Balduin Möllhausen

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Balduin Möllhausen

Balduin Möllhausen (born January 27, 1825 in Bonn , † May 28, 1905 in Berlin ) was a German writer and traveler.


Möllhausen's father was a Lützower Jäger , lieutenant in the artillery and later an engineer in railway construction in Greece . His mother was a daughter of the Baron von Falkenstein bei Anklam. Balduin Möllhausen first grew up in Bonn, where he also attended high school. He then completed an agricultural training in his mother's homeland in West Pomerania and completed his military service in Stralsund . In 1849 he made the first of three long trips to North America . In 1851 he belonged to the expedition of Duke Paul Wilhelm von Württemberg . This trip led to the southern Rocky Mountains and Wyoming . After his return he got a job as a topographer on a new expedition on the recommendation of Alexander von Humboldt , the aim of which was to explore a railway route through North America to Los Angeles . From 1854 he lived in Berlin with Humboldt, where he met Karoline Seifert, whose alleged father was Humboldt's valet; most likely she was indeed Humboldt's illegitimate daughter. She married Möllhausen in 1855.

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV appointed Möllhausen custodian of the libraries in the royal palaces in and around Potsdam . In 1857 he made the third trip to North America. After his return he lived in Potsdam and from 1886 in Berlin-Charlottenburg , where he died in 1905. He was buried in the (today's state-owned) Columbiadamm cemetery. The grave, as an honor grave of the State of Berlin, is in field O IV, G3. In Potsdam he was a member of the Teutonia Masonic Lodge for Wisdom .

Honor grave , Columbiadamm 122, in Berlin-Neukölln

He made hundreds of drawings and watercolors and wrote his travel reports ( "Diary of a trip from Mississippi to the coasts of the South Pacific" and "Travel to the rocky mountains of North America to the high plateau of New Mexico" ) among the best travel books of the 19th century . He made the first pictures of the Grand Canyon and the Mohave and Wallapai Indians living there. His artistic work and his travelogues are among the most important documents in the exploration of the North American West. He was sponsored by Alexander von Humboldt and was acquainted with Theodor Fontane . Later he used his experiences and memories in over 40 novels and a large number of stories and novels . With these adventurous and exotic subjects, he was one of the most popular writers of his time and, together with Friedrich Gerstäcker , Karl May and Charles Sealsfield, one of the most important authors in the German ethnological adventure novel of the 19th century.

Among the numerous interesting further aspects of this life (father was an architect well known in the USA, friendship with Prince Friedrich Karl, marriage with a presumably illegitimate daughter of Alexander von Humboldt, acquaintance with Theodor Fontane, source of numerous figures and descriptions of Karl May, For example Nscho-tschis, vigorous co-creator of the German ideas of the “ Wild West ” etc.), Möllhausen's difficult friendship with the doctor and writer Philipp Galen , who was Möllhausen's neighbor in Potsdam in the 1860s and 1870s, should also be mentioned. Galen was a well-known author of intricate detective novels in the English style (cf. Wilkie Collins ), his best-known work is Der Irre von St. James . Certain design elements in Möllhausen's novels may also originate from this model.


In 1939 the former Kleiststrasse in the Wendenschloß villa colony in the Berlin district of Köpenick was renamed Möllhausenufer. His grave in the Columbiadamm cemetery is dedicated to the city of Berlin as an honorary grave .


The writer Hanns Heinz Ewers , who was friends with him, named the student Baldwin from the film The Student of Prague after him.


  • Diary of a trip from the Mississippi to the coasts of the South Seas (Leipzig 1858) online
  • Travel to the rocky mountains of North America to the high plateau of New Mexico (2 volumes, Leipzig 1861) online
  • The half-Indian. Story from western North America (4 volumes, Leipzig 1861) online Vol.1 , Vol.2 , Vol.3 , Vol.4
  • The refugee. Story from New Mexico and the adjoining Indian region (Leipzig 1862)
  • The mayordomo. Novel from southern California and New Mexico following the "Half Indian" and "Refugee" (4 volumes, Leipzig 1863)
  • Palm leaves and snowflakes. Stories from the Far West (Leipzig 1863) online Vol.1 , Vol.2
  • The Mormon girl. A tale from the time of the United States' campaign against the "Latter-day Saints" in 1857–1858. (6 volumes, Jena 1864) online volume 1 , volume 2 , volume 3 , volume 4 , volume 5 , volume 6
  • Relics. Stories and descriptions from western North America (3 volumes, Berlin 1865)
  • The mandana orphan. Tale from the Rhineland and the Missouri River basin (Berlin 1865)
  • The sea king. A story (6 volumes, Jena 1867) online Vol. 1 , Vol . 2 , Vol . 3 , Vol. 4 , Vol . 5 , Vol. 6
  • North and south. Stories and descriptions from western North America (Jena 1867) online Vol.1 , Vol.2
  • The highland piper. Short story (6 volumes, Jena 1868)
  • The Hundertguldenblatt. Narrative (Berlin 1870)
  • The pirate lieutenant. Roman (Berlin 1870)
  • The tinker. Narrative (Berlin 1871)
  • The finch house. Roman (Berlin 1872) online Vol. 1 , Vol . 2 , Vol . 3 , Vol. 4
  • Western tracks. Stories and descriptions (Berlin 1873) [online vol.1], vol.2
  • The Hermits. Roman (Berlin 1873)
  • The monogram. Novel (4 volumes, Berlin 1873)
  • The hyenas of capital. Roman (4 volumes, Berlin 1876) online volume 1 , volume 2 , volume 3 , volume 4
  • The convict's children. Roman (Berlin 1876) online Vol. 1 , Vol . 2 , Vol . 3 , Vol. 4
  • The herons. Roman (Berlin 1878) online Vol.1 , Vol.2 , Vol.3
  • The treasure of Quivira. Novel (3 volumes, Berlin 1880)
  • The Consul's Daughters. Novel (4 volumes, Berlin 1880)
  • Four fragments. Roman (Berlin 1880)
  • The lighthouse at Michigan and other stories (Stuttgart 1882) online
  • The fanatic. Roman (Berlin 1883)
  • The steward. Novel (3 volumes, Jena 1884)
  • The traders. Novel (3 volumes, Berlin 1884)
  • Wild blood. Story (3 volumes, Jena 1886)
  • Captain Eisenfinger's log book. Roman (Stuttgart 1887)
  • The Melville family. Roman (Leipzig 1888) online
  • The secret of the hulk. Roman (Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig 1889)
  • The ferryman on the Canadian. Novel (3 volumes, Stuttgart 1890)
  • The two yachts. Novel (3 volumes, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig 1891)
  • Montague House. Novel (3 volumes, Jena 1891)
  • The mercenaries. Novel (3 volumes, Stuttgart 1892)
  • The spy. Novel (3 volumes, Stuttgart 1893)
  • Kaptein Meerrose and her children. Story (3 volumes, Berlin 1893)
  • The talisman. Roman (Jena 1894)
  • Which of the two? (Novel in: Library of Entertainment and Knowledge, Stuttgart / Berlin / Leipzig 1895)
  • The Dreilinden-Lieder (Berlin 1896)
  • By millions. Roman (novel in 8 sequels in: Library of Entertainment and Knowledge, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig 1897, volumes 1–8)
  • Which of the two? Novel (2 volumes, Stuttgart 1897)
  • The purgatory in Frappe's wigwam. Roman (Leipzig 1900)
  • The mail rider. Story (Leipzig 1903)
  • Pictures from the realm of nature (Berlin 1904)
  • Sankt Elmsfeuer and other short stories (Berlin, Leipzig 1905)
  • The vaquero. Roman (Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig 1905)
  • Die Herrin von Thurneck (Ablit, Munich 2004; first publication from the estate)

New editions

The following new editions are currently (2012) available in bookshops:


  • Peter J. Brenner:  Möllhausen, Balduin. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 17, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-00198-2 , pp. 654 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Horst Dinkelacker: America between dream and disillusionment in the life and work of the successful writer Balduin Möllhausen (1825–1905). Lang, New York et al. a. 1990, ISBN 0-8204-1133-7 (= American university studies; Ser. 1; 86)
  • Andreas Graf: The death of the wolves. The adventurous and the bourgeois life of the novelist and America traveler Balduin Möllhausen (1825–1905) . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-428-07173-5
  • Andreas Graf: Adventure and mystery. Balduin Möllhausen's novels . Rombach, Freiburg 1993 ISBN 3-7930-9078-7 (= Rombach Wissenschaft; Litterae series; 18)
  • Horst Hartmann: George Catlin and Balduin Möllhausen. Two interpreters of the Indians and the Old West 2., through. u. by 2 portr., episode, engl. Summary ue person, place u. Tribal reg. Probably ed. Reimer, Berlin 1984 ISBN 3-496-00501-7 (= Baessler archive; supplement; NF 3)
  • Ben W. Huseman: Wild river, timeless canyons. Balduin Möllhausen's watercolors of the Colorado . Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth TX 1995, ISBN 0-88360-084-6
  • Josef Niesen : Bonn Personal Lexicon. Bouvier, Bonn 2007, ISBN 978-3-416-03159-2 .
  • Eva Verma: The real Shatterhand and the real Nscho-chi. BM and Amalie Papin . In: "... wherever you come from". Binational couples through the millennia . Dipa, Frankfurt 1993 ISBN 3-7638-0196-0 pp. 95-103 (historical photos)

Web links

Commons : Balduin Möllhausen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Balduin Möllhausen  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Möllhausenufer. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  2. ^ Gerhard Lamprecht: German Silent Films 1913 - 1914 . Deutsche Kinemathek eV, Berlin 1969, p. 103 .
  3. The mandan orphan . (PDF; 4.66 MB)