This collection contains 9 documents, 2 letters, and a journal related to German immigrant Carl Christ Wilhelm Gallwitz and to the Mathes family, Alsatian immigrants who were later related to the Gallwitz family by marriage.
The first 5 items, all in German, are 3 baptism certificates, a printed poem about baptism, and a document. The poem is surrounded by a colored printed floral border, and the document is written on a sheet with a colored illustration of two birds in a floral setting. Other documents are a naturalization certificate for Martin Mathers [ sic ], issued in Wooster, Ohio (April 2, 1855), and a German and French document from the 1860s certifying the 1833 birth of George Mathes to Martin Mathes and Marguerite Rott of the Alsatian town of Wissembourg.
Correspondence includes a German letter from Martin Mathes, Jr., to his father (July 19, 1850) and a letter signed by several men in Coloma, California, about the death of Martin Mathes, Jr., and funeral costs (December 8, 1850). A manuscript poem in German and an illustration of the Sun are undated.
Carl Christ Wilhelm Gallwitz kept a journal (459 pages) between March 22, 1820, and January 1832. He documented his travels in Europe and in the United States, as well as his life in Ohio. Gallwitz wrote brief entries almost daily between 1820 and 1822, and less frequently through January 1832. Gallwitz occasionally drew illustrations, including a kite's stringing system (July 1, 1820, p. 68), various types of fish (July 4, 1820, pp. 71-73), a "May apple" plant (August 6, 1820, p. 94), and an unidentified mammal (19 August, 1820, p. 99). The journal includes a list of cities that Gallwitz visited while traveling between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and New Orleans, Louisiana (pp. 270-271), as well as several pages of watercolor and ink manuscript maps of his traveling route, usually made on riverboats (pp. 273-299). A translated copy of the journal and Gallwitz's itinerary are housed with the collection.
The journal also includes a colorful illustration of a man painting the portrait of a woman in an interior setting, featuring details such as a patterned rug, a side table with teacups, and paintings hung on the wall (p. 486). Two additional illustrations depict store signs for "L. Weeman & Comp. Store" and "1823. L. Ewing's Office" (p. 491). The inside of the back cover bears a pencil sketch of three figures at the base of a bluff.