The Adelsverein Trilogy by Celia Hayes

The Adelsverein Trilogy

The frontier would challenge them. Brutal war would test them, in a crucible of fire. But they would endure and build. They would prosper and in the end …they would become Americans.

The Adelsverein Trilogy is a saga of family and community loyalties, and the challenge of building a new life on the hostile frontier. They come from Germany to Texas in 1847, under the auspices of the “Mainzer Adelsverein” – the society of noblemen of Mainz, who seek to fill a settlement in Texas with German farmers and craftsmen.

Christian “Vati” Steinmetz, the clockmaker of Ulm in Bavaria, has brought his sons and daughters: Magda – passionate and courageous, courted by Carl Becker, a young frontiersman with a dangerous past. Her sister Liesel wants nothing more than to be a good wife to her husband Hansi, a stolid and practical farmer called by circumstances to be something greater, in the boom years of the great cattle ranches. Their brothers Friedrich and Johann, have always been close. In the Civil War, one will wear Union blue, the other Confederate grey homespun, but never forget they are brothers.  And finally, there is Vati’s adopted daughter Rosalie, whose life ends as it began – in tragedy. But Vati’s family will will survive and ultimately triumph. They will make their mark in Texas, their new land.

The Complete Adelsverein Trilogy is published by Watercress Press, and distributed by Ingram. Available at

A Brief Interview with Celia

James: What drives you to write, Celia?

Celia: A mad urge to tell stories and entertain people. Also I am gripped by a  conviction that we must reclaim American history in popular culture; that we need  to get a clearer understanding of what made us American. It’s not  all the tedious racism/KKK/brute capitalism, et cetera, that informs a certain vision of our past. Besides – there are ripping good stories out there, of which few people have  heard!

James: Why did you write The Adelsverein Trilogy?

Celia: The Trilogy actually began as a single book. I wanted to write about the frontier, and tell a relatively unknown story. I lived just down the road from Fredericksburg, Texas – which was settled in the 1840s as part of a German entrepreneurial scheme to bring thousands of German settlers … to the wild, wild frontier. This area in the middle of Texas was almost wholly German by language and culture until well into the 20th century. They actually made a peace treaty with the Comanche Indians, made a success of their colony … and were Unionists during the Civil War. The more I researched, the greater my interest became. In the end, I had to spin the story out into three books.

James: Is there something you want readers to take away with them after reading your book?

Celia: I want readers to gain an understanding of the incredible local history that is practically unknown outside of Texas. And I want them to appreciate what a daring and innovative construction the American experiment was and is. It is counter to practically every other society there is, and a great many decent and optimistic people worked to make it so. And finally – there are so many amazing stories out there; I’d like to spur interest in some of them.

More about Celia Hayes

Celia Hayes spent twenty years as a military broadcaster in the Air Force, before retiring in San Antonio, Texas. She contributes to a variety of on-line magazines and websites, and is also on the board of the Independent Authors Guild, a non-profit association of writers published by small or regional boutique publishers. ( Celia is the author of six novels set on the 19th century American frontier. She currently lives in San Antonio with her daughter and an assortment of dogs and cats. Learn more at

James D. Kellogg

James D. Kellogg is a water resource engineer in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and the author of Radical Action: A Colt Kelley Thriller. His Right Angles opinion column appears monthly in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent newspaper.

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