From Dresden to London, 1855–57

A. LeGrand Richards, Called to Teach: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 117–154.

Whatever thou shouldst require of my hands, I shall do.

—Karl G. Maeser[1]

Few direct details are available about the next chapter of Karl’s life, but it was a period of profound refinement and testing. It would take him nearly five more years before he arrived in Salt Lake City, during which time his convictions were tried in nearly every aspect of his life. Over the next nine months, he was asked to sacrifice nearly everything dear to him for his newfound faith. Almost immediately, Karl’s love for the truth brought him into conflict with the country he loved and sought to defend, the family who had supported him and given him expanded educational opportunities, the friends of his youth, the promising profession he had successfully begun after much sacrifice, and even the language with which he had developed such great facility. He would be forced by his countrymen to leave his beloved homeland, then called by Church leaders to serve a mission in England. Then he would travel across an ocean and attempt to find employment sufficient to support his young family in a hostile environment. Two more children would be born to the Maesers, one who would live only a few months. Then they would sell nearly all that they had to purchase the supplies to join a wagon train west. During much of this time, very little support would be available to him by experienced members of the new church he had joined.

While Karl was facing profound challenges in his life from 1855 to 1860, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would have to face its own refinement. Brigham Young introduced a major effort to increase the dedication of members by what has been called the Mormon Reformation; then they faced the fragile relations of the Utah War, the tragedies of the Willie and Martin handcart companies, and the massacre at Mountain Meadows. Each of these developments would affect the Maesers’ experience while the United States was rushing toward civil war. They also affected Church members abroad.

Scrutiny in Saxony

As teachers in Saxony, Maeser and his colleague Edward Schoenfeld were required to teach the state curriculum imposed by the Reaktion. All instruction was supervised by the school inspectors—who were appointed by the Lutheran Church. They were to guarantee that the state curriculum was followed precisely. A complete curriculum was provided and specific textbooks were assigned. With regard to religious instruction, the state specifically required the students to learn Lutheran doctrine, to memorize specific scriptural passages, to recite assigned stories from the Old and New Testaments, and to learn specific hymns and history of the Lutheran Church. The state required that students’ and teachers’ church attendance be monitored, and assignments were given the older students to report on the sermons given.[2]

In his November 1855 report to Brigham Young, Franklin D. Richards wrote:

Saxon law requires that every child shall be christened at about the age of one month and in default of which its parents are fined eine Thaler [equal to 46 cents United States] for each day they are delinquent. Communicants are required to partake of their Sacrament once or twice a year, in default of either of these our brethren must betray their faith. Again the teachers in the government schools are sworn by an oath[3] to maintain and teach the Lutheran faith, text books being furnished them from which they must teach their scholars. Thus presenting the anomalous fact of a Roman Catholic King requiring his subjects to become Protestants by law. These facts present the greatest difficulties to our Young brethren there that they have found in their investigations of Mormonism. How can they reconcile their consciences to pursue the course which seems indispensable to their existence and the maintenance of the trust in that land till the Work is established so that the honest may be gathered out? This they desire most fervently to do being warm and full of love to their countrymen. Upon the two first points, baptism and communion circumstances help them as they continue to overcome or elude the difficulty.

On the two last points they and I desire your suggestions. At best their case demands our sympathy, for when their faith is known imprisonment or banishment probably both, are the mildest forms in which their case will be treated.[4]

Though this report was sent from Liverpool, England, in November, Brigham did not receive it until May 10, and the reply did not come to President Richards until the summer, long after the practical decisions had to be made. President Young replied:

In regard to the German mission, I feel truly grateful that so much as planting the work in that country has been accomplished. I trust that it will take root downward and grow upwards, spread and roll forth until the bands shall be broken which bind the consciences of men and the captives be set free.

Instruct the brethren at Dresden to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Let them Christen their children; partake of the Sacrament according to law, for it does them no harm. To be subject to the powers that be, that when it contravenes their faith, the sin lies upon the government, and not upon them; to do all the good for their countrymen that they can.[5]

In his Church assignment as branch president, Karl was left without sufficient experience or regular contact with Church authorities. The scrutiny of police and school surveillance was pervasive and unrelenting. Any direct contact with foreigners would engender suspicion. Except for short visits as tourists, foreign missionaries would not be allowed, but surely he felt the responsibility that there were thousands who needed and deserved to hear the message of the truth he had found. Even contact with other local Church members would have been extremely limited; the police were monitoring everything: the mail, social gatherings, the press, and so forth. Contact with Church headquarters in Utah would take months, so Karl had to rely upon the Spirit and frequent correspondence with Liverpool to conduct the affairs of the branch.

The Darsteller as a Lifeline

Undoubtedly, the young converts now relied heavily on the insights found in the mission’s monthly German periodical, Der Darsteller der Heiligen der Letzten Tage (The Latter-day Saints Representer). Though they had joked about the poor translation of the first materials they had received from the Church (and copies of the Darsteller were undoubtedly what they were referring to), it now became their lifeline to the Church. Both Maeser and Schoenfeld became regular contributors to it from 1855 to 1859, long after they left Germany.[6]

The Darsteller originated as a response to the flood of letters Daniel Tyler received as the president of the Swiss-Italian Mission. He was in virtual isolation from the Church in England and spoke none of the three languages of his mission (French, Italian, and German). Tyler decided to publish the Darsteller to respond to the request of the Church members in his mission. Both the translator and printer were not members of the Church. It was a monthly periodical of sixteen pages, and the first edition was published in May 1855. The first issue’s lead article was about the Restoration and was followed by an article regarding the persecution of Joseph Smith. The theme was “Die Wahrheit wird stets durchdringen" (the truth will ever pervade).

Just before the second issue was to be sent out, the printer received notice from the state chancellery that, due to the nature of his visa, Tyler was not authorized to sign as the responsible publisher.[7] The printer, Mr. Sabot, gave his name as the responsible editor. After the third issue was printed, Tyler felt compelled to suspend his efforts “for want of means and subscribers,”[8] but the Saints of the mission raised what they could, and President Richards sent him a substantial contribution with the promise to furnish the rest that would be needed to keep the journal in production.

As a new branch president, Maeser not only received encouragement from reading the Darsteller but also felt the responsibility to contribute to it. By sending it submissions, he wanted to make clear that the Mormon Church was not only an American church. The struggling mission needed support to reach as many as German speakers as possible. Karl’s first contribution to the journal was his poem in the December issue. This was the last edition under Tyler’s direction. Because of Tyler’s poor health in November 1855, John L. Smith (cousin to the Prophet Joseph) had accepted the assignment to preside over the Swiss-Italian Mission and the publication of the Darsteller. The January issue, the first that Smith edited, carried Karl’s farewell poem to President Tyler, “Lebewohl an Herrn Daniel Tyler.” It praised the sower who “sowed a precious, holy seed across a spirited land. . . . We, the harvest, are driven to grateful praise. . . . We were all wandering in error’s ways and you led us back to the right path. When we were threatened by punishment, you brought us mercy. . . . The treasured name of him who sowed is forever written in our hearts.”[9]

It is not clear why the poems he submitted to the Darsteller were signed simply “Karl,” with no mention of his last name. It may have been to avoid unwanted publicity in Dresden. The branch there had grown to over thirty members, and to be discreet, they referred to it as Bethesda rather than the Dresden Branch.[10] Edward Schoenfeld, who investigated the Church with Karl, also contributed poetry to the Darsteller and signed his “S. Eduard”; both men must have been constantly attempting to avoid detection by the authorities. Karl’s first contribution to the Darsteller with his whole name did not appear until October 1856, when he had left he country. By February 1856, it was evident that Karl wanted to compile German hymns to strengthen the faith of the members by the publication of his hymn “Glaubenslied—CMD” (Song of Faith). “CMD” in the title referred to the meter of the poem. This would indicate the melodies to which it could be sung (Common Meter Doubled):[11]

“A Song of Faith—CMD”[12]

In splendor shines on earth again

The truth’s inspired light,

The sun breaks through at last to end

The dark and cloudy night

So long withheld from earth’s expanse,

Thy sacred, holy word,

Rings forth again from thy servants

From land to land is heard

With such great patience, hast thee Lord

Born our shameful guilt

In place of sin and death’s reward

Thy gracious blood was spilt

And through Thy Holy Spirit’s power

Our joyful hearts delight

Through revelation in this hour

Thy kingdom doth unite.

The world, of course, thy Word ignores

It persecutes thy fold

Thou art our refuge evermore,

Our source of strength untold.

What can the power and sleight of man

Our wants and needs accord?

But Thou art e’er our hope, our plan

Our Helper and our Lord.

Lord, plant thy holy, priceless word

Within our hearts so deep.

Thy sweetest fruit in time matured

The harvest day to reap.

Then will the kingdom of Thy Son

Be great and strong and bold,

When earth and heav’n unite as one,

One shepherd and one fold.

- Karl.

During a school break of nearly a month, Karl traveled to England and Scotland with William Budge as his interpreter, “attending their meetings, speaking several times in German and return[ing] highly benefited.”[13] Upon his return, however, the Dresden Saints, “not observing the strict discretion perhaps enjoined upon them, had given cause to the police to inspect, and they were watched in all their movements.”[14] On March 28, 1856, John L. Smith recorded that he received his first letter from Karl in English, mentioning that the police were “very attentive” and that he was “obliged to move with great caution.”[15] In April, President Richards wrote a tender letter to “My Dear Son Karl,” authorizing him to ordain Schoenfeld and Martin elders, and informing him that he would be leaving for Zion in July, but would like to meet with them before he left, that he might leave his “parting blessing” with them.[16] Maeser organized a branch of the Church in Leipzig with Edward’s brother, Frederick Schoenfeld, as the president, but it was obvious that they were under careful scrutiny of the civil authorities. On April 30, Edward Schoenfeld’s wife delivered their first baby. On May 14, Smith received another letter from Karl explaining “that the police kn[e]w he was a Mormon and were watching him very closely. They had him before them and in prison, but he did not know what they would do yet.”[17] Even under the careful scrutiny of the local authorities, Maeser felt the need to reach out to the larger German community. On June 1, the second volume of the Darsteller published its first issue, featuring two of Karl’s poems, “Glück zu” and “Deseretlied” (“Press Forward” and the “Song of Deseret”).

In “Glück zu,” Karl encouraged the German Saints to “press the work forward” even in the face storms and difficulty. “God is with us” who drives the miraculous power which mustard seeds employ deep into the soil until it stretched its branches to far-off lands, providing refuge, peace, security, and joy to all members. “Deseretlied” expressed the yearning to gather to Zion: “It calls to all, our sisters and our brethren—to Deseret! Our homeland Deseret! . . . Ev’n in foreign lands I belong to thee.”

Exile from the Fatherland

Unfortunately, Maeser’s little Bethesda branch in Dresden was facing a crisis of religious intolerance. In his History of Dresden Branch, Maeser wrote that he chose “to save from the coming catastrophe as many as he could,” deciding to “sen[d] his brother-in-law, with his wife and sister, and Auguste Bartholomeus, who also had been baptized, to England, being himself determined to stay at his post and risk the consequences.”[18] These family members left Germany on June 6.

After the departure of these family members, Karl was arrested and confronted with the options of giving up either his newfound faith or everything that he loved in his homeland.[19] He chose the latter. Most of his family, with the exception of his wife and child, thought he was crazy and that surely his enthusiasm for this strange sect was merely a phase he would eventually outgrow. After all, he had a young family dependent on him; he was a respected member of an honorable profession with a secure position.

The Maesers were forced to leave Saxony on July 2, 1856. On the back of his birth certificate was written, “Ausgehändigt nach Liverpool” (handed over to Liverpool), and it was stamped by the Dresden police.[20] This suggests that his leaving Germany was not voluntary. Despite the protests of his colleagues, friends, and many of his family members against his joining the strange sect of the Mormons, he took his pregnant wife, his two-year-old son, his faith, and little else to the doorsteps of the Church headquarters in Liverpool. President Richards later wrote that Maeser had been escorted to the border by the police.[21]

Karl apparently knew that he would need to leave Germany, for he had already submitted his farewell poem to John L. Smith for the Darsteller. It was published in July 1856:

I was in thee eternally born anew

There on Elbe’s shore that night so grand,

Thus swear I my thanks and my love to you:

God bless thee my German fatherland![22]

He promised that he would live his life always striving to bring the message of the restored gospel back to his homeland:

That is the unity, for which you must strive![23]

That is the goal! For which you should stand!

For this will my life continue to drive!

God bless thee my German fatherland![24]

After the Maesers’ departure, it took a little time for the general public to become aware of the event or even the fact that a congregation of Mormons had actually been established in Dresden. In fact, a number of sources witness that many people didn’t believe the first report at all. On August 15, 1856, the Oberlausitzer Stadt und Land Zeitung, a newspaper in Dresden, reported that the two teachers, “Mäser and Schönfeld,” had left their teaching positions in order to go to Salt Lake City. It also reported that Maeser, acting as “assistant apostle” to “Daniel Franklin Richard,” had been holding meetings and spreading the doctrines of the sect via a monthly publication from Switzerland. The Kölnische Zeitung quickly picked up the story, spreading the shocking news to other German cities.[25] How was it possible that such a congregation could form right under the noses of the police? On the twenty-third, the Dresdner Journal denied the previous report: “The information regarding the existence of a Mormon congregation in this city appears to be based on the fabrication on an idle mind. The most precise and careful reviews have concluded that the information was purely grabbed out of the air and that to the present we have not yet had any ‘Saints’ among us.”[26] Two days later, the Sächsische Dorfzeitung confirmed the original story:

It is a fact that among others, two local teachers, Mäser and Schönfeld, have recently left Dresden in order to move to Salt Lake. They were allured to the Mormon’s sect by an Englander who came via Switzerland; both were considered respectable men. The Dorfzeitung cannot authenticate whether other proselytes exist in Dresden; I believe to be able to affirm that their number here amounts to some sixty. Naturally, these people must be very wary to form a congregation because they have not been brought into further police actions, while it cannot be avoided that individuals will affiliate themselves to a faith according to their whims and will discuss religious systems, our “saints of the last days” are clever enough to stay out of sight.[27]

Similar stories were carried in newspapers of Cologne,[28] Dresden,[29] Augsburg,[30] Munich,[31] and Berlin[32] before the news was translated into English and sent across the ocean. It is not known how fully aware Karl was of the reports regarding his joining the Mormons, but he was troubled enough by one report in the Dorfzeitung that he wrote a letter of protest from London to the Sächsische Constitutionelle Zeitung. They published a portion of it. He complained:

These various reports have been spoken with such a tone of certainty one would conclude Mormonism must have so many weak points that it would not require even normal people to unmask it in the eyes of all the educated. However, these reporters have no particularly brilliant credentials either in their level of education in general or specific expertise to begin to fight against a principle (which one must at least concede Mormonism to be) with personalities. Eventually, time will tell how justified they are and what the actual issue is, but I would like merely to remind you of the first condition of proper judgment: audiatur et altera pars [the other side must also be heard].[33]

In Philadelphia, the German Reformed Messenger published an article on September 17, 1856, declaring that “Mormonism is such a monstrous delusion that it seems impossible to most persons it should meet with any success at all.”[34] Nevertheless, Mormonism was finding great success in many lands. The German Reformed Messenger continued: “In Saxony they have succeeded in forming a society of adherents in the city of Dresden, carefully avoiding any collision with the police, who are ever on the alert for new religious sects, suspecting every new doctrine to be a mere cloak for some political plot.”[35] This article was reprinted by the New York Independent.[36]

The most shocking part of the story for the Germans was that two educated men had been seduced by this strange sect and that their wives willingly went with them. “We cannot verify whether a wider circle has been mormonised beyond these two, but one of the two teachers has been holding religious meetings. Both converts are related through marrying the daughters of a highly respected school director[37] who died a few years ago; however it is obvious that the wives have no idea of the true plans of their husbands,”[38] reads one article. The article continues, stating that “otherwise the lives and character of the emigrants appear respectable.”[39] Claiming that “the police did not have the slightest account of the fact” left the press to conclude “that the secret community of Saints in Dresden [was] not the only one in Germany” and that, “at any rate, only the police will carry the guilt if the German protestant nation is not highly represented in the new age in the valleys of Utah,”[40] suggesting that if the police were doing their job properly, no German converts would have been possible.

A New Life in England

After the Maesers were exiled from Germany in July 1856, they began to establish their new life in England. They were embraced by the Saints in Liverpool, and President Richards invited Karl to join him at a special council held July 21–23, 1856, in Birmingham. This council introduced Orson Pratt, who had arrived in Liverpool on July 13 to fulfill his assignment as the new president of the English branches and of the European missions. At the council, mission presidents presented frank and specific status reports from the various missions, bid farewell to President Richards, and were introduced to President Pratt. President Richards thanked those present for their dedication and faithfulness and charged them with a greater sense of how much needed yet to be done. Each president was asked to report the status of his mission, and Karl spoke briefly at the conference. After months of correspondence, Maeser was also finally able to meet John Smith in person. President Richards then departed England on July 26.

Richards had been such an important influence in Karl’s life that he felt driven to express his appreciation in a poem:

So much in the future drifts traceless away

While his works are etched in eternity.

The achievements of man will rust and decay

But timeless is that from divinity. . . .

O Franklin Richards, thou worthy man of God,

Thank you for the path that you for us have trod!

- Karl.[41]

After the Birmingham conference in July, Maeser and Schoenfeld were called as missionaries to the German-speaking people in the London area. It turned out to be an unanticipated blessing that they did not leave for Salt Lake City that year.

Had the Maesers and Shoenfelds begun their journey to Salt Lake City in 1856, they would most likely have journeyed across the plains in a handcart company. These newly designed handcarts provided a less expensive way for the Saints to make the trek to Salt Lake City. More than two thousand Church members, mostly poor immigrants, were divided into five companies to make the journey under the leadership of missionaries returning home. President Richards had sent his counselor, Daniel Spencer, ahead to help make the arrangements. Unfortunately, two companies were late leaving England and were disappointed that sufficient handcarts were not ready for them when they arrived in Nebraska. In addition, because of miscommunication and the lateness of the season, there were not sufficient supplies to sustain the companies on their trek. In spite of a few who believed they should spend the winter in Florence, the companies voted to continue. The Willie company left on August 17 and the Martin company on August 27. This was far too late in the season.[42]

President Richards and a few others left Liverpool for New York on July 26, arriving at the Missouri River on September 2. Traveling on horses and light wagons, they passed the ill-fated Martin handcart company on September 8 and the Willie company on September 12.[43] They arrived at Salt Lake in time for the October conference and reported to Brigham that there were yet over a thousand Saints still struggling through the plains of Wyoming. With explosive emotion and calculated precision, Brigham focused the general conference of the Church on preparing a rescue party to go get the Saints who had not yet arrived.[44] Tragically, a winter storm struck the plains of Wyoming in October, and over two hundred pioneers died from hunger and exposure before a rescue party could get to them.

In the meantime, back in London, a priesthood meeting was held on August 4. There, William Budge introduced the two new German missionaries who would be traveling throughout the London Conference. They both gave a short address, expressing their hopes for the German-speaking people of London. Those in attendance were impressed by their progress in speaking English, and they were welcomed with a sustaining vote.

The next day, Elders Maeser and Schoenfeld escorted President Smith to the London train station, where he would begin his return trip to Geneva. It is likely that he carried with him Karl’s first full article that would be published in the Darsteller in October, “Heidentum, Judentum, christliche Seiten und Reich Gottes”[45] (Heathenism, Judaism, Christianity, and the Kingdom of God). In it, Karl boldly declared his missionary message, not only to the Germans in London, but to all that would consider the message he felt called to deliver. He proclaimed that from the creation of man we have possessed an internal craving to find the kingdom of God on earth and that religions evolved to help satisfy this craving. “The work of shrewd statesmen, ambitious philosophers, enthusiastic orators or deceitful hypocrites, or even, though few, from noble friends of mankind, who in the confusing tangle of ideas of their times wanted either to give a more orderly direction or to exchange a more free view of life for the oppression of spiritual bondage.”[46]

Maeser asserted that only one religion could be completely consistent with the will of God. He urged his countrymen not to dismiss this message simply because few accepted it. Truth cannot be determined by the number of its adherents, for there were times that “the Kingdom of God was represented by only one single man on the earth!” According to Maeser, the Bible was revealed by God to help man become “the highest embodiment of truth, freedom and happiness,” but the people who have an understanding of the Bible have always been a minority. He then testified that the kingdom of God has been restored:

These people are bound to one another by a love that in these times is thought no longer possible, through a power of faith proven in the bloodiest persecutions, through a hope that fills them with an unending joy; and although their covenant has appeared before the eyes of the world only 25 years ago, although no prince or mighty of this world belong to it, although it is ridiculed, mocked, persecuted and misunderstood, . . . they declare that they possess no new religion but rather a very old one, one revealed by God to Adam, promulgated by the patriarchs, revived by Moses, perpetuated by the prophets, fulfilled by Christ, in later times neglected and forgotten by man, but in these restored to their prophets for the last time.[47]

London was a challenging place for new German missionaries in 1856, but it was a challenge far different than they faced in Saxony. This was the city reflected in the works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Alfred Tennyson; the streets were crowded, the people often rude, and the smells of the thousands of tons of sewage dumped into the Thames must have been nearly suffocating. London developed the reputation of being open to all and welcoming to none.[48] New arrivals from the continent were often surprised by the freedoms tolerated by the English government. In fact, one refugee wrote, “Before I came to England every appearance of a policeman in the house in which I lived gave me an irresistibly nasty feeling, and morally I stood en garde against an enemy. In England the policeman at your door or within your doors adds a feeling of security.”[49] No attempt was made by the police to limit opportunities to associate, speak, write, or plan and attend meetings.[50] For several decades, London had become a place of refuge for those exiled from their homelands.

As a result of this freedom, there was a large German population made up of a wide variety of social strata and the most extreme political ideologies. A few blocks from where the Saints gathered in London, Karl Marx was making his daily pilgrimage to the British Museum, where he was preparing his master work, Grundrisse. Other German exiles included Gottfried Kinkel, who had been condemned to life in prison for his allegiance to democracy, but who had escaped with the help of Karl Schurz. Shurz had also escaped earlier from Spandau. The lack of British scrutiny of these refugees, however, hardly meant that they were left without police surveillance; they were merely without English surveillance. With so many “potentially dangerous exiles” concentrated in London, numerous spies and informants were sent or recruited by the suspicious monarchs of Europe to gather information on any potential plans for further revolution. Marx and Engels wrote to the editor of the Spectator in 1850:

We should have never thought that there existed in this country so many police-spies as we have had the good fortune of making the acquaintance of in the short space of a week. Not only that the doors of the houses where we live are closely watched by individuals of a more than doubtful look, who take down their notes very coolly every time any one enters the house or leaves it; we cannot make a single step without being followed by them wherever we go. We cannot get into an omnibus or enter a coffeehouse without being favoured with the company of at least one of these unknown friends.[51]

These spies were particularly interested in the activities and plans of the communists and advocates of democracy. Their secret reports were shared among a network of international police who formed one of the first international police unions. One particular spy for the Danish government, Edgar Bauer, had been a school companion of Karl Marx and was actively involved in the international communist movement in London until he was discovered to be an informant and removed from the association in 1859.[52]

In 1857, while Maeser was planning to leave for the United States, Bauer published a book regarding the English concept of freedom entitled Englische Freiheit (English Freedom). In it, he claimed that Mormonism was the test case of English tolerance:

Sprouting the palpable fraud and based upon obvious nonsense, . . . it [Mormonism] has conquered cities and states, populated a wilderness, reclaimed deserts, indeed, it has done even more, for all of this, it has somehow avoided the full force of its ridiculousness.

In spite of this, very rarely is a voice in England raised that wants to limit the religious practice of the Mormons; and they will immediately overemphasize the general assertion that opinion can only be fought with opinion. A portrayal of Mormonism demonstrates at the same time the degree to which English society is willing to exercise patience; Mormonism proves the strength of English tolerance.[53]

Bauer’s review of Mormonism covered seventy pages of his book, including an introduction to the Book of Mormon and its origin, though hardly from an objective position. He called it a “wasteland of fantasies, lies, plagiarism, contradictions and repetitions.” He introduced Joseph Smith as an uneducated, ambitious, and conniving imposter, who stole the manuscript written by Solomon Spalding and manipulated it with biblical passages into the Book of Mormon. He portrayed the Church as a collection of conspiring or mesmerized dupes who invented doctrine according to their less than honorable whims and lusts. If they could sing their hymns to the melody of “Krambambuli,” [54] a German student drinking song, they could find a way to believe anything else they desired.

According to Bauer, the English allowed such a religion to exist among them for economic reasons. The Church of England was primarily for the “haves”:

The wealthy Englander goes to worship services to thank the Lord for the goods with which he has been graced. The “have nots,” who have nothing for which to be thankful, find no place in the English house of worship. Therefore it happens that Mormonism fills its rows only with the poor of England; and the wealthy Englander tolerates Mormonism, because it draws out of the country the “have nots” whose fantasy is still lively and who could become dangerous.[55]

The English were quite willing to allow a church that invited the “have nots” to leave the country for some promised land, regardless of the “fraudulent” claims it made to revelation.

It is not clear where Bauer obtained his information about Mormonism, but since Karl was serving as a missionary to the Germans in London, it is not unlikely that they had some contact with each other during 1856. Of course, the negative slant Bauer put on this information was indicative of the one-sided journalism that Karl criticized for the rest of his life. It was clear, however, that the spies in London kept a careful eye on Germans who became Mormons. The international police conference in Vienna in June 1857 referred to Mormonism (“the saintly brothers from Salt Lake”) as a front for hiding its own version of communism. It specifically referred to Mormon German communist dissidents with their centers in London and Jersey and, in spite of all repression, with their “conventicles” (small cells) in Paris and Switzerland.[56]

Even though Marx had written Engels in positive anticipation of Bauer’s book,[57] in April he dismissed its claim to be a “physiology of the national character,” writing to Engels that “1/4 of it is said to be about Mormonism.”[58] At the same time, it is obvious that Maeser became aware of the conditions and arguments of the international communist movement. He criticized the prejudice he experienced in London and the oppressive economic treatment of the poor. In 1868, Maeser even wrote an analysis of the “Social Question,” in which he raised the Marxist critique of society, but contended that the only solution to the problem was the gospel.[59]

When Latter-day Saint leaders met on August 17 in response to Maeser and Schoenfeld’s exile from their country, the brethren resolved to raise the necessary money from the London branches to sustain these two missionaries and their families while they served in London. The Maesers moved into 35 Jewin Street, which also served as the Church headquarters in London.

Many German teachers had sought refuge in London after 1848, and the likelihood of these two elders finding teaching employment was not great. Kinkel’s wife, Johanna, who had sought refuge in London with her husband, Gottfried, complained in 1851, “We are now an entire colony of teachers in search of pupils.”[60] These circumstances made the generosity of the London Saints a particularly poignant blessing for Karl and Edward.

The blessings continued, and in October 1856, the London Saints were delighted by a visit from President Pratt.[61] In a “Pastoral Conference”[62] on October 12, both Maeser and Schoenfeld reported on their efforts among the Germans in London. Maeser mentioned that after the twelve weeks they had spent in the German mission, it was still a little short of members but not of prospects. Then President Pratt rose and commended the German elders for their efforts and the London Saints for their generosity and support. He said, “God has his eye on that nation and will work more and more Truth in their midst, until tens of thousands receive it and gather to Zion. God will break every barrier, unjust laws and illiberal constitutions.”[63] He also promised that if the Saints would continue to support the German elders, they would be greatly blessed. Schoenfeld recorded Pratt’s address as prophecy:

In the name of Jesus, as prophecy . . . I say: among the Germans is a work to do, greater than in other lands, and in time this people will count more converts to the Kingdom of God than England or any other nation. However, the way of this work will be as follows: The Lord will first gather this people to his teachings in all the places where Germans live outside of their fatherland. And then, then will the borders break down, the walls built against the Kingdom of God will collapse, the enemies fall, and the Word will make its home in Germany; yea, from the communities outside, the Lord will send shepherds who will gather their people in their own land![64]

A German-Speaking Branch in London

On October 21, 1856, the one-year anniversary of the Dresden Branch, a special meeting was held to organize a German-speaking branch in London. Karl was called to be the branch president, with William Budge as the first counselor and Edward Schoenfeld as the second counselor. Joining in attendance with the Maeser and Schoenfeld families were twelve baptized German members and many English families. Schoenfeld reported the dedicatory service in the Darsteller.[65] Karl was referred to as the president of the German mission and president of the branch. They sang Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and his “We All Believe in One God” (music by Bach). They then sang a new hymn, written by Maeser and entitled “Deutsches Mormonenlied.” It was sung to the melody of “Da bin ich gern.”[66]

A frequent theme in Karl’s hymns was a plea for protection, and this emphasis was not without occasion.[67] In a letter to Brigham, Ezra T. Benson wrote, “there is as much excitement now here in this land against you and this people as there was against Bro. Joseph and the Saints in Nauvoo four weeks before his death, so that your name is held up for good or evil in everyplace where the Elders have the privilege of preaching.” He explained that the priests were known to threaten those who investigated Mormonism; landlords would evict them; employers would confront their workers “and ask them on Monday morning where they went on the previous day and if they [had] been to hear the Mormons they [were] not allowed to work unless they [would] promise faithfully not to go any more.”[68] Nevertheless, the members were not discouraged.

While Karl was deeply grateful for the generosity of the Saints in London, he was not impressed by the lack of refinement displayed by his fellow missionaries. One story, related by family members, described that a wealthy and well-educated investigator invited Karl to dinner at a hotel. Elder Maeser brought some of the elders with him, but apparently their table manners were so crude that upon his return home Karl told his wife, “I will go through poverty, I will suffer persecution, I will go to hell with the elders but I will not go to dinner with them again.”[69]

Another story is often told that because of his “aristocratic” background he felt it beneath his status as a professor to carry bags in public or to shine someone’s shoes, but when asked to help the elders carry their carpetbags, he swallowed his pride and did so.[70] There may have been a deeper explanation for his hesitance, however. As a teacher in Saxony, church authorities (generally as school inspectors or local pastors) would often give teachers menial assignments, specifically intended to demean or humiliate them. Members of the Saxon Teachers’ Association were encouraged to resist and oppose such treatment because of its impact on the profession.[71] Karl’s willingness to take assignments he previously considered menial abuses of church authority demonstrated his respect and commitment to what he believed was true priesthood.

Impact of the Mormon Reformation in England

In 1856, Brigham had asked Church members everywhere to recommit themselves to the basic principles of the restored gospel. This became known as the Mormon Reformation. The Saints were instructed to recommit themselves to the basic doctrine, pay their tithing more faithfully, attend their meetings more regularly, and reenter the waters of baptism as a way of demonstrating this recommitment. This was an important preparation for the dramatic events that the Saints would have to face while confronting the unrelenting demands of a harsh desert. Before leaving Salt Lake, Orson Pratt had been given specific instructions to spread the message of the Mormon Reformation to the members in Europe. This served the added purpose of helping to screen those members who were truly dedicated from those merely seeking the cheapest and most effective means of immigrating to the United States. President Pratt’s first counselor, Ezra T. Benson, accepted this assignment with particular flair and effectiveness.

In an effort to teach the message of the Mormon Reformation in England, a “special fast and prayer” meeting was held on February 25 at Great College Street in Camden Town. President Benson presided, and nearly all of the leaders of the London Conference attended. They were taught the ideals of the Mormon Reformation and asked to express their willingness to recommit themselves to obeying the Word of Wisdom, paying tithing, treating their families with respect and kindness, following proper priesthood authority, and living their religion in spite of persecution, worldly pressures, or other difficulties. Members were asked to “dispense with cooking” on Sundays so that they could get to their meetings. Each member needed to get his or her own testimony of the truth and to live his religion practically. President Benson warned the brethren not to simply imitate what they see others do: “I once heard the Prophet Joseph say in Nauvoo, ‘I don’t want you to pattern after me unless I tell you to do so, for if you handle the tools which I use, perhaps you will hurt yourselves.’”[72] At the conclusion of the meeting, the brethren in attendance were asked if they would recommit themselves by baptism. All (including Maeser and Schoenfeld) agreed, and they proceeded to the Pentonville baths to perform the ordinances.[73] They recorded that in that evening, Pastor J. D. Ross spoke in tongues.[74]

William Budge later reported to T. B. H. Stenhouse on the progress of the London Conference. He explained his assignment to work with the Germans there and commended Schoenfeld and Maeser for the contributions they had made. He reported that the opposition was working hard to “battle with the names” of his “fellow laborers,” but that Brigham’s vision of the Reformation had “caused a new spirit to take hold of the people. . . . The Brethren are preaching in the streets, the Sisters are distributing tracts, some are being baptized and prospects are good.”[75]

Immigration to Salt Lake City

On January 3, during the priesthood meeting, President Budge read a letter from President Pratt authorizing the Schoenfelds to leave for Salt Lake City and requesting that the Saints raise the necessary money for the trip. The brethren attending then voted to do so. Maeser was to stay in London and continue to transact the German work.[76] Plans were then made for the first emigration vessel of the season to leave early in March, and those hoping to go were to have their deposits in as soon as possible.

By March, it was announced that the fund for the Schoenfelds still lacked £12 and that it must be raised quickly. It was also decided that recommitment by rebaptism would be a requirement for all those hoping to emigrate with a certificate of membership.[77]

The Schoenfelds finally left for Zion on March 28 on the George Washington via Boston. They joined forty-eight Church members whom President John L. Smith escorted to Liverpool from Zurich, Switzerland. The Maesers remained behind.[78] This was a tearful parting, as neither family knew what challenges they would have to face. On the occasion, Karl said to his faithful friend, “Edward, gold and silver have I not to give you on your journey to Zion, but here—take this our Bible.”[79] Because they were leaving early enough in the season, the Schoenfelds were able to proceed directly to Salt Lake, while the Maesers had to wait for a later opportunity.[80]

That opportunity introduced itself in April when the Maesers were also given permission to leave for the States, where Karl could do more good among the Germans than he could in London.[81] It was expected that many of those emigrating would need to obtain work in the States before continuing, especially in light of the problems faced by the 1856 emigrants and the fact that the Perpetual Emigrating Fund was not available that year to assist those who could not afford the entire trip. In May it was resolved by the leaders of the London Conference that the Saints would raise the money for the Maesers’ emigration without taking it from tithing. Plans were made for the Maesers (now Karl, Anna, Camilla Mieth, Reinhard, and Franklin[82]) to join 542 other Latter-day Saints on the packet ship Tuscarora[83] at the end of May.

At the council meeting on May 4, Karl gave his final report on the slow progress of the German mission in London. He told them that he would remember “all his days” the kindness and generosity of the Saints there. C. W. Penrose recorded, “He [Maeser] had felt more at home with the London Saints, than among his own friends; he hoped to see them when he should return from Zion on a mission to his native land. He should ever remember them. He was willing to work for the Lord until he was laid in his grave.”[84] Karl also commented that his time in London had taught him how impossible it was to make any progress in the Church without being humble.[85] President Budge spoke about how Maeser’s struggles had been for his good, suggesting that he had learned “practical Mormonism” where “before, he only knew the theory.”[86] He also reminded the brethren that they had only three weeks to raise the money for the Maesers, and announced that 2,500 US soldiers were heading for Utah, but that they would not prevail. “They might as well send so many grasshoppers,”[87] he said.

Before Maeser left, Brigham wrote a letter to Orson Pratt describing the financial situation and informing him that the Perpetual Emigrating Fund would be restricted this year in order to pay debts. He also mentioned that he was “pleased with the labors of Bro.s Mäser and Schonfield [sic] in London among the Danes and Germans.”[88] Pratt wrote back to Brigham describing the animosity Church members were facing and anticipating the reception Karl would face in the States. “The old Missouri Mob Spirit seems to be reviving in the states; and the whole editorial community is in a perfect fever of excitement—The same spirit has found its way across the Atlantic, and the journals of the day are filled with the most barefaced and malicious lies, that wicked men, with the help of the Devil can invent—and so violent is their hatred, and great their prejudice that we cannot get a single word in one of them in self defence.”[89]

Karl wrote a powerful farewell to Europe that was published in the June issue of the Darsteller:

In his pity for me, I view it as a grace from Heavenly Father that He let me diligently seek something whose value at the time I had no idea of. I have entered the Kingdom of God, not because I had become better than the other 42 million Germans who do not currently believe. Personally, I know many who are much better than I, I am not more intelligent nor do I recognize truth faster than they. Among this wonderful people, there are thousands who have fought and suffered for “truth” when I was just a child. But according to His mysterious wisdom, it has pleased God to call me into His Kingdom. My entrance into the Church was difficult and turbulent. It wasn’t enough that I had to sacrifice my fatherland, my professional position, my possessions, the love of my parents and friends and my good name before the world, but before I stood ready to fully enjoy the marvelous blessings of Jesus’ Kingdom, I was also required to renounce many of my fondest preferences and prejudices, earnestly to improve and to change my entire inner being. It was very bitter for me to fight a contentious battle with the world before I could escape, but the necessary fight within me was even more difficult. Now it is over. Peacefully, I look back on a time, filled with the load of my failings, with the slandering and the hatred of my adversaries and the sorrow of my heart. What now?

I know (I don’t merely say I believe), that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the living God! I have proof for it. The blessings that have been shared with me through reading the Book of Mormon, the irrefutability of every word expressed in it and the awful significance that it will soon bring to the entire human race say to me that this holy book was translated by Joseph Smith through divine inspiration. It is a divine message, the greatest to reach the earth since Christ!

I further know from the grounds of my own experience that Brigham Young, filled with the Spirit of God, like Joseph, is the true successor of the great prophet of the last dispensation and called of God. I know it from what he has since done and taught and especially through the wonderful work of the reformation, which he has ordered through God’s command in these days and through all the wonderful blessings in which I have since participated. The entire world will and must soon acknowledge it. It may some day remember his history! For as truly as the sunlight shines upon the earth: the power of man will not overcome him! And finally I know: that this Church is the Kingdom of God and there is no other salvation, nowhere else given to man whereby they can be saved! . . . Could anyone persuade me that the moon or some other star is the sun? Or that light and heat don’t really exist, but are illusionary concepts invented by fools or swindlers? Daily, have I not actually experienced the refreshing warmth on my own body? Do I not see that its lovely rays and them alone that coax the seed to bring forth fruit to the earth? Am I not a witness of all this? I am indeed such a witness of the eternal sun and the wonderful power of His rays that shine in the Church of Christ!—My appointment in the German mission has been full of troubles; I lay it aside to proclaim the message of repentance and the impending judgment to the cities and towns of North America among the people of my language. I am moved to pain and my eyes are filled with tears as I look back at Europe and my dear German fatherland, for I have left much there that I can never forget. I also see, however, with firm view, a hard and stormy time facing me across the great waters! . . .

That is my testimony truly to affirm the testimony of others, forcefully to refresh and arouse the weary and tired in the Church, and to thunder a warning to those who yet wander away on false paths that do not lead to salvation. Hail to those who accept and hearken to the voice of the servants of the Lord for soon they will joyfully confirm my testimony from their own experience.

I pray that they may be blessed as I am now, that the God of Joseph and Brigham, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be with you and all the Saints, that the honest in heart in this region will continue to gather to his house until the day comes that everything will be confirmed that the prophets of old have said and that the current generation rejects. Amen

Your true brother in the Gospel,

Karl Mäser[90]


[1] Karl G. Maeser, “How I Became a Mormon,” Improvement Era, November 1899, 24.

[2] See E. Heinrich, “Programm über die Bürgerschulen in Dresden,” Allgemeine Schulzeitung, April 30, 1856, 281–88.

[3] Friedrich von Beust had required teachers in Saxony to take an oath of allegiance to support the government and the Lutheran Church. See Hans-Martin Moderow, Volksschule zwischen Staat und Kirche (Cologne, Germany: Böhlau Verlag, 2007), 272.

[4] Franklin D. Richards to Brigham Young, November 3, 1855, 6–7, CHL. This letter is severely smudged, and the microfilm copy of it is impossible to read. Special permission by the CHL was granted to carefully examine the original document for this research.

[5] Brigham Young to Franklin D. Richards, in Brigham Young Copybook, May 29, 1856, CHL; underlining in original text.

[6] Edward Schoenfeld also contributed a poem, “Hymne—CMD,” that was intended to be a hymn. See “Hymne—CMD,” Darsteller, April 1856, 1:176. See also “Worte des Trostes,” Darsteller, May 1856, 188, and August 1856, 47–48. He also contributed an article regarding the establishment of a branch in London. “Einweihung der ersten deutschen Gemeinde in London,” Darsteller, December 1856, 8–10.

[7] Daniel Tyler, Darsteller, June 25, 1855, 47.

[8] Daniel Tyler, Darsteller, June 25, 1855, 45.

[9] This is the second of four verses. Karl G. Maeser, “Lebewohl an Herrn Daniel Tyler, bei seinem Abgange von Genf,” Darsteller, January 1856, 120; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[10] Karl G. Maeser, History of Dresden Branch—German Mission, 1855, CHL.

[11] Lyrics that share CMD meter (8686 8686) can be sung to any CMD melody. For example, these lyrics could also be sung to the melodies of “Abide with Me; ’Tis Eventide” and “America the Beautiful.”

[12] Karl G. Maeser, “Glaubenslied CMD,” Darsteller, February 1856, 144. This hymn was included with a melody as number 62 in the 1890 Gesangbuch with the title “Evangelium.”

[13] Maeser, History of Dresden Branch, CHL.

[14] Maeser, History of Dresden Branch, CHL.

[15] John L. Smith, missionary journal, March 28, 1856, LTPSC. In 1895, Maeser spoke to the German club and laughed about his first attempt to write in English. He literally translated what he had written in German: “A large tranquility seized my soul.” “German Club: Dr. Maeser and His First English Letter,” Daily Enquirer, December 23, 1895, 4.

[16] Franklin D. Richards to Karl G. Maeser, April 15, 1856, MS 1215, reel 14, box 10, folder 3, CHL.

[17] John L. Smith, journal, May 4, 1856, CHL.

[18] Maeser, History of Dresden Branch, CHL.

[19] The author hired Esther Ludwig (of the Staatsarchiv) to search the police records in Dresden for records of the police action. She was able to identify some important earlier references to Maeser, but did not find a record of this particular police action. It should be noted that many records were destroyed when Dresden was bombed near the end of World War II.

[20] Karl G. Maeser birth certificate, MS 1841, box 34, folder 8, LTPSC.

[21] “They sent him out to the line of Saxony, where another escort conveyed him down to Hamburg and thus he came over to England to see if he could find me.” Deseret Weekly News quoting Franklin D. Richards, “Dr. K. G. Maeser,” March 12, 1892, 377.

[22] Karl G. Maeser, “Abschiedslied: eines deutschen Mormonen vom Vaterlande,” Darsteller, July 1856, 51; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[23] At the time, the German-speaking nations were splintered into dozens of individual countries. One of the principles the democracy movement supported was a unified Germany with a common constitution and elected representatives. This line of Karl’s poem also suggests his support of the failed movement of 1848–49.

[24] Maeser, “Abschiedslied: eines deutschen Mormonen vom Vaterlande,” 51; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[25] “Dresden, 15. Aug,” Kölnische Zeitung, August 19, 1856.

[26] As cited in “Dresden, 19. Aug,” Kölnische Zeitung, August 23, 1856; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[27] “Dresden, 22. Aug,” Kölnische Zeitung, August 25, 1856; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[28] Kölnische Zeitung, August 19, 23, and 25, 1856, 1.

[29] “Dresden, 19. August,” Dresdner Journal, August 20, 1856, 1.

[30] “K. Sachsen, Dresden 21. Aug,” Allegemeine Zeitung, August 28, 1856.

[31] “K. Sachsen,” Bayerliche Landbötin, August 23, 1856, 2.

[32] “Dresden, 16. August. [Verlobung. Mormonen],” Neue Preusische Zeitung, August 19, 1856.

[33] “Aus London,” Sächsische Constitutionalle Zeitung, September 9, 1856, 834.

[34] “Spread of Mormonism,” German Reformed Messenger, September 17, 1856, 4378.

[35] “Spread of Mormonism,” German Reformed Messenger, September 17, 1856.

[36] “Spread of Mormonism,” Independent, October 2, 1856, 320.

[37] This is referring to Karl Benjamin Immanuel Mieth (1802–53), who had been the director of the First District Volksschule.

[38] Allgemeine Zeitung, August 28, 1856; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[39] Allgemeine Zeitung, August 28, 1856. The Sächsische Schulzeitung (Saxon School Magazine) reprinted the article from the Sächsische Dorfzeitung, September 14, 1856, 581. The article used the occasion to give a brief description of Mormonism.

[40] Josef Edmund Jörg, Neueste Geschichte des Protestantismus, Historisch-politische Blätter für das katholische Deutschland (München: Herder’sche Verlagshandlung, 1856), 38:1107; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[41] This is the fourth and final verse. Karl G. Maeser, “Franklin Richards,” Darsteller, September 1856, 63–64; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[42] See, for example, LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion (Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark, 1960); Chad M. Orton, “The Martin Handcart Company at the Sweetwater: Another Look,” BYU Studies 45, no. 3 (2006): 4–37; Paul D. Lyman, The Willie Handcart Company (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2006).

[43] James G. Willie, “Synopsis of the Fourth Hand Cart Company’s Trip from England to G.S.L. City in 1856,” in History of Brigham Young, November 9, 1856, 966–83, CHL.

[44] The first three handcart companies (Ellsworth, McArthur, and Bunker) had returned safely, but the Willie and Martin companies were still hundreds of miles away from Salt Lake City.

[45] Karl G. Maeser, “Heidentum, Judentum, christliche Seiten und Reich Gottes,” Darsteller, October 1856, 65–68. This article openly carried the name of the author, “Karl Mäser.”

[46] Maeser, “Heidentum,” 66; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[47] Maeser, “Heidentum,” 67–68.

[48] For a more complete understanding of Maeser’s year in London, see the following: Christine Lattek, Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840–1860 (London: Routledge, 2006); Rosemary Ashton, Little Germany: Exile and Asylum in Victorian England (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); Michael Paterson, Voices from Dickens’ London (Cincinnati: David & Charles, 2006); Peter Alter and Rudolf Muhs, eds., Exilanten und andere Deutsche in Fontanes (London, Stuttgart: Verlag Hans Dieter Heinz, 1996); Rosemary Ashton, “The Search for Liberty: German Exiles in England in the 1850s,” Journal of European Studies 13, no. 51 (September 1983): 187–98.

[49] Ashton, Little Germany, 42.

[50] Paterson, Voices from Dickens’ London, 52.

[51] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Letter to the Editor, Spectator, June 14, 1850; cited in Rosemary Ashton, “The Search for Liberty,” 188–89.

[52] An interesting article about Bauer in English is Peter Barker’s “Edgar Bauer, Refugee Journalist and Police Informer,” in Peter Alter and Rudolf Muhs’ Exilanten und andere Deutsche in Fontanes, 370–84.

[53] Edgar Bauer, Englische Freiheit (Leipzig: Otto Wiegand, 1857); translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[54] Krambambuli was an inexpensive alcoholic punch. He was referring to the melody sung to “The Time Is Far Spent.” Maeser’s translation of this hymn, “An die Priesterschaft” (with five verses, while the English has four) appeared in the Darsteller in November 1859. In the last verse he encouraged all to “be diligent in your work of converting mankind though the goal may seem unreachable and far.”

[55] Bauer, Englische Freiheit, 220; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[56] “17. Protokoll der 12. Polizeikonferenz vom 8. Bis 10. Juni 1857 in Wien,” Dokumente aus geheimen Archiven, Die Polizeikonferenzen deutscher Staaten 1851–1866, Präliminardokumente, Protokolle und Anlagen, vol. 5, ed. Friedrich Beck und Walter Schmidt (Weimar: Verlag Hermann Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1993), 253; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[57] In a letter to Engels, March 18, 1857, Marx wrote, “Edgar Bauer is putting out a book, Englische Eindrücke. should be splendid.” Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1983), 40:106.

[58] Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels, April 21, 1857; Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, 40:122.

[59] Karl G. Maeser, “The Social Question,” Deseret Evening News, May 23, 1868, in Journal History of the Church, April 25, 1868, 5. This article is discussed more fully in chapter 8.

[60] Johanna Kinkel to Kathinka Zitz, September 25, 1851; cited in Christine Lattek, Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840–1860 (London: Routledge, 2006), 15.

[61] James Little, President Pratt’s second counselor, reported in his journal that President Pratt left Liverpool on the eleventh for London and returned on the seventeenth.

[62] The calling of pastor in the LDS Church was unique to the British Isles. A pastor was comparable to a district president. See William G. Hartley, “LDS Pastors and Pastorates, 1852–55,” in My Fellow Servants: Essays on the History of the Priesthood (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2010), 207–26.

[63] Charles W. Penrose, London Conference Minutes, October 12, 1856, LR 5006 2, CHL.

[64] Edward Schoenfeld, “Einweihung der ersten deutschen Gemeinde in London den 21. Oktober 1856,” Darsteller, December 1856, 108–10; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.

[65] Schoenfeld, “Einweihung,” 108–10.

[66] Karl G. Maeser, “Deutsches Mormonenlied,” Darsteller, December 1856, 111–12. In this hymn the Saints were challenged to hold fast to the Mormon rod: it is “the work,” “the word,” “the light,” and “covenant of God.”

[67] In November 1856, Karl published his longest poem, “Die Streiter Gottes” (The Warriors of God). It had ten verses anticipating the conflict that was brewing in the United States that would eventually be called the Utah War. He described a class of heroes who fight with remarkable courage in spite of the world’s ignorance or even scorn.

They stand firm in the heat of the battle, following their great commander, Jesus Christ. (Karl G. Maeser, “Die Streiter Gottes,” Darsteller, November 1856, 94–96. Later a few of the verses of this poem were adapted as a hymn, “Ein hohes Lied entströme meiner Seele.”)

Karl also wrote German words to beloved English melodies. His words for the melody “Ye Elders of Israel” (Karl G. Maeser, “Zionslied,” Darsteller, January 1857, 127–28) called for the world to wake up and recognize that judgment was coming soon; the axe would soon be laid at the root of the trees that failed to produce blossoms and fruit.

To the tune “God Save the King,” Karl wrote the words of a prayer that was published in February 1857:

O Lord, thy people bless!

With joy and happiness

This world abroad!

Threatened by enemies,

Calm our anxieties

Through all eternity,

Be thou our God.

He prayed for protection over the Lord’s teachings, over his land of Deseret, and over his prophet Brigham Young and all who are called, concluding with:

O Lord thy children bless,

Surround in tenderness,

Dear father please!

Let faith and love then flower

Within our hearts this hour,

In hope’s fresh, vibrant power

Lord grant us these! (Karl G. Maeser, “Das Fürbitte,” Darsteller, February 1857, 143, translation by A. LeGrand Richards)

By May, John L. Smith records that he was gathering German hymns for a hymnbook. John L. Smith, journal, May 23, 1857, LTPSC.

[68] Ezra T. Benson to Brigham Young, June 23, 1857, CR 123411-51, CHL.

[69] Alma Burton, Karl G. Maeser: Mormon Educator (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1953), 12. This was stated by Eva Maeser Crandall in a personal interview with Alma Burton, February 18, 1950, 32.

[70] Compare Burton, Karl G. Maeser, 11; and Reinhard Maeser, Karl G. Maeser: A Biography by His Son (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1928), 29.

[71] See, for example, “Der Schullehrer als Kirchner,” Sächsische Schulzeitung, August 1848, 33:513–20. The title translates as “The Schoolteacher as Church Caretaker.”

[72] London Conference Minutes, February 25, 1857, CHL.

[73] London Conference Minutes, February 25, 1857, LR 5006 2, reel 3, CHL.

[74] Charles W. Penrose, journal, February 25, 1857, CHL.

[75] William Budge to T. B. H. Stenhouse, June 23, 1857; printed in the Mormon, July 25, 1857.

[76] London Conference Minutes, February 25, 1857, CHL.

[77] See, for example, the address given by William Budge in President’s Meeting Minutes of the London Conference, May 24, 1857, LR 5006 11, reel 3, CHL.

[78] Before returning to Switzerland, John L. Smith stayed a few days in London. He recorded in his journal on April 8, “In the P.M. I paid a visit Sister Mäser.” See MSS 680, volume 2, LTPSC.

[79] Schoenfeld, “A Character Sketch of Dr. Karl G. Maeser,” 181. Karl had inscribed in the Bible, “Karl to his Edward, 26 March, 1857.”

[80] The tragedy of the Willie and Martin handcart companies of 1856 put into place a policy that no one was “to permit any company to leave the Missouri River later than the first of August.” History of Brigham Young, October 30, 1856, 850, CHL. In fact, the policy was changed for the 1858 emigration that recommended the “through emigration” leave Liverpool in February to give them time to arrive in Utah by August. See “Emigration for Utah in 1858,” Millennial Star, April 18, 1857, 249.

[81] Budge expressed this belief in the May 4 meeting; see London Conference Minutes, LR 5006 2, 323, CHL. This suggests that it was intended for Maeser to remain in Philadelphia as a missionary from the outset.

[82] Karl Gustav Franklin Maeser was born January 25, 1857, at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London (birth certificate, copy from the General Register Office, East London, 1857, in the Sub-district of Cripplegate, #338, retrieved June 8, 2012, application 4109421-1).

[83] This packet ship belonged to Cope and was built in 1848 in Philadelphia. At the time it was the largest ship that had been built there.

[84] London Conference Minutes, May 4, 1857, LR 5006 2, 327, CHL.

[85] London Conference Minutes, May 4, 1857, LR 5006 11, reel 3, 320, CHL.

[86] London Conference Minutes, May 4, 1857, CHL.

[87] London Conference Minutes, May 4, 1857.

[88] Brigham Young to Orson Pratt, May 29, 1857, in Brigham Young Copybook, CHL, 579–81.

[89] Orson Pratt to Brigham, June 27, 1857, 2, MS 2736, box 22, folder 1, CHL.

[90] Karl G. Maeser to John L. Smith, published in Darsteller, June 1857, 11–13; translation by A. LeGrand Richards.