Hi Bonnie: If I may put my 2-cents in - no,it was not common for single females to travel alone but yes, it did happen more frequently than you might think. Two of my grandmother's sisters and possibly a third made the trip entirely alone. I think that Berndt's idea that the two lovers connived before they ever left Germany is right on. And since it appears that his family was going anyway, what could have been easier than to take her along? She might have been 27 but her father would have had absolute control of her until she married (or was declared a spinster). And fear of the military was not a factor in 1848. That only entered into the picture after the conquest by Prussia in 1866-71. But remember, the year 1848 was a year of political turmoil all over Europe - so much so that those emigrants were called the 48ers. Richard Wagner escaped from Saxony to Switzerland; Karl Schurtz (a journalist of New York fame) escaped from Baden to the US., etc.
Re: the trunksful of silver, linens, she certainly would have needed help with that but could they have belonged to his family? Or might she have gone back for a visit later? And yes, even back then she would have needed a "sponsor" in order to enter the US unless his family claimed she was travelling with them. Hope this is some help to you. Jane
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