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"mabel bouwmans strauss" Discussed on Stuff You Missed in History Class
"It's our host faves yet. These are just some of our personal favorites ones that we had a particular affinity for end. Because these are stressful. And Trying Times. We've tried to stick to the ones that weren't quite as Dour. So hopefully they'll give you a little lift stay safe. Welcome to stuff. You missed in history class a production of IHEART radio. Hello and welcome to the PODCAST. I'm holly and I'm Tracy. V Wilson and today's episode was requested approximately one hundred years ago if you go by way of hyperbole by early scenario either not really one hundred years ago but it feels that way. It was a very long time and I have had it on my list throughout that time but I am only just now getting to it. For a variety of reasons We are talking today about Levi Strauss and historians really historically interesting because it touches on a lot of important moments in US history so he was an immigrant who ended up in a business that was impacted by and in turn affected the US civil war and including culture. He has a story that's tied to the Goldrush. She also had a vision for his adopted city of San Francisco that he worked really hard to achieve so that future generations would benefit from it And his life in many ways is the story of the United States in the nineteenth century from the perspective of Jewish Immigrant. Who became a captain of industry before we get into his story? I will make a confession. Which is that until fairly recently. Probably five years. This Chicago I thought Levi Strauss. Were two different people that have been business together a saying so clearly. I miss this in history class. Because even though people wear Levi's in you'd call it Levi Strauss. I didn't realize that was one person's proper name so I grew up in North Carolina. Not all that far away from cone mills. Which is who made the denim for Levi's five a lens for two hundred years or something so like this is a piece of history that is like a more steeped in. I didn't have confusion about whether Levi Strauss where two people. It's not my proudest moment. But in my defense even though I am a close person. I don't think I owned a pair of jeans of any flavor from about nineteen eighty five until like two years ago. Like that's just never been my things. So That's that's my excuse poultry. Though it may be that I just never examined Levi Strauss. Fit makes you feel better. I thought Hanna Barbera was one person with a woman. Oh No that'd be funny but no so Levi was born Lube Strauss on February twenty six of eighteen twenty nine in Britain Germany. His Father Hirsch Strauss was a salesman who sold household goods store door. This mother's name was Rebecca Haas Strauss. And both she and her screw up in Franconia. It's an area in the north of Modern Day Bavaria which was predominantly Jewish. Rebecca was her second wife. His first wife Mabel Bouwmans Strauss had died at the age of thirty five leaving him with five children then Hirsch and Rebecca had more children together a daughter and then lube and Hirsch Rebecca and their seven children lived in a three room downstairs floor of a two story house. So this was the time when Bavaria's udon addict or July was in effect that had started in the eighteen teens. In this law seemed as though it offered Jewish citizens the opportunity to pursue a number of jobs that had once been forbidden to them but in return it also created really strict regulations for their lives among them marriage and immigration of Jews was severely limited all Jews had to be registered. They had to take German names. They could not own land and even their language was codified so all public records had to be kept in. German. They could not use Hebrew for those someone like her Strauss who traveled through the area selling his wares also served as messengers and his community. Connector's during this time and in this profession Kirsch was sort of did from part of the. You'd need it working as a peddler which had been a traditional job. Jewish men in the area for a long time was no longer considered an acceptable career but older people like Hirsch. Who weren't able to pick up a new profession. Were allowed to keep doing it. Yeah it was expected that they would just eventually die off and so would that profession and all of the limitations of the Union. Edict eventually inspired immigration One of the marriage laws. That really created a problem was the only the eldest son of any Jewish household could get married and so there were some work arounds like if a another son that was younger wanted to marry a widow that was acceptable. Or if a couple that had no children wanted to give up the slot their eldest son would have had to another family so they can have two sons Mary. They could but basically this really limited the entire societal culture because these young women could not get married. All of these young men could not get married. It was frustrating so eventually they wanted to leave in eighteen thirty seven. There was a group of eighteen people that left eighteen young people and to of loves older siblings. Were part of that. They left Germany to make homes in London and New York in nineteen forty and nineteen forty one to more of the straws children followed suit in eighteen. Forty six hirsch died of this. Rebecca remarried soon after two curses brother. Who was a widower named? Lipman but libman died just a few weeks after the wedding. Loeb was seventeen at that time and see if his sister were still living at home. An immigration at this point was not easy. You couldn't just pick up and leave. The Bavarian government had to approve anyone who wished to leave the country. And you had to prove that neither you nor anyone in your family had any sort of criminal record and that you could afford to make the trip on March seventeenth eighteenth. Forty-seven Rebecca Strauss filed an immigration petition in which he stated that because she was a widow. She didn't have the financial support anymore. She didn't know how she would provide for her youngest son but she had children in the United States. Who can help her get settled? There Lube was old enough to work and contribute to the family's finances once they arrived and for his part Lube his own petition stating quote. No members of my family will stay behind. I will share the fate that has been assigned to me with them in foreign lands. I thus join my mother and her plea on June twenty sixth eighteen forty seven rebecca and her children so lab and his two sisters were approved for immigration. But they didn't leave immediately because Rebecca needed to make sure that the family that had gone on to New York had indeed made preparations for the three of them to arrive and live there. They finally made their way in the spring of eighteen. Forty eight although the specifics of their transatlantic passage aren't really documented or known. Jonas Ann Lewis Strauss. Libs brothers had both become dry goods merchants in the city. They'd open up a shop at three ninety three and a half grand street but by the time the family arrived they had moved to a more lucrative location at two three and a half. Division street may lived above the shop. Jonas had also gotten married and started his own family. And at some point Followed the example that his siblings had any changed his name to a more Americanized version. This was not uncommon In in the eighteen fifty cents as he is listed as Levi with a why he also started working in the family dry goods business while he was there. He learned English really quickly so that he could speak with business partners and customers and he applied for U. S. citizenship justice. His brothers had done before him. The Strauss's dry goods business was doing really well. They moved to another new location near Union market in eighteen fifty one and as their family businesses growing in new opportunity was making itself apparent across the country as the California gold rush foster new towns new prosperity and a need for dry goods. The Strauss brothers did not want to miss a chance to capitalize on this new market but they also needed to keep their established New York business going and so the youngest brother of the family was sent West five days after he took his oath of citizenship on January. Thirty first. Eighteen fifty three loop Strauss. Who was now going by Levi left New York for San Francisco aboard the US? Mail ship Georgia which was a steamer and the family had already loaded shipment of merchandise aboard another ship called the winged racer for Levi to take possession of once he reached San Francisco. The clipper winged racer was sailing down around the tip of South America and the North California leave. I would make the trip less time. Traveling through Panama was of course before the Panama Canal was built so he took the steamer Georgia to Panama and then traveled across thin strip of the country to Panama City on the Pacific side. He got on another steamer. They're called the isthmus. And that was bound for San Francisco. He arrived in San Francisco on March thirteenth. Eighteen fifty three. This was considered for a lot of people. Safer plan than trying to travel overland from New York to San Francisco because People often did not survive that journey or if they did get California they got there in pretty sorry shape This was a little bit of an easier. Booze and the specifics of Levi's first days in San Francisco are also unknown. He would have needed to rent warehouse space for the goods that were coming in the the winged racer and he would have needed to find lodgings for himself. He most likely had some letters of introduction to family connections. That had already made that journey west so it wasn't as though he just showed up and had to figure everything out by himself. He had some security net in place. That merchandise that had been shipped showed up two weeks. After Lebai dead on March thirtieth unlike other merchants you had to bid on merchandise that was shipped on Spec once it got to the port at San Francisco Levi knew what was coming he just had to inspect it. Accept it and then move it into the warehouse as he got to know the market in California he can ensure that future shipments contain items. That would be the most likely to move to make the most money and for clarity. Strauss's we're not opening a retail shop San Francisco. Even though they had sort of a similar one in New York they were basically setting up a wholesale business that would sell stock to other merchants for their shops. So leave I had to invest time in developing really good relationships with other businessmen in the area and he was twenty four at this point. He wasn't supporting a wife or family. So aside from attending synagogue and participating in social events primarily with San Francisco's Jewish community. All of his efforts could be.