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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Herrman, Augustine

Appletons' Herrman Augustine.jpg
Appletons' Herrman Augustine signature.png

HERRMAN, Augustine, colonist, first Lord of Bohemia Manor, b. in Prague, Bohemia, about 1605; d. on Bohemia Manor, Md., in 1686. He was the son of Augustine Ephraim Herrman, councilman of Prague, and Beatrice, daughter of Caspar Redel. He received a good education, speaking German, Dutch, French, Spanish, English, and Latin, was a surveyor by profession, skilled in sketching and drawing, and became an enterprising merchant. He entered the service of the Dutch West India company, and made voyages in their employ to the Antilles, Curacoa, and Surinam. He claimed to have been “the first founder of the Virginia tobacco-trade,” and so must have been in America at least as early as 1629. He also made successful experiments in planting indigo near New Amsterdam, where he settled in 1643. He was agent for the mercantile house of Gabry, of Amsterdam, and made several commercial voyages to Holland. He likewise became interested in privateering, and was one of the owners of the frigate “La Garce,” engaged in depredations on Spanish commerce. He opposed Gov. Stuyvesant in some of his measures of self-aggrandizement at the expense of the settlers in New Netherland, and rendered important service to the colony. He was one of the board of nine men organized in 1647, and held that office in 1649 and 1650; one of the ambassadors to Rhode Island in 1652; and in the same capacity, in company with Resolved Waldron, was sent to Maryland in September, 1659. He kept a journal of their travels and proceedings in this service, and, with his associate, urged with great ability before the Maryland governor and his council the rights of the New Netherland government in opposition to Lord Baltimore's claim to the South river. To the arguments then used, employed eighty years later in the interest of Penn, the existence of the present state of Delaware, as independent of Maryland, is mainly to be attributed. In 1660 Herrman visited Virginia, and in the same year transported his people from New Amsterdam to Maryland, obtaining in 1661 a charter from Lord Baltimore for the founding of Cecil town and county, and in 1662 (in consideration of his-services in making a valuable map of Maryland and Virginia) patents for a tract of land called Bohemia Manor, and one known as Little Bohemia, to which was added, in 1671, St. Augustine's Manor, including the territory east of the former, between St. George's and Appoquinimink creeks, to the shores of the Delaware. These liberal concessions from the proprietor embraced about 30,000 acres, and were accompanied with manorial privileges, and the title of “Lord” applied to the grantee. In 1684 he conveyed a tract of 3,750 acres to a company of Hollanders and others, who established a community of Labadists upon it. Herrman was a member of the governor's council and a justice of Baltimore county, and in 1678 was appointed a commissioner to treat with the Indians. He married Jannetje, daughter of Caspar and Judith Varleth, of Holland (afterward of New Netherland), and left issue. — Ephraim George, second Lord of Bohemia Manor, b. in New Amsterdam in 1652; d. on Bohemia Manor in 1689, was the eldest son of Augustine Herrman. In 1673 he was clerk in the office of the secretary of state at New York, and in 1676 was appointed clerk of the courts of Upland and New Castle, in 1677 clerk of the customs and receiver of quit-rents within the jurisdiction of those courts, and in 1680 surveyor for the counties of New Castle and St. Jones. With John Moll, he was appointed attorney for the Duke of York to present the territory of New Castle county to William Penn, a duty he performed in 1682. He became a Labadist, but, almost in exact fulfilment of his father's malediction that he might not live two years after joining the community, was taken sick, lost his mind, and died. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Lucas Rodenburg, vice-director of the island of Curaçoa from about 1646 until his death in 1657, who survived him, subsequently marrying Maj. John Donaldson, a member of the provincial council of Pennsylvania. — Casparus, third Lord of Bohemia Manor, b. in New Amsterdam in 1656; d. on Bohemia Manor in 1704. He was a son of Augustine Herrman, and succeeded his brother Ephraim in the title and estate in 1689. He represented the county of New Castle in the general assembly of Pennsylvania from 1683 to 1685, and was a member of the legislature of Maryland in 1694. — Ephraim Augustine, fourth Lord of Bohemia Manor, b. on St. Augustine's Manor, in New Castle county, near the Delaware river; d. on Bohemia Manor in 1735. He was the son of Casparus Herrman, whom he succeeded in the title and estate in 1704. He was a member of the legislature of Maryland from Cecil county in 1715, 1716, 1728, and 1731.