The Brothers Bequest: Germans in Charleston, South Carolina


The Brothers Bequest: Germans in Charleston, South Carolina - Robert Alston Jones. The story of three brothers, Bernhard Heinrich, Johann Ludwig, and Carsten August Bequest (German immigrants to Charleston, South Carolina), takes place after the Civil War ended. The stage is set by showing how the brothers’ relatively late arrival in Charleston was the logical outcome and culmination of developments that had begun much earlier in the century. By the time the Bequest brothers appear on the scene, the German ethnic community had already set down deep roots and was proceeding to become more Charlestonian than German.

The brothers’ stories are representative of the journeys that members of an influential ethnic community undertook in transforming themselves, or letting themselves be transformed, into citizens of a unique Southern city. How they fared ran parallel to how Charleston fared as it moved toward the twentieth century, with ups and downs, successes and failures.

In eight chapters, the author provides insight into the European background that determined the pattern of immigration of a relatively homogeneous community of North Germans to Charleston, then shows how each of the three brothers accommodated himself to the unique cultural context that Charleston presented as a host city. The paths the brothers took offer fascinating details of the acculturation process experienced by nineteenth-century Germans in becoming twentieth-century Charlestonians. An afterword, a list of works cited, and an index to full-names, places and subjects add to the value of this work.

2016, 5½x8½, paper, index, 294 pp.

 ISBN: 9780788457081