Historical and biographical sketches/01 Settlement of Germantown
THE SETTLEMENT OF GERMANTOWN, PA.
Hail to posterity!
Hail, future men of Germanopolis!
Let the young generations yet to be
Look kindly upon this.
Think how your fathers left their native land,
Dear German land, O! sacred hearths and homes!
And where the wild beast roams
In patience planned
New forest homes beyond the mighty sea,
There undisturbed and free
To live as brothers of one family.
What pains and cares befell,
What trials and what fears,
Remember, and wherein we have done well
Follow our footsteps, men of coming years;
Where we have failed to do
Aright, or wisely live,
Be warned by us, the better way pursue.
And knowing we were human, even as you,
Pity us and forgive.
Farewell, dear Germany;
Forever more farewell! — Whittier.
When the history of Pennsylvania comes to be thoroughly understood, it will be found that the Dutchman, as he is generally called, occupies a position by no means so inconspicuous as that which the most of us are apt to assign to him. Every one is willing to admit that to him is due much of the material prosperity for which this State is no noted, that his hogs are fat, his butter is sweet, his lands are well tilled, and his barns are capacious; but the claim that there is anything distinguished in his origin, or brilliant in his career, is seldom made, and that he has approached his English associates in knowledge of politics, literature, or science those of us who get our Saxon blood by way of the Mersey and the Thames would quickly deny. The facts which tell in his favor, however, are many and striking. Pastorius possessed probably more literary attainments, and produced more literary work than any other of the early emigrants to this province, and he alone, of them all, through the appreciative delineation of a New England poet, has a permanent place in the literature of our own time. Willem Rittinghuysen, in 1690, built on a branch of the Wissahickon Creek the first paper-mill in the Colonies. The Bible was printed in German in America thirty-nine years before it appeared in English, and in the preface to his third edition in 1776, Saur was still able to say, “to the honor of the German people — for no other nation can assert that it has ever been printed in their language in this part of the world.” No other known literary work undertaken in the Colonies equals in magnitude the Mennonite Martyrs' Mirror of Van Braght, printed at Ephrata in 1748, whose publication required the labors of fifteen men for three years. The Speaker of the first House of Representatives under the Federal Constitution and seven of the Governors of Pennsylvania were men of German descent. The statue selected to represent in the capitol at Washington the military reputation of Pennsylvania is that of a German. Said Thomas Jefferson of David Rittenhouse: “He has not indeed made a world, but he has by imitation approached nearer its maker than any man who has lived from the creation to this day.” There are no Pennsylvania names more cherished at home, and more deservedly known abroad, than those of Wister, Shoemaker, Muhlenberg, Weiser, Hiester, Keppele and Keim, and there are few Pennsylvanians, not comparatively recent arrivals, who cannot be carried back along some of their ancestral lines to the country of the Rhine. An examination of the earliest settlement of the Germans in Pennsylvania, and a study of the causes which produced it may, therefore, well be of interest to all who appreciate the value of our State history. The first impulse followed by the first wave of emigration came from Crefeld, a city of the lower Rhine, within a few miles of the borders of Holland. On the 10th of March, 1682, William Penn conveyed to Jacob Telner, of Crefeld, doing business as a merchant in Amsterdam, Jan Streypers, a merchant of Kaldkirchen, a village in the vicinity, still nearer to Holland, and Dirck Sipman, of Crefeld, each five thousand acres of land to be laid out in Pennsylvania. As the deeds were executed upon that day, the design must have been in contemplation and the arrangements made some time before. Telner had been in America between the years 1678 and 1681, and we may safely infer that his acquaintance with the country had much influence in bringing about the purchase.
In November, 1682, we find the earliest reference to the enterprise which subsequently resulted in the formation of the Frankfort Company. At that date Pastorius heard of it for the first time, and he, as agent, bought the lands when in London between the 8th of May and 6th of June, 1683. The eight original purchasers were Jacob Van de Walle, Dr. Johann Jacob Schutz, Johann Wilhelm Ueberfeldt, Daniel Behagel, Casper Merian, George Strauss, Abraham Hasevoet, and Jan Laurens, an intimate friend of Telner, apparently living at Rotterdam. Before Nov. 12th, 1686, on which day, in the language of the Manatawny patent, they “formed themselves into a company,” the last named four had withdrawn, and their interests had been taken by Francis Daniel Pastorius, the celebrated Johanna Eleanora Von Merlau, wife of Dr. Johann Wilhelm Peterson, Dr. Gerhard Von Mastricht, Dr. Thomas Von Wylich, Johannes Lebrun, Balthasar Jawert, and Dr. Johannes Kemler. That this was the date of the organization of the Company is also recited in the power of attorney which they executed in 1700. Up to the 8th of June, 1683, they seem to have bought 15,000 acres of land, which were afterwards increased to 25,000 acres. Of the eleven members nearly all were followers of the pietist Spener, and five of them lived at Frankfort, two in Wesel, two in Lubeck, and one in Duisberg. Though to this company has generally been ascribed the settlement of Germantown, and with it the credit of being the originators of German emigration, no one of its members except Pastorius ever came to Pennsylvania, and of still more significance is the fact that, so far as known, no one of the early emigrants to Pennsylvania came from Frankfort.
On the 11th of June, 1683, Penn conveyed to Govert Remke, Lenart Arets, and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber, a baker, all of Crefeld, one thousand acres of land each, and they, together with Telner, Streypers, and Sipman, constituted the original Crefeld purchasers. It is evident that their purpose was colonization, and not speculation. The arrangement between Penn and Sipman provided that a certain number of families should go to Pennsylvania within a specified time, and probably the other purchasers entered into similar stipulations. However that may be, ere long thirteen men with their families, comprising thirty-three persons, nearly all of whom were relatives, were ready to embark to seek new homes across the ocean. They were Lenart Arets, Abraham Op den Graeff, Dirck Op den Graeff, Hermann Op den Graeff, Willem Streypers, Thones Kunders, Reynier Tyson, Jan Seimens, Jan Lensen, Peter Keurlis, Johannes Bleikers, Jan Lucken, and Abraham Tunes. The three Op den Graeffs were brothers, Hermann was a son-in-law of Van Bebber, they were accompanied by their sister Margaretha, and they were cousins of Jan and Willem Streypers, who were also brothers. The wives of Thones Kunders and Lenart Arets were sisters of the Streypers, and the wife of Jan was the sister of Reynier Tyson. Peter Keurlis was also a near relative, and the location of the signatures of Jan Lucken and Abraham Tunes on the certificate of the marriage of a son of Thones Kunders with a daughter of Willem Streypers in 1710 indicates that they too were connected with the group by family ties. On the 7th of June, 1683, Jan Streypers and Jan Lensen entered into an agreement at Crefeld by the terms of which Streypers was to let Lensen have fifty acres of land at a rent of a rix dollar and half a stuyver, and to lend him fifty rix dollars for eight years at the interest of six rix dollars annually. Lensen was to transport himself and wife to Pennsylvania, to clear eight acres of Streyper's land and to work for him twelve days in each year for eight years. The agreement proceeds, “I further promise to lend him a Linnen-weaving stool with 3 combs, and he shall have said weaving stool for two years . . and for this Jan Lensen shall teach my son Leonard in one year the art of weaving, and Leonard shall be bound to weave faithfully during said year.” On the 18th of June the little colony were in Rotterdam, whither they were accompanied by Jacob Telner, Dirck Sipman, and Jan Streypers, and there many of their business arrangements were completed. Telner conveyed 2000 acres of land to the brothers Op den Graeff, and Sipman made Hermann Op den Graeff his attorney. Jan Streypers conveyed 100 acres to his brother Willem, and to Seimens and Keurlis each 200 acres. Bleikers and Lucken each bought 200 acres from Benjamin Furly, agent for the purchasers at Frankfort. At this time James Claypoole, a Quaker merchant in London, who had previously had business relations of some kind with Telner, was about to remove with his family to Pennsylvania, intending to sail in the Concord, Wm. Jeffries, master, a vessel of 500 tons burthen. Through him a passage from London was engaged for them in the same vessel, which was expected to leave Gravesend on the 6th of July, and the money was paid in advance. It is now ascertained definitely that eleven of these thirteen emigrants were from Crefeld, and the presumption that their two companions, Jan Lucken and Abraham Tunes, came from the same city is consequently strong. This presumption is increased by the indications of relationship, and the fact that the wife of Jan Seimens was Mercken Williamsen Lucken. Fortunately, however, we are not wanting in evidence of a general character. Pastorius, after having an interview with Telner at Rotterdam a few weeks earlier, accompanied by four servants, who seem to have been Jacob Schumacher, Isaac Dilbeeck, George Wertmuller, and Koenradt Rutters, had gone to America representing both the purchasers at Frankfort and Crefeld. In his references to the places at which he stopped on his journey down the Rhine he nowhere mentions emigrants except at Crefeld, where he says: “I talked with Tunes Kunders and his wife, Dirck, Hermann, and Abraham Op den Graeff and many others, who six weeks later followed me.” For some reason the emigrants were delayed between Rotterdam and London, and Claypoole was in great uneasiness for fear the vessel should be compelled to sail without them, and they should lose their passage money. He wrote several letters about them to Benjamin Furly at Rotterdam. June 19th he says, “I am glad to hear the Crevill friends are coming.” July 3d he says, “before I goe away wch now is like to be longer than we expected by reason of the Crevill friends not coming we are fain to loyter and keep the ship still at Black wall upon one pretence or another;” and July 10th he says, " “It troubles me much that the friends from Crevillt are not yet come.” As he had the names of the thirty-three persons, this contemporary evidence is very strong, and it would seem safe to conclude that all of this pioneer band, which, with Pastorius, founded Germantown, came from Crefeld. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg says the first comers were platt-deutch from the neighborhood of Cleves. Despite the forebodings of Claypoole the emigrants reached London in time for the Concord, and they set sail westward on the 24th of July. While they are for the first time experiencing the dangers and trials of a voyage across the ocean, doubtless sometimes looking back with regret, but oftener wistfully and wonderingly forward, let us return to inquire who these people were who were willing to abandon forever the old homes and old friends along the Rhine, and commence new lives with the wolf and the savage in the forests upon the shores of the Delaware.
The origin of the sect of Mennonites is somewhat involved in obscurity. Their opponents, following Sleidanus and other writers of the 16th century, have reproached them with being an outgrowth of the Anabaptists of Munster. On the contrary, their own historians, Mehrning, Van Braght, Schynn, Maatschoen, and Roosen, trace their theological and lineal descent from the Waldenses, some of whose communities are said to have existed from the earliest Christian times, and who were able to maintain themselves in obscure parts of Europe, against the power of Rome, in large numbers from the 12th century downward. The subject has of recent years received thorough and philosophical treatment at the hands of S. Blaupot Ten Gate, a Dutch historian. The theory of the Waldensian origin is based mainly on a certain similarity in creed and church observances; the fact that the Waldenses are known to have been numerous in those portions of Holland and Flanders where the Mennonites arose and throve, and to have afterward disappeared; the ascertained descent of some Mennonite families from Waldenses; and a marked similarity in habits and occupations. This last fact is especially interesting; in our investigation, as will be hereafter seen. The Waldenses carried the art of weaving from Flanders into Holland, and so generally followed that trade as in many localities to have gone by the name of Tisserands, or weavers. It is not improbable that the truth, lies between the two theories of friend and foe, and that the Baptist movement which swept through Germany and the Netherlands in the early part of the 16th century gathered into its embrace many of these communities of Waldenses. At the one extreme of this movement were Thomas Munzer, Bernhard Rothman, Jean Matthys, and John of Leyden; at the other were Menno Simons, and Dirck Philips. Between them stood Battenburg and David Joris of Delft. The common ground of them all, and about the only ground which they had in common, was opposition to the baptism of infants. The first party became entangled in the politics of the time, and ran into the wildest excesses. They preached to the peasantry of Europe, trodden beneath the despotic heels of Church and State, that the kingdom of Christ upon earth was at hand, that all human authority ought to be resisted and overthrown, and all property be divided. After fighting many battles and causing uotold commotion, they took possession of the city of Munster, and made John of Leyden a king. The pseudo-kingdom endured for more than a year of siege and riot, and then was crushed by the power of the State, and John of Leyden was torn to pieces with red hot pincers, and his bones set aloft in an iron cage for a warning.
Menno Simons was born at the village of Witmarsum in Friesland, in the year 1492, and was educated for the priesthood, upon whose duties early in life he entered. The beheading of Sicke Snyder for rebaptism in the year 1531 in his near neighborhood called his attention to the subject of infant baptism, and after a careful examination of the Bible and the writings of Luther and Zwinglius, he came to the conclusion there was no foundation for it in the Scriptures. At the request of a little community near him holding like views he began to preach to them, and in 1536 formally severed his connection with the Church of Rome. Ere long he began to be recognized as the leader of the Doopsgezinde or Taufgesinnte, and gradually the sect assumed from him the name of Mennonites. His first book was a dissertation against the errors and delusions in the teachings of John of Leyden, and after a convention held at Buckhold in Westphalia in 1538, at which Battenburg and David Joris were present, and Menno and Dirck Philips were represented, the influence of the fanatical Anabaptists seems to have waned. His entire works, published at Amsterdam in 1681, make a folio volume of 642 pages. Luther and Calvin stayed their hands at a point where power and influence would have been lost, but the Dutch reformer, Menno, far in advance of his time, taught the complete severance of Church and State, and the principles of religious liberty which have been embodied in our own federal constitution were first worked out in Holland. The Mennonites believed that no baptism was efficacious unless accompanied by repentance, and that the ceremony administered to infants was vain. They took not the sword and were entirely non-resistant. They swore not at all. They practiced the washing of the feet of the brethren, and made use of the ban or the avoidance of those who were pertinaciously derelict. In dress and speech they were plain, and in manners simple. Their ecclesiastical enemies, even while burning them for their heresies, bore testimony to the purity of their lives, their thrift, frugality, and homely virtues. They were generally husbandmen and artisans, and so many of them were weavers that, we are told by Roosen, certain woven and knit fabrics were known as Mennonite goods. The shadow of John of Leyden, however, hung over them, the name of Anabaptist clung to them, and no sect, not even the early Christians, was ever more bitterly or persistently persecuted. There were put to death for this cause at Rotterdam 7 persons, Haarlem 10, the Hague 13, Cortrijk 20, Brugge 23, Amsterdam 26, Ghent 103, and Antwerp 229, and in the last-named city there were 37 in 1571 and 37 in 1574, the last by fire. It was usual to burn the men and drown the women. Occasionally some were buried alive, and the rack and like preliminary tortures were used to extort confessions, and get information concerning others of the sect. Ydse Gaukes gives, in a letter written to his brother from prison, a graphic description of his own treatment. After telling; that his hands were tied behind his back, he continues: “Then they drew me up about a foot from the ground and let me hang. I was in great pain, but I tried to be quiet. Nevertheless, I cried out three times, and then was silent. They said that is only child's play, and letting me down again they put me on a stool, but asked me no questions, and said nothing to me. They fastened an iron bar to my feet with two chains, and hung on the bar three heavy weights. When they drew me up again a Spaniard tried to hit me in the face with a chain, but he could not reach; while I was hanging I struggled hard, and got one foot through the chain, but then all the weight was on one leg. They tried to fasten it again, but I fought with all my strength. That made them all laugh, but I was in great pain.” He was afterward burned to death by a slow fire at Deventer, in May, 1571. Their meetings were held in secret places, often in the middle of the night, and in order to prevent possible exposure under the pressure of pain, they purposely avoided knowing the names of the brethren whom they met, and of the preachers who baptized them. A reward of 100 gold guilders was offered for Menno, malefactors were promised pardon if they should capture him, Tjaert Ryndertz was put on the wheel in 1539 for having given him shelter, and a house in which his wife and children had rested, unknown to its owner, was confiscated. He was, as his followers fondly thought, miraculously protected however, died peacefully in 1559, and was buried in his own cabbage garden. The natural result of this persecution was much dispersion. The prosperous communities at Hamburg and Altona were founded by refugees, the first Mennonites in Prussia fled there from the Netherlands, and others found their way up the Rhine. Crefeld is chiefly noted for its manufactures of silk, linen, and other woven goods, and these manufactures were first established by persons fleeing from religious intolerance.
From the Mennonites sprang the general Baptist churches of England, the first of them having an ecclesiastical connection with the parent societies in Holland, and their organizers being Englishmen who, as has been discovered, were actual members of the Mennonite church at Amsterdam. It was for the benefit of these Englishmen that the well-known Confession of Faith of Hans de Ries and Lubbert Gerritz was written, and according to the late Robert Barclay, whose valuable work bears every evidence of the most thorough and careful research, it was from association with these early Baptist teachers that George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, imbibed his views. Says Barclay: “We are compelled to view him as the unconscious exponent of the doctrine, practice, and discipline of the ancient and stricter party of the Dutch Mennonites.” If this be correct, to the spread of Mennonite teachings we owe the origin of the Quakers, and the settlement of Pennsylvania. The doctrine of the inner light was by no means a new one in Holland and Germany, and the dead letter of the Scriptures is a thought common to David Joris, Caspar Schwenckfeldt, and the modern Quaker. The similarity between the two sects has been manifest to all observers, and recognized by themselves. William Penn, writing to James Logan of some emigrants in 1709, says: “Herewith comes the Palatines, whom use with tenderness and love, and fix them so that they may send over an agreeable character; for they are a sober people, divers Mennonists, and will neither swear nor light. See that Guy has used them well.” Thomas Chalkley, writing from Holland the same year, says: “There is a great people which they call Mennonists who are very near to truth, and the fields are white unto harvest among that people spiritually speaking.” When Ames, Caton, Stubbs, Penn, and others of the early Friends went to Holland and Germany, they were received with the utmost kindness by the Mennonites, which is in strong contrast with their treatment at the hands of the established churches.
The strongest testimony of this character, however, is given by Thomas Story, the recorder of deeds in Pennsylvania, who made a trip to Holland and Germany in 1715. There he preached in the Mennonite meeting houses at Hoorn, Holfert, Drachten, Goredyke, Heerveen, Jever, Oudeboone, Grow, Leeuwarden, Dokkum, and Henleven, while at Malkwara no meeting was held because “a Person of note among the Menists being departed this life,” and none at Saardam because of “the chief of the Menists being over at Amsterdam.” These meetings were attended almost exclusively by Mennonites, and they entertained him at their houses. One of their preachers he describes as “convinced of truth,” and of another he says that after a discourse of several hours about religion they “had no difference.” Jacob Nordyke, of Harlingen, a “Menist and friendly man,” accompanied the party on their journey, and when the wagon broke down near Oudeboone he went ahead on foot to prepare a meeting. The climax of this staid good fellowship was capped, however, at Grow. Says Story in his journal: “Hemine Gosses, their preacher, came to us, and taking me by the hand he embraced me and saluted me with several kisses, which I readily answered, for he expressed much satisfaction before the people, and received us gladly, inviting us to take a dish of tea with him. He showed us his garden, and gave us of his grapes of several kinds, but first of all a dram lest we should take cold after the exercise of the meeting,” and “treated us as if he had been a Friend, from which he is not far, having been as tender as any at the meeting.”
William Sewel, the historian, was a Mennonite, and it certainly was no accident that the first two Quaker histories were written in Holland. It was among the Mennonites they made their converts. In fact transition between the two sects both ways was easy. Quakers became members of the Mennonite church at Crefeld and at Haarlem, and in the reply which Peter Henrichs and Jacob Claus of Amsterdam made in 1679 to a pamphlet by Heinrich Kassel, a Mennonite preacher at Krisheim, they quote him as saying “that the so-called Quakers, especially here in the Palatinate, have fallen off and gone out from the Mennonites.”
These were the people who, some as Mennonites, and others, perhaps, as recently converted Quakers, after being unresistingly driven up and down the Rhine for a century and a half, were ready to come to the wilds of America. Of the six original purchasers Jacob Telner and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber are known to have been members of the Mennonite Church; Govert Remke, January 14th, 1686, sold his land to Dirck Sipman, and had little to do with the emigration; Sipman selected as his attorneys here at various times Hermann Op den Graeff, Hendrick Sellen, and Van Bebber, all of whom were Mennonites; and Jan Streypers was represented also by Sellen, was a cousin of the Op den Graeffs, and was the uncle of Hermannus and Arnold Kuster, two of the most active of the early Pennsylvania members of that sect. Of the emigrants Dirck, Hermann, and Abraham Op den Graeff were Mennonites, and were grandsons of Hermann Op den Graeff, the delegate from Crefeld to the Council which met at Dordrecht in 1632, and adopted a Confession of Faith. Many of the others, as we have seen, were connected with the Op den Graeffs by family ties. Jan Lensen was a member of the Mennonite church here. Jan Lucken bears the same name as the engraver who illustrated the edition of Van Braght published in 1685, and others of the books of that church, and the Dutch Bible which he brought with him is a copy of the third edition of Nicolaes Biestkens, the first Bible published by the Mennonites. Lenart Arets, a follower of David Joris, was beheaded at Poeldyk in 1535. The name Tunes occurs frequently on the name lists of the Mennonite preachers about the time of this emigration, and Hermann Tunes was a member of the first church in Pennsylvania. This evidence, good as far as it goes, but not complete, is strengthened by the statements of Mennonite writers and others upon both sides of the Atlantic. Roosen tells us “William Penn had in the year 1683 invited the Mennonites to settle in Pennsylvania. Soon many from the Netherlands went over and settled in and about Germantown.” Funk, in his account of the first church, says: “Upon an invitation from William Penn to our distressed forefathers in the faith it is said a number of them emigrated either from Holland or the Palatinate, and settled in Germantown in 1683, and there established the first church in America.” Rupp asserts that, “In Europe they had been sorely persecuted, and on the invitation of the liberal-minded William Penn they transported themselves and families into the province of Pennsylvania as early as 1683. Those who came that year and in 1698 settled in and about Germantown.” Says Haldeman: “Whether the first Taufgesinneten or Mennonites came from Holland or Switzerland I have no certain information, but they came in the year 1683.” Richard Townsend, an eminent Quaker preacher, who came over in the Welcome, and settled a mile from Germantown, calls them a “religious good people,” but he does not say they were Friends, as he probably would have done had the facts justified it. Abraham, Dirck, and Hermann Op den Graeff, Lenart Arets, Abraham Tunes, and Jan Lensen were linen weavers, and in 1686 Jan Streypers wrote to his brother Willem inquiring “who has wove my yarns, how many ells long, and how broad the cloth made from it, and through what fineness of comb it has been through.”
The pioneers had a pleasant voyage, and reached Philadelphia on the 6th of October. In the language of Claypoole, “The blessing of the Lord did attend us so that we had a very comfortable passage, and had our health all the way.” Unto Johannes Bleikers a son Peter was born while at sea. Cold weather was approaching, and they had little time to waste in idleness or curiosity. On the 12th of the same month a warrant was issued to Pastorius for 6000 acres “on behalf of the German and Dutch purchasers,” on the 24th Thomas Fairman measured off fourteen divisions of land, and the next day meeting together in the cave of Pastorius they drew lots for the choice of location. Under the warrant 5350 acres were laid out May 2d, 1684, “having been allotted and shared out by the said Daniel Pastorius, as trustee for them, and by their own consent to the German and Dutch purchasers after named, as their respective several and distinct dividends, whose names and quantities of the said land they and the said Daniel Pastorius did desire might be herein inserted and set down, viz.: The first purchasers of Frankfort, Germany, Jacobus Van de Walle 535, Johan Jacob Schutz 428, Johan Wilhelm Uberfeld 107, Daniel Behagel 3561, George Strauss 1783, Jan Laurens 535, Abraham Hasevoet 535, in all 2675 acres of land. The first purchasers of Crefeld, in Germany, Jacob Telner 989, Jan Streypers 275, Dirck Sipman 588, Govert Remke 161, Lenert Arets 501, Jacob Isaacs 161, in all 2675 acres.” In addition 200 acres were laid out for Pastorius in his own right, and 150 to Jurian Hartsfelder, a stray Dutchman or German, who had been a deputy sheriff under Andross in 1676, and who now cast his lot in with the settlers at Germantown. Immediately after the division in the cave of Pastorius they began to dig the cellars, and build the huts in which, not without much hardship, they spent the following winter. Thus commenced the settlement of Germantown. Pastorius tells us that some people making a pun upon the name called it Armentown, because of their lack of supplies, and adds, “it could not be described, nor would it be believed by coming generations in what want and need, and with what Christian contentment and persistent industry this Germantownship started.” Willem Streypers wrote over to his brother Jan on the 20th of 2d mo. 1684, that he was already on Jan's lot to clear and sow it, and make a dwelling, but that there was nothing in hand, and he must have a year's provision, to which in due time Jan replied by sending a “Box with 3 combs, and 3———, and 5 shirts and a small parcel with iron ware for a weaving stool,” and telling him “to let Jan Lensen weave a piece of cloth to sell, and apply it to your use.” In better spirits Willem wrote Oct. 22d, 1684: “I have been busy and made a brave dwelling house, and under it a cellar fit to live in, and have so much grain, such as Indian Corn and Buckwheat that this winter I shall be better off than what I was last year.”
Other emigrants ere long began to appear in the little town. Cornelis Bora, a Dutch baker, whom Claypoole mentions in association with Telner, and who bears the same name as a delegate from Schiedam to the Mennonite convention at Dordrecht, arrived in Philadelphia before Pastorius. David Scherkes, perhaps from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, and Walter Seimens and Isaac Jacobs Van Bebber, both from Crefeld, were in Germantown Nov. 8th, 1684. Van Bebber was a son of Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber, and was followed by his father and brother Matthias in 1687. Jacob Telner, the second of the six original Crefeld purchasers to cross the Atlantic, reached New York after a tedious voyage of twelve weeks' duration, and from there he wrote Dec. 12th, 1684, to Jan Laurens of Rotterdam, that his wife and daughter were “in good health and fat,” that he had made a trip to Pennsylvania, which “he found a beautiful land with a healthy atmosphere, excellent fountains and springs running through it, beautiful trees from which can be obtained better firewood than the turf of Holland,” and that he intended to take his family there the following spring. He seems to have been the central figure of the whole emigration. As a merchant in Amsterdam his business was extensive. He had transactions with the Quakers in London, and friendly relations with some of the people in New York. One of the earliest to buy lands here, we find him meeting Pastorius immediately prior to the latter's departure, doubtless to give instructions, and later personally superintending the emigration of the Colonists. During his thirteen years' residence in Germantown his relations both in a business and social way with the principal men in Philadelphia were apparently close and intimate. Penn wrote to Logan in 1703, “I have been much pressed by Jacob Telner concerning Rebecca Shippen's business in the town,” and both Robert Turner and Samuel Carpenter acted as his attorneys. He and his daughter Susanna were present at the marriage of Francis Rawle and Martha Turner in 1689, and witnessed their certificate. The harmonious blending of the Mennonite and the Quaker is nowhere better shown than in the fact of his accompanying John Delavall on a preaching and proselyting tour to New England in 1692. He was the author of a “Treatise” in quarto mentioned by Pastorius, and extracts from his letters to Laurens were printed at Rotterdam in 1685. About 1692 he appears to have published a paper in the controversy with George Keith charging the latter with “impious blasphemy and denying the Lord that bought him.” He was one of the first burgesses of Germantown, the most extensive landholder there, and promised to give ground enough for the erection of a market house, a promise which we will presume he fulfilled. In 1698 he went to London, where he was living as a merchant as late as 1712, and from there in 1709 he wrote to Rotterdam concerning the miseries of some emigrants, six of whom were Mennonites from the Palatinate, who had gone that far on their journey, and were unable to proceed. “The English Friends who are called Quakers,” he says had given material assistance. Doubtless European research would throw much light on his career. He was baptized at the Mennonite church in Amsterdam March 29th, 1665. His only child Susanna married Albertus Brandt, a merchant of Germantown and Philadelphia, and after the death of her first husband in 1701 she married David Williams. After deducting the land laid out in Germantown, and the 2000 acres sold to the Op den Graeffs, the bulk of his 5000 acres was taken up on the Skippack, in a track for many years known as “Telner's Township.”
In 1684 also came Jan Willemse Bockenogen, a Quaker cooper from Haarlem.
Oct. 12th, 1685, in the “Francis and Dorothy” arrived Hans Peter Umstat from Crefeld, with his wife Barbara, his son John, and his dauo;hters Anna Magaretta, and Eve; Peter Schumacher with his son Peter, his daughters Mary, Frances, and Gertrude, and his cousin Sarah; Gerhard Hendricks with his wife Mary, his daughter Sarah and his servant Heinrich Frey, the last named from Altheim in Alsace; and Heinrich Buchholtz and his wife Mary, Peter Schumacher, an early Quaker convert from the Mennonites, is the first person definitely ascertained to have come from Krisheim, the little village in the Palatinate, to which so much prominence has been given. Fortunately we know under what auspices he arrived. By an agreement with Dirck Sipman, of Crefeld, dated August 16th, 1685, he was to proceed with the first good wind to Pennsylvania, and there receive 200 acres from Hermann Op den Graeff, on which he should erect a dwelling, and for which he should pay a rent of two rix dollars a year. Gerhard Henricks also had bought 200 acres from Sipman. He came from Krisheim, and I am inclined to believe that his identity may be merged in that of Gerhard Hendricks Dewees. If so, he was associated with the Op den Graeffs and Van Bebbers, and was the grandson of Adrian Hendricks Dewees, a Hollander, who seems to have lived in Amsterdam. This identification, however, needs further investigation. Dewees bought land of Sipman, which his widow, Zytien, sold in 1701. The wife of Gerhard Hendricks in the court records is called Sytje. On the tax list of 1693 there is a Gerhard Hendricks, but no Dewees, though the latter at that time was the owner of land. Hendricks after the Dutch manner called one son William Gerrits and another Lambert Gerrits, and both men, if they were two, died about the same time. Much confusion has resulted for a want of familiarity on the part of local historians with the Dutch habit of omitting the final or local appellation. Thus the Van Bebbers are frequently referred to in contemporaneous records as Jacob Isaacs, Isaac Jacobs, and Matthias Jacobs, the Op den Graeffs as Dirck Isaacs, Abraham Isaacs, and Hermann Isaacs; and Van Burklow as Reynier Hermanns. In 1685 also came Heivert Papen, and on the 20th of March, 1686, Johannes Kassel, a weaver, and another Quaker convert from the Mennonites, from Krisheim, aged forty-seven years, with his children, Arnold, Peter, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sarah, both having purchased land from individual members of the Frankfort Company. About the same time Klas Tamsen arrived. In the vessel with Kassel was a widow, Sarah Shoemaker, from the Palatinate, and doubtless from Krisheim, with her children, George, Abraham, Barbara, Isaac, Susanna, Elizabeth, and Benjamin. Among the Mennonite martyrs mentioned by Van Braght there are several bearing the name of Schoenmaker, and that there was a Dutch settlement in the neighborhood of Krisheim is certain. At Flomborn, a few miles distant, is a spring which the people of the vicinity still call the “Hollander's Spring.” The Pannebakkers went there at some remote date from North Brabant in Holland. I have a Dutch medical work published in 1622 which belonged to Johannes Kassel, many Dutch books from the same family are in the possession of that indefatigable antiquary, Abraham H. Cassel, and the deed of Peter Schumacher is in Dutch. The Kolbs, who came to Pennsylvania later, were grandsons of Peter Schumacher, and were all earnest Mennonites. The Kassels brought over with them many of the manuscripts of one of their family, Ylles Kassel, a Mennonite preacher at Krisheim, who was born before 1618, and died after 1681, and some of these papers are still preserved. The most interesting is a long poem in German rhyme, which describes vividly the condition of the country, and throws the strongest light upon the character of the people and the causes of the emigration. The writer says that it was copied off with much pain and bodily suffering Nov. 28th, 1665. It begins: “O Lord! to Thee the thoughts of all hearts are known. Into Thy hands I commend my body and soul. When Thou lookest upon me with thy mercy all things are well with me. Thou hast stricken me with severe illness, which is a rod for my correction. Give me patience and resignation. Forgive all my sins and wickedness. Let not Thy mercy forsake me. Lay not on me more than I can bear,” and continues, “O Lord God! Protect me in this time of war and danger, that evil men may not do with me as they wish. Take me to a place where I may be concealed from them, free from such trials and cares. My wife and children too, that they may not come to shame at their hands. Let all my dear friends find mercy from Thee.” After noting a successful flight to Worms he goes on, “O dear God and Lord! to Thee be all thanks, honor. and praise for Thy mercy and pity, which Thou hast shown to me in this time. Thou hast protected me from evil men as from my heart I prayed Thee. Thou hast led me in the right way so that I came to a place where I was concealed from such sorrows and cares. Thou has kept the way clear till I reached the city, while other people about were much robbed and plundered. I have found a place among people who show me much love and kindness . . . Gather us into Heaven of which I am unworthy, but still I have a faith that God will not drive me into the Devil's kingdom with such a host as that which now in this land with murder and robbery destroys many people in many places, and never once thinks how it may stand before God . . . Well is it known what misery, suffering, and danger are about in this land with robbing, plundering, murdering, and burning. Many a man is brought into pain and need, and abused even unto death. Many a beautiful home is destroyed. The clothes are torn from the backs of many people. Cattle and herds are taken away. Much sorrow and complaint have been heard. The beehives are broken down, the wine spilled.”
Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the home life of the early dwellers at German town. Pastorius had no glass, and, therefore, he made windows for his house of oiled paper, and over the door he wrote: “Parva domus, amica bonis, procul este profani,” an inscription which much amused Penn. Willem Streypers in 1685 had two pair of leather breeches, two leather doublets, handkerchiefs, stockings, and a new hat. Bom wrote to Rotterdam Oct. 12th, 1684, “I have here a shop of many kinds of goods, and edibles. Sometimes I ride out with merchandise, and sometimes bring something back, mostly from the Indians, and deal with them in many things. I have no regular servants except one negro, whom I bought. I have no rent or tax or excise to pay. I have a cow which gives plenty of milk, a horse to ride around, my pigs increase rapidly so that in the summer I had seventeen when at first I had only two. I have many chickens and geese, and a garden, and shall next year have an orchard if I remain well, so that my wife and I are in good spirits.” The first to die was Jan Seimens, whose widow was again about to marry in October, 1685. Bom died before 1689, and his daughter Agnes married Anthony Morris, the ancestor of the distinguished family of that name. In 1685 Wigard and Gerhard Levering came from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, a town also far down the Rhine near Holland, which, next to Crefeld, seems to have sent the largest number of emigrants. The following year a fire caused considerable loss, and a little church was built at Germantown. According to Seidensticker it was a Quaker meeting house, and he shows conclusively that before 1692 all of the original thirteen, except Jan Lensen, had in one way or another been associated with the Quakers. In 1687 Arent Klincken arrived from Dalem in Holland, and Jan Streypers wrote: “I intend to come over myself,” which intention he carried into effect before 1706, as at that date he signed a petition for naturalization. All of the original Crefeld purchasers, therefore, came to Pennsylvania sooner or later, except Remke and Sipman. He, however, returned to Europe, where he and Willem had an undivided inheritance at Kaldkirchen, and it was agreed between them that Jan should keep the whole of it, and Willem take the lands here. The latter were 275 acres at Germantown, 50 at Chestnut Hill, 275 at the Trappe, 4448 in Bucks County, together with 50 acres of Liberty Lands and three city lots, the measurement thus considerably overrunning his purchase.
Another arrival of importance was that of Willem Rittinghuysen, a Mennonite minister, who with his two sons, Gerhard and Klaas, and a daughter, who later married Heivert Papen, came from Broich in Holland. His forefathers had long carried on the business of manufacturing paper at Arnheim, and in 1690 he built the first papermill in America on a branch of the Wissahickon Creek. There he made the paper used by William Bradford, the earliest printer in the middle colonies. It appears from a letter in the Mennonite Archives at Amsterdam that he endeavored to have the Confession of Faith translated into English and printed by Bradford, and that he died in 1708 aged sixty-four years. The erection of the paper-mill is likely to keep his memory green for many generations to come, and its value was fully appreciated by his contemporaries. In a Description of Pennsylvania in verse by Richard Frame in 1692 we are told, “A paper-mill near Germantown does stand,” and says the quaint Gabriel Thomas, six years later, “all sorts of very good paper are made in the German town.”
About 1687 came Jan Duplouvys, a Dutch baker, who was married by Friends ceremony to Weyntie Van Sanen in the presence of Telner and Bom, on the 3d of 3 mo. of that year; and Dirck Keyser, a silk merchant of Amsterdam, and a Mennonite, connected by family ties with the leading Mennonites of that city, arrived in Germantown in 1688 by way of New York. If we can rely on tradition the latter was a descendant of that Leonard Keyser who was burned to death at Scharding in 1527, and who, according to Ten Cate, was one of the Waldenses.
There was a rustic murmur in the little burgh that year, which time has shown to have been the echo of the great wave that rolls around the world. The event probably at that time produced no commotion, and attracted little attention. It may well be that the consciousness of having won immortality never dawned upon any of the participants, and yet a mighty nation will ever recognize it in time to come as one of the brightest pages in the early history of Pennsylvania. On the 18th day of April, 1688, Gerhard Hendricks, Dirck Op den Graeff, Francis Daniel Pastorius, and Abraham Op den Graeff sent to the Friends meeting the first public protest ever made on this continent against the holding of slaves. A little rill there started which further on became an immense torrent, and whenever hereafter men trace analytically the causes which led to Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Appomattox they will begin with the tender consciences of the linen weavers and husbandmen of Germantown.
The protest is as follows: —
This is to ye Monthly Meeting held at Rigert Worrells.
These are the reasons why we are against the traffick of mens-body as followeth: Is there any that would be done or handled at this manner? viz. to be sold or made a slave for all the time of his life? How fearfull & faint-hearted are many on sea when they see a strange vassel being afraid it should be a Turck, and they should be tacken and sold for Slaves in Turckey. Now what is this better done as Turcks doe? yea rather is it worse for them, wch say they are Christians for we hear, that ye most part of such Negers are brought heither against their will & consent, and that many of them are stollen. Now tho' they are black, we cannot conceive there is more liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white ones. There is a saying, that we shall doe to all men, licke as we will be done our selves: macking no difference of what generation, descent, or Colour they are. And those who steal or robb men, and those who buy or purchase them, are they not all alicke? Here is liberty of Conscience, wch is right & reasonable, here ought to be lickewise liberty of ye body, except of evildoers, wch is an other case. But to bring men hither, or to robb and sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe there are many oppressed for Conscience sacke; and here there are those oppressed wch are of a black Colour. And we, who know that men must not comitt adultery, some doe comitt adultery in others, separating wifes from their housbands, and giving them to others and some sell the children of those poor Creatures to other men. Oh! doe consider well this things, you who doe it, if you would be done at this manner? and if it is done according Christianity? you surpass Holland & Germany in this thing. This mackes an ill report in all those Countries of Europe, where they hear off, that ye Quackers doe here handel men, Licke they handel there ye Cattle; and for that reason some have no mind or inclination to come hither. And who shall maintaine this your cause or plaid for it? Truely we can not do so except you shall inform us better hereoff, viz. that christians have liberty to practise this things. Pray! What thing in the world can be done worse towarts us then if men should robb or steal us away & sell us for slaves to strange Countries, separating housband from their wife & children. Being now this is not done at that manner we will be done at, therefore we contradict & are against this traffick of men body. And we who profess that it is not lawfull to steal, must lickewise avoid to purchase such things as are stolen, but rather help to stop this robbing and stealing if possibel and such men ought to be delivred out of ye hands of ye Robbers and set free as well as in Europe. Then is Pensilvania to have a good report, in stead it hath now a bad one for this sacke in other Countries. Especially whereas ye Europeans are desirous to know in what manner ye Quackers doe rule in their Province & most of them doe loock upon us with an envious eye. But if this is done well, what shall we say, is don evil?
If once these slaves (wch they say are so wicked and stubbern men) should joint themselves, fight for their freedom and handel their masters & mastrisses, as they did handel them before; will these masters & mastrisses tacke the sword at hand & warr against these poor slaves, licke we are able to belive, some will not refuse to doe? Or have these negers not as much right to fight for their freedom, as you have to keep them slaves?
Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad? and in case you find it to be good to handel these blacks at that manner, we desire & require you hereby lovingly that you may informe us herein, which at this time never was done, viz. that Christians have Liberty to do so, to the end we shall be satisfied in this point, & satisfie lickewise our good friends & acquaintances in our natif Country, to whose it is a terrour or fairfull thing that men should be handeld so in Pensilvania. This was is from our monthly meeting at Germantown hold ye 18 of the 2 month 1688 to be delivred to the monthly meeting at Richard Warrels.
derick op de graeff
Francis daniell Pastorius
Abraham op den graef
Paul Wolff, a weaver from Fendern in Holstein near Hamburg, Jacob Jansen Klumpges, Cornelis Siverts, Hans Millan, Johan Silans, Dirck Van Kolk, Hermann Bom, Hendrick Sellen, Isaac Schaffer, Ennecke Klosterman from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, Jan Doeden. and Andries Souplis. Of these, Siverts was a native of Friesland, the home of Menno Simons. Sellen with his brother Dirck, were Mennonites from Crefeld, and Souplis was admitted as a burgher and denizen of the city of New York Sept. 17th, 1685, with a right to trade anywhere in his majesty's dominions. The origin of the others I have not been able to ascertain. Hendrick Sellen was very active in affairs at Germantown, according to Funk gave the ground for the Mennonite Church there, was a trustee of the church on the Skippack, and in 1698 made a trip to Crefeld, carrying back to the old home many business communications, and we may well suppose many messages of friendship.
On the 14th of January, 1690, two thousand nine hundred and fifty acres north of Germantown were divided into three districts, and called Krisheim, Sommerhausen, from the birth-place of Pastorius, and Crefeld.
An effort at naturalization made in 1691 adds to our list of residents Reynier Hermanns Van Burklow, Peter Klever, Anthony Loof, Paul Kastner, Andris Kramer, Jan Williams, Hermann op de Trap, Hendrick Kassel- berg, from Backersdorf in the county of Brugge, and Klas Jansen. The last two were Mennonites, Jansen being one of the earliest preachers. Op de Trap, or Trapman, as he is sometimes called, appears to have come from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, and was drowned at Philadelphia in 1693 Gisbert Withelms died the year before.
Pastorius served in the Assembly in the years 1687 and 1691, and Abraham Op den Graeff in the years 1689, 1690, and 1692, though they were both still aliens.
The village had now become populous enough to warrant a separate existence, and on May 31st, 1691, a charter of incorporation was issued to Francis Daniel Pastorius, bailiff; Jacob Telner, Dirck Op den Graeff, Hermann Op den Graeff, and Thones Kunders, burgesses; Abraham Op den Graeff, Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber, Johannes Kassel, Heivert Papen, Hermann Bom, and Dirck Van Kolk, committeemen, with power to hold a court and a market, to admit citizens, to impose fines, and to make ordinances. The bailiff and first two burgesses were constituted justices of the peace. The primitive Solons and Lycurguses of Germantown did not want their laws to go unheeded. They were not keen enough to invent that convenient maxim Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. It was, therefore, ordered that “On the 19th of 1st mo. in each year the people shall be called together, and the laws and ordinances read aloud to them.” Oh ye modern legislators! think how few must have been the statutes, and how plain the language in which they were written, in that happy community.
As we have seen, the greater number of the first Crefeld emigrants were weavers. This industry increased so that Frame describes Germantown as a place —
|“||Where lives High German people and Low Dutch|
|Whose trade in weaving linnen cloth is much;|
|There grows the Flax as also you may know|
|That from the same they do divide the tow;”|
and Thomas says they made “very fine German Linen such as no Person of Quality need be ashamed to wear.” When, therefore, Pastorius was called upon to devise a town seal, he selected a clover on one of whose leaves was a vine, on another a stalk of flax, and on the third a weaver's spool, with the motto, “Vinum, Linum, et Textrinum.” This seal happily suggests the relations of the town with the far past, and it is a curious instance of the permanence of causes that these simple people, after the lapse of six centuries, and after being transplanted to a distance of thousands of miles, should still be pursuing the occupation of the Waldenses of Flanders. The corporation was maintained until January 11th, 1707, but always with considerable difficulty in getting the offices filled. Says Löher, “They would do nothing but work and pray, and their mild consciences made them opposed to the swearing of oaths and courts, and would not suffer them to use harsh weapons against thieves and trespassers.” Through conscientious scruples Arent Klincken declined to be burgess in 1695, Heivert Papen in 1701, Cornelis Siverts in 1702, and Paul Engle in 1703; Jan Lensen to be a committeeman in 1701, Arnold Kuster and Daniel Geissler in 1702; Matteus Millan to be constable in 1703; and in 1695 Albertus Brandt was fined for a failure to act as juryman, “having no other escape but that in court in Phila. he was wronged upon the account of a jury.” New-comers were required to pay £1 for the right of citizenship, and the date of the conferment of this right doubtless approximates that of the arrival.
In 1692 culminated the dissensions among the Quakers caused by George Keith, and the commotion extended to the community of Germantown. At a public meeting Keith called Dirck Op den Graeff an “impudent rascal,” and since, as we have seen, the latter was a justice of the peace in the right of his position as a burgess it was looked upon as a flagrant attack upon the majesty of the law. Among those who signed the testimony of the yearly meeting at Burlington 7th of 7th mo. 1692, against Keith were Paul Wolff, Paul Kastner, Francis Daniel Pastorius, Andries Kramer, Dirck Op den Graeff, and Arnold Kassel. The certificate from the Quarterly Meeting at Philadelphia, which Samuel Jennings bore with him to London in 1693, when he went to present the matter before the Yearly Meeting there, was signed by Dirck Op den Graeff, Reynier Tyson, Peter Schumacher, and Caspar Hoedt. Pastorius wrote two pamphlets in the controversy. On the other hand Abraham Op den Graeff, was one of five persons who, with Keith, issued the Appeal, for publishing which Wm. Bradford, the printer, was committed, and a testimony in favor of Keith was signed by Hermann Op den Graeff, Thomas Rutter, Cornelis Siverts, David Scherkes, and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber. The last named furnishes us with another instance of one known to have been a Mennonite acting with the Friends, and Sewel, the Quaker historian, says concerning Keith: “and seeing several Mennonites of the County of Meurs lived also in Penna, it was not much to be wondered that they who count it unlawful for a Christian to bear the sword of the magistracy did stick to him.”
Caspar Hoedt, then a tailor in New York, married there 6th mo. 12th, 1686, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Nicolaes De la Plaine and Susanna Cresson, who were French Huguenots. James De la Plaine, a relative and probably a son of Nicolaes, came to Germantown from New York prior to Aug. 28th, 1692. on which day he was married by Friends ceremony to Hannah Cock. Susanna, a daughter of Nicolaes, became the wife of Arnold Kassel 9th mo. 2d, 1693.
A tax list made by order of the Assembly in 1693 names the following additional residents, viz.: Johannes Pettinger, John Van de Woestyne, and Paulus Kuster. Kuster, a Mennonite, came from Crefeld with his sons Arnold, Johannes, and Hermannus, and his wife Gertrude. She was a sister of Jan and Willem Streypers.
In 1662, twenty years before the landing of Penu, the city of Amsterdam sent a little colony of twenty-five Mennonites to New Netherlands under the leadership of Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy, of Zierik Zee. They were to have power to make rules and laws for their own government, and were to be free from taxes and tenths for twenty years. Each man was loaned a hundred guilders to pay for his transportation. They settled at Horekill, on the Delaware, and there lived on peaceful terms with the Indians. The hand of fate, however, which so kindly sheltered Telner and Pastorius, fell heavily upon their forerunner Plockhoy. An evil day for this colony soon came. When Sir Robert Carr took possession of the Delaware on behalf of the English he sent a boat in 1664 to the Horekill, and his men utterly demolished the settlement, and destroyed and carried ofiPall of the property, " even to a naile." What became of the people has always been a mystery. History throws no light on the subject, and of contemporary documents there are none. In the year 1694 there came an old blind man and his wife to Germantown. His miserable condition awakened the tender sympathies of the Mennonites there. They gave him the citizenship free of charge. They set apart for him at the end street of the village by Peter Klever's corner a lot twelve rods long and one rod broad, whereon to build a little house and make a garden, which should be his as long as he and his wife should live. In front of it they planted a tree. Jan Doeden and Willem Rittinghuysen were appointed to take up “a free will offering,” and to have the little house built. This is all we know, but it is surely a satisfaction to see a ray of sunlight thrown upon the brow of the helpless old man as he neared his grave. After thirty years of untracked wanderings on these wild shores, friends had come across the sea to give him a home at last. His name was Cornelis Plockhoy.
On the 24th of June of the same year Johannes Kelpius, Henry Bernhard Koster, Daniel Falkner, Daniel Lutke, Johannes Seelig, Ludwig Biderman, and about forty other Pietists and Chiliasts arrived in Germantown, and soon after settled on the Wissahickon, where they founded the Society of the “Woman in the Wilderness.” The events in the strange life of Kelpius, the Hermit of the Wissahickon, have been fully told by Seidensticker and Jones. Together with Johannes Jawert and Daniel Falkner he was appointed an attorney for the Frankfort Company in 1700, but he never acted. Falkner had more to do with the affairs at Germantown, being bailiff in 1701, and in Montgomery County Falkner's Swamp still preserves the remembrance of his name. In 1700 he went to Holland, where he published a small volume in German, giving information concerning the province, to which he soon returned.
George Gottschalck from Lindau, Bodensee, Daniel Geissler, Christian Warner, and Martin Sell were in Germantown in 1694, Levin Harberdinck in 1696, and in 1698 Jan Linderman came from Muhlheim on the Ruhr. During the last year the right of citizenship was conferred upon Jan Neuss, a Mennonite and silversmith. Willem Hendricks, Frank Houfer, Paul Engle, whose name is on the oldest marked stone in the Mennonite graveyard on the Skippack under date of 1723, and Reynier Jansen. Though Jansen has since become a man of note, absolutely nothing seems to have been known of his antecedents, and I will, therefore, give in detail such facts as I have been able to ascertain concerning him. On the 21st of May, 1698, Cornelis Siverts, of Germantown, wishing to make some arrangements about land he had inherited in Friesland, sent a power of attorney to Rey- nier Jansen, lace maker at Alkmaer in Holland. It is consequently manifest that Jansen had not then reached this country. On the 23d of April, 1700, Benjamin Furly, of Rotterdam, the agent of Penn at that city, gave a power of attorney to Daniel and Justus Falkner to act for him here. It was of no avail, however, because as appears from a confirmatory letter of July 28th, 1701, a previous power “to my loving friend Reynier Jansen,” lace maker, had not been revoked, though no intimation had ever been received that use had been made of it. It seems then that between the dates of the Siverts and Furly powers Jansen had gone to America. On the 29th of November, 1698, Reynier Jansen, who afterward became the printer, bought of Thomas Tresse 20 acres of Liberty Lands here, and on the 7th of February, 1698-9, the right of citizenship, as has been said, was conferred by the Germantown Court upon Reynier Jansen, lace maker. These events fix with some definiteness the date of his arrival. He must soon afterward have removed to Philadelphia, though retaining his associations with Germantown, because ten months later, Dec. 23d, 1699, he bought of Peter Klever 75 acres in the latter place by a deed in which he is described as a merchant of Philadelphia. This land he as a printer sold to Daniel Qeissler Oct. 20th, 1701. Since the book called “God's protecting providence, etc.,” was printed in 1699 it must have been one of the earliest productions of his press, and the probabilities are that he began to print late in that year. Its appearance indicates an untrained printer, and a meagre font of type. He was the second printer in the middle colonies, and his books are so rare that a single specimen would probably bring at auction now more than the price for which he then sold his whole edition. He left a son, Stephen, in business in Amsterdam, whom he had apportioned there, and brought with him to this country two sons, Tiberius and Joseph, who after the Dutch manner assumed the name Reyniers, and two daughters, Imity, who married Matthias, son of Hans Millan, of Germantown, and Alice, who married John Piggot. His career as a printer was very brief. He died about March 1st, 1706, leaving personal property valued at £226 1s. 8d., among which was included “a p'cell of Books from Wm. Bradford £4 2s. 0d.” We find among the residents in 1699 Heinrich Pannebecker, the first German surveyor in the province, and Evert In den Hoffen from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, with Hermann, Gerhard, Peter, and Annecke, who were doubtless his children, some of whom are buried in the Mennonite graveyard on the Skippack.
Four families, members of the Mennonite Church at Hamburg, Harmen Karsdorp and family, Claes Berends and family, including his father-in-law, Cornelius Claessen, Isaac Van Sintern and family, and Paul Roosen and wife, and two single persons, Heinrich Van Sintern and the widow Trientje Harmens started for Pennsylvania March 5th, 1700, and a few months later at least four of them were here. Isaac Van Sintern was a great-grandson of Jan de Voss, a burgomaster at Hanschooten, in Flanders, about 1550, a genealogy of whose descendants, including many American Mennonites, was prepared in Holland over a hundred years ago. In 1700 also came George Muller and Justus Falkner, a brother of Daniel, and the first Lutheran preacher in the province. Among the residents in 1700 were Isaac Karsdorp and Arnold Van Vossen, Mennonites, Richard Van der Werf, Dirck Jansen, who married Margaret Millan, and Sebastian Bartlesen; in 1701 Heinrich Lorentz and Christopher Schlegel: in 1702 Dirck Jansen, an unmarried man from Bergerland, working for Johannes Kuster, Ludwig Christian Sprogell, a bachelor from Holland, and brother of that John Henry Sprogell, who a few years later brought an ejectment against Pastorius, and feed all the lawyers of the province Marieke Speikerman, Johannes Hebenstock, Philip Christian Zimmerman, Michael Renberg with his sons Dirck and Wilhelm, from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, Peter Bun, Isaac Petersen and Jacob Gerritz Holtzhooven, both from Guelderland in Holland, Heinrich Tibben, Willem Hosters, a Mennonite weaver from Crefeld, Jacob Claessen Arents, from Amsterdam, Jan Krey, Johann Conrad Cotweis, who was an interpreter in New York in 1709, and Jacob Gaetschalck, a Mennonite preacher; and in 1703 Anthony Gerckes, Barnt Hendricks, Hans Heinrich Meels, Simon Andrews, Hermann Dors, and Cornelius Tyson. The last two appear to have come from Crefeld, and over Tyson, who died in 1716, Pastorius erected in Axe's graveyard at Germantown what is, so far as I know, the oldest existing tombstone to the memory of a German in Pennsylvania.
On the 28th of June, 1701, a tax was laid for the building of a prison, erection of a market, and other objects for the public good. As in all communities, the prison preceded the school-house, but the interval was not long. Dec. 30th of that year “it was found good to start a school here in Germantown,” and Arent Klincken, Paul Wollf, and Peter Schumacher, Jr., were appointed overseers to collect subscriptions and arrange with a school teacher. Pastorius was the first pedagogue. As early as January 25th, 1694-5, it was ordered that stocks should be put up for the punishment of evildoers. We might, perhaps, infer that they were little used from the fact that, in June, 1702, James De la Plaine was ordered to remove the old iron from the rotten stocks and take care of it, but alas! Dec. 31st. 1703, we find that “Peter Schumacher and Isaac Schumacher shall arrange with workmen that a prison house and stocks be put up as soon as possible.”
Feb. 10th, 1702-3, Arnold Van Vossen delivered to Jan Neuss on behalf of the Mennonites a deed for three square perches of land for a church, which, however, was not built until six years later.
In 1702 began the settlement on the Skippack. This first outgrowth of Germantown also had its origin at Crefeld, and the history of the Crefeld purchase would not be complete without some reference to it. As we have seen, of the 1000 acres bought by Govert Remke 161 acres were laid out at Germantown. The balance he sold in 1686 to Dirck Sipman. Of Sipman's own purchase of 5000 acres, 588 acres were laid out at Germantown, and all that remained of the 6000 acres he sold in 1698 to Matthias Van Bebber, who, getting in addition, 500 acres allowance, and 415 acres by purchase, had the whole tract of 6166 acres located by patent Feb. 22d, 1702, on the Skippack. It was in the present Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, and adjoined Edward Lane and William Harmer, near what is now the village of Evansburg. For the next half century at least it was known as Bebber's Township, or Bebber's Town, and the name being often met with in the Germantown records has been a source of apparently hopeless confusion to our local historians. Van Bebber immediately began to colonize it, the most of the settlers being Mennonites. Among these settlers were Heinrich Pannebecker, Johannes Kuster, Johannes Umstat, Klas Jansen, and Jan Krey in 1702; John Jacobs in 1704; John Newberry, Thomas Wiseman, Edward Beer, Gerhard and Hermann In de Hoffen, Dirck and William Renberg in 1706; William and Cornelius Dewees, Hermannus Kuster, Christopher Zimmerman, Johannes Scholl, and Daniel Desmond in 1708; Jacob, Johannes, and Martin Kolb, Mennonite weavers from Wolfsheim in the Palatinate, and Andrew Strayer in 1709; Solomon Dubois, from Ulster County, New York, in 1716; Paul Fried in 1727; and in the last year the unsold balance of the tract passed into the hands of Pannebecker. Van Bebber gave 100 acres for a Mennonite church, which was built about 1725, the trustees being Hendrick Sellen, Hermannus Kuster, Klas Jansen, Martin Kolb, Henry Kolb, Jacob Kolb, and Michael Ziegler.
The Van Bebbers were undoubtedly men of standing, ability, enterprise, and means. The father, Jacob Isaacs, moved into Philadelphia before 1698, being described as a merchant in High street, and died there before 1711. Matthias, who is frequently mentioned by James Logan, made a trip to Holland in 1701, witnessing there Benjamin Furly's power of attorney July 28th, and had returned to Philadelphia before April 13th, 1702. He remained in that city until 1704, when he and his elder brother, Isaac Jacobs, accompanied by Reynier Hermanns Van Burklow, a son-in-law of Peter Schumacher, and possibly others, removed to Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, Maryland. There he was a justice of the peace, and is described in the deeds as a merchant and a gentleman. Their descendants, like many others, soon fell away from the simple habits and strict creed of their fathers; the Van Bebbers of Maryland have been distinguished in all the wars and at the bar; and at the Falls of the Kanawha, Van Bebber's rock, a crag jutting out at a great height over the river, still preserves the memory and recalls the exploits of one of the most daring Indian fighters in Western Virginia.
I have now gone over two decades of the earliest history of Germantown. It has been my effort to give the names of all those who arrived within that time, and as fully as could be ascertained the dates of their arrival and the places from which they came, believing that in this way the most satisfactory information will be conveyed to those interested in them as individuals, and the clearest light thrown on the character of the emigration. The facts so collected and grouped seem to me to warrant the conclusion I have formed that Germantown was substantially a settlement of people from the lower Rhine regions of Germany and from Holland, and that in the main they were the offspring of that Christian sect, which, more than any other, has been a wanderer, which, endeavoring to carry the injunctions of the New Testament into the affairs of daily life, had no defence against almost incredible persecutions except flight, and which to-day is sending thousands of its followers to the Mississippi and the far West after they have in a vain quest traversed Europe from the Rhine to the Volga.
- From the Latin of Francis Daniel Pastorius in the Germantown Records, 1688, first published by Prof. Oswald Seidensticker.
- Jones's notes to Thomas's History of Printing, vol. i. p. 21.
- The lack of knowledge concerning the Germans amounts at times almost to obtuseness. Dr. William Smith wrote in 1753 a letter, recently printed, in which he said they were in danger of “sinking into barbarian ignorance,” while in another sentence he complained with the utmost naiveté that “they import many foreign books, and in Penna. have their printing houses and their newspapers.” The editor of the Magazine of American History lately gave space to a controversy as to whether Collin's Bible or Thomas's Bible, both printed in 1791, was the “First great Quarto Bible in America,” apparently unaware that Saur was a half century earlier.
- Jefferson's Notes on Virginia.
Mr. Lawrence Lewis has suggested that under the system of
double dating between Jan. 1st and March 25th, which then prevailed,
it is probable that the date was March 10th, 1682-3. The evidence
pro and con is strong and conflicting. The facts in favor of 1682-3
are mainly —
1. It is manifest from an examination of the patents that the custom was, whenever a single date, as 1682, was mentioned within those limits, the latter date, 1682-3, was meant.
2. A deed to Telner, dated June 2d, 1683 (Ex. Rec. 8, p. 655), recites as follows: “Whereas the said William Penn by indentures of lease and release, bearing date the ninth and tenth days of the month called March for the consideration therein mentioned, etc.” The presumption is that the March referred to is the one immediately preceding.
3. The lease and release to Telner March 9th and 10th, 1682, and several deeds of June, 1683, are all recited to have been in the 35th year of the reign of Charles II. It is evident that March 10th, 1681-2, and June, 1683, could not both have been within the same year.
This would be enough to decide the matter if the facts in favor of 1681-2 were not equally conclusive. They are —
1. It is probable, a priori, and from the German names of the witnesses that the deeds to the Crefelders, except that to Telner, were dated and delivered by Benj. Furly, Penn's agent at Rotterdam for the sale of lands. In both Holland and Germany the present system of dating had been in use for over a century.
2. A patent (Ex. Rec. vol. i. p. 462) recites as follows: “Whereas by my indentures of lease and release dated the 9 and 10 days of March Anno 1682 . . . . and whereas by my indentures dated the first day of April, and year aforesaid, I remised and released to the same Dirck Sipman the yearly rent. . . .” The year aforesaid was 1682, and if the quit rent was released April 1st, 1682, the conveyance to Sipman must have been earlier. If on the 25th of March another year, 1683, had intervened, the word aforesaid could not have been correctly used. This construction is strengthened by the fact that the release of quit rent to Streypers, which took place April 1st, 1683, is recited in another patent (Ex. Rec. 1, p. 686) as follows: “Of which said sum or yearly rent by an indenture bearing date the first day of April for the consideration therein mentioned in the year 1683 I remised and released.”
3. The lease and release to Telner on March 9th and 10th, 1682, are signed by William Penn, witnessed by Herbert Springett, Thomas Coxe, and Seth Craske, and purport to have been executed in England. An Op den Graeff deed in Germantown book recites that they were executed at London. Now in March, 1681-2, Penn was in England, but in March, 1682-3, he was in Philadelphia.
4. Pastorius says that Penn at first declined to give the Frankfort Co. city lots, because they had made their purchase after he (Penn) had left England and the books had been closed, and that a special arrangement was made to satisfy them. Penn left England Sept. 1st, 1682. The deeds show that the Crefelders received their city lots.
- Hazard's Register, vol. vi. p. 183.
- Pastorius MS. in the Historical Society of Pa.
- The power of attorney says, “und desswegen in Kraffts dess den 12 Novembris, 1686, beliebten brieffes eine Societat geschlossen.” Both the original agreement and the letter of attorney, with their autographs and seals, are in my possession.
- Dutch deed from Sipman to Peter Schumacher in the Germantown Book in the Recorder's office.
- Streper MSS. in the Historical Society. The marriage certificate belongs to Dr. J. H. Conrad.
- Letter-book of James Claypoole in the Historical Society.
- Christian Pastorius, a citizen of Warburg, was the father of
Martin Pastorius, assessor of the court at Erfurt, who married
Brigitta, daughter of Christian Flinsberger of Muhlhausen. Their
son, Melchior Adam, was born at Erfurt, Sept. 21st, 1624, and
educated at the University of Wuertzburg. He studied both law and
theology, and having married Magdalena, daughter of Stephen Dietz
and of Margaretha Fischer, and having been converted to the
protestant faith, he settled at Windsheim, where he held several offices,
and finally became elder burgomaster and judge. Francis Daniel
Pastorius, the son of Melchior and Magdalena, was born at
Somerhausen, Sept. 26th, 1651. When he was seven years old his father
removed to Windsheim, and there he was sent to school. Later he
spent two years at the University of Strasburg, in 1672 went to
the high school at Basle, and afterwards studied law at Jena. He
was thoroughly familiar with the Greek, Latin, German, French,
Dutch, English, and Italian tongues, and at the age of twenty-two
publicly disputed in different languages upon law and philosophy.
On the 24th of April, 1679, he went to Frankfort, and there began
the practice of law; but in June, 1680, he started with Johan
Bonaventura Von Rodeck, “a noble young spark,” on a tour through
Holland, England, France, Switzerland, and Germany, which
occupied over two years. On his return to Frankfort in November,
1682, he heard from his friends the Pietists of the contemplated
emigration to Pennsylvania, and with a sudden enthusiasm he
determined to join them, or in his own words, “a strong desire came
upon me to cross the seas with them, and there, after having seen
and experienced too much of European idleness, to lead with them
a quiet and Christian life.” He immediately began his preparations
by writing to his father to ask his consent and obtain some
funds, and by sending his books to his brother. He sailed from
London June 10th, 1683, and arrived in Philadelphia August 20th.
His great learning and social position at home made him the most
conspicuous person at Germantown. He married Nov. 26th, 1688,
Ennecke Klosterman, and had two sons, John Samuel and Henry.
He describes himself as “of a Melancholy Cholerick Complexion,
and, therefore (juxta Culpepper, p. 194), gentle, given to Sobriety,
Solitary, Studious, doubtful, Shamefaced, timorous, pensive,
constant and true in actions, of a slow wit, with, obliviousness, &c.,
If any does him wrong.
He can't remember't long.”
From his father and other relations he received altogether 1263 Reichsthaler, of which he says, “Tot pereunt cum tempore Nummi.” He wrote punning poems in various languages, and a host of books, of which a few were printed, and many have been lost. The following letter is characteristic: —
“Dear Children John Samuel and Henry Pastorius: Though you are (Gernano sanguine nati) of high Dutch Parents, yet remember that your father was Naturalized, and ye born in an English Colony, Consequently each of you Anglus Natus an Englishman by Birth. Therefore, it would be a shame for you if you should be ignorant of the English Tongue, the Tongue of your Countrymen; but that you may learn the better I have left a Book for you both, and commend the same to your reiterated perusal. If you should not get much of ye Latin, nevertheless read ye the English part oftentimes OVER AND OVER AND OVER. And I assure you that Semper aliquid hœrebit. For the Dripping of the house-eaves in Time maketh a hole in an hard stone. Non vi sed sæpe cadendo, and it is very bad Cloath that by often dipping will take no Colour.
Lectio lecta placet, decies repetita placebit
Quod Natura negat vobis Industria præstet. — F. D. P.”
Israel Pemberton, a pupil fourteen years old, on whom he had used the rod, wrote concerning him 13th of 6th mo. 1698: “The first time I saw him I told my father that I thought he would prove an angry master. He asked me why so: I told him I thought so by his nose, for which he called me a prating boy.”
He died Sept. 27th, 1719.
- Pastorius MS. cited by Seidensticker in the Deutsche Pionier, vol. ii., p. 142.
- Letter Book of James Claypoole.
- Hallesche Nachrichten, p. 665.
Geschiedkundig Onderzoek naar den Waldenzischen oorsprong
van de Nederlandsche Doopegezinden. Amsterdam, 1844.
A nearly contemporary authority, which seems to have escaped the observation of European investigators, is “De vitis, sectis, et dogmatibus omnium Hæreticorum, &c., per Gabrielem Prateolum Marcossium,” published at Cologne in 1583, which says, p. 25: “Est perniciosior etiam tertia quæ quoniam a Catholocis legitime baptizatos rebaptizat, Anabaptistorum secta vocatur. De quo genere videntur etiam fuisse fratres Vualdenses; quos et ipsos non ita pridem rebaptizasse constat, quamnis eorum nonnulli, nuper adeo, sicut ipsi in Apologia sua testantur, iterare Baptismum desierint; in multis tamen eos cum Anabaptistis conuenire certum est.”
- Ten Cate's Onderzoek, p. 42.
- Catrou's Histoire des Anabaptistes, p. 462.
- Nippold's Life of David Joris. Roosen's Menno Simons, p. 32.
- Barclay's Religious Societies of the Commonwealth, pp. 78, 676; Menno's “Exhortation to all in Authority,” in his works. Funk's edition, vol. i. p. 75; vol. ii. p. 303.
- Matthew xxvi. 52.
- Matthew v. 32 to 37.
- John xiii. 4, 17; I. Timothy v. 10.
- Matthew xviii. 17; I. Corinthians v. 9, 11; II. Thes. iii. 14.
- Says Catrou, p. 259, “On ne peut disconvenir que des sectes de la sorte n'ayent eté remplies d'assez bonnes gens et assez reglées pour les moeurs.” And page 103, “Leurs invectives contre le luxe, contre l'yvrognerie, et contre incontinence avoient je ne scai quoi de pathetique.”
- Life of Gerhard Roosen, p. 9.
- Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, etc., Ten Cate, p. 72
- Van Braght's Blutige Schauplatz oder Martyrer Spiegel. — Ephrata, 1748, vol. ii. p. 632.
- Van Braght, vol. ii. p. 468.
- A copy of the proclamation may be seen in Ten Cate's Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland, etc., p. 63.
- Life of Gerhard Roosen, p. 5. Reiswitz und Waldzeck, p. 19.
- Barclay's Religious Societies, pp. 72, 73, 95.
- The preface to that Confession, Amsterdam, 1686, says: “Ter cause, also daer eenige Engelsche uyt Engeland gevlucht ware, om de vryheyd der Religie alhier te genieten, en alsoo sy een schriftelijcke confessie (van de voornoemde) hebben begeert, want veele van hare gheselschap inde Duytsche Tale onervaren zijnde, het selfde niet en konde verstaen, ende als dan konde de ghene die de Tale beyde verstonde de andere onderrechten, het welche oock niet onvruchtbaer en is ghebleven, want na overlegh der saecke zijn sy met de voernoemde Gemeente vereenight.”
- P. 77.
- Penn Logan Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 354.
- Works of Thomas Chalkley, Phila. 1749, p. 70.
- William Ames, an accession to Quakerism from the Baptists, was the first to go to Holland and Germany, and it was he who made the converts in Amsterdam and Krisheim.
- Sewel and Gerhard Croese.
- Sewel, Barclay, Seidensticker.
- Life of Gerhard Roosen, p. 66.
- Story's Journal, p. 490.
- This rare and valuable pamphlet is in the library of A. H. Cassel.
- In this connection the statement of Hortensius in his Histoire des Anabaptistes, Paris, 1695, is interesting. He says in the preface: “Car cette sorte de gens qu'on appelle aujourd hui Mennonites ou Anabaptistes en Holande et ceux qui sont connus en Angleterre sous le nom de Koakres ou Trembleurs, qui sont partagés en plus de cent sorter de Sectes, ne peuvent point conter d'autre origine que celle des Anabaptistes de Munster quoi qu'a present ils se tiennent beaucoup plus en repos, et qu'ils n'ayent aucune ambition pour le gouvernoment ou l'administiation des affaires temporelles, et mesme que le port ou l'usage de toute sortes d'armes soit entierement defendu parmi eux.”
- Johann Remke was the Mennonite preacher at Crefeld in 1752.
- Scheuten genealogy in the possession of Miss Elizabeth Muller, of Crefeld. I am indebted for extracts from this valuable MS., which begins with the year 1562, to Frederick Muller, the celebrated antiquary and bibliophile of Amsterdam.
- The Bible now belongs to Adam Lukens, of North Wales, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania.
- P. 60.
- Mennonite Family Almanac for 1875.
- History of Berks County, p. 423.
- Geschichte der Gemeinde Gottes, p. 55.
- Hazard's Register, vol. vi. 198.
- Deeds, Streper MSS.
- Claypoole letter-book.
- Exemplification Record, vol. i. p. 51. It is also said that Heinrich Fray was here before the landing of Penn.
- Seidensticker's Pastorius in the Deutsche Pioneer, vol. ii. p. 176.
- Streper MSS.
- Two letters in Dutch from Bom and Telner to Jan Laurens were printed in Rotterdam, in 1685. The only known copy is in the Moravian Archives at Bethlehem.
- Penn Logan Correspondence, vol. i. p. 189.
- Smith's History, Hazard's Register, vol. vi. p. 309. Smith adopts him as a Friend, but in his own letter of 1709, written while he was living among the Quakers in England, he calls himself a Mennonite.
- The Treatise is described by Pastorius in the enumeration of his library. MS. Hist. Society.
- A true Account of the Sence and Advice of the People called Quakers.
- Dr. Scheffer's paper in the Penn'a Magazine, vol. ii. p. 122.
- Exemp. Record, vol. vii. p. 208.
- Exemp. Record, vol. viii. p. 360.
- Among his descendants was Henry Armitt Brown, the orator. The Bockenogens were Mennonite weavers, who fled to Haarlem because of persecution about 1578.
- He brought over with him the family Bible of his father, Nicholas Umstat, which I have inherited through his daughter Eve.
- See his deed in Dutch in the Germantown book.
- Deed book E 4, vol. 7, p. 180.
- He married Sarah, only daughter of Gerhard Hendricks. Their son Benjamin, and their grandson Samuel, were successively Mayors of Philadelphia, and a great-granddaughter was the wife of William Rawle. I am indebted for some of these facts to the kindness of W. Brooke Rawle, Esq.
- I am indebted for this and other information to Herr Johannes Pfannebecker Greheimer Regierungs Rath (of Germany), living in Worms, who, at the request of Dr. Seidensticker and myself, made an investigation at Krisheim.
- These papers also belong to A. H. Cassel, his descendant.
- Pastorius' Beschreibung, Leipsic, 1700, p. 23, Streper MSS.
- Ashmead MSS.
- Jones' Levering Family.
- Jan Streypers and his son-in-law, H. J. Van Aaken, met Penn at Wesel in 1686, and brought him from that place to Crefeld. Van Aaken seems to have been a Quaker Sept. 30th, 1699, on which day he wrote to Penn: “I understand that Derick Sypman uses for his Servis to you, our Magistrates at Meurs, which Magistrates offers their Service to you again. So it would be well that you Did Kyndly Desire them that they would Leave out of the high Dutch proclomation which is yearly published throughout ye County of Meurs & at ye Court House at Crevel, that ye Quakers should have no meeting upon penalty, & in Case you ffinde freedom to Desire ye sd Magistrates at Meurs that they may petition our King William (as under whose name the sd proclomation is given forth) to leave out ye word Quackers & to grant Leberty of Counsience, & if they should not optaine ye same from the said King, that then you would be Constrained for the truth's Sake to Request our King William for the annulling of ye sd proclomation Concerning the quackers, yor answer to this p. next shall greatly oblige me, Especially if you would write to me in the Dutch or German tongue, god almayghty preserve you and yor wife In soule and body. I myself have some thoughts to Come to you but by heavy burden of 8 Children, &c., I can hardly move, as also that I want bodyly Capacity to Clear Lands and ffall trees, as also money to undertake something Ells.” An English translation of this letter in the handwriting of Matthias Van Bebber is in the collection of Dr. W. Kent Gilbert.
- Jones's Notes to Thomas on Printing. Barton's Life of David Rittenhouse. Penn. Magazine, vol. ii. p. 120. The Mennonites had their Confession of Faith printed in English in Amsterdam in 1712, and a reprint by Andrew Bradford in 1727, with an appendix, is the first book printed in Pennsylvania for the Germans.
- See Pennypacker Reunion, p. 13.
- The Friends at Germantown, through William Kite, have
recently had a fac-simile copy of this protest made. Care has been
taken to give it here exactly as it is in the original, as to language,
orthography, and punctuation. The disposition which was made of
it appears from these notes from the Friends records: “At our
monthly meeting at Dublin ye 30 2 mo. 1688, we having inspected
ye matter above mentioned & considered it we finde it so weighty
that we think it not Expedient for us to meddle with it here, but
do Rather comitt it to ye consideration of ye Quarterly meeting,
ye tennor of it being nearly Related to ye truth, on behalfe of ye
monthly meeting. signed, pr. Jo. Hart.”
“This above mentioned was Read in our Quarterly meeting at
Philadelphia the 4 of ye 4 mo. '88, and was from thence
recommended to the Yearly Meeting, and the above-said Derick and
the other two mentioned therein, to present the same to ye above-said
meeting, it being a thing of too great a weight for this meeting
Signed by order of ye Meeting,
At the yearly meeting held at Burlington the 5 day of 7 mo.
1688. “A paper being here presented by some German Friends
Concerning the Lawfulness and Unlawfulness of buying and Keeping
of Negroes, It was adjudged not to be so proper for this Meeting
to give a Positive Judgment in the case, It having so General a
Relation to many other Parts, and, therefore, at present they
The handwriting of the original appears to be that of Pastorius.
An effort has been made to take from the Quakers the credit of this
important document, but the evidence that those who sent and those
who received it regarded each other as being members of the same
religious society seems to me conclusive.
- Raths Buch.
- Penna. Archives, vol. i. p. 111.
- Raths Buch
- Raths Buch and Court Record.
- The titles of these hitherto unknown pamphlets are: —
I. “Ein Send Brieff Offenhertziger Liebsbezeugung an die so genannte Pietisten in Hoch Teutschland.
Zu Amsterdam Gedruckt vor Jacob Okius buchhaendler, 1697.”
II. Henry Bernhard Koster, William Davis, Thomas Rutter, and Thomas Bowyer, four Boasting Disputers of this World, Rebuked and Answered according to their Folly, which they themselves have manifested in a late pamphlet, entitled Advice for all Professors and Writers. — William Bradford, New York, 1697.
- Potts Memorial, p. 394.
- Notes of Walter Cresson.
- Raths Buch. Brodhead's History of New York, vol. i. p. 688.
- Curieuse Nachricht von Pensylvania in Norden-America von Daniel Falknern, Professore &c., Franckfurt und Leipzig, 1702.
- Penn bought from him in 1704 a half-dozen silver spoons, which he presented to the children of Isaac Norris, while on a visit to the latter. — See Journal.
- Raths Buch. Exemp. Record, vol. vi. p. 235. Deed Book E 7, p. 560. Germantown Book, pp. 187, 188. Will Book C, p. 22.
- Mennonitische Blatter, Hamburg.
- “One Herman Dorst near Germantown, a Batchelor past 80 Years of Age, who for a long time lived in a House by himself, on the 14th Instant there dyed by himself.” — American Weekly Mercury, October 18th, 1739.
- It bears the following inscription:
“ Obijt Meiy 9 1716 Cornelis Tiesen Salic sin de doon Die in den Here sterve Theilric is haer Kroon Tgloriric haer erve.”
- Raths Buch.
- Exemp. Record, vol. i. p. 470.
- He had three grandsons named Jacob, one of whom was doubtless the Jacob Van Bebber who became Judge of the Supreme Court of Delaware Nov. 27th, 1764.
- Says Löher in his Geschichte und Zustände der Deutschen in Amerika, p. 35, “As the true pilgrims upon earth going from place to place in the hope to find quiet and rest appear the Mennonites. They were the most important among the German pioneers in North America.”
- In the compilation of this article I have been especially indebted to Dr. J. G. De Hoop Scheffer, of the College at Amsterdam, for European researches, to Prof. Oswald Seidensticker, of the University of Pennsylvania, whose careful investigations I have used freely, and to Abraham H. Cassel, of Harleysville, Pa., whose valuable library, it is, perhaps, not too much to say, is the only place in which the history of the Germans of Pennsylvania can be found. In giving the orthography of proper names I have, as far as practicable, followed autographs.