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Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels

Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels German prince and military officer in both the Austrian army and in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse

German prince and military officer in both the Austrian army and in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German prince and military officer in both the Austrian army and in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse
A.K.A. Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Georg Alfred Alexander von Solms-Braunfels
Was Military officer Politician Soldier Officer
From Germany
Type Military Politics
Gender male
Birth 27 July 1812, Neustrelitz, Germany
Death 13 November 1875 (aged 63 years)
Star sign LeoLeo
Family
Mother: Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Father: Prince Frederick William of Solms-Braunfels
Siblings: Princess Frederica Wilhelmina of PrussiaGeorge V of HanoverPrince Frederick of Prussia (1794–1863)
The details
Biography

Prince Carl (Karl) of Solms-Braunfels (27 July 1812 – 13 November 1875), was a German prince and military officer in both the Austrian army and in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. As Commissioner General of the Adelsverein, he spearheaded the establishment of colonies of German immigrants in Texas. Prince Solms named New Braunfels, Texas in honor of his homeland.

Early years and family life

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Georg Alfred Alexander of Solms-Braunfels was born in Neustrelitz. His father was Prince Friedrick Wilhelm of Solms-Braunfels, second husband of Princess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who bore thirteen children during the course of her three marriages.

Although he was the landless, younger son of a younger son of a minor German prince whose realm had been mediatized in 1806, Friedrich's 1834 marriage to Luise Auguste Stephanie Beyrich was considered below his princely station and had to be conducted morganatically. They had three children:

  • Marie (born 1835, married Wilhelm Bähr)
  • Karl Louis (1837-1918, married Wilhelmine Gantenhammer)
  • Melanie (born 1840, married Karl Heil)

In 1837 his mother became queen consort of Hanover. Shortly before her death in 1841 his step-father, King Ernest Augustus, a member of the British royal family, succeeded in pressuring Friedrich to make a monetary arrangement with his wife and three children for a de facto royal annulment. Luise and her children were ennobled in the Grand Duchy of Hesse under the name von Schönau on 25 March 1841. The family was further ennobled in 1912 with the surname von Schönau de Solms.

Prince Carl married Maria Josephine Sophie, widow of Prince Franz of Salm-Salm and a princess of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, on 3 December 1845. The union produced five children:

  • Prince Ludwig (1847–1900)
  • Princess Eulalia (1851–1922), married Edouard, son of Eugène, 8th Prince of Ligne
  • Princess Marie (1852–1882)
  • Princess Sophie (1853–1869)
  • Prince Alexander (1855–1926).

Carl was well-educated, well-connected, and handsome. An adventure seeker, he became Captain in the cavalry in the Imperial Army of Austria in 1841.

Texas

It was during his service with the cavalry that Carl read books about Texas and became interested in joining the Adelsverein. Appointed its Commissioner General in 1844, he was the motivating force for the first colony of German emigrants to Texas. He arrived on Texas soil in July 1844, making an exploratory tour as advisor to the Adelsverein, which owned the rights to the Fisher–Miller Land Grant. Subsequently Carl purchased an additional 1,300 acres (5.3 km) on the Guadalupe River on behalf of the Adelsverein, where he established the colony of New Braunfels, Texas. His vision cleared the path for John O. Meusebach to follow in 1845 as the organizer, negotiator and political force needed for community-building structure in the "New Germany".

In anticipation of his marriage to Maria Josephine Sophie, Prince Solms formed plans to build "Sophie's Castle", laying the cornerstone in New Braunfels in 1845. Sophie refused to leave Germany, and Carl never returned to Texas after his 3 December 1845 marriage to her.

Return to Germany and later years

After returning to Germany, he left the Austrian army and became a colonel in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in 1846. He was able to rejoin the Austrian army in 1850, becoming a brigadier in 1859 with command of dragoons on Lake Constance. He took part in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. He retired as a Feldmarschallleutnant (Lieutenant General) in 1868 to his residence at the estate of Rheingrafenstein near Kreuznach on the Nahe River. Prince Solms died on 13 November 1875 and is interred in the city cemetery of Bad Kreuznach.

Timeline

Timeline of the Life of Prince Carl (Karl) of Solms-Braunfels
Year Event
1812
  • 27 July – Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Georg Alfred Alexander is born in Neustrelitz
1834
  • Marries Louise Auguste Stephanie Beyrich, later von Schönau, mother to three of his children
1841
  • Separates from Louise to save his career
1842
  • Joins the Adelsverein
1844
  • Commissioner General of the first colony that the society proposed to establish in Texas
  • 1 July – Arrives in Galveston, purchases land on Matagorda Bay to be called Carlshafen, or Indianola
1845
  • Secures title to 1,265 acres (5.12 km) of the Veramendi grant, including the Comal Springs and River, for the Adelsverein
  • 21 March – Founds New Braunfels
  • 15 May – Returns to Germany
  • 3 December – Marries the widow Maria Josephine Sophie, widow of Prince Franz of Salm-Salm and princess of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, mother to five of Carl's children
1846
  • Leaves the Austrian army – becomes a Colonel in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse
1850
  • Rejoins the Austrian army
1859
  • Becomes a brigadier with command of dragoons on Lake Constance
1866
  • Takes part in Austria war against Prussia.
1868
  • Retires as a Feldmarschallleutnant (Lieutenant General) to Rheingrafenstein near Kreuznach on the Nahe River
1875
  • 13 November – dies Is interred in the city cemetery of Bad Kreuznach

Ancestry

16. Count Wilhelm Moritz of Solms-Greifenstein and Braunfels
16. Count Wilhelm Moritz of Solms-Greifenstein and Braunfels
8. Frederick William, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
17. Landgravine Magdalene Sophie of Hesse-Homburg
4. Ferdinand Wilhelm Ernst, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
18. John Ernst, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
9. Princess Magdalene Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg
19. Countess Marie Polyxene of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
2. Prince Frederick William of Solms-Braunfels
20. Friedrich Ernst, Count of Solms-Laubach
10. Christian August, Count of Solms-Laubach
21. Countess Friederike Charlotte of Stolberg-Gedern
5. Countess Sophie of Solms-Laubach
22. Wolfgang Ernst I, Prince of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
11. Princess Elisabeth of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
23. Countess Friederike of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
1. Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels
24. Adolphus Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
12. Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
25. Princess Christiane Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
6. Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
26. Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
13. Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
27. Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach
3. Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
28. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
14. Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt
29. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg
7. Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
30. Count Christian Karl Reinhard of Leiningen-Dachsburg-Falkenburg-Heidesheim
15. Countess Maria Louise Albertine of Leiningen-Falkenburg-Dagsburg
31. Countess Katharina Polyxena of Solms-Rödelheim
16. Count Wilhelm Moritz of Solms-Greifenstein and Braunfels
8. Frederick William, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
17. Landgravine Magdalene Sophie of Hesse-Homburg
4. Ferdinand Wilhelm Ernst, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
18. John Ernst, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
9. Princess Magdalene Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg
19. Countess Marie Polyxene of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
2. Prince Frederick William of Solms-Braunfels
20. Friedrich Ernst, Count of Solms-Laubach
10. Christian August, Count of Solms-Laubach
21. Countess Friederike Charlotte of Stolberg-Gedern
5. Countess Sophie of Solms-Laubach
22. Wolfgang Ernst I, Prince of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
11. Princess Elisabeth of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
23. Countess Friederike of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
1. Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels
24. Adolphus Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
12. Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
25. Princess Christiane Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
6. Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
26. Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
13. Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
27. Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach
3. Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
28. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
14. Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt
29. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg
7. Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
30. Count Christian Karl Reinhard of Leiningen-Dachsburg-Falkenburg-Heidesheim
15. Countess Maria Louise Albertine of Leiningen-Falkenburg-Dagsburg
31. Countess Katharina Polyxena of Solms-Rödelheim
8. Frederick William, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
17. Landgravine Magdalene Sophie of Hesse-Homburg
4. Ferdinand Wilhelm Ernst, Prince of Solms-Braunfels
18. John Ernst, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
9. Princess Magdalene Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg
19. Countess Marie Polyxene of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
2. Prince Frederick William of Solms-Braunfels
20. Friedrich Ernst, Count of Solms-Laubach
10. Christian August, Count of Solms-Laubach
21. Countess Friederike Charlotte of Stolberg-Gedern
5. Countess Sophie of Solms-Laubach
22. Wolfgang Ernst I, Prince of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
11. Princess Elisabeth of Isenburg and Büdingen in Birstein
23. Countess Friederike of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
1. Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels
24. Adolphus Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
12. Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
25. Princess Christiane Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
6. Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
26. Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
13. Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen
27. Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach
3. Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
28. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
14. Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt
29. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg
7. Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
30. Count Christian Karl Reinhard of Leiningen-Dachsburg-Falkenburg-Heidesheim
15. Countess Maria Louise Albertine of Leiningen-Falkenburg-Dagsburg
31. Countess Katharina Polyxena of Solms-Rödelheim
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Reference sources
References
http://www.royaltyguide.nl/families/solms/solmsbraunfels4.htm
http://www.royaltyguide.nl/families/lowenstein/lowensteinwertheimrosenberg3.htm
http://www.battleground-club.de/imperial-army-of-austria/Austrian_infantry_a.htm
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/00025/cah-00025.html
https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mnf01
https://archive.org/details/voyagetonorthame0000vonm
https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ufa01
http://www.sophienburg.com/
https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fso03
http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/sierra/sevenweeks1866.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/realm/gotha/gotha/solms.html
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