Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Christian August Weihe Correspondence, 1849-1897

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, April 2012

Summary Information
Title: Christian August Weihe correspondence
Creator: Weihe family
Inclusive dates: 1849-1897
Bulk dates: 1849-1877
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
This collection contains letters that German immigrant Christian August Weihe wrote to his parents and siblings in Herford, Germany, after he settled in San Francisco, California. He wrote regularly about his financial affairs and other aspects of his life in the United States between his arrival in California in 1849 and the year 1877.
Language: The material is in German
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1999. M-4071.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Christian August Weihe Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Money Orders

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Christian August Weihe was born in Herford, Germany, on December 30, 1832, the son of Philip Gotlob Weihe and Luise Henriette Amalie Heidsiek. He had two surviving siblings: Louise Johanna (b. 1827) and Thodor Julius (b. 1836). Christian August Weihe emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1849 and settled in San Francisco, California, where he worked as a banker until at least 1910. He married Julie Florence Chittenden, a native of Illinois, around 1865, and they had at three children: Ada (b. April 1, 1870), Florence (b. April 25, 1875), and Henry (b. March 1880).

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Christian August Weihe correspondence is primarily made up of 167 letters that Weihe, a German immigrant, wrote to his family in Germany after settling in San Francisco, California, in the mid-19th century. Also included are 2 money orders.

The Correspondence series contains Weihe's letters to his parents and siblings, who remained in Herford, Germany, after he moved to the United States in 1849. Though most of his letters are addressed to his father, Philip, Weihe also corresponded with his mother, Luise, and with his siblings, Louise and Theodor. He traveled from Germany to California between February and September 1849, and by December had settled in San Francisco, where he found work in a bank. He wrote of his life in the United States, discussing his life and finances and occasionally mentioning politics; in his letter of July 22, 1861, for example, he explained U.S. political parties. Weihe spent much of the Civil War era in Stockton, California, and later returned to San Francisco, where he became known primarily by his middle name, August. He continued to write regularly until the 1870s, then wrote less frequently through May 1897. One later letter addressed to Luise Weihe includes a brief greeting in English from his daughter Florence, who mentioned her sister's recent birthday and expressed her own desire to learn German (April 25, 1875). At least two letters were written on decorated stationery, including one from California's Highland Springs Resort, which includes a printed map with directions to the property (August 4, 1896).

The Money Orders series includes 2 money orders sent in 1854 from Goddefroy, Sillem, and Co., in San Francisco, California, to Philip Weihe via the Hamburg firm J. C. Godeffroy and Son.

Subject Terms

    • German Americans--History--19th century.
    • Herford (Germany)
    • Immigrants--United States.
    • San Francisco (Calif.)--History.
    • Stockton (Calif.)
    • United States--Politics and government--19th century.
    • Weihe, Christian August, b. 1832.
    • Weihe, Florence, b. 1875.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Money orders.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-17
     February 15, 1849-May 25, 1897, and  undated
    Money Orders [series]
    Box   1 Folder   18
     January 31, 1854, and  April 15, 1854