Significance of the Beobachter

Outside of the general histories of South Jersey or Atlantic County, which devote a few pages at most to the history of Egg Harbor City, the most extensive work to date is an article by Dieter Cunz in the 1956 annual Report of the Society for the History of the Germans in Maryland (Egg Harbor City: New Germany in New Jersey).

For his research Mr. Cunz relied heavily on an "almost complete file" of one particular newspaper, The Egg Harbor Pilot. He noted, however, that in the late 1850s, the Pilot was the "press organ" of a group of discontented settlers organized into what they called the "'Conservativer Männerverein,' with the purpose of terminating certain 'abuses' of the officials of the Association."

Later in the article he wrote: "Compared with the Pilot all other German papers in Egg Harbor played second fiddle. In most cases no copies are preserved. As so frequently in German-American newspaper history we know about some papers only through indirect hints in other papers. Thus we learn that in 1858 there was a Beobachter am Egg Harbor River. "

When making inquiries at the Egg Harbor City Historical Society, the librarian, (the late Adele Bader), made some newspapers available to me, one of which was a copy of the Beobachter from April 7, 1859. The editorial voice of this paper is much more in sympathy with the founders and leadership of the settlement than the Pilot, and so I have taken the time to transcribe the paper in order to make it available in searchable form on the web. The preliminary translation is a work in progress and any suggestions or corrections are welcome.

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Last updated: 2003 Eleventh Month, 24th.