St. Paul’s Evangelical & Reformed Church UCC
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Dr. James Kearney


I was born and reared on a historic Colorado County Ranch between Weimar and Columbus where I still make my home with my wife of forty years, Paulina van Bavel. We have three grown children and four grandchildren. I graduated from the University of Texas in 1969 with a dual major in History and German literature. Thereafter I was drafted and served as a combat medic in Vietnam. I subsequently received my PhD from the Department of Germanic Studies at UT and taught German at Katy High School for a number of years. At the present I am lecturer at the University of Texas in Austin where I teach an upper division course on European immigration to Texas in the 19th century.


I am the author of two books: Nassau Plantation; The Evolution of a Texas German Slave Plantation, (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2009) and Friedrichsburg; The Colony of the German Fürstenverein, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011). The latter book received the Summerfield G. Roberts award for the best book on Texas history for the year 2012.


I also contributed a chapter on European immigration in Texas in the 19th century to a college textbook entitled Understanding Texas History. (Scheduled for release by the University of Oklahoma Press in the fall of 2014.)


This March I completed an annotated translation of Detlev Dunts’s Reise nach Texas in 1834 [Journey to Texas in 1834], the first book published in Germany by an actual emigrant. The book will be released next spring by University of Texas Press.


I am currently collaborating with a German colleague, Ulf Debelius of Marburg, on a comprehensive history of the Society for the Protection of German Emigrants in Texas.