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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/852

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834
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

character may be inferred from the fact that he performed the responsible duties of a treasurer general for the Moravian Church in America. The mother of Lewis was Dorothea Elizabeth, daughter of Baron (afterward Bishop) John de Watteville, and Benigna, daughter of Lewis Nicholas, Count Zinzendorf. It was to Zinzendorf and Watteville that the renewal and resuscitation of the ancient church of the Unitas Fratrum, or Moravian Brethren, in the eighteenth century was mainly due. In 1733 two families of the Brethren crossed the frontier of Moravia by night and made their way to the estate of Count Zinzendorf in Saxony. Here they were joined by others, and in a few years the town of Herrnhut was built by the colonists. Zinzendorf took an interest in this settlement from the start, became a bishop in the church, and devoted his life to its service. The efforts of the Brethren were early turned toward foreign missions, and it was in furtherance of mission work that Zinzendorf and Watteville came to America and founded the first Moravian settlements in this country.

Being so closely connected with the re-founders of an ancient denomination, the parents of Lewis naturally looked forward to his becoming an able promoter of the interests of their church. He was their eldest son, of a decidedly intellectual temperament and an enthusiastic disposition, and when in early boyhood he developed the habit of addressing short speeches and little sermons to the family circle, his future seemed to be definitely marked out.

When a little more than seven years old, Lewis was placed in the acaderny of the Moravian community at Nazareth Hall, where he remained eleven years. Young Lewis received his first impulse toward scientific study when on a visit to this school with his grandfather. Bishop de Watteville, before he entered it as a pupil. Seeing a specimen of the Lichen digitatus lying on a table, the child examined it with interest, and was told its name and something about its physiology. From that moment he was wont to date his interest in the vegetable kingdom. After entering the school he received some instruction in the elements of botany. A partial flora of Nazareth and vicinity, made while he was at this institution, which remained among his manuscripts at his death, is evidence that this study took immediate hold upon the mind of the youth. During his school days his powers of language and his vein of satirical humor were occasionally manifested in poetical effusions. While still a pupil and not yet eighteen years of age he assisted in teaching some of the younger classes. Lewis had three brothers, none of whom ever turned to scientific pursuits, and two sisters.

In 1798 Hans von Schweinitz was called to Germany and took