Friederike Riedesel zu Eisenbach

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Friederike Riedesel zu Eisenbach
Louise Charlotte von Massow
Friederike Riedesel zu Eisenbach, 1795

Friederike Charlotte Louise Riedesel Baroness zu Eisenbach (born July 11, 1746 in Brandenburg ; † March 29, 1808 in Berlin ), b. von Massow , was the wife of the Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel general Friedrich Adolf Riedesel .

Her parents were the Prussian minister Valentin von Massow (1712–1775) and his second wife Freiin Johanna Friederika von Krause (1726–1813).


Only 16 years old, she married in 1762 during the campaign in Paderborn the officer in brunswick-wolfenbüttel rule services Friedrich Adolf Riedesel Freiherr zu Eisenbach and lived with him the next thirteen years Wolfenbüttel .

In North America

When her husband as General of brunswick-wolfenbüttel rule Subsidientruppen 1776 on the part of the British on the American Revolutionary War took part, she went to him in 1777 after their children. She witnessed the campaign until the surrender of the German-English troops in 1777 near Saratoga , cared for the wounded and cared for the sick. After being released from captivity, the couple went with their children to Canada , where the general continued to command the troops from Braunschweig until the end of the war in 1783, before the family then returned to Germany.

A Canadian source believes that Riedesel was the first in North America to set up a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and decorated it with candles in accordance with German custom , in 1781 in Sorel .


In 1799 Heinrich published XLIV. Count Reuss , her son-in-law, as a private print “ Excerpts from the letters and papers of General Freyherr von Riedesel and his wife, née. v. Massow ". A year later, when General Riedesel had already died, the Berlin publisher Haude und Spener published the diary entries from the time in Canada and the former British colonies in North America under the title “ The professional trip to America. Letters from General Riedesel written to Germany on this trip and during her seven-year stay in America at the time of the war there from 1777 to 1783 ”. The book was translated into several languages ​​soon after its publication and is now considered an important source for the early history of Canada and the nascent United States of America.

After her husband died, Friederike Charlotte Louise Riedesel moved to Berlin in 1801, where she also died. She was buried in the crypt of her husband's family in Lauterbach .


  • Wolfgang Griep (ed.): Friederike von Riedesel: With the courage of a woman. Experiences and experiences in the American Revolutionary War. Stuttgart 1989
  • Horst-Rüdiger Jarck, Günter Scheel (Ed.): Braunschweigisches Biographisches Lexikon. 19th and 20th centuries. Hanover 1996
  • Klaus Mann : A war correspondent, in: The American Dream. edition spangenberg, Munich 1991 ISBN 3-89409-064-2
  • Friederike von Riedesel: The professional trip to America. Letters and reports written by General von Riedesel during the North American War from 1776 to 1783. Edition Corsar, Braunschweig 2006 ISBN 3-925320-008 digitized
  • Bernhard von PotenRiedesel, Friederike Freifrau von . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 28, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1889, p. 532 f.
  • Carl Wilhelm Otto August von Schindel: The German women writers of the nineteenth century. Volume 2: MZ. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1825, p. 176, digitized

Web links


  1. ^ Karl Siegmar von Galéra: Die Riedesel zu Eisenbach: Vom Reich zum Rheinbund 1713-1806, 1961 uses this nickname
  2. In the English literature z. B. Dictionary of Canadian Biography . On the Lieutenant General Hans Jürgen Detloff von Massow is given.
  3. ^ Friederike Riedesel zu Eisenbach ( English, French ) In: The Canadian Encyclopedia .