Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Gallwitz Collection, 1805-[1864]

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, April 2012

Summary Information
Title: Gallwitz collection
Creator: Jarrett, Helen Fretz
Inclusive dates: 1805-[1864]
Extent: 12 items
This collection contains documents, correspondence, and a journal related to German immigrant Carl Gallwitz and to the Mathes family, Alsatian immigrants who were later related to the Gallwitz family by marriage. Included are German-language documents from the early 19th century as well as a journal that Carl Gallwitz kept while traveling to and around the United States in the 1820s.
Language: The material is in German and English
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:

1976. M-1745, M-1746.

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.

Alternate Format:

The translation of the journal has been microfilmed.

Preferred Citation:

Gallwitz Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Letters, Documents, and Poetry
  • Series II: Journal
  • Series III: Notes and Journal Transcription

Each series is arranged chronologically.


Carl Christ Wilhlem Gallwitz (later Charles Gallwitz) was born on March 11, 1800, in Ansbach, Germany. He later lived in Koblenz, Germany, and he moved to the United States in the spring of 1820. After opening a school in Canton, Ohio, he traveled throughout the country between January 1821 and May 1822. He settled in Ohio permanently after a brief return to Germany in 1822. On September 28, 1824, Gallwitz married Margaret Mueller (or Miller). They had three daughters: Mary M. (ca. 1839-1916), Caroline Charlotte (ca. 1841-1918), and Louisa Wilhelmina (b. ca. 1842).

Georges Pierre Mathes (1833-1916), an Alsatian immigrant, gained United States citizenship in 1855 and lived in Ohio, where he was a farmer. He married Christina Haas in 1860 and they had 4 children: Alice Arminda (1864-1913), Emma Clarette (1867-1913), Ida Jane (b. 1869), and Martha Matilda (b. 1871). After Christina's death, George married Louisa Gallwitz on February 17, 1875, and they had 2 children: Jessie Dell (b. 1877) and Charles Bennet (b. 1879).

Collection Scope and Content Note

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.

Subject Terms

    • Baptism--Poetry.
    • Coloma (Calif.)
    • Europe--Description and travel.
    • French Americans.
    • German Americans.
    • Koblenz (Germany)
    • Mississippi River--Description and travel.
    • Ohio.
    • Ohio River--Description and travel.
    • Transatlantic voyages.
    • United States--Description and travel.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Birds.
    • Fishes.
    • Flowers.
    • Kites.
    • Mississippi River--Maps, manuscript.
    • Ohio River--Maps, manuscript.
    • Plants.
    • Gallwitz, Carl Christ Wilhelm, 1800-1845.
    • Mathes, Georges, b. 1833.
    • Mathes, Martin.
    Genre Terms:
    • Birth certificates.
    • Diaries.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Manuscript maps.
    • Naturalization records.
    • Poems.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   16, Small Collections  
    Letters, Documents, and Poetry [series]
    Folders   8-12  
     October 6, 1805-August 11, [1864]
    Notes and Journal Transcription [series]
    Box   16, Small Collections Folders   13-15
     March 22, 1820-January 1832
    Journal [series]
    Box   16, Small Collections Volume   1
    Carl Christ Wilhelm Gallwitz journal,  March 22, 1820-Janaury 1832
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Gallwitz journal maps have been cataloged separately: Gallwitz, Carl Christ Wilhelm, and Zadok Cramer. [Map of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers]. 1821-1822.