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NUNC  COCNOSCO  EX  PARTE 


TRENT  UNIVERSITY 
LIBRARY 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT  IN  THE 
UNITED  STATES 


VOLUME  I 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 
in  2019  with  funding  from 
Kahle/Austin  Foundation 


https://archive.org/details/germanelementinuOOOOfaus 


THE  OLD  MARKET  SQUARE,  GERMANTOWN,  PENNSYLVANIA 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

IN  THE 

UNITED  STATES 


WITH  SPECIAL  REFERENCE  TO  ITS 
POLITICAL,  MORAL,  SOCIAL,  AND 
EDUCATIONAL  INFLUENCE 

BY 

ALBERT  BERNHARDT  FAUST 

IN  TWO  VOLUMES 
VOL.  I 


BOSTON  AND  NEW  YORK 
HOUGHTON  MIFFLIN  COMPANY 
fitoerpibe  Cambribge 


.  Gs  V'i 


v.  \ 


COPYRIGHT,  I909,  BY  ALBERT  BERNHARDT  FAUST 
ALL  RIGHTS  RESERVED 


INTRODUCTORY  STATEMENT 


At  the  suggestion  of  Dr.  Walther  Wever,  German 
Consul-General  at  Chicago,  Mrs.  Catherine  Seipp  of  that 
city  offered  in  March,  1904,  cash  prizes  for  the  three 
best  monographs  upon  the  subject  indicated  by  the  title 
of  this  book.  Competing  works  were  submitted  under 
assumed  names  on  or  before  March  22,  1907,  to  the  Ger¬ 
manic  Department  of  the  University  of  Chicago.  The 
prize  judges  were  Professors  Hanno  Deiler  of  Tulane, 
Frederick  J.  Turner  of  Wisconsin,  and  Karl  Detlev  Jessen 
of  Bryn  Mawr. 

In  this  contest  Professor  Faust  was  awarded  the  first 
prize  of  $3000. 

STARR  WILLARD  CUTTING. 

The  University  of  Chicago. 


19458 


' 

" 


■ 


PREFACE 


During  the  available  hours  of  more  than  the  last  ten 
years,  the  writer  had  been  studying  and  collecting  mate¬ 
rials  on  the  German  element  in  the  United  States,  enter¬ 
taining  a  vague  hope  of  some  day  embodying  the  results 
of  his  labors  in  some  useful  form.  The  prominence  of  the 
Germans  as  a  formative  element  of  the  American  people, 
their  continuous  participation  in  the  labors  of  peace  and 
the  burdens  of  war,  suggested  the  need  of  a  record  of  the 
essential  facts  in  their  history,  from  the  earliest  period 
of  their  settlements  in  this  country  to  the  present  time. 
Such  an  historical  survey  has  never  existed  in  the  Eng¬ 
lish  language,  nor  has  one  been  attempted  in  German 
gjjjgg  publications  of  Loher  ( CrGSchichtG  und  Zustimdc 
der  Deutschen  in  AmeriJca,  1847)  and  Eickhoff  (In  der 
neuen  Eeimath,  1884).  The  question  whether  the  time 
had  come  for  the  preparation  of  such  a  work,  scholars 
commonly  decided  in  the  negative,  in  view  of  the  large 
amount  of  investigation  still  necessary,  before  a  complete 
history  of  the  Germans  in  this  country  can  be  written. 
This  attitude  of  cautious  reserve,  however,  will  not  en¬ 
courage  research  as  much  as  can  be  hoped  from  an  expo¬ 
sition  of  the  rich  stores  of  information  already  at  hand. 
A  mere  hoarding  of  materials,  without  an  intelligent  use 
of  them,  destroys  opportunity,  and  leaves  a  responsibility 
undischarged. 

In  the  past  few  years  an  increasing  interest  in  the  form¬ 
ative  elements  of  the  population  of  the  United  States  has 
become  manifest.  The  subject  has  been  admitted  into  lec- 


PREFACE 


•  •• 
vm 

ture  courses  at  our  universities,  and  has  been  given  space 
in  the  pages  of  our  popular  magazines.  Moreover  the 
subject  of  foreign  immigration,  involving  the  question  of 
restriction  or  discrimination,  has  become  one  of  the  great 
problems  of  the  present  day.  The  serious  consideration, 
therefore,  of  any  one  of  the  leading  foreign  immigrations 
to  this  country  assumes  a  present  and  practical  value. 

The  call  for  a  comprehensive  essay  on  the  German 
element  in  the  United  States,  by  the  founders  of  the  Con¬ 
rad  Seipp  Memorial  Prizes,  furnished  an  opportunity  and 
incentive  for  the  elaboration  and  completion  of  the  writer’s 
work.  The  prescribed  title,  reproduced  verbatim  on  the 
foregoing  title-page,  presented  a  twofold  problem  ;  first, 
an  outline  of  the  history  of  the  Germans  in  the  United 
States,  and  secondly,  a  discussion  of  their  political,  moral, 
social,  and  educational  influence.  The  first  part,  contained 
in  V olume  i,  tells  the  story  of  the  German  settlers  in  the 
thirteen  colonies  before  the  Revolutionary  War,  continues 
the  narrative  through  the  nineteenth  century,  and  calls 
attention  to  their  leading  traits,  their  activities  in  peace 
and  war,  their  codperation  in  the  building  of  the  nation. 
Their  record  is  a  noble  one,  and  should  animate  their  de¬ 
scendants  with  the  will  to  keep  sacred  such  names  as 
Weiser,  Post,  Herkimer,  Ludwig,  Treutlen,  Helm,  Bow¬ 
man,  Munch,  Follen,  Sutro,  Sutter,  Robling,  and  a  host 
of  others,  while  Muhlenberg,  Steuben,  Kalb,  Lieber,  and 
Schurz  should  convey  to  them  the  inspiration  of  lasting 
achievement. 

The  second  part,  the  discussion  of  German  influences, 
contained  in  V olume  n,  seemed  possible  only  after  an  his¬ 
torical  basis  had  been  laid,  such  as  has  been  attempted  in 
Volume  i.  The  method  followed  was  that  of  summing  up 
instances  in  order  to  establish  principles.  For  example, 


PREFACE 


IX 


in  the  chapter  on  industrial  development,  illustrations  are 
furnished,  proving  that  in  all  branches  requiring  technical 
training,  German  influence  has  been  predominant;  under 
the  head  of  politics,  German  independent  voting  receives 
illustration  ;  in  the  department  of  agriculture,  the  principle 
is  maintained,  that  the  German  farmer  not  only  applied 
his  native  skill  and  industry,  but  whenever  necessary 
adapted  himself  to  new  conditions,  using  and  inventing 
agricultural  machinery,  or  becoming  a  rice-grower  in  the 
South,  a  big  farmer  in  the  W est. 

The  obstructions  in  the  path  of  a  final  solution  of  the 
questions  proposed  in  the  second  part  are  even  more  seri¬ 
ous  than  in  the  historical  outline.  The  economic  history 
of  the  United  States  has  not  been  written,  though  steps 
are  now  being  taken  toward  an  ultimate  accomplishment 
of  that  <n£antic  task.  The  volumes  on  manufactures  in 
the  Census  Reports  occasionally  furnish  a  few  meagre  de¬ 
tails,  but  the  history  of  none  of  our  great  American  in¬ 
dustries  has  been  made  available.  Each  chapter,  therefore, 
has  furnished  an  entirely  new  field  for  investigation,  and 
difficulties  of  a  different  kind.  The  plan  of  questioning 
experts,  or  representatives  of  a  particular  industry,  has 
frequently  been  resorted  to  by  the  writer,  as,  e.  g.,  in  the 
departments  of  viticulture,  lithography,  and  the  manu¬ 
facture  of  agricultural  machinery.  The  writer  has  thus 
frequently  gained  information  not  accessible  in  books. 
Because  of  these  peculiar  difficulties,  the  second  part  of 
the  work  is  necessarily  more  tentative  than  the  first,  pos¬ 
sessing  the  faults  of  pioneer  work,  yet  for  that  very  rea¬ 
son  the  more  fascinating  to  the  writer,  and,  it  is  believed, 
the  more  suggestive  to  the  reader. 

Because  of  the  necessity  of  restricting  within  moderate 
bounds  the  mass  of  materials  belonging  to  this  subject,  a 


X 


PREFACE 


consideration  of  the  Dutch  element  has  been  excluded  from 
these  pages,  except  in  the  statistical  estimate  of  the  num¬ 
ber  of  persons  of  German  blood  in  the  United  States,  con¬ 
tained  in  the  first  chapter  of  the  second  Volume.  The 
Dutch  are  Germans  of  purer  blood  than  the  people  inhab¬ 
iting  some  of  the  eastern  provinces  of  the  German  Empire, 
and  their  history  in  the  United  States  is  frequently  insep¬ 
arable  from  that  of  the  other  German  stocks.  Neverthe¬ 
less  they  frequently  formed  separate  colonies,  as  in  New 
York  State,  and  their  history  is  important  enough  to 
warrant  a  separate  treatment. 

Because  of  their  racial  distinctness,  persons  of  Jewish 
blood,  born  in  Germany,  have  not  been  regularly  consid¬ 
ered  in  this  work.  An  exception  has  been  made  where  they 
contributed  toward  bringing  over  from  Germany  various 
elements  of  cultural,  educational,  or  technical  value.  When 
unmistakably  derived  from  the  German  Fatherland,  their 
work  in  the  arts  and  sciences,  in  education,  and  technical 
industry,  should  be  considered  a  part  of  the  present  investi¬ 
gation  as  clearly  as  the  writings  of  the  poet  Heine  are  to 
be  included  in  the  history  of  German  literature.  The  num¬ 
ber  of  Jewish  immigrants  coming  from  Germany  has  com¬ 
monly  been  overestimated.  During  the  only  period  in  which 
an  accurate  record  has  been  kept,  i.  e.,  since  1898,  it  was 
found  that  the  German  Jews  numbered  only  one  and  one 
half  per  cent  of  the  total  immigration  from  the  German 
Empire  (1898-1904).  In  the  German  Empire  the  Jews 
number  only  one  per  cent  of  the  total  population.  During 
periods  of  social  persecution  in  the  eighteenth  and  early 
nineteenth  centuries  their  percentage  of  immigration  was 
probably  higher,  but  undoubtedly  the  average  was  never 
above  two  per  cent  of  the  German  immigration  to  the 
United  States. 


PREFACE 


xi 


The  attempt  has  been  made  to  exclude  matter  which 
could  not  be  established  with  certainty.  When,  for  instance, 
the  German  ancestry  of  an  important  individual  was  in 
doubt,  his  name  was  omitted  in  this  record.  Overstatement 
has  perhaps  been  more  carefully  avoided  than  undervalu¬ 
ation.  In  the  choice  of  examples,  particularly  in  the  sec¬ 
ond  Volume,  the  writer  was  forced  to  use  those  concerning 
which  he  had  accurate  information,  and  also  to  discrimi¬ 
nate  in  favor  of  those  that  served  best  as  illustrations.  A 
large  number  of  names  were  thus  omitted,  which  might 
well  have  found  a  place,  many  no  doubt  more  worthy  than 
those  employed.  The  materials  collected  should  therefore  be 
looked  upon  as  illustrative,  not  exhaustive. 

The  writer  gratefully  acknowledges  courtesies  extended 
to  him  by  Dr.  jur.  Walther  Wever,  Consul-General  of  the 
German  Empire  at  Chicago  (1900-1908),  and  by  Professor 
Starr  Willard  Cutting  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  particu¬ 
larly  in  the  matter  of  launching  the  book  after  the  prize 
award  had  been  made.  Though  the  delay  may  have  tried 
their  patience,  the  writer’s  wish,  to  be  allowed  to  subject 
the  manuscript  to  a  thorough  revision  before  publication, 
was  honored  by  them  and  the  publishers.  The  writer  de¬ 
sires  to  express  his  thanks  to  Professor  Oscar  Kuhns,  au¬ 
thor  of  “  The  German  and  Swiss  Settlements  of  Colonial 
Pennsylvania,”  for  the  loan  of  valuable  books ;  to  George 
M.  Dutcher,  Professor  of  History  in  Wesleyan  University, 
Middletown,  Connecticut,  who  read  in  manuscript  most  of 
the  chapters  of  the  first  V olume,  and  made  a  large  number 
of  important  corrections  and  suggestions;  to  Professor 
B.  J.  Vos,  of  the  University  of  Indiana,  and  to  Professor 
Lane  Cooper,  of  Cornell  University,  who  carefully  read 
the  first  draft  of  many  of  the  early  chapters. 

A  special  debt  is  due  to  Walter  F.  Willcox,  Professor 


XU 


PREFACE 


of  Political  Economy  and  Statistics,  Cornell  University, 
for  his  continued  interest  in  the  work  during  its  progress, 
and  for  his  criticism  and  direction  in  the  chapter  attempt¬ 
ing  an  estimate  of  the  number  of  persons  of  German  blood 
in  the  population  of  the  United  States  (Volume  n,  Chap¬ 
ter  i).  Acknowledgment  is  hereby  made  of  aid  received 
from  the  Carnegie  Institution  of  Washington,  in  the  col¬ 
lection  of  data  for  several  chapters  in  this  book.  The  coop¬ 
eration  of  many  other  helpers  is  gratefully  remembered  ;  in 
most  cases  it  is  acknowledged  on  the  particular  page  where 
their  valued  assistance  was  made  use  of  ;  some  others  who 
have  aided  in  the  laborious  mechanical  tasks  of  book-mak¬ 
ing,  have  preferred  to  remain  unnamed.  Communications 
are  solicited  from  readers  who  have  corrections  to  suggest 
or  information  to  impart. 


Cornell  University, 
Ithaca,  N.  Y.,  April  20,  1909. 


A.  B.  F. 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER  I 

The  Earliest  Germans  in  the  Anglo-American  Colonies 

Introductory  —  Cosmographers  :  Behaim,  Mercator,  Waldsee- 

miiller,  etc .  1-5 

First  German  in  America  :  Tyrker  in  Leif  Ericson’s  Expedition  to 

Wineland  (eleventh  century) .  5-7 

Germans  in  earliest  settlements,  Port  Royal  (1562),  Jamestown 

(1607) .  7-9 

Peter  Minuit,  purchaser  and  governor  of  Manhattan  Island  (1626)  ; 

founder  of  New  Sweden  (1638) .  9-13 

Jacob  Leisler,  governor  of  New  York,  defender  of  the  people’s 

cause,  his  martyrdom  (1691),  and  services  to  the  colonies  .  13-26 

Explorers,  etc.,  Lederer,  Hiens,  Peter  Fabian . 26-29 

CHAPTER  II 

The  First  Permanent  German  Settlement,  at  Germantown,  1683 

William  Penn  in  Germany  . 30-31 

The  Pietists  of  Frankfort-on-the-Main . 32-33 

Francis  Daniel  Pastorius,  his  early  life  and  arrival  at  Philadelphia  33-34 

The  Concord,  the  Mayflower  of  the  Germans .  35 

Landing,  October  6,  1683  36 

Founding  of  Germantown,  Pennsylvania . 36-38 

Industries  and  customs . 38-40 

Pastorius  as  patriarch  and  scholar . 40-46 

Protest  against  slavery .  46 

The  Mystics,  Kelpius  and  his  followers . 47-52 

CHAPTER  III 

Increase  in  German  Immigration  in  the  Eighteenth  Century, 

and  its  Causes 

Conditions  in  the  Palatinate  and  in  the  southwestern  German 

countries  :  causes  for  emigration . 53-60 

Immigrant  hunting .  61 

Newlanders  and  their  methods . 62-65 

The  redemptionist  system  ;  advantages  and  evils . 66-68 

Crowding,  extortion,  shipwrecks . 68-71 

The  Deutsche  Gesellschaft  of  Philadelphia  improves  conditions  .  71-72 


XIV 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  IV 


The  First  ExoduS — The  Palatine  Immigration  to  New  York 

Kocherthal  and  his  followers . 73-74 

Founding  of  Newburgh-on-tbe-Hudson,  1709  .  74-76 

The  Exodus  of  1710  :  arrival  in  London,  separation  into  various 

groups,  transportation  to  Ireland,  South  Carolina,  etc.  .  .  .  76-79 
The  main  group  goes  with  Governor  Hunter  to  New  York  .  .  .  79-82 
Governor  Hunter’s  plan  and  its  failure.  The  fortunes  and  migra¬ 
tions  of  the  Palatines  in  New  York  ;  East  and  West  Camp, 

Schoharie,  the  Mohawk,  Tulpeliocken,  etc . 82-105 

John  Peter  Zenger’s  independent  newspaper,  and  his  stand  for  the 

liberty  of  the  press . 105-110 

CHAPTER  V 

The  Germans  in  Pennsylvania 

The  various  sects . 111-115 

The  Lutherans,  German  Reformed,  and  United  Brethren,  the  three 

most  influential  denominations . 116-127 

Statistics,  and  characteristics  of  the  Pennsylvania-German  farmer, 
and  the  sixteen  points  enumerated  by  Dr.  Rush,  the  “  Tacitus  ” 

of  the  Pennsylvanians . 128-143 

Their  printing-presses,  newspapers,  schools . 143-148 

CHAPTER  VI 

The  Early  Germans  of  New  Jersey  and  of  Maryland 

New  Jersey  :  Germans  in  New  Jersey  at  the  beginning  of  the 

eighteenth  century .  149 

German  Valley . 149-150 

Settlements  spreading  over  Hunterdon,  Somerset,  Morris,  and 

over  parts  of  Sussex  and  Warren  counties . 152-153 

Eminent  descendants  of  the  early  Germans .  154 

A  church  quarrel  arbitrated  by  Muhlenberg,  etc . 155-158 

The  Reverend  Mr.  Wack  and  other  types . 158-159 

The  Moravian  settlements . 160-161 

Maryland  :  sporadic  cases  of  German  settlers  in  the  seventeenth 

century . 161-163 

In  the  eighteenth  century  Germans  numerous  and  influential  in 

Baltimore . 163-167 

The  Germans  of  Western  Maryland  ;  Frederick  County,  Hagers¬ 
town  .  167-175 

Distinguished  Marylanders  descended  from  the  early  Germans  .  175-176 


CONTENTS 


xv 

CHAPTER  VII 
The  Germans  in  Virginia 

Earliest  settlement  at  Germanna,  1714 .  177 

Governor  Spotswood’s  iron-works . 178-179 

Settlements  at  Germantown,  Virginia,  and  elsewhere  on  the  Pied¬ 
mont  Plateau  .  180-183 

Expedition  of  Governor  Spotswood  to  the  mountains  ....  183-186 
German  settlements  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  beginning  1726-1727  188-195 
The  Shenandoah  Valley  receives  the  tide  of  immigration  coming 

from  Pennsylvania  . .  195 

Settlements  pushing  toward  the  southern  slope  of  the  Valley,  and 

through  the  gaps  in  the  mountains . 195-196 

Germans  in  other  parts  of  Virginia .  197-203 

The  journeys  of  Moravian  missionaries  along  the  frontier  .  .  .  203-211 

CHAPTER  VIII 

The  Germans  in  North  and  South  Carolina  during  the 
Eighteenth  Century 

First  settlement  at  Newbern,  North  Carolina,  in  1710  ....  212-213 

Indian  war . 213-215 

Germans  in  Charleston,  South  Carolina . 215—216 

Purysburg,  South  Carolina,  1732  216 

Settlements  in  the  Orangeburg  and  Lexington  Districts  (Saxe- 

Gotha),  South  Carolina,  1735  217-218 

The  Giessendanners  ;  Zauberbiihler . 218-221 

Counties  of  South  Carolina  with  early  German  settlers  ....  221-226 

The  fifteen  churches  of  South  Carolina .  226-228 

German  settlers  from  Pennsylvania  in  the  interior  of  North 

Carolina,  1750  228-229 

The  Reverend  A.  Nussmann .  230 

Moravian  settlements  in  the  “Wachovia”  tract,  North  Carolina, 

1753  .  231-232 

Bethabara,  Bethany,  Salem .  232-233 

CHAPTER  IX 

German  Settlements  before  the  Revolution  in  Georgia 
and  in  New  England 

The  Salzburgers  in  Georgia,  1734  234—236 

Founding  of  Ebenezer .  236 

The  Moravians  leave  for  Pennsylvania .  236 

The  “  great  embarkation,”  1736  . .  ...  236 


XVI 


CONTENTS 


Storm  at  sea  .  237 

John  Wesley .  238 

The  location  of  Ebenezer  changed .  239 

Governor  Oglethorpe’s  kindness .  239 

The  Reverend  J.  M.  Bolzius  and  the  Reverend  I.  C.  Gronau,  actual 

governors  of  the  colony .  241 

The  question  of  negro  slavery .  241-242 

Industries,  milling  and  silk  manufacture .  243-244 

The  building  of  churches .  244 

A  church  quarrel  arbitrated  by  the  Reverend  H.  M.  Muhlenberg  245-246 

Prosperity  of  the  colony .  247 

Waldo’s  interest  in  German  colonization  in  New  England  .  .  .  247-248 

The  founding  of  Waldoburg  (1741)  in  the  Broad  Bay  District  of 

Maine .  249 

Sufferings  of  the  first  colonists .  249-251 

The  war  with  France,  1744  .  252 

The  Indian  massacre,  1746  .  252 

Rebuilding  of  Waldoburg  and  accessions  to  colonists .  253 

Massachusetts  attempts  to  encourage  German  immigration  .  .  .  253 

Crellius  and  Luther  as  agents . .  .  .  253 

Colonies  in  Massachusetts,  Adamsdorf,  Bernardsdorf,  Leydensdorf  254 

Colonies  in  Nova  Scotia .  256-258 

Colonies  in  Maine  :  Frankfort,  Dresden,  Bremen,  etc .  259 

Disputed  land  claims  and  migration  to  South  Carolina  ....  260 

Germantown,  near  Boston .  260 

Strength  of  the  German  element .  261 

CHAPTER  X 

The  Location  of  the  German  Settlers  before  1775  ;  Their  De¬ 
fense  of  the  Frontier;  and  an  Estimate  of  their  Numbers 

The  location  of  the  Germans  before  the  Revolution  marked  by 

counties  (present  boundaries) .  263-264 

Two  facts  impress  themselves  :  (1)  that  the  Germans  occupied  the 
best  farming-lands,  and  (2)  that  they  were  almost  directly  on 

the  frontier  from  Maine  to  Georgia .  265-266 

Their  defense  of  the  frontier  ;  on  the  Mohawk  ;  and  during  the 

French  and  Indian  War .  267-272 

The  services  of  Conrad  Weiser  and  Christian  Frederick  Post,  as 

envoys  to  the  Indians,  etc .  272-280 

An  estimate  of  the  number  of  settlers  of  German  blood  in  the  thir¬ 
teen  colonies  in  1775  .  282-285 


CONTENTS 


XVII 


CHAPTER  XI 

The  Germans  as  Patriots  and  Soldiers,  during  the  War  of  the 

Revolution,  1775-1783 

Activity  of  Germans  at  the  beginning  of  the  Revolutionary  agita¬ 
tion  .  286 

Services  of  sectarians  in  the  war .  287 

The  Tories .  288 

Resolutions  of  the  Virginia  Valley  Germans .  292-293 

The  Salzburgers  as  patriots .  295 

The  German  regiments .  296 

Armand’s  Legion .  297 

Washington’s  body-guard .  298 

Two  types  of  German  patriots  :  Peter  Muhlenberg  and  Christopher 

Ludwig .  300-305 

The  Mohawk  Germans .  305-306 

Battle  of  Oriskany .  307-312 

Herkimer .  307-312 

Results  of  the  battle . 313-314 

Heroism  on  the  frontier . 314-320 

German  officers  in  the  American  army  ;  Baron  Steuben,  his  serv¬ 
ices,  John  Kalb,  F.  H.  Weissenfels  ;  Ziegler  ;  Lutterloh, 

Schott,  etc .  320-337 

The  Hiester  and  Muhlenberg  families .  337-340 

German  families  of  Charleston,  etc .  340-342 

Individuals,  Dohrmann,  etc .  342-344 

Germans  in  the  French  service .  344-345 

Siege  of  Yorktown .  346-349 

The  Hessians .  349-356 

CHAPTER  XII 

The  Winning  of  the  West 
I.  The  German  Settlers  in  Kentucky  and  Tennessee 

The  early  history  of  the  Kentucky  settlements .  357-361 

Germans  among  the  colonists  from  the  Carolinas  and  the  Valley 

of  Virginia .  362 

Favorable  location  of  the  Germans  for  early  colonization  .  .  .  362-363 

Migratory  spirit .  363 

The  question  as  to  whether  any  particular  national  type  was  super¬ 
ior  on  the  frontier .  364—367 

The  frontier  creates  types .  367 


XV1U 


CONTENTS 


Many  instances  of  Germans  as  hunters,  trappers,  and  Indian 

fighters .  367-374 

The  three  classes  of  settlers .  374-375 

The  Germans’  share  in  the  permanent  settlement  of  the  Blue  Grass 

region  of  Kentucky .  376-377 

Statistics  gathered  from  land-records  and  the  United  States  Bu¬ 
reau  of  Pensions .  377-385 

The  Germans  settled  mainly  in  the  central  and  western  portions  of 

the  Blue  Grass  region .  386 

Evidences  of  early  settlements  by  Germans  in  Tennessee  .  .  .  387-389 

CHAPTER  XIII 

The  Winning  of  the  West 
II.  The  Settlements  of  the  Ohio  Valley 
German  traders,  hunters,  and  missionaries  in  the  Ohio  territory  .  391 


Causes  for  slow  development .  392 

Pontiac’s  War .  393-394 

Colonel  Bouquet .  394-395 

The  first  permanent  white  settlement  in  Ohio  that  of  the  Mora¬ 
vian  missionaries  on  the  Muskingum  ;  Gnadeukiitten,  Schon- 

brunn,  etc .  396-397 

David  Zeisberger .  398 

Unfortunate  location  of  Christian  Indians .  399-400 

The  massacre  of  the  Christian  Indians  at  Gnadenhiitten  ....  401 

Continuous  Indian  wars .  402^104 

Settlements  on  the  Ohio  River,  at  Marietta,  Losantiville  (Cincin¬ 
nati),  etc .  406-407 

St.  Clair’s  defeat .  408-409 

General  David  Ziegler .  409-411 

The  Indian  fighter  Lewis  Wetzel . 412-417 

Expedition  of  General  Wayne  against  the  Indians  opens  the  coun¬ 
try  for  settlement .  417 

Ebenezer  Zane,  founder  of  Zanesville . 418-419 

German  sectarians  in  Tuscarawas  County .  420-421 

The  “  Backbone  Region  ”  of  Ohio .  422 

The  Scioto  Valley .  423 

Martin  Baum  of  Cincinnati,  pioneer  of  Western  commerce  .  .  .  424-426 

Christian  Waldschmidt  in  the  Little  Miami  Valley .  426-427 

Dayton  and  Germantown  in  the  valley  of  the  Great  Miami  .  .  .  428 

Distribution  of  German  settlers  throughout  the  larger  towns  of  Ohio  429 

The  traveler  Sealsfield’s  observations .  429 

Mission  tours  of  the  German  Methodist  Heinrich  Bohrn  ....  430—431 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  XIV 


xix 


The  Winning  of  the  West 

HI.  (A)  The  Advance  of  the  Frontier  Line  to  the  Mississippi 

and  Missouri  Rivers 

(A)  Westward  progress  of  the  frontier  line,  shown  by  the  census 

maps .  432 

Descendants  of  Germans  and  foreign-born  Germans  as  frontiersmen  434-435 
Two  centres  of  distribution  on  the  Mississippi :  (1)  New  Orleans, 

(2)  St.  Louis .  436 

Early  Germans  in  Louisiana  and  Alabama  (Mobile) .  437-439 

German  settlements  along  the  Missouri  River .  440 

Duden’s  farm,  and  description  of  Missouri .  440^442 

The  “  Giessener  Gesellschaft,”  Follen  and  Munch .  442-443 

German  towns  and  counties  in  Missouri .  444-449 

(B)  Beginning  of  the  advance  of  the  frontier  line  toward  the 

Northwest .  449 

The  Illinois  territory  opened  by  George  Rogers  Clark  ....  449-450 
Sketch  of  his  expedition  and  of  the  work  of  his  German  lieuten¬ 
ants,  Bowman  and  Helm . 451^455 

Settlement  at  Vevay,  Indiana .  455 

The  Harmony  Society  (Rappists)  on  the  Wabash  in  1815  .  .  .  455-457 

St.  Clair  County,  Illinois,  Belleville  ;  Highland,  Madison  County  .  457-460 

Chicago .  460-461 

German  settlements  in  Iowa  :  Dubuque,  Davenport,  Des  Moines,  etc.  461-462 
Germans  in  Michigan  ;  the  missionary  Baraga  ;  settlers  in  Detroit, 

Ann  Arbor,  and  Westphalia  (Ionia  County) .  463-468 

CHAPTER  XV 
The  Winning  of  the  West 

IV.  The  Northwest,  the  Southwest,  and  the  Far  West 

(A)  The  Northwest  opened  by  the  Black  Hawk  War,  1832  .  .  468-469 

First  German  settlers  in  Wisconsin .  469 

Milwaukee  as  a  distributing-centre .  470 

Deutsch-Athen .  472 

The  causes  for  Wisconsin’s  receiving  so  large  a  share  of  German 
immigration  ;  the  plan  of  a  German  state  ;  favorable  soil  ; 
climate  ;  reports  aud  literature  ;  sale  of  school  lands  ;  com¬ 
missioners  of  immigration .  473-479 

Distribution  of  Germans  in  Wisconsin .  479-481 

Minnesota’s  first  German  settlers  from  the  Red  River  District  .  .  482-484 
Founding  of  New  Ulm .  484 


XX 


CONTENTS 


Indian  troubles .  484 

The  attack  on  New  Ulm  by  the  Sioux .  485-490 

(B)  The  Southwest .  490 

The  earliest  settlers  in  Texas .  491-492 

The  “  Adelsverein  ”  and  its  plan  of  colonization .  493-494 

New  Braunfels  and  Friedrichsburg .  495 

Wreck  of  the  “Adelsverein” .  495^99 

Stability  of  German  colonies  in  Texas .  499 

The  agricultural  area  :  Seguin,  New  Braunfels,  San  Antonio  .  .  499 

Germans  prominent  in  Texas  :  Congressmen  Schleicher  and  Degener  499-500 

(C)  The  Far  West .  501 

German  Mennonites  in  Kansas  and  Nebraska .  501 

The  Pacific  Coast  ;  Oregon  Germans .  502-505 

H.  L.  Yesler,  founder  of  Seattle,  Washington .  505-507 

John  Sutter,  pioneer  of  California  ;  his  career  ;  gold  first  discovered 

on  bis  estate  ;  cause  of  bis  misfortunes .  507-509 

The  Germans  of  California .  509-511 

Sutro  and  Spreckels  in  San  Francisco .  510 


CHAPTER  XVI 


The  German  Element  in  the  Wars  of  the  United  States  during 
the  Nineteenth  Century 

Germans  in  the  War  of  1812  :  Walbacli,  Strieker,  Armistead  .  .  512-516 

Indian  wars  :  Heilman  and  Custer . 516-518 

War  with  Mexico  :  Kemper,  Kautz,  and  John  A.  Quitman  (gov¬ 
ernor  of  Mississippi) . 518-522 

The  Civil  War .  522 

Statistics  of  the  numbers  of  German  volunteers  compared  with 

those  of  other  nationalities . .  .  .  522—524 

200,000  volunteers .  524—526 

German  regiments  .  527-528 

The  influence  of  Germans  in  St.  Louis  and  Missouri  ;  the  Turners, 

the  Arsenal,  Camp  Jackson,  Sigel’s  campaign,  etc .  528-542 

The  Eleventh  Corps  at  Chancellorsville,  Gettysburg,  Lookout 

Mountain,  etc.  ;  Missionary  Ridge .  542—556 

German  officers  ;  Sigel,  Hecker,  Blenker,  Willich,  Schurz,  Stein- 

wehr,  Kautz,  etc .  556-560 

Engineers  and  artillerymen .  560-563 

German  West  Point  graduates .  563-565 

Germans  on  the  Confederate  side .  565-566 

Germany’s  friendly  attitude  during  the  Civil  War .  567-568 

The  Spanish  War .  568 


CONTENTS  xxl 

German  volunteers  in  army  and  navy .  568-569 

List  of  officers .  569-570 

Distinguished  service  of  Rear-Admirals  Schley,  Kautz,  and  Kempff  570-572 

CHAPTER  XVII 

A  Summary  View  of  the  German  Immigrations  of  the  Nineteenth 
Century  ;  Their  Location,  Distribution,  and  General  Character 

Germans  on  the  frontier .  573-574 

Diffusion  of  the  German  element  over  the  territory  of  the  United 

States  ;  equal  distribution .  574-575 

The  German  Belt .  575 

The  states  in  which  the  Germans  are  more  numerous  than  any 

other  foreign  element .  575-576 

Table  showing  distribution  of  Germans .  577-578 

List  of  cities  with  largest  German  populations .  579-580 

Statistics  of  the  German  immigrations  of  the  nineteenth  century  .  581-582 
Causes,  in  the  United  States  and  Germany,  for  the  increase  and  de¬ 
cline  of  immigration .  582-587 

The  general  character  of  the  nineteenth  century  immigrants  from 

Germany .  587 

Friedrich  Munch’s  three  immigrations .  587-590 

Concluding  remarks .  590-591 


' 


PART  I 


AN  HISTORICAL  OUTLINE 

THE  GERMAN  IMMIGRATIONS  TO  THE  UNITED  STATES 
THEIR  ARRIVAL,  LOCATION,  PROGRESS  OF  THEIR 
SETTLEMENTS;  THEIR  PART  IN  THE  WARS 
OF  THE  UNITED  STATES,  AND  IN 
THE  WINNING  OF  THE  WEST 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT  IN  THE 
UNITED  STATES 


CHAPTER  I 

THE  EARLIEST  GERMANS  IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN 

COLONIES 

Introductory  —  Cosmographers  :  JBeliaim,  Mercator,  Waldseemiiller,  etc.  — 
First  German  in  America  :  Tyrker  in  Leif  Ericson’s  expedition  to  Wine- 
land  (eleventh  century)  —  Germans  in  earliest  settlements,  Port  Royal 
(1562),  Jamestown  (1607)  —  Peter  Minuit,  purchaser  and  governor  of 
Manhattan  Island  (1626);  founder  of  New  Sweden  (1638)  —  Jacob 
Leisler,  governor  of  New  York,  defender  of  the  people’s  cause,  his  martyr¬ 
dom  (1691),  and  services  to  the  colonies  —  Explorers,  etc.  :  Ledereo* 
Hiens,  Peter  Fabian. 


In  the  great  struggle  for  the  possession  of  the  North 
American  continent,  it  has  been  well  said,  the  Latin  na¬ 
tions  sent  officers  without  an  army,  the  English,  both  offi¬ 
cers  and  an  army,  the  Germans,  an  army  without  officers.1 
The  Latin  nations,  with  distinguished  leaders  such  as  Cor¬ 
tez,  Pizarro,  De  Soto,  Champlain,  Marquette,  and  La  Salle, 
whether  in  quest  of  gold  or  of  the  fountain  of  youth,  en¬ 
gaged  in  great  voyages  of  discovery  or  grand  schemes  of 
empire.  The  English,  with  a  clearer  view  of  the  future, 
knew  that  an  empire  could  not  be  established  otherwise 
than  by  colonization.  Selecting  the  zone  best  adapted  to 
the  needs  of  the  Teutonic  stock,  they  invited  other 

1  F.  Kapp,  Die  Deutschen  im  Staate  New  York ,  bis  zum  Anfang  des  XIX. 
Jahrhunderts,  p.  3.  New  York  :  Steiger,  1867. 


2 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


branches  of  the  same  racial  group  to  cooperate  in  the 
building  of  an  empire.  The  Germans,  not  united  in  one 
nation  at  home,  poured  streams  of  people  into  the  English 
territory.  Without  organization,  compelled  by  the  need  of 
subsistence,  or  conditions  intolerable  at  home,  they  ap¬ 
peared  on  the  threshold  of  a  new  country,  as  in  the  days 
of  Marius  and  Sulla,  desiring  land,  not  conquest.  Their 
ancient  kinsmen  had  beaten  against  the  barriers  of  the 
Roman  Empire  until  they  had  shattered  them,  and  then 
rejuvenated  all  of  Italy,  Spain,  and  Gaul.  Similarly  in 
modern  times  a  migration  by  the  same  stock  took  place  to 
the  land  of  promise  called  America,  the  very  name  com 
veying  to  the  Teutonic  mind  a  peculiar  fascination,  a  ro¬ 
mantic  charm,  later  enhanced  by  the  halo  of  freedom.  This 
Volkerwanderimg  was  not  accompanied  by  the  glory  of 
war  or  the  glamour  of  fame,  but  went  on  in  quiet,  in¬ 
cessantly  and  irresistibly,  for  more  than  two  centuries, 
until  to-day  more  than  a  quarter  of  the  population  of 
the  United  States  is  of  German  blood. 

The  great  waves  of  German  immigration  making  their 
way  to  the  American  colonies  did  not  appear  until  the 
eighteenth  century.  Advance  movements  had  heralded 
the  way,  the  first  permanent  settlement  by  Germans  hav¬ 
ing  been  made  at  Germantown,  Pennsylvania,  during  the 
last  quarter  of  the  seventeenth  century.  Long  before  this 
there  appeared  sporadic  cases  of  German  settlers,  explorers, 
adventurers,  and  prominent  individuals,  serving  under 
national  flags,  —  any  but  German,  —  some  of  them  at 
the  very  beginnings  of  the  colonization  of  the  United 
States.  Their  history  will  be  the  subject  of  the  present 
chapter. 

A  conspicuous  example  of  prominent  service  under  a  for¬ 
eign  king  is  that  of  Martin  Behaim.  He  served  the  king 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  3 


of  Portugal,  but  was  a  native  of  Nuremberg,  born  in  1459, 
of  an  old  patrician  family  of  that  city.  Fiction  has  been 
active  about  his  great  name,  using  misinterpretations  of 
Portuguese  documents,  or  even  spurious  records,  to  main¬ 
tain  that  Behaim  saw  Pernambuco  and  the  coast  of  Brazil 
almost  a  decade  before  the  first  voyage  of  Columbus,  and 
that  he  gave  to  Magellan  information  needed  to  urge  him 
on  to  his  voyage  around  South  America.  But  even  when 
deprived  of  this  distinction,  Behaim  remains  one  of  the 
most  eminent  men  of  his  age,  in  the  first  rank  among  cos- 
mographers  and  navigators  of  his  time.  He  was  a  friend 
of  Columbus,  whom  he  probably  met  in  Lisbon  between 
1480  and  1484.  He  was  likewise  acquainted  with  Magel¬ 
lan.  During  the  period  named  he  was  in  the  employ  of 
the  king  of  Portugal,  and,  being  appointed  on  a  commis¬ 
sion  for  the  improvement  of  navigation,  he  became  one  of 
the  inventors  of  the  astrolabe.  In  the  capacity  of  cosmo- 
grapher,  he  accompanied  the  expedition  of  Diogo  Cao, 
in  1484,  to  the  west  coast  of  Africa.  After  a  voyage  of 
discovery  lasting  nineteen  months,  he  settled  on  the  island 
of  Fayal,  one  of  the  Azores,  where  he  married  the  daughter 
of  the  stadtholder  of  the  Flemish  colony  established  there. 
In  1491-92  he  visited  Nuremberg,  his  native  city,  for  the 
settlement  of  an  estate.  While  there  he  fashioned  a  globe 
representing  the  earth  as  it  was  known  to  the  foremost 
savants  of  that  day.  On  leaving  he  presented  this  globe  to 
his  native  city,  and  it  is  still  preserved  there  as  the  most 
interesting  relic  of  the  cosmographic  art  antecedent  to  the 
discovery  of  America.  The  globe  does  not  prove  that 
Behaim  was  acquainted  with  the  coast  of  Brazil,  and  his 
influence,  therefore,  upon  the  voyages  of  Columbus  and 
Magellan  could  have  been  only  such  as  to  strengthen  them 
in  their  theories  and  ambitions,  not  to  direct  them.  Before 


4 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


returning  to  Fayal,  Behaim  was  twice  captured  by  pirates 
at  sea,  but  his  release  was  effected  through  friends  and 
his  distinguished  reputation.  He  resided  at  Fayal  until 
1506,  when  he  was  again  in  Lisbon,  where  he  died  the 
same  year. 

The  Germans  were  not  prominent  as  a  seafaring 
people  at  the  period  of  the  discovery  of  America.  The 
glory  of  the  Hanseatic  League  had  departed.  Their  loca¬ 
tion  in  the  heart  of  Europe,  with  but  a  narrow  strip  of 
seacoast  at  the  north,  put  them  at  a  disadvantage  in  com¬ 
parison  with  the  English,  French,  Dutch,  Spaniards,  and 
Portuguese.  But  while  they  were  not  conspicuous  as  lead¬ 
ers  in  the  great  voyages  of  discovery,  their  scholarly  in¬ 
stincts  put  them  in  the  front  rank  as  cosmographers  and 
cartographers.  The  instance  of  Behaim,  constructor  of  the 
Nuremberg  globe  and  one  of  the  inventors  of  the  astrolabe, 
has  just  been  given.  Even  greater  is  the  name  of  Mer¬ 
cator  (1512-94),  the  inventor  of  the  Mercator  system  of 
projection,  which,  taking  account  of  the  curvature  of  the 
earth’s  surface,  is  an  indispensable  aid  in  nautical  map¬ 
drawing.  Mercator  was  born  in  Flanders  (Rupelmonde, 
Belgium),  and  was  of  German  descent,  his  name  before 
Latinization  being  Gerhard  Kremer.  On  commission  of 
Charles  V,  he  manufactured  a  terrestrial  and  a  celestial 
globe,  which  are  said  to  have  been  superior  to  any  made 
before  that  time.  His  principal  work  was  his  atlas  (first 
edition,  Duisburg,  1594),  printed  from  copper  plates  pre¬ 
pared  by  his  own  hand.  A  number  of  other  German  names 
appear  prominently  among  cartographers,  earlier  than 
Mercator,  such  as  Schoner  (globes,  1515  and  1520), 
Reisch  (map,  1513),  and  the  Low  German  Ruysch  (Ptol¬ 
emy  of  1508,  with  newly  discovered  lands  indicated).  The 
“  Globus  Mundi  ”  was  published  at  Strassburg  in  1509, 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  5 


showing  an  early  use  of  the  name  “  America  ”  in  the  ac¬ 
companying  text.1 

More  important  still  is  the  fact  that  a  German  cosmo- 
grapher  was  the  first  to  suggest  in  a  printed  book  that  the 
name  “  America  ”  be  used  to  designate  the  New  World. 
It  was  Martin  Waldseemuller,2  born  at  Freiburg  about 
1480.  In  1507  he  published  his  “  Cosmographiae  Intro¬ 
duction”  in  which  an  account  is  furnished  of  all  the  voy¬ 
ages  of  Vespucius,  and  the  suggestion  of  the  name 
“  America  ”  appears,  in  the  following  words  :  — 

But  now  that  these  parts  have  been  more  widely  explored  and 
another  fourth  part  has  been  discovered  by  Americus  Vesputius 
(as  will  appear  in  what  follows),  I  do  not  see  why  any  one  may 
justly  forbid  it  to  be  named  after  Americus,  its  discoverer,  a 
man  of  sagacious  mind,  Amerige,  that  is  the  land  of  Americus, 
or  America,  since  both  Europe  and  Asia  derived  their  names 
from  women.3 

The  credit,  therefore,  of  first  advocating  in  print  the 
use  of  the  name  “  America,”  and  also  of  diffusing  widely, 
by  means  of  charts  and  globes,  the  knowledge  of  the 
newly  discovered  countries,  belongs  to  German  cosmo- 
graphers. 

The  first  German  to  land  in  the  New  World  arrived  be- 

1  Justin  Winsor,  Narrative  and  Critical  History  of  America,  vol.  ii,  pp. 
171,  172. 

2  The  name  is  spelt  also  Waltzemiiller,  and  Walzemiiller.  A  map  accom¬ 
panying  this  book  has  recently  been  discovered  by  Professor  Fischer  in  Wol- 
legg  Castle,  Wiirtemberg.  It  had  long  been  looked  for,  and  its  existence 
sometimes  disputed.  Cf.  American  Historical  Review,  vol.  x,  pp.  150-154: 
“  The  oldest  map  with  the  name  America  of  the  year  1507,  and  the  Carta 
Marina  of  the  year  1516  by  M.  Waldseemuller  (Ilacomilus).”  Edited  by 
Joseph  Fischer  and  Fr.  R.  von  Wieser.  London,  1903.  Cf.  also  E.  G.  Bourne, 
“The  Naming  of  America,”  Am.  Hist.  Rev.  vol.  x,  pp.  49,  50. 

3  A  copy  of  the  first  edition,  of  1507,  of  Waldseemiiller’s  Cosmographiae 
Introductio  is  contained  in  the  library  of  Cornell  University  (A.  D.  White 
collection). 


6 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


fore  the  discovery  of  Columbus.  He  was  a  member  of 
Leif  Ericson’s  expedition  to  Wineland.  It  is  no  longer  a 
matter  of  doubt  that  the  Icelanders  were  the  first  Europe¬ 
ans  to  sight  the  North  Atlantic  coast,  and  attempt  a  col¬ 
ony  somewhere  between  Labrador  and  New  England.  The 
proof  is  furnished  by  Norse  sagas,  by  traditions  and  docu¬ 
ments  of  various  kinds,  that  taken  together  make  as  good 
evidence  as  we  have  of  many  accepted  historical  events, 
such,  for  instance,  as  the  early  settlement  of  Jamestown. 
The  location  of  the  settlement  by  the  seafarers  of  Iceland 
will  probably  remain  forever  unknown,  beyond  the  limits 
already  mentioned  ;  the  time,  also  a  matter  of  doubt,  has 
been  reckoned  as  in  the  eleventh  century.1  The  German 
in  Leif’s  expedition  was  named  Tyrker,  and  seems  to  have 
been  a  faithful  king’s  man  of  the  type  so  frequently 
found  in  German  epic  poetry.  His  discovery  of  the  grape 
is  characteristic,  and  forebodes  coming  events.  The  Norse 
saga  gives  the  following  account : 2  — 

It  was  discovered  one  evening  that  one  of  their  company  was 
missing,  and  this  proved  to  be  Tyrker,  the  German.  Leif  was 
sorely  troubled  by  this,  for  Tyrker  had  lived  with  Leif  and  his 
father  for  a  long  time,  and  had  been  very  devoted  to  Leif,  when 
he  was  a  child.  Leif  severely  reprimanded  his  companions,  and 
prepared  to  go  in  search  for  him,  taking  twelve  men  with  him. 
They  had  proceeded  hut  a  short  distance  from  the  house,  when 
they  were  met  by  Tyrker,  whom  they  received  most  cordially. 
Leif  observed  at  once  that  his  foster-father  was  in  lively  spirits. 
.  .  .  Leif  addressed  him,  and  asked  :  “  Wherefore  art  thou  so  be¬ 
lated,  foster-father  mine,  and  astray  from  the  others  ?  ”  In  the 
beginning  Tyrker  spoke  for  some  time  in  German,  rolling  his 
eyes  and  grinning,  and  they  could  not  understand  him  ;  but  after 

1  A,  M.  Reeves,  The  Finding  of  Wineland  the  Good,  p.  98.  London  :  1890. 
Cf.  also  J.  Fischer,  The  Discoveries  of  the  Norsemen  in  America,  translated 
by  B.  H.  Soulsby,  St.  Louis:  1903,  pp.  1-19. 

2  Reeves,  pp.  66-67. 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  7 


a  time  he  addressed  them  in  the  Northern  tongue  :  “I  did  not  go 
much  farther  (than  you),  and  yet  I  have  something  of  novelty 
to  relate.  I  have  found  vines  and  grapes.”  “  Is  this  indeed  true, 
foster-father?  ”  said  Leif.  “  Of  a  certainty  it  is  true,”  quoth  he, 
“  for  I  was  born  where  there  is  no  lack  of  either  grapes  or  vines.” 
They  slept  the  night  through,  and  on  the  morrow  Leif  said  to 
his  shipmates  :  “  We  will  now  divide  our  labors,  and  each  day  will 
either  gather  grapes  or  cut  vines  and  fell  trees,  so  as  to  obtain 
a  cargo  of  these  for  my  ship.”  ...  A  cargo  sufficient  for  the  ship 
was  cut,  and  when  the  spring  came,  they  made  their  ship  ready, 
and  sailed  away ;  and  from  its  products  Leif  gave  the  land  a 
name,  and  called  it  Wineland. 

The  Germans,  though  not  present  in  large  numbers, 
were  nevertheless  well-nigh  ubiquitous  during  the  period 
of  new  settlements.1  At  Port  Royal,  in  South  Carolina, 
which  was  settled  in  1562  by  a  band  of  Huguenots  under 
Jean  Ribault,  there  seem  to  have  been  some  Alsatian  and 
Hessian  Protestants2  at  the  very  beginning.  The  settle¬ 
ment  was  destroyed  by  the  Spaniard  Menendez  in  1566. 

There  were  several  Germans  among  the  first  settlers  at 
Jamestown  in  1607,  as  may  be  seen  by  the  lists  of  names, 
which  Captain  John  Smith  records,  of  the  original  set¬ 
tlers  of  the  earliest  English  colony  of  America.3  There 
are  also  numerous  direct  references  to  the  “  Dutch  ”  set¬ 
tlers,  whom  we  need  not  suppose  to  have  been  natives  of 
Holland,  particularly  since  one  is  referred  to  as  a  Switzar 

1  This  is  also  true  of  Spanish  America.  See  the  publications  of  the  All- 
deutseher  Yerband,  in  the  series  “  Kampf  um  das  Deutschtum,”  e.  g.,  Wint- 
zer,  Die  Deutschen  im  tropischen  Amerika  ;  Unold,  Das  Deutschtum  in  Chile; 
Sellin,  Brasilien,  und  die  La  Plata-Staaten. 

2  Handbuch  des  Deutschtums  im  Auslande,  Statistische  Uebersicht  v.  F.  H. 
Henoch,  hrg.  v.  Allgemeinen  deutschen  Schulverein,  p.  113.  Berlin,  1904. 

3  The  True  Travels,  vol.  i,  pp.  153,  172,  173,  Reprint,  Richmond,  Va., 
1819  (of  the  London  edition,  1629).  See  also  The  General  History  of  Virginia, 
vol.  ii,  pp.  45-56,  for  German  names  such  as  Unger,  Keffer,  etc.;  for  the 
Switzar,  William  Volday,  The  True  Travels,  vol.  i,  p.  231. 


8 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


(Swiss).  The  references  to  this  element  among  the  settlers 
are  not  of  an  enviable  sort,  the  writer  frequently  stigma¬ 
tizing  them  with  the  epithet  “  damned  ”  Dutch.  On  re¬ 
viewing  their  history  as  told  by  the  vainglorious  captain, 
it  appears  that  the  epithet,  though  frankly  sincere,  is 
rather  a  comment  on  the  Dutchman’s  independence  and 
love  of  liberty  than  an  evidence  of  any  serious  defect  of 
character.  The  “  Dutchmen  ”  were  artisans,  carpenters 
mainly,  whose  services  were  valuable  in  the  colony.  At 
one  time  three  “  Dutchmen  ”  and  two  Englishmen  were  em- 
ployed  to  construct  a  house  for  King  Powhatan.  The  pur¬ 
pose  of  the  building  of  the  house  was  apparently  to  get  the 
king  into  the  power  of  Captain  Smith,  and  this  treacherous 
plot  seems  to  have  been  revealed  to  the  king  by  the 
“  Dutchmen.”  Themselves  suffering  under  the  tyranny  of 
the  idlers  of  the  colony,  they  felt  in  sympathy  with  the 
red  men,  who  were  beyond  any  doubt  treated  cruelly  by 
the  settlers  of  Jamestown.  The  “  Dutchmen  ”  chose  to 
remain  with  the  Indians,  preferring1  their  friendship  to 
that  of  the  “gentlemen”  of  Jamestown.  All  efforts  to 
bring  them  back  were  unavailing.  One  of  them  was  caught 

1  True  Travels,  vol.  i,  p.  208.  “For  the  Dutchmen  finding  his  (King 
Powhatan’s)  plentie,  and  knowing  our  want,  and  perceiving  his  preparations 
to  surprise  us,  little  thinking  we  could  escape  both  him  and  famine;  (to  ob- 
taine  his  favour)  revealed  to  him  so  much  as  they  knew  of  our  estates  and 
projects  and  how  to  prevent  them.  One  of  them  being  of  so  great  a  spirit, 
judgement  and  resolution,  and  a  hireling  that  was  certaine  of  his  wages  for 
bis  labour,  and  ever  well  used  both  he  and  his  countrymen  ;  that  the  Presi¬ 
dent  knew  not  whom  better  to  trust  ;  and  not  knowing  any  fitter  for  that 
employment  had  sent  him  as  a  spy  to  discover  Powhatan’s  intent,  then  little 
doubting  bis  bonestie,  nor  could  ever  be  certaine  of  his  villany  till  nearo 
halfe  a  yeare  after.”  It  must  be  remembered  that  as  much  treachery  existed, 
from  Captain  Smith’s  point  of  view,  among  the  English  settlers  as  among 
the  foreign.  Between  the  feuds  and  desperate  conditions  prevailing  at 
Jamestown  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  kindly  treatment  of  the  appreciative 
savages  on  the  other,  the  Dutchmen  probably  chose  wisely,  not  feeling  any 
national  pride  in  the  English  settlement. 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES 


9 


later  and  “  went  by  the  heels.”  They  were  felt  to  be  a 
serious  menace  to  the  colony  of  Jamestown,  whether  justly 
so  or  not,  it  is  difficult  to  ascertain. 

Clearly  the  situation  at  Jamestown  was  not  of  the  best 
for  laborers.  They  had  to  do  all  the  work  for  the  drones. 
Captain  John  Smith  himself  agrees  in  the  following  state¬ 
ment  to  the  authorities  at  home  :  “  When  you  send  againe 
I  entreat  you  rather  send  but  thirty  Carpenters,  husband¬ 
men,  gardiners,  fisher  men,  blacksmiths,  masons,  and  dig¬ 
gers  up  of  trees’  roots,  well  provided,  then  a  thousand  of 
such  as  we  have ;  for  except  wee  be  able  both  to  lodge  them 
and  feed  them,  the  most  will  consume  with  want  of  neces¬ 
saries  before  they  can  be  made  good  for  anything.”1  The 
following  throws  light  upon  the  treatment  the  “  Dutch  ”- 
men  received  :  “  As  for  the  hiring  of  the  Poles  and  Dutch¬ 
men,”  says  Captain  Smith,  “  to  make  Pitch,  Tar,  Glasse, 
Milles  and  Sope  ashes,  when  the  country  is  replenished 
with  people  and  necessaries,  would  have  done  well,  but  to 
send  them  and  seventy  more  without  victualls  to  work,  was 
not  so  well  advised  nor  considered  of  as  it  should  have 
beene.”  2  A<rain  he  comments  on  the  character  of  the  set- 
tiers  as  follows  :  “  Adventurers  that  never  did  know  what 
a  day’s  work  was,  except  the  Dutchmen  and  Poles  and  some 
dozen  other.  For  all  the  rest  were  poore  Gentlemen, 
Tradesmen,  Serving-men,  libertines,  and  such  like,  ten 
times  more  fit  to  spoyle  a  Commonwealth,  than  either  to 
begin  one  or  but  help  to  maintaine  one.”  3 

There  were  Germans  in  the  Dutch  settlement  of  New 
Netherland,  and  among  them,  two  who  were  second  to 
none  in  moulding  the  destinies  of  the  colony.  The  one 
was  the  first  governor  of  New  Netherland,  Peter  Minuit, 

1  True  Travels,  vol.  i,  p.  202. 

2  Ibid.,  vol.  i,  p.  193.  3  Ibid.,  vol.  i,  p.  241. 


10 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  the  other  the  first  governor  of  New  York  to  repre¬ 
sent  the  popular  party,  Jacob  Leisler. 

Little  is  known  of  Peter  Minuit  (Minnewit)  before  he 
appeared  in  America  as  director  of  the  colony  of  New 
Netherland.  All  sources  agree  that  he  was  born  in  Wesel 
on  the  Rhine,  and  was  a  Protestant.  He  arrived  in  New 
Amsterdam  in  May,  1626,  with  almost  absolute  power 
over  the  colony.  Where  his  predecessors  had  been  unsuc¬ 
cessful  he  built  the  foundation  for  the  greatest  metropolis 
on  the  American  continent.  It  was  he  who  boug-ht  from 
the  Indians  the  Island  of  Manhattan  (22,000  acres)  for 
sixty  Dutch  guilders,  or  about  twenty-four  dollars  in  gold. 
Having  obtained  a  secure  title  to  the  land,  he  next  erected 
the  first  stone  fort,  at  the  Battery,  and  called  it  Fort 
Amsterdam.  This  kept  the  Indians  in  check  and  increased 
the  number  of  settlers  about  the  fort.  The  colonists  soon 
became  as  busy  and  enterprising  as  their  transatlantic 
kinsmen  in  the  Low  Countries.  The  Dutch  West  India 
Company  supplied  cattle  and  horses  and  land  for  the  ask¬ 
ing,  while  the  crops  raised  were  sufficient  for  the  support 
of  the  colonists.  Their  most  profitable  occupation  was  the 
fur  trade  with  the  Indians.  The  Dutch  at  New  Amster¬ 
dam  became  the  rivals  and  superiors  of  the  Pilgrim  Fa¬ 
thers  as  fur  traders.  Their  exportation  of  furs,  that  in  1624 
had  reached  the  sum  of  25,000  guilders,  in  1628,  when 
the  colony  numbered  270  souls,  rose  to  56,000,  and  in 
1631  to  130,000  guilders.  The  population  steadily  in¬ 
creased  in  the  intervening  years.  Several  ships  arrived 
annually  with  settlers  who  were  brought  over  by  the  com¬ 
pany  at  twelve  and  one  half  cents  per  day  for  passage  and 
board  and  on  their  arrival  received  as  much  land  as  they 
could  cultivate.  As  early  as  1631  the  shipbuilders  of  New 
Amsterdam,  under  Minuit’s  administration,  built  the  New 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  11 


Nether  land,  estimated  differently  at  six  to  eight  hun¬ 
dred  tons  burden,  and  armed  with  thirty  guns,  one  of  the 
largest  ships  afloat1  at  that  time,  and  an  object  of  envy 
for  the  mother  country.2 

Minuit  cultivated  amicable  relations  with  the  New  Eng¬ 
land  colonies,  but  insisted  upon  his  territorial  rights.  In 
1629  the  Dutch  West  India  Company  established  the 
patroon  system,  which  was  destined  to  have  an  unfavor¬ 
able  effect  on  the  development  of  the  colony.  Patroons 
were  originally  members  of  the  West  India  Company,  who 
assumed  semi-feudal  rights  over  large  tracts,  nominally 
bestowed  on  them  on  condition  that  they  would  plant 
a  colony  of  fifty  persons  on  the  land  within  four  years. 
They  became  manor  lords  carrying  on  colonization  as  a 
private  affair.  This  unfortunate  system  aroused  a  great 
deal  of  opposition,  and  Minuit  was  made  the  scapegoat, 
though  he  had  never  favored  the  patroons  beyond  obey¬ 
ing  the  commands  of  the  company.  Minuit  was  recalled 
in  August,  1631, and  departed  in  1632,  leaving  the  colony 
in  a  most  prosperous  condition.  After  having  tried  in  vain 
to  get  justice  in  Holland,  he  determined  to  offer  his  serv¬ 
ices  to  the  king  of  Sweden. 

Gustavus  Adolphus  is  known  as  a  mighty  war  lord  and 
defender  of  the  Protestant  faith,  but  little  is  commonly 
heard  of  his  far-reaching  plans  of  colonial  development. 
William  Usselinx,  a  native  of  Antwerp,  was  the  first  to 
suggest  to  Gustavus  Adolphus  the  enormous  possibilities 
of  colonial  expansion.  Not  favored  at  home,  the  genius  of 
Usselinx  was  given  a  sphere  of  activity  under  the  ambi¬ 
tious  ruler  of  Sweden.  The  Swedish  South  Company  was 

1  Cf.  Fiske,  The  Dutch  and  Quaker  Colonies,  vol.  i,  p.  124. 

2  The  Royal  George,  1200  tons,  was  built  for  the  East  India  Company  at 
Blackwall  (London)  about  1640. 


12 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


founded  in  1626-27  for  trade  and  colonization  west  of  the 
Straits  of  Gibraltar,  and  extensive  privileges  were  to  be 
given  the  company  for  twelve  years.  The  king  himself 
signed  for  400,000  Swedish  talers.  The  German  cities  of 
Stralsund  and  Stettin  desired  to  become  members,  so  also 
the  Duke  of  Pomerania,  and  much  was  hoped  for  from 
the  rich  city  of  Danzig.  Livland,  with  its  German  popu¬ 
lation,  wished  to  subscribe  150,000  talers,  and  Emden, 
eager  to  expand  its  commerce,  was  anxious  to  obtain  a 
seat  and  voice  among  the  directors  of  the  company.  But 
the  death  of  Gustavus  Adolphus  wrecked  these  ambitious 
plans.  The  chancellor,  Oxenstierna,  kept  Usselinx  in  charge 
until  the  latter  seems  to  have  given  up  hope.  His  place  as 
leader  of  the  company  was  then  taken  by  Minuit,  who 
arrived  in  Stockholm  not  earlier  than  1636  and  quickly 
gained  the  confidence  of  the  great  statesman.  Minuit 
directed  Swedish  colonial  ambitions  toward  an  attainable 
goal  by  turning  the  attention  of  the  chancellor  to  the 
country  between  Virginia  and  New  Netherland,  the  land 
that,  some  years  after,  William  Penn  received  as  a  grant 
from  the  English  crown.  It  included  the  present  states  of 
Delaware  and  Pennsylvania,  and  parts  of  New  Jersey  and 
Maryland,  territory  that  in  the  next  century  became  the 
most  fertile  soil  for  the  expansion  of  the  Germanic  race. 
Distinct  advantages  which  Minuit  possessed  were,  first, 
his  exceptional  experience  and  keen  insight,  and  secondly, 
the  prestige  that  Sweden  had  recently  won  on  the  battle¬ 
fields  of  Europe. 

Toward  the  end  of  the  year  1637,  with  a  warship  and 
transport  bearing  fifty  immigrants  well  provisioned,  he  left 
for  the  New  World,  arriving  in  Delaware  Bay  in  April, 
1638,  and  successfully  kept  the  English  in  Virginia  and 
the  Dutch  at  New  York  from  interfering  with  his  schemes 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  13 


of  colonization.  By  means  of  a  bold  front  and  wise  direc¬ 
tion  he  kept  his  stand  securely,  knowing'  minutely  the 
weaknesses  of  his  neighbors  on  either  hand.  He  built 
Fort  Christina  in  honor  of  the  Swedish  queen,  about  two 
miles  from  the  confluence  of  the  Minquaskill  and  the 
Delaware,  very  near  the  present  city  of  Wilmington.  No 
one  understood  the  fur  trade  better  than  Minuit,  and  even 
in  his  first  year  he  drew  30,000  guilders  of  trade  away 
from  New  Netherland.  Colonists  swarmed  to  the  banks  of 
the  Delaware,  New  Sweden  claiming  the  territory  on  its 
banks.  By  1640  the  colony  had  received  many  new  ac¬ 
cessions,  some  from  Holland.  It  is  not  unreasonable  to 
suppose  that  a  number  of  Germans  were  among  the  settlers 
of  New  Sweden,  since  the  German  cities  of  the  Baltic  had 
shown  such  an  active  interest  in  the  beginnings  of  the 
Swedish  West  India  Company.  Minuit  died  at  his  post  in 
1641,  and  was  buried  at  Fort  Christina.  No  one  dared  at¬ 
tack  the  colony  during  his  lifetime.  Its  independence  was 
retained  fourteen  years  longer,1  until  in  1655  it  became 
part  of  New  Netherland  under  the  energetic  governor, 
Stuyvesant. 

About  fifty  years  later,  in  the  early  history  of  New 
York,  there  lived  another  German  leader  of  men,  Jacob 
Leisler,  the  second  German  governor  of  New  York  and 
first  representative  of  the  popular  party,  for  whose  cause 
he  suffered  martyrdom.  He  was  born  in  Frankfort-on-the- 
Main,  and  arrived  in  New  York  in  1660,  as  a  soldier  in 
the  service  of  the  Dutch  West  India  Company.  He  ac¬ 
quired  wealth  through  trade  with  the  Indians,  and  by 

1  John  Printz,  Governor  of  New  Sweden  from  1642  to  1653,  according  to 
trustworthy  authority  was  a  German  nobleman  (Johann  Printz  von  Buchau) 
and  had  been  a  commander  under  Gustavus  Adolphus  in  the  Thirty  Years’ 
War.  Seidensticker,  Bilder  aus  der  deutsch-pennsylvanischen  Geschickte,  p.  3 
( Geschichtsblalter ,  vol.  ii).  New  York:  Steiger,  1886. 


14 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


marriage  became  connected  with  the  Dutch  aristocracy  of 
New  York.  Instead  of  becoming  a  manor  lord  and  pro¬ 
prietor,  then  the  great  goal  of  provincial  ambition,  Leisler 
devoted  himself  to  trade  and  business,  to  the  full  extent 
of  his  extraordinary  energy.  He  soon  became  one  of  the 
wealthiest  citizens  of  New  York,  his  estate  being  valued 
at  15,000  guilders,  and  only  six  citizens  being  richer  than 
himself.  One  of  the  three  barks  owned  in  New  York  in 
1684  belonged  to  him,  and  in  the  year  before  he  had 
been  appointed  a  member  of  the  Admiralty  Court  by 
Governor  Dongan.  He  was  capable  of  humanitarian 
ventures,  as  when,  in  1689,  he  bought  a  piece  of  land, 
the  present  site  of  New  Rochelle  in  Westchester  County, 
for  the  Huguenots  who  had  landed  in  New  York.  An 
evidence  of  wealth  also  was  the  ransom  of  five  hundred 
pounds,  paid  when  lie  was  captured  by  the  pirates  of 
Tunis  in  1678.1 

But  Leisler  was  as  public-spirited  as  he  was  wealthy. 
He  gave  little  attention  to  party  strife  and  to  the  in¬ 
trigues  by  which  leading  families  gained  influence  with  the 
governor,  but  whenever  an  occasion  of  moment  arrived, 
Jacob  Leisler  was  the  man  that  impressed  the  people  with 
his  exceptional  integrity,  liberality,  and  firmness.  When, 
in  1675,  Governor  Andros  fined  a  number  of  burghers 
because  of  their  opposition  to  “  Popery,”  Leisler  refused 
to  pay,  preferring  imprisonment  to  the  renunciation  of 
his  principles.  At  another  time,  when  a  poor  Huguenot 
family  landed  in  New  York  and  were  to  be  sold  as  re- 
demptioners,  he  instantly  paid  down  the  sum  demanded 
for  their  transportation,  th  us  delivering  the  refugees  from 
years  of  servitude. 

Conditions  in  New  York  favored  the  development  of 

1  Cf.  Kapp,  p.  39. 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  15 


a  popular  party  in  opposition  to  aristocratic  rule.  King 
James  II  had  combined  the  colonies  of  New  England, 
New  York,  and  New  Jersey  under  the  governorship  of 
Andros,  an  action  which  displeased  the  Dutch  greatly,  for 
they  felt  a  danger  of  being  overshadowed  by  the  neigh¬ 
boring  Puritan  colony.  While  Governor  Andros  was  in 
New  England,  he  left  New  York  in  charge  of  Francis 
Nicholson,  as  lieutenant-governor.  On  February  5,  1689, 
a  Dutch  sea-captain  brought  him  the  first  news  of  the 
landing  of  William  of  Orange  in  England,  but  Nicholson 
threatened  the  messenger  with  severe  punishment,  if  he 
allowed  the  news  to  spread.  But  a  week  later  the  mer¬ 
chant  and  ship-owner,  Jacob  Leisler,  received  the  news 
independently  and  made  it  public.  The  propitious  moment 
had  not  yet  arrived,  however,  for  a  revolt  of  the  people 
against  their  oppressors.  They  lacked  a  leader.  The  man 
who  could  help  was  not  a  demagogue  and  would  not  act 
unless  forced  by  circumstances.  That  man  was  Jacob  Leis¬ 
ler,  whose  German  birth  secured  for  him  the  sympathy 
of  the  Dutch  population,  and  whose  public  life  was  noted 
for  public  spirit,  energy,  and  liberality.  He  was  recog¬ 
nized  as  a  good  soldier,  and,  though  connected  with  the 
aristocracy  by  marriage,  remained  a  man  of  the  people, 
alive  to  their  interests,  nearer  to  them  in  habits  and 
culture  or  the  lack  of  it,  and  admired  by  them  for  his 
plain  honesty  that  never  stooped  to  selfish  ends,  a  prac¬ 
tice  so  common  among  the  aristocrats.  All  too  great  was 
his  love  of  duty,  his  disinterested  assent  to  the  wishes  of 
others,  and,  as  later  events  proved,  too  keen  his  sense 
of  responsibility  in  his  high  position. 

Nicholson’s  unpopularity  and  that  of  the  ruling  class 
grew  from  week  to  week  and  from  day  to  day,  and  the 
slightest  shock  was  sufficient  to  kindle  the  spark  of  revolt. 


16 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


An  accidental  remark  of  Nicholson’s,  “  I  would  rather  see 
the  city  on  fire  than  take  the  impudence  of  such  fellows 
as  you,”  addressed  to  an  insubordinate  lieutenant,  gave 
rise  to  the  alarming  rumor  that  the  governor  was  about 
to  set  the  city  on  fire.  The  flame  of  revolution  blazed 
up  instantly,  and  spread  without  let  or  hindrance.  The 
mob  was  united  in  the  desire  to  capture  the  fort,  the 
key  to  the  city,  with  their  oldest  captain  to  march  at  their 
head.  “  To  Leisler,  to  Leisler’s  house,”  was  the  cry,  —  but 
Leisler  refused  to  assume  the  leadership.  Lieutenant  Stoll 
of  the  Leisler  Company,  with  quick  decision,  led  them 
on  to  the  fort.  Nicholson  and  Bayard,  colonel  of  militia, 
offered  no  resistance,  submitting  to  the  inevitable. 

On  the  next  day  Leisler,  in  a  public  address,  declared, 
for  himself  and  his  party,  the  intention  to  hold  the  fort 
for  King  William,  at  the  same  time  entreating  the  citizens 
to  aid  him  in  this  purpose.  The  masses  were  yet  unde¬ 
cided,  they  still  feared  the  lieutenant-governor,  when  a 
false  rumor  spread  that  there  were  three  ships  in  the  bay 
with  commands  of  the  new  king.  Upon  this,  the  entire 
militia  company,  about  four  hundred  men  with  their 
officers,  declared  themselves  for  Leisler,  the  cause  of  the 
Protestant  religion  and  the  Prince  of  Orange,  until  they 
should  receive  commands  from  the  latter,  their  king.  All 
those  that  had  wavered  now  joined  Leisler.  Nicholson 
fled  from  the  country,  and  his  counselors  escaped  or  con¬ 
cealed  themselves  from  the  wrath  of  the  people. 

The  city  was  now  without  a  government.  Thereupon 
by  popular  vote  a  committee  of  safety  was  elected,  con¬ 
sisting  of  the  most  prominent  burghers  of  the  citizen’s 
party,  who,  on  June  8, 1689,  appointed  Leisler  commander- 
in-chief  of  the  fort  and  of  the  city,  until  the  arrival  of 
the  new  governor  from  England.  When  the  news  arrived 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  17 


of  the  coronation  of  William  and  Mary,  Leisler  at  once 
made  preparations  for  a  solemn  ceremony  of  homage,  and 
notified  the  provincial  and  municipal  officials  to  take  part. 
When  these  refused  to  join  in  rendering  homage,  the  cere¬ 
mony  took  place  in  New  York  and  Albany  without  them. 
Leisler  in  consequence  dismissed  the  magistrate  of  the 
city,  and  the  committee  organized  new  elections  for  the 
vacant  places  of  burgomaster  and  aldermen.  The  aristo¬ 
crats  naturally  did  not  secure  an  office,  and  in  August, 
1689,  the  committee  of  safety  appointed  Leisler  supreme 
commander  of  the  province.  Leisler  made  a  complete  re¬ 
port  to  King  William  of  all  that  had  been  done,  assuring 
him  of  his  loyalty,  his  zeal  for  the  Protestant  cause,  and 
begging  for  speedy  instructions.  Even  Leisler’s  enemies 
never  doubted  the  sincerity  of  this  petition,  and  could 
find  fault  only  with  its  English.  Lieutenant  Stoll  was  sent 
to  England  with  this  petition,  handed  it  to  the  king  in 
person  in  November,  1689,  but  met  with  no  success,  for 
Nicholson,  who  had  arrived  earlier,  had  poisoned  the 
king’s  ear  in  regard  to  the  popular  party  in  New  York, 
declaring  that  its  actions  had  arisen  from  hostility  to  the 
English  Church  rather  than  from  zeal  for  the  new  dy¬ 
nasty.  Thus  the  reward  that  Leisler  merited  at  royal  hands 
for  the  successful  issue  of  the  revolution,  was  lost.1 
Neighbors  at  home,  on  the  other  hand,  recognized  the 
loyal  and  honest  efforts  of  the  popular  governor,  and  sent 
their  best  wishes  for  the  progress  of  the  revolution,  but 
the  dethroned  aristocrats  spared  no  efforts  in  provoking 
dissension  and  discord.  The  name  of  Leisler  was  dragged 
through  the  mire.  He  was  branded  as  a  tyrant,  usurper, 
demagogue,  even  as  a  Pap  1st  and  Jacobite,  by  the  very 

1  Cf.  Documents  relating  to  the  Colonial  History  of  the  State  of  N.  Y.,  vol. 
iii,  pp.  608  f.  (Brodhead). 


18 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


persons  who  had  proved  their  disloyalty  to  the  new 
dynasty. 

One  illegal  act,  and  one  only,  was  committed  by  Leis- 
ler,  namely,  that  he  did  not  publish  a  certain  clause  of 
the  king’s  address  that  recommended  retaining  all  old 
officials  with  the  exception  of  Papists.  Leisler  can  be 
justified,  however,  on  the  ground  that  he  could  not  have 
carried  the  revolution  through  successfully  if  the  aristo¬ 
crats  had  remained  in  office.  The  new  popular  principle 
could  not  be  represented  by  them. 

An  unfortunate  move  also  was  his  attempt  to  force  Al¬ 
bany  to  recognize  his  government.  Bayard  had  fled  thither 
and  succeeded  in  winning  to  his  side  influential  citizens 
such  as  the  Schuylers,  Bleeckers,  V an  Rensselaers,  Cuylers, 
and  others.  Leisler  was  provoked  by  the  order  of  Bayard, 
Issued  to  the  militia  companies  that  had  been  under  his 
command  in  New  York,  forbidding  them  to  obey  Leisler. 
The  latter  answered  this  order  by  sending  an  armed  com¬ 
pany  under  the  command  of  his  son-in-law,  Jacob  Milborne, 
to  take  possession  of  the  fort  at  Albany  and  defend  the 
cause  of  the  Protestant  king  “against  Indians  and  other 
hostile  attacks.”  The  soldiers  were  not  admitted  into  the 
city,  and  as  Milborne  was  too  weak  to  risk  a  battle,  he 
was  compelled  to  withdraw.  This  false  step  gave  the  fugi¬ 
tive  aristocrats  a  chance  to  file  complaints  at  the  English 
court  against  the  government  of  Leisler,  falsely  accusing 
linn  of  rebellion  against  the  English  dynasty. 

Not  long  after  these  events,  in  the  beginning  of  Decem¬ 
ber,  1(189,  a  royal  messenger  arrived  in  Boston  with  a  let¬ 
ter  addressed  to  Francis  Nicholson,  “  or  in  his  absence  to 
such  as  for  the  time  being  take  care  for  Preserving  the 

York-  ^a-PP’  G*^icJite  der  Deutschen  im  Staale  New  York,  p.  44.  New 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  19 

Peace  and  administering  the  Lawes  in  our  said  Province  of 
New  York  in  America.” 1  The  enemies  of  Leisler  attempted 
to  get  possession  of  this  letter,  i.  e.,  to  become  its  lecipi 
ents  while  in  New  York,  and  thereby  obtain  authority. 
Bayard  and  Philipse,  representing  a  part  of  the  old  gov¬ 
ernment,  secretly  went  to  New  York  for  this  purpose,  but, 
the  ruling  party  also  hearing  of  the  letter,  the  messenger 
was  taken  at  once  to  the  fort,  where  Leisler  was  in  com¬ 
mand.  The  letter  empowered  the  man  to  whom  it  was 
directed  to  assume  command  as  lieutenant-governor  and 
appoint  a  council  to  assist  him  in  the  direction  of  affairs. 
Accordingly  Leisler,  on  December  11,  1689,  assumed  the 
title  of  lieutenant-governor  and  named  a  council  of  nine 
persons  representing  the  various  trades  of  the  piovmce. 
This  royal  message  put  aside  any  remaining  scruples  as  to 
the  justice  of  Leisler’s  assumption  of  authority,  and  the 
political  affairs  of  the  colony  soon  assumed  an  orderly  and 
peaceful  aspect. 

An  effort  was  made  to  capture  Leisler  on  the  streets  of 
New  York,  but,  the  attempt  proving  unsuccessful,  the  ring¬ 
leaders,  Bayard,  Van  Cortlandt,  Nicolls,  and  others  were 
themselves  captured  and  thrown  into  prison  for  high  trea¬ 
son  against  His  Majesty’s  officers.  Bayard  and  Nicolls  were 
captured  while  attempting  to  escape,  and  the  sentence  of 
death  was  pronounced  against  them.  They  humbly  sued 
for  mercy  and  Leisler  relented.  In  the  course  of  events 
they  caused  Leisler’s  ruin.  Had  Leisler  employed  the  thor¬ 
ough  methods  of  the  revolutionary  dictator,  he  would  have 
destroyed  his  enemies  while  they  were  in  his  power,  and 
thereby  forever  ended  their  opportunities  for  doing  harm. 
This  act  of  grace  on  the  part  of  Leisler,  while  it  elevates 
him  as  a  man,  was  undoubtedly  a  political  mistake. 

1  Documents  rel.  Colonial  History,  vol.  in,  p.  GOG. 


20 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Hardly  had  he  become  master  over  his  enemies  within, 
before  the  lieutenant-governor  had  to  meet  a  more  terrible 
foe  without,  the  French  and  Indians,  commanded  by  the 
brave  and  energetic  Frontenac.  At  the  beginning  of  Janu- 
ary,  1690,  the  French  governor  had  planned  an  attack  on 
New  York  by  way  of  the  Mohawk  Valley  and  Albany. 
The  event  which  stands  out  in  lurid  colors  is  the  massacre 
at  Schenectady.  The  fort  was  surprised,  burned,  and 
plundered,  and  the  occupants  slain  or  taken  prisoners. 
This  terrible  misfortune  had  no  ill  effect,  however,  on  the 
political  fortunes  of  Leisler,  for  when  he  now  sent  troops  in 
the  defense  of  Albany,  the  city  willingly  opened  its  gates 
and  recognized  Leisler’s  authority.  He  made  the  city 
secure  against  hostile  attacks  and  sent  a  division  of  140 
men  fifty  miles  beyond  to  guard  against  surprise.  The 
enemies  of  the  lieutenant-governor  fled  to  New  England. 

Leisler  proved  himself  equal  to  the  emergency.  He  saw 
that  cooperative  action  on  the  part  of  the  colonies  was 
essential  to  resist  the  formidable  foe.  Accordingly,  in  the 
beginning  of  April,  1690,  he  invited  the  governors  of 
Massachusetts,  Plymouth,  East  and  West  Jersey,  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  Maryland,  and  Virginia  to  a  common  council  at 
New  York.1  New  York,  Massachusetts,  Plymouth,  New 
Jersey,  and  Maryland  were  represented  in  this  plan  of  de¬ 
fense.  The  Carolinas  were  in  their  infancy,  and  Virginia 
was  too  remote.  The  meeting  of  this  congress  at  New  York 
on  the  first  of  May,  1690,  was  a  memorable  event  in  Ameri¬ 
can  history.  It  was  the  first  congress  of  American  colo¬ 
nies,  the  first  of  a  series,  that  by  process  of  evolution  was 
to  culminate  in  the  Continental  Congress.2  The  congress 
decided  that  Massachusetts  should  send  160  men,  Con¬ 
necticut  135,  Plymouth  60,  New  York  400,  and  Maryland 
1  Cf-  KaPP>  p-  48-  2  Cf.  Fiske,  ii,  182-184. 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  21 


100,  in  an  expedition  for  the  conquering  of  Canada,  while 
Massachusetts  was  also  to  equip  a  fleet  for  the  taking  of 
Quebec.  At  the  same  time  the  Mohawk  Indians  promised 
an  auxiliary  force  of  1800  warriors  to  attack  the  French. 
It  was  the  first  attempt  at  united  action  on  the  part  of  the 
colonies,  without  the  aid  of  the  mother  country.  The  great 
plan,  however,  was  not  destined  to  succeed,  largely  owing 
to  the  jealousies  and  misunderstandings  among  the  lead¬ 
ers.  The  expedition  at  sea  met  a  similar  fate.  Though 
arriving  at  Quebec,  the  fleet  delayed  its  attack,  and  was 
forced  to  retreat  with  great  loss.  Contrary  winds  and 
storms  on  the  return  made  its  destruction  almost  complete, 
though  the  New  York  contingent  were  fortunate  enough 
to  reach  home  with  their  ships. 

Leisler  had  won  the  distinction  of  equipping  the  first 
warship  that  went  out  from  New  York,  he  had  added 
three  ships  to  the  fleet,  and  contributed  energetically  in 
every  department.  He  had  instituted  the  pursuit  of  six 
French  ships  that  had  dared  to  approach  New  York  Har¬ 
bor,  had  had  them  brought  to  New  York,  condemned,  and 
sold  as  prizes,  a  stroke  which  remained  the  only  fortunate 
event  in  a  chain  of  disasters.  However,  as  a  result  of  the 
expensive  operations  against  Canada,  all  of  the  colonies 
had  incurred  debts,  and  great  disappointment  reigned, 
particularly  when  taxation  had  to  be  resorted  to.  Natu¬ 
rally,  Leisler’ s  enemies  attempted  to  make  a  scapegoat  of 
him,  and  the  lieutenant-governor’s  position  grew  more 
and  more  difficult,  his  enemies  increasing  in  numbers  day 
by  day. 

The  end  of  the  year  1690  had  come,  and  the  home 
government,  refusing  to  recognize  Leisler’s  services  to  the 
crown  and  colony,  appointed  a  new  governor  for  New 
York,  Colonel  Henry  Sloughter.  The  latter  had  set  out 


22 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


with  several  ships  and  a  respectable  number  of  troops,  but, 
to  make  confusion  worse  confounded,  a  storm  separating 
him  from  the  rest  of  the  ships,  the  second  in  command, 
Major  Richard  Ingoldsby,  arrived  in  New  York  before 
the  governor.  Leisler’s  enemies  were  busy  winning  the 
favor  of  the  new  arrival,  and  the  demand  was  made  of 
Leisler  to  surrender  the  fort  at  once.  This  Leisler  refused 
to  do  until  confronted  with  the  documents  giving  In¬ 
goldsby  authority.  But  the  papers  were  on  board  the  ab¬ 
sent  ship,  and  Ingoldsby,  being  discredited,  felt  his  honor 
as  an  English  officer  insulted.  He  issued  a  proclamation, 
in  which  all  those  that  should  oppose  him  were  declared 
rebels,  and  all  good  people  were  summoned  to  his  assist¬ 
ance.  Leisler,  a  few  days  after,  February  3,  1691,  pro¬ 
tested  in  the  name  of  the  king  and  queen  against  all  the 
acts  of  Ingoldsby,  holding  him  accountable  for  all  acts  of 
violence  and  bloodshed  that  might  ensue,  declaring  at  the 
same  time  his  readiness  to  give  up  the  fort  to  the  new 
governor,  Colonel  Slo lighter,  immediately  upon  his  arrival. 
Each  party  seemed  to  be  waiting  for  the  other  to  risk  a 
blow,  but  as  time  went  on,  it  was  apparent  that  Ingoldsby 
was  receiving  more  adherents  and  Leisler  as  constantly 
losing  friends.  Ingoldsby  next  attacked,  and  took  two 
blockhouses  with  their  garrisons,  located  north  of  VvLall 
Street.  Leisler  was  now  confined  to  the  fort,  and,  as  be¬ 
fore,  refused  to  give  it  up.  Such  was  the  condition  of 
affairs  until  the  arrival  of  Governor  Sloughter,  March  19, 
1691.  Both  parties  eagerly  awaited  the  new  governor 
as  a  deliverer  from  the  unfortunate  entanglement.  But 
Sloughter  was  a  man  of  no  clear  vision  or  strength  of 
character,  and  even  his  friends  could  find  little  to  say  in 
his  behalf.  Upon  his  arrival  he  became  the  dupe  of  the 
aristocratic  party,  who  boarded  his  ship  to  inform  him  of 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  23 


the  condition  of  affairs.  There  Sloughter  appointed  his 
council.  Immediately  upon  arriving,  at  ten  o’clock  in  the 
evening,  he  demanded  the  keys  of  the  fort,  but  Leisler 
wished  first  an  understanding  as  to  the  terms  of  surrender, 
and  guarantees  for  his  security,  perhaps  distrustful  because 
the  messenger  whom  the  new  governor  had  sent  was 
Ingoldsby.  Sloughter  demanded  immediate  and  uncondi¬ 
tional  surrender,  placed  Leisler’s  messenger  under  arrest, 
and  on  the  20th  of  March  took  possession  of  the  fort.  He 
took  Bayard  and  Nicolls  out  of  prison,  while  Leisler  and 
eiMit  friends  of  the  council  had  to  take  their  places  in  the 
same  dungeon. 

The  condemnation  of  Leisler  aroused  general  horror. 
Such  severity  none  had  expected.  A  sham  trial  was  insti¬ 
tuted,  in  which  Sloughter  appointed  Leisler’s  personal 
enemies  as  his  judges,  viz. :  Bayard,  Nicolls,  Pliilipse,  and 
Van  Cortlandt,  together  with  four  Englishmen  who  had 
just  arrived.  Leisler  was  charged  with  rebellion,  confisca¬ 
tion  of  property,  and  the  illegal  levying  of  taxes.  The 
other  councilors  were  set  free,  but  the  enemies  of  Leisler 
were  determined  to  be  revenged  upon  him.  Apparently 
Governor  Sloughter  hesitated  to  sign  a  death-warrant,  a 
spark  of  justice  glimmering  within  him.  A  tradition  is 
handed  down  that  the  aristocrats  steeped  the  governor  in 
wine  and  procured  his  signature  while  His  Excellency  was 
intoxicated.  Leisler,  previously  convicted  of  high  treason, 
was  accordingly  condemned  to  suffer  death,  together  with 
his  son-in-law,  Milborne.  The  accused  had  felt  so  sure  of 
the  justice  of  their  cause  that,  like  Egmont  and  Horn, 
they  refused  to  defend  themselves  against  the  charge  of 
treason.  The  sentence  occasioned  resentment  and  horror 
in  all  parts  of  the  colony,  and  many  of  the  followers  of 
Leisler  fled  into  neighboring  provinces,  fearing  similar 


24 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


charges  against  themselves.  A  popular  uprising  was  im¬ 
minent  in  New  York  City.  Leisler’s  enemies,  fearing  that 
he  might  still  he  set  free,  now  insisted  upon  the  fruits  of 
their  victory,  the  immediate  execution  of  their  victims. 
The  urgent  entreaties  of  Leisler’s  friends  for  delay,  just 
as  in  the  case  of  Egmont,  only  hastened  the  execution. 
The  scaffold  was  erected  not  far  from  the  location  of  the 
present  Tombs,  on  the  corner  of  Pearl  and  Centre  streets. 
The  day,  May  16,  1691,  was  wet  and  cold,  and  chilled  the 
spectators  to  the  bone.  Leisler  made  an  address  to  the 
people,  in  which  he  resigned  himself  to  his  fate  with 
Christian  humility.  His  dying  request  to  his  friends  was 
that  they  should  forget  all  injury  done  to  himself  and 
Milborne,  and  honor  his  wish,  that  their  ashes  might 
destroy  all  vestiges  of  discord  and  dissension.  His  son- 
in-law,  Milborne,  called  out  to  Ins  enemy,  Livingstone, 

You  are  guilty  of  my  death  and  I  shall  accuse  you  be¬ 
fore  the  eternal  judgment  seat”  ;  and  to  the  sheriff,  who 
asked  him  if  he  would  not  bless  the  king  and  queen,  he 
said,  “  Why,  I  die  for  them  and  for  the  Protestant  religion, 
in  which  I  was  born  and  brought  up.” 

The  blunder  of  this  execution  became  apparent  in  Eng¬ 
land  after  the  son  of  Leisler  brought  the  case  into  the 
English  courts.  The  case  being  given  over  to  the  colonial 
ministry,  the  latter  declared  that  the  deceased  had  been 
executed  justly,  but  begged  for  restitution  to  the  family 
of  their  property  and  position,  which  was  granted  in  1692. 
With  this  Leisler  s  son  was  not  satisfied;  he  desired  not 
grace  but  justice,  and  after  several  years  more  of  conten¬ 
tion  in  behalf  of  his  father’s  memory,  the  English  Parlia¬ 
ment  reversed  the  attainder  against  Leisler  and  Milborne, 
justified  Leisler’s  actions  in  every  particular,  and  restored 
to  Ins  heirs  the  properties  confiscated  by  the  crown  (1695). 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  25 


In  New  York,  the  two  parties,  the  popular  and  aristo¬ 
cratic,  continued  to  exist,  and  after  the  governorship  of 
Sloughter,  of  Ingoldsby,  and  of  Fletcher  had  ended,  the 
popular  party  once  more  gained  the  ascendancy  under 
the  Earl  of  Bellomont,  who,  when  governor,  allowed  the 
remains  of  Leisler  and  Milborne  to  be  taken  from  their 
burial-place  under  the  gallows,  to  the  cemetery  of  the 
Dutch  Church  (in  the  present  Exchange  Place).1  This  re¬ 
moval,  in  1698,  was  an  occasion  of  much  solemnity,  fifteen 
hundred  persons  taking  part.  Prominent  contemporaries 
in  other  colonies  regarded  the  execution  of  Leisler  as 
eminently  unjust,  Increase  Mather,  for  instance,  declaring 
that  Leisler  was  “  barbarously  murdered.” 

There  are  two  reasons  why  the  career  of  Leisler  stands 
out  conspicuously  in  American  history  :  first  and  foremost, 
because  he  was  the  man  who  called  together  the  first  con¬ 
gress  of  American  colonies;  secondly,  because  he  was  the 
first  representative  of  the  popular  party  against  the  aristo¬ 
cratic  element,  of  plebeian  against  patrician,  or  of  Demo¬ 
crat  against  Tory.  Had  Leisler’s  dreams  been  realized,  had 
he  received  due  support  from  IV llliam  III,  hailed  as  their 
national  hero  by  the  Dutch  of  New  Amsterdam,  then 
Leisler  would  have  gone  down  in  history  as  the  first  great 
representative  of  popular  government  in  New  York."  His 
administration  might  have  been  signalized  as  a  long  stride 
advancing  toward  popular  government  in  the  colonies.  In 
view  of  these  facts,  this  man’s  personality,  in  spite  of  his 
crudeness  and  stubbornness  bordering  on  fanaticism,  is 
worthy  of  the  highest  respect,  being  conspicuous  for  qual¬ 
ities  since  then  always  highly  valued  in  public  life,  and 
repeatedly  honored  by  the  popular  vote,  viz. .  unques¬ 
tioned  honesty  and  integrity,  unflinching  firmness  and 
1  Kapp,  p.  56.  2  Cf.  Fiske,  vol.  ii,  p.  192. 


26 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


energy-  Experience  as  a  soldier  and  uncommon  success 
in  the  administration  of  affairs  were  likewise  elements 
contributing  to  the  confidence  the  people  felt  in  him  as  a 
public  man. 

Some  of  Leisler’s  descendants  wrere  also  prominent  in 
Am ei ican  history.  Hester,  one  of  his  daughters,  married 
the  Dutchman  Rynders,  while  her  sister,  Mary,  widow  of 
Milborne,  became  the  wife  of  the  brilliant  young  Hugue¬ 
not,  Abraham  Gouverneur.  Mary’s  son,  Nicholas  Gouver- 
neur,  married  Hester  s  daughter,  Gertrude  Rynders,  and 
a  son  of  this  marriage,  Isaac  Gouverneur,  was  the  grand- 
father  of  Gouverneur  Morris,  one  of  the  ablest  members  of 
the  convention  that  framed  the  constitution  of  the  United 
States.  “This  eminent  statesman  was  thus  lineally  de¬ 
scended  from  Jacob  Leisler  through  two  of  his  daugh¬ 
ters.”  1  & 

Dwelling  with  the  Dutch  settlers  of  New  Amsterdam, 
there  was  undoubtedly  quite  a  sprinkling  of  Germans.  A 
good  example  is  that  of  Dr.  Hans  Kierstede,  who  came 
from  Magdeburg  in  1638  with  Director  Kieft.  He  was  the 
first  practicing  physician  and  surgeon  in  that  colony.  He 
married  Sarah  Roeloffse,  daughter  of  Roeloff  and  Anneke 

Janse,  the  owner  of  the  Annetje  Jans  farm  on  Manhattan 
Island.2 

-  Among  the  German  settlers  of  the  seventeenth  century 
Mmuit  and  Leisler  have  represented  the  type  of  the  soldier 
and  statesman,  while  the  “Dutch”  in  the  Jamestown  col¬ 
ony  represented  the  humbler  class  of  artisans  or  laborers. 

t  nrd  class  of  pioneers  also  had  German  representatives, 


1  Fiske,  vol.  ii,  p.  187. 

mavfp  ,S;ch00n™ker>  Tlie  History  of  Kingston ,  N.  Y.,  p.  482.  1888.  Also 
etc.  Pu  *"•  F“””  "  HMc  rork,  vol.  i,  p.  132, 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  27 


namely,  the  explorers  and  discoverers.  Of  the  latter  there 
was  John  Lederer.  He  was  sent  on  three  different  ex¬ 
peditions  by  Sir  William  Berkeley,  governor  of  the  colony 
of  Virginia,  to  explore  the  land  south  and  west  of  the 
James  River  during  the  years  1669-70.  From  his  map 
as  well  as  from  his  journal  we  gather  that  he  passed 
through  North  Carolina  and  proceeded  as  far  into  South 
Carolina  as  the  Santee  River.  There  were  no  whites  then 
living  in  South  Carolina,  and  only  two  colonies  existing  in 
North  Carolina,  on  the  Albemarle  Sound  and  Cape  Fear 
River.  Lederer  wrote  his  journal  in  Latin.  Sir  William 
Talbot,  governor  of  Maryland,  who  translated  the  journal 
into  English,  speaks  highly  of  the  author’s  literary  attain¬ 
ments.  He  had  at  first  been  unfavorably  biased  by  evil 
stories  concerning  Lederer,  yet  found  him,  as  be  says,  “a 
modest,  ingenious  person  and  a  pretty  scholar,”  and  Le¬ 
derer  vindicated  himself  “  with  so  convincing  reason  and 
circumstance  that  removed  all  unfavorable  impressions.” 

The  fact  is,  that  Lederer  had  not  been  well  received  by 
the  person  that  sent  him,  the  governor  of  Virginia,  owing 
to  prejudices  created  against  him  by  the  English  com¬ 
panions  that  set  out  with  him  on  his  journey.  They  for¬ 
sook  him  and  turned  back.  In  his  journal  Lederer  declares 
that  he  had  a  private  commission  from  the  governor  of 
Virginia  to  proceed,  though  the  rest  of  the  party  should 
abandon  him,  and  he  therefore  went  on  with  one  Susque¬ 
hanna  Indian,  reaching  the  Santee  River  at  33|°  north  lati¬ 
tude.  His  former  companions  returned  to  Virginia,  and, 
not  expecting  that  Lederer  would  ever  come  back,  they 
excused  themselves  by  false  reports  concerning  him. 

The  three  journeys  which  Lederer  made,  according  to 
his  journal,  were  first,  from  the  head  of  the  York  River 
due  west  to  the  Appalachian  Mountains ;  secondly,  from 


28 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  Falls  of  the  James  River,  west  and  southwest  into 
the  Carolinas ;  thirdly,  from  the  Falls  of  the  Rappahan¬ 
nock,  west  to  the  mountains.  No  doubt  can  attach  to  the 
fact  of  these  early  western  explorations,  and  they  un¬ 
questionably  had  a  good  effect.  The  tide  of  immigration, 
to  be  sure,  did  not  begin  to  flow  until  1680,  but  the 
direction  had  been  indicated. 

The  first  German  in  Texas  was  a  Wiirtemberger  by  the 
name  of  Hiens  (Heinz,  Hans).1  He  was  a  member  of  the 
expedition  of  La  Salle  in  1687,  that  vainly  sought  for  the 
delta  of  the  Mississippi,  with  a  fatal  result  for  the  leader. 
After  the  murder  of  La  Salle,  the  party  under  the  rule  of 
Duhaut  ranged  aimlessly  among  the  Indians  for  a  while, 
and  fell  in  with  some  deserters  of  La  Salle’s  former  ex¬ 
pedition,  now  living  among  the  savages.  One  of  these 
conspired  with  Hiens,  and  they  avenged  the  murder 
of  La  Salle  by  killing  Duhaut  and  Liotot.2  Hiens, perhaps 
fearing  revenge,  left  the  expedition,  parting  amicably. 

Another  explorer,  the  earliest  of  the  three,  was  Peter 
Fabian,  a  Swiss  German,  member  of  the  expedition  sent 
out  in  1663  by  the  English  Carolina  Company  to  explore 
the  Carolinas.  The  report  of  the  expedition  was  probably 
written  by  Fabian,  the  scientific  man  of  the  party,  as  the 
distances  aie  lecorded  by  the  standard  of  the  German 
mile.  The  report  appeared  in  1665  in  London,  signed  by 
Anthony  Long,  William  Hilton,  and  Peter  Fabiam  It  was 
embodied  in  the  earliest  history  of  Carolina  by  John  Law- 
son,  London,  It  09. 3  In  the  latter  work  mention  is  made 
of  another  Swiss  German  explorer,  Francis  Louis  Mitschel 

Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier ,  vol.  vi,  pp.  69-70.  Cincinnati,  1869-87,  18 
vols.  The  statement  is  there  made  on  the  authority  of  Lonis  Hennepin.’ 

2  Justin  Winsor,  Narrative  and  Critical  History  of  America,  vol.  iv,  p.  238. 

3  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  x  (1878),  p.  188. 


IN  THE  ANGLO-AMERICAN  COLONIES  29 


(for  Michel),  described  as  sent  by  bis  home  canton,  Bern, 
to  select  a  suitable  tract  for  a  Swiss  settlement,  and  as 
having,  during  several  years  of  exploration,  discovered 
large  areas  among  the  mountain  ranges  lying  toward  the 
headwaters  of  the  large  rivers  and  bays  of  Virginia,  Mary¬ 
land,  and  Pennsylvania,  all  uninhabited  save  by  a  few 
savages.1 

The  foregoing  chapter  attempted  to  show  that,  while 
the  Germans  living  in  an  inland  country  were  not  seafar¬ 
ers  or  discoverers,  their  scholarly  bent  made  them  leading 
cosmographers  during  the  period  of  American  exploration. 
German  settlers  appeared  even  in  the  earliest  colonies  on 
American  soil,  such  as  Port  Royal,  Jamestown,  and  New 
Amsterdam.  The  purchaser  and  first  governor  of  Man¬ 
hattan  Island,  Peter  Minuit,  who  was  also  the  founder 
of  New  Sweden,  and  Jacob  Leisler,  martyr  to  the  cause 
of  popular  government  in  New  York,  were  Germans. 
Lederer,  Hiens,  and  Fabian  were  prominent  as  early  ex¬ 
plorers  in  the  southern  and  southwestern  zone  of  English 
colonization  in  the  seventeenth  century. 

1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  x,  p.  189.  Quotation  from  Lawson  (1709).  For 
Michel  see  also  below,  Chapter  vm,  p.  213. 


CHAPTER  II 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  GERMAN  SETTLEMENT  AT 
GERMANTOWN,  1683 

William  Penn  in  Germany  —  The  Pietists  of  Frankfort-on-the-Main — 
Francis  Daniel  Pastorius,  his  early  life  and  arrival  at  Philadelphia  — 
Ihe  Concord,  the  Mayflower  of  the  Germans  — Landing,  October  6, 1683 
Founding  of  Germantown,  Pennsylvania  —  Industries  and  Customs 

Pastorius  as  patriarch  and  scholar — Protest  against  slavery _ The 

Mystics,  Kelpius  and  his  followers. 

The  first  German  settlement,  properly  so-called  because 
of  its  permanence  and  individuality,  began  near  the  close 
of  the  seventeenth  century.  It  was  a  colony  of  religious 
refugees,  mainly  from  the  Palatinate,  who  settled  at&Ger- 
mantown,  Pennsylvania,  in  1683.  The  name  of  William 
Penn  is  intimately  associated  with  its  beginnings.  Will¬ 
iam  Penn,  clinging  to  his  faith  in  spite  of  imprisonment 
and  persecution,  was  enthused  with  missionary  zeal.  He 
made  two  journeys  into  Holland  and  Germany,  in  1671 
and  1677,  to  spread  Quaker  doctrines  on  the  continent 
of  Europe.  Only  three  denominations  were  recognized 
along  the  Rhine  and  in  Germany,  namely,  the  Catho- 
ic,  the  Lutheran,  and  the  Reformed.  All  other  forms 
of  worship  were  outlawed,  and  their  votaries  placed  in 
the  same  class  with  heretics  and  atheists.  Such  were  the 
Mennonites,  of  whom  considerable  numbers  existed 
in  Western  Germany  and  Switzerland,  the  Schwenkfeld- 
ers  and  the  Quakers.  George  Fox,  the  founder  of  the 
Society  of  Friends,  had  sent  messengers  of  the  new  doc- 
nne  to  t  le  Netherlands  and  Germany  as  early  as  1655, 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  31 


and  when  William  Penn  made  his  journeys,  a  small  Qua¬ 
ker  community  was  still  in  existence  at  Kriegsheim  (or 
Krisheim),  near  Worms,  in  the  Palatinate.  In  Germany, 
the  Quakers  were  most  successful  among  the  Mennonites, 
especially  in  the  cities  of  Liibeck,  Emden,  Hamburg,  Cre- 
feld,  and  in  the  Palatinate,  so  also  in  the  Schleswig-Holstein 
cities,  Altona  and  Friedrich stadt,  and  in  Danzig,  then 
under  Polish  rule.  All  these  sectarians  suffered  much 
from  the  rulers  of  the  German  principalities,  each  of 
whom  had  the  right,  by  the  treaty  of  Westphalia,  to  es¬ 
tablish  in  his  land  whatever  confession  he  pleased,  and  to 
exclude  all  others.  Even  the  Pietists,  who  were  but  Pro¬ 
testants  with  a  greater  degree  of  inwardness  in  their  re¬ 
ligious  life,  were  denounced  by  the  orthodox  churches  as 
dangerous  innovators.  The  Mystics,  who  in  the  latter  part 
of  the  seventeenth  century  reappeared  in  various  forms, 

were  likened  unto  madmen. 

The  existence  of  these  various  sects,  and,  in  particular, 
the  Pietists  in  Germany,  had  prepared  the  ground  for  the 
sowing  of  such  principles  as  those  of  Penn,  foi  indeed  a 
great  degree  of  similarity  existed  between  the  doctrines 
of  the  Pietist  and  Quaker.  A  higher  valuation  of  emo¬ 
tion  and  spirituality,  as  opposed  to  rationalism  and  dogma, 
characterized  both  of  them  ;  a  life  led  in  imitation  of  the 
Saviour,  a  communing  with  his  spirit,  a  religion  of  the 
heart,  supplanted  the  outward  ritualism  of  an  established 

church. 

The  second  journey  of  William  Penn,  in  1677,  was 
noteworthy  in  history,  disproportionately  to  the  number 
of  conversions  to  the  Society  of  Friends.  Although  Penn 
was  received  with  open  arms  in  the  Pietistic  circle  at 
Frankfort-on-the-Main,  was  listened  to  with  reverence  and 
admiration  by  devoted  hearers  in  the  Rhine  country,  and 


32 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


could  count  among  his  disciples  some  German  women  of 
very  high  social  standing,  still  his  greatest  success,  un¬ 
known  to  him,  was  of  another  kind.  William  Penn’s 
journey  was  destined  to  begin  an  epoch  of  political  and 
social,  far  more  than  religious  movement,  for  it  stirred 
those  waves  of  immigration  that  threatened  to  depopulate 
.southwestern  Germany  and  overrun  the  new  country  that 
W llliam  Penn  was  about  to  open  up  for  colonization  on 
the  banks  of  the  Delaware.  Those  German  sectarians  who 
had  most  appreciated  his  simple  yet  eloquent  sermons  gave 
the  first  impetus  to  the  new  movement.  The  German 
and  Dutch  Mennonites  in  Crefeld  and  Kriegsheim  had 
representatives  in  the  first  shipload  that  went  to  Penn’s 
land. 

The  English  government  owed  Admiral  Penn,  father 
of  William  Penn,  the  sum  of  sixteen  thousand  pounds 
sterling,  for  services  and  the  advances  he  had  made.  In¬ 
stead  of  payment  of  the  debt,  the  son  and  heir  accepted 
the  grant  of  a  large  stretch  of  country  north  of  Maryland, 
which  was  named  Pennsylvania.  This  included  the  land 
that  Peter  Minuit  had  selected  for  New  Sweden,  wisely 
considering  it  best  adapted  to  Germanic  immigration. 
The  royal  charter  was  issued  to  Penn  March  4,  1681, 
shortly  after  which  there  appeared  in  London  a  brief  de¬ 
scription  of  the  new  province:  “Some  account  of  the 
Province  of  Pennsylvania  in  America,”  wherein  the 
favorable  location,  fertile  soil,  wealth  in  game  and  fish, 
as  well  as  other  circumstances  advantageous  to  immi¬ 
grants,  were  duly  set  forth.  A  translation  of  this  book  1 
appeared  in  the  same  year  in  Amsterdam. 


1  The  title  was  Fine  Nachricht  wegen  der  Landsclmft  Pennsylvania  in 
Amenka,  welche  jiingstem  unter  dem  groszen  Siegel  in  England  an  William 
Penn.  u.  s.  w.  ubergeben  warden.  Nebenst  beigefUgtem  ehemaligem  Schreiben 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  38 


The  same  persons  who  were  intimate  with  Penn  on  his 
journey  to  Germany,  in  1677,  became  acquainted  with 
this  book,  and  at  once  began  a  correspondence  with  his 
agent,  Benjamin  Furley.  They  formed  a  company  and 
bought  a  large  tract  of  land  in  Pennsylvania  for  the  pur¬ 
pose  of  immigration.  In  1682  a  young  lawyer,  Francis 
Daniel  Pastorius,  returning  from  extensive  travels,  visited 
Frankfort-on-the-Main.  There  he  became  intimate  with 
the  noted  Pietistic  circle,  including  Dr.  Spener,  Dr. 
Schiitz,  the  notary  Fenda,  Jacob  Van  cle  Walle,  Maxi¬ 
milian  Lersner,  Eleonore  von  Merlau,  and  Maria  Juliana 
Bauer.  While  with  them  he  frequently  heard  mention  of 
the  name  of  William  Penn,  and  also  saw  letters  of  Benja¬ 
min  Furley  and  the  printed  account  of  Penn’s  province. 
They  soon  disclosed  the  secret  of  their  purchase  of  fifteen 
thousand  acres  in  that  remote  district,  and  the  purpose  of 
some  of  their  number  to  migrate  thither  with  their  fami¬ 
lies.  “  This  begat,”  says  Pastorius,  “  a  desire  in  my  soul 
to  continue  in  their  society  and  with  them  to  lead  a  quiet, 
godly,  and  honest  life  in  a  howling  wilderness.”  1  These 
were  the  beginnings  of  the  Frankfort  Company,  that  later 
extended  its  purchases  to  twenty-five  thousand  acres,  a 
share  of  five  thousand  acres  costing  one  hundred  pounds. 
The  members  of  the  company  were  originally  Dr.  Schiitz, 
Jacob  Van  de  Walle,  Kaspar  Merian,  Wilhelm  Ueberfeldt, 
Daniel  Behagel,  all  of  Frankfort,  besides  Georg  Strausz, 
Johann  Laurentz,  and  Abraham  Hasevoet.  There  were 
several  changes  of  membership  in  course  of  time."  Though 

des  oberwahnten  William  Penn.  In  Amsterdam  gedruckt  bei  Christoph 
Conraden,  1681.  The  same  hook  was  also  printed  in  Frankfort  as  part  of 
the  larger  work  :  Diarium  Europaeum. 

1  Cf.  German  American  Annals ,  vol.  v,  no.  5,  p.  288  ;  M.  L).  Learned,  The 
Life  of  Franz  Daniel  Pastorius,  Founder  of  Germantown. 

2  The  names  of  Merian,  Strausz,  Laurentz,  Ueherfeldt,  and  Hasevoet 


34 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


all  were  very  enthusiastic  about  the  plan  of  immigration, 
none  of  the  members  ever  came  to  America  with  the 
exception  of  Pastorius,  who  soon  was  appointed  agent  of 
the  company  in  America. 

The  first  actual  immigrants  were  Mennonites  from  Cre- 
feld,  some  of  whom  had  become  converts  to  Quakerism 
through  the  preaching  of  William  Penn,  while  most  of 
the  others  joined  the  Society  of  Friends  in  America.  There 
were  thirteen  heads  of  families,  the  greater  part  inter¬ 
related  by  blood  or  marriage  ties.1  Pastorius,  acting  as  the 
agent  of  the  Frankfort  Company,  first  visited  Kriegsheim 
and  looked  after  matters  necessary  for  the  long  journey,2 
with  the  leaders,  Peter  Schumacher,  Gerhard  Hendricks, 
and  others,  after  which  he  descended  the  Rhine  to  Crefeld. 
He  took  ship  in  advance  of  the  others,  and  landed  in 
Philadelphia  on  the  20th  of  August,  1683. 

Six  weeks  later,  Benjamin  Furley  had  arranged  at 
Rotterdam  for  the  transportation  of  the  first  shipload  of 
Germans.  The  Mayflower  of  the  German  immigrants  to 
America  was  the  good  ship  Concord ,  appropriately  named, 


dropped  out,  their  shares  being  bought  by  Pastorius,  Eleonore  von  Merlau 
(who  had  now  become  the  wife  of  the  theologian  Petersen),  Balthasar 
Jawert,  and  Johann  Ivembler  of  Liibeck,  and  Dr.  Gerhard  of  Maastricht 
(syndic  of  Bremen),  Johann  Lebrun  and  Thomas  Wylich  of  VVesel  A 
number  of  these  were  acquainted  with  William  Penn. 

,  '  rJ,'he  nameis  of  the  tllirteen  heads  of  families  were  as  follows  :  Dirck 
Abraham  and  Hermann  Op  den  Graff,  Lenert  Arets,  Timers  Kunders! 
Bemert  Pisen,  Wilhelm  Strepers,  Jan  Lensen,  Peter  Keurlis,  Jan  Simens, 
Johann  Bleikers,  Abraham  Times,  and  Jan  Liicken 

e  ^  ^  land  °f  William  Penn  independently,  to  the 

extent  of  iS,000  acres  :  Jacob  Telner  5000,  Jan  Strepers  5000,  Dirck  Sip- 

1000  5  S’0’  5  *6nt  \°°°’  JaC°b  ISaaC  Van  Bebber  1000’  Lenerfc  Arets 

•  pnian  and  Remke  did  not  emigrate;  Arets  in  1683,  Telner,  who  had 
previousiy  been  in  America,  1684,  Van  Bebber,  1687,  Jan  Strepers,  1691 
The  , mm, grants  from  Kriegsheim  (Krisheim)  arrived  in  Pennsylvania 

^rdH^re’in  1685’Were  SchumaelLTid 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  35 


being  the  bearer  of  a  devoutly  religious  and  peaceful  com¬ 
pany  to  the  City  of  Brotherly  Love,  within  the  territory 
of  the  Holy  Experiment.  Captain  Jeffreys  commanded 
the  Concord,  a  well-built  and  roomy  vessel  of  the  W est  In¬ 
dian  service.  Five  pounds,  one-half  fare  for  children  under 
twelve,  was  the  rate  for  which  they  were  carried  over. 
They  left  Gravesend  July  24,  1683,  and  arrived  in  Phil¬ 
adelphia  after  a  moderately  long  but  safe  journey,  on  Oc¬ 
tober  6,  1683,  the  date  celebrated  by  all  Germans  in 
America  as  the  beginning  of  their  history  in  the  United 
States. 

Pastorius,  who  had  sailed  six  weeks  before  from  Deal, 
England,  was  accompanied  by  a  handful  of  immigrants, 
men  and  women  of  the  serving  class,  some  of  whom  later 
became  property  holders  in  Germantown.1  On  board  ship 
Pastorius  met  one  who  immediately  became  his  fast  friend, 
the  Welsh  physician,  Thomas  Lloyd,  scholar  of  Jesus  Col- 
lege,  Oxford.2  With  him  he  conversed  in  Latin,  a  charac¬ 
teristic  accomplishment  of  the  scholars  of  that  day,  Lloyd 
not  being  able  to  speak  German,  nor  Pastorius  to  converse 
in  English  at  that  time. 

In  the  City  of  Brotherly  Love,  William  Penn  received 
the  German  pioneer  with  loving  kindness.  Another  close 
friend  was  Penn’s  secretary,  Lehenmann.  “  The  governor 
often  summons  me  to  dine  with  him  ”  (Penn),  wrote  Pas¬ 
torius  subsequently.  “  As  I  was  recently  absent  from 
home  a  week,  he  came  himself  to  visit  me  and  bade  me 
dine  with  him  twice  every  week,  and  declared  to  his  coun- 

1  Their  mimes  were  i  James  Schumacher,  Georg  "Wertm  tiller,  Isaac 
Dilbeck,  his  wife  and  two  boys  (Abraham  and  Jacob),  Thomas  Gasper, 
Conrad  Bacher  (alias  Rutter),  and  an  English  maid,  Frances  Simpson.  The 
ship  was  called  America. ,  Captain  Wasey.  Cf.  Seidensticker,  JBilder  aus  det 
deutscJi-pennsylvanischen  Geschichte ,  p.  38. 

2  Later,  president  of  the  Provincial  Council;  died  in  1694. 


36 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


sellois  that  li6  loved  me  and  the  High  Germans  very 
much  and  wished  them  to  do  so  likewise.”  The  city  of 
Philadelphia  had  heen  laid  out  but  two  years  before 
and  consisted  then  of  a  few  poorly  built  houses.  “  The 
rest,  Pas  tonus  remarked,  “  was  woods  and  brushwood, 
in  which  I  lost  my  way  several  times  in  an  area  no  greater 
than  that  between  the  river  bank  and  the  house  of  my 
friend,  William  Hudson.  A  striking  impression  this  made 

upon  me,  coming  from  London,  Paris,  Amsterdam,  and 
Ghent.” 

After  the  Concord  arrived,  the  first  problem  was  to  se¬ 
lect  a  location  for  the  German  colonists.  They  had  pur¬ 
chased  the  right  of  occupying  in  all  forty-three  thousand 
acres,  and  asked  for  a  site  on  a  navigable  river,  as  their 
contract  demanded.  But  since  Penn  was  not  willing  to 
carry  out  the  latter  condition,2  they  finally  found  available 
a  tract  about  six  miles  above  Philadelphia,  which  is  at 
Present  m  the  twenty-second  ward  of  the  city  and  bears 
still  the  original  name  of  Germantown.3  Pastorius  recorded 
m  his  “Grund  und  Lagerbuch  ”  that  “the  hardships  and 
trials  of  the  early  settlers  were  great,  only  equalled  by  their 
Christian  endurance  and  indefatigable  industry,  so  that 
Germantown  in  the  early  days  could  well  be  called  ‘  Armen- 
town,  *  ‘ the  city  of  the  poor.’”  Of  his  temporary  dwelling 
astorius  tells  us  it  was  thirty  feet  long  and  fifteen  broach 
and  the  windows,  because  of  the  lack  of  glass,  were  of 
paper  soaked  with  oil ;  but  over  the  house-door  was  writ- 


b^Sr  aCreS  PUrChaSed  by  the  Frankfort  CoiW>  “d 
voj.  twtZT of  Penn’s  position’ cf-  ^ 

I  f°r  the  laying’°ut  of  the  township  was  October  24  1683 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  37 


ten  a  symbol  of  the  good  cheer  within :  “  Parva  domus 
sed  arnica  bonis,  procul  este  prophani.”  1 

The  first  settlers  were  mostly  weavers  from  Crefeld. 
Their  industry  soon  led  to  the  opening  of  a  store  in  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  for  the  sale  of  their  wares.  Many  had  also  been 
accustomed  to  growing  the  vine,  and  when  they  saw  the 
wild  grape,  they  grew  hopeful  of  establishing  vineyards. 
The  people  of  Germantown  raised  flax  with  great  success, 
for  Pastorius  tells  us  that  the  prosperity  of  the  young 
city  was  largely  due  to  flax-spinning  and  weaving.  There 
came  many  accessions  from  Crefeld,  Miihlheim,  and  Kriegs- 
heim,  such  colonists  as  Captain  John  Smith  would  have 
welcomed  in  Jamestown,  mostly  tradesmen,  weavers,  tail¬ 
ors,  shoemakers,  locksmiths,  and  carpenters,  who  along 
with  their  trades  also  applied  themselves  to  cultivating  the 
soil.  As  early  as  November,  1684,  there  was  a  sale  at  the 
Philadelphia  store,  over  which  Pastorius  was  overseer,  in 
the  interests  of  the  Frankfort  Company.  Small  were  the 
beginnings,  to  be  sure,  the  sales  of  the  first  year  amount- 
in  o'  to  only  ten  dollars,  for  the  times  were  hard,  and  the 
new  immigrants  were  generally  supplied  with  clothes  enough 
to  last  them  for  several  years.  But  soon  the  reputation  of 
the  well-woven  goods  of  Germantown  spread  far  and  wide, 
and  there  was  a  large  demand  for  them,  coming  from  the 
outside,  resulting  in  increased  industrial  activity.2 

i  Pastorius  liimself  translates  the  motto  into  German  :  — 

Klein  ist  mein  Haus, 

Doch  Gute  sieht  es  gern, 

Wer  gottlos  ist,  derbleibe  fern. 

“  Whereat  the  Governor,  Penn,  when  he  visited  it,  enjoyed  a  hearty  laugh 

and  encouraged  me  to  continue  building. 

^  William  Bradford,  1692,  printed  a  poem  by  Richard  Frame,  “A  Short 
Description  of  Pennsylvania,”  in  which  occur  the  lines  :  — 

The  German  Town  of  which  I  spoke  before, 

Which  is  at  least  in  length  one  mile  and  more, 


38  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

Germantown  has  the  honor  of  establishing  the  first  paper 
mill  in  the  colonies.  Wilhelm Ruttinghausen  (Rittenhouse) 
of  Arnheim,  Holland,  with  his  two  sons,  Claus  and  Ger¬ 
hard,  settled  on  a  brook  running  into  the  Wissahickon, 
and  there  built  a  paper  mill  in  1690.  The  art  of  making 
paper  was  a  family  possession,  their  ancestors  having 
already  distinguished  themselves  therein  at  home.  The 
paper  was  of  excellent  quality  and  the  business,  later  in 
Claus  Ruttinghausen’s  charge,  expanded  to  an  extraor¬ 
dinary  degree. 

In  a  few  years  the  number  of  inhabitants  in  German¬ 
town  had  increased  to  such  an  extent  that  additions  were 
made  to  the  town.  Krisheim  (Kriegsheim)  with  884  acres, 
Sommerhausen  with  900,  Crefeld  with  1166  were  added 
to  the  2750  acres  of  Germantown.  All  these  places  were 
on  the  same  road,  Germantown  being  the  southernmost, 
nearest  to  Philadelphia,  while  Crefeld  was  beyond  Chest¬ 
nut  Hill,  in  the  present  Montgomery  County.  In  German¬ 
town,  the  road,  sixty  feet  broad,  ran  through  the  middle 
of  the  straggling  city  and  was  bordered  by  peach  trees. 
Each  dwelling  had  a  vegetable  and  flower  garden  of  three 
acres  attached  to  it.  A  cross-street,  forty  feet  in  width, 
cut  the  principal  street  at  right  angles  and  at  the  crossing 
there  was  an  open  market-place.  The  fields  lay  north  and 
south  of  the  city.  In  a  remarkably  short  time  the  stillness 
of  the  primeval  forest  was  broken  by  the  droning  noise  of 
mill-wheels,  the  whirring  of  the  weaver’s  shuttle,  and  the 
merry  shouts  of  blue-eyed  children.  The  forests  were  re¬ 
placed  by  orchards,  vineyards,  and  vegetable  gardens 
dotted  with  flowers  and  beehives.  Pastorius  himself,  like 

Where  live  High  German  people  and  Low  Dutch, 
hose  trade  in  weaving  Linnin  cloth  is  much: 

Ihere  grows  the  flax.  .  ,  . 

Seidensticker,  p.  50. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  39 


many  a  “Latin  farmer”  of  the  later  periods,  seeing  the 
busy  tradesmen  and  agriculturists  about  him,  regretted 
the  uselessness  of  book-learning,  declaring  mournfully, 
“  never  have  metaphysics  and  Aristotelian  logic  made  of  a 
savage  a  Christian,  far  less  earned  a  loaf  of  bread.” 

Germantown  was  incorporated  as  a  town  on  August  12, 
16S9.  The  first  burgomaster  was  Pastorius,  and  he  served 
in  the  same  capacity  in  1692,  1696,  and  1697.  At  other 
times  he  was  generally  city  clerk,  or  scrivener,  for  which 
office  his  skillful  and  accurate  pen  well  qualified  him.  Other 
burgomasters  were  Dirck  Op  den  Graeff,  Arnold  Cassel, 
Reinert  Tisen,  Daniel  Falckner.  A  public  office  was  felt 
to  be  a  burden  in  the  idyllic  days  of  Germantown,  though 
the  terms  of  office  were  not  long.  A  Mennonite  might, 
because  of  his  religion,  be  excused  from  holding  office,  but 
otherwise  a  citizen  was  fined  three  pounds  on  refusal  to 
accept  an  election.1  Pastorius  wrote  in  1703  to  William 
Penn,  complaining  of  the  difficulty  of  getting  his  people 
to  serve  as  public  officers,  and  expressing  the  hope  that 
the  arrival  of  new  immigrants  might  relieve  the  situation. 
Fines  and  importations  becoming  necessary  to  secure  office¬ 
holders,  seems  an  embarrassment  almost  inconceivable 
to  later  generations  of  men,  yet  this  historical  fact  empha¬ 
sizes  a  trait  often  exhibited  by  the  Germans  in  the  United 
States.2 

Just  as  Germantown  in  its  early  period  "was  not  trou¬ 
bled  with  office-seekers,  so  criminals  were  rare  within  its 
hallowed  precincts.  Sessions  of  court  took  place  every  six 
weeks,  and  frequently  they  were  adjourned  because  there 

1  December  1,  1694,  Paul  Wulff  was  elected  clerk,  but  declining  without 
good  cause,  he  was  fined  three  pounds  by  the  General  Court.  Cf.  German 
American  Annals,  N.  S.,  vol.  vi,  no.  1,  p.  10. 

2  Cf.  Part  ii,  Chapter  iv,  “  Political  Influence  of  the  German  Element  in 
the  United  States.” 


40 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


was  nothing  to  clo.  Routine  business,  sales,  purchases,  con¬ 
tracts,  etc.,  were  but  rarely  interrupted  by  punishments, 
tines  at  the  worst,  for  the  neglect  of  fences,  concerning 
which  Germantown  citizens  were  very  particular  (an  ex¬ 
ample  of  speedy  Americanization,  since  they  had  no  fences 
at  home),  or  for  allowing  cattle  to  stray,  or  for  an  occa¬ 
sional  case  of  drunkenness.  The  records,  by  accident  per¬ 
haps,  tell  us  that  beer  was  brewed  in  the  early  days  of 
Germantown.  Peter  Keurlis,  in  May,  1695,  was  sum¬ 
moned  before  court,  because  he  had,  on  an  inn-keeper’s 
license,  kept  a  saloon.  Pie  was  the  same  that  had  been 
granted  the  privilege  of  selling  a  quantity  of  beer  brewed 
for  a  fair  that  had  not  been  held.1  It  is  interesting  to  note 
that  the  law-makers  of  Germantown  restricted  the  sale  of 
intoxicants,  limiting  the  same  purchaser  during  a  half-day 
to  a  quarter  of  a  pint  of  rum  or  a  quart  of  beer.  It  must 
not  be  supposed,  however,  that  Germantown  wTas  the  scene 
of  frequent  intoxication.  In  half  a  dozen  years  hardly  a 
single  case  of  drunkenness  was  recorded,  though  every 
detail  seems  to  have  been  put  down,  as  for  instance,  when 
Muller  was  imprisoned  for  wishing  to  smoke  one  hundred 
Pipes  of  tobacco  in  one  day  as  the  result  of  a  wager,  or 
when  Caspar  Karsten  called  the  policeman  a  rogue.2 

In  the  year  1693  Pastorius  and  Peter  Schumacher  were 
commissioned  to  procure  stocks  for  the  public  punishment 
of  offenders.  Very  little  use  seems  to  have  been  made  cf 
them.  Again,  in  the  minutes  of  1697,  we  read  that  Arndt 
Klincken  gave  his  old  house  for  use  as  a  prison.  No  more 
convincing  proof,  however,  of  the  Arcadian  conditions  of 
this  early  German  settlement  could  be  cited  than  the  min- 


1  This  happened  in  November,  1695.  Peter  Keurlis  was,  in  all  probabil¬ 
ity,  the  first  beer-brewer  in  the  American  colonies. 

2  See  Seidensticker,  chap,  viii,  “Aus  der  Gericktsstube,”  Bilder  aus  der 
aeutsch-pennsylvanischen  Geschichte,  pp.  59-62. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  41 

ute :  ‘‘All  crimes  that  have  been  committed  previous  to 
this  date  are  to  be  forgiven,  but  whatever  evil  happens 
henceforward  shall  be  punished.”  1 

A  court  seal  being  found  desirable,  Pastorius  was  com¬ 
missioned  to  prepare  the  design.  He  selected  a  clover  leaf 
on  the  three  leaves  of  which  were  sketched  respectively 
a  vine,  a  flax  blossom,  and  a  weaver’s  shuttle,  with  the 
motto:  “  Vinum,  Linurn  et  Textrinum.”  2  Annual  fairs 
were  held  in  1701  or  before,  and  semi-annual  fairs  in 
1702,  1704,  and  continuously  thereafter  in  the  spring 
and  autumn.3 

Pastorius  had  frequently  desired  to  lay  down  the  cares 
of  public  office,  and  when  the  Frankfort  Company  in  time 
relieved  him,  the  result  was  not  altogether  favorable  to 
the  company’s  interests.  It  was  in  January,  1700,  when 
Daniel  Falckner,  Johann  Kelpius,  and  Johann  Jawert 
were  appointed  agents  of  the  company  with  full  power. 
Kelpius,  hermit  and  mystic,  was  not  concerned  with  the 
affairs  of  this  world.  Falckner  was  a  mischief  maker,  and 
Jawert,  the  only  happy  choice  among  the  three,  was  an 
honest  man  imposed  upon.4  In  October,  1701,  Falckner 

1  Minutes  of  the  year  1697.  See  Seidensticker,  supra,  chap,  vii,  p.  65. 
“Alle  Strafen,  welche  gefallen  sein  in  vorige  Zeit,  sollen  alle  vergeben  sein, 
aber  was  nun  fortan  vorfallt,  soil  exekutirt  werden.” 

2  Pastorius  translates  this,  “  Der  Wein,  der  Lein  und  der  Webeschrein,” 
in  order  to  denote,  as  he  declared,  that  in  Germantown  the  principal  occupa¬ 
tions  were  :  viniculture,  flax-growing,  and  textile  industries.  Another  trans¬ 
lation  has  been  made  by  Seidensticker,  to  the  effect  that  agriculture,  manu¬ 
factures,  and  the  merry  enjoyment  of  life  were  in  Germantown  and  have 
been  for  two  centuries  thereafter,  in  the  United  States,  the  characteristic 
modes  of  activity  of  the  German  immigrants. 

3  Perhaps  the  county  fair  which  has  come  down  to  us  is  a  survival  of  the 
Pennsylvania  German  “  Jahrmarkt.” 

4  Sachse,  German  Sectarians  of  Pennsylvania,  gives  a  very  sympathetic 
account  of  Daniel  Falckner,  who  is  generally,  perhaps,  not  given  entire 
justice.  His  service  to  Germantown  was  to  stir  it  up  out  of  its  ruts,  and  to 
the  Frankfort  Company  to  insist  on  the  measuring  of  the  remaining  22,025 


42 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  Jawert,  as  agents,  energetically  pressed  the  claim  for 
the  land  to  which  the  Frankfort  Company  was  entitled  by 
the  terms  of  the  original  purchase.  This  tract  of  twenty- 
two  thousand  and  twenty-five  acres,  when  assigned,  was 
located  in.  the  northwestern  part  of  Montgomery  County, 
JSew  Hanover  Township,  on  the  Manatawny  River,  which 
flows  into  the  Schuylkill  at  Pottstown.  It  became  known 
as  Falckner’s  Swamp,  and  later  was  sold  to  Johann  Hein¬ 
rich  Sprogel,  at  a  ridiculously  low  figure.  The  sale  was 
concluded  by  Falckner,  who,  it  seems,  owed1  Sprogel 
some  money,  while  Jawert  was  duped,  or  kept  unin¬ 
formed.  Jawert  complained  that  he  had  not  been  con¬ 
sulted  in  this  somewhat  obscure  transaction. 

A  panic  was  caused  by  the  adventurer  Sprogel,  in  1708, 
when  he  attempted  to  dispossess  a  great  many  of  the  Ger¬ 
mantown  settlers  of  their  lands,  claiming  that  he  owned 
the  only  correct  title  by  virtue  of  his  purchase  of  the 
Frankfort  Company’s  rights.  The  settlers  appealed  to  Pas- 
torius,  who  was  always  the  deliverer  in  time  of  trouble, 
and  Pastorius  hastened  to  Philadelphia.  He  found  that 
“  aH  of  the  lawyers  of  the  city  were  feed,”  which  meant 
that  all  four  of  the  lawyers  residing  in  Philadelphia  had 
been  engaged  in  behalf  of  Sprogel’s  side  of  the  case. 
Pastorius,  not  affluent  enough  to  import  an  advocate  from 
New  York,  consulted  his  friend,  James  Logan,  and  with 


acres,  which,  however,  he  lost  again  for  the  company,  through  sale.  Daniel 
Falckner  s  later  career  was  a  useful  one,  as  pioneer  and  minister  in  New 
eisey  and  New  York.  He  had  also  been  the  founder  of  the  first  Lutheran 
church  in  Falckner  s  Swamp  district  (Manatawny).  Daniel  must  not  be  con¬ 
founded  with  Justus  I  a  ckner,  ordained  in  the  Swedish  Lutheran  church  at 
Wicacoa  and  beloved  minister  in  New  York  and  along  the  Hudson,  1703  -23 

S6rVed  hlS  PariSh  f°r  a  Sh°rt  ^  W 

rbv  SI  The  C^se  of  tJ’e  Frankfort  Company’s  Business  briefly  stated” 
(by  Pastorius),  German  American  Annals,  vol.  v,  no.  6,  pp.  353  ff. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  43 


the  straightforward  testimony  of  Jawert,  the  injustice  of 
the  plot  was  exposed  and  the  difficulties  removed.  While 
the  settlers  of  Germantown  retained  their  rights  to  their 
property,  Sprogel  remained  in  possession  of  Falckner’s 
Swamp,  which  was  by  no  means  what  the  name  implies, 
but  good  land,  constituting,  as  above  stated,  the  remain¬ 
ing  portion  of  the  Frankfort  Company’s  land,  about  seven 
eighths  of  the  twenty-five  thousand  acres  originally  pur¬ 
chased  from  William  Penn. 

Germantown  maintained  its  independent  government 
until  1707.  In  that  year  George  Lowther,  the  queen’s 
attorney,  summarily  dismissed  the  town’s  court  and  the 
newly  elected  officers.  There  were  mild  protests,  but  no 
serious  regrets,  since  the  citizens  of  Germantown  were 
thereby  relieved  of  at  least  one  tax,  having  previously,  in 
spite  of  their  complaints,  been  required  to  pay  a  three¬ 
fold  tax,  viz. :  for  the  province,  for  the  county  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  and  for  their  own  municipality.  When  the  old 
accounts  were  closed,  the  treasury  of  Germantown  still 
owed  Pastorius  two  pounds  fourteen  shillings,  and,  judg¬ 
ing  by  the  carefully  kept  books  of  Pastorius,  that  debt 
was  never  paid.  This  is  an  illustration  among  many  of  the 
unselfishness  with  which  Pastorius  did  his  work.  He  was 
in  every  respect  a  public-spirited  man,  the  “  Bradford  ”  of 
Germantown,  and  it  is  well  to  pause  a  moment  for  closer 
acquaintance  with  this  interesting  man.1 

Franz  Daniel  Pastorius  was  born  in  Sommerhausen,  in 
1651,  the  son  of  a  jurist  of  prominence.  He  studied  at 
the  Universities  of  Altdorf,  Strassburg,  Basel,  and  Jena. 
Besides  his  special  training  in  law  and  theology  he  was 

1  Seidensticker,  Bilder  aus  dev  deutsch-pennsylvanischen  Geschichte,  iv,  xi, 
u.  xii,  Abschnitt.  An  exhaustive  treatment  of  Pastorius’  life  and  work,  by 
Professor  M.  D.  Learned,  has  appeared  in  German  American  Annals, 
vols.  v  and  vi. 


44 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


a  polylinguist,  and  probably  no  man  among  his  contempo¬ 
raries  in  America  was  bis  equal,  certainly  not  his  superior, 
in  classical  culture  and  encyclopaedic  learning.  He  was 
remarkable  as  a  statistician,  noting  every  fact  of  knowledge 
or  experience  with  characteristic  accuracy  and  neatness, 
an  evidence  of  which  is  his  scrap-book  called  the  “  Bee- 
Hive,”  still  preserved  and  treasured  by  his  descendants.1 
Of  his  other  works  the  best  known  is  his  description  of 
Pennsylvania,  a  collection  of  his  letters  and  reports,  sent 
to  his  father,  Melchior  Adam  Pastorius,  and  by  him  col¬ 
lected  in  book  form  and  published  in  1700.3 

But  better  than  his  learning,  that  if  chronicled  at  the 
present  day  might  smack  of  pedantry  (if  not  put  us  to 
shame),  was  his  exemplary  character.  He  was  the  main¬ 
stay  of  the  colony,  the  chief  cause  of  its  initial  success. 
The  prosperity  of  Germantown  was  his  life-work,  exclud¬ 
ing  ever  the  thought  of  personal  gain,  or  the  feverish 
appetite  for  land  speculation.  He  served  the  colony  as 
burgomaster  and  town  clerk,  and  at  all  times  as  notary, 
his  handwriting  being  visible  in  all  public  and  private 
documents,  for  which  he  exacted  fees  lamentably  small. 
Nevertheless  he  was  self-respecting,  and  while  not  wealthy, 
was  able  at  his  death,  in  1719,  to  leave  his  widow  and 

Exact  title  .  Francis  Daniel  Pastorius ,  His  Hive ,  Beestock  ( Bienenstock ), 
Meiliotrophium,  Alvear  or  Rusca  Apum ;  begun  A.  d.  1696.  Most  of  the 
matter  is  written  in  English,  for  Pastorius  had  gained  a  mastery  of  the  lan¬ 
guage.  Historical,  literary,  geographical,  didactic,  sententious,  and  epi¬ 
grammatic  articles  and  notes  to  the  number  of  5000  are  loosely  strung 
together.  Verses  (doggerel,  more  strictly  speaking),  in  English,  Latin,  Gert 
man,  French,  Dutch,  Italian,  vary  the  monotony  of  this  queer  hive  of 
pedantic  learning.  A  facsimile  of  one  of  the  pages  is  reproduced  in  Ameri¬ 
cana  Germanica,  vol.  i,  part  4,  and  copious  extracts  are  published  in  vols.  i 
and  ii. 

2  Umstandige  Geographische  Beschreibung  der  zu  allerletzt  Erfundene 
Provintz  Pennsylvania  an  denen  End-Grdntzen  Americae  in  der  West-  Welt 
gelegen.  Frankfurt  und  Leipzig,  1700. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  45 


two  sons  a  respectable  property.  Besides  being  a  public 
officer  in  Germantown,  and  a  member  of  the  assembly 
(which  with  the  provincial  council  was  the  legislative 
power  of  the  colonial  government)  in  1687  and  1691,  he 
was  the  leader  in  educational  matters. 

In  1698  he  was  called  to  the  Quaker  School  in  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  which  he  served  until  1700.  Two  years  after, 
when  a  school  was  established  in  Germantown,  Pastorius 
became  its  head.  The  latter,  a  coeducational  institution, 
was  supported  by  a  fixed  rate,  four  to  sixpence  a  week  as 
the  scholar’s  fee,  while  several  citizens  besides  made  volun¬ 
tary  contributions.  A  night  school  was  established  for 
such  as  labored  during  the  day  or  were  too  far  advanced 
in  years  for  the  day  school. 

However  distinct  and  valuable  were  the  material  con¬ 
tributions,  such  as  its  agriculture,  its  paper  manufacture, 
its  weaving  and  milling  industries,  the  German  settle¬ 
ment  in  colonial  Pennsylvania  was  still  more  remarkable 
for  another  feature,  —  a  monument  built  more  endur¬ 
ing  than  brass,  erected  for  the  cause  of  humanity,  that 
will  make  Germantown  forever  memorable  in  the  annals 
of  the  people  of  the  United  States.  This  was  German¬ 
town’s  protest  against  negro  slavery,  made  in  the  year 
1688,  the  first  formal  action  ever  taken  against  the 
barter  in  human  flesh  within  the  boundaries  of  the  United 
States.1  The  system  of  negro  slavery  was  repulsive  to 
the  German  settlers  from  the  very  start,  and  they  were 
shocked  to  find  that  the  Quakers  remained  indifferent 
toward  this  criminal  abuse.  They  failed  to  understand  how 
the  Quakers  could  harmonize  slavery  with  their  religion, 

1  E.  Bettle,  in  his  Notices  of  Negro  Slavery  in  America:  “To  this  body  of 
humble,  unpretending  and  almost  unnoticed  philanthropists  belongs  the  honor 
of  having  been  the  first  association  who  ever  remonstrated  against  Negro 
slavery.”  Quoted  by  Seidensticker,  supra,  p.  67. 


46  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

and  hoping  to  awaken  them  from  their  stupor,  the  German 
settlers  appealed  to  the  Quakers’  sense  of  honor,  their 
pride  and  vaunted  humanity.  The  protest  had  its  origin 
in  a  gathering  of  Germans  who  met  on  the  18th  of  April, 
1688,  in  Germantown.  A  document,  still  preserved,  was 
drawn  up,  in  the  handwriting  of  Pastorius,  and  signed  by 
Garret  Hendericks,  Franz  Daniel  Pastorius,  DirckOp  den 
Graeff,  and  Abraham  Op  den  Graeff.  Addressed  to  the 
monthly  meeting  of  the  Quakers,  about  to  take  place 
in  Richard  Worrell  s  house,  Lower  Dublin,  its  design  was 
to  bring  the  matter  of  slavery  before  that  gathering  for 
debate  and  action.  The  monthly  gathering  of  the  30th  of 
April  deemed  the  matter  of  such  importance  that  they 
could  not  pretend  to  take  action  upon  it.  They  referred  it 
to  the  quarterly  meeting,  as  the  content  of  the  protest 
“was  quite  in  accord  with  the  truth.”  The  quarterly 
meeting,  held  in  June,  acted  similarly,  considering  the 
case  too  important  for  their  action  and  appointing  a&com- 
mittee  to  lay  the  protest  before  the  annual  meeting,  the 
highest  tribunal  of  the  Quakers.  The  annual  meeting  oc¬ 
curred  in  the  same  year,  when  “the  document  protesting 
against  the  buying  and  keeping  of  negro  slaves,  received 
rom  several  German  Friends,”  was  acknowledged,  but  it 
was  voted  not  fitting  for  the  association  to  pass  definite  iudg- 
ment  upon  the  matter,  since  it  stood  in  intimate  relatioli 
with  other  affairs..  The  whole  matter  was  laid  on  the  table 
for  the  nonce,  a  diplomatic  evasion.  Seventeen  years  later 
the  Quakers  did  make  resolutions  against  the  slave  trade 
and  in  1770  the  Friends  were  advised  never  to  appoint 
slaveholders  as  overseers.  The  German  Quakers  may  be 
considered  the  radical  wing  of  the  Quakers  at  that  early 
period,  on  the  question  of  abolition. 

The  settlement  of  Germantown  remained  a  German  city. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  47 

William  Penn  had  preached  there  in  the  German  language 
in  1683,  and  in  1793  President  Washington  attended  a 
German  service  in  the  Reformed  church,  the  epidemic  of 
yellow  fever  in  Philadelphia  compelling  him  to  remove  his 
residence  for  a  time  to  Germantown.  The  city  became 
ever  more  prominent  as  the  base  for  distribution  of  Ger¬ 
man  immigration  to  the  counties  of  Montgomery,  Berks, 
Lebanon,  York,  Bucks,  Lehigh,  and  Northampton.  It 
long  remained  the  centre  of  German  culture,  whence  books 
and  German  newspapers  were  distributed  to  German  coun¬ 
ties  and  settlements.  The  printing-press  of  Christopher 
Sauer,  that  remained  in  operation  for  a  period  of  forty 
years,  will  be  mentioned  later.1  The  industrial  activities 
and  the  semi-annual  fairs  of  Germantown,  the  latter 
planned  for  both  business  and  pleasure,  served  as  models 
for  other  settlements.  Such  was  Germantown  in  the 
eighteenth  century.  In  the  nineteenth,  the  rural  charm  of 
the  location  began  to  attract  the  wealthy  citizens  of  Phil¬ 
adelphia.  The  original  aspect  of  the  place  was  lost,  and 
even  the  names  of  the  pioneers,  as  Liicken,  Schumacher, 
Jansen,  Kunders,  survive  only  in  an  English  disguise,  as 
Lukens,  Shoemaker,  Johnson,  Conrads,  many  of  the 
present  inhabitants  knowing  naught  of  their  German 
origin. 

In  concluding  this  chapter  on  the  Germantown  settle¬ 
ment,  a  serious  omission  would  be  the  failure  to  note  the 
arrival  of  a  group  of  men,  who  were  noted  as  Mystics. 
Their  leader  was  Johann  Kelpius ;  others  were  Koster, 
Falckner,  Seelig,  and  Matthai.  They  believed  in  bodily 
translation  to  realms  beyond  at  the  moment  of  death,  con¬ 
ditioned  on  their  keeping  firmly  attached  to  their  faith. 
Bearino-  the  conviction  that  the  world  was  coming  to  a 
i  See  Chapter  v,  pp.  143-146. 


48 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

speedy  end,  their  purpose  was  to  await  the  Judgment 
Day  in  the  wilderness  of  North  America,  where&  they 
might,  during  their  last  years,  be  in  closer  communion 
with  the  Divine  Spirit.  Magister  Johann  Jacob  Zimmer- 
mann  was  the  real  founder  of  this  chapter  of  Mystics. 
One  of  the  best  mathematicians  and  astronomers  of 
Europe,  he  died  at  Rotterdam  on  the  eve  of  embarkation 
for  America,  in  1693.  According  to  Zimmermann’s  calcu¬ 
lations  the  millennium  was  to  come  in  the  autumn  of  the 

year  1694,  an  event  he  had  also  expected  to  await  in 
America. 

This  group  of  Mystics,  tarrying  at  Germantown,  lost 
two  of  their  number,  one  of  them  marrying  the  daughter 
of  Zimmermann,  content  to  build  a  terrestrial  home  amono- 
the  peace-loving  Germantown  settlers.  The  others  re- 
mamed  faithful  to  the  higher  call,  following-  Kelpius 
(1694),  who  selected  a  tract  for  settlement  known  as1  the 
Ridge,  then  supposed  to  be  the  highest  point  of  vacant 
and  in  the  neighborhood  of  Germantown,  a  part  of  a 
range  of  hills  drained  by  the  flow  of  the  Wissahickon. 
A  small  natural  cave  was  found  among  the  rocks  of  the 
hillside  and  near  it  gurgled  a  spring.  Kelpius  enlarged 
the  cave  and  made  it  habitable  and  was  wont  to  retire 
within  it  for  prayer  and  contemplation.  The  popular  name 
that  the  mystical  brotherhood  received  was  “  The  Woman 
m  the  Wilderness,”1  though  the  members  themselves 
never  acknowledged  this  name.  One  of  the  members 
Voster,  paid  considerable  attention  to  the  religious  life  of 
the  Germantown  Germans  and  their  English  neighbors 
and  in  Philadelphia  became  involved  in  the  Keithitn  con¬ 
troversy,  which  was  then  agitating  the  Quakers  through- 

‘  “Da®  Wfib  in  der  Wuste.” —  Revelation,  xii,  14. 

16  QuakerS  Petltioned  Eastorius  to  banish  the  Mystics  from  the  colony. 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  49 


out  the  province.  The  sequel  was  a  disagreement  between 
Kelpius  and  Koster,  and  the  withdrawal  of  the  latter 
from  the  Ridge  for  the  purpose  of  founding  a  new 
brotherhood.  A  few  members  of  the  original  community 
and  some  Iveithians  joined  him  in  the  attempt  to  form 
a  new  religious  society,  that  they  located  a  short  distance 
north  of  Germantown,  but  the  movement  was  not  crowned 
with  success,  and  the  defection  of  Koster  is  nowhere 
dignified  with  mention  in  the  writings  of  Kelpius,  Seelig, 
or  Falckner. 

It  must  not  be  supposed  that  the  hermit  on  the  Wis- 
sahickon  and  his  mystical  brotherhood  were  given  ex¬ 
clusively  to  idle  contemplation.  Kelpius  was  a  teacher  of 
children,  Seelig  a  binder  of  books,  and  all  the  rest  sup¬ 
ported  themselves  by  gardening  or  some  other  form  of 
employment,  most  frequently  by  giving  instruction.  One 
of  their  most  curious  functions  was  the  satisfaction  of 
the  popular  craving  for  supernatural  aid.  It  was  char¬ 
acteristic  of  the  age  and  of  the  peasantry  to  appeal  to 
the  stars  and  other  mysterious  agencies  for  favorable 
influence.  The  horoscope  was  firmly  believed  in,  even  by 
intelligent  persons,  and  the  Mystic  chapter,  from  their 
weird  astronomical  tower  on  the  Wissahickon,  cast  horo¬ 
scopes  not  only  at  nativities  of  human  beings,  but  also  at 
the  laying  of  cornerstones  of  important  edifices.1  Before 
planting  or  sowing,  the  advice  of  the  Mystics  was  deemed 

He  said  he  would  refer  the  matter  to  the  proprietor  (Penn),  who  was  soon- 
to  come,  and  admonished  patience.  He  wrote  the  following  lines  : 

Die  Fehler  meiner  Briider 
Sind  mir  zwar  ganz  zuwider 
Doch  wegen  eines  Worts 
Ihr  Zeugniss  zu  vernichten 
Und  freventlich  zu  riehten 
Find  ich  nicht  meines  Orts. 

1  Such  as  the  Swedish  Lutheran  church  at  Wicacoa. 


50 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  value,  and  at  other  times  their  divining-rod  was  called 
into  service  to  incline  toward  hidden  springs  or  indicate 
the  presence  of  precious  metals  under  the  surface  of  the 
earth.1  A  number  of  astrological  instruments,  with  which 
the  brotherhood  was  provided,  ultimately  passed  into  the 
possession  of  the  Philosophical  Society  of  Pennsylvania. 
Another  interesting  superstition  was  their  faith  in  talis¬ 
mans  (Anhangsel).  The  latter  consisted  commonly  of 
small  pieces  of  parchment  or  paper,  or  sometimes  of  thin 
stone  or  metal,  on  which  were  written  some  magic  symbols, 
consecrated  with  occult  ceremonies,  at  moments  when  the 
planets  were  supposed  to  be  of  particular  power.2  The 
talisman  was  supposed  to  be  effectual  in  securing  personal 
safety,  bodily  and  spiritual,  against  accidents  and  evil 
spirits,  or  to  be  possessed  of  magnetic  power,  or  virtue  to 
heal  wounds  and  diseases.  Mystic  healing  powers  were 
attributed  also  to  the  saintlike  Kelpius,  who,  after  the 
brotherhood  became  better  known,  was  visited  by  many 
sectarians  of  Pennsylvania.  Abel  Noble,  the  leader  of  the 
Sabbatarians,  frequently  visited  the  brotherhood  in  their 
tabernacle  in  the  forest,  and  conferences  took  place  also 
with  the  Swedish  pastors,  Rudman  and  Auren.  An  effort 
was  made  by  Kelpius  to  combine  the  numerous  sects  under 
one  church  roof,  in  a  united  Christianity,  but  it  was  with¬ 
out  success.  Conrad  Matthai  was  prominent  in  this  attempt, 
ihe  Moravian  Zinzendorf,  nearly  half  a  century  later,  tried 
again  to  realize  that  glorious  dream,  but  was  likewise 
unsuccessful. 


Sachse,  in  his  youth,  was  shown  a  bed  of  iron  ore,  not  far  from  Ger¬ 
mantown,  which  was  said  to  have  been  located  by  one  of  the  divining-rods 
see  Sachse,  The  German  Pietists  of  Provincial  Pennsylvania,  part  i 

Tohn’sVve  ^  m°St  !n  d6mand  WRS  pr6Pared  at  knight  on  St. 

Johns  Eve  and  buried  for  a  time  where  the  Soimenwend  fire  had  been 

Thi:ze::l  Zii:,\7tTei  to  protect  asai,ist  an  evii  ^ 


THE  FIRST  PERMANENT  SETTLEMENT  51 

Kelpius  lived  until  1708  or  1709,  an  interesting  account 
of  Ins  dying  day  coming  down  to  us  through  an  attend¬ 
ant,  named  Geissler.  Kelpius  suffered  from  the  widespread 
disease  so  well  called  the  white  plague,  and  his  consump¬ 
tive  frame  wasted  away  slowly.  He  pleaded  with  his  Lord 
for  a  transfiguration,  such  as  was  granted  Enoch  and  Elias, 
but  upon  the  third  day  of  his  prayers  he  said  resignedly 
to  his  faithful  famulus  :  “  My  beloved  Daniel,  I  am  not  to 
attain  that  to  which  I  aspired.  I  have  received  my  answer : 
it  is,  that  dust  I  am,  and  to  dust  I  am  to  return.  It  is  or¬ 
dained  that  I  shall  die  like  all  other  children  of  Adam.” 
With  that  the  hermit  handed  Geissler1  a  box  which  he 
told  him  to  cast  into  the  river.  Geissler,  thinking  that  the 
box  might  contain  objects  of  value,  hid  it  away,  but  on 
his  return,  Kelpius  told  him  that  he  had  not  obeyed  his 
behest.  Frightened  by  such  clairvoyance,  Geissler  took  the 
box  and  threw  it  into  the  river,  when  it  flashed  and  thun¬ 
dered  ( geblitzet  unci  gedonnert).  Returning  to  Kelpius, 
the  master  thanked  him.  This  is  an  instance  of  the  faith 
which  people  reposed  in  the  occult  powers  of  the  mystic 
brotherhood. 

The  logical  successor  of  the  hermits  on  the  Wissahickon 
was  the  Ephrata  Community  on  the  banks  of  the  Cocalico,2 
Lancaster  County.  A  branch  of  this  new  society  flourished 
in  Germantown  and  vicinity,  and  a  massive  stone  building 
was  erected  in  1738  on  the  Wissahickon,  a  short  distance 
from  the  spot  where  the  original  tabernacle  stood.  The 
location  is  within  the  confines  of  Fairmount  Park,  where 
an  interesting  history  is  hidden  behind  such  park  signs  as 

1  Geissler,  when  an  old  man,  reported  these  incidents  to  Muhlenberg,  in 
1742.  See  Hallesche  Nachrichten,  pp.  1265-1266.  Reprint  (Philadelphia),  vol. 
ii,  p.  640. 

2  For  an  account  of  the  Ephrata  cloister,  and  its  founder,  Conrad  Beissel, 
see  Chapter  V,  pp.  114-115. 


52 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


“  Hermit  Glen,”  “  Hermit  Bridge,”  “  Hermit  Lane,”  sug¬ 
gesting,  alas,  to  but  few  of  the  thousands  of  daily  visitors, 
the  memory  of  the  ancient  hermit  of  the  Wissahickon. 

With  the  settlement  of  Germantown  in  1683  and  its 
increasing  prosperity,  the  Germans  had  gained,  by  the  end 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  a  permanent  foothold  on 
American  soil.  Located  close  to  Philadelphia,  the  leading 
port  of  entry,  and  founded  just  in  advance  of  the  larger 
migrations  of  the  eighteenth  century,  Germantown  served 
as  a  base  for  the  distribution  of  the  German  people  over 
the  area  most  favorable,  through  climatic  and  natural  con¬ 
ditions,  for  the  increase  of  their  race.  They  fully  availed 
themselves  of  this  splendid  opportunity,  as  will  be  told  in 
succeeding  chapters. 


CHAPTER  III 


INCREASE  IN  GERMAN  IMMIGRATION  IN  THE  EIGHTEENTH 
CENTURY,  AND  ITS  CAUSES 

Conditions  in  the  Palatinate  and  in  the  southwestern  German  countries  — 
Causes  for  emigration  —  Immigrant  hunting  —  Newlanders  and  their 
methods — The  redemptionist  system;  advantages  and  evils  —  Crowd¬ 
ing,  extortion,  shipwrecks  —  The  Deutsche  Gesellschaft  of  Philadelphia 
improves  conditions. 

In  the  first  decades  of  the  eighteenth  century  there  rose 
a  great  tide  of  German  immigration.  Its  volume  presents 
a  strange  contrast  to  the  sparseness  of  German  settlements 
in  the  seventeenth  century,  the  period  that  has  just  been 
passed  m  review.  The  change  was  produced  by  historical 
causes,  operating  as  mighty  forces.  Destructive  wars,  re¬ 
ligious  persecution,  relentless  oppression  by  petty  tyrants, 
rendered  existence  unendurable  at  home,  while  favoiable 
reports  from  earlier  settlers  beyond  the  Atlantic,  more 
plentiful  means  of  transportation,  and  an  innate  desiie  for 
adventure  (the  German  Wcmd67'lust^  made  irresistible  the 
attraction  of  the  foreign  shore.  The  area  which  furnished 
the  largest  number  of  immigrants  was  the  southwestern 
part  of  Germany,  the  Palatinate,  Wiirtemberg,  Baden,  and 
Switzerland,  perhaps  in  that  very  order.  Sometimes  all  of 
the  causes  just  mentioned  united  to  compel  an  exodus  fiom 
a  particular  district,  as  in  the  case  of  the  Palatinate,  while 
in  Switzerland,  with  a  nominally  freer  government,  relig¬ 
ious  persecution  was  the  mam  cause  of  emigiation.  The 
emigrations  from  the  Palatinate  for  a  time  suipassed  m 

1  The  geographical  borders  of  the  Palatinate  at  that  time  exceeded  the 
present  limits  of  the  Rhenish  Palatinate,  which  is  to-day  a  part  of  Bavaria. 


54 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


extent  those  from  all  other  parts  of  Germany,  so  much  so 
that  in  England  and  America  emigrants  from  Germany 
were  commonly  called  Palatines,  and  curiously  enough 
we  meet  in  an  historical  document  the  phrase,  “  a  Palatine 
from  Holsteyn.” 

In  order  to  understand  more  clearly  the  situation  as  it 
existed  in  the  Rhine  country  and  in  the  southwestern  part 
of  Germany  at  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
it  will  be  necessary  to  get  a  closer  view  1  of  each  of  the 
mam  causes  of  discontent,  viz.,  the  wars,  the  religious 
persecutions,  and  the  tyranny  of  small  rulers. 

The  most  destructive  of  all  the  wars  that  devastated 
Germany  was  the  Thirty  Years’  War,  1618-48,  than  which 
none  more  terrible  is  known  to  history.  It  is  an  accepted 
fact  that  in  its  material  development  Germany  was  set 
back  two  hundred  years.  Throughout  Germany  seventy- 
five  per  cent  of  the  inhabitants  were  killed,  and  the  property 
loss  was  far  greater.  Statistics  are  furnished  by  Freytao- 
for  the  county  of  Henneberg,2  showing  that  in  the  course 
of  the  war  seventy-five  per  cent  of  the  inhabitants,  sixty- 


I  extended  from  the  Neckar  Valley,  downstream  on  both  sides  of  the  Rhine 

old  Roma  Bacharach’  a,ld  fr0I“  th«  Bergstrasse  (the 

old  Roman  road  running  along  the  Odenwald  from  Darmstadt  to  Heidel- 

beil  W  16  eASf’  the  Hardt  M°Untains  011  the  west-  Mannheim,  Heidel- 
bezg,  Worms,  Alzei  were  within  its  borders.  Its  area  was  about  310  German 

square  miles  a  little  less  than  the  area  of  the  present  state  of  Massachusetts 
and  the  number  of  inhabitants  about  500,000.  * 

1  Cf.  the  following:  Dandliker,  Geschichte  der  Schweiz ;  Freytag  «  Aus 
dem  Jahrh  undert  des  groszen  Krieges,”  vol.  iii  of  Bilder  aus  di  LtscZ 
Vergangenheit ;  Hausser,  Geschichte  der  Rheinischen  Pfalz 

YoZxy  Tsrtf8  SK«: W’F-’Ge!lchichte  der  Deutschen  im  x™ 
Schurz),;oi.  fN^Yol  1884  K1 1'6'  r  (edHed  ^  Carl 

Pennsylvania,  ehap!  i  ’  ^  a"rf  Swi"  ^dements  of 

Phi“  the  P.resent  borders  partly  of  Saxe-Weimar,  Prussia,  and  the 
pp”  234  ff‘UC1Pa  lheS’  e’’  1D  CeUtral  GermanD  For  statistics,  see  Freytag, 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


55 


sis  per  cent  of  the  houses,  eighty-five  per  cent  of  the 
horses,  and  over  eiglity-two  per  cent  of  the  cattle  were 
destroyed.  He  also  proves  that  the  number  of  houses  and 
inhabitants  in  this  locality  did  not  again  reach  the  ante¬ 
bellum  number,  until  1849,  i.  e.,  two  hundred  years  later. 

The  southwestern  part  of  Germany  fared  no  better, 
the  Palatinate  worst  of  all,  being  repeatedly  visited  by  the 
contending  armies.  The  ruler  of  the  Palatinate  at  the  be¬ 
ginning  of  the  war  was  the  unfortunate  Frederick  Y, 
the  Winter  King,  who,  after  accepting  the  leadership  of  the 
Protestant  cause,  was  badly  defeated  in  Bohemia.  The 
war  was  carried  into  his  own  country,  when  General  Tilly, 
in  1622,  laid  waste  that  fair  and  prosperous  land.  Ten 
years  later  Gustavus  Adolphus  expelled  the  Imperialists 
from  the  Palatinate,  but  after  the  battle  of  Nordlingen, 
the  troops  of  Sweden  and  Bernhard  of  Saxe- Weimar,  far 
from  acting  as  friends  and  allies,  gave  to  the  country,  as 
a  contemporary  expressed  it,  “the  Last  Ointment.”  In 
1635  came  the  Spaniards  under  Gallas,  who  exceeded  even 
the  Imperialists  and  Swedes  in  brutality  and  spoliation, 
leaving  behind  them  only  “  glowing  iron  and  millstones.” 
As  elsewhere,  terrible  tortures 1  were  inflicted  to  obtain  in¬ 
formation  concerning  hidden  treasures,  and  death  was  but 
a  mercy,  saving  from  torments  and  dreaded  exile. 

The  Palatinate  was  again  ravaged  by  the  French  and 
Bavarians  in  1639,  and  the  first  good  crop  thereafter,  that 
of  1641,  was  also  destroyed.  In  1644  and  1645  the  old 

1  For  a  graphic  description  of  the  methods  employed  by  the  troopers  of 
the  Thirty  Years’  War,  cf.  the  German  contemporary  novel  of  the  seven¬ 
teenth  century,  Grimmelshausen’s  Simplicissimus.  One  of  the  most  diabolical 
of  the  tortures  employed  was  that  of  putting  salt  on  the  soles  of  a  peasant 
landlord  and  getting  a  goat  to  lick  off  the  salt.  The  agonized  laughter  of  the 
victim  furnished  amusement  for  the  brutal  bystanders,  who  liberated  him 
only  upon  his  disclosing  the  hiding-places  of  the  last  precious  pieces  of  his 
property. 


56  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

foes  overran  and  robbed,  with  their  traditional  savagery. 
In  the  last  years  of  the  war  neither  friend  nor  foe  any 
longer  entered  the  Palatinate,  the  melancholy  fact  staring 
them  in  the  face  that  there  was  no  longer  anything-  to 
steal,  the  most  fertile  area  of  Germany  having  become 
a  desert. 

The  moral  degradation  following  in  the  wake  of  such 
devastation  was  even  worse  than  the  loss  of  life  and 
property.  Friend  could  not  be  distinguished  from  foe,  and 
men  would  wrest  from  their  starving  neighbors  a  crust  of 
bread.  It  has  been  recorded  that  not  even  human  flesh 
was  sacred,  that  the  gallows  and  churchyards  were  put 
under  guard  to  protect  them  against  theft  by  desperate, 
famine-stricken  people.  Incredible  as  it  may  seem,  in  some 
instances  even  murder  and  cannibalism  were  resorted  to. 
The  neighborhood  of  the  city  of  Worms,  once  a  centre 
of  European  civilization,  a  free  imperial  city,  at  times  the 
residence  of  emperors,  now  afforded  cover  for  a  group 
of  beggars,  who  fell  upon  passers-by  and  devoured  their 
bodies  for  sustenance.  The  destruction  of  fields  and 
property  had  another  disastrous  effect,  disposing  the  sur¬ 
viving  tillers  of  the  soil  to  become  camp-followers,  as  the 
easiest  way  of  procuring  a  living.  Self-reliant  toil  was 
thus  given  another  inducement  to  idleness  and  consequent 
demoralization. 

A  ray  of  hope  lightened  the  Palatinate,  when,  immedi¬ 
ately  alter  the  war,  the  Elector  Karl  Ludwig  ascended  the 
throne.  He  was  the  son  of  the  ill-starred  Winter  King,  a 
sensible,  duty-loving,  and  economical  ruler,  whose  charac¬ 
ter  had  been  formed  in  the  school  of  adversity.  While  in 
exile  in  London,  he  had  witnessed  the  death  of  Charles  I 
ns  uncle,  on  the  scaffold.  Returning  to  the  Palatinate,  in¬ 
stead  of  a  land  of  plenty,  he  found  a  barren  waste.  A  dis- 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


57 


aster  of  such  magnitude  could  not  be  repaired  within  a 
short  time,  but  Karl  Ludwig  contributed  more  than  one 
man’s  share  to  the  social  and  material  betterment  of  his 
native  land.  Still,  even  within  his  lifetime,  there  began  a 
new  series  of  misfortunes.  In  1674  Louis  XIV  sent  Tu- 
renne  into  the  Palatinate,  to  burn  and  plunder.  In  some 
districts  the  inhabitants  dared  not  cultivate  their  fields  for 
the  succeeding  three  years.  The  knightly  challenge  of  the 
helpless  elector  for  a  duel  with  Louis  XIV  was  not  ac¬ 
cepted.  The  pillaging  continued,  and  the  elector  was  even 
forced  to  pay  tribute.  In  1680  the  French  despot  invaded 
the  Palatinate  in  time  of  peace.  It  was  the  year  of  Karl 
Ludwig’s  death,  and  his  successors  could  and  would  do  no¬ 
thing  to  lessen  the  sufferings  of  the  people.  The  most 
cruel  invasion  of  all  was  that  which  Louis  XIV  made  in 
1688,  again  without  declaration  of  war,  and  on  an  absurd 
claim  to  the  territory  by  inheritance  through  Elizabeth,  the 
late  elector’s  daughter,  who  had  married  the  Duke  of  Or¬ 
leans,  brother  of  the  French  king.  The  beautiful  castle  of 
Heidelberg  and  the  city  of  Mannheim  were  burned  in  the 
severe  winter  of  1688-89.  The  Palatinate  was  to  be  made 
and  kept  a  desert  in  order  not  to  serve  as  a  granary  for  the 
enemies  of  France.  The  beautiful  cities  of  Speyer  and 
Worms  presently  shared  the  fate  of  Heidelberg  and  Mann¬ 
heim.  These  cities,  through  centuries  famed  for  their  pro¬ 
sperity,  now  harbored  a  pauper  population.  Even  less  con¬ 
sideration  was  shown  the  people  in  smaller  towns  and  in 
the  innumerable  villages.  The  greed  and  cruelty  of  the 
French  troops  surpassed  even  the  record  of  the  “  Lands- 
knechte”  of  the  Thirty  Years’  War.  When  nearly  five 
hundred  thousand  Palatines  were  driven  from  devastated 
fields  and  burning  houses,  no  humanitarian  hand  was 
raised  to  render  assistance.  Exile  was  followed  by  famine, 


58 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


famine  by  pestilence,  and  all  the  finer  impulses  of  the 
human  heart  were  extinguished  in  the  gross  wretchedness 
of  brutalizing  despair. 

A  remarkable  fact  in  the  history  of  the  Palatinate  is, 
that  during  the  brief  intervals  of  peace,  between  success¬ 
ive  invasions  in  the  seventeenth  century  (and  they  by  no 
means  discontinued  at  its  close),  the  country  showed  most 
wonderful  recuperative  power.  Whenever  a  period  of  ten 
years  of  peace  was  vouchsafed,  the  country  prospered  to 
such  an  enormous  degree,  that  it  again  became  an  allur¬ 
ing  bait  for  warlike  neighbors.  The  fertility  of  the  soil, 
the  industry  and  agricultural  skill  of  the  population,  “a 
nation  of  farmers  through  thirty  generations,”  invariably 
transformed  again  the  desert  into  a  garden.  The  invading 
armies  in  the  Thirty  Years’  War  and  those  of  Louis  XIV 
frequently  took  advantage  of  this  ability  to  recover,  allow¬ 
ing  the  country  just  time  enough  to  grow  new  crops  again, 
before  reinvasion.  On  one  occasion  a  French  army,  after 
having  robbed  a  district  of  everything  it  possessed,  re¬ 
turned  seeds  to  the  farmers,  so  that  they  might  prepare 
another  harvest  for  the  soldiers.  The  farmers  by  and  by 

refused  to  turn  the  sod  and  raise  crops  for  others  to 
reap. 

Under  the  electors  of  the  Palatinate,  succeeding  Karl 
Ludwig,  another  cause  for  popular  dissatisfaction  was 
added.  Karl  Ludwig,  though  himself  a  Catholic,  had 
been  tolerant  in  matters  of  religion.  His  successors  were 
fanatics,  or  ruled  entirely  under  the  influence  of  Jesuit 
advisers.  The  persecution  of  Protestants,  the  Lutheran 
and  Reformed,  was  carried  on  systematically,  their  church 
property  being  confiscated  to  a  very  large  extent,  and  the 
worshipers  in  many  cases  expelled  from  the  country.  This 
was  done  even  in  contravention  of  treaties  or  agreements, 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


59 


and  caused  reprisals  in  the  Protestant  countries,  taken 
against  the  Catholic  inhabitants.  A  cessation  of  terrorism 
was  thus  frequently  brought  about,  at  least  officially.  The 
law  of  the  stronger,  however,  continued  in  force,  and  de¬ 
nominations  other  than  Lutheran  or  Reformed,  such  as 
Huguenots,  Waldenses,  Mennonites,  Quakers,  et  cil.,  had 
no  rights  which  the  government  was  bound  to  respect. 

The  third  cause  for  emigration  which  already  existed  in 
the  seventeenth,  but  became  far  more  compelling  in  the 
eighteenth  century,  was  the  tyranny  of  the  princes  of 
small  domains.  Germany  was  broken  up  into  hundreds 
of  practically  independent  principalities,  whose  rulers 
generally  imitated  the  example  of  Louis  XIV.  They  im¬ 
poverished  the  people  through  heavy  taxation,  levied  to 
support  an  extravagant  court,  that  hunted,  feasted,  and 
reveled,  until  bankruptcy  or  revolution  put  an  end  to  their 
riotous  living.  The  peasant  classes  were  the  principal  suf¬ 
ferers,  and  long-suffering  they  were  indeed,  throughout 
western  Europe,  until  their  day  dawned,  near  the  close 
of  the  eighteenth  century,  with  the  French  Revolution.  In 
the  mean  time  the  “  Landesvater  ”  (or,  as  they  have  been 
dubbed,  “  Landesverrater  ”)  thumbscrewed  their  faithful 
subjects,  until  they  were  reduced  to  serfdom  or  beggary. 
Conditions  were  no  better  in  W iirtemberg,  Baden,  or  any 
part  of  the  southwestern  German  territory.  Not  only  did 
the  princes  tyrannously  disregard  the  economic  welfare  of 
their  subjects,  but  several  of  them  added  religious  per¬ 
secution  to  the  other  inflictions.  All  the  more  did  the 
persecuted  hold  fast  to  their  religion,  whatever  sect  they 
belonged  to,  being  all  that  was  left  them,  a  treasure  that 
could  not  be  attacked  by  dust  or  rust,  or  the  lust  of 
princes.  The  history  of  the  period  is  replete  with  instances 
of  heroism  displayed  in  the  cause  of  religion,  the  various 


60 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


sectarians  proving  equal  devotion  to  their  particular  faith. 
A  fond  hope  for  betterment  of  their  earthly  condition 
rose  in  their  hearts  with  the  good  reports  from  the  Ameri¬ 
can  colonists  under  English1  rule,  a  hope  made  more  vivid 
by  the  eloquence  of  serious  men  such  as  William  Penn, — 
a  hope  that  suddenly  seemed  capable  of  realization,  when 
what  appeared  to  the  Palatines  as  a  direct  invitation  from 
Queen  Anne  of  England  came  for  them  to  settle  in  her 
transatlantic  colonies.  The  wretchedness  of  their  present 
condition,  the  impossibility  of  future  improvement  seeming 
never  so  evident  as  now,  turned  sentiment  into  resolution, 
and  what  might  be  likened  to  a  tidal  wave  of  immigration 
formed  quickly  and  swept  from  the  Rhine  to  the  shores  of 
England,  thence  to  turn  impulsively  and  with  compelling 
force  toward  the  promised  land.  The  story  of  this  first 
great  exodus,  the  Palatine  immigration  to  the  colony  of 
New  York,  will  be  the  subject  of  the  succeeding  chapter. 

The  principal  causes  of  the  great  German  immigration 
in  the  eighteenth  century  were  found  to  have  been  relio- 
ions  persecutions,  the  tyranny  of  autocrats,  destructive 
wais,  failure  of  crops  and  famine,  economic  bankruptcy. 
The  flames  of  immigration  once  having  a  good  start,  a 
gale  soon  arose,  which  fanned  them  into  a  conflagration 
beyond  control.  There  were  then  as  there  are  now,  in  our 
own  day,  various  artificial  aids  operating  toward  the  in¬ 
crease  or  steady  continuance  of  immigration.  Such  were, 
firstly,  more  frequent  opportunities  of  transportation,  pre- 
paied  by  profit-seeking  ship-owners  or  ship-companies, 
and  secondly,  more  abundant  information  or  communica¬ 
tion  supplied  gratuitously  by  the  selfish  interests  of  ad- 

1  On  the  Continent  Prussia,  since  the  time  of  the  Great  Elector,  had  stood 
or  religious  tolerance,  and  had  invited  the  persecuted  sectarians  to  settle 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


61 


vertising  agents  and  land  speculators.  The  perils  of  the 
immigrant  by  land  and  sea  furnish  a  theme  that  cannot 
be  exhausted  within  the  limits  of  the  present  chapter,  hut 
a  brief  survey  may  fittingly  precede  the  historical  outline 
of  the  German  settlements  in  the  eighteenth  century, 
may  serve  to  increase  our  admiration  of  the  courage  and 
heroism  of  the  early  immigrants,  and  remind  us  also  that 
neither  cleverness  nor  gullibility  was  born  within  our  own 
generation. 

The  immigrant  agents  were  either  employed  by  ship 
companies  in  Holland  or  England,  or  in  many  cases  acted 
on  their  own  initiative.  They  were  commonly  called  “  new- 
landers”  ( Neulander ),  and  frequently  had  been  failures  as 
colonists  in  America,  or  at  all  events  found  immigrant¬ 
hunting  a  more  profitable  occupation.  “  They  receive,” 
says  Mittelberger,1  “  from  their  merchants  in  Rotterdam 
or  Amsterdam  for  every  person  of  ten  years  and  over, 
three  florins  or  a  ducat ;  whereas  the  merchants  in  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  sixty,  seventy,  or  eighty  florins  for  such  a  person, 
in  proportion  as  said  person  has  incurred  more  or  less 
debts  during  the  voyage.”  The  newlanders  not  only  ob¬ 
tained  a  commission  from  the  so-called  merchants  or  ship¬ 
owners,  but  had  many  opportunities  of  extracting  money 
from  the  immigrants,  whom  they  pretended  to  serve  as 
friends  or  patrons.  In  their  dress  they  affected  the  ap¬ 
pearance  of  wealth  begotten  in  America,  wearing  pocket 
watches  with  heavy  gold  chains  as  a  sample  of  the  gold  to 

1  Gottlieb  Mittelberger’s  Journey  to  Pennsylvania  in  the  year  1750  and  re¬ 
turn  to  Germany  in  1754,  showing  not  only  a  description  of  the  country  ac¬ 
cording  to  its  present  condition,  but  also  a  detailed  account  of  the  sad  and 
unfortunate  circumstances  of  most  of  the  Germans  that  have  immigrated  or 
are  immigrating  to  that  country.  Translated  from  the  German  by  C.  T. 
Eben,  Philadelphia,  1898.  See  p.  38.  The  German  original  was  published  in 
Stuttgart,  1756. 


62 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


be  found  lying  in  the  streets  of  the  new  country.  Stories 
of  rapid  advancement  in  wealth  or  station  constantly  issued 
from  their  mouths,  —  “The  maid  had  become  a  lady,  the 
peasant  a  nobleman,  the  artisan  a  baron,  the  officers  of  the 
government  held  their  places  by  the  will  of  the  people.” 
The  newlanders  carried  about  with  them  letters  from  ac¬ 
quaintances,  perhaps  from  some  one  of  the  same  village, 
now  settled  in  America,  prosperous  and  anxious  that  his 
friends  should  share  his  happiness.  Such  letters  were  often 
forged  by  the  skillful  hand  of  the  newlander  who  could 
“  imitate  all  characters,  marks  and  tokens  so  admirably 
that  even  he  whose  handwriting  they  had  imitated,  must 
acknowledge  it  to  be  their  own.  By  means  of  such  prac¬ 
tices  they  deceived  even  people  who  are  not  credulous.”  1 
Quantities  of  descriptive  pamphlets  and  advertisements 
were  circulated,  revealing  brilliant  prospects  for  settlers 
in  Pennsylvania,  Carolina,  and  elsewhere,2  some  of  them 
of  so  seductive  a  nature  that  governments  found  it  neces¬ 
sary  on  their  part  to  circulate  literature  with  a  view  to 
counteracting  the  dangerous  influence.  An  instance  of  a 
prohibition  against  newlanders  was  that  reported  by 
Christoph  Sauer  in  his  newspaper  in  1751 :  “  The  Elector 
Palatine  has  issued  a  command  that  no  newlanders  are 
to  be  tolerated  in  the  whole  of  the  Palatinate;  that  if 
captured  they  should  be  thrown  into  prison.”3  In  spite  of 
such  mandates  the  newlanders  succeeded  in  accomplishing 
their  purposes  by  the  most  effective  of  their  methods, 

1  Mittelberger,  p.  42. 

2  For  attempts  to  get  German  settlers  to  New  England,  see  Chapter  ix 
pp.  254  ff. 

^  Cf-  also  Kapp,  Die  Deutschen  im  Staate  New  York  (1867).  Dokumen- 
tarischer  Anhang,  pp.  385-397.  (5)  “Kaiser  Joseph’s  Auswanderungs-Ver- 
bot”  ;  (6)  “  Formular  eines  kollandiscben  Seelen  Verkaufers  Lockzettels”  ; 
(7)  “  Dienstvertrag  eines  Answanderers.” 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


63 


house  to  house  visitation,  performed  in  secret,  under  the 
disguise  of  fellow  countrymen  returning  from  America.1 
Watchful  for  an  opportunity  to  make  a  favorable  impres¬ 
sion,  they  would  expatiate,  in  the  appropriate  local  dialect, 
upon  the  glorious  opportunities  waiting  in  America,  in 
comparison  with  the  restrictions  and  abuses  at  home,  and 
then,  if  possible,  speedily  arrange  a  plan  of  exit  by  way 
of  the  Rhine  and  the  Netherlands. 

A  good  example  of  the  literature  used  to  excite  in  the 
common  people  the  desire  for  immigration  is  the  little 
book  written  m  the  interests  of  South  Carolina,  and  ex¬ 
tensively  circulated  throughout  Switzerland  and  the  Pala¬ 
tinate,  entitled:  “  Der  Nunmehro  in  der  neuen  Welt 
vergniigt  und  ohne  Heim-"Wehe  lebende  Schweitzer. 
Oder :  Kurtze  und  eigentliche  Beschreibung  Des  gegen- 
wartigen  Zustandes  der  koniglichen  Englischen  Provinz 
Carolina,  aus  den  neulich  angekommenen  Briefen  der 
Alldorten  sich  befindenden  Schweitzeren  zusammen  ge- 
tragen,  von  J.  K.  L.  Bern.  Getruckt  bey  Johannes  Bon- 
delt”  1734.  The  booklet  pretends  to  give  the  impressions 
recorded  in  letters  of  Swiss  settlers  located  in  South  Caro¬ 
lina,  notably  those  in  Purysbnrg.  The  pleasures  of  house 
and  home  on  large  acreage  are  emphasized.  The  land 
literally  flows  with  milk  and  honey  — the  cows  roaming 
about  on  perfect  pasturage  all  the  year  round,  and  honey 
being  found  abundantly  in  hollow  trees.  Wild  turkeys 
are  found  in  flocks  of  five  hundred,  geese,  —  that  some 
of  the  farmers  possess  in  flocks  to  the  number  of  two 
hundred,  —  furnish  choice  feather  beds.  As  for  game,  the 


1  Cf  H.  A.  Rattermann  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vols.  xiv,  xv,  and  xvi,  in 
connection  with  his  articles,  “  Gescbichte  des  dentschen  Elements  im  Staate 
Maine  ”  where  he  furnishes  a  very  full  account  of  the  work  and  wiles  o 
several  immigrant  agents,  with  reprints  of  advertisements,  etc. 


64 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


bisons  put  their  heads  through  the  windows  of  the  log 
cabins  waiting  to  be  shot ;  the  wolves  are  by  no  means  as 
large  as  the  European,  and  can  be  tamed.  The  taste  of 
venison  in  Carolina  far  surpasses  anything  in  Europe,  the 
bears  are  smaller  and  frequently  seen  herding  with  the 
swine..  The  alligator  (. Allegatter )  has  no  terrors,  it  is  di¬ 
minutive  in  comparison  with  the  crocodile  of  the  Old 
World,  and  the  Indians  and  negroes  use  its  tail  for  food. 
The  danger  of  overpopulation,  which  is  the  main  cause  for 
emigration  in  Switzerland,  can  never  exist  in  Carolina, 
with  its  length  of  three  hundred  and  seventy  hours 1  and 
breadth  of  more  than  one  thousand  hours.  An  appendix 
follows,  consisting  of  letters  from  Swiss  colonists  located 
inland,  furnishing  positive  proof  that  the  Switzer  in  Caro¬ 
lina  is  happy  and  lives  without  the  dreaded  homesickness, 
that  preys  upon  the  Swiss  when  in  a  foreign  country. 

The  book  seems  to  have  been  so  seductive  in  its  effect, 
that  it  called  forth  a  reply,  written  perhaps  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Town  Council  of  Bern,  who,  on  March  17, 
1735,  gave  directions  for  the  distribution  of  the  following 
counterblast,  entitled  :  -  Neue  Nachricht  alter  und  neuer 
Merk wii rdigkeiten ,  enthaltend  ein  vertrautes  Gesprach  und 
sichere  Bnefe  von  der  Landschaft  Carolina  und  iibrigen 
Enghschen  Pflanzstiidten  in  Amerika,  zufinden  zu  Zurich 
Bern,  Basel,  Schaffhausen,  und  St.  Gallen  in  den  Bericht- 
hausern  gegen  Ende  des  Jahres  Siebzehn  hundert  vier  und 
dreissig.”  The  latter  also  was  calculated  to  reach  the  very 
heart  of  the  immigrant.  In  the  form  of  a  dialogue  between 
a  likely  young  fellow  of  twenty-five  and  the  schoolmaster, 
the  whole  subject  of  immigration  to  Carolina  is  discussed 


as  stated  are  of 
extended  west- 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


65 


in  the  hypercritical  manner  of  a  Mittelberger.  Pictured  in 
lurid  coloring  appear  the  dangers  of  the  passage,  the  mor¬ 
tality  on  shipboard,  the  slavery  awaiting  colonists  on  the 
other  side,  hopelessly  duped  by  dishonest  ship  captains 
and  newlanclers.  Any  number  of  irksome  tribulations  are 
emphasized,  such  as  breaking  your  plow  far  out  in  the 
Carolina  wilderness,  when  there  is  no  smith  within  a  hun¬ 
dred  miles  to  repair  it,  or  the  impossibility  of  obtaining 
seed  in  sowing  time  or  a  spade  when  you  want  to  dig,  and 
the  “  plentiful”  game  running  over  the  crops  and  ruining 
them,  when  the  outraged  farmer  cannot  buy  a  gun  to 
shoot  down  the  intruding  beasts.  If  the  harvest  be  rich  a 
sickle  is  surely  lacking,  and  the  farmer  has  to  pull  the 
grain  out  with  his  hands.  Such  aggravating  little  troubles, 
so  skillfully  designed  to  terrify  the  Swiss  peasant,  are  re¬ 
presented  as  depriving  the  settler  of  every  comfort  in  life. 
Lastly  the  argument  is  made,  “  If  Carolina  be  fair,  Switz¬ 
erland  is  fairer,  who  might  gainsay  that?”  In  conclusion 
follows  an  appeal  to  the  patriotism  of  the  Swiss,  who  is 
called  on  to  decide  —  though  he  has  never  been  in  Amer- 
1Q3,  —  which  of  the  two  countries  is  the  more  beautiful. 
His  national  pride  being  thus  appealed  to,  the  answer  can¬ 
not  be  in  doubt  for  a  moment.1  This  reply,  so  shrewdly 
conceived  and  bearing  governmental  sanction,  undoubt¬ 
edly  had  for  a  time  a  strong  counteracting  influence  upon 
literary  propagandism.  However,  immigration  went  on, 
regardless  of  literature  pro  and  con,  as  if  impelled  by  ele 
mental  forces,  uncontrolled  by  sentiment,  but  governed 
by  natural  laws. 

1  The  two  above-named  pamphlets  are  described  in  detail,  with  extracts, 
by  Ludwig  Hirzel,  in  a  series  of  articles,  entitled  “  Nach  Amerika  aus  dem 
Anfang  des  achtzehnten  Jahrhunderts.”  Sonntagsblatt  des  Bunds,  Bern,  No¬ 
vember  8,  15,  22,  29,  and  December  6,  13,  20,  1896. 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


_  A  system  was  established  very  early  in  American  colo¬ 
nial  history,  by  which  an  immigrant  could  get  to  the 
promised  land,  though  not  in  possession  of  the  means  to 
pay  for  his  passage.  He  would  agree  to  serve  from  three 
to  seven  years  in  the  colonies  until  the  price  of  his  transpor¬ 
tation  was  paid  off  to  the  shipmaster  who  had  advanced  it. 
At  the  end  of  his  term  he  was  released,  given  a  suit  of 
clothes,  sometimes  money  or  land,  and  awarded  all  the 
rights  of  a  free  citizen.  Hence  the  term  redemptioners 
(because  redeemed)  was  applied  to  this  class  of  immigrants, 
who  were  also  known  as  “  indented  servants.”  At  first  the 
system  seemed  humane  and  liberal,  yielding  the  poor  ulti¬ 
mately  the  same  opportunities  as  the  well-to-do.  It  had 
been  advocated  by  Hurley,  the  agent  of  William  Penn, 
and  had  been  m  vogue  in  Virginia  since  the  first  decade 
of  that  colony’s  existence.1  The  system  began  to  be 
applied  extensively  to  German  immigration  about  1728. 
Muhlenberg  describes  the  arrival  of  a  ship  in  Philadelphia 
m  the  following  manner  :2  — 


.  “  Before  the  ship  is  allowed  to  cast  anchor  in  the  harbor,  the 
immigrants  are  all  examined,  as  to  whether  any  contagious 
disease  be  among  them.  The  next  step  is  to  bring  all  thenew 
arrivals  in  a  procession  before  the  city  hall  and  there  compel 
t  mm  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  king  of  Great  Britain. 
After  that  they  are  brought  back  to  the  ship.  Those  that  have 
paid  their  passage  are  released,  the  others  are  advertised  in  the 
newspapers  for  sale.  The  ship  becomes  the  market.  The  buyers 
make  their  choice  and  bargain  with  the  immigrants  for  a  certain 
number  of  years  and  days,  depending  upon  the  price  demanded 


w0,rtdTPti°niSt  SJSteni  WaS  als°  in  existence  among’  the  French  of 
the  We,l  Indies,  end  among  the  French  and  Spanish  in  Louisiana  ".Les 

rS  VJaS  *he  narae  for  indented  servants.  Cf.  Hanno  Deiler  Zur 

-Das  Redemptionsystem  im 

Hallesche  A  achrichten,  vol.  ii,  998,  note.  Reprint,  vol.  ii,  pp.  46(Mf>l. 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


67 


by  the  ship  captain  or  other  ‘  merchant  ’  who  made  the  outlay 
for  transportation,  etc.  Colonial  governments  recognize  the  writ¬ 
ten  contract,  which  is  then  made  binding  for  the  redemptioner. 
The  young  unmarried  people  of  both  sexes  are  very  quickly 
sold,  and  their  fortunes  are  either  good  or  bad,  according  to  the 
character  of  the  buyer.  Old  married  people,  widows,  and  the 
feeble,  are  a  drug  on  the  market,  but  if  they  have  sound  children, 
then  their  transportation  charges  are  added  to  those  of  the  chil¬ 
dren,  and  the  latter  must  serve  the  longer.  This  does  not  save 
families  from  being  separated  in  the  various  towns  or  even 
provinces.  Again,  the  healthiest  are  taken  first,  and  the  sick  axe 
frequently  detained  beyond  the  period  of  recovery,  when  a  re¬ 
lease  would  frequently  have  saved  them  !  ” 

Not  only  tillers  of  the  soil  and  artisans  became  serfs 
for  their  passage  money,  students  and  schoolmasters  also 
were  often  sold  in  this  labor  market.  The  Reverend  Mr. 
Kunze  naively  writes,  that  he  had  entertained  the  thought, 
if  ever  he  became  the  owner  of  twenty  pounds,  of  buying 
the  first  German  student  who  would  land  at  Philadelphia, 
put  him  into  his  garret,  and  there  with  his  help  begin  a 
Latin  school,1  which  he  was  sure  would  quickly  pay  off 
the  outlay.  People  of  rank,  who  had  lost  their  money, 
fared  no  better  than  the  low-born  peasant.  There  was 
Frederick  Helfenstein,2  probably  a  lineal  descendant  of 
Count  Helfenstein  and  the  Emperor  Maximilian,  who  was 
compelled  to  sell  himself  as  a  redemptioner  in  Georgia. 
Mittelberger  tells  us  of  a  noble  lady,  who,  with  her  two 

1  Hallesche  Nachrichten,  p.  1377.  Reprint,  vol.  ii,  pp.  709-710.  The  follow¬ 
ing  advertisement  appeared  in  Pennsylvanischer  Staatsbote,  January  18, 1774: 
“Deutsche  Leute.—  Es  sind  nocli  50-60  deutsche  Leute  welche  neulich  von 
Deutschland  hier  angekommen  sind,  vorhanden,  so  bei  der  Wittwe  Krei- 
derin  im  goldenen  Schwan  logmen.  Daruntersind  zwei  Schulmeister,  Hand- 
werksleute,  Bauren,  anch  artige  Kinder,  sowohl  Knaben  als  Madchen.  Sie 
mochten  fur  ihre  Fracbt  dienen.” 

2  Strobel,  History  of  the  Salzburgers ,  p.  117. 


68 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


half-grown  daughters  and  a  young  son,  in  1753,  was 
compelled  to  serve,  having  lost  her  thousand  rix-talers 
given  for  safe-keeping  to  a  newlander,  who  proved  to  be 
an  embezzler.  John  Wesley  speaks  of  John  Reinier  of 
Switzerland,  who  “  while  provided  with  money,  books  and 
drugs  was  robbed  by  the  captain  and  forced  to  sell  him¬ 
self  for  seven  years.  Advertisements  were  found  in  the 
newspapers  that  did  not  tactfully  distinguish  between 
redemptioner  and  slave.  For  example  :  — 


“To  be  sold  —  A  likely  Servant  Woman  having  three  years 
and  a  half  to  serve.  She  is  a  good  spinner.”  (“  Pennsylvania 
Gazette,”  June,  1742.)  “To  be  sold -A  Dutch  apprentice 
lad,  who  has  five  years  and  three  months  to  serve  ;  he  has  been 
brought  up  to  the  tailor’s  business.  Can  work  well.”  (“  Penn- 
sylvanischer  Staatsbote,”  14  December,  1773.)  1 


The  profits  in  the  transportation  of  redemptioners  were 
greater  than  in  that  of  passengers  who  paid  their  way. 
The  latter  were  therefore  made  the  victims  of  extortions, 
from  the  very  beginning  of  their  journey,  namely,  the 
passage  down  the  Rhine.  The  number  of  toil  stations2  was 
egion,  and  on  passing  from  one  principality  to  another 
all  the  baggage  had  to  be  reexamined,  a  duty  never  done 
with  a  view  to  expedition,  but  regulated  by  the  conven¬ 
ience  of  the  customs  officials.  Fees  were  demanded  with 
such  frequency  by  agents  of  all  kinds,  that  the  unhappy 


1  Cf.  Eickhoff,  In  der  neuen  Heimat,  p.  145. 

2  As  late  as  1804  Dr.  Fried.  Hermann  (of  Liibeck),  who  investigated  the 

Transportation  faclJ'tles  of  German  immigrants,  reported  on  the  trip  from 

Heilbronn  (on  the  Neckar)  to  Rotterdam  as  follows  :  “  Diese  Reise  dauert 

i  m-T  ,Hel!br°nn  aU8  4  bis  6  Woohen,  well  die  Rheinschiffe  his  an  die 

und  bef-ed6  Tl"ZU  mCht.Wen!ger  als  36  Zollstatten  zu  passieren  haben, 
und  bei  jeder  derselben  visitiert  werden,  ein  Geschaft  wobei  die  Zollbeam- 

£']  'fTm-  T  nlre  Be(luemlichkeit  als  auf  die  schnelle  Abfertigung  der 
D  14  p  T  iS1C  *  nehmen-”  Hermann,  Die  Deutschen  in  Nordamerika,  1806, 
p.  14.  Earlier  conditions  were  much  worse.  Cf.  Mittelberger,  supra,  p.  18. 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


69 


immigrant  had  little  left  by  the  time  he  got  to  the  Nether¬ 
lands.  His  possessions,  though  carefully  enshrined  in 
heavy  oaken  boxes  fastened  with  good  iron  bolts,  were 
not  secure  against  the  cupidity  of  newlander  or  sea-cap¬ 
tain.  If  boxes,  trunks,  and  bales  were  numerous,  they 
were  as  likely  as  not  to  be  left  behind,  or  loaded  into  an¬ 
other  vessel.  The  latter  mode  of  disposing  of  the  baggage 
of  immigrants  became  one  of  the  greatest  abuses  of 
transatlantic  transportation.  Well-to-do  immigrants,  who 
had  put  into  their  trunks  linen  or  clothing  necessary  for 
their  journey,  or  perhaps  even  their  food  and  cooking 
utensils,  were  deprived  of  these  necessities  and  comforts 
during  the  whole  voyage.  Often  having  placed  all  their 
earthly  possessions,  including  money,  in  their  chests,  they 
never  saw  them  again,  and  were  compelled  on  arrival  to 
sell  themselves  as  redemptioners  in  preference  to  becoming 
paupers.  Another  tyrannical  measure  was  that  of  holding 
the  entire  body  of  immigrants  on  a  ship  responsible  for 
the  total  transportation  charges.  The  well-to-do  woidd 
have  to  pay  for  those  who  covdd  not,  or  be  themselves 
sold  as  redemptioners.  This  arrangement  protected  the 
captain  against  loss,  in  case  a  large  number  of  redemp¬ 
tioners  died  on  the  way,  and  also  gave  him  an  excuse  for 
extortions.  The  Germans  of  Philadelphia  attempted  to 
legislate  against  these  abuses,  beginning  in  1750,  but  for 
a  long  time  were  unsuccessful,  because  of  the  presence 
in  high  places  of  influential  grafters  heavily  interested  in 
the  profits  of  immigrant  transportation. 

While  the  immigration  increased,  strangely  enough  the 
expense  of  a  sea-passage  rose  from  six  or  ten,  to  fourteen 
or  seventeen  louis  d’or  1  (according  to  Muhlenberg),  thus 

1  The  present  money  equivalent  of  the  louis  d’or  is  about  $4.50.  Its  pur¬ 
chasing*  power  at  that  time  was  far  greater  than  this  sum. 


70 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


forcing  more  people  into  the  redemptionist  class.  With 
over-speculation  came  the  crowding  of  large  bodies  of 
immigrants  into  vessels  too  small  for  their  numbers.  Their 
baggage  was  then  quite  generally  put  into  another  vessel 
or  lost  altogether.  The  mortality  on  board  increased  terri¬ 
bly.  Sauer,  in  his  newspaper  in  1749,  announced  “that  in 
that  year  over  two  thousand  had  died  during  transporta¬ 
tion,  mostly  because  they  were  not  treated  like  human 
beings,  being  packed  closely  together,  so  that  the  sick 
breathed  another’s  breath,  and  that  from  all  the  unclean¬ 
ness  and  stench  and  failure  of  food,  diseases  arose  like 
scurvy,  dysentery,  smallpox,  and  other  contagious  sick¬ 
nesses.”  It  was  the  rule  in  that  day  that  the  immigrant 
should  furnish  his  own  food  supplies,  but  when  his°bag- 
gage  was  not  received  on  board,  the  provision  made  for 
him  was  of  course  not  ample.  Starvation,  and  death  from 
thirst,  were  of  common  occurrence  on  the  long  sea-trips 
consuming  many  months.  Shipwrecks  were  frequent,  and 
the  danger  ever  present  of  being  captured  by  hostile 
fleets  or  pirates.  Heinrich  Keppele,  the  first  president  of 
the  German  Society  of  Pennsylvania,1  arrived  in  America 


1  Mittelberger  claims  that  a  large  number  of  the  shipwrecks  were  not 
reported  in  Germany,  “  for  fear  that  it  might  deter  the  people  from  emi¬ 
grating,  and  induce  them  to  stay  at  home.”  (See  p.  36.)  Among  the  many 
shipwrecks  that  he  tells  of,  the  following  is  characteristic  :  “The  following 
a  a  voyage,  where  all  the  passengers  were  Germans,  has  probably  not  be¬ 
come  known  in  Germany  at  all.  In  the  year  1752  a  ship  arrived  at  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  which  was  fully  six  months  at  sea  from  Holland  to  Philadelphia 
Ihe  ship  had  weathered  many  storms  throughout  the  winter,  and  could  not 
reach  the  land  ;  finally  another  ship  came  to  the  assistance  of  the  half- 
wrecked  and  starved  vessel.  Of  about  340  souls  this  ship  brought  21  persons 
o  luladelphia,  who  stated  that  they  had  not  only  spent  fully  six  months  at 
sea,  and  had  been  driven  to  the  coast  of  Ireland,  but  that  most  of  the  passen¬ 
gers  had  died  of  starvation,  that  they  had  lost  their  masts  and  sails,  captain 
and  mates,  and  that  the  rest  would  never  have  reached  the  land  if  God  had 
not  sent  another  ship  to  their  aid,  which  brought  them  to  land.” 


INCREASE  IN  IMMIGRATION 


71 


in  1738,  and  wrote  in  his  diary,  that  of  the  312^  passen¬ 
gers  (a  child  was  counted  as  one  half),  250  died,  not 
including  those  that  died  after  landing.  Sauer  reports  the 
loss  of  160  people  on  one  ship,  150  on  another,  and  only 
13  survivors  on  a  third ;  in  1745  a  ship  was  destined  for 
Philadelphia  with  400  German  passengers,  of  whom  only 
50  survived.  Mittelberger  says :  “  Children  from  one  to 
seven  years  rarely  survived  the  voyage ;  and  many  a  time 
parents  are  compelled  to  see  their  children  die  of  hunger, 
thirst,  or  sickness,  and  then  see  them  cast  into  the  water. 
Few  women  in  confinement  escape  with  their  lives  ;  many 
a  mother  is  cast  into  the  water  with  her  child.”  The  main 
cause  for  the  enormous  mortality  was  the  packing  to¬ 
gether1  of  immigrants  much  as  negro  slaves  were  later 
huddled  together  by  African  slave-traders. 

The  conditions  were  probably  no  worse  for  the  Ger¬ 
man  immigrants  than  for  those  of  other  nationalities.  The 
Germans  of  Philadelphia,  however,  after  repeated  agita¬ 
tion,  succeeded  in  improving  somewhat  existing  condi¬ 
tions  for  German  immigrants.  They  formed  in  December, 
1764,  the  “  Deutsche  Gesellschaft  von  Pennsylvanien,” 
the  first  of  those  charitable  German  organizations  in  the 
seacoast  cities  of  America,  that  were  founded  to  extend 
a  helping  hand  to  the  immigrants  of  their  own  nation¬ 
ality.  A  law  was  drafted  and  put  through  the  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  legislature  by  the  influential  Germans  of  this  soci- 
rendering  impossible  the  tyrannies  and  extortions 
before  practiced  by  sea-captains  and  immigration  agents, 
particularly  in  regard  to  the  abuses  already  mentioned, 

1  Packed  like  herring  and  sold  as  slaves,  says  Pastor  Kunze,  Hallesclie 
Nachrichten,  p.  1377.  Reprint,  vol.  ii,  p.  709.  Under  date  of  May  16, 1773,  he 
says :  “Last  week  I  heard  of  a  ship  bearing  1500  Germans,  of  whom  1100 
died  at  sea.” 


72 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  separation  of  immigrants  from  their  baggage,  over¬ 
crowding,  and  holding  a  shipload  responsible  for  the 
profits  of  the  captain.  The  society  likewise  established 
the  immigrant  s  right  of  appeal  to  American  courts  of 
justice,  m  case  of  unjust  treatment.  A  more  effective  law, 
an  act  for  regulating  the  importation  of  German  and 
other  passengers,  was  passed  by  the  Pennsylvania  legis¬ 
lature  in  1818.  & 

The  sale  of  redemptioners  was  not  abolished  until  1820. 
With  its  many  evils  the  system  had  also  had  good  effects. 
Undoubtedly  the  rapid  increase  of  the  population  of 
Pennsylvania  was  due  to  the  redemptionist  system,  which 
allowed  tens  of  thousands  of  immigrants  to  come  to  Amer¬ 
ica,  who  would  not  have  been  able  to  do  so  for  lack  of 
means.  The  period  of  service  frequently  became  a  train¬ 
ing  school.  The  Swedish  traveler  Kalm  said  : 1  “  Many  of 
the  Germans  who  come  hither  bring  money  enough  with 
them  to  pay  their  passage,  but  rather  suffer  themselves  to 
be  sold,  with  a  view  that  during  their  servitude  they  may 
get  some  knowledge  of  the  language  and  qualities  of  the 
country  and  the  like,  that  they  may  be  better  able  to  con¬ 
sider  what  they  shall  do,  when  they  have  got  their  liberty.” 
Stories  are  found  in  German- American  literature,  of  re¬ 
demptioners,2  who  concealed  within  a  bundle  of  old  rao-s 
their  precious  coins,  for  which,  as  soon  as  their  period  of 
service  had  closed,  they  bought  land  near  the  possessions 
o  their  masters,  and  during  the  course  of  years,  advanc¬ 
ing  in  means  through  their  industry  and  thrift,  became  ulti¬ 
mately  the  owners  of  the  estates  of  their  former  masters. 

1772Peter  Kalm’  Travds  in  N°rth  America>  vol.  i,  p.  304,  2d  edition,  Loudon, 


'  Cf-  Sealsfield,  Morton  oder  die  grosse  Tour,  I  Teil,  Kap.  i,  pn  64  f  • 
Kurnberger  Der  Amerikamude ;  Mollhausen,  Der  Pedlar,  Roman  aus  dem 
Amerikamschen  Leben,  and  Das  Vermdchtnis  des  Pedlars. 


CHAPTER  IV 


THE  FIRST  EXODUS,  THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION  TO 

NEW  YORK 

Kocherthal  and  his  followers  —  Founding  of  Newburgh-on-tlie-Hudson,  1709 
—  The  exodus  of  1710;  arrival  in  London;  separation  into  various 
groups,  transportation  to  Ireland,  South  Carolina,  etc.  —  The  main  group 
goes  with  Governor  Hunter  to  New  York  —  Hunter’s  plan  and  its  failure 
—  The  fortunes  and  migrations  of  the  Palatines  in  New  York  ;  East  and 
West  Camp,  Schoharie,  the  Mohawk,  Tulpehocken,  etc.  —  John  Peter 
Zenger’s  independent  newspaper,  and  his  stand  for  the  liberty  of  the 
press. 

Throughout  the  seventeenth  century  there  had  been 
constant  intercourse  between  England  and  the  Palatinate, 
sanctioned  and  stimulated  by  the  royal  marriage  of  Eliza¬ 
beth,  daughter  of  James  I,  with  the  Elector  Palatine, 
Frederick  V,  already  referred  to  as  the  Winter  King. 
Their  son,  the  wise  ruler  Karl  Ludwig,  Elector  Palatine, 
was  the  cousin  of  Charles  II  and  James  II,  kings  of 
England.  There  was  also  between  the  two  countries  the 
common  bond  of  the  Protestant  faith.  England  was 
instrumental  in  effecting  the  Religious  Declaration  of 
1705,  that  granted  the  Reformed  Church  toleration  in  the 
Palatinate. 

The  war  of  the  Spanish  Succession  in  1707  devastated 
a  portion  of  the  Palatinate  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine, 
whereby  hundreds  of  Palatines  were  rendered  homeless. 
Among  these  was  Joshua  von  Kocherthal,  who,  in  Janu¬ 
ary,  1708,  applied  to  an  English  agency  in  Frankfort-on- 
the-Main,  for  passes  and  money  to  go  to  England.  He 
included  in  his  request  several  other  families,  in  all  sixty- 


74 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


one  persons,  who,  when  no  help  could  be  obtained,  to¬ 
gether  left  their  home  without  the  consent  of  the  Elector 


Palatine,  and  on  their  own  resources  traveled  by  way  of 
Holland  to  London.  Arriving  there,  they  were  too  poor 
to  live  without  aid,  wherefore  the  generous  Queen  Anne 
allowed  each  Palatine  a  shilling  a  day  for  his  support. 
The  charitable  deed  of  the  crown  was  imitated  by  several 
Londoners,  and  when  Kocherthal  applied  for  the  means 
of  transportation  to  the  American  colonies,  the  Lords  of 
Trade  decided  to  send  the  immigrants  to  the  colony  of 
New  York.  There  it  was  thought  they  might  be  used  to 
settle  on  the  frontier,  as  a  buffer  against  the  Indians,  or 
else  be  employed  in  the  manufacture  of  naval  stores.  Be¬ 
fore  sailing  they  were  naturalized  as  British  subjects,1  and 
then  placed  upon  a  royal  transport  under  Lord  Lovelace, 
the  newly-appointed  governor  of  New  York. 

The  colonists  sailed  about  the  middle  of  October,  1708, 
and  arrived  at  New  York  during  the  last  days  of  that  year! 
Lord  Lovelace  gave  them  land  on  the  Hudson  to  the  north 
of  the  Highlands,  beginning  at  the  mouth  of  the  Quas- 
saick.  The  colonists  called  the  settlement  “  Neuburg,” 
after  the  city  of  the  same  name  in  the  Upper  Palatin¬ 
ate  ( Oberpfalz ).  This  is  the  beginning  of  the  busy  and 
prosperous  city  of  Newburgh,  the  county-seat  of  Orange 
County,  New  York,  rivaling  in  beauty  of  landscape  more 
venerable  cities  on  the  Rhine  and  Danube.  Tracts  of  land 
of  one  hundred  to  three  hundred  acres  were  portioned  out 


1  The  names  of  the  Palatines  naturalized  August  25,  1708,  were,  besides 
Kocherthal  :  Lorenz,  Schwisjer,  Rennau,  Yolk,  Weigaudt  Weber,’  Plettel, 
ischer,  Gulch,  Turk,  Rose,  Weimar,  Faber,  Fiere,  and  Schiinemann.  Most 
ot  these  were  men  between  twenty-five  and  forty  years  of  age;  only  one  man 
was  fifty-two.  They  were  vine-growers,  weavers,  smiths,  carpenters,  or  repre¬ 
sentatives  of  other  trades.  Among  those  given  lands,  not  mentioned  in  the 
naturalization  list,  were  Lockstadt  and  Hennicke.  Kapp,  Geschichte  der 
Veutschen  im  Staate  New  York,  p.  80. 


75 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 

to  the  settlers,  fifty  acres  to  each  individual,  whether  man, 
woman,  or  child.  Five  hundred  acres  were  reserved  for 
the  building  of  a  church,  forty  acres  for  roads  and  high¬ 
ways.1 

Lord  Lovelace  died  in  May,  1709,  —  a  great  misfortune 
for  the  colonists.  He  was  their  friend,  and  had  advanced 
money  for  their  support.2  The  Palatines  were  compelled 
to  petition  the  colonial  government  for  the  maintenance 
promised  them  the  first  year,  but  as  they  happened  to 
mention  the  fact  that  nineteen  of  their  number  had  with¬ 
drawn  from  Lutheranism  and  turned  Pietists,  the  discrim¬ 
inating  government  excluded  the  latter  from  its  benefits. 
After  an  investigation,  however,  of  the  meaning  of  Piet¬ 
ism,  by  a  special  committee,  supplies  were  furnished  to 
them  also,  just  as  to  the  other  colonists.  Support  was  a 
necessity  for  all  colonists  during  their  first  year,  the  first 
season  being  spent  in  clearing  the  forest  and  building  rude 
habitations,  essential  labors  before  a  crop  could  be  raised. 
“  The  Palatine  Parish  by  the  Quassaick  ”  was  the  name 
given  to  the  whole  settlement  included  in  the  German  Pat¬ 
ent,  as  constituted  about  ten  years  later  (1719).  The  land 
in  this  region  was  not  as  fertile  as  was  hoped  for,  the  stony 
hillsides  and  rocky  soil  giving  no  rich  returns,  and  in  con¬ 
sequence  many  of  the  original  inhabitants  of  Newburgh 
sold  their  lands  to  “  Dutch  and  English  New-comers  ”  and 
departed  for  Schoharie  County  to  the  north,  or  to  the 
Pennsylvania  valleys  of  the  Swatara  and  Tulpehocken.  In 
this  way  Newburgh  lost  its  distinctly  German  character. 

Kocherthal  was  a  man  of  unusual  power  over  his  con¬ 
stituents,  of  versatile  occupation,  being  minister,  farmer, 

1  Cobb,  S.  H.,  The  Story  of  the  Palatines,  cbap.  iii,  p.  66,  etc.  Putnam,  1897. 
Kapp,  supra,  pp.  82  it. 

2  His  widow  did  not  receive  a  repayment  from  the  government  until  many 
years  later. 


76 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


man  of  affairs,  leader  of  men,  whose  sturdiness  of  char¬ 
acter  impressed  its  stamp  upon  an  entire  community,  — 
an  exceptional  individual,  one  might  say,  if  the  exception 
were  not  of  so  frequent  occurrence  in  German  colonial 
history,  with  such  examples  as  Pastorius,  Conrad  Weiser, 
Giessendanner,  Joist  Hite,  and  a  succession  of  others  down 
to  the  more  recent  Missourians,  Follenius  and  Friedrich 
Miinch.  Kocherthal  returned  to  England  for  a  short  visit, 
and  then,  accompanying  Governor  Hunter,  sailed  again 
for  New  York,  in  1710,  with  the  great  migration  of  the 
Palatines.  He  oi'ganized  a  Lutheran  church  at  West  Camp 
and  probably  one  also  on  the  other  side  of  the  river.  A 
Lutheran  himself,  he  was  acceptable  nevertheless  to  the 
Germans  of  the  Reformed  church,  and  was  regarded  with 
reverence  by  the  Germans  on  either  side  of  the  Hudson. 
He  was  frequently  consulted  by  the  provincial  authorities 
for  advice  and  assistance,  when  entanglements  occurred 
with  the  German  colonists.  He  died  and  was  buried  in 
1719  at  West  Camp  on  the  Hudson.1 

The  settlement  on  the  Quassaick  was  but  the  forerun¬ 
ner  of  the  extensive  immigration  that  followed  shortly 
after.  The  records  are  scant  as  to  the  inception  and  initial 
progress  of  that  movement,  but  in  addition  to  the  im¬ 
pelling  forces  enumerated  in  the  last  chapter,  an  imme¬ 
diate  cause  must  have  been  the  extraordinary  severity  of 
the  winter  of  1708-09.  In  the  words  of  Conrad  Weiser, 

1  The  story  of  the  Newburgh  church  bell  is  an  interesting  little  episode  in 
connection  with  Kocherthal.  It  seems  that  the  good  Queen  Anne  presented 
Kocherthal,  before  his  departure  (and  on  his  request),  with  a  church  bell  for 
a  Lutheran  house  of  worship.  Colonial  conditions  never  permitted  rapid  real¬ 
ization  of  devout  hopes,  and  for  along  time  the  bell  was  loaned  to  the  church 
of  New  York  City,  until  the  Quassaick  Parish  might  be  able  to  build  a 
church.  The  bell  was  returned,  probably  in  1733,  when  Quassaick  got  its 
church,  still  known  in  the  memory  of  the  oldest  inhabitants  as  the°Glebe 
School  House. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


77 


then  a  boy  of  twelve  years,  recorded  in  his  autobiography : 
“  Birds  perished  on  the  wing,  beasts  in  their  lairs,  and 
mortals  fell  dead  in  the  way.”  The  success  of  Kocherthal, 
in  gaining  the  assistance  of  Queen  Anne,  encouraged 
others  to  adopt  the  same  course,  and  seek  new  homes 
beyond  the  sea.  Religious  persecution,  political  oppres¬ 
sion,  and  economic  ruin  had  made  intolerable  their  dear 
native  land  ;  impending  ruin,  famine,  and  the  hope  of  aid 
now  quickened  their  resolution,  united  their  action,  and, 
as  if  by  a  sudden  common  impulse,  a  vast  number  of 
Palatines  flocked  to  the  shores  of  England.  The  migra¬ 
tion  was  probably  one  concerted  at  home,  and  when  large 
numbers  appeared  at  Rotterdam,  the  first  gathering-place, 
they  were  speedily  shipped  off  to  London.  They  began  to 
arrive  there  in  May,  1709,  and  by  the  end  of  June  their 
numbers  rose  to  five  thousand.  The  number  was  nearly 
doubled  before  August,  and  by  October  thirteen  thousand 
Palatines  were  in  London.  These  numbers  are  by  no 
means  exaggerated  ;  indeed,  the  popular  impression  re¬ 
ported  was  that  thirty  thousand  Palatines  swarmed  to  the 
English  coast,  “  a  migrating  epidemic  having  seized  on  the 
stricken  people.”  London,  then  no  modern  city  capable 
of  harboring  hundreds  of  thousands  of  strangers  without 
a  tremor  of  excitement,  was  seriously  embarrassed  by  this 
influx  of  foreigners,  most  of  whom  were  reduced  to  pau¬ 
perism,  necessarily  making  an  appeal  to  the  charity  of  the 
nation.  It  will  always  redound  to  the  glory  of  England 
that  her  management  of  this  serious  problem  under  trying 
conditions  was  most  humane  and  generous.  Starvation 
staring  the  needy  Palatines  in  the  face,  England  for 
months  provided  them  with  food.  Having  no  homes,  they 
were  sheltered  in  barns,  empty  dwellings,  warehouses,  and 
a  thousand  tents  taken  from  the  army  stores.  The  queen 


78 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


allowed  each  ninepence  per  day,  for  subsistence,  and  such 
lodgings  as  could  best  be  obtained.  The  paupers  of  Lon¬ 
don  grew  envious  of  the  provision  made  for  the  foreign¬ 
ers,  and  filed  complaints  against  such  exceptional  treat¬ 
ment. 

What  to  do  with  the  hordes  of  foreigners  was  the  next 
question  before  the  Lords  of  Trade.  The  numbers,  how¬ 
ever,  were  so  large  that  they  could  not  easily  be  disposed 
of.  A  severe  discrimination  was  made  in  the  first  place 
against  the  Catholics,  who  numbered  about  one  tenth  of 
the  whole.  They  were  all  sent  back  to  their  homes,  except 
a  few  hundred,  who  chose  the  alternative  of  becoming  Pro¬ 
testants.  The  remaining  Palatines  wished  for  a  settlement 
in  America,  and  an  interesting  story,  told  by  Conrad 
Weiser  (reported  by  Muhlenberg),1  explains  the  origin  of 
this  fixed  idea  of  theirs.  It  happened  that  several  Indian 
chiefs  were  visiting  London,  at  the  time  when  the  Pala¬ 
tine  exiles  appeared  in  great  numbers.  The  sight  of  the 
homeless  and  half-starved  immigrants  mightily  engaged 
the  sympathies  of  the  redmen,  one  of  whom,  unsolicited, 
made  a  free-will  offering  to  the  queen  of  a  tract  of  land 
on  the  Schoharie,  in  New  York,  for  the  use  and  benefit 
of  the  exiled  Germans.  It  has  frequently  been  evident  in 
American  history  that  the  Indian,  in  spite  of  his  savage 
instincts,  could  on  occasion  be  generous ;  such,  indeed, 
was  to  be  the  experience  of  the  Palatine  settlers  with  the 
Schoharie  Indians. 

As  stated  above,  there  were  reported  in  London  an  ag¬ 
gregate  of  thirteen  thousand  Palatines,  in  October,  1709. 
A  large  number  of  them  were  undoubtedly  provided  for 
by  their  entering  various  trades  and  pursuits  by  land  and 

1  In  Hallesche  Naclirichten,  reprint,  vol.  i,  p.  613.  The  elder  Muhlenberg  is 
very  accurate  in  his  reports,  and  Conrad  Weiser  had  a  good  memory.  & 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


79 


sea.  For  example,  Luttrell1  states  that  the  merchants  of 
Bedford  and  Barnstaple  who  were  engaged  in  the  New¬ 
foundland  fisheries  designed  employing  five  hundred  of 
them  in  their  service.  About  five  thousand  must  have 
been  disposed  of  in  similar  ways,  as  we  can  account  for 
only  seventy-five  hundred  persons  that  were  shipped  to 
various  colonies.  In  the  first  division  about  thirty-eight 
hundred  persons,  five  hundred  families,  were  sent  to  Ire¬ 
land  and  settled  in  the  province  of  Munster.  Being  pro¬ 
vided  with  land,  they  built  homes  and  became  a  sturdy 
stock,  useful  and  influential  in  the  country.2  We  learn 
from  various  travelers  that  they  preserved  their  native 
character  and  even  their  language  for  a  long  time. 

The  second  large  contingent  of  Palatines  was  shipped  to 
the  Carolinas,  sailing  from  England  in  the  early  autumn 
of  1709.  This  expedition  was  under  the  leadership  of 
Graffenned  and  Michell,  natives  of  Bern,  Switzerland. 
They  numbered  over  six  hundred,  and  founded  Newbern, 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Neuse  River,  in  the  present  state 
of  North  Carolina.3  No  portion  of  the  Palatines  settled  in 
Virginia  under  the  auspices  of  Governor  Spotswood,  his 
settlers  at  Germanna  having  come  from  Siegen,  Germany.4 

A  much  larger  number,  over  three  thousand  persons, 
were  destined  for  the  colony  of  New  York.  Most  of  these 
had  in  mind  the  Schoharie  region  as  their  promised  land, 

i  Diary,  vi,  496;  quoted  by  Cobb,  The  Story  of  the  Palatines,  chap,  iii, 

P  2  Pennsylvania  Historical  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  381.  The  Pennsylvania  German 
Society ,  vol.  vii,  p.  335.  Descended  from  this  stock  were  the  founders  of 
Methodism  in  America,  Philip  Embury  (Amberg)  and  Barbara  Heck.  C£. 
Ireland  and  the  Centenary  of  American  Methodism,  by  Cook  (Crook). 

3  See  Chapter  viii,  pp.  213-215. 

4  Cobb  and  others  are  here  in  error.  Compare  the  more  recent  investiga¬ 
tions  published  in  the  Virginia  Magazine,  vols.  x-xiii.  Also  below,  Chapter 
vn,  pp.  178  if. 


80  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

and  would  not  be  content,  as  later  events  proved,  until 
they  had  ultimately  reached  its  beautiful  meadows  and 
fertile  hills.  The  new  governor  of  the  colony,  Colonel 
Robert  Hunter,  had  in  mind  the  employment  of  the  Pala¬ 
tines  in  the  manufacture  of  tar  and  naval  stores.  He 
accompanied  the  expedition,  sailing  in  April,  1710,  with 
the  commission  to  settle  the  Germans  on  the  Hudson  or 
Mohawk.  The  Palatines  were  distributed  on  ten  ships,  on 
which  they  must  have  been  closely  crowded,  as  the  mor¬ 
tality  among  them  was  enormous.  According  to  the  gov¬ 
ernor  s  account  4i  0  persons  died  of  ship  fever  during  the 
voyage,  and  250  more  after  their  arrival.  There  remained 
2227  Palatines  for  the  settlements  in  New  York,  after  a 
loss  of  773  persons,  if  there  were  3000  at  the  beginning.1 
Governor  Hunter  speaks  of  the  loss  of  1700  anmng  4000 
immigrants,  while  other  official  documents  mention  only 
3000,  which  is  probably  the  correct  figure. 

One  of  the  ships,  the  Herbert,  was  lost  on  the  east  end 
of  Long  Island.  The  people  seem  to  have  been  rescued, 
but  their  goods  were  much  damaged.  This  accident  was 
probably  the  origin  of  the  legend,  immortalized  by  Whit¬ 
tier,  concerning  a  ship  called  the  Palatine,  localized  on 
Block  Island  (Manisees)  and  elsewhere.  One  tradition  re¬ 
presents  the  vessel  as  laden  with  treasure,  belonging  to 
the  Palatines,  and  by  them  hidden  from  view  until  the 
time  immediately  before  disembarking,  when  the  sight  of 
their  gold  excited  the  grasping  greed  of  the  crew,  who  to 
accomplish  the  robbery  slew  every  one  of  the  immigrants. 
In  Whittier’s  poem,  “The  Palatine,”  wreckers  on  the 
island  decoyed  the  ship  by  false  lights,  caused  the  death 
of  all  on-board,  and  then  “they  burned  the  wreck  of  the 
Palatine.  But  the  phantom  ship  reappeared  at  each  anm- 

1  Kapp’s  figures,  p.  96.  Cf.  also  Cobb,  p.  127. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


81 


versary  of  the  crime,  and  haunted  the  imagination  of  the 
wreckers,  never  allowing  them  an  opportunity  to  enjoy 
the  fruits  of  their  ill-gotten  crain.1 

So  large  a  company  of  immigrants  could  not  be  received 
in  the  small  town  of  New  York,  and  the  Palatines,  accord- 
ingly,  were  landed  on  Nutten  Island.2  A  proclamation  wras 
made  preventing  extortionate  prices  for  bread  and  provis¬ 
ions,  and  a  small  government  was  devised  for  the  colonists. 
Prominent  above  all  others  was  Johann  Conrad  Weiser, 
father  of  an  equally  famous  son,  a  descendant  of  the 
magistrate  of  Great  Anspach,  Wiirtemberg.  The  death 
of  his  wife,  the  care  of  a  large  family,  and  the  national 
calamities  induced  him  to  join  the  emigrating  thousands. 
All  of  his  fifteen  children,  save  two,  who  were  married, 
went  with  him.  He  was  easily  the  chief  among  his  people 
through  his  ability,  experience,  and  independence  of  char¬ 
acter.  Governor  Plunter  and  others  in  authority,  com¬ 
plained  much  of  his  stubbornness,  which  indeed  resembled 
that  of  Martin  Luther,  being  born  of  the  love  of  truth 
and  faith  in  ultimate  justice.  Weiser  was  a  stalwart  fighter 
before  the  Lord,  a  willing  martyr  to  the  cause  of  individ¬ 
ual  rights  for  the  American  colonist.  The  first  clash  with 
authority  occurred  when  children 3  were  forcibly  taken 

1  For  still,  on  many  a  moonless  night, 

From  Kingston  Head  and  from  Mont.auk  Light, 

The  spectre  kindles  and  burns  in  sight. 

Now  low  and  dim,  now  clear  and  higher, 

Leaps  up  the  terrible  Ghost  of  Fire, 

Then,  slowly  sinking,  the  flames  expire. 

And  the  wise  Sound  skippers,  though  the  skies  be  fine, 

Reef  their  sails,  when  they  see  the  sign, 

Of  the  blazing  wreck  of  the  Palatine  ! 

2  Now  Governor’s  Island. 

s  There  were  seventy-five  hoys  and  girls  thus  apprenticed,  some,  by  no 
means  all,  as  was  given  out,  were  orphans.  In  the  case  of  the  two  sons  of 


82 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


from  their  parents  and  apprenticed  to  people  in  New  York 
City.  Two  of  the  sons  of  Weiser  were  thus  separated  from 
their  father,  whose  protests  were  without  avail.  Among 
the  forty-one  boys  thus  apprenticed  was  John  Peter  Zen- 
ger,  who  was  given  to  the  printer,  William  Bradford  of 
New  York,  and  will  be  mentioned  below  for  the  promi¬ 
nent  part  he  took  in  the  struggle  for  the  liberty  of  the 
colonial  press. 

In  July,  1710,  Governor  Hunter  despatched  the  sur- 
veyor-general  of  the  province  “  to  survey  the  land  on  the 
Mohaques  River,  particularly  the  Skohare,  to  which  the 
Indians  have  no  pretence.”  This  probably  means  that  the 
Indians  had  surrendered  their  rights  (there  had  been  no 
sale  or  conquest),  and  furnishes  another  link  in  the  chain 
of  evidence,  that  the  Schoharie  district  had  actually  been 
given  by  the  Indians  to  Queen  Anne  for  the  colonization 
of  the  Palatines. 

In  the  estimation  of  the  governor,  Schoharie  possessed 
good  land  for  cultivation,  but  an  insufficient  number  of 
pine  forests.  He  wanted  pine  forests  for  the  manufacture 
of  tar  and  pitch,  his  ambition  being  centred  on  providing 
all  the  necessary  stores  for  the  English  navy,  even  hemp, 
fiom  the  resources  and  labor  of  this  colony,  thus  saving 
the  Admiralty’s  heavy  expense  in  buying  from  Norway, 
Sweden,  and  Russia,  a  heavy  tax  also  upon  English  pride. 
Governor  Hunter  thought  that  the  two  requisites,  of  pine 
forest  and  good  land,  were  combined  in  a  tract  which  he 
bought  from  the  crafty  Robert  Livingston,  an  area  of  six 
thousand  acres,  on  the  eastern  shore  of  the  Hudson,  north 

Weiser,  their  brother,  Conrad,  said  that  he  never  saw  them  again.  The 
names  of  the  forty-one  boys,  and  their  ages  (mostly  between  ten  and  fifteen, 
some  much  below),  are  given  in  Rupp’s  Thirty  Thousand  Names  of  Immi¬ 
grants,  p.  445.  They  are  also  given  by  O’Callaghan  in  the  Documentary 
History  of  New  York. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


83 


of  the  present  town  of  Rhinebeck,  a  part  of  Livingston 
Manor.  On  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  there  were  some 
crown  lands,  probably  an  additional  inducement  for  the 
purchase.  The  colony  on  that  side  was  called  West  Camp, 
in  distinction  from  East  Camp,  the  name  given  to  the 
principal  settlement.  The  latter  was  composed  of  four  vil¬ 
lages  :  Hunterstown,  Queensburg,  Annsburg,  and  Hays- 
bury,  with  a  total  of  1189  colonists  in  1711.  West  Camp 
was  composed  of  three  villages:  Elizabethtown,  George¬ 
town,  and  New  Village,  with  614  inhabitants,  making  the 
total  for  the  two,  1803  colonists. 

Over  four  hundred  Palatines  were  left  in  New  York 
City  (424  out  of  2227),  most  of  them  widows,  single 
women,  and  children,  not  adaptable  to  the  (<  great  and 
good  design  ”  of  making  tar  and  pitch.  A  record  of  their 
names  is  available  in  the  annals  of  the  Lutheran  Church 
of  New  York  City. 

The  hardships  that  followed  fell  solely  to  the  lot  of  the 
Palatines  in  East  Camp,  on  Livingston  Manor,  no  serious 
effort  being  made  on  the  west  shore  toward  the  manufac¬ 
ture  of  naval  stores.  Governor  Hunter  possessed  no  quali¬ 
fications  for  the  great  undertaking  which  he  was  making 
his  life  work,  save  his  enthusiasm.  He  possessed  no  tech¬ 
nical  knowledge,  and  the  overseer,  who  was  expected  to 
fill  the  gap,  proved  incompetent.  The  management  was  not 
wise  enough  to  import  successful  operators  from  Norway, 
Sweden,  or  Russia,  who  might  have  produced  a  far  bettei 
yield  from  the  trees.  Governor  Hunter  was  a  soldier,  and 
instituted  military  methods,  demanding  implicit  obedience 
from  all  that  were  in  his  employ,  particularly  from  the 
Palatines,  for  whom  he  had  apparently  no  particular  sym¬ 
pathy,  and  who,  on  their  part,  believed  they  were  being 
cheated.  Governor  Hunter’s  blunt  and  tactless  manner 


84 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


roused  the  prejudices  of  his  laborers  against  the  under¬ 
taking,  and,  instead  of  making  them  and  their  leaders 
his  mam  support,  he  relied  on  the  colonial  aristocrats, 
who  used  him  merely  to  advance  their  own  interests.  The 
shrewdest  of  them  was  Robert  Livingston,  who  gained 
not  only  by  the  sale  of  a  large  tract  of  land,  but  was 
awarded  also  the  profitable  contract  of  feeding  the  Pala¬ 
tines  (adults  at  sixpence,  children  at  fourpence  per  day). 
It  was  the  opinion  of  contemporaries  on  either  side  of  the 
water  that  Livingston  grew  richer  daily  on  this  contract, 
and  that  he  was  the  only  man  who  was  benefited  at  all 
by  the  great  scheme  of  making  naval  stores.  Even  Hunter 
himself  soon  wrote  in  a  letter  to  General  Nicholson,  that 
he  had  bestowed  too  much  confidence  upon  Livingston, 
the  most  selfish  and  ungrateful  man  in  the  world. 

When  the  Palatines  came  to  America,  the  year  was 
already  too  far  advanced  for  them  to  begin  work.  It  was 
autumn,  and  the  people  had  to  be  fed  for  the  winter  and 
up  to  the  time  when  work  might  begin  in  the  spring.  This 
enforced  period  of  idleness  could  not  but  prove  harmful. 
Isot  only  was  it  a  financial  loss  to  the  management,  but 
also  a  great  misfortune  for  the  colonists,  idleness  breeding 
discontent,  and  a  paternal  regime  destroying  the  inde¬ 
pendence  necessary  for  the  permanent  prosperity  of  a 
colony.  The  Palatines  had  been  promised  good  land,  for 
the  acquisition  of  which  they  would  not  have  felt  work 
as  a  hardship;  but  the  labor  of  serfs  in  the  system  now 
imposed  upon  them,  without  hope  of  future  independ¬ 
ence,  they  felt  to  be  an  outrage.  Nevertheless,  the  be¬ 
ginnings  were  made  in  good  earnest.  Overcoming  their 
dissatisfaction,  the  colonists  cut  a  large  number  of  trees,1 

1  Nearly  one  hundred  thousand  trees  were  cut,  and  even  boys  and  girls 
were  employed  in  gathering  knots,  “  that  no  hands  may  be  idle'.” 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


85 


and  in  return  received  agricultural  implements  for  tlie 
cultivation  of  their  land. 

The  minister  Kocherthal  had  warned  the  authorities  con¬ 
cerning  the  irrepressible  opposition  of  the  people  against 
the  preparation  of  tar,  and  of  their  desire  to  leave  East 
Camp  for  the  promised  land  of  Schoharie.  When  there¬ 
fore  an  organized  revolt  began  to  form,  Governor  Hunter 
was  ready  to  apply  firm  measures.  He  had  ordered  a  com¬ 
pany  of  soldiers  to  come  from  Albany,  and  on  their  ar¬ 
rival  called  the  leaders  of  the  colonists  before  him.  In  the 
hearing  before  the  governor  they  explained  the  causes  of 
their  discontent,  being  imposed  upon,  as  they  thought,  in 
violation  of  the  conditions  of  their  contract.  It  seems  they 
deceived  themselves,  or  did  not  understand  fully  the  terms 
of  the  contract,  for,  as  we  read  it,  we  must  concede  that 
the  governor’s  position  was  correct  on  the  point  that  the 
contract  required  labor  from  the  colonists  in  the  manu¬ 
facture  of  ship  stores,  in  return  for  the  expenses  of  their 
transportation  and  sustenance.1  During  the  parley  three  or 
four  hundred  of  the  Palatines  came  to  the  rescue  of  their 
leaders,  thinking  that  they  were  in  danger.  They  feigned 
a  desire  to  speak  to  the  governor,  but  withdrew  when 
they  saw  that  their  leaders  were  not  in  captivity  or  peril. 
A  large  troop  of  armed  men  had  been  ordered  to  reinforce 
Hunter’s  soldiers,  and  with  their  aid  the  Palatines  were 
dispersed,  and  subsequently  disarmed  in  their  seveial  vil¬ 
lages.  Peace  was  thus  restored,  but,  self-government  being 
taken  away  from  the  colonists,  they  were  reduced  to  the 
same  level  as  u  indented  servants. 

In  June,  1711,  the  governor  established  a  council  to 

1  The  governor,  however,  allowed  no  weight  to  be  attached  to  another 
article  of  the  contract,  viz.,  that  after  the  outlay  was  repaid,  each  colonist 
was  to  receive  forty  acres  of  land  in  fee-simple,  forty  acres  for  each  head 
man,  woman,  or  child. 


86 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


take  charge  of  the  government  of  the  Palatines  and  the 
manufacture  of  ship  stores.  This  consisted  of  Robert 
Livingston,  Richard  Sackett,  the  special  overseer  and  ex¬ 
pert  already  referred  to,  John  Cast,  Gottfried  Wulfen, 
Andreas  Bugge,  and  Hermann  Schiinemann.  Three  of 
them,  provided  Livingston  or  Sackett  were  present,  had 
the  right  to  inflict  punishment  for  disobedience  or  misde¬ 
meanors,  even  to  the  extent  of  corporal  chastisement  or 
imprisonment.  For  every  village  there  was  an  executive : 
on  the  east  side,  J.  P .  Kneiskern  for  Hunterstown,  J.  C. 
Weiser  for  Queensburg,  H.  Windecker  for  Annsberg,  G. 
C.  Fuchs  for  Haysbury ;  on  the  west  side  of  the  Hud¬ 
son,  for  Elizabethtown,  J.  C.  Gerlach,  for  Georgetown,  J 
Mauch,  and  for  New  Village,  P.  P.  Grauberger. 

The  Palatines  were  no  cowards,  and  when  in  the  sum¬ 
mer  of  the  same  year  the  province  of  New  York  was  to 
furnish  a  quota  of  soldiers  for  the  expedition  to  Canada, 
it  was  decided  to  send  three  hundred  Palatines,  in  addi¬ 
tion  to  the  three  hundred  and  fifty  “  Christians  ”  and  one 
hundred  and  fifty  Indians  of  Long  Island.  The  requisite 
number  was  easily  found  and  placed  under  the  command 
of  J.  P.  Kneiskern  as  captain.  Germans  in  this  expedition 
or  the  first  time  served  in  the  same  regiment  with  In¬ 
dians,  the  army  being  under  the  supreme  command  of 
Colonel  Schuyler.  The  Palatines  received  no  pay,  though 
their  fitness  was  acknowledged  generally,  and  on  their 
return,  perhaps  from  fear  of  revolt,  Governor  Hunter 
deprived  them  of  their  weapons.  In  the  next  winter  a 
number  of  them  served  in  the  garrisons  at  Albany. 

The  high-handed  treatment  of  the  Palatines  by  the  crOV- 
ernor,  his  utter  refusal 1  to  encourage  their  hopes  of  settle- 

*  I,U  a,P,?Tn  the  gOVernor  stamped  upon  the  ground  and  said  :  “  Here  is 
your  land  (meaning  the  almost  barren  rocks)  “  where  you  must  live  and 
die.  Documentary  History ,  vol.  iii,  p.  424;  Cobb,  pp.  156-157. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


87 


ment  in  Schoharie,  and  the  greed  of  Livingston,  who  made 
the  largest  possible  profits  out  of  the  food  supplies,  were 
causes  producing  the  greatest  amount  of  friction,  but  not 
necessarily  such  as  to  ruin  the  colony.  The  disasters  that 
now  arose  came  from  the  incompetency  of  the  manage¬ 
ment  of  the  enterprise.  The  land  selected,  in  spite  of  the 
praises  that  had  been  sung  of  it,  now  proved  to  be  poor 
in  forest  growth  and  unfertile.  The  trees,  after  cutting, 
were  not  properly  prepared,  Overseer  Sackett  not  being 
equipped  with  sufficient  experience  or  expert  knowledge ; 
moreover,  after  being  poorly  prepared,  the  trees  were  not 
properly  cared  for.  In  consequence,  the  work  done  did 
not  bring  proportionate  returns.  Instead  of  thirty  thou¬ 
sand  barrels  of  tar,  only  two  hundred  were  obtained,  by 
the  summer  of  1712,  out  of  one  hundred  thousand  trees. 
At  home  the  Lords  of  Trade  lost  confidence  in  Hunter’s 
ability  and  particularly  in  that  of  his  advisers;  more 
especially  did  they  regret  his  falling  into  the  hands  of 
the  ill-reputed  Livingston.  Altogether  Hunter  had  paid 
out  over  thirty-two  thousand  pounds  for  the  Palatines,  and 
received  for  Ins  expenses  only  ten  thousand  eight  hun¬ 
dred,  so  that  the  home  government  owed  him  over  twenty- 
one  thousand  pounds.1  He  struggled  for  more  than  ten 
years  to  get  back  his  outlay,  drawn  from  his  private  for¬ 
tune,  and  it  is  not  known  definitely  whether  he  was  ever 
reimbursed  for  what  he  had  expended.2  More  than  twenty 
thousand  pounds  had  gone  into  the  pocket  of  Livingston 

1  Cf.  Kapp,  p.  110  ;  Cobb,  pp.  181  if. 

2  When  in  the  year  1722  the  Lords  required  of  Governor  Hunter,  who  then 
had  been  recalled,  that  he  present  the  receipts  for  money  paid  to  the  Pala¬ 
tines,  the  latter  were  reluctant  to  give  them,  fearing  some  new  treachery. 
The  request  was  made  with  the  usual  tactlessness,  namely,  that  if  they  would 
not  sign  the  receipts  they  would  be  driven  from  the  country.  They  therefore 
refused  to  sign,  and  waited  for  the  carrying  out  of  the  threat.  Cf.  Kapp, 

p.  110. 


88  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

for  supplies  furnished  the  Palatines ;  moreover,  his  land, 
bordering  on  East  Camp,  increased  greatly  in  value  be¬ 
cause  of  the  proximity  of  settlements.  On  October  31, 
1712,  Governor  Hunter  wrote  to  the  Lords  of  Trade  in 
London  saying  that,  his  fortune  and  credit  being  ex¬ 
hausted,  his  appeals  for  repayment  not  having  been  hon¬ 
ored  by  them,  he  was  obliged  to  abandon  the  work  of 
manufacturing  naval  stores  on  the  Hudson  ;  hoping  the 
enterprise  would  be  but  temporarily  abandoned,  he  had 
directed  his  overseer  to  announce  to  the  laborers  that  they 
must  keep  in  readiness  to  return  to  their  work.  Several 
hundred  Palatines,  he  states,  had  made  their  way  to  Scho¬ 
harie,  a  movement  that  had  been  impossible  for  him  to 
prevent ; 1  indeed,  he  saw  therein  an  advantage,  the  protec¬ 
tion  of  the  frontier  against  the  French  and  Indians.  He 
speaks  hopefully  of  the  manufacture  of  tar  and  pitch,  and 
continues  to  write  in  this  spirit  for  three  years  longer.  In 
1  ( 15  the  Lords  of  Trade  seemed  once  more  willing  to  re¬ 
new  the  work,  but  they  finally  concluded  that  it  was  too 
late,  and  when  the  governor  himself  in  1716  made  the 
confession  that  the  scheme,  which  at  first  seemed  so  ad¬ 
vantageous,  had  been  a  failure,  it  was  dropped  altogether 
m  London. 

The  consternation  wrought  in  East  Camp,  when,  in 
September,  1712,  John  Cast  suddenly  announced  to  the 
settlers  that  the  enterprise  was  to  be  abandoned,  is  dif¬ 
ficult  to  realize  fully.  Winter  was  near,  with  absolutely  no 
provision  made  for  the  colonists.  They  were  to  shift  for 
themselves,  as  best  they  could,  and  not  to  look  for  assist¬ 
ance.  At  the  same  time  they  were  reminded  of  their 
obligations,  warned  to  remain  in  the  province  or  even  in 
the  settlement,  to  be  within  call  for  the  renewal  of  the 

lie  had  forbidden  it.  See  following  pages. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


89 


manufacturing  scheme.  In  their  distress  the  hope  that  had 
almost  been  abandoned,  that  of  reaching  the  promised 
land,  Schoharie,  loomed  up  brightly  before  their  mental 
vision.  They  took  counsel  and  decided  to  send  a  group  of 
their  leaders  to  the  Indians,  asking  their  permission  to 
settle  in  the  Schoharie  region.  Johann  Conrad  Weiser  and 
Captain  Kneiskern  were  among  those  who  beat  their  path 
from  Schenectady  through  the  woods  to  Schoharie  in 
execution  of  the  plan.  They  were  well  received,  and  their 
request  was  granted.  They  were  told  that  no  one  should 
hinder  them  from  settling  there,  and  that  the  Indians 
would  help  them  in  proportion  to  their  means.  Accord¬ 
ingly  a  fifteen-mile  trail  was  cut  through  the  woods,  and 
about  a  dozen  families  were  sent  in  advance  to  Schoharie. 
Upon  their  arrival  a  message  from  the  governor  overtook 
them,  forbidding  their  settlement  in  Schoharie,  and  de¬ 
claring  that  any  refusing  to  obey  should  be  treated  as 
rebels.  But  after  some  deliberation  the  Palatines  deter¬ 
mined  to  remain,  starvation  seeming  the  other  alternative. 

In  March,  1713,  the  rest  of  the  Palatines  who  had  de¬ 
cided  to  migrate  appeared  in  Schoharie.  The  snow  lay 
three  feet  deep,  the  travelers  struggled  against  hunger  and 
cold,  but  two  weeks’  hardship  brought  them  to  the  land 
of  promise.  Some  citizens  of  Albany  tried  to  anticipate 
their  purchase  of  the  land,  but  the  Palatines  received  the 
preference  at  the  hands  of  the  Indians,  who  sold  them 
what  they  wished  for  the  equivalent  of  three  hundred  dol¬ 
lars.  The  privations  of  the  newcomers  during  the  winter 
were  intense,  and,  had  it  not  been  for  the  friendly  aid  of 
the  Indians,  most  of  them  would  probably  not  have  sur¬ 
vived.  A  graphic  account  of  their  sufferings  is  given  in 
the  journal  of  Conrad  Weiser,  son  of  Johann  Conrad,  in 
which  due  acknowledgment  is  made  of  the  services  of  the 


90 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Indians,  who  “  showed  the  settlers  where  to  find  edible 
roots.”  “  Many  of  our  feasts  were  of  wild  potatoes  and 
giound  beans.  In  the  spring  they  broke  ground 
enough  to  plant  corn  for  the  use  of  the  next  year.  But 
this  year  our  hunger  was  hardly  endurable.”  In  March, 
1713,  did  the  remainder  of  the  people  (tho’  treated  bv 
the  Governor  as  Pharaoh  treated  the  Israelites)  proceed 
on  their  journey,  and  by  God’s  assistance  travel’d  in  a 
fortnight  with  sledges  thro’  the  snow,  — which  there 
covered  the  ground  above  three  foot  deep,  — cold  and 
hunger,  Joyn’d  their  friends  and  countrymen  in  the 
promised  land  of  Schoharie.” 


The  majority  of  the  Palatines  remained  at  or  near  the 
original  settlements  on  the  Hudson,  and  when  left  to  their 
own  resources  began  to  thrive.  About  thirty  families  on 
the  Manor,  for  instance,  moved  a  few  miles  to  the  south¬ 
ward,  and  settled  on  Beekman’s  land.  Henry  Beekman 
sold  them  lands  in  fee-simple,  which  Livingston  appar¬ 
ently  would  not  do,  and  the  town  of  Rhinebeck  was 
founded.  It  was  originally  spelled  “  Rheinbeek  ”  in  honor 
of  their  home  on  the  Rhine  and  Beekman  (Beek),  their 
generous  patron. 

The  original  settlement  of  six  thousand  acres  on  Living¬ 
ston  Manor  also  went  into  the  hands  of  Palatines,  but  not 
earlier  than  1724.  Three  of  them,  Sclierb,  Hagedorn,  and 
Schumacher,  in  that  year  asked  Governor  Burnet,  Hunter’s 
successor,  for  a  title  to  their  lands  for  themselves  and 
their  people.  Sixty-three  of  the  families  were  prepared  to 
remain,  ten  ready  to  leave,  as  reported  by  Surveyor  Colden. 
The  patent  was  signed  by  the  governor  in  1725,  allow- 

P,m2TtanTnr0rn  tt'eTl0Urnal  of  Conrad  Weiser.  This  diary  has  been 

nt  r  b/  ;V  ,pi’’  Z  er  deutsche  Pionier’ VoL  ii>  PP- 182  ete-  Cf.  also  : 

C  7  w  ■ °f  oZ0?  ZeiSeI’  Pi°neer'  Patriotand  P^ron  of  Tioo  Races,  by 
O.  Z,.  Weiser.  2d  ed.,  Reading,  1899. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


91 


ing  the  above-mentioned  men  with  Heiner  and  Kollman 
to  act  as  trustees  in  distributing  the  land.  Forty  acres 
were  left  for  a  church.1 

The  two  German  ministers,  Joshua  Kocherthal  and 
Johann  Friedrich  Hager,  on  request  of  the  Board  of 
Trade,  near  the  close  of  Hunter’s  term,  made  a  census  of 
the  Palatines  in  New  York.  They  reported  the  following 
statistics  for  1718  in  the  province  of  New  York :  On  the 
east  side  of  the  river  (in  the  district  now  known  as  Ger¬ 
mantown),  including  Rhinebeck,  499  persons,  126  fami¬ 
lies;  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  including  Kingsto(w)n, 
Esopus,  West  Camp,  etc.,  272  persons,  68  families;  New 
York  City,  150  persons,  30  families ;  Schoharie,  680  per¬ 
sons,  170  families;  total,  1601  persons,  394  families. 
Curiously  enough  Kocherthal  and  Jager  say  they  have 
not  included  widows  and  orphans,  leaving  an  error  in  their 
notation  of  perhaps  several  hundred  persons.  According  to 
this  table  there  were  four  persons  to  a  family.  This  is  a  very 
low  average  for  frontier  conditions,  that  commonly  favor 
the  growth  of  families.  The  original  number  of  Palatines 
landed  at  Nutten  Island  being  about  2500,  the  natural 
increase  by  1718  ought  certainly  to  have  overcome  the 
death-rate,  which  is  nowhere  recorded  as  having  been 
large,  with  the  exception  of  the  first  sojourn  on  Nutten 
Island.2  Kapp  estimates  that  there  must  have  been  as 

1  The  following  names,  besides  those  mentioned,  are  found  among  them: 
Stoppelbein,  Lauer  (changed  to  Lawyer),  Schenk,  Hann,  Iviszler,  Schmid, 
Lauffmann,  Mann,  Salbach,  Dietrich,  Miihler,  Rauch,  Haubach,  Buck, 
Winder,  Scbenkel,  Sehauz,  Schoffler,  Klein,  Bartels.  Among  those  that 
would  not  remain  were  :  Schmidt,  Schneider,  Hausser,  \\  ernersbdfer,  Wist, 
and  Dirk.  Cf.  Kapp,  p.  115. 

2  The  mortality  there  was  250,  as  we  know  from  the  petition  in  Septem¬ 
ber,  1711,  of  an  undertaker  who  prayed  for  payment  for  250  coffins  supplied 
to  the  Palatines.  This  number,  250,  was  already  deducted  in  the  estimate 
of  2227,  on  p.  83. 


92 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


many  as  two  thousand  to  twenty-five  hundred  Pala¬ 
tines  in  New  York  State  in  1718.  Scheff,  who,  with 
Weiser,  was  sent  to  London  as  an  envoy  of  the  Palatines 
in  defense  of  their  rights,  in  his  separate  petition  to  the 
Board  of  Trade  estimated  that  there  were  at  that  time 
(1718—20)  about  three  thousand  Palatines  in  the  state  of 
New  York.  He  gives  the  number  of  Palatines  in  Scho¬ 
harie  as  one  hundred  and  sixty  families  or  one  thousand 
souls,  making  an  average  of  over  six  persons  to  a  family, 
contradicting  Kocherthal’s  estimate  of  four  to  a  family. 
Scheff  was  pleading  a  case,  while  Kocherthal  no  doubt 
shared  the  experience  of  all  early  census-takers  in  getting 
too  low  an  estimate.  The  truth  lies  somewhere  between, 
i.  e.,  for  the  total  number,  somewhere  between  three 
thousand  and  eighteen  hundred,  plus  widows  and  orphans, 
i.  e.,  close  up  to  twenty-five  hundred,  which  is  Kapp’s 
highest  figure.1 

From  the  middle  of  the  twenties  the  Germans  main¬ 
tained  a  sure  footing  south  of  Germantown  (Columbia 
County)  and  Clermont,  and  settled  also  the  northern  part 
of  the  present  county  of  Dutchess.  Germantown  and 
Rhinebeck  2  became  points  of  attraction  for  German  im¬ 
migration  and  the  stopping-place  for  those  who  desired 
to  go  either  north  or  west  in  the  province.  Intimate  ties 
of  both  blood  and  religion  existed  between  these  settlers 
and  those  on  the  Schoharie  and  Mohawk.  Migrations 
were  frequent,  as  for  instance  in  1760,  when  a  number  of 


1  Kapp,  pp.  114,  115. 

*  Among  the  first  settlers  of  Rhinebeck  were:  Hahner,  Schufeld, 
Hagedorn,  Wiederwachs,  Staats,  Berner,  and  Elsasser.  Some  of  the  names 

sllhT^r".  wn  C°°n  (Kuhn)’  C°°nS  (Kulltz),  ClTsler  (Kreisler), 
fealbagh  (Salbach),  Kleyne  or  Clyne  (Klein),  Sclmtts  (Schntz),  Shoemaker 

(Schnmacher)  Snyder  (Schneider),  Smith  (Schmidt),  Treats  (Fritz),  Shn- 
fel  (Schufeld),  Meghley  (Michle),  Younghance  (Junghans),  Wagenaer 
(Wagener).  See  Kapp,  PP.  115,  116.  g 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION  93 

inhabitants  of  Rhinebeck  settled  in  the  Schoharie  Valley 
and  founded  New  Rhinebeck. 

The  original  site  of  the  Schoharie  settlement  was  on 
the  Little  Schoharie,  beginning  somewhat  south  of  the 
present  town  of  Middleburg,  and  extending  northward  to 
the  entry  of  Fox  Creek  and  the  Cobleskill  into  the  main 
Schoharie  River,  an  area  of  about  two  thousand  acres. 
Seven  villages  were  founded  on  both  sides  of  the  Schoharie 
River,  and  named  after  the  leaders  of  the  colonists.  Weis- 
ersdorf  was  the  southernmost  village,  located  where  now 
is  Middleburg.  Two  miles  to  the  north  was  Hartmanns- 
dorf,  named  after  Hartmann  Windecker,  soon  to  become 
the  largest  of  all  the  villages,  with  sixty-five  houses,  and 
noted  for  its  fruit  trees,  and  particularly  its  apple  trees, 
which,  as  early  as  the  first  quarter  of  the  eighteenth  cen¬ 
tury,  became  a  staple  product.  Then  came  Brunnendorf, 
named  after  its  springs,  and  a  thousand  paces  to  the  north, 
Schmidtsdorf,  of  obvious  derivation,  the  smallest  of  the 
villages.  Fuchsdorf,  at  the  mouth  of  Fox  Creek,  was 
named  after  Wilhelm  Fuchs,  who  established  the  first 
mill.  Two  miles  to  the  north  was  Gerlachsdorf,  and  beyond 
that  Kneiskerndorf,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  opposite 
the  mouth  of  the  Cobleskill,  named  respectively  after 
Gerlach  and  Captain  Kneiskern. 

The  difficulties  encountered  in  the  beginning  of  the 
settlement  were  increased  by  the  want  of  cattle  and  agri¬ 
cultural  implements.1  For  salt  it  was  necessary  to  journey 
nineteen  miles,  to  Schenectady.  The  first  crop  of  grain, 
however,  that  sprang  from  the  soil  surprised  the  colonists 
with  its  richness  and  quality,  and  strengthened  them  in 
their  determination  not  to  give  up  their  new  homes,  what- 

1  They  could  not  take  along  those  they  had  used  at  East  Camp  ;  that  would 
have  been  theft. 


94 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


ever  the  commands  of  the  governor.  In  general  appear¬ 
ance  the  country  reminded  them  of  their  native  land 
between  the  Hardt  and  Taunus  mountain  ranges,  with  its 
picturesque  valleys  and  hills  rising  in  moderation.  In  their 
first  year,  when  Lambert  Sternberg  bought  the  first  bushel 
of  wheat  in  Schenectady  and  brought  it  on  his  back  to 
Schoharie,  he  little  thought  that  forty  years  thereafter 
Schoharie  would  annually  send  thirty-six  thousand  bushels 
of  wheat  to  Schenectady.  In  the  earliest  days  fifteen  to 
twenty  Palatines  would  be  obliged  for  safety  to  journey 
together  on  their  long  trip  to  Schenectady,  there  to  have 
their  sacks  of  grain  ground  in  the  mill.  Wilhelm  Fuchs 
soon  shortened  the  distance  by  setting  up  his  mill  on  Fox 
Creek.  In  Weisersdorf  nine  inhabitants  joined  in  the  pur¬ 
chase  of  their  first  horse,  using  it  in  common,  by  taking 
turns.  When,  ten  years  later,  some  of  them  migrated  to 
Pennsylvania,  they  drove  large  herds  of  cattle  and  horses 
before  them.  After  the  first  necessities  were  provided, 
many  of  the  men  in  the  colony  plied  their  respective  trades 
and  thus  turned  an  additional  honest  penny.  This  also 
made  their  progress  more  rapid. 

The  relations  of  the  Palatines  with  the  Indians  of  the 
Mohawk  tribes  were  very  friendly,  to  such  a  degree  that 
Governor  Hunter  grew  suspicious,  as  will  presently  appear. 
Conrad  Weiser,  by  consent  of  his  father,  Johann  Conrad, 
lived  with  the  Mohawk  Indians,1  when  a  boy.  He  learned 
their  language  and  their  customs,  and  on  his  return  to  the 
white  settlements  became  ever  after  the  mediator  between 
the  two  races.  An  instance  of  the  cordial  relations  exist¬ 
ing  between  them  is  furnished  by  one  of  the  festivals  in 

1  The  Mohawk  chief,  Quagnant,  took  a  special  liking  to  Conrad,  then 
sixteen  years  of  age,  and  proposed  to  take  him  to  his  own  country  and  teach 
him  the  Indian  language. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


95 


the  early  days,  the  crowning  feature  of  which  was  a  series 
of  athletic  sports.  The  chief  event  was  a  mile  race  between 
the  fleetest  of  the  Indian  youths  and  Conrad  Weiser.  The 
speed  of  the  two  contestants  was  about  equal  for  most  of 
the  distance,  and  they  ran  neck  and  neck  near  the  finish, 
when  Conrad  Weiser,  by  accident  or  design,  collided  with 
his  rival,  causing  his  fall,  and  in  the  next  moment  reached 
the  mark  before  his  adversary  could  recover.  The  Indians, 
who  had  watched  the  race  with  breathless  interest,  com¬ 
plained  vehemently  of  unfair  treatment,  when  Conrad 
Weiser,  going  quickly  from  chief  to  chief,,  explained  that 
his  act  was  unintentional,  and  that  he  certainly  was  not 
deserving  of  the  prize  of  handsome  deerskins,  that  were 
to  go  to  the  victor.  This  pleased  the  Indians  so  much 
that  they,  in  turn,  were  not  to  be  outdone  as  sportsmen, 
and  insisted  on  Weiser’s  taking  the  prize,  the  festival 
winding  up  in  peace  and  good  will,  though  at  one  time 
a  dangerous  antagonism  was  threatened. 

Very  different  were  the  relations  of  the  Palatines  with 
the  original  Dutch  settlers,  called  frequently  Low  Dutch, 
to  distinguish  them  from  the  High  Dutch,  or  Germans. 
Being  older  settlers  and  therefore  more  well-to-do,  they 
looked  down  upon  the  poor  Palatines,  or  tried  to  worst 
them  when  business  affairs  brought  them  in  contact.  This 
feeling,  continuing  until  the  Revolutionary  War,  was  not 
due  to  national  hatred,  the  two  types  being  closely  related 
by  blood  and  geographical  location  in  their  European 
homes,  but  rather  to  class  prejudice  existing  between  rich 
and  poor,  patrician  and  plebeian, and  subsequently  between 
Tory  and  Patriot.  Violent  outbreaks  occurred  between 
them  at  times,  as  when,  in  the  year  1714,  Adam  Vroo- 
man,  a  well-to-do  Dutch  farmer  of  Schenectady,  sent  his 
son  Peter  to  settle  in  the  neighborhood  of  Weisersdorf. 


90  the  german  element 

The  estate  contained  about  fourteen  hundred  acres,  and 
prevented  the  Germans  from  spreading  out  westward  be¬ 
yond  the  Schoharie.  If  young  Vrooman’s  statements  can 
be  relied  upon,  Palatines  drove  their  horses  over  his  fields 
at  night,  tore  down  his  buildings,  and  were  abusive  with 
rebellious  speeches.  Johann  Conrad  Weiser  was  accused 
of  being  the  ringleader  in  all  disturbances,  and  his  son  of 
“  telling  the  Indians  all  sorts  of  lies.” 

The  resentment  against  the  W eisers  was  shared  by  the 
governor  and  all  aristocrats,  but  they  were  afraid  to  seize 
01  arrest  the  Palatine  leader,  the  champion  of  the  rights 
and  independence  of  the  German  colonists.  The  prosperity 
of  the  Schoharie  settlements  aroused  the  cupidity  of  the 
eailier  settlers,  who  now  became  actively  engaged  in  re¬ 
viving  Governor  Hunter’s  grudge  against  the  ^Palatines. 
Overstepping  his  prerogatives,  the  governor  granted  to 
the  Seven  Partners  1  of  Albany  at  a  very  moderate  selling- 
price  2  the  identical  territory,  between  the  Little  Schoharie 
and  the  Cobleskill,  on  which  the  Palatines  had  squatted. 
He  might  have  bestowed  upon  his  friends  some  of  the 
equally  valuable  lands  on  the  Mohawk,  but  his  purpose 
was  evidently  to  drive  the  Palatines  out  of  the  fertile 
valley  of  the  Schoharie,  choosing  to  forget  the  original 
instructions  of  Queen  Anne,  in  accordance  with  whidi  he 
was  to  engage  the  Palatines  in  the  business  of  preparing 
pitch  and  tar,  but  also  to  have  special  concern  for  “  the 
comfort  and  advantage  of  the  Palatines.”  It  was  not  so 
easy  a  matter  for  the  Seven  Partners  to  gain  actual  pos¬ 
session  of  the  territory  granted  them.  The  Palatines  in- 


1  The  grant  was  dated,  Fort  George,  November  3,  1714,  and  made  to 
Meyndert  Schuyler  Peter  van  Brugh,  Robert  Livingston,  Jr.,  Join,  Schuyler, 

G  2  m6  C,ark’  Dr'  Staats>  and  RlP  van  Dam.  Kapp,  p.  127;  Cobb,  p.  231. 
len  thousand  acres  for  fourteen  hundred  pistoles.  See  Kapp,  p.  231. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


97 


sisted  on  their  right  of  possession  by  purchase  from  the 
Indians,  and  by  special  assignment  of  Queen  Anne.  Gov¬ 
ernor  Hunter’s  only  excuse  could  be  that  so  long  as  the 
Palatines  had  not  produced  ship  stores  in  sufficient  quan¬ 
tity,1  he  would  not  carry  out  the  other  part  of  the  con¬ 
tract,  in  virtue  of  which  the  Palatines  as  colonists  were  en¬ 
titled  to  grants  of  land  at  the  rate  of  forty  acres  per  head. 

The  Seven  Partners  soon  sent  an  agent,  Bayard,  to  ac- 
quaint  the  German  settlers  with  the  new  order  of  things, 
and  graciously  to  offer  them  the  lands  they  had  cultivated, 
at  a  small  rental.  Bayard  was  lodged  in  Schmidtsdorf, 
located  centrally  among  the  seven  villages,  and  when  his 
purpose  became  known,  men,  women,  and  children,  armed 
with  clubs,  sickles,  knives,  and  guns  appeared  before  the 
house  where  the  agent  was  stopping.  Bayard  owed  his 
life  to  his  host,  Schmidt,  who  restrained  the  angered 
people  long  enough  to  allow  him  to  escape.  The  Seven 
Partners  then  sent  the  sheriff  of  Albany,  named  Adams, 
to  renew  the  offers  and  drive  from  the  land  those  unwill¬ 
ing  to  accept  their  terms,  particularly  Johann  Conrad 
Weiser.  According  to  the  sheriff’s  own  account,  as  he 
tried  to  seize  one  of  the  refractory  colonists,  he  was  struck 
down,  dragged  through  all  the  dirty  pools  of  the  streets 
by  the  women  of  the  village,  then  set  upon  a  fence-rail 
and  carried  about  for  an  hour.  He  lost  an  eye  and  had 
two  of  his  ribs  broken,  but  managed,  four  days  after,  to 
creep  or  crawl  back  to  Albany.  After  that  either  side 
waited,  and  the  Schoharie  people,  on  their  part,  were  very 
cautious  about  appearing  in  Albany.  In  time  they  grew 
bolder,  and  a  number  of  young  men,  including  the  son  of 
Weiser,  ventured  to  go  to  Albany  to  get  salt.  They  were 

1  The  failure  of  the  enterprise,  however,  released  the  Palatines  from  their 
obligations. 


98 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


captured  and  put  into  prison,  for  how  long  we  do  not 
know,  but  since  no  legitimate  charges  could  be  brought 
against  them,  they  had  to  be  set  free. 

The  Seven  Partners,  being  unable  to  dislodge  the  Pal¬ 
atines,  next  applied  to  the  governor.  In  1717  he  sum¬ 
moned  three  men  from  each  village  to  appear  in  Albany, 
including  Johann  Conrad  Weiser.  When  they  were  as¬ 
sembled,  Governor  Hunter,  in  a  passion  declaring  that  he 
would  have  Weiser  hanged,  put  three  questions  to  the 
Palatines  whom  he  had  summoned  :  — 

(1)  Why  had  they  gone  to  Schoharie  without  his  per¬ 
mission  ? 

(2)  Why  would  they  not  make  any  compromise  with 
the  gentlemen  of  Albany  ? 

(3)  Why  had  they  so  much  to  do  with  the  Indians  ? 

These  questions  the  deputies  answered  as  follows :  — 

Firstly,  they  had  been  compelled  by  necessity  to  shift 

for  themselves,  the  governor  having  told  them  to  do  so 
when  the  manufacture  of  tar  was  discontinued.  They  were 
compelled  to  go  somewhere  and  provide  against  starva¬ 
tion,  hoping  to  gain  later  the  approval  of  the  king  and 
governor.  When  the  speaker,  probably  Weiser,  mentioned 
the  king,  Hunter  grew  angry,  and  Livingston  added, 

Here  is  your  king,  pointing  to  the  governor. 

To  the  second  question  the  deputies  answered  that  they 
had  nothing  to  do  with  the  gentlemen  of  Albany ;  that 
the  Indians  had  presented  the  land  to  the  crown  for  the 
good  of  the  Palatines  5  that  they  had  since  that  time  boug'ht 
the  land  from  the  Indians ;  that  the  king  had  not  given 
it  to  the  Seven  Partners ;  and  that  if  they  must  serve  any 
one,  they  would  serve  the  king  and  no  private  person. 

In  answer  to  the  third  question  they  said  that  if  they 
did  not  live  on  good  terms  with  the  Indians,  they  would 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


99 


constantly  be  exposed  to  hostile  attacks  of  both  the  Indians 
and  the  French. 

Hunter  commanded  them  either  to  agree  with  the 
Albany  gentlemen  or  to  leave  the  valley,  and  forbade 
them  to  plow  and  sow  the  ground  until  they  had  come  to 
an  agreement.  The  deputies  returned  with  these  behests, 
none  of  which  were  obeyed.  The  following  winter  the 
people  sent  three  men  to  New  York,  asking  the  governor’s 
permission  to  cultivate  their  land.  Hunter  did  not  change 
his  position,  nor  did  the  Palatines  theirs,  on  the  return  of 
the  delegates.  As  Weiser  says  in  his  subsequent  account : 
“  They  were  forced  for  their  own  preservation  to  transgress 
these  orders,  and  sowed  some  small  corn  and  fruits,  or  else 
they  must  have  starved.”  In  the  spring  of  1718  the  Pala¬ 
tines  concluded  that  they  must  appeal  to  a  higher  power, 
and  appointed  three  of  their  best  men  to  go  to  London 
and  lay  their  grievances  before  the  king. 

Their  envoys  were  Johann  Conrad  Weiser,  Scheff,  and 
Wall  rath.  They  secretly  boarded  a  ship  in  Philadelphia, 
but  while  at  sea  misfortune  overtook  them,  they  fell 
into  the  hands  of  pirates,  and  were  robbed  of  all  their 
possessions.  Weiser  was  tied  to  the  mast  three  times  and 
pitifully  beaten,  to  yield  up  more  money,  though  he  had 
o-iven  his  last.  The  ship  was  forced  to  land  at  Boston, 
in  order  to  purchase  supplies  for  the  remaining  passage, 
and  when  it  arrived  in  London,  the  German  envoys  were 
bereft  of  all  their  means.  Friendless  and  poor  in  a  for¬ 
eign  city,  they  were  compelled  to  contract  debts,  in  con¬ 
sequence  of  which  Weiser  and  Scheff  were  put  into  the 
debtor’s  prison,  while  Wallrath  returned  homeward,  dying 
on  the  way.  The  others  remained  in  prison  almost  a  year, 
until  a  check  of  seventy  pounds  from  their  friends  in  Scho¬ 
harie  released  them.  Each  then  presented  a  petition  inde- 


100 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

pendently,  rehearsing1  their  history  and  numerous  griev¬ 
ances,  from  the  very  beginning,  their  arrival  at  New  York, 
to  the  attempted  expulsion  from  Schoharie,  their  land  of 
promise,  given  them  by  the  crown,  that  had  received  it 
from  the  Indians.  The  documents  showed  particular 
strength  in  argumentation,  and  proved  that  their  authors 
were  by  no  means  ignorant  men  such  as  the  Palatines  are 
frequently  set  down  for,  but  on  the  contrary  men  of  ability, 
particularly  Weiser,  and  both  of  a  higher  intellectual  type 
than  commonly  found  on  the  frontier.  Although  they  were 
supported  in  their  plea  by  both  pastors  of  the  Royal  Ger¬ 
man  Chapel,  Bohm  and  Robert,  they  did  not  get  a  satisfac¬ 
tory  hearing.  Governor  Hunter,  then  in  England,  after 
his  recall  from  office,  being  questioned  as  a  witness,  gave 
some  damaging  accounts  of  the  Palatines,  saying  among 
other  things  that  they  had  “  settled  against  his  will  on 
other  people  s  lands.  ’  He  was  thus  begging  the  very  point 
at  issue,  but  his  testimony  weighed  heavily  with  the  Lords 
of  Trade,  and  the  result  was  that  Hunter’s  grant  of  the 
lands  to  the  Seven  Partners  of  Albany  remained  intact. 

Sclieff  left  earlier  than  W eiser,  having  disagreed  with 
him  on  the  point  of  the  advisability  of  threatening  to 
leave  the  colony  of  New  York,  if  their  rights  were  not  n^ain- 
tained.  Such  a  step,  Sclieff  thought,  transcended  the  terms 
of  their  commission.  Weiser  remained  at  least  until  1722, 
hoping  against  hope,  determined  to  make  the  right  of  the 
Palatines  victorious,  but  in  1723  he  was  again  at  home  in 
Schoharie.  There  the  people  were  no  longer  in  agreement, 
but  were  discussing  1  the  adoption  of  one  of  three  separate 
courses :  first,  remaining  in  Schoharie  and  arriving  at  an 

It  is  said  also,  that  a  portion  of  the  younger  element  of  the  Palatines 
were  persuaded  or  bribed  by  the  Partners  of  Albany  to  subscribe  to  a  peti¬ 
tion  undermining  the  good  work  of  Weiser  and  Sclieff. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


101 


agreement  with  the  Albany  proprietors ;  second,  settling 
in  the  Mohawk  Y alley  on  land  assigned  them  by  the  new 
governor,  Burnet ;  and  third,  migrating  to  the  neighbor¬ 
ing  colony  of  Pennsylvania. 

Governor  Burnet  treated  the  Palatines  with  more  tact 
than  his  predecessor.  He  reasoned  with  them,  and  appar¬ 
ently  persuaded  most  of  them  that  it  was  to  their  advant¬ 
age  to  yield.  He  offered  them  equally  good  lands  on  the 
Mohawk,  a  proposition  the  acceptance  of  which  he  knew 
would  also  result  in  a  gain  for  the  province,  extending  the 
frontier  forty  miles  westward  and  thereby  protecting  the 
older  settlements.  The  petition  of  Weiser,  after  all,  prob¬ 
ably  had  had  a  good  effect,  for  now  the  home  government 
was  commanding  Burnet  to  take  action  in  behalf  of  the 
Palatines.  The  governor  had  some  trouble  in  getting  the 
squatters  to  believe  that  he  was  fair-minded,  in  urging 
them  to  accept  his  propositions.  His  impression  of  the 
Palatines  he  gave  in  the  words,  “  a  laborious  and  honest, 
but  headstrong  ignorant  people.”  At  one  time  he  speaks 
of  them  as  ungrateful,  but  governing  he  found  a  thank¬ 
less  task  and  the  criticism  does  not  apply  any  more  to  the 
Palatines  as  a  people  than  to  others.  The  latter  had  been 
treated  very  harshly,  and  a  forced  migration,  even  under 
favorable  conditions,  was  after  all  an  injustice  to  them. 

About  three  hundred  persons  remained  in  Schoharie, 
making  an  agreement  with  the  new  landlords,  on  easy 
terms.1  They  were  subsequently  joined  by  additional 
settlers  from  Germantown  and  Rhinebeck,  so  that  at  the 
time  of  the  Revolution  the  whole  of  the  Schoharie  country 
was  settled.  The  German  farms  extended  twenty-five  or 
thirty  miles  beyond  the  original  seven  villages.  The  in- 

1  Conrad  Weiser  says,  however,  the  best  lands  were  not  available  for  the 
Palatines. 


102  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

dustrious  and  thrifty  settlers  made  a  garden  of  the  coun¬ 
try,  and  peace  and  plenty  entered  their  lives.  They  were 
active  in  the  frontier  struggles  and  in  the  war  of  the  Re¬ 
volution,  but  after  that  led  cjuiet  lives,  leaving  no  particu¬ 
lar  mark  upon  the  history  of  the  state,  yet  harboring 
latent  forces,  which  occasionally  came  to  the  surface,  as 
in  the  career  of  William  C.  Bouck,  prominent  in  politics 
through  his  native  good  sense  and  honesty,  and  serving 
as  governor  of  the  state  of  New  York  from  1843  to 
1845. 

The  leader  of  the  Palatines  who  settled  in  the  Mohawk 
Valley  was  Gerlach.  The  settlements  were  made  on  either 
side  of  the  Mohawk  in  the  present  counties  of  Montgom- 
ery,  Herkimer,  and  beyond.  Fort  Hunter  was  the  eastern¬ 
most  point,  and  fifty  miles  west,  at  Frankfort,  was  the 
western  limit.  The  whole  distance  between  Frankfort  and 
Schenectady  is  seventy  English  miles,  of  which  area  the 
Germans  settled  more  than  two  thirds.  In  this  location 
they  protected  the  frontier  of  New  York  throughout  the 
French  and  Indian  and  the  Revolutionary  wars,  the  Scho¬ 
harie  Germans  forming  the  other  side  of  the  wedge  run¬ 
ning  into  the  western  territory  of  New  York.  The  district 
soon  became  the  granary  in  time  of  peace  and  war,  and 
the  labors  of  Governor  Burnet  were  well  rewarded.  In 
number  the  Palatine  settlers  of  the  Mohawk  Valley, 
about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  amounted  to 
from  twenty-five  hundred  to  three  thousand,  inhabiting 
about  five  hundred  houses.  Indian  traders  advanced  as 
far  as  Oswego  and  Niagara,  which  marked  the  borders  also 
of  the  territory  of  the  Six  Nations.  Even  to-day  the  Mo¬ 
hawk  Valley  is  Palatine  territory,  indexed  with  German 
names,  as  Palatine,  Palatine  Bridge,  Mannheim,  Oppen- 
heirn,  Newkirk,  etc.  The  level  meadows  extending  along 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


103 


the  south  side  of  the  Mohawk,  unsurpassed  in  cultivation 
and  fertility,  are  still  known  as  the  German  Flats.  On 
the  opposite  side  of  the  Mohawk  lies  the  town  bearing  the 
name  of  General  Herkimer  (or  Herklieimer),  the  hero  of 
the  battle  of  Oriskany,  described  in  the  chapter  below 
on  the  Revolutionary  War.1 

Not  only  Gerlach,  who  led  his  hosts  to  the  Mohawk 
Valley,  but  another  of  the  seven  chiefs  would  not  listen 
to  the  compromise  of  the  Albany  landlords.  Johann  Con¬ 
rad  Weiser  chose  rather  to  leave  the  lands  he  and  his 
people  had  cultivated  for  twelve  years  than  suffer  injust¬ 
ice.  For  some  time  past  a  number  of  the  Palatines  at 
Schoharie  had  looked  in  the  direction  of  Pennsylvania  for 
settlement,  receiving  encouragement  from  Governor  Keith, 
who  promised  them  freedom  and  justice.  A  petition  had 
been  addressed  to  him  from  fifteen  heads  of  Palatine  fami¬ 
lies,  that  recited  their  experiences  in  New  York,  spoke 
of  the  generous  treatment  always  shown  their  countrymen 
in  Pennsylvania,  and  begged  that  lands  might  be  set  aside 
for  them  on  the  Tulpehocken,  which  they  would  be  ready 
and  able  to  purchase.  This  petition  was  acted  upon  favor¬ 
ably,  and  an  immigration  to  Pennsylvania  resulted  on  in¬ 
vitation  of  Governor  Keith.  To  carry  out  the  plan,  steps 
were  taken  in  the  assembly  to  satisfy  the  claims  of  Chief 
Sassouan,  who  protested  against  the  occupation  of  the 
Tulpehocken  district.  The  Indians  were  given  compensa¬ 
tion  satisfactory  to  them,  and  the  relations  between  the 
Palatines  and  aborigines  became  as  cordial  in  Pennsylvania 
as  they  had  been  in  Schoharie. 

The  migration  was  made  in  two  bodies,  the  first  starting 
in  the  spring  of  1723,  and  the  second  m  K2S.  About 
sixty  families,  or  three  hundred  persons,  left  Schoharie. 

1  Chapter  xi,  pp.  307-314. 


104  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

This  time  they  had  a  large  train  of  cattle,  abundant  sup¬ 
plies,  and  money  to  make  a  good  beginning.  They  as¬ 
cended  the  Schoharie,  and  under  the  conduct  of  an  Indian 
guide  crossed  the  mountains  southwestwardly  to  the  head¬ 
waters  of  the  Susquehanna.  They  constructed  canoes  and 
followed  the  Susquehanna  River  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Swatara.  Ascending  the  river,  they  reached  the  undulat¬ 
ing  country  that  lies  between  the  sources  of  the  Swatara 
and  Tulpehocken,  and  made  it  the  site  of  their  permanent 
settlement.  Heidelberg  Avas  the  name  given  to  their  first 
town.  Word  was  sent  back  to  Schoharie  of  the  success  of 
the  expedition  and  settlement,  and  five  years  later  came 
Coni  ad  Weiser,  with  his  people,  Avho  had  been  hoping  in 
vain  that  by  some  chance  they  might  still  get  a  clear  title 
to  their  possessions.  The  Weisers  founded  the  settlement 
of  Womelsdorf,  which  rapidly  gained  in  importance.  Con¬ 
rad  Weiser,  the  younger,  was  soon  recognized  as  the  head 
of  the  new  German  settlements  in  Berks  County,  his 
public  service  as  a  soldier  and  mediator  in  Indian  affairs 
making  his  name  respected  throughout  the  land.  The 
elder  Weiser  lived  with  his  son  almost  a  score  of  years 
longer,  seeing  increase  and  prosperity  all  about  him,  and 
peace  at  last.  He  had  been  one  of  the  most  stubborn 
fighters  for  justice  and  independence  in  all  colonial  his¬ 
tory,  Avhat  with  the  determined  stand  he  took  against 
Hunter,  and  the  defense  of  his  people’s  rights  before  the 
very  throne  of  Great  Britain,  ever  undaunted  by  pov¬ 
erty,  chastisement,  imprisonment,  and  the  Lav’s  delay. 

I  he  number  of  Palatines  in  the  Tulpehocken  district 
was  very  soon  increased  by  accessions  from  Germany.  Re- 
poits  of  their  kind  treatment  in  Pennsylvania  went  home 
through  letters  and  personal  messages,  with  the  result 
tiat  the  main  stream  of  German  immigration  now  went 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


105 


into  Pennsylvania  and  avoided  New  York.  The  Swedish 
traveler  and  naturalist,  Peter  Kalm,  comments  upon  this 
fact,  and  says  that  even  when  immigrants  were  forced  to 
take  ships  hound  for  New  York,  “  they  were  scarce  got  on 
shore  when  they  hastened  to  Pennsylvania  in  sight  of  all 
the  inhabitants  of  New  York.”  Within  twenty  years  of  the 
settlement  of  Tulpehocken,  the  Germans  in  the  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  counties  had  increased  to  nearly  fifty  thousand.  The 
colony  of  New  York  lost  inestimably  through  the  diversion 
of  this  main  current  of  immigration,  and  it  is  largely  due 
to  this  fact  that  New  York  in  colonial  times  ranked  but 
fourth  in  importance,  being  exceeded  by  Massachusetts, 
Pennsylvania,  and  Virginia. 

The  name  of  probably  the  most  lasting  fame  among  the 
Palatine  settlers  of  New  York  State  is  that  of  the  printer, 
John  Peter  Zenger.  He  made  the  first  good  fight  in  the 
history  of  the  American  colonies  for  the  liberty  of  the 
press.  When  a  youth  of  thirteen  years  he  was  apprenticed 
to  William  Bradford,  then  the  only  printer  of  New  York. 
He  was  one  of  the  Palatine  orphan  boys,  separated  from 
the  other  colonists,  and  left  behind  in  New  York  City ;  but 
great  was  his  fortune  to  serve  under  a  man  of  such  high 
character  as  Bradford.  The  latter  was  an  English  Quaker, 
who  had  come  over  with  William  Penn,  but  in  1685  re¬ 
moved  to  the  colony  of  New  York.  In  1725  he  had  given 
New  York  City  its  first  newspaper,  “The  New  York 
Gazette.”  With  him  Zenger  learned  the  trade  of  printing 
and  the  art  of  editing  a  newspaper.  His  rise  had  been 
speedy  from  apprentice,  to  employer,  to  partner.  In  1733 
Zenger  left  the  partnership  and  started  an  independent 
newspaper  called  the  “New  York  Weekly  Journal. 
Bradford’s  paper  was  the  organ  of  the  governor’s  party, 
Zenger’s  that  of  the  opposition. 


106  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

The  beginnings  of  an  epoch  of  severe  party  strife  in 
New  York  came  with  the  appointment  of  Governor  Cosby, 
who  had  been  governor  of  Minorca  and  there  made  an 
unenviable  reputation  for  avarice.  He  did  not  immediately 
come  to  New  York,  but  resided  in  London  a  year  before 
entering  upon  his  duties.  In  the  interim  Rip  Van  Dam, 
as  president  of  the  council,  conducted  the  affairs  of  the 
colony.  Cosby  claimed  that  one  half  of  the  salary  paid  to 
the  president  of  the  council  was  due  to  himself.  Van  Dam 
agreed  to  this,  but  demurred  when  Cosby  claimed  also  one 
half  the  fees  the  former  had  received.  A  lawsuit  arose  which 
divided  the  colony  into  two  camps,  popular  sympathy  nat¬ 
urally  being  on  the  side  of  Rip  Van  Dam.  When  Cosby 
dismissed  Chief  Justice  Morris  and  set  in  his  place  a  man 
amenable  to  his  designs,  popular  discontent  rose  to  white 
heat.  The  case  naturally  was  won  by  Cosby,  but  it  was  a 
victory  dearly  bought,  savoring  of  bitter  defeat.  Brad¬ 
ford’s  “New  York  Gazette”  being  the  faithful  instrument 
of  the  government,  Zenger  thought  the  auspicious  moment 

oundin&  of  a  paper  voicing  the  senti¬ 
ments -of  the  people.  The  “New  York  Weekly  Journal” 
obtained  as  supporters  and  contributors  some  of  the  ablest 
men  in  the  province,  such  as  Rip  Van  Dam,  Judge  Morris, 
and  the  lawyers  Smith  and  Alexander.  Bradford’s  stately 
pages  were  no  match  for  the  bold,  truth-telling,  satirical 
columns  of  Zenger. 

Now  there  appeared  in  the  “Journal”  a  number  of 
articles,  which  inveighed  against  the  high-handed  actions 
of  the  governor,  and  complained  of  his  driving  residents 
of  New  York  away  to  other  colonies.  The  following  is  a 
brief  quotation  from  the  paper:  — 

We  see  men’s  deeds  destroyed,  judges  arbitrarily  displaced, 
new  courts  erected  without  the  consent  of  the  legislature,  by 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


10T 


which  it  seems  to  me  trials  by  jury  are  taken  away  when  a  gov¬ 
ernor  pleases;  men  of  known  estates  denied  their  votes  contrary 
to  the  recent  practice  of  the  best  expositor  of  any  law.  Who  is 
there  in  that  province  that  can  call  anything  his  own,  or  enjoy 
any  liberty  longer  than  those  in  the  administration  will  conde¬ 
scend  to  let  them,  for  which  reason  I  left  it,  as  I  believe  more 
will. 

This  was  plain  speaking1,  unheard  of  in  the  colonial 
papers  up  to  that  time,  yet  it  represented  the  exercise  of  a 
newspaper’s  noblest  function,  that  of  giving  free  and  fear¬ 
less  expression  to  public  opinion. 

The  governor  left  no  stone  unturned  to  close  the 
mouthpiece  of  the  people’s  party.  First  he  directed  the 
grand  jury  to  indict  Zenger  for  libel.  They  did  not  see 
any  cause  for  accusation.  The  governor  tried  the  jury 
again,  and  failed.  He  then  brought  the  matter  before  the 
colonial  assembly,  who  refused  to  order  the  burning  by 
the  hangman  of  certain  numbers  of  the  “  Weekly  Journal.” 
The  colonial  council  (upper  house),  under  pressure  from 
the  governor,  then  passed  an  order,  by  which  the  hang¬ 
man  was  to  burn  publicly  certain  designated  articles,  while 
the  burgomaster  and  magistrate  of  the  city  should  wit¬ 
ness  the  act.  The  latter  both  refused  to  obey,  and  when, 
four  days  later  (November  6,  1734),  the  sheriff  made  a 
motion  in  court  to  carry  out  the  order,  they  forbade  the 
hangman,  who  was  a  city  official,  to  act  in  accordance 
with  the  demand.  The  objectionable  numbers  of  the  news¬ 
papers  were  then  burned  by  a  black  slave  of  the  sheriff 
in  the  presence  of  some  officers  of  the  garrison. 

Soon  after,  on  the  17th  of  November,  followed  the 
arrest  of  Zenger,  but  he  was  set  free  on  bail,  through 
the  efforts  of  his  lawyers,  James  Alexander  and  William 
Smith.  In  January,  1735,  the  grand  jury  again  found 


108  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

no  cause  for  indicting-  Zenger.  The  attorney-general 
next  took  the  matter  in  hand.  The  lawyers  of  Zenger 
attacked  the  constitutionality  of  the  court  over  which 
Delancey  (successor  to  Morris)  presided,  but  this  was 
followed  by  the  latter’s  disbarring  Alexander  and  Smith 
from  practice  in  New  York  for  contempt  of  court.  Thus 
Zenger  lost  his  legal  defenders,  and  his  case  seemed  hope¬ 
less  in  the  face  of  the  criminal  procedure  instituted  against 
him,  August  14,  1735.1  But  Zenger’s  cause  had  become 
more  than  a  personal  contest;  it  was  now  the  cause  of  the 
people  of  New  York  and  with  them  of  all  the  American 
colonists.  The  friends  of  Zenger  summoned  to  his  aid 
Andrew  Hamilton  of  Philadelphia,  the  most  noted  and 
respected  advocate  of  the  colonies.  He  was  a  Scotch- 
Irishman,  who  had  settled  in  the  Quaker  City  in  the  be¬ 
ginning  of  the  century  and  had  come  by  his  reputation 
justly  through  his  able  and  honest  public  service. 

In  this  trial  he  admitted  at  once  that  his  client  had 
published  the  paragraph  in  question,  whereupon  the  court 
claimed  a  verdict  for  the  crown.  But  Hamilton  main¬ 
tained  that  the  question  for  the  jury  to  decide  was  not 
whether  the  paragraph  in  question  had  been  printed  or 
not  by  Zenger,  but  whether  the  paragraph  which  Zenger 
had  printed  was  a  libel  or  not.  The  paragraph  had  been 
described  as  false,  scandalous,  malicious,  and  seditious.” 
Hamilton  declared  that  there  was  nothing  false  in  the 
paragraph,  but  that  it  was  a  statement  of  plain  and  well- 
known  facts.  The  chief  justice  ruled  that  the  truth  of  a 
libel  could  not  be  admitted  in  evidence  according  to  Eng¬ 
lish  law.  But  Hamilton  impressed  upon  the  jury,  by  the 
very  force  of  his  character  and  eloquence,  the  justice  of 
his  own  view,  that  what  the  jury  was  to  decide  was 

1  Kapp,  p.  176. 


THE  PALATINE  IMMIGRATION 


109 


whether  the  paragraph  of  Zenger,  if  true,  could  properly 
be  condemned  as  a  libel.  Hamilton  created  a  precedent 
for  the  future,  and  this  very  case  of  the  Zenger  trial  was 
referred  to  in  1792,  when  the  Fox  Libel  Act  became  a  law 
in  England! 

The  peroration  of  Hamilton  was  a  remarkable  per¬ 
formance,  and  won  the  jury  unanimously.  In  conclusion 
the  able  advocate  said :  — 

The  Question  before  the  Court,  and  you,  Gentlemen  of  the 
Jury,  is  not  of  small  nor  private  Concern,  it  is  not  the  Cause  of 
a  poor  Printer,  nor  of  New  York  alone,  which  you  are  trying: 
No!  It  may  in  its  Consequence,  affect  every  Freeman  that  lives 
under  a  British  Government  on  the  Main  of  America!  It  is  the 
best  Cause,  it  is  the  Cause  of  Liberty,  and  I  make  no  Doubt 
but  your  upright  Conduct,  this  Day,  will  not  only  entitle  you  to 
the  Love  and  Esteem  of  your  Fellow-Citizens,  but  every  Man 
who  prefers  Freedom  to  a  Life  of  Slavery  will  bless  and  honor 
You,  as  Men  who  have  baffled  the  Attempt  of  Tyranny;  and  by 
an  impartial  and  uncorrupt  Verdict,  have  laid  a  noble  Founda¬ 
tion  for  securing  to  ourselves,  our  Posterity  and  our  Neighbors, 
That,  to  which  Nature  and  the  Laws  of  our  Country  have  given 
us  a  Right — The  Liberty  — both  of  exposing  and  opposing 
arbitrary  Power  (in  these  Parts  of  the  World,  at  least)  ...  by 
speaking  and  writing  Truth! 

Judge  Delancey  delivered  a  charge  to  the  jury  which 
fell  upon  deaf  ears.  They  returned  very  shortly  with  the 
verdict  of  “not  guilty.”  The  scene  that  followed  outside  of 
the  court-room,  when  the  acquittal  of  John  Peter  Zenger 
became  known,  had  had  no  equal  in  the  history  of  New 

1  Fiske,  The  Dutch  and  Quaker  Colonies,  vol.  ii,  p.  244.  Cf.  also  Kapp, 
chap,  ix, —  a  complete  report  of  the  trial,  with  the  speech  of  Hamilton, 
in  a  German  translation,  is  given  on  pp.  178-199.  Cf.  also  John  Peter 
Zenger:  His  Press,  His  Trial  and  a  Bibliography  of  Zenger  Imprints,  by 
Livingston  Rutherford.  New  York,  1904.  The  text  is  accompanied  by 
abundant  illustrations.  Zenger’s  verbatim  report  of  1736  is  given  com¬ 
plete,  in  its  original  form. 


110 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


York.  There  was  no  greater  rejoicing  on  the  day  of  the 
inauguration  of  George  Washington.  By  threats  the  judges 
tried  to  subdue  the  shouting,  but  they  might  as  well  have 
tried  to  stem  the  flow  of  the  tides.  An  English  naval 
officer  made  an  allusion  to  the  acquittal  of  the  Seven 
Bishops,  which  renewed  the  popular  demonstration.  The 
aged  Hamilton,  whose  bodily  infirmities  could  not  keep 
him  from  serving  his  people  and  nation,  was  the  hero  of 
the  hour,  and  on  leaving,  he  was  accompanied  by  an  escort 
and  martial  music. 

Zenger  also  deserves  a  large  share  of  the  glory  in  this 
brilliant  victory.  He  was  the  one  to  provoke  the  fight 
for  the  freedom  of  the  press,  and  then  he  added  to  his 
services  by  giving  in  his  newspaper  a  complete  verbatim 
account  of  the  trial,  a  valuable  piece  of  legal  and  historical 
literature.  He  possessed  the  genuine  newspaper  instinct 
and  persistence.  When  in  prison,  his  bail  having  been 
fixed  at  so  high  a  sum,  eight  hundred  pounds,  that  it  was 
impossible  to  procure  release,  he  went  on  publishing  his 
newspaper  energetically.  He  communicated  with  and  dic¬ 
tated  to  his  assistants,  availing  himself,  it  is  said,  of  a 
crack  m  the  door  of  his  prison,  and  his  newspaper 
appeared  without  interruption.  Peter  Zenger  was  no 
meie  typesetter,  but  a  live  and  fearless  journalist  of  the 
modern  stamp.  The  Zenger  trial  laid  the  foundation  of 
the  liberty  of  the  press  in  America,  and  Peter  Zenker 
himself  was  the  founder  of  the  first  independent  news¬ 
paper  in  the  country. 


.  ! .  1  *"S  rePort>  Prmted  in  full  in  the  works  of  Kapp  and  Rutherford,  named 
in  the  footnote  above,  puts  to  shame  the  charge  of  ignorance  sometimes  made 
against  the  Palatine  apprentice.”  Equally  unfair  is  the  statement  that  the 
poor  printer  knew  not  the  importance  of  the  stand  he  was  takiim  We 
might  in  the  same  way  find  fault  with  Luther  or  Columbus  because  they  did 

takin^  126  ^  th<3  tlme  the  fuU  conse(luences  of  the  ^dical  steps  they  were 


CHAPTER  Y 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA 

The  various  religious  sects  —  The  Lutherans,  German  Reformed,  and  United 
Brethren,  the  three  most  influential  denominations  —  Statistics,  and 
characteristics  of  the  Pennsylvania  German  farmer,  and  the  sixteen 
points  enumerated  by  Dr.  Rush,  the  “  Tacitus  ”  of  the  Pennsylvanians  — 
Industrial  activity  of  the  Pennsylvania  Germans  —  Their  printing- 
presses,  newspapers,  schools. 

The  principal  port  of  entry  for  German  immigrations 
before  the  Revolution  was  Philadelphia.  Some  Germans, 
as  will  be  seen,  entered  at  northern  ports;  after  the  ill- 
starred  arrival  of  the  Palatines,  however,  only  a  few  im¬ 
migrants  landed  at  New  York;  Baltimore1  and  Charleston 
received  more  Germans,  though  the  exact  number  is  dif¬ 
ficult  to  ascertain;  but  probably  all  ports  combined  did 
not  surpass  Philadelphia.  The  immigrations  before  the 
Revolution  may  be  divided  into  three  periods.  The  earli¬ 
est,  from  1683  to  1710,  is  the  least  in  amount,  and  repre¬ 
sents  the  initial  movement.  An  increase  came  between 
1710  and  1727,  the  latter  being  the  year  when  records 
of  the  immigration  were  begun,  with  names  of  persons 
and  generally  of  the  country  whence  they  came.  The 
reason  for  recording  the  immigration  was  its  great  in¬ 
crease,  sometimes  amounting  to  from  five  to  eight  thou¬ 
sand  a  year,  and  the  consequent  fear  that  this  swelling 
German  population,  together  with  the  large  Scotch-Irish 
immigration,  might  change  the  character  of  the  state 

1  Including  Annapolis  and  Alexandria^  i.  e.*  all  the  Germans  coming  by 
way  of  Chesapeake  Bay. 


112 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


politically  and  socially.  Though  there  recurred  from  time 
to  time  a  nativistic  agitation,  nothing  was  done  prohibit¬ 
ive  of  immigration. 

After  the  settlement  of  Germantown,  in  1683,  and  its 
subsequent  accessions,  the  second  strong  current  of  Ger¬ 
man  immigration  into  Pennsylvania  was  that  of  the  Swiss 
Mennomtes,  about  1/ 10.  They  were  of  the  same  religious 
faith  as  the  original  settlers  of  Germantown,  wTho  had 
been  Mennonites  before  joining  the  Quakers,  and  whose 
favorable  reports  from  Pennsylvania  no  doubt  induced 
their  brethren  to  try  their  fortunes  also  in  the  land  of 
Penn.  The  movement  gained  strength,  in  1711,  when  the 
Mennonites  of  Bern  were  offered  free  transportation  down 
the  Rhine,  the  privileges  of  selling  their  property  and 
taking  their  families  with  them,  provided  they  would 
pledge  themselves  never  to  return  to  Switzerland.  The 
Mennonites  of  Holland  offered  them  a  helping  hand, 
especially  the  Dutch  ambassador,  Runckel.  The  Swiss 
Mennonites  selected  as  their  settlement  a  tract  of  ten 
thousand  acres  on  Pequa  Creek,  Conestoga,  in  what  is 
now  Lancaster  County  (organized  in  1729),  their  patent 
being  made  out  in  the  names  of  Hans  Herr  and  Martin 
Kundig.1  The  industrious  and  gentle  Mennonites  lived 
on  good  terms  with  the  Conestoga  and  Mingo  Indian 
tribes,  and  with  the  help  of  the  later  German  immigrants, 
that  soon  poured  into  the  county,  Lancaster  became  the 


Some  of  the  names  of  the  Lancaster  County  Swiss  are  the  following  : 
Aeschlimann,  Brubacher,  Baumgartner,  Brechbuhl,  Bucher,  Biihler,  Biirki 
Ebersold,  Egli,  Fahrni,  Fliickiger,  Frick  (from  Zurich),  Galli,  Gaumann,’ 

n’  nT’  Graf’rGut’  Haldimau“>  Hauri,  Huber,  Jeggli,  Krahen- 
buh!  (Krehb.el),  Kuenz,,  Landis,  Maurer,  Meili,  Neukomm,  Oberli,  Ringer 

Rohner,  Rubeli,  Rubi,  Ruegsegger,  Rupp,  Schallenberger,  Schurch,  Stahli’ 
Strahm  Wenger,  W.sler,  Zurcher.  Cf.  Kuhns,  The  German  and  Swiss  Settle- 

47  °  St°ry  °fthe  S°~Called  Pmnsylvania  Dutch> 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  113 


garden  spot  and  pride  of  Pennsylvania.  Another  very  old 
settlement  of  the  Mennonites  was  that  at  Sldppack  in 
Montgomery  County,  where  a  number  of  the  old  Ger¬ 
mantown  Mennonites  settled  as  early  as  1702.  One  hun¬ 
dred  acres  were  presented  by  Van  Bibber  for  a  church, 
erected  about  1726. 

In  doctrine  the  Mennonites  resembled  the  Quakers 
closely.  They  would  not  bear  arms,  they  believed  in  the 
separation  of  church  and  state,  the  freedom  of  conscience, 
simplicity  of  dress  and  life.  They  refused  to  take  oaths, 
and  baptized  only  on  the  profession  of  faith.  Their  found¬ 
er  was  Menno  Simons  (1492—1559)  of  Friesland.  In  the 
seventeenth  century  there  was  a  schism,  dividing  the  sect 
into  Ammenites1  (or  Upland  Mennonites)  and  Lowland 
Mennonites.  The  former  were  the  more  conservative  and 
rigorous  in  doctrine  and  in  dress.  The  use  of  buttons,  for 
instance,  was  considered  a  vain  thing,  and  hooks  and  eyes 
became  the  substitute.  They  are  also  called  Amish,  and 
their  number  in  the  United  States  to-day  is  about  fifteen 
thousand.2 

Another  sect  which  chose  Pennsylvania  as  a  place  of 
refuge  very  early  in  the  history  of  the  province  was  that 
of  the  Dunkards  or  Tunkers.  Their  name  is  derived  from 
their  method  of  baptism,  dipping  (in  German,  eintunken). 

1  After  the  founder,  Jacob  Amraen,  of  the  Canton  Bern,  Switzerland. 
There  were  other  divisions  in  the  Mennonite  Church,  such  as  the  formation 
of  the  Reformed  Mennonites.  On  this  subject,  see  Kuhns,  German  and  Swiss 
Settlements  of  Pennsylvania,  pp.  178  ff.  The  chapter  on  “  The  Religious  Life  of 
the  Pennsylvania  Germans,”  pp.  153-192,  is  an  excellent  presentation  of  the 


subject  of  the  German  sectarians  of  Pennsylvania. 

2  The  last  census  (1900)  reports  the  number  of  Amish  as  .  13,413 

Of  old  Amish  as  ........  2,438 

Together  ..........  15,851 


The  total  number  of  Mennonites  in  the  United  States,  including  the  Amish, 
is  59,892. 


114  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

As  in  the  case  of  the  Mennonites,  there  was  with  them  no 
infant  baptism,  they  refused  to  take  oaths  or  hear  arms, 
and  to  accept  public  office.  They  would  not  institute  a  law¬ 
suit  against  brethren  of  the  order,  and  they  lived  the  sim¬ 
ple  life.  Alexander  Mack  was  the  founder,  in  1708,  estab¬ 
lishing  a  congregation  at  Schwarzenau  in  Westphalia.  In 
course  of  time  all  of  the  Dunkards  came  to  Pennsylvania, 
the  first  group  of  twenty  families  arriving  in  1719.  They 
were  distributed  among  the  settlements  of  Germantown, 
Skippack,  Oley  (in  Berks  County),  and  Conestoga.  Their 
leader,  Peter  Baker  (Becker),  sometime  minister  under 
Mack,  made  a  tour  of  all  the  Tunker  settlements  in  1723, 
instituted  among  them  a  revival  of  their  religion,  and  suc¬ 
ceeded  also  in  gaining  many  new  members.  One  of  the 
most  prominent  Tunkers  was  the  printer  Cristopher  Sauer, 
the  publisher  of  a  German  newspaper  with  a  wide  circula¬ 
tion  throughout  the  province.  The  paper  made  him  one 
of  the  most  influential  men  among  the  German  settlers,  and 
gave  prominence  to  religious  principles  that  the  Tunkers 
had  in  common  with  the  Mennonites,  Quakers,  and  Ana¬ 
baptists,  such  as  rigorous  simplicity  in  dress  and  habits,  re¬ 
fusal  to  bear  arms,  take  oaths,  or  accept  public  office,  princi¬ 
ples  which  were  opposed  to  the  more  strenuous  and  militant 
rule  of  life  exhibited  by  the  patriarch  of  the  Lutheran 
Church,  Muhlenberg,  and  his  friend  of  the  Reformed 
Church,  Schlatter,  who  was  soon  to  appear  in  Pennsylvania. 

Conrad  Beissel  had  been  chosen  assistant  to  Baker,  in 
the  fold  of  the  Tunkers,  but,  “  being  wise  in  his  own  con¬ 
ceit,”  Beissel  soon  caused  trouble  in  the  church,  on  the 
issue  of  Sabbath  observance.  He  declared  that  the  day  of 
rest  should  be  celebrated  on  the  seventh  day,  and  when  a 
council  held  at  Conestoga,  where  the  founder,  Alexander 
Mack,  who  had  come  to  visit  Pennsylvania,  was  present, 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  115 


decided  against  him,  he  determined  to  secede.  With  a  few 
followers  he  organized  a  society  of  “  Seventh-Day  Bap¬ 
tists”  on  the  Conestoga,  but  some  years  later,  desiring  even 
greater  seclusion  from  the  world,  he  fled  to  the  Cocalico 
and  there  founded  the  Cloister  of  Ephrata.1  Its  successful 
administration,  peculiar  customs,  and  devotion  to  music,  ren¬ 
dered  it  unique  and  picturesque.  There  was  a  home  for  the 
brothers  and  one  for  the  sisters,  with  such  names  as  Kedar, 
Bethania,  and  Saron,  and  some  of  their  buildings  have 
lasted  even  to  our  day.  Tonsure  and  monkish  robes  were 
introduced,  asceticism  prevailed,  and  devotion  to  the  order 
characterized  them  from  the  beginning,  when  the  brethren 
balked  not  at  becoming  their  own  plow-horses.  All  pro¬ 
perty  was  owned  by  the  order,  which  grew  rapidly  in  wealth 
through  the  self-sacrificing  toil  of  its  members.  The  cloister 
owned  a  printing-press,  from  which  there  are  still  extant 
many  of  the  mystical  writings  of  Conrad  Beissel  (“  Vater 
Friedsam  Gottrecht  ”),  and  some  of  the  religious  songs 
chanted  by  the  choirs.  The  literature  of  Ephrata  reminds 
one  strongly  of  the  Mystic  Kelpius  and  his  brotherhood, 
of  which  the  Ephrata  Community,  as  has  been  observed 
above,  is  the  logical  successor. 

Another  sect  that  built  its  altar  in  the  forests  of  Penn¬ 
sylvania  was  that  of  the  Schwenkf elders.  They  were 
founded  by  a  contemporary  of  Luther,  Kaspar  fechwenk- 
feld,  of  Ossing,  Silesia.  They  suffered  persecution  at  the 
hands  of  Protestants  and  Catholics  alike,  until  in  1726 
they  were  hospitably  received  by  Zinzendorf.  In  1733-34 
they  immigrated  and  settled  for  the  most  part  in  Mont¬ 
gomery  County,  being  most  numerous  in  the  neighbor¬ 
hood  of  Goshenhoppen. 

1  Cf.  Seidensticker,  Bilder  aus  der  deutsch-pennsylvanischen  Geschichte, 
pp.  169-250:  “Ephrata.  Eine  amerikanische  Klostergeschichte.  ’ 


116  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

The  three  most  important  religious  denominations,  how¬ 
ever,  were  the  Lutherans,  the  German  Reformed,  and  the 
United  Brethren  (Moravians).  They  were  not  prominent 
in  the  earliest  history  of  the  German  settlements  in  Penn- 
sylvama,  though  they  may  have  been  represented.  Being 
fai  more  numerous  in  the  mother  country,  they  were 
bound  to  become  more  and  more  prominent  as  the  current 
:nmi0  ration  grew  in  volume.  This  applies 
especially  to  the  Lutherans  and  Reformed,  the  Moravians 
finally  yielding  to  the  former  in  numbers,  power,  and  in¬ 
fluence,  retaining,  however,  the  most  prominent  place  in 
the  field  of  missionary  work.  The  first  Lutheran  preacher 
ordained  in  America  was  Justus  Falckner,  who  entered 
the  ministry  under  the  auspices  of  the  Swedish  Lutheran 
church  of  Wicacoa  (now  Southwark,  a  part  of  Philadel¬ 
phia).  Undoubtedly  he  was  one  of  the  first,  if  not  the 
first  German  Lutheran  preacher  in  America.  Soon  after 
ordination  (1703)  he  preached  to  the  Germans  in  Falck- 
ner’s  Swamp  (New  Flanover),  the  land  which  his  brother, 
Daniel  Falckner,  had  acquired  for  the  Frankfort  Com¬ 
pany.1  Soon  J ustus  Falckner  was  called  to  serve  the  Lu¬ 
theran  churches  in  New  York  and  Albany,  leaving  Falck- 
ner’s  Swamp  without  a  preacher.  Another  old  Lutheran 
settlement  before  1729  was  that  called  Trappe  (New 
Piovidence),  located  south  of  New  Hanover,  between  the 
Schuylkill  and  the  Perkiomen,  in  Montgomery  County. 
The  other  Lutherans  were  located  in  Germantown  and 
Philadelphia.  It  was  very  common  in  the  early  days 
for  the  Lutherans  and  Reformed  to  use  the  same  build¬ 
ing  for  worship,  sometimes  even  to  retain  the  same  min- 

‘  n0ted’  [t  was  the  ren™illinS  portion  of  the  25,000  acres 

after  2675  had  been  deducted  for  Germantown  and  300  for  a  tract  on  the 
ochuylkill  above  the  Wissahickon,  leaving  22,025  acres. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  117 


ister,  as  was  the  practice  in  Philadelphia.  In  German¬ 
town  the  Lutherans  laid  the  foundation  of  their  church 
in  1730.1 

Under  these  circumstances  the  Lutheran  Church  could 
not  prosper.  Therefore  three  congregations,  those  of 
Philadelphia,  New  Hanover,  and  Providence,  in  1733, 
united  to  petition  the  Lutheran  court  preacher  of  London, 
Reverend  F.  M.  Ziegenhagen,  for  assistance.  A  minister 
was  asked  for,  and  contributions  in  money  for  the  building 
of  a  Lutheran  church.  The  matter  was  much  delayed,  be¬ 
cause  of  the  dishonesty  of  two  of  the  delegates,  who  had 
been  sent  abroad  for  the  purpose  of  getting  financial  as¬ 
sistance.  In  1741  a  fortunate  choice  was  made  in  the  se¬ 
lection  of  Heinrich  Melchior  Muhlenberg,  as  pastor  for  the 
three  Pennsylvania  congregations.  Muhlenberg  had  stud¬ 
ied  at  Gottingen  and  prepared  himself  for  his  profession 
at  Halle,  where  Pastor  August  Hermann  Francke  was  the 
head  of  the  Lutheran  Church,  or  more  strictly  of  the  Pie- 
tistic  wing.  Muhlenberg  did  not  proceed  at  once  to  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  but  preferred  first  to  visit  Pastor  Bolzius,  the 
leader  of  the  Salzburg  colony  in  Georgia,  in  order  to  get 
from  him  some  information  as  to  conditions  in  America. 
This  was  done  on  the  advice  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Ziegen¬ 
hagen  and  was  fortunate  for  him,  preparing  the  young 
man  well  for  coming  events  in  Pennsylvania  and  helping 
him  to  understand  a  very  intricate  problem  in  the  south¬ 
ern  colony,  which  he  was  subsequently  called  to  solve. 
In  Charleston,  before  he  reached  Ebenezer  in  Georgia, 
he  heard  that  Count  Zinzendorf  had  arrived  in  Philadel¬ 
phia  under  the  name  of  von  Thiirnstein,  and  that  he  was 
m airing  a  great  stir  in  the  church.  Muhlenberg  there- 

1  Other  German  denominations,  that  were  more  numerous,  had  meeting¬ 
houses  long  before  this. 


118 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


fore  hastened  his  departure,  boarded  an  inferior  sloop, 
but  arrived  safely  on  November  25,  1741,  in  Philadel¬ 
phia. 

When  he  landed,  he  was  told  that  one  part  of  the 
Lutherans  favored  Count  Zinzendorf,  and  that  the  others 
held  to  Valentin  Kraft,  the  Lutheran  preacher  who  had 
been  deposed  by  the  church  authorities  in  Germany.  He 
heard  also  that  in  his  prospective  home  at  New  Hanover, 
a  dentist  named  Schmidt  was  serving  as  preacher.  With 
such  prospects  before  him,  Muhlenberg,  on  a  raw,  cold, 
wintry  day  at  the  end  of  November,  rode  to  New  Hanover, 
thirty-six  miles  distant,  in  order  to  present  himself  to  his 
congregation.  The  confusion  resulting  on  his  arrival  drew 
from  Muhlenberg  the  comment  in  a  letter,  “  that  he  was 
obliged  to  undergo  a  moral  seasickness  after  his  physical 
one  !  ”  The  people  in  Trappe  counseled  him  to  make  a  com¬ 
promise  with  Mr.  Kraft,  but  that  was  impossible  for  such 
Muhlenber&,  not  given  to  halfway  measures, 
particularly  when  he  knew  that  he  was  right.  The  firm 
position  he  took,  demanding  without  stint  the  office  for 
which  the  three  congregations  had  called  him,  had  a  last- 
good  effect.  The  battle  was  fought  to  a  finish  at  once. 
Kraft  was  expelled  and  Muhlenberg  had  a  clear  field  ever 
after. 

There  was  also  considerable  difficulty  with  the  Mora¬ 
vians,  who  claimed  to  be  a  part  of  the  Lutheran  Church, 
with  Zinzendorf  as  its  proper  head.  Muhlenberg’s  course 
of  action  was  characterized  by  tact  and  firmness,  and  he 
was  soon  made  more  secure  in  his  position  by  a  favorable 
decision  in  the  courts.  Combining  piety  and  learning  with 
clear  vision  and  rare  gifts  of  organization,  he  gave  the 
Lutheran  Church  in  America  such  a  good  beginning  that 
in  course  of  time  it  surpassed  in  size  and  influence  the 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  119 

German  Reformed  Church,  which,  when  Schlatter  first  ar¬ 
rived,  possessed  a  larger  number  of  preachers  and  churches. 
The  steady  growth  of  the  Lutheran  Church  can  be  followed 
in  detail  in  the  so-called  “Hallesche  Nachrichten,” 1  a  large 
collection  of  reports  and  letters  sent  to  the  Lutheran  min- 
isterium  of  Halle  in  Germany,  by  Lutheran  preachers  in 
America.  Most  instructive  are  the  numerous  reports  of 
Muhlenberg,  stating  in  detail  the  facts  of  his  arrival,  his 
initial  difficulties  and  every  subsequent  step  taken  ;  how 
he  at  first  was  the  pastor  of  the  three  churches  of  New 
Hanover,  Providence,  and  Philadelphia,  until,  the  duties 
becoming  too  burdensome,  it  was  necessary  to  get  assist¬ 
ance,  the  Reverend  Mr.  Brunnholtz  being  then  assigned  to 
Philadelphia  and  Germantown,  Muhlenberg  having  chosen 
New  Hanover  and  Providence;  then  follow  the  plans  for 
building  a  church  in  Philadelphia,  the  cost  seeming  at 
first  an  insurmountable  barrier,  overcome  at  last  with  un¬ 
expected  ease  “  mit  Gottes  Hilfe  ” ;  the  formation  of  new 
congregations  in  Lancaster,  York,  Reading,  Tulpehocken, 
Easton,  and  many  other  places  where  “  parched  souls  were 
crying  in  the  desert.”  The  Halle  reports,  somewhat  pe¬ 
dantic  in  style,  and  weighted  down  with  a  mass  of  mate¬ 
rial,  give  us  a  realistic  picture  of  the  times,  from  the 
ministerial  point  of  view.  The  accuracy  of  the  reports  can¬ 
not  be  questioned,  since  they  were  written  by  men  of  learn¬ 
ing  and  strict  regard  for  the  truth.  The  variety  of  quali¬ 
fications  necessary  for  such  a  post  as  Muhlenberg’s  can¬ 
not  be  well  understood  without  a  perusal  of  his  reports. 
He  was  minister,  helper,  and  adviser  in  social  and  spirit- 

1  Nachrichten  von  den  vereinigten  Deutschen  Evangelisch-Lutherischen  Ge- 
meinen  in  Nord-Amerika,  absonderlich  in  Pennsylvanien.  Halle,  in  Verlegung 
des  Waisenliauses,  1787.  1  Bd.  Allentown,  Pa.,  1886  ;  2  Bd.  Philadelphia, 
1895  ;  reprints  in  German.  The  work  has  been  translated,  and  published  in 
two  volumes  by  the  Lutheran  Publication  Society,  Philadelphia,  1880-81. 


120 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


ual  matters,  diplomatist,  man  of  affairs,  and  frontiersman. 
Hardships,  discomforts,  or  bodily  fatigue  never  could 
swerve  him  from  his  purpose,  adventure  and  hairbreadth 
escapes  added  zest  to  the  sum  of  his  existence.  An  ex- 
perience  such  as  the  following,  at  the  river  crossing  in 
midwinter,  was  not  uncommon. 

Returning  from  service  in  Providence  late  in  November, 
1749,  Muhlenberg  had  twenty  miles  to  ride  to  his  residence. 
Night  overtook  him  and  his  companion,  and  they  reached 
the  Perkiomen  Creek  at  eleven  o’clock.  This  was  still  two 
miles  distant  from  Muhlenberg’s  home,  and,  to  his  great 
surprise,  he  found  the  river  frozen  over.  His  companion 
had  a  small  horse,  unshod,  and  the  minister,  therefore, 
rode  in  advance  to  make  a  path  in  the  ice.  To  accomplish 
this,  he  had  to  force  his  horse  to  rear,  so  that  on  coming 
down  the  animal  would  break  holes  in  the  ice  with  his 
fore  feet.  They  got  over  safely,  but  in  the  darkness  missed 
the  outlet  on  the  other  side,  and  came  to  a  bank  that  was 
high  and  almost  perpendicular.  Not  daring  to  venture 
back,  they  took  their  saddles  off  their  horses,  and,  with 
the  aid  of  the  bushes,  clambered  up  on  land.  They  tied 
the  girths  to  the  bridle  of  the  small  horse,  and,  forcing 
him  to  stand  on  his  hind  feet,  enabled  him  to  reach  the 
top  of  the  bank  with  his  fore  feet.  Being  pulled  vigor¬ 
ously,  the  horse  helped  himself  bravely,  and  reached  the 
top  in  safety.  But  when  the  same  method  was  applied  to 
Muhlenberg’s  horse,  which  was  old  and  stiff,  the  bridle 
broke  and  the  unfortunate  beast  fell  backward  with  its 
full  weight  upon  the  ice.  The  ice  gave  way,  and  the  poor 
animal  lay  in  the  water  on  its  back  with  legs  turned  up, 
and  must  have  drowned,  had  not  the  men  given  it  some 
help;  but  the  horse  broke  through  again  and  started  for 
the  other  side  obliging  them  to  abandon  it,  to  be  looked 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  121 


for  next  day,  and  fortunately  to  be  rescued.  Saddles  and 
baggage  were  placed  on  the  other  horse,  and  the  men  wan¬ 
dered  about  for  some  time  in  the  dark  thickets,  in  a  circle, 
until  the  stars  happening  to  shed  light  for  a  short  while, 
allowed  them  to  find  their  home,  about  three  o’clock  in 
the  morning1. 

The  Lutheran  church  built  in  Philadelphia,  the  St. 
Michaelskirche,  was  found  to  be  too  small  after  twenty 
years’  occupancy.  A  new  one,  the  famous  Zion  Church, 
was  begun  in  1766  and  consecrated  in  1769.  It  was  for 
many  years  the  largest  church  in  Philadelphia,  and  because 
of  its  spacious  interior  (108  feet  long  and  70  feet  broad) 
frequently  served  as  a  gathering  place  for  large  assem¬ 
blages,  some  of  them  noted  in  American  history.  Thus  the 
memorial  meeting  in  honor  of  Benjamin  Franklin,  who 
died  the  year  before,  was  held  in  Zion  Church  in  1791 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Philosophical  Society.  On  Decem¬ 
ber  26, 1799,  in  the  same  church,  Congress  held  the  funeral 
services  of  George  Washington,  and  on  that  occasion, 
those  ringing  words,  “  First  in  war,  first  in  peace,  first  in 
the  hearts  of  his  countrymen,”  pronounced  in  the  eulogy 
by  Henry  Lee,  were  heard  for  the  first  time.1 

The  German-Lutheran  congregation  of  Philadelphia 

1  In  the  Revolutionary  War,  during  the  occupation  of  the  British,  the 
church  was  used  as  a  hospital  for  soldiers  (1778),  while  the  older  German 
church,  St.  Michael’s,  served  as  a  place  of  worship  for  the  British,  the  Ger¬ 
man  congregation  being  allowed  to  retain  it  for  service  only  one  half  the  time. 
The  British  destroyed  or  removed  all  the  seats  of  Zion  Church,  and  hence 
the  curious  injunction,  after  the  departure  of  the  invaders  (found  in  Hallesche 
Nachrichten,  vol.  ii,  p.  731),  that  the  congregation  should  bring  their  chairs 
with  them.  The  church  served  about  one  hundred  years,  when  it  was  torn 
down  and  succeeded  by  the  New  Zion  Church  on  Franklin  Street;  the  large 
congregation  was  divided  into  several  smaller  ones.  Cf.  Hallesche  Nachrichten, 
§§  1241,  1245,  1408,  1424-26.  Also  Seidensticker,  Bilder,  etc.,  p.  254,  and 
Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  viii,  pp.  190-192.  “  Das  alte  Philadelphia  ”  (Seiden¬ 
sticker). 


122 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


numbered  nine  hundred  souls,1  the  most  numerous  in  the 
capital  city  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution.  In  1762  Muhlen¬ 
berg  took  charge  of  the  Philadelphia  congregation,  be¬ 
cause  it  needed  a  firm  hand,  and  he  continued  until  1776, 
when,  on  account  of  his  age,  he  preferred  to  go  back  to 
his  old  charge  in  the  rural  Trappe  district,  where  he  spent 
the  last  ten  years  of  his  life.  During  his  long  career  he 
was  frequently  called  to  arbitrate  church  difficulties,  as 
near  by  in  New  Jersey,  or  in  distant  Georgia,2  or  to  inspire 
confidence  among  scattered  congregations  in  Pennsylvania, 
Maryland,  and  Virginia.  In  the  summer  of  1751  and  again 
in  1752,  in  order  to  strengthen  the  Lutheran  church  in 
New  York,  he  resided  there  as  its  pastor.  Muhlenberg 
cultivated  friendly  relations  with  the  Lutheran  Swedes, 
who  had  been  on  the  Delaware  before  the  arrival  of  Will¬ 
iam  Penn  ;  he  was  on  a  cordial  footing  also  with  the 
German  Reformed  pastors,  particularly  Schlatter.  There 
was  likewise  an  intimacy  between  the  Lutherans  and  Epis¬ 
copalians,  another  instance  of  which  appeared  in  South 
Carolina.3  Strange  as  it  may  seem  at  the  present  day,  a 
hard  and  fast  line  was  drawn  between  Lutherans  and 
Moravians.  This  was  probably  due  in  part  to  the  person¬ 
ality  of  Zinzendorf,  in  part  also  to  the  fact  that  the  Mora¬ 
vians  claimed  to  be  Lutherans,  accepting  the  dogmatic 
principles  laid  down  in  the  Augsburg  Confession.  The 
rivalry  as  to  who  truly  represented  Lutheranism  occasioned 
bitter  antagonism. 

As  the  Lutherans  had  a  great  leader  in  Muhlenberg,  so 
the  German  Reformed  congregations  found  an  organizer 

1  The  charter,  see  Hallesche  Nachrichten,  vol.  ii,  pp.  629-632  (§§  1256- 
60),  mentions  “about  500  heads  of  families,”  in  1765. 

See  Chapter  vi  and  Chapter  ix,  respectively. 

Cf.  Chapter  vir.  Some  of  the  Lutheran  Swedes  of  Pennsylvania  also 
joined  the  Episcopal  Church. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  123 


in  Michael  Schlatter.  Most  of  the  Palatines  probably  be¬ 
longed  to  the  German  Reformed  Church,  which  was  akin 
to  the  Lutheran,  but  followed  reforms  instituted  by  Calvin 
and  Zwingli.  They  were  very  close  in  their  religious  doc¬ 
trines  to  the  Presbyterians,  and  the  Dutch  Reformed 
Church.  Schlatter  was  sent  to  America  by  the  synods  of 
Holland,  the  Reformed  ministerium  in  the  Palatinate  being 
too  weak  and  humble  to  extend  its  influence  to  foreign 
parts.  When  he  arrived,  in  September,  1746,  he  found 
only  four  preachers  of  the  Reformed  Church  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania,  while  the  number  of  communicants  was  estimated 
at  fifteen  thousand.  He  hastened  from  one  settlement  to 
another,  to  Whitpen,  Germantown,  Goshenhoppen,  Tulpe- 
hocken,  Lancaster,  Falckner’s  Swamp,  and  Indian  Field, 
to  gather  his  sheep  into  folds.  He  seems  to  have  obtained 
assistance  more  easily  than  Muhlenberg,  for  in  1748  four 
other  preachers  came  to  help  him,  in  addition  to  those 
already  present.  In  1751  Schlatter  reported  to  the  Dutch 
synods  that  there  were  fifteen  Reformed  parishes  in  the 
country,  with  forty-six  churches  (thirteen  parishes  with 
thirty-eight  churches  being  located  in  Pennsylvania).  Most 
of  them,  he  declared,  were  without  preachers  or  teachers, 
and  he  appealed  earnestly  to  the  Dutch  synods  to  send 
ministers.  The  same  cry  went  up  from  Muhlenberg  and 
all  other  representatives  of  denominations,  showing  that 
if  the  frontiersmen  were  irreligious,  a  mitigating  circum¬ 
stance  was  their  inability  to  get  religious  instruction. 
Schlatter  was  not  as  fortunate  in  his  own  career  as  Muhl¬ 
enberg.  There  were  misunderstandings  with  the  synods 
in  Holland,  and,  perhaps  in  part  through  his  own  fault, 
his  position  in  his  own  congregation  was  undermined.  He 
resigned  as  preacher  in  Philadelphia,1  and  became  army 

1  The  German  Reformed  Church  was  also  once  used  on  a  public  occasion. 


124 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


chaplain  under  Colonel  Loudon  in  the  Royal  American 
Regiment,  fourth  battalion,  which  was  mainly  composed 
of  Germans.  He  was  chaplain  in  the  campaign  against 
Nova  Scotia  and  Louisbourg.  He  held  a  similar  position 
daring  the  Revolutionary  War. 

The  fact  of  Schlatter’s  serving  as  army  chaplain  is 
significant,  likewise  his  cordial  relations  with  Muhlenberg. 
As  to  their  principles  of  life,  their  views  on  religion  and 
the  social  order,  the  two  men  were  very  much  alike,  fight¬ 
ing  shoulder  to  shoulder.  Together  they  represented 
the  strong  counter-current  in  Pennsylvania,  opposing  the 
views  on  state  and  religion  held  by  Quakers,  Mennonites, 
Pietists,  Moravians,  and  numerous  other  non-resistant,  non¬ 
office-holding  sectarians.  Muhlenberg  and  Schlatter  were 
fighters,  vigorous  men,  whose  influence  later  fell  heavily 
in  the  balance  for  armed  resistance  against  British  oppres¬ 
sion,  and  who  always  favored  strenuous,  virile  principles 
in  church  and  state  government. 

Totally  different  was  the  influence  of  the  Moravians,  or 
United  Brethren.  The  name  Moravian  is  not  a  happy  one. 
It  serves  to  commemorate  one  fact  in  history,  but  only 
one,  namely,  that  originally  a  number  of  the  brethren 
lived  in  Moravia  (Austria),  where  they  had  descended 
fiom  the  Hussites  ( U tracjuists)  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia.1 

On  February  19,  1776,  the  Honorable  Dr.  W.  Smith  delivered  a  eulogy  on 
General  Montgomery,  who  fell  at  Quebec.  The  number  of  hearers^’was 
estimated  at  four  thousand.  Apart  from  the  German  Zion  Church  and  the 
German  Reformed  Church,  Philadelphia  possessed  very  few  public  struc¬ 
tures.  Cf.  Seidensticker,  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  viii,  pp.  190-191. 

1  followers  of  John  Huss,  born  1369,  burned  at  the  stake  in  Constance,  in 
1415.  He  was  the  great  religious  reformer  before  Luther,  descended  from 
Czech  peasants,  influenced  by  doctrines  of  Wyclif,  who  wished  to  bring 
about  a  reformation  without  separation  from  the  Catholic  Church.  He  was 
summoned  before  the  Council  of  Constance  and,  in  spite  of  a  safe-conduct  of 
the  Emperor,  was  arrested  and  burned  as  a  heretic.  His  martyrdom  greatly 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  125 


Suffering  persecution  at  home,  the  remnant,  in  1722,  set¬ 
tled  in  Herrnhut,  Saxony,  on  the  estates  of  the  Count  of 
Zinzendorf  at  his  invitation.  It  is  questionable  whether 
many  of  the  brotherhood,  as  constituted  in  the  eighteenth 
century 1  or  at  the  present  day,  ever  saw  Moravia,  or 
whether  they  were  ever  descended  from  Moravians.  The 
German  name  given  them  is  “  Herrnhuter,”  while  the 
members  themselves  adopted  the  name  “  Unitas  Fratrum,” 
or  “United  Brethren.” 

The  United  Brethren  are  most  noted  as  missionaries, 
and  at  the  very  earliest  period  set  up  as  their  goal  the 
conversion  of  the  Indians.  With  this  purpose  in  view  they 
had  selected  Georgia  as  their  appropriate  field,  in  1735-36 
settling  with  the  Salzburgers  at  Ebenezer.  But  when  dur¬ 
ing  the  war  with  Spain  they  were  expected  to  bear  arms 
in  defense  of  the  colony  in  opposition  to  their  religious 
principles,  they  left  Georgia  and  betook  themselves  to 
Pennsylvania,  1738-39.  David  Nitschmann,  son-in-law 
of  Zinzendorf,  bought  five  hundred  acres  on  the  Lehigh 
(Lecha),  “  in  a  barren  wooded  region.”  Count  Zinzendorf, 
who  visited  the  spot  shortly  after  his  arrival  in  1741,  gave 
it  the  name  of  Bethlehem.  In  the  same  year  they  bought 
nearly  five  thousand  acres  from  George  Whitefield,  the 
Methodist,  who  had  made  this  purchase  in  order  to  found 

increased  the  spread  of  liberal  doctrines  in  Bohemia  and  Moravia.  The 
fierce  Hussite  wars  arose  in  1419,  and  lasted  until  1434. 

1  Queerly  enough,  the  name  Moravian  has  clung  to  them  in  the  United 
States,  though  there  is  documentary  evidence  showing  that  the  members 
themselves  fought  against  this  appellation  in  the  eighteenth  century.  “We 
are  Lutherans,”  said  one  (Brother  Leonhard  Schnell,  “  Diary,”  1747,  Virginia 
Magazine,  vol.  xii,  pp.  55  ff.)  of  the  traveling  missionaries,  and  “there  are 
now  [1747]  not  ten  in  Bethlehem  who  were  born  in  Moravia.”  We  can  say 
with  positiveness  that  the  so-called  “  Moravians  ”  that  appeared  in  Penn¬ 
sylvania  were  Germans,  the  exceptions  being  generally  brethren  not  from 
Moravia,  but  from  their  other  European  home,  namely,  England. 


126 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


a  negro  school,  a  scheme  doomed  to  failure  financially. 
On  this  place  Nazareth  was  founded.  The  immigration 
of  Moravians  to  Pennsylvania  numbered  from  seven  to 
eight  hundred  between  1741  and  1762.  Zinzendorf,  on 
his  arrival,  had  distinctly  in  mind  the  realization  of  two 
ideals:  first,  the  conversion  of  the  Indians,  secondly,  the 
union  of  all  Protestant  churches  in  a  bond  of  the  spirit. 
Endowed  with  a  vast  amount  of  optimism  and  energy, 
Zinzendorf  proceeded  to  invite  delegates  of  all  Protestant 
denominations  and  sects  to  meet  in  Germantown  on  Jan¬ 
uary  1,  1742.  A  number  of  conferences  were  held  in  dif¬ 
ferent  places  under  “the  Congregation  of  God  in  the 
Spirit.  At  first  there  seemed  to  be  hope  of  accomplishing 
something,  but  it  soon  appeared  that  few  were  willing  to 
give  up  anything,  or  yield  a  point.  Zinzendorf  and  his 
followers  held  the  sway,  and  the  others  grew  suspicious 
and  withdrew,  thinking  that  Moravian  influence  and  doc¬ 
trine  would  overpower  them.  Those  that  remained  entered 
the  Moravian  Church,  when  it  was  organized  as  a  separate 
denomination  in  the  Twenty-eighth  Synod,  held  in  Beth¬ 
lehem,  October  23-27,  1748.  Zinzendorf’ s  scheme  was  too 
grand  for  realization,  and  it  failed  as  completely  as  the 
similar  earlier1  attempt  by  Kelpius.  The  religious  sects 
had  come  to  Pennsylvania  to  worship  in  their  own  way, 
not  to  give  up  their  idiosyncrasies,  and  time  alone  would 
be  able  to  put  them  into  the  mood  of  compromise. 

Zinzendorf  made  thiee  journeys  into  the  Indian  coun¬ 
try,  and  then  returned  to  Europe,  in  1743.  His  successor 
was  August  Gottheb  Spangenberg,  who  for  twenty  years 
was  the  able  head  of  the  United  Brethren.  He  was  sec¬ 
onded  by  Cammerhoff  and  Peter  Bolder.  The  missionary 
work  among  the  Indians  was  continued,  and  with  very 

1  See  the  close  of  Chapter  n,  p.  50. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  127 


great  success,  first  in  the  states  of  New  York  and  Con¬ 
necticut.  After  the  Christian  Indians  were  driven  away 
from  the  colonies  by  the  hostility  of  the  white  settlers, 
a  new  Indian  settlement,  Gnadenhiitten,  was  begun  at 
the  junction  of  the  Mahoney  Creek  and  Lehigh  River. 
Other  missionary  posts  were  built  out  into  the  wilderness, 
and  such  devoted  missionaries  as  Rauch,  Heckewelder, 
Zeisberger,  Jungmann,  Post,  and  Sensemann  gained  for 
the  Moravians  the  well-earned  reputation  of  having  been 
the  most  successful  Indian  missionaries  in  the  history  of 
the  United  States.1 

Another  important  influence  of  the  Moravians  was 
wrought  by  their  educational  institutions.  Then  day-  and 
boarding-schools  in  ten  different  localities,  particularly  in 
Bethlehem,  Litiz,  and  Nazareth,  were  among  the  best  in 
Pennsylvania.  The  young  ladies’  seminary  at  Bethlehem 
is  still  in  existence  and  of  very  great  usefulness.  It  was 
founded  in  1749  and  claims  in  its  modern  advertisement 
to  be  the  oldest  school  of  its  kind  m  America.  Snnilai  m 
purpose  is  the  Moravian  Ladies’  Seminary  in  Salem,  North 
Carolina,  which  also  was  of  very  early  foundation. 

In  doctrine  the  United  Brethren  avoided  dogmatic 
teaching,  adhering  to  the  Scriptures  for  the  ethical  prin¬ 
ciples  of  life.  This  was  shown  by  those  early  missionaries 
who,  about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  made 
extensive  tours  along  the  frontier  settlements,  starting 
from  Pennsylvania,  proceeding  through  the  mountains 
of  Virginia,  then  overland  through  North  Carolina  and 
along  the  seacoast  of  the  Carolinas  to  Georgia,  taking 
every  opportunity  to  preach  the  gospel,  saving  souls  and 

*  Some  of  their  missions  in  the  Middle  West  will  be  spoken  of  in  suc¬ 
ceeding  chapters.  Cf.  Chapter  xm,  “  The  Settlement  of  the  Ohio  Valley. 
The  United  Brethren  also  sent  missionaries  to  the  Danish  West  Indies. 


128 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


giving  encouragement  by  word  and  deed.  It  is  difficult 
to  understand  why  they  occasioned  so  much  opposition 
on  the  part  of  other  denominations,  unless  it  be  that 
their  preaching  was  so  good,  so  simple  and  effective.1 

The  German  Catholics  were  not  numerous  m  Penn¬ 
sylvania.  There  were  congregations  in  Goshenhoppen 
(Berks  County),  in  Lancaster,  and  in  Philadelphia,  where 
they  built  their  Trinity  Church  in  1788.  In  the  year  1757 
there  were  nine  hundred  German  Catholics  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania,  distributed  among  the  congregations  named. 

It  is  difficult  to  estimate  the  number  of  Germans  in  Penn¬ 
sylvania  before  the  Revolution,  but  an  approximation  at 
least  can  be  made,  far  more  satisfactorily  than  for  the 
other  colonies.  From  1727  on,  the  immigration  at  the  port 
of  Philadelphia  was  recorded.  A  careful  computation  of 
the  number  of  Germans  landed  at  Philadelphia  between 
1727  and  1775  was  made  by  Kuhns,2  based  on  the  records, 
and  compared  with  similar  estimates  by  Rupp,3  with  the 
result,  that  68,872  Germans  arrived  between  1727  and 
1775.  Kuhns  assumes  that  before  1727  there  were  almost 
twenty  thousand  Germans  in  Pennsylvania,  bringing  the 
total  up  to  88,872.  For  the  natural  increase  of  several 
generations  he  adds  a  little  over  twenty  thousand,  making 
a  grand  total  of  about  one  hundred  and  ten  thousand 
Pennsylvania  Germans  in  1775.  This  figure  represents 
one  third  of  the  population,  which  agrees 4  with  statements 

*  For  a  fuller  account  of  their  journeys  see  Chapter  vxi,  pp.  203  ff. 

German  and  Stem  Settlements  of  Pennsylvania,  n.  57.  etc 


since  it  was  made  by  so  many  con- 
increase  is  taken  at  too  low  a  figure. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  129 

made  by  Benjamin  Franklin,  Dr.  Rush,  the  historian 
Proud,  and  others,1  to  the  effect  that  the  Germans  in 
Pennsylvania  numbered  about  one  third  of  the  population. 

We  have  found  the  Germans  settling  in  Philadelphia 
and  the  neighboring  counties,  Montgomery,  Lancaster,  and 
Berks.  They  then  pushed  northward  and  westward  to 
Lehigh,  Northampton,  and  Monroe  counties,  and  to  Leba¬ 
non  and  Dauphin;  reaching  the  Susquehanna  they  crossed 
and  settled  the  counties  of  York,  Cumberland,  and  Adams, 
then  following  the  slopes  of  the  mountains  they  went 
southward  through  Maryland  into  Virginia,  ascending  the 
Shenandoah  Valley  and  settling  it  from  Harpers  Ferry  to 
Lexington,  Virginia.  Using  this  main  avenue  for  their 
progress,  they  settled  in  North  Carolina  and  Virginia  and 
later  in  Kentucky  and  Tennessee.  Pennsylvania,  therefore, 
was  the  distributing  centre  for  the  German  immigrations, 
whence  German  settlers  spread  over  all  the  neighboring 
provinces. 

Though  living  in  various  parts  of  the  United  States, 
the  pre-revolutionary  Germans  all  belonged  to  the  same 
general  type,  since  they  came  from  a  common  stock  and 
home,  mainly  from  the  Rhine  countries  and  Switzerland, 


The  increase  was  probably  such  as  to  double  every  twenty-three  years,  or 
nearly  so. 

1  Muhlenberg  ( Hallesche  Nachrichten,  vol.  i,  p.  411)  estimates  the  popula¬ 
tion  of  Pennsylvania  in  1752  as  follows  :  Schlatter  gives  the  number  of  Ger¬ 
man  Reformed  in  Pennsylvania  as  30,000  (46  congregations,  16  parishes), 
and  concedes  that  the  German  Reformed  are  only  one  third  of  the  total 
German  population  of  Pennsylvania.  Muhlenberg  estimates  the  Lutherans 
at  twice  the  number  of  the  Reformed.  The  result  would  be,  according  to 
Schlatter’s  estimate,  that  there  were  90,000  Germans  in  Pennsylvania,  and 
according  to  Muhlenberg  90,000  plus  the  Germans  of  various  sects,  making 
over  100.000  in  1752.  The  natural  increase  would  in  either  case  bring  the 
number  to  at  least  110,000  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution.  For  larger  esti¬ 
mates  by  Ebeling  and  Governor  Thomas,  see  Hallesche  Nachrichten,  vol.  i,  p. 
462,  note  144. 


130 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  on  their  arrival  met  similar  conditions  in  the  Ameri¬ 
can  colonies.  They  were  not  paupers,  though  a  great  many 
of  them,  to  pay  for  their  transportation,  were  compelled 
to  pledge  themselves  to  several  years  of  servitude.  They 
were  not  wealthy,  though  many  of  them  brought  with 
them  sums  of  money  that  they  had  realized  from  the  sale 
of  their  lands  at  home.  The  later  they  settled  in  Amer¬ 
ica  the  farther  west  they  were  obliged  to  move,  not  being 
able  to  purchase  the  land  where  it  had  become  expensive, 
i.  e.,  along  the  coastline.  Therefore,  whether  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania,  New  York,  Maryland,  Virginia,  or  the  Carolinas, 
they  constantly  became  the  settlers  of  the  frontier,  which 
they  defended,  and  assisted  in  pushing  farther  and  farther 
to  the  westward.  The  German  settler  became  a  recoo-nized 

O 

type  of  frontiersman,  and  because  most  numerous  in  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  or  most  frequently  coming  from  there,  he  received 
the  name  Pennsylvania  Dutch,  or  Pennsylvania  German. 
His  language  was  the  dialect  of  the  Palatinate  and  the 
Upper  Rhine,  mixed  with  a  large  number  of  common  Eng¬ 
lish  words.  His  peculiarities  of  speech  and  customs  made 
him  distinct  from  the  other  colonial  types,  but  his  individ¬ 
uality  was  marked  by  far  more  noteworthy  traits  of  char¬ 
acter.  One  of  the  earliest  writers  on  the  subject  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Germans  was  Dr.  Benjamin  Rush,  the  noted 
Philadelphia  physician,  one  of  the  signers  of  the  Declara¬ 
tion  of  Independence,  surgeon  in  the  Revolutionary  Army, 
member  of  Congress,  treasurer  of  the  United  States  Mint, 
distinguished  essayist  on  medical,  social,  and  literary  top¬ 
ics.  Dr.  Rush  was  a  keen  observer  and  possessed  a  judicial 
mind.  He  noticed  that  the  prosperity  of  Pennsylvania  was 
largely  due  to  the  Pennsylvania  Germans,  and  began  to 
examine  into  the  causes  of  their  success.  He  seems  con¬ 
sciously  to  have  imitated  the  example  of  the  historian, 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  131 


Tacitus,  who  described  the  virtues  and  vices  of  the  ancient 
Germans,  perhaps  with  a  view  to  holding  them  up  as  an 
example  for  his  own  people.1  Dr.  Rush  wrote  what  might 
be  called  the  “Germania”  of  the  Pennsylvania  Germans, 
giving  it  the  title :  “  An  Account  of  the  Manners  of  the 
German  Inhabitants  of  Pennsylvania,  Written  in  1789.”  2 

The  author  enumerates  “a  few  particulars  (under  six¬ 
teen  heads)  in  which  the  German  farmers  differ  from  most 
of  the  other  farmers  of  Pennsylvania.”  No  better  charac¬ 
terization  of  the  Pennsylvania  Germans  has  ever  been  writ¬ 
ten  than  that  of  Dr.  Rush,  and  his  little  essay,  covering 
about  twenty-five  pages,  is  a  classic  in  its  way,  certainly 
an  historical  document  to  be  treated  with  due  seriousness. 
The  following  are  his  sixteen  specifications  in  order :  — 

(1)  (Housing  horses  and  cattle.)  In  settling  a  tract  of  land 
the  Germans  always  provide  large  and  suitable  accommodations 
for  their  horses  and  cattle,  before  they  lay  out  much  money  in 
building  a  house  for  themselves.  The  next  generation  builds  a 
large  and  convenient  stone  house.  The  maxim  exists  among 
them  :  “  A  son  should  always  begin  his  improvements  where  his 
father  left  off.”  The  Pennsylvania  German  farmer  has  even 
been  reproached  for  taking  better  care  of  his  stock  than  of  the 
members  of  his  fnmilyd  but  certain  it  is  that  sleek  and  well-fed 

1  Scholars  of  to-day  have  generally  abandoned  the  theory  that  Tacitus 
had  an  ethical,  satirical,  or  political  purpose  in  the  Germania.  This,  however, 
does  not  affect  Dr.  Rush’s  position,  who  had  been  brought  up  on  the  old 
theory.  Tacitus  wrote  on  a  subject  which  was  a  burning  question  of  the  day. 
His  view  was  pessimistic  as  to  many  phases  of  Roman  life,  and  he  welcomed 
an  opportunity  to  emphasize  what  he  considered  in  the  Germans  superior 
traits.  Similarly  Dr.  Rush. 

2  Notes  added  by  I.  D.  Rupp,  Philadelphia,  1875.  Published  also  among 
Benjamin  Rush’s  Essays,  Literary,  Moral,  and  Philosophical  (Philadelphia, 
1798),  pp  225—248.  This  volume  also  contains  the  essay  bearing  partly  on 
the  subject  :  “  An  Account  of  the  Progress  of  Population,  Agriculture, 
Manners,  and  Government  in  Pennsylvania,  in  a  letter  to  a  friend  in  England.” 

s  Meyer,  Deutsche  Volkskunde,  p.  212,  cites  a  saying  of  German  peasants 
in  the  Palatinate  :  “Eine  gute  Kuh  deckt  viel  Armut  zu”  ;  also 
Weibersterbe  iscli  ka  Verderbe  ! 

Aber  Gaulverrecke,  des  isch  e  Sckrecke ! 


132 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


cattle  were  a  source  of  the  greatest  pride  to  him.  The  housing 
of  them  brought  far  better  results  than  leaving  them  to  run 
wild. 

(2)  (Good  land.)  “  They  always  prefer  good  land,  or  that 
land  on  which  there  is  a  large  quantity  of  meadow  ground.  By 
attention  to  the  cultivation  of  grass,  they  often  grow  rich  on 
farms,  on  which  their  predecessors  have  nearly  starved.  They 
prefer  purchasing  farms  with  some  improvements,  to  settling  on 
a  new  tract  of  land.”  Rush  places  the  German  farmer  in  what 
he  calls  the  third  class  1  of  settlers,  that  is,  the  permanent  kind. 
The  first  is  hardly  better  than  the  hunter  and  savage,  whose 
mode  of  life  he  has  adopted,  the  second  class  makes  a  few  shoddy 
improvements  on  the  land,  which  he  is  glad  to  leave  (going  west¬ 
ward)  as  soon  as  civilization  draws  near.  The  question  of  the 
Germans  selecting  good  land  is  one  frequently  discussed  since 
Dr.  Rush  s  time.  It  is  quite  definitely  settled  that  the  Germans 
commonly  occupied  wooded  land  ;  2  they  knew  that  where  there 
was  rich  forest  growth,  good  soil  was  to  be  found  underneath. 
The  Scotch-Irish  and  Irish  preferred  land  that  lay  along  navi¬ 
gable  rivers,  or  such  as  was  well  watered,  which  was  generally 
not  as  fertile.  In  Pennsylvania  the  Germans  settled  mostly  on 
the  great  limestone  areas,  while  the  Irish  colonized  slate  forma¬ 
tions.  This  process  of  settling  the  limestone  areas  the  Germans 
continued  throughout  Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  and  Virginia 

1  See  Rush’s  essay  already  cited  :  “  An  Account  of  the  Progress  of  Pop¬ 
ulation,  etc.,  in  Pennsylvania,”  Essays  (1798),  pp.  213-220. 

2  In  the  West  a  similar  tendency  is  apparent.  The  Germans  in  Wisconsin 
have  extensively  settled  in  the  wooded  sections,  leaving  the  prairies  for 
Americans.  They  had  harder  work  and  a  slower  rise,  while  the  Americans 
could  cultivate  larger  areas  and  get  quicker  and  larger  returns.  But  the 
Americans  more  quickly  drained  the  resources  of  the  land,  prairie  land  beino- 
sooner  exhausted,  while  the  Germans,  with  their  slower  and  more  even  prot 
gress,  could  at  a  later  day  get  more  steady  yields  from  their  smaller  farms. 
The  scorn  of  the  native  American,  accustomed  to  luxurious  living,  gave 
place  to  envy  of  his  successful  competitor,  the  frugal  German  farmer. 
Instead  of  the  mortgaged  farm,  the  German  farmer  in  Wisconsin  steadily 
grows  on  capital  that  he  develops  slowly  by  his  own  industry.  It  is  a^ain 
the  story  of  the  evolution  of  the  stone  house,  built  by  the  next  generation. 
Lf.  Tmil  Rothe,  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ii,  p.  53, 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  133 


(the  Shenandoah  Valley),  and,  as  will  be  seen  also,  in  the  Bine 
Grass  region  of  Kentucky.  The  limestone  areas  contain  the 
most  fertile  soil,  and  the  Germans  developed  it  to  its  fullest  ex¬ 
tent. 

(3)  (Methods  of  clearing  land.)  “  In  clearing  new  land  they 
do  not  girdle  or  belt  the  trees  simply,  and  leave  them  to  perish 
in  the  ground,  as  is  the  custom  of  their  English  or  Irish  neigh¬ 
bors  ;  but  they  generally  cut  them  down  and  burn  them.”  Under¬ 
wood  and  bushes  they  would  pull  out  by  the  roots,  “  grub  them 
out  of  the  ground.”  The  advantage  was  that  the  land  was  as  fit 
for  cultivation  the  second  year  as  in  twenty  years  afterward. 
The  expense  of  repairing  a  plow,  often  broken  by  small  stumps 
concealed  in  the  ground,  is  greater  than  grubbing  the  field  com¬ 
pletely  at  the  first  clearing. 

(4)  (Good  feeding.)  They  feed  their  horses  and  cows  well, 
thereby  practicing  economy,  for  such  animals  perform  twice  the 
labor  or  give  twice  the  yield  of  the  less  well  fed.  “  A  German 
horse  is  known  in  every  part  of  the  state.  Indeed,  he  seems  to 
feel  with  his  lord  the  pleasure  and  pride  of  his  extraordinary 
size  and  fat.” 

(5)  (Fences.)  “The  fences  of  a  German  farm  are  generally 
hiMi  and  well  built  so  that  his  fields  seldom  suffer  from  the  in- 
roads  of  his  own  or  his  neighbor’s  horses  or  cattle.”  This  is  a 
mark  of  the  German’s  adaptability.  He  was  not  accustomed  to 
fences  at  home,  but  saw  their  usefulness  in  the  new  country 
where  there  was  no  scarcity  of  wood,  but  scarcity  of  labor,  i.  e., 
of  men  to  watch  cattle. 

(6)  (Use  of  wood.)  “The  German  farmers  are  great  econ¬ 
omists  of  their  wood.”  They  do  not  waste  it  in  large  fireplaces, 
but  burn  it  in  stoves,  using  about  one  fourth  to  one  fifth  as  much. 
They  thus  save  their  horses  the  great  labor  of  hauling  wood 
in  midwinter,  which  so  often  unfits  them  for  spring  plowing. 
Their  houses  are  very  comfortable  with  their  large  stoves  1  in 

1  These  large  stoves  were  patterned  after  the  German  “  Kachelofen.” 
Undoubtedly  many  were  imported,  but  later  they  were  made  in  this  country, 
e.  g-,  by  Baron  Stiegel.  As  a  result  of  the  use  of  stoves,  the  German-built 
house  commonly  had  one  chimney  from  the  middle  of  the  roof,  while  the 
English  or  other  houses  had  two  chimneys,  one  at  either  end  of  the  roof. 


134 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  centre  of  the  room,  around  which  the  family  can  get  a  more 
equal  chance  than  when  burning  their  faces  and  freezing  their 
backs  before  the  fireplaces.  Ur.  Rush  believed  that  habits  of 
industry,  e.  g.,  spinning  and  repairing  farm  utensils  were  encour¬ 
aged  in  this  waj\  He  also  mentions  that  the  Germans  frequently 
protected  their  trees  with  a  view  to  saving  their  wood,  putting 
fences  around  them,1  or  letting  saplings  grow  for  later  useful¬ 
ness,  and  in  general  giving  attention  to  the  principles  of  forestry. 

(7)  (Comfort  of  cattle.)  “  They  keep  their  horses  and  cattle 
as  warm  as  possible  in  winter,  by  which  they  save  feed,  for 
those  animals  when  they  are  cold  eat  much  more  than  when 
they  are  more  comfortable.” 

(8)  (Economy.)  “  The  Germans  live  frugally  in  their  homes 
with  respect  to  diet,  furniture  and  dress.”  They  sell  the  profit¬ 
able  grain,  which  is  wheat,  and  eat  the  rye  and  corn,  thus  sav¬ 
ing  what  is  equal  to  the  price  of  a  farm  for  one  of  the  children. 
They  eat  sparingly  of  boiled  meat,  but  large  quantities  of  all 
kinds  of  vegetables.  They  use  few  distilled  spirits  (whiskey 
and  rum)  in  their  families,  preferring  cider,  beer,  wine,  and  sim¬ 
ple  water.  Their  feather  beds  and  homespun  garments  are  like¬ 
wise  economical.  When  they  use  European  articles  of  dress, 
they  prefer  those  of  best  quality  and  highest  price.  They  are 
afraid  of  debt,  and  seldom  purchase  anything  without  paying 
cash  for  it. 

(9)  (Gardens.)  Kitchen  gardening  the  Germans  introduced 
altogether.  Their  gardens  contained  useful  vegetables  at  every 
season  of  the  year.  Turnips  and  cabbage  at  one  time  were  the 
Principal  vegetables  in  X  lnladelphia.  A  greater  variety  was 
brought  in  by  the  German  gardeners  in  the  neighborhood  of 
1  hiladelphia,  “  and  to  the  use  of  these  vegetables  in  diet  may  be 
ascribed  the  general  exemption  of  the  citizens  of  Philadelphia 
from  diseases  of  the  skin.”  (The  testimony  of  an  experienced 
physician  is  extremely  valuable  on  this  point.)  “  Pennsylvania 
is  indebted  to  the  Germans  for  the  principal  part  of  her  know- 

1  Large  trees  were  often  kept  in  pasture  land  to  afford  shade  for  the 
cattle,  cool  retreats  to  escape  from  the  sun’s  heat.  The  fence  served  to  pro¬ 
tect  the  tree  from  the  cattle. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  135 


ledge  in  horticulture.”  Though  Dr.  Rush  apparently  means  a 
particular  branch  of  horticulture,  the  raising  of  vegetables,  we 
find  from  other  sources  that  the  Germans  planted  orchards 
in  abundance  (e.  g.,  apples  in  Schoharie),  and  that  they  were 
very  fond  of  planting  flowers  on  the  edges  of  their  gardens  and 
houses. 

(10)  (Few  hired  men.)  The  Germans  seldom  hire  men  to 
work  upon  their  farms.  The  wives  and  daughters  of  the  German 
farmers  frequently  forsake  for  a  while  their  dairy  and  spinning- 
wheel  and  join  with  their  husbands  and  brothers  in  the  labor  of 
the  fields.1  The  work  of  the  gardens  is  generally  done  by  the 
women  of  the  family.  Hired  help  was  procured  only  in  harvest 
time.  Slaves  were  particularly  objectionable  to  the  Germans, 
because  the  latter  did  their  own  work  and  thus  would  be  com¬ 
pelled  to  work  side  by  side  with  a  race  instinctively  repulsive  to 
them. 

(11)  (Wagons.)  “A  large  and  strong  wagon  covered  with 
linen  cloth  is  an  essential  part  of  the  furniture  of  a  German 
farm.  In  this  wagon,  drawn  by  four  or  five  large  horses  of  a 
peculiar  breed,  they  convey  to  market  over  the  roughest  roads 
2000  or  3000  pounds  of  produce.  In  September  and  October 
on  the  Lancaster  and  Reading  roads  it  is  no  uncommon  thing  to 
meet  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  of  these  wagons  on  their  way 
to  Philadelphia,  most  of  which  belong  to  German  farmers.” 
The  breed  of  horses  referred  to  is  probably  the  heavy  stock 
called  sometimes  the  Conestoga  horses,2  and  the  wagon  the 
famous  Conestoga  wagon,  “  the  ship  of  inland  commerce.”  These 
wagons  are  described  in  the  county  histories  of  Pennsylvania  as 
of  a  particular  pattern.  The  body  of  the  wagon  was  built  strong 
but  not  clumsy,  was  painted  blue  and  mounted  upon  sturdy 
wheels,  painted  red,  masterpieces  of  the  wheelwright’s  art.  A 
cover  of  white  linen  was  drawn  tightly  over  the  arched  frame¬ 
work  of  the  top,  lower  near  the  middle  and  projecting  like  a 
bonnet  in  front  and  at  the  back.  The  horses  were  equipped  with 

1  Cf.  Whittier’s  poem,  “  Maud  Muller.” 

2  Derived  and  improved  from  a  stock  brought  over  by  English  immi¬ 
grants. —  Note  by  Rupp. 


136 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


good  harness,  sometimes  with  sleigh-bells,1  and  were  invariably 
possessed  of  sleek  skins  and  round  bodies.  The  railroads  ended 
the  regime  of  the  Conestoga  wagons  in  the  East,  but  then  they 
gained  a  new  life  under  the  name  of  “  prairie  schooner,”  the 
vehicle  of  overland  passage  that  carried  untold  numbers  of 
pioneers  across  the  western  deserts.2 

(12)  (Children.)  “  The  favorable  influence  of  agriculture,  as 
conducted  by  the  Germans,  in  extending  the  most  happiness,  is 
manifested  by  the  joy  expressed  at  the  birth  of  a  child.  No 
dread  of  poverty  or  distrust  of  Providence  from  an  increasing 
family  depress  the  spirits  of  this  industrious  and  frugal  people.” 
As  elsewhere  on  the  frontier  the  birth  of  a  child  meant  a  helper, 
and  as  the  children  became  of  age  they  wandered  westward  and 
built  homes  of  their  own,  being  no  care  to  their  parents. 

(13)  (Love  of  labor.)  “  Germans  produced  in  their  children 
not  only  the  habits  of  labor  but  a  lov6  of  it.  \\  hen  a  young 
man  asks  the  consent  of  his  father  to  marry  the  girl  of  his  choice, 
he  does  not  inquire  so  much  whether  she  be  rich  or  poor,  or 
whether  she  possess  any  personal  or  mental  accomplishments, 
but  whether  she  be  industrious,  and  acquainted  with  the  duties 
of  a  good  housewife.”  Rupp  in  his  notes  gives  a  number  of 
proverbs  illustrative  of  the  consequences  of  idleness,3  etc. 

(14)  (Patrimony.)  “  The  Germans  set  a  great  value  upon 
patrimonial  property.”  The  idea  prevails  that  a  house  and  home 
should  be  possessed  by  a  succession  of  generations.  This  had 
the  effect  of  making  an  estate  a  matter  of  family  pride,  and  we 
shall  see  later  that  the  Germans  elsewhere,  for  instance  in  Mis* 
souri,  always  kept  their  land  in  the  family. 

(15)  (Superstition.)  “  The  German  farmers  are  very  much 
influenced  in  planting  and  pruning  trees,  also  in  sowing  and 
reaping,  by  the  age  and  appearances  of  the  moon.”  Of  course 

They  were  often  tuned  in  harmony,  the  rear  horses  carrying  bells  oj» 
lower  pitch,  to  distinguish  them  from  the  forward  pair. 

1  Ellis  and  Evans’s  History  of  Lancaster  County,  p.  350.  Also,  Americana 
Germanica,  vol.  v,  p.  1  ;  an  illustration  of  the  Conestoga  wagon  is  there  o-iven, 

3  e.  g.,  “Miissiggang  ist  des  Teufels  Ruhebank.” 

“  Wie  einer  den  Zaun  halt,  halt  er  auch  das  Gut.” 

“  Mit  b  uttern  ist  keine  Zeit  verlorn.” 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  137 


this  was  a  matter  of  superstition,  but  Dr.  Rush  believes  that  it 
resulted  in  their  giving  close  attention  to  the  climate  of  the 
country,  and  therefore  was  an  aid  to  success.  The  Pennsylvania 
Germans  were  as  careful  as  seamen  in  observing  the  position  of 
the  heavenly  spheres  and  the  signs  of  the  seasons.  They  con¬ 
sulted  the  mystics,1  or  other  people  believed  to  possess  occult 
power.  TJie  divining-rod  was  expected  to  show  them  the  pre¬ 
sence  of  water  in  the  ground,  and  old  women  with  the  reputation 
of  witches  (they  were  never  burned)  furnished  talismans,  incan¬ 
tations,  and  magic  formulas.  The  different  phases  of  the  moon 
were  carefully  observed  in  the  almanac,  for  planting  was  better 
done  in  the  waxing  of  the  moon  than  in  the  waning.  The  moon 
in  the  sign  of  the  twins  made  the  best  time  for  sowing.  Not  only 
sowing  and  planting,  but  slaughtering  and  building  were  care¬ 
fully  planned  with  reference  to  mysterious  influences.  Even 
more  curious  were  their  magic  arts  of  healing,  and  concerning 
these  Dr.  Rush,  the  physician,  could  not  repress  some  words  of 
complaint.  But  in  general  it  may  be  said  that  the  German 
frontiersmen  were  not  worse  than  their  contemporaries  elsewhere, 
they  were  not  as  fanatical  as  the  witch-burners,  nor  was  their 
folklore  more  extravagant  than  in  other  sections  of  the  country. 

(16)  (Barns.)  “  A  German  farm  may  be  distinguished  from 
the  farms  of  the  other  citizens  of  the  state  by  the  superior  size 
of  their  barns,2  the  plain  but  compact  form  of  their  houses,  the 
height  of  their  enclosures,  the  extent  of  their  orchards,  the  fer- 

1  See  Chapter  xr,  p.  50. 

1  The  Pennsylvania  German  barn  (sometimes  called  the  “  Swisser  barn) 
is  recognizable  in  all  localities  where  the  German  farmers  have  settled.  It  is 
of  a  peculiar  type,  largely  imitated  from  that  used  in  their  European  home. 
The  following  is  a  description  in  detail  :  “  They  are  two  stories  high,  with 
pitched  roof,  sufficiently  large  and  strong  to  enable  heavy  farm-teams  to 
drive  into  the  upper  story  to  load  or  unload  grain.  During  the  first  period 
they  were  built  mostly  of  logs,  afterward  of  stone,  frame,  or  brick,  from  60 
to  120  feet  long,  and  from  50  to  60  feet  wide,  the  lower  story,  containing  the 
stables,  with  feeding  passages,  opening  on  the  front.  The  upper  story  was 
made  to  project  8  or  10  feet  over  the  lower  in  front,  or  with  a  forebay  at¬ 
tached  to  shelter  the  entries  to  the  stables  and  passageways.  It  contained 
the  threshing-floors,  mows,  and  lofts  for  the  storing  of  hay  and  grain.  The 
most  complete  barns  of  the  present  day  have  in  addition  a  granary  on  the 


138 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

tility  of  their  fields,  the  luxuriance  of  their  meadows,  all  of 
which  have  a  general  appearance  of  plenty  and  neatness  in 
everything  that  belongs  to  them.” 

The  opinion  of  Rush  agrees  with  other  contemporary 
accounts,  and  also  with  that  of  subsequent  European  trav¬ 
elers,  such  as  Bernhard  of  Saxe-Weimar  and  others.  They 
affirm  the  superiority  of  the  German  farmers  over  the  agri¬ 
culturists  of  other  nationalities.  The  significance  of  this 
superiority  should  not  be  overlooked.  Professor  F.  J.  Tur¬ 
ner  says  :  “  The  limestone  farms  of  the  Germans  became 
the  wheat  granary  of  the  country.”  In  the  year  1751  there 
were  exported  86,000  bushels  of  wheat,  129,960  barrels  of 
flour,  90,743  bushels  of  Indian  corn.  The  total  exports  of 
llol  exceeded  in  value  one  million  dollars.2  An  interest¬ 
ing  account  of  the  milling  industry  of  Lancaster  County, 
the  very  core  of  the  great  farming  country  of  Pennsylvania, 
can  be  seen  in  an  article  based  on  researches  on  the  spot 
by  G.  D.  Luetscher.3  By  the  time  the  Revolutionary  War 
began,  the  yield  of  the  Pennsylvania  farms  was  enough 
to  feed  the  American  and  French  armies  during  the  en¬ 
tire  period  of  the  Avar.  Indeed,  the  Pennsylvania  German 

upper  floor,  a  cellar  under  the  driving-way,  a  corn-crib  and  shed,  wagon  with 
horse-power  shed  attached.”  See  Kuhns,  pp.  94,  95,  who  quotes  this  pass¬ 
age^  from  Ellis  and  Evans’s  History  of  Lancaster  Comity,  p.  348. 

I  rofessor  M.  D.  Learned  has  made  extensive  investigations  on  the  sub¬ 
ject  of  the  Pennsylvania  German  barns,  and  has  given  his  results  in  a  number 
ot  illustrated  lectures,  to  be  published  under  the  title:  ‘‘The  German  Barn 
in  America.” 

1  Studies  of  American  Immigration,  by  Frederick  Jackson  Turner  in  the 
Record-Herald's  “Current  Topics  Club,”  Record-Herald,  Chicago,  August  28 
and  September  4,  1901,  “German  Immigration  in  the  Colonial  Period.” 

2  Rupp’s  notes  to  Rush’s  Manners  of  the  Pennsylvania  Germans. 

-r  SiG’  Lnetscber>  “  Industries  of  Pennsylvania  after  the  Adoption  of  the 
lederal  Constitution,  with  special  reference  to  Lancaster  and  York  Coun- 
ies,  mericana  Germanica,  vol.  v  ( German-American  Annals,  i),  pn  135- 
155,  and  pp.  197-208.  J  ^ 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  139 


baker,  Christoph  Ludwig,  who  provided  all  the  bread  for 
the  patriot  army,  drew  his  supplies  of  grain  directly  from 
the  Pennsylvania  German  farms.  Dr.  Rush  says  the  Penn¬ 
sylvania  farms  produced  millions  of  dollars,  which  after 
1780  made  possible  the  foundation  of  the  Bank  of  North 
America  (chartered  1781).  Besides  the  cultivation  of  sta¬ 
ples,  the  German  farmers  raised  crops  of  a  varied  kind, 
disposing  of  the  surplus  in  neighboring  large  cities.  As 
Turner  says,  it  was  a  necessary  step  in  the  development 
of  the  industrial  self-dependence  of  the  United  States. 

Pennsylvania  German  colonists,  though  for  the  most 
part  farmers,  were  also  noted  as  mechanics.  Of  them  Dr. 
Rush  says:  “Their  first  object  is  to  become  freeholders; 
and  hence  we  find  few  of  them  live  in  rented  houses. 
The  highest  compliment  that  can  be  paid  to  them  on  en¬ 
tering  their  house  is  to  ask  them,  ‘Is  this  house  your 
own?’  They  are  industrious,  frugal,  punctual,  and  just.” 
They  adapt  themselves  to  new  conditions  and  retain  the 
arts  they  brought  from  Germany.  There  were  also  mer¬ 
chants  in  the  coast  cities  that  acquired  great  wealth  by 
foreign  and  domestic  commerce.  “The  Bank  of  North 
America  has  witnessed,”  says  Rush,  “from  its  first  insti¬ 
tution,  their  fidelity  to  all  their  pecuniary  engagements.” 
A  few  additional  traits  are  mentioned  by  Dr.  Rush.  With 
his  model,  the  “Germania”  of  Tacitus,  in  mind,  he  speaks 
a  word  concerning  hospitality,  giving  an  instance  where 
the  host  would  not  accept  pay  for  board  and  lodging, 
because  he  had  himself  on  some  occasion  been  treated 
thus  kindly  before,  saying:  “Do  you  pay  your  debt  to 
me  in  the  same  way,  to  somebody  else.”  The  Germans, 
according  to  Dr.  Rush,  were  little  addicted  to  so-called 
“feeding  parties,”  by  which  we  are  to  understand,  no 
doubt,  such  feasting  as  Mrs.  Trollope  described  in  her 


140 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


“Domestic  Manners  of  the  Americans.”1  In  spite  of  Dr. 
Rush,  we  know  from  numerous  other  sources  that  the 
Germans,  as  well  as  their  neighbors  in  agricultural  com¬ 
munities,  were  given  to  holding  frolics,  log-rollings,  quilt¬ 
ing  parties,  and  husking-bees,  to  cider-  and  apple-butter¬ 
making  in  social  cooperation,  and  we  know  that  drinking 
and  gorging  were  also  indulged  in  beyond  the  canons 
of  good  taste  and  health,  at  weddings  and  funerals.  The 
Reverend  H.M.  Muhlenberg  regrets  that  the  latter  ancient 
Teutonic  custom  was  brought  over  to  the  New  World. 
In  regard  to  their  customs  in  general,  we  may  accept  Dr. 
Rush’s  criticism  of  the  entire  people  of  his  own  state,  and 
let  it  apply  also  to  the  Pennsylvania  Germans:  “If  they 
possess  less  refinement  than  their  Southern  neighbors, 
who  cultivate  their  land  with  slaves,  they  possess  also 
more  Republican  virtue.”2 

As  manufacturers,  the  Germans  of  Pennsylvania  like¬ 
wise  made  distinct  contributions.  The  weavers  of  German¬ 
town  gave  their  industry  firm  root  on  American  soil,  while 
the  establishment  of  the  first  paper-mill  in  the  country 
was  likewise  an  achievement  of  Germantown.  Grist-  and 
saw-mills  ground  and  groaned,  wherever  Germans  turned 
the  sod.  Glass-blowing  and  iron  manufactures  were  also 
introduced  by  the  Germans  as  early  as  colonial  conditions 
would  allow. 

A  bit  of  romance  clings  to  the  establishment  of  the  first 
iron  foundry,  by  Baron  Stiegel.  He  was  by  no  means  the 
vain  and  erratic  dreamer  or  the  adventurer  he  is  frequently 
represented  to  have  been.  Little  is  known  of  his  early 
career.  He  seems  to  have  been  sent  to  America  on  his  own 
request  by  well-to-do  relatives,  who  were  glad  to  get  rid 

1  Though  her  descriptions  of  the  frontier  are  of  a  much  later  date  (1832), 
still  customs  are  conservative.  Cf.  e.  g.,  vol.  ii,  pp.  129-132. 

2  Rush,  Essays,  Literary,  Moral,  and  Philosophical,  p.  220. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  141 


of  him.  He  possessed  a  genial  mind,  his  ruling  passion 
being  to  embark  in  grand  enterprises.  Arriving  in 
Philadelphia,  the  repose  of  the  Quaker  City  was  not  in 
accordance  with  his  temperament.  He  journeyed  to  Lan¬ 
caster,  whence  he  drifted  to  Ephrata.  Miiller  and  Beissel 
received  him  kindly,  and  finding  that  he  was  interested 
in  iron,  told  him  to  go  to  Schaferstadtel,  in  the  neighbor¬ 
hood  of  which  iron  ore  had  been  found.  Stiegel,  accom¬ 
panied  by  his  faithful  body-servant,  Jacob  of  Ettenheim, 
found  the  place,  returned  to  Philadelphia  for  more  capital 
and  laborers,  and  soon  established  an  iron  foundry  that 
gave  him  a  limited  amount  of  credit.  According  to  one 
account,  he  had  some  means  himself,  having  come  from 
Europe  supplied  with  “much  money  and  good  recommenda¬ 
tions.”  It  was  about  1758  when  he  founded  Mannheim 
in  Lancaster  County,  laying  it  out  after  the  checkerboard 
plan  of  his  native  city.  He  named  his  works  the  Elizabeth 
Iron  Foundry  and  Smelters,  in  honor  of  his  wife.  The  town 
rose  as  if  by  magic  ;  a  smithy,  a  wagon-factory,  and,  most 
important  of  all,  a  factory  for  stoves,  were  all  built  near 
the  foundry.  Iron  plates  for  stoves  were  manufactured  in 
great  numbers  and  the  stoves  of  Stiegel  brought  high 
prices.  They  are  said  to  have  borne  the  inscription  : 

“  Baron  Stiegel  ist  der  Mann 
Der  die  Oefen  giessen  kann.”  1 

Another  great  achievement  of  Stiegel  was  the  founding 
of  his  glassworks,  by  which  he  astonished  both  Germans 
and  Americans,  and  which,  it  was  rumored,  yielded  him 
annually  five  thousand  pounds. 

1  L.  A.  Wollenweber  claims  to  have  seen  one  of  these  stoves  a  century 
later  (shortly  before  1870),  with  its  inscription,  in  Lebanon,  Pennsylvania. 
Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ii,  p.  28.  See  also,  for  an  account  of  Baron 
Heinrich  Wilhelm  Stiegel,  ibid.,  vol.  xii,  pp.  82-87 ;  and  Pennsylvania  Maga¬ 
zine  of  History  and  Biography,  vol.  i,  pp.  07  If. 


142  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

The  indulgence  of  some  of  his  extravagant  tastes  made 
Baron  Stiegel  a  unique  figure  among  the  German  colo¬ 
nists,  inured  as  they  were  to  plain  living.  About  a  mile 
from  Schaferstadtel,  on  a  high  hill  commanding-  a  view 
of  the  whole  region,  he  built  a  castle  with  a  watch-tower. 
The  story  goes,  that  a  cannon-shot  announced  the  mas¬ 
ter  s  arrival  or  departure  ;  two  shots,  the  coming  of  visitors  ; 
and  a  band  of  music,  trained  from  among  the  musically 
gifted  of  his  laborers,1  greeted  his  guests  at  meals,  while 
Rhenish  and  French  wines  and  hunting-parties  were  not 
lacking  for  their  entertainment.  These  eccentricities  were, 
of  course,  derived  from  his  birth  and  early  environment. 

The  Baron  s  ambitious  ventures  were  doomed  to  ulti¬ 
mate  failure.  The  moralizing  age  in  which  he  lived  gen¬ 
erally  attributed  the  failure  to  his  extravagant  habits,  but 
by  looking  a  bit  more  deeply  into  the  matter,  we  cannot  but 
arrive  at  a  more  favorable  view.  Baron  Stiegel  spent  much 
money,  but  he  made  much  also.  Most  of  his  factories 
were  successful  and  brought  him  good  returns.  The  great 
mistake  which  he  made  was  to  purchase  the  land  interests 
of  Stedman,  who  held  two  thirds  of  the  land  in  Mannheim, 
against  one  third  originally  held  by  Stiegel,  the  latter 
having  invested  most  of  his  money  in  the  factories.  This 
immense  real  estate  speculation  must  have  deprived  the 
factories  of  the  necessary  working  capital.  Stiegel’s  faith 
in  the  continued  prosperity  of  Mannheim  would,  in  course 
of  time,  have  been  rewarded,  had  not  another  unforeseen 
event  occurred.  It  was  the  Revolutionary  War,  and,  worse 
than  that,  the  numerous  precedent  tyrannical  measures  of 
the  British  Parliament  which  ruined  the  commerce  and  in- 

'  Tlle  Ger™an  army  has  no  trouble  in  equipping  its  musical  corps  from 
the  rank  and  file  of  the  German  soldiers.  Dr.  Rush  comments  upon  the 
strong  propensity  for  vocal  and  instrumental  music  among  the  Germans  of 
both  sexes.”  «  Manners  of  the  Pennsylvania  Germans,”  Essays,  p.  239. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  143 


dustries  of  the  colonies.  No  one  was  hit  harder  than  Baron 
Stiegel,  especially  since  he  had  purchased  the  entire  pro¬ 
perty  in  Mannheim  at  a  high  figure.  He  writes  appealing 
letters  to  his  lawyers,  pleading  for  time,  and  speaks  grate¬ 
fully  of  the  successful  attempts  of  his  wife,  who  more  than 
once  influenced  his  creditors  to  wait.  In  letters  to  the 
Honorable  Jaspar  Yates  he  pleads  in  pathetic  language 
(though  a  foreigner’s  English)  for  help  and  influence  to 
weather  the  storm,  the  burden  of  his  letters  being,  “If 
I  am  given  time  I  will  pay  every  debt.”  And  finally  he 
cries  in  despair :  “  Can  it  be  possible  that  my  former 
friends  in  Lancaster  wish  to  drive  me  to  ruin,  when  I  have 
increased  the  wealth  of  the  country  at  least  150,000 
pounds  !  ”  All  the  letters1  were  written  in  the  autumn  of 
1774,  showing  that  his  final  difficulties  came  in  the  storms 
of  the  Revolutionary  outbreak,  and  inducing  us  to  believe 
that,  had  not  uncommon  occurrences  prevented,  he  would 
have  met  all  his  obligations  and  made  real  his  beautiful 
dream.  The  family  of  Stiegel  became  destitute,  and  he  him¬ 
self  died  in  great  poverty,  it  is  not  definitely  known  how 
or  where,  probably  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  smelters. 
Stories  are  told  of  a  debtor’s  prison  and  death  by  starva¬ 
tion,  but  these  seem  legendary.  Speculators  in  Philadel¬ 
phia  who  purchased  the  works  at  Mannheim  at  a  low  figure, 
undoubtedly  reaped  the  benefit  of  Stiegel  s  ventures,  so 
well  begun. 

Another  industry  in  which  the  Germans  were  very  act¬ 
ive  was  that  of  printing,  and  most  famous  of  all  was  the 
printing-press  of  Sauer,  in  Germantown.  His  was  m  fact 
a  publishing-house  for  two  generations,  established  m 
1738  and  lasting  for  forty  years,  until  the  war  put  an  end 
to  it.  One  hundred  and  fifty  books  or  pamphlets  and  three 

1  The  letters  were  reprinted  in  Per  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  pp.  85-87. 


144 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


quarto  editions  of  the  German  Bible  were  published  by 
Christopher  Sauer  and  his  son.  The  honor  of  printing  the 
first  German  books  in  America  belongs  to  Benjamin 
Franklin  ; 1  Sauer  was  the  first,  however,  to  use  the  German 
type.  Christopher  Sauer  was  born  in  Laasphe  (Wittgenstein, 
Prussia)  in  1693.  He  left  Germany  for  religious  reasons, 
coming  to  America  with  his  wife  and  son  in  1724.  For 
some  time  a  farmer  in  Lancaster  County,  he  subsequently 
settled  in  Germantown,  and  there  established  his  press,  im¬ 
porting  all  of  his  materials  from  Germany.  His  High  Ger¬ 
man  Calendar  was  issued  in  1738  and  appeared  regularly 
thereafter.  In  the  next  year  he  received  an  important 
order  to  print  a  hymn-book  for  the  monks  of  Ephrata, 
with  the  pompous  title:  “ Zionitischer  Weyrauch-Hiigel 
oder  Myrrhen-Berg,”  820  pages.  Difficulties  soon  arose 
between  Sauer  and  Beissel,  the  two  devout  religionists. 
Sauer  began  to  write  in  a  satirical  manner,  comparing 
the  monk  to  the  apocalyptic  beast,  commenting  upon  his 
virtues,  derived  from  all  of  the  planets :  from  Mars,  sever¬ 
ity  ;  from  Venus,  power  to  attract  the  fair  sex  (a  reference 
to  Sauer’s  wife,  who  ran  away  from  home  and  lived  in  the 
monastery  at  Ephrata  as  Sister  Marcella) ;  from  Mercury, 
his  clownish  tricks.  Beissel  revenged  himself  by  getting 
his  books  printed  in  Germany,  or  Philadelphia,  afterwards 
setting  up  his  own  printing-press. 

The  greatest  product  of  Sauer’s  press  (or  of  the  entire 
colonial  press)  was  the  printing  of  the  Lutheran  Bible  in 
German,  with  1272  pages,  quarto  form.  As  the  preface 
stated,  it  was  the  first  edition  of  the  Scriptures  printed  in 


J  I(ranklm  furnished  three  volumes  of  mystical  songs  in  German  for  Con- 
ra  eissel,  1730-36.  The  Gottliche  Liebes  und  Lobesgethone,  1730,  is  note¬ 
worthy,  because  Benjamin  Franklin’s  name  as  a  printer  appears  on  it  for  the 
lust  time  without  the  name  of  his  partner,  Meredith. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  145 


the  Western  Hemisphere  in  a  European  language.1  The 
excellent  paper  of  the  edition  came  from  the  paper-mill 
of  Rittenhouse  in  Germantown  ;  the  types  were  imported 
from  Frankfort-on-the-Main.  This  first  edition  appeared 
in  the  summer  of  1743,  a  second  edition  in  1763,  and  a 
third  in  1776.  In  addition  to  these,  Sauer  printed  the 
New  Testament  and  Psalter  in  separate  editions,  and  any 
number  of  hymn-books  for  the  various  sects  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania.  Most  influential  of  all  was  the  newspaper  which 
he  printed,  entitled :  “  Der  Hoch-Deutsch  Pennsylvanische 
Geschicht-Schreiber,  oder  Sammlung  wichtiger  Nachrich- 
ten  aus  dem  Natur-  und  Kirchen-Reich,”  a  name  that  was 
altered  several  times.  At  first  the  journal  appeared  month¬ 
ly,  then  semi-monthly,  and  from  1773  on  weekly,  without 
a  rise  in  price,  while  the  size  was  constantly  increased. 
The  newspaper  was  sold  not  only  in  Pennsylvania,  but  also 
in  the  Carolinas,  Maryland,  Virginia,  and  Georgia.  It 
supported  Sauer’s  principles,  the  pacific  policy  of  the  Quak¬ 
ers,  and  was  generally  opposed,  as  already  indicated,  to 
the  militancy  of  Muhlenberg  and  Schlatter.  Sauer  also 
established  a  book-bindery  and  paper-mill,  and  manufac¬ 
tured  printer’s  ink  and  types,  the  latter  being  the  first 
attempt  in  America.  The  younger  Sauer  was  accused  of 
being  a  Tory,  and  therefore  his  whole  estate  was  confis¬ 
cated.  This  was  unjust  to  him,2  though  two  sons  of  his 
(Christoph  and  Peter)  did  establish  a  Tory  newspaper 3  (in 

1  Only  once  before  had  a  Bible  been  printed  in  America  ;  it  was  the  New 
Testament  in  the  Indian  language  for  the  converted  Indians  of  Eliot  in 
Massachusetts.  No  Bible  had  been  printed  in  the  English  language  in  the 
colonies  before  the  German  Bible  of  1743.  A  copy  of  the  Sauer  Bible,  iu 
any  edition,  is  now  regarded  as  a  rare  treasure. 

2  Cf.  Seidensticker,  Bilder,  etc.,  pp.  158-166,  “Christoph  Saur,  der  Jiing- 
ere,  und  die  amerikanische  Revolution. 

3  A  number  of  this  paper,  May  6,  1778,  is  reprinted  in  Schlozer’s  Brief- 
wechsel,  vol.  iii,  pp.  260—26*.  Gottingen,  17*8.  See  Chapter  xi. 


146 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


German)  in  Philadelphia,  when  General  Howe  occupied 
the  city. 

There  were  other  printing-presses  that  followed  Sauer’s. 
That  at  Ephrata  for  the  most  part  printed  religious  litera¬ 
ture.  In  Phdadelphia  Joseph  Crell  printed  a  German 
newspaper  in  1743,  which  did  not  live  long.  He  was 
followed  by  the  Armbrusters  (1746)  and  Johann  Bohm. 
Bohm  had  been  associated  with  Franklin  in  printing 
Johann  Arndt’s  44  Sechs  Bucher  vom  Wahren  Christen- 
thurn”  (8vo,  1388pp.),  a  book  which,  next  to  the  Bible,  was 
read  most  by  the  German  immigrants.  Heinrich  Muller 
(Miller),  from  1760,  was  for  twenty  years  the  best  German 
printer  and  publisher  m  Philadelphia.  He  was  the  printer 
of  Congress,  and  published  a  large  number  of  books  in 
the  English  language.  In  1762  he  founded  the  44 Phila- 
delphischei  Staatsbote,  first  a  wreekly  and  then  a  semi¬ 
weekly  paper.  He  apparently  sold  out,  in  1776,  to  the 
German  firm  Steiner  and  Cist,  who  represented  the  Re¬ 
volutionary  doctrines.  Thomas  Paine’s  “  The  Crisis”  was 
issued  by  their  press,1  and  Cist,  in  1776,  started  the  44  Co¬ 
lumbian  Magazine.”  Steiner  paid  more  attention  to  his 
German  newspaper,  44  Philadelphia  Corresponded.”  All 
these  German  printers  fled  from  Philadelphia  during  the 
English  occupation,  but  returned  immediately  afterwards. 
Before  the  close  of  the  century  there  were  also  German 
presses  in  Lancaster,  Reading,  and  Easton.  “  Der  Reading 

Adler,”  a  weekly  newspaper,  started  in  1796,  is  still  in 
existence. 

The  Pennsylvania  Germans  have  frequently  suffered  the 
rebuke  of  being  neglectful  in  matters  of  education.  It  was 
a  charge  made  during  nativistic  epochs,  and  has  made  by 

1  They  printed  a  German  edition  of  Paine’s  Common  Sense,  and  were  the 
first  printers  of  The  Crisis  in  English. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  PENNSYLVANIA  147 


far  too  strong  an  impression.  The  main  origin  of  the 
charge  was  the  tenacity  with  which  Germans  held  to  their 
own  language  and  customs.  The  German  settlers  brought 
with  them  their  school-teachers  and  preachers.  Schools 
were  invariably  established  by  them,  and  sometimes  before 
churches.  The  schools  were,  however,  rarely  separated 
from  the  churches,  and  when  a  movement  began  for  es¬ 
tablishing  public  schools  in  their  districts,  the  Germans 
opposed  it.1  They  viewed  the  movement  with  suspicion,  as 
if  its  purpose  were  to  deprive  them  of  their  religion,  the 
influence  of  their  preachers,  or  the  use  of  their  language. 
Along  with  that  went  a  degree  of  pride  ( Bauernstolz )  in 
their  ability  to  pay  for  the  instruction  of  their  children. 
They  did  not  wish  to  inflict  this  burden  upon  the  state, 
failing  altogether  to  see  the  benefits  derived  from  a  com¬ 
mon  school  system.  It  was  long  before  the  church  school 
could  be  replaced  by  a  public  school  in  their  counties.  An 
attempt  was  made  to  train  a  body  of  teachers  among  the 
German  population,  giving  instruction  in  the  English  lan¬ 
guage  and  the  rudiments  of  American  law  and  politics,  by 
the  establishment  of  a  college.  This  foundation  was  located 
in  Lancaster  County,  in  1787,  and  was  named  after  Ben¬ 
jamin  Franklin.  Henry  Muhlenberg  was  chosen  the  first 
head  of  Franklin  College.2  The  charge  of  ignorance  against 
the  Pennsylvania  Germans  was  frequently  due  to  their 
lack  of  proficiency  in  the  use  of  the  English  language. 
Education  in  that  day  did  not  go  beyond  the  three  R’s,  or 
the  practical  necessities  of  life,  and  to  the  native  popula¬ 
tion  the  first  of  these  necessities  seemed,  of  course,  the 
ability  to  use  the  English  language.  Younger  generations, 

1  Sauer  was  a  leader  in  this  opposition. 

2  The  subject  of  the  college  and  education  in  Pennsylvania  will  be  treated 
more  fully  in  the  chapter  on  “Educational  Influences.”  See  Volume  u. 
Chapter  V. 


148 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


however,  unless  inbred,  found  no  difficulty  with  the  Eng¬ 
lish  language,  and  many  of  the  descendants  of  the  Penn¬ 
sylvania  Germans  shone1  brilliantly  in  the  professions  at 
an  early  date,  as  testified  by  Dr.  Rush. 

The  Germans,  as  seen  in  the  present  chapter,  during  the 
eighteenth  century  became  more  numerous  in  Pennsylvania 
than  in  any  other  colony,  numbering  at  least  one  third  of 
the  total  population.  They  were  the  best  farmers  of  the 
colony,  laying  the  foundations  of  its  economic  wealth. 
They  developed  industries,  milling  and  weaving,  iron  and 
paper  manufacture,  glass-blowing.  Their  industry,  thrift, 
and  steadiness  furnished  an  example  to  the  rest  of  the 
population.  From  Pennsylvania  the  Germans  spread  to 
the  south  and  west. 

Examples  are  David  Rittenhouse,  the  astronomer  ;  Caspar  Wistar  and 
Joseph  Leidy,  eminent  in  medicine  ;  H.  E.  Muhlenberg,  in  botany;  S.  S. 
Haldemann,  as  a  naturalist  and  philologist. 


CHAPTER  VI 


THE  EARLY  GERMANS  OF  NEW  JERSEY  AND  OF  MARYLAND 

New  Jersey  :  Germans  in  New  Jersey  at  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century  —  German  Valley  —  Settlements  spreading  over  Hunterdon, 
Somerset,  Morris,  and  over  parts  of  Sussex  and  Warren  counties  — 
Eminent  descendants  of  the  early  Germans  —  A  church  quarrel  arbi¬ 
trated  by  Muhlenberg,  etc.  —  The  Moravian  settlements. 

Maryland  :  Sporadic  cases  of  German  settlers  in  the  seventeenth  century 
—  In  the  eighteenth  century  Germans  numerous  and  influential  in  Balti¬ 
more  The  Germans  of  Western  Maryland;  Frederick  County; 
Hagerstown  —  Distinguished  Marylanders  descended  from  the  early 
Germans. 

There  is  a  tradition  that  the  northern  counties  of  New 
Jersey,  the  region  between  the  Raritan  and  the  Passaic, 
were  favored  by  an  accident  in  getting  their  first  German 
settlers.  In  1707  a  number  of  Germans  of  the  Reformed 
Church,  residing  originally  between  Wolfenbiittel  and 
Halberstadt,  embarked  for  New  York,  but  by  adverse 
winds  were  carried  into  Delaware  Bay.  In  order  to  reach 
their  destination  among  the  Dutch  of  New  York,  they 
took  the  overland  route  from  Philadelphia  through  New 
Jersey.  As  they  entered  the  beautiful  valley  of  the 
Musconetcong1  and  the  Passaic  River  country,  they  were 
so  well  pleased  with  the  goodly  land  that  they  resolved 
to  go  no  further.  They  settled  in  the  region  of  German 
Valley  (Morris  County),  whence  they  spread  to  Somerset, 
Bergen,  and  Essex  counties.2 

1  A  tributary  of  the  Delaware  forming  the  boundary  line  between  Morris 
and  Hunterdon  counties  on  the  east  side,  and  Sussex  and  Wairen  on  the 
west,  and  then  flowing  into  the  Delaware. 

2  I.  D.  Rupp,  Thirty  Thousand  Names  of  Immigrants,  pp.  2,  3. 


150  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

While  it  is  possible  that  Germans  arrived  in  these 
parts  as  early  as  1707-08,  the  first  authentic  record  of 
the  presence  of  a  German  in  that  region  is  that  of  the 
baptism  of  a  child  of  John  Peter  Appleman  and  Anna 
Magdalena,  August  1,  1714.  This  event  occurred  at  the 
house  of  An  de  Guinea  (Harry  from  Guinea,  a  Christian 
negto).  The  child  had  been  born  on  March  25,  and  the 
parents  had  come  into  the  state  at  least  a  few  months 
previously.  The  date,  1713,  is  therefore  adopted  by  the 
Germans  of  New  Jersey  as  the  beginning  of  their  history.1 
Another  event  on  record  is  the  first  religious  service  in 
German  Valley,  which  took  place  in  1743  (or  1744), 
according  to  a  letter  addressed  to  Michael  Schlatter  by 
the  people  of  Fox  Hill,  Lebanon,  and  Amwell  (German 
Valley),  in  1747,  which  speaks  of  the  service  as  having 
taken  place  three  or  four  years  before.  A  religious  service 
of  this,  kind  naturally  presupposes  a  settlement  of  some 
dimensions,  and  therefore  the  first  settlers  must  have  come 
to  German  Valley  long  before.  The  first  German  Lutheran 
church  m  New  Jersey  was  opened  for  worship  in  1731 
m  what  is  now  Potterstown,  about  a  mile  east  of  Lebanon 
(Hunterdon  County).2  There  were  Holland  Lutherans  in 


The  facts  above  and  following  on  the  early  German  settlements  of  New 
Jersey  are  very  largely  taken  from  Chambers,  The  Early  Germans  of  New 
ersey,  their  History,  Churches,  and  Genealogies,  Dover,  1895.  The  work  is 
based  on  careful  and  accurate  historical  researches,  on  examination  of  church 
records  (particularly  in  German  Valley  and  its  neighborhood),  land  records 
at  the  county-seats,  books  of  wills  at  Trenton,  county  and  family  histories, 
and  finally  tombstones  m  old  graveyards. 

,  2  Tlle  ^,lrc1' at  P°tterstown  (Rockaway)  was  dedicated  Saturday,  Septem- 
ber  11  1731.  Berkenmeyer  and  two  elders  from  New  York  were  present 
also  the  Reverend  D.  Falckner.  On  Sunday,  the  12th,  communion  was 
admimstered  to  about  thirty  persons,  at  which  Berkenmeyer  and  Falckner 
officiated.  Sachse,  The  German  Pietists  of  Provincial  Pennsylvania,  p.  330 
takes  this  note  from  Berkenmeyer ’s  Diary.  See  also  Arcles  of  tie  Lul 
theran  Seminary,  Gettysburg,  Pa.  J 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MAEYLAND 


151 


the  state,  settled  earlier,  in  the  region  of  Hackensack, 
Bergen  County. 

There  is  evidence  also  that  some  of  the  Palatine  immi¬ 
grants  of  1710  settled  in  New  Jersey,  records1  of  baptisms 
and  marriages  kept  by  the  First  Lutheran  Church  of  New 
York  furnishing  the  proof.  The  parish  of  the  Reverend 
Justus  Falckner,  who  began  his  ministry  in  New  York 
City  in  1703,  extended  over  a  vast  area,  from  Albany  in 
New  York  to  the  Raritan  region  (Hunterdon  County) 
in  New  Jersey.  The  Germans  of  New  Jersey  would  be 
justified  in  taking  1710  as  their  beginning,  or  three 
years  before  the  date  they  selected  when  they  celebrated 
the  one  hundred  and  eightieth  anniversary  of  their  first 
settlement.2 

In  South  Jersey  there  were  Germans  who  came  with 
the  Swedish  settlers  long  before  1700,  but  they  lost  their 
identity  amid  the  predominant  race.  In  Salem  County, 
not  far  from  the  sources  of  the  rivers  Cohansey  and 
Alloway,  where  now  stands  the  little  town  of  Friesburg, 
there  was  a  German  Lutheran  congregation.  Jacob  M. 
Miller  had  settled  there  in  1732  with  Pastor  Johann 
Christian  Schultze.3 

1  The  names  given  by  Chambers  (p.  35)  are  :  Schneider,  Lorentz,  Muller 
(widow),  Hoffman,  Schmidt,  Henneschild  (Hendershot),  Fuchs  (Fox),  Yogt, 
J.  and  N.  Jung  (Young),  Klein,  Cramer  (widow),  Lucas. 

A  road  survey  in  1721,  in  the  vicinity  of  Amwell  Township,  Hunterdon 
County,  makes  mention  of  “the  Palatines’  land.”  This  is  another  evidence 
of  the  early  settlements  of  Palatines  in  New  Jersey,  in  Hunterdon  County. 

2  This  memorable  event  occurred  in  1893  under  the  auspices  of  the  early 
German  settlers  of  German  Valley,  among  whom  are  many  men  distin¬ 
guished  in  the  service  of  church  and  state.  The  Reverend  Theodore 
Frelinghuysen  Chambers  was  one  of  the  moving  spirits. 

3Hallesche  Nachrichten,  vol.  i,  pp.  184,  269.  They  were  served  by  the  Swed¬ 
ish  pastor  Tranberg,  1726-40,  later  by  Lutheran  ministers  from  Philadelphia. 
In  1760  Pastor  Handschuh  baptized  twelve  babes  and  bad  one  hundred  and 
twenty  communicants,  when  there  was  a  great  assemblage.  They  built  and 
rebuilt  churches,  one  of  brick,  bearing  the  date  1768,  the  “Emanuel  Church.” 


152 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


The  bulk  of  the  early  German  settlers  were  located 
within  the  present  boundaries  of  the  counties  Hunterdon, 
Somerset,  Morris,  and  parts  of  Sussex  and  Warren.  The 
towns  of  Newton  and  Lambertville  would  mark  the  bound¬ 
aries  on  the  north  and  south;  Bound  Brook  and  the  Dela¬ 
ware  River  on  the  east  and  west  respectively.  Some  of 
the  names  of  the  settlements  which  may  serve  to  denote 
the  locality  more  definitely  are  :  German  Yalley,  Fox  Hill 
(once  the  name  of  the  whole  region  now  centring  in  Ger¬ 
man  Yalley;  Fairmount  Presbyterian  Church  is  the  suc¬ 
cessor  of  the  old  Fox  Hill  Church),  Lebanon,  New  Ger¬ 
mantown,  Union ville,  Flanders,  Spruce  Run,  Schooley’s 
Mountain,  Pleasant  Grove.  Each  place  had  its  church, 
Lutheran  or  German  Reformed  (sometimes  both),  the  lat¬ 
ter  often  taking  a  step  in  conformity  with  prevailing  relig¬ 
ious  conditions  in  New  Jersey  and  becoming  Presbyterian, 
the  differences  in  dogma  not  being  considered  important, 
and  the  necessity  of  hearing  sermons  in  English  being 
strongly  felt.  The  Lutheran  churches  were  more  tenacious 
of  their  denominational  identity,  owing  to  their  stronger 
organization  and  their  greater  numbers. 

Chambers1  gives  about  three  hundred  German  family 
names,  compiled  mainly  from  church  records  before 
17G2,  within  the  above-named  district,  giving  evidence  of 
quite  a  large  population.  The  German  settlers  of  Passaic, 
Bergen,  and  Essex  counties  may  have  come  from  the 
region  of  German  Yalley  or  may  have  entered  from  Hud¬ 
son  County,  i.  e.,  they  were  new  immigrants  coming1  from 
New  York  City. 

Like  the  early  Germans  elsewhere,  those  of  New  Jersey 
were  industrious  and  thrifty.  They  were  mainly  of  the 
agricultural  class,  and  converted  German  Yalley  and 

1  On  pp.  34-37,  and  in  the  appendix  of  his  book. 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


153 


neighboring  districts  into  garden-like  farm-lands.1  They 
were  religious,  building  churches  and  schools  and  enjoy¬ 
ing  above  most  other  districts  the  reputation  of  liberality 
toward  their  preachers,  a  fact  which  is  dwelt  upon  by  both 
Muhlenberg  and  Schlatter.  An  instance  of  such  a  spirit 
is  found,  for  example,  in  1760,  when  the  sum  of  one  thou¬ 
sand  pounds,  munificent  for  that  period,  was  bequeathed 
to  the  church  of  New  Germantown  for  the  purpose  of  its 
support  and  that  of  its  school. 

Though  the  New  Jersey  Germans  kept  their  German 
speech  and  customs  for  a  long  time,  they  were  public-spirited 
and  patriotic,  bearing  their  full  share  of  the  burdens  of  the 
colonial  wars  and  particularly  of  the  Revolutionary  War, 
the  latter  raging  in  New  Jersey  probably  longer  and  more 
fiercely  than  in  any  other  district.  Instances  of  exemplary 
devotion  to  the  patriotic  cause  were  those  of  Nevelling 
and  Frelinghuysen.  John  Wesley  Gilbert  Nevelling,  who 
served  the  Amwell  church  at  the  beginning  of  his  minis¬ 
try,  converted  all  his  property  into  money,  amounting  to 
five  thousand  pounds.  He  loaned  it  to  the  Continental 
Congress,  and,  losing  the  certificate  of  receipt  of  the  gov¬ 
ernment,  he  never  recovered  any  of  the  amount.  He 
served  as  chaplain  in  the  army,  was  highly  esteemed  by 
Washington,  and  a  large  reward  was  offered  for  his 
capture  by  the  British  government.2 

General  Frederick  Frelinghuysen,  grandson  of  the  Re¬ 
verend  Theodore  J.  Frelinghuysen  (who  also  spelled  his 
name  Frehnghausen,  and  was  born  at  Lingen,  East  Fries¬ 
land,  within  the  present  limits  of  Prussia),  was  prominent 

1  They  also  improved  agriculture;  e.  g.,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Fuchs 
introduced  a  new  and  superior  variety  of  wheat,  and  the  people  from  a  great 
distance  bought  wheat  of  him.  “  They  went  to  Foxenburgh  ”  (Fairmount). 
Chambers,  p.  128. 

2  Chambers,  p.  40. 


154 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


as  a  soldier  in  the  Revolutionary  War.  He  took  part  in  the 
battle  of  Trenton,  where  he  shot  the  Hessian  colonel  Rahl. 
Afterwards  in  command  of  militia,  he  took  part  in  the 
skirmishes  at  Springfield  and  Elizabeth,  and  in  the  battle 
of  Monmouth  Courthouse,  June,  1788.  He  was  a  member 
of  the  Continental  Congress,  of  the  Convention  of  1787, 
and  of  the  United  States  Senate,  1793-96.  In  1794  he 
was  major-general  of  the  forces  of  New  Jersey  and  Penn¬ 
sylvania  that  served  during  the  Whiskey  Insurrection  of 
Pennsylvania. 

Some  distinguished  descendants  of  the  early  New  Jersey 
German  settlers  are  found  in  the  Werts  family.  The 
Reverend  John  Conrad  Wirtz,  born  in  Zurich,  Switzerland, 
was  the  first  German  Reformed  preacher  in  Lebanon  and 
German  Valley,  before  1750,  of  whom  there  is  any  record. 
The  Honorable  George  Theodor  Worts,  governor  of  New 
Jersey,  1893-96,  is  a  great-great-grandson  of  the  Rever¬ 
end  John  Conrad.  The  man  noted  as  the  wealthiest  capital¬ 
ist  in  the  world,  John  D.  Rockefeller,  the  founder  of  the 
Standard  Oil  Company,  is  a  direct  descendant  of  the  early 
Germans  in  New  Jersey.  But  recently  (1906),  Mr.  John 
D.  Rockefeller  erected  a  monument  to  the  memory  of  his 
ancestor  Johann  Peter  Rockefeller,1  “who  came  from  Ger¬ 
many  about  1733  and  died  in  1783.”  The  monument2  is 
erected  in  the  village  of  Larrison’s  Corner,  near  Fleming- 
ton,  Hunterdon  County,  New  Jersey,  on  a  piece  of  land 

i  Spelled  also  Rockefellar.  See  Chambers,  Early  Germans  of  New  Jersey 
appendix.  John  Peter  Rockefeller  had  two  sons,  Peter  and  John  (naturalized 

1730).  Some  of  the  Roekefellars  settled  at  the  camp  in  New  York  (Sauger- 
ties). 

It  was  erected  in  1906,  and  bears  an  inscription  stating  that  the  monu¬ 
ment  is  dedicated  to  Johann  Peter  Rockefeller  by  his  direct  descendant 
John  Davison  Rockefeller.  At  a  recent  family  reunion  it  was  stated  that  the 
family  had  descended  originally  from  a  Huguenot  ancestor,  who  had  immi¬ 
grated  to  Germany. 


155 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 

which  Johann  Peter  Rockefeller  gave  as  a  burial-ground 
for  his  family  and  his  neighbors.  This  giving  instinct  was 
not  exceptional  among  the  early  Germans,  —  it  has  grown 
in  modern  times,  and  culminated  in  such  magnificent 
endowments  as  the  University  of  Chicago,  that  of  the 
General  Education  Board,1  and  the  Rockefeller  Institute 
for  Medical  Research,  New  York.  There  is  probably  no 
modern  benefactor  whose  vast  and  numerous  gifts  have 
been  more  wisely  distributed. 

As  an  illustration  of  the  seriousness  with  which  church 
and  religious  matters  were  treated  by  the  early  Germans, 
the  following  narrative  may  be  of  service.  It  is  the  story 
of  a  church  feud,  taken  from  the  letters  written  by  the 
Reverend  Mr.  Muhlenberg 2  to  the  church  fathers  at  Halle, 
published  in  the  “Hallesche  Nachrichten.”3 

During  the  lifetime  of  Justus  Falckner,  who  was  the  able 
head  of  the  Lutheran  Church  in  New  York  from  1703  to 
1723,  his  brother,  Daniel  Falckner,  served  the  German 
Lutheran  churches  in  the  Raritan  district.  But  after  the 
death  of  Justus  Falckner  in  1723,  and  when  Daniel  Falck¬ 
ner  had  become  too  old  for  service,  the  German  churches  in 
New  Jersey  applied  to  the  Reverend  Mr.  Berkenmeyer,  suc¬ 
cessor  to  Justus  Falckner,  for  a  new  preacher  to  be  imported 
from  Germany.  A  call,  duly  sealed  and  signed  by  the  mem¬ 
bers  of  three  congregations,  was  forwarded  to  Germany 
in  1731.  Nothing  came  of  it,  however,  until  three  years 

1  The  recent  gift  of  $32,000,000  to  the  General  Education  Board,  by  John 
D.  Rockefeller,  “is  the  largest  sum  ever  given  by  a  man  in  the  history  of 
the  race  for  any  social  or  philanthropic  purposes.”  (Words  quoted  from 
the  letter  of  acceptance  by  the  Board.) 

2  The  character  and  career  of  the  great  organizer  of  the  Lutheran  Church 
in  America,  the  Reverend  Heinrich  Melchior  Muhlenberg,  has  been  sketched 
in  the  preceding  chapter. 

3  German  Reprint :  Allentown,  Pa.,  1886.  See  vol.  i,  pp.  113  ff.,  119  ff., 
123  If.  The  translation  appeared  earlier  :  Reading,  Pa.,  1882. 


156  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

later,  when  the  home  church  ordained  August  Wolf,  and 
sent  him  to  America  at  a  stipulated  salary  and  expenses 
paid,  lhe  call  was  given  by  three  congregations,  “on  the 
mountain  (about  one  mile  from  Pluckamin),  Rackaway, 
or  Rockaway  (Potterstown),  and  Hanover  (probably  Fox 
Hill).  The  Reverend  Mr.  Wolf  was  received  with  love 
and  hopeful  expectation,  which  very  soon,  however,  g’ave 
place  to  disappointment,  for  the  new  pastor,  according  to 
Muhlenberg,  proved  “a  wolf  in  sheep’s  clothing.”  &To 
quote  the  story  as  told  in  the  “Reports”  : _ 

They  then  fell  into  strife  with  one  another,  which  Pastor 
Berkenmeyer  and  Mr.  Knoll  from  New  York  have  again  medi¬ 
ated.  But  Mr.  Wolf  does  not  look  at  his  office  rightly,  for  he  is 
not  willing  or  able  to  preach  without  his  written  sketches.  Hav¬ 
ing  married  a  farmer’s  daughter,  he  lived  with  her  amid  contin¬ 
ual  blows  and  quarreling.  This  quarrelsome  life  and  inefficiency 
in  preaching  made  the  congregation  dissatisfied,  so  that  they  did 
not  pay  him  his  promised  salary.  They  offered  him  his  travel¬ 
ing  expenses,  if  he  would  return  home  again,  but  he  would  not 
consent  to  do  so.  He  boasted  then  that  he  had  brought  his 
written  call  and  seal  from  Hamburg.  Mr.  Berkenmeyer  and  Mr. 
Knoll  interfered  and  complained  to  the  governor,  of  the  un- 
scrupulousness  of  the  congregation.  The  governor  ordered  that 
the  congregation  pay  and  support  him.  The  congregation  com¬ 
plained  that  the  minister  was  not  efficient.  The  matter  then 
came  to  trial  before  the  court.  When  a  year  had  passed  Mr. 
Wolf  swore  before  the  authorities  that  he  had  performed  his 
duties  according  to  contract.  The  members  were  then  served 
with  writs  of  execution  upon  their  property,  and  many  of  them 
were  arrested  upon  the  highway.  In  short,  the  office  of  preacher 
was  by  these  causes  brought  into  disrepute,  the  young  neglected 
the  holy  communion  not  administered,  the  sick  not  visited,  in¬ 
deed,  there  was  such  a  desolation,  that  it  was  made  amono-’the 
Germans  a  subject  of  street  songs.  Finally,  the  matter  came 
before  the  supreme  court  and  caused  a  heavy  expense  to  the  con- 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND  157 

gregation.  The  lawyers  found  their  advantage  in  it.  Part  of  the 
members  sold  their  property  and  moved  away.1 

This  condition  had  endured  for  many  years.  Muhlen¬ 
berg  had  often  been  implored  to  help  the  congregations, 
but  his  duties  kept  him  in  Pennsylvania.  Finally  a  board 
of  arbitration  was  chosen,  consisting  of  four  preachers. 
Mr.  Wolf  named  on  his  side  the  ministers  Berkenmeyer 
and  Knoll  of  New  York ;  the  congregations  named  the 
ministers  Muhlenberg  and  Brunnholz  of  Pennsylvania. 
For  the  latter  the  Reverend  Mr.  Wagner  was  afterward 
substituted.  Mr.  Berkenmeyer  absented  himself.  Thus  with 
three  judges  the  examination  and  deliberations  went  on, 
continuing  four  days  and  four  nights  and  proving  an  ar¬ 
duous  task.  The  board  found  “  that  Mr.  Wolf  had  been 
the  primary  cause  of  all  the  contention  and  scandal,”  and, 
as  Muhlenberg  also  reports :  “  He  had  not  shown  official 
and  paternal  fidelity  enough  to  teach  his  children  the 
Ten  Commandments.”  2  The  board  was  ready  to  set  the 
congregation  free,  when  a  compromise  was  agreed  to, 
yielding  Mr.  Wolf  a  sum  of  money,  for  which  he  would 
release  the  congregation  absolutely.  The  famous  document 
(the  call)  bearing  the  signatures  of  the  congregation,  was 
handed  over,  and  Mr.  Wolf  received  ninety  pounds,  from 
which  the  court  costs  were  deducted.  The  Reverend  Mr. 
Muhlenberg  had  once  more  done  his  church  and  country¬ 
men  a  noble  service.  Thus  ended  the  most  bitter  of  all 
the  colonial  German  church  quarrels,  with  the  exception 
perhaps  of  the  one  in  Georgia,3  which  Muhlenberg  also 
arbitrated. 

1  Hallesche  Nachrichten,  vol.  i,  p.  119. 

2  The  discovery  of  this  neglect  no  doubt  weighed  heavily  in  the  balance 
against  Wolf. 

3  See  Chapter  ix. 


158 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


The  church  difficulty  was  not  completely  settled  after 
the  decree  of  the  ministerial  judges  had  gone  into  effect. 
The  congregations  were  unwilling  to  sign  another  call, 
having  had  the  one  unfortunate  experience,  and  they  hesi¬ 
tated  also  because  of  the  rivalry  between  the  Lutheran 
ministeriums  of  Halle  and  Hamburg,  each  of  which  wanted 
to  fill  the  vacancy.  But  Miihlenberg  was  equal  to  all  emer¬ 
gencies,  becoming  the  patron  of  the  Lutheran  congrega¬ 
tions  of  New  Jersey  for  a  number  of  years,  frequently 
serving  them  for  months  at  a  time.  He  healed  all  schisms 
and  brought  about  a  period  of  prosperity.  Sometimes,  to 
be  sure,  he  was  disappointed  in  the  choice  of  assistants, 
and  he  writes  mournfully  to  the  church  fathers  at  Halle : 
“  The  lack  of  faithful,  steady,  and  experienced  laborers  is 
a  great  hindrance  to  the  spread  of  the  kingdom  of  Jesus 
Christ.  May  the  Lord  have  compassion  upon  us  and  send 
faithful  laborers  into  his  harvest.”  Muhlenberg  remained 
the  patriarch  of  the  New  Jersey  congregation  (from  1757 
to  1775),  with  assistants  to  serve  the  various  churches, 
among  whom  for  some  time  were  his  sons  Peter  and  Henry. 

An  interesting  product  of  prevailing  colonial  conditions 
was  the  Reverend  Mr.  Caspar  Wack.  He  was  called  to 
Great  Swamp  Church  in  1771.  When  he  first  came  to 
German  Valley,  the  preaching  was  all  in  German,  but 
under  changed  requirements  in  the  latter  part  of  his 
ministry,  he  preached  only  occasionally  in  German,  to 
please  the  old  people.  The  jargon  of  the  transition  period 
between  the  German  and  English  sermons  probably  did 
not  offend  in  those  days  as  it  might  now.  On  the  con¬ 
trary,  on  one  occasion  it  had  a  very  pleasing  effect.  An 
English  army  officer,  having  heard  that  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Wack  was  a  German,  went  to  his  church  in  order  “to 
hear  what  a  German  sermon  would  sound  like.”  He  came 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


159 


away  rejoicing.  “  He  never  knew  before  that  German  was 
so  much  like  English ;  he  could  understand  a  great  deal 
of  what  Mr.  Wack  said.”  On  that  day  Mr.  Wack  had 
preached  an  English  sermon,  or  at  least  what  he  took  to 
be  English.  In  later  days,  however,  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Wack  is  said  to  have  been  in  command  of  good  English, 
at  least  of  correct  English,  faulty  only  in  accent,  and 
somewhat  in  pronunciation,  though  as  to  the  latter  it  is 
known  that  he  carefully  marked  his  manuscript  with  the 
dictionary’s  pronunciation. 

Mr.  Wack  was  musical,  taught  a  singing-school,  carried 
on  a  farm,  and  drove  an  oil-  and  fulling-mill,  using  for 
power  the  stream  on  his  land.  He  became  a  well-to-do 
member  of  the  community.  No  eight-hour  laws  prevailed 
with  him,  and  he  was  out  on  his  fields  before  the  first 
peep  of  day.  When  the  breakfast-bell  was  heard,  he  would 
say:  “Now,  boys!  a  race,”  and  he  was  rarely  beaten.1 
Stories  are  told  of  the  quickness  of  his  wit.  While  on  one 
of  his  long  journeys,  a  young  man  asked  him  for  a  ride. 
“  Certainly,”  said  Mr.  Wack,  “  get  up  behind  me.”  Now 
this  young  man  was  not  one  that  had  walked  straight  in 
the  paths  of  church  virtue,  nor  had  the  shepherd  ever  had 
an  opportunity  to  lead  back  this  recalcitrant  member  of 
the  flock.  The  opportunity  had  come,  and  the  minister 
poured  into  the  ears  of  the  sheep  such  an  amount  of  whole¬ 
some  admonition  that  the  latter  remembered  it  as  an  ex¬ 
perience  in  his  life.  The  young  scapegrace  declared,  when 
he  was  released,  that  it  was  the  hardest  ride  he  had  ever 
taken.  Mr.  WAck  later  removed  to  Stone  Arabia  in  the 
Mohawk  Valley,  and  served  as  chaplain  in  the  War  of 
1812. 

Besides  the  settlements  in  German  Valley  and  sur- 

1  Chambers,  pp.  112  ff. 


160 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


rounding  counties,  there  are  records  of  a  few  other  Ger¬ 
man  colonies.  At  Elizabethtown,  where  the  first  English 
settlement  was  made  in  1664,  there  were  many  German 
settlers  prior  to  1734,  as  we  learn  from  the  Urlsperger 
u  Reports.” 1  Other  German  settlers  were  located  at  a  place 
called  Hall  Mill,  some  thirty  miles  from  Philadelphia.2  In 
addition  to  these  we  get  information  about  others  from 
the  reports  of  the  Moravian  preachers.  The  latter  had  reg¬ 
ular  preaching  stations  in  the  more  southerly  counties  of 
New  Jersey,  at  Maurice  River,  Penn’s  Neck,  Raccoon, 
Cohansey,  Middletown,  Trenton,  Maidenhead,  Crosswicks, 
Crawberry,  and  Princeton.  These  stations  presuppose  the 
existence  of  German  settlers  in  considerable  numbers,  for 
the  Moravian  preachers  commonly  preached  in  German, 
many  of  them  not  knowing  English  well  enough  to  preach 
in  that  language,  as  we  learn  from  the  diaries  of  Moravian 
missionaries  who  passed  through  Virginia. 

A  prosperous  Moravian  colony,  at  least  for  a  period, 
was  the  Hope  Settlement,  located  in  Warren  County. 
American  travelers,3  passing  through,  commented  on  u  the 
strong,  neat,  and  compact  Moravian  houses,  mostly  of 
stone,  the  mechanics’  shops,  the  stores,  and  above  all  a 
mill,  one  of  the  finest  and  most  curious  nulls  in  America.” 
The  same  mill  is  described  in  the  travels  of  a  French  sol¬ 
dier,4  in  1778,  one  of  the  members  of  La  Fayette’s  staff : 

Mr.  Colver  treated  us  with  an  anxiety  and  respect  more  Ger¬ 
man  than  American,  and  led  us  first  to  see  the  saw-mill  which 

1  Von  Reck,  Urlsperger  Nachrichten,  p.  159. 

2  rthe  Reverend  Michael  Schlatter  preached  there  in  1746.  Magazine  of 

German  Reformed  Church,  vol.  ii,  p.  266.  J 

3  The  Honorable  William  Ellery  and  the  Honorable  William  Whipple 
two  signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  in  1777,  wrote  about  it  in 
tneir  diary,  from  which  the  above  quotation  is  taken. 

'Travels  in  North  America,  pp.  307  ff.,  published  1780-82,  by  the  Chevalier 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


161 


is  the  most  beautiful  and  best  contrived  I  ever  saw.  A  single 

o 

man  only  is  necessary  to  direct  the  work ;  the  same  wheels 
which  keep  the  saw  in  motion  serve  also  to  convey  the  trunks  of 
trees  from  the  spot  where  they  are  deposited  to  the  workhouse, 
a  distance  of  25  or  30  toises  (making  a  total  distance  of  over  150 
feet)  :  they  are  placed  on  a  sledge,  which,  sliding  in  a  groove,  is 
drawn  by  a  rope,  which  rolls  and  unrolls  on  the  axis  of  the 
wheel  itself.  Planks  are  sold  at  six  shillings,  Pennsylvania  cur¬ 
rency,  the  hundred.  If  you  find  the  wood,  it  is  only  half  the 
money. 

In  1807  the  properties 1  at  Hope  were  sold  by  the  Mo¬ 
ravian  Brethren,  and  the  members  of  the  settlement  re¬ 
moved  to  Bethlehem  or  other  Moravian  towns.  All  their 
settlements  were  managed  on  the  cooperative  plan,  and  if 
any  proved  less  advantageous,  it  was  abandoned  or  sold 
so  as  not  to  be  a  burden  for  the  others. 

We  have  seen  that  the  Germans  settled  within  the  pre¬ 
sent  boundaries  of  New  Jersey  as  early  as  the  first  and 
second  decades  of  the  eighteenth  century.  They  soon 
massed  in  great  numbers  in  the  district  known  as  German 
Valley.  Their  settlements  were  most  prosperous  within 
the  boundaries  of  the  present  counties  of  Hunterdon,  Som¬ 
erset,  Morris,  and  in  portions  of  Sussex  and  Warren. 
Many  distinguished  Americans  have  descended  from  the 
old  New  Jersey  Germans. 

Maryland :  In  the  province  of  Maryland  some  few  Ger¬ 
mans  had  settled  as  early  as  the  seventeenth  century. 
There  was  Cornelius  Commegys  from  Vienna,  who  settled 
in  Cecil  County  with  four  other  Germans,  among  them 
Augustin  Herman  (Harman),  before  1660.  There  was 
Martin  Faulkner  (Falkner),  who  received  one  hundred  and 
fifty  acres  in  Anne  Arundel  County  (1680),  which  he 

i  There  were  also  a  tannery,  pottery,  oil-mill,  besides  a  saw-mill  aiid  farms- 


162 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


called  “Martin’s  Rest.”  Robert  Sadler  in  1689  received 
a  grant  of  land  in  Baltimore  County.  There  were  a  num¬ 
ber  of  others  in  various  counties,  as  the  records  in  the 
state  capitol  at  Annapolis  show.1  Most  of  the  immigrants 
landed  at  Annapolis,  called  “The  Port  of  Severn,”  then 
of  much  greater  importance  as  a  seaport  than  Baltimore, 
the  latter  being  incorporated  as  a  city  not  until  1796 
(though  laid  out  about  1730),  Annapolis  having  been 
made  a  city  in  1696,  one  hundred  years  earlier. 

There  were  a  number  of  Germans  with  the  Labadists,2 
the  sect  of  communists  who  settled  (1684)  on  the  Bo¬ 
hemian  River,  within  the  present  state  of  Delaware.  The 
founder  and  leader  of  the  Labadist  settlement  on  Bohemia 
Manor  was  Peter  Sluyter,  born  at  Wesel  in  the  Rhineland. 
His  original  name  was  Yorstmann,  but  just  before  his 
immigration  he  assumed  the  name  of  Sluyter  or  Schluter. 
His  co-worker,  Jasper  Danker,  had  also  changed  his  name, 
from  Schilders.  They  had  been  sent  by  the  mother  colony 
at  Wieuwerd  in  Westfriesland  to  discover  a  suitable  place 
for  a  colony  in  America.  The  place  selected  was  that  al¬ 
ready  named,  on  Bohemia  River,  on  the  land  of  Augustin 
Herman.  Herman  even  promised  to  erect  the  necessary 
buildings  for  the  colony,  and  his  oldest  son,  Ephraim, 
became  a  convert  to  the  society.3  Danker  soon  withdrew 


1700  ’’  Fy,W  ,fTr’  Ger'Uan  element  111  Maryland  up  to  the  year 

1700  Fifteenth  Annual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans 

in  Maryland  pp  13-34.  The  author  has  carefully  worked  through  the  old 
court  records  at  Annapolis  and  brought  to  light  a  quantity  of  interesting  facts 
regarding  the  earliest  Germans  of  Maryland. 

2  They  were  followers  of  Jean  de  Labadie,  Christian  communists.  They 

Slbbath  Th  TTCe,0f  the  Sabbath  °n  th<3  gr0Und  that  Hfe  is  a  PerP^ual 
Sabba  h.  They  believed  in  marriage  as  a  holy  ordinance,  and  denied  original 

sin.  The  sect  disappeared  about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  and 

even  earlier  in  America.  In  1698  besides  Sluyter  only  eight  male  members 

remained  in  the  Labadist  settlement  of  Bohemia  Manor 

3  The  deed  conveyed  the  land,  August  11,  1684,  to  Sluyter  and  Danker 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


163 


and  left  Sluyter  sole  leader  of  the  community  -with  the 
rank  of  bishop.  The  latter  became  a  successful  tobacco 
planter,  and  it  is  said  a  slave  trader,  dying  a  wealthy  man. 

The  most  noted  of  the  Germans  in  this  section  was, 
however,  Augustin  Herman1  (born  at  Prague,  1621),  the 
founder  of  Cecil  County,  patron  at  one  time  of  the  La- 
badists,  and  defender  of  the  rights  of  Maryland  against 
neighboring  colonies.2  He  drew  a  map3  of  the  state  of 
Maryland  for  Lord  Baltimore,  which  was  “  applauded  for 
its  exactness  even  by  His  Royal  Majesty,  the  King,”  and 
about  the  same  time  he  was  chosen  representative  of 
Baltimore  to  the  General  Assembly. 

No  considerable  number  of  German  settlers  arrived  in 
Maryland  before  the  eighteenth  century,  even  not  before 
the  second  quarter.  From  its  very  beginning  (1730)  Ger¬ 
mans  were  active  in  the  settlement  and  commercial  pro¬ 
gress  of  Baltimore.  Many  of  them,  enterprising  Germans 
or  descendants  of  Germans,  came  down  from  Pennsylvania, 
and  with  “  capital  and  industry  employed  here,  contributed 
essentially  to  aid  the  original  settlers.”  4  G.  M.  Meyer 

from  Friesland,  Bayard  from  New  York  (the  Huguenot  ancestor  of  a  line  of 
American  statesmen,  the  last  of  them  Thomas  Francis  Bayard,  secretary 
of  state,  1885-89,  ambassador  to  England,  1893),  John  Moll  and  Arnold  de 
la  Grange  from  Delaware. 

1  Augustin  Herman  was  naturalized  in  Maryland  by  act  of  legislature  in 
1663,  with  two  sons  and  three  daughters  ;  with  them  a  family  by  the  name 
of  Hack,  also  of  German  stock.  One  John  Hack  traded  with  the  Indians 
and  was  well  known  in  Maryland  and  Virginia,  in  1647. 

2  Augustin  Herman  had  previously  lived  in  New  Amsterdam,  and  was 
there  distinguished  as  a  trader  in  tobacco,  a  representative  of  the  popular 
party  and  a  diplomatist.  Though  not  a  friend  of  Stuyvesant,  the  latter 
used  him  on  many  important  embassies,  the  last  becoming  the  occasion  of 
Herman’s  settling  in  Maryland.  Deutsch-amerikanisches  Magaziu,  pp.  202  ff. 
and  524  ff. 

3  Cf.  Weishaar,  p.  28. 

4  Cf.  Colonel  J.  G.  Scharf,  The  Chronicles  of  Baltimore,  pp.  37,  202.  Balti¬ 
more,  1874.  See  also  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xviii,  p.  179,  article  by 
E.  F.  Leyh. 


164 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


erected  a  mill,  D.  Barnetz  and  Leonard  from  York,  Pa., 
together  established  the  first  brewery,  Valentin  Larsch 
built  an  inn  at  the  southwest  corner  of  Baltimore  and  Gay 
streets,  Andrew  Steiger  was  the  first  butcher,  who,  before 
1759  and  after,  purchased  large  tracts  of  land  in  the  bend 
of  Jones’s  Falls  and  beyond,  for  the  feeding  of  his  cattle, 
his  purchases  covering  a  large  part  of  East  Baltimore  and 
being  known  as  Steiger’s  Meadow.  German  Street,  paral¬ 
lel  to  Baltimore  Street,  and  one  of  the  thoroughfares  for 
the  wholesale  trade,  was  once  covered  with  the  kitchen- 
garden  and  tobacco  plantation  of  a  German  farmer.  After 
Baltimore  was  incorporated,  in  1796,  there  were  three  Ger¬ 
mans  among  the  first  seven  aldermen  of  the  new  city,  viz.: 
Engelhardt  Yeiser,  Peter  Hoffmann,  and  George  Linden- 
berger,  the  latter  a  public-spirited  man,  magistrate,  founder 
of  a  fire  company  and  a  militia  officer  during  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  War.  As  early  as  1758  a  German  church  was  built 
in  Baltimore,  and  four  years  later  a  second  one.1  Both 
weie  Piotestant,  the  German  Catholics  being’  not  numer¬ 
ous  enough  as  yet  to  build  a  church  of  their  own,  or  find¬ 
ing  it  more  advantageous  to  join  the  prominent  English 
Catholic  congregations. 

o  o 

At  the  time  of  the  Revolutionary  War  the  Germans 
of  Baltimore  sent  many  volunteer  companies  into  the 
patriot  army,  a  fact  that  proves  the  existence  of  a  large 
German  population  in  that  city.  Washington’s  purchasing 


1  Cf.  Second  Annual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans 
in  Maryland ,  pp.  60  and  64.  Also  :  A  History  of  Zion  Church  of  the  City 
of  Baltimore,  1755-1897,  pp.  9,  10,  14.  By  Pastor  Jul.  Hofmann.  Baltimore, 
1905.  The  Germans  held  union  services  (including  the  Lutheran  and  Re¬ 
formed)  in  Baltimore  very  soon  after  the  town  was  laid  out  (1730).  The 
Lutherans  founded  a  separate  organization  as  early  as  1755  (Zion  Church). 
Their  first  church,  however,  seems  to  have  been  built  a  few  years  after  the 
church  of  the  German  Reformed  (1758),  who  were  at  first  more  numerous. 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


165 


agent,  Jake  Keeport  (Kuhbord),  was  a  Baltimore  German. 
When  the  Continental  Congress,  after  its  flight  from  Phil¬ 
adelphia,  sought  refuge  in  Baltimore,  they  held  their  meet¬ 
ings  in  a  hall  owned  by  the  German  merchant,  Veit.1 

Many  of  the  noted  families  of  the  city  and  state  are 
of  German  origin,  among  them  those  bearing  the  names  of 
Albert,  Appold,  Baer,  Diffenderfer,  Friese,  Frick,  Hoff¬ 
mann,  Keyser,  King,  Levering,  Mayer,  Miller,  Milton- 
berger,  Reeder,  Schley,  Schmucker,  Steiner,  Strieker, 
Uhler,2  Van  Bibber,  Yeiser,  and  a  large  number  of  oth¬ 
ers.3  The  ancestor  of  the  Alberts  came  from  Wurzburg, 
Bavaria,  in  1752.  The  family  were  prominent  as  mer¬ 
chants  and  organizers  of  financial  and  charitable  institu¬ 
tions  in  the  city.  Peter  Hoffmann  came  from  Frankfort-on- 
the-Main  in  1742,  settled  first  at  Frederick,  then  became 
a  drygoods  merchant  in  Baltimore,  his  descendants  expand¬ 
ing  into  business  operations  of  many  kinds,  in  and  beyond 
the  state.  George  Hoffmann  is  noted  for  once  owning  the 
finest  residence  in  Baltimore  called  “  Hoffmann’s  Folly,” 
at  the  corner  of  Franklin  and  Cathedral  streets.  The  Lev- 
erings  are  descended  from  an  ancestor  horn  in  Germany, 
who  settled  first  in  Roxborough  township,  in  the  county 

1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xviii,  pp.  179  ff. 

2  The  name  Uhler  appears  very  early,  in  Uhler’s  Alley,  1730,  when  the 
town  was  laid  out. 

3  C.  F.  Raddatz,  “German  American  Families  in  Maryland,”  Sixth  An¬ 
nual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland,  1891— 
92,  pp.  43-50.  Also  Fifth  Annual  Report,  “Family  Records,”  pp.  91-96. 
Also  Sixth  Annual  R,eport,  E.  F.  Leyli,  “  Baltimore’s  Deutsch-Amerikaner 
im  Handel  u.  Industrie,”  pp.  77-85.  The  Calendar  of  1795  contains  a  very 
large  percentage  of  German  names,  among  them  representatives  of  pro¬ 
minent  business  houses  :  Peter  Hoffmann,  Falck,  Focke,  Albert,  Mayer, 
Schwarz,  Schafer,  Bohn,  Slingluff,  Brantz,  Waesche,  Raborg,  Schroeder, 
Benziger,  Reinecker,  DiSenderfer,  Stauffer,  Stark,  Seekamp,  Ratien,  Ko- 
nicke,  Zollikoffen,  Clemm,  Eichelberger,  Sadler.  Governor  Sharpe  in  1753 
comments  on  the  prominence  of  well-to-do  Germans  in  Baltimore. 


166 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  Philadelphia,  about  1685,  and  later  removed  to  Balti¬ 
more.  His  name  appeared  in  a  deed  as  Weekhart  Lieber- 
ing,  and  he  lived  to  the  age  of  109  years.1  His  great- 
grandchddren,  Aaron  and  Enoch,  through  the  influence  of 
their  brother-in-law,  John  Brown,  a  native  of  Belfast,  Ire¬ 
land,  removed  to  Maryland  and  became  the  founders  of 
the  Levering  family  in  Baltimore.  Aaron  became  a  soldier 
in  the  Revolution,  one  of  the  captains  of  the  flying  camp, 
and  was  honorably  discharged  with  the  rank  of  colonel. 
As  merchants  the  Leverings  became  distinguished  by 
their  coffee  trade  with  South  America.2  More  reputed  as 
a  soldier  was  General  John  Strieker,  born  in  Frederick, 
Maryland,  1759,  the  son  of  Colonel  George  Strieker  of 
Revolutionary  fame.  He  fought  in  the  Revolution,  later 
became  a  merchant  of  Baltimore,  and  during  the  attack 
on  the  city  in  1814  by  the  English  under  General  Ross, 
commanded  the  brigade  which  was  sent  forward  to  check 
the  enemy  s  advance.  A  street  in  Baltimore  bears  his 
name.  Christian  Mayer 3  and  his  partner,  Louis  Brantz, 
emigrated  from  Germany  in  1  t  84  and  were  intimately 
connected  with  Baltimore’s  commercial  development.  They 

1  He  died  in  1744,  as  stated  in  the  Pennsylvania  Gazette ,  no.  844. 

2  Joshua  Levering  was  the  prohibition  candidate  for  the  presidency  of 
the  United  States,  1896.  The  Leverings  were  the  donors  of  the  Y.  M.  C.  A. 
building  of  the  Johns  Hopkins  University. 

3  Francis  B.  Mayer,  ex-president  of  the  Baltimore  &  Ohio  Railway  Com¬ 
pany,  gives  some  interesting  items  of  family  history,  published  by  the  Soci¬ 
ety  for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland  (Fifth  Annual  Report )  The 
Mayers  came  from  Ulm,  Wurtemberg,  first  went  to  Ebenezer  in  Georgia 
thence  to  Maryland,  bearing  a  letter  from  Cecil  Calvert  to  Benjamin 
Tasker,  first  in  the  council  of  the  state,  “  recommending  Mr.  Christopher 
Bartholomew  Mayer  to  Civilitys  on  his  arrival  in  Maryland”  (1752).  C  B 
Mayer  led  a  group  of  Palatines  to  the  Monocacy  settlement  in  Frederick 
County.  They  had  come  on  the  ship  Patience  from  Georgia.  A  branch 
of  the  Mayer  family  later  removed  to  Baltimore,  as  was  the  case  with  many 
i  redenck  County  Germans,  e.  g.,  the  Schleys  and  Steiners. 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


167 


established  a  tobacco  trade  with  the  Netherlands,  and 
founded  marine  insurance  companies.  There  were  pro¬ 
minent  also  the  Appolds,  leather  merchants,  the  Fricks,  men 
of  affairs  and  lawyers,  and  Jac.  Brusstar,  one  of  the  first 
shipbuilders  of  Baltimore,  when  that  industry  was  the 
pride  of  the  state.  The  Bremen  and  Hamburg  ship  com¬ 
panies  soon  established  agencies  in  Baltimore,  as,  for  in¬ 
stance,  the  firm  Kapff  and  Ansbach  in  1795,  succeeded 
by  others  later.  These  German  ship-lines  going  regularly 
back  and  forth  to  Europe,  and  visiting  also  South  Ameri¬ 
can  ports,  had  much  to  do  with  raising  Baltimore  to  a 
high  rank  as  a  seaport  in  the  nineteenth  century. 

Just  as  important  is  the  part  the  Germans  took  in  the 
settlement  and  development  of  Western  Maryland.  Gen¬ 
erally  the  settlers  of  Western  Maryland  were  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  Germans  who,  on  their  way  to  Virginia  (Spottsyl- 
vania),  were  attracted  by  the  good  land  and  prospects  on 
the  way.  The  route  of  travel  from  Lancaster  County  to 
Virginia  was  over  an  Indian  trail,  now  broad  enough  to 
be  used  by  travelers  and  settlers  moving  with  packhorses. 
It  extended  across  York  and  Adams  counties,  Pennsyl¬ 
vania,  to  the  Monocacy  River  near  the  point  where  it  crosses 
the  boundary  between  Maryland  and  Pennsylvania,  fol¬ 
lowed  the  river  for  a  time,  then  went  westward  across  the 
Blue  or  South  Mountains,  at  Crampton’s  Gap,  and  thence 
to  the  Potomac  River.  On  this  route  the  first  Germans 
arrived  in  Maryland  about  1729,  and  settled  near  the 
Monocacy  River.  They  built  the  first  German  church  in 
Maryland  between  1732  and  1734.  The  Indian  trail  in 
1739  was  widened  by  action  of  the  Lancaster  County 
Court  and  the  Maryland  Assembly,  and  became  known  as 
the  Monocacy  Road,  being  used  as  a  part  of  the  great 
highway  from  the  East  to  the  South  and  Southwest.  On 


168 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


this  road  one  hundred  and  fifty  wagons  and  two  hundred 
packhorses,  secured  in  Pennsylvania,  were  brought  to  the 
camp  at  Frederick  in  1755,  preparatory  to  the  campaign 
of  General  Braddock.1 


Charles,  Lord  Baltimore,  seeing  the  generous  proposi¬ 
tions  made  by  neighboring  provinces  to  German  settlers, 
tried  to  do  better  than  the  governor  of  Virginia.  Accord- 
mgly  in  1732  he  made  an  exceedingly  liberal  offer  to  col¬ 
onists  :  two  hundred  acres  of  land  in  fee  (subject  to  the 
rental  of  four  shillings  sterling  per  year,  for  every  one 
hundred  acres,  payable  at  the  end  of  three  years)  to  any 
person  having  a  family  who  should  within  three  years  act¬ 
ually  settle  on  the  land  between  the  rivers  Potomac  and 
Susquehanna,  and  to  each  single  person,  male  or  female, 
between  the  ages  of  fifteen  and  thirty,  one  hundred  acres 
of  land  on  the  same  terms,  with  the  assurance  that  they 
should  be  as  well  secured  in  every  particular  in  Maryland 
as  in  any  part  of  the  British  plantations  in  America,  with¬ 
out  exception.  This  offer  guaranteed  land  at  the  rental  of 
one  cent  an  acre,  and  no  rent  to  pay  for  the  first  three 
years.  It  is  not  surprising  that  many  Pennsylvania  Ger¬ 
mans,  seeing  the  good  land  in  what  is  now  Frederick  and 
Washington  counties,  Maryland,  dug  their  spades  into  the 
earth  then  and  there,  set  up  their  hearthstones,  and  forgot 
all  their  intentions  of  groins'  farther. 


The  earliest  settlement  was  that  called  Monocacy,2  near 
the  present  site  of  Creagerstown,  about  ten  miles  north 
of  the  present  city  of  Frederick.  The  location  of  the  old 
log  church  of  Monocacy  and  of  the  graveyard  near  by,  has 
been  fixed  as  less  than  a  mile  distant  from  Creagerstown. 

1  The  road  was  macadamized  in  1808. 


Cf.  E.  T.  Schultz,  “First  Settlements  of  Germans  in  Maryland  ”  a 
paper  read  before  the  Frederick  County  Historical  Society,  etc.  Published 
by  request,  D.  H.  Smith,  Frederick,  Maryland,  1896. 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


169 


The  latter  place  was  a  later  settlement,  founded  by  a  Ger¬ 
man,  either  Cramer  or  Creager,  between  1760  and  1770. 
This  town  was  located  on  more  elevated  ground,  doubtless 
an  advantage  over  the  older  village,  which  declined  and 
possibly  was  even  abandoned.  Creagerstown  might  well 
have  adopted  the  name  Monocacy,  and  then  could  claim 
the  honor  of  being  the  oldest  town  in  Western  Maryland. 

The  successful  rival  of  the  Monocacy  settlement  was 
Frederick  Town.  In  1735  there  arrived  about  one  hundred 
families  from  the  Palatinate  by  way  of  Chesapeake  Bay, 
landing  either  at  Annapolis  or  Alexandria,1  presumably  at 
Annapolis,  because  the  German  immigrants  settled  on 
lands  owned  by  Daniel  Dulaney  of  Annapolis,  located  in 
Western  Maryland.  There  a  town  was  laid  out  in  1745, 
on  both  sides  of  Carroll  Creek,  three  miles  from  the  Mono¬ 
cacy  River.  It  was  called  Frederick  Town  in  honor  of 
Frederick,  son  of  Lord  Baltimore,  then  a  boy  of  fourteen. 

The  leader  of  the  immigrants  was  Thomas  Schley, 
their  schoolmaster,  the  ancestor  of  a  prominent  family 
with  branches  in  Maryland  and  Georgia.  He  seems  to 
have  been,  like  Ulmer  of  the  Waldo  settlement  in  Maine, 
every  inch  a  leader,  capable  of  taking  the  initiative  in  all 
important  activities  of  the  colony,  besides  being  the 
teacher,  and  reader  in  the  absence  of  a  minister.  Schlat¬ 
ter  reports  of  him :  “  It  is  a  great  advantage  for  this  con¬ 
gregation  2  that  they  have  the  best  schoolmaster  I  have 

1  Both  of  these  towns  were  more  important  seaports  at  that  time  than 
Baltimore.  Large  numbers  of  Germans  landed  at  Annapolis,  as  the  follow¬ 
ing  record  will  illustrate,  taken  from  the  entries  at  Annapolis.  Between  1752 
and  1755,  1060  immigrant  Germans  arrived.  In  1752, 150  arrived  ;  in  1753, 
460  ;  and  in  1755,  450.  Cf.  “Memoranda  in  reference  to  early  German  Im¬ 
migration  to  Maryland,”  by  F.  B.  Mayer,  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Society 
for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland ,  1890-91,  p.  19. 

2  The  Monocacy  congregation  embraced  Frederick  and  the  straggling 
settlements  in  the  neighborhood. 


170 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


met  with  in  America.  He,  Thomas  Schley,  spares  neither 
laboi  nor  pains  in  instructing1  the  young,  and  edifying  the 
congregation  according  to  his  ability,  by  means  of  singing 
and  reading  the  word  of  God,  and  printed  sermons,  on  every 
Lord’s  Day.”  Germans  continued  to  arrive  in  the  Mono- 
cacy  district  in  a  steadily  flowing  stream.  Before  1750 
German  families  of  the  following  names  had  built  their 
homes  in  this  valley:  Zimmerman,  Kolb,  Hoffman,  Beck- 
enbaugh,  Bickel,  Tradane,  Devilbiss,  Wetzel,  Eckman,  Cra¬ 
mer  (Kramer),  Brinker,  Crise  (Kris),  Gushorn,  Dohlman, 
Blumingshine,  Protsman,  Shrump,  Stull,  Culler,  Creiger 
(Krieger),  Poe  (Poll),  Eichelberger,  Shriver,  Weinbrenner, 
Shryock,  Wilnide,  and  many  others.  Most  of  these  can 
be  recognized  as  good  Pennsylvania  German  names.1  A 
few  settlers  of  English  extraction  intermingled  with  the 
Germans,  the  Campbells,  Grimes,  Hammetts,  Heads,  and 
others.  The  first  church-rolls  of  the  Reformed  and  Lu¬ 
theran  congregations  in  the  Frederick  district  furnish  an 
abundance  of  names  known  from  Pennsylvania  to  Carolina 
in  addition  to  those  mentioned,  such  as  Baltzell,  Brunner, 
Baer,  Getzendenner,  Michael,  Holtz,  Kemp,  Sinn  (orZinn)’ 
Steiner  (Stoner),  Wolff,  Thomas,  Gephardt,  Mantz,  Doll’ 
Hauer,  Lingenfeld,  Schwartz,  Schriner,  Schultz,  Rohr’ 
Kunkle,  Kuntz  (Kuhns,  Coons,  etc.),  Pauble,  Webber’ 

Witman,  Wetzel,  Bentz,  Weiss,  Staley  (Stehli),  and  numer¬ 
ous  others. 

Most  of  our  information  concerning  Monocacy  and 

•  1  r^e„AlbaikShS’  Zollers’  Harbaughs,  Stauffers,  Stirnmels,  Smiths,  Cron- 
lses,  Millers,  Derrs,  Delaplanes,  Shanks,  Hauvers  (Hoover,  Huber)  Dud- 
derers,  Fogles,  Adamses,  Weavers,  Barracks,  Hedges,  Crimms,  Wiers 
Keliers  Snooks,  Reamers,  Snyders,  Clems,  Ramsbergs,  Shaefers,  Letter- 
mans,  Wormans,  Houcks,  and  Heffners  were  also  settlers  prior  to  1760 
m  what  are  now  the  districts  of  Hauvers,  Lewistown,  Woodsboro,  Liberty 

pD24^tc  CSt0WQ'  SChUltZ’  ^  SeUlementS  °f  Germans  in  Maryland, 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


171 


Frederick  is  derived  from  reports  of  Schlatter  and  Muhl¬ 
enberg,  who  organized  congregations,  preached  to  them, 
and  supplied  them  as  far  as  possible  with  ministers.  Both 
of  them  comment  on  the  fact  that  there  were  few  secta¬ 
rians  in  Maryland.  There  was  only  one  other  denomina¬ 
tion  besides  their  own,  namely,  the  Moravian,  and  that 
gave  Muhlenberg  some  trouble.  The  missionaries,  Ninke 
and  Nyberg,  between  1745  and  1749  collected  a  number 
of  believers  about  them  and  founded  the  settlement  of 
Graceham,  about  twelve  miles  northwest  of  Frederick 
Town.  Graceham  is  the  seat  of  the  first  Moravian  church 
in  Maryland,  and  for  a  long  time  was  a  noted  centre  of 
religious  worship. 

Michael  Schlatter,  with  the  purpose  of  organizing  the 
German  Reformed  congregations,  arrived  in  Maryland  in 
1747,  and  repeated  his  visits  subsequently.  On  his  first 
tour  he  baptized  twenty  children  and  administered  the 
Lord’s  Supper  to  eighty-six  communicants.  He  comments 
upon  the  purity  of  the  settlement,  meaning  the  absence  of 
“  religious  errors,”  i.  e.,  sects,  and  says  that  if  this  congre¬ 
gation  were  united  with  Conogocheague,  lying  thirty  miles 
distant,  the  two  would  be  able  to  support  a  minister  (a 
union  which  was  effected  some  years  later).  The  settlement 
at  Monocacy  in  the  earlier  years  was  undoubtedly  more 
important  than  Frederick  Town,  since  both  Schlatter  and 
Muhlenberg  always  made  the  former  their  headquarters, 
going  to  Frederick  Town,  ten  miles  distant,  for  their  re¬ 
ligious  work  and  coming  back  the  same  day  to  lodge 
at  Monocacy.  The  first  regular  pastor  of  the  Lutheran 
church  at  Frederick  was  the  Reverend  Bernard  Houseal, 
in  1753,  the  son-in-law  of  Christopher  B.  Mayer  (who  ar¬ 
rived  with  the  company  of  Palatines  at  Annapolis).  Be¬ 
tween  1748  and  1753  as  many  as  twenty-eight  hundred 


172  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

Palatines  came  to  Maryland  seaports  directly  from  Ger¬ 
many.  These  settled  in  Frederick  or  in  Baltimore  County.1 

Another  noteworthy  settlement  in  Frederick  County 
was  that  of  Fleecy  Dale.  John  Frederick  Amelung  came 
from  Bremen  in  1784  with  a  colony  of  from  three  to  four 
hundred  persons,  —  bakers,  blacksmiths,  doctors,  shoe¬ 
makers,  tailors,  etc.  They  settled  on  Bennett’s  Creek,  near 
the  Monocacy,  in  what  is  now  the  Urbana  district  of  Freder¬ 
ick  County.  The  noteworthy  fact  about  the  settlement  was 
the  founding1  of  an  establishment  for  the  manufacture  of 
glass.  President  Washington,  in  a  letter  to  Jefferson,  re¬ 
ferring  to  these  works,  says  :  “  A  factory  of  glass  is  estab¬ 
lished  upon  a  large  scale  on  Monocacy  River  near  Frederick 
in  Maryland.  I  am  informed  it  will  produce  this  year  glass 
of  various  kinds  to  the  amount  of  ten  thousand  pounds.” 
A  claim  is  made  that  this  factory  was  the  first  in  America 
that  manufactured  hollow  glassware.  Amelung  presented 
m  person  to  Washington  “two  capacious  goblets  made  of 
flint  glass,  exhibiting  the  General’s  coat  of  arms.”  The 
story  goes,  that  the  presentation  was  made  at  Mount  Ver¬ 
non,  Amelung  appearing  in  full  court  costume.  Crossing 
the  lawn  he  addressed  a  man  mounted  on  a  ladder,  who, 
in  his  shirt-sleeves,  was  fixing  the  grape-vines.  The  orna¬ 
mental  gift  of  crystal  almost  dropped  from  Amelung’s 
hands,  when  he  found  that  the  person  addressed  on  the 
ladder  was  Washington  himself.  A  large  number  of  pieces 
of  Amelung  s  manufacture  are  still  in  the  possession  of  the 
Masonic  Lodge  at  Alexandria,  of  which  Washington  was 
a  member  and  the  first  Master.  Some  others  of  Amelung’s 
decanters,  punch-bowls,  and  wine-glasses  are  preserved  by 
the  old  Holland  Masonic  Lodge  of  New  York.  The  quality 

1  Complete  ship  lists  of  immigrants  to  Maryland  have,  unfortunately, 
not  been  preserved.  J  ’ 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


173 


of  his  mirrors  is  said  to  be  unsurpassed  even  at  the  present 
day.1 

The  names  of  other  large  settlements  of  Germans,  not 
already  mentioned,  in  Frederick  and  neighboring  counties, 
were  Middleton,  Sharpsburg,  Taneytown,  Tom’s  Creek, 
Point  Creek,  Owen’s  Creek,  Union  Bridge,  Emmettsburg, 
Woodsboro,  Hauvers,  and  Mechanicstown.  During  the 
period  of  westward  migration  the  Germans  of  Western 
Maryland  found  Ohio,  Indiana,  and  Illinois  very  easy  of 
access.  Tiffin  and  Dayton,  Ohio,  were  long  the  favorite 
points  for  settlement  by  the  Germans  of  Frederick  County. 

The  westernmost  settlements  of  Maryland  were  Conogo- 
cheague  and  Hagerstown,  both  of  them  German  colonies. 
Conogocheague  was  near  the  present  town  of  Clear  Spring, 
seven  or  eight  miles  southwest  of  Hagerstown,  in  Washing¬ 
ton  County.  The  first  regular  German  Reformed  pastor  was 
the  Reverend  Theodore  Frankenfeld,  who  served  this,  as 
well  as  the  congregation  at  Frederick  Town,  from  1753  to 
1755.  The  founder  of  Hagerstown  was  another  of  those 
strong  personalities  of  the  settlement  period,  J onathan 
Hager,2  who  emigrated  from  Germany  prior  to  1739.  He 

1  Schultz,  p.  17.  Amelung  removed  his  plant  to  Baltimore  in  1796.  See 
Sixth  Annual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland, 

p.  81. 

2  A  good  account  of  Jonathan  Hager’s  public  services  in  advancing  the 
economic  interests  of  his  section  of  country  is  found  in  an  article  by  Basil 
Sollers,  “Jonathan  Hager,  the  founder  of  Hagerstown,”  in  the  Second  An¬ 
nual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland,  1887- 
1888,  pp.  17-30.  Very  interesting  also  is  the  contest  over  the  question, 
whether  Hager  should  be  permitted  to  take  his  seat  in  the  assembly  of  Mary¬ 
land,  after  being  duly  elected  by  his  district.  He  was  at  first  declared  ineli¬ 
gible  (being  foreign  born,  though  a  naturalized  citizen)  by  a  vote  of  twenty- 
four  to  twenty-three.  A  new  law  was  made  for  him,  representing  the  cause 
of  naturalized  citizens,  whereupon  he  was  permitted  to  take  his  seat  in  the 
first  assembly,  to  which  he  had  been  elected.  Hager  was  reelected,  and  the 
contest  was  renewed  the  following  year,  hut  no  action  was  taken  removing 
him.  He  was  placed  on  several  committees. 


174 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


took  out  land  patents  aggregating-  in  all  twenty-five  hun¬ 
dred  acres,  two  hundred  of  which  he  obtained  December 
16,  17o9.  In  1762  he  laid  out  a  town  which  he  named 
Elizabeth  in  honor  of  his  wife,  which  name  he  used  in 
all  legal  documents.  The  popular  name,  Hager’s  Town, 
however,  displaced  the  founder’s  favorite.  In  1775  the 
place  contained  over  one  hundred  houses,  in  1807  they 
were  increased  to  three  hundred,  exclusive  of  the  public 
buildings,  courthouse,  jail,  etc.,  Hagerstown  being  the 
county  seat.  Among  the  names  of  the  pioneer  settlers  in 
these  westernmost  colonies  were  the  following  :  Prather, 
Poe  (both  families  famed  as  Indian  fighters),  Startzman, 
Snevely,  Stull,  Wolgamot  (probably  Wolgemut),  Burhartz, 
Elwick,  Kendrick,  Shryock,  Hauser,  etc. 

An  interesting  historical  situation  was  developed  in 
connection  with  the  disputed  boundary  between  Maryland 
and  Pennsylvania.1  Lord  Baltimore  claimed  correctly  that 
his  territory  extended  to  the  fortieth  parallel,  and  accord¬ 
ingly  issued  grants  included  in  this  territory.  Difficulties 
arose,  culminating  in  border  warfare.  The  fierce  Indian 
fighter,  Cresap  (he  who  was  accused  subsequently  of  mur¬ 
dering  the  family  of  the  Indian  chief  Logan),  made  an 
organized  attempt  to  drive  back  the  German  settlers  from 
Pennsylvania,  who  had  settled  west  of  the  Susquehanna. 
These  settlers,  believing  that  they  belonged  to  Pennsyl¬ 
vania,  organized  for  resistance,  and,  aided  by  the  Penn¬ 
sylvania  government,  captured  Cresap,  wdio,  when  taken 
to  Philadelphia  a  prisoner,  said  scornfully  :  “  This  is  the 
finest  city  in  the  province  of  Maryland.”  Though  Cresap 
was  right  at  the  time,  the  charter  of  Maryland  clearly 

1  Cf.  Hennighausen,  “  Die  Revolte  der  Deutschen  gegen  die  Regierung  in 
Maryland,  Third  Annual  Report  of  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Ger¬ 
mans  in  Maryland,  pp.  45-59. 


NEW  JERSEY  AND  MARYLAND 


175 


defining  the  fortieth  parallel  as  Maryland’s  northern 
boundary  (and  Philadelphia  being  to  the  south  of  the 
fortieth  parallel),  still  the  case  was  soon  decided  other¬ 
wise  by  the  boundary  survey  known  as  Mason  and  Dixon’s 
Line  (1766),  which  deprived  Maryland  unjustly  of  two 
million  acres. 

Some  of  the  German  colonial  families  were  especially 
influential  in  the  affairs  of  the  state  and  of  the  nation. 
Such  were  the  Schleys.  One  of  the  sons  of  Ihomas  Schley, 
the  schoolmaster,  was  Jacob,  a  captain  in  the  Revolution. 
A  grandson,  William  Schley,  was  a  member  of  Congress 
and  governor  of  Georgia,  where  Schley  County  was  named 
after  him.  John,  his  brother,  sat  upon  the  supreme  bench 
in  Georgia,  while  another  brother  rose  likewise  to  eminent 
judicial  positions.  Henry  Schley,  father  of  Dr.  Fairfax 
Schley  (in  Baltimore),  was  born  in  Frederick  in  1793 
(died  1871) ;  he  participated  in  the  battles  of  Bladensburg 
and  North  Point  in  1814,  and  then  returned  to  Frederick 
as  one  of  its  foremost  citizens.  William  Schley,  born  in 
Frederick,  1799,  removed  to  Baltimore  and  became  a  dis¬ 
tinguished  member  of  the  Baltimore  bar.  He  preferred 
the  profession  of  the  law  to  public  office,  and  after  his 
retirement  from  the  state  senate,  took  no  active  pait  in 
politics.  The  family  has  reared  also  a  national  hero,  Win¬ 
field  Scott  Schley,  the  rescuer  of  the  Greely  Arctic  Expe¬ 
dition,  commander  of  the  flying  squadron  in  the  Spanish 
War,  and  at  the  battle  of  Santiago  in  immediate  command 
of  the  fleet  that  destroyed  Cervera’s  squadron.  Concern¬ 
ing  the  Brunner,  Steiner,1  Getzendanner  (Kitchadanner), 

1  The  Baltimore  branch  of  the  Steiner  family  furnished  the  first  librari¬ 
ans  of  the  Enoch  Pratt  Free  Library.  Dr.  Louis  H.  Steiner  was  the  first 
librarian,  and  his  son,  Bernard  C.  Steiner,  succeeded  him.  Under  their 
charge  the  library  has  become  one  of  the  most  useful  circulating  libraries 
in  the  country. 


176 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Kemp,  Albaugh,  and  Poe 1  families,  who  were  numerous  and 
influential  in  Western  Maryland,  Baltimore,  and  through¬ 
out  the  state,  local  histories  furnish  abundant  materials. 

It  has  been  shown  in  the  preceding  pages  that  in  the 
eighteenth  century  the  Germans  of  Maryland  were  grouped 
mainly  about  two  centres,  Western  Maryland  and  Balti¬ 
more.  In  the  latter  they  advanced  materially  the  commer¬ 
cial  and  industrial  interests  of  the  city,  contributing  largely 
to  Baltimore’s  passing  her  rival,  the  older  port  of  Anna¬ 
polis.  In  Western  Maryland  the  Germans  were  mainly  de¬ 
voted  to  agricultural  pursuits,  forming  a  link  in  the  chain 
of  German  farms  between  Pennsylvania  and  the  Valley  of 
Virginia.  Others  founded  the  westernmost  settlements  in 
the  state,  becoming  the  defenders  of  the  frontier. 

,/  f he  tP°e  were  noted-  as  before  mentioned,  as  Indian  fighters  on 

the  frontier  ;  in  Baltimore  City,  members  of  the  family  are  leaders  of  the 
Baltimore  bar.  A  relic  of  the  fighting  spirit  survived  in  the  young  Poes 
who  on  the  football  field,  always  playing  for  Princeton,  annually  filled  Yale 
eympathizers  with  terror  ;  their  combination  of  pluck,  daring,  and  skill  fre¬ 
quently  snatched  victory  from  defeat  during  the  last  few  minutes  of  play. 


CHAPTER  VII 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 

Earliest  settlement  at  Germanna,  1714  —  Governor  Spotswood’s  iron-works 

—  Settlements  at  Germantown,  Virginia,  and  elsewhere  on  the  Pied., 
mont  Plateau  —  Expedition  of  Governor  Spotswood  to  the  mountains 
German  settlements  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  beginning  in  1726-27 

—  The  Shenandoah  Valley  receives  the  tide  of  immigration  coming 
from  Pennsylvania  —  Settlements  pushing  toward  the  southern  slope 
of  the  Valley,  and  through  the  gaps  in  the  mountains  - —  Germans  iu 
other  parts  of  Virginia  —  The  journeys  of  Moravian  missionaries  along 
the  frontier. 

According  to  the  popular  impression  Virginia  was  set¬ 
tled  entirely  by  the  English  stock.  It  is  indeed  true  that 
the  latter  form  a  larger  percentage  in  the  population  of 
Virginia  than  they  do  of  most  other  states,  and  that  the 
people  of  Tidewater  Virginia  are  almost  exclusively  of 
English  origin.  But  on  the  other  hand,  there  are,  even  in 
Virginia,  districts,  such  as  the  Piedmont  slope,  and  the 
whole  area  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  where  the  percent¬ 
age  of  the  English  stock  among  the  early  colonists  was 
very  small,  the  German  and  Scotch -Irish  predominating. 
Kercheval,1  the  historian  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  long 
ago  called  attention  to  the  large  Pennsylvania  German 
settlements  in  the  Shenandoah  Valley,  and  Schuricht,2 
more  recently,  showed  that  the  early  Germans  of  Virginia, 
as  well  as  the  German  immigrations  of  the  nineteenth 

1  Samuel  Kercheval,  History  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia.  (Woodstock,  Va., 
1850,  second  edition.) 

2  History  of  the  German  Element  in  Virginia.  By  Hermann  Schuricht.  2 
vols.,  published  by  the  Society  for  the  History  of  the  Germans  in  Maryland. 
(Baltimore,  1900.) 


178 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


century,  had  a  far  more  important  share  in  the  develop¬ 
ment  of  the  state  than  was  ever  thought  possible.  Schu- 
riclit  s  work,  however,  is  full  of  inaccuracies,  and  has  been 
revised,  supplemented,  and  m  some  measure  done  over 
by  several  more  recent  writers  on  the  history  of  the  Ger¬ 
man  element  of  Virofinia.1 


The  earliest  German  settlement  in  Virginia  was  made 
under  the  auspices  of  Governor  Spotswood,  favorably  dis¬ 
posed  toward  colonists,  and  appreciative  of  the  value  of 
the  Germans  as  settlers.  In  imitation  of  Pennsylvania,  a 
large  county  of  Virginia  was  named  Spotsjl vania  in  honor 
of  the  governor.  Within  this  district  (now  in  Orange 
County)  he  founded  the  town  Germanna.  The  first  colon¬ 
ists  consisted  of  twelve  German  families  of  the  Reformed 
Church,  who  arrived  in  Virginia  in  April,  1714.  They 
came  on  the  solicitation  of  Baron  de  Graffenried,2  to  es¬ 
tablish  and  operate  for  Governor  Spotswood  the  iron¬ 
works  which  they  built  about  ten  miles  northwest  of  the 

-Ci  « "  ...  '  ^ o *  The  names  of  the  heads 

of  the  families  were  John  Kemper,3  Jacob  Holtzclaw,  J. 

and  H.  Fischback,  Hoffman,  Otterback  (Utterback),  Dil- 

conth!Xo.af ideS  haVe  aPpear.ed  iu  the  Virginm  Magazine,  vols.  ix-xiii,  and  are 
continuum  to  appear.  Most  important  are  the  articles  of  J.  W.  Wayland 

The  Germans  of  the  Valley,”  in  the  Virginia  Magazine  of  History  and 

lll7 VLVt  '  Pi  *>  PP‘  33-48  and  113-13°-  (^hmond, 

-.)  Also  the  articles  of  C.  E.  Kemper,  and  the  notes  of  William  G.  Stan- 
ard,  the  ed.tor  of  the  Virginia  Magazine.  On  the  basis  of  these  researches 
we  can  come  to  very  definite  conclusions  about  the  early  Germans  in  Vir¬ 
ginia,  though  the  investigations  made  are  not  exhaustive.  Much  remains  to 

H  6  a  gl’eat  deal  ,,ndoubtedly  bas  sunk  into  hopeless  obscurity 
h>ee  Chapter  vm,  pp.  213  ff. 

and  ™  wrnper  ',0I'n  at  Muesen’  and  died  in  YirSin™  between  1754 

to  W  M  K  are  f°r  the  faCtS  ab°Ut  the  Germanna  settlement 

to  W  M.  Kemper.  Cf.  Kemper  and  Wright,  editors,  Genealogy  of  the  Kemper 
Family  in  the  United  States,  descendants  of  John  Kemper  of  Virginia  Lth 
a  short  historical  sketch  of  his  family  and  of  the  German  RefJmed  clZ  at 
Germanna  and  Germantown,  Virginia,  (Chicago,  1899.)  * 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


179 


man  Weber  (Tillman  Weaver),  Merdten  (Martin),  Hitt, 
Counts  (Coons),  Wayman,  Han(d)bach.  The  colonists 
came  from  Muesen  and  Siegen,  Nassau-Siegen,  in  West¬ 
phalia.  They  had  been  skilled  iron-workers  for  generations 
past,  Muesen  having  been  an  important  iron  centre  since 
1300.  Several  groups  of  German  settlers  followed  :  twenty 
families,  about  eighty  persons,  in  1717,  and  forty  families 
between  1717  and  1720.  Governor  Spotswood  built  small 
houses  to  shelter  the  colonists,  and  apparently  pushed  the 
work  at  the  mines.  The  latter  have  been  described  in 
bright  coloring  by  the  pen  of  Colonel  Byrd.1  A  recent 
statistical  work  confirms  the  antiquity  of  Governor  Spots- 
wood’s  enterprise  :  “  The  oldest  furnace  of  which  we  have 
any  certain  knowledge  was  ‘  Spotswood  ’  in  the  County 
Spotsylvania.” 2  Whether  the  governor  lacked  capital,  or 
whether  there  were  unforeseen  difficulties,  is  not  known, 
but  the  mining  operations  did  not  continue  long.  In  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  Colonel  Byrd  informs 
us,  “  Germanna  consisted  of  the  residence  of  Governor 

1  The  Westover  Manuscript,  printed  by  Edmund  and  Julian  Ruffin,  Peters¬ 
burg  Va.,  1841.  Colonel  Byrd,  the  founder  of  Richmond,  Va.,  was  interested 
in  procuring  German  colonists  for  a  section  of  country  on  the  Roanoke 
River.  For  this  purpose  he  wrote  a  book  in  praise  of  the  “New  Garden  of 
Eden,”  as  he  called  it,  and  had  it  translated  into  German  and  circulated, 
abroad.  Its  title  was  Neu  gefundenes  Eden,  oder  ausfahrlicher  Bericht  von 
Siid  u.  Nord  Carolina,  Pennsylvania,  Maryland  und  Virginia.  In  Truck  ver- 
fertigt  durch  Befelcb  der  Helvetischen  Soeietat  1737.  Republished  in  Der 
Westen,  Chicago,  Illinois,  November  6,  1892,  and  January  29,  1893. 

On  Colonel  Byrd’s  testimony,  the  wife  of  Governor  Spotswood  was  a  Ger¬ 
man  woman  born  in  Hannover,  named  Theke,  which  would  give  another 
motive  for  Spotswood’s  interest  in  the  Germans.  The  historian  Campbell 
denies  that  Spotswood  married  a  German  wife,  but  gives  her  name  as  Anna 
Butler  Bryan.  Cf.  also  Dictionary  of  American  Biography ,  vol.  xiii,  p.  388.  . 

2  Handbook  of  Virginia.  By  the  Commissioner  of  Agriculture.  (Fifth  edi¬ 
tion,  p.  82,  Richmond,  Virginia,  1886.)  At  the  present  time  iron  ore  is  still 
produced  here  by  the  Wilderness  Mining  Company,  five  miles  south  from 
Parker  Station. 


180 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Spots  wood  and  a  dozen  and  a  half  of  lialf-decayed  houses, 
formerly  occupied  by  German  families.”  The  records 
show  that  some  of  the  German  colonists,  being  engaged 
m  a  lawsuit  with  the  governor,  prayed  for  an  attorney  to 
represent  their  side  of  the  question.  Spotswood  explained 
his  position  at  length,  declaring  that  the  colonists  owed 
him  money  for  their  transportation  and  keep;  the  colon¬ 
ists,  on  the  other  hand,  held  that  their  period  of  service 
was  ended,  and  claimed  land.1  We  have  no  information 
as  to  the  adjustment  of  the  matter,  hut  we  know  that  all 
the  German  colonists,  except  three  families,  had  departed 
from  Germanna  in  1748,  the  year  in  which  the  Moravian 
missionary,  Gottschalk,  visited  the  Great  Fork  of  the  Rap¬ 
pahannock.  r 

Two  important  German  settlements  were  established  by 
the  immigrants  from  Germanna,  the  first  being  called 
Germantown.  The  original  colonists  of  the  German  Re¬ 
formed  faith  founded  this  village  about  1721,  “  because 
Governor  Spotswood  refused  to  sell  them  the  land  on 
which  they  were  settled  at  Germanna.”  A  deed  dated  Au¬ 
gust  ^2,  1724,  was  made  out  by  the  proprietors  of  the 
Northern  Neck  of  Virginia  in  favor  of  Jacob  Holtzclaw, 
J.  Fischback,  and  J.  H.  Hoffman.  Germantown  was  located 
along  the  Licking  Run,  about  ten  miles  from  the  Little 
-tfork  of  the  Rappahannock,  where  there  had  settled  another 
group  of  the  original  Germanna  settlers,  the  German  Re¬ 
formed  who  had  originally  come  from  Westphalia.  Both 
places  in  1748  had  built  churches  and  schoolhouses,  the 


1  The  petitioners,  Zerichias  Fleschman  and  Georg  Utz  (for  themselves 

^  *  ...eVoi 

M  J  "  171 7-  They  were  Lutherans,  who  subsequently  about 

"5r„  “ n crs- They ^ » ^»4, oS" 

tlV  a  O^of  ,1  a™st-  -T  ■ftod  that  the  goveruor  refused  to  Jive 

copy  of  the  agreement  they  made  with  him. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


181 


reader1  of  Germantown  being  old  Mr.  Holzklo  (Jacob 
Holtzclaw),  and  of  the  Little  Fork,  John  Jung.  They 
could  not  afford  a  minister  in  these  early  days  and  the 
Moravian  missionaries  naturally  found  an  “open  door.”2 
Brother  Gottschalk  speaks  of  these  places  in  a  much  more 
kindly  manner  than  of  the  Lutheran  settlements,  which, 
being  supplied  with  ministers,  did  not  receive  the  mission¬ 
aries  so  cordially.  “  A  very  fine,  neighborly,  and  friendly 
people”  ;  and  “the  people  did  not  look  so  much  upon  re¬ 
ligion,  but  rather  that  Christ  be  preached  to  them,”  were 
Gottschalk’ s  comments  on  the  Germantown  settlers.  Brother 
Schnell,  another  Moravian  missionary,  visited  Holzklo  in 
1734.  On  Sunday  the  Reverend  Mr.  Schnell  preached  to 
about  one  hundred  persons,  in  a  “  neat  church.”  He  was 
offered  a  parsonage,  one  hundred  acres  of  land  and  a  gar¬ 
den,  and  the  promise  that  they  would  not  allow  him  to 
suffer  want  in  other  directions  if  he  would  only  stay  and 
preach.  Germantown  was  situated  in  the  present  Fauquier 
County,  about  nine  miles  south  of  Warrington,  on  the 
Licking  Run. 

The  German  Lutherans  of  Germannawho  came  in  1717, 
migrated  to  what  is  now  Madison  County,  Virginia,  form- 
ing  the  second  important  settlement.  These  “upper  Ger¬ 
mans”  were  more  numerous.  In  1748  there  were  eighty 
families,  mostly  from  Wiirtemberg,  within  a  circle  of  a 
few  miles,  that  had  “  a  beautiful  large  church  and  school 
and  also  a  parsonage  and  a  glebe  of  several  hundred  acres 

1  Readers  were  frequently  schoolmasters,  who,  in  the  absence  of  ministers, 
would  at  regular  intervals  read  to  the  settlers  printed  sermons,  or  passages 
from  the  Scriptures,  in  lieu  of  preaching  a  sermon. 

2  A  phrase  used  by  the  missionaries.  Cf.  Moravian  Diaries  of  Travels 
through  Virginia,  edited  by  the  Reverend  W.  J.  Hinke  and  Charles  E. 
Kemper,  published  in  the  Virginia  Magazine,  vols.  xi  and  xii.  These  diaries 
are  documents  of  historical  value,  preserved  in  the  archives  of  the  Mora¬ 
vian  church  at  Bethlehem. 


182 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


with  seven  negroes  who  must  cultivate  the  minister’s  land.” 
These  colonists  removed  from  Germanna  prior  to  1724, 
and  settled  in  the  forks  of  the  Conway  and  Robinson 
rivers.  In  1737  they  numbered  three  hundred  souls,  and 
an  1740  built  Hebron  Church,  one  of  the  oldest  churches  in 
Virginia,  used  by  the  Lutherans  continuously.  It  stands  on 
a  beautiful  eminence  in  the  forks  of  the  Robinson  River 
and  White  Oak  Run.  Reverend  John  Caspar  Stoever  was 
their  first  minister.1  He  went  abroad  to  procure  funds 
for  the  building  of  his  church,  and  was  very  successful. 
He  collected  about  three  thousand  pounds,  and  after  the 
building  of  the  “Hopeful  Evangelic  Lutheran  Church” 
at  Hebron,  a  surplus  was  left  for  which  seven  hundred 
acres  of  land  were  purchased  and  a  number  of  slaves. 
This  latter  circumstance  has  frequently  been  looked  upon 
as  a  blot  on  the  history  of  the  early  Germans  of  Virginia, 
for  everywhere  else  they  stanchly  opposed  slavery.  Prob¬ 
ably  this  purchase  was  made  under  the  influence  of  the 
Reverend  Mr.  Klug,  the  successor  of  Pastor  Stoever,  the 
latter  not  being  destined  to  reap  the  fruits  of  his  labors. 

The  Reverend  Mr.  King  was  a  very  energetic  individual, 
extending  the  Lutheran  affiliation  far  into  the  Shenandoah 
Valley  A  very  different  type  of  man  from  Miihlenbero- 
or  Schlatter,  he  was  given  to  the  evil  habits  of  his  time° 
particularly  to  drinking,  for  which,  no  doubt,  he  found 
plenty  of  examples  among  his  well-to-do  friends,  the 
colonial  gentry,  with  whom  he  consorted.  He  was  not 
accustomed  to  plain  living  as  an  incentive  to  high  think¬ 
ing,  and  confessed  generously  to  one  of  the  Moravian 
missionaries  that  he  was  no  Pietist,  gratuitous  information, 


Meadef;sDJ//rrg,f  r’S  fT\°f  &  Mar*‘  PP-  45-46;  Bishop 

Meade  s  Old  Churches  and  Families  of  Virainia  vol  ii  ™  7,1  r  , 

o/«„  Presbyterian  Historical  Society,  vol.  ^  3.  ' 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


183 


in  the  face  of  stories  current  about  the  minister’s  tipsy 
rides  homeward  from  functions  not  ministerial.  Mr.  Klug 
was  not  an  eloquent  preacher,  but  a  worldly-wise  man  of 
affairs,  whose  actions  were  directed  by  policy,  who  clung 
to  the  strong  and  successful  element.  His  predecessor, 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Stoever,  had  already  made  good  begin¬ 
nings,  providing  church  organization  and  joining  the 
Virginia  German  Lutheran  communities  of  Fredericks¬ 
burg,  Newmarket,  Strasburg,  Winchester,  Woodstock, 
etc.,  with  the  Lutheran  Synod  of  Pennsylvania.  The 
Hebron  Church  in  Madison  is  still  in  existence,  and  prizes 
among  its  rare  possessions  some  antique  sacred  vessels 
received  from  friends  in  Germany,  and,  more  highly  still, 
an  organ  constructed  about  1800  by  the  German  organ- 
builder  David  Tannenberg  of  Lititz,  Pennsylvania.1  A 
succeeding  clergyman,  William  Zimmerman,  introduced 
the  English  lan^uasre  into  the  German  service  at  Hebron, 
and  anglicized  likewise  his  own  name  into  Carpenter. 

We  shall  now  leave  the  settlements  on  the  Piedmont 
Plateau  to  consider  another  and  stronger  current  of  immi¬ 
gration,  namely  that  into  the  Valley  of  Virginia.  Strange 
as  it  may  seem,  there  was  no  movement  from  east  to  west, 
from  the  lowlands  of  Virginia  to  the  western  or  higher 
portions,  as  there  was  in  some  other  states,  but  the  migra¬ 
tion  came  from  the  north,  from  Pennsylvania,  moving 
south westwardly  through  the  mountain  valleys  of  Vir¬ 
ginia,  and  growing  in  such  proportions  as  to  be  forced  to 
send  tributaries  in  an  easterly  direction. 

Alexander  Spotswood,  governor  of  Virginia  from  1710 
to  1723,  during  which  period  he  greatly  improved  the 
condition  of  his  province  by  wise  legislation  and  able  ad- 

1  For  an  account  of  Tannenberg’s  work  in  the  Moravian  settlement  of 
Lititz,  see  The  Pennsylvania  German,  vol.  x,  no.  7  (July,  1909),  pp.  399  ff. 


184 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


ministration,  made  the  first  organized  effort  to  extend  the 
frontier  line  beyond  the  Appalachian  Mountains.  He  was 
not  the  first  white  man  to  see  the  Valley.  The  topography 
was  surely  known  m  1  /  05, 1  and  even  earlier  through  Lede- 
rer  s  explorations  in  16<0.  But  the  great  range  of  moun¬ 
tains  that  stretched  from  northeast  to  southwest  seemed 
like  an  impassable  barrier  to  American  colonists.  What 
lay  beyond,  no  one  was  certain  of.  Governor  Spotswood 
was  determined  to  increase  Ins  knowledge  of  the  geography 
of  his  colony,  entertaining  the  vain  hope  perhaps  of  find¬ 
ing  one  of  the  Great  Lakes  within  view  of  the  summits 
of  the  Blue  Ridge.  Accordingly  he  gathered  about  him 
an  exploring  party  consisting  of  nine  of  his  personal  friends, 
a  band  of  tried  rangers,  and  four  Indian  guides.  They 
were  well  provided  with  provisions  and  plentifully  also 
with  invigorating  drinks.  They  frequently  encamped  to 
lighten  their  baggage,  and  made  great  fires  and  hunted 
game.  The  itinerary  of  the  party  was  presumably  as  fol¬ 
lows:  From  Germantown,  ten  miles  below  the  Falls  of  the 
Rappahannock,  they  started  on  the  29th  of  August,  1716; 
then  proceeding  to  German  na,  and  following  the  left  bank 
of  the  Rapidan.  They  crossed  that  river  near  Peyton’s 
Ford,  passing  by  the  present  site  of  Stanardsville,  in  Greene 
County.  They  entered  the  foothills  of  the  Blue  Ridge  by 
way  of  Swift  Run  Gap.  On  a  bright  day  of  early  Septem- 


1  The  general  topography  of  the  Valley  being  known  as  early  as  1705, 
Governor  Spotswood  and  his  party  were  not  the  first  white  men  to  enter  or 
look  upon  that  region.  (  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xiii,  p.  113.)  The  first  leg-is- 
lative  recognition  of  the  country  beyond  the  Blue  Ridge  appears  to  have 
been  in  1705  when  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  passed  an  act  for  free 
and  open  trade  with  the  Indians,  and,  among  other  provisions,  it  was  enacted 
ia  any  person  who  should  make  discovery  of  “any  town  or  nation  of  In- 
diaus  situated  or  inhabiting  to  the  westward  of  or  between  the  Appalachian 
ountains,  should  have,  for  the  space  of  fourteen  years,  the  sole  right  to 
trade  with  them.”  Hening’s  Statutes,  vol.  iii,  pp.  468-469. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


185 


ber,  from  a  mountain  height  which  had  just  been  ascended, 
the  view  of  the  Valley  suddenly  broke  upon  the  governor, 
who  was  riding  somewhat  in  advance  of  his  troop.  The 
broad  Valley,  untouched  by  human  hand,  lay  before  him, 
in  its  original  splendor,  the  Shenandoah1  River  winding 
its  silvery  course  through  groves  and  tall  grasses,  and  to¬ 
ward  the  north,  spurs  of  the  Massanutten  Range  projected 
into  the  Valley.  The  governor  and  his  merry  company 
were  well  satisfied  with  the  view,  descended  to  the  Shen¬ 
andoah  and  forded  the  stream  several  miles  below  the 
historic  village  of  Port  Republic.  That  the  party  crossed 
the  Valley  and  passed  on  westward  to  the  Alleghany 
Range,  striking  it  where  now  is  Pendleton  County  in 
West  Virginia,  is  a  matter  of  conjecture.2  The  company 
at  all  events,  did  not  tarry  long  in  the  V alley.  On  their 
return,  the  governor,  so  the  story  is  told,  founded  the 
order  of  the  “  Knights  of  the  Golden  Horseshoe,”  3  be¬ 
stowing  upon  each  of  his  fellow  travelers  a  miniature  golden 
horseshoe,  with  the  inscription,  “Sic  juvat  transcendere 
montes,”  “which  signified  that  it  would  help  to  pass  over 
the  mountains.”  4  No  immediate  results  followed,  though 

1  The  translation  of  Shenandoah,  “  Daughter  of  the  Stars,”  is  probably 
incorrect.  It  is  an  Iroquoian  name,  derived  from  the  name  of  an  Oneida 
Indian  chief.  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xiii,  p.  119. 

2  The  only  early  account  of  this  expedition  known  to  be  in  existence  is 
contained  in  the  journal  of  John  Fontaine,  which  appears  in  the  work  en¬ 
titled  “  Memoirs  of  a  Huguenot  Family,”  reprinted  in  Slaughter’s  History 
of  St.  Mark's  Parish,  pp.  39-41. 

8  For  historical  confirmation  of  the  foundation  of  the  order  see  Virginia 
Magazine,  vol.  xiii,  p.  125.  Another  translation  of  the  inscription  reads  : 
“  Thus  it  is  a  pleasure  to  cross  the  Mountains.” 

4  This  expedition  is  notable  because  it  was  the  first  organized  effort  made 
by  any  of  the  colonies  to  extend  the  frontier  line  beyond  the  Appalachian 
Mountains.  Governor  Spotswood  desired  to  check  the  rising  power  of  the 
French  in  the  West,  and  also  to  discover  the  sources  of  the  Virginia  rivers. 
He  likewise  wished  to  establish  friendly  relations  with  the  Indians  to  the 
westward.  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xiii,  note  to  p.  114. 


186 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


all  the  knights  that  took  part  in  the  jaunt  were  loud  in 
their  praises  of  the  new  country.  The  trip  had  been  seri¬ 
ously  undertaken  by  the  governor  in  the  hope  of  extend¬ 
ing  the  frontier  and  encouraging  immigration  toward  the 
western  part  of  the  colony  of  Virginia.  Ten  years  elapsed, 
however,  before  the  first  settler  arrived  in  the  Valley. 

The  Valley  of  Virginia  lies  between  two  mountain 
ranges,  the  North  Mountain  or  the  Alleghanies,  and  the 
South  Mountain  or  Blue  Ridge,  both  ranges  running  from 
northeast  to  southwest,  and  forming  the  westernmost 
physiographical  section  of  the  state  of  Virginia.  The  Val¬ 
ley  is  divided  into  two  sections  with  a  slope  to  the  north 
and  another  to  the  south,  the  highest  portion  being  in  the 
present  county  of  Rockbridge,  and  the  divide  approxi¬ 
mately  denoted  by  a  line  running  through  the  town  of 
Lexington.  The  more  fruitful  section  toward  the  north  is 
drained  by  the  Shenandoah  River,  whose  two  forks  nearly 
surround  the  picturesque  Massanutten  Range,  until  they 
unite  at  Front  Royal,  and  after  a  total  course  of  one  hun¬ 
dred  and  seventy  miles,  empty  into  the  Potomac  near 
Harper’s  Ferry.  The  Massanutten  range  does  not  divide 
the  Valley  equally;  it  lies  nearer  the  Blue  Ridge,  and  is 
about  forty  miles  in  length,  ending  at  Strasburg.  Then 
the  Opequon  River  becomes  the  boundary-line  of  counties, 
separating  Frederick  and  Berkeley  from  Clarke  and  Jeffer¬ 
son,  as  the  Massanutten  Rang’e  had  separated  Shenandoah 
from  Warren  and  Page.  Farther  up  the  Valley  are  the 
counties  of  Rockingham,  Augusta,  and  Rockbridge,  ex¬ 
tending  from  mountain  to  mountain.  The  southern  slope 
of  the  Valley  is  drained  on  the  east  by  the  headwaters  of 
the  James  and  Roanoke,  on  the  west  by  the  New  River, 
a  tributary  of  the  Great  Kanawha,  that  opens  the  territory 
of  West  Virginia  toward  the  Ohio.  Still  farther  to  the 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


187 


south  the  Valley  is  drained  by  the  headwaters  of  the 
Tennessee,  by  the  Clinch  and  Holston  rivers,  where  the 
first  settlements  of  Tennessee  were  located,  affording  a 
gateway  to  the  territory  beyond  the  Alleghanies. 

The  average  breadth  of  the  Valley  is  from  twenty  to 
thirty  miles,  and  the  length  over  three  hundred.  It  is  the 
natural  avenue  of  communication  between  north  and  south, 
between  Pennsylvania  and  Tennessee  or  Kentucky,  and 
had  long  been  so,  before  those  territorial  names  were 
known.  The  Indian  hunters  and  war-parties  had  long  ago 
beaten  a  trail  through  the  Valley,  the  white  hunters  fol¬ 
lowing  in  their  tracks ;  then  came  the  men  of  axe  and 
rifle ;  and  finally  the  patient  settler,  whose  toil  made  the 
earth  luxuriant  with  grain,  fruit,  and  flowers.  A  great 
highway  for  the  development  of  the  West,  and  South¬ 
west,  by  way  of  Kentucky  and  Tennessee,  was  thus  opened 
before  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  and  continued  with  ever 
greater  usefulness  thereafter.  The  fertile  Valley,  also  in 
the  later  days  of  the  railroad,  was  destined  to  play  a 
prominent  part  in  the  affairs  of  the  nation.  Its  importance 
as  a  granary  for  armies  was  seen  alike  by  the  armies  of 
the  North  and  South  in  the  Civil  War,  the  Valley  of  the 
Shenandoah  becoming  the  bone  of  fiercest  contention  and 
consequently  the  scene  of  some  of  the  bloodiest  fighting 
in  the  whole  wTar.  The  possession  of  the  Valley  meant 
subsistence;  it  was  the  key  alike  to  both  capitals,  Wash¬ 
ington  and  Richmond  (through  Lynchburg). 

It  is  now  established  beyond  any  doubt  that  at  least 
the  portion  of  the  Shenandoah  Valley  sloping  to  the  north 
was  almost  entirely  settled  by  Germans.  There  was  but  a 
sprinkling  of  the  Scotch-Irish  and  of  French  Huguenots, 
an  English  settlement  being  claimed  only  for  the  dimin¬ 
utive  Clarke  County.  Many  Germans  settled  on  the  south- 


188 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


era  slope  of  the  Valley,  but  it  is  a  commonly  accepted 
fact  that  among  the  early  settlers  in  that  area  there  were 
more  Scotch-Irish  and  Huguenots.  The  story  of  the  first 
settlement  of  the  V  alley  is  typical,  full  of  interest,  and, 
since  not  generally  known,  worthy  to  be  followed  in  some 
detail.  All  of  the  first  settlers  were  Germans,1  starting 
almost  without  exception  from  Pennsylvania  and  Mary¬ 
land,  following  the  trails  to  the  Potomac,  crossing  at  or 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Shenandoah  or  the  Opequon  (a 
little  higher  upstream),  and  then  ascending  the  Valley 
between  the  two  mountain  ranges. 

An  exception  to  this  course  of  settlement  was  the  first 
of  the  pioneers,  Adam  Muller  (Miller),  who,  following  the 
line  of  Governor  Spots  wood’s  march,  entered  the  Valley 
through  Swift  Run  Gap,  and  in  1726-27 2  settled  near  the 
present  site  of  Elkton.  Adam  Muller  was  born  in  Geiv. 
many,  about  1700,  located  first  in  Lancaster  County, 
Pennsylvania,  but  after  living  there  for  several  years,  de- 

The  first  Scotch-Irish  settler  in  the  Valley  was  John  Lewis,  who  in  1732 
located  far  up  the  Valley  near  Staunton.  The  first  deed  of  William  Beverly, 
who  was  very  instrumental  in  getting  Scotch-Irish  settlers  about  his  manor 
(Staunton  District),  was  made  to  John  Lewis  in  1738.  (  William  and  Mary 
College  Quarterly,  vol.  m,  p.  226.)  The  numerous  settlements  of  the  Scotch- 
Irish  in  this  county  are  largely  due  to  him. 

The  claim  has  been  made  that  Jost  Hite  was  the  first  white  settler  of 
the  Valley,  but  the  naturalization  papers  of  Adam  Miller  prove  that  he  set* 
tied  in  the  Shenandoah  in  1726  or  1727.  (Cf.  William  and  Mary  College  Quar¬ 
terly,  vol.  IX,  p.  132.)  The  first  step  to  secure  land  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia 
by  due  process  of  law  was  taken  by  Colonel  Robert  Carter.  The  record^of  a 
tree  bearing  the  inscription  “  R.  C.,  1729,”  in  the  Shenandoah  district,  proves 
that  the  land  was  surveyed  as  early  as  that.  Robert  Carter  was  the  agent 
for  many  years  of  the  Fairfax  estate,  and  acquired  lands  second  in  extent 
only  to  his  principal.  He  was  familiarly  called  “  King  Carter,”  and  was  ona 
of  the  foremost  men  in  Virginia.  He  died  in  1732. 

•  The  place  of  birth  is  given  in  the  Virginia  Magazine  (see  references  be¬ 
low)  as  Schresoin.  There  is  no  such  place.  It  may  have  been:  Schrehsheim 
in  Bavaria,  Schrezhenn  in  Wiirtemberg,  or  Schriesheim  in  Baden. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


189 


termined  to  try  his  fortune  in  Virginia.  He  embarked  at 
the  head  of  Chesapeake  Bay,  and,  coming  to  Williamsburg, 
he  heard,  presumably  from  the  mouth  of  a  “  Knight  of  the 
Golden  Horseshoe,”  of  the  -wonderful  country  beyond  the 
Blue  Ridge.  This  he  determined  to  see  with  his  own  eyes, 
and  was  so  well  pleased  with  it  that  he  went  back  to  Penn¬ 
sylvania  to  fetch  his  family.  He  then  settled  near  Swift 
Run  Gap,  his  final  abode  being  on  the  Shenandoah  some 
few  miles  distant  from  his  first  location.  Upon  his  repre¬ 
sentations,  his  former  neighbors  and  friends  in  Penn¬ 
sylvania  joined  him  and  became  settlers  at  Elkton.  Such 
were  undoubtedly  Abram  Strickler,  Mathias  Selzer,  Philip 
Lang  (Long),  Paul  Lang  (Long),  Michael  Rhinehart,  Hans 
Rood, Michael  Kaufman,  and  other  Pennsylvania  “Dutch¬ 
men”  so-called,  who  with  Adam.  Muller  (Miller)  in  1733 
petitioned  for  a  clear  title  to  their  lands  at  Massanutten 
(Indian  name),  which  they  claimed  to  have  bought  for  a 
sum  of  money  amounting  to  upwards  of  four  hundred 
pounds  (five  thousand  acres),  from  Jacob  Stover.1  The 
latter  was  a  later  settler,  but  more  fortunate  in  securing 
a  large  land  grant.  Previous  to  that  Muller  and  his  asso¬ 
ciates  had  been  squatters  merely.  The  petitioners  were 
located  in  the  southeastern  portion  of  what  is  now  Rock¬ 
ingham  County,  or  the  southwestern  part  of  Page  County, 
along  the  Shenandoah  River,  near  the  Massanutten  Moun¬ 
tain,  and  in  that  year  (1733)  counted  fifty-one  persons, 
young  and  old,  on  nine  plantations.2 

1  They  claimed  that  they  had  bought  this  land  four  years  before  (1729- 
1730).  They  were  apparently  granted  their  claims,  and  the  suit  of  William 
Beverly  was  dismissed.  Kemper  gives  convincing  evidence  from  court  orders 
that  the  settlement  at  Massanutten  was  the  first  permanent  white  settlement 
in  the  Valley  of  Virginia  and  that  its  date  was  1730  or  1729.  Virginia  Maga¬ 
zine,  vol.  xiii,  pp.  121  ff. 

2  The  facts  about  the  first  settler  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia  have  been  set 
forth  by  a  descendant  of  Adam  Muller,  Charles  E.  Kemper,  of  W  ashington, 


190 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Some  distance  above  Harper’s  Ferry  there  is  an  ancient 
ford  over  the  Potomac,  once  called  “  The  Old  Packhorse 
Ford,”  the  link  between  the  north  country  and  the  Shen¬ 
andoah  Valley.  Indian  hunters  and  warriors  had  passed 
and  repassed  before  the  packhorse  forded  the  stream,  and 
numerous  encounters  must  have  taken  place  there  between 
the  red-skinned  warriors,  of  which  the  innumerable  arrow¬ 
heads  found  in  the  vicinity  bear  witness.  Probably  as 
early  as  1726  or  1727  a  number  of  Pennsylvania  Germans 
crossed  the  ford,  and  near  by,  twelve  miles  above  Har¬ 
per’s  Ferry,  founded  a  village  which  they  called  New 
Mecklenburg.1  When  the  place  was  incorporated  in  1762, 
it  was  named  Shepherdstown,  in  honor  of  Thomas  Shep¬ 
herd  (Schaefer),  who  had  settled  there  in  1734.  Many  of 
the  most  respected  families  of  Jefferson  County,  West  Vir¬ 
ginia,  trace  their  descent  from  these  original  settlers,  land 
grants  dating  as  far  back  as  1729  being  in  possession  of 
some  of  them.  The  settlers  were  generally  at  first  squat¬ 
ters,  but  in  course  of  time  they  were  compelled  to  buy 
the  lands  they  had  cultivated,  from  some  fortunate  in¬ 
dividual  who  had  received  a  land  grant.  Thus  in  this 
settlement  a  number  of  settlers  bought  the  lands  they 
had  improved  from  a  Welshman,  Richard  A.  Morgan, 
who  received  a  large  land  grant  about  1730. 

In  1732  came  Justus  Heid  (Joist  or  Yost  Hite)2  via 

D.  C.  This  family,  like  so  many  of  the  pre-revointionary  German  Virginians, 
have  been  closely  linked  with  the  weal  and  woe  of  the  state  throughout  its 
history  and  are  looked  upon  with  pride  and  respect  no  less  than  the  descend¬ 
ants  of  the  cavaliers.  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  pp.  84-86;  vol.  ix,  pp.  351- 
352.  (James  Lawson  Kemper,  governor  of  Virginia,  1873-78,  was  a  mem¬ 
ber  of  this  family.) 

1  Noted  as  the  place  where  James  Rumsey  built  the  first  steamboat  in 
1788. 

2  Joist  Hite  was  born  in  Strassburg,  and  the  town  of  that  name  in  the 
Valley  was  probably  named  by  him.  He  died  in  1760,  leaving  a  numerous 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


191 


York,  Pennsylvania,  with,  his  family,  his  three  sons-in-law 
with  their  families,  and  a  few  others,  among  whom  was 
Peter  Stephan  (Stephens),  in  all  sixteen  families.  They 
crossed  the  “  Cohongoronta  ”  (a  spelling  used  in  the  treaty 
of  Lancaster,  the  Indian  name  for  Potomac),  and  settled 
on  the  Opequon  River.  Joist  Hite  settled  five  miles  below 
where  Winchester  now  stands,  his  home  being  on  the 
great  Indian  trail  leading  to  the  upper  parts  of  the  Valley, 
the  same  which  is  now  transformed  into  the  macadamized 
Valley  turnpike.  Jacob  Chrisman  (Christmann)  selected 
for  his  location  a  spring,  two  miles  further  south  on  the 
same  trail,  the  site  being  known  as  Chrisman’s  Spring. 
Another  son-in-law,  George  Baumann  (Bowman),  settled 
still  further  up,  on  Cedar  Creek,  and  the  third,  Paul  Froh- 
mann  (Froman),  several  miles  to  the  west  of  Bowman,  also 
on  Cedar  Creek.  Peter  Stephan  with  others  founded  Ste- 
phansburg,  which,  after  several  changes  in  name,  is  now 
called  Stephens  City.  About  the  same  time  the  first  house 
of  Kcrnstown  was  built  on  the  land  of  Adam  Kern.  One 
of  the  landmarks  of  that  early  period  is  a  limestone 
house  near  Winchester  (Frederickstown)  built  in  R53,  by 
Colonel  John  Hite  (a  son  of  Joist  Hite),  distinguished 
for  bravery  in  the  Indian  wars.  At  that  time  it  was  con¬ 
sidered  one  of  the  most  elegant  houses  west  of  the  Blue 
Ridge,  and  it  is  still  standing  in  good  preservation. 

Joist  Hite  and  his  followers  purchased  their  lands  from 
a  Dutchman,  John  Vanmeter,  of  whom  the  story  is  told 
that  he  accompanied  a  war-party  of  the  Delawares  against 
their  old  enemies,  the  Catawbas.  A  fierce  battle  was  fought 
about  where  Franklin,  the  present  county-seat  of  Pendle- 

and  highly  respected  posterity.  Joist  Hite  was  responsible  himself  for  the 
confused  spelling  of  his  name.  He  is  said  to  have  signed  it  three  different 
ways  on  the  same  day,  in  the  execution  of  three  different  deeds. 


192  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

ton  County,  West  Virginia,  now  stands.  The  Delawares 
were  defeated.  On  the  retreat  Vanmeter  beheld  the  rich 
land  of  the  V alley  and  obtained  a  large  grant  from  Gov¬ 
ernor  Gooch,  forty  thousand  acres  in  the  lower  part  of  the 
Valley,  which  he  sold  later  to  Joist  Hite.  The  Vanmeters 
settled  on  the  southern  branch  of  the  Potomac  in  West 
Virginia,  Hampshire  and  Hardy  counties. 

A  large  grant  of  land  was  obtained  as  early  as  1729-30 
by  another  prominent  German  settler,  Jacob  Stauffer  (Sto¬ 
ver),  a  shrewd  man.  It  is  said  that,  in  order  to  procure  a 
large  quantity  of  land,  he  represented  every  head  of  horse 
or  cattle  that  he  possessed  as  the  head  of  a  family  ready  to 
settle  on  the  land.  His  lands  extended  from  the  forks  of 
the  Shenandoah  southwestwardly  along  the  main  branch 
to  Page  County,  comprising  portions  of  three  counties  as 
constituted  at  present.  He  chose  as  his  own  location  the 
northern  end  of  the  Massanutten  Range,  where  he  founded 
Staufferstadt,  later  renamed  Strasburg  by  two  Germans 
from  Alsace. 

The  German,  Robert  Harper,  in  1734,  settled  at  the 
Great  Falls,  the  junction  of  the  Shenandoah  and  Poto¬ 
mac,  and  founded  the  historical  town  of  Harper’s  Ferry, 
named  m  his  honor  and  describing  his  vocation.  Many 
others  settled  near  by:  Winchester  had  settlers  as  early  as 
1738,  Woodstock  (Millerstown)  was  founded  two  years 
later  by  Jacob  Muller  (Miller),  and  “ originally  laid  out 
upon  a  larger  scale  than  any  other  of  our  ancient  vil¬ 
lages”  (Kercheval).1  Ruffner’s  Cave  (near  Luray  Cave) 
commemorates  the  name  of  the  settler  Ruffner  (1745) 
the  son  of  a  German  baron  who  lived  in  Hannover. 


1  “Woodstock,”  Kercheval  says,  «  like  most  of  our  towns,  was  settled  ex- 
c  usive  y  y  Germans,  and  German  (Pennsylvania  German)  was  the  language 
heard  on  the  streets  up  to  1850.”  The  same  is  said  to  be  true  of  Strasburg 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


193 


A  tide  1  of  immigration  swept  up  the  Valley  as  soon  as 
its  fertility  became  known.  Most  of  the  settlers  came  from 
Pennsylvania,  an  additional  incentive  being  the  growing 
hostility  of  the  Indians  on  the  Pennsylvania  frontier.  The 
settlers  believed  they  would  be  better  protected  in  the  Val¬ 
ley,  which  was  guarded  by  mountains  on  two  sides.  After 
Braddock’s  defeat  in  1755,  the  migrations  became  still 
more  numerous,  reaching  their  height  after  the  Revolution. 
Villages  were  founded  and  towns  incorporated  in  large 
numbers  by  the  inflowing  population.  Thus  Harrisonburg, 
in  Rockingham  County,  was  established  by  law  in  1  i  80 
and  five  years  later  had  twenty  persons  owning  lots.  Front 
Roval  (Warren  County)  was  incorporated  in  1788,  and  like¬ 
wise  received  a  strong  German  population.  Keezletown 
(the  German  Keizell’s  Town)  was  established  in  1791,  near 
Harrisonburg  in  Rockingham  County,  and  became  the  keen 
rival  of  the  latter.2  Mr.  Keizell  laid  out  one  hundred  acres 
of  land  in  lots  and  streets  —  double  the  size  of  Harrison¬ 
burg —  and  offered  inducements  to  purchasers  who  would 
build  on  these  lots.  During  the  years  1781-84  there  appear 
to  have  been  more  deeds  recorded  for  lots  in  Keizell’ s 

1  Some  of  the  names  of  German  settlers  during  the  early  half  of  the  cen¬ 
tury  were  :  William  Millars,  William  Strope,  Israel  Friend,  Edward  Lucas, 
James  Foreman,  John  Lemon,  the  Schmuckers,  the  Koiners,  the  Benders, 
Beckers  (Bakers),  Westerhoefers,  Sauers  (Sowers),  Yon  Webers,  Cassel- 
manns,  Finks,  Funkhousers,  Molers,  Weiers.  Bernhard  Weier,  a  hunter,  dis¬ 
covered  the  beautiful  Weyer’s  Cave  (1804).  The  commissioners  who  valued 
the  lands  of  Rockingham  County  in  1782  found  860  landowners  in  the  county. 
Among  the  largest  landowners  were  the  following  Germans  :  the  Bowmans, 
Conrads,  Coffmans,  Chrismans,  Clicks,  Crotzers,  Fitzwaters,  Bransbergers, 
Kisers,  Kislings,  Kooglers,  Kaylors,  Millers,  Minnicks,  Michaels,  Messicks, 
Pences,  Rollers,  Rimels,  Sheetses,  Shumakers,  Shavers,  Shanks,  Yanpelts, 
Wines,  Wingers,  and  Weavers.  Cf.  Wayland,  “  The  Germans  of  the  Valley,” 
Virginia  Magazine,  vols.  ix,  x. 

2  Wayland,  “The  Germans  of  the  Valley,”  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  43, 
etc. 


194 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Town  than  in  Harrisonburg-.  The  consideration  for  con¬ 
veyance  of  a  lot  was  that  the  purchaser  should  build  a  d  well¬ 
ing-house  twenty  by  eighteen  feet,  with  stone  or  brick 
clnmnej s,  and  make  an  annual  payment  of  four  shillings. 

The  Germans  developed  the  country  not  alone  in  a 
material  way,  i.  e.,  by  making  the  Valley  a  garden;  they 
were  m  the  front  rank  also  in  every  other  form  of  activity. 
For  example,  among  the  prominent  families  of  Shenandoah 
County  were  the  German  families  the  Neffs,  the  Kageys, 
and  the  Henkels,  who  settled  in  or  near  New  Market 
The  Reverend  Paul  Henkel  was  the  first  of  the  family 
m  Shenandoah,  coming  soon  after  the  close  of  the  Revolu¬ 
tion.  Born  near  the  present  city  of  Salisbury,  North  Caro¬ 
lina,  he  was  the  grandson  of  the  Reverend  Gerhard  Henkel, 
who,  previous  to  his  coming  to  America,  was  a  German 
court  preacher.  In  1806  the  Reverend  Ambrose  Henkel, 
son  of  Paul  Henkel,  established  a  printing-house  at  New 
Market,  which  is  still  in  the  hands  of  the  Henkel  family. 
The  oldest  press  of  the  Valley  was  distinguished  also 
for  the  large  amount  of  Lutheran  theological  works  issued.1 
The  Neffs,  of  Swiss  German  descent,  came  from  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  and  many  members  of  the  family  were  distinguished 
in  civil  and  military  life.2  The  Kagey  family  likewise  had 
their  origin  in  German  Switzerland.  Plans  Kagey  settled 
in  Pennsylvania  in  1715.  Henry  Kagey  removed  from 
Lancaster  County  in  1768  and  a  few  years  later  located 
two  miles  east  of  New  Market.  Others  of  the  family  fol- 


'  Henke!  Press  supplied  Bibles,  hymn-books,  catechisms,  tracts  etc 
or  he  North  and  South  Carolina  and  Tennessee  Lutheran  synods,  besides 
the  less  remote  congregations  of  Virginia. 

Cf.  Neff  (Elizabeth  Clifford),  A  Chronicle,  together  with  a  little  romance 

antTdl n9jUd°,fandJacob  Ndf’  of  Frankfort,  Pennsylvania,  ami  their  descend- 
antsjndudmg  an  account  of  the  Neffs  in  Switzerland  and  America.  (Cincinnati, 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


195 


lowed.  John  Kagey,  eldest  son  of  Henry,  was  a  plain 
Dunker  preacher,  who  led  a  pious  and  exemplary  life.  It 
is  said  that  “almost  as  good  as  John  Kagey”  has  been 
an  ada^e  in  Rockingham  and  Shenandoah  counties  for  the 
last  three  generations.  “  Nobody  could  make  John  Kagey 
do  wrong,  or  break  his  word,”  was  an  article  of  faith  in 
the  generation  in  which  he  lived.  It  is  likewise  interesting 
to  note  that  this  family  of  strong  virtue  produced  an  abo¬ 
litionist,  in  spite  of  its  Southern  environment,  in  the  per¬ 
son  of  John  Henry  Kagi,  John  Brown’s  secretary  of  war, 
who  was  killed  at  Harper’s  Ferry  in  1859.  He  was  a  great- 
grandson  of  Henry  Kagey. 

The  tide 1  of  immigration  from  Pennsylvania  and  Mary¬ 
land  that  swept  up  the  V alley  before  and  at  the  close  of 
the  Revolution,  produced  a  thickening  of  settlements  and 
a  pushing  on  farther  up  the  Valley.  There  resulted  also 
a  crowding  out  through  the  gaps  of  the  South  Mountain 
into  the  neighboring  counties  of  Virginia  on  the  Piedmont 
Plateau. 

The  southern  slope  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  below  the 
line  of  Lexington,  which  was  at  first  but  sparsely  settled 
by  Germans,  began  to  be  invaded  after  the  Revolution 
by  the  steadily  flowing  stream  of  Germans  from  Penn¬ 
sylvania  and  Maryland.  Representatives  of  all  denomina¬ 
tions,  German  Lutherans,  and  Reformed  Mennonites, 
Dunkers,  etc.,  forced  their  way  up  the  Valley  and  down 
the  other  side,  supplying  with  an  agricultural  population 
the  counties  of  Augusta,  Rockbridge,  Botetourt,  Roanoke, 

1  Names  of  settlers  in  Shenandoah  County  toward  the  close  of  the  Revolu¬ 
tion  were:  the  Tirkles,  Hesses,  Garbers,  Wines,  Myerses,  Pences,  etc.,  located 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Forestville  ;  the  haltzes,  Halsleys,  Coffelts,  Clines, 
Kellers,  Benders  (Painters),  Bowmans,  Rinkers,  Tysingers,  Empschillers, 
Lantzes,  Stouts,  Wilkinses,  Frys,  Rosenbergers,  and  Lindamoods,  settled  in 
the  vicinity  of  Hamburg. 


196 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Craig1,  Montgomery,  Pulaski,  and  Wythe.  In  Wythe,  Pu¬ 
laski,  Montgomery,  and  Craig  counties  the  Germans  prob¬ 
ably  met  a  number  of  Swiss  who  emigrated  from  North 
Carolina  to  Virginia.  Captain  R.  B.  Moorman,  of  Roanoke, 
says : 1  “  Rockbridge,  Botetourt,  Roanoke,  Craig,  Mont¬ 
gomery,  and  Pulaski  present  a  grateful  field  to  the  German 
American  historian.”  The  German  Lutherans  were  for 
many  years  in  almost  exclusive  possession  of  Salem,  and 
it  is  supposed  that  many  chapels  and  meeting-houses,  at 
one  time  existing  in  the  more  remote  valleys  of  the  moun¬ 
tains,  are  now  lost  to  history. 

Concerning  the  settlements  on  the  southern  slope,  Judge 
B.  Simmons  says:2 

The  earliest  deeds  to  the  German  element  in  Botetourt  County 
bear  date  from  1783.  The  first,  or  among  the  first  German 
settlers  were  the  Graybills,  Simmons,  Keplers,  Gishs,  Broughs, 
Sniders,  Harshbergers,  Bechmers,  Amens,  and  others.  The 
Amens  now  spell  their  name  “Ammen.”  All  came  in  the 
eighties.  These  Germans  came  into  this  county  directly  after 
the  Revolutionary  War,  from  Pennsylvania  and  Maryland,— 
mostly  from  Pennsylvania.  The  German  element  I  think  you 
will  find  came  into  Virginia  about  the  same  time  all  along  up 
the  Valley,  a  great  many  of  them  stopping  in  what  are  now 
Rockingham,  Shenandoah,  and  Augusta,  and  the  lower  counties. 

1  do  not  think  many  of  them  stopped  in  what  is  now  Rockbridge. 
Ihe  Germans  looked  for  good  land,  and  have  as  a  general  rule 
held  on  to  it.  They  evidently  had  money  and  seem  to  have  paid 
cash  for  their  lands ,  and  paid  as  much  for  their  lands  then  as 
the  same  lands  are  worth  now.  As  a  rule  the  German  element 
are  frugal,  sturdy,  honest  folk.  For  many  years  they  made  the 
mistake  of  not  educating 3  their  children ;  but  for  some  years 

Quoted  by  Schuricht,  History  of  the  German  Element  in  Virginia. 

Quoted  by  Way  land,  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  pp.  38-39. 

3  Wayland  writes  a  note  stating  that  the  criticism  pertains  only  to  the 
Dunkards  and  Mennonites,  and  that  most  of  the  Botetourt  Germans  were 


197 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 

many  of  them  have  been  educating  their  children,  many  of  whom 
are  filling  the  various  professions  with  ability. 

While  the  writer  quoted  is  guilty  of  several  inaccura¬ 
cies,  particularly  that  concerning  the  settlement  of  the 
entire  Valley  at  about  the  same  time,  still  he  recoids  an 
other  impression  which  is  striking  and  of  very  great  value. 
“  The  Germans  did  not  stop  in  Rockbridge,  they  were 
looking  for  better  lands,”  and  secondly,  “  they  had  the 
money  to  pay  for  them.”  Their  cash  in  hand  furnishes 
an  additional  explanation  of  their  ability  to  get  a  choice 
of  lands,  to  dispossess  former  settlers  on  good  lands  and 
give  to  their  own  settlements  greater  stability.  Coupled 
with  that,  on  the  road  to  success,  was  their  skill  and  ex¬ 
perience  as  farmers,  which  made  of  indifferent  land  good 
land,  their  economy,  industry,  and  clean  methods  of  con¬ 
duct,  which  gave  their  settlements  permanence  and  tone. 

Fincastle,  the  county-seat  of  Botetouit  County,  vas 
incorporated  m  17  72.  A  German,  Israel  Christian,  at  that 
time  made  a  present  of  forty  acres  of  land  to  the  justices 
of  the  Botetourt  court  for  the  use  of  the  county,  an  act 
worthy  of  commendation  for  its  public  spirit.  Near  Fin¬ 
castle,  and  probably  about  the  date  of  its  settlement,  the 
village  of  Amsterdam  was  founded  by  Pennsylvania  Ger- 
man^Dunkards.1  The  official  survey  of  Amsterdam  was 
made  in  1796.  Deeds  of  conveyance  to  certain  lots  are 
from  George  Stoner  and  wife  “  in  Stonertown,”  but  the 

Dunkards.  Moreover  that  now  they  have  a  college  at  Daleville,  Botetourt 
County.  It  should  also  he  added  that  the  native  population  generally  was 
not  well  educated  when  the  Germans  were  not,  and  also  that  ignorance  of 
the  English  language  was  regarded  as  tantamount  to  illiteracy.  The  fron¬ 
tiersmen,  of  whatever  nationality,  were  never  in  the  front  rank  in  matters  of 
education  and  religion  ;  they  should  not  be  judged  harshly,  however,  in  view 
of  their  difficulty  in  getting  either  teachers  or  ministers  to  serve  them. 

i  The  same  as  T linkers  or  Dunkers. 


198 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


surveyor  calls  the  plan  of  the  town  “  A  Map  of  Amster¬ 
dam.”  George  Stoner  was  a  German  who  bought  his  land 
on  December  29,  1794,  of  John  Snider,  who  had  bought 
it  two  years  before.1 

In  1795  or  thereabouts  Dr.  George  Daniel  Flohr  was 
pastor  among  the  German  settlements  on  New  River  and 
primarily  at  the  Swiss  colony  of  New  Berne,  Pulaski 
County.  In  Wythe  County,  to  the  southwest  adjoining, 
a  German  Lutheran  church  was  established  in  1792,  on 
land  donated  by  Stophel  Zimmerman  and  John  Davis, 
and  owned  jointly  by  the  Lutherans  and  Reformed.  The 
early  Germans  of  Wythe  County  had  some  means,  and 
were  equally  divided  between  Lutheran  and  Reformed. 
Costly  Bibles  were  preserved  by  them  as  heirlooms.2 

The  above  facts  show  that  there  was  a  larger  percent¬ 
age  of  Germans  settled  on  the  southern  slope  of  the  Val¬ 
ley  than  is  generally  supposed,  and  that  the  number  con¬ 
stantly  increased  after  the  Revolution.  This  district  is  the 
one  which  was  so  important  in  the  early  settlements  of 
Tennessee  and  Kentucky,  which,  Theodore  Roosevelt  ex¬ 
plains,3  was  the  germ-centre  of  the  new  life  which  was  to 
flow  into  the  great  undeveloped  territory  of  Indian  fame, 
the  dark  and  bloody  ground.  Neither  the  Indian  tribes  of 
the  North  nor  of  the  South  dared  to  claim  that  No  Man’s 
Land  as  their  own,  and  as  a  result,  the  peerless  hunting- 
grounds  became  the  booty  of  the  white  man,  —  but  not 


1  See  Wayland,  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  42. 

2  Additional  churches  were  St.  John’s  Lutheran  Church,  one  mile  north 
of  Wytheville,  and  twelve  miles  west,  St.  Paul’s  Church.  In  1796  the 
Reverend  Leonard  Willy  became  pastor  of  Cedar  Grove  Church,  in  Smyth 
County,  and  of  Kimberling,  St.  Paul’s,  and  St.  John’s  in  Wythe  County 
In  1799  the  Reverend  Dr.  Flohr  was  called  and  located  in  southwestern 
V'rgmia  several  miles  north  of  Wytheville.  Virginia  Magazine ,  vol.  x 
p.  123.  See  also  Schuricht,  p.  93  (vol.  i). 

3  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  i,  pp.  134  £f. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA  199 

until  after  one  of  the  fiercest  struggles  known  to  mankind, 
not  one  of  pitched  battles,  but  of  daily  combat  between 
settler  and  savage.  The  part  played  by  the  German  settler 
in  this  struggle  has  been  underestimated.  He  was,  if  not 
the  very  first 1  in  the  land,  —  a  distinction  claimed  by  the 
Scotch-Irish  and  Huguenot  elements,  —  at  least  closely 
on  the  heels  of  the  first  colonists,  and  very  well  repre¬ 
sented  among  the  first  permanent  settlers  of  Kentucky 
and  the  Southwest. 

Customs  and  speech  the  Germans  brought  with  them 
into  the  Valley,  and  for  a  time  held  to  them  tenaciously. 
When  the  Germans  and  Irish  met,  there  was  often  fric¬ 
tion,  such  as  Kercheval  describes,  e.  g.,  in  the  town  of 
Winchester,  the  capital  of  Frederick  County.  Winchester 
had  a  mixed  population  of  Germans,  Irish,  and  a  few 
Scotch  and  English.  “  It  was  customary  for  the  Dutch  on 
St.  Patrick’s  Day,”  says  Kercheval,  “  to  exhibit  the  effigy 
of  the  saint,  with  a  string  of  Irish  potatoes  around  his 
neck,  and  his  wife  Sheeley,  with  her  apron  loaded  also 
with  potatoes.  This  was  always  followed  by  a  riot.  The 
Irish  resented  the  indignity  offered  to  their  saint  and  his 
holy  spouse,  and  a  battle  followed.  On  St.  Michael  s  Day 
the  Irish  would  retort,  and  exhibit  the  saint  with  a  rope 
of  sauerkraut  about  the  neck.  Then  the  Dutch,  like  the 
Yankee,  ‘  felt  chock  full  of  fight,’  and  at  it  they  went, 
pell-mell,  and  many  a  black  eye,  bloody  nose,  and  broken 
head  was  the  result.  The  practice  was  finally  put  down  by 
the  rigor  with  which  the  courts  of  justice  punished  the 
rioters.”  But  as  the  two  elements  lived  longer  together, 
with  common  interests,  they  began  to  appreciate  one 

1  In  Chapter  xn,  below,  it  will  be  seen  that  the  Germans  sent  quite  a 
considerable  number  even  among  the  first  settlers,  i.  e.,  hunters,  adventurers, 
and  soldiers,  into  Kentucky. 


200 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


another  and  frequently  intermarried.  The  Revolutionary 
War  cut  down  mightily  the  barriers  of  nationality. 

As  the  Valley  became  more  thickly  settled,  the  current 
of  immigration  flowed  not  only  southwestwardly  between 
the  mountain  ranges,  but  also  eastwardly  through  the 
gaps  of  the  mountains,  into  the  counties  lying  at  the  base 
of  South  Mountain.  The  counties  that  received  a  strong 
German  element  were  Loudoun,  Fauquier,  Rappahannock, 
Madison,  Greene,  Albemarle,  Louisa,  Orange,  Culpeper, 
and  Prince  William.  Fairfax  may  have  received  some  Ger¬ 
man  immigrants  from  the  port  of  Alexandria,  where  small 
accessions  to  the  German  population  entered,  coming  di¬ 
rectly  from  Germany.  The  counties  Madison  and  Fauquier 
had  been  settled  by  Germans  even  earlier  than  those  of 
the  Valley,  and  no  doubt  possessed  the  largest  German 
population  of  all  the  surrounding  counties.  One  of  the 
most  important  elements  of  the  population  in  Madison 
County  at  this  day  is  constituted  by  the  descendants  of 
the  original  colonists  around  Hebron  Church  from  Ger- 
manna.  The  same  can  be  said  of  the  descendants  (fewer 
m  number)  of  the  other  group  of  Germanna  colonists  who 
settled  along  the  Licking’  Run  in  Fauquier  County.2 

Among  the  settlers  in  the  present  Culpeper  County  were 
the  Waggener  brothers,  five  in  number.  They  joined  Colo¬ 
nel  Washington  against  Fort  Duquesne  in  1754,  and  were 
members  of  the  First  Virginia  Regiment  when  Braddock 
met  his  defeat,  Edward  Waggener  being  among  the  slain. 
Andrew  Waggener  was  commissioned  captain  and  placed 
in  command  of  Fort  Pleasant,  to  defend  the  frontier 
against  the  Indians.  He  then  settled  in  Berkeley  County, 
West  Virginia  (Bunker  Hill),  where  he  remained  until  the 
Revolution,  when  he  joined  the  army  at  once  and  served 
1  Cf.  pp.  178  ff.,  181-182,  and  204.  2  Cf.  pp.  180-181,  and  204. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


201 


from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of  the  war.  In  Louisa 
County  Schuricht  found  a  number  of  German  names 
among  the  first  entries  in  the  land  registers,  such  as  Boe- 
sick,  Hesler,  Hehler,  Arndt,  Armistead  ( Armstaedt),  Flem¬ 
ming,  Kohler,  Brockman,  Buckner,  andSpiller.  Into  Prince 
William  County  a  number  of  T linkers  migrated  from  the 
Valley,  there  selling  at  high  prices  and  buying  at  a  low- 
figure  in  Prince  William,  then  “  improving  and  making 
former  waste  fields  to  blossom.”1 

The  statement  is  often  repeated  that  the  current  of 
immigration  from  the  mountains  met,  in  Midland  Virginia, 
another  coming  northward  from  the  Carolinas.  There 
seems  so  far  to  be  no  definite  verification  for  this  tradi¬ 
tion.  Apparently  some  North  Carolina  Germans  settled 
on  the  southern  line  of  Virginia,  on  the  Dan  and  Roanoke 
rivers,  in  the  counties  of  Pittsylvania,  Halifax,  and  Meck¬ 
lenburg.2  The  Moravian  missionary,  Schnell,  met  the 
Swiss  settler,  Zollikoffer,  on  the  Roanoke,  and  concerning 
the  same  region  we  find  a  statement  made,  “  there  gained 
considerable  wealth  in  a  short  time  a  few  Swiss  and  some 
Frenchmen  —  by  cultivating  hemp  and  flax.”  3  The  Hel¬ 
vetian  Society  also  made  the  record  :  “  Many  French  re¬ 
formists,  representative  people  from  Alsace  and  Lorraine 
(at  present  within  the  borders  of  Germany),  owned  large 
plantations  along  the  James  River,  particularly  above  the 
James  River  Falls  (Powhatan  and  Goochland  counties), 

1  Thomas  Whitehead,  Commissioner  of  Agriculture  in  Virginia,  Report 
of  the  State  Board  of  Agriculture  of  Virginia,  p.  142.  (Richmond,  Virginia, 
1888.)  The  Commissioner  encourages  others  to  do  the  same. 

2  Some  perhaps  also  settled  in  Wythe,  Pulaski,  Montgomery,  and  Craig 
counties,  i.  e.,  along  the  mountain  ranges.  Cf.  above,  pp.  196-198. 

3  Neu  gefundenes  Eden,  oder  ausfiihrlicher  Bericht  von  Siid  und  Nord 
Carolina,  Pennsylvania,  Maryland  und  Virginia.  In  Truck  verfertigt  durch, 
Befelch  der  Helvetischen  Societaet,  1737.  Republished  in  Der  Westen,  Chi¬ 
cago,  Illinois,  November  6,  1832,  to  January  29,  1893. 


202 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


who  had  left  France,  fugitive  on  account  of  their  religious 
faith.” 

Scattered  German  settlers  appeared  in  a  great  many 
towns  of  Virginia  at  or  near  their  period  of  foundation. 
In  Richmond  it  seems  that  the  first  sale  of  land  by  Colonel 
Byrd  was  to  a  German  and  that  the  oldest  building  in  the 
city,  “  the  old  stone  house  on  Main  Street,”  still  standing,1 
was  built  by  a  German  about  1737.  The  lot  was  sold  by 
the  son  of  Colonel  Byrd  to  Samuel  Sherer,  who  after¬ 
wards  deeded  it  to  Jacob  Ege,  the  property  remaining  in 
the  possession  of  this  German  family  until  a  few  years 
ago.  The  “ stone  house”  is  the  oldest  building  in  Rich¬ 
mond,  and  its  erection  probably  antedates  the  laying-out 
of  the  town.  There  were  a  number  of  German  names 
among  the  first  settlers  of  Petersburg,  Norfolk,  and  Ports¬ 
mouth.  Smithfield,  in  the  county  Isle  of  Wight,  was 
founded  by  Germans  who  built  a  Lutheran  church  there 
in  1772.  It  is  claimed  that  the  first  owner  of  the  land 
upon  which  Lynchburg  (Campbell  County)  was  built  was 
a  German  Quaker,  who  sold  it  to  John  Lynch,  an  Irish¬ 
man,  after  whom  the  city  received  its  name. 

Such  scattered  details  show  that  much  remains  to  be 
done  before  the  history  of  the  Germans  in  Virginia  can  be 
finally  written.  One  fact  is  very  clear,  viz.,  that  the  Ger¬ 
man  settlements  were  far  more  numerous  toward  the  west 
or  higher  portions  of  Virginia  than  elsewhere.  The  desir¬ 
able  German  immigrant,  a  farmer,  artisan,  or  day  laborer, 
was  repelled  by  the  presence  of  negroes  in  Tidewater 
Virginia,  and  would  not  work  by  their  side.  Neither 
his  worldly  estate  nor  his  natural  inclination  allowed 
the  German  to  be  idle.  He  did  not  therefore  fit  into  the 
society  of  Eastern  Virginia.  Where  the  German  settle- 
1  Schuricht  (1898),  vol.  i,  p.  80. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


203 


ments  were  numerous,  there  were  very  few  negroes,  a  fact 
that  remains  true  to  the  present  time.1 

There  remain  to  be  noticed  a  few  settlements  in  the 
extreme  west  of  the  colony  of  Virginia,  established  before 
the  Revolutionary  War,  at  the  very  outposts  of  civilization. 
They  were  located  within  the  present  borders  of  West 
Virginia,  within  the  Alleghany  Mountains.  Two  of  them 
were  situated  respectively  on  Patterson’s  Creek  and  on 
the  South  Branch  of  the  Potomac,  the  third  settlement 
was  on  the  New  River,  which  with  the  Greenbrier  forms 
the  Great  Kanawha,  tributary  of  the  Ohio.  These  remote 
settlements  are  brought  nearer  to  us  by  the  diaries  of  the 
Moravian  missionaries  Schnell,  Gottschalk,  and  Spangen- 
berg  (deposited  in  the  Archives  of  the  Moravian  church 
at  Bethlehem).2  The  Moravian  missionaries  made  annual 
or  sometimes  semi-annual  trips  through  the  frontier  settle¬ 
ments,  in  order  to  keep  the  spark  of  religious  life  from 
going  out  in  the  barren  outposts  of  civilization.  The 
earliest  trip  recorded  is  that  of  Schnell  in  1743.  The  com¬ 
mon  route  taken  was  from  Bethlehem  by  way  of  Lebanon, 
Lancaster,  and  York  in  Pennsylvania,  to  Frederick  and 
Hagerstown  in  Maryland.  A  stop  was  made  with  old  Hager, 
who  would  probably  take  the  missionaries  for  safety  to 
Prathor  or  to  Cresap,  the  latter,  though  reputed  ferocious 
as  an  Indian,  being  gentle  to  the  envoys  of  the  u  Lamb.” 
They  would  cross  the  North  Mountain,  the  last  and  high¬ 
est  ridge  being  called  High  Germany ;  thence  they  pro- 


1  According  to  statistical  reports  in  1877,  the  negro  population  in  the 
Alleghany  district  amounted  to  nearly  seven  per  cent,  in  the  "V  alley  sixteen 
per  cent,  but  in  the  Piedmont  and  Coast  districts  from  forty-seven  to  fifty- 
one  per  cent  of  the  total  population.  .Schuricht,  vol.  i,  p.  97. 

2  Translated  in  the  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xi,  pp.  113  ff.,  370  ff.  ;  vol.  xii, 
pp.  55  ff.,  62  ff.,  etc.  All  of  the  missionaries  named  above  were  of  German 
or  Swiss  birth  (not  Moravian). 


204 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


ceeded  to  the  Potomac,  sometimes  stopping  at  the  Hot 
Springs  (now  Berkeley  Springs,  Morgan  County,  West 
Virginia),  and  sometimes  going  upward  by  the  Potomac 
toward  Cumberland,  Maryland,  and  then  proceeding  up 
Patterson’s  Creek,  in  West  Virginia. 

Brother  Gottschalk  in  1748  names  as  the  German  sta¬ 
tions,  where  there  was  an  open  door  for  the  Word  of  God, 
eleven  German  settlements  :  first,  Patterson’s  Creek  ;  sec¬ 
ond,  the  South  Branch  of  the  Potomac;  third,  Shenandoah ; 
fourth,  Cedar  Creek  (the  settlement  of  Joist  Hite) ;  fifth, 
Massanutten;  sixth,  the  Upper  Germans  (Madison  County) ; 
seventh,  the  Great  Fork  of  the  Rappahannock  (Germanna) ; 
eighth,  the  Little  Fork  of  the  Rappahannock  (a  branch  of 
the  Germantown  settlement) ;  ninth,  Germantown  (Lick¬ 
ing  Run,  Fauquier  County) ;  tenth,  Newfound  River 
(Dunkards);  eleventh,  New  River.  If  the  whole  round 
were  made,  namely,  beginning  with  West  Virginia,  going 
southwestwardly  through  the  mountains  to  the  New  River, 
and  thence  northeastwardly,  through  the  Shenandoah  Val¬ 
ley,  back  through  Maryland  and  Pennsylvania,  the  whole 
distance  was  about  one  thousand  miles. 

Not  all  the  settlements  were  visited  on  every  tour.  The 
remote  New  River  settlement  was  sometimes  omitted,  and 
as  the  Reverend  Mr.  King  in  Madison  County  and  the 
Lutherans  at  Shenandoah  did  not  generally  lend  a  willing 
ear,  they  also  were  often  left  unvisited  by  the  missionaries. 
Opposition  to  the  Moravians  was  increased  by  the  pro¬ 
clamations  of  Governor  Gooch  against  lay  preachers, 
aimed  primarily  at  the  Whitefieldians  and  Methodists, 
the  Episcopal  and  Lutheran  churches  uniting  against 
their  so-called  heresies.  The  purpose  of  the  missionaries, 
however,  was  never  to  separate  Christians  from  their  de¬ 
nominational  affiliations :  they  preached  no  dogmas,  but 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


205 


desired  merely  to  impress  the  spirit  of  Christianity  in  its 
most  elemental  forms.  Everywhere  they  came  upon  people 
thirsting  for  an  uplifting  word  and  their  preaching  proved 
wonderfully  inspiring  because  so  simple,  unselfish  and 
pure. 

Patterson’s  Creek  flows  into  the  North  Branch  of  the 
Potomac  about  twelve  miles  below  Cumberland,  Mary¬ 
land.  On  both  sides  of  the  Creek,  Brother  Gottschalk 
tells  us,  in  1748,  there  lived  Germans  interspersed  with 
English,  for  a  distance  of  twenty  or  thirty  miles.  He 
says  there  is  in  this  district  not  only  an  opportunity  to 
preach  among  the  Germans,  but  the  English  seem  even 
more  easier  for  it  than  the  Germans.  Brother  Schnell 
put  down  in  his  diary  July,  1748:  “We  came  to  William 
Degart,  whom  I  asked,  whether  I  could  preach  in  his 
stable,  for  the  houses  are  all  very  small  and  poor.  He 
sent  out  messages  that  evening  to  announce  the  service.” 
High  Germans,  English,  and  Low  Germans  assembled  for 
his  sermon. 

The  settlements  on  the  South  Branch  of  the  Potomac 
were  next  visited  by  the  missionaries.  The  description 
which  Gottschalk  gives,  holds  good  for  to-day.  “  It  is  a 
large  and  long  river  extending  over  one  hundred  and  fifty 
miles  and  rising  high  in  the  Alleghany  Mountains.  Most 
of  the  German  people  live  along  the  river,  but  also  many 
English  settlers,  because  it  is  an  extraordinarily  beautiful 
and  fertile  country.  This  river,  the  South  Branch,  has 
above  it  a  long  fork  called  the  South  Fork.  About  forty- 
five  miles  below  the  South  Pork,  the  country  becomes 
thickly  populated,  and  thus  it  continues  upwards  to  the 
upper  part  of  South  Fork.”  Gottschalk  preached  along 
the  South  Branch  at  two  places,  below  at  the  house  of  an 
Englishman  named  Collins,  who  requested  more  sermons 


206 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


in  English.  Above,  at  the  South  Fork,  he  preached  in 
English  and  German  at  the  home  of  Matthias  Joachim. 
Schnell  and  Spangenberg  also  stopped  with  Joachim,  and 
Spangenberg  with  Urban  us  Kraemer  and  the  Dutchman 
Van  Meter  (from  Esopus,  New  York).  Gottschalk  in  1748 
was  influenced  to  stay  at  least  two  weeks.  “  In  all  Vir¬ 
ginia  I  did  not  find  another  place  like  the  South  Branch 
where  I  felt  that  the  gospel  had  such  free  course  among 
the  people.  They  were  exceedingly  well  satisfied  with  my 
sermon.  They  liked  Brother  Schnell  very  much  ”  (he  was 
there  the  year  before,  in  1747,  and  in  1749).  The  follow¬ 
ing  is  a  typical  entry  in  the  diary  of  the  missionary  Schnell; 
he  is  speaking  of  the  South  Branch :  — 

July  17th  (1747),  a  considerable  number  of  people  assembled 
towards  noon,  to  whom  I  preached  from  John  vii.  37,  “  If  any 
man  thirst,  let  him  come  unto  me  and  drink.”  After  the  sermon 
the  people  complained  about  their  poor  condition,  that  they  had 
no  minister,  while  in  Pennsylvania  there  were  so  many.  They 
asked  me  to  stay  with  them.  Then  they  brought  me  about  six 
children,  whom  I  should  baptize,  but  I  had  to  refuse.  [The 
Moravians  did  not  baptize  children.] 

July  20th.  At  noon  we  stopped  with  an  Englishman.  He  com¬ 
plained  that  for  two  years  he  had  heard  no  sermon,  although  he 
had  been  compelled  every  year  to  pay  for  the  county  minister. 

July  21st.  Came  to  a  place  where  they  had  just  eaten  the  last 
bit  of  bread.  We  waited  for  a  woman  who  baked  some  for  us. 
[This  was  an  uncommon  experience  ,•  generally  there  was  no 
bread  to  be  had  on  the  frontier.] 

Brother  Joseph  (Bishop  Spangenberg’s  name  among 
the  Brethren),  in  1748  continued  along  the  South  Branch 
almost  to  the  place  where  it  rises  and  where  the  last  settle¬ 
ments  of  the  Germans  are  located,  i.  e.,  the  extreme  south¬ 
ern  part  of  Pendleton  County,  West  Virginia,  near  the 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


207 


northern  border  of  Highland  County,  Virginia.1  They 
lodged  with  a  German,  Christian  Evi,  and  there  Brother 
Joseph  preached  in  German,  also  in  English  because 
many  English  settlers  lived  there.  These  were  the  first 
sermons  which  “  a  mundo  condito  ”  had  been  preached 
in  this  locality.  The  missionaries  (Spangenberg  was  ac¬ 
companied  by  Mathew  Reutz)  lost  their  way,  hut,  aided 
by  an  elk  trail,  they  got  out  of  the  mountains  at  the  settle¬ 
ment  of  Adam  Rader  in  the  vicinity  of  Timberville,  Rock¬ 
ingham  County,  Virginia. 

Brother  Schnell,  in  1749,  visited  the  New  River  settle¬ 
ment,  accompanied  by  Brandmueller.  They  had  great 
difficulty  in  finding  it,  proceeding  from  the  source  of  the 
South  Fork  of  the  South  Branch  of  the  Potomac.  They 
were  on  the  very  outskirts  of  civilization,  in  dense  forests 
infested  by  wolves.  They  slept  on  bear  skins  in  settlers’ 
huts,  received  plenty  of  bear  meat,  but  no  bread  and 
cheese.  Theministers  entered  thepresent  Highland  County, 
Virginia,  followed  the  Cow  Pasture  River,  and  reached 

c?  ' 

the  James,  through  which  they  swam.  They  arrived  at  the 
Irish  settlements  not  far  from  Fincastle, —  in  the  words  of 
the  diary :  “  Then  we  came  to  a  house  where  we  had  to 
lie  on  bear  skins  around  the  fire  like  the  rest.  The  man¬ 
ner  of  living  is  rather  poor  in  this  district.  The  clothes  of 
the  people  consist  of  deer  skins,  their  food  of  Johnny- 
cakes,  deer  and  bear  meat.  A  kind  of  white  people  are 
found  here,  who  live  like  savages.  Hunting  is  their  chief 
occupation.”  2  The  missionaries  found  no  bread  even  at 

1  In  the  neighborhood  was  Seybert’s  Fort,  the  scene  of  an  Indian  massacre 
in  1758. 

2  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xi,  p.  123.  Editor’s  note:  Counties  of  Bath  and 
Alleghany,  Ya.  “  The  settlers  were  on  the  last  outpost  of  civilization  with  the 
Indians  as  their  only  neighbors  on  the  west.  The  wolves  were  numerous,  a 
price  was  fixed  upon  their  heads  —  256  heads  were  presented  in  1751.” 


208 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Justice  Robinson’s,  who  owned  a  mill.  Thirty  miles  more 
the  missionaries  journeyed  onward  without  seeing-  a  house 
until  coming  to  the  New  River.  There  they  found  a  num¬ 
ber  of  Germans  settled  within  the  present  limits  of  Mont¬ 
gomery  and  Augusta  counties.  The  missionaries  stayed 
at  the  house  of  Jacob  Hermann,  who  was  subsequently 
killed  by  the  Indians,  in  1756.1 

Brother  Schnell  continues  to  say  that  they  were  only 
a  few  miles  distant  from  the  Seventh  Day  Baptists,  who 
lived  at  that  time  on  the  New  River.  aBut  we  had  enough 
with  the  description  which  the  people  gave  of  them,”  mean- 
ing,  no  doubt,  that  their  preaching  would  not  change 
them.  The  people  referred  to  were  a  part  of  the  Ephrata 
Community,  S.  and  I.  Eckerlin,  Alexander  Mack  and  others 
who  left  Ephrata  in  1745.  According  to  the  “  Ephrata 
Chronicle,  they  iC  fled  about  four  hundred  English  miles 
toward  the  setting  sun  —  to  the  New  River  (which  ran 
toward  the  Mississippi).  They  spent  their  time  amid  the 
dregs  of  human  society,  who  spent  their  time  hunting  wild 
beasts.  The  Moravian  diaries  prove  that  the  two  colonies 
on  the  New  River  were  distinct,  with  little  or  no  inter¬ 
course  between  them.  The  Sabbatarian  settlement  was 
given  up  in  1750. 

One  of  the  bravest  deeds  in  the  history  of  the  American 
frontier  was  the  journey  made  by  Brother  Schnell,  lastino- 
from  November  6,  1743,  to  April  10,  1744,  and  extend¬ 
ing  from  Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania,  through  Maryland, 
Virginia,  and  the  Carolinas  to  Georgia.  It  was  a  mission 
tour,  for  a  long  distance  marking  the  frontier  line  of  the 

1  Presumably  many  of  the  settlers  were  killed  by  the  Indians  in  1755-56 
but  the  settlement  may  have  risen  again  after  the  blow,  as  in  most  other 
places.  Of.  Waddell’s  Annals  of  Augusta  County,  pp.  154—158  (1902)  The 
editor  of  the  Virginia  Magazine  surmises  that  these  German  colonists  on  the 
New  River  came  from  North  Carolina. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA  209 

American  wilderness.  Leonhard  Schnell  was  accompanied 
by  Robert  Hussey  (born  in  Wiltshire,  England),  a  teacher 
of  the  Moravian  school  in  Oley,  Pennsylvania.  They  trav¬ 
eled  on  foot,  except  when  occasionally  a  kind-hearted 
pioneer  would  lend  them  a  horse  to  convey  them  to  the 
next  settler,  and  they  went  unarmed,  except  for  the  In¬ 
dian  hatchet  that  they  used  to  cut  a  path  through  the 
dense  brushwood.  They  took  the  regular  road  from  Beth¬ 
lehem  to  Maryland,  there  stopping  at  the  Monocacy  settle¬ 
ments  with  Abraham  Mueller,  among  (C  plain  people,”  and 
“felt  very  happy  among  them.”  The  stalwart  Schnell 
carried  his  companion  over  the  Monocacy,  the  latter  being 
very  tired,  for  they  had  already  walked  forty  miles.  Per¬ 
haps  the  West  Virginia  settlements  did  not  yet  exist,1 
for  the  missionaries  went  up  the  Shenandoah  Valley, 
stopping  with  Joist  Hite  on  the  Opequon,  where  they  dis¬ 
closed  their  purpose  of  going  overland  to  Georgia.  Joist 
Hite  told  them  of  a  route  through  the  Irish  settlements, 
in  the  present  Augusta  and  Rockbridge  counties,  but  the 
missionaries  did  not  wish  to  take  that  course.  The  Ger¬ 
man  Catholic  Schmidt  directed  them  on  another  way,  and 
as  a  result  they  left  the  Shenandoah  Valley,  going  to 
Germantown,  next  to  the  German  settlements  of  Madison 
County,  and  then  directly  southward  almost  in  a  straight 
line,  taking  the  sun  as  a  guide,  through  Louisa,  Gooch¬ 
land,  Powhatan,  Amelia,  and  Brunswick  counties,  to  the 
Roanoke  River  near  where  it  intersects  the  state  bound¬ 
ary.  There  they  met  Zollikoffer,  the  Swiss  settler.  Thence 
they  went  southeastwardly,  crossing  the  Tar  River,  the 
Neuse,  and  entering  Craven  County,  North  Carolina. 
Striking  the  offshoots  of  the  New  Bern  settlement,  they 

1  This  was  in  1743.  By  1747-48  the  settlements  were  numerous  and 
prosperous,  as  described  above. 


210  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

were  feasted  by  Abraham.  Bossert.  They  heard  many  re¬ 
ports  about  new  Swiss  arrivals,  and  Germans  were  strewn 
all  along1  their  path.  They  made  their  way  to  Wilmington, 
North  Carolina  (called  Williamstown),  arriving  December 
17,  and  finding  snow  and  ice.  They  crossed  Cape  Fear 
River,  paying  fifteen  shillings  for  the  passage  (one  shil¬ 
ling  sixpence,  sterling),  which  they  could  well  afford, 
having  been  supplied  with  funds  from  the  German  settlers 
just  visited.  Then  they  passed  over  to  South  Carolina, 
December  20,  and  journeyed  along  the  ocean  over  the 
sand  of  the  beach  at  low  tide.  They  had  to  hurry  from 
station  to  station  before  the  tide  should  return,  otherwise 
their  lives  would  be  in  danger.  They  made  Winyal  Bay 
on  December  22,  were  taken  across  the  Santee  River, 
and  on  Christmas  Day  arrived  at  Charleston.  Hearing  that 
there  were  not  many  Germans  in  the  city,  they  hurried 
on  to  Purysburg,  and  remained  with  Brother  Beck  at 
White  Bluff,  where  the  Germans  lived  on  about  forty 
plantations.  Schnell  preached  and  worked,  though  several 
had  threatened  to  stone  him  if  he  did.  Subsequently  he 
visited  Savannah  and  Ebenezer  in  Georgia,  and  on  Feb¬ 
ruary  15,  boarded  a  sloop  for  New  York,  arriving  in 
Bethlehem  April  10,  1774.  The  deeds  of  the  Moravian 
missionaries  have  never  been  heralded  as  great  achieve¬ 
ments  in  American  history,  but  in  justice  to  them  it  must 
be  admitted  that  in  their  exhibition  of  courage,  endurance, 

and  humanity  they  rank  higher  than  many  of  the  great 
feats  of  war. 

The  Germans  in  V lrginia  during  the  eighteenth  cen¬ 
tury  carried  onward  the  work  which  the  Pennsylvania 
Germans  had  been  noted  for.  As  agriculturists  their 
main  achievement  was  to  make  the  Valley  of  Virginia 
and  the  adjacent  lands  to  the  east,  at  the  base  o i  the 


THE  GERMANS  IN  VIRGINIA 


211 


mountains,  the  richest  farming  country  in  the  state.  They 
had  settled  on  the  western  frontier,  and  were  ready  to 
take  part,  in  the  front  rank,  in  the  permanent  settlement 
of  Kentucky  and  the  Southwest. 


CHAPTER  VIII 


THE  GERMANS  IN  NORTH  AND  SOUTH  CAROLINA  DURING 
THE  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY 

Fu-st  settlement  at  Newbern,  North  Carolina,  in  1710  — Indian  war  — 
N7er“a“®  111  Charleston,  South  Carolina  —  Purysburg,  South  Carolina, 
nu  T  ®ettlements  ni  tI)e  Orangeburg  and  Lexington  Districts  (Saxe- 

otia),  South  Carolina,  1735  —  The  Giessendanners  —  Zauberbiihler _ 

Counties  of  ^  South  Carolina  with  early  German  settlers  —  The  fifteen 
churches  of  South  Carolina  —  German  settlers  from  Pennsylvania  in  the 
interior  of  North  Carolina,  1750  —  The  Reverend  A.  Nussmann  —  Mora¬ 
vian  settlements  in  the  “Wachovia”  tract,  North  Carolina,  1753- 
Bethabara,  Bethany,  Salem. 


The  first  German  settlements1  in  the  Carolinas  were 
naturally  along-  the  seacoast.  North  Carolina  received  its 
first  quota  of  German  settlers  from  the  mass  of  Palatines 
who  arrived  in  England  in  1710.  Christoph  Graffenried 
(also  known  as  Baron  Christopher  de  Graffenried)  of  Bern, 
Switzerland,  arrived  in  London  with  some  Swiss  emigrants 


1  Much  of  the  early  history  of  the  Germans  in  the  Carolinas  is  still  obscure 
as  in  the  case  of  Virginia,  and  undoubtedly  a  great  deal  is  lost  forever  The 
best  available  sources  are  Bernheim  and  Urlsperger.  Bernheim’s  History  of 
Ue  Ger-man  Settlements  and  the  Lutheran  Church  in  North  and  South  Carolina 
(Philadelphia,  1872),  glves  a  fairly  complete  account  of  the  Germans  in  both 
Wth  and  South  Carolina,  based  on  facts  gathered  from  the  archives  of  the 
Lutheran  churches,  the  church  record  books  kept  by  Giessendanner,  and  other 
founders  of  congregations,  and  from  Journals  of  the  Council  of  the  Province 
of  South  Carolina  (in  manuscript  form  in  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  State  1 
The  voluminous  work  edited  by  Urlsperger  is  described  in  its  title  - 
Samuel  Urlsperger :  Amerikanisches  Ackerwerk  Gottes;  oder  Zuverldssige 
Nachnchten,  den  Zustand  der  Amenkamsch-englischen  und  von  Salzburqischen 
rmgranten  erbauten  Pflanzstadt,  Ebenezerin  Georgien  betreffend,  aus  dorther 
eingeschicJcten  glaubwurdigen  Diarien  genommen,  und  mit  Briefen  der  dasiqen 
erren  Prediger  noch  weiter  bestattigt.  (Augsburg,  1754-G7,  5  vols  )  Both 
ot  these  works  are  reliable  as  sources  of  information. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  213 


just  at  the  time  when  London  was  so  much  concerned 
about  the  disposal  of  the  thirteen  thousand  Palatines.  In 
London  Graff enried  met  Louis  Michel  (frequently  spelt 
Mitchell),  also  a  Swiss,  who  had  spent  several  years  in 
America  to  examine  the  conditions  of  American  colonists.1 
Graffenried  and  Michel  thought  the  time  opportune  for 
planting  a  colony  in  the  Carolinas.  They  accepted  the 
liberal  terms  of  the  proprietors,  paying  twenty  shillings 
sterling  for  each  one  hundred  acres  of  land  and  binding 
themselves  to  a  quitrent  of  sixpence  yearly  for  every  hun¬ 
dred  acres.  An  additional  one  hundred  thousand  acres 
were  to  be  laid  off  and  reserved  for  twelve  years.  They 
induced  about  six  hundred  and  fifty  Palatines  to  go  with 
them,  filling  two  vessels.  They  received  permission  to  lo¬ 
cate  in  one  body,  on  or  between  the  Neuse  and  Cape  Fear 
rivers  or  their  tributaries,  and  arrived  in  December,  1710, 
at  the  confluence  of  the  Neuse  and  Trent,  North  Carolina, 
where  they  founded  New  Bern  (Newbern),  named  after 
the  capital  of  Switzerland. 

Their  first  year  was  calamitous,  for  in  1711,  not  many 
months  after  their  arrival,  an  Indian  war  broke  out.  The 
white  settlers  had  lived  on  friendly  terms  with  the  Indians, 
admitting  them  into  their  houses  as  friends,  frequently 
as  domestics,  and  all  threatening  troubles  had  been 
adjusted  amicably.  As  usual  the  premeditated  Indian 
massacre  was  concealed  beneath  a  stratagem.  At  the  ap¬ 
pointed  time  many  hundred  Tuscaroras  appeared,  some 
in  small  divisions  entering  the  houses  of  the  colonists  as 
often  before,  and  others  as  night  approached  coming  in 
larger  numbers  to  the  villages  as  if  to  gather  provisions, 
— not  numerous  enough,  however,  to  occasion  alarm.  They 
awaited  the  sunrise  as  a  signal  for  attack.  Then  the  In- 
1  He  was  an  explorer.  Cf.  Chapter  i,  pp.  28-29. 


214 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


dians,  in  the  houses,  and  without,  gave  the  war-whoop, 
awakening  the  response  of  the  Indians  lying  out  in  the 
woods.  The  settlers  were  completely  taken  by  surprise; 
an  indiscriminate  slaughter  of  men,  women,  and  children 
followed.  One  hundred  and  thirty  whites  were  butchered 
in  the  settlements  of  North  Carolina;  sixty  or  more  Swiss 
and  Palatines  around  Newbern  were  among  the  victims. 
The  torch  was  applied  to  dwellings  in  which  colonists  had 
concealed  themselves,  and  they  were  forced  from  their 
hiding-places  to  meet  death  or  torture. 

Graffenried,  with  no  suspicion  of  coming  hostilities,  was 
absent  on  an  exploring  tour  with  the  surveyor-general, 
Lawson.  Expecting  to  spend  their  first  night  in  an  Indian 
village,  they  were  taken  captive  instead  of  being  hospit¬ 
ably  received.  Graffenried  escaped  by  declaring  he  was  a 
king  of  the  German  Palatines,  demanding  by  what  au¬ 
thority  they  could  put  a  king  to  death,  who  had  committed 
no  offense  against  them.  He  was  kept  in  custody,  but 
spared,  on  the  promise  that  the  Palatines  should  be  kept 
from  waging  war  against  the  Indians.  The  promise  was 
kept,  m  the  subsequent  war  of  revenge  by  the  whites 
much  to  the  latter’s  displeasure.  The  Palatines,  however’ 
were  of  assistance  in  acquainting  the  whites  as  to  the 
plans  and  movements  of  the  Indians.1 

As  a  result  of  the  war  of  revenge,  the  Indians  were 
reduced  in  numbers  and  removed  to  more  remote  parts, 
the  Palatines  being  on  the  whole  benefited  by  the  war. 
Graffenried  left  the  colonists,2  serving  them  an  ill  turn  by 


Lawson  was  tortured  to  death  in  the  most  savage  manner,  sharp  splinters 
of  pine  being  put  into  his  flesh  and  set  on  fire.  A  land  surveyor  never  received 
quarter  on  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  Indians,  who  always  considered  him 
the  cause  of  the  land  robberies.  ea  mm 

hiS!nlhee«'li®ra?nried  re‘"r"ed  ;  descendants  of 

ms  name  still  reside  in  various  parts  of  the  Carolinas. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  215 


withholding  from  them  the  titles  of  their  lands,  which  the 
two  Swiss  leaders  had  sold  to  their  own  creditors.  The 
victims  of  the  speculation  sent  a  petition  to  the  Carolina 
Council,  November  6,  1714,  asking  for  a  grant  of  four 
hundred  acres  for  each  family  and  two  years’  time  to  pay 
for  it.  The  petition  was  granted,  and  the  colonists  un¬ 
doubtedly  spread  over  what  is  now  Craven  County,  where 
they  were  found  extending  over  a  wide  area  by  the  mis¬ 
sionary  Schnell  in  1743. 1 

In  South  Carolina  the  first  German  settlers  are  found  in 
the  city  of  Charleston,  the  immigrant  port  of  the  South. 
It  is  quite  possible  that  there  were  some  Germans  among 
the  Dutch  Lutherans  that  settled  on  James  Island,  south¬ 
west  of  the  Ashley  River  and  opposite  Charleston,  in  1674. 
They  had  fled  from  the  intolerance  of  their  own  country¬ 
men  of  the  Protestant  Reformed  Church,  at  New  Amster¬ 
dam.  Certain  it  is  that  there  were  some  Germans  at 
Charleston  when  Bolzius  landed  with  his  Salzburgers  in 
1734.  They  had  settled  at  Charleston  at  a  time  when  the 
lands  inland,  on  the  Congaree  River,  were  not  yet  occupied, 
being  too  far  west.  When  Muhlenberg  visited  Charleston 
in  1742  on  his  way  to  Ebenezer,  and  was  detained  wait¬ 
ing  for  a  vessel,  he  labored  for  the  spiritual  welfare  of 
the  Germans  at  Charleston  from  October  20  to  November 
12,  1742.  He  lived  with  the  family  of  a  painter  named 
Theus,  the  brother  of  the  German  Reformed  minister  in 
Saxe-Gotha,  South  Carolina,  along  the  Congaree  River. 
Charleston,  however,  was  not  at  first  favored  as  a  place  of 
settlement,  serving  more  as  a  distributing  centre  for  the 
inland  counties,  Saxe-Gotha  and  Orangeburg,  a  verifica¬ 
tion  of  which  is  found  in  the  fact  that  the  inland  rural 
districts  had  a  regular  German  pastor  as  early  as  1737, 
1  See  Chapter  vii,  pp.  209-210. 


216  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

while  Charleston  did  not  until  1755.  The  Reverend  Mr. 
Friedrichs  built  the  first  Lutheran  church  in  Charleston 
in  1759. 

Next  in  chronological  order  among  the  settlements  in  the 
Carolmas  is  Purysburg,  1732,  in  Beaufort  County,  South 
Carolina,  some  thirty  miles  inland  from  the  seacoast,  on 
the  east  bank  of  the  Savannah  River.  The  settlement  was 
due  largely  to  the  enterprise  of  John  Peter  Pury  (Purry) 
of  Neufchatel,  who  received  liberal  inducements  from  the 
Carolina  proprietors.  In  1731  he  closed  a  contract  with  the 
English  government  by  which  he  received  four  hundred 
pounds  sterling  for  every  hundred  able-bodied  men  that 
he  might  bring  from  Switzerland.1  To  make  his  harvest 
good,  Pury  advertised  extensively  in  Switzerland,  accord¬ 
ing  to  the  methods  employed  for  luring  immigrants.2  One 
hundred  and  seventy  Switzers  composed  the  first  expedition, 
and  forty  thousand  acres  were  assigned  to  them.3  Not  lono- 
afterwards  two  hundred  more  settlers  arrived.  They  were 
described  as  “zealous  workers,  whose  intention  it  was,  be¬ 
sides  the  necessary  husbandry,  to  plant  the  vine  and  rear 
and  manufacture  silk.”  The  soil  was  considered  good  for 
the  grape-vine  and  the  white  mulberry  tree,  on  which  the 
silkworm  feeds.  The  manufacture  of  silk  at  Purysburo- 
represents  another  industry  which  Germans  inaugurated  in 
America.  Of  their  other  activities  we  learn  something  from 
the  journal  of  Bolzius,  who  says  (May,  1734) :  “This  town 
is  built  on  the  more  elevated  banks  of  the  river,  and  has 


1  South  Carolina  Resources  and  Population,  Institutions  and  Industries,  p.  383 
(Polished  by  the  State  Board  of  Agriculture  of  South  Carolina,  Charleston 
Sou  h  Carohua  i883.)  Three  hundred  and  seventy  men  came  out  of  SwuS 
eilancl  to  Purysburg  in  the  first  year. 

2  Cf.  Chapter  nr,  pp.  63  ff. 

3  other  Raders  besides  Pury  were:  James  Richard,  of  Geneva  Abra¬ 
ham  Meuron  and  Henry  Raymond,  both  of  St.  Sulpy. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  217 


many  wealthy  people  residing  here ;  it  is  hoped  that  in  a 
short  time  it  will  become  a  considerable  town.  The  inhab¬ 
itants  labor  industriously  in  their  gardens  and  fields,  and 
persons  can  already  procure  here  fresh  meats,  eggs,  garden 
vegetables,  even  more  than  in  Savannah.  We  were  shown 
all  kindness,  and  several  of  the  inhabitants  besought  us  to 
return  soon  again,  and  administer  the  communion.”  They 
brought  their  own  pastor  with  them,  the  Reverend  Joseph 
Bugnion,  a  German  Reformed  minister,  who  later  was 
induced  to  receive  the  Episcopal  ordination.  Purysburg 
played  some  part  in  the  Savannah  campaign  in  the  Ameri¬ 
can  Revolution,  and  was  taken  by  the  British  under  Pre- 
vost.  A  large  number  of  Swiss  settlers  of  Purysburg 
sought  homes  in  other  parts  of  Carolina,  both  before  and 
after  the  Revolution,  leaving  to  Purysburg  very  little  more 
than  a  name  in  history.  The  westward  movement  in  South 
Carolina  seems  to  have  begun  earlier  than  in  most  other 
colonies,  the  attractions  of  a  higher  country,  a  healthier 
climate,  and  abundant  land  proving  irresistible. 

As  in  other  colonies,  the  Germans  of  South  Carolina 
were  defenders  of  the  frontier.  Their  settlements  began  in 
the  present  Orangeburg  and  Lexington  counties,  extend¬ 
ing  along  both  sides  of  the  Edisto  and  Congaree  rivers, 
and  spreading  into  neighboring  counties  to  the  west¬ 
ward,  viz.,  Barnwell,  Newberry,  Abbeville,  etc.  The  Ger¬ 
mans  were  practically  the  first  settlers  in  the  Orangeburg 
district.1  They  did  not  all  arrive  at  the  same  time.  The 


1  The  first  white  inhabitant  was  Henry  Stirling,  presumably  a  trader  lo¬ 
cated  at  Lyon’s  Creek,  where  he  received  a  grant  of  land  in  1704.  The  next 
were  three  or  four  individuals  who  settled  at  the  Cowpens,  northwest  of 
the  white  settlements  in  the  Low  Country.  These  and  the  Cherokee  and 
Catawba  Indians  were  all  the  inhabitants  who  had  preceded  the  Germans. 
Cf.  Bernheim,  pp.  99-100.  (Bernheim  quotes  Mills’s  Statistics  of  South  Caro¬ 
lina,  pp.  656-657.) 


218 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


first  colony  came  in  1  i  o5 ,  another  in  1736,  and  their  first 
pastor,  the  Reverend  John  Ulrich  Giessen danner,  Senior, 
arrived  with  a  third  group  of  colonists  in  1737.1  They 
were  tillers  of  the  soil,  and  soon  were  blessed  with  the 
fruits  of  their  labors  in  the  fertile  districts  of  South  Caro¬ 
lina.  A  considerable  number  of  mechanics  were  among 
them,  a  circumstance  favoring  the  independence  of  their 
settlement.  In  comparison  with  these  permanent  colonists, 
Purysburg  was  merely  a  station,  the  residents  of  which 
soon  removed  to  a  more  favorable  location. 

The  Giessendanners,  of  Swiss  nativity,2  kept  a  church 
record 3  which  is  very  valuable  historically  and  genealog¬ 
ically.  A  neighboring  German  Lutheran  settlement  in 
Amelia  Township,  along  Fourhole  Swamp  and  Creek,  was 
also  served  by  Giessendanner.  On  the  death  of  the  elder 
Giessendanner  in  1738,  his  nephew,  John  Giessendanner, 
succeeded  him.  The  Journals  of  Council  of  the  Province 
of  South  Carolina 4  give  an  interesting  account  of  a  church 
difficulty,  in  which  an  adroit  young  man  by  the  name  of 
Zauberbuhler  (Zuberbiihler)  5  attempted  to  displace  John 
Giessendanner.  The  latter  was  not  a  member  of  the 
established  church  in  the  province,  and  Zauberbuhler 
hoped,  by  becoming  an  ordained  minister  of  the  Episco- 

1  Mills,  in  Statistics  of  South  Carolina ,  tells  us  that  immigrants  arrived  in 
Orangeburg  district  as  late  as  1769,  only  a  few  years  before  the  Revolu¬ 
tion. 

2  Bernheim  argues  that  the  Giessendanners  were  Lutherans,  until  they 

joined  the  Episcopal  Church.  J 

3  This  church  record  has  been  published  in  The  History  of  Orangeburq 

County,  South  Carolina,  chap,  ii,  pp.  91-216.  By  A.  S.  Salley,  Jr  (Oran^e- 
burg,  1898.)  11  &e 

pp'  no-ii9PP'  395  ff' !  Xi’  PP'  74~76’  139~143, 152'  Quoted  by  Bernheim> 

3  The  Reverend  Bartholomew  Zauberbiihler  should  not  be  confused  with 
Sebastian  Zouberbiihler  (Zauberbuhler)  who  was  prominent  in  connection  with 
the  German  colonies  of  Waldoboro  (Maine)  and  Lunenburg  (Nova  Scotia). 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  219 

pal  Church,  to  gam  an  advantage  over  the  Lutheran  pas¬ 
tor.  Accordingly,  he  addressed  a  petition  to  the  Council 
of  South  Caiolma,  stating  that  many  people  at  Orange¬ 
burg,  feeling  the  need  of  instruction  in  the  true  religion, 
desired  that  he  be  ordained  by  the  Bishop  of  London  ; 
wherefore  he  prayed  for  support  and  payment  of  the  ex¬ 
penses  of  the  voyage,  in  consideration  of  which  he  would 
bring  back  a  large  number  of  German  settlers.  He  was 
asked  to  produce  documents,  showing  that  he  was  quali¬ 
fied  to  receive  orders,  and  that  the  people  of  Orangeburg 
desired  a  preacher.  He  obtained  a  number  of  signatures, 
and  the  council  was  ready  to  grant  the  petition,  voting 
five  hundred  pounds.1 

A  counter-petition  was  prepared  (March  6,  1743)  by 
the  friends  of  John  Giessendanner  in  the  Orangeburg 
district.  This  testified  that  Giessendanner  had  visited 
Charleston  to  get  orders,  and  had  received  advice  to  go 
to  an  Assembly  of  the  Presbytery,  who,  after  some  time, 
presented  him  with  orders  to  preach,  — 

which  he  has  since  done  in  German  constantly  for  the  space 
of  five  years,  to  the  inexpressible  satisfaction  of  the  congregation 
at  Orangeburg ;  and  about  two  years  ago  your  said  English  pe¬ 
titioners  being  fully  sixty  miles  from  any  other  place  of  divine 
worship,  some  of  whom  had  not  been  favored  with  the  oppor¬ 
tunity  of  hearing  a  sermon  in  the  space  of  seven  years,  observ¬ 
ing  the  said  Mr.  John  Giessendanner  to  he  a  man  of  learning, 
piety,  and  knowledge  in  the  Holy  Scriptures,  prevailed  with  him 
to  officiate  in  preaching  once  every  fortnight  in  English,  which 
he  hath  since  performed  very  articulate  and  intelligible,  to  the 
entire  satisfaction  of  the  said  English  petitioners,  and  always 
behaves  himself  with  sobriety,  honesty  and  justice,  encouraging 

t 

1  Colonists  sometimes  left  for  other  provinces,  where  they  could  get  the 
services  of  a  preacher.  This  fact  undoubtedly  weighed  heavily  with  the 
council.  Cf.  Bernheim,  p.  193. 


220 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


virtue  and  reproving  vice.  And  the  said  Mr.  John  Giessendan- 
ner,  lately  observing  great  irregularities  and  disorders  being 
committed  almost  every  Sabbath  Day  by  some  wicked  persons 
in  one  part  of  the  township,  publicly  reprimanded  them  for  the 
same,  which  reproof  so  exasperated  them,  that  they  threatened 
to  kick  the  said  John  Giessendanner  out  of  the  church  if  he 
offered  to  preach  there  any  more  and  have  lately  sent  for  one 
Bartholomew  Zauberbuhler,  a  man  who  not  long  ago  pretended 
to  preach  at  Savannah  town ;  but,  as  your  said  petitioners  are  in¬ 
formed  was  soon  obliged  to  leave  that  place  and  a  very  indecent 
character  behind  him,  etc.,  etc. 

This  was  addressed  to  the  governor,  who  was  asked  to 
interpose  with  authority,  and  signed  by  John  Harn  and 
above  fourscore  more  subscribers,  i.  e.,  in  all  ninety 
names,  some  few  being  English  names. 

Certificates  of  good  character  for  Zauberbuhler  were 
obtained  from  various  places,  among  them  from  the 
Ebenezer  pastors,  whose  judgment,  beyond  question,  was 
fair  in  the  matter.  The  bitterness  of  the  quarrel  had  no 
doubt  caused  mutual  criminations.  The  governor  settled 
the  trouble  in  a  judicial  manner,  retaining  Giessendanner 
at  Orangeburg  absolutely,  and  in  an  interview  with  Zau¬ 
berbuhler  threatening  to  cut  him  down  to  one-half  the  five 
hundred  pounds  voted  for  his  trip  abroad,  unless  he  would 
bring  the  foreign  Protestants  over  with  him.  It  seems 
Zauberbuhler  returned  to  Carolina  after  his  trip  to  Lon¬ 
don,  bringing  colonists  with  him,  but  little  is  known 
definitely  concerning  him.1 

Reverend  J.  G.  Friedrichs,  who  was  the  first  preacher 
of  the  Lutheran  church  in  Charleston,  subsequently  be¬ 
came  the  pastor  in  the  Orangeburg  district.  During  his 
ministry  there  settled  in  Orangeburg  a  colony  of  Germans 
from  Maine,  accompanied  by  their  pastor,  the  Reverend  Mr. 

1  See  ante,  p.  218,  note  5  ;  also  p.  225. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  221 


Silly.  According  to  one  account  sixty-three  families  were 
there  in  1763,  but  according  to  another  most  of  these 
colonists  returned  to  Maine.1 

Giessendanner’s  congregation  must  have  been  large, 
since  the  petition  written  in  his  behalf  was  signed  by 
ninety  persons,  heads  of  families.  Their  church  was  built 
in  1743,  only  a  few  years  after  the  settlement  began. 
Giessendanner 2  labored  there  for  ten  years,  after  which 
he  went  to  London,  in  1749,  to  receive  Episcopal  ordin¬ 
ation,  his  church  becoming  Episcopalian  in  the  same  year 
(with  one  hundred  and  seven  communicants  ordinarily  and 
on  Whitsunday,  twenty-one  more). 

The  next  German  settlement  in  South  Carolina  began 
very  soon  after  the  founding  of  the  Orangeburg  colony,  in 
the  so-called  Saxe-Gotha  district,  a  name  that  originated  in 
Queen  Anne’s  time  (before  1714).  The  benevolent  queen 
had  probably  intended  the  Saxe-Gotha  district  as  a  place 
of  refuge  for  German  and  other  Protestant  exiles  in  the 
South,  as  Schoharie  had  been  in  the  North,  but  no  colony 
was  established  there  in  her  time,  Saxe-Gotha  being  then 
still  too  far  west  for  settlement. 

The  Journals  of  Council3  of  South  Carolina  fixed  the 


1  See  Chapter  ix,  p.  260. 

2  Giessendanner  died  in  1761  and  was  probably  buried  in  the  “  Old  Grave¬ 
yard  ”  near  the  Edisto  River. 

3  Yol.  viii,  p.  69,  May  26,  1742.  A  petition  of  J.  J.  Gallier  and  family, 
J.  C.  Gieger  (Geiger)  and  family,  J.  Shading  and  family,  Abram  Gieger  and 
family,  J.  Liver  and  family,  J.  Gredig  and  family,  Caspar  Fry  and  family, 
Conrad  and  Caspar  Kiintzler  (Kinsler),  J.  J.  Bieman  and  family,  H.  Gieger 
and  family,  Elizabeth  Shading  and  family,  shows  that  they  had  settled  since 
1737  in  Saxe-Gotha  township.  Again  under  date  of  1744,  J.  J.  Gieger,  ar¬ 
rived  seven  years  ago,  prays  for  one  hundred  acres  of  land  over  against  the 
Santee  River,  opposite  Saxe-Gotha,  where  he  has  already  begun  to  clear 
ground  and  almost  finished  a  house.  The  petition  was  granted.  Cf.  Bern- 
lieim,  pp.  126-127;  cf.  also  :  A.  S.  Salley,  The  History  of  Orangeburg  County, 
South  Carolina  (1898),  pp.  70-71. 


222 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


date  of  settlement  of  Saxe-Gotha  by  the  Germans  as  1737. 
This  district  was  located  farther  west,  and  therefore  colo¬ 
nized  some  time  later  than  Orangeburg.  It  embraced  the 
whole  of  the  present  Lexington  County,  a  name  which  it 
received  in  18/2.  It  was  one  hundred  English  miles  dis¬ 
tant  from  Charleston,  on  the  road  which  passed  through 
Orangeburg,  and  was  “settled  by  German  people.”  1  They 
were  not  from  Saxe-Gotha  but  from  the  Rhine  country, 
Baden,  Wiirtemberg,  and  Switzerland.  Their  first  minister 
was  the  Reverend  Christian  Theus,  of  the  German  Re¬ 
formed  Church.  Interesting  is  the  frank  statement  he 
made  to  the  government  of  South  Carolina,  that  if  the 
latter  desired  to  keep  the  colonists,  they  must  be  provided 
with  churches  and  schools;  otherwise  the  colonists  would 
do  what  many  had  done  before,  migrate  to  Pennsylvania, 
where  all  those  advantages  existed."  The  government  gave 
five  hundred  pounds  to  assist  in  the  erection  of  a  church, 
which  was  built  under  the  ministry  of  Theus,  at  a  location 
a  short  distance  below  the  confluence  of  the  Saluda  and 
Broad  rivers  (forming  the  Congaree  River).  It  was  St. 
John’s  Church,3  a  few  miles  from  the  present  capital, 
Columbia,  of  the  state  of  South  Carolina.  The  church 
was  probably  destroyed  during  the  Revolutionary  War, 
since  it  was  not  mentioned  in  the  incorporation  act  of  the 
united  German  churches,  passed  by  the  legislature  of 
South  Carolina  in  1788.  About  eight  miles  from  Colum¬ 
bia,  near  Sandy  Run,  there  is  a  tombstone  bearing  the  in¬ 
scription  :  “  This  stone  points  out  where  the  remains  of  the 
Reverend  Christian  Theus  lie.  This  faithful  divine  labored 
through  a  long  life  as  a  faithful  servant  in  his  Master’s 

1  Urlsperger  Nachrichten,  vol.  iii,  p.  1791. 

2  This  seems  to  support  the  tradition  existing  in  Virginia,  that  there  was 
an  emigration  northward  from  the  Carolinas. 

3  Found  on  the  map,  Carroll's  Collections,  1771-75. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  223 


vineyard  and  the  reward  which  he  received  from  many  for 
his  labor  was  ingratitude.”  The  stone  was  erected  by 
Abraham  Geiger  (Gieger),  parishioner,  at  his  own  ex¬ 
pense.  We  probably  ought  not  to  take  the  inscription  too 
seriously,  except  for  the  statement  regarding  his  long  life 
and  excellent  service.  Theus  never  labored  for  rewards. 
As  an  octogenarian  he  probably  had  to  endure  the  con¬ 
sequences  of  old  age,  indifference  and  neglect,  and  the 
frequent  separation  of  union  congregations1  into  Lutheran 
and  Reformed  probably  disturbed  him  greatly. 

During  the  years  1744-50  Saxe-Gotha  received  a  large 
influx  of  German  settlers.  The  St.  Andrew,  Captain  Brown, 
commander,  was  a  good  ship,  on  board  of  which  passen¬ 
gers  for  the  Carolinas  were  treated  well, —  when  they  paid 
their  passage.  Captain  Ham  was  another  of  the  sea-captains 
who  brought  over  many  new  recruits  for  Orangeburg,  some 
also  for  Saxe-Gotha. 

From  1759-60  the  people  of  Saxe-Gotha  suffered  greatly 
from  the  Cherokee  War,  instigated  by  the  French.  The 
German  settlements  were  as  far  out  as  any.  The  Congaree 
and  Fork  settlements  were  greatly  exposed  to  attacks,  and, 
we  are  told  by  Bolzius,  many  settlers  took  refuge  at  Eben- 
ezer,  Savannah,  Charleston,  and  Purysburg,  until  the  In¬ 
dian  hostilities  were  over.  The  damage  done,  however, 
was  merely  temporary. 

1  The  Urlsperger  Reports,  vol.  iv,  p.  672  (1750)  :  “  The  Reformed  church 
(a  congregation  of  about  two  hundred  and  eighty  souls)  have  received  five 
hundred  pounds,  Carolina  currency,  from  the  government  for  this  church, 
but  no  one  is  interested  in  the  Lutheran,  unless  I  would  do  something  in  their 
behalf.  They  live  with  the  Reformed  in  great  disunion,  at  which  I  showed 
my  displeasure  in  my  former  letter.  Several  people  have  left  us  for  other 
settlements,  who  might  have  obtained  land  here.  They  even  built  both  a 
saw-mill  and  a  grist-mill,  and  expected  to  build  more  of  the  kind.  Here  then 
should  they  be  enabled  to  erect  a  house  of  worship  if  they  were  sincerely  in 
earnest.” 


224  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

A  number  of  other  German  settlements  in  South  Caro¬ 
lina,  mostly  later  than  Orangeburg  and  Saxe-Gotha,  were 
the  following  :  First,  the  German  Lutheran  colony  at  Hard 
Labor  Creek,  1763-64,  in  the  present  county  of  Abbeville, 
quite  a  little  to  the  westward,  bordering  on  Georgia.  This 
colony  had  its  own  peculiar  history.  A  German  officer, 
named  Stiimpel,  having  applied  to  the  British  ministry  for 
a  tract  of  land  in  America,  and  having  received  some  en¬ 
couragement,  returned  to  Germany  and  brought  between 
five  and  six  hundred  people  over  to  England.  When  they 
were  there,  Stiimpel  was  unable  to  fulfill  his  promises.  A 
German  clergyman  published  the  facts  in  a  newspaper, 
and  a  bounty  of  three  hundred  pounds  was  given  by  the 
government.  Tents  were  ordered  from  the  Tower  and 
money  was  sent  for  the  relief  of  the  immigrants.  They 
were  sent  to  South  Carolina,  an  additional  inducement 
being  the  bounty  allowed  to  foreign  Protestants  by  the 
Provincial  Assembly,  in  consequence  of  which,  when  their 
source  of  relief  from  England  would  be  exhausted,  another 
would  become  available  upon  their  arrival  in  America. 
Two  ships  were  equipped,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty  stands 
of  arms  were  ordered  from  the  Tower  for  their  defense, 
to  be  used  after  their  arrival  in  South  Carolina,  which 
occurred  in  April,  1764.  The  government  of  South  Caro¬ 
lina  (under  Governor  Boone)  voted  five  hundred  pounds 
sterling  to  be  distributed  among  the  “  Palatines.”  Captain 
Calhoun  with  a  detachment  of  Rangers  conducted  them 
to  their  location,  Londonderry  Township,  in  Abbeville 
County,  where  the  captain  owned  an  estate.  As  usual 
these  settlers  brought  their  own  (Lutheran)  pastor  with 
them,  and  built  St.  George’s  Church  in  1788.  What  fre¬ 
quently  happened  on  the  frontier  among  Presbyterian, 
Reformed,  and  Lutheran  congregations,  occurred  here' 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  225 


viz.:  they  transferred1  their  allegiance  to  the  Methodist, 
or  to  the  Baptist  Church,  emotional  preaching  appealing 
more  strongly  to  the  frontiersmen. 

A  second  county  with  German  settlers  was  Barnwell. 
This  settlement  was  doubtless  formed,  by  the  breaking-up 
of  the  Dutch  colony  on  James  Island  (below  Charleston), 
by  gradual  absorption  of  the  German  and  Swiss  colony  at 
Purysburg,  and  by  the  influx  of  other  German  settlers 
from  Orangeburg  County  on  the  northeast. 

Third:  settlements  were  made  along  the  boundary-line 
of  Richland  and  Fairfield  counties  on  Cedar  and  Dutch¬ 
man’s  creeks,  probably  from  Saxe-Gotha  and  Orangeburg 
counties.  On  Cedar  Creek  there  was  once  a  German 
church,  incorporated  in  1738,  the  “  German  Protestant 
Church  of  Apii-Forum,”  later  absorbed  by  the  Methodist 
congregation. 

Fourth :  the  Newberry  County  Germans,  who  were 
mostly  descendants  from  the  original  Germans  in  Saxe- 
Gotha  Township,  with  occasional  additions  from  North 
Carolina  and  Virginia. 

Fifth  :  the  New  Windsor  colony,  located  in  the  southern 
part  of  Edgefield  County  along  the  Savannah  River,  oppo¬ 
site  the  city  of  Augusta,  Georgia.  A  number  of  Germans 
located  here,  who  were  brought  over  under  the  lead¬ 
ership  and  perhaps  at  the  solicitation  of  the  Reverend 
Bartholomew  Zauberbiihler,  once  of  Orangeburg  County.2 
John  Jacob  Riemensperger  brought  over  a  later  group, 
under  commission  of  the  provincial  government  of  South 
Carolina,  and  also  took  some  colonists  to  Saxe-Gotha.  The 

1  The  Lutheran  missionary,  R.  J.  Miller,  visited  the  settlement  at  Hard 
Labor  Creek  in  1811,  and  preaching  at  what  was  once  the  German  Meeting 
House,  said:  “Here  the  Methodists  and  Baptists  have  pulled  each  other  out 
of  the  pulpit.” 

2  See  above,  pp.  219-221.  Cf.  Bernheim,  p.  169. 


226  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

people  of  German  descent  now  located  in  the  central  part 
of  Edgefield  County,  came  originally  from  New  Windsor 
and  from  Saxe-Gotha  Township. 

A  sixth  settlement,  Old  Indian  Swamp,  was  probably 
located  in  Barnwell  County,  where  there  are  Lutheran 
churches  at  present.  Philip  Eisenmann  said  to  Muhlenberg 
m  1774  that  he  was  a  resident  of  Old  Indian  Swamp,  fifty 
miles  from  Charleston,  where  “he  and  his  neighbors  had 
accepted  as  a  preacher  a  young  man  lately  arrived  from 
Germany  and  who  might  answer  for  a  schoolmaster.”  1 
The  church  called  the  German  Protestant  Church  of  St. 
George  on  Indian  Field  Swamp  was  incorporated  in  1788. 

The  extent  and  progress  of  the  German  settlements  in 
South  Carolina  are  well  illustrated  by  the  act  of  incorpora¬ 
tion  of  the  fifteen  German  churches  of  the  interior  of 
South  Carolina  in  1788.  They  formed  a  union,  and  the 
constitution  of  their  “Corpus  Evangelicum”  was  signed 
by  nineteen  ministers  and  candidates  for  the  ministry.2 


1  Cf.  Bernheim,  pp.  169-170. 

’  The  Reverend  Frederick  Baser  was  chosen  senior  of  the  ministry, 
the  Reverend  Wallberg,  secretary.  The  seven  German  ministers  were:  F. 
aser  (Lutheran)  Christian  Theus  (Reformed),  J.  G.  Bamberg  (Lutheran! 

H  o'  s  trgn(  nUtheran)’  C'  F-  Froelich  (Reformed),  F  J.  Wallen! 
(Lutheran),  M.  C.  Binnicher  (Lutheran). 

Ihe  names  of  the  churches  were  as  follows: _ 

(1)  Frederician  Church  of  Cattel’s  Creek. 

S  t.16  Pennan  °alvinistic  Church  of  St.  John,  on  the  Fourliole. 

4  TT  :  r!rman  W  leran  phUrCh  0f  St-  Matthew’  in  Ameli*  Township. 
/I  mu  ~  Lutheran  Church  of  Salem,  on  Sandy  Run. 

T  16  nerman  JjUtheran  Church  of  Mt-  Zion,  on  Twelve-Mile  Creek 
J,  8  Cer'uan  Lutheran  Church  of  Bethel,  on  High-Hill  Creek 

T  ^  rerma”  t  "Seran  ChUrCh  °f  St  Pet6r’  °n  EiShteen-Mile  Creek 
(8)  The  German  Lutheran  Church  of  St.  Martin. 

ThLG;rman  Lutheran  Church  of  Bethlehem,  on  Forest’s  (Fust’s) 

ini  S'"  ?rman  Pr0testant  Church  of  Bethany,  on  Green  Creek. 

(11)  Ihe  German  Protestant  Church  of  Apii-Forum,  on  Cedar  Creek. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  227 


These  fifteen  churches  probably  comprised  th§  entire  Ger- 
ment  element  in  the  interior  of  South  Carolina  in  1788, 
i.  e.,  five  years  after  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War. 
Since  no  large  additions  came  during  the  war,  we  may 
suppose  that  the  German  population  of  South  Carolina  in 
1775  was  not  much  less  than  here  represented. 

It  is  curious  to  note  that  the  German  church  of  Charles¬ 
ton  did  not  belong  to  this  union,  though  it  was  by  this 
time  large  and  influential.  The  German  population  in 
Charleston  had  increased  greatly  and  had  immortalized 
itself  by  several  cohperative  foundations.  The  first,  the 
“  German  Benevolent  Society,”  Muhlenberg  praises  as  the 
“flower  and  crown  of  the  German  nation  in  this  place.” 
It  was  founded  in  1766,  and  in  a  little  more  than  eight 
years  had  upwards  of  eighty  members.  The  association 
had  a  funded  capital,  at  first  of  four  hundred  pounds 
sterling,  the  interest  of  which  was  applied  for  the  relief 
of  every  needy  member  (or  of  his  widow  or  orphans),  who 
had  been  connected  with  the  society  for  seven  years,  and 
had  paid  his  contributions.  The  other  foundation  was  the 
German  Fusileer  Company,  which  served  in  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  War.1  The  fact  of  Charleston  s  being  excluded 
from  the  church  organization  of  the  interior  of  South 
Carolina  furnishes  an  illustration  of  an  interesting  histor- 

(12)  The  German  Protestant  Church,  dedicated  to  Queen  Charlotte,  on 

Slippery  Creek. 

(13)  The  German  Lutheran  Church  of  St.  George,  on  Hard  Labor  Creek. 

(14)  The  German  Lutheran  Church  of  St.  Jacob,  on  Wateree  Creek. 

(15)  The  German  Protestant  Church  of  St.  George,  on  Indian  Field 

Swamp. 

Of  these  fifteen  churches  nine  were  Lutheran,  and  seven  of  the  nine  Luth¬ 
eran  churches  are  in  existence  at  the  present  day.  All  of  the  Reformed 
churches  ceased  to  exist,  partly  due  to  the  fact  that  they  were  not  cared  for 
by  ministers,  the  congregations  then  joining  other  churches;  frequently  also 
the  record  was  lost.  Bernheim,  pp.  300  ff. 

1  See  Chapter  xi,  p.  340. 


228  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

ical  fact,  that  the  frontier  chose  to  settle  its  own  affairs, 
independent  of  and  sometimes  in  opposition  to  the  sea- 
coast.  Moreover  the  people  at  the  sea  knew  very  little 
about  what  was  going  on  at  the  frontier.  In  the  journal 
of  the  Reverend  Arnold  Roschen  we  find  the  statement : 

We  heaid  such  dreadful  reports  of  the  people  where  my 
congregations  are  situated”  (Rowan  County,  North  Caro¬ 
lina),  “  which,  however,  God  be  praised,  arose  from  the 
fact,  that  in  Charleston  the  citizens  are  as  badly  informed 
as  in  Germany  concerning  this  country.”1  The  overland 
journey  of  the  pastor  to  his  flock  lasted  fourteen  days. 

There  were  also  a  large  number  of  German  colonists  in 
the  interior  of  North  Carolina.  They  did  not,  however,  as 
in  South  Carolina,  come  from  the  seacoast,  that  is,  directly 
from  Europe,  but  they  had  treked  from  Pennsylvania. 
They  arranged  themselves  on  vacant  lands  to  the  eastward 
and  westward  of  the  Yadkin  River,  while  the  Scotch-Irish 
from  Pennsylvania,  who  had  lived  on  friendly  terms  with 
the  Germans  in  that  province,  soon  followed  them  south¬ 
ward  and  occupied  vacant  lands  mostly  to  the  westward 
or  southward  of  the  German  settlers,  along  the  Catawba 
River.  The  Germans  on  the  Yadkin,  in  course  of  time 
went  westward  and  settled  also  on  the  Catawba,  becoming 
quite  as  numerous  as  the  Irish,  and  with  them  going  west¬ 
ward  again  from  there. 

.  ^ie  Germans  usually  left  their  home,  i.  e.,  Pennsylvania 
m  autumn,  after  all  the  harvesting  was  over  and  the  pro- 
ceeds  of  tile  year’s  labor  were  in  hand.  They  arrived  at  the 
new  settlements  just  before  the  commencement  of  the  win¬ 
ter  season,  bringing  with  them  the  means  of  passing  throuo-h 
the  winter  without  great  hardship.  The  first  of  the  pione°er 
trains  came  about  1745 ;  the  large  migrations  did  not  be- 

1  Bernheim,  pp.  319-320. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  229 


gin  until  1750.  Their  history  is  partly  to  be  gleaned  from 
tradition,  partly  from  family  records  contained  in  old  Ger¬ 
man  Bibles ;  it  is  safely  established  in  the  records  of  land- 
purchases,  which,  however,  always  appear  some  years  after 
actual  settlement.  The  settlers  were  industrious,  econom¬ 
ical,  and  thrifty  farmers,  who  generally  avoided  settling  in 
towns.  They  were  well  informed  in  their  own  branch  of 
industry,  shrewd  to  recognize  their  own  advantage ;  they 
despised  the  business  of  the  merchant,  barter  and  trade, 
as  beneath  them,  though  many  of  their  descendants  at  later 
periods  became  very  successful  in  mercantile  pursuits. 
Like  all  Pennsylvania  Germans  they  were  religious,  well 
read  in  the  Bible  and  devotional  books.  Their  German 
school-teachers,  in  the  absence  of  ministers,  read  prayers 
to  them  and  sermons  on  Sundays,  buried  the  dead  and 
baptized  children.  For  a  decade  or  more  no  regular  pastors, 
occasionally  only  a  missionary,  appeared  to  preach  among 
them  and,  if  he  would,  baptize  the  children. 

Since  there  came  no  increase  from  the  seacoast,  but 
from  Pennsylvania  alone,  it  took  a  score  of  years,  or  until 
the  seventies,  before  the  congregations  became  numerous 
enough  to  build  churches.  Then  they  seriously  felt  the 
need  of  ministers,  but  Muhlenberg  in  Pennsylvania  had 
none  to  spare.  Characteristic1  it  is,  that  the  German 
settlers  of  the  interior  of  North  Carolina  then  decided  to 
act  for  themselves.  In  1772  Christopher  Rintelmann  from 
Organ  Church  in  Rowan  County,  and  Christopher  Layrle 
from  St.  John’s  Church,  Mecklenburg  County  (now  Cabar¬ 
rus),  were  sent  as  a  delegation  to  Europe  for  the  pur¬ 
pose  of  applying  to  the  Consistory  Council  of  Hanover 
for  ministers  and  school-teachers  to  supply  the  various 
Lutheran  congregations  then  organized  in  North  Carolina. 

1  Showing  again  the  independence  of  the  frontier. 


230 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


They  applied  at  Hanover  and  not  at  Halle,  because  the 
American  colonies  were  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  king 
of  England,  who  was  also  the  elector  of  Hanover.  They 
succeeded  in  getting  at  least  one  minister,  the  Reverend 
Adolph  Nussmann,  and  as  their  school-teacher,  Gottfried 
Arndt.  Both  1  arrived  safely  in  North  Carolina  in  1773, 
and  more  would  probably  have  come  had  not  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  War  cut  off  all  intercourse  with  Europe.  Nuss¬ 
mann  was  the  right  man  for  the  place.  He  served  Organ 
Church  (Salisbury,  Rowan  County),  and  St.  John’s  in  the 
present  Cabarrus  County,  and  made  mission  tours  into 
Davidson,  Guilford,  Orange,  Stokes,  and  Forsyth  counties, 
“  strengthening  what  remained.”  These  tours  tell  us  also 
wheie  the  German  settlers  were  located.  Schoolmaster 
Arndt  was  subsequently  ordained  and  became  an  efficient 
helper.  After  the  Revolution  the  Lutheran  Church  organ¬ 
ization  was  strengthened  and  the  number  of  settlers  greatly 
increased. 

The  cause  for  the  migration  to  North  Carolina  was 
mainly  the  difficulty  of  getting  land  in  Pennsylvania.  It 
could  be  bought  from  the  Indians  in  small  parcels  only 
on  the  frontier,  and  these  were  quickly  taken,  while  in 
the  easterly  sections  no  land  could  be  got  at  all  cheaply. 
Before  the  Revolution  the  settlers  did  not  cross  the  Alle¬ 
ghany  Mountains,  but  when  seeking  new  land,  they  fol¬ 
lowed  the  mountain  ranges  to  the  south  and  west,  keeping 
on  their  eastern  slope.2  Speaking  of  the  interior  of  North 
Carolina,  Bernheim  says  :  “  Had  a  traveller  from  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  visited,  about  forty  or  fifty  years  ago  (1820-1830), 
portions  of  the  present  counties  of  Alamance,  Guilford, 

1  The  names  are  spelled  Nuszmann,  and  Arnd,  in  Hallesche  Nachrichten 
(reprint),  vol.  i,  p.  32. 

2  Cf.  also  Williamson’s  History  of  North  Carolina,  vol.  ii,  p.  71. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  231 


Davidson,  Rowan,  Cabarrus,  Stanly,  Iredell,  Catawba, 
Lincoln,  and  some  others  in  the  State  of  North  Carolina, 
he  might  have  believed  himself  to  have  unexpectedly  come 
upon  some  part  of  the  old  Keystone  State.”  Pennsylvania 
German  was  still  spoken  about  1820-30.1 

An  interesting  chapter  in  the  history  of  the  German 
settlements  in  North  Carolina  is  that  of  the  Moravian 
foundations  in  Forsyth  and  Stokes  counties.  In  1751 
the  Moravians  purchased  one  hundred  thousand  acres  of 
land  in  North  Carolina  from  Lord  Granville,  president  of 
the  Privy  Council  of  the  government  of  Great  Britain. 
Bishop  Spangenberg  was  commissioned  to  locate  and  sur¬ 
vey  the  land,  and  accordingly  he  journeyed  with  some 
friends,  during  the  month  of  August,  from  Bethlehem, 
Pennsylvania,  to  Edenton,  North  Carolina.  He  first  visited 
the  head-waters  of  the  Catawba,  New,  and  Yadkin  rivers, 
but  after  many  hardships,  decided  to  locate  farther  east¬ 
ward,  in  Forsyth  County,  to  the  east  of  the  Yadkin  River. 
The  deed  was  made  out  for  98,985  acres,  signed  and 
sealed  August  7,  1753,  and  the  land  received  the  name 
“The  Wachovia  Tract,”  in  honor  of  one  of  the  titles  of 
Count  Zinzendorf,  who  was  lord  of  the  Waehau  Valley 
in  Austria.  In  the  autumn  of  1753,  twelve  single  brethren 
with  a  wagon  and  six  horses,  some  cattle  and  necessary 
household  utensils  for  husbandry,  made  the  long  journey 
from  Bethlehem  through  the  Shenandoah  Valley  to  North 
Carolina.2  Seven  new  colonists  arrived  in  1754.  They 

1  Many  of  the  family  names  found  in  Montgomery,  Berks,  Lehigh,  and 
Northampton  counties,  Pennsylvania,  are  also  found  in  the  North  Carolina 
counties,  e.  g.,  Klein  (Cline),  Trexler,  Schlough,  Seitz  (Sides),  Reinhardt, 
Bibers  (Beaver),  Kohlman  (Coleman),  Derr  (Dry),  Berger  (Barrier),  Behr¬ 
inger  (Barringer),  etc.  Schwartzwalder  (Blackwelder),  a  family  of  seven 
sons,  had  four  of  them  (two  killed)  in  the  battle  of  Camden,  South  Carolina. 
Bernheim,  p.  247,  etc. 

2  Their  journey  is  described  in  a  diary  kept  in  the  Archives  of  the  Mora- 


232 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


founded  the  town  of  Bethabara  (the  house  of  passage) 
which  was  to  be  a  temporary  abode  until  the  central  set¬ 
tlement  should  have  been  built.  Bishop  David  Nitschman 
visited  them  in  1755  and  consecrated  the  first  meeting¬ 
house.  In  1758  the  Cherokee  and  Catawba  Indians,  who 
went  to  war  against  the  Indians  on  the  Ohio,  marched 
through  Bethabara  in  large  companies,  often  several  hun¬ 
dred.  The  Cherokee  Indians  seem  to  have  been  pleased 
with  the  treatment  received,  for  they  described  Bethabara 
to  their  nation  as  athe  Dutch  Fort,  where  there  are  good 
people  and  much  bread.” 

In  1759  the  town  of  Bethany  was  laid  out,  three  miles 
to  the  north  of  Bethabara,  which  in  1765  contained 
eighty-eight  inhabitants,  while  Bethany  had  ten  less.  In 
1766  the  beginningwas  made  in  the  building  of  Salem, 
the  principal  settlement  of  the  “Unitas  Fratrum  ”  in 
North  Carolina,  five  miles  southward  from  Bethabara. 
Ten  new  colonists  came  over  direct  from  Germany  by 
way  of  London  and  Charleston,  a  sign  of  growing  promin¬ 
ence.  As  at  Herrnhut,  Niesky,  and  Bethlehem,  separate 
buildings  weie  erected  for  men  and  women.  Intermarriage 
was  not  permitted  until  some  years  after.  Two  other  set¬ 
tlements  followed  in  the  Wachovia  tract,  one,  Friesburo-, 
in  1769-70,  receiving  a  considerable  number  of  settlers 
from  Germany  and  Maine.  The  other,  the  Hope  settle¬ 
ment,  was  founded  in  1772  by  colonists  from  Frederick, 
Maryland.  During  the  Revolutionary  War  the  Moravians 

vian  Congregation  at  Salem,  North  Carolina,  translated  in  the  Virginia  Mag¬ 
azine,  \o\.  xn,  pp.  134  ff.  The  original  is  printed  in  German  American  Annals, 
voL  Ui  (Americana  Germanica,  vol.  vii),  pp.  342  ff.  and  369  ff.  The  following 
is  the  list  of  Moravian  brethren  who  located  in  Wachovia  and  founded  the 
village  of  Bethabara  :  Grube,  Meekly,  Feldhausen,  Lung,  Pfeil,  Beroth,  all  of 
Germany  ;  Kalberlahn  and  Ingebretsen  of  Norway  ;  Peterson  of  Denmark  ; 
Loesch  of  New  York  ;  Loesch  of  Pennsylvania,  and  Lischer  of  unknown  origin! 
Hie  last  three  have  German  names. 


THE  GERMANS  IN  THE  CAROLINAS  233 


of  Wachovia  were  exempted  from  military  duty  by  the 
payment  of  a  triple  tax.  In  1804  the  Salem  Female  Acad¬ 
emy  was  founded,  which  has  educated  the  daughters  of 
prominent  families  of  North  and  South  Carolina,  Virginia, 
and  other  Southern  States.  The  Moravian  settlement  at 
Salem-Winston  is  still  the  centre  of  the  Moravian  denom¬ 
ination  in  the  South.  Their  quaint  customs  and  beautiful 
music,  particularly  at  Easter,  attract  a  large  number  of 
admirers  from  all  the  surrounding  country. 

The  Carolinas,  as  shown  in  the  preceding  pages,  re¬ 
ceived  a  good  share  of  early  German  settlers  in  the  eigh¬ 
teenth  century.  Newbern  in  North  Carolina  was  the  earliest 
German  colony,  1710,  but  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  be¬ 
came  the  distributing  centre  of  the  German  immigrants  in 
the  South.  Germans  became  most  numerous  in  the  so- 
called  Saxe-Gotha  district,  the  present  Orangeburg  and 
Lexington  counties  of  South  Carolina,  and  thence  spread 
to  neighboring  counties  and  to  the  westward.  The  interior 
of  North  Carolina  likewise  received  an  ever  increasing 
number  of  German  settlers,  who  came  from  Pennsylvania, 
beginning  about  1750.  The  Moravians  established  a  col¬ 
ony  at  Salem-Winston,  which  has  flourished  ever  since 
its  foundation. 


CHAPTER  IX 


GERMAN  SETTLEMENTS  BEFORE  THE  REVOLUTION  IN 
GEORGIA  AND  IN  NEW  ENGLAND 

The  Salzburgers  in  Georgia,  1734  -  Founding  of  Ebenezer-The  ‘‘great 
embarkation,”  1736  -  Storm  at  sea —  John  Wesley  -  The  Moravians 
leave  for  Pennsylvania  -  The  location  for  Ebenezer  changed  -  Governor 
Og  ethorpe  s  kindness  —  The  Reverend  J.  M.  Bolzius  and  the  Reverend 
I  Gronau  actual  governors  of  the  colony  — The  question  of  negro 
savery- Industries:  milling  and  silk  manufacture  -  The  building  of 
churches  - A  church-quarrel  arbitrated  by  the  Reverend  H.  M.Miihlen- 
berg—  Prosperity  of  the  colony. 

CD°louization  in  New  England- The  founding  of 
Waldoburg  (1741  m  the  Broad  Bay  district  of  Maine -Sufferings  of  the 
first  coJoiiists-  The  war  with  France,  1744 -The  Indian  massacre  (1746) 
Rebuilding  of  WaMoburg  and  accessions  to  colonists  -  Massachusetts 
attempts  to  encourage  German  immigration— Crellius  and  Luther  as 
agents -Oobmes  in  Massachusetts  at  Adamsdorf,  Bernardsdorf,  Leydens- 
dorf  Nova  Scotia -CoWs  in  Maine  :  Frankfort,  Dresden,  Bremen, 
etc.  Disputed  land  claims  and  migration  to  South  Carolina  —  German¬ 
town  near  Boston  —  Strength  of  the  German  element. 

Georgia,  the  farthest  south  of  the  American  colonies, 
became  the  home  of  the  Salzburgers,  immediately  after 
the  earliest  settlement  at  Savannah.  They  were  German 
Protestants 1  exiled  in  1731  by  a  decree  of  Archbishop 

1  Among  the  Salzburgers  there  were  descendants  of  the  Waldensiaus 
named  after  their  founder  Waldo,  a  citizen  of  Lyons  in  southern  France 
The  sect  was  formed  about  1170,  and  its  chief  seats  were  in  the  Alpine  val- 
eys  of  Piedmont  Dauphine,  and  Provence.  They  have  often  been  included 
under  the  name  Albigenses  (from  Albi,  a  district  in  Languedoc).  These  first 
1  rotestant  sects  in  Europe,  in  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries  repre 
seated  a  purer  form  of  Christianity  than  the  dogmatic  mother  church  Wars 
of  extermmat.on  were  waged  in  their  homes,  and  popes  preached  crusades 
against  them  (Pope  Innocent  III,  in  1208).  The  Waldensiaus  welcomed  the 
6  ,a.tl0n  the  Slxteenth  century,  and  as  a  result  again  suffered  terrible 

“sir0"  ‘he“,WJ,re  S"1’P“9<1  '“Ve  se“1<,d  Alpine 
strict  of  Salzburg  in  the  secluded  glens  and  valleys  of  the  Deferegger 

Mountains  (now  in  the  extreme  eastern  part  of  the  Tyrol).  gg 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


235 


Leopold,  Count  of  Firmian,  who  with  fanatical  zeal  drove 
out  from  his  domains  all  who  were  not  Catholics.  More 
than  thirty  thousand  Protestants  were  forced  to  leave  the 
Austrian  archbishopric  of  Salzburg,  but  after  many  hard¬ 
ships  they  were  welcomed  in  Protestant  countries,  notably 
in  Prussia,  where  seventeen  thousand  of  them  found 
homes. 

About  the  same  time,  in  1732,  King  George  II  of 
England  empowered  twenty-one  gentlemen  to  colonize  the 
southern  part  of  the  Carolinas,  to  be  known  as  the  colony 
of  Georgia.  They  were  to  select  only  worthy  immigrants, 
and  under  such  a  category  were  named  Scotch  Highland¬ 
ers  and  German  Salzburgers.  In  the  same  year  General 
James  Edward  Oglethorpe  sailed  with  the  first  transport 
of  English  colonists  and  on  January  20,  1733,  arrived  at 
the  Savannah  River,  where  he  founded  the  city  of  that 
name.  The  Society  for  the  Promotion  of  Christian  Know¬ 
ledge1  in  London  cooperated  with  the  Georgia  land 
company  for  the  benefit  of  the  Salzburg  exiles.  Liberal 
contributions  were  made  by  the  land  company,  and  the 
religious  society  undertook  to  pay  the  expenses  of  the  im¬ 
migrants  to  Rotterdam  and  support  a  minister  for  them. 
A  first  group  of  Salzburg  immigrants  destined  for  America 
was  formed  at  Berchtesgaden,2  and  under  the  leadership  of 
Baron  von  Reck  they  reached  Rotterdam,  November  27, 
1733.  There  the  ministers  Bolzius  and  Gronau  awaited 
them.  The  former  had  been  the  superintendent  of  the 


1  “  Societas  promovenda  cognitione  Christi.”  Influential  friends  of  the 
Salzburgers  were  the  Reverend  Dr.  F.  M.  Ziegenhagen,  Lutheran  chaplain 
of  the  court  of  St.  James:  London  ;  the  Reverend  Dr.  G.  A.  Francke,  son  of 
the  founder  of  the  orphan  asylum  in  Halle  (Prussian  Province  of  Saxony)  ; 
and  the  Reverend  Dr.  Samuel  Urlsperger,  pastor  of  St.  Anna  Lutheran 
Church  in  Augsburg  (Bavaria). 

*  Then  included  in  the  archbishopric  of  Salzburg. 


236 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Lutheran  orphan  asylum  in  Halle,  and  the  latter  a  teacher 
in  the  same  institution.  The  immigrants  celebrated  their 
Christmas  in  England,  and  set  sail  a  few  days  after  under 
the  guidance  of  their  two  ministers  and  Baron  von  Reck. 
They  arrived  at  Charlestown  (Charleston,  South  Carolina), 
in  March,  1734,  and  soon  after  at  Savannah,  where  the 
entire  population,  among  them  a  number  of  Germans, 
awaited  them  at  the  landing,  while  cannons  booming  bade 
them  welcome.  General  Oglethorpe  allowed  the  Salz¬ 
burgers  to  select  the  site  for  their  colony.  Von  Reck  and 
several  others,  after  a  tour  of  inspection,  chose  land  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  river,  about  twenty-five  miles  from 
the  settlement  of  Savannah.  It  was  at  the  mouth  of  a 
small  river  flowing  into  the  Savannah,  about  forty  miles 
distant  from  the  sea.  The  devout  colonists,  “  after  singing 
a  psalm 1  set  up  a  rock  which  they  found  upon  the  spot, 
and  in  the  spirit  of  the  pious  Samuel  named  the  place 
Ebenezer  (the  stone  of  help),  for  ‘  hitherto  hath  the  Lord 
helped  us.  4  he  usual  difficulties  of  early  colonists  were 
increased  by  the  absence  of  carpenters  and  mechanics, 
until  this  deficiency  was  removed  by  the  second  shipload 
of  immigrants,  bringing  fifty-seven  additional  Salzburgers. 
The  Georgia  company  was  liberal  in  every  respect,  fur¬ 
nishing  boaids  for  houses  and  other  colonists5  supplies. 
Von  Reck  returned  to  Germany  with  the  purpose  of 
bringing  a  still  larger  number  of  immigrants.  This  re¬ 
sulted  in  what  has  been  called  the  “  great  embarkation,” 
bringing  eighty  Salzburgers,  twenty-seven  Moravians3 

1  A-  Strobel>  The  Salzburgers  and  their  Descendants,  p.  63.  (Baltimore, 
1855.)  Strobel’s  work  is  authoritative  on  the  subject. 

2  1  Samuel,  vii,  12. 

3  The  Moravians  made  no  permanent  settlement  in  Georgia.  Those  that 
came  with  the  Salzburgers  (who  were  Lutherans),  remained  but  a  short  time 
until  the  troubles  with  Spain  forced  the  colonists  to  armed  resistance. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


237 


(under  the  leadership  of  Nitschmann),  and  a  number  of 
English  and  Scotch  Protestants. 

They  arrived  at  Savannah  in  the  beginning1  of  Febru- 
ary,  1736,  after  a  voyage  that  has  become  memorable  for 
an  occurrence  of  great  importance.  On  board  the  ship 
were  John  Wesley,  founder  of  Methodism,  and  his  brother 
Charles.  The  former,  on  the  invitation  of  General  Ogle¬ 
thorpe,  was  on  his  way  to  Georgia  with  the  twofold  pur¬ 
pose  of  preaching  the  Gospel  to  the  Indians,  and  improv¬ 
ing  the  religious  condition  of  the  colony.  The  German 
passengers  on  board  had  attracted  John  Wesley’s  atten¬ 
tion  by  evidences  of  their  strong  faith  and  humble  piety. 
On  the  Sabbath  day,  about  noon,  while  the  Salzburgers 
and  other  Germans  were  assembled  in  religious  worship,  a 
storm  suddenly  arose,  greater  in  violence  than  any  other 
that  they  had  experienced  even  on  that  tempestuous  voy¬ 
age.  Amid  the  commotion  of  the  elements  every  heart 
trembled  with  fear,  and  even  Mr.  Wesley  was  confessedly 
alarmed.  But  it  was  very  different  with  the  Salzburgers 
and  Moravians.  While  the  raging  waters  threatened  to 
carry  the  worshipers  to  an  instant  doom,  they  calmly  sang 
praises  of  their  Creator,  exhibiting  perfect  self-control, 
and  utter  absence  of  fear  for  themselves.  When  the  storm 
had  spent  its  fury,  Mr.  Wesley  inquired  of  one  of  the 
Germans,  “Were  you  not  afraid?  ”  He  replied,  “  I  thank 
God,  no.”  “  But  were  not  your  women  and  children 
afraid?”  He  replied  mildly,  “  No,  our  women  and  child¬ 
ren  are  not  afraid  to  die.”  1  The  impression  made  upon 
Mr.  Wesley  by  the  conduct  of  these  people,  so  great  in 

Bearing1  arms  being  contrary  to  their  religion,  they  withdrew  from  Georgia 
and  founded  Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania,  in  1741.  Bancroft,  in  his  history  of 
the  United  States,  erroneously  calls  the  Salzburgers  Moravians. 

1  Quoted  from  the  Journal  of  the  Reverend  John  Wesley,  under  date  of 
Sunday,  January  25,  1736. 


238 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


faith,  was  strengthened  upon  his  arrival  at  Savannah. 
There  he  was  introduced  to  the  Reverend  Mr.  Spangen- 
berg,  later  bishop  of  the  Moravian  Church,  and  to  the 
Moravian  pastor,  Boehler,  from  whom,  John  Wesley  sub¬ 
sequently  declared,  he  had  derived  more  light  than  from 
any  other  man  with  whom  he  had  ever  conversed.  “  I  was 
ignorant  of  the  nature  of  saving  faith,  apprehended  it  to 
mean  no  more  than  a  firm  assent  to  all  the  propositions 
contained  in  the  Old  and  New  Testaments,”  remarked  John 
Wesley.  Two  years  after  his  first  visit  to  Georgia,  having 
returned  to  England,  he  wrote  the  following  note  in  his 
journal :  “  It  is  now  two  years  and  nearly  four  months, 
since  I  went  to  America  to  teach  the  Georgia  Indians  the 
nature  of  Christianity  ;  but  what  have  I  learned  of  myself 
in  the  meanwhile?  Why  (what  of  all  I  least  expected) 
that  I,  who  went  to  America  to  convert1  others,  was  never 
myself  converted  to  God.”  The  voyage  to  America,  with 
the  impressions  received  from  the  pious  Salzburgers  and 
from  interviews  with  the  Moravian  pastors,  became  to 
John  Wesley  one  of  the  important  epochs  of  his  life,  and 
this  fact  is  worthy  of  record,  as  one  of  the  influences  of 
colonial  America  upon  ancient  Europe. 

Governor  Oglethorpe  wished  to  plant  a  new  colony 
farther  to  the  south,  for  the  defense  of  the  older  settle¬ 
ments  against  Spanish  America.  A  fort  was  therefore  pro¬ 
jected  on  St.  Simon  Island,  and  some  newly  arriving 
Salzburgers  were  asked  to  become  its  defenders.  Most  of 

1  John  Wesley,  the  founder  of  the  Methodist  churches,  was  converted 
(“felt  my  heart  strangely  warmed”)  at  a  meeting  which  he  attended 
among  the  Moravians  in  Aldersgate  Street,  London,  during  the  reading  of 
Luther’s  preface  to  Paul’s  Epistles  to  the  Romans,  in  which  the  great”  re¬ 
former  has  given  such  a  clear  exegesis  of  the  doctrine  of  justification  by 
faith.  Cf.  Strobel,  pp.  79,  81,  82.  Also  C.T.  Winchester,  John  Wesley.  (New 
York  :  The  Macmillan  Company,  1906.) 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


239 


them,  however,  believing  that  their  religion  forbade  the 
use  of  arms,  preferred  to  locate  at  Ebenezer,  and  Ogle¬ 
thorpe  did  not  force  his  will  upon  them.  Nevertheless  a 
goodly  number  of  others  among  the  arriving  German 
immigrants  agreed  to  go  to  the  projected  fort  under  their 
captain,  Hermsdorf.  Their  settlement  was  called  Frederica, 
a  German  church  was  founded  there,  and  the  colony  was 
prosperous  in  1743,  when  a  traveler  spoke  of  it  as  “  a  quiet 
village  of  the  Salzburgers,  rurally  charming,  the  improve¬ 
ments  everywhere  evincing  the  greatest  skill  and  industry, 
considering  its  late  settlement.”  The  village  declined,  how¬ 
ever,  after  1749,  and  in  1751  it  presented  “the  melancholy 
prospect  of  homes  without  inhabitants,  barracks  without 
soldiers.”  1 

Two  years  after  the  foundation  of  Ebenezer  the  Salz¬ 
burgers  found  that  its  site  was  very  badly  chosen.  Strobel 
says,  “  it  was  a  region  which  is  composed  of  hills  and  plains 
that  are  sterile,  and  upon  which  no  one,  having  a  correct 
knowledge  of  the  character  of  the  soil,  would  ever  think 
of  settling:  a  farm.”2  The  location  was  about  four  miles 

<~y 

below  Springfield,  the  present  seat  of  justice  for  Effingham 
County.  To  add  to  their  disappointment  came  diseases  in¬ 
cident  to  exposure  and  excessive  fatigue  in  a  warm  climate. 
The  mortality  which  existed  at  Ebenezer  was  heart-rending.3 

At  this  time  there  seem  to  have  been  about  two  hun¬ 
dred  Salzburgers  settled  at  Ebenezer.  These  expressed  their 
dissatisfaction  with  the  location  of  the  colony  before  Gov¬ 
ernor  Oglethorpe,  who  counseled  them  to  remain,  since 

1  Strobel,  p.  119.  The  name  St.  Simon  Island  is  still  used  for  the  coast 
section  of  Glynn  County,  Georgia.  Brunswick  is  the  largest  city  near  by. 

2  Strobel,  p.  67. 

3  Characteristic  in  the  reports  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Bolzius  were  the  re¬ 
cords,  that  disease  and  death  were  endured  with  Christian  resignation,  and 
earthly  pilgrimages  were  closed  with  joy  and  triumph. 


240 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


their  troubles  were  such  as  befell  all  new  colonists  when 
the  ground  had  just  been  cleared  of  forests,  and  since  the 
good  work  already  done,  in  case  of  removal,  would  all  be  lost. 
The  governor  allowed  them  to  act  according  to  their  choice, 
however,  and  the  result  was  that  they  changed  their  abode 
to  another,  about  eight  miles  distant,  lower  on  the  Savan¬ 
nah  River.  The  site  of  New  Ebenezer  was  located  on  a 
high  ridge  within  a  short  distance  of  the  river,  and  be¬ 
cause  of  the  peculiar  color  of  the  soil,  called  Red  Bluff.  1 
The  Savannah  River  was  on  the  east,  Little  (Lockner’s) 
Creek  and  a  lake  (Neidlinger’s  Sea)  on  the  south,  and  on 
the  north  the  meandering  course  of  Ebenezer  Creek.  The 
surrounding  country  was  covered  with  a  fine  growth  of 
forest  trees,  but  unfortunately  for  the  permanent  prosper¬ 
ity  of  the  town,  there  were  low  swamps  on  three  sides  of 
it,  that  at  times  became  generators  of  disease. 

The  town  was  not  laid  out  like  Germantown  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  on  two  sides  of  one  long  street,  but  in  the  checker¬ 
board  style,  with  streets  at  right  angles,  three  from  east 
to  west  crossed  by  four  from  north  to  south.  City  lots 
were  portioned  out  and  market-places  measured  off.2 
Spaces  for  a  church,  parsonage,  school-house,  public 
storehouse,  and  orphan  asylum  were  laid  out.  Pastures 
were  on  the  outskirts  of  the  town,  and  beyond  Little 
Creek  were  the  farms,  each  of  fifty  acres.  The  country 
to  the  north  beyond  Ebenezer  Creek  was  occupied  by  the 
Uchee  Indians,  with  whom  the  settlers  seem  always  to  have 
lived  in  peace.  New  Ebenezer  was  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  river  from  Purysburg,  an  earlier  settlement,3  whence 
some  Germans  came  over  to  join  the  Salzburgers.  Some 

1  In  the  present  Effingham  County. 

2  Strobel,  pp.  91  ff. 

3  See  Chapter  vm,  pp.  216  ff. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


241 


of  the  newcomers  were  growers  of  silk.  At  a  time  when 
silk  manufacture  in  all  other  colonies  had  been  abandoned 
(i.  e.,  1750)  the  Salzburgers  still  persevered,  and  every 
year  they  became  more  skilled  in  this  industry.1  In  1751 
they  sent  over  to  England  a  thousand  pounds  of  cocoons 
and  seventy-four  pounds  two  ounces  of  raw  silk,  yielding 
them  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  ten  pounds  sterling. 

A  traveler2  described  the  settlement  in  the  following 
way  :  “  The  people  live  in  the  greatest  harmony  with  their 
ministers  and  with  one  another,  as  one  family.  They  have 
no  drunken,  idle,  or  profligate  people  among  them,  but  are 
industrious,  and  many  have  grown  wealthy.  Their  industry 
has  been  blessed  with  remarkable  and  uncommon  success, 
to  the  envy  of  their  neighbors,  having  great  plenty  of  all 
the  necessary  conveniences  for  life  (except  clothing)  with¬ 
in  themselves  ;  and  supply  this  town  (Savannah)  with 
bread-kind,  as  also  beef,  veal,  pork,  poultry,  etc.”  Up  to 
the  year  1741  over  twelve  hundred 3  German  Protestants 
had  arrived  in  Georgia,  most  of  them  becoming  landowners 
at  once,  receiving  support  from  friends  for  the  journey 
and  for  a  start  in  the  New  World,  in  fewer  cases  coming 
as  redemptioners. 

The  colony  was  governed  by  its  pastors,  the  Reverend 
John  Martin  Bolzius,  and  the  Reverend  Israel  Christian 
Gronau,  who  in  turn  were  under  the  superintendency  and 
advisorship  of  the  English  trustees  for  the  Society  for  the 
Promotion  of  Christian  Knowledge,  and  the  Evangelical 
Lutheran  Church  in  Germany.  The  church  council  of 

1  Cf.  Strobel,  pp.  129-130.  The  Salzburgers  began  to  plant  mulberry  trees 
in  1736.  See  below. 

2  In  a  letter  by  Thomas  Jones,  dated  Savannah,  1740.  See  Strobel,  pp. 
111-112. 

3  According  to  a  statement  made  by  Mr.  Benjamin  Martyn,  Secretary  of 
the  Trustees.  Cf.  Strobel,  p.  115. 


i 


242 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Ebenezer  subscribed  to  a  code  of  regulations 1  drawn  up 
by  the  European  Lutheran  ministers,  Urlsperger,  Ziegen- 
hagen,  and  Francke.  One  of  the  regulations  required  the 
support  of  school-teachers  as  well  as  ministers,  another 
the  care  of  those  in  need,  such  as  widows  and  orphans. 
For  the  latter  an  orphan  asylum 2  was  built  after  the  model 
of  the  Halle  institution,  and  strangely  enoug’h  was  com¬ 
pleted  earlier  than  the  church.  It  served  as  a  church  for 
the  many  years  before  a  house  of  worship  could  be  erected. 
The  two  pastors  formed  a  tribunal  governing  matters  spir¬ 
itual  as  well  as  temporal,  and  were  most  unselfish  and  just 
in  their  rulings.  Their  judgments  seem  always  to  have 
been  satisfactory,  and  no  appeals  were  ever  taken  from 
their  decisions. 

The  Salzburgers  of  Ebenezer,  like  the  German  Quakers 
*f  Germantown,  proved  their  high  moral  standard  by  their 
opposition  to  slavery.  The  trustees  of  the  colony  as  well 
as  the  ministers  were  opposed  to  the  introduction  of  negro 
slaves,  and  their  determined  stand  through  many  years 
threatened  to  cause  difficulties  with  the  larger  landowners 
of  the  province,  who,  as  elsewhere  in  the  South,  were  in¬ 
terested  in  the  extension  of  the  slave-trade.  The  two  rea¬ 
sons  assigned  by  the  citizens  of  Ebenezer  against  African 
slavery  were  firstly,  that  the  colony  was  an  asylum  for  the 
oppressed,  and  secondly,  that  negro  slaves  starved  the  poor 
laborer.  Another  argument  used  against  the  purchase  of 
negroes  was  the  danger  of  a  servile  war,  aggravated  by 
the  proximity  of  the  Spaniards.3  Pastor  Bolzius  was  one 


1  Strobe],  pp.  167-180. 

2  About  1738  there  were  seventeen  children  and  a  widow  in  the  orphan- 
house.  George  W  hitefield  on  his  visit  was  very  much  pleased  by  the  -<  little 
^ambs  that  came  and  shook  me  by  the  hand  one  by  one.”  Strobel,  pp.  110- 

3  These  arguments  were  stated  by  Baron  von  Reck.  Cf.  Strobel,  p.  103. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


243 


of  the  very  last  to  yield  his  opposition,  and  reproved  Mr. 
George  Whitefield  for  his  complacent  policy,  expressed  in 
Alexander  Pope’s  maxim :  “  Whatever  is,  is  right.”  To 
relieve  themselves  of  their  embarrassment,  the  Salzburgers 
referred  the  slavery  question  to  the  Reverend  Mr.  Urls- 
perger  of  the  parent  church  in  Augsburg.  The  latter  very 
diplomatically  advised  the  Salzburgers  to  yield:  “If  you 
take  slaves  in  faith,  and  with  the  intent  of  conducting 
them  to  Christ,  the  action  will  not  be  sin,  but  it  may  prove  a 
‘  benediction.’  ”  The  Reverend  Mr.  Bolzius  thereupon,  on 
behalf  of  himself  and  the  Salzburgers,  withdrew  his  oppo¬ 
sition  to  the  repeal  of  the  law  prohibiting  negro  slavery.1 

Pastor  Gronau  died  in  1745,  mourned  by  the  whole 
colony,  but  by  no  one  more  sincerely  than  by  his  colleague, 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Rolzius.  The  latter’s  ministerial  labors 
were  thereby  increased,  causing  his  numerous  other  bur¬ 
dens  to  be  felt  all  the  more  heavily.  These  duties  were 
administrative,  including  the  trusteeship  of  the  funds  that 
had  been  collected  in  Europe  for  the  benefit  of  the  con¬ 
gregation  at  Ebenezer.  He  invested  the  sums  received  in 
lands  and  mills,  which  he  superintended  himself  for  the 
benefit  of  the  colony.  The  necessary  building  stones  and 
other  equipments  were  imported  from  Germany  or  received 
from  General  Oglethorpe.  There  were  erected  two  grist¬ 
mills,  a  saw-mill,  and  a  rice  stamping-mill,  all  the  property 
of  the  church,  the  income  from  which  was  devoted  to  the 
payment  of  ministers  and  charities.  Bolzius  was  also  inter¬ 
ested  in  the  manufacture  of  silk.  In  1733  Mr.  Nicolas 
Amatis  of  Piedmont  was  induced  to  remove  to  Georgia  to 
instruct  the  colonists  in  the  rearing  of  silkworms  and  the 
manufacture  of  silk.2  Mulberry  trees  were  planted  in  1736 

1  Strobel,  p.  105. 

2  Stevens’s  History  of  Georgia,  quoted  by  Strobel,  p.  129. 


244 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


under  the  direction  of  the  pastor,  and  his  people  became 
very  successful  in  the  culture  of  the  silkworm.  In  1742 
five  hundred  trees  were  sent  to  Ebenezer  and  a  machine 
was  erected  for  the  preparation  of  silk.  To  encourage  the 
Germans  to  persevere  in  their  efforts,  the  trustees  (for 
the  settlement  of  Georgia)  gave  a  reeling-machine  to  each 
woman  who  would  master  the  art  of  spinning,  and  in 
addition  two  pounds  in  money.1  The  Salzburg'ers,  as 
above  mentioned,  persevered  longer  in  the  production  of 
silk  than  any  other  colony. 

The  successor  to  Pastor  Gronau  was  the  Reverend  Her¬ 
mann  H.  Lembke,  sent  over  from  Germany  at  the  request 
of  Pastor  Bolzius  for  assistance.  The  choice  was  a  judicious 
one,  and  the  church  interests  prospered.  Four  churches 
besides  the  one  at  Savannah  were  now  included  in  the 
“  Parish  of  St.  Matthew,”  viz. :  Jerusalem,  Zion,  Bethany, 
and  Goshen.  It  was  a  large  territory  for  two  pastors  to 
serve,  extending  over  more  than  thirty  miles,  in  part  through 
a  difficult  country.  The  German  settlements  covered  even 
a  wider  area,  their  farms  being  located  on  both  sides  of 
the  road  leading  from  Savannah  to  Augusta,  a  distance  of 
about  one  hundred  miles,  and  were  spread  out  on  the  banks 
of  the  Savannah  River,  and  on  Lockner,  Ebenezer,  and 
Mdl  creeks.  Hie  patron  of  the  Georgia  churches  in  Ger¬ 
many,  the  Reverend  Mr.  Urlsperger,  sent  over  an  additional 
minister  in  1752,  making  an  excellent  choice  in  the  Re¬ 
verend  Christian  Rabenhorst.  With  him  came  a  colony  of 
immigrants  from  Wurtemberg,  whom  Bolzius  was  more  in¬ 
clined  to  welcome  than  a  third  minister.  He  very  soon  con- 

1  “  Many  mulberry  trees  are  still  standing  at  Ebenezer,  which  no  doubt 
have  sprung  from  the  original  stock  ;  many  of  the  descendants  of  the  Salz- 
urgers  continue  to  raise  sdk,  which  they  manufacture  into  fishing-lines  and 
sell  very  readily  in  Savannah.”  Strobel,  p.  130.  (Published  1855.) 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


245 


fessed  his  error,  however,  when  his  strength  began  to  show 
signs  of  declining,  and  the  three  pastors  lived  in  great  har¬ 
mony  for  twelve  succeeding  years.  Mr.  Rabenhorst  brought 
with  him  a  capital  of  six  hundred  and  forty-nine  pounds, 
sixteen  shillings  and  fivepence,  from  the  interest  of  which 
he  was  to  derive  his  support.  The  trust  funds  and  the  mill 
properties  in  which  they  were  invested  were  in  1757  given 
over  by  the  Reverend  Mr.  Bolzius  to  his  brother-in-law, 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Lembke,  the  former  fearing  his  advanc¬ 
ing  age  and  wishing  to  introduce  his  colleague  into 
the  routine  connected  with  the  management  of  the  proper¬ 
ties.  Ten  years  after,  or  two  years  after  the  death  of  the 
Reverend  Mr.  Bolzius,  Pastor  Lembke  acted  in  accord¬ 
ance  with  his  predecessor’s  example,  assigning  the  trust 
to  Rabenhorst.  The  most  notable  event  under  the  Re¬ 
verend  Mr.  Lembke’s  administration  was  the  building  of 
Jerusalem  Church,  a  brick  structure  erected  at  Ebenezer 
in  1767.1 

The  successor  of  Lembke,  Christopher  F.  Triebner, 
proved  to  be  not  well  selected;  a  young  man  of  “  fine  tal¬ 
ents,  but  very  impetuous  in  his  character,  and  possessed 
of  a  very  small  share  of  the  humility  and  piety  which 
characterized  his  predecessors.”  2  A  church  quarrel  arose, 
which,  like  that  in  New  Jersey,3  was  finally  settled  by  the 
patriarch  of  the  Lutheran  church,  the  Reverend  H.  M. 
Muhlenberg1.  The  latter  arrived  at  Ebenezer  in  November, 
1774,  and  at  once  proceeded  with  characteristic  tact  and 
wisdom.  He  called  on  each  of  the  pastors  personally,  and 
after  a  friendly  interview  requested  each  to  furnish  in 
writing  a  statement  of  his  grievances.  Mr.  Rabenhorst,  the 
senior  pastor,  complained  mainly  of  the  charges  and  in- 

1  A  picture  of  the  church  is  found  in  Strobel,  after  p.  148. 

2  Strobel,  p.  151.  3  Cf.  Chapter  iv,  pp.  156-158. 


246 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


trigues  of  his  brother  in  office.  Mr.  Triebner  made  accu¬ 
sations  of  a  more  bitter  kind,  assailing  the  ability  and 
character  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Rabenhorst.  Muhlenberg 
decided  virtually  in  favor  of  Rabenhorst,  of  whom  lie 
wiote  in  his  diary,  i  most  heartily  would  I  have  regarded 
myself  as  fortunate,  if  the  Lord  had  lent  us  in  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  a  laborer  like  Mr.  Rabenhorst,  and  I  would  rejoice 
even  in  my  last  days  to  be  the  adjunct  of  such  a  man. 

.  .  .  Although  he  was  most  grossly  wronged  he  wras  the 
first  to  extend  his  hand  to  the  offender.”  1  The  result  of 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Muhlenberg’s  arbitration  was  to  exon¬ 
erate  Mr.  Rabenhorst  completely  from  all  charges,  to  place 
him  at  the  head  of  the  parish  of  St.  Matthew,  and  Mr. 
Triebner  in  a  more  subordinate  position,  with  the  latter’s 
prerogatives  very  narrowly  defined. 

The  restoration  of  peace  in  the  church  was  not  the  only 
service  of  the  Lutheran  patriarch.  He  took  an  inventory 
of  the  properties  of  the  church,2  and  examined  carefully 
the  deeds  and  grants.  He  found  that  the  property  had 
not  been  ceded  definitely  to  the  Lutheran  church,  but 
that  under  the  conditions  of  the  deed  the  established 
church  of  the  colony  (which  was  the  Church  of  England) 
might  claim  the  property.  Muhlenberg  succeeded  in  hav¬ 
ing  the  matter  rectified  in  the  courts  of  Savannah.  He 
preached  in  all  five  churches,  Savannah,  Jerusalem,  Betli- 
any,  Goshen,  and  Zion,  and  drew  up  a  discipline  of  church 
government  and  conduct,  which  was  signed  by  one  hun¬ 
dred  and  twenty-four  male  members  of  the  Jerusalem 


1  Of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Triebner  Muhlenberg  said  :  “  A  young  man  who 
although  well-meaning  and  gifted,  was  nevertheless  inexperienced,  passion! 
ate,  and  a  dangerous  novice.” 

’  Strobel  pp.  190-191  gives  eight  items  which  made  up  the  valuable 
property  of  the  church.  He  estimates  that  the  value  could  not  have  been  less 
than  twenty  thousand  dollars. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  GEORGIA 


247 


Church.1  Muhlenberg  remained  in  Georgia  about  four 
months  to  complete  his  important  work  in  behalf  of  the 
parish  of  St.  Matthew. 

The  Reverend  Mr.  Triebner  was  an  ardent  Tory  during 
the  Revolutionary  War,  and  invited  the  British,  after 
they  had  captured  Savannah,  to  take  possession  of  Eben- 
ezer,  which  lay  on  the  turnpike  between  Savannah  and 
Augusta.  Triebner  probably  carried  a  portion  of  his  small 
congregation  with  him,  but  by  far  the  majority  of  the 
Salzburgers  joined  the  patriotic  cause  and  were  vigorous 
supporters  of  the  party  that  advocated  independence.  This 
will  receive  comment  in  a  later  chapter. 

The  town  of  Ebenezer,  at  about  the  period  of  Muhlen¬ 
berg’s  visit  (1774-75),  had  attained  the  height  of  its  im¬ 
portance.  The  population  numbered  about  five  hundred, 
live  intercourse  was  maintained  with  Savannah  and  other 
towns,  an  export  and  import  trade  of  limited  extent  was 
carried  on  with  Europe,  silk  being  exported  to  Europe  and 
drugs  and  medical  supplies  being  received  from  Germany. 
The  population  increased  rapidly  throughout  the  parish, 
spreading  westward  to  the  Ogeechee  River,  and  remain¬ 
ing  most  numerous  along  the  Savannah  River  between 
Savannah  and  Augusta. 

The  German  settlements  of  the  eighteenth  century  in 
New  England  were  not  numerous,  yet  their  history,  though 
not  of  the  same  importance  as  elsewhere,  is  nevertheless 
of  interest.  The  beginnings  of  German  colonies  in  New 
England  are  associated  with  the  name  of  Waldo.  Jona¬ 
than  Waldo,  of  Swedish  Pomeranian  nobility,  came  to 

1  Cf.  strobe],  p.  180,  where  their  names  are  given.  For  a  list  of  the  names 
of  the  principal  residents  of  Ebenezer  in  1741  (i.  e.,  thirty  years  earlier,  at 
the  beginning  of  the  colony’s  history),  see  Strobel,  p.  112. 


248 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Boston  at  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century  as  the 
agent  of  a  Hamburg  house.  He  rose  to  be  one  of  the 
leading  merchants  of  the  city,  and  his  business  often  took 
him  to  Germany  and  England.  On  one  of  these  trips  a 
son,  Samuel  Waldo,1  was  born  in  London.  Samuel  Waldo 
when  a  young  man  was  sent  to  Harvard  College,  and 
afterwards  to  Germany,  to  complete  his  education.  Like 
Peter  Muhlenberg,  a  generation  later,  he  was  fascinated  by 
the  soldier’s  career,  and  entered  the  Hanoverian  service. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  elector’s  body-guard  when  the  lat¬ 
ter  ascended  the  English  throne  as  George  I,  and  advanced 
to  the  rank  of  major  m  the  English  service,  remaining  in 
London  until  1724,  when  his  father’s  death  called  him  to 
Boston  to  take  charge  of  the  paternal  estate.  On  his  depart¬ 
ure  from  England  he  was  made  a  colonel  of  militia  of  Mass¬ 
achusetts  Bay,  and,  residing  in  Boston,  he  soon  gained  the 
repute  of  energy  and  enterprise  in  business  affairs. 

Samuel  Wkldo  became  interested  in  a  land  speculation 
within  the  piesent  state  of  Mhine,  which  then  was  a  part  of 
the  colony  of  Massachusetts.  Ten  proprietors  —  to  whom 
later  twenty  associates  were  added  —  purchased  lands  on 
the  Muscongus  River,  a  tract  situated  in  the  present  coun¬ 
ties  of  Knox,  Lincoln,  and  Waldo  (Maine).  They  could 
not  get  a  clear  title  from  the  crown,  and  therefore  commis¬ 
sioned  Waldo,  persona  (jvata  at  St.  James’s,  to  represent 
their  interests  in  London.  By  “  untiring  application  at 
court”  Waldo  was  successful  in  adjusting  the  case,  and 
as  a  reward  the  Thirty  Proprietors  surrendered  to  him 
one  half  of  the  Muscongus  Patent.2 

His  mother  was  also  German.  See  Collections  of  the  Maine  Historical 
Society,  series  1,  vol.  ix,  p.  75,  “General  Samuel  Waldo,”  by  Joseph 
Williamson.  Cf.  also,  Eaton’s  Annals  of  Warren,  p.  109,  and  Her  deutsche 
Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  7-9. 

Cf.  Collections  of  Maine  Historical  Society,  series  1,  vol.  vi,  pp.  321-322. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  249 

Waldo  had  his  land  surveyed  in  1732,  and  prepared 
to  colonize  it  at  once.  The  first  settlement  was  made  in 
1736,  principally  by  Scotch-Irishmen  on  St.  George’s 
River,  but  he  wished  to  secure  a  larger  agricultural  popu¬ 
lation.  In  1738  the  enterprising  merchant  went  to  Ger¬ 
many  to  secure  colonists.  Circulars 1  were  distributed  and 
arrangements  made  for  transportation.  In  1740  he  suc¬ 
ceeded  in  inducing  forty  German  families  from  Bruns¬ 
wick  and  Saxony  to  accept  his  imposing  offers  to  settle  in 
the  Broad  Bay  district  of  Maine.2  They  founded  Waldo- 
borough  (Waldoburg)  on  both  sides  of  the  Medomak  River, 
but  led  a  wretched  existence  until  larger  numbers  of  Ger¬ 
man  settlers  joined  them.  They  did  not  understand  the  art 
of  fishing,  which  might  have  saved  many  of  them,  and  they 
complained  much  of  disappointment  in  their  expectations  ; 
for  even  if  the  promises  were  “  kept  to  the  ear,  they 
were  broken  to  the  hope.”  3 

Waldo  found  his  business  affairs  too  engrossing  to  allow 
him  much  time  for  the  colonists.  He  therefore  employed 
an  agent  named  Sebastian  Zauberbiihler  (Zuberbuhler), 
who  had  had  some  experience  in  other  colonies.  The 

1  A  "book  was  printed  subsequently  describing  tbe  new  land,  entitled:  Kurtze 
Beschreibung  derer  Landtschafft  Massachusetts-Bay ,  in  Neu  Engellandt.  Ab- 
sonderlich  des  Landstrichs  an  der  Breyten  Bay,  so  dem  Koniglichen  Britiscken 
Obersten,  Samuel  Waldo,  Erbherrn  des  Breyten  Bay,  zugehorig,  sampt  denen 
Hauptbedingungen  nach  welchen  sick  fremde  Protestanten  daselbsten  ansiedeln 
mogen.  Speyer,  1741.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  p.  10. 

2  The  most  valuable  contribution  to  the  history  of  the  Germans  in  Maine 
has  been  made  by  H.  A.  Rattermann,  who  visited  the  sites  of  the  old  colonies 
and  studied  their  documentary  history;  published  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vols. 
xiv,  xv,  and  xvi  :  “  Geschichte  des  deutschen  Elements  im  Staate  Maine,  deren 
Ursprung,  Entwickelung  u.  Verfall,  vom  Jahre  1739  bis  zur  Gegenwart.” 
The  writer  is  deeply  indebted  also,  for  suggestions  and  corrections,  to  the 
Reverend  Henry  0.  Thayer,  A.M.,  former  secretary  of  the  Maine  Historical 
Society  and  author  of  The  Sagadahoc  Colony,  to  whom  the  manuscript  was 
submitted  for  revision. 

3  Eaton,  Annals  of  Warren,  p.  62. 


250 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


agent  succeeded  in  inducing  from  one  hundred  and  fifty 
to  one  hundred  and  sixty  Germans,  all  that  remained  after 
exasperating  and  costly  delays,  to  cross  the  Atlantic  with 
him  in  August,  1742,  with  the  object  of  settling  on  Waldo’s 
land  in  Maine.  They  were  well  received  at  Marblehead 
near  Boston,  and  Waldo  accompanied  them  to  the  Scotch- 
Irish  settlement  on  St.  George’s  River.  Then  they  sailed 
into  the  mouth  of  the  Medomak  River,  where,  on  the  bay¬ 
like  harbor  called  Broad  Bay,  a  few  log  huts  or  sheds 
marked  the  site  of  their  new  homes.  Zauberbuhler  remained 
with  them  until  December,  to  help  them  in  the  selection 
of  their  lands,  then  went  to  Boston  never  to  be  seen 
by  them  again.1  Waldoborough  2  (Waldoburg)  remained 
the  name  by  which  the  settlement  was  known.  School¬ 
master  John  Ulmer  acted  as  preacher  and  faithful  leader 
of  the  colonists.  The  time  of  year  for  their  arrival  was 
badly  chosen,  for,  though  they  saw  the  Maine  forests 
in  all  the  beauty  of  their  autumnal  foliage,  and  rejoiced  in 
the  experience  of  an  Indian  summer,  a  severe  winter  stood 
before  them,  destined  to  bring  untold  suffering.  They  could 
not  sow  until  spring,  and  supplies,  long  awaited,  had  to 
be  sent  from  Boston.  Log  huts  were  rudely  constructed 
without  windows  or  chimneys ;  unfamiliar  hardships  had 
to  be  endured  before  the  settlement  could  become  habit¬ 
able.  The  few  German  colonists  already  located  there 
could  not  give  much  assistance,  needing  help  themselves  and 
suffering  from  the  fevers  so  common  among  first  settlers. 

1  Sebastian  Zauberbuhler  (in  Massachusetts  official  documents  spelt  Su- 

berbuhler  and  Zouberbuhler)  was  of  Swiss  birth,  and  probably  came  over 
with  John  Pury,  founder  of  Purysburg,  in  1732.  The  latter’s  example  in¬ 
spired  him  to  similar  ventures.  After  leaving  Maine,  Zauberbuhler  re¬ 
appeared  in  Nova  Scotia  as  magistrate  of  Lunenburg.  He  should  not  be 
confounded  with  the  Reverend  Bartholomew  Zauberbuhler  of  Orantrebure- 
South  Carolina.  ’ 

2  The  present  spelling  is  Waldoboro. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  251 


When  the  spring  came,  the  colonists  were  in  such  straits 
that  it  was  impossible  for  them  either  to  better  their  con¬ 
dition  or  migrate.  They  therefore  petitioned  Governor 
Shirley  and  the  assembly  of  Massachusetts,  setting  forth 
their  sufferings  and  begging  that  they  he  taken  out  of  the 
country  and  be  “  employed  in  such  business  as  they  are 
capable  of  for  the  support  of  themselves,  their  wives  and 
children.”  1  The  General  Court  Assembled  had  the  matter 
investigated,  and  their  commission  reported  that  the  com¬ 
plainants  (Dr.  Kast  in  behalf  of  himself  and  his  Palatine 
brethren)  had  suffered  greatly,  and  that,  if  not  soon  re¬ 
lieved,  they  might  “  stand  in  need  of  the  Compassion  of 
this  Government.”  But  since  Waldo  was  absent  from  Bos¬ 
ton,  a  settlement  of  the  matter  was  deferred  until  the  next 
meeting  of  the  court.  The  committee  of  investigation  then 
reported  that  each  party  had  violated  the  contract,  the 
Palatines  in  not  paying  the  passage-money,  Zauberbuhler 
in  not  providing  shipping  in  due  time,  Waldo  in  not  pay¬ 
ing  the  officers’  wages,  etc. ;  and  recommended  that  some 
suitable  person  or  persons  be  appointed  to  settle  their  ac¬ 
counts,  and  that  “  a  sum  of  money  be  granted  to  be  laid  out 
in  provisions  and  clothing  to  help  them  (the  Palatines)  thro’ 
the  winter.”  The  report  was  read  before  the  House  and 
Council  September  17,  1743,  but  was  voted  down,  and 
the  colonists  were  left  to  shift  for  themselves.  The  second 
winter  must  have  been  one  of  even  greater  trials,  since 
the  supplies  of  Waldo  failed  them  after  October,  his  con¬ 
tract  requiring  him  to  serve  them  only  the  first  winter. 
But  this  was  only  the  beginning  of  their  troubles,  and  it 
was  shown  here  even  more  than  elsewhere  that  the  lot  of 
early  colonists  was  not  a  happy  one. 

1  May  25,  1743.  See  Massachusetts  Records  (MS.),  vol.  15  A,  pp.  33  ff. 
Printed  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  95-98  (Eattermann). 


252 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


In  the  following  year  (1744)  war  broke  out  between 
France  and  England,  which  drew  into  its  vortex  the  col¬ 
onies  of  the  Western  Hemisphere  and  threatened  also  the 
insecure  foundations  of  the  German  settlement  in  Maine. 
In  the  spring  of  1745  an  expedition  was  made  against  the 
French  fort,  Louisbourg,  the  “  Gibraltar  of  America,”  on 
Cape  Breton  Island,  Nova  Scotia.  The  force  was  under 
the  command  of  William  Peppered.  Samuel  Waldo,  brig¬ 
adier-general,  was  third  in  command  of  the  New  England 
forces,  and  rendered  conspicuous  service.1  A  large  German 
contingent  was  enlisted  under  the  captaincy  of  Johannes 
Ulmer,  “  priest,  prince,  and  military  commander.”  2  Those 
of  Waldoboro  who  did  not  accompany  the  expedition  went 
for  protection  to  the  forts  on  the  Pemaquid  and  St. 
George’s  rivers,  and  after  the  successful  termination  of 
the  campaign  returned  to  their  settlements. 

The  Indians,  heretofore  peaceable,  had  become  dissatis¬ 
fied  because  of  the  increase  in  the  number  of  colonists 
and  their  taking  possession  of  territory  above  the  Falls 
of  St.  George.  For  a  time  they  were  bought  off  with  pre¬ 
sents,  and  it  seemed  as  if  the  German  settlements,  friendly 
to  the  red  men,  would  be  spared.  But  the  quiet  proved 
to  be  only  the  lull  before  the  storm.  The  new  war  had 
changed  conditions  entirely,  and  the  Indians  were  plan¬ 
ning  the  extermination  of  the  white  settlers.  On  the 
morning  of  the  twenty-first  of  May,  1746,  they  surprised 
the  peaceful  settlement  of  Waldoboro  and  destroyed  it 
entirely,  only  a  few  of  the  colonists  escaping,  making 
their  way  to  neighboring  blockhouse  forts  or  to  Louis¬ 
bourg,  where  they  remained  until  the  end  of  the  war.  In 
spite  of  this  terrible  setback,  the  survivors  returned  in 

1  Collections,  Maine  Historical  Society,  series  1,  vol.  ix,  p.  82. 

2  Eaton’s  Warren,  p.  175. 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  253 


1748,  after  the  peace  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  order  to  build 
up  their  village  again.  Waldo  made  strenuous  efforts  to 
get  new  colonists.  He  succeeded  in  bringing  about  twenty 
or  thirty  families  of  German  immigrants  from  Philadel¬ 
phia,  and  thus  infused  new  life  into  Waldoboro.  Grist-mills 
and  saw-mills  were  erected,  and  soon  also  a  church  spire 
pointed  skyward  to  mark  the  progress  of  the  colony. 

About  the  same  time  the  government  of  Massachusetts 
became  cognizant  of  the  advantages  which  other  colonies, 
particularly  Pennsylvania,  had  gained  through  German 
immigration.  When  Joseph  Crellius  1  in  1750  presented 
a  memorial  to  the  General  Court  of  Massachusetts,  pro¬ 
posing  to  bring  over  German  Protestants,  providing  they 
could  be  given  sufficient  inducements,  Lieutenant-Governor 
Spencer  Pliips  used  his  influence  in  support  of  the  plan, 
urging  that  “they  [the  Protestants]  would  introduce 
many  useful  manufactures  and  arts.” 2  In  1749  the 
General  Court  of  Massachusetts  appropriated  four  town¬ 
ships  for  the  accommodation  of  foreign  Protestants,  two 
in  the  eastern  and  two  in  the  western  part  of  the  province. 
Two  of  the  townships  were  located  in  the  extreme  north¬ 
western  part,  near  Fort  Massachusetts,  west  of  the  Con¬ 
necticut  River,  in  what  is  now  Franklin  County,  and 
extending  into  Vermont.  The  area  included  the  present 


1  Crellius  (or  Crell,  born  in  Franconia)  came  from  Philadelphia,  where 
for  a  time  he  had  published  the  second  German  newspaper  in  America,  Das 
hochdeutsche  Pennsylvania  Journal  (1743),  and  translated  into  German 
Benjamin  Franklin’s  Plain  Truth .  Through  his  journalistic  work  he  prob¬ 
ably  became  acquainted  with  the  publishing  house  of  Luther  in  Frankfort- 
011-the-Main.  He  was  also  interested  in  immigration  schemes,  and  in  1748 
induced  a  shipload  of  immigrants,  that  he  had  conducted  to  Philadelphia,  to 
accept  Waldo’s  offers  to  settle  in  Maine.  Seeing  great  profits  in  the  venture, 
he  then  decided  to  deal  directly  with  the  Massachusetts  government,  and 
offered,  his  services.  See  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  142  If. 

2  Williamson,  History  of  Maine,  vol.  ii,  p.  285. 


254 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


towns  of  Adamsville,  Beaver  Meadow,  Bernardstown, 
Coleraine,  Leyden,  West  Northfield,  and  Shattuckville. 
Adamsdorf,  Bernardsdorf,  and  Leyden  are  names  that 
date  back  to  the  German  settlements. 

The  other  two  townships  were  to  be  located  far  east 
(in  the  extreme  western  part  of  Maine,  the  present  Cum¬ 
berland  County),  from  “  Sebago  Pond  to  the  head  of 
Benirck.”  Crellius  was  to  be  granted  a  reserve  of  two 
hundred  acres  in  each  township,  provided  he  imported 
and  settled  one  hundred  and  twenty  Protestants  in  each 
township  within  three  years.1  He  was  not  able  to  carry 
out  the  conditions,  and  therefore  the  grants  were  revoked, 
but  he  succeeded  in  bringing  over  a  number  of  families 
who  settled  in  various  localities.  None  went  to  the  Sebago 
Lake  region,  and  not  until  after  three  years  had  elapsed 
did  some  settle  around  Fort  Massachusetts.  It  is  probable 
that  Crellius  had  previously  sold  his  claims  in  Maine  to 
the  Plymouth  Company  (“  The  Company  of  the  Kenne¬ 
bec  Purchase”). 

Crellius,  in  his  numerous  advertisements,  not  onlv  de¬ 
clared  himself  to  be  the  authorized  agent  of  the  Massa¬ 
chusetts  Bay  Colony,  but  also  implied  that  the  British 
government  was  supporting  his  ventures.  This  called  out 
a  denial,  and  antagonized  a  host  of  other  agents,  interested 
in  the  immigrations  to  Pennsylvania,  Carolina,  and  Nova 
Scotia.  Mutual  criminations  and  recriminations  resulted, 
which  could  not  but  discredit  all  parties  and  open  the 
eyes  of  the  rulers  of  German  principalities  to  the  nefarious 
practices  of  the  “  newlanders.”  To  Crellius  belongs  the 
credit  of  advocating  an  act  passed  by  the  Massachusetts 
House  of  Representatives  in  1750,  the  first  of  its  kind, 

1  Massachusetts  Records  (MS.),  vol.15  A,  pp.  49-51;  January  25,  1749. 
Printed  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  p.  177  (Rattermann). 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  255 


“  regulating  the  Importation  of  German  and  other  Pas¬ 
sengers,”  preventing  crowding  and  other  abuses.1  Crellius 
thought  to  gain  an  advantage  thereby,  but  the  result  was 
that  the  ship-companies,  their  profits  being  interfered  with, 
refused  to  let  their  vessels  go  to  the  Massachusetts  colony. 
A  most  valiant  battle  for  reform  was  fought  by  Hofrat 
Heinrich  Ehrenfried  Luther,  of  Frankfort-on-the-Main, 
who  sought  to  legitimize  German  emigration  by  getting 
the  several  American  colonial  governments  to  control  the 
transportation  and  settlement  of  colonists,  and  to  assume 
responsibility  for  their  safety.2  Thereby  the  emigrants 
would  have  been  rescued  from  the  clutch  of  the  new- 
landers  and  ship-companies.  The  latter  saw  their  danger, 
and  fought  successfully  against  the  ruin  of  their  profitable 
trade.  Luther  for  some  time  supported  Crellius,  until  the 
latter  proved  to  be  engaged  in  the  emigrant  traffic  solely 
for  his  own  pecuniary  advantage,  no  better  than  other 
newlanders.3 

Crellius  succeeded  by  the  spring  of  1751,  with  the  aid 
of  Luther,  in  getting  together  twenty  or  thirty  families 
in  two  transports  and  taking  them  down  the  Rhine  to 
Rotterdam.  There  and  in  London  his  enemies  did  all  they 
could  to  prevent  his  procuring  ships,  but  he  finally  suc¬ 
ceeded,  after  many  delays,  in  carrying  his  people  across 
the  Atlantic.  They  stopped  two  weeks  in  Boston,  and  in 
December,  1757,  some  proceeded  on  the  frigate  of  the 
province  to  new  homes  on  the  Kennebec  River.  On  the 
left  bank  of  the  river,  about  twenty  miles  from  its  mouth, 
they  founded  Frankfort  (now  Dresden).  Their  land  lay 

1  Massachusetts  Records  (MS.),  vol.  15  A,  pp.  52-55.  Printed  in  Der 
deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  177—179  (Rattermann). 

2  See,  e.  g.,  the  letter  of  Luther  to  Lieutenant-Governor  Phips  of  Massa¬ 
chusetts,  MS.  Records,  pp.  G7-80  ;  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  179-187. 

3  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  428-429. 


256 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


twelve  to  fifteen  miles  directly  west  of  Waldoboro,  having 
for  its  eastern  border  the  Sheepscott  River,  and  being  a 
part  of  the  territory  held  by  the  Plymouth  Company.  A 
large  number  of  the  settlers  of  Frankfort  were  from 
the  borderland  of  Germany  and  France,  and  French  Pro¬ 
testants  were  accordingly  numerous  among  the  original 
settlers.  The  settlement,  though  German  in  name,  seems 
not  to  have  been  purely  German  like  Waldoboro.1 

A  portion  of  the  German  colonists  whom  Crellius 
brought  over,  in  1753  located  on  the  western  frontier  of 
Massachusetts,  near  Fort  Massachusetts.  The  later  date 
is  explained  by  their  coming  over  as  redemption ers,  there¬ 
fore  being  obliged  to  serve  several  years  to  pay  off  the 
cost  of  their  transportation.  When  this  period  was  over, 
they  settled  in  the  region  described  above,  and  others 
following  them,  they  founded  several  villages,  among  them 
Leydensdorf,  to  commemorate  the  trials  of  their  passage 
over  the  sea  and  their  servitude  on  land.2 


Nova  Scotia  had  received  a  large  number  of  German 
immigrants  through  the  activity  of  John  Dick  of  Rotter¬ 
dam  and  his  sub-agent  Kohler  in  Frankfort.  They  suc¬ 
ceeded  in  deflecting  a  strong  current  of  German  settlers 
who  would  otherwise  have  gone  to  Pennsylvania  and 
Carolina.  Almost  an  entire  brigade  of  Brunswick-Lune- 
burg  troops,  who  had  come  to  America  in  the  English 
service,  settled  in  Nova  Scotia  on  government  invitation 
and  hbei al  oilers  of  land.3  Lunenburg  (in  the  earliest 

Cf.  Collections  of  the  Maine  Historical  Society,  series  1,  vol.  viii  dd 

213b-i14ff^ni,lliam  G°Uld);  alS0  ibid-’  SerieS  2>  vo1'  b  PP-  313  ff-  and  vol.  iii’ 
pp.  3ol  ff.  (Charles  P.  Allen). 

Another  explanation  of  the  name  Leydensdorf  or  Leyden  would  be  that 
there  were  some  Dutch  settlers  among  them,  who  named  the  town  after  the 
•  Dutch  city  of  Leyden. 

t  3  iTie  ,pl,an  °.f  0fferins  land  in  Nova  Scotia  to  soldiers  was  originated  by 
or<  a  ifax,  in  1749.  See  Der  deutsche  Pionicr,  vol.  xiv,  pp.  148-149  (Rat 
termann).  v 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  257 


church  records  appearing  with  the  German  spelling,  Lune- 
burg),  the  second  oldest  county  of  Nova  Scotia,  bordering 
on  Halifax  (the  oldest),  was  settled  by  them  and  many 
shiploads  of  Germans  and  “foreign  Protestants.”  The  first 
group,  of  one  hundred  and  thirty  persons,  embarked  at 
Rotterdam  in  the  good  ship  Anne,  John  Spurrier,  master, 
and  arrived  at  Halifax  in  1750.  Between  this  first  date 
and  1753  large  accessions  were  brought  over  in  the  Pearl, 
Gale,  Sally,  Betty,  Murdoch,  Swan,  and  other  ships, 
bringing  the  total  number  of  immigrants  to  1615, 1  mainly 
Germans,  with  a  sprinkling  of  French  and  Scotch  Protest¬ 
ants.  Prominent  men  in  the  earliest  days  of  the  town  of 
Lunenburg  were  the  Germans  Leonard  Christoph  Rudolf 
(judge  and  assemblyman),  Dettlieb  Christoph  Jessen  (just¬ 
ice  of  the  peace),  Sebastian  Zouberbiililer  (magistrate),2 
Captain  John  Rouse  (whose  name  lives  in  Rouse’s  Buckel, 
the  “Plymouth  Rock  of  Lunenburg”),  and  Caspar  Wol- 
lenhaupt  (whose  name  appears  as  a  signer  of  the  mort¬ 
gage  upon  the  town  of  Lunenburg  exacted  by  American 
privateersmen,  when  they  brand-s chatzed  the  town  in 
1782). 3  In  the  list  of  land  grants  of  1761  more  than  nine 
tenths  of  about  two  hundred  names  appear  to  be  German.4 
A  contemporary  local  historian5  estimates  that  the  German 

1  M.  B.  Des  Brisay,  History  of  the  County  of  Lunenburg,  p.  23.  (Toronto, 
1895.) 

2  He  had  been  Waldo’s  first  agent.  When  Zonherbiihler  died,  in  1773,  he 
seems  to  have  been  quite  wealthy.  His  estate  and  the  effects  of  his  daughter, 
on  her  death,  are  inventoried  in  Des  Brisay,  pp.  57-59. 

3  Cf.  Agnes  Creighton  :  “  Relics  of  the  History  of  Lunenburg  ”  (paper  read 
before  the  Canadian  Historical  Society);  also  by  the  same  author  :  “A  Plea 
for  Remembrance,”  Acadiensis,  vol.  vii,  no.  1,  January,  1907  (containing 
copies  of  inscriptions  on  tombstones  of  old  Lunenburg  settlers,  church  re¬ 
cords,  etc.). 

4  They  are  published  in  Des  Brisay,  pp.  69-72. 

6  The  author  of  “  Relics  of  the  History  of  Lunenburg,”  to  whom  and  to 
Professor  Archibald  MacMechan  of  Dalhousie  College,  Nova  Scotia,  I  am 
deeply  indebted  for  suggestions,  and  answers  to  my  queries. 


258 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


element  of  the  present  day  in  Lunenburg  County  is  about 
one  half,  in  the  city  of  Halifax  about  one  tenth  of  the 
total  population.  The  latter  is  a  conservative  estimate 
and  pei haps  disregards  the  fact  that  a  large  number  of 
Geunans  took  a  prominent  part  in  the  early  settlement 
of  Halifax.  In  1753  the  immigration  to  Nova  Scotia  was 
checked  by  the  English  government,  after  an  investigation 
which  showed  that  more  immigrants  had  been  sent  there 
than  the  country  could  support,  and  that  therefore  unde¬ 
sirable  conditions  of  poverty  and  disease  resulted,  giving 
good  cause  for  complaint  on  the  part  of  the  colonists. 
The  testimony  of  greatest  influence  was  that  given  by 
Colonel  Edward  Cornwallis,  up  to  that  time  governor  of 
the  province. 

The  checking  of  the  immigration  to  Nova  Scotia  was 
advantageous  for  the  New  England  settlements.  Waldo 
now  strained  his  efforts  to  make  the  best  of  the  oppor¬ 
tunity,  advertising  in  England,  Scotland,  and  Germany.1 
Exactly  how  far  he  was  successful,  we  do  not  know.  He 
went  to  Germany  in  person,  accompanied  by  his  son.  The 
father  was  received  as  a  distinguished  man  at  many  of  the 
small  German  courts,  and  from  some  of  them  he  gained 
permission  to  advertise  for  immigrants.  In  other  princi¬ 
palities  such  privileges  were  withdrawn  by  legal  action, 
the  result,  perhaps,  of  the  controversies  among  the  new- 
landers..  Waldo  left  his  son  in  charge  of  an  immigration 
bureau  in  Frankfort-on-the-Main,  where  he  lived  at  the 
house  of  Luther.  Count  Nassau  was  one  who  favored  the 
plans  of  Waldo  and  even  appointed  an  agent,  Karl  Leist- 
ner,  who  should  accompany  the  colonists  to  America  and 
see  to  their  wants.  Leistner,  reported  to  be  a  man  of  edu- 


1  Waldo’s  circular  is  published  in  an  English  translation  : 
the  Maine  Historical  Society ,  series  1,  vol.  vi,  pp.  325-332 


Collections  of 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  259 


cation,  gathered  together  about  sixty  families  in  the  moun¬ 
tainous  districts  of  the  Taunus,  and  brought  them  to  the 
Broad  Bay  settlements.  This  was  in  all  probability  a  later 
group  than  that  reported  by  the  “Annals  of  Warren” 
(1753) 1  to  have  been  housed  in  a  shed  unfit  for  habitation, 
many  freezing  to  death,  or  dying  of  diseases  induced  by 
privations,  many  of  the  newcomers  being  “fain  to  work 
for  a  quart  of  buttermilk  a  day,”  or  “  considered  it  a  boon 
when  they  could  gain  a  quart  of  meal  for  a  day’s  labor.” 
Certainly  under  Leistner’s  magistracy  conditions  changed, 
and  many  families  of  local  distinction  sprang  from  the 
immigration  of  1753.  Joseph  Ludwig  was  a  prosperous 
agriculturist,  Peter  Mtihler  (Miller)  built  a  house  “  distin¬ 
guished  among  its  neighbors,”  and  George  Varner  (Wer¬ 
ner)  built  a  grist-mill  partly  in  his  own,  partly  in  Waldo’s 
interest.2  A  meeting-house  was  built  in  1760,  dedicated 
in  1763  (Eaton).  A  church  fifty  by  seventy  feet,  with  a 
gallery,  probably  dating  from  1790,  still  stands  in  good 
preservation,  and  a  commemorative  service  is  held  in  it 
every  summer  (Thayer). 

As  a  result  of  natural  growth  and  the  work  of  recruit¬ 
ing  colonists  abroad,  the  settlements  in  Maine,  at  Broad 
Bay  and  on  the  Kennebec,  spread  over  a  wider  area,  the 
village  later  known  as  Bremen  being  an  offshoot  of  Wal- 
doboro,  and  Fort  Frankfort  (also  called  Fort  Shirley) 
spreading  over  the  settlement  Dresden  and  later  taking 
that  name.3  After  the  death  of  Waldo  the  rights  of.  the 
settlers  on  his  own  estate  (not  the  claims  of  the  colonists 
of  Frankfort)  and  on  the  lower  Kennebec  became  a  mat¬ 
ter  of  dispute.  About  fifty  to  sixty  families  in  the  year 

1  See  Eaton’s  Annals  of  Warren,  p.  82. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  83. 

3  The  fact  that  the  final  name,  adopted  in  1794,  was  Dresden,  again  seems 
to  indicate  a  strong  German  population. 


260 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


1763  bought  their  land  a  second  time  from  the  supposed 
rightful  owners  ;  then  it  was  found  that  still  another  party 
had  older  claims.  Wearied  of  these  experiences,  a  number 
of  the  German  colonists  sold  their  land  and  claims  at  a 
low  figure,  about  1770-73,  and  migrated  to  the  settle¬ 
ments  of  their  countrymen  in  the  Orangeburg  district, 
South  Carolina,  whence  had  come  enthusiastic  reports. 
Some  returned  subsequently,  making  a  settlement  with 
the  proprietors,  and  “  were  received  with  open  hearts  and 
arms.”  1 

One  other  settlement  in  Massachusetts,  little  known, 
but  of  much  interest,  was  caused  indirectly  by  the  others! 
Germans  who  were  destined  for  the  Massachusetts  colonies, 
in  the  east  or  west,  frequently  remained  in  Boston,  serving 
their  time  as  redemptioners,  or  tarrying  for  good  reasons 
before  selecting  a  permanent  abode.  In  this  way,  quite  a 
number  had  in  course  of  time  settled  down  as  gardeners 
or  truck-farmers  in  the  neighborhood  of  Boston.  There 
were  some  merchants  also,  commonly  North  Germans  from 
Hamburg,  who  remained  in  or  near  Boston,  and  like  the 
farmers  were  industrious,  thrifty  people,  who  gained  the 
respect  of  the  English  population.  The  good  impression 
the  German  settlers  had  made  matured  a  plan  in  the  minds 
of  some  Boston  promoters,  to  establish  a  German  town  near 
Boston  ;  others  interested  were  Waldo  and  the  Kennebec 
proprietors,  who  welcomed  a  station  from  which  they  might 
diaw  settlers  for  their  colonies.  The  result  was  the  founda¬ 
tion  of  (New)  Germantown  about  ten  miles  south  of  Bos¬ 
ton  (in  the  present  neighborhood  of  Braintree,  Quincy). 
On  August  21,  1750,  the  ship  Thomas  brought  a  great 

'  Collections  of  the  Maine  Historical  Society ,  series  1,  vol.  v,  pp.  403-406 
Germans  m  Waldoborougb,”  by  the  Reverend  Mr.  Starman.  He  estimates 
at  about  fifteen  hundred  German  immigrants  settled  at  Broad  Bay  (p 
404).  He  gives  an  account  also  of  the  churches  and  ministers  of  Waldoboro.' 


SETTLEMENTS  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  261 


number  of  Germans  to  settle  in  New  Germantown.1  Some 
immigrants  arrived  in  1757,  and  twelve  families  engaged 
to  go  to  the  Germantown  glassworks,  for  the  settlement 
distinguished  itself  by  establishing  various  manufactures. 
Undoubtedly  some  of  the  families  brought  over  by  Crel- 
lius,  in  1751,  settled  there,  and  it  was  reported  that  in  the 
following  year  over  one  hundred  houses  had  been  built.2 
Benjamin  Franklin,  then  a  printer  of  Philadelphia,  bought 
eight  building  lots  in  the  village,  in  1751,  proving  that 
he  had  considerable  faith  in  the  future  of  New  German¬ 
town.3  In  1757  twenty  names  represent  those  liable  to 
military  duty,  and  in  many  ways  Germantown  seemed  a 
rival  of  Waldoboro.  But  by  1760  the  manufacturing  en¬ 
terprises  of  Germantown  seem  to  have  declined  or  failed, 
the  colony  broke  up,  and  a  large  part  went  to  the  Broad 
Bay  settlements  in  Maine. 

It  lias  frequently  been  affirmed  that  the  inhabitants  of 
Waldoboro  and  the  parts  where  the  old  German  settle¬ 
ments  of  Maine  were  located,  have  preserved  many  traits 
distinct  from  the  surrounding  Yankee  element.  That 
would  be  a  surprising  phenomenon  in  a  locality  where 
intermarriages  have  been  so  very  frequent.  A  correspond¬ 
ent,4  well  acquainted  with  Waldoboro,  judges,  however, 
that  by  conservative  estimate  ninety  per  cent  of  the  pop¬ 
ulation  are  of  German  descent.  V ery  common  names  are 
such  as:  Schenck,  Schwartz,  Benner,  Kaler,  Waltz,  Born- 
heimer,  Ludwig,  Creamer  (Kramer),  Kuhn,  Hahn,  Hoffses, 
Schuman.  As  late  as  1840  sermons  in  German  were  occa- 

1  Frankfurter  Ober-Post-Amts-Zg.  no.  140,  August  31,  1751,  quoted  in 
J)er  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xv,  pp.  208-210.  See  also  Frankfurter  Ober-Post- 
Amts-Zg.,  no.  98,  June  19,  1/52,  etc. 

2  This  statement  is  contained  in  an  advertisement  in  a  German  paper,  and 
•s  probably  extravagant. 

3  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xv,  p.  209. 

<  For  this  information  I  am  indebted  to  the  Keverend  Henry  O.  Thayer. 


262 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


sionally  heard  in  the  church  o£  Waldoboro.1  During  the 
Revolutionary  War  the  Maine  Germans  were  heartily  pa¬ 
triotic.  When  to  their  great  indignation  their  Tory  min¬ 
ister  refused  to  read  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  a 
layman,  A.  Schenck,  translated  and  read  it  to  the  people. 

The  foregoing  chapter  intended  to  show  that  even  at 
the  extremities  of  the  American  colonies,  Georgia  and 
Maine  (Massachusetts),  the  Germans  took  firm  root  early 
in  the  eighteenth  century,  almost  at  the  time  of  the  forma¬ 
tion  of  those  colonies.  Geographically  Ebenezer  and  Wald¬ 
oboro  are  the  Alpha  and  Omega  in  the  history  of  the 
German  element  before  the  period  of  the  Revolution. 

(  Judge  Groton’s  statement,  Collections  of  the  Maine  Historical  Society, 

series  1,  vol.  v,  pp.  403-411. 


CHAPTER  X 


THE  LOCATION  OF  THE  GERMAN  SETTLERS  BEFORE  1775; 
THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER ;  AND  AN  ESTIMATE 
OF  THEIR  NUMBERS 

The  location  of  the  Germans  before  the  Revolution  marked  by  counties 
(present  boundaries)  —  Two  facts  impress  themselves:  (1)  that  the 
Germans  occupied  the  best  farming-lands  and  (2)  that  they  were  almost 
directlv  on  the  frontier  from  Maine  to  Georgia  —  Their  defense  of  the 
frontier  ;  on  the  Mohawk  ;  and  during  the  French  and  Indian  War — • 
The  services  of  Conrad  Weiser  and  Christian  Frederick  Post,  as  envoys 
to  the  Indians,  etc.  —  An  estimate  of  the  number  of  settlers  of  German 
blood  in  the  thirteen  colonies  in  1775. 

To  see  at  a  glance  the  location  of  the  German  settlements 
before  the  Revolution,  a  map  has  been  prepared  (follow¬ 
ing  this  page),  based  upon  a  study  of  the  population  by 
counties,  according  to  their  present  boundaries,  that  were 
inhabited  by  Germans.1  As  far  as  our  present  sources  of 
information  tell  us,  the  counties  inhabited  by  Germans 
were  as  follows :  In  the  province  of  Massachusetts,  the 
counties  of  Lincoln,  Knox,  Waldo,  of  the  present  state  of 
Maine  ;  and  the  county  of  Franklin,  in  the  northwestern 
part  of  the  state  of  Massachusetts.  In  the  province  of 
New  York  the  Germans  inhabited  portions  of  Dutchess, 
Ulster,  Columbia,  and  Greene  counties  along  the  Hudson  ; 
Schoharie,  and  the  counties  along  the  Mohawk,  Montgom¬ 
ery,  Fulton,  Herkimer,  and  portions  of  Oneida,  Saratoga, 

1  Where  the  population  was  about  one  half  (or  more)  German,  the  shad¬ 
ing  is  dark  ;  where  about  one  third,  a  lighter  shade  appears.  If  a  German 
population  existed  less  than  one  third,  but  still  of  importance  and  influence, 
the  shading  is  faint. 


264 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  Schenectady.  The  German  counties  of  Pennsylvania, 
exclusive  of  Philadelphia,  were  Montgomery,  Berks,  Lan¬ 
caster,  Lehigh,  Lebanon,  Dauphin,  York,  Chester,  North¬ 
ampton,  Monroe,  Cumberland,  and  Adams;  of  Maryland 
they  were  Baltimore,  Frederick,  Washington,  and  (in  part) 
Carroll  counties.  New  Jersey  was  thickly  settled  by  Ger¬ 
mans  in  Hunterdon,  Somerset,  Morris,  less  so  in  Sussex, 
Passaic,  Essex,  and  (in  the  southern  part)  Salem  counties. 
All  the  counties  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia  had  strong  Ger¬ 
man  populations;  in  West  Virginia,  Jefferson,  Berkeley, 
and  Morgan  counties ;  in  Virginia,  Clarke,  Frederick,  War¬ 
ren,  Shenandoah,  Page,  Rockingham ;  also,  though  fewer 
in  number,  Augusta,  Rockbridge,  Bath,  Botetourt,  Mont¬ 
gomery,  Wythe,  and  others.  East  of  the  mountains  in 
Virginia  the  following  counties  :  Madison,  Fauquier,  Rap¬ 
pahannock,  Loudoun,  Prince  William,  Albemarle,  Greene, 
Louisa,  and  Orange ;  scattered  settlements  existed  in  the 
Isle  of  Wight  and  Henrico  counties,  and  elsewhere.  In 
the  Alleghanies  Germans  had  located  in  the  counties  of 
Hampshire,  Mineral,  Hardy,  Grant,  Pendleton,  all  in 
West  Virginia,  along  Patterson  Creek,  and  the  South 
Branch  of  the  Potomac.  In  North  Carolina  the  westerly 
counties,  then  on  the  frontier,  along  the  Yadkin  and 
Catawba  rivers,  viz.,  Davidson,  Stanly,  Cabarrus,  Rowan, 
Iredell,  Catawba,  and  Lincoln  were  populated  by  Germans 
from  Pennsylvania;  the  counties  of  Forsyth  and  Stokes 
were  settled  by  German  Moravians;  earlier  settlements 
existed  on  the  seacoast,  in  Craven  (Newberti)  and  Bruns¬ 
wick  (Wilmington)  counties.  German  settlers  in  South 
Carolina  filled  the  counties  of  Orangeburg  and  Lexing¬ 
ton;  portions  of  Barnwell,  Newberry,  Abbeville,  Fairfield, 
Richland,  Edgefield,  Beaufort  (Purysburg),  and  Charles¬ 
ton.  In  Georgia  the  Germans  were  most  numerous  in 


LOCATION  OF  SETTLERS  BEFORE  1775  265 


Effingham  County,  spreading  along  the  Savannah  River 
into  Screven,  Burke,  and  Chatham  counties,  i.  e.,  between 
Savannah  and  Augusta. 

As  we  study  on  the  map  the  location  of  the  Germans 
before  the  Revolution,  two  facts  impress  themselves.  In 
the  first  place,  the  Germans  were  in  possession  of  most 
of  the  best  land  for  farming  purposes.  They  had  cultivated 
the  great  limestone  areas  reaching  from  northeast  to 
southwest,  the  most  fertile  lands  in  the  colonies.  The 
middle  sections  of  Pennsylvania  were  in  their  possession, 
those  which  became  the  granary  of  the  colonies  in  the 
coming  Revolutionary  War,  and  subsequently  the  founda¬ 
tion  of  the  financial  prosperity  of  the  new  nation.  The 
Shenandoah  and  Mohawk  valleys  were  the  rivals  of  the 
farm-lands  of  Pennsylvania,  while  the  German  counties  of 
North  and  South  Carolina  pushed  them  hard  for  agricul¬ 
tural  honors.  The  Germans  in  these  sections  supplanted  all 
other  nationalities  through  their  superior  industry,  skill,  and 
material  resources  acquired  through  habits  of  economy. 

Even  before  the  Revolution  the  value  of  the  midland 
Pennsylvania  counties  as  provision-houses  for  armies  was 
recognized  by  the  following  incident.  In  1758  an  army  was 
raised  for  the  taking  of  Fort  Duquesne,  near  which  Brad- 
dock  had  met  disaster  three  years  before.  The  question 
arose  whether  the  army  starting  from  Pennsylvania  should 
go  straight  through  the  woods,  hewing  a  new  road,  or 
should  march  thirty-four  miles  southwestwardly  to  Fort 
Cumberland  in  Maryland  and  thence  follow  the  road  made 
by  Braddock.  It  was  in  accordance  with  the  interests  of 
Pennsylvania  that  the  new  road  be  made,  while  Virginia 
was  unwilling  to  see  a  highway  cut  for  her  rival  that  would 
lead  into  the  rich  lands  of  the  Ohio,  claimed  by  Virginia. 
Washington,  who  was  then  at  Fort  Cumberland  with  a 


266 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


part  of  his  regiment,  earnestly  advocated  taking  the  old 
road,  while  the  quartermaster-general,  Sir  William  Sin¬ 
clair,  advised  in  favor  of  the  Pennsylvania  route.  The 
generals  in  command,  Forbes  and  Bouquet,  decided  for 
a  particular  reason  to  take  the  straight  course.  “It  was 
shorter  and  when  once  made  would  furnish  readier  and 
more  abundant  supplies  of  food  and  forage ;  but  to 
make  it  would  consume  a  vast  amount  of  time  and  labor.” 1 
As  later  events  proved,  it  was  not  British  success  in  battle, 
but  mainly  the  advantage  of  position,  the  possibility  of 
getting  supplies  and  holding  out  longer,  advantages  be¬ 
yond  the  reach  of  the  French,  that  forced  the  latter  to 
evacuate  Fort  Duquesne.2 

The  second  striking  fact  which  impresses  itself  in  a 
study  of  the  map  is  the  occupancy  by  the  German  settlers 
of  almost  the  entire  frontier  area  from  Maine  to  Georgia. 
On  the  accompanying  map  the  frontier  has  been  indicated 
by  a  line  representing  the  farthest  points  of  settlement 
toward  the  west.  Sometimes  forts  aided  in  determining 
the  position  of  the  line.3  The  farms  of  settlers  generally 

1  Partman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  ii,  p.  134.  (Boston,  1901.)  Bouquet 
did  justice  to  Colonel  Washington,  writing  to  Forbes  :  “  Colonel  Washington 
is  tilled  with  a  sincere  zeal  to  aid  the  expedition,  and  is  ready  to  march  with 
equal  activity  by  whatever  way  you  choose.” 

2  In  actual  fighting  the  French  and  Indians  had  the  better  of  it,  —  witness 
tliG  clpfcafc  of  Grant  and  Ins  Scotch  Highlanders. 

3  1  lie  task  of  drawing  the  frontier  line  was  one  of  considerable  difficulty. 
Contemporary  maps  were  used  to  determine  its  position,  such  as  those  found 
in  William  Russell,  The  History  of  America  (London,  1778)  ;  and  Thomas 
Jeffreys  (geographer  to  the  king),  The  American  Atlas;  ora  Geographical 
Description  of  the  xohole  Continent  of  America  (London,  1778).  The  frontier  line, 
as  drawn  on  the  map,  follows  the  one  hundred-foot  line  (U.  S.  Map,  Geo¬ 
logical  Survey)  of  the  coast  of  Maine,  extending  with  it  up  the  Penobscot 
and  Kennebec  rivers,  and  retreating  again  toward  the  coast  ;  when  the  pre¬ 
sent  boundary  of  Maine  and  New  Hampshire  is  reached,  it  is  made  to  ex¬ 
tend  due  west  to  Stevens’s  Fort  on  the  Connecticut  (about  midway  between 
the  forty-third  and  forty-fourth  parallels) ;  then  northwestward  on  the  path 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER  26T 


did  not  reach  the  forts;  the  forts,  therefore,  represent 
outposts  beyond  which  the  settlements  did  not  go. 

The  credit  for  defending  the  American  frontier  has 
very  commonly  been  accorded  to  the  Scotch  and  Irish 
settlers.1  From  the  map  here  presented,  based  upon  a 
careful  study  of  the  location  of  the  German  settlers,  it 
appears  that  the  Scotch  and  Irish  could  not  have  had  a 
larg-er  share  in  the  defense  of  the  frontier  than  the  Ger- 
mans,  when  the  whole  extent  of  the  frontier  line  is  consid¬ 
ered.  In  New  England  the  English  element  no  doubt 
stood  the  brunt  of  the  Indian  attacks.  In  New  York  the 
Mohawk  and  Schoharie  regions,  so  largely  inhabited  by 
Germans,  were  pushed  out  farthest  into  the  territory  of  the 
Six  Nations.  In  Pennsylvania  the  Germans  shared  with 
the  Scotch  and  Irish  the  distinction  of  defending  the  per¬ 
manent  settlements  of  the  midland  counties.  In  Maryland 
there  were  no  Scotch  and  Irish  farther  west  than  the  Ger¬ 
man  settlers  of  Washington  County,  except  perhaps  in 
isolated  instances  (as  that  of  Cresap).  In  Virginia  the 
Germans  were  more  numerous  than  any  other  element,  in 

to  Crown  Point  at  the  southern  end  of  Lake  Champlain  ;  then  southward  to 
Fort  George  (Fort  William  Henry)  and  to  Saratoga  ;  from  that  point  west¬ 
ward  to  the  farthest  limit,  Fort  Stanwix  (now  Rome) ;  then  the  line  re¬ 
treats  to  Cherry  Valley  and  farther  eastward  some  distance  ;  then  south- 
westward  to  Port  Jervis  ;  southwestward  again  to  Fort  Penn  (Stroudsburg), 
and  westward  to  Fort  Augusta  (Sunbury)  on  the  Susquehanna  ;  then  ex¬ 
tending  along  the  edge  of  the  Blue  Ridge  (Puscarora  Mountains)  to  the 
Potomac,  following  this  river  to  Fort  Cumberland  ;  thence  the  line  runs 
southwestward  along  the  Alleghany  mountain-range  to  a  little  east  of  the 
point  where  the  present  boundaries  of  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  meet 
Virginia  ;  from  that  point  the  line  passes  southwestward  to  the  point  where 
the  Catawba  River  cuts  the  boundary  of  Rorth  and  South  Carolina  (at  the 
western  boundary  of  Mecklenburg  County,  N.  C.)  ;  thence  southwestward 
to  Fort  Charlotte  (opposite  the  entrance  of  the  Broad  into  the  Savannah 
River)  ;  from  there  the  line  runs  parallel  to  the  Savannah  River  to  the  sea. 

1  Cf.  Hanna,  The  Scotch-Irish,  or  the  Scotch  in  North  Britain,  North  Ireland, 
and  North  America. 


268 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  Valley,  from  the  Potomac  to  Rockingham  County;  be¬ 
yond  that  the  Irish  and  Seotch-Irish  outnumbered  them; 
far  in  the  southwest,  even  before  the  French  and  Indian 
War,  there  were  for  a  time  German  settlements  on  the 
New  River,  and  Germans  appeared  among  the  earliest 
settlers  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Great  Kanawha.  In 
West  Virginia  along  Patterson  Creek  and  the  South 
Branch  of  the  Potomac,  the  Germans  were  mingled  for 
the  most  part  with  English  settlers  in  about  equal  num¬ 
bers,  according  to  the  diaries  of  the  Moravian  missionaries. 
In  North  Carolina  the  Scotch  and  Irish  were  farther  to 
the  southwest  for  at  least  half  of  the  frontier  line,  al¬ 
though  the  Germans  were  close  at  their  heels.  In  South 
Carolina  the  Germans  occupied  the  larg’er  part  of  the 
frontier  area;  in  Georgia  they  formed  a  large  portion  of 
the  population  between  Savannah  and  Augusta. 

.  There  were  certain  reasons  why  so  large  a  percentage 
of  the  German  immigration  settled  on  the  frontier,  similar 
causes  operating  for  the  bulk  of  the  Scotch,  Irish,  and 
Huguenot  immigrants.  They  were  poor,  and  were  obliged 
to  go  where  land  was  cheap  or  where  squatters  could 
maintain  their  independence.  Redemption ers  were  com¬ 
monly  placed  as  far  out  on  the  frontier  as  possible,  as  for 
instance  in  the  province  of  Massachusetts,  where  the  Ger¬ 
man  settlers  that  could  pay  for  their  land  were  sent  to 
the  Kennebec  and  Waldo  districts  in  Maine,  considered 
more  desirable,  and  the  others,  after  completion  of  their 
service-period,  were  sent  to  Fort  Massachusetts  on  the 
northwestern  frontier  of  the  province.  The  Germans, 
being  commonly  of  the  permanent  class  of  settlers  who 
made  the  best  of  their  land,1  suffered  greatly  from  the 

1  They  frequently  combined  in  one  generation  the  three  classes  of  settlers, 
the  hunter,  the  squatter,  and  the  permanent  settler.  Cf.  Chapter  iv,  p.  132^ 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER  269 


attacks  of  hostile  Indian  tribes.  Being  at  work  in  the 
fields  they  could  easily  be  taken  unawares,  and  their 
abundant  cattle  and  crops  tempted  the  predatory  invader. 
The  Indians  rarely  attacked  the  forts,  well  protected  by 
stockades;  even  when  the  forts  were  badly  equipped, 
“the  enemy  rarely  molested  even  the  feeblest  of  them, 
preferring  to  ravage  the  lonely  and  unprotected  farms.”  1 
The  Mohawk  Valley  Germans  suffered  as  frequently 
and  as  terribly  as  any  pioneers  on  the  American  frontier. 
In  1746  the  French  and  Indians,  led  by  a  Jesuit,  Peter 
Coeur,  traversed  the  valley,  reaching  Schenectady,  and 
even  Albany.  This  war-party  was  in  search  of  bigger  game 
and  did  not  seriously  molest  the  farms  of  the  Mohawk, 
giving  them  merely  a  foreboding  of  coming  events.  The 
German  Flats  (the  present  Herkimer)  were  surprised  in 
1757  by  the  French  captain  Beletre.  Sir  William  Johnson,2 
the  defender  of  the  Mohawk  settlers,  and  of  great  influ¬ 
ence  among  the  Indians,  was  incapacitated  at  the  time  by 
illness.  Beletre  fell  upon  the  defenseless  farms  north  of 
the  Mohawk,  killing  about  forty  men,  women,  and  children, 
and  taking  about  one  hundred  prisoners.  He  did  not  dare 

1  Parkman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  i,  p.  423  ;  Ibid.  p.  422  :  “  Meanwhile 
the  western  borders  were  still  ravaged  by  the  tomahawk.  New  York,  New 
Jersey,  Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  and  Virginia  all  writhed  under  the  infliction. 
Each  had  made  a  chain  of  blockhouses  and  wooden  forts  to  cover  its  frontier, 
and  manned  them  with  disorderly  bauds,  lawless,  and  almost  beyond  control.” 

2  Sir  William  Johnson  was  born  in  Ireland.  He  married  a  German  woman, 
a  Palatine,  who  was  the  mother  of  two  sons,  who  figured  subsequently  as 
Tories.  The  second  wife  of  Johnson  was  a  sister  of  the  Indian  chief  Brant. 
Sir  William  Johnson  was  the  leader  of  the  forces  against  Crown  Point,  and 
was  created  a  baronet  for  his  services  in  that  campaign.  The  distinguished 
honors  which  the  family  received  and  the  wealth  acquired  under  the  pro¬ 
tection  of  the  crown,  undoubtedly  made  them  loyal  to  the  English  govern¬ 
ment.  The  family  became  ardent  Tories  and  with  their  great  influence  over 
the  Indians  became  the  worst  possible  enemies  of  the  Mohawk  settlers  dur¬ 
ing  the  Revolution,  as  they  had  been  their  best  friends  during  the  French 
and  Indian  and  the  preceding  wars. 


270  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

to  attack  the  house  of  Herkimer  (Herckheimer),  on  the 
south  side  of  the  Mohawk,  because  it  was  reported  to  be  in 
a  condition  for  defense.  An  extravagant  report  was  sent 
by  Vaudreuil  to  the  Ministry  of  France,  in  which  it  was 
pretended  that  three  thousand  head  of  cattle,  three  thou¬ 
sand  sheep,  fifteen  hundred  horses,  and  personal  property 
amounting  to  more  than  one  million  five  hundred  thou¬ 
sand  livres  were  carried  away  from  the  German  Flats.1 

Although  the  population  on  the  German  Flats  numbered 
only  about  three  hundred  at  that  time,  and  their  wealth 
could  not  have  been  so  enormous,  nevertheless  the  report 
probably  would  not  have  been  so  extravagant  if  the  booty 
taken  had  not  been  large.  The  exaggerated  account  illus¬ 
trates  the  fact  that  the  Mohawk  Germans  were  prosperous 
and  owned  fine  herds  of  live  stock.  The  next  year  (1758) 
the  enemy  came  in  greater  numbers  and  attacked  the 
southern  side  of  the  Mohawk.  Captain  Nicholas  Herkimer 
was  in  command  of  the  defenders,  and  acquitted  himself 
honorably,  as  he  did  subsequently  also  in  the  Revolution¬ 
ary  War.  According  to  custom,  when  attacked  by  greater 
numbers,  the  colonists  gathered  in  a  protected  palisade 
fort,  whence  the  Indians  could  not  dislodge  them.  The 
farms  and  produce,  however,  had  to  be  abandoned,  a  prev 
to  the  robbers,  while  settlers  living  in  remote  localities 
were  left  to  their  fate.  Men,  women,  and  children  were 
killed  and  scalped,  the  men  often  tortured  to  death  and 
the  women  taken  to  Canada  as  prisoners,  while  their  houses 
and  crops  were  burned  before  their  eyes.  The  Indians  never 
tarried  long,  but  after  inflicting  severe  damage  to  life  and 
property,  escaped  as  rapidly  as  they  had  come,  suffering 
but  slight  loss  themselves. 


1  Parkman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  ii, 
der  Deutschen  im  Staate  New  York,  p.  162. 


p.  7,  note  ;  and 


Kapp,  Geschichte 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER  271 


In  the  province  of  Pennsylvania  the  troubles  between 
governor  and  assembly  occasioned  neglect  of  measures 
for  the  defense  of  the  frontier.  The  spirit  of  vacillation 
and  non-resistance  which  characterized  the  Quaker  govern¬ 
ment  at  Philadelphia  resulted  in  untold  hardships  for  the 
frontiersmen.  After  Braddock’s  defeat  in  1755  the  whole 
country  was  open  to  Indian  attacks.  News  came  that  the 
settlement  of  Tulpehocken,  only  sixty  miles  distant,  had 
been  destroyed,  that  the  Moravian  settlement,  Gnadenlmt- 
ten,  was  burned  and  nearly  all  its  inhabitants  massacred. 
Bodies  of  men,  gathered  together  from  many  places,  ap¬ 
peared  in  Philadelphia  to  compel  the  governor  and  the 
assembly  to  defend  the  province.  Among  them  four  hun¬ 
dred  Germans  marched  in  procession  to  demand  measures 
of  defense.  A  band  of  frontiersmen  presently  arrived, 
bringing  in  a  wagon  the  bodies  of  friends  and  relatives 
lately  murdered,  displaying  them  at  the  doors  of  the  as¬ 
sembly,  amid  curses  and  threats  of  vengeance.1  Tardy 
measures  were  taken  for  defense.  The  province  of  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  aided  by  the  home  government,  in  control  of 
William  Pitt,  adopted  the  plan  of  taking  Fort  Duquesne, 
and  fitted  out  the  expedition  already  referred  to,  under  the 
command  of  General  Forbes  and  Colonel  Bouquet.  Wash¬ 
ington  commanded  a  division  of  Virginia  troops,  among 
whom  there  were  Virginia  Germans  of  the  Valley.  An¬ 
other  division  was  that  under  the  command  of  Henry 
Bouquet,  a  native  of  Switzerland.  It  was  called  the  Royal 
American  Regiment,  and  was  a  new  corps  raised  in  de¬ 
fense  of  the  colonies,  largely  composed  of  Germans  of 
Pennsylvania.2 

On  the  southern  frontiers,  in  the  Carolinas,  the  Chero- 

1  Parkman,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  i,  p.  348. 

2  Parkman,  Montcalm,  and  Wolfe,  vol.  ii,  pp.  132—133. 


272  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

kees  began  hostilities,  though  more  serious  ravages  oc¬ 
curred  farther  northward  in  the  New  River  and  Great 
Kanawha  districts  where  the  settlements  were,  for  a  time 
at  least,  totally  destroyed. 

Duiing  these  Indian  wars  there  were  two  Germans  who 
rendered  conspicuous  service.  Their  names  were  Conrad 
Weiser,  the  son  of  Johann  Conrad  Weiser,  the  Palatine 
leader,  and  Christian  Frederick  Post,  the  Moravian  mis¬ 
sionary.  Weiser,  who  had  lived  among  the  Mohawk  In¬ 
dians  when  a  boy,  acquiring  their  language  and  also  kin¬ 
dred  dialects,  was  famous  as  an  interpreter.  The  Indians 
reposed  confidence  in  him,  and  his  presence  in  council  in¬ 
sured  justice,  they  thought.  He  addressed  them  in  the  ora¬ 
torical  manner  that  gave  them  delight,  and  the  story  of  his 
youth  made  his  personality  pleasing  to  them.  His  services 
brought  him  into  contact  with  all  the  tribes  of  the  Iroquois 
Nation  and  even  with  the  distant  Indians  of  the  Ohio 
Valley.  In  the  year  1737  he  undertook  a  long  journey  to 
Onondaga  in  New  lork,  under  commission  from  Govern¬ 
ors  Logan  of  Pennsylvania  and  Gooch  of  Virginia,  with 
the  purpose  of  inducing  the  chiefs  of  the  Six  Nations  to 
make  a  truce  and  then  an  alliance  with  the  Cherokees 
and  Catawbas.  The  Indians  at  the  North  and  South  had 
waged  destructive  wars  against  one  another,  disturbing 
the  peace  also  of  the  pioneer  settlements.  The  mission 
was  completely  successful  and  was  carried  out  in  the 
severity  of  winter.  In  the  summer  of  1742,  Weiser  was 
again  one  of  the  principal  figures,  when  seventy  chiefs  and 
warriors  of  the  Six  Nations  met  in  council  with  Governor 
Thomas  of  Pennsylvania.  The  parley  lasted  ten  days, 
July  2  to  12.  The  two  difficult  objects  to  be  attained 
were,  firstly,  to  appease  the  Indians  for  land  robberies 
1  See  Chapter  iv,  pp.  94-95,  etc. 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER  273 


committed,  and  secondly,  to  get  their  help  against  the 
threatened  French  invasion.  Contemporaries  reported  that 
without  Weiser’s  tactful  mediation  the  matter  would  not 
have  been  so  quickly  and  happily  brought  to  a  conclu¬ 
sion.  In  1745  the  Six  Nations  threatened  to  overrun  the 
Mohawk  Valley  settlements.  Land  robberies  again  had 
incensed  them,  and  French  agents  had  kindled  their 
revengeful  spirit.  Governor  Clinton  of  New  York  sent 
Weiser,  accompanied  by  several  friendly  Indian  chiefs, 
to  Onondaga,  and  from  there  to  Oswego,  with  the  result 
of  not  only  pacifying  the  Indians  but  of  regaining  their 
friendship.  In  1748,  under  orders  from  the  governor  of 
Pennsylvania,  Weiser  traveled  through  the  mountains 
of  Pennsylvania  to  the  Ohio,  and  on  the  Ohio  to  Logs- 
town,1  bringing  presents  to  the  Indians  to  keep  them 
from  an  alliance  with  the  French.  At  the  same  time  he 
observed  closely  the  character  of  the  French  settlements 
in  the  Ohio  Valley,  the  location  and  strength  of  their 
forts,  and  gathered  information  concerning  the  intentions 
of  the  enemy.  This  experience  served  him  in  good  stead 
in  1754,  when  representatives  of  seven  colonies  met  in 
council  with  the  chiefs  of  the  Six  Nations,  to  form  a 
common  plan  of  resistance  against  the  French.  That  was 
an  important  moment  in  colonial  history.  It  was  alto¬ 
gether  necessary  to  retain  the  friendship  and  to  secure 
the  alliance  of  the  Six  Nations  against  the  French  and 
their  allies,  the  hostile  Indians  of  the  Ohio.  Weiser  was 
able  to  repeat  in  the  language  of  the  Mohawks  his  ex¬ 
periences  with  the  French  and  the  haughty  Indians  of  the 
Ohio  Valley,  and  he  roused  the  animosity  of  the  Six 
Nations  against  them,  taking  advantage  of  the  Indians’ 
greed  for  land. 

1  Directly  west  of  Pittsburg,  near  the  Ohio  state  line. 


274 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


When  the  French  and  Indian  War  broke  out,  Weiser 
was  already  an  old  man.  Nevertheless  he  served  as  a  lieu¬ 
tenant-colonel  of  the  militia,  and  as  Muhlenberg-,  his 
son-m-law,  reports,  he  was  absent  much  on  consulta¬ 
tion  in  Philadelphia  with  European  soldiers  concerning 
Indian  affairs.  Conrad  W eiser  died  during  the  war,  in 
1760.1 

The  other  German  who  nobly  served  the  colonies  during 
the  Indian  troubles  was  the  missionary  Christian  Frederick 
Post,  a  member  of  the  Moravian  Brotherhood. 

Post  2  spoke  the  Delaware  language,  knew  the  Indians  well, 
for  he  had  lived  among  them  and  married  a  converted  squaw. 
He  was  a  plain  German,  upheld  by  a  sense  of  duty  and  a  single- 
hearted  trust  in  God ;  alone,  with  no  great  disciplined  organiza¬ 
tion  to  impel  and  support  him,  and  no  visions  and  illusions  such 
as  kindled  and  sustained  the  splendid  heroism  of  the  early  Jesuit 
martyrs  ;  yet  his  errand  was  no  whit  less  perilous.3 

The  Moravian  envoy  made  his  way  to  the  Delaware  town  of 

1  Conrad  Weiser’s  autobiography,  already  referred  to,  is  one  of  the  most 
curious  documents  of  its  kind,  not  only  valuable  for  the  life-history  which  it 
gives,  but  interesting  also  for  the  many  sidelights  on  religion  and  politics. 
Cf.  also  J.  H.  Walton,  Conrad  Weiser  and  the  Indian  Policy  of  Colonial 
Pennsylvania.  (Philadelphia,  Jacobs  &  Co.,  1908.) 

2  This  whole  passage,  containing  the  thrilling  narrative  of  Post’s  mission 
to  the  Indians,  resulting  in  their  breaking  their  alliance  with  the  French,  is 
quoted  from  Francis  Parkman’s  authoritative  work,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe 
vol.  ii,  pp.  144-150. 

3  “  Here  we  may  notice  the  contrast  between  the  mission  settlements  of 
the  Moravians  in  Pennsylvania  and  those  the  later  Jesuits  and  Sulpitians 
had  established  at  Caughnawaga,  St.  Francis,  La  Presentation,  and  other 
places.  The  Moravians  were  apostles  of  peace  and  they  succeeded  to  a  sur¬ 
prising  degree  in  weaning  their  converts  from  their  ferocious  instincts  and 

warlike  habits,  while  the  mission  Indians  of  Canada  retained  all  their  native 
fierceness  and  were  systematically  impelled  to  use  their  tomahawks  against 
the  enemies  of  the  church.  Their  wigwams  were  hung  with  scalps,  male  and 
female,  adult  and  infant  ;  and  these  so-called  missions  were  but  nests  of 
baptized  savages,  who  wore  the  crucifix  instead  of  the  medicine-bag,  and 
were  encouraged  by  the  government  for  purposes  of  war.”  Parkman,  Mont¬ 
calm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  ii,  pp.  144-145. 


T1IEIR  DEFENSE  OE  THE  FRONTIER  275 


Kushkushkee,  on  Beaver  Creek,  northwest  of  Fort  Duquesne, 
where  the  three  chiefs  known  as  King  Beaver,  Shingas,  and  Del¬ 
aware  George,  received  him  kindly  and  conducted  him  to  another 
town  on  the  same  stream.  Here  his  reception  was  different.  A 
crowd  of  warriors,  their  faces  distorted  with  rage,  surrounded 
him,  brandishing  knives  and  threatening  to  kill  him  ;  but  others 
took  his  part,  and  order  being  at  last  restored,  he  read  them  his 
message  from  the  governor,  which  seemed  to  please  them.  They 
insisted,  however,  that  he  should  go  with  them  to  Fort  Duquesne 
in  order  that  the  Indians  assembled  there  might  hear  it  also. 
Against  this  dangerous  proposal  he  protested  in  vain.  On  arriv¬ 
ing  near  the  fort  the  French  demanded  that  he  should  be  given 
up  to  them,  and  being  refused,  offered  a  great  reward  for  his 
scalp ;  on  which  his  friends  advised  him  to  keep  close  by  the 
camp-fire,  as  parties  were  out  with  intent  to  kill  him.  “  Accord¬ 
ingly,  ”  says  Post,  “  I  stuck  to  the  fire  as  if  I  had  been  chained 
there.  On  the  next  day  the  Indians  with  a  great  many  French 
officers  came  to  hear  what  I  had  to  say.  The  officers  brought 
with  them  a  table,  pens,  ink,  and  paper.  I  spoke  in  the  midst  of 
them  with  a  free  conscience,1 2  and  perceived  by  their  looks  that 
they  were  not  pleased  with  what  I  said.”  The  substance  of  his 
message  was  an  invitation  to  the  Indians  to  renew  the  old  chain 
of  friendship,  joined  with  a  warning  that  an  English  army  was 
on  its  way  to  drive  off  the  French,  and  that  they  would  do  well 
to  stand  neutral. 

He  addressed  an  audience  filled  with  an  inordinate  sense  of 
their  own  power  and  importance,  believing  themselves  greater 
and  braver  than  either  of  the  European  nations  and  yet  deeply 
jealous  of  both.  “  We  have  heard,”  they  said,  “  that  the  French 
and  English  mean  to  kill  all  the  Indians  and  divide  the  lands 
among  themselves,”  and  on  this  string  they  harped  continually.3 

After  waiting  some  days  the  three  tribes  of  the  Delawares 

1  Parkman  quotes  from  the  journal  of  Christian  Frederick  Post  hero  and 
elsewhere,  dated  July,  August,  September,  October,  November,  1758. 

2  Parkman  says  that  if  they  had  known  their  true  interest  they  would 

not  have  made  peace  with  the  English,  but  would  have  all  united  to  form  a 
barrier  of  fire  against  their  farther  progress. 


276  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

met  in  council,  ancl  made  their  answer  to  the  message  brought  by 
Post.  It  was  worthy  of  a  proud  and  warlike  race,  and  was  to  the 
effect  that  since  their  brothers  of  Pennsylvania  wished  to  renew 
the  old  peace-chain,  they  on  their  part  were  willing  to  do  so,  pro¬ 
vided  that  the  wampum  belt  should  be  sent  them  in  the  name, 
not  of  Pennsylvania  alone,  but  of  the  rest  of  the  provinces  also! 

Having  now  accomplished  his  errand,  Post  wished  to  return 
home ;  but  the  Indians  were  seized  with  an  access  of  distrust, 
and  would  not  let  him  go.  This  jealousy  redoubled  when  they 
saw  him  writing  in  his  notebook.  “It  is  a  troublesome  cross  and 
heavy  yoke  to  draw  this  people,”  he  says;  “they  can  punish 
and  squeeze  a  body’s  heart  to  the  utmost.  There  came  some  to¬ 
gether  and  examined  me  about  what  I  had  wrote  yesterday.  I 
told  them  I  writ  what  was  my  duty.  ‘Brothers,  I  tell  you,  I  am 
not  afraid  of  you.  I  have  a  good  conscience  before  God  and 
man.  I  tell  you,  brothers,  there  is  a  bad  spirit  in  your  hearts 
which  breeds  jealousy  and  will  keep  you  ever  in  fear.’  ”  At  last 
they  let  him  go;  and  eluding  a  party  that  lay  in  wait  for  his 
scalp,  he  journeyed  twelve  days  through  the  forest  and  reached 
Fort  Augusta  with  the  report  of  his  mission. 

As  the  result  of  it,  a  great  convention  of  white  men  and  red 
was  held  at  Easton  in  October.  The  neighboring  provinces  had 
been  asked  to  send  their  delegates,  and  some  of  them  did  so; 
while  belts  of  invitation  were  sent  to  the  Indians  far  and  near! 
Sir  William  Johnson,  for  reasons  best  known  to  himself,  at  first 
opposed  the  plan  ;  but  was  afterwards  led  to  favor  it  and  to  in¬ 
duce  tribes  under  his  influence  to  join  in  the  grand  pacification. 
The  Five  Nations,  with  the  smaller  tribes  lately  admitted  into 
their  conference,  the  Delawares  of  the  Susquehanna,  the  Molie- 
gans,  and  several  kindred  bands,  all  had  their  representatives 
at  the  meeting.  The  conferences  lasted  nineteen  days,  with  the 
inevitable  formalities  of  such  occasions  and  the  weary  repetition 
of  conventional  metaphors  and  long-winded  speeches. 

When  their  difficulty  was  settled,  the  governor  of  Penn¬ 
sylvania  addressed  the  assembled  Indians  and 

gave  them  the  wampum  belt,  with  the  request  that  they  would 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  THE  FRONTIER  277 


send  it  to  tlieir  friends  and  allies  and  invite  them  to  take  hold 
also  of  the  chain  of  friendship.  Accordingly  all  present  agreed 
on  the  joint  message  of  peace  to  the  tribes  of  the  Ohio. 

Frederick  Post,  with  several  white  and  Indian  companions, 
was  chosen  to  hear  it.  A  small  escort  of  soldiers  that  attended 
him  as  far  as  the  Alleghany  was  cut  to  pieces  on  its  return 
by  a  band  of  the  very  warriors  to  whom  he  was  carrying  his 
offers  of  friendship;  and  other  tenants  of  the  grim  and  frowning 
wilderness  met  the  invaders  of  their  domain  with  inhospitable 
greetings.  The  young  warriors  said:  “Anybody  can  see  with 
half  an  eye  that  the  English  only  mean  to  cheat  us;  let  us  knock 
the  messengers  in  the  head.”  I  said :  “  As  God  has  stopped  the 
mouths  of  the  lions,  that  they  could  not  devour  Daniel,  so  he 
will  preserve  us  from  their  fury.”  The  chiefs  and  elders  were 
of  a  different  mind  from  their  fierce  and  capricious  young  men. 
They  met  during  the  evening  in  the  log  house  where  Post  was 
to  be  lodged ;  and  here  a  French  officer  presently  arrived  with 
a  string  of  wampum  from  the  commandant,  inviting  them  to 
help  him  drive  back  the  army  of  Forbes.  The  string  was  scorn¬ 
fully  rejected.  “They  kicked  it  from  one  to  another  as  if  it 
were  a  snake.”  .  .  .  There  was  a  grand  council  at  which  the 
French  officer  was  present;  and  Post  delivered  the  peace 
message  from  the  council  at  Easton  with  another  with  which 
Forbes  had  charged  him.  The  messages  pleased  all  the  hearers 
except  the  French  captain.  He  shook  his  head  in  bitter  grief 
and  often  changed  countenance.  .  .  .  After  the  Indians  began  to 
mock  him,  he  went  out.  The  overtures  of  peace  were  accepted, 
and  the  Delawares,  Shawanoes,  and  Mingoes  were  no  longer 
enemies  of  the  English. 

The  loss  was  all  the  more  disheartening  to  the  French, 
since  a  few  weeks  before  they  had  won  a  victory  over  a 
part  of  the  army  of  Forbes,  because  of  which  they  hoped 
to  hold  their  wavering  allies.  Major  Grant,  in  command 
of  the  Highlanders,  had  prevailed  upon  Colonel  Bouquet 
to  allow  him  to  detach  eight  hundred  men  from  the  ad¬ 
vancing  army,  in  order  to  reconnoitre  Fort  Duquesne. 


278 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


The  troops,  consisting  of  Highlanders  (Scotchmen),  Royal 
Americans  (Germans  of  Pennsylvania),  and  Provincials 
(Virginians),  started  together  from  the  camp  at  Loyal- 
hannon,  but,  owing  to  the  bad  generalship  of  Grant,  who 
divided  his  forces  so  that  they  could  not  support  one 
another,  the  expedition  met  with  disaster.  The  enemy  out¬ 
numbered  them  even  when  united;  Grant’s  force  was 
completely  routed,  five  hundred  and  forty,  however,  out 
of  the  eight  hundred  and  thirteen  returning  safely.  In 
spite  of  this  defeat,  which  had  happened  a  few  weeks  be¬ 
fore,  the  mission  of  Post  was  successful.  He  was  pei'sona 
grata  among  the  Indians,  beloved  and  respected  by  many, 
and  no  better  messenger  could  have  been  chosen  for  this 
dangerous  embassy.  The  selection  of  Post,  as  well  as  the 
plan  of  the  meeting  at  Easton,  was  the  work  of  General 
Forbes,  as  the  next  in  command,  the  tactful  Colonel  Bou¬ 
quet  explained  in  a  private  letter.1  Port  Duquesue  was  evac¬ 
uated  by  the  French,  after  they  were  left  in  the  lurch  by 
their  Indian  allies  and  by  the  troops  from  Louisiana  and 
the  Southwest.  These  desertions  becoming  known,  the 
army  of  Forbes  made  forced  marches  over  the  mountains, 
and  took  the  fort  without  opposition  shortly  after  its 
evacuation. 

In  the  defense  of  the  frontier  during  the  French  and 
Indian  War,  the  Royal  Americans  made  a  glorious  record. 

1  Bouquet  to  Chief  Justice  Allen,  25  November,  1758.  Quoted  by  Park- 
man,  Montcalm  and  Wolfe,  vol.  ii,  p.  161  :  “  After  God,  the  success  of  this 
expedition  is  entirely  due  to  the  general,  who  by  bringing  about  the  treaty 
with  the  Indians  at  Easton  struck  the  French  a  stunning  blow,  wisely  de¬ 
layed  our  advance  to  wait  the  effects  of  that  treaty,  secured  all  our  posts, 
and  left  nothing  to  chance,  and  resisted  the  urgent  solicitation  to  take  Brad- 
dock’s  road,  which  would  have  been  our  destruction.  In  all  his  measures 
he  has  shown  the  greatest  prudence,  firmness,  and  ability.  ”  General  Forbes 
was  a  martyr  to  this  work.  He  suffered  from  a  severe  illness  during  the 
whole  campaign,  and  died  shortly  after  its  completion. 


THEIR  DEFENSE  OF  TFIE  FRONTIER  279 

This  regiment  consisted  of  four  battalions,  of  one  thou¬ 
sand  men  each.  Fifty  of  the  officers  were  to  be  foreign 
Protestants,  wlnle  the  enlisted  men  were  to  be  raised  prin¬ 
cipally  from  among  the  German  settlers  in  America.  The 
immediate  commander  was  Colonel  (later  General)  Bou¬ 
quet,  a  Swiss  by  birth,  an  English  officer  by  adoption, 
and  a  Pennsylvanian  by  naturalization,  the  last  a  distinc¬ 
tion  conferred  upon  him  for  his  campaign  in  Western  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  where  he  with  Forbes  wiped  out  the  disgrace  of 
Braddock’s  defeat.1  The  rank  and  file  of  the  regiment 
were  German  and  Swiss  settlers  of  Pennsylvania,  young 
men  enlisted  for  three  years,  and  they  saw  service  in  all 
parts  of  the  colonies.  A  list  of  their  campaigns  is  as  fol¬ 
lows  : 2 

1757.  First  Battalion  in  Indian  wars. 

Five  companies  under  Stanwix  in  Pennsylvania. 

Third  Battalion  at  Fort  Hunter  and  Fort  William  Henry. 
Second  and  Fourth  at  Louisbourg. 

First  Battalion  under  Bouquet  in  South  Carolina. 

First  and  Fourth  at  Crown  Point  and  Ticonderoga. 

1758.  Second  and  Third  Battalions  at  Louisbourg. 

First  and  Fourth  under  Bouquet  and  Forbes  at  Fort  Du- 
quesne. 

1759.  Fourth  Battalion  under  Prideaux  at  Fort  Niagara. 

Second  and  Third  under  Wolfe  at  Quebec. 

Fourth  under  Haldiman  at  Oswego. 

First  under  Amherst  at  Lake  Champlain. 

Fourth  under  Sir  William  Johnson,  Bouquet,  Stanwix, 
and  Wolfe  at  Quebec. 

1760.  First,  Second,  and  Third  at  Quebec. 

1  Cf.  Rosengarten,  The  German  Soldier  in  the  Wars  of  the  United  States, 
pp.  16-22.  (Philadelphia,  1890.)  A  history  of  the  Royal  American  Regiment 
is  found  in  A  Regimental  Chronicle,  and  List  of  Officers  of  the  Sixtieth,  for¬ 
merly  the  Sixty-second,  or  the  Royal  American  Regiment  of  Foot.  By  N.  W. 
Wallace.  (London,  1879.) 

2  Rosengarten,  supra,  pp.  19-20. 


280 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


1761.  First  in  Virginia. 

1762.  Third  at  Martinique  and  Havana. 

1763.  First  under  Bouquet  at  Bushy  Run  and  Pittsburg. 

These  campaigns  made  veterans  of  the  Pennsylvania 
boys  and  prepared  a  nucleus  of  self-reliant  soldiers  for  the 
coming  war  of  the  Revolution. 

The  story  of  the  sufferings  of  pioneer  settlers,  who  were 
constantly  exposed  to  the  inroads  of  savages  during 
more  than  “  half  a  century  of  conflict,”  is  too  distressing 
a  narrative  for  detailed  depiction.  History  repeated  itself 
during  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  therefore  instances 
of  heroism  on  the  part  of  German  frontiersmen  will  be 
cited  in  the  following  chapter  (xi).  The  Germans  of 
Pennsylvania,  until  the  Revolutionary  War,  were  left  more 
at  peace  than  many  of  the  other  frontier  settlers,  a  cir¬ 
cumstance  probably  due  to  the  missionary  work  of  the 
Moravians  and  to  the  pacific  policy  adopted  toward  the 
Indians  by  the  Quaker  government.  The  Virginians,  the 
“Long  Knives,”  would  never  admit  this  to  be  the  fact, 
claiming  that  the  reason  of  the  Indian  preference  was 
that  the  Virginians  were  settlers  and  the  Pennsylvanians 
only  traders.  Such  a  view,  however,  contradicts  the  facts, 
the  Pennsylvanians  being  preeminently  settlers. 

The  question  as  to  Iioav  large  was  the  total  number  of 
German  settlers  in  the  colonies  before  the  Revolutionary 
War  is  one  which  cannot  be  determined  with  accuracy. 
There  are  no  exact  statistics  extant  concerning  the  popu¬ 
lation  of  the  thirteen  colonies.  The  Continental  Congress 
of  1776  made  an  estimate  of  the  population  as  a  basis 
from  which  to  apportion  the  expenses  of  the  war.1  The 
figures  of  this  congressional  conjectural  census  are  as 
follows :  — 

1  Pitkin’s  Statistics,  p.  583  ;  Harper’s  Magazine,  vol.  li,  p.  399. 


AN  ESTIMATE  OF  THEIR  NUMBERS  281 


New  Hampshire 

102,000 

Massachusetts  (including  Maine) 

352,000 

Rhode  Island 

58,000 

Connecticut 

202,000 

New  York  (including  Vermont) 

238,000 

New  Jersey 

138,000 

Pennsylvania 

341,000 

Delaware 

37,000 

Maryland 

174,000 

Virginia  (including  Kentucky) 

300,000 

North  Carolina  (including  Tennessee) 

181,000 

South  Carolina 

93,000 

Georgia 

27,000 

Total  white  population 

2,243,000 

Slave  population 

500,000 

Grand  total 

2,743,000 

This  estimate  is  generally  considered  too  large,  since 
the  census  of  1790  showed  a  total  white  population  of 
only  3,172,006.  New  Hampshire  took  a  state  census  in 
1782  to  lessen  its  proportion  of  the  general  taxes,  and  as 
a  result  of  that  census  reported  its  population  at  82,000, 
which  figure  was  probably  as  far  below  the  true  number 
as  the  congressional  estimate  was  above  it.  Bancroft  esti¬ 
mated  the  total  white  population  of  the  colonies  in  17  /  5  at 
2,100,0001  . 

For  the  Scotch  and  Irish,  Hanna2  makes  an  estimate  of 
385,000,  which  he  derives  in  the  following  way  :  Leaving 
New  England  out  of  consideration  (assigning  to  it  one 
third  of  the  population,  viz.,  700,000),  since  its  population 
was  almost  purely  English,  he  takes  Bancroft  s  figures  for 

1  History  of  the  United  States,  vol.  iv,  p.  62.  (1888.) 

2  See  Charles  A.  Hanna,  The  Scotch-Irish,  or  the  Scotch  in  North  Britain, 
North  Ireland, and  North  America,  vol.  i,  pp.  82-84.  (New  York  and  London, 
Putnam,  1902.) 


282  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

the  territory  west  of  the  Hudson  and  south  of  the  St. 
Lawrence  district,  which  are  as  follows  : _ 


New  York  (excluding  Vermont)  202,000 

New  Jersey  lOo’oOO 

Pennsylvania  273  000  1 

Delaware  *30,000 

Maryknd  _  134,000 

Virginia  (including  Kentucky)  325,000 

North  Carolina  (including  Tennessee)  206,000 

South  Cai’olina  qq  qqq 

Georgia  3^000 


1,403,000 

Hanna  estimates  the  inhabitants  of  Scotch  and  Irish  blood 
or  descent  to  have  been  one  eighth  of  the  whole  white 
population  in  New  York ;  one  fifth  to  one  fourth  in  the 
states  of  New  Jersey,  Maryland,  and  Virginia;  more  than 
one  third  in  Pennsylvania,  Delaware,  North  Carolina,  and 

Georgia;  and  one  half  in  South  Carolina,  result  in  a-  as 
follows :  — 


New  York 
New  Jersey 
Pennsylvania 
Delaware 
Maryland 
Virginia 
North  Carolina 
South  Carolina 
Georgia 


25,000 

25,000 

100,000 

10,000 

30,000 

75,000 

65,000 

45,000 

10,000 


385,000 

T°  £et  at  tIie  approximate  number  of  inhabitants  in 
1775  wIl°  wei>e  of  German  blood  is  just  as  difficult.  In 


This  estimate  for  Pennsylvania  is 
congressional  census,  viz.,  341,000. 


extremely  low,  as  compared  with  the 


AN  ESTIMATE  OF  THEIR  NUMBERS  283 


New  England  the  settlements  of  Maine,  those  around  Fort 
Massachusetts,  and  near  Boston,  probably  together  con¬ 
tained  about  fifteen  hundred  Germans.  For  New  York 
State  we  can  get  nearer  a  correct  estimate.  The  census 
made  by  the  Reverend  Mr.  Kocherthal  of  the  Palatines  in 
New  York  State  in  1718  estimated  the  Germans  at  about 
two  thousand.  This,  as  we  have  seen,  was  a  low  estimate, 
and  corrected,  as  explained  in  Chapter  iv,1  would  in 
1720  make  about  twenty-five  hundred.  The  natural  in¬ 
crease,  doubling  in  about  twenty-three  years  (three  per 
cent  a  year),  added  to  the  new  arrivals  at  the  port  of 
New  York,  would  make  about  twenty-five  thousand.  Penn¬ 
sylvania’s  German  population,  as  has  been  explained  in 
Chapter  v,2  was  about  one  hundred  and  ten  thousand. 
Judging  by  the  numerous  German  churches  in  the  north¬ 
ern  counties  of  New  Jersey,  by  the  proximity  to  the  sea¬ 
ports  of  Philadelphia  and  New  York,  the  German  popu¬ 
lation  in  New  Jersey  must  have  been  no  less  than  fifteen 
thousand.  Maryland  was  thickly  settled  by  Germans  in  the 
western  counties  of  Frederick  and  Washington,  and  in 
the  neighborhood  of  Baltimore;  giving  Delaware  five 
hundred,  the  German  population  of  the  two  states  together 
can  be  estimated  at  about  20,500.  More  numerous  was 
the  German  population  of  Virginia  and  West  Virginia. 
The  German  colonies  visited  by  the  Moravian  missionaries 
in  the  Valley  and  on  the  South  Branch,  about  1744-50, 
represented  about  three  to  five  thousand  settlers.  The 
natural  increase  and  the  German  settlements  in  other 
counties,  enumerated  in  Chapter  vn,  probably  made  a  total 
of  twenty-five  thousand.  South  Carolina’s  German  popu¬ 
lation  can  be  estimated  in  the  following  way :  In  the  year 
1788  fifteen  German  churches  were  incorporated  under 

1  See  p.  92.  2  See  p.  128. 


284 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  laws  of  the  state  (Chapter  viii,  see  pages  226-227). 
These  churches  were  in  existence  before  the  Revolution, 
and  probably  were  more  numerous  at  that  time,  many  be¬ 
ing  burned  and  pillaged  and  their  congregations  scattered 
during  the  war,  by  Tory  raids.  The  question  arises,  how 
large  a  population  does  a  single  church  represent?  Some 
light  on  that  subject  is  afforded  by  the  estimate  of  Schlat¬ 
ter.  He  counted  the  number  of  the  German  Reformed  in 
Pennsylvania  as  thirty  thousand,  distributed  among  forty- 
six  congregations,  sixteen  parishes,  to  be  served  by  as 
many  pastors.1  If  forty-six  congregations  represent  thirty 
thousand  people,  fifteen  churches  would  represent  at  least 
ten  thousand  people,  since  congregations  were  frequently 
not  large  enough  to  build  churches.  The  fifteen  churches 
did  not  include  the  church  in  Charleston  nor  numerous 
other  smaller  settlements,  nor  the  non-church-o-oino-  Ger- 
mans  scattered  beyond  the  interior,  i.  e.,  on  the  frontier 
where  no  ministers  were  available.  The  estimate  of  fifteen 
thousand  is  therefore  not  excessive.  North  Carolina  had 
quite  a  large  German  population  before  1775,  as  has  been 
seen  in  the  account  of  settlements  in  the  central  part  of 
the  state  (Chapter  viii),  and  as  is  also  evident  from  the 
tradition  that  there  were  immigrations  of  Germans  from 
North  Carolina  into  Virginia.  We  may  estimate  the  pop¬ 
ulation  at  about  one  half  that  of  South  Carolina,  viz., 
eight  thousand.  Georgia  had  twelve  hundred  Salzburgers 
in  1741  according  to  documentary  evidence.  The  natural 
increase  up  to  1775,  added  to  the  new  arrivals,  could  not 
have  been  less  than  five  thousand.  This  is  a  very  small 
estimate  in  view  of  the  political  importance  of  the  Salz¬ 
burgers  during  the  Revolutionary  War.  A  summary  of 
estimates  will  appear  as  follows  :  — 

1  Hallesche  Nachrichten  (Reprint),  vol.  i,  p.  411. 


AN  ESTIMATE  OF  THEIR  NUMBERS  285 


New  England 

1,500 

New  York 

25,000 

Pennsylvania 

110,000 

New  Jersey 

15,000 

Maryland  and  Delaware 

20,500 

Virginia  and  West  Virginia 

25,000 

North  Carolina 

8,000 

South  Carolina 

15,000 

Georgia 

5,000 

Total 

225,000 

This  estimate  is  very  conservative,  being  based  upon 
estimates  of  the  numbers  in  known  German  colonies.  The 
number  of  scattered  German  settlers  in  the  large  cities, 
and  the  number  of  settlements  of  which  there  is  no  record, 
must  have  been  quite  large.  An  estimate  of  two  hundred 
and  twenty-five  thousand  inhabitants  of  German  blood 
at  the  outbreak  of  the  Revolution  must  therefore  be  re¬ 
garded  as  a  minimum.  It  would  mean  that  a  little  more 
than  one  tenth  of  the  total  white  population  at  the  be- 
ginningof  the  war  of  independence  was  of  German  blood. 
In  certain  localities,  of  course,  the  German  population 
was  much  larger  in  proportion  to  the  total  population, 
notably  in  Pennsylvania,  where  it  was  one  third  of  the 
total  number.  Future  researches  in  the  colonial  history  of 
the  Germans  will  undoubtedly  reveal  larger  numbers  than 
have  been  given  above,  but  the  attempt  has  been  made 
here  to  confine  the  estimate  within  limits  that  are  clearly 
incontestable. 


CHAPTER  XI 


THE  GERMANS  AS  PATRIOTS  AND  SOLDIERS  DURING  THE 
WAR  OF  THE  REVOLUTION,  1775-1783 

Activity  of  Germans  at  the  beginning  of  the  Revolutionary  agitation —  Serv¬ 
ices  of  sectarians  in  the  war  —  The  Tories  —  Resolutions  of  the 
Virginia  Valley  Germans  — The  Salzburgers  as  patriots  —  The  German 
regiments  —  Armand’s  Legion  —  Washington’s  body-guard  —  Two  types 
of  German  patriots  :  Peter  Muhlenberg  and  the  baker,  Ludwig  —  The 
Mohawk  Germans — Battle  of  Oriskany  —  Herkimer — Results  of  the 
battle  —  Heroism  on  the  frontier  —  German  officers  in  the  American 
army:  Baron  Steuben,  his  services;  John  Kalb;  F.  H.  Weissenfels  ; 
Ziegler  ;  Lutterloh  ;  Schott,  etc.  —  The  Hiester  and  Muhlenberg  fami¬ 
lies  —  German  families  of  Charleston,  etc.  —  Individuals,  Dohrmann,  etc. 
—  Germans  in  the  French  service  —  Siege  of  Yorktowu — The  Hessians. 

The  French  and  Indian  War  was  the  training-school  for 
the  Revolutionary  struggle.  The  extensive  service  of  the 
Royal  American  Regiment,  described  in  the  foregoing 
chapter,  laid  the  foundation  of  military  experience  among 
the  German  settlers  of  Pennsylvania.  In  the  Mohawk 
Valley  Herkimer  gathered  the  people  together,  and  in 
the  Valley  of  Virginia  German  military  companies  were 
quickly  organized.  There  existed  in  the  colonies  a  large 
number  of  German  sectarians,  Mennonites,  Quakers,  Dunk- 
ards,  Seventh-Day  Baptists,  and  others,  whose  religion 
forbade  the  use  of  arms.  They,  like  the  English  Quakers, 
represented  the  spirit  of  non-resistance,  which  inflicted 
much  suffering  upon  the  frontier  settlers  during  the 
French  and  Indian  War.  The  newspaper  of  Sauer  gave 
expression  to  this  pacific  attitude,  which  should  not,  how¬ 
ever,  be  mistaken  for  Toryism.  The  Mennonites  and  other 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  287 


religious  sects,  though  they  did  not  bear  arms,  furnished 
in  supplies  and  taxes  the  equivalent  of  trained  eyes  and 
limbs.  They  would  not  at  any  time  have  been  unwilling 
to  lay  down  their  lives  for  their  country.  The  Moravians 
of  North  Carolina  submitted  cheerfully  to  a  triple  tax 
levied  upon  them  by  the  province,  in  lieu  of  military  service. 

The  more  vigorous  and  manly  virtues  of  the  Germans, 
who  as  a  race  from  the  beginning  of  their  history  proved 
themselves  good  warriors,  were  represented  by  such  men 
as  Muhlenberg  and  Schlatter.  The  latter  was  the  army 
chaplain  of  the  Royal  Americans  in  the  French  and  In¬ 
dian  War,  and  served  in  a  similar  capacity  during  the 
Revolution.  The  Reverend  H.  M.  Muhlenberg  was  proud 
of  the  military  achievements  of  his  son  Peter  (to  be  noted 
below),  and  his  directing  hand  was  evident  from  the  very 
beo'innincr.  In  1775  the  vestries  of  the  German  Lutheran 
and  Reformed  churches  in  Philadelphia  sent  a  pamphlet 
of  forty  pages  to  the  Germans  of  New  York  and  North 
Carolina,  stating  that  the  Germans  in  the  near  and  remote 
parts  of  Pennsylvania  had  formed  not  only  militia  com¬ 
panies,  but  a  select  corps  of  sharpshooters  ready  to  march 
wherever  they  were  required,  while  those  who  could  not 
do  military  service  were  willing  to  contribute  according 
to  their  abilities.1  An  earnest  appeal  was  made  to  the  Ger¬ 
mans  in  other  colonies  for  armed  resistance  against  the 
“oppression  and  despotism”  of  the  English  government. 
With  the  sanction  of  Muhlenberg  back  of  it,  this  appeal 
must  have  produced  a  thrill  of  enthusiasm  among  the  Ger¬ 
man  population.  The  volunteers  of  Pennsylvania  were 
called  “  Associators”  ;  those  who  were  Germans  had  their 
headquarters  at  the  Lutheran  schoolhouse  in  Philadelphia. 

1  Rosengarten,  The  German  Soldier  in  the  Wars  of  the  United  States ,  p.  29. 
(Second  edition,  Lippincott,  Philadelphia,  1890.) 


288 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


There  were  very  few  German  Tories  in  Pennsylvania, 
though  there  were  many  sectarians.  One  notable  exception 
was,  not  the  printer  Sauer  himself,  but  his  two  sons,  who 
during  the  occupation  of  Philadelphia  by  General  Howe 
published  a  newspaper  voicing  Tory  sentiments.  It  was 
the  only  case  on  record  of  a  German  Tory  paper  printed 
in  the  colonies.  Its  influence  could  not  have  been  of  any 
importance  at  all,  and  its  pages  were  perused  more  seri- 
ously  abroad  than  on  this  side  of  the  water.  Schlozer  prints 
a  complete  copy  of  one  of  the  issues  of  the  paper  (May  6, 
1778);  it  is  a  curious  jumble  of  local  items,  advertise¬ 
ments,  misstatements,  and  flamboyant  verses.1  The  social 
condition  of  the  Germans  in  the  colonies  forced  them  as 
a  necessary  consequence  into  the  Democratic  party.  They 
were  not  members  of  families  that  had  been  in  favor  at 
court  for  generations  ;  they  were  not  owners  of  estates 

1  August  Ludwig  Schlozer’s  Professors  in  Gottingen,  etc.  Briefwechsel , 
meisthistorischen  u.  politischen  Inhalts,  Dritter  Theil,  Heft  xvn,  pp.  260-263 
(Gottingen,  1778.)  The  paper  is  called  a  weekly:  Der  Pennsylvanische  Staats- 
Courier  oder  Einlaufende  Wochentliche  Nachrichten.  Alle  Wochen  heraus- 
gegeben  yon  Christoph  Saur  jun.  und  Peter  Saur.  Of  curious  interest  are 
the  verses  describing  a  caricature  of  King  George  bending  one  knee  before 
Washington  and  directed  to  bend  the  other,  followed  by  an  exhortation  to 
loyalists  :  — 

Her  Konig  liegt  vor  ihm  (Washington),  anf  einem  Knie  gebogen. 

1st  dieses  wiirklich  wahr  ?  Herr,  es  ist  nicht  gelogen  ? 

Und  was  noch  arger  ist,  er  soil  mit  Fingern  zeigen 

Der  Konig  moge  doch  das  andre  Knie  auch  beigen. 

Ist  das  nicht  unverschamt  ?  den  Frevel  muss  man  strafen, 

Heiszt  das  ein  freies  Volk  ?  Nein  —  Sie  sind  Congresz  Sklaven. 

Auf  !  Auf  !  ihr  Britten  auf  !  Ihr  Hessen  frischen  Mut ! 

Marschirt  nur  hurtig  vor  ;  des  Konigs  Sach  steht  gut !  etc. 

An  amusing  couplet  found  in  the  same  issue,  written  by  some  aspiring 
poetaster,  called  “  Eine  Satire,”  is  as  follows  :  — 

Ich  will  —  icli  mag  —  ich  kann  nicht  schweigen  ! 

(Wiewohl  ich  weisz,  die  Thoren  wollen  mich  nicht  gleichen.) 

(These  verses  are  quoted  as  specimens,  recommending  the  book  of  verse.) 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  289 


that  were  gifts  of  the  crown  ;  they  felt  no  national  senti¬ 
ments  binding  them  to  a  British  prince.  They  were  men 
who  had  hewn  their  own  farms  out  of  the  wild  forest,  had 
maintained  their  independence  against  its  savage  inhab¬ 
itants,  and  now  claimed  as  their  own  the  soil  on  which 
their  battles  had  been  won.  Frontiersmen  —  and  most  of 
the  Germans  were  or  had  been  such  —  gained  from  their 
mode  of  life  a  degree  of  independence  which  often  set 
them  in  opposition  to  the  policies  of  the  seaboard.  The 
conservative  easterly  settlements  were  better  satisfied  with 
the  status  quo,  the  frontiersmen  looked  beyond,  aspired 
to  new  conditions,  and  were  ready  to  make  a  bold  venture. 
The  frontier  turned  the  balance  toward  independence. 

In  the  opinion  of  John  Adams,  the  people  of  New  York 
and  Pennsylvania  were  very  equally  divided  between  the 
Tory  and  Democratic  parties,  and  nearly  one  third  of  the 
whole  population  of  the  colonies,  at  the  time  of  the  Revolu¬ 
tion,  were  Tories.  “  New  York  and  Pennsylvania  were  so 
nearly  divided,  if  their  propensity  was  not  against  us,  that 
if  New  England  on  one  side  and  Virginia  on  the  other 
had  not  kept  them  in  awe,  they  would  have  joined  the 
British.” 1  This  opinion  was  affirmed  in  a  letter  to  Thomas 
McKean,  chief  justice  of  Pennsylvania,  sometime  pre¬ 
sident  of  Congress,  and  signer  of  the  Declaration  of 
Independence,  who  wrote  in  reply  :  “  You  say  that  about 
one  third  of  the  people  of  the  colonies  were  against  the 
Revolution.  It  required  much  reflection,  before  I  could 
fix  my  opinion  on  this  subject ;  but  on  mature  delibera-1 
tion  I  conclude  you  are  right,  and  that  more  than  one 
third  of  influential  characters  were  against  it.”  2  In  subse- 

1  Works  of  John  Adams,  vol.  X,  p.  63.  The  letter  is  dated,  “Quincy,  31 
August,  1813.” 

2  Adams's  Works,  vol.  x,  p.  110.  (Letter  to  James  Lloyd  dated,  “  Quincy, 
January,  1815.”) 


290 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


quent  letters  (1  { <7>0  )  he  speaks  of  the  Tories  as  constituting 
not  a  twentieth  of  the  population,  which  may  mean  that 
the  Tories  decreased  in  numbers  as  the  war  progressed. 
At  the  outbreak  of  the  Revolution  the  Tones  were  un¬ 
doubtedly  more  numerous ;  it  would  be  no  exaggeration 
to  assume  that,  at  the  beginning,  in  New  Jersey,  Penn- 
sylvania,  and  Delaware  one  third  of  the  population  were 
opposed  to  the  war;  in  New  York,  Georgia,  and  the  Caro- 
linas,  two  fifths;  in  Maryland  and  Virginia,  one  sixth.1 
Moses  Coit  Tyler"  says:  “In  Virginia,  especially  after 
hostilities  began,  the  Tories  were  decidedly  less  in  number 
than  the  Whigs.  In  North  Carolina,  the  two  parties  were 
about  evenly  divided.  In  South  Carolina,  the  Tories  were 
the  numerous  party  ;  while  in  Georgia  their  majority  was 
so  gieat  that,  in  1781,  they  were  preparing  to  detach 
that  colony  from  the  general  movement  of  the  rebellion.” 
A  Hessian  officer,3  writing  from  New  Hampshire,  estimated 
that  the  population  was  one  sixth  loyal,  one  sixth  neutral, 
and  two  thirds  rebel,  agreeing  with  the  estimate  of  Adams 
and  McKean. 


All  contemporary  accounts  and  sources  of  information 
seem  to  indicate  that  in  the  German  population  the  pro¬ 
portion  of  Tories  was  by  no  means  as  great  as  the  aver¬ 
ages  mentioned.  There  were  a  few  loyal  Germans  serving 
under  the  Hessian  colonel,  Knyphausen,  during  his  New 
Jersey  campaign,  but  they  would  by  no  means  represent 


1  Hanna  We  SM-Msh,  or  the  Scotch  in  North  Britain,  North  Ireland, 
ana  North  America ,  vol.  i,  p.  84. 

2  American  Historical  Review,  vol.  i,  p.  28,  “The  Loyalists  in  the  American 
devolution  (pp.  24-45). 

3  He  wrote  from  Castle  Town,  New  Hampshire  (now  probably  Castleton, 
Vermont),  July  20,  1777.  The  style  of  the  letter  is  such  as  to  inspire  con- 

2S9 *  Tit*  *  ■ta*“ent*  *****  hl  Schl6zer’s  Bri^hsel,  vol.  iii, 
pp.  275-282.  Schlozer  s  Brief wechsel ,  1777-1782,  contains  many  letters  from 

Hessian  officers  serving  in  the  American  colonies  during  the  Revolution 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  291 


one  third  or  even  one  sixth  of  the  German  population. 
Benjamin  Franklin,  when  queried  before  the  English  Par¬ 
liament  concerning  the  dissatisfaction  of  the  Americans 
with  the  Stamp  Act,  was  asked  how  many  Germans  there 
were  in  Pennsylvania.  His  answer  was:  “About  one  third 
of  the  whole  population,  but  I  cannot  tell  with  certainty.” 
Again  the  question  was  put  whether  a  part  of  them  had 
seen  service  in  Europe.  He  answered,  “Many,  as  well  in 
Europe  as  in  America.”  When  asked  whether  they  were 
as  dissatisfied  with  the  Stamp  Tax  as  the  native  popula¬ 
tion,  he  said:  “Yes,  even  more,  and  they  are  justified, 
because  in  many  cases  they  must  pay  double  for  their 
stamp  paper  and  parchments.” 

The  German  newspaper  in  Philadelphia  called  the 
“  Staatsbote,”  published  by  Henry  Miller,  later  the  printer 
of  Congress,  was  one  of  the  papers  that  fanned  the  flames 
of  rebellion.1  In  the  conventions  held  in  Philadelphia  in 
June  and  July,  1774,  and  January,  1775,  to  adopt  meas¬ 
ures  of  sympathy  and  union  with  Massachusetts,  the  Ger¬ 
mans  were  represented  by  Christopher  Ludwig,  Schlosser, 
Engel,  and  Hillegas;  by  Hubley,  Barge,  Rosz,  Ferree, 
Slough  (Schlauch),  Erwin,  Schultz,  Potts,  Kiichlein, 
Arndt,  Weitzel,  Hasenclever,  Melcher,  Wagner,  Graf, 
Kuhn,  Eichelberger,  Smyser,  Levan,  and  Gehr,  who  were 
residents  of  Philadelphia  and  of  the  Pennsylvania  Ger¬ 
man  counties  of  Lancaster,  Berks,  Northampton,  North¬ 
umberland,  York,  etc.2  This  representation  shows  that  the 

1  His  paper  was  read  as  far  as  the  Valley  of  Virginia.  Heinrich  Ringer, 
at  Winchester,  and  Jacob  Nicolas  at  Peaked  Mountain,  Augusta  County, 
were  the  agents  of  the  paper.  The  edition  of  March  19,  1776,  contains  an 
appeal  to  the  Germans  beginning  :  “Remember  that  your  forefathers  immi¬ 
grated  to  America  to  escape  bondage  and  to  enjoy  liberty.”  Virginia  Maga¬ 
zine  yoI.  x,  pp.  45  ff. 

2  Cf.  Seidensticker,  Bilder  aus  der  deutsch-Pennsylvanischen  GeschicJite, 
p.  259.  (New  York,  1886.) 


292 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Germans  were  aggressive  patriots  at  the  very  beginning 
of  the  Revolutionary  movement. 

Among  the  merchants  of  Philadelphia  who  fixed  their 
signatures  to  the  document  bidding  them  to  refrain  from 
importing  English  goods,  there  were  the  Germans,  Kep- 
pele  (senior  and  junior),  Steinmetz,  Deschler,  Wister 
(Daniel  and  John).  “  In  the  Valley  of  the  Blue  Ridge  the 
German  congregations,  quickened  by  the  preaching  of 
Muhlenberg,  were  eager  to  take  up  arms.”1  Even  before 
the  outbreak  of  hostilities  the  Germans  of  the  Valley  of 
Virginia  were  among  the  first  to  adopt  resolutions  which 
smacked  of  treason  to  the  British  king.  On  June  16, 
1774,  a  meeting  took  place  at  Woodstock,  Virginia,  in 
which  initial  revolutionary  steps  were  taken.  The  Rever¬ 
end  Peter  Muhlenberg  was  chosen  moderator  of  the 
meeting,  and  afterwards  chairman  of  the  committee  on 
resolutions.  The  resolutions  were  bolder  than  public 
opinion  at  that  time  was  prepared  to  sanction.  The  fol¬ 
lowing  extracts  show  the  spirit  pervading  them : _ 

That  we  will  pay  due  submission  to  such  acts  of  government 
as  His  Majesty  has  a  right  by  law  to  exercise  over  his  subjects, 
and  to  such  only. 

That  it  is  the  inherent  right  of  British  subjects  to  be  governed 
and  taxed  by  representatives  chosen  by  themselves  only,  and 
that  every  act  of  the  British  Parliament  respecting  the  inter¬ 
nal  policy  of  America  is  a  dangerous  and  unconstitutional  inva¬ 
sion  of  our  rights  and  privileges. 

That  the  enforcing  the  execution  of  said  acts  of  Parliament 
by  a  military  power  will  have  a  necessary  tendency  to  cause  a 
civil  war,  thereby  dissolving  that  union,  which  has  so  long  hap¬ 
pily  subsisted  between  the  mother  country  and  her  colonies; 

1  George  Bancroft,  History  of  the  United  States  of  America,  from  the  Dis¬ 
covery  of  the  Continent,  vol.  iv,  p.  318.  The  author’s  last  revision.  fN.  Y. 
Appleton,  1884.)  v 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  293 


and  that  we  will  most  heartily  and  unanimously  concur  with 
our  suffering  brethren  in  Boston  and  every  other  part  of  North 
America,  who  are  the  immediate  victims  of  tyranny,  in  promot¬ 
ing  all  proper  measures  to  avert  such  dreadful  calamities,  to 
procure  redress  of  our  grievances,  and  to  secure  our  common 
liberties. 

The  lovers  of  liberty  closed  by  “  pledging  themselves 
to  each  other,  to  our  country,”  and  promising  “  inviolably 
to  adhere  to  the  votes  of  this  day.”  The  committee  of 
safety  and  correspondence  appointed  for  the  county  con¬ 
sisted  of  Peter  Muhlenberg,  chairman,  Francis  Slaughter, 
Abraham  Bird,  T.  Beale,  J.  Tipton,  and  Abraham  Bow¬ 
man,  at  least  half  of  whom  were  Germans.1 

The  British  traveler  Smyth,2  while  in  Fredericktown, 
Maryland,  in  1775,  had  some  trouble  with  the  armed 
“  Associators.”  He  had  been  invited  before  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  committee,  but  preferred  to  leave  town,  going 
by  way  of  Middletown  and  Funkstown  to  Hagerstown. 
Everywhere  he  found  Germans,  and  he  describes  in  a 
grotesque  manner,  how,  after  his  first  escape,  he  was 
seized  again.  “One  said,  ‘Got  tamn  you,  how  darsht  you 
make  an  exshkape  from  this  honorable  committish?’  ‘Fer 
flucht  der  dyvel,’  cried  another,  ‘how  can  you  shtand  so 
shtyff  for  King  Shorsh  akainst  dish  Koontery?’  ‘Sacra- 
menter,’  roars  out  another,  ‘dish  committish  will  make 

1  These  resolutions  are  printed  in  the  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  46. 
The  editor  of  the  magazine  states  that  similar  resolutions  were  adopted  in 
meetings  in  Virginia,  as  follows  :  Fredericksburg,  June  1  ;  Prince  William 
County,  June  6  ;  Frederick  County,  June  8  ;  and  then  very  shortly  after 
occurred  the  meeting  at  Woodstock,  June  16,  1774.  The  proceedings  of  the 
meeting  are  published  in  full  in  the  Virginia  Gazette  for  August  4,  1774 
(Library  of  Congress).  The  spurious  Mecklenburg  (N.  C.)  declaration,  it 
was  claimed,  occurred  in  May,  1775  (one  year  later). 

2  Smyth,  A  Tour  in  the  United  States  of  America,  vol.  ii,  chapter  lxv,  pp. 
274  ff.  (London,  1784.) 


294 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Shorsh  know  how  to  behave  himself’;  and  the  butcher 
exclaimed,  ‘  I  would  kill  all  de  English  tieves  as  soon  as 
Ich  would  kill  van  ox  or  van  cow.’  ”  Smyth’s  experience, 
though  his  imitation  of  Pennsylvania  German  does  not 
quite  meet  the  rigorous  demands  of  modern  philology, 
proves  at  least  that  the  Frederick  County  Germans  were 
patriotic.  The  farmers  and  small  tradesmen  in  the  western 
counties  were  almost  without  exception  favorable  to  the 
Revolutionary  cause,  a  few  exceptions  to  the  contrary 
notwithstanding.  What  matters  it  if  John  Brake,  an  old 
German  of  considerable  wealth  on  the  South  Fork  of  the 
South  Branch,  who  had  no  friends  but  Ins  gold-pieces, 
became  a  Tory  from  selfish  interests?  General  Morgan 
soon  took  Brake  prisoner  and  quartered  his  German 
sharpshooters  at  the  old  gentleman’s  house,  to  live  on  the 
best  that  his  farm,  mill,  and  distillery  afforded.  A  few 
Germans  in  this  section,  who  had  become  Tories,  drawn 
over  by  the  Scotchman,  John  Claypole,  repented,  and  are 
known  to  have  fought  subsequently  against  Cornwallis  at 
Yorktown.1 

Xn  North  and  South  Carolina,  where  the  Tories  m  many 
places  outnumbered  the  Revolutionists,  to  be  a  patriot 
meant  a  greater  risk  or  sacrifice.  Many  Germans  in  the 
central  or  western  districts  of  those  states  suffered  greatly 
from  Tory  raids.2  Among  the  few  Germans  loyal  to  the 
crown  probably  the  most  noted  was  the  Reverend  John 
Joachim  Zubly,  for  many  years  the  most  prominent  Re¬ 
formed  minister  in  the  South.  He  was  educated  in  Switz¬ 
erland  and  followed  his  father  to  America  in  1774.  In 
September,  1775,  he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  Con- 

1  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  113. 

2  Cf.  Bernheim,  History  of  the  German  Settlements,  etc.,  in  North  and  South 
Carolina,  pp.  269-273. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  295 


tinental  Congress,  but  he  turned  Royalist,  was  expelled, 
and  lost  to  memory.1 

Concerning  the  Germans  of  Georgia  we  can  say  with 
assurance  that  by  far  the  majority  of  them  were  patriotic, 
the  German  Tories  amounting  by  no  means  to  two  fifths 
of  the  German  population.2  When  in  1775  the  provincials 
assembled  in  Savannah,  to  adopt  measures  to  protect  the 
province  against  the  arbitrary  legislation  of  the  mother 
country,  St.  Matthew’s  parish  was  represented  in  that  con¬ 
gress  by  the  Salzburgers, — John  Stirk,  John  Adam 
Treutlen,  Jacob  Waldhauer,  John  Fieri,  and  Christopher 
Cramer.  An  evidence  of  the  prominence  of  the  Salzburgers 
among  the  patriots  of  Georgia  was  the  election  of  John 
Adam  Treutlen  to  the  office  of  provincial  governor.  In 
his  youth  Treutlen  had  been  instructed  by  the  worthy 
minister  of  the  Salzburgers,  the  Reverend  Mr.  Bolzius,  in 
Latin,  French,  English,  and  mathematics,  and  by  virtue 
of  his  broad  education  and  natural  abilities  he  became  the 
centre  of  influence  in  the  German  congregation.  He  was 
an  opponent  of  the  mischief-maker,  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Triebner,  and  the  most  ardent  supporter  of  the  minister 
Rabenhorst  in  the  church  quarrel  which  the  Reverend 
H.  M.  Muhlenberg  arbitrated  and  settled.  Among  his  own 
people  and  beyond  he  took  a  strong  initiative  for  the 
party  of  liberty.  In  a  commonwealth  where  there  was 
much  Toryism  and  neutrality  he  soon  became  the  leading 
patriot.  In  May,  1777,  the  first  legislative  body  of  the 
state  met  in  Savannah  and  under  the  new  constitution 
Treutlen  was  elected  the  first  governor.  In  the  following 
year  dictatorial  powers  were  conferred  upon  him  by  act 

1  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  xi,  p.  392,  note. 

2  As  estimated  above,  two  fifths  to  one  half  the  population  of  Georgia 
were  Tories. 


296 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  the  Georgia  Council.1  One  of  his  appointees,  Colonel 
Elbert,  took  possession  of  the  fortress  Frederica  in  April, 
1778,  a  brilliant  victory  whereby  two  English  warships 
and  a  large  amount  of  supplies  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
captors.  The  most  prominent  German  Tory  in  this  sec¬ 
tion,  the  Reverend  Mr.  Triebner,  an  old  enemy  of  the  gov¬ 
ernor,  welcomed  the  British  to  Savannah  and  advised  them 
to  garrison  Ebenezer.  The  home  and  farm  of  Treutlen 
were  made  a  special  object  of  vengeance,  his  movable 
property  was  confiscated,  and  his  dwelling  and  stores  were 
burned  to  the  ground.  He  fled  to  Elbert  County,  and 
though  fifty-three  years  of  age2  joined  the  army  of  Gen¬ 
eral  Wayne,  and  served  throughout  the  war  as  quarter¬ 
master-general.  Other  Salzburgers  prominent  were  Samuel 
Stirk,  rebel  secretary;  William  Holsendorf  (Holzendorf), 
lebel  councilor;  John  Stork,  rebel  colonel;  and  many 
others  who  served  under  General  Wayne  in  the  war  for 
independence.  Among  those  notorious  on  the  royalist  side, 
for  marauding  parties,  were  the  Germans  Eischel  and 
Dasher,  whose  evil  work,  however,  was  counterbalanced 
by  the  military  services  of  the  sons  of  Frederick  Helfen- 
stein,  and  of  George  Wysche,  John  Schneider,  and  other 
“proscribed  rebels.” 

A  number  of  German  regiments  were  raised  at  the  very 
beginning  of  the  war  for  service  wherever  needed.  Congress 
decided  on  May  22,  1776,  to  raise  a  German  regiment, 
consisting  of  four  companies  levied  in  Pennsylvania  and 
four  in  Maryland,  to  which,  by  resolution  of  July  9,  1777, 
was  added  a  ninth  company  recruited  from  Pennsylvania. 
The  officers  and  men  were  entirely  German  or  of  German 

1  Stevens’s  History  of  Georgia ,  vol.  ii,  pp.  300-301,  304. 

Ireutlen  was  born,  in  1726,  at  Berchtesgaden,  in  the  Salzburg  dis- 

tnct. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  297 

descent.1  The  colonel  of  the  regiment  was  originally  Nich¬ 
olas  Haussegger,  who  was  succeeded  by  Ludwig  Weltner. 
The  regiment  was  engaged  in  Sullivan’s  division  during 
the  New  Jersey  campaign  and  took  part  also  in  the  latter’s 
campaign  against  the  Indians.  The  German  regiment 
served  also  to  protect  the  city  of  Philadelphia  against  the 
enemy  and  the  disaffected  during  Howe’s  campaign  in  New 
Jersey;  subsequently  it  joined  Washington’s  army,  taking 
part  in  the  battle  of  Trenton  that  so  revived  the  hopes  of 
the  patriotic  party.  The  regiment  took  part  also  in  the  bat¬ 
tles  of  Princeton  and  Brandywine,  and  spent  the  winter 
of  It 77— 78  at  Valley  Forge,  suffering  privations  with  the 
rest  of  the  American  army. 

The  regiment  called  Armand’s  Legion  was  originally 
recruited  by  Baron  von  Ottendorff  as  a  troop  of  light  in¬ 
fantry,  but  on  account  of  the  need  of  well-disciplined 
cavalry,  it  was  changed  into  a  dragoon  corps.  Ottendorff 
was  from  Saxony  and  had  served  in  the  Seven  Years’  War 
under  Frederick  the  Great.  He  was  directed  by  Congress 
December  5,  1776,  to  raise  an  independent  corps  of  one 
hundred  and  fifty,  of  which  he  was  put  in  command  with 
the  rank  of  major.  His  command  was  filled  in  Pennsylvania 
and  remained  in  service  from  1777  to  1780,  when  it  was 
merged  into  Armand’s  Legion,  while  Ottendorff  is  supposed 
to  have  returned  to  Europe.2  This  happened  after  the 
battle  of  Savannah,  in  which  Pulaski  suffered  death,  and 
m  which  Ottendorff ’s  company  also  met  many  losses  in  the 

1  Cf.  Rosengarten,  pp.  100-101.  Also  Pennsylvania  in  the  Revolution,  1775- 
1788,  2  vols.  (Harrisburg,  1880.)  Edited  by  Linn  and  Engle.  Full  lists  of 
officers  and  men  serving  in  Continental  forces  are  there  given.  For  a  list 
of  the  captains  and  lieutenants  see  Seidensticker,  pp.  263-264.  The  first,  third, 
fifth,  seventh,  and  ninth  companies  were  Pennsylvanians.  Maryland  deserves 
great  credit  for  furnishing  so  large  a  proportion,  four  ninths  of  the  regiment. 

2  Rosengarten,  pp.  103-104. 


298 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


attack.  Schott’s  dragoons,  recruited  in  the  Pennsylvania- 
German  districts,  were  also  for  a  time  in  Armand’s  Leg-ion. 
The  regiment  did  gallant  service  in  the  South,  at  York- 
town,  and  at  the  siege  of  New  York.  Several  hundred 
names  of  officers  and  men  belonging-  to  this  regiment  are 
given  in  “Der  deutsche  Pionier.”1  The  same  source-book 
for  German-American  history  gives  the  names  of  hundreds 
of  soldiers  who  served  during  the  Revolution  in  the  Con¬ 
tinental  regiments  I  to  xm  of  Pennsylvania.2 

One  of  the  interesting  facts  concerning  the  military  his¬ 
tory  of  the  Revolution  is  that  Washington’s  body-guard 
was  largely  made  up  of  Germans.  There  had  been  Tories, 
or  at  least  suspects,  in  the  first  body-guard  appointed,  and 
plots  were  revealed  by  which  the  person  of  the  commander- 
in-chief  was  to  be  seized.  On  the  advice  of  Washington's 
private  secretary  and  adjutant,  Reed,  who  was  of  German 
descent,3  a  troop  was  formed  consisting  entirely  of  Germans, 
called  the  Independent  Troop  of  Horse,  and  placed  under 
the  command  of  Major  Barth.  Van  Heer,a  Prussian,  who 
had  served  as  cavalry  lieutenant  under  Frederick  the  Great 
in  the  Seven  Years’  War.  Of  Washington’s  good  opinion 
of  German  soldiers  we  find  a  proof  in  his  letter  to  the  pre¬ 
sident  of  Congress,  dated  June  30,  1776  : 4  “  The  battalion 
of  Germans  which  Congress  has  ordered  to  be  raised  will 
be  a  corps  of  much  service,  and  I  am  hopeful  that  such  per- 

1  Yol.  viii,  pp.  45(M:56. 

3  Der  deutsche  Pionier ,  vol.  viii,  pp.  133-142,  181-187,  275-282,  333-336 
(Seventh  Continental  Regiment  of  Pennsylvania,  formerly  the  Sixth  Bat¬ 
talion,  Dr.  William  Irvine,  commander,  under  whom  served  Rose,  mentioned 
below),  496-499;  vol.  ix,  pp.  276-278,  329-333;  vol.  x,  pp.  158-161.  The 
lists  were  verified  by  comparison  with  the  statistics  of  the  Pension  Bureau  at 
Washington.  The  investigation  was  made  by  H.  A.  Rattermann,  editor  of 
Der  deutsche  Pionier. 

3  Der  deutsche  Pionier ,  vol.  vii,  p.  217. 

4  American  Archives,  series  ix,  vol.  vi,  p.  1142. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  299 


sons  will  be  appointed  officers  as  will  complete  their  enlist¬ 
ment  with  all  possible  expedition.” 

Van  Heer  recruited  most  of  bis  men  in  the  Pennsylvania 
German  counties,  Berks  and  Lancaster.  They  began  to 
serve  in  the  spring  of  1778,  and  were  honorably  discharged 
at  the  end  of  the  war,  twelve  of  them  serving  longer  than 
any  other  American  soldiers,  having  the  honor  of  escorting 
the  commander-in-chief  to  his  home  at  Mount  Vernon. 
These  twelve  men  each  received  presents  of  arms,  accou¬ 
trements,  and  a  horse,  as  we  learn  from  a  written  record 
in  the  possession  of  the  family  of  one  of  the  twelve,  Ludwig 
Boyer,  discharged  December  10,  1783.1  Washington’s 
mounted  body-guard  consisted  of  fourteen  officers  and 
fifty-three  men,  nearly  all  Germans,2  —  exclusively  Ger¬ 
mans,  according  to  the  testimony  of  Colonel  John  John¬ 
son,  sometime  president  of  the  Historical  and  Philosophical 
Society  of  Ohio,  and  personal  friend  of  Washington.3  In 
the  pension  lists  of  1828  a  number  of  names  of  soldiers 
belonging  to  Van  Heer’s  troop  are  given.  Boyer  was 
granted  a  pension,  one  hundred  pounds  annually ;  Jacob 
Fox  (Fuchs),  who  had  lost  his  discharge,  brought  as  wit¬ 
nesses  two  former  comrades,  Burckhardt  and  Trischer, 

1  The  descendants  of  Boyer  lived  in  Piqua,  Ohio.  The  discharge  of  Boyer 
was  in  the  handwriting  of  Washington’s  aide-de-camp,  David  Cobb.  Most  dis¬ 
charges  were  printed  formulas.  A  facsimile  of  the  original  is  found  in  Der 
deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  vii,  p.  469.  The  father  of  Ludwig  Boyer  (or  Beyer)  was 
a  Palatine  or  Rhine  Hessian,  who  landed  in  Philadelphia  in  1752  and  settled 
in  Berks  County. 

2  Rosengarten,  p.  139. 

3  Colonel  John  Johnson  was  by  birth  an  Irishman,  who  came  to  the  United, 
States  after  the  Revolution.  He  seems  to  have  had  no  reason  for  a  prejudicedj 
view.  His  acquaintance  with  Washington  and  distinguished  men  of  the  RevoJ 
lutionary  period  gives  his  statements  some  weight.  He  said  that  not  a  singH 
officer  or  soldier  of  this  troop  understood  a  word  of  English,  and  that  it  w* 
commanded  by  Major  Van  Heer,  a  Prussian.  For  a  discussion  of  the  whole  si M 
ject,  see  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  vii,  pp-  215-221,  and  469-485  (Ratterinan^ 


300 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


who  both  swore  that  they  had  belonged  to  Van  Heer’s 
corps  and  that  that  troop  was  the  body-guard  of  Wash¬ 
ington. 

As  representatives  of  two  classes  of  German  patriots, 
differing  as  to  origin  and  social  position,  but  one  in 
motive  and  enthusiasm,  there  may  be  selected  the  two 
men,  Peter  Muhlenberg  and  Christopher  Ludwig  (Lud- 
wick).  The  former,  born  in  America,  educated  in  Ger¬ 
many,  the  eldest  son  of  the  patriarch  of  the  Lutheran 
Church,  Henry  Melchior  Muhlenberg,  was  destined  to  hold 
high  offices  in  military  and  civil  affairs  ;  the  other,  born  in 
Germany,  without  the  advantages  of  scholarly  training, 
but  beaten  about  in  the  world  until  matured  and  ripened, 
was  a  representative  of  the  sturdy  middle-class  element 
among  the  Germans,  that  sometimes  causes  amusement  by 
its  foreign  smack,  but  has  frequently  inspired  admiration 
for  its  old-fashioned  virtue  and  power. 

Peter  Muhlenberg  was  destined  by  his  father  for  the 
ministry,  and  was  sent  to  Halle  as  a  student  of  theology. 
But  there  flowed  in  Peter’s  veins  the  blood  not  only  of 
the  ministerial  Henry  Melchior  Muhlenberg,  but  that  also 
of  the  adventure-loving  Conrad  Weiser.1  In  Muhlenberg’s 
family  there  were  also  some  soldier  ancestors.  The  in¬ 
clinations  of  Peter  therefore  swerved  between  the  serious 
purpose  of  the  preacher  and  the  danger-haunted  life  of 
the  soldier.  Being  born  under  a  lucky  star,  it  happened 
that  he  was  able  to  gratify  his  tastes  for  both  vocations, 
jjlis  father  had  misgivings  when  the  young  man  preached 
Ids  first  sermon,  and  well  he  might,  for  Peter  had  not 
I  een  an  ideal  student,  —  but  the  elders  of  the  church 
■"ouped  about  his  father  afterwards,  congratulating  him. 
»on  the  initial  achievement  of  his  son.  Peter  accepted 

1  His  mother  was  a  daughter  of  Conrad  Weiser. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  301 


a  call  in  1772  to  the  Lutheran  church  at  Woodstock,  in 
the  Shenandoah  Valley.  His  frank  and  manly  bearing 
made  friends  within  the  congregation  and  without.  An 
intimacy  arose  with  Patrick  Henry  and  Colonel  George 
Washington.  With  the  former  he  laid  deep  plans  of 
sedition,  with  the  latter  he  shot  bucks  in  the  Blue  Ridsre 
Mountains. 

Peter  Muhlenberg  was  made  the  chairman  of  the  Com¬ 
mittee  of  Safety  and  Correspondence  in  Dunmore  County, 
within  which  Woodstock  was  located.  In  the  state’s  con¬ 
vention  of  1774  at  Williamsburg,  and  in  the  next  session 
at  Richmond  in  March,  1775,  he  supported  Patrick  Henry 
eloquently  and  gave  assurance  of  the  support  of  his  large 
constituency  in  the  Valley.  Patrick  Henry  renewed  his 
motion  of  arming  the  province  of  Virginia,  and  Muhlen¬ 
berg  seconded  him.  In  accordance  with  the  wishes  of 
Washington  and  Patrick  Henry,  Muhlenberg  was  put  in 
command  of  the  Eighth  Virginia  Regiment.  The  German- 
Americans,  Abraham  Bowman  and  Peter  Helfenstein,  were 
his  lieutenant-colonel  and  major  respectively.  Quite  typ¬ 
ical  of  Peter  Muhlenberg  was  the  little  romance  connected 
with  his  last  sermon.  The  news  that  the  favorite  minister 
was  to  preach  his  last  sermon  brought  crowds  of  hearers 
from  far  and  near,  filling  not  only  the  church,  but  also 
the  churchyard  roundabout.  It  was  in  January,  1776, 
when  the  atmosphere  was  charged  with  potentialities.  At 
the  close  of  his  sermon  the  minister  spoke  of  the  duties 
we  owe  our  country,  saying  with  a  fervor  born  of  con¬ 
viction  that  “  there  was  a  time  for  preaching  and  praying, 
but  also  a  time  for  battle,  and  that  such  a  time  had  now 
arrived.”  He  pronounced  the  benediction,  then  threw  off 
his  clerical  robe,  and  behold,  minister  no  more,  he  stood 
in  the  uniform  of  a  colonel  of  the  Continental  Army.  As 


302 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


he  slowly  descended  from  the  pulpit  the  drums  were  beaten 
outside  the  church,  for  the  mustering  of  soldiers  in  the 
cause  of  freedom.  Enthusiasm  blazed  up  spontaneously, 
carrying  men  away  to  a  step  before  which  they  had  long 
hesitated  and  trembled.  Three  hundred  recruits  were  at 
once  taken  into  the  regiment  of  Muhlenberg,  and  on  the 
following  day  the  numbers  increased  to  over  four  hun¬ 
dred. 

The  regiment  of  Muhlenberg  was  always  more  numer¬ 
ous  than  others,  and  its  colonel  was  chosen  several  times 
to  restore  the  numbers  of  other  colonial  regiments.  His 
regiment  was  first  used  in  South  Carolina,  then  brought 
to  the  North.  On  February  21,  1777,  Congress  raised 
Colonel  Muhlenberg  to  the  rank  of  brigadier-general,  in 
command  of  the  First,  Fifth,  Ninth,  and  Thirteenth  Vir¬ 
ginia  regiments.  Muhlenberg’s  and  Weedon’s  (Wieden’s) 
brigade  formed  General  Greene’s  division,  distinguished 
for  bravery  and  discipline  in  the  battles  of  Brandywine 
and  Germantown.  At  Brandywine  Muhlenberg’s  brigade 
was  used  by  General  Greene  in  his  famous  manoeuvre,  cov¬ 
ering  the  retreat  of  the  American  army,  and  preventing 
its  annihilation  by  Cornwallis.  It  was  a  difficult  position 
to  hold,  against  picked  Hessian  troops  and  the  Guard 
regiments  of  the  British.  At  the  battle  of  Germantown 
Muhlenberg’s  division  divided  the  right  wing  of  the  enemy 
in  a  brilliant  bayonet  attack;  the  errors  of  that  unfor¬ 
tunate  battle  were  made  in  other  quarters.  The  regiment 
was  at  Valley  Forge  during  the  winter,  and  subsequently 
sustained  its  good  reputation  in  the  battle  of  Monmouth.1 

Christopher  Ludwig  was  an  aggressive  advocate  of  the 
Revolution.  From  the  very  first  he  maintained,  in  popular 
meetings,  that  no  compromise  measures  would  be  effective, 

1  Miihlenberg’s  operations  in  the  South  will  be  mentioned  below. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  308 


and  spoke  for  war  with  England  even  if  it  be  one  of  long 
duration.  When  Governor  Mifflin  made  a  motion  that  a 
collection  be  made  for  the  purchase  of  arms  and  ammuni¬ 
tion,  and  several  voices  were  heard  in  opposition,  Ludwig 
rose  and  said  in  badly  accented  but  very  plain  English : 
“  Mr.  President,  I  am  of  course  only  a  poor  gingerbread 
baker,  but  write  me  down  for  two  hundred  pounds.” 
Ludwig’s  move  closed  the  debate  and  the  proposition  was 
adopted  unanimously.  In  the  summer  of  1776,  though 
fifty-five  years  of  age,  Ludwig  became  a  volunteer  in  the 
militia.  He  was  well  acquainted  with  the  soldier’s  and 
sailor’s  life,  for  he  had  served  against  the  Turks  in 
Austria,  had  been  in  the  army  of  Frederick  the  Great, 
then  with  the  English  in  the  East  Indies,  and  from  1745 
on,  he  had  been  for  seven  years  at  sea.  He  had  settled  in 
Philadelphia  since  1754  and  had  followed  the  trade  of  a 
baker,  which  he  had  learned  in  his  native  city  of  Giessen. 
He  was  tall  in  stature,  erect  in  carriage  and  of  command¬ 
ing  presence,  so  that  he  was  nick-named  the  “  Governor 
of  Laetitia  Court”  (where  his  Philadelphia  bakery  was 
located).  He  impressed  his  fellow  men  at  once  with  his 
capacity  for  managing  affairs.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
“  Powder  Committee,”  as  we  know  from  his  advertisement 
for  a  man  “  skilled  in  the  art  of  manufacturing  powder.” 
In  May,  1777,  Congress  appointed  Ludwig  superintendent 
of  bakers  and  director  of  baking  for  the  entire  army.1  It 
was  demanded  of  him  to  furnish  one  hundred  pounds  of 
bread  for  every  one  hundred  pounds  of  flour.  “  No,”  said 
he,  “  Christopher  Ludwig  does  not  wish  to  become  rich 
by  the  war.  He  has  enough.  Out  of  one  hundred  pounds 
of  flour  one  gets  one  hundred  and  thirty-five  pounds  of 

1  With  the  salary  of  seventy-five  dollars  a  month  and  a  daily  supply  of 
two  rations.  Two  rations  presumably  for  himself  and  his  wife. 


304 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


biead,  and  so  many  will  I  give.”  His  predecessors, 
grafters  of  an  early  day,  had  always  given  themselves  the 
benefit  of  the  ignorance  of  the  legislators.  General  Wash¬ 
ington  was  in  the  habit  of  referring  to  Ludwig  as  his 

honest  friend.  Meeting  difficulties  m  securing  men  to 
help  him,  Ludwig  was  sent  to  Philadelphia  by  order  of 
the  commander-in-chief  to  apply  to  the  supreme  executive 
council  of  Pennsylvania  to  furnish  him  with  such  number 
of  journey  men  bakers  out  of  the  militia  as  he  might  want. 
One  of  Ludwig’s  notable  achievements  was  the  prompt 
execution  of  Washington’s  order,  immediately  after  the 
surrender  at  Yorktown,  to  bake  bread  for  the  army  of 
Cornwallis;  Ludwig  baked  six  thousand  pounds  of  bread 
in  one  day.  In  the  company  of  officers  Ludwig  showed 
good  humor  and  wit.  A  beautiful  punch-bowl  of  porce¬ 
lain,  which  he  had  brought  from  Canton,  China,  served 
the  officers  on  festive  occasions.  Washington  is  said  to 
have  drunk  many  a  toast  from  it,  and  was  fond  of  closing 
with  the  couplet,  “  Health  and  long  life,  to  Christopher 
Ludwig  and  Ins  wife.” 

The  occupation  of  Philadelphia  by  the  British  inflicted 
heavy  losses  upon  Ludwig,  as  also  upon  the  printer  Miller 
and  other  “notorious”  rebels.2  Ludwig  recovered,  how¬ 
ever,  after  the  war,  and  when  he  died  in  1809,  eighty- 
one  years  of  age,  he  left  several  bequests,  —  not  large,  to 
be  sure,  according  to  modern  standards,  but  very  well  be- 


1  The  added  water  increases  the  weight. 

2  The  printing-press  and  property  of  Heinrich  Miller  (printer  of  Congress') 
were  confiscated  The  British  robbed  the  house  of  Jacob  Schreiner,  a  mem- 

er  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee,  destroyed  the  sugar  refinery  of  David 

of  R  A"  ST  ,  Ti  ^  fathel"in-law  a»d  brother-in-law  respectively 
pi  A:  M,uhrlenberg)’  Plundered  the  house  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Schlatter 

KenneTe  K  h  W  da™a&ed  ^  pr°perty  °f  the  followinS  Germans: 
Keppele,  Ivuhn,  Hogner,  Zautzmger,  Bartch,  Sprogel,  Eckert,  Graff,  Gress- 

,  and  Knorr,  most  of  whom  were  well-to-do  merchants  of  Philadelphia. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  305 


stowed.  His  benefactions  were  extended  to  the  Deutsche 
Gesellschaft,  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  and  to  two 
churches  that  were  to  award  the  income  to  poor  children. 
The  residue  of  his  estate,  three  thousand  pounds,  was 
given  to  found  a  free  school,  which  in  1872  was  named 
in  his  honor  Ludwick’s  Institute.1 

The  German  settlements  in  the  Mohawk  Valley  and 
the  Schoharie  district  suffered  more  from  Indian  attacks 
during  the  Revolution  than  any  other  frontier  area.  They 
were  the  outposts  of  American  civilization  in  the  territory 
of  the  Six  Nations,  the  most  warlike  of  all  the  Indian 
tribes.  The  Six  Nations  had  for  the  most  part  been  friendly 
during  the  French  and  Indian  War  ;  now  the  English  had 
succeeded  in  persuading  them  that  their  king  across  the 
water  was  the  stronger  master,  and  in  consequence  they 
served  the  English.  An  additional  incentive  was  the  great 
opportunity  for  rewards  from  the  British,  combined  with 
the  certainty  of  plunder  from  the  colonists.  The  English 
at  one  time  placed  a  price  of  eight  dollars  upon  every 
scalp  brought  in.  The  rich  farms  and  fat  herds  of  the 
Mohawk  and  Schoharie  valleys  were  their  legitimate  prey, 
if  the  Indians  chose  to  join  in  the  war  against  the  Ameri¬ 
can  colonies. 

The  family  of  Sir  William  Johnson,  in  Tryon  County, 
who  had  been  so  influential  in  keeping  the  Indians  loyal 
during  the  French  and  Indian  War,  now  became  Tories, 
and  carried  the  Indians  of  their  section  with  them.  Sir 
William  Johnson  had  married  the  sister  of  the  Indian  chief 
Brant,  whom  he  had  given  a  good  school  education.2 

1  Dr.  Benjamin  Rush  thought  Ludwig  worthy  of  a  biography  by  his  own 
distinguished  pen:  Life  of  Ludwick.  (Philadelphia,  1801;  reprinted,  1831.) 
Cf.  also  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  viii,  pp.  18-25  ;  and  Seidensticker,  Bilder 
aus  der  deutsch-pennsylvanischen  Geschichte,  pp.  261-262. 

!  Brant  was  sent  to  the  school  of  Dr.  Wheelock,  of  Lebanon,  Connecticut. 


306 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Captain  Joseph  Brant  became  the  scourge  of  the  Mohawk 
Valley,  and  the  Schoharie  district.  He  was  superior  in 
intelligence  to  his  own  tribe  and  to  a  large  portion  of  the 
frontiersmen,  and  was  one  of  the  most  terrible  foes 
the  frontiersmen  at  any  time  or  place  had  the  ill  fortune 
to  encounter. 

The  Germans  of  the  Mohawk  Valley  could  not  wait 
until  they  might  receive  aid  from  the  New  York  state 
government.  The  Committee  of  Safety  in  Tryon  County 
organized  four  battalions  in  the  summer  of  1775.  All  four 
of  the  colonels  were  Germans,  Nicholas  Herkimer  (Herck- 
heimer),  commanding  the  first  battalion  (Canajoharie), 
Jacob  Klock  the  second  (Palatine  district),  Frederick 
Fisher  the  third  (Mohawk),  and  Hanjost  Herckheimer 
the  fourth  (German  Flats  and  Kingsland).1  The  whole 
force  was  put  under  the  command  of  Nicholas  Herkimer, 
who  by  pressure  and  persuasion  made  the  whole  district 
loyal  to  the  American  cause. 

In  the  middle  of  June,  1/77,  General  Burgoyne  began 
his  march  from  Canada.  He  wished  to  cut  off  the  New 
England  states  from  the  rest  of  the  colonies  by  establish¬ 
ing  a  line  from  Lake  Champlain  down  the  Hudson  to 
New  York.  He  was  to  be  aided  by  a  British  expedition 
up  the  Hudson  from  New  York.  Colonel  St.  Leger  was 
to  come  from  the  westward,  joining  Burgoyne  at  Albany, 
after  having  subdued  the  whole  of  the  Mohawk  Valley 
and  robbed  it  of  its  rich  harvests,  which  were  to  supply 
Burgoyne’s  army  with  food.  St.  Leger  left  Montreal 
about  the  end  of  July,  and  on  the  third  of  August  ar- 

His  Indian  name  was  Thay-en-da-ne-gea,  signifying  a  bundle  of  sticks,  the 
symbol  of  strength. 

1  Kapp,  Geschichte  der  Deutschen  im  Staate  New  York,  pp.  239  ff  fNew 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  307 


rived  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  present  city  of  Rome, 
on  the  narrow  plateau  which  forms  the  watershed  betvYeen 
the  Hudson  and  St.  Lawrence. 

In  the  mean  time  General  Herkimer  had  summoned  to 
arms  all  the  men,  between  sixteen  and  sixty  years  of  age, 
in  Tryon  County ;  even  the  members  of  the  Committee  of 
Safety  were  not  excused  from  service  in  the  ranks.  Four 
battalions,  about  eight  hundred  men,  under  the  command¬ 
ers  named,  advanced  in  the  direction  of  Fort  Stanwix  (its 
location  was  near  what  is  now  Rome),  where  a  garrison 
had  been  stationed  under  Colonel  Gansevoort.  The  latter 
had  with  him  about  six  to  seven  hundred  men,  and  had 
put  the  fort  into  a  condition  of  defense.  General  St.  Leger, 
after  surrounding  Fort  Stanwix,  demanded  its  surrender, 
and  was  greatly  surprised  when  he  met  a  stern  refusal. 
The  militia  under  Herkimer  crossed  the  Mohawk  at  Fort 
Schuyler  (the  present  Utica),  and  on  the  evening  of  the 
fifth  of  August  encamped  near  the  confluence  of  the 
Oriska  and  the  Mohawk,  where  Oriskany  is  now  located. 
The  inexperienced  troops  were  aflame  with  eager  desire 
to  meet  the  enemy.  The  general,  who  had  experienced 
the  dangers  of  border  fighting  in  the  French  and  Indian 
War,  wisely  advised  caution,  and  wished  to  select  a  secure 
position  in  which  to  wait  for  an  attack.  Just  as  Daniel 
Boone’s  advice  a  few  years  later  was  scorned  before  the 
disastrous  battle  of  the  Blue  Licks,1  and  the  Kentucky 
militia,  inflamed  by  Major  McGarry’s  taunts,  advanced 
contrary  to  Boone’s  wishes,  so  here  the  undisciplined 
bravado  of  the  raw  militia  could  not  be  restrained.  The 
brave  commander  was  denounced  as  a  coward  and  Tory 
by  his  brother  officers,  Fischer  (Visscher),  Cox,  and  Paris, 

1  Cf.  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  ii,  pp.  200-201.  The  battle 
was  fought  August  19,  1782. 


308 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


who  carried  the  eager  masses  with  them.  “I  am  placed  over 
you  as  a  father  and  guardian,”  said  Herkimer  calmly, 
“  and  I  will  not  lead  you  into  difficulties  from  which  I 
may  not  he  able  to  extricate  you.”  But  the  confusion  and 
dissatisfaction  becoming  unbearable,  Herkimer  exclaimed, 
“If  you  will  have  it  so,  the  blood  be  upon  your  heads,” 
and  yielding,  he  gave  the  command  to  move  on.1 

Colonel  St.  Leger  had  received  information  concerning 
the  approach  of  General  Herkimer  and  preferred  to  meet 
him  in  the  field  rather  than  await  him.  He  detached 
eighty  men  of  Sir  John  Johnson’s  Royal  Greens  under 
Major  Watts  (Sir  John’s  brother-in-law),  and  the  entire 
body  of  Indians  under  Joseph  Brant,  the  whole  under  the 
command  of  Johnson,  to  intercept  Herkimer’s  approach. 
On  the  advice  of  Brant  the  plan  followed  was  to  draw  the 
Americans  into  an  ambuscade.  A  position  was  selected, 
admirably  adapted  for  this  purpose,  about  two  miles  west 
from  Onskany,  and  about  six  miles  distant  from  Fort 
Stanwix.  The  road  led  through  a  ravine,  and  sloped  to  a 
swamp  bottom,  that  was  made  passable  only  by  a  corduroy 
road,  constructed  for  the  benefit  of  supply-wagons  goino- 
to  Fort  Stanwix.  On  the  other  side  the  road  sloped  upward 
and  opened  toward  the  west.  The  country  on  either  side 
was  wooded  and  afforded  good  opportunities  for  observing 
the  corduroy  road.  About  eleven  o’clock  in  the  morning 
Herkimer,  riding  at  the  head  of  his  column  on  a  white 
horse,  reached  the  ravine.  His  people  followed  him  slowly 
going  into  the  ravine  and  deliberately  ascending  the  west¬ 
ern  height  where  Herkimer  waited  for  them. 

The  small  force  had  in  part  ascended  the  western  slope, 


(|’f'  W-  M-  ^eid>  The  Mohawk  Valley,  Its  Legends  and  its  History  (The 
Knickerbocker  Press,  N  Y  11011  r,  /Lis  a  a  j  y  ^  De 

follows,  pp.  419-429  P’  ‘  Ag°°d  descriPtlon^  the  battle 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  309 


a  greater  part  was  still  in  the  ravine,  while  the  baggage- 
train  had  just  entered.  Only  the  rear  guard,  consisting  of 
Colonel  Fischer’s  regiment,  was  still  on  the  eastern  slope. 
Suddenly  at  a  given  signal  the  Tories  and  Indians  broke 
forth  from  the  forests  and  thick  brushwood,  and  with  tre¬ 
mendous  noise  and  hideous  yells  fell  upon  the  unsus¬ 
pecting  militiamen.  As  Herkimer  had  predicted,  Colonel 
Fischer  and  his  men  were  seized  with  a  panic  and  made 
a  hasty  retreat,  deserting  the  baggage-train  and  the  rest 
of  the  force  of  Herkimer,  whom  they  had  so  loudly  de¬ 
nounced  as  cowards. 

Though  taken  by  surprise,  Herkimer’s  men  rallied  under 
his  noble  example,  and  after  firing  their  guns,  met  the 
onslaught  of  the  Indians  with  their  knives  and  the  butts 
of  their  guns.  Noticing  that  the  firing  from  along  the 
eastern  slopes  of  the  ravine  was  irregular,  the  commander 
ordered  Colonel  Bellinger  and  the  soldiers  who  had  not 
yet  crossed  the  causeway  to  retake  the  hill.  Dashing 
through  the  hail  of  lead  on  both  flanks  the  stalwart  Pal- 
atine  Germans  stormed  the  hillside,  firing  to  kill  as  they 
went.  Regaining  the  hilltop  they  formed  into  circular 
squads,  leaving  the  bottom  of  the  fatal  ravine  to  the  dead 
and  dying  and  the  prowling  savages  with  painted  skins, 
who  were  in  search  of  scalps  and  plunder.  It  was  about 
noon,  after  Herkimer  had  succeeded  in  getting  the  regi¬ 
ment  stationed  in  some  sort  of  order  on  the  plateau,  when 
he  was  hit  below  the  knee  by  a  bullet  which  shattered  his 
leg  and  killed  his  horse.  Immediately  he  had  his  saddle 
brought  to  the  foot  of  a  large  beech  tree,  and  taking  his 
seat  upon  it,  directed  the  fight  from  that  position.  He 
lighted  his  pipe  and  continued  to  order  the  progress  of  the 
battle  with  firmness  and  composure,  until  the  final  retreat 
of  the  enemy.  The  tactics  on  either  side  varied,  in  forma- 


310  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

tion  and  style,  from  fighting  under  cover  to  bayonet  at¬ 
tacks  in  mass.  The  Palatines  grouped  around  their  leader 
at  the  vantage-point  on  the  plateau,  and  resisted  every 
charge  with  dauntless  courage. 

The  day  had  been  hot  and  sultry,  the  distant  rumblings, 
indications  of  a  coming  storm,  had  not  been  heard  amid 
the  roar  of  battle.  So  intent  were  the  contestants  upon 
the  struggle  that  they  did  not  take  notice  of  the  thunder¬ 
storm  until  it  broke  forth  with  great  violence.  The  heavy 
downpour  of  rain,  the  swaying  of  the  trees  in  the  Avind, 
and  the  great  darkness  arrested  the  work  of  death  for  about 
an  hour.  But  hardly  had  the  skies  become  clear  again 
when  the  rage  of  battle  once  more  rivaled  the  fury  of  the 
elements.  The  pause  was  of  advantage  to  the  Palatines. 
They  recovered  their  composure  completely,  had  kept  their 
powder  dry  and  reloaded  their  guns.  Herkimer  again 
showed  his  skill  in  tactics.  He  had  noticed  that  the  In- 
dians  always  watched  the  tree  from  which  a  shot  came  and 
immediately  afterwards  leaped  toward  it  in  order  to  toma¬ 
hawk  the  marksman  before  he  could  reload.  Herkimer 
now  placed  two  men  behind  each  tree.  As  soon  as  one  had 
shot  his  gun,  the  other  was  ready  with  his,  giving  the  first 
man  time  to  reload.  The  second  man  regularly  shot  the 
approaching  Indian.  In  this  manner  the  Indians  began  to 
suffer  severe  losses,  causing  their  courage  to  droop  and 
dwindle.  Heavy  punishment  the  Indians  could  never  en¬ 
dure,  and  as  soon  as  it  occurred  they  became  disheartened. 

Johnson’s  Royal  Greens  now  hastened  to  repair  the 
losses  sustained.  A  large  number  of  the  Royalists  were 
recognized  as  former  residents  of  the  Mohawk  Valley, 
former  neighbors  now  met  face  to  face  as  enemies.  The 
contest  grew  in  bitterness  and  stubbornness.  The  rage  of 
the  patriots  increased  to  white  heat  as  they  recalled  what 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  311 


they  had  suffered  from  Tory  treachery.  The  terrible  hand- 
to-hand  struggle  lasted  longer  than  half  an  hour,  until  the 
Royalists  were  gradually  pushed  backward.  Colonel  Cox 
fell  during  this  close  fighting ;  his  clear  commanding 
voice  had  long  overtopped  the  hissing  of  the  rifle-balls, 
and  the  wild  battle-cry  of  the  Indians.  His  loss  was  bal¬ 
anced  by  the  loss  of  Major  Watt  and  many  others  of 
the  Royal  Greens.  Suddenly  the  thundering  of  cannons 
was  heard  from  the  direction  of  Fort  Stanwix,  and  the 
British,  fearing  to  be  attacked  in  the  rear,  left  the  bat¬ 
tle-field  in  possession  of  the  brave  peasants  of  Tryon 
County.  The  sortie  from  the  fort  was  due  to  a  plan  of 
Herkimer’s.  He  had  sent  a  messenger  to  Gansevoort, 
directing  him  to  attack  the  British  force  in  the  rear  at  the 
same  moment  when  he  himself  should  meet  the  enemy  in 
the  front.  The  messenger,  however,  did  not  arrive  at  the 
fort  until  one  o’clock  in  the  afternoon,  having  with  diffi¬ 
culty  eluded  capture.  Gansevoort  at  once  sent  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Willet  forward  with  two  hundred  and  fifty  men. 
They  attacked  the  camp  of  General  Johnson,  took  pos¬ 
session  of  his  baggage  and  papers,  captured  five  British 
flags,  and  all  the  presents  which  had  been  intended  for 
the  Indians.  Hearing  that  Herkimer’s  advance  had  been 
arrested,  they  retreated  to  the  fort  without  loss. 

The  effect  of  this  sortie  was  of  great  importance.  In 
the  first  place  it  decided  the  retreat  of  the  British  force, 
and  in  the  second  it  increased  the  discontent  of  the  In¬ 
dians.  They  had  sustained  the  loss  of  a  large  number  of 
their  chiefs  and  best  warriors,  and  now,  on  returning  to 
camp,  they  found  themselves  deprived  of  all  their  comforts. 
Being  accustomed  to  go  into  battle  naked,  and  finding  no 
blankets,  they  suffered  severely  from  cold  during  the 
night,  and  even  the  tortures  of  their  prisoners  could  not 


312  THE  GEKMAN  ELEMENT 

comfort  them  in  their  misery.  To  revenge  themselves  they 
plundered  the  baggage  of  English  officers  and  took  pos¬ 
session  of  the  boats  on  Wood  Creek.  The  battle  of  Oris- 
kany  thoroughly  discouraged  and  demoralized  the  Indians 
and  made  them  unfit  as  allies.  W hen  they  returned  to 
their  villages  they  mourned  the  loss  of  their  chiefs,  and 
whatever  presents  they  had  received  did  not  appear  to 
them  an  adequate  compensation. 

The  losses  of  the  Palatines  were  great  also,  to  be  sure. 
About  two  hundred,  one  fourth  of  the  number  that  had 
gone  into  battle,  had  been  slain  or  were  severely  wounded. 
Colonels  P.  Bellinger  and  Cox,  Majors  Eisenlord,  Klapp- 
sattel,  and  Van  Slyck,  Captaiii  Helmer,  and  Lieutenant 
Petrie  were  among  the  dead.  Most  of  the  subaltern  officers 
were  killed,  some  captured  with  Colonel  Bellinger  and 
Major  Frey.  There  was  hardly  a  house  in  the  Valley 
which  was  not  put  into  mourning  by  the  death  of  a  father, 
brother,  or  son. 

The  English  force  retreated  toward  Fort  Stanwix,  to 
which  they  laid  siege.  On  the  day  after  the  battle  Willet 
and  Stockwell  stole  through  the  besieging  force  and 
brought  news  to  General  Schuyler.  Arnold  was  sent  to 
the  assistance  of  Gansevoort  with  a  handful  of  regulars 
and  a  number  of  volunteers  collected  in  the  Mohawk 
alley.  Extravagant  reports  being  spread  about  in  the 
camp  of  the  British,  concerning  the  size  of  the  reinforce¬ 
ments,  a  panic  seized  the  camp  of  St.  Leger,  aggravated 
no  doubt  by  the  restlessness  of  the  Indian  allies.  On 
August  22,  1777,  St.  Leger  hastily  raised  the  sieoe, 
leaving  his  tents  and  ammunition  behind. 

The  most  severe  loss  to  the  patriot  cause  was  the  death 
ot  General  Herkimer,  which  followed  shortly  after  the 
battle.  He  had  paid  little  attention  to  his  wounds, 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  318 


attending  to  the  business  of  reorganizing  the  militia, 
until  nine  days  after  the  battle,  when  his  leg  had  to  be 
amputated.  It  was  done  in  the  most  unskillful  manner, 
the  leg  being  cut  off  square  without  allowing  flesh  enough 
below  the  bone  to  cover  the  wound.  Colonel  Willet  called 
to  see  him  soon  after  the  operation  and  found  him  sitting 
up  in  his  bed,  cheerful  as  ever,  smoking  his  pipe.  A 
hemorrhage  followed,  and  toward  evening  of  the  same 
day  Herkimer  felt  that  his  end  was  near.  He  called  for 
his  Bible,  and  in  the  presence  of  his  family  read  the 
thirty-eighth  Psalm.  His  voice  gradually  grew  weaker, 
the  book  slipped  from  his  fingers,  and  death  overtook 
him.1  “It  was  Herkimer,”  said  George  Washington, 
“who  first  reversed  the  gloomy  scene”  of  the  Northern 
campaign.  The  pure-minded  hero  of  the  Mohawk  Valley 
“served  from  love  of  country,  not  for  reward.  He  did 
not  want  a  Continental  command  or  money.”  “Before 
Congress2  had  decided  how  to  manifest  their  gratitude 
he  died  of  his  wound ;  and  they  decreed  him  a  monument. 
Gansevoort  was  rewarded  by  a  vote  of  thanks  and  a 
command;  Willett,  by  public  praise  and  an ‘elegant  sword.’  ” 
The  results  of  the  battle  of  Oriskany  were  far  greater 
than  the  small  number  of  men  engaged  might  indicate. 
Had  not  the  Palatines  of  the  Mohawk  V alley  stopped  the 
advance  of  St.  Leger,  the  rich  harvests  of  their  farms 
would  have  been  used  to  feed  the  army  of  Burgoyne. 
St.  Leger’s  auxiliary  forces,  with  the  Mohawk  Valley 

1  Nicholas  Herkimer  (correctly  spelled  Nikolaus  Herckheimer),  though 
twice  married,  had  no  children.  He  was  very  wealthy  and  left  his  estate  to 
his  relatives,  who  were  numerous  and  influential  in  the  valley.  In  the  gen¬ 
ealogical  work  of  P.  S.  Cowen,  The  Herkimers  and  Schuylers,  an  historical 
sketch  of  the  two  families  with  genealogies,  etc.,  the  descendants  of  George 
Herkimer  (the  ancestor  who  arrived  in  1721  from  the  Palatinate)  are 
enumerated. 

2  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  p.  170. 


814 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


accessible  to  them,  would  probably  have  prevented  Bur- 
goyne’s  surrender.  The  other  far-reaching  result  was  the 
effect  the  battle  had  on  the  Indians.  They  had  not  ex¬ 
pected  such  obstinate  resistance  nor  such  severe  losses. 
They  grew  discontented  with  their  allies,  the  British, 
and  the  latter  considered  their  Indian  allies  a  failure. 
Official  information  went  home  to  the  effect  that  the  red 
men  u treacherously  committed  ravages  upon  their  friends; 
they  could  not  be  controlled;  they  killed  their  captives; 
that  there  was  infinite  difficulty  to  manage  them;  that 
they  grew  more  and  more  unreasonable  and  importun¬ 
ate.”  1 

During  the  whole  of  1777  and  until  the  summer  of  1778, 
the  Valley  of  the  Mohawk  was  not  troubled  by  the  In¬ 
dians  and  Tories.  The  farmers  could  peacefully  till  their 
fields  and  bring  in  their  harvests.  But  their  repose  and 
unpreparedness  invited  new  troubles.  The  numbers  in  the 
militia  companies  had  shrunk  since  the  battle  of  Oriskany 
from  nine  to  seven  companies.  Fort  Stanwix  lay  thirty 
miles  distant  from  the  last  German  settlements,  so  that  it 
could  easily  be  passed  by  small  war-parties.  An  enemy  like 
Joseph  Brant,  the  Mohawk  chieftain,  was  quick  to  see  the 
defenseless  condition  of  the  Valley  and  arouse  in  his  war¬ 
riors  their  natural  lust  for  booty.  Even  when  subsequently 
Fort  Stanwix  was  given  up,  and  the  main  defensive 
strength  was  placed  in  Fort  Dayton  (the  present  Her- 
knner),  Brant,  who  knew  every  trail  and  opening  in  the 
Valley,  could  easily  pass  in  and  out  as  he  pleased.  The 
Mohawk  chief  opened  hostilities  in  1778,  attacking  the 
small  settlement  of  Andrustown,  in  the  southeastern  part 
of  present  Herkimer  County.  Four  men  were  killed,  others 
led  off  captive.  The  inhabitants  of  the  German  Flats 

1  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  p.  170. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  815 


started  in  pursuit,  but  succeeded  only  in  taking  revenge 
upon  a  Tory  friend  of  Brant.  The  next  expedition,  more 
ambitious,  was  directed  against  the  German  Flats,  pro¬ 
tected  on  the  north  side  by  Fort  Dayton  and  on  the  south 
by  Fort  Herkimer.  The  German  Flats  were  at  that  time 
inhabited  by  about  one  thousand  Palatines,  men,  women, 
and  children.  They  were  no  match,  however,  for  the  large 
band  of  Tories  and  Indians  mustered  by  Brant.  The  set¬ 
tlers  had  just  gathered  in  their  harvests,  an  opportune  mo¬ 
ment  chosen  by  Brant  for  his  attack.  Three  of  the  four 
messengers  whom  the  Germans  had  stationed  as  scouts 
were  killed,  and  only  one,  Helmer,  brought  the  news  of 
Brant’s  approach.  The  attack  was  so  sudden  that  the  set¬ 
tlers  could  only  retreat  hastily  to  their  forts,  leaving  their 
possessions  a  prey  to  the  marauders.  Sixty-three  houses, 
seventy-five  barns,  three  grist-mills,  and  two  saw-mills  with 
their  contents  were  set  on  fire  by  the  invaders,  who  drove 
off  with  them  two  hundred  and  thirty-five  horses,  two 
hundred  and  twenty-nine  head  of  cattle,  two  hundred  and 
sixty-nine  sheep,  and  ninety-three  oxen.  Brant  did  not 
attack  the  forts,  and  escaped  as  suddenly  as  he  had  come, 
eluding  the  three  to  four  hundred  soldiers  who  started  in 
pursuit.  This  story  of  sudden  attack,  robbery,  and  escape 
was  repeated  month  after  month  and  year  after  year  along 
the  whole  frontier  of  New  York.  No  help  was  received  of  an 
effective  kind  until  the  punitive  expedition  under  Sullivan 
devastated  the  villages  of  the  Six  Nations.  This  happened 
in  1779  after  the  Wyoming  massacre1  (July  3,  1778)  in 

1  One  of  the  German  settlers  of  Wyoming  County  was  Judge  Matthew 
Hollenbach.  He  refused  offers  of  British  agents  to  play  the  traitor,  and 
joined  the  patriot  army  as  lieutenant  in  New  Jersey.  He  was  very  success¬ 
ful  in  getting  recruits  from  the  Wyoming  Valley.  At  the  time  of  the  mas¬ 
sacre  of  the  Wyoming  settlers  Hollenhach  suffered  severe  property  losses. 
Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  i,  pp.  262  ff. 


316 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Pennsylvania,  and  that  of  Cherry  Valley  (December  10, 
1778)  in  Otsego  County,  New  York.  In  both  of  these  mas¬ 
sacres  the  German  settlers  suffered  with  the  rest.1  It  would 
be  wearisome  to  rehearse  the  agonizing  details  of  border 
warfare  on  the  Mohawk.2  A  striking  proof  of  the  mon¬ 
strous  cruelty  of  the  Indians  at  this  time,  and  of  the  stoic 
sufferings  of  the  frontier  settlers  during  the  Revolutionary 
War,  is  furnished  by  the  following  inventory  of  scalps 
taken  by  the  Seneca  Indians,  which  accidentally  fell  into 
American  hands.3  There  were  eight  items  as  follows :  Lot 
1,  forty-three  scalps  of  soldiers  of  Congress  killed  in  battle, 
also  sixty-two  scalps  of  farmers  who  had  been  killed  in 
their  houses;  lot  2,  ninety-eight  scalps  of  farmers  killed 
in  their  houses  surprised  by  day,  not  by  night  as  the  first 
lot.  The  red  color  applied  to  the  hoops  of  wood,  which  were 
used  to  stretch  the  scalp,  indicated  the  difference ;  lot  3  con¬ 
tained  ninety-seven  scalps  of  farmers  killed  in  their  fields, 
different  colors  denoting  whether  killed  by  tomahawk  or 
rifle-ball;  lot  4  contained  one  hundred  and  two  scalps  of 
farmers,  most  of  them  young  men  ;  lot  5  contained  eighty- 
eight  scalps  of  women,  those  with  blue  hoops  cut  from  the 
heads  of  mothers;  lot  6  contained  one  hundred  and  ninety- 
three  scalps  of  boys  of  different  ages  killed  with  clubs 
or  hatchets,  some  with  knives  or  bullets ;  lot  7  contained 
two  hundred  and  eleven  scalps  of  girls,  large  and  small ; 
and  lot  8,  one  hundred  and  twenty-two  scalps  of  various 

In  1769  there  were  about  forty  or  fifty  families,  mostly  of  those  called 
Scotch-Irish,  and  as  many  more  in  the  vicinity  consisting  of  Germans  and 
others.  See  “Four  Great  Rivers,”  the  Journal  of  Richard  Smith,  1769.  Edited 
hy  F.  W.  Halsey.  (New  York:  Scribner’s  Sons,  1906.) 

2  Kapp,  Geschichte  der  Deulschen  im  Staate  New  York,  chap,  xii,  pp.  255-279, 
gives  a  very  good  account  of  this  terrible  struggle,  basing  it  upon  authentic 
records. 

8  Kapp,  supra,  pp.  276-279.  Based  on  Campbell’s  Annals  of  Trvon  Countv 
pp.  67-70  (appendix). 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  317 


kinds,  among  them  twenty-nine  babes’  scalps  carefully 
stretched  on  small  white  hoops.  The  entire  bundle,  includ¬ 
ing  the  total  of  1062  scalps,  fell  into  the  hands  of  a  New 
England  expedition  against  the  Indians,  and  a  prayer  was 
found,  accompanying  the  inventory,  addressed  to  the  Brit¬ 
ish  governor  (Haldimand) :  “Father,  we  wish  that  you  send 
these  scalps  to  the  Great  King  that  he  may  look  at  them 
and  be  refreshed  at  their  sight  —  recognize  our  fidelity  and 
be  convinced  that  his  presents  have  not  been  bestowed 
upon  a  thankless  people.”  The  scalps  represented  the 
work  of  the  three  years  preceding  February,  1782,  and 
were  taken  from  the  frontier  settlers  of  New  England, 
New  York,  Pennsylvania,  and  Virginia.1 

Among  the  numerous  stories  of  heroism  on  the  frontier 
there  is  none  more  memorable  than  that  told  of  Johann 
Christian  Schell.  He  lived  with  his  wife  and  six  sons  about 
three  miles  to  the  northeast  of  Fort  Dayton,  in  what  was 
called  Schell’s  Bush.  It  was  in  August,  1781,  when  most 
settlers  had  retreated  for  safety  to  the  forts,  or  to  more 
easterly  settlements.  He  decided  to  breast  the  storm,  rely¬ 
ing  upon  his  sure  eye  and  brave  arm.  Schell’s  blockhouse 
was  strong,  well  built,  and  well  adapted  for  defense 
against  ordinary  attacks.  His  house  was  stored  with  wea¬ 
pons  and  ammunition.  He  was  at  work  in  the  field  with 
his  sons  one  day  when  the  enemy  appeared.  The  two 
youngest  sons,  twins  eight  years  of  age,  could  not  follow 
their  father  and  elder  brothers  fast  enough,  were  taken 
captive,  and  dragged  off  to  Canada.  It  was  two  o’clock  in 
the  afternoon  when  about  forty-eight  Indians  and  sixteen 
Tories  attacked  the  house.  Their  leader  was  Donald  Mac- 

1  Cf.  Kapp,  p.  278.  The  explanatory  letter  was  written  by  James  Craw¬ 
ford  (spelled  Craufurd),  January  3,  1782,  from  Tioga,  seeming  to  indicate 
that  most  of  the  scalps  came  from  the  New  York  frontier. 


318 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Donald.  While  Schell  and  his  four  sons  shot  off  their 
rifles,  his  wife  reloaded  them.  Almost  every  shot  hit  its 
mark,  but  the  enemy  were  so  numerous  as  not  to  feel 
their  losses.  Finally  MacDonald  himself  succeeded  in 
reaching  the  door,  which  he  tried  to  pry  open  with  a 
lever.  During  the  attempt  he  was  shot  in  the  leg. 
Quick  as  a  flash  Schell  unbolted  the  door  and  pulled  the 
wounded  captain  into  his  house.  This  success  rescued  the 
besieged  from  the  danger  of  fire,  for  MacDonald  would  in 
such  an  event  have  been  burned  also.  MacDonald’s  ammu¬ 
nition  also  fell  into  the  hands  of  Schell,  which  was  fortun¬ 
ate,  for  he  had  only  a  few  shots  left.  The  last  effort  of  the 
enemy  having  failed,  the  brave  family  were  given  a  re¬ 
spite  from  their  bloody  labors.  While  father  and  sons  were 
getting  their  rifles  ready  for  another  attack,  the  mother 
began  to  sing  the  battle  hymn  of  the  Reformation,  “A 
Mighty  Fortress  is  our  God.”  The  men  fell  in  and 
Luther’s  martial  hymn  echoed  through  the  woods  with 
tremendous  power.  The  words — 

“  Und  wenn  die  Welt  voll  Teufel  war, 

Und  wollt  uns  gar  verschlingen, 

So  fiirchten  wir  uns  nicht  so  sehr, 

Es  muss  uns  doch  gelingeu!  ”  — 

inspired  them  to  their  last  great  effort.  The  Tories  and 
Indians  now  pushed  some  of  their  guns  through  the  shot- 
holes  of  the  house,  at  a  moment  when  the  men  had  with¬ 
drawn  to  load.  The  courageous  mother,  seeing  the  danger, 
seized  an  axe  and  struck  in  upon  the  guns,  bending  their 
bores,  and  giving  her  men  time  to  reload.  Darkness  soon 
set  in,  and  the  besieged  family  sang  with  lusty  voices,  as 
if  they  were  confident  relief  were  coming  from  the  neigh¬ 
boring  Fort  Dayton.  The  attacking  party,  not  being  able 
to  see  through  the  woods,  and  discouraged  by  the  loss  of 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  319 

their  leader,  withdrew  into  the  forest,  taking  with  them 
the  two  youngest  sons  of  Schell.  During  the  night  the 
latter  with  his  family  wisely  withdrew  to  Fort  Dayton. 
The  next  morning  MacDonald  was  brought  into  the  fort 
and  remained  a  hostage  for  the  two  sons.  This  cour¬ 
ageous  defense,  with  its  inspiring  singing,  stands  out 
as  one  of  the  bright  spots  in  the  long  tale  of  suffering 
which  the  Mohawk  settlers  were  called  upon  to  endure. 
Not  always  was  bravery  so  well  rewarded.  Even  Schell 
himself,  a  year  later,  died  from  the  effects  of  a  wound  re¬ 
ceived  from  another  marauding  party  of  Indians. 

As  a  result  of  the  constant  border  fighting,  the  Pal¬ 
atines  of  the  Mohawk  and  Schoharie  sections  became  skill¬ 
ful  in  the  methods  of  Indian  warfare.1  Individuals  who 
gained  a  reputation  throughout  the  state  for  their  prow¬ 
ess  as  Indian  fighters  and  hunters  were  Johann  Adam 
Hartman,  Timothy  Murphy,  Nicholas  Stoner,  and  Nathan¬ 
iel  Foster.  Hartman  was  born  in  1743  at  Edenkoben,  in 
the  Palatinate.  There,  when  arrested  for  poaching,  giant 
that  he  was,  he  struck  down  the  officers  that  apprehended 
him  and  fled  to  America.  Hunter  and  trapper,  best  shot 
of  the  Mohawk  Valley,  he  became  the  most  fearless  of  the 
Indian  fighters  at  the  opening  of  the  Revolutionary  War. 
He  was  looked  upon  as  the  defender  of  the  settlements, 
and  though  without  house  and  home  himself,  he  was  wel¬ 
come  everywhere.  The  lonely  farmer  knew  that  when  Hans 
Adam  (Hartman)  was  around,  he  could  work  in  the  fields 
without  danger,  mothers  could  do  their  housework  with- 

1  Cf .  Jephtha  R.  Simms,  History  of  Schoharie  County  and  Border  Wars  of 
New  York,  etc.  (Albany,  1845.)  Also  F.  Kapp,  Die  Deutschen  im  Staate  New 
York,  chap.  12,  “Fur  Haus  und  Hof,”  pp.  255-279.  Also  Jephtha  R.  Simms, 
Trappers  of  New  York,  or  a  Biography  of  Nicholas  Stoner  and  Nathaniel 
Foster,  together  with  anecdotes  of  other  celebrated  hunters,  and  some  account  of 
Sir  William  Johnson  and  his  style  of  life.  (Albany,  1850.) 


320 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


out  anxiety,  and  children  play  unharmed  before  the  block¬ 
house.  If  danger  approached,  the  crack  of  Hans  Adam’s 
rifle  would  give  warning,  his  unerring  eye  and  sinewy 
arm  afforded  protection.  True,  he  was  not  of  the  law- 
abiding  sort,  but  the  cause  of  the  settler  was  a  law  unto 
him.  He  died  a  cripple  at  the  great  age  of  ninety-two. 

Timothy  Murphy,  no  doubt  an  Irishman,  was  a  bold 
spirit  concerned  in  every  daring  undertaking.  He  proved 
his  character  even  in  his  wooing,  for  he  eloped  with  the 
only  daughter  of  the  wealthy  Schoharie  farmer,  J.  Fick 
(or  Feeck).  Murphy  was  then  a  soldier  in  the  Revolution¬ 
ary  army,  and  receiving  very  good  reports  from  Murphy’s 
superiors,  the  wealthy  German  father-in-law  finally  ac¬ 
cepted  a  penniless  son-in-law  and  made  a  stable  citizen  of 
him.  Intermarriage  between  the  Germans  and  Irish  was 
of  frequent  occurrence  on  the  border,  each  nationality 
showing  reluctance  at  first,  but  soon  yielding  gracefully 
to  the  inevitable. 

The  struggle  for  liberty  in  the  American  colonies  at¬ 
tracted  soldiers  from  foreign  lands,  some  of  them  adven¬ 
turers,  who  proved  troublesome  to  the  commander-in-chief 
and  Congress,  but  others  again  of  an  entirely  different 
stamp.  They  had  served  in  European  wars,  and  through 
their  experience  added  just  that  element  of  discipline  and 
self-confidence  which  was  necessary  to  make  the  military 
struggle  successful.  Of  all  the  distinguished  foreigners 
who  aided  the  American  cause,  none  did  more  real  service 
than  Baron  Steuben,  the  drill-master  of  the  American 
forces.1  In  the  words  of  Hamilton,  quoted  by  Bancroft : 

1  The  standard  biography  of  Friedrich  Wilhelm  Freiherr  von  Steuben 
(1730-94)  is  by  Friedrich  Kapp,  entitled  :  Leben  des  amerikanischen  Gen¬ 
erals  Fried.  Wilh.  v.  Steuben.  (Berlin,  1858.)  A  translation  was  published  in 
ew  ork  (Mason  Brothers,  1859).  Another  biography  was  published  by 
Francis  Bowen,  The  Life  of  Baron  Steuben,  in  Sparks’s  Library  of  American 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  321 


“  He  benefited  the  country  of  his  adoption  by  introducing 
into  the  army  a  regular  formation  and  exact  discipline, 
and  by  establishing  a  spirit  of  order  and  economy  in  the 
interior  administration  of  the  regiments.” 1  Baron  von 
Steuben,  born  at  Magdeburg,  Prussia,  belonged  to  an 
ancient  and  distinguished  family,  and  following  good 
traditions  he  became  a  soldier.  He  fought  in  the  war  of 
the  Austrian  Succession,  and  during  the  Seven  Years’ 
War  distinguished  himself  at  Rossbach.  He  became  an 
aide  of  Frederick  and  was  a  favorite  pupil  of  the  great 
general.  After  the  war  he  held  a  lucrative  position,  but 
was  not  satisfied  with  inactivity.  When  on  a  visit  to  Paris 
the  French  secretary  of  war,  Saint-Germain,  spoke  to  him 
of  a  glorious  opportunity  existing  in  America,  that  of  in¬ 
troducing  Prussian  military  discipline  into  the  raw  Ameri¬ 
can  militia.  Benjamin  Franklin,  whom  Steuben  met  at 
Paris,  made  no  promises,  but  friends  in  France  strongly 
advised  Steuben  to  undertake  the  venture.  Steuben  soon 
came  to  a  favorable  decision.  He  gave  up  his  assured 
and  comfortable  position  at  home,  asking  the  king  of 
Prussia  to  transfer  his  income,  yielding  him  4600  livres 
annually,  to  his  nephew  the  Baron  von  Canitz. 

It  was  a  difficult  matter  for  Steuben  to  determine  in 
what  capacity  to  enter  the  American  army,  but  he  settled 
the  question  by  offering  his  services  as  a  volunteer,  ready 
to  perform  any  duty  which  the  commander-in-chief  might 
assign  him.  Commissions  for  his  aides  and  the  payment 
of  his  actual  expenses  were  the  only  conditions  stipulated 
for,  leaving  the  question  of  ultimate  compensation  to  be 

Biography,  vol.  ix.  (1838.)  Cf.  also  G.  W.  Greene,  The  German  Element  in  the 
War  of  American  Independence.  (New  York,  1876.)  The  latter  book  contains 
a  sketch  of  Steuben,  Kalb,  and  the  Hessians,  based  on  the  three  works  of 
Kapp  on  the  same  subjects. 

1  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  p.  220;  quotes  Hamilton’s  Works,  vol.  ii,  p.  229. 


322 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


decided  by  the  success  or  failure  of  the  struggle.  The 
Continental  Congress  was  then  in  session  at  York,  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  whither  Steuben  repaired  with  his  letters  from 
Franklin,  Saint-Germain,  and  others.  General  Gates,  who 
was  then  intriguing  against  Washington,  oppressed  the 
newcomer  with  civilities,  but  Steuben,  with  keen  insight 
into  human  character,  refused  his  dangerous  hospitality. 
Steuben’s  offer  was  accepted,  and  he  was  sent  to  Washing¬ 
ton  at  Valley  Forge.  On  his  way  he  passed  through  Lan¬ 
caster  County,  and  was  greeted  with  ovations  throughout 
the  German  farming  country.  At  Valley  Forge  Washing¬ 
ton  received  him  in  accordance  with  his  rank  and  experience 
as  a  soldier,  and  by  these  outward  marks  of  respect  at 
once  installed  him  in  the  high  position  of  authority  which 
the  general-in-chief  wished  to  establish  for  the  army’s 
schoolmaster. 

At  no  time  was  the  condition  of  the  army  at  a  lower 
ebb,  not  only  through  lack  of  supplies  and  equipment, 
but  also  through  the  absence  of  discipline  and  military 
spirit.  Through  desertion  and  disease  the  original  force 
of  seventeen  thousand  had  dwindled  down  to  a  little 
more  than  five  thousand  men  who  could  be  called  out  for 
duty.  Even  these  were  poorly  armed,  and  clothed  in  rags. 
Yet  there  were  capabilities  in  these  men  which  the  trained 
eye  of  Steuben  recognized.  After  the  intriguing  and  in¬ 
capable  Conway  had  been  removed  from  the  inspector- 
generalship,  Steuben  received  a  free  hand.  With  the 
assistance  of  Greene,  Hamilton,  and  Laurens,  and  the 
French  aides  which  he  had  brought  with  him,  Steuben’s 
first  plan  was  to  institute  a  system  of  inspectorship.  He 
drafted  from  the  line  one  hundred  and  twenty  men  to 
form  a  military  school.  He  drilled  them  twice  a  day  and 
fiequently  took  a  musket  into  his  own  hands,  showing 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  823 

them  how  he  wished  them  to  handle  it.  At  every  drill  his 
several  inspectors  were  required  to  be  present,  and  doubt¬ 
less  many  officers  were  present  without  requisition.  “  In 
a  fortnight,”  said  Steuben,  “my  company  knew  perfectly 
well  how  to  bear  arms  and  had  a  military  air,  knew  how 
to  march,  and  to  form  in  column,  to  deploy  and  execute 
some  little  manoeuvres  with  excellent  precision.”  Steuben 
showed  his  superiority  by  not  making  too  much  of  the 
manual  exercises.  He  was  no  mere  martinet.  Very  soon 
he  passed  to  manoeuvring  and  thereby  really  interested  the 
men.  He  studied  the  capacities  of  the  militia  before  him 
and  adapted  his  rigid  discipline  to  the  circumstances. 
Every  scholar  of  his  school  became  an  apostle  of  reform. 
Those  who  looked  on  admired  and  longed  to  be  per¬ 
mitted  to  share  in  the  lessons.  Battalions  came  next,  then 
brigades,  and  then  divisions.  Within  a  month  the  Ameri¬ 
can  troops,  for  the  first  time  since  the  opening  of  the  war, 
were  able  to  execute  the  manoeuvres  of  a  regular  army. 
On  the  fifth  of  May  Steuben  was  appointed  by  Congress 
inspector-general  with  the  rank  and  pay  of  major-general. 

A  reform  in  drill  was  but  a  small  part  of  the  real  work 
to  be  done.  The  whole  organization  of  the  army  required 
reform  in  all  its  parts.  The  necessity  of  internal  adminis¬ 
tration  of  a  regiment  and  a  company  was  then  entirely 
unknown.  The  number  of  men  in  a  regiment  or  company 
had  been  fixed  by  Congress,  but  there  were  some  who 
were  three  months’  men,  some  six,  some  nine.  They  were 
constantly  coming  and  going,  and  when  they  went  they 
commonly  took  their  rifles  with  them,  so  that  Congress 
had  to  buy  thousands  of  new  rifles  every  year.  Sometimes 
a  regiment  was  stronger  than  a  brigade,  sometimes  it 
contained  but  thirty  men.  The  men  were  scattered  about 
everywhere  and  frequently  they  were  drawing  pay  long 


324 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


after  they  had  left  the  ranks.  Leaves  of  absence  and  dis¬ 
missals  were  given  out  promiscuously.  All  of  these  abuses 
had  to  be  corrected,  and  exact  records  of  every  detail 
were  now  instituted.  In  the  inspections  there  was  no  tri¬ 
fling,  no  hurrying  over  details.  “Every  man  not  present 
was  to  be  accounted  for;  if  in  camp,  sick  or  well,  he  was 
produced  or  visited;  every  musket  was  handled  and 
searched,  cartridge-boxes  were  opened ;  even  the  flints  and 
cartridges  counted ;  knapsacks  were  unslung  and  every 
article  of  clothing  was  spread  on  the  soldier’s  blanket  and 
tested  by  his  little  book.”  It  took  little  to  move  Steuben’s 
anger;  undue  delay,  hesitation,  were  sure  to  do  it,  and 
out  came  a  storm  of  oaths,  German  first,  then  French, 
and  then  both,  ludicrously  mingled ;  when  the  stock  was 
exhausted,  turning  to  his  aide  he  would  say,  “  My  dear 
Walker,  or  “  My  dear  Duponceau,  come  and  swear  for 
me  in  English.  These  fellows  will  not  do  what  I  bid  them.” 
The  sonorous  voice  of  Steuben,  however,  was  respected 
and  it  received  the  backing  of  the  highest  authority. 

Events  very  soon  proved  the  excellence  of  his  work.  In 
the  spring  campaign  of  1778,  Lafayette,  seeing  himself 
outnumbered  and  cut  off  from  the  main  body,  was  able 
to  save  his  men  by  an  orderly  retreat;  Washington  at 
the  same  time  could  get  his  whole  army  under  arms  and 
ready  to  march  in  fifteen  minutes.  At  Monmouth,  not 
long  after,  the  sound  of  Steuben’s  familiar  voice  rallied 
Lees  bioken  columns.  Ihey  wheeled  into  line  under  a 
heavy  fire  as  calmly  and  precisely  as  if  the  battlefield  had 
been  a  parade-ground.  In  this  style  of  manoeuvring 
Steuben  was  adapting  established  principles  to  American 
conditions.  But  in  the  formation  of  the  light  infantry  he 
became  an  inventor  and  sent  back  a  lesson  from  the  New 
World  to  the  Old.  These  bodies  of  skirmishers  fought  in 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  325 


Indian  fashion  under  cover,  as  the  American  backwoods¬ 
man  was  accustomed  to  do,  using  his  rifle  to  the  best 
advantage  and  according  to  his  own  judgment,  always 
being  careful  to  keep  his  body  sheltered  as  much  as 
possible.  Frederick  the  Great  adopted  a  similar  body  of 
skirmishers  and  sharpshooters  into  his  military  system. 

In  order  to  make  the  principles  of  military  discipline 
accessible  in  all  quarters,  Steuben  published  a  manual, 
long  known  in  the  army  of  the  United  States  as  “Steu¬ 
ben’s  Regulations”  or  “the  Blue  Book.”  The  printing 
of  the  book  was  a  trial  and  tribulation,  but  when  that 
difficulty  was  overcome,  the  work  was  sent  to  governors 
of  states,  and  distributed  through  the  army.  For  the 
first  time  since  the  war  began,  American  officers  had  a 
clear  and  definite  guide  for  the  performance  of  their  mili¬ 
tary  duties.1  The  economies  of  the  service  resulting  from 
Steuben’s  work  were  enormous.  A  single  instance  of  this 
was  that  the  War  Office,  instead  of  having  to  count  upon 
an  annual  loss  of  from  five  to  eight  thousand  muskets, 
could  enter  upon  its  record  that  in  one  year  of  Steuben’s 
inspectorship  only  three  muskets  were  missing  and  that 
even  these  were  accounted  for.  His  example  of  indefatig¬ 
able  industry  was  contagious,  as  was  also  his  democratic 
manner  of  personally  instructing  the  common  soldier  with 
necessary  details,  which  the  American  officer,  following 
the  English  model,  had  considered  beneath  him.  Jealous¬ 
ies  and  opposition  were  overcome  because  of  the  excellent 
results  of  Steuben’s  discipline. 

1  Cf.  also  the  Reprints  :  F.  W.  Steuben,  Regulations  for  the  Order  and  Dis¬ 
cipline  of  the  Troops  of  the  United  States;  Prefixed,  the  Laws  and  Regulations 
for  the  Militia  of  the  United  States  and  of  New  Hampshire.  (Published  by  order 
of  the  General  Court  of  New  Hampshire,  Portsmouth,  1794.)  And  F.  W. 
Steuben  :  Regulations  for  the  Order  and  Discipline  of  the  Troops  of  the  United 
States.  (Boston,  1S02.) 


326 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Next  to  the  inspectorship,  Steuben’s  most  valuable  serv¬ 
ices  were  his  work  in  Virginia,  in  the  winter  of  1780-81, 
and  during  the  siege  of  Yorktown.  General  Greene  had 
been  appointed  to  command  the  Southern  army  after 
the  fatal  battle  of  Camden,  where  General  Gates  had  de¬ 
serted  his  troops.  Steuben  went  with  Greene  because  “an 
army  had  to  be  created.”  Virginia  was  relied  upon  as 
the  main  field  for  recruiting,  but  the  militia  was  thor¬ 
oughly  demoralized,  their  ignorance  of  military  discipline 
and  “plundering  proclivities”  were  appalling.  Thomas 
Jefferson,  the  democratic  governor,  could  not  remove  any 
of  the  obstructions  which  the  generals  had  to  encounter. 
Steuben  frequently  lost  his  temper  and  strained  his  au¬ 
thority  to  the  utmost  while  creating  an  army  for  Greene. 
Nevertheless,  through  his  hard  work  and  good  judgment 
Arnold’s  invasion  was  checked,  and  Lafayette  was  enabled 
to  score  successes. 

At  Yorktown  Steuben  was  the  only  American  officer 
who  had  ever  been  present  at  a  siege,1  and  his  experience 
was  of  great  service.  He  was  in  command  of  a  division, 
and  fortune  willed  that  his  division  should  be  in  the 
trenches  when  the  first  overtures  for  surrender  were 
made.  He  had  the  privilege,  therefore,  so  highly  prized 
by  all  the  superior  officers,  —  and  notably  by  Lafayette, 
who  wished  to  claim  the  honor,  —  of  being  in  command 
when  the  enemy’s  flag  was  lowered.  No  one  was  more 
deserving  of  the  distinction  than  Steuben,  the  school¬ 
master  of  the  army.  During  the  last  two  years  of  the 
war  the  discipline  of  the  regular  American  troops  could 
well  be  compared  to  that  of  European  soldiery. 

1  Steuben  was  a  volunteer  at  the  siege  of  Prague  when  a  boy  of  fourteen  ; 
the  last  siege  in  which  he  had  participated  was  that  of  Schweidnitz  at  the 
close  of  the  Seven  Years’  War.  He  was  then  Frederick’s  aide. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  327 


Steuben  continued  to  be  of  service  to  the  country  after 
the  'war.  He  formulated  the  plans  for  building  a  mili¬ 
tary  academy,  and  in  his  project  provided  for  full  profess¬ 
orships  of  history,  geography,  civil  and  international  law, 
eloquence  and  belles-lettres,  showing  that  he  would  insist 
that  an  officer  be  a  broadly  educated  man.  It  is  quite 
probable  also  that  he  gave  the  first  suggestion  for  the 
formation  of  the  order  of  the  Cincinnati. 

At  the  close  of  the  war,  Steuben,  having  before  coming 
to  America  yielded  his  revenues  abroad  to  his  nephew,  re¬ 
mained  in  straitened  circumstances  for  eight  years,  until 
Congress  voted  him  a  pension  of  $2500  and  the  legis¬ 
lature  of  New  York  State  a  gift  of  16,000  acres  of  land 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Utica,  Oneida  County,  New  York. 
This  settlement,  though  tardy,  showed  that  republics  are 
not  always  ungrateful.  To  his  last  years  Steuben  identified 
himself  closely  with  all  military  interests  of  the  country, 
as  for  instance  his  proposing  a  plan  of  fortifications  for 
New  York.  He  was  chosen  a  regent  of  the  University  of 
New  York,  was  one  of  the  original  members  of  the  Cin¬ 
cinnati,  and  the  president  of  the  German  Society  of  New 
York  (for  the  benefit  of  immigrants)  from  1785  to  1794. 
He  died  in  1794,  leaving  generous  gifts  to  friends  and  his 
former  aides.  Though  Steuben’s  deeds  did  not  shine  forth 
in  the  reports  of  battles,  they  were  such  as  prepared  and 
assured  permanent  victories.  He  was  the  creator  of  the 
discipline  of  the  regular  army  and  the  organizer  of  its  mil¬ 
itary  system  and  economy.  His  influence  lasted  long  beyond 
his  life.  The  system  of  drills  and  manoeuvres  which  lie  drew 
up  in  1779  remained  authoritative  for  several  generations. 
“His  system  of  reviews,  reports,  and  inspection  gave 
efficiency  to  the  soldier,  confidence  to  the  commander, 
and  saved  the  treasury  not  less  than  $600,000.”  If  men 


328 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


are  classed  according  to  their  services,  no  one  in  the 
military  history  of  the  Revolution,  after  Washington  and 
Greene,  stands  so  high  as  Steuben.  Some  other  generals 
have  received  more  praise  in  our  histories  because  of 
valor  shown  on  the  field  of  battle ;  such  opportunities  never 
came  to  Steuben,  though  he  frequently  felt  a  longing  for 
them.  Lafayette,  for  instance,  a  youthful  enthusiast  who 
came  to  America  in  1777  with  an  open  purse,  a  warm 
heart,  and  the  inexperience  of  twenty  winters,  was  given 
rare  opportunities  in  the  field.  He  received  as  much  as 
he  gave,  and  if  the  amount  of  his  indispensable  service 
be  weighed,  though  much  to  be  appreciated,  it  will  be 
found  light  in  comparison  with  that  of  the  veteran  Steu¬ 
ben,  who  trained  the  army,  created  its  discipline,  prepared 
its  victories,  and  subsequently  identified  himself  closely 
with  the  new-born  republic  as  a  public-spirited  citizen. 

One  of  the  fighting  generals  that  Germany  supplied  in 
the  Revolutionary  forces  was  John  Kalb,  so  frequently 
called  the  Baron  de  Kalb.  He  was  the  son  of  a  Franconian 
peasant,  born  in  1721  in  Hiittendorf  (not  the  son  of  a 
Dutch  nobleman).  He  was  employed  some  ten  years  before 
as  the  emissary  of  Choiseul  and  secret  agent  of  the  French 
government  (1768),  to  inspect  the  condition  of  the  British 
colonies.  After  his  return  he  married  the  daughter  of  a 
Dutch  millionaire  and  occupied  an  assured  position  of  in¬ 
fluence  and  comfort  in  Europe.  Nevertheless  he  came  to 
America  in  1777,  with  Lafayette.  He  was  asked  to  present 
the  offer  of  the  Count  of  Broglie,  who  insinuated  his  will¬ 
ingness  to  become  the  William  of  Orange  of  America,  — 
for  a  period  of  years,  or  longer,  if  his  distinguished  serv¬ 
ices  could  not  be  dispensed  with.  The  messenger  soon 
wrote  to  the  French  count  that  there  was  no  possibility  of 
his  filling  Washington’s  place.  John  Kalb  then  offered  his 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  329 


own  services  to  Congress,  writing  :  “General  Washington 
has  perhaps  friends  or  deserving  officers  to  whom  he  would 
give  the  preference.  In  such  a  case  I  should  be  sorry  my 
coming  in  did  in  the  least  cross  him  or  prevent  his  dispo¬ 
sitions  in  this  and  in  other  respects.  I  will  gladly  and  en¬ 
tirely  submit  to  his  commands  and  be  employed  as  he  shall 
think  most  convenient  for  the  good  of  the  service.”  He 
was  appointed  major-general  and  served  under  Washington 
in  New  Jersey  and  Maryland.  In  1780  he  was  dispatched 
to  South  Carolina  in  command  of  the  Delaware  and  Mary¬ 
land  troops.  Kapp  says1  that  of  all  the  foreign  officers 
Kalb  was  the  most  “experienced,  calculating,  and  cau¬ 
tious.”  He  had  served  in  the  Seven  Years’  War,  knew 
America  from  a  previous  visit,  and  was  energetic,  ambitious, 
and  duty-loving.  He  was  a  specialist  in  matters  of  topo¬ 
graphy  and  engineering. 

In  the  Southern  campaign  he  very  soon  noticed  the  in¬ 
capacity  of  General  Gates.  When  stationing  his  troops  in 
the  battle  of  Camden,  Gates  placed  the  rawest  of  Virginia 
militia,  who  had  just  arrived  and  did  not  yet  understand 
the  use  of  bayonets,  opposite  the  veteran  regiments  of 
Cornwallis.  The  centre  proved  little  better  in  the  fight,  for 
they  yielded  almost  as  quickly  as  the  militia.  In  the  words 
of  Gates  the  Virginia  militia  “ran  like  a  torrent,”  “and 
the  General  ran  with  them,”  says  Bancroft,  “  and  faster, 
for  he  outdistanced  the  most  terrified  of  the  militia  and 
was  altogether  ignorant  of  the  fate  of  his  army.”  Concern¬ 
ing  what  remained,  Bancroft  says,2  “The  division  which 
Kalb  commanded  continued  long  in  action,  and  never  did 
troops  show  greater  courage  than  those  men  of  Maryland 

1  Friedrich  Kapp,  Leben  des  amerikanischen  Generals  Johann  Kalb.  (Stutt¬ 
gart,  1862.)  Translated  into  English,  The  Life  of  John  Kalb,  Major-General 
in  the  Revolutionary  Army.  (New  York,  1884.) 

2  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  pp.  388-89. 


330 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  Delaware.  The  horse  of  Kalb  had  been  killed  under 
him  and  he  had  been  badly  wounded;  yet  he  continued  to 
fight  on  foot.  At  last,  in  the  hope  of  victory,  he  led  a 
charge,  drove  the  division  under  Rawdon,  took  fifty  pris¬ 
oners,  and  would  not  believe  that  he  was  not  about  to  gain 
the  day,  when  Cornwallis  poured  against  him  a  party  of 
dragoons  and  infantry.  Even  then  he  did  not  yield  until 
disabled  by  many  wounds.  The  victory  cost  the  British 
about  five  hundred  of  their  best  troops;  ‘their  great  loss,’ 
wrote  Marion,  ‘is  equal  to  a  defeat.’  Except  one  hundred 
Continental  soldiers  whom  Gist1  conducted  across  swamps 
through  which  the  cavalry  could  not  follow,  every  Ameri¬ 
can  corps  was  dispersed.  Kalb  lingered  for  three  days. 
Opulent,  and  happy  in  his  wife  and  children,  he  gave  to 
the  United  States  his  life  and  his  example.  Congress  de¬ 
creed  him  a  monument.” 

Another  German  general,  who  had  already  served  in 
the  French  and  Indian  War  in  America,  as  lieutenant 
in  the  Royal  American  Regiment,  was  George  Weedon, 
or  Gerhard  von  der  Wieden.  He  was  born  in  Hanover, 
served  in  the  war  of  the  Austrian  Succession,  1742-48, 
distinguished  himself  in  the  battle  of  Dettingen,  served 
with  Colonel  Henry  Bouquet  in  Flanders  and  America. 
When  the  French  and  Indian  War  was  over,  he  settled 
at  Fredericksburg,  Virginia,2  so  largely  populated  by 
Germans,  and  when  the  Revolution  broke  out  he  became 
lieutenant-colonel  of  the  Third  Virginia  Militia,  colonel 

1  The  Maryland  regiment  of  Gist  was  a  German  regiment.  Cf.  Roseu- 
garten,  p.  144. 

2  Smyth  says  of  him:  “We  arrived  at  Fredericksburg,  putting  up  at 
an  inn,  or  public  house  kept  by  one  Weedon,  who  is  now  a  general  officer 
in  the  American  army,  and  was  then  very  active  and  zealous  in  blowing  the 
flames  of  sedition.”  Smyth’s  Tour,  vol.  ii,  p.  151.  (London  edition,  1784.) 
Cf.  Ibid.,  p.  197  :  “  Weedon  and  his  banditti  ran  down  to  the  riverside  (Rap¬ 
pahannock),  ordering  me  to  land  immediately,”  etc. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  331 

of  the  First  Virginia  Continental,  and  finally  in  1777 
brigadier-general,  taking  a  leading  part  in  the  battles  of 
Brandywine  and  Germantown.  He  left  the  service  for  a 
time,  then  in  1780  reentered  it  under  Muhlenberg  and 
commanded  the  Virginia  militia  before  Gloucester  Point 
at  the  siesre  of  Yorktown. 

General  Weissenfels,  or  Friedrich  Heinrich,  Baron  von 
Weissenfels,  was  an  officer  in  the  British  army  in  New 
York,  but  as  soon  as  the  Revolution  broke  out  he  offered 
his  services  to  Washington.  He  had  served  in  the  French 
and  Indian  War,  was  engaged  in  the  attack  on  Fort  Ti- 
conderoga,  and  the  taking  of  Havana  in  1762.  With  the 
brave  Wolfe  he  mounted  the  Heights  of  Abraham  and 
“saw  him  fall  in  the  arms  of  victory.”  After  the  peace 
of  Versailles  he  was  an  English  officer  on  half-pay  living 
quietly  in  New  York.  At  his  wedding  with  Elizabeth 
Bogart,  General  Steuben  was  his  best  man.  In  the  Revo- 

o  ' 

lution  he  was  with  General  Montgomery  in  the  attack  on 
Quebec,  and  on  his  return  served  as  lieutenant-colonel  in 
command  of  the  Third  Battalion  in  the  Second  New  York 
Regiment  of  which  he  was  soon  in  complete  command.  He 
defeated  the  enemy  at  White  Plains,  accompanied  Wash¬ 
ington  over  the  Hudson  and  through  New  York  to  Penn¬ 
sylvania  and  took  part  in  the  battles  of  Trenton  and 
Princeton.  He  was  with  his  regiment  at  the  capture  of 
Burgoyne  at  Saratoga.  In  the  attack  at  Monmouth  Court 
House  the  formidable  British  regulars  were  for  the  first 
time  driven  off  the  field  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet  by 
his  regiment  and  under  his  command.  As  second  in  com- 
mand  under  General  Sullivan,  in  1779,  a  victory  was  again 
won  by  his  bayonet  charge  in  a  hot  battle  with  the  In¬ 
dians  at  Newton  on  the  Chemung  (near  Elmira).  Weis¬ 
senfels  was  honorably  discharged  by  Congress  at  the  end 


332 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  the  war,  and  died  in  1806  at  New  Orleans.  He  was 
the  first  vice-president  of  the  New  York  Deutsche  Gesell- 
schaft ,  of  which  Steuben  was  for  many  years  president. 

Prominent  in  the  Revolution,  but  even  more  so  in  the 
subsequent  Indian  wars,  where  he  will  be  spoken  of  again, 
was  David  Ziegler.  Born  in  Pleidelberg,  in  1748,  he 
served  in  the  Russian  campaign  against  the  Turks  under 
the  Empress  Catharine,  and  subsequently  settled  at  Lan¬ 
caster,  Pennsylvania.  He  served  as  adjutant  in  a  Penn¬ 
sylvania  regiment,  and  as  the  second  to  enlist  for  the  war 
under  Washington,  he  became  the  senior  captain  of  the 
First  Pennsylvania  Continental  Regiment,  serving  with 
distinction. 

Another  noted  German  officer  was  Heinrich  Emanuel 
Lutterloh,  major  of  the  guard  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick. 
He  became  acquainted  with  Franklin  in  London,  and 
through  the  latter’s  influence  came  to  America  at  the  be¬ 
ginning  of  the  Revolutionary  War.  He  was  the  first 
assistant  quartermaster,  with  the  rank  of  colonel  on 
Washington’s  staff  in  1777.  Not  until  the  following  year, 
when  Baron  Steuben  was  made  inspector-general,  the  evil 
influence  of  General  Conway  being  set  aside,  was  it  possible 
to  bring  some  degree  of  order  out  of  chaos.  Lutterloh’s 
work  was  especially  appreciated  by  Washington,  who  in 
May,  1780,  made  him  quartermaster-general  of  the  army, 
in  which  capacity  Lutterloh  served  to  the  end  of  the  war. 
The  responsible  positions  of  inspector-general  (Steuben), 
quartermaster-general  (Lutterloh),  and  superintendent  of 
bakers  (Ludwig),  were  thus  held  by  Germans. 

Early  in  1776  there  arrived  in  New  York  City  a  young 
man  of  culture,  engaging  manners,  and  military  appear¬ 
ance,  who  carried  letters  of  introduction  to  Governor 
Tryon,  introducing  him  as  a  first  lieutenant  in  the  service 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  333 


of  Frederick  the  Second,  king  of  Prussia,  and  adjutant  of 
Prince  Ferdinand  of  Brunswick.  The  bearer  of  the  let¬ 
ters  was  Johann  Paul  Schott.  Though  coming  with  the 
purpose  of  serving  the  English  king,  lie  soon  changed 
his  mind,  being  greatly  impressed  by  the  serious  purpose 
of  the  patriots.  He  noticed  that  they  lacked  guns  and 
ammunition,  and  since  he  was  well-to-do,  he  determined 
by  a  daring  stroke  to  furnish  them  with  the  sorely  needed 
supply.  In  the  summer  of  1776  he  sailed  to  St.  Eustache, 
an  island  of  the  Lesser  Antilles  belonging  to  the  Dutch, 
where  enterprising  Netherlanders  had  established  a  station 
for  blockade-runners,  whom  they  were  prepared  to  furnish 
with  goods  and  contraband  of  war.  There  Schott  hired  a 
schooner,  loaded  it  with  weapons  and  war  materials  at 
his  own  expense,  and  steered  for  the  coast  of  Virginia. 
At  the  mouth  of  the  Chesapeake  he  found  the  English 
fleet  blockading  the  entrance  to  Hampton  Roads.  Schott 
deceived  them  by  hoisting  a  British  flag;  he  had  also 
dressed  his  entire  crew  in  the  uniform  of  English  seamen. 
The  English  warships  at  first  took  the  schooner  for  a 
transport  belonging  to  their  own  fleet,  until  they  saw 
Schott  cross  their  line.  Their  signal  to  return  was  not 
heeded,  but  the  shot  and  broadside  that  followed  did  no 
harm  to  the  swift  schooner.  When  they  reached  their 
destination,  Schott’s  men  were  again  in  danger,  owing  to 
their  disguise,  for  although  they  hoisted  the  flag  of  the 
colonies  they  had  not  had  an  opportunity  to  change  their 
uniforms.  They  were  fired  upon,  when  Schott  raised  a 
white  flag  and  the  schooner  then  anchored  in  the  harbor 
of  Norfolk  amid  great  rejoicing.  The  supplies  were  gladly 
bought  by  the  colonists  and  a  vote  of  thanks  was  given 
him.  His  petition  for  an  officer’s  rank  in  the  Continental 
army  was  granted  soon  after  in  1776.  He  was  made  cap- 


334  THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 

tain  and  sent  to  General  Washington  in  New  York,  in 
active  service. 

A  story  is  told  connecting  a  bit  of  romance  with  his 
entry  into  the  army.  General  Washington  was  stationed 
at  the  Battery,  in  order  to  observe  the  movements  of  the 
British  fleet.  A  large  frigate  tried  to  go  up  North  River, 
whereupon  Washington  gave  command  to  fire  upon  it. 
At  the  same  time  his  own  battery  was  being  bombarded 
from  Governor’s  Island  and  there  was  particularly  one 
gun  which  troubled  the  Americans.  Schott,  who  had  had 
no  opportunity  to  approach  General  Washington  because 
he  was  in  council  with  his  staff,  noticed  a  cannon  that 
was  not  being  served.  Thereupon  he  called  several  of  the 
men  who  stood  about  idly,  bade  them  help  load  the  gun, 
and  then  sighted  it  himself.  The  first  shot  silenced  the 
troublesome  piece  on  Governor’s  Island.  Washington,  who 
had  observed  the  movement,  turned  to  Schott  and  asked  him 
whether  he  was  a  trained  artillerist.  The  latter  assented, 
and  delivered  to  the  general  his  papers.  Washington 
turned  to  Colonel  Knox,  commander  of  the  artillery,  ask¬ 
ing  him  whether  there  was  a  vacancy  among  his  captains. 
There  proved  to  be  one,  owing  to  the  illness  of  one  of  the 
captains,  Schott  was  put  in  his  place,  and  at  the  battle  of 
White  Plains  commanded  the  Third  Battery  in  Knox’s  ar¬ 
tillery.  It  will  be  remembered  that  it  was  principally  due  to 
the  artillery  of  Colonel  Knox  that  the  Americans  were  able 
to  get  off  their  entire  baggage  in  the  face  of  the  enemy. 

Schott  proved  serviceable  in  another  way.  At  a  time 
when  Washington  had  great  difficulty  in  retaining  soldiers 
about  lnm,  their  periods  of  service  being  over,  and  when 
the  English  forces  were  constantly  being  increased  by 
mercenaries  from  the  Continent,  Washington  sent  Schott 
to  the  Pennsylvania  districts  to  recruit  an  independent 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  335 


German  troop  of  dragoons  (July  31,  1777).  Schott  had 
permission  to  appoint  his  own  officers  and  give  commands 
in  German.  Subsequently  there  were  three  more  com¬ 
panies  who  were  put  under  his  command,  whom  he  led  in 
the  battle  of  Short  Hills.  Given  the  post  of  covering  the 
retreat,  he  was  severely  wounded  and  taken  prisoner.  It 
was  a  queer  whim  of  fate  that  he,  who  had  been  feted  by 
the  Tories  on  his  arrival  at  New  York,  should  now  for 
six  months  become  their  prisoner.  They  offered  him  a 
place  in  the  British  army,  but  he  refused.1  He  was  in 
prison  under  the  notorious  Cunningham,  and  after  being 
exchanged  in  1779  was  in  the  army  of  General  Sullivan, 
commanding  the  right  wing  in  the  brigade  of  General 
Hand.  The  Indians  were  attacked  at  Newton  (near  the 
present  Elmira,  New  York),  their  forces  were  annihilated, 
and  their  villages  destroyed. 

Generals  Sullivan  and  Hand  recommended  Schott  for 
promotion,  which  no  doubt  would  have  been  acted  upon 
favorably  if  his  wounds,  received  in  the  battle  of  Short 
Hills,  had  not  made  active  service  very  difficult  for  him. 
Schott  was  therefore  made  commandant  of  the  forts  in 
Wyoming,  which  position  he  held  to  the  end  of  the  war. 
After  that  he  settled  down  in  Wilkesbarre.  In  1787  he 
was  elected  to  the  state  legislature  and  was  one  of  the 
most  earnest  advocates  of  the  union  of  the  colonies.  He 
was  active  in  all  the  public  affairs  of  his  constituency  and 
figured  also  in  the  Wyoming  trouble  between  Pennsylvania 
and  Connecticut. 

1  In  a  letter  to  the  Honorable  Richard  Rush  (June  28,  1828),  Archives  of 
the  Pension  Office,  1828,  vol.  ii,  no.  179,  MS.,  Schott  says  :  “  I  had  chosen 
America  as  my  fatherland,  and  nothing  could  induce  me  to  desert  her  just 
cause.”  He  also  states  that  he  was  born  in  Prussia,  in  1744.  In  the  pension 
lists  of  1828  he  is  credited  with  an  annual  pension  of  $1200,  payable  until 
his  death.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  viii,  pp.  49-57  (Rattermann). 


336 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


It  will  be  impossible  in  these  pages  to  do  justice  to  the 
great  number  of  German  soldiers  who  fought  with  dis¬ 
tinction  during  the  Revolutionary  War.  The  order  of  the 
Cincinnati,  consisting  of  officers  who  were  eng-ao-ed  on 
the  patriot  side  in  the  Revolution,  had  among  its  mem¬ 
bership  a  very  large  number  of  Germans.  For  the  state 
of  New  York  alone  —  and  we  know  that  the  German 
population  of  New  York  was  not  so  large  as  that  of  some 
other  colonies  —  the  roll  of  the  Cincinnati  includes  the 
following  names:  Major-General  Steuben,  Colonel  H. 
E.  Lutterloh,  Colonel  Nicholas  Fish,  Colonel  F.  von 
Weissenfels  (Second  New  York  Regiment),  Major  Se¬ 
bastian  Baumann1  (Second  New  York  Artillery  Regi¬ 
ment),  Captain  H.  Tichout  (First  New  York  Regiment), 
Captain  G.  Sytez  (First  New  York  Regiment),  Lieutenant 
Peter  Anspach  (Second  New  York  Artillery  Regiment), 
Lieutenant  Henry  Dernier  (Second  New  York  Artillery 
Regiment),  Lieutenant  Joseph  Freilich  (Second  New 
York  Regiment),  Lieutenant  Michael  Wetzel  (Second 
New  York  Regiment),  Lieutenant  John  Furmann  (First 
New  York  Regiment),  Lieutenant  C.  F.  Weissenfels 
(Second  New  York  Regiment),  Captain-Lieutenant  Peter 
Neslett  (New  York  Artillery),  and  Captain-Lieutenant 
Peter  Jaulmann.2 

Families  of  German  descent  frequently  gave  every  able- 

1  Sebastian  Baumann  was  major  in  Colonel  Lamb’s  regiment  of  artillery. 
He  served  from  1777  to  3784,  was  a  well-trained  officer  of  German  birth, 
and  resident  in  New  York  long  before  the  war.  He  took  part  in  the  siege' 
of  Yorktown,  and  in  1782  published  the  only  American  map  or  survey  of 
that  important  field  of  operations.  He  was  postmaster  of  New  York  after 
the  war,  and  died  in  1803.  Cf.  Rosengarten,  p.  136. 

2  Rosengarten,  pp.  136-137.  For  a  list  of  the  German  officers  in  the  First 
to  the  Thirteenth  Pennsylvania  Continental  Regiments,  see  Der  deutsche 
Pionier,  vols.  viii,  ix,  and  x.  Hundreds  of  names  of  German  officers,  subalterns, 
and  common  soldiers  are  there  given. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  337 


bodied  man  into  the  service  of  the  cause.  Such  a  family 
were  the  Heisters  (Hiesters).  At  the  outbreak  of  the  Re¬ 
volution  their  names  were  on  the  list  of  “  Associators,” 
a  military  company  that  rendered  important  service  in 
the  campaigns  of  New  Jersey,  New  York,  Delaware,  and 
Pennsylvania.  Daniel  Heister’s  four  sons  all  entered  as 
officers,  —  Daniel,  the  oldest,  as  colonel;  John  and  Gabriel 
as  majors;  and  William,  the  youngest,  as  leader  of  a 
company.  The  most  distinguished  of  the  family  was 
Joseph  Heister,  a  son  of  John  Heister.  He  became  captain 
of  the  ‘ •'  Flying-Camp,”  organized  in  Reading  and  environs. 
Joseph  at  that  time  was  twenty-three  years  of  age.  He 
was  highly  esteemed  by  his  fellow  citizens  and  possessed 
a  gift  of  speech  and  persuasion  which  could  fire  others 
with  enthusiasm.  He  recruited  first  a  company  and  later 
a  regiment,  using  frequently  his  own  means  to  effect  his 
purpose.  He  was  a  modest  man,  and  though  the  soldiers 
wished  him  to  be  their  colonel,  he  refused  in  favor  of 
others,  offering  rank  as  an  inducement  to  win  them  for 
the  service  of  the  country.  Accordingly  he  used  his  in¬ 
fluence  among  the  soldiers  to  appoint  Haller  colonel  and 
Edward  Burd  major.  He  was  himself  content  with  the 
rank  of  captain.  They  marched  off  to  join  Washington, 
but  when  they  learned  that  they  were  to  serve  far  beyond 
the  limits  of  their  state,  and  that  the  result  was  much  in 
doubt,  the  militiamen  were  near  a  mutiny.  Heister  gath¬ 
ered  them  in  a  compact  group,  then  appealed  to  their 
patriotism  and  sense  of  honor.  He  declared  that  he  would 
go  alone  if  no  one  would  follow.  When  the  drum  was 
sounded,  all  but  three  obeyed  the  command  of  “For¬ 
ward!  march,”  and  a  moment  later  the  three  skulkers 
also  joined  the  moving  ranks. 

On  Long  Island  they  were  united  with  the  regiment 


338 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  Lord  Stirling  and  fought  bravely  with  him  and  his 
Maryland  regiments  until  captured.  The  First  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  Battalion  sustained  the  heaviest  loss,  and  a  contem¬ 
porary  estimate  reads  :  “  Lord  Stirling’s  brigade  sustained 
the  hottest  of  the  enemy’s  fire  ;  —  they  were  all  surrounded 
by  the  enemy  and  had  to  fight  their  way  through  the 
blaze  of  their  fire.  They  fought  and  fell  like  Romans.”  1 
Among  the  German  officers  that  fell  were  Lieutenant- 
Colonels  Piper,  Lutz,  and  Kachlein,  and  Major  Burd. 
Joseph  Heister  languished  for  some  time  in  an  English 
prison-ship,  under  Cunningham,  and  after  being  exchanged 
had  to  lose  more  time  at  his  home  in  Readino-,  to  reo-ain 
his  health.  He  then  returned  to  the  army  and  rose  rapidly 
to  the  rank  of  brigadier-general,  on  Washington’s  own 
recommendation.  He  served  to  the  end  of  the  war,  and 
afterwards,  with  the  Miihlenbergs  and  Albert  Gallatin, 
became  a  leader  of  the  Germans  in  Pennsylvania.  He 
was  for  fourteen  years  representative  of  his  district  in 
Congress,  after  which  he  was  elected  by  a  large  majority 
to  the  governorship  of  the  state.  After  serving  for  three 
years  he  would  not  allow  his  name  to  be  used  again  for 
candidacy. 

No  Pennsylvania  family  furnished  more  eminent  men 
for  the  public  service  than  the  Miihlenbergs.  Three  of 
the  sons  of  the  Lutheran  patriarch,  who  himself  was  an 
ardent  patriot,  rose  to  distinction  m  the  service  of  the 
republic,  and  the  oldest  (John)  Peter  (Gabriel)  was  Penn¬ 
sylvania  s  choice  when  a  statue  of  its  representative  citizen 
was  to  be  placed  in  the  capitol  at  Washington.  His  career 
has  already  in  part  been  sketched.  As  a  soldier  he  won 
distinction  at  Charleston,  Brandywine,  Germantown,  Mon- 

1  American  Archives,  series  v,  vol.  i,  p.  1212,— a  letter  from  New  York 
dated  August  29,  1776. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  339 


mouth,  Stony  Point,  and  Yorktown.  In  Virginia  he  was 
the  right-hand  man  of  Steuben  in  creating  an  army,  and 
fought  desperately  against  superior  numbers  to  check 
the  advance  of  Arnold  in  Virginia.  He  represented  Penn¬ 
sylvania  in  the  United  States  Congress  from  1789-91, 
1793-95,  and  from  1799-1801.  He  was  vice-president  of 
the  state  of  Pennsylvania  under  Franklin,  and  owing  to 
Franklin’s  age  and  infirmities  became  practically  the  head 
of  the  government.  In  the  year  1788  he  and  his  brother 
left  no  stone  unturned  to  secure  the  adoption  of  the  Con¬ 
stitution  of  the  United  States. 

The  brother  was  Frederick  August  Muhlenberg,  who 
had  likewise  been  trained  in  theology  at  Halle,  but  when 
the  war  began  became  interested  in  the  politics  of  his 
country.  In  1779-80  he  was  a  member  of  the  Continental 
Congress,  and  during  the  next  three  years  a  member  and 
speaker  of  the  Pennsylvania  state  legislature.  He  called 
the  Convention  of  1790  which  drafted  the  constitution 
of  Pennsylvania;  was  a  member  of  the  First,  Second, 
Third  and  Fourth  United  States  Congresses,  and  possesses 
the  distinction  of  having  been  the  first  Speaker  of  the 
H  ouse  of  Representatives.  He  was  reelected  Speaker  of 
the  House  during1  the  Third  Congress.  Another  brother, 
Henry  Ernest  Muhlenberg,  was  likewise  intended  for  the 
ministry  by  his  father,  studied  theology  at  the  University 
of  Halle,  as  did  his  brothers,  and  on  his  return  became 
a  Lutheran  minister  in  Lancaster,  Pennsylvania,  and  else¬ 
where.  He  was  the  foremost  scholar  of  the  family,  a 
naturalist  and  botanist,  member  of  the  American  Philo¬ 
sophical  Society  (Philadelphia),  and  of  learned  European 
societies.  His  son,  Henry  August  Muhlenberg,  was  a  mem¬ 
ber  of  the  United  States  Congress  for  nine  years,  a  sup¬ 
porter  of  President  Jackson,  was  nominated  for  governor 


340 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  Pennsylvania  by  the  Democratic  party,  but  died  before 
the  election. 

In  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  there  was  organized 
in  1775  a  German  regiment  called  the  German  Fusileers, 
which  by  1776  counted  over  one  hundred  Germans  in  its 
ranks.  Its  captain  was  Alexander  Gillon,  its  first  lieuten¬ 
ant  Peter  Bouquet  (brother  of  the  general  of  that  name), 
and  its  second  lieutenant,  Michael  Kalteisen.  At  the 
storming  of  the  fortress  at  Savannah,  in  1779,  where 
Pulaski  lost  his  life,  the  German  Fusileers  were  under 
the  command  of  the  German  colonel,  Laurens.  They  lost 
their  captain,  Kail  Scheppard  (Schaefer),  and  the  first 
lieutenant,  Joseph  Kimmel.  Michael  Kalteisen  was  a  mov¬ 
ing  spirit  in  the  formation  of  the  German  Friendly  Society 
(already  referred  to),  which  by  the  time  of  the  Revolution 
had  a  membership  of  one  hundred,  and  advanced  two 
thousand  pounds  to  the  state  for  defense  against  the 
crown,  a  sum  surely  not  inconsiderable  at  that  time. 

At  the  battle  of  King’s  Mountain  (or  Cowpens),  October 
29,  1781,  which  did  so  much  toward  reviving  the  hopes 
of  patriots  in  the  South,  Colonel  Hambright,  of  German 
descent,  and  in  all  probability  representing  a  southern 
branch  of  the  Pennsylvania  family  of  the  same  name,  ren¬ 
dered  excellent  service.  The  North  and  South  Carolinians 
of  the  American  forces  were  under  command  of  Williams, 
Lacey,  Hambright,  Chronicle,  and  others.1  Hambright 
and  Chronicle  were  in  command  of  the  South  Fork  men 
from  the  Catawba.  Chronicle  was  killed  and  Hambrio-ht 
wounded.  In  spite  of  his  wounds,  the  latter  kept  in  the 
saddle  and  continued  in  the  battle.  The  tactics  of  the 
fight  consisted  in  retreating  before  a  bayonet  attack  by 
the  enemy,  but  returning  immediately  upon  him  after 
1  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  ii,  pp.  276,  282. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  341 


the  charge.  Staying  qualities  such  as  shown  by  Hambright 
were  therefore  needed  to  carry  out  the  plan  of  ultimately 
surrounding  and  annihilating  the  enemy.  Tarleton’s  much- 
feared  raiding  bands  were  on  this  day  almost  totally  de¬ 
stroyed. 

An  interesting  group  of  soldiers  were  the  sharpshoot¬ 
ers  under  General  Morgan.  Among  them  there  were  a 
large  number  of  Germans  gathered  from  the  Valley  of 
Virginia  and  from  the  frontier  settlements  of  the  Caro- 
linas.  The  names  of  a  number  of  German  Virginians  from 
Winchester  and  vicinity  who  were  in  Morgan’s  famous 
band  of  riflemen,  have  come  down  to  us:1  Johann  Schultz, 
Jacob  Sperry,  Peter  and  Simon  Lauck,  Frederick  Kurtz, 
Karl  Grimm,  Georg  Heisler,  and  Adam  Kurz.  Six  of 
these  formed  the  so-called  “  Dutch  Mess.”  They  messed 
together  dnrino;  the  entire  war  and  survived  all  their  se- 
vere  campaigns.  They  acted  as  aides-de-camp,  but  never 
received  or  accepted  officers’  commissions.  After  the  war 
they  obtained  lands  near  Winchester,  Virginia,  and  their 
descendants  live  in  that  locality  to-day. 

An  interesting  individual,  reminding  one  of  the  “  Mar- 
ketenderin  ”  in  Schiller’s  “  Wallenstein’s  Lager,”  was  Moll 
Pitcher.  She  had  served  as  a  maid  in  Dr.  William  Irvine’s 
family  in  Carlisle,  Pennsylvania,  and  was  generally  called 
Molly,  her  real  name  being  Maria  Ludwig.  About  the 
time  of  the  beginning  of  the  war  she  married  William 
Hays.  Her  husband  became  a  gunner  in  an  artillery 
company,  and  Molly  returned  after  a  time  to  seive  in 
General  Irvine’s  family.  She  got  news  that  her  husband 
had  been  severely  wounded,  whereupon  she  started  out 
immediately  to  find  him.  She  nursed  him  when  found, 
and  after  that,  for  seven  years,  she  accompanied  him  from 

1  Cf.  Der  Westen ,  Chicago,  1892,  reported  by  Andreas  Simon. 


342 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


battlefield  to  battlefield.  She  was  utterly  fearless,  brought 
water  and  food  to  the  soldiers,  and  helped  to  carry  away 
the  wounded  and  care  for  them.  “  Here  comes  Molly 
with  her  pitcher,”  was  a  refreshing  sound  in  the  heat 
of  battle,  that  made  her  known  throughout  the  army  as 
Moll  Pitcher.  At  the  battle  of  Monmouth  she  is  said  to 
have  served  in  exemplary  fashion.  At  a  moment  when 
her  husband  was  wounded  and  no  assistance  seemed 
available  for  serving  the  cannon,  she  herself  set  about 
putting  the  piece  in  order  and  loading  it,  while  those 
about  her  were  apparently  in  doubt  whether  to  stand 
or  retreat.  It  was  a  trying  moment,  but  the  company 
held  out  until  sustained  by  reinforcements.1 

A  patron  of  American  sailors  was  the  German  merchant, 
Dohrmann,  located  at  Lisbon,  Portugal.  He  frequently 
supported  American  privateersmen  who  were  stranded  or 
in  trouble  on  the  Continent  of  Europe.  By  selling  weapons 
and  munitions  of  war  to  American  cruisers,  which  he 
sometimes  accomplished  on  the  high  seas  by  means  of  his 
own  ships,  he  exposed  himself  to  the  hostility  of  the 
British  government,  who  finally  succeeded  in  inducing 
the  court  of  Lisbon  to  banish  Dohrmann  from  the  country. 
This  happened  in  the  year  1782.  Leaving  his  business 

Dcr  deutsche  Rionier ,  vol.  viii,  pp.  187—190.  One  of  her  grandchildren 
describes  her  as  of  short,  thick-set  stature,  blue  eyes  and  reddish  hair,  and 
almost  masculine  features.  She  was  possessed  of  great  strength  of  character, 
and  according  to  the  same  source  of  information  had  mannish  manners,  was 
often  feared,  and  would  sometimes  swear.  (Correspondence  of  editor  H  A 
Rattermann  with  surviving  granddaughter,  Mrs.  Malester,  of  Carlisle,  in 
1876.)  E.  S.  Ellis,  after  careful  researches  under  the  eye  of  General  Win'  S 
Stryker,  declares  that  Molly  Pitcher  was  the  daughter  (Mary)  of  John 
George  Ludwig.  This  name  is  unquestionably  German.  If  the  family  of 
Ludwig  came  from  Ireland,  as  the  historian  Lossing  states,  they  may  have 
been  Palatines  settled  in  the  north  of  Ireland  about  1710.  J.  Zeamer  (see 
The  American  Catholic  Historical  Researches,  n.  s.  vol.  v,  no.  4  October 
1909)  regards  the  Molly  Pitcher  exploits  as  altogether  untrustworthy  and 
claims  to  be  in  possession  of  proofs  that  Molly  Pitcher  was  a  myth. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  343 


and  extensive  banking  interests  in  the  hands  of  a  brother, 
he  made  his  way  to  New  York.  Washington,  in  a  letter 
to  the  Honorable  Samuel  Chase,  July  9,  1785,  introduced 
him  in  the  following  manner :  Dohrmann  “  who  at  an 
early  period  of  the  war  (when  our  affairs  wrere  rather 
overshadowed)  advanced  his  money  very  liberally  to  sup¬ 
port  our  suffering  countrymen  in  captivity.  He  has  some 
matter  to  submit  to  Congress  which  he  can  explain  better 
than  I.  I  am  persuaded  he  will  offer  nothing  which  is  in¬ 
consistent  with  the  strictest  rules  of  propriety  and  of 
course  that  it  will  merit  your  patronage.”1  Mr.  Dohr- 
mann’s  private  fortune  had  in  the  mean  time  met  severe 
reverses  because  of  the  failure  of  his  partners  in  Lisbon. 
The  plea  before  Congress  was  to  permit  Dohrmann  to 
realize  on  the  heavy  advances  he  had  made  for  the  bene¬ 
fit  of  American  seamen.  Congress,  on  the  report  of  the 
treasurer,  awarded  the  sum  of  $5806,  with  interest  for 
expenditures  according  to  vouchers  examined.  Resolutions 
were  made  as  follows :  — 

Whereas  the  claims  of  Arnold  Henry  Dohrmann  against  the 
United  States  of  America  amounted  to  $20,277  over  and  above 
the  sum  of  $5806,  as  above  stated,  in  support  of  which  important 
documents  are  offered  by  Mr.  Dohrmann,  whose  own  house  was 
frequently  the  asylum  of  whole  crews  of  captive  American  sea¬ 
men,  who  were  fed,  clothed,  and  relieved  in  sickness  through  his 
benevolence,  and  that  at  a  time  when  his  attachment  to  the  cause 
of  America  was  dangerous  both  to  his  person  and  property : 

And  whereas  Congress  are  disposed  to  acknowledge  in  the 
most  honorable  manner  the  eminent  services  rendered  by  Mr. 
Dohrmann  and  to  make  him  further  compensation  : 

Resolved  unanimously :  That  the  said  A.  Id.  Dohrmann  be 

i  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  pp.  52  if.,  109  ff.,  201  ff.  Heinrich  Arnold 
Dohrmann  was  horn  in  Hamburg.  He  was  naturalized  as  a  citizen  of  the 
United  States  December  18,  1787. 


344 


THE  GEEMAN  ELEMENT 


allowed,  as  agent  from  the  United  States  at  the  Court  of  Lisbon, 
the  sum  of  $1600  per  annum,  and  that  said  salary  be  computed 
from  the  period  at  which  his  expenditures  commenced  to  the 
present  day. 

Resolved  unanimously  :  That  onecomplete  andentire  township 
.  .  .  surveyed  in  the  western  territory  of  the  United  States,  be 
granted  to  A.  II.  Dohrmann,  free  from  all  charges  of  survey, 
and  with  choice  of  the  three  ranges  last  surveyed. 1 

Dohrmann  was  instrumental  in  negotiating  loans  for 
the  United  States,  e.  g.,  in  1783  for  John  Adams  during 
his  visit  to  Holland  with  the  bankers  Van  Staphorst  and 
others  in  Amsterdam,  leading  to  a  loan  of  two  million 
guilders.2  The  later  loans,  of  June  1,  1787,  and  March 
13,  1788,  of  one  million  Dutch  guilders  each,  were  nego¬ 
tiated  by  the  house  of  Dohrmann  in  New  York,  though 
they  bear  the  signature  of  John  Adams.  In  1789  came 
the  financial  crash  at  Lisbon.  James  Madison  and  Thomas 
Jefferson,  then  in  Paris,  were  Dohrmann’s  lawyers.  Dohr¬ 
mann  paid  his  debts,  but  the  loss  of  three  ships  in  1808 
with  valuable  cargoes  broke  his  fortunes.  Even  the  land 
given  him  by  Congress,  located  in  Tuscarawas  and  Harrison 
counties,  Ohio,  went  into  the  hands  of  land  sharks.  Dohr¬ 
mann  settled  finally  at  Steubenville,  Ohio,  where  he  died 
in  1813  of  a  broken  heart.  His  wife  in  1817  received  a 
pension  from  Congress. 

It  is  not  commonly  known,  though  all  historical  docu¬ 
ments  agree  as  to  the  fact,  that  the  French  troops  under 
Dochambeau,  who  were  sent  over  to  aid  the  American 
cause,  contained  a  large  number  of  German  soldiers,3  and 

1  These  resolutions  were  dated  Monday,  October  1,  1787,  Journal  of  Con¬ 
gress,  vol.  iy,  pp.  783-84. 

2  Consummated  March  9,  1784.  Journal  of  Congress,  second  edition,  ap¬ 
pendix  of  vol.  iv,  p.  25. 

3  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiii,  pp.  317  If.,  360  ff.,  430  ff. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  345 


some  German  regiments.  The  German-French  auxiliary 
troops  were  as  follows :  — 

First:  The  regiment  called  Royal  Allemand  de  Deux 
Pouts.  This  was  the  Royal  German  Regiment  of  Zwei- 
briicken.  The  colonel  and  commander  of  this  reo-iment 

O 

was  Prince  Christian  of  Zweibriicken-Birkenfeld ;  the 
lieutenant-colonel  was  Prince  Wilhelm  von  Zweibriicken- 
Birkenfeld;  the  major  was  Freiherr  Eberhard  von  Ese- 
beck  (Baron  d’Esbech),  and  the  captain  was  named 
Haake.  The  regiment  served  in  America  from  1780-83. 

Second  :  A  battalion  of  grenadiers  of  Kur-Trier,  of  the 
Regiment  Saar,  which  appears  as  “  Detachement  du  Regi¬ 
ment  La  Sarre,”  and  which  was  incorporated  with  the 
regiment  “Saintonge,”  under  the  command  of  Colonel 
Adam  Philipp,  Count  of  Custine  of  Lothringen. 

Third:  Several  divisions  of  Alsatians  and  Lotharingdans 
joined  with  the  regiments  “  Bourbonnais”  and  “Soisson- 
nais”  as  yagers. 

Fourth:  A  large  part  of  the  “ Independent  Horse” 
under  the  command  of  the  Duke  of  Lauzun,  of  which  le¬ 
gion  a  list  is  found  in  the  archives  of  Harrisburg,  Penn¬ 
sylvania. 

Fifth  :  Several  German  officers  served  in  responsible 
positions  in  the  French  army,  such  as  Freiherr  Ludwig 
von  Closen-Haydenburg,  adjutant  of  Rochambeau ;  Cap¬ 
tain  Gau,  commandant  of  artillery ;  and  the  Strassburg 
professor,  Lutz,  interpreter  for  the  marquis.  Whether 
the  regiment  called  Anhalt  (six  hundred  men)  mentioned 
in  connection  with  the  siege  of  Savannah,  1779,  in  the 
forces  of  Count  d’Estaing,  was  composed  of  Germans,  is 
a  matter  of  doubt;  detailed  information  is  lacking. 

Knowing  which  were  the  German  regiments  among  the 
French  troops,  and  which  were  German  in  the  Colonial 


346 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


army,  it  becomes  manifest  that  the  German  soldier  ren¬ 
dered  conspicuous  service  in  the  final  campaign  which 
culminated  in  the  siege  and  capture  of  Yorktown.  The  only 
sortie  which  was  made  daring  the  siege,  namely,  that  of 
Tarleton  at  Gloucester,  was  beaten  back  by  the  Legion 
of  Armand,  about  twelve  hundred  militia  under  General 
Weedon  and  the  men  under  the  Duke  of  Lauzun,  all  to¬ 
gether  between  three  and  four  thousand  men,  over  half  of 
whom  must  have  been  German.  The  enemy  were  defeated 
at  all  points  and  Tarleton  escaped  capture  with  difficulty. 

When  the  second  parallel  of  trenches  was  drawn  about 
the  city  of  Yorktown,  two  redoubts  stood  in  the  way.  On 
the  fourteenth  of  October  the  American  batteries  directed 
their  fire  all  day  against  the  abatis  and  salient  angles 
of  these  two  advanced  redoubts,  and  breaches  were  made 
in  them  sufficient  to  justify  an  assault.  The  redoubt  on  the 
right  near  York  River  was  garrisoned  by  forty-five  men, 
that  on  the  left  by  three  times  as  many.  The  storming  of 
the  former  fell  to  the  lot  of  the  Americans  under  the 
command  of  Lieutenant  -  Colonel  Alexander  Hamilton; 
that  of  the  latter  to  the  French.1  On  the  left  about  four 
hundred  grenadiers  and  yagers  were  selected  and  placed 
under  the  command  of  Count  William  de  Deux  Ponts. 
He  was  no  other,  as  we  have  seen,  than  Prince  Wilhelm 
von  Zweibriicken,  and  his  grenadiers  and  yagers  were 
selected  from  the  regiment  of  Zweibriicken  (entirely  Ger¬ 
man),  Gatinois,  and  Agenois,  among  whom  also  were  Ger¬ 
mans.  We  are  told  by  a  contemporary  account2  that  there 
was  joy  and  confidence  before  the  start,  quiet  and  energy 
in  overcoming  the  dangers  of  the  attack,  and  order  and 

1  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  pp.  519  ff. 

2  That  of  the  Baron  of  Yiomenil,  who  had  the  supreme  command  in  the 
attack  on  the  redoubts. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  347 


humanity  in  victory.  According  to  a  well-founded  tradi¬ 
tion,  commands  were  given  in  the  German  language  on 
either  side  when  the  redoubt  was  captured,1  showing  that 
German  regiments  in  the  French  service  were  attacking 
and  Hessians  were  defending  the  fortification.2  The  re¬ 
doubt  was  defended  by  one  hundred  Hessians  and  thirty 
English  and  they  defended  themselves  bravely,  inflicting 
heavy  losses;  56  of  the  Gatinois  regiment,  21  grenadiers 
and  yagers  of  the  Zweibriicken  regiment,  6  of  Agenois, 
and  9  others  killed  or  wounded.  Prince  Wilhelm  von 
Zweibriicken  was  slightly  wounded  in  the  face.  At  the 
head  of  the  Royal  Grenadiers  of  Zweibriicken  there  was 
Captain  Henry  de  Kalb,  a  cousin  of  the  German-Ameri- 
can  general  who  fell  at  Camden.  He  was  the  first  of  the 
attacking  party  to  enter  the  redoubt.  Tradition  has  it 
that  he  lost  one  of  his  shoes  in  climbing  the  parapet, 
which  evidently  did  not  impede  his  progress,  for  he 
immediately  took  a  British  officer  prisoner.3 

The  Marquis  of  Rochambeau  rewarded  the  soldiers 
who  had  taken  part  in  the  storming  of  the  redoubt  with 
two  days’  extra  pay.  Washington  presented  them  with 
two  of  the  brass  cannons  they  had  taken,  one  each  to 
Zweibriicken  and  to  Gatinois  as  a  remembrance  of  their 
bravery.  The  other  redoubt  was  not  so  well  defended  and 

1  Cf.  The  Diary  of  Johann  Conrad  Doelila  in  Zell,  “  Marschroute  und 
Beschreibung  der  merkwiirdigsten  Begebenlieiten  in  und  aus  Amerika  ’ 
(1811).  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xiii,  pp.  422  fi.  Also  Kapp,  Life  of 
Steuben,  p.  459. 

2  Eelking  was  evidently  in  error  when  be  spoke  of  the  use  of  German 
commands  as  “  eine  Kriegslist.”  lie  wrote  from  the  Hessian  point  of  view. 
Max  von  Eelking,  Die  deutschen  Hiilfstruppen  in  Nord  Amerika  im  Befrei- 
ungskriege,  1776-83  (Hanover,  1863),  two  volumes,  is  a  work  giving  a  very 
complete  account  of  the  campaigns  of  the  Hessian  soldiers  in  the  United 
States.  The  work  was  translated  :  The  German  Allied  Troops  in  the  North 
American  War  of  Independence,  1776-83,  by  Rosengarten.  (Albany,  1893.) 

3  Kapp,  Life  of  Steuben,  p.  459. 


348 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


was  taken  without  loss  by  the  American  force  under  the 
officers  Hamilton,  Fish,  Gionat,  Laurens,  and  Mansfield. 
The  importance  of  the  capture  of  the  redoubts  was  very 
soon  evident.  Steuben  included  them  in  the  second  paral¬ 
lel  and  on  the  morning  of  October  17  the  regiments  Zwei- 
briicken,  Bourbonnais  (containing  divisions  of  Alsatians 
and  Lotharingians),  on  the  French  side,  went  into  the 
trenches,  while  the  division  of  Baron  Steuben  was  ordered 
into  the  works  on  the  American  side.  All  resistance  soon 
proved  ineffective  against  the  impenetrable  chain  of  forti¬ 
fications  which  was  now  enclosing  Yorktown.  The  bri- 
gade  of  Steuben  consisted  of  Wayne’s  Pennsylvania 
regiment,  Muhlenberg’s  Virginians,  Gist’s  Marylanders, 
the  whole  brigade  bein^  at  least  one  half  German.  The 
German  element  was  thus  very  fortunate  in  occupying 
the  most  honorable  position,  namely,  that  in  the  trenches, 
at  the  time  when  the  crisis  came.  There  it  was  that  Steu¬ 
ben  received  the  first  overtures  of  peace  from  Cornwallis. 
Lafayette  requested  that  he  be  permitted  to  supersede 
Steuben,  but  the  latter,  knowing  that  by  the  etiquette  of 
military  custom  he  was  entitled  to  the  place  until  the  sur¬ 
render,  referred  the  matter  to  Washington.  Washington 
decided  in  favor  of  Steuben.  The  latter  was  not  impelled 
by  personal  vanity,  nor  did  the  Prussian  feel  antagonistic 
to  the  Frenchman,  but  he  possessed  a  large  measure  of 
pride  in  his  Americans.  He  wanted  the  American  soldiery, 
his  pupils  in  military  tactics  and  discipline,  to  be  honored 
as  the  recipients  of  the  enemy’s  suit  of  surrender.  Simi¬ 
larly,  when  shortly  before  the  capitulation  the  Count  Deux 
Ponts  (Zweibriicken)  offered  to  support  Steuben’s  forces 
in  the  trenches,  he  refused  any  aid  whatsoever.  When 
the  Count  Deux  Ponts  had  gone  away,  Wayne  remarked 
that  Steuben  had  only  one  thousand  men  in  his  entire 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  349 


division.  The  latter  said,  “  If  I  was  guilty  of  a  certain 
amount  of  gasconade  with  regard  to  the  number  of  my 
men,  it  was  for  the  honor  of  your  country,”  whereupon 
Wayne  took  him  by  the  hand,  and  addressing  himself  to 
the  officers  present  said:  “  Now,  gentlemen,  it  is  our  duty 
to  make  good  the  exaggeration  of  Baron  Steuben  and  to 
support  him  just  as  if  he  had  double  the  number  of  the 
troops  that  he  has.”  1 

The  popular  impression  about  the  Hessians  who  served  in 
the  English  army  is  that  they  were  a  species  of  Nibelungs, 
or  devils.  Time  ought  to  be  allowed  to  heal  the  wounds 
that  Hessian  bayonets  once  inflicted ;  the  lover  of  his 
country  should  understand  before  casting  judgment. 
The  Hessians  were  the  victim^  of  the  tyranny  of  their 
rulers,  who  sold  the  lives  and  services  of  their  subjects  to 
the  highest  bidder.  The  English  government  was  at  that 
time  the  best  customer.  Large  profits  were  realized  by  the 
petty  princes  who  were  willing  to  sell  mercenaries  for  the 
war  in  the  American  colonies,  as  can  be  seen  by  examina¬ 
tion  of  the  contracts  between  the  parties  on  either  side, 
contracts  which  were  not  kept  secret.  An  estimate  of  the 
returns  derived  by  several  of  the  princes  is  as  follows : 2 


Hesse-Cassel  in  8  years  £2,959,800 

Brunswick  in  8  years  750,000 

Hesse-Hanau  in  8  years  343,130 

Waldeck  in  8  years  140,000 

Anspach-Bayreuth  in  7  years  282,400 

Anhalt-Zerbst  in  6  years  109,120 


Kapp  estimates  that,  all  told,  the  expense  to  England 
for  the  German  mercenary  troops  was  at  least  seven  mil¬ 
lion  pounds  sterling,  the  equivalent  at  present  of  one 
hundred  and  twenty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  million 
1  Kapp,  Life  of  Steuben,  p.458.  2  Rosengarten,  p.  63. 


350 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


dollars.1  Mercenary  soldiers  existed  among  the  Germans 
from  time  immemorial.  They  served  the  Romans  in  order 
to  learn  the  art  of  war,  and  subsequently  applied  the 
teaching  against  their  former  masters.  They  served  in 
the  civil  wars  of  Rome  on  either  side  of  the  contests; 
they  were  participants  perhaps  in  every  European  war 
down  to  1870.  The  Thirty  Years’  War,  the  age  of  the 
Landshiechte,  was  an  epoch  that  deprived  the  mercenary 
soldier  of  any  national  principles  that  he  may  have  had.2 
One  day  he  would  fight  for  the  Empire,  the  next  for  the 
Swede,  then  for  the  French,  always  going  with  the  best 
pay  and  largest  booty. 

In  the  eighteenth  century  the  German  armies  were  not 
composed  of  the  whole  body  of  citizens  as  now.  They 
consisted  of  recruits  frequently  drafted  or  forced  into  the 
army  against  their  will.  The  system  of  recruiting  soldiers 
was  developed  to  an  art  and  had  its  rules  and  regulations, 
all  to  the  disadvantage  of  the  recruit.  Kapp  has  furnished 
us  with  extracts  from  a  book  of  regulations  p- ivin<y  suer- 

.  ~  O  O  & 

gestions  to  recruiting  officers.3  The  recruit  must  be  dis¬ 
armed  and  searched  carefully,  lodged  only  in  hotels  that 
keep  rooms  specially  fitted  for  the  purpose.  If  on  the 
march  he  is  under  suspicion  of  running  away,  the  buttons 
of  his  trousers  or  his  suspenders  are  to  be  cut,  so  that  he 
must  carry  his  trousers  with  his  hands.  If  he  has  made 
an  attempt  to  escape,  he  must  be  put  in  irons  or  the 

This  estimate  is  found  on  page  212  of  Friedrich  Kapp’s  authoritative 
work,  Der  Soldatenhandel  deutucher  Fiirsten  nach  Amerika.  (Berlin,  1874.) 
Reviewed  by  the  New  York  Nation,  September  10,  1874.  Kapp  estimates 
one  hundred  and  twenty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  million  thalers;  according 
to  the  present  value  of  money  we  may  estimate  dollars  at  least. 

The  LandsJcnechte  were  recruited  from  adventurers  of  all  nations. 

Kapp,  Soldatenhandel,  pp.  13-17.  The  book  is  Prussian,  showing  that 
the  abuses  of  recruiting  existed  in  a  country  where  soldiers  were  not  sold 
nor  mercenaries  tolerated. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  351 


thumbscrews  must  be  applied.  It  is  unfortunate  if  the 
officer  in  charge  has  to  make  use  of  his  gun  and  wound 
the  recruit,  or  be  obliged  to  kill  him.  If  the  recruit  is  of 
particular  strength,  it  is  well  to  have  two  officers  accom¬ 
pany  him,  etc.,  etc.  Young  and  vigorous  men  were  always 
in  danger  of  being  kidnapped,  but  no  exception  was 
made  for  fathers  of  families  or  travelers  distant  from  their 
friends.  Men  of  any  station  in  life  were  in  danger  of  being 
impressed  into  the  service,  as  was  for  instance  the  German 
traveler  and  poet  Seume,  who  has  written  a  delightful 
autobiography,  containing  his  experiences  as  a  kidnapped 
trooper  in  the  English  service.1  As  a  result,  the  military 
service,  for  which  the  German  has  no  innate  abhorrence, 
became  roundly  hated,  and  desertions  were  very  frequent. 
The  Margrave  Anspach,  for  instance,  in  order  to  make 
sure  that  the  soldiers  he  had  sold  would  arrive  at  their 
destination,  acted  as  their  driver,  taking  “  his  children  ” 
on  board  the  ship  and  even  marking  their  beds.  The  atti¬ 
tude  of  the  recruits  was  by  no  means  such  as  depicted  by 
the  Duke  of  Walbeck  in  a  letter  to  the  Earl  of  Suffolk,2 
when  he  described  his  regiment  as  consisting  of  six  hun¬ 
dred  men  “  composed  of  officers  and  soldiers  who,  as 
their  prince,  did  not  wish  for  anything  better  than  to  find 
an  occasion  of  sacrificing  themselves  for  his  British  Maj¬ 
esty.”  If  the  parents  of  the  kidnapped  sons  complained, 
the  father  was  sent  to  the  iron-mines  and  the  mother  to 
jail.  A  deserter  was  compelled  to  run  the  gauntlet  twelve 
times  a  day  for  two  days  in  succession,  sometimes  being 
beaten  to  death  by  switches  during  the  ordeal.  Schiller  s 
depiction,  in  u  Kabale  und  Liebe,  of  the  soldiei  s  parting 
from  home  was  no  exaggeration.3  What  the  poet  says  of 

i  J.  G.  Seume,  Mein  Leben.  (1813.)  2  Kapp,  Soldatenhandel,  p.  244. 

3  Schiller’s  Kabale  und  Liebe,  Act  ii,  Sc.  ii. 


352 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  excesses  at  the  petty  courts  and  the  small  valuation 
put  upon  a  human  life  was  literally  true.  The  Margrave 
of  Anspach,  in  order  to  please  his  mistress,  had  a  chimney¬ 
sweep  shot  down  from  the  roof  of  the  castle  of  Bruck- 
berg.  She  had  uttered  a  wish  to  see  the  man  fall.  The 
widow,  who  besought  His  Grace  for  some  means  of  sup¬ 
port,  was  given  five  guldens  as  a  compensation.  Human 
life  became  only  valuable  in  the  foreign  service;  it  was 
not  rated  at  five  guldens  there.  The  Landgrave  of  Hessen, 
for  example,  in  spite  of  stupendous  extravagance,  was 
able  at  his  death  to  leave  sixty  million  guldens  in  the 
treasury  as  a  result  of  his  barter  in  human  flesh. 

The  greatest  of  the  German  princes  did  not  allow  his 
subjects  to  be  sold.  Frederick  the  Great  used  Ins  influence 
against  the  sale  of  recruits  in  other  German  states  and 
refused  to  allow  mercenaries  who  were  intended  for  the 
American  service  to  pass  through  his  domains.  He  said 
on  one  occasion  :  “If  that  crown  [the  English]  would  give 
me  all  the  millions  possible,  I  would  not  furnish  it  two 
small  files  of  my  troops  to  serve  against  the  colonies.” 
Frederick  encouraged  France  in  a  war  against  England 
for  the  defense  of  the  colonies,  and  made  promises  to  do  all 
in  his  power  to  prevent  the  purchase  of  mercenaries.1  In 
1778  Frederick’s  minister  Sckulenburg  wrote  officially  to 
one  of  the  colonial  commissioners  in  Paris:  “The  king 
desires  that  your  generous  efforts  may  be  crowned  with 
complete  success.  He  will  not  hesitate  to  recognize  your 
independence,  when  France,  which  is  more  directly  inter¬ 
ested  in  the  event  of  this  contest,  shall  have  given  the 
example.” 

In  view  of  the  system  of  mercenary  soldiery  it  is  not 
surprising  to  find  that  on  many  of  the  American  battle- 

1  Bancroft,  vol.  v,  p.  240. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  353 


fields  there  were  Germans  opposing  Germans.  Dieskau 
in  the  French  and  Indian  War  served  the  French  and 
fonght  against  the  Mohawk  Germans  under  Colonel 
William  Johnson.  In  the  New  Jersey  campaign,  during 
the  Revolution,  Knyphausen  was  at  times  pitted  against 
Steuben,  both  of  these  officers  having  served  in  the  Seven 
Years’  War,  as  comrades  under  Frederick  the  Great.1  In 
the  siege  of  Yorktown  Tarleton  led  his  Hessians  against 
the  German  Colonial  troops  under  Armand,  the  left  re¬ 
doubt  was  taken  by  Germans  under  Zweibrucken  against 
Hessian  defenders,  and  other  instances  might  be  cited. 

As  soldiers  the  Hessians  behaved  like  veterans  and 
were  not  exultant  in  victory.  Their  officers,  Riedesel, 
Heister,  Knyphausen,  Dunop,  Specht,  Baum,  Breimann, 
and  Rahl,  were  all  brave  and  capable  men  (possibly  with 
the  exception  of  the  last  mentioned).  When  in  captivity 
they  proved  amiable  companions;  Thomas  Jefferson,  for 
instance,  enjoyed  their  music.  Riedesel,  who  was  captured 
at  Saratoga,  and  his  wife,  who  wrote  the  delightful  let¬ 
ters,3  were  especial  favorites  of  their  captors.  The  Germans 
in  the  English  service  who  were  made  prisoners  at  York¬ 
town  fraternized  with  the  German  Colonial  regiments. 
General  Muhlenberg  commanded  the  small  escort  which 
accompanied  the  German  prisoners  to  their  winter  quar¬ 
ters  at  Winchester  in  the  Shenandoah  Valley.  Later  they 
were  sent  to  Frederick,  Maryland,  where  they  also  found 
a  hearty  welcome  on  the  part  of  the  German  farmers  of 
that  region.  Others  were  sent  to  Lancaster,  Pennsylvania, 

1  Knyphausen  gave  out  a  special  order  by  which  Steuben’s  life  was  to  be 
spared  if  ever  endangered  by  an  attack  of  the  Hessians.  Cf.  Rosengarten, 
pp.  78-79. 

2  Brief e  der  Generalin  von  Riedesel.  (Berlin,  1800.)  Translated  by  Wallen¬ 
stein;  also  by  Stone.  Cf.  also  Von  Riedesel,  Die  Berufsreise  nach  Amerika. 
(1788.) 


354 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


and  in  all  these  places,  because  the  Hessians  were  good 
fellows,  houses  were  opened  to  them,  home  comforts  were 
provided,  and  the  German  tongue  was  used  to  the  delight 
of  their  ears.  In  consequence  many  of  them  settled  per¬ 
manently  in  Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  or  Virginia.  We 
read  that  at  Frederick  the  salute  in  honor  of  the  close  of 
the  war,  in  April,  1783,  was  fired  by  Hessian  soldiers 
under  a  Bayreuth  artillery  captain.  He  also  prepared  the 
fireworks  for  the  evening,  and  the  German  regiments 
furnished  the  music  for  the  ball.  Instances  of  Hessian 
officers  serving  as  school-teachers,  and  of  still  a  larger 
number  becoming  farmers,  can  be  noted  all  the  way  from 
New  York  to  South  Carolina.1  In  the  Carolinas  desertions 
of  Hessians  were  particularly  numerous,  following  the 
example  of  John  Yost  Miitze,  who  deserted  near  Charles¬ 
ton,  then  located  in  the  Saxe-Gotha  district,  and  became 
the  father  of  an  influential  family. 

Desertions  had  occurred  very  early  in  the  war  and  were 
encouraged.  The  baker,  Christopher  Ludwig,  declared  his 
policy  in  the  following  words  :  “  Bring  the  captives  to 
Philadelphia,  show  them  our  beautiful  German  churches, 
let  them  taste  our  roast  beef  and  homes,  then  send  them 
away  again  to  their  people  and  you  will  see  how  many  will 
come  over  to  us.”  Congress  was  not  averse  to  the  idea, 
and  their  committee  wrote  to  Washington  advising  not  to 
exchange  the  Hessians  captured  at  Trenton.  Washington 
agreed,  and  the  provision  and  transportation  of  the  Ger¬ 
man  prisoners  was  put  into  Ludwig’s  hands,  who  brought 
them  first  to  Berks,  Lancaster,  and  Lebanon  counties. 
There  were  many  deserters  among  the  Hessians  who  were 

1  e.  g.,  the  ancestor  of  General  Custer,  Indian  fighter,  and  cavalry  leader 
in  the  Civil  War,  was  a  Hessian  soldier  who  settled  in  Pennsylvania.  See 
below,  Chapter  xvi. 


GERMANS  DURING  THE  REVOLUTION  355 


ready  at  once  to  volunteer  for  the  American  service.  A 
movement  was  instituted  to  establish  a  regiment  of  Hes¬ 
sian  deserters,  but  the  plan  wras  not  countenanced  by 
Washington. 

The  exact  number  of  Hessians  who  made  the  united 
colonies  their  home  will  never  be  known.  They  commonly 
located  in  the  German  settlements,  being  disliked  as  a  rule 
by  the  English  settlers,  who  harbored  resentful  feelings 
against  them.  They  never  settled  in  groups  large  enough 
to  form  separate  colonies,  and  were  therefore  lost  in  the 
German  population.  We  depend  for  information  upon  in¬ 
sufficient  records,  such  as  those  of  a  traveling  Rhinelander, 
who  reports  that  he  found  many  Hessians  located  in  the 
city  of  Baltimore,  where,  he  says,  one  third  of  the  popu¬ 
lation  was  German.1  In  accordance  with  the  tendency  of 
locating  with  other  earlier  German  settlers,  a  number 
of  Hessians  located  at  Lunenburg,  Nova  Scotia.  Several  of 
the  Hessians  were  men  of  learning,  such  as  Julius  von 
Wangenheim,  captain  of  yagers,  who  wrote  a  description 
of  American  trees  and  bushes  (Gdttingen,  1781),  and  Dr. 
Johann  David  Schopf,  military  surgeon  of  Bayreuth,  who 
made  a  careful  study  of  plants  useful  in  medicine.2 

Eelking3givesthe  names  of  twenty-eight  officers  and  sub¬ 
alterns  of  the  Brunswick  auxiliary  troops  who  remained  in 
the  United  States  at  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War, 

1  Nachrichten  und  Erfahrungen  iiber  die  Vereimgten  Staaten  von  Amerika, 
gesammelt  auf  seiner  Reise  in  den  Jahren  1806  bis  1808.  Yon  einem  Rheinlan- 
der.  (Frankfurt-am-Main,  1812.) 

2  He  traveled  through  the  United  States  as  far  as  Florida  after  the  war, 
became  acquainted  with  G.  H.  E.  Muhlenberg,  the  botanist,  who  rendered 
some  assistance  to  Schopf  in  his  work,  published  in  Germany  in  1787,  enti¬ 
tled  Materia  Medica  Americanis  Septentrionalis  Potissimum  Regni  Vegetabilis. 
Cf.  Rosengarten,  pp.  91-92. 

3  In  the  work  already  cited,  Die  deutschen  Hulfstruppen  in  Not'd  Amerika 
im  Befreiungskriege,  1776-83. 


356 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


or  deserted  previously,  or  who  returned  to  America  after 
having  gone  back  to  Europe  with  their  companies.1  Kapp 
furnishes  a  careful  tabulation  of  the  number  of  German 
auxiliary  troops  in  the  English  service,  giving  the  number 
that  arrived  in  America  and  returned  to  Europe,2  as  fol¬ 
lows  :  — 


Number  sent 

Returned 

Lost 

Brunswick 

5,723 

2,708 

3,015 

Hessen-Kassel 

16,992 

10,492 

6,500 

Hessen-Hanau 

2,422 

1,441 

981 

Anspach 

2,353 

1,183 

1,170 

Waldeck 

1,225 

505 

720 

Anhalt-Zerbst 

1,160 

984 

176 

Total 

29,875 

17,313 

12,562 

Twelve  thousand  five  hundred  is  therefore  the  careful 
estimate  of  the  number  of  Hessian  soldiers  who  remained 
in  the  United  States,  dead  or  alive.  Certainly  one  half  of  the 
number  can  be  counted  as  survivors  and  settlers  within 
the  precincts  of  the  United  States.  If  they  were  all  like 
those  of  whom  we  have  record,  they  made  good  citizens 
of  their  adopted  country. 

1  The  list  is  reprinted  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xv,  pp.  285-287. 

2  Kapp,  Soldatenhandel  (chap,  xi),  pp.  209-210. 


CHAPTER  XII 


THE  WINNING  OF  THE  WEST 

I.  THE  GERMAN  SETTLERS  IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 

The  early  history  of  the  Kentucky  settlements  —  Germans  among  the  colo¬ 
nists  from  the  Carolinas  and  the  Valley  of  Virginia  —  Favorable  loca¬ 
tion  of  the  Germans  for  early  colonization  —  Migratory  spirit  —  The 
question  as  to  whether  any  particular  national  type  was  superior  on  the 
frontier — The  frontier  creates  types — Many  instances  of  Germans  as 
hunters,  trappers,  and  Indian  fighters  —  The  three  classes  of  settlers 
—  The  Germans’  share  in  the  permanent  settlement  of  the  Blue  Grass 
Region  of  Kentucky  —  Statistics  gathered  from  land-records  and  the 
United  States  Bureau  of  Pensions  —  The  Germans  settled  mainly  in  the 
central  and  western  portions  of  the  Blue  Grass  Region  —  Evidences  of 
early  settlements  by  Germans  in  Tennessee. 

The  next  four  chapters  will  follow  the  progress  of 
Western  settlement  from  the  period  succeeding  the  Re¬ 
volutionary  War  to  the  time  when  the  frontier  line  dis¬ 
appeared  from  the  map  of  the  United  States.  The 
German  immigrants  of  the  nineteenth  century,  just  as 
their  predecessors  of  the  eighteenth,  followed  the  fron¬ 
tier  line  closely,  aiding  materially  in  the  advance  of  Amer¬ 
ican  civilization  to  the  westward,  regardless  of  the  hos¬ 
tility  of  savage  races,  or  adverse  conditions  of  soil  and 
climate. 

The  settlement  of  the  great  Middle  West,  the  present 
centre  of  population  of  the  United  States,  proceeded 
through  two  channels  :  first,  by  way  of  the  early  settle¬ 
ments  in  Kentucky  and  Tennessee,  and  secondly,  by  way 


358 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  the  Ohio  River.1  As  the  opening  from  the  southwest 
came  earlier,  that  will  be  considered  first. 

The  early  history  of  Kentucky  is  inseparably  linked 
"with  the  name  of  Daniel  Boone.2  He  was  born  in  Bucks 
County,  Pennsylvania,  and  migrated  in  his  eighteenth 

1  All  roads  from  the  Atlantic  States  converged  upon  two  points,  Fort  Pitt 
(Pittsburg)  and  Cumberland  Gap.  There  was  a  road  from  Philadelphia 
through  the  upper  and  central  points  of  Pennsylvania,  by  way  of  Juniata 
Creek  and  Fort  Ligonier  to  Pittsburg  ;  another  led  out  from  Baltimore, 
passing  Old  Town,  and  Cumberland  Fort  on  the  Potomac  River,  and  along 
Braddock  s  road  to  Redstone  Old  Fort  (now Brownsville,  Pennsylvania),  on 
the  Monongahela  River,  thence  to  Pittsburg.  The  distance  from  Philadel¬ 
phia  to  Pittsburg  was  about  three  hundred  and  twenty  miles.  From  the  lat¬ 
ter  place  the  settlers  boarded  a  flat-boat  and  floated  down  the  Ohio  River. 
But  the  dangers  of  the  water  route  were  so  great  that  if  the  travelers  had 
little  baggage  it  was  far  better  for  them  to  take  the  road  through  the  Valley 
of  \  irgiuia  to  Cumberland  Gap.  The  distance  from  Fort  Washington  (now 
Cincinnati)  to  Philadelphia  by  this  so-called  “  Wilderness  Road  ”  was  almost 
eight  hundred  miles,  but  the  traveler  was  protected  for  most  of  the  dis= 
tance,  though  led  through  wild  country.  A  military  order  of  1792  calls  this 
the  most  direct  route  between  Fort  Washington  and  Philadelphia,  i.  e.,  by 
way  of  Lexington  and  Crab  Orchard  (Kentucky)  ;  Cumberland  Mountain, 
Powell  Valley,  Abingdon,  Botetourt,  Lexington  (Virginia),  and  Staunton  ; 
Martinsburg  (West  Virginia)  and  Hagerstown  (Maryland) ;  York  and  Lan¬ 
caster  (Pennsylvania).  See  Filson  Club  Publications,  no.  2  (1886);  Thomas 
Speed  :  The  Wilderness  Road;  a  description  of  the  routes  of  travel  by  which 
the  pioneers  and  early  settlers  first  came  to  Kentucky,  pp.  10  ff.,  23  ff. 

In  1792  the  Wilderness  Road  was  improved  by  private  enterprise,  the 
following  German  names  appearing  among  the  subscribers  :  Jacob  Froman 
(who  was  the  only  one,  besides  Isaac  Shelby,  who  subscribed  so  large  an 
amount  as  three  pounds),  Peter  Troutman,  Isaac  Hite  and  Abraham  Hite, 
George  M.  Bedinger,  George  Muter,  George  Teagarden  (Tiergarteu  ?  ).  See’ 
Filson  Club  Publications,  supra,  pp.  48—49. 

2  It  was  claimed  for  some  time  by  writers  on  the  Germans  in  the  United 
States  that  Boone  was  of  German  origin.  His  birth  in  a  county  of  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  where  there  were  many  Germans,  and  the  fact  that  he  spoke  Penn¬ 
sylvania  German  fluently,  seem  to  indicate  more  than  mere  acquaintance 
with  Germans.  The  spelling  of  his  name,  ending  in  e,  and  resembling 
Bohne,  ’  a  frequent  German  name,  seemed  to  give  some  further  basis  for 
the  supposition.  Biographers  generally  (e.  g,  Th waites,  Daniel  Boone )  give 
English  ancestry.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  x,  p.  273. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


359 


year  to  North  Carolina,  where  for  some  years  he  lived  as 
a  hunter  and  farmer.  About  1769,  in  company  with  sev¬ 
eral  frontiersmen,  he  made  a  journey  to  the  West  for 
adventure  and  discovery,  and  returned  after  an  absence 
of  two  years.  He  had  visited  the  great  hunting-grounds, 
lying  between  the  Ohio  on  the  north,  and  the  Tennessee 
and  Cumberland  rivers  on  the  south.  That  territory  the 
Indians,  both  of  the  north  and  of  the  south,  claimed  as 
their  own,  but  neither  dared  to  have  and  to  hold  it.  They 
called  it  Kan-tuck-kee,  “the  dark  and  bloody  ground,” 
for  it  was  the  scene  of  battle  and  bloodshed  whenever 
rival  hunters  met.  Into  the  struggle  for  possession  of  this 
No  Man’s  Land,  the  white  race  soon  forced  an  entrance, 
Boone’s  journey,  in  1769,  marking  the  beginning  of  the 
stubborn  war  of  conquest.  After  his  return,  Boone  deter¬ 
mined  to  make  a  settlement  in  the  rich  country  that  he 
had  seen.  With  his  wife  and  children,  and  two  of  his 
brothers  and  their  families,  he  migrated  to  Kentucky.  On 
the  way  they  met  five  other  families  and  forty  well-armed 
men,1  who  joined  the  company.  Near  the  Cumberland 
Gap  they  were  attacked  by  Indians,  and  driven  back  to 
the  Clinch  River,  a  tributary  of  the  Tennessee. 

Several  years  later  the  Transylvania  Company  was 
founded  for  the  settlement  of  Kentucky,  and  Boone  was 
chosen  to  lead  the  surveying  party.  They  cut  the  Wilder¬ 
ness  Trail,  went  far  into  the  interior  of  Kentucky,  and 
built  a  stockade  fort,  called  Boonesborough.  In  1775 
Boone  brought  his  wife,  children,  and  friends,  who  had 
remained  on  the  Clinch  River,  to  the  settlement  on  the 
Kentucky  River,  named  in  his  honor.  Other  fortified 
stations,  as  Harrodsburg  (1774),  Logan’s  Fort,  Bryants 

1  It  is  more  than  probable  that  some  of  these  were  pioneers  of  German 
descent. 


360 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Station,  Lexington,  were  founded.  Bloody  Indian  wars 
followed,  which  drove  back  almost  all  of  the  early  colo¬ 
nists, —  who  had  settled  in  Kentucky  immediately  before 
or  during  the  first  years  of  the  Revolutionary  War.  Bnt 
when  hostilities  between  the  American  colonies  and  Great 
Britain  practically  ceased,  in  1782,  a  vast  influx  of 
pioneers  appeared  in  Kentucky.  The  treaty  that  followed 
was  not  fairly  kept  by  either  the  white  or  the  red  men, 
with  the  result  that  the  Indian  war  was  renewed  with 
treble  violence. 

Boone  was  not  the  earliest  hunter  to  explore  Kentucky. 
A  few  years  before  Boone  went  to  Kentucky,  Stoner 
(Steiner)  and  Harrod,  two  hunters  from  Pittsburg,1  who 
had  passed  through  the  Illinois  territory,  went  down  to 
hunt  in  the  bend  of  the  Cumberland,  where  Nashville 
now  stands,  and  found  game  very  abundant.  In  1774 
some  forty  men,  led  by  Harrod  and  Sodowsky,2  founded 
Harrodsburg,  where  they  built  cabins  and  planted  corn.3 
This  was  the  earliest  settlement  in  Kentucky,  and  while 
its  beginnings  were  ill-starred,  it  still  exists,  as  the 
county-seat  of  Mercer  County.  George  Yeager  (Jager), 
the  “  long  Dutchman,”  had  visited  Kentucky  with  the 
Indians,  when,  as  a  boy,  he  was  their  prisoner.  In  1771 
he  fell  in  with  Simon  Kenton  and  George  Strader  ( possibly 

1  So  stated  in  Roosevelt’s  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  i,  p.  144.  Stoner 
(Steiner)  was  a  Pennsylvania  German,  a  schoolmate  of  Boone,  and  his 
companion  in  many  adventures. 

2  There  were  a  number  of  men  of  German  blood  in  this  expedition,  e.  g., 
Abraham  Hite,  grandson  of  Joist  Hite,  one  of  the  earliest  settlers  in  the 
Valley  of  Virginia.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  pp.  262  ff.  Sodowsky 
was  a  German  Pole  who  was  very  successful  as  an  Indian  trader.  The  spell¬ 
ing  of  his  name  is  also  Sandusky. 

3  The  corn  was  planted  and  harvested  by  John  Harman  (Johannes  Her¬ 
mann)  in  1774,  the  first  crop  of  a  white  man  in  Kentucky.  Cf.  L.  Collins, 
Historical  Sketches  of  Kentucky  (1847),  p.  452.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol. 
x,  p.  27 4. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


361 


the  German  name  Strater),  and  they  proceeded  down  the 
Ohio  to  the  mouth  of  the  Kentucky  River,  looking1  in 
vain  for  the  rich  cane-lands,  which  Yeager  remembered 
to  have  seen,  in  the  land  which  the  Indians  called  Kan- 
tuck-kee.  In  1775,  after  Yeager  had  been  killed  by  the 
Indians,  Kenton  and  Williams  accidentally  discovered 
cane-lands  inland,  south  of  the  Ohio  River,  in  what  is 
now  Mason  County  (within  the  Blue  Grass  Region),  pre¬ 
sumably  the  same  which  Yeager  had  praised  with  great 
warmth,  kindling  Kenton’s  enthusiasm  for  the  quest.1 

The  following-  is  a  glowing  tribute  to  the  unnumbered 
hunters  and  pioneers,  whose  strength  was  spent  and 
whose  blood  was  shed  that  others  might  follow:  “The 
West  was  neither  discovered,  won,  nor  settled  by  any  single 
man.  No  keen-eyed  statesman  planned  the  movement,  nor 
was  it  carried  out  by  any  great  military  leader;  it  was  the 
work  of  a  whole  people  ;  of  whom  each  man  was  impelled 
mainly  by  sheer  love  of  adventure;  it  was  the  outcome 
of  the  ceaseless  strivings  of  all  the  dauntless,  restless 
backwoods  folk  to  win  homes  for  their  descendants  and 
to  each  penetrate  deeper  than  his  neighbors  into  the  re¬ 
mote  forest  hunting-grounds  where  the  perilous  pleasures 
of  the  chase  and  of  war  could  be  best  enjoyed.  We  owe 
the  conquest  of  the  West  to  all  the  backwoodsmen,  not  to 
any  solitary  individual  among  them;  where  all  alike  were 
strong  and  daring,  there  was  no  chance  for  any  single 
man  to  rise  to  unquestioned  preeminence.”  3 

It  has  generally  been  conceded,  in  a  vague  manner, 
that  the  Germans  had  some  part  in  the  winning  of  the 
West,  but  the  great  importance  of  their  share,  from  the 
very  beginning  to  the  end,  has  never  been  awarded  full 

1  Cf.  Collins,  supra ,  pp.  383,  384  ;  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  p.  186. 

2  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  i,  pp.  145-146 


362 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


recognition.  At  the  period  of  the  Revolutionary  War, 
and  immediately  after,  when  the  first  strides  forward  were 
made,  the  Germans  stood  in  great  numbers  at  the  very 
gateways  of  the  Western  territory,  ready  to  press  out  into 
the  new  country  as  soon  as  the  barriers  could  be  lowered. 
The  map  illustrating  the  location  of  the  German  pioneers 
about  1775  (Chapter  x)  shows  at  a  glance  that  the  Ger¬ 
mans  were  settled  directly  on  the  frontier  line  for  most  of 
the  distance  between  Maine  and  Georgia,  and  that  they 
were  most  advantageously  located  for  the  first  plunge  into 
the  Western  wilderness.  The  two  sections  that  took  the 
most  prominent  part  in  the  early  settlement  of  Kentucky 
and  Tennessee  were  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  and  the  cen¬ 
tral,  then  western  counties  of  North  and  South  Carolina. 
In  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  taking  it  throughout  its  length, 
the  Germans  were  more  numerous  than  the  Irish,  or  any 
other  element  taken  singly.  In  Botetourt,  Wythe,  and  the 
southwestern  counties  of  Virginia,  German  settlers  became 
ever  more  numerous  about  1775,  and  in  the  New  River 
section  and  along  the  Kanawha,  as  far  as  our  meagre  in¬ 
formation  goes,  they  were  about  as  well  represented  as 
any  other  national  stock.  In  North  Carolina  they  first  set¬ 
tled  in  the  Yadkin  River  district,  while  the  Scotch-Irish 
were  a  little  to  the  southwest  of  them  on  the  Catawba, 
but  by  1775  the  German  settlers  had  mingled  with  the 
Irish  on  the  Catawba,  thus  reaching  the  farthest  western 
borders.  Their  position  on  the  Yadkin  was  quite  as  near, 
however,  to  the  gateways  of  the  West.  In  South  Carolina 
the  German  settlers  were  from  the  start  as  far  west  as  any. 
“In  the  Carolinas  the  Germans  seem  to  have  been  almost 
as  plentiful  on  the  frontiers  as  the  Irish,”  such  was  the 
opinion  of  contemporaries.1 

1  Adair,  p.  245  ;  and  Smyth’s  Tour ,  vol.  i,  p.  236.  Quoted  by  Roosevelt, 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


363 


In  Pennsylvania  the  Germans  occupied  the  best  lands  of 
the  middle  sections,  and  they  also  mingled  with  the  border¬ 
ers,  the  more  adventurous  among  them,  or  the  young, 
wishing  to  build  new  homes,  seeking  the  frontier.  The  Ger¬ 
man  pioneers  were  a  prolific  people;  large  families  never 
appeared  a  burden  to  them.  Children  would  very  quickly 
become  helpers  in  the  field  or  in  the  woods.  As  soon  as 
they  reached  maturity  they  would  marry  and  seek  homes 
farther  west,  if  they  could  not  conveniently  be  provided 
for  at  home.  Their  future  depended  entirely  upon  their 
own  energy  and  industry,  as  had  that  also  of  the  parent 
stock.  These  facts  of  early  marriage  and  constant  migration 
we  find  recorded  repeatedly  by  the  ministers  of  the  Luth¬ 
eran  and  other  German  churches,  from  Pennsylvania  to 
Georgia.  Muhlenberg  says:1  “  I  have  noticed  that  within 
the  five  years  of  my  being  here,  hardly  half  of  the  orig¬ 
inal  members  of  my  congregations  in  the  country  remain. 
Of  the  other  half  some  have  died,  but  for  the  most  part 
they  have  gone  away,  forty  to  one  hundred  English  miles 
[in  the  manuscript  of  his  journal  Muhlenberg  says  more 
correctly,  one  to  two  and  three  hundred  miles],  to  the 
boundaries  of  Pennsylvania,  to  Maryland  and  Virginia. 
In  the  mean  time  the  congregations  have  not  become  less 
in  number,  but  have  grown,  because  every  year  more  Ger¬ 
mans  come  in,  and  the  others  settle  their  children  about 
them,  as  many  as  can  find  room  and  subsistence.”  No 

vol.  i,  p.  107.  Smyth  says  :  “It  was  also  unlucky  for  me  that  the  inhabit¬ 
ants  on  the  plantations  [frontier  of  North  Carolina],  where  I  called  to  en¬ 
quire  my  way,  being'  Germans,  neither  understood  my  questions,  nor  could 
render  themselves  intelligible  to  me  ;  and  the  few  I  chanced  to  find  that 
did  understand  English,  being  chiefly  natives  of  Ireland,  most  wretchedly 
ignorant  and  uncivilized,  could  give  me  no  directions  to  ascertain  the  right 
way.” 

1  Hallesche  Nachrichten  (Reprint),  vol.  i,  p.  342,  §  217,  written  from  Pro¬ 
vidence,  Pennsylvania  (1747). 


364 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


more  authentic  or  striking  proof  of  the  migratory  spirit 
of  the  German  colonists  could  be  found  than  this  state¬ 
ment  of  the  patriarch  of  the  Lutheran  Church.  It  shows 
us  that  migration  took  place  westward  and  southwest  ward 
not  only  from  the  border-lands,  but  also  from  the  midland 
counties. 

In  regard  to  the  survival  and  success  of  pioneer  settlers 
of  different  national  stocks,  a  contemporary  observer  in 
Kentucky  estimated  that,  “  of  twelve  families  of  each  na¬ 
tionality,  nine  German,  seven  Scotch,  and  four  Irish  pro¬ 
spered,  while  the  others  failed.”  1  “  The  German  women 
worked  just  as  hard  as  the  men,  even  in  the  fields,  and 
both  sexes  were  equally  saving.  Naturally  such  thrifty 
immigrants  did  well  materially  ;  but  they  never  took  a  posi¬ 
tion  of  leadership  or  influence  in  the  community  until  they 
had  assimilated  themselves  in  speech  and  customs  to  their 
American  neighbors.  The  Scotch  were  frugal  and  indus¬ 
trious  ;  for  good  or  for  had  they  speedily  became  indistin¬ 
guishable  from  the  native-born.  The  greater  proportion  of 
failures  among  the  Irish,  brave  and  vigorous  though  they 
were,  was  due  to  their  quarrelsomeness  and  their  fondness 
for  drink  and  litigation  ;  besides  [remarks  this  Kentucky 
critic]  they  soon  took  to  the  gun,  which  is  the  ruin  of 
everything.”  2 

The  good  impression  which  the  German  settlers  made 
upon  influential  men  is  illustrated  by  George  Washing¬ 
ton’s  plan  of  settling  Germans  upon  his  ten  thousand 
acres,  south  of  the  Ohio,  —  lands  that  had  been  granted, 
him  for  service  in  the  French  and  Indian  War.  ITe  wrote 
in  February,  1774,  to  James  Tilghman,  in  Philadelphia, 

1  Description  of  Kentucky,  1792,  by  Harry  Toulmin,  president  of  Transyl¬ 
vania  Seminary,  1794-96  ;  Secretary  of  State,  1796-1804.  Quoted  by  Roose¬ 
velt,  vol.  iii,  p.  17. 

2  Roosevelt,  vol.  iii,  pp.  17-18. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


365 


concerning  the  possibility  of  settling  Palatines  on  his 
lands,1  inquiring  whether  he  should  send  an  intelligent 
German  to  the  Old  Country,  for  the  purpose  of  recruiting 
colonists  and  transporting  them.  He  also  addressed  Henry 
Riddle  in  Philadelphia,  promising  to  give  the  German 
peasants  free  transportation  to  the  Ohio,  sustenance  up 
to  the  first  harvest,  and  four  years’  free  rental  on  unim¬ 
proved  land.  But  the  Revolutionary  War  made  an  end 
of  his  plan  for  the  settlement  of  the  Ohio  Valley.  Gov¬ 
ernor  Glenn  of  South  Carolina,  in  the  middle  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  wrote  concerning  the  Germans  :  “Our 
trade  with  New  York  and  Philadelphia  was  of  this  sort, 
draining  us  of  all  the  little  money  and  bills  that  we  could 
gather  from  other  places  for  their  bread,  flour,  beer,  hams, 
bacon,  and  other  things  of  their  produce,  all  of  which, 
except  beer,  our  new  townships  began  to  supply  us  with, 
which  were  settled  with  very  industrious  and  thriving 
Germans.  This  no  doubt  diminishes  the  number  of  ship¬ 
ping  and  the  appearance  of  our  trade,  but  it  is  far  from 
being  a  detriment  to  us.”2  The  German  settler  not  only 
survived  among  the  fittest,  wherever  he  went,  but  he  also 
established  the  economic  independence  of  bis  colony. 

The  best  frontiersmen  were  undoubtedly  those  born  on 
the  border.  “  Colonists  fresh  from  the  Old  W orld,  no  mat¬ 
ter  how  thrifty,  steady-going,  and  industrious,  could  not 
hold  their  own  on  the  frontier ;  they  had  to  settle  where 
they  were  protected  from  the  Indians  by  a  living  barrier 
of  bold  and  self-reliant  American  borderers.”3  The  native- 

1  Sparks,  The  Writings  of  George  Washington,  vol.  ii,  pp.  382-383. 

2  Weston,  Documents  connected  with  the  History  of  South  Carolina,  p.  61  ; 
quoted  by  F.  J.  Turner,  The  Significance  of  the  Frontier  in  American  History, 

p.  29. 

3  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  i,  p.  124.  The  rule  here  stated 
had  many  exceptions. 


366 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


born  American  possessed  distinct  advantages  over  the 
European  as  a  border  fighter,  and  he  loved  his  work  and 
manner  of  life.  In  that  class  of  self-reliant  frontiersmen 
the  native-born  of  German  descent  were  probably  as 
numerous  as  any  other  stock.  Impressions  have  been  re¬ 
corded,  principally  by  writers  on  the  Scotch-Irish  element, 
giving  the  latter  preeminence  over  other  nationalities  in  the 
struggle  with  the  forests  and  Indians.  Any  claim  of  that 
sort  rests  upon  very  uncertain  foundations.  The  border¬ 
ers  were  of  mixed  descent,  English,  German,  Scotch- 
Irish,  Scotch,  Irish,  Huguenot,  and  Welsh.  The  advant¬ 
age  of  numbers  after  all  lay  with  the  Germanic  stock,1 
taking  both  the  English  and  Germans  together  as  distinct 
from  the  Celtic.  At  all  events,  as  time  went  on,  the  bal¬ 
ance  of  advantage  must  have  inclined  more  and  more  in 
favor  of  the  Germanic  race,  because  the  latter,  as  contem¬ 
poraries  all  agree,  were  in  the  end  more  stable,  prosperous, 
and  their  permanent  increase  was  larger.2 

1  An  opposing  view  is  the  following  :  “  The  backwoodsmen  were  Americans 
by  birth  and  parentage,  and  of  mixed  race  ;  but  the  dominant  strain  in  their 
blood  was  that  of  Presbyterian  Irish, — the  Scotch-Irish,  as  they  were  often 
called.  They  were  in  the  West  almost  what  the  Puritans  were  in  the  North¬ 
east,  and  even  more  than  the  Cavaliers  were  in  the  South.  Mingled  with  the 
descendants  of  many  other  races,  they  nevertheless  formed  the  kernel  of 
the  distinctively  and  intensely  American  stock  who  were  the  pioneers  of  our 
people  in  their  march  westward,  the  vanguard  of  the  army  of  fighting  set¬ 
tlers,  who  with  axe  and  rifle  won  their  way  from  the  Alleghanies  to  the  Rio 
Grande  and  the  Pacific.”  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  i,  pp 
102  ff. 

2  One  of  the  few  available  tests  of  the  comparative  rates  of  increase  of 
various  nationalities  is  furnished  bv  the  work  of  R.  R.  Kuczynski,  “  The  Fe¬ 
cundity  of  the  Native  and  Foreign-born  Population  in  Massachusetts,”  The 
Quarterly  Journal  of  Economics,  November,  1901,  and  February,  1902.  While 
the  fecundity  of  the  Irish  Population  is  shown  to  be  great,  their  perinmnent 
rate  of  increase  stands  behind  the  German  and  most  other  nationalities.  Cf. 
also  the  statements  recorded  by  Toulmin  (see  above,  p.  364),  that  of  a  dozen 
families  of  each  nationality,  nine  German,  seven  Scotch,  and  only  four  Irish 
survived. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


367 


The  question  of  superiority  of  any  particular  national 
type  over  others,  in  the  fight  with  the  wilderness  and  the 
savages,  is  rendered  all  the  more  difficult  because  of 
the  wonderful  leveling  influence  of  the  frontier  upon  all 
national  elements.  A  new  type  of  American  was  evolved  as 
a  result  of  frontier  conditions.  Physically  he  approached 
the  ideal  of  the  red  man,  with  his  gaunt  and  sinewy  frame 
inured  to  hardships  and  incapable  of  fatigue.  His  intel¬ 
lectual  characteristics  have  been  described  as  follows : 1 
“  That  coarseness  and  strength  combined  with  acuteness 
and  inquisitiveness  ;  that  practical,  inventive  turn  of  mind, 
quick  to  find  expedients;  that  masterful  grasp  of  material 
things,  lacking  in  the  artistic  but  powerful  to  effect  great 
ends;  that  restless,  nervous  energy;  that  dominant  indi¬ 
vidualism,  working  for  good  and  for  evil ;  and,  withal,  that 
buoyancy  and  exuberance  which  come  with  freedom, — 
these  are  traits  of  the  frontier,  or  traits  called  out  else¬ 
where  because  of  the  existence  of  the  frontier.” 

Germans  or  men  of  German  descent,  that  came  under 
the  influence  of  frontier  conditions,  became  hunters,  In¬ 
dian  fighters,  backwoodsmen,  miners,  or  whatever  later 
types  the  prevailing  conditions  made  of  them.  They  became 
indistinguishable  from  other  frontiersmen.  Great  numbers 
of  hunters  of  German  blood  were  found  among  the  early 
explorers  and  settlers  of  the  “dark  and  bloody  ground.” 
There  was  Johann  Sailing,  the  German  Indian,  who  under 
the  name  of  Menou,  “  the  Silent,”  was  made  a  member 
of  the  Cherokee  tribe.  He  fought  their  battles,  hunted 
their  game,  and  wooed  their  maidens  until  1742,  when  he 
was  captured  by  the  French  and  taken  to  Canada,  sub- 

i  J1  J,  Turner,  The  Significance  of  the  Frontier  in  American  History ,  pub¬ 
lished  in  the  Fifth  Yearbook  of  the  National  Herbart  Society,  Chicago,  1899, 
p.  40.  Also  in  the  Annual  Report  of  the  American  Historical  Association  for 


368 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


sequently  to  be  set  free.1  With  Daniel  Boone  there  were 
Germans  on  most  of  his  expeditions.  Michael  Stoner 
(Steiner)  was  the  forefather  of  the  numerous  Kentucky 
Stoners  of  the  present  day.  Kaspar  Mansker,  or  Mansko, 
was  one  of  the  most  famous  of  the  Indian  fioditers.  A 

O 

wonderful  marksman  and  woodsman,2  he  was  made  a  colo¬ 
nel  of  the  frontier  militia.  The  crack  of  his  deadly  rifle, 
“Nancy,”  haunted  his  foes  like  a  message  of  doom. 
Though  not  a  native  German,  but  of  German  descent,  he 
spoke  only  broken  English.  He  knew  the  cries  of  the 
beasts  and  birds  and  could  never  be  deceived  by  Indian 
imitations  of  them.  Stories  of  his  Indian  fights  are  told 
without  number  by  Tennessee  writers. 

“Every  old  Western  narrative  contains  many  allusions 
to  ‘Dutchmen,’  as  Americans  very  properly  [?]  call  the 
Germans.  Their  names  abound  on  the  muster-rolls,  pay¬ 
rolls,  lists  of  settlers,  etc.,  of  the  day;  but  it  must  be  re¬ 
membered  that  they  are  often  anglicized,  when  nothing 
remains  to  show  the  origin  of  the  owners.”3  A  “  Dutch  ” 
station  was  established  on  Beargrass  Creek  (Jefferson 
County,  Kentucky),  in  1780.4 5  At  Estill’s  Station  and 
Hart’s  Station  (1779),  there  were  “principally  families 
from  Pennsylvania  —  orderly,  respectable  people,  and  the 
men  good  soldiers,  most  of  whom  became  victims  of  the 
Indian  wars.”  0  Lawrenceburg,  the  county-seat  of  Ander¬ 
son  County,  was  first  settled  by  an  “  old  Dutchman  by 


1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  pp.  401-408.  F.  W.  Hess,  Johann  Sailing , 

der  deutsche  lndianer.  '*r 

2  Roosevelt,  vol.  i,  pp.  150-153  ;  Carr’s  Early  Times  in  Middle  Tennessee, 
pp.  52,  54,  56,  etc.  (Nashville,  Tenn.,  1859.) 

3  Roosevelt,  pp.  107  ft.  Reference  is  made  to  Blount  MSS.,  State  Depart¬ 
ment  MSS.,  McAfee  MSS.,  American  State  Papers,  etc. 

*  Filson  Club  Publications,  no.  xi,  p.  26. 

5  Collins,  Historical  Sketches  of  Kentucky,  p.  421. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


369 


the  name  of  Coffman”  (Kaufmann),  who  was  killed  by  the 
Indians.1  Another  “Dutchman”  is  praised  for  his  good 
sense,2  who,  in  company  with  Kenton,  Haggin,  and  others, 
would  not  wantonly  fire  into  an  Indian  camp,  remained 
seated  on  his  horse,  and  cantered  off  much  at  his  ease, 
when  the  others  were  hard-pressed  in  consequence  of  their 
rash  acts.  There  was  an  enterprising  “Dutchman  ”  named 
Myers,  a  land-agent  and  general  locator  in  the  Ohio  Val¬ 
iev,  “  in  whose  name  more  land  was  entered  than  in  that 

*/  ' 

of  almost  any  other  man  in  the  West.”3  These  examples 
might  be  multiplied.  Last  but  not  least  should  be  men¬ 
tioned  the  “  Dutch  ”  woman,  who  with  Mrs.  Mary  Ingles 
escaped  from  captivity  in  the  Indian  camp  at  Big  Bone 
Lick  (Boone  County,  Kentucky),  and  successfully  made 
the  journey,  mostly  on  foot,  and  without  provisions,  for 
hundreds  of  miles,  through  the  wilderness  of  Kentucky, 
following  the  Ohio  River,  then  the  Great  Kanawha  from 
its  outlet  up  to  the  New  River  country,  where  they  found 
rescue.  The  Dutch  woman  was  crazed  by  the  hardships 
and  privations  of  the  journey,  almost  at  its  end,  and  at¬ 
tacked  Mrs.  Ingles,  according  to  the  latter’s  account,  in 
a  life  struggle.4  Mrs.  Ingles  secured  a  canoe  and  aban¬ 
doned  her  companion;  both,  however,  completed  the  jour¬ 
ney  and  survived.  They  were,  in  all  probability,  the  first 
white  women  who  saw  Kentucky. 

When  in  1784  the  separatist  spirit  gained  the  upper 

1  Collins,  p.  169.  His  wife  said  in  her  affliction  :  “I  always  told  my  old 
man  that  the  savage  Ingens  would  kill  him  ;  and  I ’d  rather  lost  my  best 
cow  at  the  pail  than  my  old  man.” 

2  Collins,  p.  385. 

3  Collins,  p.  217. 

4  As  Mrs.  Ingles  declared,  with  cannibalistic  intent  (by  agreement).  It  is 
more  than  likely,  however,  that  the  struggle  occurred  for  possession  of  the 
canoe,  which  was  only  large  enough  for  one.  For  a  detailed  account,  see 
J.  P.  Hale,  Transallegheny  Pioneers ,  pp.  41  ff. 


370 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


hand  in  the  Tennessee  area,  owing  to  disappointing  legis¬ 
lation  by  the  United  States  government,  concerning 
the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi,  the  settlers  founded  the 
new  state  of  Frankland  or  Franklin,  with  Sevier  as 
governor.  His  adjutant-general  was  the  German,  Major 
Elholm,1  who  organized  the  militia  with  unusual  skill.  He 
became  very  popular  on  account  of  his  imperturbable 
good  humor,  and  his  musical  talent  likewise  won  the 
young  people,  who  looked  upon  a  campaign  under  him  as 
a  recreation. 

A  more  typical  man  of  the  frontier  was  Henry  Crist 
(Heinrich  Christ),2  born  in  1764  of  German  parents,  in 
Virginia.  In  1788  he  made  a  trip  in  a  flat-boat,  from 
Louisville,  on  the  Ohio,  to  Bullitt’s  Lick,  for  the  purpose 
of  preparing  salt.  The  expedition  consisted  of  twelve  armed 
men  and  one  woman.  They  were  on  the  way  to  Mud  Garri¬ 
son,  situated  midway  between  Bullitt’s  Lick  and  the  falls 
of  the  Salt  River,  almost  where  the  town  of  Shepherdsville 
now  stands.  Arriving  in  the  Salt  River,  they  were  attacked 
by  Indians,  about  eight  miles  below  Rolling  Fork.  The 
battle  which  ensued  was  costly.  Of  the  whites,  Crist  alone3 
survived,  but  he  was  frightfully  wounded.  Being  unable 
to  walk,  he  bound  his  moccasins  to  his  knees,  and  crawled 
in  the  direction  of  the  Licks.  He  almost  succumbed  from 
exhaustion  when  but  a  few  miles  distant  from  his  destina¬ 
tion.  Bleeding  from  many  wounds,  his  clothes  torn  to 
shreds  by  briars  and  thorns,  lie  was»discovered  by  a  negro. 
The  latter,  fearing  this  bleeding  piece  of  humanity  to  be 

Der  deutsche  Pionier ,  vol.  ii,  p.  368  ;  J.  A.  Wagener,  Frankland  und 
Franklin. 

2  Collins,  Historical  Sketches  of  Kentucky,  pp.  217-220. 

Collins,  Historical  Sketches  of  Kentucky ,  p.  219.  Crist’s  companion  Crepps 
(German  name  Krebs),  who  had  fonglit  like  a  lion  and  made  his  escape, 
died  shortly  after  reaching  Long  Lick. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


871 


an  indication  of  an  Indian  attack,  rode  back  to  camp  at  full 
speed  and  gave  the  alarm.  Crist  was  carried  in  safety  to 
the  salt  camp,  but  it  took  a  full  year  for  him  to  recover 
completely  from  his  wounds.  The  woman  of  the  party 
was  taken  captive  by  the  Indians  and  later  exchanged, 
after  General  Wayne’s  victories.  She  reported,  what  seems 
incredible,  that  of  the  Indian  party,  consisting  of  one 
hundred  and  twenty  warriors,  about  thirty  were  killed; 
her  story  seems  to  indicate,  at  least,  that  the  twelve  whites 
in  this  battle  made  the  Indians  pay  dearly  for  their  victory. 
Crist  some  years  after  became  prominent  in  politics,  being 
chosen  a  member  of  the  legislature  of  the  state  of  Ken¬ 
tucky,  and  in  1808  elected  to  the  United  States  Congress. 
He  died  in  1844  at  the  age  of  eighty. 

One  of  the  most  prominent  Indian  fighters  in  border 
history  was  Ludwig  Wetzel,  whose  career  concerns  chiefly 
the  settlement  of  the  Ohio  Valley.1  The  two  Sanduskys 
(Sodowskys),  German  Poles  from  the  Prussian  province 
of  Posen,  already  referred  to,  were  typical  hunters  and 
traders.  Jacob  Sandusky,  in  a  canoe,  paddled  down  the 
Cumberland  into  the  Ohio  River,  then  made  his  way  into 
the  Mississippi,  and  followed  its  interminable  course  all 
the  way  to  New  Orleans.  He  was  the  first  white  man  on 
record  to  do  this,  exclusive  of  the  French  and  Spaniards.2 
Jacob  Sandusky  died  in  Jessamine  County,  Joseph,  in 
Bourbon  County,  Kentucky. 

The  most  brilliant  military  achievement  originating  in 
Kentucky  was  the  expedition  of  George  Rogers  Clark  in 
1778-79  against  Kaskaskia  (Illinois)  and  Vincennes  (In¬ 
diana).  Clark  was  the  master  spirit  in  the  undertaking, 
and  was  a  Virginian  of  English  descent,  but  his  two  ablest 

1  It  will  therefore  he  given  attention  in  the  next  chapter. 

2  Der  deutsche  Pioniery  vol.  ix,  p.  262. 


372 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


lieutenants  were  Virginians  of  German  descent,  namely, 
Captain  Leonard  Helm  (Fauquier  County)  and  Major 
Joseph  Bowman  (Baumann,  of  Frederick  County).  Joseph 
Bowman  was  next  in  command  to  General  Clark,  and 
served  with  distinction  in  this  campaign.1  Other  Virginia 
Germans  among  the  volunteers  were  Captain  Johann 
Holder,  Major  George  Michael  Bedinger  (adjutant  of 
Bowman),  Johann  Hager  (of  Ruddle’s  Station),  Hans 
Sauter  and  Johann  Pleakenstalber  (Blickenstalwer).  Colo¬ 
nel  John  Bowman,  as  county  lieutenant,  in  May,  1779, 
commanded  one  hundred  and  sixty  Kentuckians  in  an 
expedition  against  the  Ohio  Indian  town  of  Chillicothe. 
The  Indian  town  was  surprised,  many  cabins  were  burned, 
and  horses  captured.  The  Indians  rallied  in  a  block¬ 
house,  and  drove  off  their  enemies.  When  the  Indians 
pursued,  they  were  in  turn  driven  back.  The  loss  was 
nine  killed  and  two  or  three  wounded,  of  the  whites,  and 
two  killed  and  five  or  six  wounded,  of  the  Indians.  The 
attack  was  of  great  benefit  to  the  Kentuckians,  who  were 
inclined  to  blame  Bowman  for  defeat.  It  kept  the  Indi¬ 
ans  from  making  an  inroad  into  Kentucky.  The  Indians 
were  very  badly  frightened.  “The  expedition  undoubt¬ 
edly  accomplished  more  than  Clark’s  attack  on  Piqua 
next  year.”  2 

The  expedition  of  Clark  will  he  described  more  fully  in  a  succeeding 
chapter  (xiv),  on  the  settlement  of  the  Northwest.  It  will  be  seen  there  that 
Bowman  and  Helm  were  the  two  lieutenants  intrusted  with  the  largest  re¬ 
sponsibilities. 

2  Cf.  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  pp.  96-97.  We  learn  that  “Logan,  Plarrod,  and 
other  famous  frontier  fighters  went  along.”  The  Germans  Johann  Bulger 
and  George  M.  Bedinger  (later  United  States  Congressman)  were  also  among 
those  that  took  part  in  Bowman’s  expedition.  Cf.  Der  deutsclie  Pionier,  vol.  if, 
p.  56.  Two  other  German  names  appear  prominently  in  the  conquest  of  the 
Northwest :  Honaker  and  Chrisman.  Cf.  The  Virginia  Magazine,  vol.  x,  p.  47. 
Cf.  also  W.  H.  English,  The  Conquest  of  the  Northwest  of  the  River  Ohio, 
1 7  7 8-83 ,  and  Life  of  General  Clark . 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


373 


In  every  important  engagement,  whether  of  discovery 
or  warfare,  we  come  upon  German  names.  Thus  in  the 
fatal  battle  of  the  Blue  Licks,  August  19,  1782,  in  which 
the  rashness  of  Major  McGarry  prevailed  over  the  prud¬ 
ence  of  Boone,  Major  Benjamin  Netherland  (Niederland) 
was  a  “man  of  the  hour.”  1  “  The  majority  of  the  men  who 
escaped  from  the  destructive  conflict  owed  their  preserva¬ 
tion  to  Benjamin  Netherland,  —  a  fearless  man,  fruitful 
in  resources,  and  the  impersonation  of  nobleness  and 
courage.”  Like  many  men  of  his  stock,  he  was  not  a  man 
of  bravado,  and  therefore  was  sometimes  suspected  of 
cowardice.  He  was  born  in  Powhatan  County,  Virginia, 
of  German  or  Dutch  descent,  served  under  Lincoln  in  the 
Southern  army  in  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  after  com¬ 
ing  to  Kentucky  in  1787  was  one  of  the  most  prominent 
men  in  the  Indian  wars.  In  the  battle  of  the  Blue  Licks, 
at  the  age  of  twenty-seven,  he  exhibited  wonderful  cool¬ 
ness  and  judgment.  Being  well  mounted  on  the  retreat, 
he  grained  the  ford  and  crossed  the  stream  in  advance  of 
many  others.  Looking  back,  he  saw  that  his  comrades, 
swimming  and  struggling  in  the  water,  were  at  the  mercy 
of  their  ferocious  enemies.  “He  dismounted  and  com¬ 
manded  the  fleeing  horsemen  to  halt,  and  fire  upon  the 
Indians.  His  splendid  presence  —  he  was  six  feet  two 
inches  high  —  restored  the  spirit  of  the  fear-stricken 
riders.  A  dozen  or  twenty  men  instantly  obeyed  his  call, 
and  facing  about  with  Netherland,  they  opened  a  fatal 
and  deadly  fire  upon  the  foremost  of  the  pursuing 
savages.  The  counter-attack  was  so  sudden  and  unex¬ 
pected  that  it  checked  the  fierce  pursuit  of  the  Indians, 
and  they  instantly  fell  back  from  the  opposite  bank.” 

1  Filson  Club  Publications,  no.  xii,  pp.  183  ff.,  186-187.  K.  T.  Durett, 
Bryant’s  Station. 


374 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Another  Virginia  German1  in  this  battle  was  Major 
George  Michael  Bedinger,  born  in  Schafersdorf,  Vir¬ 
ginia,  of  German  parents.  He  came  to  Boonesborough 
at  the  age  of  twenty-four,  and  was  one  of  ten  to  settle 
on  Muddy  Creek2  (Mason  County,  Kentucky).  In  1779 
he  served  with  distinction  under  Colonel  John  Bowman 
in  the  expedition  to  Old  Chillicothe.  In  1792  he  Avas  a 
member  of  the  legislature  of  Kentucky  for  Bourbon 
County,  and  from  1803  to  1807  was  a  member  of  the 
United  States  Congress. 

In  the  development  of  the  West,  three  classes  of  set¬ 
tlers  have  commonly  been  enumerated3  as  representing 
successive  waves  of  pioneer  conquest.  First  comes  the 
hunter  or  trapper,  frequently  combining’  A\7ith  the  pursuit 
of  game  the  functions  of  an  Indian  trader.  He  would 
build  a  rude  hut,  do  little  with  the  soil,  and  for  a  liveli¬ 
hood  rely  mostly  on  hunting.  In  Kentucky  and  Tennessee 
most  of  the  first  settlers  Avere  hunters,  rather  than  trap¬ 
pers  or  traders.  Daniel  Boone  was  of  this  class,  and  his 
descendants  went  ever  farther  westward,  repeating  the 
same  service  for  advancing  civilization.  Immediately  after 
came  the  hunter-settler.  He  was  rather  a  cattle-raiser  and 
ranger  than  farmer.  He  did  his  work  roughly,  and  lived 
in  a  cabin  destitute  of  the  meanest  comforts.  His  field 
was  imperfectly  tilled,  blackened  stumps  and  girdled  trees 
stood  all  around,  showing  desperate  and  hasty  efforts.  He 
Avas  restless,  adventurous,  shiftless,  and  when  more  in- 


Several  others  are  also  named  in  Dev  deutscke  Pionier,  vol.  xi,  p.  182  • 
Jesse  Jocum,  Ludwig  Rose,  Peter  Harget. 

2  Tw0  other  Germans  accompanied  him,  Johannes  Haller  and  Thomas 
Schwearingen. 

3  Turner,  The  Significance  of  the  Frontier  in  American  History ,  pp.  26-27, 
who  quotes  also  Peck’s  New  Guide  to  the  West  (Boston,  1837)  ;  Roosevelt' 
The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  iii,  pp.  208  ft.  Cf.  also  Dr.  Rush’s  similar  views] 
as  given  in  Chapter  v,  above. 


375 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 

dustrious  neighbors  came  about  him,  he  felt  uncomfort¬ 
able  and  would  escape  before  the  advance  of  civilization. 
He  sold  his  claim,  gathered  his  cattle  and  scanty  house¬ 
hold  goods,  and  went  westward  into  the  wilderness,  to 
establish  another  advance  post.  “The  Lincolns,  the  fore¬ 
bears  of  the  great  President,  were  a  typical  family  of  this 
class.” 1 

The  third  class  of  settlers  were  the  thrifty  farmers. 
They  understood  the  business  of  farming,  possessed 
better  tools,  and  were  more  conservative.  They  came  to 
possess  the  land  and  bequeath  it  to  their  children.  They 
raised  big  crops  and  big  families,  cut  better  roads  through 
the  forests,  threw  strong  bridges  over  the  streams,  built 
mills  of  all  kinds,  established  industries,  laid  out  towns, 
and  planted  the  institutions  of  civilized  government. 
They  had  come  for  economic  reasons,  —  because  they 
were  children  of  large  families  seeking  an  independent 
position  for  themselves,  or  they  had  found  that  their 
former  location  was  not  so  good  as  they  hoped  their 
new  location  might  become.  But  they  had  no  intention 
of  remaining  pioneers  all  their  lives.  Some  few  of  the 
first  and  second  class  of  settlers  would  remain  with  the 
advance  of  the  third  class.  There  were  also  settlers  that 
combined  the  characteristics  of  all  three  classes,  starting 
as  hunters,  and  becoming  ultimately  prosperous  farmers, 
but  that  was  the  exception  rather  than  the  rule. 

A  foregoing  chapter  (v)  has  shown  to  what  class  of  the 
three  the  German  settlers  commonly  belonged.  Dr.  Ben¬ 
jamin  Rush  did  not  hesitate  to  put  them  into  the  class  of 
permanent  settlers.  While  such  a  disposal  of  them  reflects 
the  greatest  amount  of  credit  upon  the  Germans,  since 
authorities  agree  that  the  only  settlers  of  permanent  value 


1  Roosevelt,  vol.  iii,  p.  209. 


376 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


are  those  of  the  third  class,  still  we  should  be  unjust  to  the 
German  frontiersmen  if  we  should  deprive  them  of  their 
part  of  the  glory  of  having  subdued  the  forest  and  the 
Indian  with  axe  and  rifle.  Perhaps  a  greater  amount  of 
that  glory  belongs  to  other  nationalities,  but  the  more 
deeply  investigation  goes,  the  more  convincing  become 
the  evidences  of  the  large  share  of  the  German  pioneers  in 
overcoming  the  rage  of  the  warring  elements  and  savage 
men.  Many  instances  have  just  been  given  of  hunters, 
traders,  and  Indian  fighters  of  German  blood  in  Kentucky. 
Settlers  of  the  third  class,  who  located  near  or  on  the  fron¬ 
tier,  suffered  more  than  any  of  the  others,  because  their 
goods  and  cattle  attracted  predatory  bands.  The  Irish  and 
Scotch  elements  in  general  possessed  a  temperament  more 
given  to  the  love  of  fighting  for  the  fight’s  own  sake,  while 
the  German  fought  as  fiercely  and  as  well  when  his  house 
and  home  were  in  peril,  or  when  he  saw  some  definite  ob¬ 
ject  to  be  attained.1  When  the  fighter  who  fought  merely 
for  the  love  of  it  was  born  among  them,  such  as  Ludwig 
Wetzel,  he  was  rather  the  exception  than  the  rule. 

It  is  not  generally  known  how  very  extensive  was  the 
share  of  the  German  pioneers  in  the  permanent  settlement 
of  the  best  farm-land  of  Kentucky,  namely,  the  Blue  Grass 
Region.  This  section  embraces  an  area  in  the  northern  part 
of  the  state,  the  eastern  boundary  of  which  is  a  line  drawn 
from  the  Ohio  River  opposite  Portsmouth,  extending  south- 
westwardly  to  the  confluence  of  the  Red  River  (on  the 
boundary  between  Clark  and  Estill  counties)  and  the  Ken¬ 
tucky  River.  The  southern  and  western  boundaries  are 

1  It  is  interesting  in  this  connection  to  note,  as  is  explained  in  the  chapter 
on  the  Civil  War  (Chapter  xvi),  that  the  German  element,  and  the  English 
also,  exceeded  the  Irish  element  in  the  enlistments,  in  proportion  to  their 
numbers.  Since  the  Germans  were  more  numerous  than  the  Irish,  their  total 
enrollment  also  was  larger. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


37T 


formed  by  the  Kentucky  River,  the  northern  boundary  by 
the  Ohio  River.  The  bluish-green  color  which  the  grass 
shows  here,  and  which  the  same  grass  loses  when  planted 
elsewhere,  has  given  the  region  its  name.  The  whole  area 
is  very  fertile,  tobacco,  wheat,  maize,  flax,  and  hemp  being 
the  best  products  ;  the  horses  and  cattle  of  this  region  are 
famous.  From  the  earliest  time  the  Germans  from  Virginia 
and  the  Carolinas,  or  their  descendants,  were  attracted,  as 
were  the  other  settlers,  by  the  offers  of  cheap  land.  The 
building  of  a  block-house  and  one  harvest,  however  small, 
secured  the  possession  of  four  hundred  acres  of  land  and  a 
preemption  of  one  thousand  acres  more.1  This  system,  valid 
under  the  laws  of  Virginia,  was  to  terminate  in  1780.  The 
desire  to  enter  under  these  privileges  before  the  time  had 
elapsed  brought  crowds  of  settlers  to  Kentucky.  The  In¬ 
dians  noticed  this  influx  of  settlers  with  resentment,  and 
troubles  broke  out  at  once,  but  the  tide  of  immigration 
could  not  permanently  be  held  back. 

Among  the  eight  men  chosen  to  lay  out  the  city  of  Lex¬ 
ington,  in  1781,  were  John  A.  Seitz  and  George  Tegersen. 
A  plan  was  completed  on  September  26  of  the  same  year, 
and  sixty-two  building-lots  were  sold,  among  others  to  the 
following  Germans:  Nickolaus  Brobsten,  William  Martin, 
senior,  and  his  three  sons,  John  and  William  Niblich,  Karl 
Seemann,  Joseph  Weller,  and  Johannes  Weimar.  Between 
1782  and  1783  there  settled  also  the  following  Germans 
in  Lexington  :  Christopher  Kistner  and  his  mother,  George 
Schafer,  Bernard  Niederland,  and  the  brothers  Adam, 
Jacob  and  Christopher  Zumwald.2  The  first  pioneer  hunters 


1  See  specimens  of  certificates  of  Michael  Stoner  and  others  m  H.  Marshall, 
The  History  of  Kentucky,  vol.  i,  p.  100.  (Frankfort,  Ky.,  1824.1 

2  Her  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xi,  pp.  65-72,  etc.  These  names  were  taken 
from  land  records  by  H.  A.  Rattermann,  editor  of  Der  deutsche  Pionier.  Cf. 


378 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


of  Lexington,  Kentucky,  and  in  the  Blue  Grass  Region  had 
been:  George  Jager  (Yeager),  Michael  Stoner  (Steiner), 
John  Harman  (Hermann),  John  Haggin  (Hagen),  Joseph 
and  Jacob  Sodowsky  (Sandusky),  Peter  Nieswanger, 
Michael  Schuck,  Leonard  Helm,  Abraham  Hite,  Abraham 
Schoplein  (Chaplin).1  Some  of  these  became  permanent  set¬ 
tlers.  Among  the  Germans  at  Bryant’s  Station  were  Jacob 
Bolder,  who  had  a  good  house  and  farm  in  1780, 2  and  also 
the  two  friends  Philip  Niederland  and  Balthazar  Kurz.3 

In  1783  Kentucky  was  by  act  of  the  Virginia  legisla¬ 
ture  made  an  independent  court  district.  One  of  the  first 
three  judges  was  George  Muter,  son  of  a  German  father 
and  a  Scotch  mother.  He  was  born  in  Madison  County, 
Virginia,  and  played  a  prominent  part  m  the  organization 
of  the  state  of  Kentucky.  He  made  a  decision  against 
Simon  Kenton  in  the  matter  of  land  claims  (McConnell 
against  Kenton),  favoring  the  strict  interpretation  of  the 
law.  His  decision  occasioned  a  storm  of  opposition,  since 
most  titles  in  Kentucky  were  not  clear.  An  attempt  was 
made  by  the  legislature  to  remove  the  judges,  Muter  and 
Sebastian,  but  without  success.  Muter  resigned  in  1795. 
Partisanship  was  violent  in  those  days,  but  Muter  had 

his  articles  entitled  :  “  Die  deutschen  Pioniere  von  Lexington,  Kentucky, nebst 
Notizen  iiber  die  ersten  Ansiedler  der  Blue  Grass  Region.”  Der  deutsche  Pio- 
nier,  vols.  x  and  xi.  Other  articles  of  Rattermann  on  the  Kentucky  Germans 
are  contained  in  volumes  ix  and  xii.  Rattermann  has  proved,  what  was  not 
known  before,  that  the  German  element  participated  largely  in  the  early  set¬ 
tlement  of  the  Blue  Grass  Region,  though  a  good  many  of  his  statements  in 
detad  must  be  viewed  cautiously. 

1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  x,  p.  273. 

2  He  was  the  same  that  lost  two  sons  in  the  battle  of  the  Brandywine. 

3  Cf.  Didaskalia,  Die  ersten  Kentuckier.  (Baltimore,  1848.)  The  descend¬ 
ants  of  Bolder  spell  the  name  Baylor,  those  of  Niederland,  Netherland.  Kurz 
was  changed  to  Short.  (Not  all  of  the  name  Short,  of  course,  are  of  the  Kurz 

tamdy.)  Collins,  History  of  Kentucky ,  vol.  ii,  pp.  173  and  772  ;  Der  deutsche 
Pionier,  vol.  x,  p.  373. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE  379 

fearlessly  done  liis  duty  as  he  saw  it.  In  consideration  of 
his  services  to  the  state,  Muter  was  voted  a  pension  in 
1806  by  the  legislature  of  Kentucky,  hut  this  was  recalled 
in  1809.  With  Judge  Muter  as  presiding  officer,  a  meet¬ 
ing  was  held  in  Lexington,  May  24,  1794,  when  resolu¬ 
tions  were  passed  almost  revolutionary  in  character.  They 
furnish  an  illustration  of  the  spirit  of  separatism  that  ex¬ 
isted  on  the  western  frontier.  The  resolutions  maintained 
that  the  protection  of  the  frontier  was  a  duty  of  the 
United  States  government,  and  demanded  for  Americans 
the  right  of  free  passage  on  the  Mississippi  (denied  by  the 
Spaniards),  though  such  a  right  be  obtainable  only  by 
force.1  Muter  was  a  member  of  the  German  Reformed 
Church  in  Lexington  and  the  first  president  of  the  Cale¬ 
donian  Society,  the  latter  office  showing  his  descent  from 
a  Scotch  mother. 

The  first  college  in  the  Valley  of  the  Ohio,  Transyl¬ 
vania  Seminary,  the  first  higher  institution  of  learning 
west  of  the  Alleghanies,2  received  its  first  charters  in  1780 
and  1783,  by  act  of  the  General  Assembly  of  Virginia. 
In  1792  the  school  was  permanently  located  at  Lexington, 
and,  uniting  with  the  Kentucky  Academy  in  1798,  the 
institution  received  the  name,  “  Transylvania  University.” 
Colonel  John  Bowman,  first  military  governor  of  “the 
county  of  Kentucky,”  George  Muter,  and  Jacob  Froman 
were  among  the  first  trustees  of  Transylvania  Seminary. 
John  Lutz,  A.M.,  a  professor  of  the  institution,  was 
during  a  short  period  president  pro  tern.  Benjamin  Gratz, 
whose  father,  born  in  Silesia,  was  a  prominent  merchant 
of  Philadelphia,  became  a  trustee  and  patron  of  Transyl- 

1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xi,  p.  427,  gives  the  resolution,  quoting  the 
Centinel  o  f  the  Northwestern  Territory,  June  14,  1794. 

2  The  University  of  Tennessee  (Nashville)  dates  from  1785. 


380 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


vania.  The  Bowman  family  were  very  energetic  promoters 
of  the  cause  of  education  in  Kentucky.  Three  brothers 
were  the  first  three  patrons  of  Kentucky  University, 
starting  the  subscription  with  one  thousand  dollars  each. 
John  B.  Bowman  devoted  more  than  twenty  years,  with¬ 
out  salary,  to  the  building  up  of  Kentucky  University, 
raising  the  endowment  to  two  hundred  thousand  dollars, 
and  through  his  exertions  Transylvania  was  consolidated 
with  Kentucky  University  in  1865.1 

The  Lexington  Immigration  Society  printed  their  cir¬ 
culars  also  in  German,  to  get  immigrants  of  that  nation- 
ality.  The  first  record-books  of  Lexington  were  destroyed 
by  fire,  and  the  oldest  existing  volume  dates  from  1796. 
A  number  of  Germans,  owners  of  land,  in  that  year  sold 
their  property,  while  others  were  purchasers.2  The  first 
lottery  in  Kentucky  was  established  by  Germans,  to  found 
a  German  Reformed  Church  near  Lexington.  In  Decem¬ 
ber,  1792,  the  following  men  composed  the  vestry  of  the 
so-called  Dutch  Presbyterian  Society  (which  meant  a  con¬ 
gregation  of  the  German  Reformed  Church):  Schmidt 
(Smith),  Schwab  (Swope),  Kerstner  (Carsner),  Kassel 
(Castle),  Keyser  (Kiser).3 

The  counties  bordering  on  Payette  (in  which  the  town 

1  Filson  Club  Publications ,  no.  xi,  Transylvania  University,  by  Robert 
Peter  and  Johanna  Peter,  p.  20,  etc.  (1896.)  Cf.  also  Ranck,  History  of  Lex¬ 
ington. 

2  German  names  recorded  under  the  sale  of  lands  were:  Reyliolt,  Wilk- 
ing,  Keyser,  Hartmann,  Rochus,  Kruse,  Helm,  Schiner,  Lischmann.’ Under 
purchasers  of  land  in  and  about  Lexington  :  Franks,  Liitzel,  Georg  Jung, 
Kuhn,  Lmgenfetter,  Gartner,  Poyzer,  and  Weibel.  ( Deed  Records,  vol.  A.) 
Poyzer  was  the  first  drygoods  merchant  in  Lexington.  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pio- 
nier,  vol.  xi,  p.  430. 

3  The  following  were  German  settlers  belonging  to  the  congregation  : 
Lemkert  (Lamkard),  Springel  (Springle),  Keyser  (Kiser),  Weber  (Webber)’ 
Adam (s),  Hagert  (Haggard),  Boshardt  (Bushart),  Ilowe  (of  North  Ger¬ 
man  origin),  and  Meyer  (Myers). 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


381 


of  Lexington  is  situated)  likewise  contained  early  German 
settlers.  So  it  was  with  Jessamine,1  Woodford,2  Scott,3 
and  Harrison  counties. 

The  counties  opposite  the  present  city  of  Cincinnati, 
Boone,  Kenton,  and  Campbell,  had  early  German  settlers. 
In  Boone  County  there  settled,  in  1785,  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Ohio  a  family  by  the  name  of  Tanner.  Its  head  was 
Johannes  Tanner,  a  name  once  spelled  Danner  (or  Gerber), 
as  the  descendants  in  Boone  County  believe.4  Johannes 
Tanner  was  a  Dunker  preacher  who  had  settled  in  Virginia. 
Friction  with  the  other  denominations  (the  preachers  Stover 
and  Henkel)  led  to  his  removal  to  Pennsylvania,  and  sub¬ 
sequently  to  Kentucky.  Both  of  his  sons  were  kidnapped 
by  the  Indians,  which  caused  him  to  migrate  once  more, 
in  1798,  to  New  Madrid,  in  Missouri.  Before  Tanner  re¬ 
moved  to  Missouri  several  German  Dunker  families  had 
settled  at  Tanner’s  Station  (later  called  Bullittsburg), 
amono-  them  the  families  Dewees,  Matheus,  and  Schmidt 
(Mathews  and  Smith).  Many  other  German  settlers,  from 
Lancaster,  Pennsylvania,  down  to  Madison  County,  Vir¬ 
ginia,  were  attracted  by  the  good  reports  from  the  orig¬ 
inal  settlers.  In  1800  Ludwig  Rausch  made  his  way  to 
Boone  County,  and  his  journey  induced  many  others  to 
follow5  a  few  years  later.  The  city  of  Florence  was 

1  The  Priors,  Millers,  Poythress’,  were  among  them.  Francis  Poythress 
was  one  of  the  pioneers  of  German  Methodism  in  Kentucky.  Der  deutsche 
Pionier,  vol.  xii,  p.  298. 

2  Collins,  vol.  ii,  p.  7G7,  says  Woodford  County  was  settled  by  emigrants 
from  Virginia  and  West  Virginia,  but  there  were  also  several  families  from 
North  Carolina,  Maryland,  Pennsylvania,  and  New  Jersey,  as  well  as  a  re¬ 
spectable  number  of  Irish  and  Germans. 

8  There  were  not  many  Germans  in  Scott  County  ;  among  them  were 
Jacob  Stucker,  who  had  a  farm  on  the  North  Elkhorn  River,  and  from 
whom  the  Indians  in  1788  stole  three  horses. 

4  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  p.  68. 

s  The  following  names  denote  heads  of  families  settled  in  ISOo,  and  after, 


382 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


founded  in  1820  by  Wilhelm  Wilheut  (the  descendants 
write  the  name  Wilhoyt),  Heinrich  Crysler  (Kreusler),  and 
Jacob  Kohnmer  (Conner).  The  settlement  grew  and  had 
a  Lutheran  preacher,  William  Carpenter,1  who  served  the 
congregations  in  the  Ohio  Valley  below  Pittsburg. 

The  neighboring  county  of  Kenton  contains  the  town 
of  Covington,  opposite  Cincinnati.  The  name  Covington 
came  from  Leonhard  Covington,  who  was  born  in  Mary¬ 
land.  His  father  was  of  a  noble  family,  from  the  neigh¬ 
borhood  of  Neubreisach,  in  Upper  Alsace,  wTho  in  1697 
wrote  their  name  Korfingthan  or  Kurfingthan.  The  father 
came  over  before  the  Revolution,  as  an  officer  of  the 
French,  was  captured,  settled  in  Maryland,  and  later 
fought  in  the  War  of  Independence.2  One  of  the  early 
governors  of  Kentucky  was  Christopher  Greenup,  after 
whom  a  county  has  been  named.  It  is  claimed  that  he 
was  of  German  Virginian  origin,  his  name  ha  vino-  been 
Gronup.3  One  of  the  earliest  settlers  of  Kenton  County 
was  Edmund  Rittenhouse,  a  relative  of  the  famous  Ger¬ 
man- American  astronomer,  David  Rittenhouse.  Wilhelm 
Martin  married  Rittenhouse’s  daughter  Marouerita,  and 

in  Boone  Comity  :  Hoffmann,  Ranse  (Rouse),  Tanner  (several  heads  of 
families),  Hans,  Zimmermann  (commonly  changed  to  Carpenter),  Ayler 
(Eiler),  Biemann,  Rausch,  Holsklaus  (Holzklo),  and  Utz  ;  most  of  these 
came  from  Virginia,  as  the  names  indicate.  Holzklo  will  be  remembered 
as  the  name  of  the  old  schoolmaster-preacher  of  Madison  County,  Virginia. 
Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  p.  71  ;  Rattermann,  Eine  alte  deutsche 
Gemeinde  in  Kentucky. 

1  His  father,  Wilhelm  Zimmermann,  was  a  Palatine  who  arrived  in  1720. 
His  son  served  in  the  Revolutionary  War  under  Muhlenberg,  from  whom 
he  received  the  suggestion  to  enter  the  ministry.  Carpenter  was  a  prominent 
minister,  from  1813.  The  first  vestrymen  were  Daniel  Biemann,  Rausch, 
and  Tanner.  One  hundred  and  seventy-seven  members  signed  the  church 
document.  They  are  named  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  pp.  97-98.  Car¬ 
penter  founded  a  school  at  once. 

2  Cf.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  p.  261. 

3  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  p.  261. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


383 


tlieir  child,  Isaac  Martin,  born  May  4,  1798,  is  supposed 
to  have  been  the  first  white  child  born  in  Kenton  County. 
Another  early  settler  was  Johannes  Piper,  who  arrived 
in  1795  (his  parents,  coming  from  North  Germany,  had 
settled  in  Savannah,  Georgia,  in  1742),  and  still  another, 
G.  M.  Bedinger,  adjutant  of  Colonel  Bowman,  whose 
descendants  still  live  around  Covington.  Between  1810 
and  1825  a  number  of  German  settlers  took  up  their 
abode  in  the  county,  among  them  the  Schinkels.1 

In  Campbell  County  the  Germans  were  active  in  the 
first  settlement  of  Newport,  and  the  building  of  the  roads 
and  mills  on  the  hanks  of  the  Licking,  as  well  as  improv¬ 
ing  the  land  by  cultivation.  Johann  Busch  received  the 
right  to  run  a  ferry2  across  the  Ohio  opposite  North  Bend. 
In  1795-96  Heinrich  Brascher  was  judge  of  the  court 
in  Campbell  County,  and  Johannes  Bartel,  brewer,  inn¬ 
keeper,  and  farmer,  in  1796;  Franz  Spielman  followed  as 
judge  in  1799.3  To  the  south  Gallatin,  Grant,  and  Pendle¬ 
ton  counties  all  had  early  German  settlers,  the  descend¬ 
ants  of  whom  were  influential  in  state  politics.4 

In  Franklin  County  the  settlement  of  Frankfort,  the 
county-seat,  and  capital  of  the  state  of  Kentucky,  is  of 
interest  to  Germans.  Its  name  implies  German  settlers, 
but  its  early  history  is  obscure.  Collins 5  names  the  follow¬ 
ing  as  the  founders:  General  Jacob  Wilkinson,  Daniel 
Gano,  and  Daniel  Weissiger,  and  the  date  as  1787.  In 

1  A  list  of  names  can  be  seen  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  pp.  309-315. 

2  Germans  were  frequently  the  ferrymen  at  river-crossings.  Thus  Harper 
on  the  Potomac,  at  Harper’s  Ferry.  See  also,  below,  the  ferry  at  Maysville. 

3  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  ix,  p.  191. 

4  Steven  Drescher  in  1822  was  a  member  of  the  state  legislature,  Samuel 
T.  Hauser  in  1832,  Samuel  F.  Schwab  (Swope)  from  1837  to  1841  (and 
state  senator  1844-1848),  and  William  W.  Dietrich  (Deadrick)  from  1871 
to  1873.  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  p.  446. 

6  Collins,  History  of  Kentucky,  vol.  ii,  p.  707. 


384 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  register  of  1802  Rattermann  found  a  large  number 
of  English,  Irish,  and  German  names.  Weissiger  gathered 
about  him  a  large  number  of  Germans1  and  descendants 
of  Germans  in  Frankfort  (many  of  them  from  Frankfort- 
on-the-Main).  Little  is  known  of  Weissiger;  there  is  a 
record  that  in  1797  he  was  the  possessor  of  a  billiard- 
table,  for  which  he  paid  taxes;  he  was  the  owner  of  one 
of  six  wagons  in  Frankfort.  Frankfort  seems  to  have  been 
a  gay  town  according  to  the  frontier  notion,  possessing  a 
theatre  for  a  time.  In  order  to  check  the  passion  for  gam¬ 
bling,  the  establishment  of  a  library  was  attempted,  which, 
however,  proved  a  failure.  Whether  or  not  the  French  and 
German  population  had  anything  to  do  with  the  gayety  of 
the  town  is  a  moot  question. 

In  Bracken  County  the  towns:  Germantown,  second  in 
size  in  the  county,  Berlin,  and  possibly  Augusta,  Milford, 
and  Foster  are  of  German  origin.  The  county  has  its 
name  from  Matthias  Bracken  (a  German  name),  a  sur¬ 
veyor  who  came  to  Kentucky  with  Captain  Thomas  Bul¬ 
litt,  and  laid  out  Frankfort.2 

Maysville  (in  Mason  County)  is  the  oldest  town  on  the 
Ohio  below  Pittsburg.  Among  its  earliest  settlers  were 
Hans  and  Edward  Waller.  The  father  of  Waller,  com¬ 
monly  called  “  Old  Ned,”  is  claimed  to  have  been  one 
of  the  early  settlers  of  Germanna,  Spottsylvania  County, 
Virginia.  His  son  brought  him  to  Kentucky  about  1785. 
They  had  had  difficulties  at  Germanna  and  withdrew  to 
the  Shenandoah  Valley  in  1770,  whence  they  migrated 

1  Such  names  are  given  by  Rattermann  as  Braun,  Cammach,  Casselmann, 
Hickmann,  J linger,  Rauling,  Rennick,  Saltzmann,  Schmidt,  Vorliees,  Mel- 
anchtou,  and  Springer.  Der  deutsclie  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  pp.  300-301.  I)r.  Louis 
Marschall  was  the  first  physician  of  Frankfort  and  father  of  Humphrey 
Marshall,  noted  in  both  the  civil  and  military  historv  of  Kentucky.  Cf. 
Rosengarten,  The  German  Soldier  in  the  Wars  of  the  United  States,  p.  ih8. 

2  Der  deutsclie  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  p.  447. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


385 


again  to  the  Opequon  River.  There  young  Waller  met 
Simon  Kenton  and  went  with  him  to  Kentucky.  The  two 
Wallers  and  George  Lewis  were  the  real  founders  of 
Maysville,1  which  up  to  1800  bore  the  name  of  Limestone 
Point.  In  1784  Hans  Waller,  in  company  with  Johannes 
Muller,  went  to  the  Middle  Fork  of  the  Licking  River, 
near  the  Upper  Blue  Licks.  They  settled  thirteen  miles 
south  of  the  Blue  Licks  and  founded  Miller’s  Station.  In 
1797  the  court  of  Mason  County  allowed  Edwin  Martin 
to  run  a  ferry  from  Maysville  across  the  Ohio.2  Martin 
bought  of  the  heirs  of  John  May,  who  gave  the  name  to 
Maysville,  all  purchasable  lots,  and  remained  in  charge 
of  the  ferry  until  1829.  In  1818  Joseph  Ficklin  also  re¬ 
ceived  the  privilege  of  running  a  ferry  across  the  Ohio 
from  Maysville.3 

In  addition  to  searching  through  the  land  records  of 
the  Blue  Grass  Region,  H.  A.  Rattermann,  editor  of  “Der 
deutsche  Pionier,”  examined  the  pension  lists  at  Wash¬ 
ington  of  the  years  1818,  1828,  and  1832,  mentioned  in 
the  reports  of  1835.  He  there  noted  the  names  of  the 
officers  and  men  of  the  German  regiments  of  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  War,  who  received  land-grants  in  lieu  of  cash 
payments.  It  appears  that  a  large  number  of  the  German 
soldiers  of  the  Revolution,  particularly  of  the  Virginia 
line,  availed  themselves  of  the  privilege  of  obtaining  lands 
in  the  Blue  Grass  Region  of  Kentucky,  in  the  counties 
of  Jessamine,  Woodford,  Franklin,  Scott,  Owen,  Grant, 
Boone,  Campbell,  Pendleton,  Bracken,  and  Mason.4 

1  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xi,  pp.  72  and  181. 

2  The  first  to  do  this  had  been  Benjamin  Sutton.  Der  deutsche  Pionier, 
vol.  xii,  p.  448. 

3  Ibid. 

4  Many  pages  of  German  names  of  officers  and  men,  in  the  Continental 
army  and  the  militia,  during  the  Revolutionary  War  and  the  War  of  1812, 


386 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


These  statistics  furnish  a  most  convincing  proof  that 
the  central  and  western  areas  of  the  Blue  Grass  Region 
were  settled  very  early  by  Germans.  From  another  source 
we  learn  that  the  Germans  had  also  settled  in  the  eastern 
edge  of  the  Blue  Grass  Region.  In  1813  the  Lutheran 
ministers  Scherer  and  Gobel  found  Germans  settled  in 
Tygart’s  Valley,  “who  had  united  themselves  with  the 
Baptists  and  Methodists.” 1  Thus  it  appears  that  also 
in  the  great  trans- Alleghany  limestone  area,  that  of  Ken¬ 
tucky,  the  German  farmers  arrived  early  and  took  a 
strong  hold. 

An  interesting  view  of  the  spread  of  the  German  settle¬ 
ments  to  the  westward  is  furnished  by  the  reports  of  the 
Lutheran  missionaries  of  the  North  Carolina  Synod,  which 
was  organized  in  1803.  The  Reverend  R.  J.  Miller2 
journeyed  south westwardly  from  Abingdon,  Washington 
County,  Virginia.  In  Sullivan  County,  Tennessee,  he  re¬ 
ports  having  found  German  congregations  in  charge  of 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Smith.  Before  his  arrival  they  had  been 
attended,  as  he  says,  by  the  Reverend  Mr.  Sink  (Zink), 
now  gone  to  Kentucky.  The  fact  is  very  worthy  of  note 

who  received  land-grants  in  the  comities  named  above,  are  given  by  Ratter- 
mann,  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  vol.  xii,  pp.  298-305,  444-450.  The  investiga¬ 
tion  might  well  be  renewed  and  supplemented  by  researches  in  the  archives 
of  the  War  Department. 

1  Cf.  Bernheim,  History  of  the  German  Settlements  and  of  the  Lutheran  Church 
in  North  and  South  Carolina,  p.  389,  etc.  The  latter  work  is  based  upon  the 
Lrlsperger  and  Helmst'adt  reports,  church  records,  minutes  of  synods,  and 
private  journals.  1  he  facts  contained  in  the  succeeding  paragraphs  are  de¬ 
rived  from  Bernheim. 

The  Reverend  Robert  Johnson  Miller,  a  Scotchman  by  birth,  fought  in 
the  patriot  army  during  the  Revolutionary  War,  and  after  peace  was  declared 
lived  in  the  South.  He  was  licensed  to  preach  by  the  Methodist  Conference, 
yet,  not  having  the  authority  to  administer  the  sacraments,  his  people  of 
M  hite  Haven  Church  in  Lincoln  County,  North  Carolina,  sent  a  petition  to 
the  Lutheran  pastors  of  Cabarrus  and  Rowan  counties,  praying  that  he  might 
be  ordained  by  them,  which  was  accordingly  done.  He  was  probably  the  first 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


387 


that  he  found  several  congregations  on  the  Holston 1  River 
as  early  as  1803.  They  must  have  settled  there  long  before, 
to  have  become  so  numerous.  The  fact  also  is  significant 
that  Mr.  Sink,  the  preacher,  went  to  Kentucky,  undoubt¬ 
edly  to  German  congregations  who  had  settled  there.  This 
shows  the  drift  of  the  times.  Miller  wrote  in  his  reports  : 
“  I  preached  in  all  congregations  and  in  other  places,  par¬ 
ticularly  in  Blountsville  [county-seat  of  Sullivan  County]; 
met  Reverend  Smith,  an  honest,  upright  man.  Both  he 
and  his  congregations  are  glad  to  be  connected  with  our 
ministerium  [of  North  Carolina].  Preached  at  Cove  Creek 
October  11,  to  large  and  attentive  congregations.”  Con¬ 
cerning  the  use  of  the  German  language  in  the  western 
settlements,2  the  Reverend  Mr.  Miller  remarks  :  “  Among 
the  old  Germans  there  is  a  standing  still;  their  youth  learn 
and  speak  English;  if  a  teacher  speaks  German,  it  is  to 
them  like  the  sound  of  a  church-bell.  But  the  affair  is  the 
Lord’s.” 

In  1813  the  Reverend  Jacob  Scherer,  accompanied  by 
another  German  minister,  the  Reverend  Mr.  Gobel,  was 
sent  on  a  missionary  tour  to  Ohio,  Kentucky,  and  Ten¬ 
nessee.  After  leaving  Ohio  they  arrived  in  Powell’s  Val¬ 
ley,  where  there  were  many  people  from  North  Carolina 
and  “  several  congregations  could  be  formed.”  Scherer 
preached  in  Grassy  Valley,  and  the  next  day  arrived  at 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Smith’s  (on  the  Holston  River),  who 
accompanied  him  from  the  thirteenth  to  the  nineteenth 
of  July,  for  Mr.  Gobel  had  left  him  There.  On  the  twenti- 

Lutheran  clergyman  who  preached  in  English  in  the  South  or  Southwest, 
and  was  selected  as  a  missionary  for  his  ability  to  preach  in  English. 

1  The  name  of  this  river  is  frequently  spelled  “  Holstein.”  There  may  be 
some  significance  in  this  German  spelling,  which  occurred  very  early. 

2  The  missionary  says  this  of  the  western  settlements  of  South  Carolina, 
but  his  point  is  undoubtedly  applicable  to  the  settlements  of  Tennessee, 
Kentucky,  and  elsewhere,  as  well. 


388 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


eth  lie  formed  another  congregation  on  the  fork  of  the 
Holston  (he  calls  it  Holstein),  and  on  the  next  day  preached 
in  “Rossler’s”  church.  He  preached  also  in  “Bueller’s” 
church,  and  in  a  new  church  on  the  middle  fork  of  the 
Holston  in  Washington  County,  Virginia;  then  before 
another  isolated  congregation  which  had  never  yet  been 
visited,  on  the  north  fork  of  the  Holston.  He  soon  arrived 
in  the  district  of  the  Reverend  Mr.  Flolir,  who  was  the 
Lutheran  minister  for  a  very  large  portion  of  western 
Virginia  (including  portions  of  present  West  Virginia). 
In  conjunction  with  the  Reverend  Mr.  Miller,  he  (Scherer) 
altogether  organized  thirteen  congregations  consisting  of 
eleven  hundred  and  seventy-five  members  (1813). 

The  great  sweep  of  immigration  to  the  Southwest  did 
not  take  place  before  the  Louisiana  Purchase  in  1803. 
Then  it  was  that  glowing  reports  of  the  fertility  of  the 
lands  in  the  Southwest  were  spread  broadcast,  and  ad¬ 
vantageous  offers  were  made  to  the  settlers  to  secure  for 
themselves  homes  “  without  money  and  without  price.” 
Many,  accordingly,  sold  their  possessions  in  North  Caro¬ 
lina  and  Virginia,  and  migrated  to  Tennessee  and  Ken¬ 
tucky  and  to  the  Southwest,  or  otherwise,  to  the  north  of 
the  Ohio  River.  In  April,  1812,  the  North  Carolina  Synod 
admitted  nine  congregations  in  Tennessee  as  follows: 
Zion’s  and  Roller’s,  in  Sullivan  County;  Brownsboro  and 
another  (name  not  mentioned),  in  Washington  County; 
Patterson,  Sinking  Spring,  and  Cove  Creek,  in  Greene 
County ;  Lonax  and  Thomas,  in  Knox  and  Blount  coun¬ 
ties.1  In  succeeding  years  petitions  for  preachers  came  to 
the  North  Carolina  Synod  from  Sevier  County,  Tennessee, 


1  These  nine  congregations  were  under  the  pastoral  care  of  the  Reverend 
C.  Z.  H.  Smith,  after  whose  death,  in  1814,  the  Reverend  Philip  Henkel  took 
bis  place. 


IN  KENTUCKY  AND  TENNESSEE 


389 


and  subsequently  from  Franklin,  Lincoln,  and  Bedford 
counties,  Tennessee.  The  Lutherans  had  become  so  num¬ 
erous  in  eastern  and  southern  Tennessee,  in  the  second 
decade  of  the  nineteenth  century,  that  in  1820  a  separate 
synod  was  formed,  namely,  the  Tennessee  Synod.  At  the 
first  meeting,  July  IT,  German  was  made  the  business 
language  of  the  synod,  and  all  of  its  transactions  were  to 
be  printed  in  that  language.  In  1825  the  minutes  of  the 
synod  were  printed  also  in  English ;  during  the  first  three 
days  of  the  synod  of  1827  German  was  the  official  lan¬ 
guage,  but  ever  afterwards  English.  The  leaders  of  Luth¬ 
eranism  found  that  the  church  grew  much  more  rapidly 
when  the  English  language  was  used  in  divine  service 
and  in  the  affairs  of  the  denomination.  Before  1820  a 
Lutheran  seminary  on  a  small  scale  had  been  begun  in 
Greene  County,  Tennessee,  under  the  supervision  of 
Henkel  and  Bell.  Theology,  Greek,  Latin,  German,  and 
English  were  taught.  When  the  Lutheran  seminary  was 
established  at  Lexington,1  South  Carolina,  the  Greene 
County  institution  in  Tennessee  had  long  ceased  to  exist. 

With  these  evidences  of  settlement  and  activity  by  the 
Germans  in  Tennessee,  and  a  far  greater  number  in  the 
state  of  Kentucky,  it  is  clear  that  the  German  element 
was  very  largely  concerned  with  the  great  initial  move¬ 
ment  of  Western  development  at  the  Southwest,  which 
preceded  the  opening  of  the  Ohio  Valley.  The  location 
of  the  German  settlers  on  the  frontier,  as  illustrated  by 

1  The  theological  seminary  and  classical  school  of  Lexington,  South 
Carolina,  went  into  operation  on  the  first  Monday  in  January,  1834.  The 
Reverend  E.  L.  Hazelius,  D.D.,  a  native  of  Silesia,  Prussia,  was  the  first 
professor  of  theology,  and  he  served  for  twenty  years,  until  his  death.  The 
influence  of  the  seminary  was  quickly  felt  in  the  Lutheran  Church  of  the 
Carolinas.  A  larger  number  of  ministers  of  good  training  were  soon  avail¬ 
able  for  the  Southern  and  Southwestern  states.  Cf.  Bernheim,  pp.  507  ff. 


390 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  map  of  German  settlements  in  1775  (after  p.  263), 
and  their  migratory  spirit,  as  described  in  the  reports  of 
the  Reverend  H.  M.  Muhlenberg,  might  have  been  ac¬ 
cepted  without  further  evidence  as  a  proof  that  the  Ger¬ 
man  pioneers  crossed  the  Appalachian  Mountain  ranges 
at  every  possible  point  and  at  the  earliest  opportunity. 
Yet  they  have  never  received  credit  for  this  historical 
fact.  The  materials  brought  forward  in  this  chapter  have 
long  remained  hidden  in  places  difficult  of  access,  such 
as  the  volumes  of  “Der  deutsche  Pionier,”  or  in  the  ob¬ 
scure  corners  of  local  and  state  histories.  It  was  necessary, 
therefore,  to  present  a  large  amount  of  detail  for  the  pur¬ 
poses  of  proof,  at  the  risk  frequently  of  wrearying  the 
reader. 


CHAPTER  XIII 


THE  WINNING  OF  THE  WEST 

II.  THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY 

German  traders,  hunters,  and  missionaries  in  the  Ohio  territory  —  Causes 
for  slow  development  —  Pontiac’s  War  —  Colonel  Bouquet — The  first 
permanent  white  settlement  in  Ohio  that  of  the  Moravian  missionaries 
on  the  Muskingum,  Gnadenliiitten,  Schonbruun,  etc.  —  David  Zeisberger 
—  The  massacre  of  the  Christian  Indians  at  Gnadenliiitten  —  Continuous 
Indian  wars  —  Settlements  on  the  Ohio  River,  at  Marietta,  Losantiville 
(Cincinnati),  etc.  —  St.  Clair’s  defeat  —  General  David  Ziegler  —  The 
Indian  fighter  Lewis  Wetzel  —  Expedition  of  General  Wayne  against 
the  Indians  opens  the  country  for  settlement  —  Ebenezer  Zane,  founder 
of  Zanesville  —  German  sectarians  in  Tuscarawas  County  —  The  “  Back¬ 
bone  Region  ”  of  Ohio  —  The  Scioto  Valley  —  Martin  Baum  of  Cincin¬ 
nati,  pioneer  of  Western  commerce — Chr.  Waldschmidt  in  the  Little 
Miami  Valley — Dayton  and  Germantown  in  the  valley  of  the  Great 
Miami  —  Distribution  of  German  settlers  throughout  the  larger  towns 
of  Ohio  —  The  traveler  Sealsfield’s  observations  —  Mission  tours  of  the 
German  Methodist  Heinrich  Bbhm. 

Being  more  difficult  of  access,  the  territory  north  of  the 
Ohio  was  not  settled  as  early  as  Kentucky  and  Tennessee. 
It  was  inhabited  by  warlike  Indian  tribes,  who  proved  to 
be  quite  as  capable  of  resistance  as  their  conquerors,  the 
Six  Nations,  bad  been  in  the  East.  The  first  Germans  to 
penetrate  the  Ohio  country  were  the  two  men  prominent 
for  their  exceptional  services  in  Indian  affairs,  Conrad 
Weiser  and  Christian  Frederick  Post.  Weiser  several 
times  served  as  envoy  to  the  Indians  of  the  Ohio  Valley, 
in  1748  visiting  the  Indian  village  called  Logstown,  due 
west  of  Fort  Pitt,  near  the  Ohio  state-line.  The  import¬ 
ant  mission,  during  the  French  and  Indian  War,  of  the 


392 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Moravian,  C.  F.  Post,  to  the  Indians  of  the  Ohio  Valley, 
in  which  he  succeeded  in  separating  them  from  their 
French  allies,  has  been  described  in  a  preceding  chap¬ 
ter.1 

Post  had  established  for  himself  the  reputation  of 
being  a  friend  of  the  red  man,  and  his  marriage  with  a 
Delaware  squaw  increased  the  Indians’  confidence  in  him. 
The  marriage,  however,  was  contrary  to  the  wishes  of  the 
Bethlehem  church  fathers,  and  deprived  him  of  the  privi¬ 
lege  of  laboring  in  the  mission  service  of  the  Moravians. 
This  circumstance  induced  him  to  work  independently 
among  the  Indians,  in  the  spirit  of  the  Moravians,  though 
no  longer  as  their  ordained  missionary.  In  1761  he  be’ 
came  the  first  white  settler  in  the  Ohio  district,  locating 
among  the  Tuscarora  Indians  in  the  upper  Muskingum 
Valley,  in  what  is  now  Stark  County,  Ohio.  Plis  was  the 
first  dwelling  erected  by  a  white  man  in  the  Ohio  region, 
exclusive  of  the  stations  of  the  Jesuit  missionaries  and 
the  huts  of  traders.  Desiring  to  found  a  mission  for  the 
Indians,  he  applied  for  assistance  to  the  brothers  at  Beth¬ 
lehem.  The  young  John  Heckewelder  thereupon  volun¬ 
teered  to  go  to  Post’s  settlement,  and  he  soon  became  a 
worthy  disciple,  learned  in  the  Indian  tongues.  At  first 
they  had  some  difficulty  in  obtaining  permission  from  the 
Indians  to  cultivate  the  land,  but  soon  after  they  laid  out 
a  garden  (in  1762),  gave  instruction  to  the  Indian 
children,  and  preached  the  Gospel  to  the  more  mature. 
But  their  presence  in  the  Indian  territory  seemed  to  be 
viewed  with  disfavor,  and  involved  danger  to  themselves. 
Judging  from  the  signs  all  about  them,  something  mys¬ 
terious  was  brewing.  Post  had  gone  eastward,  when 
Heckewelder  found  that  he  was  in  danger  of  assassina- 
1  See  Chapter  x,  pp.  274-278. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  393 


tion.  The  latter  immediately  fled  to  Fort  Pitt,  and  meet¬ 
ing  Post  on  the  way,  notified  him  of  the  danger.  Post 
would  not  be  convinced  until  he  had  returned  to  the 
settlement,  when  he  also  concluded  that  his  only  chance 
for  safety  lay  in  flight. 

The  storm  that  was  gathering  resulted  in  what  is  known 
as  Pontiac’s  War,  which  followed  immediately  after  the 
French  and  Indian  War.  The  Indians  had  found  thatthey 
had  merely  changed  masters  when  the  French  had  given  up 
their  claims  to  the  territory  west  of  the  Alleghanies.  A  more 
formidable  adversary  was  facing  them,  and  it  was  now 
their  time  to  crush  him  before  he  had  grown  too  strong. 
The  Indians  were  fortunate  in  having  a  leader  of  great 
ability,  Chief  Pontiac,  of  the  Ottawa  tribe.  Imposing  in 
physique,  eloquent  and  magnetic,  he  was  endowed  with 
all  the  qualities  of  the  ideal  Indian  warrior.  Going  from 
tribe  to  tribe  along  the  frontiers  of  New  York,  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  and  Virginia,  he  convinced  his  hearers  that  the 
time  had  come  when  they  might,  by  a  bold  stroke,  crush 
the  advancing  white  settlers,  and  regain  all  the  hunting- 
grounds  which  the  red  men  had  lost.  They  were  told  that 
the  Great  Spirit  was  angry  with  them  because  they  were 
cowards,  and  they  were  shown  how  all  could  be  accom¬ 
plished  in  a  short  time.  The  genius  of  Pontiac  conceived 
the  plan  to  attack  all  the  frontier  forts  at  the  same 
moment,  depriving  them  of  the  opportunity  of  assisting 
one  another.  Since  the  Indians  were  never  desirous  of 
storming  fortifications,  Pontiac  planned  to  take  the  forts 
by  stratagems.  For  each  outpost  a  different  scheme  of 
surprise  was  devised,  and  complete  secrecy  was  charged 
upon  all  the  Indian  allies.  At  one  place  the  Indians,  laden 
with  furs,  entered  a  fort,  apparently  to  engage  in  trading. 
At  a  given  signal  the  unsuspecting  whites  were  cut  down 


394 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


almost  to  the  last  man.1  At  another  the  king’s  birthday 
was  celebrated  with  an  Indian  game  of  ball.  The  Chippe- 
was  and  Sacs  were  engaged  on  opposite  sides,  and  when 
the  came  was  at  the  hottest  the  ball  was  throwm  over  the 
fortifications.  All  the  players,  numbering  several  hundred, 
instantly  leaped  over  the  walls  after  the  ball,  and  having 
thus  gained  entrance,  killed  the  defenders  and  took  posses¬ 
sion  of  the  fort.2  By  most  clever  tricks  and  surprises  all 
the  forts  of  the  entire  western  frontier  fell  into  the  hands 
of  the  Indians,  with  the  exception  of  Detroit  and  three 
forts  in  Pennsylvania  :  Bedford,  Ligonier,  and  Pitt.  Detroit 
was  saved  by  an  Indian  squaw,  who  revealed  the  plan  to 
Major  Gladwyn.  The  three  Pennsylvania  fortresses  owed 
their  safety  to  the  watchfulness  and  discipline  enforced  by 
Colonel  Idenry  Bouquet,  who  in  the  French  and  Indian 
War  had  served  as  colonel  of  the  German  regiment,  the 
Royal  Americans,  and  as  second  in  command  in  the  ex¬ 
pedition  against  Fort  Duquesne.  The  Indians  laid  siege  to 
the  Pennsylvania  forts  until  Colonel  Bouquet  came  to  their 
relief,  who  gained  a  victory  in  the  battle  of  Bushy  Run. 

As  was  their  wont,  the  Indians  quickly  wearied  of  the 
struggle,  deserted  Pontiac,  and  lent  a  willing  ear  to  pro¬ 
posals  of  peace.  Two  punitive  expeditions  were  imme¬ 
diately  organized  to  invade  the  Indian  territory,  one  at  the 
north  under  General  Bradstreet,  in  the  direction  of  Lake 
Erie  and  Niagara,  the  other  farther  south  into  Ohio, 
under  Colonel  Bouquet.  Colonel  Bouquet  arrived  in  the 
upper  Muskingum  region  in  the  autumn  of  1764,  and 
established  a  camp.  Thither  he  summoned  the  chiefs  of 

the  Seneca,  Delaware,  and  Shawnee  tribes,  and  their  allies. 

• 

1  The  stockade  at  St.  Joseph’s  River,  in  the  northern  part  of  Indiana. 

2  Fort  Michillimackinac.  Cf.  Francis  Packman,  The  Conspiracy  of  Pontiac, 
and  the  Indian  War  after  the  Conquest  of  Canada,  vol.  i,  p.  338.  (Boston,  1880.) 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  395 


Before  he  would  listen  to  any  suggestions  of  peace,  he 
demanded  that  within  twelve  days  from  the  seventeenth 
of  October,  the  Indians  should  deliver  into  his  camp  all 
white  prisoners  whatsoever  who  were  in  their  hands, 
whether  they  be  English  or  French,  women  or  children, 
whether  they  be  adopted  by  a  tribe,  united  by  marriage, 
or  held  on  any  other  pretense.  They  were  required  also 
to  furnish  the  prisoners  with  clothing,  food,  and  horses, 
as  far  as  Fort  Pitt.  After  that,  he  declared,  he  would  be 
ready  to  dictate  terms  of  peace. 

This  bold  manner  of  treating  the  Indians  had  the  de¬ 
sired  effect.  They  brought  to  the  camp  at  Wakatamake 
two  hundred  and  six  persons  whom  they  had  taken  pris¬ 
oners, —  eighty-one  men,  and  one  hundred  and  twenty-five 
women  and  children.  The  prisoners  and  their  relatives  at 
home  were  duly  thankful  for  their  release.1  Those  prison¬ 
ers  whose  relatives  or  friends  had  not  come  with  the  army 
were  taken  to  Carlisle,  Pennsylvania,  to  be  identified 
there.  It  is  recorded  that  a  German  woman,  Frau  Hart¬ 
mann,  from  eastern  Pennsylvania,  came  to  Carlisle,  eagerly 
searching  for  her  daughter.  When  found,  the  child  did 
not  recognize  the  mother.  Bouquet  asked  the  latter 
whether  she  could  not  recall  some  melody  that  she  had 
sung  to  the  girl  in  her  childhood.  Frau  Hartmann  sang 
the  old  church  hymn,  — 

“  Allein  und  doch  nicht  ganz  alleine 
Bin  ich  in  meiner  Einsamkeit,” 

the  child  listening  intently,  and  when  the  words  were 
uttered,  — 

“  G’nug,  dasz  bei  mir,  wann  ich  allein, 

Gott  und  viel  tauSend  Engel  sein,” 

1  A  few,  it  is  said,  bad  become  so  thoroughly  accustomed  to  the  Indian 
manner  of  life  that  they  longed  to  get  back  to  it,  and  were  permitted  to  re¬ 
turn. 


396 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


the  girl  remembered  them,  and  fell  about  her  mother’s 
neck. 

We  have  seen  that  the  attempt  of  Post  and  Hecke¬ 
welder,  in  1761,  to  found  a  mission  in  Stark  County,  Ohio, 
had  failed  on  account  of  Pontiac’s  War.  In  the  autumn 
of  1767  Post  returned  to  his  Western  Indian  congrega¬ 
tion  and  remained  there,  the  first  pioneer.  In  the  follow¬ 
ing  year  David  Zeisberger  founded  an  Indian  congregation 
at  Goshocking,  on  the  Allegheny  River,  in  western  Penn¬ 
sylvania.  The  Indian  braves  looked  with  suspicion  upon 
an  organization  which  converted  their  warriors  into 
peaceable  settlers,  and  several  unsuccessful  attempts  were 
made  to  assassinate  Zeisberger.  By  1770  the  congregation 
had  greatly  increased  in  numbers  and  they  decided  to 
move  farther  west,  selecting  a  site  on  the  Big  Beaver 
River,  about  twenty  miles  from  its  confluence  with  the 
Ohio,  and  founding  a  settlement  which  they  named  Frie- 
densdorf.  But  when  this  section  was  sold  to  the  whites, 
the  Christian  Indians  found  refuse  amono-  the  Delawares, 
Mingos,  and  Wyandots,  of  Ohio,  who  invited  them  to 
settle  on  the  Muskingum.  There  Zeisberger  settled  with 
twenty-seven  of  his  red-skinned  disciples  and  founded 
Schonbrunn.  The  greater  part  of  the  Indians  from  Frie- 
densdorf  arrived  in  several  groups  during  the  summer, 
and  a  municipal  code  for  the  government  of  the  Indians 
was  committed  to  writing.1  The  regulations  included  a 
discipline,  and  also  a  summary  of  the  fundamental  doc¬ 
trines  concerning  non-resistance.2  The  settlements  were 
governed  by  the  elders,  Zeisberger,  Ettwein,  Heckewelder, 

1  Cf.  Heckewelder,  A  Narrative  of  the  Mission  of  the  United  Brethren 
among  the  Delaware  and  Mohigan  Indians,  from  its  commencement  in  the  year 
17^0  to  the  close  of  the  year  1809.  (Philadelphia,  1820.) 

2  Paragraph  19  :  “  He  who  goes  to  war,  i.  e.,  will  shed  human  blood,  he 
may  no  longer  live  among  us.” 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  397 


and  several  other  white  men,  together  with  the  Helpers 
(National  Heifer),  who  were  Indians.  In  the  following 
spring  the  remaining  converted  Indians  on  the  Susque¬ 
hanna  and  Big  Beaver  rivers  came  to  the  upper  Musk¬ 
ingum  region  and  founded  Gnadenhiitten  and  Salem,  Bro¬ 
ther  Johannes  Roth  being  the  spiritual  guardian  of  the 
former  and  Brother  Gottlieb  Sensemann  of  the  latter. 

These  three  Christian  Indian  villages  lay  at  that  time 
about  five  miles  distant  from  one  another,  grouped  about 
the  confluence  of  the  Tuscarawas  and  Muskingum  rivers. 
To  the  north  were  the  villages  of  the  Mingos  and  Dela¬ 
wares,  to  the  west  those  of  the  Mohawks,  and  to  the  south 
of  the  Shawnese.  Northwest,  on  the  Sandusky  River,  the 
Senecas  had  their  hunting-grounds,  while  the  Miamis  and 
Wyandots  were  located  still  farther  to  the  west.  In  the 
forks  of  the  Muskingum,  not  far  from  Gnadenhiitten,  lay 
the  Mohawk  village  Goshocking  (Coshocton),  in  which 
lived  the  chief,  White  Eye.  He  was  very  friendly  to  the 
missionaries,  and  beefsred  them  to  found  another  Christian 
village  in  the  neighborhood,  with  the  result  that,  in  1776, 
Lichtenau  was  built  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Muskingum, 
about  three  miles  below  Goshocking.  Thither  Zeisberger 
and  Heckevvelder  wandered,  leaving  Jacob  Schmick  at 
Gnadenhiitten.  This  period  was  perhaps  the  most  prosper-, 
ous  in  the  history  of  the  settlements.  A  book,1  printed  in 
the  Delaware  language,  was  used  by  the  converted  Indians,2 
which  taught  them  to  read  and  write  their  own  language, 
and  gave  them  instruction  in  English  and  German.  The 

1  Buchstabir-und  Lesebuch,  of  Zeisberger,  printed  in  Philadelphia;  Grammar 
of  the  Language  of  the  Lenni  Lenape,  or  Delaware  Indians  •  translated  from  the 
German  manuscript  by  P.  S.  Du  Ponceau,  with  a  preface  and  notes  by  the 
translator.  (Philadelphia,  1827.)  Published  by  order  of  the  American  Philo¬ 
sophical  Society  in  the  third  volume  of  the  new  series  of  their  Transactions. 

2  Within  the  present  Coshocton  County,  Ohio. 


398 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


congregationsnumbered  four  hundred  and  fourteen  persons 
toward  the  close  of  1775.  The  Delawares  lived  in  Schon- 
brunn  and  Salem,  the  Mohawks  from  New  York  in 
Gnadenhiitten,  and  the  Mohawks  from  the  Muskingum 
region  at  Lichtenau.  The  journal  of  Zeisberger 1  shows  that 
the  Indians  were  capable  of  being  trained  in  the  peaceable 
pursuits  of  civilization.  Had  the  Moravians  been  given  a 
chance  to  develop  the  experiment  more  fully,  it  is  probable 
that  permanent  results,  of  far-reaching  consequences,  might 
have  been  obtained.  But  the  warlike  spirit  of  the  time  and 
the  unalterable  prejudices  of  the  contending  races  were  in 
opposition  to  the  peaceful  methods  of  the  Moravians.  The 
converted  Indians  were  destined  to  become  the  victims  of 
a  brutal  massacre  that  will  forever  stain  the  annals  of  pio¬ 
neer  history. 

When  the  Revolutionary  War  broke  out,  the  Indiana 
were  invited  to  become  the  allies  of  the  British,  and  from, 
their  point  of  view  they  decided  correctly  that  such  an 
alliance  was  their  only  hope  against  the  advancing  colom 
ists.  Soon  even  the  tribes  more  friendly  disposed  joined 
the  British  alliance,  while  every  neutral  tribe  was  looked 
upon  with  suspicion.  To  the  American  borderers  all 
Indians  seemed  equally  noxious;  to  them  the  only 
good  Indian  was  a  dead  Indian. 

The  Christian  Indians  were  wedged  in  between  two  great 
war-parties,  their  own  race  urging  them  to  join  them  and 
the  British,  and  their  few  friends  among  the  colonists  ad¬ 
vising  them  to  go  to  the  American  forts  for  protection.  In 
spite  of  these  invitations  they  remained  in  their  settlements, 
trusting  in  the  protection  of  a  Higher  Power,  and  as  they 

1  Diary  of  David  Zeisberger,  A  Moravian  Missionary  among  the  Indians  of 
Ohio  (1781-98).  (2  vols.  Cincinnati,  1885.)  Translated  from  the  original 
German  manuscript  and  edited  by  E.  F.  Bliss. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  399 


thought,  observing’  a  strict  neutrality  between  the  two 
great  rival  parties.  Nevertheless,  on  account  of  their  loca¬ 
tion,  beino'  on  the  road  to  Fort  Pitt  and  the  eastern  forts, 
they  were  forced  to  provide  food  and  shelter  to  traveling 
war-parties.  Thus  they  fell  under  suspicion,  on  the  one 
hand,  of  being  a  relay  station  of  the  Indian  warriors,1  while 
on  the  other,  the  British  and  the  renegade  Simon  Girty 
declared  that  Zeisberger  and  his  companions  were  spies  of 
the  Americans. 

The  Six  Nations,  urged  on  by  the  British  agents,  directed 
the  Chippewas  and  Ottawas  to  destroy  the  settlements  of 
the  peaceable  Indians,2  but  the  Western  Indians  felt  no  in¬ 
clination  to  massacre  the  Moravian  Indians,  many  of  whom 
belonged  to  their  own  races.  Finally  the  Wyandots  were 
prevailed  upon  to  act.  Under  their  half-king,  Pomoacan, 
the  Wyandots,  accompanied  by  groups  of  Delawares  and 
other  Indians,  appeared  in  the  Muskingum  settlements  in 
September,  1781.  They  were  entertained  by  the  Christian 
Indians  for  some  time,  until  the  guests  began  to  act  wan¬ 
tonly,  killing  pigs  and  cattle  to  no  purpose.  The  demand 
was  then  made  that  all  the  converted  Indians  go  with  them 
and  abandon  their  settlements.  On  their  refusal,  the  white 
missionaries,  who  had  great  influence  over  their  flock,  were 
seized,  and  the  entire  body  of  Indians  of  Schonbrunn, 
Salem,  and  Gnadenhiitten  were  forced  to  accompany  their 
oppressors  to  the  northward.  According  to  Zeisberger,3  the 

1  They  were  compelled  from  time  to  time  to  furnish  food  and  shelter  for 
both  parties.  On  several  occasions  the  shelter  given  the  Indians,  who  had  just 
surprised  and  attacked  American  frontier  settlements,  was  bitterly  remem¬ 
bered  against  the  Christian  Indiahs. 

2  Zeisberger’s  Diary  gives  the  message  of  the  Iroquois  as  follows  :  “  Wir 
sehenken  euch  die  Christengemeinde,  macht  Suppe  daraus  !  ”  i.  e. ,  “  W e  will 
make  you  a  present  of  the  Christian  congregations.  Make  soup  of  them  !  ” 

*  Diary  of  David  Zeisberger,  1781-98.  (2  vols.  Cincinnati,  1885.)  Ab¬ 
stracts  from  the  journal  are  found  in  Der  deutsche  Pionier ,  vol.  v,  pp.  284  ff. 


400 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


missionaries  were  stripped  of  their  clothing,  and  the  whole 
village  was  robbed  of  all  provisions  and  goods.  The  peace¬ 
ful  Indians  were  not  even  allowed  to  gather  their  crops. 
They  saw  the  warriors  parading  about  in  clothing  stolen 
from  them,  yet  they  proceeded  cautiously  throughout, 
fearing  that  resistance  would  bring  death.  An  Indian  wo¬ 
man,  who  had  come  with  the  warriors,  being  distressed  by 
the  evil  treatment  of  the  missionaries,  stole  the  Delaware 
chief  Pipe’s  horse,  the  best  in  the  whole  company,  and  rode 
it  to  Pittsburg.  Her  flight  made  the  Indian  warriors  sus¬ 
picious  of  the  missionaries.  Their  fear  of  armed  interfer¬ 
ence  from  Fort  Pitt  was  not  without  foundation,  for  the 
American  commander  at  the  fort,  Colonel  Gibson,  had  en¬ 
deavored  to  get  the  Christian  Indians  to  come  into  the 
American  lines,  where  he  might  protect  them.1 

It  was  soon  apparent  that  the  Wyandots  were  under 
positive  orders  from  the  Six  Nations  to  bring  the  peaceful 
Indiansaway,  dead  or  alive.  The  Wyandots  had  been  at¬ 
tracted  by  the  opportunity  for  plunder,  and  the  hope  also 
of  increasing  their  fighting  strength  from  the  captured 
Indians.  They  had  suifered  severely  from  war  and  pest¬ 
ilence,  and  the  half-king  was  troubled,  because  he  could 
hardly  get  one  hundred  braves  together.  For  greater 
safety  the  Wyandots  had  got  other  tribes  to  support  them 
in  this  expedition. 

Before  the  Moravian  Indians  left  the  settlements  where 
they  bad  prospered  so  well,  they  listened  to  a  parting  ser¬ 
mon  and  sang  their  German  hymns.  Then  they  journeyed 
for  many  days  to  the  Sandusky  region,  near  the  southern 
shore  of  Lake  Erie.  They  built  rude  huts,  so  that  they 
might  endure  the  winter  s  cold,  but  they  were  almost  re¬ 
duced  to  starvation.  After  earnest  entreaties,  some  were 

1  Roosevelt,  The  Winning  of  the  West,  vol.  ii,  pp.  144-145. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  401 


finally  permitted  to  go  back  to  the  Muskingum  to  harvest 
their  corn  and  bring  it  to  their  new  abode.  About  one 
hundred  and  fifty,  men,  women,  and  children,  arrived  in 
the  abandoned  villages  at  the  beginning  of  February, 
1782.  In  the  mean  time  bands  of  Wyandots,  under  the 
Scotch-Irish  renegade,  Simon  Girty,  had  ravaged  the 
American  settlements  on  the  upper  Ohio  and  Monon- 
gahela.  Evil  tongues  had  spread  the  report  that  the 
Christian  Indians  who  had  come  back  to  the  Muskingum 
had  taken  part  in  these  savage  raids.1  Some  of  the  border 
settlers  conspired  to  destroy  the  Moravian  villages,  and 
accordingly  a  company  of  volunteers  gathered  together 
early  in  March,  1782,  under  the  command  of  Colonel 
David  Williamson. 

The  Christian  Indians  had  just  completed  their  work 
of  gathering  up  the  harvest,  they  had  filled  their  sacks 
with  corn,  and  were  preparing  to  leave  for  the  Sandusky 
region  the  next  day.  But  the  conspirators  approached 
stealthily  and  rapidly.  Finding  a  few  peaceful  Indians  on 
the  outskirts  of  Gnadenhiitten,  they  slew  them,  so  that 
the  settlement  was  completely  taken  by  surprise.  The 
Indians  were  told  that  they  would  be  brought  to  Fort 
Pitt,  to  be  there  protected  against  Simon  Girty’s  savage 
bands,  and  that  they  should  now  summon  the  settlers 
from  the  other  places,  Salem  and  Schonbrunn.  The  Indians 
of  Schonbrunn  did  not  obey  the  summons  and  fled,  but 
those  of  Salem  came  to  Gnadenhiitten,  when  they  were 
seized  and  herded  like  sheep,  along  with  the  Indians  of 
Gnadenhiitten.  They  were  placed  in  two  large  barns,  the 

1  There  were  backsliders  among  the  Christian  Indians,  young  braves  who 
joined  the  Indian  war-parties  that  passed  through  their  villages.  These  run¬ 
aways  were  as  cruel  and  savage  as  their  associates,  and,  when  they  were 
recognized,  the  whites  would  blame  the  whole  congregations  for  the  apo- 
stass  and  crimes  of  these  few  men.  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  pp.  151  ff. 


402 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


men  in  one  and  the  women  and  children  in  another.  A 
mock  trial  was  held  by  Williamson,  in  which  the  question 
was  put,  whether  the  captives  should  be  taken  to  Fort 
Pitt  or  murdered.  Williamson  asked  those  who  wished  to 
spare  the  Indians  to  step  out  of  the  ranks,  but  only  eight¬ 
een  men  out  of  the  whole  number  showed  any  inclination 
toward  mercy  and  humanity.  The  majority  voted  for 
cold-blooded  butchery.  In  justice  to  American  frontier 
history,  it  should  be  said  that  not  one  of  the  more  note¬ 
worthy  borderers  was  among  them  —  no  man  of  military 
distinction  or  reputation  as  an  Indian  fighter.1  The  cow¬ 
ards  next  decided  upon  the  plan  of  massacre.  Some  were 
for  setting  flames  to  the  blockhouse  with  its  living  prison¬ 
ers  ;  others,  greedy  for  scalps,  preferred  to  act  as  execu¬ 
tioners.  The  latter  method  prevailed,  and  after  giving  the 
prisoners  a  brief  spell  to  prepare  themselves  for  death, 
the  assassins  entered  the  prison-houses  and  with  club  and 
knife  dispatched  every  man,  woman,  and  child.  The  only 
survivors  were  two  boys  j 2  one  had  concealed  himself  under 
the  floor,  and  the  other  revived  after  being  partially  scalped. 
A  detachment  which  was  sent  to  Schonbrunn  found  that 
the  Indians  there  had  received  warning  and  escaped. 

The  better  element  of  the  frontier  was  certainly  not 
concerned  in  the  expedition  :  the  lowest  and  most  blood¬ 
thirsty  alone  took  part ;  nevertheless  it  is  impossible  to 
excuse  the  massacre  under  any  consideration.  It  gave 
evidence  of  the  savagery  of  the  frontier,  the  inhuman 
cruelty  resulting  from  the  frequency  of  bloody  scenes.3 

1  Cf.  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  pp.  157,  etc. 

2  Klatiprecht,  Deutsche  Chronik  in  der  Geschichte  des  Ohio-Thales  und 
seiner  Hauptstadt,  Cincinnati.  Zusammengestellt  nach  authentischen  Quellen, 
p.  92.  (Cincinnati,  Ohio.) 

3  Roosevelt’s  Winning  of  the  West,  which  speaks  with  indignation  of 
this  massacre,  contains  a  paragraph  and  footnote  (vol.  ii,  p.  157)  which 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  403 


The  person  most  to  be  blamed  was  Williamson,  the  leader, 
who  drifted  along  in  obedience  to  the  popular  wishes, 
without  having1  character  enough  to  lead  or  restrain.  He 
and  many  of  his  men  who  had  taken  part  in  the  massacre 
were  shortly  after  called  to  a  reckoning,  not  by  the  laws 
of  the  colonies,  but  by  the  fate  of  battle,  in  the  wilds  of 
Ohio.  Williamson,  to  be  sure,  escaped  with  his  life,  but 
many  others  of  the  butchers  met  their  death  in  the  woods 
or  were  even  tortured  to  death  in  Indian  camps.  A  body 
of  four  hundred  and  eighty  Pennsylvania  and  Virginia 
militia  gathered  at  Mingo  Bottom  on  the  Ohio  (near 
Steubenville),  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  the  towns  of 
the  Wyandots  and  Delawares,  in  the  neighborhood  of  the 
Sandusky  River.  The  object  was  to  punish  them  for  their 
repeated  raids  on  the  Pennsylvania  and  Virginia  frontier 
settlements.  Their  having  taken  in  charge  so  large  a  part 
of  the  converted  Indians  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 

might  seem  to  imply  that  the  German  element  had  some  share  in  this  mas¬ 
sacre.  The  name  of  but  one  German  is  recorded  as  having  taken  part  in  this 
expedition.  His  name  was  Karl  Bilderbach,  who  murdered  the  young  Sche- 
bosch,  the  half-breed  Moravian,  immediately  before  the  expedition  arrived 
at  Gnadenhiitten.  Bilderbach  seems  to  have  been  as  coarse  and  cold-blooded 
as  the  rest  of  the  company.  There  is  no  evidence  that  any  other  Germans 
were  in  the  expedition.  The  fact  that  the  expedition  was  formed  on  the 
headwaters  of  the  Ohio  does  not  prove  that  there  were  Germans  in  it.  If 
the  German  element  was  at  fault  at  all,  it  was  in  a  different  way.  Zeisberger 
and  his  Moravian  missionaries  had  converted  the  Indians  to  a  pacific  Christ¬ 
ian  mode  of  life,  out  of  keeping  with  the  savagery  of  frontier  conditions,  to 
a  non-resisting  group  of  settlers  destined  to  be  ground  to  pieces  between 
two  millstones.  In  the  footnote  on  page  157  appear  the  lines:  “The  Ger¬ 
mans  of  up-country  Nortli  Carolina  were  guilty  of  as  brutal  massacres  as 
the  Seotch-Irish  backwoodsmen  of  Pennsylvania.  See  Adair,  245.”  This 
statement  by  no  means  accords  with  the  reports  we  have  by  Lutheran 
ministers  in  the  Carolinas  on  the  general  character  of  the  German  settlers, 
e.  g.,  “  Never  has  a  German  stood  in  the  pillory  in  Salisbury;  nor  has  ever 
a  German  been  hung  in  this  place.”  From  a  report  by  the  Reverend  Mr. 
Roschen.  Cf.  Bernheim,  History  of  the  German  Settlements  and  the  Lutheran 
Church  in  North  and  South  Carolina,  p.  332. 


404 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


movement.  Colonel  William  Crawford,  a  just  and  upright 
man,  but  with  no  special  fitness  for  the  undertaking,  was 
elected  to  command  the  expedition.  He  was  successful, 
by  only  five  votes,  in  securing  the  leadership  over  William¬ 
son,  who  had  been  in  command  of  the  forces  at  the 
Moravian  massacre.1  The  borderers  advanced  to  the  Indian 
towns  of  the  Wyandots  and  Delawares  in  the  neighbor¬ 
hood  of  the  Sandusky  River.  The  battle  that  followed 
showed  that  the  murderers  of  the  peaceful  Indians  were 
no  match  for  the  Indian  warriors,  when  roused  in  defense 
of  their  homes.  The  Americans  were  defeated,  their  re¬ 
treat  being  soon  changed  to  a  rout.  Crawford  unfor¬ 
tunately  was  cut  off  from  his  men,  taken  captive  and 
tortured  to  death  by  the  Indians,  a  fate  that  Williamson 
should  have  met,  who  on  the  retreat  took  command  when 
Crawford  could  not  be  found.  An  officer,  John  Rose,  is 
mentioned  as  having  been  a  tower  of  strength  on  this  ex¬ 
pedition.  He  was  the  soul  of  the  fight  in  the  battle  with 
the  Indians,  and  on  the  retreat  was  opposed  to  the  separa¬ 
tion  of  the  army  into  small  parties,  which  the  commander 
Williamson  advocated  with  such  disastrous  results.  Even 
Williamson  in  a  letter  to  General  Irvine  was  unreserved 
in  his  praise  of  Rose.“  The  latter,  whose  real  name  was 
Rosenthal,  was  of  German  blood,  born  in  the  Baltic  pro¬ 
vince  of  Livland.  A  duel  had  led  to  his  exile.  He  served 
in  the  Revolutionary  War  in  General  Irvine’s  Pennsyl¬ 
vania  regiment,  and  with  greater  distinction  in  the 
succeeding  Indian  wars.  He  went  back  to  his  native  land 
upon  hearing  from  his  friends  that  he  might  safely  return. 

(  f.  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  p.  159.  The  author  notes  that  Williamson’s  com¬ 
mand  of  votes  indicated  that  public  opinion  on  the  border  was  not,  as  it 
should  have  been,  outraged  by  the  massacre. 

2  C.  W.  Butterfield,  The  Historical  Account  of  the  Expedition  against  San¬ 
dusky  under  Colonel  William  Crawford,  1782,  pp.  206-207.  (Cincinnati,  1873.) 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  405 


In  spite  of  their  misfortunes,  the  honor  of  having 
made  the  first  settlements  in  the  state  of  Ohio  belongs  to 
the  Moravians  in  Tuscarawas  County.  In  the  village  of 
Grnadenhutten  the  first  white  child1  of  Ohio  was  born  July 
4,  1773.  Its  name  was  Johann  Ludwig  Roth,  son  of  the 
Moravian  missionary  of  that  name.  The  first  white  girl 
born  in  Ohio  was  in  all  probability  Johanna  Maria  Hecke- 
welder,  daughter  of  the  missionary  John  Heckevvelder, 
born  April  16,  1781,  in  Schonbrunn.  The  settlement  in 
Tuscarawas  County  struck  new  roots  after  the  Revolu¬ 
tionary  War,  as  will  be  seen  below. 

The  frequent  disasters  attending  expeditions  against 
the  Indians  retarded  the  settlements  in  the  Ohio  Valley, 
Generals  Harmar  and  St.  Clair  lost  their  reputation  in 
successive  Indian  campaigns,  and  not  until  General  An¬ 
thony  Wayne,  in  1794,  made  his  thorough-going  cam¬ 
paigns  in  Ohio,  was  the  backbone  of  Indian  resistance 
broken.  Disasters,  however,  did  not  check  completely 
the  daring  and  enterprise  of  colonists  moving  toward  the 
Ohio.  The  river  itself  gradually  became  the  avenue  of  ap¬ 
proach,  in  spite  of  the  dangers  of  its  wooded  shores,  where 
savages  lay  in  wait  for  an  opportunity  to  shoot  down  all 
whom  the  current  brought  within  range,  or,  for  the  sake 
of  plunder,  to  lure  the  boatmen  into  ambush  by  imitating 
the  sounds  of  game. 

1  This  statement  is  based  upon  the  official  journal  of  Gnadenhiitten  found 
in  the  Moravian  archives  of  Bethlehem.  The  father  was  born  in  Branden¬ 
burg,  Prussia,  1726,  arrived  at  Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania,  1756,  and  three 
years  after  entered  the  service  of  the  Indian  mission.  Cf.  Der  deutsche 
Pionier,  vol.  vii,  pp.  66-70.  The  honor  of  being  the  first  white  child  born  in 
Ohio  had  been  claimed  by  Millebomme,  the  child  of  French  traders,  born  in 
1774.  There  is  a  tradition  that  among  the  captives  surrendered  in  1764  to 
Colonel  Bouquet,  there  was  a  white  woman  from  Virginia  with  a  baby  that 
had  presumably  been  born  in  Ohio.  That  is  a  mere  supposition,  however, 
since  the  child  could  have  been  born  elsewhere  before  captivity.  The  nation¬ 
ality'  of  the  Virginia  woman  is  not  known. 


406 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


Settlements  began  to  be  made  along  the  Ohio  at  the 
mouths  of  the  rivers,  and  they  soon  proceeded  upward 
along  the  courses  of  the  larger  tributaries.  Marietta  was 
the  first  settlement,  in  1788,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Musk¬ 
ingum  River.  It  was  built  for  the  protection  of  the  border 
settlers,  and  a  company  of  regulars  under  General  Harmar 
was  stationed  there.  The  settlers  were  almost  exclusively 
from  New  England.  About  the  same  time  a  few7  settlements 
were  made  farther  below  on  the  Ohio  River,  in  the  Miami 
region.  Columbia,  now  within  the  precincts  of  the  city  of 
Cincinnati,  was  founded  by  Major  Benjamin  Steitz,  an 
officer  of  the  Revolutionary  War.  It  was  not  known  that 
he  was  of  German  blood  (his  name  being  spelled  Stites) 
until  Heckewelder’s  journal  appeared.  The  Moravian  mis¬ 
sionary  was  a  guest  of  Major  Steitz  in  the  year  1792,  and 
says  among  other  things  that  his  host  had  bought  twenty 
thousand  acres  from  Judge  Symmes  and  founded  the 
town  of  Columbia,  in  October,  1788.  At  the  time  at  which 
the  note  is  made  in  the  journal  (June,  1792),  Hecke welder 
states  that  Columbia  had  1100  inhabitants.1  The  year 
after,  in  1789,  Losantiville  was  founded  close  by  on  the 
Ohio,  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  Licking  River.  John 
Filson  2  gave  the  name  to  the  settlement:  “  L”  beino-  for 
Licking,  “os”  the  mouth  of  the  river,  “anti”  opposite, 

1  Columbia  and  the  larger  part  of  Steitz’s  land  are  at  present  within  the 
first  ward  of  Cincinnati.  Heckewelder’s  journal  was  first  published  in  1797 
at  Halle,  with  the  title  Sammlung  von  ciuslandischen,  geographischen  rind 
statistischen  Nachrichten.  Herausgegeben  von  Sprengel.  It  was  published 
separately  as  already  mentioned:  A  Narrative  of  the  Mission  of  the  United 
Brethren .  etc.  (Philadelphia,  1820.) 

2  He  taught  school  at  Lexington,  Kentucky,  in  1782,  and  was  the  first  his¬ 
torian  of  Kentucky.  His  history  appeared  also  in  a  German  edition  at  Frank- 
fort-on-the-Main,  1789.  The  Filson  Club,  which  has  published  a  valuable 
series  of  historical  monographs,  mainly  on  Kentucky  history,  honored  him  in 
the  adoption  of  his  name. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  407 

and  “  ville ”  the  city;  therefore  “the  city  opposite  the 
mouth  of  the  Licking.”  The  author  of  this  queer  conceit 
left  his  partners,  among  them  Denmann,1  a  German- Ameri¬ 
can  from  Strasburg  (in  Pennsylvania),  to  carry  forward 
the  project.  Denmann  was  a  land  speculator  and  had 
bought  from  Judge  Symmes  eight  hundred  acres  at  five 
shillings  an  acre,  now  the  very  centre  of  the  city.  In  1790 
the  name  Losantiville  was  changed  to  Cincinnati,  in 
honor  of  the  Society  of  the  Cincinnati.3  About  fourteen 
miles  below  Cincinnati,  Judge  Symmes  had  projected  the 
city  of  Cleves.  The  three  localities,  Columbia,  Losantiville, 
and  Cleves,  were  for  a  time  rivals  in  the  ambition  to  be¬ 
come  the  emporium  of  the  Miami  Valley.  At  first  Colum¬ 
bia  seemed  to  be  a  little  in  the  lead,  although  Cleves 
undoubtedly  had  “  the  pull,”  Symmes  being  the  influen¬ 
tial  man.  But  the  third  rival,  Losantiville,  or,  as  it  was 
re-named,  Cincinnati,  ran  off  with  the  bone.  Much  de¬ 
pended  on  the  location  of  the  defensive  fort  of  this  region. 
Symmes  wanted  to  have  it  at  Cleves,  but  contrary  to  his 
wishes  Fort  Washington  was  built  at  Cincinnati,  on  the 
choice  of  Ensign  Lutz.  Tradition  has  it  that  his  choice 
turned  upon  his  desire  to  be  near  his  mistress,  who  had 
removed  from  Cleves  to  Losantiville.3 

1  Another  of  the  partners  had  been  Colonel  Robert  Patterson  ;  Colonel 
Ludlow  took  the  place  of  Filson.  Judge  John  Cleves  Symmes  and  his 
associates  in  1787  bought  from  Congress  a  tract  of  land  along  the  Ohio  and 
Miami  rivers.  It  originally  contained  one  million  acres,  which  was  reduced 
later  to  248,540  acres,  because  of  the  partial  failure  of  the  colonization 
plans.  Its  location  was  approximately  between  the  Little  and  Great  Miami 
rivers  from  the  Ohio  River  on  the  south  to  the  city  of  Dayton  and  beyond  on 
the  north.  Cf.  Jameson,  Encyclopedic  Dictionary  of  American  Reference, 
vol.  ii,  p.  276. 

2  As  described  in  a  previous  chapter  (xr),  a  society  consisting  of  officers 
who  had  fought  in  the  Revolutionary  War. 

*  See  Eickhoff,  In  der  neuen  Heimat,  p.  272.  The  chapter  in  which  the 
story  is  told  :  “  Die  Deutschen  in  Ohio  und  Indiana,”  pp.  272  ff.,  was  writ- 


408 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


The  Scioto  River  was  ascended  early  for  the  establish¬ 
ment  of  land  claims, but  no  settlements  could  prosper  dur¬ 
ing  the  period  of  Indian  wars,  while  the  American  armies 
were  meeting  galling  defeats,  and  the  Indians,  confident 
and  arrogant  in  victory,  even  threatened  the  settlements 
on  the  Ohio  River.  The  Miamis,  Wyandots,  Ottawas,  and 
others  were  by  no  means  willing  to  give  up  their  lands, 
merely  because  the  Six  Nations  had  by  treaty  resigned 
their  claims  to  the  Northwestern  Territory.  The  Indians 
had  inflicted  irreparable  losses  upon  the  untrained  armies 
of  Harmar  and  St.  Clair.  General  Harmar  had  in  1790 
conducted  an  expedition  to  the  Indian  towns,  destroying 
the  dwellings  and  provisions  of  the  Miami  tribes,  but  on 
the  retreat  he  was  made  to  pay  the  penalty.  His  blow 
was  only  severe  enough  to  anger  and  unite  the  Indians, 
not  to  cripple  and  crush  them.  Banding  together,  their 
vengeful  forays  on  the  frontier  gained  in  frequency  and 
ferocity.  Attacks  followed  on  all  the  Ohio  settlements 
from  Marietta  to  Louisville.1  When,  a  year  after,  General 
St.  Clair  made  his  ambitious  campaign  against  them,  the 
Ohio  Indians  were  ready  to  meet  a  more  formidable  foe 
than  the  raw  militia  and  untrained  regulars  whom  the 
brave  but  imprudent  general  gathered  about  him.  Not 
taking  the  requisite  precautions  against  his  hidden  and 
skillful  foe,  St.  Clair’s  camp  on  the  eastern  fork  of  the 
Wabash  was  surprised  by  a  force  consisting  of  the  “picked 
warriors  of  the  Delawares,  Shawnees,  Wyandots,  and 
Miamis,  and  all  the  most  reckless  and  adventurous  young 
braves  from  among  the  Iroquois  and  the  Indians  of  the 


ten  by  H.  A.  Rattermann,  the  editor  of  Der  deutsche  Pionier,  whose  im¬ 
portant  researches  in  German-American  history  have  repeatedly  been  cited 
in  other  places. 

1  Roosevelt,  vol.  iii,  p.  310. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  409 


upper  lakes,  and  many  of  the  ferocious  whites  and  half- 
breeds  who  dwelt  in  the  Indian  villages.”  1 

Their  manner  of  attack  was  that  which  was  generally 
employed  with  such  terrible  effect.  They  would  shoot 
from  under  cover,  from  which  they  would  appear  only 
to  tomahawk  a  victim  or  to  escape  when  a  bayonet  at¬ 
tack  was  made.  In  this  battle  the  Indians  were  numerous 
enough  to  surround  a  company  which  would  charge  with 
the  bayonet,  if  lured  on  by  fleeing  savages.  To  escape 
annihilation  St.  Clair  gathered  about  him  what  remained 
of  the  fourteen  hundred  men  who  had  begun  the  fight, 
and  charged  desperately  toward  the  road  by  which  they 
had  come.  The  Indians  gave  no  quarter  to  the  wounded 
that  fell  into  their  hands,  and  had  they  been  less  intent 
on  plunder,  they  might  have  inflicted  even  greater 
losses  on  the  retreating  army.2  From  the  rich  spoils  each 
tribe  received  everything  they  could  desire  in  the  way  of 
horses,  tents,  guns,  axes,  powder,  clothing,  and  blankets. 
Their  insolence  and  savageness  were  increased  tenfold  and 
the  conditions  on  the  frontier  became  worse  than  ever  be¬ 
fore.  St.  Clair  hastened  to  Philadelphia  to  defend  his  mili¬ 
tary  reputation.  His  courage  in  battle  and  his  honorable 
career  in  the  Revolutionary  War  gained  him  a  merciful 
judgment  on  the  part  of  Congress  and  of  President  Wash¬ 
ington,  who  had,  however,  earnestly  warned  him  against 
being  taken  by  surprise. 

During  St.  Clair’s  absence  his  place  on  the  frontier  was 
taken  by  David  Ziegler.  General  Ziegler  took  command  at 
Fort  Washington  and  reestablished  a  sense  of  security 

1  Roosevelt,  vol.  iv,  p.  37. 

2  A  mere  handful  of  the  army  reached  Cincinnati.  “  Six  hundred  and 
thirty  men  had  been  killed  and  over  two  hundred  and  eighty  wounded. 
Less  than  five  hundred,  only  about  a  third  of  the  whole  number  engaged 
in  the  battle,  remained  unhurt.”  Roosevelt,  vol.  iv,  p.  47. 


410 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


among  the  settlers.  Every  inch  a  soldier,  and  the  ablest  of 
the  officers  under  St.  Clair,  he  was  the  latter’s  choice  for  the 
position  of  defending  the  frontier  at  this  trying  period.  In 
the  Revolutionary  War  he 1  had  been  among  the  very  first 
to  enlist,  serving  in  the  first  regiment  of  Pennsylvania  in 
the  Continental  line,  which  became  the  second2  regiment 
to  be  enrolled  under  Washington’s  banner.  In  the  Revo¬ 
lutionary  service  he  had  the  reputation  of  being  second 
to  none  as  a  disciplinarian.3  His  subsequent  career  as  an 
Indian  fighter  was  noteworthy.  He  took  part  in  the  de¬ 
fense  of  Fort  Harmar  (Marietta)  at  various  times;  of  Fort 
Finney  at  the  mouth  of  the  Great  Miami ;  he  was  in  the 
expedition  of  General  George  Rogers  Clark  against  the 
Kickapoos  on  the  Wabash ;  and,  in  1790,  in  Harmar’s  ex¬ 
pedition  on  the  upper  Miami.  He  was  not  present  in  the 
fatal  encounter  on  the  Wabash  ;  having  been  detached  for 
special  service.  After  the  battle,  through  watchfulness  and 
enforcement  of  discipline,  Ziegler  succeeded  in  getting 
the  remnants  of  the  retreating  army  back  into  Fort  Wash¬ 
ington.  The  woods  being  full  of  Indians,  he  began  at 
once  the  task  of  clearing  them,  at  the  same  time  adopting 
energetic  measures  for  the  protection  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Ohio  Valley.  He  thereby  became  the  hero  of  the 
day  and  the  favorite  officer  of  the  army  in  the  Ohio  dis¬ 
trict. 

St.  Clair  had,  by  his  assignment  of  Ziegler  to  this  office, 
placed  the  latter  over  the  heads  of  the  ranking  officers, 
Wilkinson,  Butler,  and  Armstrong.  This  created  bad  feel¬ 
ing  against  Ziegler,  particularly  on  the  part  of  Wilkinson, 

1  A  native  of  Heidelberg,  Germany  (born,  1748),  be  had  served  in  the 
Russo-Turkish  wars,  and  then  immigrated  to  America,  settling  at  Lancas¬ 
ter,  Pennsylvania,  in  1775. 

2  The  first  was  a  Massaclmsetts  regiment. 

3  Major  Denny’s  Diary.  Cf.  Eickhoff,  p.  266. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  411 


whose  resourcefulness  at  intriguing'-  became  notorious  sub- 
sequently  in  the  alfair  of  Aaron  Burr.  Ziegler  was  made 
the  victim  of  false  charges,  accused  of  drunkenness,  and 
insubordination  to  the  Secretary  of  War  (General  Knox). 
Ziegler  thereupon  resigned  from  the  army,  but  retained 
his  enviable  place  in  the  hearts  of  the  settlers  of  the  Ohio 
Valley.  When  Cincinnati  was  incorporated,  he  was  elected 
the  first  mayor,  or  president,  in  1802.  In  the  following 
year  he  was  reelected  unanimously,  in  recognition  of  his 
able  defense  of  the  settlement  in  1791  and  1792,  and 
as  a  recompense  for  unjust  treatment  on  the  part  of  the 
government.1 

During  the  Indian  wars  a  number  of  Germans  gained 
renown  as  scouts  and  Indian  fighters,  either  on  their  own 
account,  or  as  members  of  the  expeditions  of  Harmar,  St. 
Clair,  and  Wayne.  On  the  Scioto  were  the  Indian  hunters, 
George  Ruffner,2  David  Bolaus,  and  Frederick  Behrle. 
Without  any  special  location  lived  as  scouts  and  hunters, 
Peter  Nieswanger,  Jacob  Miller,  Johann  Warth,  and  the 


1  Cf.  Judge  Burnett,  Notes  on  the  Settlement  of  the  Northwestern  Territory. 
Quoted  by  Eickhoff,  p.  268. 

2  Ruffner  was  a  German  Virginian.  Ruffner’s  Cave  was  named  after  the 
original  settler  in  the  Valley.  Members  of  the  family  also  settled  in  the 
Kanawha  district  in  present  West  Virginia.  In  J.  P.  Hale’s  Trans- Allegheny 
Pioneers  appear  the  notes  (pp.  279,  280)  :  “1797.  —  The  late  General  Lewis 
Ruffner  was  born  October  1,  in  the  Clendenin  blockhouse,  probably  the  first 
white  child  born  within  the  present  limits  of  Charleston”  [West  Virginia]. 
Also:  “1817 — David  and  Tobias  Ruffner  first  discovered  and  used  coal 
here.”  Numerous  other  items  occur  concerning  the  Ruffners.  They  were 
one  of  the  most  prominent  families  in  the  district,  as  men  of  affairs,  poli¬ 
ticians,  and  preachers.  Another  important  family  were  the  Bowyers.  In  1798 
Peter  Bowyer,  father  of  the  late  Colonel  John  Bowyer,  of  Putnam  County, 
made  the  first  settlement  in  the  New  River  Gorge,  and  established  a  ferry 
at  Sewell.  These  items  show  that  in  the  Kanawha  district  German  pioneers 
came  as  early  and  were  as  active  and  prominent  as  those  of  any  other 
nationality.  Compare  the  numerous  German  names  in  Hale’s  Trans- Alle¬ 
gheny  Pioneers. 


412 


THE  GERMAN  ELEMENT 


brothers,  Christopher  and  Joseph  Miller.  The  most  fa¬ 
mous  of  the  Indian  fighters  on  the  Ohio  was  Ludwig 
(Lewis)  Wetzel.  “  As  a  hunter  and  fighter  there  was  not 
in  all  the  land  his  superior.”.1  Lewis’s  father,  Johann 
Wetzel,2  was  born  in  the  Palatinate,  emigrated  to  Penn¬ 
sylvania,  and  became  one  of  the  first  pioneers  of  the  West, 
settling  probably  near  Wheeling,  in  the  county  of  West 
Virginia  which  bears  the  family  name.  The  Wetzel  fam¬ 
ily  consisted  of  four  sons  and  four  younger  daughters. 
The  latter,  together  with  one  boy  and  the  mother,  had 
one  day  gone  to  Wheeling  to  visit  friends.  Martin  wras 
out  hunting,  Lewis  and  Jacob  with  the  father,  when  they 
were  attacked  in  their  blockhouse  by  a  band  of  Indians. 
They  slew  the  father  and  made  the  two  boys  captives, 
Lewis  being  wounded  in  the  breast.  He  was  then  thirteen 
years  of  age.  The  Indians  encamped  on  the  Blue  Lick, 
about  twenty  miles  up  the  Muskingum.  They  neglected 
to  bind  the  captives,  and  when  the  Indians  wTere  sleeping, 
Lewis  whispered  to  his  brother,  “  Jacob,  let  us  escape  and 
go  home.”  After  they  had  gone  a  few  hundred  steps  they 
sat  down  upon  a  tree  stump.  Lewis  again  whispered  to 
his  brother,  “  We  cannot  go  barefooted.  I  shall  go  back 
and  get  two  pairs  of  Indian  moccasins.”  After  he  had  come 
back  with  them,  they  thought  it  might  be  better  to  be 
armed.  Lewis  went  back  to  the  Indian  camp  a  second 
time,  taking  two  guns  and  a  hunting-knife.  Thus  armed 
the  two  boys  fled  homeward,  taking  the  moon  as  a  guide. 
The  Indians  in  their  search  passed  the  boys,  and  the  lat¬ 
ter  then  followed  their  pursuers’  trail,  which  showed  them 
the  path  homeward  for  a  distance.  They  again  skillfully 

1  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  p.  138. 

2  The  name  Wetzel  in  the  original  German  records  of  the  family  appears 
as  Watzel  or  Watzel.  Roosevelt,  vol.  ii,  p.  138. 


THE  SETTLEMENTS  OF  THE  OHIO  VALLEY  413 

eluded  the  Indians  on  their  return  from  their  vain  hunt, 
and  got  back  safely  to  the  blockhouse,  in  the  charred  ruins 
of  which  they  found  the  lifeless  body  of  their  father, 
mutilated  and  scalped.  Then  and  there  they  swore  to  kill 
every  Indian  they  should  lay  eyes  on,  and  the  vow  was  as 
faithfully  kept  as  Hannibal’s  against  the  Romans. 

Lewis  became  wonderfully  skilled  in  the  handling  of 
his  rifle.  He  could  load  and  fire  while  running  at  full 
speed.  In  the  use  of  a  tomahawk  and  scalping-knife  no  In¬ 
dian  was  his  better.  Of  medium  height,  broad-shouldered, 
thick-set,  his  frame  like  his  heart  was  of  steel.  His  eyes 
were  black  and  shot  fire,  his  face  was  covered  with  the 
scars  of  smallpox,  his  complexion  was  dark  from  exposure, 
almost  like  that  of  an  Indian.  He  was  a  true  friend  and 
a  dangerous  enemy,  taciturn  in  mixed  company,  but  com¬ 
municative,  even  eloquent,  in  a  small  circle  of  friends. 
Numerous  are  the  adventures  told  of  him.  In  1782,  shortl