His adventures in sailing the high seas in the 1770s and arriving in the New World.
By Robert A. Selig
Long-time readers of German Life are by now familiar with the Imperial counts of Rechteren-Limpurg whose family used to rule my hometown in Germany. Ever since we published “An amorous Encounter with Undreamt-of Consequences“ (Dec 2010/Jan 2011), we have been looking not only at 200 years of ups and downs of living in a small village but also at how the grand issues of German, European and world history impacted the lives of the inhabitants of Winterhausen. Our first story took place in March 1777 just as troops from Ansbach-Bayreuth were sailing from Marktbreit down the Main River on their way to the New World to fight for King George III against American Independence. Three years later, Count Friedrich Reinhard, whose family was co-ruler of the Reichsgrafschaft, also set sail for the New World as an officer in the Royal Deux-Ponts regiment, the Deutsche Königlich-Französische Infanterie-Regiment von Zweibrücken, to fight with French forces under Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau in support of the American cause. The account of his travels as a Dutch naval officer in the Mediterranean in the 1770s, and of his service in America in 1780/81, were published in a bi-lingual edition (Die Abenteuer des Grafen Friedrich Reinhard von Rechteren-Limpurg im Mittelmeer und im Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg, 1770 bis 1782) by Jane A. Baum, Hans-Peter Baum and Jesko Graf zu Dohna as Mainfränkische Hefte 115 in 2016. Its pages provide a welcome opportunity to leave the confines of small-town Winterhausen and to follow the count across the seas to Naples, Marseille and the coast of North Africa in 1770-1772, to Rhode Island in the spring of 1780, and back to Brest in November 1781 and to learn about the joys and sorrows of sailing the high seas in the 18th century.