Heinrich Gelzer, biography, Margaretha Mezger, Swiss immigrant, United States
The publication of Margaretha Mezger Reibold is a most welcome addition to the growing body of primary sources that highlight the migratory experiences of women. In a letter dated March 31, 1877, the historian, editor, and diplomat Heinrich Gelzer (1813-1889) of Basel had asked "his beloved friend,,: "Write for me a survey of the course of your life, inner and outer experiences, in the framework of six to seven letters,,(23). He labeled his proposal as "a Sunday task that I will enjoy and that will be beneficial to you,, (23 ). He even suggested the main chapter titles: " 1 ) Childhood and Youth. in the Wiesli. 2) Hallau. First Marriage. 3) Widowhood. Second Marriage. 4) America 5) Second Widowhood. Return. Children 6) Old Age [Lebensabend]" (24). Luckily Anna Margaretha Mezger Reibold seems to have thoroughly enjoyed her task, and her letters contain besides the story itself news about goings on in Schaffhausen and also passages of tender concern for the well being of her busy friend whose occasional visits she deeply valued. In 28 installments written between April 15, 1877 and September 11, 1879, she lovingly retraced the events of her life marked by several moves, painful losses through death of loved ones, and also years of great happiness. At times she expresses also her deep faith in God's providence and her submission to the destiny allotted to her.
"Book Review: Überfahrten. Das Leben der Margaretha Reibold (1809-1893) in Briefen. Zürich,"
Swiss American Historical Society Review: Vol. 36
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/sahs_review/vol36/iss2/5