In the 1800s, any news from America was exciting, even horrific accounts. One such event was the conflagration of the steamer “The Erie,” which left 270 dead, most of them German immigrants. Inspired, novelist Theodor Fontane wrote his bestselling poem “John Maynard,” a larger than life rendition of the true helmsman Luther Fuller. The work has been on many reading lists to the point that Buffalo erected a historical marker dedicated to John Maynard. Discover a heroic saga and how literature and a real event created an enduring fable across the ocean. – Angela Beaumont, M.A
Angela Beaumont holds a MA in American Studies and Business from the University of Kassel in Germany. Her prior experience includes working for a Think Tank organization in Washington, D.C. and for DHL in Bonn, where she held various positions in international marketing and business development. In 2011, she moved with her family to Erie, where she worked as a German language instructor and in import logistics. Angela is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Erie County Civic Leadership program of the Jefferson Alliance for Community Progress.