The Emigrants by Friedrich Trump aka Donald Trump’s Grandfather


The Emigrants by Friedrich Trump aka Donald Trump’s Grandfather

The Emigrants by Friedrich Trump aka Donald Trump's Grandfather
The Emigrants by Friedrich Trump aka Donald Trump’s Grandfather

‘The Emigrants’ is a letter written by Friedrich Trump who was Donald Trump’s grandfather. What makes this letter so special, you ask? Well, here’s where things really get interesting, especially if we take in consideration the US President’s current political agenda.

This letter was written by Friedrich Trump in 1905 and was addressed to Luitpold, the Prince Regent of Bavaria (a region in modern day Germany). Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich, was ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete his mandatory military service and for not registering his initial emigration to the United States of America, 20 years earlier.

Prince Luitpold rejected Friedrich Trump’s letter in which he begged for repatriation, and this is what made the Trump family settle in New York. This letter is a unique gem of history and it was translated from German by Austen Hinkley for Harper’s Magazine.


Here’s the complete letter, as written by Donald Trump’s grandfather over a century ago.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

Can you even imagine how different the world would have been today if the Prince Regent would have accepted Friedrich Trump’s plead to come back to Bavaria?