In 1854, Wilhelm F. Kempe, 26, and his sister Auguste, 20, left their native Kingdom of Saxony in Europe for a new home in Texas. Remaining in Saxony were their aging, widowed father and a 10-year-old sister and an 8-year-old brother -- people who struggled for decades to reconcile their lives in the Old World with that of their relatives in the New World. Their letters to Wilhelm tell, often painfully, of the emotional toll this disruption took on the lives of family and friends who remained in the Fatherland. As the only connection betwen his family in Europe and his family in America, Wilhelm carried the weight of both. Over half a century he coped with all of their needs, as well as the Civil War and the desires of others who wanted to leave Europe and join him in Texas -- challenges that come alive through the letters they wrote.