in both North
and South America, of his passage through the Straits of
Magellan, and of episodes of the most dramatic sort through-
out his memorable travels.

From 1851, after wintering in New Orleans to recuper-
ate from the frightful hardships he had endured during his
return from the far West to St. Louis, he traveled through
the United States almost continuously until his return to
Germany in the fall of 1856. His descriptions of towns and
cities, of the continued enormous changes in the landscapes
from primeval jungle to smiling countryside, are marvels of
historic retrospect, viewed from the standpoint of our times.

His observations on the colorful picture of racial admix-
ture in the fabric of the American population and their rela-
tive adaptabilities to its institutional life ; his reflections on
the political issues which were becoming ever more men-
acingly crystallized into two distinct, hostile halves; the
comparisons between the peoples of these two sides cultur-
ally, ethically, economically are immensely significant,
their portrayal being the conclusion from an altogether
impartial mind detached from all prejudice or partisan
leanings which foreigners, especially the Britons, manifested
in their attitudes that were usually hostile to the North.

His travels in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WtfRTTEMBERG 189

were cut short because matters of state called him home.
Despite his brief stay the account holds the reader spell-
bound throughout. The people everywhere, not only in the
two capital cities, Sidney and Melbourne, but in the mining
camps, on the sheep and cattle ranches, even in the bush,
among the many tribes of aborigines, showed him their
highest marks of friendship and admiration.

Quoting from the concluding lines of a splendid eulogy
that appeared in the Melbourne Polyglot of December, 1858,
is the following appraisal of the man :

Many of the leading literary and scientific societies
of the world have not been remiss in offering their
highest honors to one who has not merely pro-
tected and patronized the sciences, but who, "scorn-
ing delights to live laborious days," has devoted
himself with unremitting labor and inexhaustible
enthusiasm to enlarge the boundaries of human
knowledge and to broaden the sphere of the
unknown.

There is no parallel instance in all history where a man
of royal degree has renounced the ease, the pomp, and the
adulation of a magnificent court where he was held of equal
rank and in equal affection with the hereditary successor,
his cousin Wilhelm (king from 1816 to 1864) and the lat-
ter's son, Karl, king from 1864 to 1891.

One of his uncles, Paul I of Russia, and Paul's sons
Nicholas I and Alexander I, of Russia, cousins of the prince,
were extremely fond of him. Jerome Bonaparte, king of
Westphalia, was an uncle of his by marriage. Queen Vic-
toria Augusta of Prussia was his aunt; and Queen Victoria
of England a second cousin by two lines. For forty-four
years, during two throne successions, there was only one
life between him and the royal crown.

Apropos of his extreme modesty the writer cannot
refrain from relating a story illuminating the above most
interesting situation.

Meeting one day on the streets of Baltimore an English
peer whom he had long known on the other side of the Atlan-



190 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

tic, he was asked as they strolled about in one of the parks :
"How does it seem to you, Highness, to have been for all
these years, and still to be, so near to wearing the purple?"

"Lord Blank/' the prince replied, "I shall be very honest
with you. The thought of an eventuality that might compel
me to give up my predilection for travel and exploration
has been the only dark cloud in my life. On returning from
any one of my extended trips that carried me far beyond
the reach of civilization, I have always felt a certain appre-
hension, even horror, as I would open my mail, lest some-
thing untoward had befallen my cousin or my nephew ; and
I would kneel before God in utter relief, and render Him
my deepest thanks for having preserved my illustrious rela-
tives in good health. There has never been a night when I
have not prayed that this cup may never be for my lips to
taste. My life is cast in ambitions of another kind alto-
gether. In the atmosphere of a palace I would feel like a wild
thing that is imprisoned in a gilded cage. The ermine, the
scepter, and the crown would be to me the emblems of a gal-
ley slave, and my heart would never cease to hunger for the
vast, silent places and the simple life among free, unaffected
children of nature."

The Englishman, not understanding, merely shook his
head, as if in pity, much as one would who had his doubts
about another's sanity.

Prince Paul had always cherished the hope that he
might live long enough to attend to the supervision of the
arrangement of his journals in an order suitable for their
publication.

He intended to bury himself in this gigantic task im-
mediately after his return from the final expedition embrac-
ing southern Australia and the islands of Tasmania and
New Zealand, as also the even greater task, the proper
arrangement and classification of all his countless store of
samples out of the animal, vegetable, and mineral realms
collected from the vast spaces of land and sea of Mother
Earth.



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WtJRTTEMBERG 191

But only four months later he succumbed in answer to
a higher call, to set out on that final adventure "in that un-
discovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns."
His son Maximilian then turned the manuscripts over to
the Royal State Library at the capital at Stuttgart.

And there they lay undisturbed until late in 1928, when
by merest accident the massive trunk was opened by their
keeper, the archivist Friedrich Bauser. And "thereby hangs
a tale."

In the course of her research labors, Doctor Grace Ray-
mond Hebard, of the University of Wyoming, had occasion
to consult the writer about some fragments of manuscripts
which the latter translated for her. Then came other leaves,
and finally there appeared a citation from a book "Erste
Reise nach dem nordlichen Amerika in den Jahren 1822 bis
'24," by Herzog Paul Wilhelm von Wiirttemburg.

This came to the writer almost as a shock. Immediately
his fancy turned back across the lapse of fifty odd years to
when he used to listen to his father's stories of his boyhood
days, often retold and ever arousing anew his breathless
interest. The boy's father, you see, had spent his boyhood
years about and within the palace portals of King Wilhelm I.
The crownprince, Karl, and he were inseparable compan-
ions, a circumstance perhaps unique, or at least most rare,
among the royal houses of Europe. They "thoued" each
other and called each other by their Christian names, a cus-
tom to which Karl adhered until the death in 1878 of his
cherished friend, the writer's father.

Prince Paul was to the two boys "the Gypsy Prince,"
and to both he was the epitome of everything that was won-
derful. He became their Jason, their Ulysses, their Strabo
and Tacitus in one. Whenever he would return from a voy-
age, Paul unfailingly came to the capital his ancestral
home was some thirty miles northeast of Stuttgart to
spend a few days in what to him was the greatest delight
during his few leisure periods, namely, to sit by a great chim-
ney-fire in the royal palace, assigned to him by his royal



192 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

relatives, and tell his stories to the two boys sitting at his
feet like beings removed into a fairy world. "Prince and
Peasant," these two rascals would drink in his magic tales of
other lands. And many were their pleadings that he should
take them with him on an impending expedition.

The writer's father and Karl received a number of let-
ters with date marks from Mexico, Cairo, Buenos Aires, New
Orleans, and from St. Louis. For Paul had always time,
even though time was his most treasured possession, to
think of bringing sunshine into the lives of others. And few,
it appears, were as near to him as these two boys that were
heart and soul devoted to him. Both claimed him for their
common possession, and by Paul's and Karl's insistence the
burgher's son had to call the prince "Onkel Paul."

It was in the heart of one who had grown a boy once
more that those strange-sweet stories surged up again
across the span of fifty-five years, when, all but forgotten,
the name "Paul Wilhelm" came before the writer's eye with
a new significance that was to absorb his closest attention
for who knows how long.

Just like that boyish, adventure-loving heart of the
prince it was to search out from among all the western tribes
a lad who would fitly represent the European idea of the
American Indian. And surely there was none to vie in mien
and ambition and spirit and heredity with the boy whom
Prince Paul had met that summer day in 1823 in the fur
trader's yard on the hither bank of the Missouri, just across
from the mouth of the Kansas, where Kansas City was to
be founded. Just like him it was that he should choose this
lad Baptiste for his daily companion both on this side and
in the old and time-worn civilization, the European.

He had always liked the Sho-scho-ni tribe best of all,
as among the cleanest, gentlest and most trustworthy of the
tribes in the savage West. So it was not strange that he
should be moved by a great emotion when, in August of
1850, he saw another youth of the same tribe, the tribe he
liked best among all the hordes of the West, who with a



PRINCE PAUL WILHELM OF WURTTEMBERG 193

number of others of his tribe was working among a medley
of Indians of the Sierras for his Swiss friend and host, Herr
Sutter, in the wheatfields and on the threshing floors it
was not strange, I repeat it, that a melancholy feeling should
come over him at sight of this youth who reminded him so
strangely of Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of the great
Sacajawea.

The fiction writer would have thought his story incom-
plete had he failed to bring together these two personages
of epic mold, the prince and Sacajawea. It would have been
a fitting consummation to a great tale. One cannot help but
feel a lasting regret that the two never met. Of such an en-
counter it could truly have been said that royalty of the
purest, bluest blood, the royalty of the Old World and of the
New had each met its match.
University of Wyoming,
Laramie, Wyoming.

AN ACCOUNT OF ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT AMERICAN
DESERT BY His ROYAL HIGHNESS, DUKE PAUL WILHELM

VON WtlRTTEMBERG

It was near the middle of August, 1851, when I set out
from St. Louis for Kansastown, a new settlement on the



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