Gottfried Duden wasn’t exactly like the sharks who passed off Florida swampland as high-class waterfront property. But he did extol the value of Missouri more than perhaps was proper when he wrote to his countrymen back in Germany that “People in Europe will not and cannot believe how easy and how pleasant it can be to live in this country.”
After he lived on the Missouri River in the mid-1820s, his glowing reports of life here were responsible for much of the flood of German immigrants who came to Missouri and St. Louis from 1830 through the 1850s.
You can read the story of Gottfried Duden on Page 9 of Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans. The book by writer Jim Merkel will be out in September and is available through Amazon.com. The release/signing party will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Feasting Fox, 4200 S. Grand. Blvd. in St. Louis.