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H IRartative anb Critical Ibistori? 






publication Committee. 


(Bosbenboppen TRefotmeb Cbarge 

fiDontGomeri? County, ipennsiPlvania 

Part XXIX of a Narrative and Critical History 


THE Pennsylvania-German Society 


Professor of Semitic Languages and Religions in Auburn Theological Seminary, 
Auburn, New York 


Copyrighted 1920 


lpcnn6iBlvania=(5ecman Society. 





Reformed Church History in this country has long been 
a subject of study. It is interesting to note that the first 
printed history of the Reformed Church in the United 
States was published not in America but in Germany. In 
the year 1846, the Rev. Dr. J. G. Buettner, the first pro- 
fessor of the first Theological Seminary in the State of 
Ohio, published " Die Hochdeutsche Reformirte Kirche in 
den Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-Amerika," in Schleiz, 
Germany. But even before that time, the Rev. Dr. Lewis 
Mayer, the first professor of the Reformed Theological 
Seminary at York, Pa., had been busy gathering materials 
for the history of the Reformed Church. Unfortunately 
he died at York, in 1849, before he had fully utilized the 
documents he had so carefully collected and copied. Only 
a brief sketch from his pen appeared in I. Daniel Rupp's 
" History of the Religious Denominations in the United 
States," Philadelphia, 1844. A few years afterwards the 
Rev. Dr. John W. Nevin included a sketch of the German 
Reformed Church in America in his " History and Genius 
of the Heidelberg Catechism," Chambersburg, 1847. ^^ 
it he lamented that the Journal of Michael Schlatter was 
" the only record we have on the general state of the 
American German Reformed Church in the middle of the 
last century." 

In 1849, the Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff published in his 
" Kirchenfreund," Vol. II, a series of three articles on the 
" History of the German Church in America," in which he 
traced the origin and growth of the Reformed and Lu- 
theran churches through three successive periods. 

vi Preface. 

But the man who may well be called the father of Re- 
formed history in America was the Rev. Dr. Henry Har- 
baugh. He not only secured the manuscripts and docu- 
ments of Dr. Mayer for the use of the church and added 
to them many others which he collected himself, but upon 
the basis of these documents he wrote two splendid vol- 
umes, which told the story of Reformed history in 
America with such real enthusiasm and beauty of style^ 
that they have always remained sources of inspiration for 
later students. They were: "Schlatter's Life and Trav- 
els," Philadelphia, 1857, and "The Fathers of the Re- 
formed Church," Vol. I, Philadelphia, 1857. In 1872, 
Dr. Harbaugh added a second volume to the " Fathers" 
of the church. In these volumes the lives and labors of 
the most important German Reformed ministers in Amer- 
ica were set forth. 

It remained for a former president of the Pennsylvania 
German Society, the late Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Dubbs, to 
write the first connected history in his " Historic Manual 
of the Reformed Church in the United States," Lancaster, 
1885. Later he corrected and completed the story in his 
contribution to the "American Church History Series," 
Vol. VIII, New York, 1895, and especially in his beauti- 
fully illustrated and well-written work "The Reformed 
Church in Pennsylvania," published by our Society in 1902 
as part IX of its "Narrative and Critical History." 

A new era was ushered in, however, in 1 895-1 898, 
when the rich treasures of manuscripts and documents, 
stored in the archives of the Reformed Church of Holland, 
were discovered and made accessible to American students. 
It was in this connection that the writer first became inter- 
ested in Reformed Church history. In the summer of 
1897, his friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. James I. 

Preface. vii 

Good, asked him to go to Holland, in order to copy and 
photograph the records which had been found. He car- 
ried out this commission in the summers of 1897 and 1898, 
with the result that, on the basis of the newly found docu- 
ments, the history of the Reformed Church in the United 
States could be entirely rewritten. This was done by Dr. 
Good in his important book " History of the Reformed 
Church in the United States, 1725-1792," Reading, 1899. 

The writer himself had the privilege of translating and 
editing two volumes of documents, in 1903 the " Minutes 
and Letters of the Coetus of Pennsylvania," and in 19 16 
the "Life and Letters of the Rev. John Philip Boehm." 
They have placed German Reformed Church History in 
America upon a safe foundation. 

But there are other sources of Reformed history which 
ought to be made accessible to students. By no means the 
least important of them are the church records of the 
oldest Reformed congregations. This volume may be re- 
garded as a contribution to that subject. These church 
records have long been an object of serious study by the 
writer. Even before the year 1900 he had copied the first 
volume of the Goshenhoppen records. It was published 
in 1900 in Mr. Dotterer's " Perkiomen Region," volume 
III, and later, with notes, in the American Monthly Maga- 
zine of the Society of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution, Vol. XLII, 19 13. It is now republished, 
with some corrections, together with the other volumes of 
church records, which, when combined and correctly inter- 
preted, tell the story of the Goshenhoppen Charge. It is 
such a complicated story, that the records by themselves 
were insufficient to unravel the various difficulties and per- 
plexities. They became intelligible only when studied in 
the light of all the evidence which had become available in 

viii Preface. 

Europe and America. In the history of the Goshenhop- 
pen churches the writer has made use of all the documents 
which have come to light, with the result that he has been 
able to piece together a fairly complete and well-authenti- 
cated history. The manuscript was prepared in 19 14, 
hence many letters of Boehm are quoted more at length 
than they would have been if written after the appearance 
of Boehm's letters in 19 16. 

There only remains for the writer the pleasant duty to 
express his deep obligation to the pastors of the churches 
whose records are published in this volume. They placed 
most readily and gladly all their records and other his- 
torical documents at his disposal. They answered letters 
and sent photographs, most of which could unfortunately 
not be utilized, because of the high cost of engraving at 
the present time. The completeness of the book owes 
much to their kind cooperation. The writer is under spe- 
cial obligation to his dear friend, the Rev. John B. Stoudt, 
who first encouraged him to undertake the writing of this 
history, and then gave his most loyal assistance in every 
difficulty that arose. To him the book is most fittingly 
dedicated as a token of the author's indebtedness and 

William J. Hinke. 


October 15, 1919. 


Introduction 5-18 

The Goshenhoppen Region — Its Extent — Its First Appearance — 
Forms of the Name — Old and New Goshenhoppen — First Immi- 
gration in 1710 — The Rev. Paulus Van Vlecq — The Reformed 
Church at Whitemarsh — Its First Members — First Reformed Set- 
tlers in Perkiomen Valley — Immigration about 1720 — The Rev. 
John Philip Boehm — His First Churches — Earliest Reformed Set- 
tlers in Goshenhoppen — Indian Legend. 


Ministry of the Rev. George Michael Weiss, 1727- 
1730 19-70 

First Service of Weiss at Goshenhoppen — Peter Miller's Refer- 
ence to Weiss — Weiss at Heidelberg University — ^The Weiss 
Family at Eppingen — Arrival of the Ship William and Sarah — 
Captain's List of Passengers — Signers of Oath of Allegiance — 
Weiss the Leader of the Colony — Certificate of Weiss's Ordina- 
tion — John Philip Boehm in the Perkiomen Valley — Opposition of 
Weiss to Boehm — Mr. Andrews on Weiss — Ordination of Boehm — 
Weiss at Goshenhoppen — Book against Newborn — Book on Indians 
— Condition of Reformed people at Philadelphia — Weiss adver- 
tising for Pupils — Collecting Tour of Weiss and Reiff to Holland 
— Its Origin — Its Object — Reiff's Account of Tour — Power of 
Attorney given to Reiff — Letter of Skippack Church — Weiss and 
Reiff in Holland — Expenses of Tour — The First Printed Report on 
Reformed Church of Pennsylvania — Departure of Weiss from 

Ministry of the Rev. John Peter Miller, i 730-1 734. 71-95 

His Matriculation in Heidelberg University — His Life in Ger- 
many — His Father — His Arrival in Pennsylvania — His Meeting 
with Boehm — His Activity at Skippack and Philadelphia — His 

X Table of Contents. 

Ordination by the Presbyterians — His Pastorate at Goshenhoppen 
— In the Conestoga Valley — Letter of Conrad Tempelman — Pastor 
at Muddy Creek, Reyer's, Zeltenreich and Cocalico — His Activity 
at Tulpehocken — The Three Reformed Churches in the Goshen- 
hoppen Region — His Conversion in May, 1735 — Provost Acrelius 
regarding Miller — Miller and Conrad Weiser — Miller's Own Ac- 
count of his Conversion — Boehm's Account of Goshenhoppen in 
1734 — Miller's Death and Tombstone. 

Ministry of John Henry Goetschy, i 735-1 740 96-130 

Arrival in Philadelphia — Rev. Maurice Goetschy — Departure 
of Colony from Zurich — Journey down the Rhine — Their Expe- 
riences in Holland — Emigrants in Goetschy's Colony — Letter of 
John Henry Goetschy — Application to Presbyterians for Ordina- 
tion — Activity at Old Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp — Boehm 
regarding New Goshenhoppen — Boehm regarding Goetschy — 
Goetschy's Missionary Activity — Goetschy Circulating Letter of 
Wilhelmius — The Goshenhoppen Churches Subscribing for Pas- 
tor's Salary — Ordination of Goetschy by Dorsius in 1741 — 
Goetschy's Activity in Dutch Reformed Church — His Death in 

Ministry of the Rev. Peter Henry Dorsius, 1741- 
1744 131-148 

The Dutch Reformed in Bucks County seeking Pastor in 1730 — 
Wilhelmius Secures Dorsius — His Studies in Holland — His Family 
at Moers — His Journey to America — Boehm and Dorsius — His 
Activity at Goshenhoppen — His Journey to Holland and Return to 
Pennsylvania — Boehm's Account of Goshenhoppen in 1744 — Decla- 
ration of Trust by Elders — Return of Dorsius to Holland. 


Ministry of Frederick Casimir Mueller, i 745-1 748. 149-157 

Schlatter regarding Mueller at Goshenhoppen — Arrival of Mueller 
in Pennsylvania — Schlatter and Weiss at Goshenhoppen — Letter of 
Mueller to Schlatter — Departure of Mueller from Goshenhoppen — 
His Ministry at Berne — At Longswamp — At Muddy Creek — At 
Coventry — At Hain's Church — At Lebanon and Swatara — Muel- 
ler's Doubles. 

Table of Contents. xi 


Ministry of the Rev. George Michael Weiss, 1746- 
1761 158-192 

Weiss in New York State — His Return to Pennsylvania — Weiss 
in the Coetus — Schlatter regarding Weiss — Letter of Weiss to 
Schlatter — Debt on Old Goshenhoppen Church Paid — Events of 
the Year 1750 at Goshenhoppen — Church Farm at New Goshen- 
hoppen — Weiss Welcoming Schlatter and Six New Ministers — 
Schlatter Bibles Distributed — 'Division in Coetus — Donations from 
Holland — Congregational Activity — Subscriptions for Church Land 
at Great Swamp — Disposal of Mr. Weiss's Property — Inventory 
and Account of His Estate — Will of Mrs. Anna Weiss — Letters of 
David Schultze. 


The Period of Supplies, 1762-1766 193-214 

Otterbein Called but Declines — (i) Ministry of John Philip 
Leydich — His Pastorates — His Activity in the Coetus — His Home 
— His Death — (2) Ministry of Philip Jacob Michael — His Arrival 
in Pennsylvania — His Pastorates — His Appearance Before Coetus 
— Chaplain in the War of the Revolution — His Activity After the 
War — His Will — (3) Ministry of Jacob Riess — His Arrival in 
Philadelphia — His Pastorates — His Activitj' at Goshenhoppen — 
His Death — (4) Ministry of John Rudolph Kittweiler — His Arri- 
val — His Pastorates — His Activity and Death at Great Swamp — 
Patent for Great Swamp Church Land. 


Ministry of the Rev. John Theobald Faber, Sr,, 1766- 
1779 215-223 

His Birth and Training in Germany — His Certificate from 
Palatinate Consistory — Letter of Alsentz to Faber — His Marriage — 
His Activity in the Goshenhoppen Churches — Called by Lancaster 
Church — Faber Preaching at Tohlckon — ^Progress of the Goshen- 
hoppen Churches under his Ministry — Call to Lancaster Church. 

xii Table of Contents. 


Ministry of the Rev. John William Ingold, 1780- 
1781 224-229 

His Life in Germany — His Arrival in America — His Checkered 
Career — His Activity at Old Goshenhoppen — Supplies at Great 
Swamp and New Goshenhoppen — His Pastorate at Reading — At 
Indianfield and Tohickon — Death of His Wife — Leaves Ministry. 


Ministry of the Rev. Frederick Delliker, i 782-1 784, 


The Delliker Family at Zurich — His Parents — His Ministry in 
Europe— Arrival in Pennsylvania — Pastorate in New Jersey — His 
Pastoral Activity at Goshenhoppen — At Falkner Swamp. 


Ministry of the Rev. Frederick William Van Der 
Sloot, Sr., i 784-1 786 235-237 

His Life in Europe — His Ministerial Descent — Arrival in Penn- 
sylvania — Activity at Goshenhoppen — Ministry in Northampton 


Second Ministry of the Rev. John Theobald Faber, 
Sr., 1786-1788 238-240 

Pastorate at Indianfield and Tohickon — His Return to Goshen- 
hoppen — His Pastoral Activity — His Sudden Death. 

Ministry of the Rev. Nicholas Pomp, 1789-1792. . 241-248 

Call of Rev. N. Pomp — Letter of Pomp to Goshenhoppen 
Churches — Autobiography of Pomp — Pastorate at Goshenhoppen — 
At Indianfield and Tohickon — At Falkner Swamp — His Book 
against Universalism. 

Table of Contents. xiii 


Ministry of the Rev. John Theobald Faber, Jr., 1791- 
1807 249-255 

His Youth and Training — Licensure and Ordination — Letter of 
Delliker to Faber — Pastoral Activity at Goshenhoppen — School- 
masters at Old Goshenhoppen — Activity at Great Swamp — Letter 
of Senn to Faber — Call to New Holland. 


Ministry of the Rev. Albert Helffenstein, 1808- 
181 1 256-258 

His Birth and Training — Examination and Ordination — Pas- 
toral Activity at Goshenhoppen — Later Pastorates — His Death. 


Ministry of the Rev. Frederick W^illiam Van Der 
Sloot, Jr., 1812-1818 259-266 

His Life in Germany — Arrival in Pennsylvania — Licensure and 
Ordination — Pastorate in Northampton County — His Marriage — 
At Germantown — At Goshenhoppen — His Appearance — Pastorate 
in Philadelphia — In Virginia — In York and Adams Counties — His 


Division of Charge and Second Pastorate of the Rev. 
John Theobald Faber, Jr., 1819-1833 267-271 

Call of Goshenhoppen to Faber — Old Goshenhoppen Separates 
from Charge — Rev. Jacob William Dechant at Old Goshenhop- 
pen — Upper Milford Added to Charge of Faber — Faber's Sudden 

xiv Table of Contents. 


New Goshenhoppen Records 272-385 

A. Volume I, 1731-1761 272-311 

Lists of Members 272 

1. Baptisms by John Peter Miller 277 

2. Baptisms by John Henry Goetschy 281 

3. Baptisms by Peter Henry Dorsius 284 

4. Baptisms by Frederick Casimir Mueller 286 

5. Baptisms by George Michael Weiss 288 

6. Marriages by George Michael Weiss 301 

7. Catechumens of George Michael Weiss 307 

8. Miscellaneous Entries by John Henry Goetschy 311 
B- Volume H, 1762-1832 312-384 

I. Baptismal Records 312-353 

1. Baptisms by Jacob Riess 312 

2. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr. . . 314 

3. Baptisms by Supplies 329 

4. Baptisms by Frederick Delliker 330 

5. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der 

Sloot, Sr 334 

6. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr. , . 335 

7. Baptisms by Nicholas Pomp 340 

8. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Jr.. . 341 

9. Baptisms by Albert Helffenstein 345 

10. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der 

Sloot, Jr 347 

11. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Jr.. . 348 

12. Baptisms by Later Hands 352 

n. Burial Records 353-362 

1. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Sr. ... 353 

2. Burials by Frederick Delliker 359 

3. Burials by Frederick Wm, Van der Sloot, 

Sr 359 

Table of Contents. xv 

4. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Sr. ... 360 

5. Burials by Nicholas Pomp 361 

6. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Jr. ... 361 

III. Marriage Records 362-369 

1. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Sr. . 362 

2. Marriages by Frederick DelHker 366 

3. Marriages by Frederick Wm. Van der 

Sloot, Sr 367 

4. Marriages of John Theobald Faber, Sr. . 367 

5. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Jr.. 368 

6. Marriages by Albert Helffenstein 369 

IV. Catechumens, 1 767-1 808 370 

V. Communicants, 1 809-18 15 379 

Old Goshenhoppen Record, i 764-1 833 386-436 

I. Baptismal Records 386-417 

1. Baptisms by Jacob Riess 385 

2. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr- 386 

3. Baptisms by John William Ingold 399 

4. Baptisms by Frederick Delliker 400 

5. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, Sr. 402 

6. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr 402 

7. Baptisms by Nicholas Pomp 405 

8. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Jr 408 

9. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, Jr. 409 
10. Baptisms by Jacob W. Dechant 410 

II. Burial Records 418-423 

1. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Sr 418 

2. Burials by Frederick Delliker 422 

3. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Sr 422 

4. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Jr 423 

III. Marriage Records 424-428 

1. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Sr 424 

2. Marriages by Frederick Delliker 427 

3. Marriages by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, 

Sr 427 

4. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Sr 428 

xvi Table of Contents. 

IV. Catechumens, 1 767-1 794 428 

V- Communicants, 1813-1815 434 

Great Swamp Record, i 736-1 833 437-479 

I. Baptismal Records 437-464 

1. Baptisms by John Henry Goetschy 439 

2. Baptisms by George Michael Weiss 439 

3. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr 442 

4. Baptisms by Frederick Delliker 450 

5. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, Sr. 452 

6. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Sr 453 

7. Baptisms by Nicholas Pomp 456 

8. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Jr 457 

9. Baptisms by Albert Helffenstein 458 

10. Baptisms by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, Jr. 460 

11. Baptisms by John Theobald Faber, Jr 461 

II. Burial Records 464-469 

1. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Sr 464 

2. Burials by Frederick Delliker 467 

3. Burials by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, Sr. . 467 

4. Burials by Nicholas Pomp 468 

5. Burials by John Theobald Faber, Jr 468 

III. Marriage Records 469-472 

1. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Sr 469 

2. Marriages by Frederick Delliker 471 

3. Marriages by Frederick Wm. Van der Sloot, 

Sr 471 

4- Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Sr 471 

5. Marriages by John Theobald Faber, Jr 472 

IV. Catechumens, 1 767-1 795 472 

V. Communicants, 1814-1818 477 

Index 480 

Table of Contents. xvii 




John Philip Boehm 40 

George Michael Weiss 45 

John Philip Boehm 51 

John Bartholomew Rieger 7^ 

Peter Miller 92 

John Henry Goetschius 118 

John Conrad Wuertz 120 

Michael Schlatter 161 

John Philip Leydich I95 

Title Pages. 

Book of Weiss against Newborn 42 

Circular Letter of Reformed Ministers 167 

Pomp's Book against Universalists 248 

List of Plates. 

Facing Page 
Frontispiece. Pennsylvania Documents in Archives at The 
Hague, Holland 

Title Page of New Goshenhoppen Record, 1736 118 

Old Goshenhoppen Church, built 1744 142 

Cornerstone of Old Goshenhoppen Church, 1744 144 

House of William Dewees, Whitemarsh 144 

The Rev. Michael Schlatter 150 

New Goshenhoppen Church, 1 770-1857 220 

Organ of New Goshenhoppen Church 222 

The Rev. Clement Z. Weiser 270 

'HE region commonly known as Goshenhoppen 
/ ^ extends along the Perkiomen Creek, in the 

■ I upper end of Montgomery County, Pa., and 

^^^^ i covers also small strips of land in the adjacent 
^^^^ counties of Berks, Lehigh and Bucks. Ac- 
cording to Dr. C. Z. Weiser^ it is a tract 
" perhaps ten miles long and five miles wide " which ex- 
tends " from Treichlersville [Lehigh County] to Sumney- 
town [Montgomery County], north and south and from 
the Bucks County line to the Perkiomen, east and west. 
It is a region rather than a township." 

The name first appears in the public records of the prov- 
ince in the year 1728,- when on May 17, 1728, the inhabi- 
tants of Colebrookedale addressed a petition to the gover- 
nor, asking for relief against the. Indians. They report 
that " we have Suffered and is like to sufer By the Ingians, 
they have fell upon ye Back Inhabitors about falkners 

^ See C. Z. Weiser's Monograph of the Neiv Goshenhoppen and Great 
S^vamp Charge, 1731-1881, Reading, 1882, p. 5; also his statement in 
Dotterer's Perkiomen Region, Vol. I, p. 64. 

- See Pennsylvania Archives, First Series, Vol. I, p. 213 f. 


6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Swamp, & near Coshahopin, Therefore, we the humble 
Petitioners, With our poor Wives & Children Do humbly 
Beg of your Excellency To Take It into Consideration 
and Relieve us the Petitioners hereof, Whos Lives Lies 
at Stake With us and our poor Wives & Children that is 
more to us than Life. Therefore, We the humble Peti- 
tioners hereof, Do Desire An Answer from your Excel- 
lency By ye Bearer with Speed, so no more at present from 
your poor afflicted People Whose names are here Sub- 

Among the 48 signers to this petition are several, like 
Christian Neuschwanger, John Mayer, Christopher 
Schmidt and Peter Bohn, who appear also as members of 
the Reformed church at Skippack.^ 

The name of the district was variously spelled. In the 
Journal kept in the Land Office of the Proprietaries^ it 
appears as Cowessahopin, Cowessehoppen, Cowissehop- 
pin, and other similar forms. Mr. Boehm uses^ Goschen- 
hoppen, Goschoppen and even Goschenhakken. Dr. Weiser 
quotes® in addition: Quesohopen, Cosshehoppa, Coshen- 
hoppe, Coshahopin, Cowissahopen, and Coschehoppe. 
As the second part of the name appears in the names of 
two Indian chiefs, Enschockhoppa and Shakahoppa, Dr. 
Weiser concludes that the name is of Indian origin.''' 

The Goshenhoppen region included from early times 

3 See Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Vol. I, p. 122; Vol. 
VII, pp. 48. 60. 

* See Perkiomen Region, Vol. I, pp. 105, n8, 119, 140, 141, 151, etc. 

c See Journal of the P. H. S., Vol. VII, pp. 56, 122, 124. 

^ Weiser, Monograph, p. 5. 

"^ In the Perkiomen Region, Vol. Ill, p. 145, Mr. Dotterer raises the ques- 
tion whether " Goshenhoppen " might not be a German name, by calling 
attention to the German place name " Goshenhof." But the Dutch form of 
" Hof," namely " hoeve," shows that the final " f " in High German be- 
comes " V " or " w " in Low German, but not a single or double " p." 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 7 

two sections, one nearer Philadelphia, known as Old Gosh- 
enhoppen, comprising part of Upper Salford township, 
the other farther north, in Upper Hanover township, 
known as New Goshenhoppen. Which one of these dis- 
tricts was settled first has not as yet been determined, so 
much is certain that, as we shall show later, ecclesiastically 
New Goshenhoppen was the first, for the first traces of a 
Reformed church organization appear in the New Gosh- 
enhoppen section. 

As the Goshenhoppen region is a part of the Perkiomen 
valley and the latter a part of Montgomery County, we 
shall preface the history of the Goshenhoppen churches 
with a brief survey of the general field. 

In the Journal of the Land Office of the Proprietaries,^ 
the Perkiomen valley, called Perqueaming, appears as 
early as 17 17. On March 15, 17 18, " Peter Wents " of 
Skippack paid quitrent for 100 acres for a period of ten 
years and for 50 acres for a period of 14 years. Hence 
he must have settled at Skippack as early as 1704. This 
makes him one of the earliest settlers of the Perkiomen 
valley. In 1730 his name appears^ as a member of the 
Reformed Skippack Church. His son Peter Wentz was 
one of the founders of Wentz's Church in Worcester 
Township in 1762.^° 

But the full tide of German immigration into the Per- 
kiomen valley did not begin till the second decade of the 
eighteenth century. In July, 1728, the elders of the Re- 
formed congregations of Falkner Swamp, Skippack and 
Whitemarsh wrote to the Classis of Amsterdam :^^ 

8 Perkiomen Region, Vol. I, p. 28. 

^ See an article by the writer in Dotterers Historical Notes, p. 102 f. 
1° See " History of the Wentz's Reformed Church " in the Journal of the 
P. H. S., Vol. Ill, pp. 332-346, especially p. 339. 

11 The full letter has been printed repeatedly, first in the Mercersburg 

8 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The first settlers in this widely extended region of Pensylvania 
were Christians bearing the name of Quakers. Hither came also 
men holding all sorts of opinions. About eighteen years ago 
[1710], there began to come in occasionally and to settle here and 
there, in places widely separated from each other, certain ones of 
the Reformed church. These came from different parts of Ger- 
many and from other places, and a few also from the neighboring 
provinces of New York and New Jersey, etc. In time these 
greatly multiplied, but, in order not to fall into the errors of those 
among whom they dwelt, they provoked one another to good works, 
by encouraging each other to hold religious meetings on the Lord's 
Day, etc., according to the doctrine and order of the Reformed 
Church, as far as it was understood by us. 

As the writers of this petition were themselves living 
in the Perkiomen valley, their statements are most natu- 
rally explained as referring primarily to this region. 

These statements find a welcome confirmation In the old 
record book^^ of the Dutch Reformed congregation, now 
at Churchville, Bucks County, Pa. 

In this record it. is stated^^ that "on May 20th, in the 
year of our Lord Jesus Christ 17 10, Mr. Paulus Van Vlecq 
was installed pastor or shepherd and teacher In the Church 
of Jesus Christ at Neshamlny, Bensalem, Germantown 
and surrounding villages." On June 4, 17 10, the follow- 
ing consistory was installed at Whitemarsh : as elders, 
Hans Hendricks Meels and Evert ten Heuven, and as 

Revienv, Vol. XXIII (1876), pp. 529-541; also in the Ecclesiastical Records 
of the State of Neia York, Vol. IV, pp. 2425-2437, and in the Journal of 
the P. H. S., Vol. VI, pp. 303-316. In 1916, the writer published the 
whole Boehra Correspondence in Life and Letters of the Rev. John Philip 
Boehm, Philadelphia, Publication Board of the Reformed Church. In that 
book all the letters of Boehm, quoted below, are given in full. 

12 This record was published by the writer in full in the Journal of the 
P. H. 5., Vol. I, pp. IH-134. 

"See /. c, p. 118. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 9 

deacons, Isaac Dilbeck and William de Wees. The mem- 
bers of the Whitemarsh congregation in 17 10 were as fol- 
lows :^^ Hans Hendrick Meels, Evert ten Heuven, Isaac 
Dilbeck, Willem de Wees, Jan Aweeg, Johannis Yodder, 
Antonie Geertheus [Yerkes], Johannes Raevenstock, Ger- 
trude Rembergh, Elisabeth Schipbower, wife of E. ten 
Heuven, Mary Bloemers, wife of I. Dilbeck, Catrina 
Meels, wife of W. de Wees, Gertrude Aweeg, Anna Baer- 
ents, wife of J. Pieterse, Maria Selle, wife of G. ten 
Heuven. On December 25, 17 10, there were received by 
profession of faith: Sebastian Bartels and his wife Mary 
Hendricks and Caspar Staels. On March 31, 171 1, were 
received: Elsa Schol, Sebilla Revenstock, wife of Henry 
Tibben and Margaret Bon, wife of Caspar Staels. In 
17 1 1 there were, therefore, 21 regular members of the 
congregation. The marriage and baptismal records of 
the congregation add a number of other names of persons, 
who may be called adherents of this first Reformed con- 
gregation of the province. They were: Herman ten 
Heuven, Peter Bon, Gabriel Schuyler, William Rembergh, 
Peter ten Heuven and Jacob Op de Graef. These were 
married by Dominie Van Vlecq, while he baptized the 
children of the following persons living at Skippack: Jacob 
Dilbeck, Cornelius De Wees, Gerhart ten Heuven, Arent 
Hendricks, Dirk Remberg, Hendricks Pannebacker, Jacob 
Pieterse, Rightijers Gaebel. In addition to the 21 regu- 
lar members there were, therefore, 14 Reformed adherents 
at Whitemarsh and Skippack from 17 10-17 12. 

Of these first Reformed settlers in Pennsylvania Isaac 
Dilbeck came with Pastorius in 1683.^^ In 1690 Gerrit 

^* See /. c, p. 120. 

^^ Pennypacker, Settlement of Germantoiun, pp. 135, 190-192, 194; also 
Dotterer, Historical Notes, pp. 15-16, 23-26. 

lo The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Hendricks De Wees, probably the father of Willem De 
Wees, bought a lot of land in Germantown. In 1699 
Evert ten Heuven, with his sons Herman, Gerhard and 
Peter, was a resident in Germantown, as was also Hen- 
drick Pannebecker. In 1700 Sebastian Bartels appears, 
in 1 70 1 Hans Hendrik Meels, in 1702 John Rebenstock 
and Michael Remberg, with his sons Dirck and Willem, 
also Peter Bon and Henry Tibben, and 1703 Antoni 
Gerckes. Some of these settlers took up land at Skippack, 
Hendrick Pannebecker in 1702; Gerhard and Herman In 
de Heuven, also Dirck and Willem Remberg in 1706; 
WiUiam and Cornelius De Wees in 1708. 

On September 29, 1709, the following Reformed set- 
tlers were naturalized by a bill passed in the Provincial 
Assembly and signed by the governor :^^ 

Isaac Dilbeck and his son Jacob Dilbeck; Caspar Stalls and 
Henry Tubben; Johannes Rebenstock, Sebastion Bartells and his 
son Henry Bartells; Evert in Hoffe and his sons Gerhard, Her- 
man and Peter in Hoffe. 

The ministry of Van Vlecq at Whitemarsh and Skippack 
continued from 17 10 to 17 13. On April 24, 17 13, he en- 
tered his last wedding into the church record. On Sep- 
tember 21, 17 10, Van Vlecq applied to the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia^''' for admission. A committee was ap- 
pointed which considered his application and handed in a 
report, then " after serious debating thereon it was put to 
the vote, to admit him a member of the Presbytery or not, 
and it was carried in the affirmative." In 17 12 the charge 

i^Keyser, Kain, etc., History of Old Germantown (1907), Vol. I, p. 96. 
See also the paper on " Rev. Paulus Van Vlecq," by the writer, in the 
Papers read before the Bucks County Hist. Society, Vol. IV, pp. 688-702. 

'^''Records of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 
Vol. I, pp. 17-40, for statements regarding Van Vlecq from 1710 to 1715. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. ii 

of bigamy was lodged against him, which, after thorough 
investigation, was sustained in 17 13. He was, as a result, 
suspended from the ministry. In 17 15 he is reported as 
having " run out of the country." 

A much larger number of German Reformed people 
came into the province of Pennsylvania in the period be- 
between 1720 and 1730. 

In a petition addressed by some members of the Phila- 
delphia Reformed Church to Governor Patrick Gordon, 
on November 23, 1732, they state :^^ 

That a great number of Protestants born under the Ligeance of 
the Emperor of Germany did, about ten years since [1722], come 
into this Province, and having settled in divers parts thereof, but 
especially in the city of Philada., formed themselves into a Reli- 
gious Society, commonly called by the name of German Reformed 

The same statement is repeated and somewhat enlarged 
in a bill of complaint which the same persons submitted to 
the Court of Chancery of the Province on January 23, 
1732 [~I733]» i*^ which they declared.^'' 

The said deponents . . . say that for above the space of ten 
years by gone, great numbers of the subjects of the emperor of Ger- 
many, professing the Protestant religion or as 't is equally called 
the Reformed religion and having suffered hardships in their native 
country upon the score of their religion, came over into the prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania and settled themselves in sundry parts of the 
s^. province and especially in Philadelphia. 

In harmony with these statements we find in the 

18 This petition is a part of the Reiff papers, printed in the Reformed 
Quarterly Revieiv, 1893, Vol. XL, p. 59 f. 

19 This bill of complaint belongs also to the Reiff papers, but it has not 
yet been printed. The original is in the Harbaugh collection of manu- 
scripts, now in the possession of Rev. Prof. J. I. Good. 

12 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

" Resolutions of the States of Holland and West Fries- 
land," that on June 12, 1722, the Raad Penslonaris 
(Prime Minister) reported to the States the arrival of a 
large number of families from Germany, which had come 
to Holland on various ships, with the intention of being 
transported to England, to be sent to one of the English 
Colonies, without any preparation having been made for 
their journey, or any invitation having been extended by 
the British government. He asked what steps should be 
taken. The States decided to confer with the authorities 
of the province nearest to Germany, to prevent the coming 
of any more emigrants. ^^^ 

In the year 1725 John Philip Boehm began his minis- 
terial activity In the Perkiomen valley. For the first com- 
munion services, held in 1725, he reported^® the following 
members : 

On October 15, 1725, at Falkner Swamp, 40 members 
or 24 males; 

In November, 1725, at Skippack, 37 members or 20 

On December 23, 1725, at Whitemarsh, 24 members or 
14 males. 

The totals for these three congregations were, there- 
fore, in 1725, loi members or 58 males. These three 
congregations of Boehm continued the organization ef- 
fected by Paulus Van Vlecq in 17 10, for of the latter's 
members we find Gabriel Schuler andGerhart In de Heven 

19a Taken from the Rotterdam Archives. 

20 The number of males in 1725 is mentioned in the appeal of Boehm's 
elders to the Classis of Amsterdam, dated July, 1728, printed in the Jour- 
nal of the P. H. S., Vol. VI, p. 308. The number of members is found in 
Boehm's report of 1744, see Minutes and Letters of the Coetus of Pennsyl- 
vania, p. 18. See also Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 160, 409. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 13 

in Boehm's congregation at Skippack;^^ Willem de Wees, 
John Rebenstock and Isaac Dilbeck in his congregation at 
Whitemarsh.22 If we had the complete lists of Boehm's 
10 1 members we would no doubt be able to find other con- 
necting links besides the five mentioned above. 

Such was the beginning of Reformed church life in the 
Perkiomen valley. 

The time when the first Reformed settlers arrived in the 
Goshenhoppen region cannot be determined with the evi- 
dence at hand at present. But it was most probably about 
the year 1720. So much is certain that in 1727 enough 
Reformed people had arrived in Goshenhoppen, so that a 
communion service could be held for them. 

In 1736 John Henry Goetschy, the boy preacher, en- 
tered the names of 45 heads of families into the Reformed 
record at New Goshenhoppen (seep. 274). Besides these 
there appear 68 additional names of men in the baptismal 
entries from 1731 to 1736 inclusive, so that there were at 
least 113 settlers, together with their families, in the New 
Goshenhoppen district by the end of the year 1736. With 
the help of Rupp's Immigrant Lists the exact time of the 
arrival of many of these settlers can be determined. The 
following is a list of those whom the writer was able to 
identify with some degree of probability i^^ 

21 See the documents printed in the Journal of the P. H. S., Vol. VII, 
pp. 34, 48; also the letter from Skippack of May lo, 1730, quoted in His- 
torical Notes, p. 103. 

22 These three men signed the appeal of July, 1728, see Journal of the 
P. H. S., Vol. VI, p. 316; as well as Boehm's letter of January 30, 1730, in 
Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 34; Life and Letters of Boehtn, pp. 169, 191. 

23 In the case of very common names like Jacob Meyer and Jacob 
Miiller the possibility of mistaken identity must of course remain open. 

14 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Earliest Reformed Settlers in the Goshenhoppen Valley. 

Names of Settlers. Time of Arrival. At Goshenhoppen. 

Johannes Huth September i8, 1727 Go. 1731 

Johann Friedrich Hilligass September 18, 1727 Go. 1731 

Hans Michel Zimmermann September 18, 1727 Go. 1733 

Hans Georg Welcker September 18, 1727 Go. 1731 

Ulrich Hetzell [Hertzel] September 18, 1727 Go. 1733 

Benedict Strohm [Strbme] September 18, 1727 Go. 1736 

Frantz Stupp September 30, 1727 Go. 173 1 

Burckhard Hoffmann September 30, 1727 Go. 1732 

Johann Peter Hess October 2, 1727 Go. 1733 

Michel Eberhart October 16, 1727 Go. 1732 

Johann Philip Ried October 16, 1727 Go. 1736 

Wendel Wiant August 29, 1729 Go. 1736 

Johann Peter Moll August 29, 1729 Go. 1733 

Valentin Griesemer August 29, 1730 Go. 1731 

Thomas Hamma[n] August 29, 1730 Go. 1732 

Abraham Transu August 29, 1730 Go. 1731 

Lonhart Hochgenug August 29, 1730 Go. 1732 

John Adam Stadtler September 5, 1730 Go. 1733 

Johann Philip Emmert September 5, 1730 Go. 1731 

Casper Holtzhausen [r] August 17, 1731 Go. 1733 

Abraham Sahler [Seler] September 11, 1731 Go. 1732 

Johann Bartel. Gucker [Kucker] . .September 11, 1731 Go. 1732 

Johann Michel Moll September 11, 1731 Go. 1732 

Christopher Moll September 11, 1731 Go. 1733 

Hans Adam Echelen [Euchelen] ..September 11, 1731 Go. 1731 

Leonard Bock September 21, 1731 Go. 1737 

Jacob Meyer September 21, 1731 Go. 1736 

Hans Jerg Steger August 11, 1732 Go. 1737 

Adam Hillegas August 11, 1732 Go. 1737 

Georg Mertz September 11, 1732 Go. 1736 

Georg Palsgraff September 11, 1732 Go. 1736 

Hans Steinraann September 19, 1732 Go. 1733 

Jacob Miiller September 19, 1732 Go. 1737 

Lorentz Hartman September 19, 1732 Go. 1736 

Andreas Lohr September 19, 1732 Go. 1733 

Johan Henrich Jung September 19, 1732 Go. 1736 

Georg Peter Knecht September 21, 1732 Go. 1737 

Hans Leonhart Herzel September 21, 1732 Go. 1737 

Peter Matern September 30, 1732 Go. 1734 

Peter Raudenbusch September 30, 1732 Go. 1733 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 15 

Johannes Geiger September 30, 1732 Go. 1734 

Georg Michel Favian [Fabion] October 11, 1732 Go. 1736 

Joh. Jost Ohlwein September 18, 1733 Go. 1736 

Here are more than forty German Reformed settlers 
the exact time of whose arrival can be fixed and who, some 
time between that date and their first appearance in the 
New Goshenhoppen record, moved into the Goshenhoppen 
region. The others, whose date of arrival is as yet un- 
known, did not necessarily come before 1727. They may 
have come through another harbor, or reached Goshen- 
hoppen by a circuitous route. For it is a significant fact 
that of the Lutheran settlers at Old Goshenhoppen only 
three came before the year 1730, Kilian Gauckler, who 
came to America in 17 17, John George Weicker who ar- 
rived in 1724, and John Martin Deer in 1728. Of the 
rest, nearly thirty, only a few appear in the immigrant lists, 
although they all came, according to the Church Record, 
between 1732 and 1750. This proves that the absence of 
a name from the immigrant lists cannot be used as an argu- 
ment for or against the early arrival of that person. It 
must also be remembered that the immigrant lists are in- 
complete and that the names have in many instances been 
deciphered incorrectly. 

Although the time of arrival of the earliest settlers 
cannot be established definitely, it is certain that the year 
1727 is the first fixed point In the history of the Reformed 
Church in the Goshenhoppen region. 

The Indian traditions, which gathered around the origin 
and meaning of the name Goshenhoppen are beautifully 
summed up in a poem of the Rev. Dr. C. Z. Welser, which 
may fittingly be inserted here.^^^ 

23a The writer owes this poem to the Rev. John B. Stoudt, who kindly 
transmitted it for publication. 

i6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The Legend of Goshenhoppen. 

By C. Z. Weiser. 

Would you hear of Goshenhoppen, 

What it means and where it hails from 

Do not trust the pale-faced people, 

They are but of yesterday. 

'Tis with them but speculation, 

Guess work oozed from fever'd brainshop, 

Like the webs from working spiders. 

Now they have it " Que-se-ho-pen," 
Then they say it's " Coss-he-hop-pe," 
" Cos-she-hop-pa," says another, 
"Cos-ha-ha-pin," writes a fourth one; 
" Cosh-a-hop-pa " — " Gosh-e-hop-pa," 
Or, again, " Co-wis-se-hop-pen," 
Till at last it's " Gosh-en-hop-pen." 

Who can tell in such a Babel, 

How to utter it correctly, 

How to rightly shape its body, — 

And divine its primal meaning? 

We must trace it as a river. 

From its mouth back to its source spring; 

Trace and tail it up and backward, 

Through the periods and the ages — 

Till we find its secret rising. 

Long before Great Brother Omas 
Came to own his forest domain. 
Had the Redman shared the country 
Into tracts and into districts, 
Measured it by strips of deer-skin ; 
Marked it out by trees and rivers, 
Or by hills and mountain ranges. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 17 

Every tribe then had its domain, 
For to smoke and roam and hunt in ; 
And each tribe its Sak-e-maker, 
He whose name stood for the region, 
He who owned and bargained for it. 

Thus we know the great " Mough-ough-sin " 
Owned the land of " Pah-ke-ho-ma," 
Which is known and called Macungie, 
That was sold for two big blankets 
And four pairs of leather stockings, 
And four bottles of sweet cider. 

When we read of " Guch-i-o-thon," 
And besides of " En-shok-hup-po," 
And at last of " Shak-a-hop-pa," 
Who were ancient Sak-e-makers, 
Great big Injuns-treaty makers. 
These three ancient Sak-e-makers 
Ruled the vale of Pah-ke-ho-ma, 
Ruled the fair Per-ki-o-men valley, 
Shak-a-hop-pa stood as chieftain 
Over all the Sak-e-makers, 
Since he grew a foot beyond them. 
And came nearer the Great Father. 

Shak-a-hop-pa, the tall chieftain, 
Of the vale of Pah-ke-ho-ma, 
Sold and barter'd oflF his title 
For two hundred feet of wampun ; 
And for thirty feet of duffels; 
For some sixty feet of mattress ; 
Thirty shirts and thirty kettles ; 
Shoes twelve pairs and thirty gimlets ; 
Sixty stockings, thirty scissors ; 
Thirty combs and thirty axes; 
Thirty-one tobacco pouches; 

i8 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Thirty small tobacco cases; 
Seven awls and thirty glasses; 
Thirty bars of lead and powder ; 
Thirty pounds of lead that reddens ; 
Beads poured into three full papers ; 
Thirty pairs of bells that rattle ; 
Drawing knives one half a dozen ; 
And some eighteen caps with feathers; 
And as many hoes and handles. 
This was the consideration, 
Which Great Brother Omas tendered, 
For the vale of Goshenhoppen, 
To the ancient Sak-e-maker, 
Shak-a-hop-pa, the Big Smoke Pipe. 


Ministry of Rev. George Michael Weiss, 

^•^^N November, 1730, the Rev. John Philip Boehm 
^B I wrote as follows to the Reformed Classis of 
^m I Amsterdam :^^ 

^^^ He [Mr. Weiss] preached at a branch place called 

Goschenhoppen, about ten miles from Falckner Schwam; 
the last time on October 12, 1727, he celebrated the Lord's Supper 
without knowing the people, admitting among others two men from 
Falckner Schwam, who ought to have been taken to account because 
of their vicious lives. 

This passage gives us the first recorded date in the his- 
tory of the congregation. It names its first pastor and 
enables us to locate the first place of worship. It could 
not have been at Old Goshenhoppen, near Salford Station, 
on the Perkiomen Railroad, which is hardly five miles 
from Falkner Swamp, but it must have been at New Gosh- 

24 For earlier accounts of Weiss see Harbaugh, Fathers of the Reformed 
Church, Vol. I, Lancaster, li^j pp. 265-274.; Good, History of the Reformed 
Church in the United States, 1^2^-/792, Reading, 1899, pp. 1 13-152; 
Corwin, Manual of the Reformed Church in America, New York, 1902, 
pp. 896-899; Dubbs, History of the Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, 
Lancaster, 1902, pp. 83-90; Hinke, Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 26-37. 

-^Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 56; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 215. 


20 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

enhoppen, near East Greenville, which is about ten miles 
from Falkner Swamp. The first Reformed services were, 
therefore, held at New Goshenhoppen by the Rev. George 
Michael Weiss, the first pastor. He is such an important 
personage in the history of the Reformed Church in 
America, that he deserves a more elaborate biography than 
has yet been written of him. 

John Peter Miller, the later monk of Ephrata, wrote 
about Mr. Weiss as follows in his Chronicon Ephratense :^^ 

About the year 1726, the first High-German Reformed preacher, 
Weiss by name, arrived in Pennsylvania. He was born at Steb- 
bach, a Palatine place In the Neckar valley ; studied at Heidelberg 
and finished his course at Koschehoppen [Goshenhoppen] in the 
county of Philadelphia. 

This was all that was known about Weiss's birthplace 
till 1897, when the writer visited Heidelberg and found 
there, in the matriculation book of the famous University, 
the following entry: 

1 718, October 18. 

Georgius Michael Weiss, 
Philosoph. Stud. 

Eppinga, Palatinus. 

This entry shows that Mr. Weiss entered the Univer- 
sity of Heidelberg on October 18, 17 18, as student of 
philosophy, and that he gave his birthplace as Eppingen, 
which is about half a German mile southwest of Stebbach. 

On August 15, 1897, the writer visited Eppingen and 
found in the old church records of the town considerable 
information about the Weiss family. The oldest repre- 
sentative of the family, mentioned in the records,^^ is Nico- 

26 Chronicon Ephratense, Engl, transl., Lancaster, 1889, p. 70. 

-7 See article by the writer in the Reformed Church Messenger of Octo- 
ber 27, 1898, on "A Contribution to the Life of George Michael Weiss"; 
also in Christian Intelligencer of November 16, 1898. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 


laus Weiss, a citizen of Gross Engersheim, in the Kingdom 
of Wiirtemberg. His son, John Michael Weiss, a tailor 
by trade, married on February 26, 1686, Barbara, widow 
of Jacob Stierle, citizen and tailor at Eppingen. This 
union was blessed with two children, Maria Appollonia, 
baptized December 26, 1686, and Barbara, baptized Octo- 
ber 7, 1689. But on June 30, 1692, the mother died, 
aged 44 years. 

On September 16, 1692, "Hans Michel Weiss, citi- 
zen and tailor," married a second time, namely Maria, 
daughter of the late Martin Frank, shoemaker in Bretten. 
This second union was blessed with six children, as follows : 

1. Anna Catherine, Dec. ii, 1695, died July 9, 1696. 

2. Eva Catherine, July 31, 1697. 

3. Gorg Michael, Jan. 23, 1700. 

4. Maria Elisabeth ) . ,, , 

„, . , , > twins, March 29, 1703. 

5. Chnstophel j ' y> / 3 

6. Maria Elisabeth, born July 10, bapt. July 12, 1705. 

In the case of the first five children but one date is given 
in the record, without any statement as to whether the 
date of birth or of baptism is intended. But as the names 
are entered in the baptismal record, it is more probably 
the date of baptism. The dates of the last child show that 
baptism took place usually on the third day after birth. 

These entries prove that Georg Michael Weiss was not 
born at Stebbach, but at Eppingen. What is more re- 
markable is that, according to information received from 
the pastor of Eppingen, Stebbach never belonged to Ep- 
pingen ecclesiastically, but to a neighboring parish. 

What became of Mr. Weiss, after he had finished his 
studies at Heidelberg, is still unknown. We meet him 
again ten years later, when on September 21, 1727, he 
with fifty other Palatines appeared before the Provincial 

22 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Council of Pennsylvania, In the Court House of Philadel- 
phia and signed the oath of allegiance to the King of 

As early as September 14, 1727, the Governor, Patrick 
Gordon, had called the Provincial Board together, 

to inform them that there is lately^^ arrived from Holland, a ship 
with four hundred Palatines, as 'tis said, and that he has informa- 
tion they will be very soon followed by a much greater number, 
who design to settle in the back parts of this province; & as they 
transport themselves without any leave obtained from the Crown 
of Great Britain, and settle themselves upon the Proprietors un- 
taken up Lands without any application to the Proprietor or his 
Commissioners of property, or to the Government in general, it 
would be highly necessary to concert proper measures for the peace 
and security of the province, which may be endangered by such 
numbers of Strangers daily poured in, who being ignorant of our 
Language and Laws, & settling in a body together, make, as it 
were, a distinct people from his Majesties Subjects.-^ 

In answer to this representation of the governor the 
board ordered, 

that the Masters of the Vessells importing them shall be examined 
whether they have any Leave granted them by the Court of Britain 
for the Importation of these Foreigners, and that a List shall be 
taken of the Names of all these People, their several Occupations, 
and the Places from whence they come, and shall be further exam- 
ined, touching their Intentions in coming hither; And further, that 

28 This proves that the ship William and Sarah did not arrive on Sep- 
tember 18, 1727, as has been wrongly inferred from the list published in 
the Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. XVII, p. 7. This list was 
drawn up on September 18, but the ship had landed before September 14, 
" lately " may mean a day or even several days earlier. 

29 See Colonial Records, Vol. Ill, p. 282 f., for this list and the following 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 23 

a Writing be drawn up for them to sign declaring their Allegiance 
& Subjection to the King of Great Britain & Fidelity to the Pro- 
prietary of this Province, & that they will demean themselves peace- 
ably towards all his Majesties Subjects, & strictly observe, and 
conform to the Laws of England and of this Government. 

In consequence of this order a signed list was laid before 
the board at its meeting on September 21, containing 

the names of one hundred & nine Palatines, who with their Fami- 
lies, making in all about Four hundred Persons, were imported into 
this Province in the Ship William and Sarah, William Hill, Mas- 
ter, from Rotterdam, but last from Dover, as by Clearance from 
Officers of his Majesties Customs there ; And the said Master being 
asked, if he had any Licence from the Court of Great Britain for 
transporting those People, & what their Intentions were in coming 
hither, said that he had no other License or Allowance for their 
Transportation than the above Clearance, and that he believed they 
designed to settle in this Province. 

This list of 109 Palatines, as submitted to the Provincial 
Board on September 21, 1727, has been published In Vol. 
XVII, of the second series of the Pennsylvania Archives, 
pp. 7-8, but It Is so Imperfect and Inaccurate, full of typo- 
graphical and other mistakes, that it seems worth while to 
submit a corrected list. Such a new publication is all the 
more justified because the list as submitted to the board, 
indicates the number of people In each family, which 
figures, though Important, were omitted In the Pennsyl- 
vania Archives. The list Is as follows -.^^ 

3" The original list is now in the State Library at Harrisbiirg, Depart- 
ment of Public Records, at present (1914) in charge of Mr. Luther R. 
Kelker, who very kindly allowed the writer to examine and copy the 
original list, as well as others mentioned later. 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 






















List of ye Palatine Passengers imported in ye Ship William and 
Sarah, Will'm Hill, Mastk,, from Rotterdam, Philad'a ye 
18 September 1727. 

Jacob Swicker, sick i 

Hans Jer. Herzels 4 

Hans Jerrick Swaep ... 6 
Hans Martin Levisteyn. . 2 

Benedic Strome 2 

Jan Hend" Scaub 3^ 

Hans Jerrick Shooniaker. 6i^ 

Abraham Beni 5 

Hans Martain Shoomak"" i 
Frederick Heiligas .... 4^ 
Hans Mich. Pagman . . i 

Sebastian Creef 4 

Johan Habaraker 2^/2 

Alex. Diebenderf z 

Hieronemus Milder 2 

Johann Will" Mey ... 2 

Henericus Bell i 

Caspar Springier 4 

Hans Heri^ Siegler ... 3 

Michael Peitley 4.^/2 

Hans Mich. Tiell ^14 

Jan. Barn. Levinstey. . . . i 

Jacob Jost 2 

Johannes Hoet 3^^ 

Daniel Levan 8 

Hans Mich'. Weider... 2 
Andr^. Simmerman ... 8 
Leonart Seltenreich .... 2 
Hans Jerrick Wigler. ... 2 

Wiir Jurgens i 

Johan Wester, sick i 

Wiir Heer i 

Hans Adam Milder.... 2 

Anspel Anspag 2^ 

Henrich Meyer 4 

Adam Henrich 2 

Jacob Gons 2 

Ulrich Heere 3 

Sebastian Vinck 2 

Tonicus Meyer 5 



41] Jan Bernard Wolf 6 

42] Steven Frederick $14 

43] Ann Floren ij^ 

44] Philip Fernser i 

45] Hans Jacob Eckman . . . . 2 
46] Hans Fill. Heysinger... i 

47] Hendrick Witte i 

48] Hans Jerrick Hoy, sick., i 

49] Jacob Pause 2^ 

50] Andr'' Saltsgerrer i 

51] Hans Jerrick Wolf 25^ 

52] Jacob Milder, dead ^^A 

53] Hans Jerrick Bowman.. . i 

54] Johannes Wester* i 

55] Johannes Stromf, boy. .. . i 

56] Hans Jerig Anspag iVz 

57] Philip Swyger 2 

58] Christ. Milder, dead.... 2 

59] Elias Meyer 3^^ 

60] Peter Springier i 

61] Martin Prill 3 

62] Joh. Tob^ Serveas i 

63] Peter Seyts 4% 

64] Johannes Eckman 4 

65] Johannes Hend". Gyer, 

sick 2 

66] Christ'. Labengyger ... 2 

67] Johannes Berret 4 

68] Andrew Holtspan 4 

69] Jacob Swarts 4 

70] Hans Jerick Schaub.... 3 
71] Hans Mich'. Phauts.... 5 

72] Christian Snyder 2 

73] Bastian Smith 2 

74] Johannes Barteleme i 

[75] Tobias Freye 4 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 25 
















Johannes Tiebenderf ... 4 
Jacob Mast, Skipach.... 4 

Joseph Aelbragt 3^ 

Nicholas Adams a 

Jacob Meyer a 

Johannes Leyb 4 

Johanes Bait, Germt.... 4 

Conrad Miller, sick 5 

Christopher Walter 4 

Ulrich Hartsell, Skippach 2 

Hans Adam Stoll 3 

Hans Jerrick Guyger... 414 
Hans Martin Wilder... 2% 

Hans Jerig Viegle 6l4 

Hans Jerig Ardnold, dead 

Hans Jerig Cramer 3 

Hans Jerig Peter (?).... 2]^ 

Albert Swoap i 

Hendrick Gouger, sick.. 3^2 

Diederick Roede i 

Hans Jerig Roedebas, 
Skipach 2 

[97] Hans Adam Beinder. . . . 4^ 

[98] Christopher Wittmer,... i 

[99] Hendrick Hartman 3 

[100] Clement Eirn 2 

[loi] Philip Jacob Reylender. . 5 

[102] Johanes Mich'. Peepell. . i 

[103] Ernst Roede i 

[104] Philip Seigler 5V2 

[105] Philip Roedeull 2 

[106] Rudolph Wilkes 3 

[107] Hans Jerig Milder i 

[108] Abraham Farn 4 

[109] Uldrich Staffon 3 


This is a true list of Passengers 
Imported in the ship William & 
Sarah, Will™. Hill, Mast^, from 
Rotterdam among whom are no con- 
victs, given upon oath, 
by Tho. Tober. 

The totals of the three columns are said to be 126 -f- 92 
-f- 107 = 325. But in reality the figures in none of the 
columns have been added correctly. The correct totals, 
supposing all the figures to be accurate, are: 118 -f 91 
-[-108 = 317. The whole number of passengers was, 
therefore, much nearer 300 than 400. 

Of these colonists not more than 5 1 actually appeared 
on September 21, 1727, in the Court House at Philadel- 
phia to sign the following oath of allegiance : 

We Subscribers, Natives and late Inhabitants of the Palatinate 
upon the Rhine & Places adjacent, having transported ourselves 
and Families into this Province of Pensilvania, a Colony subject 
to the Crown of Great Britain, in hopes and Expectation of finding 
a Retreat & peaceable Settlement therein, Do Solemnly promise & 
Engage, that We will be faithful & bear true Allegiance to his 

* Name erased, see No. 29. 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 


his Successors, Kings of Great Britain, and will be faithful! to the 
Proprietor of this Province; And that we will demean ourselves 
peaceably to all His said Majesties Subjects, and strictly observe 
and conform to the Laws of England and of this Province, to the 
utmost of our Power and best of our understanding. 

The names signed to this declaration have been pub- 
lished repeatedly, but so full of Inaccuracies, that a new 
transcript of the original Is absolutely necessary. The 
figures placed before them Identify them with the corre- 
sponding names In the first list. The signatures to the 
Declaration of Allegiance are as follows: 

Palatines imported in the Ship Willm & Sarah, Willm Hill, Comm 

FROM Rotterdam who hereunto sett their hands, the 2ist of 

Sept. 1727, in presence of the Gov" & Council, 

G. M. Weiss, V.D.M.31 
[i] Johann Georg Schwab 
[41] Hans Bernhart Wolff 
[8] Joh. Friederich Hilligass 

RudolflF Leyb 
[19] Hans Michel Diel 
[10] Sebastian GraflE 
[22] Johannes Huth 
[loi] Filibs Jacob Rheinlender 
[104] Filib Zigler, X his mark 
[75] Tobias Frey 
[56] Hans Jerch Anspacher 
[63] Johan Peter Seitz 
[78] Joseph Albrecht 
[64] Johanes Eckroan 
[5] Jerich Schuhmacher 
[21] Jacob Jost 

[18] Michel Bottle 

[io6] Rutolflf Wellecker 

[92?] Jeorg Petter 
[88] Hans Mart. (W) Weller 
[89] Hans Jerg Vogelle 
[30] Willem Herr 
[67] Johannes Barth 
[16] Hans Caspar Spengler 
[90] Hans Gorg Cremmer 
[61] Hans Martin Mill 
[68] Andreas (A) Holsbacher 
[49] Jacob Bausel 

[31] Hans Adam | Miller 

[35] Johan Jacob Cuntz 
[51] Hans Jerg Wolff 

31 The Clerk of the Provincial Council (see minutes in Colonial Records, 
Vol. HI, p. 284) wrote the name " G. M. Wey," but a photograph of the 
original, kindly furnished by Mr, Luther R, Kelker, shows plainly that 
it is " G. M. Weis." 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 27 

[105] Philip Rutschly 

[103] Hans Ernst Rudi 

[59] Elias Meyer 

[25 ?] Hans Michel Zimmerman 

[27] Hans Gorg Welcker 

[57] Hans Philip Schweikhardt 

[12] Alexand. Diibendorffer 

[2] Hans Martin Liebenstein 

[95] Johan Diderich Rudi 

[40] Hans Jerg Hertzel 

[81] Johannes Leib 

[99] Joh. Henrich Hartman 

[17] Hans Georg Ziegler 

[11] Johannes Haberacker 

[33] Henrich Meyer 

[80] Jacob Meyer 

[84] Christoph Walter 

Henry (H) Sippen 

[yr] Hans Michel Pfautz 

A comparison of these two lists shows how carelessly 
the captain's list was made. The writer made no attempt 
to ascertain the correct spelling of the names. He merely 
wrote down what he supposed he heard when the names 
were pronounced to him. For Welcker he heard Wigler 
and in a second case Wilkes. For Mill he put down Prill, 
for Miller he wrote Milder. Schweikhardt he turned into 
Swyger, Spengler into Springier, Rutschli apparently into 
Roedeull. In some cases the scribal monstrosities are so 
great that no identification is possible. No wonder that it 
is so difficult to identify immigrants, when the captains' 
lists are so badly corrupted and the passengers' own signa- 
tures are sometimes such awful scrawls that they need a 
second list as a key to decipher them correctly. 

The relation of Mr. Weiss to these immigrants has long 
been doubtful. The question whether he was merely their 
fellow passenger or the recognized leader of a colony 
could not be determined till very recently. There are now 
three documents at hand which answer this question. The 
first is the earliest printed report concerning the Reformed 
Church in Pennsylvania, printed in Holland in 173 1. It 
was submitted in that year to the Synod of South Holland 
which met from July 3 to 13, 173 1, at Dortrecht. 

In this report we find the following statement about the 

28 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

religious conditions in Pennsylvania and the coming of 
Mr. Weiss to America :^^ 

But as the Quakers were not numerous enough to colonize this 
territory, William Pen, when he projected and built a city, called 
it Philadelphia, that by a name so friendly he might attract other 
Europeans thither. Not long after the first settlement many of 
the oppressed inhabitants of Germany, particularly from the Pala- 
tinate and from the districts of Nassau, Waldeck, Wittgenstein 
and the Wetterau, emigrated to Pennsylvania, with their wives 
and children and the proceeds of the property which they sold, 
whether more or less. 

Among them are Mennonites, Lutherans and Reformed, but at 
the present time the Reformed, holding to the old Reformed con- 
fession, constitute about half of the whole number, being about 
15,000. The German Palatines, migrating from their own coun- 
try to Pennsylvania, year after year, were unable to provide them- 
selves with ministers. Finding no religious worship, many, at- 
tracted by the good morals and blameless conduct of the Quakers, 
joined themselves to them, preferring their worship to none.^^ 

At last four years ago, the Upper Consistory of the Palatinate 
sent over a minister by the name of Do. [Dominie] Weis, with a 
number of people migrating from the Palatinate. They formed a 
consistory at Schibbach, a place about six miles from Philadelphia. 
A wooden church was erected and he [Dominie Weis] preached 
for the congregation and administered the ordinances of Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper. There most of the Palatines live close 
one to the other. 

In this report It is distinctly asserted that the Upper 
Consistory of the Palatinate sent Mr. Weiss with these 

32 Two copies of the Report of 1731, entitled Berigt en Onderrigtinge 
nopens en aan de Colonie en Kerke van Pensylvanien, 2 pp. preface and 
18 pp. text, are known to be in existence. One is in the possession of Rev. 
Dr. J. I. Good, the other was in the library of late Governor Pennypacker. 
The writer has used a photographic copy. 

33 This is in agreement with the testimony of Muehlenberg, see Hallesche 
Nachrichten, new ed., Vol. II, p. 195. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 29 

emigrants. This statement is supported by another re- 
port, which was presented on October 31, 1735, to the 
Synodical Deputies (an executive committee of the Synods 
of North and South Holland) . In this report, Do. Wil- 
helmius, then pastor at Rotterdam, the best friend of the 
Palatines in Holland,^* gave an extensive account as to 
how the Synods had come to take up the care of the 
churches in Pennsylvania. In it he wrote: 

These present Germans in Pennsylvania have immigrated thither 
from various parts of Germany, not in order to secure liberty of 
worship, which they enjoyed in their own land, but to realize better 
means of subsistence. Most of them came from the Palatinate, 
concerning whom the Great Consistory of the Palatinate, consist- 
ing of civil and ecclesiastical persons, addressed itself to the Synod 
of this country by means of letters, sent some years ago to me, and 
by me delivered to the Very Reverend Synod, showing that being 
oppressed as they were, they were not in a condition to furnish any 
assistance to these people, for the securing of any ministers of the 
Word, and asked therefore that our Synod would be kind enough 
to extend a helping hand. This the Synod subsequently accepted 
as an affair of the utmost importance, these people belonging to 
the pure Reformed religion and having been accustomed to our 
Catechism and Confession of Faith. . . . 

In the next place the condition of the church among them ought 
to be noted. They consist of several thousand, whose exact num- 
ber cannot even be guessed at, because they live scattered through 
the whole country in forests, without any civil or ecclesiastical 
union, so that those living in Philadelphia know as little about 

34 John Wilhelmius, son of William Wilhelmius, was born Decembei 
4, 1671, at Hardwyk. He studied at Leyden, where he also took the degree 
of doctor of philosophy. He was first pastor at Twisk, then professor of 
theology in the Reformed University at Lingen, and finally pastor at Rot- 
terdam, 1713-1748. He died March 3, 1754. He was a faithful friend 
of the Reformed Church of Pennsylvania. See Biographish Wordenboek 
der Nederlanden, 20ste Deel, Haarlem, 1877. 

30 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

those living at other places, as we in Holland know about our 
co-religionists in Poland or Hungary. . . . 

These people have organized themselves in three places into con- 
gregations and have built for themselves three churches, of which 
the first is in Philadelphia, where they now have a small stone 
church, towards which those of the larger English church have 
manifested their liberality. The second is at Germantown, a vil- 
lage eight hours^^ distant from it, that being a large barn built 
upon the land of the notorious [befaamden] Ryff and now en- 
larged, on which account they are in debt to the amount of 2500 
guilders. The third [church] is at Schibbach. 

For the ministry of these churches Do. Wys [Weiss] has been 
in service, who came over with a colony of these Palatines [die met 
eene Colonic dezer Paltzers is overgekomen] and who now has 
left his service, having been called to one of the churches of New 
Netherland [New York]. The other is Do. Boom [Boehm], 
against whom the congregation is greatly embittered, and from 
whom they have no service. The third is candidate Rieger, who 
came over with another colony and became minister there, but now 
has openly turned Quaker and refuses to baptize children and pub- 
licly teaches, to the disturbance of these congregations, that one 
can be saved in every religion. 

There are a number of points In this report which de- 
serve special emphasis. We notice first of all that the 
grossly exaggerated figures of the 173 1 report, regarding 
the Reformed people in Pennsylvania, have been materially 
reduced. Instead of 15,000 we read only of "several 
thousand," which is certainly much nearer the truth. We 
also learn that the Reformed people in Pennsylvania 
passed under the care of the "Fathers" in Holland in 
answer to the urgent representations made to them by the 

35 This distance is of course much too great. Eight hours represent 
twenty-four miles. In reality the Reformed churches of Philadelphia and 
Germantown were only six miles apart. See the statement of Boehm in 
his report of 1734 in Minutes and Letters of the Coetus of Pennsylvania, p. i. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 31 

Upper Consistory of the Palatinate. The first letter from 
the Heidelberg Consistory was laid before the South Hol- 
land Synod in 1728. Moreover, both Mr. Weiss as well 
as Mr. Rieger came with Reformed colonies to Pennsyl- 
vania. The statements about the three Reformed churches 
in Pennsylvania in 1735 are inaccurate in almost all par- 
ticulars. No small stone church, erected by Reformed 
people, existed in that year in Philadelphia. The reli- 
gious services of the Reformed people were rather held in 
an old butcher shop.^^ It stood on Arch Street above 
Fifth and belonged to Mr. Andrew Hamilton, who had 
rented it to Reformed and Lutherans for their joint use. 
The stone church of which the report speaks was rather 
built in Germantown. Mr. Boehm is authority for the fact 
that there was " a well built, pretty large stone church "^^ 
in Germantown, erected by the Reformed people there in 
1733. Finally it was the Skippack Reformed church 

^^ Mr. Boehm, in his report of 1744, refers to it in the following words: 
" At Philadelphia we had thus far, in common with the Lutherans, an 
old and dilapidated butcher's shop, at an annual rent of three pounds; 
finally this was raised to four pounds, which we must pay alone, for the 
Lurtherans have built a church there 70 by 45 feet." See Minutes and 
Letters of the Coetus of Pennsyhania, p. 23. A similar statement is made 
by Muehlenberg, see Selbstbiographie, Allentown, 1881, p. 128. Zinzen- 
dorf calls it "an old barn," see Biidingisthe Sammlungen, Vol. Ill, p. 
579; cf. Hallesche Nachricliten, new ed.. Vol. I, p. 39. It belonged to 
Andrew Hamilton, Esq., until his death in 1741, when it passed into the 
hands of his son-in-law, Justice William Allen. See Dotterer, Rev. John 
Philip Boehm, p. 9. Schlatter entered into the church record at Philadel- 
phia the following statement regarding it: "Thus far [till December, 
1747] the congregation has worshipped, every other Sunday, in an old 
small house, made of boards, from November, 1734, together with the 
Lutheran congregation. But when the Evangelicals [Lutherans] built a 
stone church in the year 1744, we had it alone and paid annually to Mr. 
William Allen the sum of four pounds." See also Life and Letters of 
Boehm, p. 329, note 213. 

3^ See his report of 1739, in the Minutes of Coetus, p. 12. 

32 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

which was built on the land of Mr. Reiff, not the church 
in Germantown, and that there was a debt of 2500 guilders 
resting upon it is another remarkable exaggeration in the 
Dutch records, due no doubt to exaggerated reports that 
had come from Pennsylvania. 

In. view of these inaccuracies in the report of Dr. Wil- 
helmius, his statement about Weiss might also be open to 
doubt, were it not for the fact that it is fully supported by 
a Latin testimonial which was given to Mr. Weiss by the 
Palatinate Consistory on May i, 1727. The original of 
this certificate is no longer in existence, but a copy of it was 
entered by Mr. Weiss himself into the church record of the 
old Catskill Reformed Church at Catskill, N. Y., of which 
Weiss was pastor from 1732 to 1735. As it is an im- 
portant historical document which has thus far escaped the 
notice of historians^* we offer a translation of the whole 

Ordination Certificate of Rev. George M. Weiss, May 

I, 1727. 

Greeting to the Kind Reader! 

He who once foretold that at evening time it shall be light [Zech. 
14' 7]> when contrary to the hope and expectation of all, the King 
of kings and the Lord of lords shall, as it were, suddenly take his 
stand for His struggling Church, even as He appeared at one time 
to the Apostles in the night following the resurrection, when, for 
dread of the Jews, the doors were closed, — whence no one can 
doubt that in the same manner He will be near His holy Church, 
when it will be shut in by foes and deserted by its own. For thus 
it has pleased the Divine Wisdom and Goodness that just then 

38 It was mentioned by Dr. Corwin in his Manual of the Reformed 
Church of America, 3d ed., 1879, p. 544. The writer owes his copy to 
the kindness of the present pastor, Rev. John H. Dykstra, who very readily 
gave him access to it. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 33 

when the Omnipotent has seen that the hand of the defenders has 
failed, the arm of the Lord should put on strength and claim for 
Himself His own, whereby should become all the more conspicuous 
that great Salvation, which was promised to the Sardensian circle 
[Rev. 3:4], numbering few survivors only, but also to each most 
beloved Philadelphia, when He shall see it [Philadelphia] drawing 
near and yearning to unite with Him: Then it will surely come to 
pass that, after its forces have become very small, it shall grow 
into large forces, large companies and into an army formidable unto 
its enemies, to which even the most distant peoples and nations 
shall be accessible and doors shall be opened, never afteru^ards to 
be closed; whereby there shall be gathered to the Savior, the Son 
of God, a people wholly new, even if it must be sought in another 

Wherefore, since the most excellent Sir, distinguished through 
ability and learning, George Michael Weiss, from Eppingen in 
the Palatinate, a candidate of Sacred Theology, determined to 
apply the divinely granted gifts to this most laudable use, that he 
might labor to the best of his ability for the extension of the King- 
dom of God, which is the kingdom of love; hence, after having 
devoted himself to the fine arts of the humanities and to philosophy, 
he consecrated himself wholly to the even sublimer studies of 
theology, in which he made such happy progress in a short time 
that he was deemed worthy to be permitted to undergo the exami- 
nation for the ministry. In this he proved his diligence to our 
Senate in such a manner that we not only hoped but were also con- 
fident that he would some day perform a useful work for the 
Church of Christ. 

Wherefore, since he announced of late that he had conceived the 
plan with some of his fellow-citizens and other friends, well known 
to him, to undertake a journey to the transatlantic parts of the 
world, if it should please the Divine Providence to entrust him 
there with the leadership of a congregational flock, to teach and to 
guide them there, and since he asked that to that end he be fully 
inducted into the spiritual office with the laying on of hands. 

Therefore, since the purity of his morals, his humility and espe- 

34 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

cially his piety that flows from it, were well known to us, and since 
our Senate was at the same time well aware of the progress he had 
made in the knowledge of the theological sciences and in thorough 
acquaintance with the sacred languages, we hesitated all the less 
to grant his request since we could cherish the certain hope that 
the Chief Shepherd of the sheep, to whom his own are well known, 
though they live in the most distant parts of the world, would not 
withhold his support from the undertaking of an honest mind. 

Hence we have admitted him to the office of the ministry of the 
divine Word and have ordained him by the imposition of hands 
and by extending to him the right hand of fellowship in the sacred 

It now remains for us only to implore God, the best and the 
highest, the ruler of the world and the church, that He may prove 
himself to be the companion of his journey. May He bless his 
labors most abundantly and whatever plans he makes, whatever 
labors he undertakes, may He crown and advance them with the 
most desired success. 

Given in Heidelberg on the Calends of 
May in the year of our Lord MDCCXXVH. 

Director and Councillors of the 

Senate of the Palatinate Church. 
C. L. MiEG. Pl. Pastoir. 


In view of this document there can be no longer any 
doubt that Mr. Weiss was actually the leader of the colony, 
at whose head he appeared in signing the declaration of 
allegiance on September 21, 1727. 

Of the colonists who came with Weiss to Pennsylvania, 
apparently only four remained In Philadelphia, the rest 
scattered over the province. Those who are found among 
the Reformed members In Philadelphia are: Hans Michel 
DIel, Rudolf Wellecker, Hans Georg Kremer and Hans 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 35 

Henrich Weller.^^ To Goshenhoppen went five, Johann 
Friedrich Hilligas, Johannes Huth, Hans Michel Zimmer- 
man, Benedict Strohm, and Hans Georg Welcker. Alex- 
ander Diibendorffer appears later as a member at Great 
Swamp. Three settled at Skippack,"**^ Hans Georg Bow- 
man, Sebastian Smith and Ulrich Staff on [Stephen], and 
two in the Conestoga valley, Hans Georg Schwab and prob- 
ably Leonart Seltenreich. The rest have not yet been 

When Mr. Weiss appeared in Pennsylvania in 1727, 
he found the beginnings of religious life among the Re- 
formed people in the province already in existence. In 
1725 the beginning had been made by two laymen, by John 
Philip Boehm in the Perkiomen valley and by Conrad 
Tempelman in the Conestoga valley. No sooner had 
Weiss heard that Boehm, a layman, was acting as a min- 
ister than he tried to stop him in his work. On October 2, 
1727, he addressed a letter to Mr. John George Schwab, ^^ 
one if his travelling companions, who had settled in the 
Conestoga valley, in which he informed him of his readi- 
ness to preach for the Reformed people at Conestoga, but 
also expressed his surprise 

that Mr. Boehm allows himself to be used as a minister, indeed 
that he usurps such privileges and authority as do by no means 
belong to him, nor have been accorded to him by the clergy, as I 
have learnt, to my satisfaction from the ministers here, but that he 
assumes so important an office merely at the instigation of the peo- 

39 These names appear among others signed to a call which was given 
to Mr. Boehm by the Philadelphia congregation on April 20, 1734, see 
Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 117; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 233. 

*^ For these names see the letter of the Skippack congregation, dated 
May 30, 1730, printed below, p. 58, and Dotterer, Historical Notes, p. 103. 

41 Printed in full in Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, pp. 51-53; also in 
Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 212-214. 

36 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

pie, while he cannot boast either of an external or of an internal 
call. . . . Wherefore I cannot conscientiously recognize Mr. 
Boehm as a Reformed teacher and preacher, until he submits to an 
examination and is ordained in Apostolic manner, which he will 
never be able to do. 

Weiss followed up this letter with a personal letter ad- 
dressed to Mr. Boehm*^ on November 28, 1727, In which 
he challenged his right to the ministry and summoned him 
to appear In the manse of the Presbyterian minister In 
Philadelphia for the purpose of being examined as to his 
qualifications for the ministry. Mr. Boehm, of course, 
ignored this letter, but his followers called upon Mr. Weiss 
to produce a proof of his own claims to be considered a 
regularly ordained minister. Weiss showed them his 
Latin certificate from Heidelberg, dated May i, 1727, but 
none could read It. He was then challenged to produce 
a German certificate, which ordinary people were able to 
understand. As a result Mr. Weiss was compelled to 
write to Heidelberg, on December 3, 1727, and he re- 
ceived from the authorities there the following reply, dated 
April 26, 1728, of which he has also left a copy In the 
Catskill record book:*^ 

Certificate of Palatinate Consistory, April 26, 1728. 

Whereas Mr. George Michael Weiss, born in Eppingen, in the 
Electoral Palatinate and at present stationed as a High German 
Reformed minister at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, under date of 
December 3rd, of the last year, made his report to the Consistory 

■*2 This letter of Weiss is translated and printed in Journal of P. H. S., 
Vol. VII, p. 54 f.; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 211 f. 

43 First published by Dr. Weiser in his Monograph, p. 28 f, but with a 
number of minor inaccuracies, as my own transcript made directly from 
the record shows. My translation differs accordingly from his in a few 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 37 

of the Electoral Palatinate concerning the present condition of 
religion and of the church affairs there — 

And whereas, on this occasion he gave us to understand, that 
(although he received from this Consistory a Latin certificate of 
his life and doctrine at the time of his journey thither) he needs 
also a certificate in German, because of certain circumstances in 
which he is placed and especially on account of those who do not 
understand any other language [but German] : — 

Therefore, we testify, as we did before, that he is not only ortho- 
dox in his doctrine and unblamable in his life, peaceable and socia- 
ble in his conduct, but he has also been found edifying in the 
sermons which he has preached on several occasions, and we have 
no doubt that, if the Lord grant him life and health, he will be of 
great usefulness under divine blessing and be a means of edifying 
many souls. 

The infinitely good and merciful God and Father extend to him 
light and strength in full measure, from the fulness of his grace 
which is in Christ Jesus, that the work of the Lord now begun 
may, through his ministry, make great progress, that the wealth of 
the nations be brought to the Lord and their kings be led unto 

Heidelberg, the 26th of April 1728. 
(L.S.) A. VON LuLS. L. C. Mieg. 

When Mr. Weiss shortly afterwards came in contact 
with the Presbyterian minister, at Philadelphia, Mr. Jedi- 
diah Andrews, the latter formed an equally good opinion 
of him, for on October 14, 1730, he wrote a letter to his 
friend, the Rev. Thomas Prince of Boston, In which he 
paid Mr. Weiss a fine tribute. He wrote :^* 

There is, besides, in this Province, a vast number of Palatines, 
and they come in still, every year. Those y*^. have come of late 
years are, mostly, Presbyt'n, or, as they call themselves, Reformed, 

«3aCf. Isaiah 60: 11. 

^* First printed in Hazard's Register, Vol. XV, p. 200. 

38 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

the Palatinate being about three fifths of that sort of people ; they 
did use to come to me, for baptism of their children, and many 
joined with us, in the other sacram't. They never had a minister, 
'till about 9 [read 3]*^ years ago, who is a bright young man and a 
fine scholar. He is at present absent, being gone to Holland, to 
get money to build a ch'ch, in this city; but they are scattered all 
over the country; those yt. live in Town, are mostly a kind of 
Gibeonites, hewers of wood etc. They are diligent, sober, frugal 
people, rarely charged with any misdemeanors. Many of 'em, 
yt live in the country and have farms, by their industry and frugal 
ways of living, grow rich, for they can underlive the Britons, etc. 
The first comers of 'em, tho' called Palatines, because they come 
lastly from that country, are mostly Switzers, being drove from the 
Canton of Bern, for they are Baptists, ^^ and won't fight or swear. 
They don't shave their heads and are many of them wealthy men, 
having got the best land in the Province. They live 60 or 70 
miles off, but come frequently to Town with their waggons, laden 
with skins, (which belong to the Indian traders), butter, flour 
etc. There are many Lutherans, and some Reformed, mixed 
among 'em. In other parts of the country they are, chiefly, Re- 
formed, so that I suppose the Presbyt'n party are as numerous as 
the Quakers or near it. 

The opposition of Weiss to Boehm's ministry instead of 
driving Boehm out of his office, Induced the elders of his 
three congregations at Skippack, Whitemarsh and Falkner 
Swamp to appeal to the Classis of Amsterdam through the 
Dutch Reformed ministers of New York. The petition 

^5 This statement has caused a good deal of discussion, see Weiser, 
Monograph, p. 17 f., and Good, History, p. 117, note. The easiest solu- 
tion of the difficulty is to suppose a misprint of 9 for 3, because the letter 
as originally printed in Hazard's Register, Vol. XV, p. 200 f ., uses the 
figure 9, not the word " nine," as the later reprints of the letter do. 

46 This statement refers to a colony of German Mennonites, who settled 
in 1709 and following years along the Pequea Creek in Lancaster County, 
see Rupp, History of Lancaster County, pp. 72-114; C. H. Smith, The 
Mennonites in America, Scottdale, 1909, pp. 134-181. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 39 

of the consistories of Boehm's churches was drawn up in 
July, 1728. A preliminary answer was given by the 
Classis on December i, 1728, and a final decision on June 
20, 1729, in which the call, extended to Boehm by the peo- 
ple, was declared valid and the Dutch ministers of New 
York were asked to ordain Mr. Boehm. This ordination 
of Mr. Boehm took place in the Dutch Reformed Church 
in New York on November 23, 1729.^^ On the follow- 
ing day a public reconciliation between Mr. Boehm and 
Mr. Weiss (who had also been summoned to New York) 
took place, in which each promised to recognize the min- 
istry of the other and confine himself to his own congre- 
gations, Mr. Weiss to Philadelphia and Germantown, Mr. 
Boehm to Falkner Swamp, Skippack and Whitemarsh. 
These promises were unfortunately not kept by Mr. Weiss, 
but he allowed himself to be persuaded by his followers 
to disregard them. 

Of the ministry of Weiss at Goshenhoppen little is 
known, and all that we know comes from the pen of Mr. 
Boehm. The first communion service, on October 12, 
1727, has already been referred to. In the same letter of 
Boehm, quoted above, he writes :^^ 

At the above mentioned Goschenhoppen on the same 12th of 
October and later on the 19th at Schipbach, that is in the very 
place in which I had been regularly called, and also on the 26th in 
Philadelphia, in these public assemblies he spoke of me by name 
and declared me to be an incompetent preacher, whom he did not 
regard as fit to administer the holy sacraments. 

*^ The papers relating to the ordination of Mr. Boehm have been 
printed repeatedly. See Mercersburg Revieiv, Vol. XXIII (1876), pp. 
528-557; Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York, Vol. IV, pp. 
2425-2437, 2468-75, 2478-88; Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VI, pp. 303-324; 
also Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 155-183. 

^^ Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 56; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 216. 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

In his report of 1739, Mr. Boehm writes of Goshen- 
hoppen as follows :^^ 

Of this congregation I know little, for it never wanted to be 
under our Church Order, but desired to be its own master. When 
Do. Weiss, as stated above, came into the country and created great 
confusion, they faithfully adhered to him. 

It was during his ministry at Goshenhoppen that Mr. 
Weiss made numerous missionary tours throughout the 
province. Thus he preached repeatedly to the Reformed 
settlers in the Conestoga valley. He was also the first 
Reformed minister who preached at Oley, unless Rev. 
Samuel Guldin was there before him, of which, however, 

we have no contemporaneous evidence. As to his activity 
at Oley, Mr. Boehm wrote as follows to Holland in No- 
vember, 1730:^^ 

Mr. Weiss celebrated the Lord's Supper, without previous prep- 
aration, at a place named Oley, where the sect calling itself the 
"New Born" (originated) and baptized at the same time several 
children, among (as is reported) were also Indian children, who 
as unbelievers, go about like wild animals, without knowledge of 
God or of his Word. Of which he boasted with his own mouth 
before Peter Zenger, sexton of the Reformed Church in New York, 
as the latter himself declared. 

*^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 9. 

50 Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 58 ; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 217 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 41 

The contact of Mr. Weiss with the New Born at Oley 
called forth the first book written by a German Reformed 
minister in Pennsylvania and printed there in 1729/''^ Its 
title may be rendered as follows in English: 

The Preacher, / traveling about in the American Wilderness / 
among different nationalities and religions / and frequently at- 
tacked, /portrayed and presented /in a conversation with a /Citi- 
zen and a New Born. / Treating of different subjects but especially 
of / the New Birth. / Prepared and / brought to light out of his 
ovi^n experience and / for the advancement of the glory of / Jesus, / 
by George Michael Weiss, V.D.M./ 

Printed at Philadelphia / by Andrew Bradford, 1729. 

The purpose of the book was to show that the doctrines 
taught by the New Born were neither rational nor scrip- 
tural. Their rejection of prayer and of the holy scrip- 
tures, their repudiation of the ministry and of religious 
worship, including the sacraments, together with their 
claims of perfect sinlessness could not be accepted because 
they were against reason and Holy Scripture. 

The reference to the baptism of Indian children at Oley, 
sometime between 1727-1730, is decidedly interesting. 
It is by far the earliest Indian baptism in Pennsylvania 
known to the writer. That Weiss was much interested in 
the Indians is shown by a book which he wrote later in 
life at Burnetsfield, New York. The minutes of the 
Classis of Amsterdam, under date September 3, 1742, 

s^ The only known copy of this exceedingly rare book was found by the 
writer in 1899 in the Congressional Library at Washington, D. C, For 
an account of it see Reformed Church Messenger of March 9 and 16, 1899; 
also Dr. Sachse's German Sectarians of Pennsylvania, Vol. I, pp. i5S-iS9- 
It was reprinted and translated in Penn Germania, Vol. I, pp. 336-361. 

42 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 



Luer Meofchen von verfchicdeaca 

Natiouen und Rc|igionen 

Hiii und wieder iennn W-lnd^se 

tJnd yerichiedentlich Angefochtcfie 


111 cinem Gcfpraech mit Eincm 

PdttiCd und Nek^aitoarenett^ 

Ycrfchiedenc StucK Infonderheifc 

Die lUifMgfBUrr betreflende, 

Vtflcftigcvimd zu BeforderuiJg dcr Eh£ 

J E S U 
S(ilb& aus eigmer Erfabrung an das 

Lick gebr^cht 

Pba CeorgrMkhad H^&ff V. D. M. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 43 

refer to the receipt of a letter of Weiss, dated May 10, 
I 741:" 

The Book of Weiss on the Indians, 1741. 

This letter was accompanied by a package, in which the Rev. 
Weiss sends over: (i) A small painting of the wild men of North 
America, mentioned above in the letter. (2) "A faithful descrip- 
tion of the savages in North America, as to their persons, charac- 
teristics, tribes, languages, names, houses, dress, ornaments, mar- 
riages, food, drink, domestic implements, housekeeping, hunting, 
fishing, war, superstitions, political government, besides other re- 
markable matters, composed from personal experience, by George 
Michael Weiss, V. D. M." Thus reads the title. This descrip- 
tion covers ninety-six and a half pages, in 8 vo., besides the preface 
[dedication], which is brief, to the Classis. In this he states the 
reasons which induced him thereto fviz. to prepare this book] 
and to communicate the same to the Classis. He doubted not that 
it would be agreeable to the Classis, and would be looked upon 
favorably, since he is cognizant of the paternal love which the Rev. 
Classis bears towards him. It ends with a wish for our prosperity 
and blessing. The introduction is signed at Albany, N. Y., by 
Rev. Weiss of Burnetsfield, October 4, 1741. Then follows the 
description itself. 

Unfortunately no copy of this book has been preserved, 
which is much to be regretted, as his description of Indian 
manners and customs would no doubt have proved to be 
very interesting. 

When Weiss came to Pennsylvania he found most of 

52 Ecclesiastical Records of Neiu York, Vol. IV, p. 2778. In a letter to 
the Classis on July 14, 1741, Weiss informs the Classis " that, inasmuch as 
he has had excellent opportunities to observe the ways of the wild men 
(Indians), and inasmuch as these people are very interesting, he has on 
several occasion spoken to them by means of an interpreter, about Chris- 
tian doctrines, and has baptized many of them, at their request," /. c, 
p. 2760. 

44 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

the Reformed people there in great poverty, unable to pay 
their minister a decent salary. A letter of Rev. John B. 
Rieger and Dr. John Jacob Diemer sets forth the situation 
very clearly. They write to the Deputies of the Synods, 
under date March 4, 1733 '^^ 

For most of the people, who come hither and have no means, are 
compelled to sell themselves and also their children who generally 
must serve until their 20th year, as here in Philadelphia some hun- 
dreds are in the service of the English people, but have the privi- 
lege to attend our services. ... At Philadelphia, which is the 
capital, and where most of the grain is shipped, in order to convey 
it to other lands, there are but ten [Reformed] families, which are 
well-to-do, all the others are in service. Among the townships 
Schippach is the most thickly settled, where about forty families 
may be counted, but they are for the most part poor, and it is nearly 
thirty miles from the city. The other localities are at a still 
greater distance. 

When Mr. Weiss faced these conditions for the first 
time he felt much inclined to give up his work in Pennsyl- 
vania and return to Germany. This appears clearly in a 
statement of Jacob Reiff, which will be presented later in 
connection with his trip to Holland.^^ 

Meanwhile, in order to increase his income, Weiss 
offered to give instruction in some of the subjects which 
he had studied in the University of Heidelberg. 

Beginning with February 10, 1730, and continuing 
through eight successive weekly issues of the American 
Weekly Mercury, printed by Andrew Bradford in Phila- 

53 This letter is preserved in the Synodical archives at the Hague, 74, 
I, 15. The numbers of the documents at the Hague are quoted according 
to the number given to them in the printed catalogue, entitled Catalogus 
van het Oud Synodaal Arch'tef, bewerkt door H. Q. Janssen, 's Graven- 
hage, 1878. 

5* See below, p. 46. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 45 

delphia, Weiss had the following notice inserted in that 

This is to give notice, that the subscriber hereof, being desirous 
to be as generally useful as he can in this country (wherein he is 
a stranger) do declare his willingness to teach Logick, Natural 
Philosophy, Metaphysicks etc. to all such as are willing to learn. 
The Place of Teaching will be at the widow Sprogel's in the Sec- 
ond Street, Philadelphia, where he will attend, if he has encour- 
agement. Three times a week for that Exercise. 

N. B. All persons that come, either as Learners, or Hearers, 
will be civilly Treated. By G. M. Minister of the Reformed 
Palatine Church. 

In the first insertion he signs himself " G.M.," then 
twice "G. Michael," then six times, from March 3-ApriI 
6, 1730, in full "G. Michael Weiss." 

It is very doubtful whether the people of Philadelphia 
at that time, struggling for the very necessaries of life, 
cared much about being instructed in the mysteries of phi- 
losophy or the abstractions of metaphysics. At any rate, 
a month after the last advertisement we find Weiss prepar- 
ing to return to Holland for the purpose of raising there 
some money for his needy churches. 

46 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The Collecting Tour of Weiss and Reiff to 
Holland, 1730-31. 

It is interesting to trace this new undertaking of Weiss 
to its origin. When three years later [in 1733], Jacob 
Reiff was cited into court, to give an account of the moneys 
collected in Holland, he stated :^° 

He fthe defendant] further answereth and saith that the said 
congregations of Philadelphia and Skippack in conjunction with 
their minister George Michael Weitzius (alias Weiss) did prefer 
a petition to the excellent Classis of Divinity in the United Prov- 
inces, which petition this defendant saith was signed and subscribed 
by the church wardens or elders of both the said congregations of 
Philadelphia and Skippack and (as this defendant remembers) it 
set forth the unhappy and necessitous condition of the said congre- 
gations and prayed the charitable donations of the said Classis, and 
this defendant delivered the said petition to Dr. Wilhelmus in the 
Bill named. This defendant believes a report was spread in Pen- 
silvania that collections of money had thereupon been made, and 
that before such news arrived the said George Michael Weitzius 
{alias Weiss) had prepared to return to Holland or Germany, and 
that upon receiving the said news the said congregations or one of 
them might entreat him to stay, to which the said George Michael 
Weitzius (alias Weiss) might make such answer as in the com- 
plainants said bill of complaint is set forth, and might promise to 
serve them to the utmost of his power; and this defendant doth 
acknowledge himself to have been a member of the German Re- 
formed Church of Skippack from its first establishment, but not of 
the German Reformed Church of Philadelphia, as in the bill 
charged. And this defendant doth deny that he usually traded 
into Holland or Germany, as in the complainants said bill of com- 
plaint is falsely suggested, other than and except that this defendant 
went over there in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and twenty seven to fetch his relations and laid out his money (as 

^5 See papers in Reiff Case, printed in Reformed Quarterly Review, 
Vol. XL (1893), p. 61. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 47 

passengers generally do) in goods fit for sale in this country. And 
this defendant saith that before or since that time he never carried 
on any trade to or from Holland or Germany (except as herein- 
after mentioned). And this defendant doth admit that he was 
acquainted with Doctor Wilhelmus in the bill named, and was 
informed by him that a collection had been made in favor of said 
congregations of the German Reformed Church of Philadelphia 
and Skippack to the amount of about two hundred guilders, but 
knows not of his own knowledge what sum was collected. And 
this defendant saith that the said Doctor Wilhelmus requested him 
this defendant to receive the monies so collected for use of the sd. 
congregations of Philadelphia and Skippack. But this defendant 
absolutely refused so to do, having been informed by letter from 
some of his friends in Pensilvania that some of the members of the 
sd. congregations were jealous or entertained some suspicions of this 
defendants' honesty, or to that purpose. And this defendant saith 
that he this defendant returned to [from] Holland from [to] 
Pennsylvania in August in the year of our Lord 1729. 

From this statement a number of important facts can 
be gathered: 

1. The Reformed congregations of Philadelphia and 
Skippack had drawn up a petition, addressed to the Re- 
formed Classis of Holland, asking for a collection to be 
taken up in their behalf. 

2. This petition was personally delivered by Jacob 
Relff to Dr. Wllhelmlus, then pastor in Rotterdam. And, 
as Relff, according to his own statement, went to Holland 
only once before his journey In 1730, namely In 1727, 
when he Intended "to fetch his relations," this petition 
must have been written and was delivered In 1727. 

3. Weiss had become so disheartened In Pennsylvania, 
that even before an answer to this petition was received, 
he had made up his mind to return to Europe, and It was 
only when It became apparent that the people of Holland 

48 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

had acted favorably upon the petition that he promised his 
congregations in Pennsylvania to serve them to the utmost 
of his power. 

4. That when ReifF returned from Germany to Hol- 
land, Dr. Wilhelmius offered to turn the money collected 
for the Reformed congregations of Philadelphia and Skip- 
pack over to him, but Reiff refused to accept it, as he had 
learnt from letters that his honesty had been questioned 
in Pennsylvania. 

5. Reiff returned to Philadelphia in August, 1729. 
The lawyer, who wrote Reiff's answer to the bill of com- 
plaint, evidently exchanged the prepositions " to " and 
" from." In 1729 Reiff returned " from " Holland " to " 
Pennsylvania and not vice versa. '^^ This is shown by the 
immigrant lists, for on August 19, 1729, Reiff landed In 
Philadelphia on the ship Mortonhouse, from Rotterdam. 
With him were Johannes Reif, evidently a relative, Wen- 
del Wiant, Jacob Sellser [Selzer], Johann Peter Moll, 
who settled in Goshenhoppen ; Richard Fetter and Hans 
Michael Frohlich, who became members of the Reformed 
congregation at Philadelphia; David Montandon, who is 
found in Skippack in 1730 and Johan Philip Ranck and 
Conrad Worntz, also Reformed people, who settled in the 
Conestoga valley. It is not impossible that Reiff was 
really the leader of this whole company. 

The petition of 1727, which Weiss and his consistories 
addressed to the Classes of Holland and which was deliv- 
ered to Dr. Wilhelmius, found its way to the Synod of 

^^ This conclusion is made absolutely certain by a sentence which occurs 
a little later in the same document: "On the contrary this defendant saith 
that on his return from Holland to Pensilvania in the year of our Lord as 
aforesaid ... he had no thought or design of going abroad any more " ; 
/. c, p. 62. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 49 

North Holland. In the minutes of the North Holland 
Synod, dated July 27-August 5, 1728, we read:^'^ 

The corresponding delegates of the South Holland Synod rec- 
ommended Philadelphia, from which this Christian Synod also 
received a letter, containing a request to take up a collection for 
them, for the building of a new church by our fellow believers who 
have fled thither from the Palatinate. 

This is the very first reference In the minutes of the 
North Holland Synod to the Reformed congregations in 
Pennsylvania. Weiss's petition of 1727 has, therefore, 
the distinction of being the first link in the chain which 
brought the Reformed churches of Holland and Pennsyl- 
vania together and was the beginning of a union which 
lasted 6^ years (1727-1792). 

But Weiss had written not only to Holland, he had also 
addressed himself to the consistory of the Palatinate. In 
the German certificate, which the Upper Consistory of the 
Palatinate signed for him on April 26, 1728, it Is distinctly 
stated that In asking for this certificate In a letter dated 
December 3, 1727, he had "made a report to the Con- 
sistory of the Electoral Palatinate concerning the present 
religious and ecclesiastical affairs there." 

The effect of this letter can also be traced in the Hol- 
land records, for at the meeting of the South Holland 
Synod at Woerden, from July 6-16, 1728 : 

The president read a letter addressed to this Christian Synod by 
the Great Consistory of Heidelberg, containing a request to receive 
something for the building of a Church in Pennsylvania by our 
fellow-believers, who have gone thither from the Palatinate, be- 
cause they are compelled to conduct divine service under the blue 
sky. It has been thought, that under the blessing of the Almighty, 
this affair [undertaking] might result in a large blessing for the 

^'' Ecclesiastical Records of Ne<w York, Vol. IV, p. 2424. 

50 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Church and, therefore, It was resolved to recommend it earnestly 
to the Classes. 

This letter Is also the first one on record, by which the 
South Holland Synod was made acquainted with the con- 
dition of the Reformed people In Pennsylvania. Thus we 
are brought to the Important conclusion that In July, 1728, 
the attention both of the North and the South Holland 
Synods was drawn to the Reformed churches of Pennsyl- 
vania through the Influence of the letters of Weiss, written 
In 1727. The appeal of Mr. Boehm's congregations, 
written to the Classis of Amsterdam In July 1728, did not 
reach Holland till November, 1728. On November 14, 
1728, It Is first mentioned In the Classical Minutes. ^^ 
Hence It Is evident that the letters of Weiss must be given 
the credit of having first directed the attention of the 
"Fathers" In Holland to the struggling Reformed 
churches In Pennsylvania. 

When Mr. Weiss heard that, in answer to his letters to 
Holland and the Palatinate, collections had been taken In 
Holland for the poor Reformed settlers In Pennsylvania, 
he determined to return to Holland, In order to take charge 
of this money personally. Before he left he arranged 
several farewell services with his adherents at Sklppack. 
On May 17, 1730, John Philip Boehm wrote about them 
as follows to the Dutch Reformed ministers In New 

Then he [Weiss] stayed away [from Sklppack] for some time 
until now, on the 30th of April, he returned at the request of the 
seceders, and held the preparatory service and on May ist cele- 
brated the Lord's Supper. He likewise preached on the 7th, being 
Ascension day, and again to-day. They are all called farewell 

°s Ecclesiastical Records of Neiv York, Vol. IV, p. 2440. 

59 Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 47 ; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 208, 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. $1 

services. Moreover, after these sermons and at other occasions he 
baptized various children and married people. He thus revealed 
what intention he had in mind during all this time. Through all 
this our poor congregation, which has been completely split by him, 
has been kept thus far in such harmful division and strife. 

Boehm had also heard about the object of Weiss's jour- 
ney and was not at all pleased with it. He regarded it 
only as a means of strengthening still more the opposition 
to him. Continuing the above quoted letter to New York, 
he wrote: 

Moreover he fWeiss] is now setting further mischief on foot, 
for he has resolved to cross the ocean with the avowed intention 
of going to Holland to receive the money which, he claims, has 
been collected there in answer to his letter. He intends to put this 
out at Interest, so he can live on it. Then he is going to return. 
Through this the poor seceding members, who have been driven 
Into rebellion through him, will still further be hardened. 

When Weiss was ready to leave, his elders associated 
Jacob Reiff with him, a well-to-do man and member of the 
Sklppack congregation, for they feared that Weiss might 
be persuaded to stay In Holland or return to Germany. 
In that case Relff was to take charge of the collected money 
and also try to secure them another minister. That this 

52 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

was the reason why Relff was associated with Weiss is 
asserted in a letter of Rev. John B. Rieger and Dr. John 
Jacob Diemer, written on March 4, 1733, to the Synod- 
ical Deputies. They write in the course of their letter:^" 

When Dominie Weiss, about three years ago, resolved to go to 
Holland and Germany to present our need to good-hearted souls 
eager to advance the honor of God, a doubt arose in the minds of 
some of us, whether he might not allow himself to be persuaded 
to remain in Germany, whereby our good efforts would prove 
fruitless. For this reason we associated with him Jacob Reif, a 
naturalized citizen of this country and a well-to-do man, who 
intended to travel to Germany, and we gave him a special power of 
attorney, by virtue of which he was requested to take charge of the 
collection, in case Weiss would not return, and act in accordance 
with the orders of the consistory of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. 

That a possible change of ministers was contemplated 
appears also from a statement made by Do. Wilhelmius 
before the Synod of North Holland, held at Enkhuysen, 
July 29-August 7, 1732. The minutes of that meeting 
state : 

Do. Wilhelmius has heard that the Society of Merchants has 
bought a large district in Pennsylvania, but intended to sell this 
land again, for which purpose J. Ryff has traveled to the Palati- 
nate. The said Mr. Wilhelmius had proposed Mr. Hottinger to 
J. Ryff, with the view of sending him to Pennsylvania, for the 
purpose of organizing the Church there. About this matter J. 
Ryff had written to Wilhelmius, that he had spoken to Mr. Hot- 
tinger about it and that he was not without hope that Mr. Hot- 
tinger could be persuaded to do this. 

From these two documents we learn Incidentally that 
Jacob Reiff had other reasons for going to Holland and 
Germany in 1730. He was traveling In behalf of a so- 

60 The original is in the Hague archives, 74, I, 15. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 53 

clety of merchants as a land agent, and probably induced 
a number of those who are later found as his traveling 
companions on the ship " Mortonhouse " to go with him 
to Pennsylvania. 

Reiff himself hotly denied in his answer to the bill of 
complaint preferred against him in 1732, that he had any 
other motive for going to Holland in 1730 except to serve 
the congregations of Philadelphia and Germantown. He 

Answer of Reiff to Bill of Complaint, September 4, 1733. 

[This defendant] denies that he did acquaint the said congre- 
gations, church-wardens or elders, or any person or persons what- 
soever, that he intended a voyage to Holland and from thence to 
Frankfort in Germany, or that he should be glad of the company 
of the said George Michael Weitzius (alias Weiss) or that he 
would willingly assist him in doing any service he could to his 
brethren of the Reformed Church of Philadelphia; or that if he 
should stand in need of any money for that purpose or for his own 
private wants that he this defendant would furnish him, or any- 
thing to that or the like purpose, as in the said bill of complaint is 
falsely suggested. But on the contrary this defendant saith that 
on his return from Holland to Pensilvania in the year of our Lord 
1729 as aforesaid (or any time afterwards till prevailed on as here- 
after mentioned) he had no thought or design of going abroad any 
more. But several of the church-wardens or elders of the said 
congregations of Philada. and Skippack and the said George 
Michael Weitzius (alias Weiss) frequently applied to the defendant 
and earnestly entreated him to go to Holland and Germany once 
more, to accompany and assist the said George Michael Weitzius 
(alias Weiss) in collecting and receiving monies collected and to be 
collected for the use of the said congregations. And the better to 
prevail on this defendant to comply with their request, they volun- 
tarily and of their own accord faithfully promised that they would 

^1 Reformed Quarterly Review, Vol. XL, p. 61 f. 

54 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

reimburse and pay to him this defendant all costs and charges and 
expenses that he should be at in the said voyage, and that they 
would likewise pay and allow him any reasonable satisfaction for 
his time and trouble therein. But this defendant often refused 
to take the said voyage, this defendant being then employed in car- 
rying on certain buildings on his plantation at Skippack, and it 
was likely to be very prejudicial to this defendants affairs. And 
this defendant saith that in order to get rid of their importunities 
he endeavored to get some other person to undertake the said 
voyage in his stead and accordingly offered £5 out of his own 
pocket to one Hans William Rohrich who was willing to go. But 
neither of the said congregations thought fit to trust him. And 
this defendant saith that by the continued importunities of the said 
members of the said congregations, their elders or church wardens 
and minister, induced by their fair promises expecting that agree- 
able thereto he should be reimbursed all the charge and expense he 
should be at and be also generously rewarded for his trouble, and 
upon the said elders or church-wardens signing an instrument for 
that purpose, he the said defendant was at length prevailed upon 
to undertake the said voyage, tho' hazardous, troublesome and very 
prejudicial to this defendants affairs and interest, and the great 
displeasure and uneasiness of his most intimate friends and rela- 
tions. And this defendant saith that true it is a power was given 
to this defendant signed by the elders or church wardens of both 
the said congregations of Philadelphia and Skippack, but denies that 
the said power is of the purport or contents in the bill set forth or 
that he was thereby enjoined to observe the directions of the Classis 
in Holland, as may appear by the said power now in the defendants 
possession and ready to be produced to this honorable court, a copy 
whereof is to this defendants answer annexed, which this defendant 
prays may be taken as part of this his answer. 

This power of attorney, written in incoherent German, 
with several words left out, as well as poorly spelled, was, 
according to Reiff's copy [presumably correct] as follows r^^ 

^- Reiff's copy of this power of attorney is in the Harbaugh collection 
of manuscripts; printed in the Reformed Quarterly Review, Vol. XL, p. 58. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 55 

Power of Attorney Given to Reiff, May 19, 1730, 

Forasmuch as our pastor, Mr. Weiss, has resolved to take a 
journey, accompanied by Jacob ReifF, to England and Rotterdam, 
for the purpose of receiving the collection which is said to be lying 
ready there, [intended] for the erection of a church in this coun- 
try ; authority is herewith given to Jacob Reiff to take entire charge, 
so that Mr. Weiss may be expedited on his immediate return with 
the same to Pennsylvania. Therefore we also entrust everything 
to his good conscience, and give him plenary power in everything. 
In testimony whereof we subscribe our names. Given at Phila- 
delphia, May 19, 1730. 

We hereby request Jacob ReifE to arrange matters in such a way 
that, if Pastor Weiss should or would not return to this country,^' 
he, Reiff, may at once bring with him a minister from Heidelberg, 
and provide him with whatever is most necessary; because if monies 
collected should be no longer on hand, we deem is unnecessary that 
Mr. Weiss proceed further in his journey, but that, according to 
his best judgment, Jacob Reiff should deliver the letters at their 
proper destination and personally ask for a reply thereto. 

Signed by all the elders of the two congregations at Philadelphia 
and Skippack: 

[Philadelphia] [Skippack] 

J. Diemer, D.M.P. Wendel Keiber 

Pieter Lecolie Deobalt Jung 


Henrich Weller Gerhart (G.I.H.) Inde Heven 

George Peter Hillengass George Reif 

Hans Michel Frolich Georg Philip Dodder. 
Michel Hillengass. 

It is significant of the state of affairs that Reiff admits 
in his answer to the bill of complaint " that at the time 
when the said power was given, the said George Michael 

®3 This statement shows that there was still a lurking suspicion in the 
minds of some of his members that Weiss would not return to Pennsylvania. 

56 " The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Weitzius (alias Weiss) was absent and this defendant be- 
lieves it was given without his knowledge." 

When Weiss and Reiff left for Holland they took with 
them several letters. The consistory of the Dutch Re- 
formed congregation at Neshaminy, Bucks County, sent 
through Mr. Reiff a letter, dated May 3, 1730, to the Rev. 
David Knibbe of Leyden and the Rev. John Wilhelmius 
of Rotterdam,^^ asking them to issue in their name a call 
to a minister for the Dutch Reformed church in Bucks 
County at a salary of sixty pounds, and sending at the 
same time a sum of money to pay his traveling expenses. 
Two other letters, dated May 10, 1730, almost identical in 
contents, were sent by the followers of Weiss at Skippack, 
one to the Classis of Amsterdam, the other to the Classis 
of Rotterdam. As these letters have not been published 
before, we offer herewith a translation of the letter to the 
Classis of Amsterdam, which is the more interesting of 
the two, because 41 signatures of people living at Skip- 
pack in 1730, are affixed to it. It reads as follows :^^ 

Letter of the Skippack Reformed Church to the Classis 
OF Amsterdam, May 10, 1730. 

Very Worthy, Very Learned, our Highly Respected Gentlemen of 

the far famed Classis of Amsterdam. 

A whole congregation ventures, upon the request of the elders 
and deacons of the Reformed Church and Congregation at Skip- 
pack, to submit this present letter to the very Reverend Classis of 

6* This letter, together with the old church records of the congregation, 
is now in the archives of the Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, 
N. J. It was translated and published by the writer in a paper, read before 
the Bucks County Hist. Society, January 19, 1918, on the Life and Work of 
the Rev. Peter H. Dorsius. 

65 The original of this letter is in the archives of the Classis of Amster- 
dam, " Pennsylvania Portfolio," new letters. No. 4. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 57 

Amsterdam with the request to look upon it with favorable eyes. 
It is indeed a great comfort to us here in this wilderness that a 
Reverend Classis has taken our affairs somewhat to heart, which 
favor we are certainly unable to appreciate sufficiently with a thank- 
ful spirit, yet it pains us that we are unable to accept and recognize 
Mr. Boehm as our minister, in whose behalf a letter was addressed 
to the Reverend Classis, in the name of the congregation at Schi- 
bach. This is due to the fact, that he did not hesitate, without our 
knowledge and against our will, to deceive with a false statement 
your Reverences, for whom we have and shall always maintain the 
highest respect. For in our name and with the addition of some 
signatures he asked and petitioned a Reverend Classis about things 
which we have not even thought of. We recognize that, in answer 
to Mr. Boehm's supplications, the Reverend Classis had the best 
interests of the Reformed Congregation in view and acted very 
wisely, but it was certainly desirable that Mr. Boehm should have 
made the same profession of his intentions here in this country as 
before a Reverend Classis, so that we would not be compelled to 
annoy you with complaints. 

We, the whole congregation in the neighborhood of Schibach 
creek, are well satisfied with our minister, Mr. Weiss, who, in 
answer to a regular call and upon our repeated requests and desires, 
undertook the service of the ministry among us. We are deeply 
grieved that he is to be taken from our congregation. It appears 
to us so hard, because we feel as if we were no longer worthy to 
hear the Word, which is the only saving means of grace, from a 
duly ordained minister of God's Word, who insists on a virtuous, 
loving and God-fearing heart. We can have great confidence in a 
man, who leads a good life, but little in one who has a restless 
head and mixes too much in worldly affairs. Rev. Mr. Weiss 
read on December 7, 1729, after his sermon at Schibach, the de- 
cision of the Reverend Classis regarding the ordination of Mr. 
Boehm which had taken place. But, as we were greatly dismayed 
about this, we asked Mr. Weiss to spare us in this, as we could not 
possibly accept Mr. Boehm and recognize him as a minister. The 
letter which Mr. Boehm had written some time ago to the Reverend 

58 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Classis, had not been sent with our knowledge and consent. Now 
the Reverend Classis can easily see what to think of Mr. Boehm's 
petition and how he deceived us all. 

We hope that for this reason the Reverend Classis will not take 
it amiss, inasmuch as we do not wish to give thereby offence to the 
w^hole Reformed Church nor any occasion for slander to the mani- 
fold sects in this country. 

However, we heartily forgive Mr. Boehm for what he has done 
in this matter, if only he will give up his purpose. We herewith 
request the Reverend Classis to favor us with a reply in so impor- 
tant a matter, in order that we may be governed by it and not be 
hindered in our divine services. 

With all dutiful respect all of us remain greatly indebted to the 
Reverend Classis, 

Schibach, May 10, 1730. 
The most submissive and obedient servants of the Reverend 
Classis, Deacons and Elders of the Congregation at Schibach: 

Wendel Keupper Gerhart (G.I.H.) Indeheven 

Christophel Schmitt Hans Georg Reiff. 

Dewald Jung Jacob Keller 

Johannes Scholl Marte Hiltebeudel 

Johannes Lefeber Ulrich Steffen 

Johannes Leman Johan Jacob Arndt 

JosT Ferer Hans Adam (H M) Mauer 

Felix Guth Johann Philb Ried 

Henrich H Huwer Phillips Henrich Soller 

Jerg (G) Gernan Johannes Lebo 
Valentin (VH A) Hans Amen Bastian Schmit 

LoRENTZ Schweitzer Hans File Steinheindig 

Johannes (O) Willhe Jacob Heidschuh 

Peter Wence Jost Scheuler 


Christian Weber David Montandon 

Peter Borger Hans Jerg Bauman 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 59 

Carl Ludwig Keipper Friderich Scroll 

Andreas Hack Jacel Leidy 

Ludwig Schefer Georg Philib Dodder. 


The point made against Boehm in this complaint was of 
course poorly taken. In order to have a valid petition 
Boehm did not need to have the signatures and consent of 
all the members of his congregations. It was enough that 
he had the signatures of all his elders. The plaint of the 
seceders at Skippack amounts simply to this, that Boehm 
did not take them, his enemies, into his confidence. There 
was no deception in that and no sensible man can blame 
him for not doing it. It was the part of wisdom to keep 
his own counsels. 

Before Weiss and Reiff reached Holland the Synod of 
South Holland had been held July 4 to 14, 1730, at 
Breda, ^^ at which its president. Rev. Dr. Wilhelmius of 
Rotterdam, read a lengthy report. In it he stated among 
other things that the number of Reformed confessors from 
the Palatinate then in Pennsylvania was 15,000. They 
were increasing year by year through new arrivals. Only 
a few weeks before the meeting of Synod, three ships with 
600 emigrants had passed through Rotterdam. The 
same report was also read before the Synod of North Hol- 
land, held July 21 to August 3, 1730. As a result of this 
report the church of Pennsylvania was earnestly recom- 
mended to the benevolence of the Classes. 

Weiss and Reiff arrived in Holland shortly after the ses- 
sions of these Synods. We first meet them at Haarlem^" 

66 There is no evidence that Weiss and Reiff were present at the Synod 
of Breda. Their names are not mentioned in the minutes of that meeting. 

6^ These dates are based on the list of contributions printed in the 
writer's " History of the Reiff Case," in Mr. Dotterer's Historical Notes, 
p. 153. There are three contemporaneous copies of this list: (i) In the 

6o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

on August 10, where the Rev. Jacob Geelkerke handed 
them fl. 390, collected by the Synod of North Holland. 
A few days later, on August 15 to 16, they were at Rot- 
terdam, where the Rev. Alardus TIele gave them, by 
order of the Synod on South Holland, held at Kuilenburg 
in 1729, fl. 696.12, and the Rev. Barth. Van Velse handed 
over the contributions of the Synod just held at Breda in 
1730, namely fl. 79. At the same time they appeared 
before the Synodical Deputies, whose minutes of August 
15 to 16, 1730, give us the following information: 

Weiss and Reiff before the Synodical Deputies. 

1. The Deputies of the Synods have requested the Rev. Classis 
of Schieland to appoint some of her midst to make further inquiries, 
in accordance with the resolution of the Rev. Synod of South Hol- 
land, held at Breda, regarding the report touching the churches in 
Pennsylvania, which had been presented to the Synod. They hear 
with much satisfaction from the mouth of the president, Do. 
Wilhelmius, that a good opportunity will be afforded to do this, be- 
cause the Rev. George Michael Weitzius, minister at Philadelphia 
and an elder of that congregation*^^^ are at present in Rotterdam. 

2. Who having been interviewed at length by the Deputies 
about the condition of the church and the contents of the memorial, 
presented before Syond, it was resolved to further discuss the matter 
with them tomorrow at the house of Do, Wilhelmius. 

3. Having met here, the above mentioned Do. Weitzius 

{a) presented to the Deputies his certificate of examination and 
the commission given to him by Upper Consistory at Heidelberg, 

Harbaugh manuscripts (see Ref. Quarterly Review, Vol. XL (1893), p. 
68 f.) ; (2) in the Minutes of the Synodical Deputies, under date April 
13-16, 1739 (see Dotterer's Historical Notes, p. 153); (3) in the letter 
book at the Hague, 74, II, 3. pp. 15. 16. 

6^a Reif was not an elder, but only a member of the Skippack Church, 
see Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 237; see also his own statement, above, 
p. 46. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 6i 

dated May i, 1727, and renewed by the said Consistory on April 
26, 1728. 

{b) He gave an account of the large number of Reformed 
people in Pennsylvania, who have been served hitherto by him alone 
and by a certain Philip Beem [Boehm], who has set himself up as 
a teacher, although being without education and having no proper 
call, but who through wrong information was examined, it seems, 
and admitted to the ministry by one of the ministers of New 
Netherland, upon the order of the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam, 
about which the congregation at Philadelphia and at Skippack 
wrote a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam and also to the Classis 
of Schieland, dated May 30, 1730, signed by forty-four persons, 
requesting that the above mentioned Beem might not be forced upon 
them as their minister. 

(c) He accepted the request to prepare a chart, showing the 
different colonies of the Palatines, the distance of one from the 
other, and how many churches ought to be built there for their 
service, and how many shepherds or teachers would be necessary 
to serve them properly, and he agreed further to give a detailed 
written account concerning the whole condition of the land and 
the Palatines living therein. 

The minutes of the meeting of September 12 to 14, 
1730, add: "This report came after the close of the ses- 
sions and was communicated to the Deputies." 

It Is very unfortunate that this report and chart of Weiss 
are no longer In existence, for they would have given us 
no doubt Important Information regarding the various 
German settlements In the province and the earliest Re- 
formed congregations. 

On September 4, 1730, Weiss and Relff were In Am- 
sterdam, where they appeared before the famous Classis 
of that city. The Classical Minutes states that: 

Do. G. Mich. Wijs, minister at Philadelphia, appeared with an 
elder of Schibach and made known that the congregation at Schi- 

62 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

bach, from which also a letter had been received, is very much dis- 
turbed and in great confusion, because the congregation refuses to 
recognize Do. Boehm as a properly ordained minister, who has 
been installed as their pastor, in accordance with the order of this 
Classis, by the ministers of New York, which can be seen in the 
Acts of January ii, 1729. His Reverence requested this Classis 
to take such measures as would restore the peace of the congrega- 
tion. Whereupon the Deputies for foreign affairs were asked to 
investigate this matter carefully and present their recommendations 
to this body. 

Further his Reverence requested a contribution to build a church 
at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which congregation is recom- 
mended to the charity of all the congregations under the jurisdic- 
tion of this Classis. 

The two travelers remained in Amsterdam for several 
months. On October 18, 1730, the burgomasters of the 
city permitted them to collect fl. 600. A list of contribu- 
tions spread out upon the minutes of the Synodical Depu- 
ties under date April 14, 1739, shows that this sum was 
actually collected. The permit issued to them has been 
translated and printed several times, but as it is desirable 
to have all the documents, bearing on their stay in Hol- 
land, put together in one place, we may be pardoned for 
repeating it in this connection, with a few minor correc- 
tions :^^ 

Permit of Burgomasters of Amsterdam, October 18, 1730. 

The Burgomasters and Magistrates of the City of Amsterdam, 
upon the report made to their Honors by George Michael Weiss, 
minister, and Jacob Reiff, elder, as commissioners of the Reformed 
congregation at Philadelphia, concerning the miserable condition 
of the said congregation, consisting in general of poor and needy 

^s A contemporaneous copy of this permit in Dutch, from which the 
above translation was made, is found at the Hague, Vol. 74, II, 3. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 63 

people, who were compelled by religious persecution or from lack 
of subsistence to emigrate thither, and after long and expensive 
journeys had to settle there empty handed; and being without 
places and opportunities for the exercise of their religion, and for 
the propagation of the Christian Reformed religion, have resolved, 
in order to so far come to the aid of these poor banished brethren 
in the faith, in the attainment of their desires, as to grant and per- 
mit to their aforesaid commissioners, being assisted by John Peter 
Bolthuysen, a resident of this city, that these same, within this city 
and its jurisdiction, may visit the homes of the good citizens and 
residents and may solicit of the same most courteously the gifts 
and donations of their Christian sympathy, such as they may be 
willing to contribute to them ; moreover, that they may accept such 
gifts and contributions with gratitude to the amount of six hun- 
dred guilders and no more. 

Done at Amsterdam on the 18th of October 1730. 

By ordinance of their Excellencies aforesaid 

(L.S.) S. B. Elias. 

On October 19, 1730, the consistory of the Reformed 
Church at Amsterdam gave fl. 150, through Rev. John 
Visscher, pro tem. president of Synod and on the follow- 
ing day the diaconate added fl. 600, through Wm. Coeven- 
hoven, deacon. 

During October and November private persons in Hol- 
land contributed fl. 217, so that the total of all the contri- 
butions received was fl. 2132.12. 

The last reference to the presence of the two delegates 
in Holland is found in the minutes of the Classis of the 
Hague, which mentions, under date November 6, 1730, 
a Latin letter of Do. Weiss, addressed to the Classis, in 
which he asked for their help and encouragement. 

The later movements of Weiss can fortunately be traced 
by an account which he submitted in May, 1738. At that 
time he made a trip from German Flats, N. Y., to Skip- 

64 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

pack, Pa., in order to bring the long standing " Reiff 
Case " to a final settlement. At a conference held at Skip- 
pack, Weiss submitted the following paper to be signed 
by his former elders. He did not succeed in getting them 
to sign it, but they made a copy of his statement, which 
ultimately fell into the hands of John Philip Boehm, who 
promptly forwarded it to Holland.^^ The statement of 
Weiss was as follows : 

Statement of Weiss Regarding Money Collected in 

ScHiPACH, May 8, 1738. 
Account, made with J. ReifF, concerning the collected money, 
which he received in my presence In Holland at Rotterdam, Haar- 
lem and Amsterdam, from the respective donors, of which he made 
the following disposition, namely: 

Receipts, according to the collection book added together in sum 

total fl. 2104. — 

Expenditures, being for necessary expenses: 

1. For voyage from Philadelphia to London without the provisions 

taken along £18. — 

2. For provisions in London during about one month, with the 

duty for myself and Jacob Reiff £ 

3. For passage from London to Rotterdam for each I5sh. sterling, 

I chini [guinea] for the bed and 3sh. sterl. for the board. 

4. Expenses for half a year's board in Holland and necessary 

travels, 700 Dutch guilders. 

5. At Rotterdam, shortly before my return to London, Jacob 

Reiff gave me 250 Dutch guilders, with which I paid to pas- 
sage from Rotterdam to London (when J. Reiff remained in 
Holland, I5sh. one chini [guinea] for the bed, 6sh. for the 

69 Boehm's copy is in the Pennsylvania Portfolio of the Classical Ar- 
chives, No. 20. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 65 

The passage from London to Maryland £8. — ^without the pro- 
visions taken along. 

The journey from Maryland to Philadelphia by sea £3,sh.i2,d.i. 
Board in London i6sh. 

In addition for my labor and trouble I ask £50 for the year. 

N.B. Jac. Reiff declares to have paid me for clothes and books 
iiofl.14 stuivers. 

When pounds and shillings are referred to, sterling money is 

This statement reveals the fact that Weiss stayed in 
Holland six months. Since he arrived about August 10, 
1730, he must have left it about February 10, 173 1. 
Then he returned to Pennsylvania by way of London and 

Besides collecting about fl. 2100 for the congregations 
of Philadelphia and Skippack and rousing much interest 
for the Reformed people in Pennsylvania, the visit of 
Weiss in Holland had another Important result. It led 
to the publication of the first printed report regarding the 
Reformed Church In Pennsylvania, which was laid before 
the Synod of South Holland, convened at Dortrecht from 
July 3 to 13, 1 73 1, and was ordered printed by that Synod. 
The minutes of that meeting state regarding It: 

Minutes of South Holland Synod on Reformed Church 
IN Pennsylvania, July 3-13, 1731. 

The Reverend Deputies of the Synod reported, that, in obedience 
to the resolution of Synod, they had gathered full information, with 
the assistance of the commissioners of the Reverend Classes of 
Delft and Delftland as well as of Schieland, from the lips of Do. 
Georgius Michael Weitzius, minister at Philadelphia and from his 
elder, who have come over hither [to Holland],^" as well as from 

^°This statement proves that the "Berigt" of 173 1 was based on the 
reports of Weiss, but it was not actually written by him, as has been stated 

66 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

thorough reports and letters, regarding the condition of the churches 
in Pensylvania, which consist of 30,000 baptized members, among 
whom are about 15,000 [adult] members. They were served 
hitherto by only one minister, namely the aforesaid Do. Weitz, 
besides by another, Philippus Beem [Boehm], who, however, has 
had no [preparatory] studies nor a call, but was forced upon the 
congregation rather than elected by it. They are now busy with 
the building of a stone church with materials from that country. 
They will need in course of time at different places four other 
churches, together with a minister and schoolmaster for each. . . . 

Furthermore, the Reverend Deputies read before Synod a draught 
of a church order [constitution], composed at the express request 
of the Palatine colonists in Pennsylvania, by their Reverences 
together with the Commissioners of the Classis of Delft and Delft- 
land, as well as those of Schieland, which according to their 
opinion (subject to correction) can be introduced to a large extent 
into the distant churches, in harmony with the usages of the Pala- 
tinate. . . . 

The Christian Synod is of the opinion that the Reverend Depu- 
ties and Commissioners of the Classes of Delft, Delftland and 
Schieland ought to be thanked for the trouble and efforts expended 
in this far-reaching affair and for the draught of a church order 
which has been read. 

This draught should be printed as quickly as possible, so that 
during the sessions of this Synod^^ their Reverences, the correspond- 
ing delegates as well as the members of Synod, may be provided 
with copies and thus be better able to express their opinion regard- 
ing it, that if necessary, the draught may be changed or amended 
and then be sent as soon as possible to the congregation [in Penn- 
sylvania]. The commisioners for this affair shall put such a title 

repeatedly. There is reason to think that the author of the " Berigt " was 
the Rev. John Wilhelmius, see Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 306, note 190. 
'i'l The Synod at which all these events happened was the Synod of Dort- 
recht (or Dort), held in 1731, and not the Synod of Breda of 1730, as has 
been stated by Dr. Good in his History of the Reformed Church in the 
United States, p. 136, and repeated by Dr. Corwin, Manual of the Re- 
formed Church in America, 4th ed., p. 897. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 67 

or statement upon it as shall make it evident that this draught is 
only an advice or counsel which the Deputies of this Synod, to- 
gether with the Commissioners of Delft, Delftland and Schieland, 
drew up at the request preferred to them, so that no suspicion may 
be provoked by it. This was done and the copies [of the draught] 
were handed over to the members present and to each Classis, 
according to the number they had asked for. 

Copies of this printed report have come down to us. 
One was bought by the writer in Holland for his friend, 
the Rev. Prof. J. I. Good, D.D. It is entitled: 

Berigt, / en / Onderrigtinge, / nopens en aan de Colonic / en 
Kerke/van /Pensylvanien. /Opgestelt en Uytgegeven door de 
Gedeputeerden van/de E. Christelyke Synodus van Zuyd-Holland, 
/benevens de Gecommitteerden van de/E. Classis von Delft en 
Delfsland, / en Schieland. 

Title page, one page of introduction and 18 pages of 
text, in small quarto. 

The title reads in English: 

Report and Instructions, concerning and for the Colony and 
Church of Pennsylvania. Prepared and published by the Deputies 
of the Rev. Christian Synod of South Holland, together with the 
Commissioners of the Rev. Classis of Delft, Delftland and Schie- 

As the title Indicates the booklet consists of two parts: 
(i) a report, covering five pages, (2) an Instruction for 
the regulation of the churches there, pp. 6-18. 

The report gives a brief description of Pennsylvania, 
its location, climate, nature of soil, products, metals and 
Inhabitants. It then traces its history from the first occu- 
pation of the country by the Swedes, to its surrender to the 
English In 1665 and Its acquisition by Penn In 168 1. It 
refers to the establishment of Philadelphia and the efforts 
of Penn to attract settlers to the colony. It states that 

68 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

many inhabitants of Germany were attracted to Pennsyl- 
vania, Mennonites, Lutherans and Reformed, but that the 
last were nearly half of the whole population or about 
15,000. This is, of course, a greatly exaggerated figure. 
Of the Reformed people it is said that, being without reli- 
gious services, many had gone over to the Quakers. Four 
years ago [1727] their first minister had arrived, Weiss, 
under whom they had formed a congregation at Skippack, 
but that one minister and one church was not sufficient for 
the widely scattered Reformed settlers. Therefore they 
needed the help of the Reformd Church of the Nether- 
lands. With their help even the Indians might be reached 
and converted. The log church at Skippack should be 
replaced by one of stone and four additional churches 
should be erected. 

The second part of the pamphlet, called instruction, 
proposes the complete organization of the Church in Penn- 
sylvania, looking forward even to the formation of a 
Classis, but demanding of its ministers subscription to all 
the formulas of unity, adopted by the Synod of Dort, in- 
cluding the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, De- 
crees as well as Post-Acta of the Synod of Dort. 

Two remarkable facts should be noted with regard to 
this proposed constitution for the Reformed churches of 
Pennsylvania. The first is that it exerted absolutely no 
influence upon the constitutional history of the Reformed 
Church. Mr. Boehm clung tenaciously to his own consti- 
tution, drawn up in 1725, which had been permitted by the 
Classis of Amsterdam in 1729, and which became the con- 
stitution of the Coetus of Pennsylvania in 1748. The 
other fact is that the opponents of Boehm circulated an 
interpolated manuscript copy of this constitution, written 
it was claimed by Do. Wilhelmius in Rotterdam, which 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 69 

declared that the church in Pennsylvania was an altogether 
independent church and could choose as their ministers 
whomsoever they pleased. Through this letter the oppo- 
nents of Boehm tried to justify their existence of a sepa- 
rate organization. '''2 

When Weiss returned to Pennsylvania, in the summer 
of 1 73 1, he found the churches of Philadelphia and Ger- 
mantown under the care of another minister and as the 
Reformed congregation at Huntersfield, Schoharie County, 
N. Y., gave him a call, he accepted it and removed to the 
State of New York.'^ 

Before Weiss left Philadelphia, however, he requested 
and received the following letter of commendation from 
his elders at Philadelphia. Of this letter, too, he has 
spread a copy upon the church record at Catskill, from 
which the writer copied the original German recently. 
The following is a translation of this certificate: 

Certificate Given to Weiss by Philadelphia Reformed 


Copy of the Attestation given to me by my late congregation 
at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, after I had received a letter from 
Schohary, not far from Albany. 

Inasmuch as our late pastor, the Rev. Mr. G. M. Weiss, has 
now resolved to leave Philadelphia and go to Albany, to enter there 

^2 A copy of this forged letter of Wilhelmius was sent to Amsterdam 
by Boehm. It is in the Pennsylvania Portfolio of letters at Amsterdam, 
new letters, No. lo. It is printed in full in Life and Letters of Boehm, 

PP- 303-3"- 

"3 After a short ministry Weiss left Huntersfield in February, 1732. A 
testimonial given him at the time of his removal, February 22, 1732, from 
the Huntersfield congregation, is spread upon the Catskill record. Weiss 
received and accepted a call from the Dutch Reformed Church at Catskill, 
N. Y., dated February 8, 1732. He opened the Catskill record on February 
25, 1732. His last baptism there was entered into the record July 6, 1735. 

7o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

upon his calling, according to the divine providence, a credible tes- 
timonial is given him herewith by the congregation here, that, 
according to the obligations of a minister, he discharged the duties 
of his office piously, faithfully and diligently and led such a Chris- 
tian life that the whole congregation was well satisfied with him, 
as we also wish him the blessing of God for his undertaking. In 
testimony of which and in the interest of truth we, the elders of 
the Reformed Congregation, have hereunto set our signatures and 
affixed our seals. 

Given in Philadelphia, the 22nd of September 1731. 



Henrich Weller (L.S.) 

Conrad Reiff (L.S.) 

Gerhardt in de Heffen (L.S.) 

With this letter Weiss left Philadelphia and went to his 
new field of labor in the state of New York. 

Ministry of Rev. John Peter Miller, i 730-1 734. 


N August 29, 1730, there appeared in the 
courthouse of Philadelphia a man who was 
destined to play a prominent part in the reli- 
gious life of Pennsylvania. It was John 
Peter Miller, the later monk at Ephrata, 
who came to Pennsylvania as a Reformed 
candidate of theology. 

The life of John Peter Miller has often been sketched,^* 
but no one has ever attempted to gather together all the 
documents bearing on the few years which he spent as 
minister of the Reformed Church in Pennsylvania. This 
shall be our aim, to shed as much light as possible upon 
his short career as a Reformed minister. 

On December 29, 1725, there registered in the matricu- 
lation book of the University of Heidelberg "Johannes 

''* For earlier accounts of Peter Miller see Harbaugh, Fathers of the 
Reformed Church, Vol. I (1857), pp. 301-311; Dubbs, Historic Manual of 
the Reformed Church, 1885, pp. 175-187; Good, History of the Reformed 
Church in the United States, 1725-1792, Reading, 1899, pp. 160-165; 
Dubbs, Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, 1902, pp. 94-99; Sachse, Ger- 
man Sectarians of Pennsylvania, Vol. I, passim ; also " John Peter Miller " 
in The Pennsylvania German, Vol. I, No. 2 (April, 1900), pp. 3-17; also 
Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 44-48. 


72 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Petrus Mullerus, Altzbornensls." Alsenborn is a village 
about two and a half German miles northeast of the city of 
Kaiserslautern, in the Rhenish Palatinate, now a part of 

In the Burial Register of the Ephrata Community for 
the year 1796, John Peter Miller is recorded as having 
"died September 25, 1796, aged 86 years, 9 months. "^^ 
Counting back 86 years and 9 months from the day of his 
death we are brought to December 25, 1709, as the day 
of his birth. 

Of his life in Germany nothing is known except a brief 
allusion which occurs in a letter from Ephrata signed K., 
a letter that was published in the Berliner Monatschrift 
of 1784, to which the late Prof. Jos. H. Dubbs first called 
attention."^^ After giving a somewhat discouraging ac- 
count of the condition of the Ephrata community, the 
writer makes the following reference to Peter Miller: 

Peter Miller, the only educated man (in the society) studied in 
Heidelberg and was authorized to preach, but not to baptize. 
With thirty guldens in his pocket he left his father. Afterwards 
he preached in this country, and at the request of a German coun- 
try congregation was ordained by the Presbyterian clergy of Phila- 
delphia. After four years he resigned his congregation, was con- 
verted, baptized others and was himself baptized; and six months 
after the organization of this society he joined it. Previously he 
had lived as a hermit. 

A correspondence carried on with the Reformed pastor 
at Alsenborn, shortly before the Great War, brought to 
light some facts regarding the family of Peter Miller. 
His father was the Rev. John Miiller, who from 1708-14 

^5 Sachse, The German Sectarians of Pennsylvania, Vol. II, p. 516. 
This statement is corroborated by the inscription on his tombstone, see 
below, p. 95. 

"6 Dubbs, The Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, p. 98, note 99. 

History of Goshenhoppen Refor^ned Charge. 73 

was pastor at Zweiklrchen and Wolfsteln, near Kaisers- 
lautern. Later, from 1714-26, he was pastor at Alsen- 
born, and from 1726-41 pastor at Altenkirchen, near 
Homburg in the Rhine province. He died at Altenkirchen 
May II, 1 74 1. His son, John Peter Miiller, must have 
been born at Zweikirchen, during his father's pastorate at 
that place. Unfortunately neither the church nor the 
church records of Zweikirchen are now in existence, so 
that we are unable to supply further details. However, 
we now know that the reference to Alsenborn in the ma- 
triculation book at Heidelberg does not mean that John 
Peter Miiller was born there, but that it was his temporary 
home, because his father was pastor there, when he matric- 
ulated in the university. 

On August 29, 1730, a list was presented In the court- 
house at Philadelphia, containing the names of seventy-five 
men, who with their families making in all about two hun- 
dred and sixty persons, were imported in the ship Thistle 
of Glasgow, Colin Dunlap,'^'^ master, having come from 
Rotterdam, but last from Dover, England, as by clearance 
from that port. They subscribed the " Declaration of 
Fidelity and Abjuration." Among these names is " Pe- 
ter Miiller," in bold German characters. 

With Miller came a number of persons whom we after- 
wards find as members of the Reformed Church at Gosh- 
enhoppen. They are: Valentin Griesemer, Hans Jacob 
Diehl, Thomas Hamman, Abraham Transu, Hans Simon 
Mey. Lonhart Hochgenug, Bernhard Siegmund and Jo- 
hannes Scherer became members of the Reformed Church 
at Philadelphia and Christian Leman appears in 1734 at 
Skippack, while John Henrich Schmidt is enrolled in the 
same year as a Reformed deacon in Falkner Swamp. 

'^'^ The correction " Calvin Dunlap " in Ae Pennsylvania Archwes, 2d 
Ser., Vol. XVII, p. 20, is entirely unjustified. 

74 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Soon after his arrival Peter Miller came in contact with 
John Philip Boehm, who was at that time ( 1730) the only 
ordained Reformed minister in the province. Miller 
called on Boehm in his home and had with him a lengthy- 
conversation, of which Boehm sent the following report to 
Holland, in a letter dated November 12, 1730:'''^ 

Letter of Boehm Regarding Miller, November 12, 1730. 

Meanwhile no peace can yet be expected, for there arrived this 
fall another man, named Miller, whose father is pastor in the 
Electoral Palatinate, under the inspectorate of Kaiserslautern. He 
likewise avails himself of the liberty of this country, and so far 
has been preaching to the seceders at Schipbach, as the enclosed 
letter, marked F, shows. He has promised them, as also the people 
in Philadelphia and Germantown, to take the place of Mr. Weiss 
until the latter returns. In order to carry this out successfully, 
he betook himself to the Presbyterians in Philadelphia (because he 
is unordained), that he might be ordained by them. This he told 
me himself in my house on October 19th, saying that in the pre- 
ceeding week he had handed to them his confession of faith con- 
cerning the points they had asked of him, and expressing the hope 
that the affair [of his ordination] would be concluded in the fol- 
lowing week, which so far as I know has not yet taken place. 

I warned him in a friendly way and advised him to go to the 
reverend ministers of New York and endeavor to have his ordi- 
nation take place in accordance with the church-order of the Re- 
formed Church, whereby it would stand a better test before the 
world. To this he replied, that such a course was far too cir- 
cuitous for him, if he could gain his end by a shorter way, he would 
take it, as there was no great difference in it. Moreover, he said, 
he would like to know who had given authority to the Classis of 
Amsterdam to rule over the Church in this country. He thought 
the King of England was more important than the Classis of Hol- 

''^ Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, pp. 36-38; Life and Letters of Boehm, 
p. 199 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 75 

land. Then I answered that it was asking too much who had 
given her the authority, and that I did not care anything about 
that, but that I believed, if the Classis had no such authority she 
would not have taken us under her care and supervision, that I 
for one was subject to her and would always be glad to act under 
her direction, etc. Then I received this fine reprimand : " There 
is such a glorious liberty in this country that the people themselves 
are free to elect, accept and also dismiss their preachers. It is not 
right to attempt to deprive them of this liberty and to subject them 
to a Classis, which can then force upon them such ministers as she 
desires. Christians have liberty and are in this world under no 
head, Christ alone is their head in heaven." 

He also remarked that the people had called me only temporarily, 
until they could get another minister. I showed him my call. He 
said there was nothing in it, that they had called me for life. 
Then I answered him: "The Reverend Classis had recognized it 
as a lawful call, if he was wiser than the Classis, he would have 
to take it up with her. I furthermore reminded him, that I also 
regarded Christ as the head of his church, yet I believed that Christ 
ruled his church on earth through agents, wherefore I would rather 
be under supervisors divinely appointed, in order to preserve good 
order in the Church of Christ, than stand up on my own freedom." 
On this point he did not agree with me. 

It is interesting to see the difference in the character of 
these two men, thrown into such strong relief in this con- 
versation. Boehm methodical, exact, strong for order and 
church government, firmly attached to the customs and 
traditions of the fathers, seeing in them the safeguards of 
the Church. Miller, easy-going, chafing under restraint, 
glad to be free from the restrictions of the old world, car- 
ing little for traditions and customs, or even for the visible 
Church. To his sanguine temperament the ideal and spir- 
itual alone appeals. He thinks of the liberty of the chil- 
dren of God and the glory of the invisible Church. This 

7^ The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

conversation furnishes us therefore the key to his later 

The elders of Skippack, writing with Mr. Boehm to the 
Reformed ministers of New York, under date November 
5, 1730 (in the enclosure, marked F, referred to the 
above), make the following statement about Miller:"*^ 

The harmful division, caused in our congregation by Mr. George 
Michael Weiss and continued by him until his departure from here, 
contrary to all order and the solemn covenant made with him, all 
this has hitherto been kept up by Mr, Miller, who came to this 
country this fall. Coming into this country as an unordained 
minister and willing to be ordained by the Presbyterians in Phila- 
delphia (as we hear), we have no other prospect before us but a 
continuous division in our poor congregation. Our hope for a 
good and God-pleasing harmony, established in brotherly love, 
which we expected to be able to report with rejoicing, after the 
departure of Mr. Weiss, has been entirely taken away from us 
through the above mentioned Mr. Miller. 

The same unwillingness which the people of Skippack 
manifested to submit themselves to the supervision of the 
Classis of Amsterdam, appeared also in Philadelphia, 
under the inspiration of Weiss and Miller, for Boehm 
writes again :^" 

With respect to the Reformed people of Philadelphia, I have 
been compelled to hear repeatedly, with a sad heart, from several 
of them the reply, (when I recommended the good work to them) : 
" We are here in a free country, and the Classis of Holland has no 
right to give us any orders." This statement, however, has been 
prompted, as I believe, by the persuasion of Mr. Weis alone, which 
is now continued by Mr. Miller. 

It is rather curious to see how eager these independents 

79 Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 59 ; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 219. 
^'^ Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 44; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 205. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 77 

were to accept the benefactions of the Classls of Amster- 
dam, but when it came to accept their well meant advice, 
they drew the line. Consistency, thou art a jewel ! 

Ordination of Miller in Philadelphia. 

We must now turn to the story of Miller's ordination 
by the Presbyterians in Philadelphia. 

On September 19, 1730, the Presbyterian Synod of 
Philadelphia passed the following resolution :^^ 

It is agreed by Synod, that Mr. John Peter Miller, a Dutch pro- 
bationer, lately come over, be left to the care of the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia to settle him in the work of the ministry. 

Unfortunately the minutes of the Philadelphia Pres- 
bytery from 17 17 to 1732 are lost, so that it is impossible 
to give the exact details. A well known letter of Rev. 
Jedidiah Andrews, from 1698 to 1747 pastor of the old 
Buttonwood Presbyterian Church, supplies the omission 
partially. It was written on October 14, 1730, to his 
friend, the Rev. Thomas Prince, pastor of the Old South 
Church of Boston. In it he writes :^^ 

There is lately come over a Palatine candidate of the ministry, 
who having applied to us at the Synod, for Ordin'n, 't is left to 3 
ministers to do it. He is an extraordinary person for sense and 
learning. We gave him a question to discuss about Justification, 
and he has answered it, in a whole sheet of paper, in a very notable 
manner. His name is John Peter Miller, and speaks Latin as 
readily as we do our vernacular tongue, and so does the other, Mr. 

Many years afterwards Peter Miller himself wrote the 
following account of his ordination to a friend in a letter 
dated December 5, 1790:^^ 

s^ Records of Presbyterian Church, Vol. I, p. 99. 

82 Hazard's Register, Vol. XV, p. 201. 

83 Hazard's Register, Vol. XVI, p. 254. 

78 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

As concerning our transactions during that long term of our 
residence at Ephrata, I wish I could satisfy thine curiosity. I have 
published a Chronicon Ephratense, of which I could make thee a 
present, if thou art master of the German language. However I 
will do something to satisfy thee. In August 1730, I arri^ved at 
Philadelphia, and was there at the end of said year upon order of 
the Scotch Synod, ordained, in the old meeting house by three emi- 
nent ministers. Tenant, Andrews and Boyd. 

Peter Miller served the congregations, Skippack, Ger- 
mantown and Philadelphia, according to Boehm's letter 
of November 12, 1730, till the fall of 173 1. On Septem- 
ber 21, 173 1, the Rev. John Bartholomew Rieger arrived 
at Philadelphia, who became Miller's successor in these 

On November 22, 1731, the Reformed congregation of 
Philadelphia wrote to the Rev. Dr. Wilhelmius of Rot- 
terdam :®^ 

In order that the minister's chair might not remain vacant, since 
Mr. Weis has left us, we have, sometime ago, elected and accepted 
as our teacher the newly arrived Candidate Rieger, to whose plant- 
ing and watering among us the Lord may grant his blessing from 
on high. 

As a result we find Miller turning to the Interior Ger- 
man settlements. He first appears at Goshenhoppen. In 

8^ The original is in the Hague archives, 74, I, 10. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 79 

his report of 1739, Mr. Boehm locates him definitely at 
Goshenhoppen :®^ 

Of this congregation [Goshenhoppen] I know little, for it never 
wanted to be under our church-order, but desired to be its own 
master. When Do. Weiss, as stated above, came into the country 
and caused great confusion, they faithfully adhered to him. When 
he traveled to Holland in order to obtain the well known moneys 
collected there, they immediately clung to Miller, who, assisted by 
another person, continued to serve Goshenhoppen. By their serv- 
ices at Skippack, they kept the congregation there in a state of con- 
tinued restlessness, which had been begun by Weiss. All my peti- 
tions, entreaties and warnings were in vain. 

In course of time Miller extended his activity. In 1733 
we find him ministering to the Reformed people in the 
Conestoga valley, Lancaster County, and in the Tulpe- 
hocken valley, Berks County. 

On March 4, 1733, Rev. John B. Rieger and the Phila- 
delphia physician, Dr. John Jacob Diemer, write In a letter 
to the Synodical Deputies :^*^ 

The church at Conestoga and vicinity has a preacher by the 
name of Joh. Petrus Miiller, who was ordained in the Presbyterian 
church here. He administers divine services there [at Conestoga]. 
The churches at Schippach, Germantown and Philadelphia have a 
preacher who came over a year and a half ago, Bartholomeus 
Rieger, who has taken the place of Do. Wys. He preaches one 
Sunday at Schippach, the second at Germantown and the third at 

We learn still more about the activity of Miller in the 
Conestoga valley from a very important letter of Conrad 
Tempelman, who did for the Conestoga valley what Mr. 
Boehm did for the Perkiomen valley. He began the first 

85 Minutes of Coetus, p. 9. 

8^ The original is at the Hague, archives 74, I, 15. 

8o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Reformed services In that region. In this letter Tempel- 
man writes to the Synods of North and South Holland 
under date February 13, 1733:®'^ 

Letter of Conrad Tempelman Regarding the Reformed 
Church in Conestoga, February 13, 1733. 

The church at Chanastoka took it origin in the year 1725, with 
a small gathering in houses here and there, with the reading of a 
sermon and with song and prayer, according to their High German 
church order, upon all Sundays and Holidays, but, on account of 
the lack of a minister, without the administration of Baptism and 
of the Lord's Supper. 

Thereafter Dominie Bohm served them, at first [1727] volun- 
tarily at the request of the people, later, after being fully ordained, 
he administered baptism and communion to them for the space of 
two years [1730-1731], upon a yearly call, although he lived a 
distance of 21 hours [about 63 miles] away from them, being sat- 
isfied with their small, voluntary gifts. He also subsequently 
established a church-order [constitution] among them and the con- 
gregation chose elders and he himself exercised a strict and careful 
supervision, so that things went on in good order in this congre- 

Further the writer reports that the congregation, on account of 
its enlargement and the great distances between the members, has 
divided itself into six meeting-places in Chanastoka, whereof three 
places are served by a Reformed minister, Johan Peter Miiller, by 
name, by whom also another strong congregation is served about 
seven hours [21 miles] distant, called Dalbenhacken [Tulpehocken] . 

But that they now, by reason of the division of the congregation, 
cannot any longer be served by Do. Boehm, as also not by the afore- 
said Miiller, both by reason of the great distance of the localities 
and because of the manifold occupations and heavy labor wherewith 
he is overburdened. . . . 

87 Only an abstract of Terapelmann's letter in Dutch has been preserved 
at the Hague, archives 74, I, 14. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 8i 

The entire north side, 20 hours [60 miles] distant from Phila- 
delphia, named Chanastoka (which is no town, but a tract of land 
so named after a certain creek) is settled by Germans and English. 
There are three of the meeting places of the Reformed people, cov- 
ering an area 7 hours [21 miles] long and 7 hours r2i miles] 
wide. But they say further, that they can give no report to the 
Rev. Christian Synods of the 3 places, ministered unto by Do. 
Miiller. Nevertheless they hope that the said preacher will make 
known his own needs (inasmuch as he cannot well subsist by the 
free-will gifts of his people) as well as the condition of his congre- 
gation and his elders. . . . 

Regarding the three first named meeting places they give further 
report to the Rev. Christian Synods [Classis] of Amsterdam and 
Rotterdam, concerning the members and elders belonging to them, 
with the autograph signatures of the latter. 

It is signed 

Conrad Tempelman 

Reader of the Congregation 

(N.B. He seems to be the writer of the letter.) 

Members 55, Elders: Rudolf Heller (L.S.) 

Michel Albert (L.S.) 

Andries M . . . (L.S.) 

At the second meeting place there are the following number of 
members and elders: 

Members 51, Elders: Hans Georg Swab (L.S.) 
Johannes Gohr (L.S.) 

Conrad Werns (L.S.) 

At the third meeting place there are the following members and 
elders : 

Members 30, Elders: Johann Jacob Hook (L.S.) 
Andries Halsbrun (L.S.) 
Nicolaus (L.S.) 

82 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The fact that Tempelman has given us the names of the 
elders of these congregations enables us to identify them. 

The first of these preaching places is now represented 
by Heller's church in Upper Leacock township. ^^ The 
second is the Cocalico church near Ephrata, and the third 
is the Lancaster church. Its elder, John Jacob Hock, was 
elected the first pastor of the Lancaster church in 1736. 

As to the congregations served by Miller, we can only 
speak with some degree of probability. One was prob- 
ably Muddy Creek, for in the Lutheran Muddy Creek 
record two children are recorded as having been baptized 
by Peter Miller, one on January 20, 1730 [31], the other 
on February 3, 1733.^^ The second congregation seems 
to have been Reyer's Church (now at Brickerville) , Eliza- 
beth township, where Tempelman made entries in an old 
church record, beginning with the year 1735. The third 
was most likely Zeltenreich, near New Holland, where a 
Reformed Church was in existence in 1744, ministered to 
by Jacob Lischy. 

Sometime during this period (i 730-1 734), probably 
before the division into six preaching places had occurred. 
Miller also preached at Cocalico, near Ephrata, for in a 
list of pastors of that congregation, drawn up in 1766 by 
the Rev. John George Wittner, the name Peter Miller 
occurs. As this important list has never been published, 
it may be well to insert it here in full, with some comments : 

8S A full discussion of the evidence was given by the writer in the 
Reformed Church Messenger of January 4, 1900; also by Prof. Jos. H. 
Dubbs, D.D., in the " Earliest Church in Lancaster County," a paper read 
before the Lancaster County Historical Society, Proceedings, Vol. V (1900), 
No. I. See also Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 64. 

89 A photographic reproduction of that page is given by Dr. Sachse in 
his German Sectarians in Pennsylvania, Vol. I, p. 237. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 83 
List of all the Teachers and Pastors who from the First beginning 


SO-CALLED Keller's Church. 

[i] Bohm [John Philip]. 

[2] Bechtold [otherwise unknown]. 

[3] Hoock [John Jacob, of Lancaster]. 

[4] Tempelmann [John Conrad]. 

[5] Wieser [otherwise unknown, unless it be George Michael Weiss]. 

[6] Rieger, post et Med. D. [John B. Rieger, afterwards Doctor of 

[7] Fock [Lewis Ferdinand Vock]. 

[8] Peter Miller, in Ephrata Jaibetz.s^* 

[9] Loscher [unknown, unless it be Jacob Lischy, who preached at 
[10] Joh. Waldschmidt [1752-1762]. 
[ii] Deckert [John Henry Decker; 1762-1763]. 
[12] Friz Muller [Frederick Casimir Miiller; 1763-1765]. 
[13] Berger from Reading, supplied the congregation for two years. 
[14] J. G. Wittner [1766-1770]. 
[15] Joh. Christoph Gobrecht [1770-1779]. 
[16] Anthony Hautz [1786-1790, September]. 

The first part of the list up to the fourteenth minister is 
in the handwriting of Rev. Mr. Wittner, by whom the 
record was begun. With regard to the earlier entries 
(Nos. 1-9) it should be noted that they are not in strict 
chronological order. Hence from the position of Peter 
Miller after Vock, who was pastor in 1750, It should not 
be Inferred that Peter Miller served the congregation 
after that time, when he was Prior of the convent at 
Ephrata. The Reformed people would never have per- 
mitted that. The only safe inference to make Is that 
Peter Miller was one of the early pastors of the congre- 
gation, while other evidence makes It certain that Mr. 
Wittner did not Insert him In his proper chronological 

8®* In Ephrata Peter Miller adopted the name Jabez, based on L Chroni- 
cles 4: 9. It is there explained as meaning "Borne with sorrow." It 
refers no doubt to his remarkable conversion. The words " in Ephrata 
Jaibetz" were added about 1786 by Anthony Hautz. 

84 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

place. This applies equally to all the other early minis- 
ters from the first to the ninth. 

In the light of all the available evidence, I offer the fol- 
lowing chronological list of the earlier pastorates: 

1725. — Origin of the German Reformed Church in the Conestoga valley. 

1725-1727. — Religious meetings in private houses conducted by Conrad 

1727, October 15. — First Reformed Communion service in the Conestoga 
valley. Brief ministry of Rev. John Philip Boehm. 

1728-1729. — Ministry of George Michael Weiss. 

1730, May 30. — Formal organization of the Conestoga Congregation, now 
Heller's in Upper Leacock township. 

1730-1732. — Origin of the Reformed congregations at Lancaster and Co- 
calico, and probably also at Muddy Creek, Reyer's and Seltenreich. 

1733, February 13. — Six Reformed preaching places in existence in the Con- 
estoga valley. 

Reformed Ministers at Cocalico, now Bethany, near Ephrata.^** 

1. Ministry of John Philip Boehm, 1730-1731. 

2. Ministry of John Peter Miller, 1731-1734. 
Miller's conversion, 1735, May. 

Visit of Boehm to Conestoga, 1735, May 11. 

3. Ministry of Bechtold, 1735-1736. 

The ministry of Peter Miller at Tulpehocken has left 
its traces in several documents. 

Miller himself, in the Ephrata Chronicle (Engl. Ed., 
p. 70), gives the following account: 

At that time the region of Dulpehalcin was settled entirely by 
Protestants. These had agreed among themselves not to suffer 
among them any who were differently minded; so that many who 
were of like persuasion came to them. But shrewdly as they con- 
trived it, God yet at last set up his candle on a candlestick in that 
then dark region, as will soon be narrated. These now had called 
the afore-mentioned P.M. [Peter Miller] to be their teacher, 

9" A history of the Cocalico congregation was given by the writer in 
the Reformed Church Messenger, January 4-18, 1900, and continued in 
the Reformed Church Record, February 15-March i, 1900. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 85 

which office he served among them and in other places during four 

The Moravian church record of Tulpehocken, now pre- 
served in the archives at Bethlehem, tells the following 
story of the origin of the Lutheran congregation there and 
Peter Miller's ministry among them:^^ 

In the year 1723 Tulpehocken was first settled and inhabited by 
people who had dwelt in Schocheri. Most of them were brought 
under conviction and made restless in their hearts while still resid- 
ing in Schocheri [Schoharie] through Bernhard von Thieren, who 
was their pastor there, and who had promised these people also to 
move to Tulpehocken and continue to be their minister. But he 
made only occasional visits, administered the Lord's Supper at 
various times, baptized also the children and then went back again 
to Schocheri. There came also at times a preacher named Henckel 
from Falkner Swamp to visit us and administered occasionally the 
Lord's Supper. He advised us to build a church, which was done 
in 1727. Peter Miiller a Reformed preacher also came to us and 
preached sermons for almost two years. Afterward he went 
among the Seventh Day people [Siebentager]. 

It was during the ministry of Peter Miller at Goshen- 
hoppen that the three Reformed congregations In the 
Goshenhoppen district first come Into view. 

Old Goshenhoppen appears first In the year 1730. On 
November 12, 1730, Rev. John Philip Boehm wrote to 
the Classls of Amsterdam :^^ 

^1 The claim of the writer, in the Reformed Churcli Record and in the 
Reformed Church Messenger, to have " discovered " this record in the 
Bethlehem archives has been questioned {History of the Lutheran Church 
in Pennsylvania, p. 447, note 520). The facts in the case are as follows: 
In the summer of 1902 the writer spent five weeks in the archives of the 
Moravian Church at Bethlehem and found there among other documents 
this church record. It was spoken of as a discovery (in the articles men- 
tioned above), because it vsas at that time unknoivn to Reformed historians. 

92 Journal of P. H. S., Vol. VII, p. 43 f. Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 204. 

S6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The same action [namely a request for organization] was taken 
in another small congregation, of about fifteen families, with the 
same humble request to the Reverend Classis. It is situated about 
ten miles from here. The place has as yet no definite name, but it 
is called after the river on which it lies Bergjamen TPerkiomen]. 

As there is no other Reformed congregation along the 
Perkiomen Creek, about ten miles from Boehm's home in 
Whltpain township, than Old Goshenhoppen, we have 
little hesitation in identifying the two names. This identi- 
fication is indirectly corroborated by the fact that, accord- 
ing to the Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran record, " in the 
year 1732 a warrant was taken up jointly by the Lutherans 
and the Reformed. In the fall of that year a union 
schoolhouse was built upon this land." In this school- 
house, the first of its kind in the charge, the religious serv- 
ices of the congregation were no doubt held. 

In 1734 the congregation at Great Swamp appears for 
the first time. On December 12, 1734, Rev. John Martin 
Boltzius, a Lutheran minister at Ebenezer, Georgia, wrote 
to Dr. G. A. Francke, head of the Institutions at Halle, 
Germany :^* 

In the above mentioned Great Swamp there is also a small Re- 
formed congregation, which has its own pastor. 

In a preceding reference to Great Swamp the writer 
remarked : 

Not far from Oley is the Great Swamp, where the Evangelical 
[Lutheran] congregation has a preacher named Kaspar Steber 
[Stoever], whom the Rev. Schultze had ordained before his de- 
parture. This Steber is at present involved in a quarrel with his 
congregation, because they do not want to give him the salary that 
was promised to him. They are said to promise often something, 

93 Quoted in Muhlenberg's Selbstbiographie, AUentown, i88r, p. 213. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 87 

but when the minister preaches and applies the truth too strongly, 
they become rude and refuse to pay the minister's salary. 

The Reformed pastor in Great Swamp in 1734 can 
hardly be any one else than Peter Miller. This is cor- 
roborated by a letter of Boehm, who in a report to the 
Holland Synod, dated October 18, 1734, refers distinctly 
to Peter Miller's activity in the Goshenhoppen district. 
He writes:^"* 

Nevertheless one of them is still in this country, namely, Peter 
Miller. When this man could not bring the people over to his 
opinion, he quitted the ministry altogether and he is now an oil- 
miller. But what he was after, and thought of persuading the 
people to do, is plainly to be seen from this, overlooking everything 
else: About two years ago he went with one of his elders, whom he 
had installed in the congregation at Goshenhoppen into the house 
of a Seventh Day "Tumpler" [Dunker], and there they allowed 
themselves to be called brethren and to have their feet washed by 
him; and this is the truth, whereupon followed his complete 

The two references of Mr. Boehm to Peter Miller's 
activity in Goshenhoppen, the one made in 1734 and the 
other in 1739 (already quoted above), definitely settle 
the fact that from 173 1 to 1734 Peter Miller was the Re- 
formed pastor in Goshenhoppen. This is corroborated 
by the New Goshenhoppen church record, in which 69 
baptisms were entered by one hand from June, 1731, till 
July, 1734. At one of these baptisms, on April 16, 1732, 
" Johann Peter Miiller" acted as sponsor. This is no 
doubt the pastor. As these are the only baptisms which 
Peter Miller most likely entered himself, we reproduce 
the page bearing his name in facsimile. 

Miller's inclination toward the Ephrata Community 

^* Coeius Minutes, p. 2 f. 

88 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

began in 1732. Two years later it led to the surrender 
of his ministerial functions. But it was not till May, 
1735, that Miller actually joined the Seventh Day Bunk- 
ers by public immersion. This act of Miller threw the 
Reformed people into consternation, as can be seen clearly 
from the accounts of Boehm, describing this remarkable 
and important event. On January 14, 1739, Mr. Boehm 
wrote as follows to Holland, regarding the Conestoga 
congregation :^^ 

Then Do. Weiss slandered me in this congregation by a very 
abusive letter, which I have in my possession. He thereby misled 
them and drew the congregation to himself. But soon afterwards 
he again left them, whereupon Miller wtnt there to carry on the 
work of Weiss. At that time Miller drew also Tulpehocken to 
himself. I warned them frequently against this false spirit, but 
the misguided and simple-minded people clung to him, until finally 
the deception, with regard to which I had warned them so faith- 
fully came to light, and this Miller publicly went over to the wicked 
sect of the Seventh Day " Tumpler " [Dunkers] and was baptized 
in Dunker fashion at Conestoga in the month of April 1735.'*^* 
He took with him about ten families, Lutheran and Reformed, 
from the congregation of Dolpihacken [Tulpehocken] who fol- 
lowed his example. 

This caused a great alarm among the congregations. Those 
that were kept by God sent therefore again messengers and letters 
to me and once more asked for help, which I did not dare to refuse. 
Hence I again went to them, and there were on May 11, 1735, in 
the above mentioned first congregation or Hill church, at Cones- 
toga, 92 communicants. 

It is interesting to place alongside of these statements 

95 Coeius Minutes, p. 8. 

9oa Miller himself stated repeatedly that this baptism took place in May, 
1735. See Ephrata Chronicle, Engl. Transl., p. 73 ; also Miller's letter of 
December 5, 1790, quoted below, p. 92. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 89 

of John Philip Boehm the well known account of Peter 
Miller himself in the Ephrata Chronicle:®^ 

The Superintendent [Conrad Beissel] soon after found occasion 
to make a visit to Tulpehocken with several of his disciples, where 
he was received by the teacher [Peter Miller] and elders with the 
consideration due to him as an ambassador of God. While on his 
return the teacher and C.W. [Conrad Welser], an elder, accom- 
panied him over the mountains for six miles. The result of their 
visit in Tulpehocken was that the teacher, the elders and several 
others withdrew from the church; whereupon a venerable Pietist, 
by the name of Casper Leibbecker, took the teacher's place in the 
church. Among these seceders was C.W., an elder of the Lutheran 
faith, a man who had received from God remarkable natural gifts 
and sound judgment. . . . 

Accordingly they were baptized together under the water, after 
the teaching of Christ; which was done on a Sabbath in May of 
the year 1735. Thus the teacher, the schoolmaster, three elders, 
besides various other households, went over from the Protestants 
to this new awakening. 

These same events are briefly reviewed and an excellent 
description of Peter Miller, as he appeared to his contem- 
poraries, is given by the Rev, Israel Acrelius, Provost of 
the Swedish Churches in America and Rector of the Old 
Swedes Church, Wilmington, Deleware. In his well- 
known " History of New Sweden," he gives a description 
of his visit to Ephrata, which he made on September 7, 
1753, In company with his friend, George Ross. After 
describing the cloister and the religious life fostered there, 
he draws the following pen-sketch of Peter Miller him- 
self i^^ 

"6 See English edition, pp. 71, 73. 

9^ Acrelius, History of Neiv Siveden (Memoirs of the Hist. Society of 
Pa., Vol. XI), Philadelphia, 1876, p. 374. 

9° The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

There was also a brother named Jabez, who, before his rebap- 
tism was called Peter Muller. He had been a German Calvinistic 
Minister, came into the country, according to their custom, as a 
candidate for the Ministry of the Reformed Church of the coun- 
try, was afterwards ordained by the Presbyterian Minister, Mr. 
Andrew, in Philadelphia, and for a long time preached in the vari- 
ous parts of the country among the Germans before that, eighteen 
years since [1735], he betook himself to Ephrata. He is a learned 
man, understands the Oriental languages, speaks Latin, discusses 
theological controversies as well as other sciences; although, in his 
present condition he has forgotten much. He is of a good stature, 
with a friendly face and friendly manners, on which account 
strangers always get introduced to him, and seek his society. He 
is open-hearted toward those to whom he takes a liking, and is 
modest and genial. The brethren have great respect for him, and 
not without reason, for he is a prudent man, upon whom their 
order chiefly depends, although he gives himself no higher name 
than that of a single brother. In their Public Worship he reads 
the Scriptures and also baptizes when so directed by Father 

Another remarkable incident in connection with this con- 
version of Miller is told by Mr. Boehm in his now ex- 
tremely rare book, which he published In 1742 against the 
Moravians. It was the dramatic burning of Reformed 
and Lutheran devotional books by the new converts. 
Thus far we had only traditional accounts about this 
event, which are now superseded by this contemporaneous 
account of Mr. Boehm. 

Criticizing especially the conduct of Conrad Weiser, 
Boehm writes :^^ 

^® Boehm's Getreuer Warnungsbrief, Philadelphia, 1742, p. 29. The 
only known copy of this now exceedingly rare book is in the possession of 
Rev. Dr. J. I. Good, who bought it at the sale of late Governor Penny- 
packer's library. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 91 

But whether we can entertain any hope with regard to him, let 
every Evangelical Christian think what kind of a man he is. Will 
he help to establish the honor of the gospel of Jesus Christ? For 
when Peter Miller, the former pretended Reformed minister of 
Dolpihaken, became a regular disgrace to our Reformed Church by 
letting himself be baptized in Dunker fashion as a member of the 
Seventh Day Tumpler [Dunker] sect, together with several others, 
this Conrad Weiser was one of them. (He was indeed a Lu- 
theran and at that time an elder of the Lutheran congregation at 
Dolpihacken. )°^ Moreover, when four Seventh Day Tumpler 
[Dunkers], namely Peter Miller (above mentioned) Michel Mil- 
ler, Conrad Weiser (above mentioned) and Gottfried Fidler, 
burnt with fire the Reformed Heidelberg Catechism, the Lutheran 
Catechism, the Psalms of David, the " Paradeys-Gartlein " and the 
"Exercise of Piety" [Ubung der Gottseligkeit], in all 36 books 
in derision and in disparagement, in the house of Gottfried Fidler, 
he was one of them. Nor has it become known that since that time 
he has turned from them in repentance and has again betaken him- 
self to his former Lutheran religion. 

^^ The Lutheran membership of Conrad Weiser has been called in ques- 
tion recently, see Dubbs, Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, p. 97, note 
96, but without sufficient reason. All contemporary writers are agreed that 
he was a Lutheran. This is the testimony of Boehm and Miller, in the 
extracts from their writings quoted above. Zinzendorf makes the same 
statement, see Fresenius, Nachrichten von Herrnhutischen Sachen, Vol. Ill, 
p. 710. Weiser took part in a Lutheran communion service, see Hallesche 
Nachrichten, new ed.. Vol. I, p. 202. Muehlenberg reports him as a 
Lutheran, cf. Hallesche Nachrichten, new ed.. Vol. I, p. 362. " At Tulpe- 
hocken, many years ago, some Lutherans, among whom was Mr. Weiser, 
had taken up a piece of land." Finally Weiser himself stated, according 
to Muehlenberg, that " he held the principles of our Evangelical religion," 
see Hallesche Nachrichten, new ed.. Vol. I, p. 449. The fact that Mr. 
Weiser acted as trustee of the Reformed Church at Reading (see D. Miller, 
History of the Reformed Church in Reading, p. 17), proves nothing, for 
he was also a trustee of the Lutheran Church at Reading, see J. Fry, His- 
tory of Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, 1894, p. 18. 

92 The Pennsylvania-German Society, 

The account of Peter Miller's activity as a Reformed 
pastor may fittingly be closed with another account of his 
conversion, written by himself on December 5, 1790, to 
a friend :i°° 

Miller's Account of His Conversion. 

Having officiated among the Germans several years I quitted the 
ministry and returned to private life. About that time our small 
state was in its infancy: I never had an inclination to join it, be- 
cause of the contempt and reproach which lay on the same; but 
my inward Conductor, brought me to that critical dilemma, either 
to be a member of this new institution, or to consent to my own 
condemnation, when also I was forced to choose the first. In my 
company had been the schoolmaster, three elderlings (Conrad 
Weiser one), five families and some single persons, which raised 
such a fermentation in that church, that a persecution might have 
followed, had the magistrates consented with the generality. We 
have been incorporated with said congregation in May, 1735, by 
holy Baptism; When we were conducted to the water, I did not 
much differ from a poor criminal under sentence of death. Who- 
ever [ !] the Lord our God did strengthen me, when I came into 
the water and then in a solemn manner renounced my life with all 
its prerogatives without reservation and I found by experience in 
subsequent times, that all this was put into the divine records ; for 

100 First printed in Hazard's Register, Vol. XVI, p. 254 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 93 

God never failed in his promise to assist me in time of need. At 
that time the solitary brethren and sisters lived dispersed in the 
wilderness of Canestogues, each for himself, as Heremits, and I 
following that same way, did set up my Hermitage in Dulpehakin 
at the foot of a mountain, ^"^ on a limped spring, the house is still 
extant there with an old orchard. There did I lay the foundation 
to solitary life, but the melancholy temptations, which did trouble 
me every day, did prognosticate to me misery and affliction : Who- 
ever [!] I had not lived there half a year, when a great change 
happened: for a camp was laid out for all solitary persons at the 
very spot, where Ephrata stands, and where at that time the Presi- 
dent lived with some hermits. And now, when all heremits were 
called in, I also quitted my solitude and exchanged the same for 
the monastic life, which was judged to be more inservient [" !] to 
sanctification than the life of a hermit, where many under a pre- 
tense of holiness did nothing but nourish their own selfishness. 

The profound impression which this remarkable con- 
version made upon the Reformed churches Is seen by the 
fact that In popular story the number of converts grad- 
ually increased until it has reached several hundred. On 
March i, 1738, the Rev. Peter Henry Dorslus, who had 
not been in Pennsylvania when the events took place, 
wrote to the Synodical Deputies as follows r^*^^ 

In this connection [I wish to state that] Do. MuUer, having 
fallen away from our faith, has persuaded no less than three hun- 
dred souls to go over with him to the errors of the Dunkers [Dom- 
pelaars], whereof very many promise to return to our Christian 
religion, if only they were deemed worthy, through the providence 
of God, of being provided with an orthodox minister. 

101 'phg same fact is told, with some additional detail, in the Ephrata 
Chronicle: "Soon after the Brethren erected a solitary residence for the 
teacher at the foot of a hill in Tulpehocken, where, however, he lived no 
longer than till the next November," Chronicon Ephratense, English trans- 
lation, p. 73. 

102 Xhe letter of Dorsius was spread upon the Minutes of the Deputies, 
under date June 16-20, 1738. 

94 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Mr. Boehm gives as usual the best survey of this period 
in the history of the congregation. In his report of Oc- 
tober, 1734, he gives the number of members at Goshen- 
hoppen (presumably New Goshenhoppen), "according to 
the statement of some members as about 40." Of the 
charge as a whole he writes :^°^ 

Boehm's Account of Goshenhoppen in 1734. 

A fourth minister would greatly be needed at Goshenhoppen, 
about thirty-six miles from Philadelphia.^"* He might conduct 
services there every three weeks, and use the rest of the time to feed 
the poor sheep at the end of the wilderness, in the above mentioned 
Saucon, Macungie, Maxatawny and Great Swamp, who thirst for 
the hearing of God's word as the dry earth for water. Many 
people of these regions have already been to see me in great sadness, 
and complained of the pitiable state of their souls. There were 
also some, who being able to make the journey, have come at vari- 
ous times to communion in the congregation entrusted to me at 
Falkner Swamp, a distance certainly of twenty-five to thirty miles, 
and brought children to baptism, which journey, however, is im- 
possible for old persons and weak women, so that it is not to be 
wondered at (especially when one remembers that there are chil- 
dren who for lack of a minister cannot be brought to baptism until 
they are several years of age) that my heart breaks and my eyes are 
full of tears about this condition. But I cannot accomplish this 
work alone, for my years are beginning to accumulate, and my 
poor body is also getting feeble, since I must not only make long 

103 Minutes of Coetus, p. 2. 

104 This statement refers to New. Goshenhoppen, as can be seen from a 
quotation of Thomas F. Gordon's Gazetteer of Pennsylvania, 1832 (quoted 
by Mr. Dotterer in his Perkiomen Region, Vol. I, p. 14) : " New Goshen- 
hoppen, a post town and village in Upper Hanover township, Montgomery 
County, situated in the forks of Perkiomen creek, 37 miles northwest of 
Philadelphia, and about 21 northwest of Norristown." The same authority 
states of Upper Hanover township: "The central distance from Philadel- 
phia is 35 miles northwest," /. c, p. 12. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 95 

journeys and preach, but also, because these poor people are not 
able to support me, must support my large family with manual 

After being for many years the moving spirit In the 
Ephrata community, Miller died there and was buried in 
the little cemetery belonging to the cloister. His tomb 
is next to that of Conrad Beissel, the founder of the so- 
ciety. It bears the following inscription : 

Hier Liegt Begraben 

Gebuertig im Oberamt 
Lautern in Chur Pfalz 
Kam als Reformirter 
Prediger nach America 
Im Jahr 1730. Wurde 
Unter die Gemeine in 
Ephrata getaufet im 
Jahre 1735 und genant 

Bruder Jaebez. Auch ward 

Er nachmals ihr Lehrer 

Bis an sein Ende. Entschlief 

Den 25sten September, 1796. 

Alter 86 Jahr und 9 Monath. 

In English it would read: " Here lies buried Peter Mil- 
ler, born in the Oberamt Lautern in the Electoral Palati- 
nate. He came as a Reformed preacher to America in 
the year 1730. He was baptized Into the congregation at 
Ephrata in the year 1735 and was called Brother Jabez. 
Became afterwards their teacher until his end. Fell asleep 
the 25th of September, 1796. His age 86 years and 9 

Ministry of John Henry Goetschy, i 735-1 740. 

AFTER the departure of Peter Miller, Gosh- 
enhoppen remained without a pastor for 
nearly a year. In the summer of 1735, 
however, a new minister appeared in the 
person of young John Henry Goetschy.*'^^ 
On May 29, 1735, the ship Mercury, 
William Wilson, master, from Rotterdam, landed in Phila- 
delphia with 186 passengers. Among them were Esther 
Goetschy, aged 44 years and her eight children: Henry, 
17 years; Rudolph, 12 years; Mauritz, 10 years; Anna, 
24 years; Barbara, 18 years; Esther, 16 years; Beat, 8 
years; Magdalena, 6 years. With them came also Conrad 
Wuertz, who had married Anna Goetschy, and like John 
Henry Goetschy became a minister of the Reformed 

These people, who arrived in Philadelphia on May 29, 
1735, with the ship Mercury^ formed a colony from Swit- 
zerland, and, as it is one of the few colonies whose his- 

105 por earlier accounts of John Henry Goetschy see Harbaugh, Fathers 
of the Reformed Church, Vol. I, pp. 292-296 ; Good, History of the Re- 
formed Church in the United States, iy25-iyg2, pp. 171-189; Dotterer, 
" Goetschy's Colony," in Historical Notes, pp. 171-173, 179-186; Dubbs, 
Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, pp. 104-110; Corwin, Manual of the 
Reformed Church, 4th ed., pp. 489-492; also Life and Letters of Boehm, 
pp. 51-54. 

^^^ Penna. Archives, 2d Series, Vol. XVII, pp. 113-117. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 97 

tory can be told with some detail, It will be interesting to 
trace them In their journey from Zurich, Switzerland, 
until they step upon the shores of the New World. 

The leader of this colony was the Rev. Maurice 
Goetschy, whose son, John Henry, became pastor at Gosh- 
enhoppen In 1735. 

The members of the Goetschy family had been for 
many generations citizens In Zurich, Switzerland. The 
first person of that name who Is mentioned in the genealog- 
ical records of the city was Henry Goetschy, who In 13 15 
A.D., was mayor of the city. Maurice Goetschy was 
born In 1686.^°'^ On December 4, 1702, he matriculated 
in the Latin school at Zurich. On February 24, 17 10, he 
married Esther Werndli, and was in the same year ad- 
mitted to the ministry. In 17 12 he became first deacon 
at Bernegg In the Rhine valley (Canton of St. Gall), and 
in 1720 pastor at Salez, In 1733 he was deposed from 
the ministry. On March 8, 17 18 his son John Henry was 
born. The younger Goetschy matriculated in the Latin 
school at Zurich on March 23, 1734. But before he had 
spent half a year at school, his father with his whole 
family left for Pennsylvania. 

On October 7, 1734, the Nachrichten von Zurich, a 
newspaper of the city, published the following account of 
the departure of the colony of Maurice Goetschy :^°^ 

Departure of Mr. Maurice Goetschy from Zurich, 
October 4, 1734. 

The past Monday [October 4th], Mr. Maurice Goetschy, to- 
gether with his wife and children and with a considerable number 

''■^'^ The statements regarding Maurice Goetschy and his family are taken 
from the Lexicon Geographico-Heraldico-Stemmatographicum, zusamraen- 
getragen von Johann Friedr. Meyss, A°. 1740, Vols. I-VII, manuscripts in 
the city library of Zurich (Msc. E. 54), Vol. II, Letters D-G, p. 806. 

108 Printed by Mr.- Dotterer in Historical Notes, p. 172. 

98 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

of country people, old and young, took passage on a boat, and 
started for the so called Carolina island, in the hope of meeting 
there with better fortune than he had found in his native land. 
He was urgently dissuaded by our gracious Lords [of the govern- 
ment] and by the local clergy, but he persisted in his resolution, 
and took his departure. Shortly afterwards another boat followed 
him with like, we must say, silly people, making a total of 174 
persons for that day. Many thousands saw them depart with great 
pity for them, especially because they were undertaking so thought- 
lessly, with wife and child, and but poorly provided for, the dan- 
gerous journey of 300 hours in cold, rain and wind, now, when 
the days are getting shorter. Nevertheless, kindhearted and dis- 
tinguished persons supplied them with all kinds of articles, such 
as bread, shawls, caps etc. The following day the third boat 
started off. These were liberally provided, from the office of 
charities, with a large amount of bread, flour, stockings and other 
supplies. Especially the neighborhood of the exchange showed 
itself deeply sympathetic; nor will they be likely to forget what 
was given to them at the Salthouse for bodily refreshment. In 
like manner many merchants assisted them. Upon the last boat 
were 82 persons, who would have been worthy of more considera- 
tion if they had been compelled to leave for the honor or the truth 
of God. They must bear the consequences of their act, be they 
good or ill. At the same time, upwards of 20, induced by the wise 
representations of worthy gentlemen and citizens, changed their 
intentions, choosing the better part. They remained here and will 
be very kindly returned to their homes. Meanwhile w:e should 
pray God that the great number who have gone on this journey, 
may either soon return or reach the destination they so much wish 
for. May He fill their hearts with patience, and, as many sad 
hours are likely to embitter their voyage, may He comfort them 
v^'ith the thought that, if they remain faithful, a far better life is 
reserved for them. 

The journey of the colonists from Zurich to Basle down 
the Rhine is told at length in a pamphlet which Ludwig 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 99 

Weber, one of the emigrants, who returned to Zurich from 
Holland, wrote and published at Zurich in 1735 as a warn- 
ing to later venturesome spirits.^'^^ We shall follow his 
story in tracing the movements of the party. 

The emigrants turned from Zurich northward till they 
reached the Rhine at Laufenburg. Then taking a boat on 
the Rhine they came, on October 5, to Rheinfelden, where 
they had to show their passports. Towards evening of 
the same day they reached Basle. There they had to wait 
until a passport could be secured from Comte du Jour, the 
commanding general of the French army at Strassburg. 
It cost 44 guilders, which some gentlemen at Basle paid 
for them. After securing this passport they waited two 
days longer for the ships that were to carry them down the 
Rhine. Meanwhile several became impatient at the de- 
lay. A tailor from Lichtensteg advised them to take the 
road through France, claiming that he knew the way and 
was able to speak French. Thirty-one persons followed 
him, but nothing more was heard of them. From forty 
to fifty others resolved to travel through Lorraine by way 
of Namur to Rotterdam. They were fortunate enough 
to secure alms at several places along the route and, 
although they had many quarrels and difficulties, they 
finally reached Rotterdam eight days after the main party. 

At Basle eighty refugees from Piedmont joined them in 
a separate ship. The main party, consisting of 194 per- 
sons, embarked in two ships. They suffered intensely on 
the ships through rain and cold, against which they were 
but poorly protected with scanty clothes and provisions. 

109 The title page of this pamphlet reads: Der Hinckende Bott <von Caro- 
lina oder Ludivig Webers von JValliselen Beschreibung seiner Reise von 
Ziirich gen Rotterdam, mit derjenigen Gesellschaft tvelch neulich atis dent 
Schiveizerland nach Carolinam zu ziehen gedachtc, Zurich, MDCCXXXV, 
pp. 32. Only known copy in the city library at Zurich. 

lOO The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

After leaving Basle their first encampment was upon an 
island, covered with trees and shrubs, in the middle of the 
Rhine. Such continued to be their night quarters, although 
the nights were wet and cold. Moreover the ships were 
crowded so badly that there was hardly enough room to 
sit, much less to lie down. There was no opportunity for 
cooking on the ships; and as they were sometimes com- 
pelled to stay days and nights on the ships; the cries of the 
children were pitiful and heart-rending. Whenever they 
could get ashore they cooked, warmed themselves and 
dried their clothes. Many would have liked to return 
home, but as the armies of the French and the Austrians 
lay on both sides of the river, they did not dare to risk it. 
Quarrels among men and women were frequent, Mrs. 
Goetschy, the chronicler tells us, often quarreled with her 
husband, called him all kinds of names and one morning 
tore a cane from his hand and belabored his back soundly. 
At night they saw the camp fires of the imperial troops 
on one side and of the French on the other, which terrified 
them by their ghostly appearance. As they were afraid 
of an attack from one or both armies almost at any time, 
they refrained carefully from making the least noise, so 
as to pass by unnoticed. Nevertheless, they were stopped 
repeatedly. At Old Breysach, in the Brelsgau, all their 
chests were opened and examined. Goetschy, who called 
on the commandant of the fort, was advised to leave im- 
mediately, as the French on the other side of the river 
were aiming three field pieces at the boats. Of course 
they made off with all possible speed. At Ketsch, near 
Schwetzingen, west of Heidelberg, the dragoons of the 
imperial army stopped the boats and compelled Mr. Wirtz 
of Zurich, who acted as self-appointed commissary, to go 
to Heidelberg and secure a passport for 30 guilders, from 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. loi 

the Duke of Wurtemberg, the commanding general of the 
Imperial army. They were also forced to make an extra 
payment of two ducats for each vessel. 

Nine miles below Mayence the dragoons again rode 
after them and would not have allowed them to pass on, 
If their leader had not been of the Reformed religion. 
They took the meat away from Goetschy's plate with their 
sabers, which they swung about his head, so that he quite 
lost his appetite. Shortly before reaching Mayence from 
forty to fifty men had exhausted all their money, so that 
they did not even have enough to pay their boat fare. 
They were compelled to continue the journey on foot. 

At Mayence they were delayed four days because they 
could not agree with the captain of the boats about the 
passage money to be paid to Rotterdam. Finally they 
agreed on three guilders for adults and half fare for 

After leaving Mayence their journey was a little more 
comfortable, for they had at least a chance to cook on the 
ships. Their spiritual needs, however, were sadly neg- 
lected, for. If we can believe the chronicler of the journey, 
the pastor, Mr. Goetschy, always had the pipe or the wine- 
glass near his mouth. Mornings and evenings, one of the 
men, Helnrlch Scheuchzer from Zurich, read a prayer. 
When Goetschy actually did preach a sermon. In which he 
compared some of the leaders of the company to the fol- 
lowers of Korah, Dathan and Ablram, he almost caused 
a riot. 

When they reached Neuwied four couples were mar- 
ried by a Reformed minister: 

1. Hans Conrad Wirtz and Anna Goetschy. 

2. Conrad Naff, of WalHselen and Anna N. — 

3. Jacob Rathgeb and Barbara Haller, both of Walliselcn. 
, 4. Conrad Geweiller, a gardener. 

I02 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The Count of Wied desired them to remain In his terri- 
tory, offering to give them houses and land, but as he did 
not promise as much as they expected to receive in Caro- 
lina, they did not accept his offer, but left. 

From Neuwied they continued their journey down the 
Rhine until they reached Collenburg (now Culenborg) in 
Holland. There they were compelled to stop four days 
because of a strong contrary wind. Goetschy was invited 
to preach in the principal church at Culenborg, which he 
did with much acceptance. As a result a collection was 
taken up by the congregation for the party, so that each 
received one guilder. From Culenborg Goetschy sent a 
party of three men to Rotterdam, where he said two Eng- 
lish ships were waiting for them. The party consisted 
of Abraham Biinninger, a carpenter of Bachenbiilach, 
Jacob Issler, a tailor, and Abraham Weldman, a black- 
smith of Luffingen. At Culenborg they also sold their 
ships, which they must have bought at Basle, for 45 Dutch 
guilders, apparently a very small sum. Then, contrary to 
their agreement, they were compelled to take another ship 
to convey them to Rotterdam. In their hurry to get off 
several children fell overboard into the water, from which 
they were rescued with difficulty. Early the following 
morning they reached Rotterdam. 

Having reached Rotterdam they heard to their dismay 
that no ships were waiting for them. Moreover the cap- 
tain of the ship with which they had come wished to return 
at once, so they had to unload their goods quickly and, 
having no other place, they dumped them on the bank of 
the river on one heap. 

Mr. Goetschy received a letter from a certain Mr. 
Schobinger, a native of St. Gall, who was living at the 
Hague, asking him to come to the Hague. So he left the 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 103 

emigrants to their own devices and with his son-in-law 
hurried off to comply with the request. 

In a few days Mr. Wirtz returned and comforted them 
with the news that several oxen would be sent to them 
from the Hague, that the States General would send them 
to England at their own expense and that a large sum of 
money had been collected for them in England. Unfor- 
tunately none of these statements proved to be true. A 
few days later Goetschy also returned and reported that 
the States General had offered him a position as a minister 
of great importance, that he and his family had thus re- 
ceived unexpected help and he advised them to secure simi- 
lar help for themselves. 

In this extremity some indeed tried to help themselves 
by begging, but in that they were soon stopped by the mag- 
istrate with a threat of a fine of 25 guilders. Meantime 
some became sick from want and hunger, and two of them 
died. A tailor from Buchs, Sebastian Neracher by name, 
who was married in Rotterdam, came to see them. Most 
of them were in an inn outside of the city. He took care 
of those from Buchs. He brought with him a Mr. Scha- 
penhaudt, who interceded for them so successfully that 
many people took pity on them and distributed food and 
clothes among them. They also paid for their lodgings 
at the inn. 

Mr. Schapenhaudt presented their sad condition to Rev. 
Mr. Wilhelmi of Rotterdam, who advised them to go to 
the Hague and apply there to Mr. von Felss, at the Eng- 
lish embassy, to present their needy condition to him. 
Three men were sent to the Hague. When they reached 
the Hague, they first hunted up Mr. Goetschy and told 
him of their intention. He was greatly displeased with 
their plan and told them he had already spoken with Mr. 

I04 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Felss, who was sufficiently well informed about their plans 
and condition. Goetschy entertained the three men at 
dinner and then offered to send a letter with them to Mr. 
Wilhelmi at Rotterdam. After waiting an hour for the 
letter, he sent them word that he had already dispatched 
it with his boy. Hence they had to return to Rotterdam 
without having accomplished their purpose. 

Meanwhile Goetschy had been very successful in his 
interview with Mr. Felss, whom he calls an antistes,^^" 
but who was a prominent statesman, probably the Grand 
Pensionary himself. 

In a letter, dated November 26, 1734, Goetschy gives a 
glowing account of this interview to Mr. Friess of Zu- 
rich,^ ^^ the city treasurer and a near relative of his. After 
having related their experiences to Mr. Felss, he answered 
him (according to Goetschy 's letter) as follows: 

My dear brother, for six years we have been searching for a man 
through whom the churches of God in Pennsylvania, which con- 
sist of more than 60,000 souls, of whom 20,000 have not yet been 
baptized, could be organized. Divine Providence has sent you to 
us. Now I shall promote your call as general superintendent of 
the whole of Pennsylvania, which has more than eight cities and 
more than 600 boroughs and villages. You shall receive a yearly 
salary of more than 2000 thalers, until all has been accomplished. 
I shall see to it that the people get support from the Dutch govern- 
ment. But first you must write to your government for the requi- 
site testimonials and then you will be examined before the General 

Consequently Goetschy implored Mr. Friess to help him 
in securing the necessary testimonials. His son, John 

110 Antistes is a term used in Switzerland for the chief minister of a 
town. It was originally a Latin term, used of the chief priest of a temple, 
literally it is one who stands at the head, antisto = antesto. 

m A copy of this letter is preserved in the city library of Zurich. De 
Rebus Saeculi XVII, Vol. XXXV. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 105 

Henry, supported his father's request in a separate letter, 
saying that, if the testimonial from Zurich would be favor- 
able to his father, Mr. Felss had promised him to send 
him to the University of Leiden to study there for the 
ministry, so that he might become the successor to his 

Meanwhile Rev. John Wilhelmi [Wilhelmius] of Rot- 
terdam wrote also to Switzerland, to the Rev. John Bap- 
tista Ott of Zurich, to learn more of Goetschy's past. On 
February 5, 1735, Mr. Ott replied to him. He sketched 
Goetschy's life as student in the Zurich Gymnasium, as 
deacon at Bernegg and as pastor at Salez. He praised 
him for his scholarly attainments, as an evidence of which 
he states that it was popularly reported that he conducted 
family worship with the Bible in the original language 
before him. He acknowledged that he had been guilty of 
immorality, but expressed the hope that as the authorities 
in Zurich had dealt leniently with Goetschy, simply dis- 
missing him as a minister, so the Dutch people would find 
him worthy to send him out as their missionary."^ 

Whether this letter reached Holland before the time of 
the departure of the emigrants is doubtful, as Ludwig 
Weber states in his report that after his return to Switzer- 
land he heard that the party had left Holland on February 

24, 1735- 

When Goetschy had received from Mr. Felss the assur- 
ance of his appointment as minister to Pennsylvania, he 
returned to Rotterdam and acquainted his party of emi- 
grants with his changed plans. Most of them readily ac- 
cepted his proposal to change their destination from Caro- 
lina to Pennsylvania. There were, however, some who 
refused to have anything to do with him. Weber reports 

112 All these letters referred to above are in the city library at Zurich. 

io6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

88 as taking ship to England, but what became of them is 
unknown. The rest, 143 persons, signed their names for 
passage to Philadelphia. They agreed with the owner of 
a ship [Schiffpatron] to pay six doubloons for an adult 
and three for a child. If any of them should die, the sur- 
vivors pledged themselves to pay their passage money. 

The names of those who registered to sail for Pennsyl- 
vania were, according to Weber's report, as follows: 

Emigrants in Goetschy's Colony. 

Home in Switzerland, Name of Head of Family. Number. 

Appenzell Jacob Mettler i 

Bachss Jacob Bucher, shoemaker 4 

Basserstorff Heinrich Brunner i 

Basserstorff Heinrich DiibendorfFer 5 

BasserstorflF Jacob Diibendorffer 2 

Basserstorff Kilian Diibendorffer 5 

Basserstorff Heinrich Hug, wheelwright i 

Bertschicken Rudolph Walder 3 

Buchss Jacob Schmid 6 

Buchss Jacob Murer (Maurer) 5 

Buchss Heinrich Huber 4 

Buchss Conrad Meyer 3 

Diebendorff Jacob Dentzler 6 

Esch Rudolf Egg 1 

Flunteren Balthasar Bossart 5 

Flunteren Jacob Schellenberg and servant ... 2 

Greiffensee Johannes Heid 2 

Hirsslanden Caspar Notzli and his children . . . 

Illau Rudolf Hotz i 

Iloten Verena Kern 3 

Langenhuet Hans Ott i 

Luffingen Abraham Weidemann, blacksmith. . 2 

Hennidorff Hans Ulrich Ammann i 

Miilliberg Jacob Possart 6 

Opffikon Barbara Eberhardt i 

Riesspach Heinrich Schreiber, " blatmacher ". . 4 

Rumlang Rudolf Weidman, tailor 3 

Steinraeer, Upper Hans Meyer 4 

Stein Conrad Geweiler, and second wife. . 2 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 107 

Sultzbach Jacob Frey 5 

Wallisellen Heinrich Merck 6' 

Wallisellen Martin Schellenberg 3 

Wallisellen Ludwig Lienhardt i 

Wallisellen Jacob Wiist i 

Wallisellen Hans Rudolf Aberli i 

Wallisellen Conrad Keller 3 

Wallisellen Jacob Naff 5 

Wallisellen Conrad Naff 5 

Wallisellen Jacob Naff 2 

Wangen Caspar Guntz i 

Windli Hans Ulrich Arner 6 

Winckel Jacob Meyer 5 

Zumraikon Jacob Bertschinger i 

Zurich Heinrich Scheuchzer i 

N. — Hans Muller 4 

N. — Jacob Muller and brother z 

N. — Abraham Wackerli 4 

N. — Hans Kiibler 4 

This company with some others who evidently joined 
them after Lud^vig Weber had started on his return jour- 
ney to Switzerland, and whose names he could not there- 
fore record, reached Philadelphia on May 29, 1735, in 
the ship Mercury, William Wilson, master. It carried 
in all 186 passengers, 61 men, 51 women, 37 boys and 34 
girls. The above list forms an important supplement to 
the list in the Pennsylvania Archives, as it gives in each 
case the place in Switzerland from which the several per- 
sons came. 

The journey itself and some of the later experiences of 
theGoetschy family are given in a letter which John Henry 
Goetschy, then a boy of 17 years, wrote on July 21, 1735, 
to Mr. Werdmuller, deacon at St. Peter's church in Zurich. 
As this letter has never been published and is quite inter- 
esting, we present It in full:^^^ 

113 Original in Zurich library, see Zusdtze zum Lexicon Geograph.- 
Herald-Stemmatogr., Vol. H, F-H, pp. 196-199 (Msc. E. 62). 

io8 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Letter of John Henry Goetschy to Zurich, July 21, 1735. 

Very Reverend, Very Learned Mr. Deacon! 

I, the most submissive servant of my very reverend, highly and 
very learned Mr. Deacon, cannot forbear to report to your Rever- 
ence, how we are getting along. After we had left Holland and 
surrendered ourselves to the wild, tempestuous ocean, its waves and 
its changeable winds, we reached, through God's great goodness 
toward us, with good wind, England within 24 hours. After a 
lapse of two days we came to the island of Wicht [Wight] and 
there to a little town, called Caus [Cowes], where our captain 
supplied himself with provisions for the great ocean [trip] and 
we secured medicines for this wild sea. Then we sailed, under 
God's goodness, with a good east wind away from there. When 
we had left the harbour and saw this dreaded ocean, we had a 
favorable wind only for the following day and the following night. 
Then we had to hear a terrible storm and the awful roaring and 
raging of the waves when we came into the Spanish and Portu- 
guese ocean. For twelve weeks we were subjected to this misery and 
had to suffer all kinds of bad and dangerous storms and terrors of 
death, which seemed to be even more bitter than death. With 
these we were subject to all kinds of bad diseases. The food was 
bad, for we had to eat what they call " galley bread." We had to 
drink stinking, muddy water, full of worms. We had an evil 
tyrant and rascal for our captain and first mate, who regarded the 
sick as nothing else than dogs. If one said : " I have to cook some- 
thing for a sick man," he replied : " Get away from here or I'll 
throw you overboard, what do I care for 5'our sick devil." In 
short, misfortune is everjrwhere upon the sea. We alone fared 
better. This has been the experience of all who have come to this 
land and even if a king traveled across the sea, it would not change. 
After having been in this misery sufficiently long, God, the Lord, 
brought us out and showed us the land, which caused great joy 
among us. But three days passed, the wind being contrary, before 
we could enter into the right river. Finally a good south wind 
came and brought us in one day through the glorious and beautiful 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 109 

Telewa [Delaware], which is a little larger than the Rhine, but 
not by far as wild as the latter, because this country has no moun- 
tains, to the long expected and wished for city of Philadelphia, 

When we reached here our dear father, because of the great and 
tedious journey and. the hardships so unbearable to old people, was 
very sick and weak. On the last day, when we were before Phila- 
delphia, the elders of the Reformed congregation came to him and 
showed their great joy over him. They spoke with him as their 
pastor, who had been appointed to that position by the ruling per- 
sons in Holland, as was shown by his testimonials which he had 
with him. They discussed one or other church affair with him 
and showed their great joy. He spoke heartily with them, as if 
he were well. The following day they came and took him to the 
land. When he reached the land he was so exhausted by his sick- 
ness that he could not walk alone, but was carried in a chair to the 
house assigned to him. When they were there, they wished to 
talk with him about one or other subject. Of his own people 
none were with him but mother, the children were yet on the ship 
on the water. Then he said: "It is so dark before my eyes, let 
me lie down and sleep." As they did not want him to sleep in 
that room, since people were coming in continually and he would 
have been unable to sleep, they carried him upstairs to the bed 
room. In the middle of the stairway he sat down, lifted his hands 
to his heart and his eyes to heaven, heaved a sigh and died. On 
the third day a very distinguished funeral took place in the prin- 
cipal English Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, with a large 
attendance of people. All the members of the consistory of the 
Reformed church and very many of the congregation were present. 

Now we, his wife and eight poor, forsaken orphans, are in a 
strange land among strange people, who do not know us, poor and 
without comfort. We, therefore, commend ourselves most sub- 
missively to all those in Zurich to whom our misfortune will be- 
come known and whose hearts will be touched, in order that they 
may graciously grant us their assistance. It can easily be sent 
into this country, if they will only send it through Mr. Wilhelmius 
at Rotterdam, for which I ask most humbly, for the sake of the 
merciful Jesus. 

no The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Very Reverend Mr. Deacon, when I showed my testimonials, 
and the people saw that I had been engaged in study, they almost 
compelled me to preside over the congregations as well as I could. 
Hence, through the goodness of God, I preach twice every Sunday 
and teach two catechetical lessons. For this I make use of the 
books which I have brought with me and through good diligence 
I am enabled, thank God, to perform this in such a way, that each 
and every person is well satisfied with me. Now the first Sunday 
I preach in Philadelphia both in the forenoon and the afternoon 
and always give with it catechetical instruction. On the second 
Sunday in Schippach, which is a very large congregation, a sermon 
and catechetical instruction in the forenoon. In the afternoon at 
Old Goshenhoppen, two hours [six miles] from Schippach, a ser- 
mon and catechetical instruction. It is also a pretty large congre- 
gation, as large as any in the canton of Zurich, On the third 
Sunday I preach in New Goshenhoppen and have catechetical 
instruction there in the forenoon. In the afternoon at Great 
Swamp [Grossen Schwam], which is also one of the large congre- 
gations. All this I can do through the strength given me by God's 
spirit, to the great satisfaction of the people. I expect to be con- 
secrated next Christmas by the English Presbyterians, in order that 
I may be able to administer the communion, unite people in mar- 
riage and baptize children. With the help of God I intend to do 
this. I would be able to do this all the better and put forth greater 
efforts for the souls of abandoned and confused sheep, if I had my 
library, which is in charge of Mr. Gorchen [George] Kromer. I 
therefore ask your Reverence most humbly, if at all possible, to 
send it to me very kindly, not only for my sake and the large num- 
ber of poor orphans left by my sainted father, but also for the sake 
of the many thousand strayed and shepherdless sheep, who go about 
in error and in a destitute condition, yea for the sake of the many 
heathen, who thereby might be led to the Lord Jesus, as has already 
been done. 

Given on the 21st of July 1735. 
Henry Goetschius, 

Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge, m 

The condition of the land is as follows: There are in it English- 
men, Germans and French from all parts of Europe. Most of 
them are Reformed. The others are people of all kinds of imagi- 
nable sects, Atheists, Anabaptists, Quakers, Arians, Enthusiasts, 
Nestorians, Pietists, Mennonites, Waldensians etc., etc, many hun- 
dred kinds, for in this country there is perfect liberty of conscience. 
The Reformed are scattered through seven congregations and thus 
there is among many thousand sheep no shepherd. 

This letter bears the following inscription : 

Letter of Henrich Goetschi, minister at Philadelphia to 
Mr. Werdmiiller, " Diacon " at St. Peters in Zurich. 

In order to prepare himself for the next important step 
in his life, his ordination, Mr. Goetschy wrote on Septem- 
ber 26, 1735, to John Lavater, professor of Latin and 
Greek in the " Collegium Humanitatis " at Zurich, asking 
him for a certificate of his work and conduct while there. 
This certificate was written on May 28, 1736,^^^ and it 
testified to the fact that, after having been instructed in the 
fundamentals of the arts and ancient languages by his 
father he had entered the Latin school and spent there a 
year and that he had been " faithful and diligent in his 
studies, upright in his life and morals, modest and pious 
in his conduct." 

On May 27, 1737, Goetschy applied to the Presby- 
terian Synod of Philadelphia for ordination. The min- 
utes of that meeting^^'^ state that, 

a letter was brought in from Mr. Henricus Goetschius to Mr. 
Andrews, signifying his desire and the desire of many people of the 
German nation, that he might be ordained by order of Synod to 
the work of the ministry, upon which the said Mr. Goetschius was 
desired to appear before the Synod, that they might see his cre- 
dentials and have some discourse with him; which being done, he 

1^* Archives of Classis, Pennsylvania Portfolio, new letters. No. ii. 
"^^^ Records of Presbyterian Church, Vol. I, p. 133. 

112 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

produced testimonials from Germany, which were ample and satis- 
factory to the Synod respecting his learning and good Christian 
conversation; whereupon he was recommended to the care of the 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, to act upon further trials of him, with 
respect to his ordination, as to them should seem fit. 

Formerly it was supposed, without further investigation, 
as a matter of course, that the Presbytery granted his re- 
quest. But when the writer some years ago examined the 
unpublished minutes of the Philadelphia Presbytery, he 
discovered that this supposition was not correct. 

On the same day. May 27, 1737, the Presbytery met 
and took up the case referred to them by Synod. The 
minutes state :^^^ 

The affair of Mr. Henry Goetschius his tryale and ordination, 
being by the Synod recommended to this Presbytery, they took the 
same under consideration and agreed to meet tomorrow morning 
at Mr. Andrews' chamber, in order to take his tryale and then 
conclude upon what is further to be done in his affair as things 
shall then appear and Mr. Andrews agrees to give him notice that 
he may be present at the above time and place. 
May 28, 1737- 

Memorandum that three members of this Presbytery and three 
other ministers met at Mr. Andrews's chamber as above directed 
and having read an exegesis composed by Mr. Goetschius on the 
article of justification and discoursed with him largely in order to 
discover his qualifications for the ministry, they unanimously came 
to this conclusion, that tho' he appeared well skilled in the learned 
languages, yet inasmuch as they found him altogether ignorant in 
college learning and but poorly read in Divinity, his ordination to 
the ministry must at present be deferred. And therefore for his 

"^"^^ Minutes of Presbytery of Philadelphia, Vol. Ill, 173 3-1 784, a manu- 
script preserved by the Presbyterian Historical Society at Philadelphia. The 
extract given above was printed, from copy furnished by writer, in Eccle- 
siastical Records of Neiv York, Vol. IV, p. 2684 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 113 

better instruction advised him (being willing to encourage him) 
to put himself under the tuition and care of some minister for some 
competent time, that he may be better accomplished for the work 
he is engaged in ; and they also agreed, that, considering the neces- 
sitous condition of the people, that they desire his labours, he may 
sometimes preach to them in the meantime, as he has done for some 
time past. 

The presence of Mr. Goetschy in the Goshenhoppen re- 
gion soon made itself felt in the activity of the people. 

At Old Goshenhoppen, the Lutheran church record in- 
forms us, 

in the year 1737, on January the 26th, the church land was sur- 
veyed and it was found to contain 38^^ acres of land, with allow- 
ance for roads. In the same year, February 7th, fit was] entered 
in the office for Recording of Deeds for the City and County of 
Philadelphia, in Patent Book A, Volume VIII. p. 325, by Mr. 
Brockden, Anno 1738, January 12th, the expenses were paid by 
Mr. Michael Reiher in behalf of the Lutherans and by Jacob 
Keller in behalf of the Reformed. They were as follows: 

;^ s. D 

1. For 381^ acres of land 5. 17. 9 

2. To Surveyor General for warrant and return — 9. o 

3. For the patent to the Secretary of the Proprietor i. 5. o 

4. For the recording by Brockden — 5. o 

5. To Mr. Grashold for his trouble — 7. 6 

Total £i 4! 3 

At Great Swamp warrants for land were taken out on 
May 23, 1738, and 

there was surveyed on the twenty-seventh day of September, fol- 
lowing unto Michael and Joseph Everhart a certain Tract of Land 
situate in Upper Milford Township, formerly in the County of 
Bucks, now Northampton . . . containing one hundred and thir- 
teen Acres and seventy perches and the usual allowance of six Acres 
per cent for Roads and Highways ... in Trust for minister, 

114 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Elders and Congregation for the time being of the said reformed 
Calvinist and their successors settled and to be settled from time to 
time in the said several Townships of Upper and Lower Milford, 
the said Congregation having now erected [1762] on the said 
Tract a Church and School House for the use of them and their 

At New Goshenhoppen John Henry Sproegel had do- 
nated a tract of land consisting of fifty acres. Unfor- 
tunately no deed was given and hence the date and the 
circumstances cannot now be determined. But that it 
took place at an early time Is vouched for by the report of 
John Philip Boehm, written to the Synods of Holland on 
April 20, 1744. He writes :^^^ 

Regarding the congregation at Goshenhoppen, it has also a sui- 
table frame church upon a piece of land consisting of 50 acres, 
donated by some one, that all religions and sects should have the 
privilege of building a church thereon, and I lately learned from 
an old elder of theirs that the church is paid for. Two years ago 
four of them bought a plot. They intended to hand it over to 
the congregation for a parsonage if they were reimbursed for their 
outlay. How much it costs I do not know. 

The fact that John Henry SproegeP^** was the donor of 

^17 Printed by Dr. Weiser in his Monograph, pp, 42-46. 

118 Minutes of Coetus, p. 26. 

118a John Henry Sprogell (Sproegel) was born February 12, 1679. His 
father, John Henry, was an eminent Lutheran minister and head of a 
Lutheran Seminary at Quedlinburg, Germany. His mother was a daughter 
of the celebrated composer of music, Michael Wagner. Godfried Arnold, 
the church historian, married his sister. He came to Pennsylvania with his 
brother, Ludwig Christian, about 1702. In 1727 he is reported as having 
lived in the province twenty-five years, see Pennypacker, Hendrik Panne- 
hecker, p. 86. In 1705 Pastorius says (see Pennypacker, History of Ger- 
manto'wn, p. 76) that " about two years ago one John Henry Sprogel 
arrived in this province." In the beginning of 1705 both brothers were 
naturalized. John Henry Sproegell purchased about 600 acres in Potts- 
grove, on which he settled with his family. The present Sprogel's run 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 115 

this land is not only traditional but it rests on good docu- 
mentary evidence. The congregation still owns a draught 
made by the surveyor, David Schultze, of which we pre- 
sent a facsimile, which is described by the surveyor as " a 
draught of a tract of land divided into several tracts, sit- 
uate in Upper Hanover Township in the County of Mont- 
gomery and State of Pennsylvania, containing together 
Fifty acres and 26 Perches of land. Being part of 13,000 
acres, in former Times belonging to John Henry Sproegel 
and afterwards to Thomas Tresse, Senior, deceased." 

A curious fate overtook the donation of John Henry 
Sproegel. He died without giving the congregation a 
deed. The same happened to the Falkner Swamp Lu- 
theran Church. As a result the New Goshenhoppen con- 
gregation was compelled to purchase the land of the heirs 
of John Henry Sproegel. For David Shultze states on 
his draught, above referred to, that " in the year 1749 [it] 
was by the Agents or Trustees of the said deceased Tresse's 
Family, sold to the settlers thereof, and the above tract 
was jointly purchased of them, by the Calvinists and 
Mennonists Congregations for the use of Churches, Meet- 
ing House, School House and Burying Ground." To an- 

was called after him and flows through this tract. From a stone in an 
ancient graveyard east of the borough line we learn that his wife, Dorothea, 
died August 7, 1718, aged forty years. A son, Frederick, died in 1716, one 
year old. (See Buck, History of Montgomery County, p. no.) In 1719 
John Henry Sprogell gave fifty acres of land to the Lutherans in New 
Hanover township. Hendrick Pannebecker surveyed it and laid it out, 
the survey being completed April 17, 1719, see Pennypacker, Hendrick 
Pannebecker, p. 73 ff. 

His brother, Lodowick (Ludwig) Christian Sprogell, died at Philadel- 
phia in 1729. His will is No. 129 of 1729, Book E, p. 114. 

His sister, known as widow Sprogell, lived on Second Street, Philadel- 
phia, see advertisement in Weekly Mercury of February 10, 1730, quoted 
above, p. 45. She died at Philadelphia December 20, 1760, see American 
Ancestry, Vol. IV, p. 5. 

ii6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

ticipate the later history, it may be noted here that in 1749 
the congregation was again unable to secure a deed. Not 
before February 23, 1796, was the deed actually made 
out and the final transfer of the land to the congregation 

The church at New Goshenhoppen reported by Boehm 
as standing on the Sproegel tract in 1744, can be traced to 
a still earlier date. It had been erected before January, 
1739, for at that time Mr. Boehm reported to Holland :^^^ 

Goshenhoppen. As I have heard from people that live there, 
they have built a pretty large church at that place, which will be 
sufficient for them for some time, but it is poorly made of wood. 

Of the ministry of John Henry Goetschy at Goshen- 
hoppen we have a somewhat extended description by John 
Philip Boehm in his report of January, 1739. Goetschy, 
like Weiss and Miller, soon after his arrival came in con- 
flict with Mr. Boehm, because he entered several of his 
congregations. Hence Boehm condemned his work se- 
verely. Continuing the history of the Goshenhoppen 
church after the departure of Miller, Boehm writes r^-** 

After these men had failed, they arbitrarily made Henry 
Goetschi their pretended minister, when he was hardly eighteen 
years of age and but half a year before had received the Lord's 
Supper for the first time from Do. Rieger at Germantown. 
Goeschi then undertook to administer the Lord's Supper and to 
baptize, to install elders and to marry people. In short, he did 
what belongs to the office of a regular minister. Goshenhoppen 
has him at the present time [1739] as its preacher, and permits 
him to establish and to carry on all this disorder from Goshen- 
hoppen as a center, not only at Skippack, but at other places also. 
He has done this, at Oley, where he has misled the congregation, 

"9 L. c, p. 12. 

^-° L. c, p. 10; Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 277 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge, 117 

which was established by me in 1736 at their request, and he now 
also serves this congregation. At Tulpehocken he attempted to 
do the same thing through three un-called-for visits, but he was 
refused. Yet he continues such improper actions. 

Meanwhile this Goshenhoppen is a congregation or a place where 
a faithful shepherd and minister is greatly needed, through whose 
wise administration a flourishing congregation ought soon to be 
established. There are also several places near Goshenhoppen 
which should be provided for, as Great Swamp and Saucon Creek. 
These, although they might be served by the minister of Goshen- 
hoppen with the administration of the sacraments and sometimes 
with a sermon, yet need to be provided with readers, who have the 
ability to catechise, especially at Saucon Creek, because it is a some- 
what out-of-the-way place and many Reformed people live there. 

We learn more about the extensive activity of young 
Goetschy from the title page of the oldest New Goshen- 
hoppen Reformed Record, by which he informs us that he 
preached at eleven preaching places, namely at Skippack, 
Old Goshenhoppen and New Goshenhoppen In Mont- 
gomery County; Great Swamp and Egypt In Lehigh 
County; Saucon In Northampton County; Maxatawny, 
Moselem, Oley, Berne and Tulpehocken In Berks County. 
In four of these places church records, begun by him, or 
containing at least entries by his hand, are still In existence. 

In New Goshenhoppen he entered 60 baptisms, begin- 
ning on April 25, 1736, and ending on September 24, 
1740. He also wrote the title page of this record, prob- 
ably In 1736, when he began his entries. Moreover, we 
have from his pen the first list of members at New Gosh- 
enhoppen, 45 In all, written about 1736; and the first list 
of elders, elected April 25, 1736, namely John Stelnmann, 
John BIngemann, J. Georg Welcker and Henry Gallman. 

At Great Swamp he started a church record on April 
24, 1736. On that day he wrote the title page of this 

1 18 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

record and entered, at the same time, a brief but compre- 
hensive constitution for the congregation and six baptisms 
into the record. In all he recorded there but fourteen bap- 
tisms, the last on February 28, 1738. 

On March 22, 1739, he opened the Egypt record with 
a Greek and Latin sentence. The Greek sentence reads: 
Ovhev aXh 'ypdj)i]<i, which means neither " Ohne Versiich 
schmeckt man nichts," as Dr. Weiser renders it,^^^ nor 
"nothing without writing," as Mr. Roberts translates 
it,^^^ but " Mayest thou write nothing crowdedly," or ren- 
dered freely: "Write everything plainly." These and 
other doubtful Latin and Greek phrases are of course remi- 
niscences of the Latin school at Zurich, and were evidently 
used by the young preacher to impress the German farmers 
of his congregations with his great learning. 

Only three baptisms in the Egypt records are in the 
handwriting of Goetschy. They took place on June 12, 
June 27 and September 30, 1739, but two other children 
were also baptized by him on earlier dates. John Traxel, 
son of Peter Traxel, was baptized "by Rev. Mr. Gotschi" 
on October 26, 1736, and Peter Roth, son of Daniel Roth 
on July 27, 1737. These two entries were probably made 
by Peter Traxel, "Vorsteher der Reformirten Gemeinde 
allhier," who acted as sponsor at the second baptism. 

121 See Monograph, p. 15. 

1-2 Pennsyl'vama Archives, 6th Series, Vol. VI, p. 134. 


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History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 119 

On March 24, 1739, the Berne church record was 
opened by Mr. Goetschy. An earlier baptism which had 
taken place in May, 1738, was also most probably entered 
in March, 1739. On July 11, 1739, three children were 
baptized by Mr. Goetschy at Berne. At one of the bap- 
tisms, that of John Henry Jaeger, son of Philip Carl 
Jaeger, Goetschy acted as sponsor. Later dates on which 
baptisms were performed by Mr. Goetschy at Berne were: 
July 12, September 12 and November 26, 1739. In all 
there are fifteen baptisms entered by Mr. Goetschy at 
Berne from April, 1738, till November 26, 1739. Eleven 
other baptisms, from March i, 1740, till August 20, 1740, 
though entered by a different hand, may possibly have been 
performed by Mr. Goetschy also, as we know from the 
New Goshenhoppen record that he officiated in the charge 
till September, 1740. 

It was during the ministry of Mr. Goetschy that the first 
schoolmaster appeared in the Goshenhoppen region. It 
was John Conrad Wirtz, the brother-in-law of Goetschy. 
The exact time of his stay is uncertain, but the fact of his 
presence at Goshenhoppen is vouched for by Mr. Boehm. 
In his last letter to the Classis of Amsterdam, dated De- 
cember 2, 1748, he writes about Wirtz: 

He was accepted at Old Goshenhoppen to teach school, but they 
soon got tired of him and sent him away. Afterwards the Men- 
nonites at Cannastocka accepted him for the same work, but he 
was dismissed by them just as quickly. 

Later he assumed the ministry in various country con- 
gregations. From September, 1742, to December, 1743, 
we find him at Egypt in Lehigh County. When Schlatter 
came in 1746, he was ministering at Saucon, Springfield 

I20 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

and the Forks of the Delaware, now Easton. He was in 
these churches probably from 1 745-1 749, 

September 27, 1750, he applied to the Presbyterian 
Synod of New York for admission. He was received as 
a probationer by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, Sep- 
tember 3, 175 1, and was ordained by this Presbytery as 
pastor of Rockaway, N. J., June 5, 1752. He served 
this church and others in its neighborhood until 1761. 
He was then dismissed by the Presbytery to become the 
pastor of the Reformed Church at York, Pa., where he 
officiated from May, 1762, to September, 1763. He died 



at York, September 21, 1763. His numerous descendants 
have recently presented a beautiful memorial tablet to the 
Church in York, to commemorate his labors. 

Mr. Goetschy came in conflict with Mr. Boehm by cir- 
culating everywhere a letter of Rev. Wilhelmius of Rot- 
terdam, which Boehm claimed was forged. This letter 
gave the Reformed congregations in Pennsylvania the 
privilege to engage and dismiss their ministers at pleasure. 

Finally, in the spring of 1740, the letter fell into the 
hands of Mr. Boehm, who sent at once a copy of it to the 
Classis of Amsterdam and wrote the following important 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 121 

letter concerning it, in which he also touches upon his rela- 
tion to Mr. Goetschy:^^^ 

Letter of Boehm to the Classis of Amsterdam, April 

4, 1740. 

Very Reverend Classis, Reverend and Devout Church Fathers! 

I had serious doubts about sending the enclosed copy to the Rev- 
erend Classis, believing that on its account I might be regarded 
with displeasure. Yet I thought it indispensably necessary, in 
whatever aspect I considered it, to let the Very Reverend and 
Devout Church Fathers see it, for they, in their exalted wisdom, 
will know what to do with it, in order that your poor fellow- 
servant may be guarded against further trouble. 

This letter caused constant mischief and was the continual sup- 
port of the wicked associates of Jacob Reiff, since the time of its 
arrival in this country. (Do. Weiss brought it along from Hol- 
land). The Christian Synods in their letters to his Reverence, 
Mr. Dorsius, have sufficiently declared their displeasure with the 
unordained preachers and hirelings. 

About eight years ago, I was shown this letter (of which the en- 
closed is a copy) from a distance, with the statement that they did 
not concern themselves much about me and my church-order; here 
they had a right church order and they knew what power and lib- 
erty they had. 

But although I tried hard during all this time, yet I could not 
obtain the letter, until a few weeks ago. It came by accident out 
of their hands into mine. 

Now I believe firmly that this letter was cunningly forged, for 
1st. A long time ago I heard from the lips of Reiff himself that he 
had received the same from Do. Wilhelmi in the Dutch language 
and that he had it translated into the German language in Holland. 
2nd. The signature is written by the hand of the translator, while 
the name of the translator is not mentioned. This ought to be 
entirely different. 

123 The original letter of Boehm is in the Classical Archives at Am- 
sterdam. First printed in Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 300-303. 

122 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

3rd. The letter consists of six sheets, which have been sewed to- 
gether with a blue silk ribbon and sealed. I cannot believe that it 
is Do. Wilhelmi's seal, for I have his seal on two letters in three 
forms, none of which is like it. 

4th. In these letters Do. Wilhelmi wrote me, after I had notified 
him that they did such things in the name of his Reverence (which 
they did as the letter shows) and he assured me, if such was done 
in his name it was done without his knowledge and approval. His 
letter was dated June 30, 1736. 

5th. The so-called " Report and Instructions concerning Penn- 
sylvania," drawn up by ten commissioners and printed by order of 
the Christian Synods (probably in 1731) is almost uniform with 
the regulations of the enclosed letter. But nothing is mentioned 
[in the Report] about that which is contained in the beginning 
of the letter, in regard to the power and liberty which the letter 
grants to the people of this country and to the exercise of which 
it urges them.^^* The letter likewise does not say to whom money 

124 The letter of Dr. Wilhelrnius is too long to be given entire. But a 
few of the more important paragraphs of the first part of the letter may be 
quoted. In the beginning of the letter the writer expresses his pleasure 
that he was permitted to appeal in behalf of the Pennsylvania churches 
to the church of Holland, with the result that the latter would take up the 
cause of the Pennsylvania churches and assist them with counsels and con- 
tributions. He expresses his regret to hear of their troubles and divisions, 
caused by the ordination of Mr. Boehm. He reports that he had trans- 
mitted their letters to their destination. The first he had sent to the Classis 
of Amsterdam, which, however, he informs them, continued to be of the 
opinion that Dom. Boehm should be supported in his position. Hence on 
November 21 [1730] he had submitted their second letter to the Classis of 
Rotterdam with the result that a committee of ten persons had been ap- 
pointed to investigate the whole case. But as their report would not be 
submitted to the Classis before next Easter, and as he did not want Mr. 
Weiss to return empty-handed, he would give them his own personal 
opinion in the matter. 

First of all he advises them "to accept the counsel of the Classis of Am- 
sterdam in order to preserve by it peace and harmony among the churches, 
until after the death of Mr. Boehm a change would take place. By doing 
this they would be sure of gaining the favor and good will of the Classis, 
inasmuch as the ordination of Boehm had taken place in answer to a 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 123 

had been given in Holland. The printed pamphlet, however, men- 
tioned that a considerable sum had been placed into the hands of 
Do. Weis in Holland. 

Therefore I cannot believe that Do. Wilhelmi ever wrote such a 

For this reason no one would be a more fitting person to lead 
the poor misguided people back upon the right way and to bring 
about unity, love and a God-pleasing order, by exposing such cun- 
ning and fraud, than his Reverence, Do. Wilhelmi, whom God 
may graciously reward for it. This would certainly be the case 
because many have passed away without being reconciled, and many 
have gone over to the sects on account of the trouble and dishar- 
mony occasioned by this letter, so that my heart often bled and 
sighed to God. I should be very glad to have a letter regarding 
it in my hands (for if it gets into the hands of Reiff's adherents, it 
will be hidden). Then, with the help of God, I would soon 
gather my sheep and perform my work among my congregations 

petition received from them and Mr. Boehm could not be removed from 
his office without much scandal and bitter feeling. 

After these sensible admonitions, there follow four paragraphs which 
are out of harmony with all that precedes and follows and which were no 
doubt inserted by Reiff and his followers. It is inconceivable that Dr. 
Wilhelmius could have written them. They read as follows: 

" In case this advice be not acceptable to you and your minds cannot 
unite with him, nor be edified, improved and comforted by his ministry 
and your church be exposed to ridicule and contempt, as j'ou write in your 
letter and I have heard from the two delegates, I give it as my own per- 
sonal opinion, that, in order to remove the present and future quarrels, you 
have the divine right, given to you by God in Christ Jesus, which you can 
and must use, to elect on your own responsibility a minister according to 
the word of God and the church order. 

" For your nation, which is living in a free land, is a perfectly free 
church, dependent upon none, which has in herself the right to govern 
herself, to elect such elders as she may please, if it be only done according 
to the word of God. Being independent of every church in the world, 
whichever it may be, you can accept advice and follow it or decline to do 
so. This is entirely different with the churches in New Netherland, which 
have been organized by the church of Holland. 

" Inasmuch as this is so, the congregation of Schippach, Schwam and 

124 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

with a double joy and mj^ bitter sorrow would soon be sweetened. 

But as long as this letter has been here my work has been ren- 
dered useless among many. The slanderers and liars found it a 
weapon against me and I had to put up with a small compensation 
for all my difficult and wearisome toil and labor and thus lose my 
food for the support of my body. But the most painful result was 
that I had to see my labor made fruitless with many, because of the 
letter, and had to behold more harm in all the congregations of the 
whole country than I could bring about growth. 

The Reverend Classis can, therefore, clearly see that it is not 
my fault that our true church in this countrj' did not grow. For 
Henry Goetschy has shown this letter ever>MAhere and thereby 
caused me very much persecution, until he learned differently from 
his Reverence, Inspector Dorsius. Then he heartily repented and 
asked my forgiveness in the presence of his Reverence, which I 
granted him with all my heart. I also wish him success and inter- 
cede for him with God and our Reverend Church Fathers. He 
obediently submitted to the decision of the Reverend Christian 
Synods and desisted immediately. May God give him blessing 
and grace that he may become an efficient instrument to edify 

neighboring places, has the divine right herself to elect a minister whom 
she may find fit for that position, and it is my opinion that the following 
procedure should be adopted: The consistory should assemble and inves- 
tigate the conduct of the men, who in the name of the whole congregation 
wrote to the Classis of Amsterdam, asking for Boehm and when it shall 
appear that they did not act truthfully, or that they themselves were de- 
ceived, the consistory must bring them to a confession of their guilt, and 
exclude these men from the table of the Lord and his communion, they 
being the cause of this disturbance. They should treat Dom. Boehm in the 
same manner, and if it be found that he deceived these men in their simple- 
mindedness, by his cunning and artifice, I suggest that these things be 
properly recorded and sent to the Classis, in order to justify yourselves 
and to assure the Classis that her resolution was based upon deceptive 

'' After this has been done, the consistory shall notify all male members 
to meet at the specified time and vote one by one for the election of a 
minister, acting according to the church order of the Palatinate, then pro- 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 125 

I also made this suggestion to his Reverence, Inspector Dorsius, 
to propose to the Christian Synods, in sending the desired ministers, 
to ordain each for his particular place. For some places are more 
acceptable than others and the people also differ. I think that 
thereby future quarrels could be avoided entirely, and all would 
have to be content. May God give his gracious blessing upon his 
w^ork for the salvation of many. 

Your obedient servant commends herewith the Very Reverend 
Classis, your reverend persons, with all your families and holy 
service to the dear heavenly father and to the word of his grace 
and himself to your blessed and affectionate care, and he remains, 
Very Reverend Classis, 
Your most submissive and obedient servant, 
JoH. Ph. Boehm, 
Minister at Falckner Schwam, Schip Bach 
and Weitmarge. 
Witpen Township, Philadelphia County, 
Pennsylvania, April 4, 1740. 

ceed to the ordination, and, in order that all this be done orderly, the 
advice and guidance of the nearest regular minister, that can be secured 
from Staten Island or Bucks County, should be requested, who should be 
present and preside over the whole transaction." 

No arguments are needed to prove that these sections constitute the for- 
gery of which Boehm complained. It is incredible that any minister in 
his right mind could have written them. They are not only inconsistent 
with Dr. Wilhelmius' preceding advice to submit to the counsel of the 
Classis of Amsterdam, but they are also inherently absurd. The ridiculous 
insistence on a supposed " divine right " of the congregation is enough to 
discredit them. Moreover, why should the writer have taken the great 
trouble to work out elaborate rules for the guidance of the churches in 
Pennsylvania (which follow these sections immediately), if in his opinion 
the Palatinate church order was sufficient for their government? The pity 
of it all was that the " Fathers " in Holland paid no attention to these just 
complaints of Boehm, allowing his enemies to go on unrebuked. The letter 
of Wilhelmius is dated December 31, 1730. Boehm's copy of this letter is 
in the Pennsylvania Portfolio, archives at Amsterdam, new letters, No. 10. 
It was printed in full in Life and Letters of Boehm, pp. 303-311. 

126 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

In the spring of 1740, Mr. Boehm visited the Goshen- 
hoppen congregations to secure from them, as he had se- 
cured from all the other Reformed congregations in Penn- 
sylvania, a statement as to what they were willing to give 
towards a pastor's salary. 

In March, 1740, Boehm reported as follows to the 
Classis regarding his visit to Goshenhoppen :^-^ 

Concerning the congregation of Goshenhoppen I know not what 
to say. I have been there three times, yet I have not been able to 
do anything, although I entreated them very urgently not to cast 
aside the grace of God, now so clearly visible. When I went to 
them the third time, they [namely the elders] held a meeting on 
the 2 1st of February, and a part of them promised me at last to 
come to me on the 26th or 27th in order to sign the paper. I also 
heard that the people in Great Swamp and those at Saucon Creek 
were not at fault. However I did not see any of them. 

Shortly afterwards, however, they sent in a report 
through Mr. Goetschy; the New Goshenhoppen congrega- 
tion promising ten pounds, Great Swamp five pounds and 
Saucon Creek five pounds. The paper signed by the 
elders of the three congregations was as follows :^^*^ 

(i). The congregation in New Goshenhoppen promises Ten 

Herman Fischer 

George Steinmann 

Caspar Holtzhauser 

Andreas Greber 
(2) The congregation in Great Swamp promises Five Pounds. 

Felix Brunner 

Michael Eberhard 

Christian Willauer 

Jacob Wetzel 

125 The original of Boehm's report is in the Classical archives. Printed 
in Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 296 f. 

126 Also in archives of Classis. See Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 293. 



History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 127 

(3) The congregation at Saucon Creek promises Five Pounds. 
Georg Best 
Frantz Blum 
Friedrich SchoU 
Tobias Baal 


At the same time when Boehm secured these pledges for 
pastor's salary, he also proposed to the Classis that the 
congregations in Pennsylvania be organized into six 
charges. The last and sixth charge to consist of New 
Goshenhoppen, Great Swamp and Saucon Creek. It is 
strange that he passes Old Goshenhoppen by entirely, 
which was certainly in existence, as is evident from the 
documents which we have already presented. 

In repartitioning the congregations in 1740 (an earlier 
partitioning into four charges had been proposed by him 
in 1734), Boehm suggested not only how the congrega- 
tions might be most advantageously combined into charges, 
but he also pointed out where the residences of the minis- 
ters might be most conveniently located. Thus he wrote 
of Goshenhoppen :^2^ 

VI. Goshenhoppen. As in the last two congregations [Oley 
and Tulpehocken], a place might here also be found for a minis- 
ter's dwelling which would not be too inconvenient in order to 
supply Great Swamp and Saucon Creek from it. 

The good feeling and spirit of cooperation, which was 
established between Boehm, Dorsius and Goetschy in 1740 
did not last very long. In the winter of 1 739-1 740, Mr. 
Boehm had made an extended tour of visitation to all the 
Reformed congregations, traveling 300 miles on horseback 
to visit the various congregations, in order to ascertain how 
much each was willing to pay towards a pastor's salary. 

'^^'^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 16; also Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 298. 

128 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The result of his visits was embodied by him in an elabo- 
rate report, which he placed into the hands of Dorsius, in 
order that he might transmit it to Holland. Instead of 
doing so, Dorsius made a summary of it in Dutch and sent 
that to Holland in his own name, giving there the im- 
pression that he himself had secured all the information 
which had been requested.^^^ When Boehm heard of it 
he became very angry and on July 25, 1741, wrote a long 
letter of complaint to the Classis. In it he wrote :^^^ 

It seems to me that my sending over [a copy of] this letter [of 
Do. Wilhelinius] accounts largely for the ill-will, which his Rev- 
erence, Mr, Dorsius, bears me. For after I had secured this letter 
from Mr. Goetschi, after many efforts, and it became known to 
Mr. Dorsius, Goetschi came directly to me, brought me greetings 
and implored me to give him the letter again, under all kinds of 
pretense. He also said, that the Inspector, Mr. Dorsius, deemed it 
advisable to return the letter to the people, otherwise trouble might 
arise. But I thought that they were trying to make the letter dis- 
appear. I, therefore, declined in a friendly way and retained the 
letter. Now, whether his Reverence, Mr. Dorsius, is also of the 
opinion that every one in this country may do as he pleases, I leave 
to men, endowed with wisdom, to find out. For his Reverence 
ordained this young Goetschi, who caused so much harm here 
through the assistance of disorderly people and by the arbitrary 
transgression of our Reformed church order and customs. This 
ordination took place after he left Goshenhoppen, and had lived 
half a mile from his Reverence and studied under him for one year, 
on the 7th of April last [1741], with the assistance of Do. Frei- 
linghausen, of Randany [Raritan] and of another whose name I 
have not been able to find out as yet. But as far as I have heard, 
he is said to be one of the Tennents, who are of the Whitfield fol- 

i-s Incorporated into the minutes of the Synodical Deputies, under date 
March 7-8, 1741. 

1-" In Classical Archives, Pennsylvania Portfolio, No. 14; see Life and 
Letters of Boelim, p. 324 fl. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 129 

lowers, otherwise called Presbyterians. I shall try to make certain. 
This Goetschi, as reported in my last submissive letter, had indeed 
asked for my forgiveness, in the presence of Mr. Dorsius, of the 
wrong committed against me and promised to live according to all 
order. This occurred on the 21st of February 1740. But what 
he did soon afterwards (and it can hardly be thought that he did 
it without the knowledge of his Reverence, Mr. Dorsius) may be 
seen from the enclosure, marked C. He likewise made two oral 
offers to my regular congregation in Oley (according to their testi- 
mony) whereby this congregation also was separated and divided. 

Enclosure C. is a letter from the elders at Tulpe- 
hocken/^'^ addressed to Mr. Boehm, dated April 20, 1740, 
informing him that Mr. Goetschy had written to them a 
letter in which he notified them that he and Mr. Dorsius 
would come to Tulpehocken in May and administer the 
Lord's Supper there. 

In his report of 1744, Mr. Boehm confirms and en- 
larges upon his previous statements regarding the ordina- 
tion of Mr. Goetschy and the conditions prevailing at 
Goshenhoppen. He writes :^^^ 

This congregation up to this time has claimed the privilege ac- 
corded to them in the letter which ReifE had when he returned 
from his collecting tour, and which purported to have been written 
by his Reverence, Doctor WiJhelmi of Rotterdam (whereof a copy 
may be found among the Pennsylvania papers). Hence they will 
not submit to any church-order. And no matter how much I may 
admonish them, they remain of the same mind. They had taken 
young Goetschi to be their pastor, but when Do. Dorsius arrived 
he withdrew from them, went to him, and studied a year with him, 
and after this year he was ordained as minister for Long Island in 
the month of April 1741, by Mr. Dorsius, assisted by Do. Fre- 

130 Classical Archives, Pennsylvania Portfolio, No. 17. Printed in Life 
and Letters of Boehm, p. 342. 

"^^"^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 26; also Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 419. 

130 The Pennsyl'vania-German Society. 

Hnghuysen, of Raritan, and still another (as I learned afterwards) 
Tennant by name, of whom it was said that he was one of the 

In 1739, the Synods of Holland had notified the Penn- 
sylvania churches (see Life of Boehm, p. 284) that they 
could expect no help from them, unless they would " refuse 
to hear the unordained ministers and hirelings." As a 
result Goetschy stopped preaching in 1740 (see p. 124), 
went to Dorsius, studied with him for a year, and was then 
ordained by Dorsius, Frelinghuysen and Tennent on April 

7» 1741. 

In October, 1740, Mr. Goetschy had gone to Long 
Island where he visited the congregations of Newtown, 
Jamaica, Hempstead and Oyster Bay, which extended a 
call to him. ^^2 This he accepted and moved to Long Island 
in the following year. Thus he left the German Re- 
formed churches of Pennsylvania and assumed the ministry 
of the Dutch Reformed churches of Long Island. The 
validity of his ordination in 1741 was questioned and in 
order to preserve peace among his congregations and 
remove all objection he submitted to another examination 
and ordination in 1748. 

In 1743 Goetschy published a sermon on the "Unknown 
God," which he had preached in Dutch in 1742 at several 
places. After a long and successful ministry of thirty-four 
years in the Dutch Reformed Church he died at Schraalen- 
berg, N. J., November 14, 1774.^^^ 

132 Corwin, Ma«7/fl/ of the Reformed Church in ^mmra, 4thed., p. 490 f. 

133 Corwin, /. c, pp. 489-492; Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 
Vol. IX, Part 2, pp. 15-17; Taylor, Annals of the Classis of Bergen, 1857, 
p. 185. 


Ministry of Rev. Peter Henry Dorsius, 

^•f^N Boehm's report of 1744, quoted above, is found 
^fl I the earliest reference to the next pastor at Gosh- 
^B I enhoppen. Continuing the history of Goshen- 

^^W hoppen after the departure of Goetschy to Long 
Island, Mr, Boehm writes :^^^ 

Meanwhile, since Goetschi is no longer with them, Do. Dorsius 
has several times administered the Lord's Supper to this people 
before his journey to Holland. 

This passage introduces us to a young minister, who 
had come to Pennsylvania in 1737. 

As early as May 3, 1730, the elders of the Dutch Re- 
formed congregation at Neshaminy, Bucks County, had 
written a letter to Rev. David Knibbe of Leyden and Rev. 
John Wilhelmius of Rotterdam, Holland, stating that, 
although small in number, they were anxious to secure a 
minister and had for that purpose canvassed the congre- 
gation and found that they were able to give 60 pounds, 
Pennsylvania currency, as salary to a pastor. Hence they 
asked these two Dutch pastors to secure them as a minister 
" a suitable young man of about 30 years of age, who has 
a distinct enunciation, is well grounded in the doctrine of 

134 Minutes of Coetus, p. 26. 


13- The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

the truth, able to instruct, admonish and to silence all 
adversaries, but no less edifying in his life."^^^ They 
also guarantee him a free dwelling, fire wood and a free 
passage for himself and his baggage to Pennsylvania. 

On May 29, 1734, Rev, Wilhelmius notified them that 
he had found a young candidate by name of Masius, whose 
father was pastor in the Low-German Reformed congre- 
gation at Altona near Hamburg. But when the time of 
his departure for Pennsylvania had come near, he had 
withdrawn. But, he informed them, that he had con- 
tinued his efforts and had, a few weeks before, found " a 
certain young man suitable and pious, 24 years of age, who 
still needs one year to complete his studies. He shows 
great desire and eagerness to preach the Word of God 
among you. This man, I believe, will, under God's gra- 
cious blessing, be a useful and successful preacher among 
you, and I heartily recommend him to you. But the ques- 
tion is whether you will grant him a year's time to com- 
plete his studies, and whether I can advance him for this 
purpose such an amount of the money which I have re- 
ceived from you, as will be necessary for it and for his 
examination and ordination in this country." He reports 
further that the money which Reiff had given him in their 
name was still in his care and that the reason why he had 
not written sooner was partly because he had had no earlier 
opportunity, partly because Reiff had failed to call on him 
before his departure in order to take a letter along. 

On October 30, 1734, nineteen members of the Nesha- 

135 This letter, as well as the later letters exchanged between the Dutch 
ministers in Holland and the Reformed Church at Neshaminy, Bucks 
County, are deposited in the archives of the Theological Seminary at New 
Brunswick, N. J. This letter is printed in full in a paper, submitted by 
the writer to the Bucks County Hist. Society, January 19, 1918, entitled 
" Life and Work of the Rev. Peter H. Dorsius." 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 133 

miny congregation answered the letter of Dr. Wilhelmius. 
They expressed their willingness to wait for their pastor 
and gave Wilhelmius authority to use their money for him, 
but with the condition that he should see to his examina- 
tion, ordination and transportation to America. They 
also reported that they were already busy in buying 40 
or 50 acres as glebe land for their pastor's use. 

On March i, 1735, Dr. Wilhelmius sent another letter 
to the Bucks County people. He expressed his pleasure 
that they were satisfied with his choice of a pastor. He 
reported that the young man, just about 26 years old and 
unmarried, had already made such good progress in the 
ancient languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, that he was 
instructing others in them. He was also well advanced 
in theological studies. He was a pious young man and 
was burning with desire to preach the gospel of Jesus in 
another part of the world. He had made him sign a 
paper, in which he obligated himself to go to Pennsylvania 
immediately after completing his studies, or to return the 
money advanced to him with double interest. Wilhelmius 
stated that the bearer of his letter was a Reformed min- 
ister from Switzerland [Rev. Maurice Goetschy], through 
whom they hoped the churches in Pennsylvania would be 
well organized. 

Another set of letters was exchanged between Wil- 
helmius and the congregation in 1736, and finally on May 
22, 1737, Dr. Wilhelmius reported that Do. Dorsius had 
been ordained at Groningen and had left for Philadelphia 
with Captain Stedman. 

On April 5, 1734, Dorsius had matriculated at the Uni- 
versity of Groningen and on September 17, 1736, at Ley- 
den. The entry in the matriculation book of the latter 
university is as follows : 

134 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Petrus Henricus Dorsius, 1736 Sept. 17. 
Meursanus, 25. T. 

This means that on the above date Peter Henry Dorsius, 
a native of Meurs, 25 years old, matriculated as a student 
of theology. This corrects the statement of Dr. Wil- 
helmius as to his age. According to his own statement in 
the matriculation book he was born in 171 1. 

Fortunately we are now able to present definite infor- 
mation regarding the family and age of Mr. Dorsius from 
the church records at Meurs (now Moers), which the 
present pastor, Rev. W. Rotscheidt, very kindly commu- 
nicated to the writer,^ ^"^ for which he deserves the grati- 
tude of the Reformed Church in the United States. 

Peter Henry Dorsius was the son of Johann Henrich 
" Dorschius" of Moers. His father was a widower when 
he married Peternella Gravers of Altkirch, on September 
15, 1708. Their children were as follows: 

1. Alethea, baptized November 15, 1709. 

2. Peter Hendrich, baptized January 2, 171 1. 

3. Abraham, baptized August 5, 1712. 

4. Isaac, baptized December 22, 1713, died soon afterwards. 

5. Isaac, baptized March 8, 1715. 

An older relative of his, who acted as sponsor at his 
baptism, Samuel Dorsius, entered the Gymnasium Adolphi- 
num at Moers on May 8, 1708. Isaac Dorsius, probably 
his younger brother, entered the gymnasium on May 5, 
1727. His own name does not seem to be registered 
there. Hence he probably studied somewhere else. In 
1734 he entered the university of Groningen, as we have 
seen, and in 1736 that of Leyden. In the following year 
he left Holland for Pennsylvania. 

He himself has given a description of his journey to 

136 In a letter, dated February 16, 1914. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 135 

Pennsylvania and his first experiences there in a letter, 
which he addressed to the Synodical Deputies in June, 
1749. He writes :^^^ 

It is about twelve years ago, after I had been received, on April 
30> 1737) by the Classis of Schieland at Rotterdam among the 
number of the candidates of theology, and on May 29th of the 
same year had been ordained by the very learned theological faculty 
at Groningen to be a minister of the gospel, that, on July 11 
[1737]. I undertook the great and dangerous journey from Rotter- 
dam to Pennsylvania, when we did not arrive safely at Philadel- 
phia till October 5th ; however, with the loss of many persons, who 
had died at sea and had been buried in the great ocean. Then I 
inquired immediately after my location. I learnt at once at the 
beginning that I, as well as others, had been woefully misled, and 
thus was sadly compelled to preach in the barn of one farmer after 
another, because there was no house of God; and at the same time 
take up my lodging with one family after another in the woods 
[bosch], as they are accustomed to call it in this land. This made 
me think of returning speedily, but I was kept back by my con- 
science and the example of early Christians. Through the encour- 
aging and cheering letters of the very learned Rev. Mr. Ernest 
Engelbert Probsting, p. t., scriba of Synod, written to me in the 
name and by the order of the Reverend Deputies of both Synods, 
I was much strengthened to continue in the difficult work of the 
ministry which I had undertaken. 

Mr. Boehm refers to the arrival of Dorsius in a letter 
addressed to the Classis of Amsterdam on March 10, 
1738, in which he says:^^^ 

Last fall there came to this country Do. Dorsius, as a regular 
minister of the Dutch Reformed congregation at Neshaminy, Bucks 
County, and with him another by the name of Van Hasten, who, 

13T Hague Archives, 74, II, 12. 

138 Classical Archives, Pennsylvania Portfolio, No. i. See Life and 
Letters of Boehm, p. 259 f. 

136 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

although he was not ordained, yet travels here and there through 
the country and preaches, saying that he had been sent from Hol- 
land. But he has given us absolutely no cause for joy. 

Turning to the immigrant lists of Rupp, we find that on 
September 26, 1737, John Herman von Hasten, ^•^'' " Can- 
didatusS.Th.," arrived at Philadelphia in the ship Andrew 
Galley, John Stedman, master, from Rotterdam. This 
must have been the ship on which Mr. Dorsius came. We 
know from the letter of Dr. Wilhelmius, quoted above, 
that he came with Captain Stedman, and we know from 
his own letter of June 1749, that he arrived on October 5, 
1737. The latter is the date according to the "new 
style." It is, however, surprising that the name of Dor- 
sius does not occur In the list as given by Rupp, while in 
the list given in the Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, 
Vol. XVII, pp. 138-140, both names are wanting. 

The bill for the ship's passage of Mr. Dorsius from 
Captain Stedman and the receipt of Dorsius given to his 
consistory on September 28, 1737, are still In existence.^ ^^ 
They read as follows : 

Myn Heer Dorsius Dr. 

To John Stedman 

to his passage & goods P. 15 : — 

to Duty in England P. i : ^^2 

to Citty Dues 3/2 : 

to fresh Provision in England P. z:% 

Total P. 19:0 

139 The immigrant list in Rupp's Thirty Thousand Names, p. 109, give 
us at last the correct Christian name of Van Hasten. In December, 1738, 
Dorsius reports him as having preached at Amwell, N. J., and on Long 
Island and as being at that time at Fishkill, N. Y., see Ecclesiastical 
Records of Neiv York, Vol. IV, p. 2741. In 1739-40 he is reported as 
preaching at Jamaica, Success, Oyster Bay and Newtown, N. Y. But he 
was addicted to drink, hence his activity as a minister was brief. After 
1740 he disappears. See Corwin, Manual, 4th ed., pp. 807, loir, 1016. 

140 Part of church records at New Brunswick, N. J. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 137 

Receipt of Rev. P. H. Dorsius, 
I, the undersigned, acknowledge clearly and distinctly to have 
received from the Reverend Consistory, elders and deacons, the 
sum of six and twenty pounds, fifteen shillings and two pence, 
Pennsylyania currency, for the passage money of person and goods, 
together with the expenses from Rotterdam to Pennsylvania for 
Captain John Stedman. 

Given in Philadelphia, September 28, 1737. 

P. H, Dorsius, minister in Bucks 

County, Pennsylvania. 

Dorsius and Boehm worked together very harmoniously 
till the spring of 1740, when Boehm in answer to the re- 
quest of the Holland Synods, communicated to him 
through Dorsius, had prepared his elaborate report of 
1739, and had handed it to Dorsius with the request to 
send it to Holland. When Dorsius failed to do this, 
Boehm became very indignant. 

On November 30, 1740, the elders of Boehm wrote a 
defence of their pastor to the Classis, with affidavits re- 
garding the events that had taken place. 

In the affidavit it is said:^^^ 

When Mr. Dorsius, minister at Neshaminy, was at Goshen- 
hoppen on the 24th of September 1740, and baptized children, in' 
his anger against our minister, Mr, Boehm, he burst out without 
any reserve, in the following expressions among others: " If Boehm 
says that I have not sent the letters, which he wrote regarding the 
church, to Holland, he lies like a scoundrel " and this he repeated 
several times. 

Privately to Boehm, Dorsius had admitted that the 
letter had not been sent off. In support of Boehm his 
elders wrote t^^^ 

1^^ Classical Archives, Pennsylvania Portfolio, No. 15. See Life and 
Letters of Boehm, p. 338. 

1*2/,. c., No. 16. See Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 339. 

13S The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

His Reverence [Mr. Dorsius] visited the congregations Saucon 
and New Goshenhoppen on his return home from Minisink. As 
far as we know he did not visit any other congregations in the 
back woods. At that time his Reverence had the young Goetschi 
preach the sermon and read the baptismal formula, while he bap- 
tized the children. Afterwards all that is stated above took place. 
It is impossible for us to let the case rest here because his Rever- 
ence has not only treated our beloved and faithful pastor so un- 
kindly, but he also attacked the respect due to the reverend men 
and devout church fathers, who established our pure divine wor- 
ship in this country. 

During the ministry of Dorsius, in the year 1742, the 
second schoolmaster appears in Goshenhoppen. On De- 
cember 21, 1742, the Bethlehem Diary reports a visit at 
Bethlehem of "John Adam Luckenbach, schoolmaster at 
Goshenhoppen." He was born in 17 13 at Winckelbach, 
near Hachenburg, in Nassau, Germany. On September 
30, 1740, he arrived with two other members of his fam- 
ily at Philadelphia. He served as schoolmaster in various 
localities, first at Goshenhoppen. In 1743, we find him 
at Muddy Creek, where he assisted Jacob Lischy. When 
Lischy moved to York County, in 1745, Luckenbach ac- 
companied him and became schoolmaster in Kreutz creek. 
In 1754, he was schoolmaster in Allemaengel, Lynn town- 
ship, Lehigh County. He married Eva Maria Spiess, 
who bore him one son and two daughters. He died in 

1785 at Saucon and was buried in the Moravian cemetery 
at Bethlehem.i^^a 

According to Boehm's report of 1744, already quoted, 
Dorsius administered the Lord's Supper "several times" 
before his journey to Holland, which took place in 1743. 

142a See Reincke, Register of Moravians, pp. iii, 131, Schultze, Guide to 
the Old Moravian Cemetery at Bethlehem (Proc. of Pa. Germ. Soc, Vol. 
XXI, p. 14). 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 139 

In perfect agreement with this statement we find thirteen 
children baptized at New Goshenhoppen on August 30, 
1 74 1, and six children on September 4, 1742. Then there 
is a break in the baptismal record till May, 1744. In the 
interval Dorsius undertook a journey to Holland. This 
was undertaken, as he explained later to the Deputies, be- 
cause there was no prospect of growth for the Dutch Re- 
formed Church in Pennsylvania, first, because their num- 
ber was becoming constantly smaller through sickness and 
death; secondly, because through intermarriage the mem- 
bers were lost to the church, and thirdly, because they had 
no school-teachers to teach the children the Dutch lan- 
guage. In view of this condition Dorsius desired permis- 
sion either to accept a call to another church or to remain 
in Holland. As his letter to the Deputies, written in June, 
1749, gives an interesting account of this journey, it may 
be quoted in part:^^^ 

I considered all this very carefully, besides, the continual com- 
plaints of the consistory (which had to collect the pastor's salary), 
that they were no longer able to pay the 68 pounds of salary which 
they had promised, without injuring their own families, as they 
were not able to secure the promised salary from the congregation, 
but had been compelled to add each year enough money so as to 
complete the salary; hence after full deliberation I concluded to 
return to my fatherland and to undertake the difficult and expen- 
sive journey in the strength of the Lord of Lords, also to call the 
consistory together, submit to them my plans, ask for a certificate, 
in case it should happen that I would not return. This was done 
on the 9th of March, o.s. My just request was granted and a 
certificate was given to me, together with a petition to the Rev. 
Deputies for another faithful shepherd and teacher, at a lower 
salary, in as much as I might feel inclined to stay in my own coun- 
try. This certificate and also the letters written to me by the 

^^2 The same letter of Dorsius quoted before, see note 137. 

140 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

learned Mr. Probsting, I handed over to the Christian Synod of 
North Holland in the year 1743, in answer to the request of the 
Rev. Mr. Cornelius Houthoff, p. t., deputy of the Synods. These 
writings are most likely still in the hands of the reverend gentlemen. 

Then I began the great journey on the 26th of May, 1743, o.s., 
from New York to Amsterdam, where I arrived safely and well 
on the 14th of July at Texel. Then on the 26th and 27th of 
July I appeared before the Christian Synod of North Holland held 
at Hoorn, in order to make known the lamentable and desolate 
condition of the American Reformed churches, especially of the 
Dutch people, over whom I had been placed as shepherd and 
teacher. This, however, did not have the result or effect, which 
I had desired or expected. I could not stay in Holland because 
on the one hand it was to be feared that the fire of war might break 
out between France and England, which would make the Spanish 
Sea, over which we had to sail, unsafe and dangerous to travelers, 
as to our grief, it proved to be the case in the spring of the follow- 
ing j^ear. On the other hand, my domestic affairs (of which I do 
not wish to speak further) could not be arranged so as to make it 
possible for me to stay longer in Holland. Moreover, a suitable 
opportunity offered itself so that I could readily bear the expense 
of the journey and return home again. 

Hence on the 19th of October 1743, o.s., I again undertook 
the great journey across the sea, when after suffering, especially in 
the neighborhood of Ireland, many hardships and dangers on the 
ocean, common to the winter season, I did not reach Philadelphia 
till January 16, 1744, o.s., though in good health. From there 
I returned to Bucks County, where I tried to discharge the duties 
of the ministry faithfully. 

Shortly after his return from Holland, Dorsius visited 
Goshenhoppen again. Boehm in his report of 1744 refers 
at length to this visit i^'*'* 

^** Minutes of Coetus, p. 26 f.; also Life and Letters of Boehm, p. 419 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 141 

Boehm's Account of Goshenhoppex in 1744. 

As I learned on Tuesday after last Easter at Goshenhoppen from 
a ruling elder, it is arranged that he [Dorsius] shall again admin- 
ister the Lord's Supper to them in the next coming month of May. 
On this Tuesday after Easter, when I happened to come to Goshen- 
hoppen, I found this among them: On Good Friday, they allowed 
the base deceiver, Jacob Lischy, to preach in their church, who at 
the same time baptized two children. When I represented to two 
elders, who were together on this Tuesday after Easter, the impro- 
priety of this act in the presence of several people, in having per- 
mitted a Moravian to do such things they answered me that they 
themselves had held it up to him, but he had protested with an 
oath and called upon God to forsake him if he were a Moravian. 
He claimed to be a Reformed preacher from Switzerland. Then 
I showed them his Moravian hymn book, entitled " Shepherd 
Songs of Bethlehem, for the use of all who are humble," which 
before this was his own pocket hymn book, and came to my hands 
in a wonderful but honorable way, in which he had written his 
name with his own hand; When they compared the letter he had 
written to them with it and saw that it was his own handwriting, 
they realized his wicked conduct, the more so because, when they 
told him that I had this little book, he denied it was his, say- 
ing that he knew nothing of the book, that others could easily 
write his name in a book; he could not prevent that, and that for 
this reason he had long regarded me as a treacherous Boehm, of 
whom he had heard before in Holland, etc. Then they acted as 
if they were sorry. But one among them, Michael Radner, con- 
fessed that it was his fault alone that Lischy had come into the 
church. Whereupon I took my departure. The next day I spoke 
with another ruling elder, who was not present the day before. 
This one said to me with a sad heart, almost with tears: "But 
what shall we do? Mr. Dorsius has told us we should not think 
that we could get ministers from Holland. We should ourselves 
see to it, what was to be done." The Hollanders had said : " What 
do the Pennsylvanians imagine themselves to be? They live in a 

142 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

free country, have nothing to pay to any royal court, yet want to 
give but ten pounds in such a large congregation to a minister; 
then we cannot provide them with a minister," etc. Nevertheless 
I admonished them to remain steadfast in prayer, and without 
being discouraged to wait upon God's favor. As for me, I felt 
assured that if our pious church Fathers desired to admonish us or 
were displeased about anything, they would not thus rudely present 
it, but speak of it in an amicable and friendly manner, becoming to 
servants of God. But according to my expectations the affairs of 
our church would take quite a different turn under the providence 
of God and his guidance. And thus we separated. . . . 

Do. Dorsius has also promised the people at New Goshenhoppen 
to administer the Lord's Supper there on May 6th, and that on 
the 7th he would be at Old Goshenhoppen, situated about four 
miles from Skippack, where the Lutheran and Reformed people 
wish to build a union church (whereby again some members will 
be drawn away from Skippack, for until now this district had be- 
longed to Skippack) and on May 7th he will there lay the corner- 
stone. On this occasion the Lutheran preacher, Andres by name, 
and Do. Dorsius are each to preach a sermon. Do. Dorsius asked 
said Lutheran pastor to announce this from his pulpit for the 
benefit of his Lutheran congregation, which he did on April 8th. 
Afterwards I was told by some of my elders who were present 
that the Lutheran minister distinctly said : " Rev. Inspector Dor- 
sius will administer the Lord's Supper on May 6th at New Goshen- 
hoppen for the Reformed people, and on the 7th ditto, at the laying 
of the corner-stone of the union church at Old Goshenhoppen, he 
as well as myself (the Lutheran pastor) will preach the first ser- 
mon (which words a certain man who had heard them told me 
with astonishment in my house on the i6th of April). . . . 

P.S. On May 6th, Do. Dorsius administered the Lord's Sup- 
per at New Goshenhoppen, several persons from Falkner Swamp 
communed there without saying anything. 

On May 7th, the corner-stone of the above mentioned union 
church was to be laid ; a considerable number of people were pres- 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 143 

ent, but the day was rainy. Do. Dorsius did not come. It was 
postponed till Whit Monday, May 14th, old style. Do. Dorsius 
again did not come. But an elder of New Goshenhoppen was 
appointed to represent Do. Dorsius, and the work was thus accom- 

The presence of Do. Dorsius at New Goshenhoppen in 
May, 1744, is corroborated by the church record, for on 
May 5, 1744, six children were baptized, and their bap- 
tisms entered into the church record by one of the elders. 
The pastor who officiated was undoubtedly Mr. Dorsius. 

The cornerstone laying at the Old Goshenhoppen church 
is described more fully In the Old Goshenhoppen Lu- 
theran record, which has also preserved the agreement, 
then drawn up by the Lutheran and Reformed people. It 
Is as follows: 

Agreement Placed in Cornerstone of Old Goshenhoppen 
Church, May 14, 1744. 

Anno 1744, May 14th, through the wonderful providence of the 
all-wise God and against all expectations, these two congregations, 
Lutheran and Reformed, began to build a large, beautiful stone 
church. In this year was laid the cornerstone, in which the fol- 
lowing writing was put and deposited : 

In the Name of the Blessed Trinity, Amen. 

Through the all-wise providence of God it has come to pass that 
both Evangelical congregations, Lutheran and Reformed, con- 
cluded to build a new stone-church, for which the corner-stone was 
laid today in the name of God. Inasmuch as under such circum- 
stances, and for the safety of both parties, a written agreement is 
necessary, showing in what manner each congregation is to conduct 
itself and what rights each possesses, therefore, the following con- 
tract has been made and established by us: 

First : We implore unitedly and with burning hearts the almighty 

144 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

and all-gracious God, that he may not allow any discord or dissen- 
sion to arise among us, but may preserve us in love and unity, that 
our Christian vv^ork, undertaken by us, may have a happy issue. 

Secondly: No congregation, neither Lutheran nor Reformed, 
shall have any preference in the divine service, nor shall any con- 
gregation have more rights in the church than the other, but every- 
thing shall be done in love, without confusion and disorder, nor 
shall either congregation disturb the divine services of the other. 

Thirdly: We stipulate mainly and earnestly, that no false 
teacher, suspected of heresy, who adheres to neither the Lutheran 
nor the Reformed doctrines, shall under any circumstances be per- 
mitted or tolerated in our house of God, but in such a case either 
congregation shall have authority, right and power to close and 
lock the church against such a false teacher. 

To our posterity we wish temperal and eternal blessedness. 
And, inasmuch as Jesus Christ is the only corner-stone and founda- 
tion of our faith, who is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, 
sanctification and redemption, therefore may he grant that this our 
faith may be continued and preserved to all times, in order that we 
all at last, when heaven and earth perish, may be translated from 
the church militant unto the church triumphant, and then, before 
the throne of the Lamb, all of us, with one accord, may honor and 
praise God, through our dear Lord Jesus Christ. 

In testimony whereof the elders of both congregations have 
affixed their own signatures. 

Old Goshenhoppen, May 14, 1744. 

Reformed : Lutherans : 

Christian Schneider Michael REiHER-{-his mark 

Christian Lehmann Balsar Gerlach 

Bernhard Arnd Philip Gabel 

Johann Ziewer. Conrad Schneider. 

' As to the cost of the church nothing certain is at hand, because, 
in the first place, the two congregations have helped and given 
much, and in the next place, other friends have also contributed 
their share. 




(See Page 145.) 



History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 145 

The cornerstone of the first church at Old Goshenhop- 
pen is still preserved in the right hand corner of the pres- 
ent building. It bears an interesting Latin inscription: 

LIberaLItas pLebIs i. e. The liberality of the people 

LVtheran^ atqVe Lutheran and also 

reforMat/e has /^Des Reformed this house 

Vna eXstrVXIt. unitedly has erected. 

I. c. andre/e. past. lvth. J. C. Andreae, Luth. 


The inscription is unique because the capital letters when 
added together give the year 1744. This can be easily 
demonstrated : 

Line i. 



LL = 153 

Line 2. 



V. = 60 

Line 3. 



= 1500 

Line 4. 



VXL = 31 

This ingenious method of indicating the date is prob- 
ably due to the Lutheran pastor, J. C. Andreae, whose 
name was put into the last line of the inscription. 

Shortly before the cornerstone laying of the Old Gosh- 
enhoppen church took place, the church wardens or trus- 
tees of the two congregations had drawn up a " declaration 
of trust," which because of its contents and remarkable 
English deserves to be published in full, spelling and all, 
verbatim and literatim. It is dated April i6, 1744: 

Declaration of Trust by Old Goshenhoppen Elders, 
April 16, 1744. 

To all Christian People to Whom these Preseats Writings 
Shall Come Know Ye that We Michael Reyer, Churchwardens of 
the Lutherian Congregation & Jacob Keller, Churchwardens of 
the Reformirth Congregation of Upper Sollford Township in the 

146 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

County of Philadelphia are Lawfully Invested by a Warrant of 
the Hounorable the Propriedais Date the twelfth Day of January 
anno Domini 1737 there was Surveyed and laid out on the Six- 
teenth Day of the Said Month unto us the said Michael Reyer 
and Jacob Keller of the County of Philadelphia a certain Tract 
of Land Seituate in the s^ Upper Sollford Township in the s^ 
County BEGINNING at a Post in a Line of other Land of the 
said Jacob Keller and Extending thence by the Same South East 
Seventy Perches to a Post thence by other Land of the Said 
Michael Reyer Southwest ninety three Perches to a Post at a 
Corner of Adam Mayrers Land thence by the same North west 
Seventy Perches to a Post thence by Vacant Land North East 
Neinty three Perches to the place of Beginning Containing thirty 
Eight acres and a quarter and an allowance Proportional to Six 
acres Per Cent, for Roads and Highways as in and by the Survey 
thereof remaining in the Surveyor Generals Office may appear- 
Now KNOW Ye that we the s^. Michael Reyer & Jacob Keller, 
Chosen Churchwardens of both the said Congregations have gath- 
ered so moch money as woult pay for s*^ tract of Land and Cost 
and Charges to pay, and was agreed between them two said Con- 
gregations that this place shall be for no other use but to built a 
Shoolhause and in Fouture to come a Chirch to keep a School- 
master upon said pleace Either between the both Congragations or 
Every on for them selfes and also built a Church between both s*^ 
Congregation or Every one for them selfes and we Paid for said 
Land & patend warrant and Recortern and sum other Costs Eight 
pounds nine Shillings & Three pence of the money we gathered. 
Now because the Patend and also the Draught of s*^ tract is made 
upon us and in our names weilst it Could not be Done otherwise, 
So we Prodest and Declear by and with this presents, that we or 
our Heirs, Exect^, Administ^, or Assigns shall have no claim or 
Demand of in or to the s^ Land or any part thereof From or after 
our Decease but to permit and Suffer the s^ two Congregations 
their Heirs and Assigns and Every of them to have, possess and 
enjoy to their own use for Ever the said Land and Every part 
thereof without any Let or disturbance of or by us our Exect^ 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 147 

Administ^ or Assigns or of or by any other person or persons or by 
this or any of their acts means consents or procurements Clearly 
released acquitted and Discharged of and from all Incumbrances 
What So Ever by them had, made and Committed or Done or to 
be had made Committed or Done but the two Congarigations be- 
tween them shall pay the Quittrend Due and for Ever to come to 
the Hounorable the Propriedars according as it is mentioned in 
the patend we have and Shall also have the two Congrigations the 
Reight and Power given in the patend to us, that we never have 
any more to Demand than another man of the s*^ two congrigations 
and that also for the true performans We give to Every Congri- 
gations this writings from unter our hands and Seals Dated this 
1 6th Day of Aprill in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven 
Hundred and fourty four Annoque Domini 1744. 
Sealed & Delivered in the presence of us 

his his 

Christian X Lehman Michael X Reyer (Seal) 

mark mark 

^'s Christian Schneyder in place 

Adam X Meyrer of Jacob Keller (Seal) 


Philad* I2th Jan^ 1737. Received of Michael Royer and Jacob 
Keller five pounds Seventeen Shillings & nine Pence in full for 
thirty eight acres of Land Surveyed to them in Salford Township 
in the County of Philadelphia. Received for the use of the Pro- 

£5 17s. 9d. James Steelyard. 

After 1744, Dorsius visited Goshenhoppen no more, 
although he remained pastor of Neshaminy, Bucks County, 
till 1748, when he returned to Holland. There he died 
about the year 1757. ^^^ The last reference to him Is In 

145 For earlier accounts of Dorsius see Harbaugh, Fathers of the Re- 
formed Church, Vol. II (1872), p. 375 f.; Good, History of the Reformed 
Church, pp. 190-199; Dubbs, Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, pp. 92- 
94; Corwin, Manual of Reformed Church, 4th ed., pp. 429-31- The most 


The P ennsylvania-German Society. 

the minutes of the Classis of Amsterdam, under date Oc- 
tober 5, 1750.^"*^* From 1752 to 1776 his widow received 
support from the Coetus of Pennsylvania. 

extensive account of the " Life and Work of the Rev. Peter H. Dorsius " 
was given by the writer in a paper submitted to the Bucks County Hist. 
Society, see above, note 135. 

'^^^^ Ecclesiastical Records of Neiv York, Vol. IV, p. 3138. 


Ministry of Frederick Casimir Mueller, 


N July 7, 1745, a new handwriting appears in 
the New Goshenhoppen record. It is that 
of Frederick Casimir Mueller. On Sep- 
tember 27, 1745, he acted as sponsor at the 
baptism of a son of Johan Adam Mengel. 
On March 23, 1746, a son of Frederick 
Casimir Mueller himself was baptized with Johann Hoff- 
mann and Friedrich Helwig as witnesses. The record 
itself gives no Indication that Mueller was actually the 
pastor of the congregation. All that can be inferred from 
the record is that between July 7, 1745, and April 28, 
1750, he entered thirty-five baptisms into the record. But 
what is lacking in the record is fully supplied by other 

In Schlatter's private diary we read under date Septem- 
ber 20, 1746:^^^ 

I preached in the new stone church at Old Goshenhoppen, but 
inasmuch as a considerable part of the New Goshenhoppen con- 
gregation adheres to a certain hireling, Frederick Casimir Mueller, 
who was a school teacher but now wants to be a minister, I was 
not able to accomplish anything. I concluded to investigate this 

"« Printed in Journal of P. H. S., Vol. Ill, p. iii f. 


150 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

matter at some other time and then fix the salarj^ I shall also 
endeavor to bring about, with the help of God, unity in the con- 
gregation, since Do. Weiss is generally liked. But, whereas some 
adhere to the above-mentioned Fred. Mueller, it is necessary to use 
prudence, because he is a bold fellow and was in the congregation 
before Do. Weiss returned from Rhinebeck. 

At a later place in the same diary Schlatter refers at 
length to Casimir Mueller and sheds considerable light on 
his activity :^^^ 

The above mentioned Frederick Casimir Mueller is the only one 
thus far known to me, who is not willing to submit to any order, 
but, as he states himself, will create as much dissension and division 
as possible. But I trust to Almighty God, that Mueller alone 
will not be able to hinder the progress of God's work, which other- 
wise is blessed everywhere. 

He has now 10 or 12 small congregations in and about Oley and 
in New Goshenhoppen about 18 men, who adhere to him and re- 
fuse to side with Do. Weiss, being so to speak bewitched with his 
bragging and assurance. During the whole week he rides about 
and tries to make the kind intention of the Reverend Synods ob- 
noxious to his adherents, pretending that if they submit to them 
they will lose their liberty and accept unbearable fetters. 

I asked him to come to see me in Oley on September 23rd. At 
that time he appeared to me rather favorable, and in view of your 
Reverences' counsel, I made to him the following proposition in 
the presence of Do. Weiss: Whether, if he were a true Reformed 
man, he would from now on abstain from administering the Lord's 
Supper and from uniting people in marriage, until I had written 
to the Reverend Fathers and received their answer, whether the 
Reverend Synods deemed it wise that, like Dom. Boehm in former 
years, he be ordained by a Coetus and be installed as a regular 
minister in a regular congregation? To this he heartily agreed, 
but on the following Sunday, through God's wonderful providence, 

!■*' L. c, p. 119. 



History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 151 

he made himself unworthy of the good opinion which I had formed 
about him. For he baptized children as before and announced 
the administration of the Lord's Supper in four weeks. Hence I 
lost all desire to write to you in his behalf. 

From the Hebron Diary, written by the Moravian pas- 
tors at Lebanon, it appears that Frederick was the call 
name of Frederick Casimir Mueller, for his name always 
appears there as Frederick Mueller. The same conclusion 
can be drawn from his own signature, which Is usually 
Friederlch C. Miiller. 

Rupp's Thirty Thousand Names, notes the arrival of 
three Friedrlch Muellers from 1 727-1 744. On Septem- 
ber 30, 1743, a Friedrlch Miller qualified, whose name 
was written by the clerk, probably because he himself was 
unable to write. On September 24, 1742, a Friederlch 
Miiller qualified, who came In the same ship as John Jacob 
Riess, another Reformed pastor at Goshenhoppen. A 
third Friedrlch Miiller arrived October 28, 1738. We 
are inclined to regard the second Mueller identical with 
our Frederick Casimir Mueller, because he was apt to 
make his presence felt shortly after his arrival. 

In spite of Schlatter's unfavorable opinion, Mueller 
preached acceptably to numerous Reformed congregations 
and no doubt did a good work, In his own way. It may 
serve, therefore, a useful purpose to put together the scat- 
tered references to his life and work. 

In a letter of Schlatter, dated October 3, 1746, which is 
lost in the original, but an extract of which has been pre- 
served in the Minutes of the Synodlcal Deputies of March 
21-22, 1747, Schlatter states that Mueller had been a 
school teacher at a place near Mayence, In the Palatinate. 
In July, 1745, he appears for the first time In Pennsyl- 
vania, as pastor of the New Goshenhoppen congregation. 

152 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

On October 19, 1746, Schlatter visited New Goshen- 
hoppen again, in order to restore if possible order and har- 
mony in the congregation. His private diary describes 
his experiences at that time as follows i^^*^ 

On the 19th, I traveled to New Goshenhoppen, 18 miles, to- 
gether with Dos. Boehm and Weiss, in order to remove if possible 
the division which had been caused in the congregation by the above 
mentioned Miller. 

I preached from II. Chron. 15: 2-4. After that I tried to gain 
the adherents of Miller with love and kind words and win them 
for Do. Weiss, but Miller, who was in the church, controlled his 
party to such an extent that all my efforts were in vain. He is 
said to have declared from the pulpit, last Sunday, October i6th, 
that even if the black and white wigs (meaning the Hollanders 
and Switzers), would come, they could not drive him away. Fi- 
nally I wanted to know how strong his adherents were and asked 
them to raise their right hand, but they refused, saying that they 
would not swear an oath. Then I asked them that, as a sign of 
their difference, they should put on their hats, but they refused that 
also. At last I asked that those who held with Do. Weiss should 
cover their heads, thus I was able to count the others against their 
will, namely 17 or 18 families. Thereupon I admonished them 
all to be peaceful and I caused the party of Do. Weiss, numbering 
about 30, to put upon paper their contribution toward his salary, 
which amounted to about 15 pounds and thirty bushels of wheat. 

In Schlatter's diary, as published by Dr. Harbaugh in 
his "Life of Rev. Michael Schlatter," p. 140, is this addi- 
tional sentence: "Although we did not, at this time, suc- 
ceed in accomplishing this object, yet the Lord interposed 
some time afterwards and restored order." 

Almost immediately after the visit of Schlatter, Mueller 
wrote him a letter on October 29, 1746, which, following 
the "old style," he dated October 18, 1746. As it is the 

"8L. c, p. 160. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 153 

only letter of Mueller in existence and reveals clearly his 
attitude and spirit, we shall give it in full i^'*^ 

Letter of Frederick C. Mueller to Schlatter. 

Goshenhoppen, October 18, 1746. 

I have thought much about you, since I saw and heard you at 
Goshenhoppen, for the reason that I expect you to organize every- 
thing in good order. You ought to know that church questions 
cannot be treated like secular affairs, which was done nevertheless. 
At the city hall I saw how people were asked to raise their hands 
or make a sign with their hat. That is the way it looked at your 
organization, to the amusement of the sects. 

I do not wish to make you proud, but simply to write you the 
thoughts of my heart. I care little or nothing whether you send a 
petition to Holland or not, nor will I allow you to forbid me any- 
thing. If I need a petition, my congregations are willing to draw 
it up themselves, for they can give the best testimonial regarding 
me. I am ready to submit to an honorable Church Council, but 
not to beg for anything, and if my congregations submit a testi- 
monial to the honorable Church Council as to you and take as 
much interest in it as you, I shall have good help, but they will not 
drive me away from the congregations which love me heartily. 
You should know that neither money nor anything else will induce 
me to give up the congregation, even if Mr. Weiss's salary for two 
years be offered to me. You promised to secure me a place as a 
schoolteacher. I hope you will stand by your word, but if you 
are unable, because you can issue no command which the farmers 
must respect, I shall look for such a place myself. 

I wish you heartfelt humility from him who can give abundantly. 
I shall report the outcome of the affair to the Rev. Mr. Bruynings 
in Amsterdam, whom I know and love heartily. 

Your ever ready (Servant) 

i4fl Hague Archives, 74, I, 51 (9). 

154 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

We cannot state definitely when Mueller left Goshen- 
hoppen. It may have been in 1747, for on September 29, 
1747, Rev. George Michael Weiss reported New Goshen- 
hoppen as one of his congregations. ^^'^ But inasmuch as 
Do. Weiss dates the beginnings of his ministry in 1748, it 
is more likely that Mueller withdrew in that year. Weiss 
heads his baptismal entries with the statement "from 1748 
till the year 1758, the following adult persons were bap- 
tized, upon the profession of their faith." Also his cate- 
chumens were recorded from the year 1748. Neverthe- 
less, Mueller continued his visits to Goshenhoppen, for in 
1749, January to July, he entered five baptisms into the 
record and one on April 28, 1750. The record book re- 
mained in the hands of Mueller's followers till 1757, when 
it passed into the custody of Weiss. But even as late as 
1752 we hear of a Mueller faction in New Goshenhoppen. 

In order to realize the importance of Mueller for the 
Reformed Church, we must review his labors outside of 
Goshenhoppen. It is at present impossible for us to iden- 
tify all of the ten or twelve congregations in and about 
Oley, which Schlatter reports him as serving in 1746. 
We can, however, trace his activity in a number of con- 

In 1746, he appears in Berne, Berks Co. An entry in 
the Berne record by his hand reads : " Register [showing] 
how many and whose children were entered by me Fried- 
rich Casimir Miiller, at this time preacher, 1746." His 
handwriting stops in November, 1746. Then there is a 
break till February, 1749, when a new set of entries begins 
running till April, 1752. Though not written by Miller 
himself, it is barely possible that the baptisms were per- 
formed by him. 

'^^'^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 33. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 155 

In 1748, Mueller appears in Long Swamp, Berks 
County. After stating that the first church there had 
been begun in September, 1748, Jacob Weimer, the faith- 
ful schoolmaster, writes in the Long Swamp record : 
"After having completed this church to the honor of God 
and for their own salvation, they called the Rev. Fridrig 
Casemer Miller to dedicate this house and they accepted 
him as their preacher, who served them for some time." 
How long Mueller stayed at Long Swamp is not certainly 
known, but probably till 1752. 

In October, 1752, the Minutes of Coetus report^^^ that 
he was "supported by a part of that congregation" at 
Muddy Creek, whereby he was causing considerable trouble 
to the pastor. Rev. John Waldschmidt. 

On October 11, 1753, Mueller applied to the factional 
Coetus, held at that time at Cocalico, to be received as a 
member. But his request was not granted. ^^^ 

In the same year Mueller appears as pastor of Coventry 
(now Brownback's), in Chester County. On February 
18, 1753, he baptized there the first child. His entries 
extend there till November, 1761. 

In 1762 he signed an account at the Heidelberg Church 
(now Hains' Church), near Wernersville, Berks County. 
In the same year he appears as pastor of the Reformed 
Church at Lebanon. On July 18, 1762, he dedicated the 
newly-built Reformed Church there, as is stated In the 
Hebron Diary. He opened the church record at Lebanon 
on November 24, 1764.^^^ His entries, eighteen In num- 
ber, extend till April 5, 1766. On September 28, 1764, 

151 Minutes of Coetus, p. 73. 

152 L, c., p. 108. 

153 For the ministry of Frederick Casimir Mueller at Lebanon, see the 
writer's " History of Tabor Reformed Church, Lebanon, Pa.," in the Re- 
formed Church Messenger of August 4 and September 8, 1904. 

156 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

the Hebron Diary reports the death of Rev. Mueller's 
wife, who was a daughter of Veronica Leidolt. The 
Moravian pastors at Lebanon speak of Mueller in a 
friendly way^^^ and exchanged visits with him. But 
while Mueller's handwriting stops in the Lebanon record 
in April, 1766, it is continued at Swatara till July 3, 1768. 
He probably died soon afterwards. 

Frederick Casimir Mueller has had the distinction of 
having had two doubles. 

In 1855, Rev. Henry Wagner published a Kurzgefasste 
Hundertjdhrige Geschichte der Bergkirche in Lebanon 
County, Pennsylvania, in which he refers, p. 4, to a Mr. 
Friederich, a Swiss minister, who followed Tempelman in 
1760. He is said to have had a quick temper and soon 
returned to Europe. His name is perpetuated by Dr. 
Harbaugh in his Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. 
II, p. 384; by Dr. Corwin, Manual, 3rd ed., p. 265; 
and also by Dr. Good, History of German Reformed 
Church, p. 649. Later, when the Hebron Diary became 
known, it was found that, beginning with 1762, it men- 

154 What appears at first sight as a very serious charge against Mueller 
is made in Saur's paper, Pennsylvanische Berichte, under date June i6, 
1749, where the following notice is inserted: "Henry Adam of Maxetani 
makes known that his wife Maria has left him faithlessly and turned to 
(hat sich gewendet zu) Friedrich Casimir Miiller. None may loan or 
give her anything on his [Adam's] account, as he will not pay it." This 
statement does not necessarily prove that the woman had eloped with 
Mueller. She may have left her husband and entered Mueller's family as 
a servant. The New Goshenhoppen record proves that Mueller was mar- 
ried in 1745. The Hebron diary at Lebanon shows that Mueller's mother- 
in-law, Veronica Leidolt, was living with him in 1765. While in between 
these years he was constantly serving Reformed congregations. This 
would no doubt have been impossible if he had been guilty of adultery. 
The well-known facts of his life are best reconciled with the notice in 
Saur's paper by the supposition that Mrs. Maria Adam had become 
Mueller's maid servant in 1749. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 157 

tioned Frederick Miller as the Reformed pastor at Leba- 
non; see Klopp, History of Tabor First Reformed 
Church, Lebanon, 1892, p. 54. Alongside of these two 
men, Frederick. Casimir Mueller was known as the Re- 
formed pastor at Long Swamp, see Harbaugh, Fathers^ 
Vol. II, p. 380. Thus it came to pass that Mr. Frederick, 
Mr. Frederick Miller and Mr. Frederick Casimir Miller 
figured as three Reformed pastors in history, see Good, 
History, pp. 517, 649. The truth is that all three are but 
one man. The Lebanon Reformed church record shows 
unmistakably the handwriting of Frederick Casimir Muel- 
ler. Moreover, of the 18 children whose baptisms Muel- 
ler entered, he acted as sponsor in the case of three, sign- 
ing his name Friederich C. Miiller, in his well-known 
wretched script. 


Ministry of Rev. George Michael Weiss, 


,HEN Michael Schlatter arrived in Penn- 
sylvania in September, 1746, he found a 
new minister in the Goshenhoppen charge. 
It was the Rev. George Michael Weiss. 
We left Weiss in 1732 as pastor of Cats- 
kill and Coxsackie, N. Y. There he re- 
mained till 1735. His last baptism was entered July 6, 
1735- From Catskill he went to Burnetsfield or German 
Flats, now in Montgomery County, N. Y. There he was 
pastor from 1736 to 1742. In the latter year he removed 
to Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, N. Y., where he served as 
pastor from 1742 to 1746. He then returned to Penn- 

While pastor at Catskill, Mr. Weiss was married by 
the Rev. Petrus Van Driessen on November 25, 1733, to 
Anna Broenckh, daughter of John Broenckh, one of his 
parishioners, in her father's house. Weiss himself en- 
tered the record of the marriage into the marriage register 
at Catskill. The couple had no children. 

The time of Mr. Weiss's removal from the State of 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 159 

New York is fixed as about June, 1746, in a letter of 
Schlatter to the Synodical Deputies, dated October 3, 
1746. The letter itself is no longer in existence, but an 
elaborate abstract of it was inserted in the Minutes of the 
Synodical Deputies, from which we take the following 
statement, regarding Schlatter's visit to Old Goshenhop- 
pen on September 20, 1746. He writes: 

On September 20th he [Schlatter] preached in the nearly com- 
pleted stone church at Old Goshenhoppen from II. Chron. 15: 
I, 2. To this place Do. Weiss was called from Albany and has 
now [September 1746] been pastor there for three or four months. 
Here he [Schlatter] attempted to restore order, but he could not 
persuade the congregation at New Goshenhoppen to unite with 
Great Swamp for this purpose, because they allowed themselves 
to be served by a hireling, Miller (who had been a schoolmaster at 
Steticheim^^^ near Mayence in the Palatinate), although there was 
hope for this Tunion] in the future. 

The same time of removal is indicated in the first part 
of Schlatter's private journal, dated December 15, 1746, 
and published by the writer in the Journal of the Presby- 
terian Historical Society }^^ There we read: 

Do. Weiss returned about six months ago from Esopus in the 
government of [New] York, for fear of the war about Canada 
and at the request of the congregation at Goshenhoppen. He is 
now willing to remain with his wife in Pennsylvania. 

To complete the evidence about Weiss's coming to 
Pennsylvania, we may add the passage from Schlatter's 
Diary, as printed by Dr. Harbaugh in his "Life of Rev. 
Michael Schlatter" :i" 

155 This name has not been transcribed correctly from the Minutes of 
the Deputies or from Schlatter's letter, for an inquiry at Mayence brought 
the answer that there is no such place near Mayence. 

156 Journal of P. H. S., Vol. Ill, p. io8. 
15T life of Rev. Schlatter, p. 132 f. 

i6o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Mr. Weiss, who several months ago, had fled from his church 
at Rhinebeck near Albany in New York, from fear of war, had 
come hither on invitation of this and other congregations in this 
vicinity. He is also beloved by many, yet, on account of the ad- 
herents of the one who had irregularly thrust himself into the 
service of the church, it is necessary still to exercise great prudence. 

On October 12, 1746, Weiss met with Schlatter, Boehm 
and Rieger at Philadelphia for a preliminary conference 
with a view to perfecting an organization of the Reformed 
churches and ministers in Pennsylvania. "This was the 
first assembly in which these Reverend Brethren had all 
been together, notwithstanding one and another of them 
had already been laboring about 20 years in this part of 
the Lord's vineyard."^^^ 

On October 19, 1746, Schlatter, Boehm and Weiss met 
at New Goshenhoppen in order to overcome, if possible, 
the division existing there through the presence of Fred- 
erick Casimir Mueller. But although Schlatter succeeded 
In ascertaining the number of Mueller's and Weiss's ad- 
herents, being eighteen and thirty heads of families re- 
spectively, and although the latter promised fifteen pounds 
and thirty bushels of wheat to Do. Weiss's salary, yet 
Mueller could not be dislodged. It was probably not till 
1748, when the baptismal record of Weiss begins at New 
Goshenhoppen, that Mueller withdrew, although he con- 
tinued to make occasional visits till April, 1750. 

Schlatter's estimate of Weiss was quite favorable In 
1746, for In the first part of his private diary, dated De- 
cember, 1746, he reported to Holland :^^^ 

Do. George Michael Weiss is now minister at the above men- 
tioned places. He is, as far as I can see, innocent in the affair 

158 L. c, p. 136. 

^^^ Journal of P. H. S., Vol. Ill, p. 117. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. i6i 

with J. Reif, for the latter always received the money, according 
to his own confession. Moreover Do. Weiss has asked him a thou- 
sand times for God's sake to settle this matter. His Reverence has 
otherwise a good reputation in this country and Do. Boehm himself 
told me, that Do. Weiss has always carried himself as a quiet, dili- 
gent, sober and orthodox minister. He also took the trouble to 
travel with me to " Tolpehaken " and " Canastoke." 

At the first meeting of the Coetus of Pennsylvania, held 
from September 29 to October 2, 1747, at Philadelphia, 
George Michael Weiss was present with delegates of his 
three congregations, namely, Christian Schneider and 
Daniel Hister, of Old Goshenhoppen, John Huth and 
Philip Ried, of New Goshenhoppen, and John Huber and 
Nicholas Montbauer of Great Swamp. 

From the second meeting of Coetus, held on September 
29, 1748, at Philadelphia, Weiss was absent. But shortly 
afterwards, on December 12, 1748, he sent a letter to 
Schlatter, excusing his absence because of sickness. In 
this letter he makes the following report regarding his 
congregations :^^^ 

In my congregations nothing of importance has taken place. 
They are quite harmonious. They only lack money in order to 
pay for the newly built church at Old Goshenhoppen and to give 
their minister his salary according to promise. For I have not 
yet been fully paid for the first year and now am still expecting 
the salary of almost a year and a half. The conditions with regard 
to this are very bad. The one pays, the other does not. Many 

160 Hague Archives, 74, I, 51 (19). 

i62 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

depend upon the promised help from Holland. I stand on a very 
loose footing. If my congregations will not be able to give me 
my dues, I shall not be able to stay, but must seek my fortune 

With regard to the debt resting on the Old Goshen- 
hoppen church, Schlatter states in his private diary that it 
amounted to about 600 guilders or about 240 dollars. ^^^ 

The Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran record states with 
regard to this subject: 

As to the cost of the church nothing certain is at hand, because 
in the first place the two congregations have helped and given 
much, and the next place other friends also have contributed their 

And again: 

As to the interior finishing of the church, on July 12, 1748, a 
joint contract was made by the two congregations with the car- 
penter to make and paint the seats and gallery for 15 pounds. 

The pulpit was ordered and presented by Gabriel Schuler, Re- 

The story as to how the church debt was finally paid Is 
given In the Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran record as fol- 

In the year 1751 there remained 30 pounds of church debts and, 
after consultation, we deemed it proper to send out collectors by 
the Evangelical Lutherans alone, because each congregation had its 
separate debts. Hence on November 7, 1751, the beginning was 
made by two collectors appointed for the purpose, who brought 
home on the 14th of December of this year 13 pounds and 14 
shillings, not counting 1/3 of the proceeds which went to the col- 
lectors. For this may the rich Lord bless all benevolent givers in 
body and soul. 

Anno 1752, two joint collectors were sent out, one by the Lu- 

^^^ Journal of P. H. S., Vol. Ill, p. 170. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 163 

therans, the other by the Reformed, in order to collect contribu- 
tions in the State of New York. They returned in this year, as 
our exclusive third part, 1 1 pounds, 3 shillings and 9 pence. 

At the Coetus meeting held in 1749 at Lancaster, Weiss 
acted as secretary. 

In the year 1750 two important events occurred which 
stirred the congregations deeply. 

On May i, 1750, the following notice appeared in 
Saur's Germantown newspaper, called Pennsylvanische 

It is reported from Goshenhoppen that there is a woman who has 
left two husbands that are still living and wanted to marry the 
third man. There are in that district three preachers, the one 
was so white [play on the name Weiss] that he would not marry 
the pair, but the other [play on the name Andre] who had before 
married the good woman to another man hesitated indeed, because 
the second husband lived so near, but the bridegroom, knowing 
that everything can be obtained from some people for money, 
heaven and salvation, Christ and forgiveness of sin, offered no 
small remuneration for the marriage. The reverend minister was 
pleased to accept and married them in the name of God, without 
proclamation (otherwise there might have been some objection) 
for 30 shillings. The farmers in his three congregations were 
startled, not knowing whether all their wives might not be married 
away to others. They formed a church council and consistory, 
deposed their minister, for they preferred to be out of danger. 

In June, 1750, the Goshenhoppen region was startled 
by a murder. The wife of one of its most respected citi- 
zens, David Schultz^*'^ (whose tomb is in the New Gosh- 
enhoppen Reformed churchyard) was brutally slain by 
one of her servants. 

i<52 For a sketch of David Schultz's life, see the Pennsylvania German, 
Vol. IX, pp. 499-505- 

164 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

George Schultz, his wife and their son David arrived 
in Philadelphia with the ship Pennsylvania Merchant, 
John Stedman, captain, on September 18, 1733. They 
settled in the Perkiomen Region. On October 29, 1745, 
David Schultz married Anna Rosina, daughter of Abra- 
ham Beyer. In May, 1749, he bought 180 acres and 60 
perches of land for 72 pounds 3 shillings, lying in Upper 
Hanover township, what is now East Greenville, Pa. 

As he was a surveyor, David Schultz was much away 
from home. During his absence the management of the 
farm naturally fell to his wife. In June, 1750, he had a 
servant, Hans Ulrich Sailer, whom his father-in-law, 
Abraham Beyer, had brought with him from Holland 
during the previous summer, on condition that he serve him 
seven years for the passage money. He was a Swiss boy, 
of a lazy and surly disposition. David Schultz thought 
that he could manage him with kindness, hence he took him 
and his indenture along to his farm. His wife found fre- 
quent occasion to urge him to do his work better. After- 
wards the young man claimed she even slapped his face, 
which may not be true. At any rate he took a decided dis- 
like to his mistress and determined to get even with her. 

In the night of June 14, 1750, he climbed through a 
window into her bedroom with a long, pointed knife. But 
as she turned around in bed, he left the room again. 
After some time he entered the second time but she turned 
again. On his third entry he found everything quiet. 
Then he stabbed her in the neck, cutting the jugular vein. 
After thus satisfying his revenge, he ran out and hid in a 
neighbor's haystack. Mrs. Schultz rose from her bed and 
went downstairs to call for help, but fell at the foot of the 
stairs upon her face, where she was found dead the next 
day. The murderer was soon caught and confessed every- 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 165 

thing. He was taken to Philadelphia, where he was 
placed on trial and found guilty of murder on October 22. 
He was executed by hanging on Wednesday, November 
13, 1750.163 

Close to the New Goshenhoppen church is the tomb of 
Mrs. Schultz, with this inscription: 

Anna Rosina Schultzin 

Murdered June 14, A.D. 1750. 
Aged 29 years. Funeral Text: 
Jeremiah 9: 21. 

In 1750 and 175 1 the people at New Goshenhoppen 
made the first effort to secure a deed for their minister's 
farm. The details have fortunately been preserved by 
David Schultz, who interested himself more than any other 
in securing the property for the congregation. On Feb- 
ruary 3, 1776, he sent a letter to Mr. Rundle^^^ regarding 
this land, from which the following statements are taken : 

After all the land had been surveyed to the settlers thereof, 
agreeable the general agreement this tract was left vacant. 

Sometime before the general agreement was made, Edward Scull 
was ordered to survey the greatest part of his 13,000 acres, but 
after the general agreement was made and the remaining surveys 
were to be completed, he not having time to do It himself, ordered 
me to finish the remainder, under his examination ; which was done 
and [I was] emploj^ed with the Mr. Parsons, Ross and Greenway. 
I accordingly surve57ed the tract now In question on the 19th No- 

163 The story of Mrs. Schultz's murder and of the trial and execution 
of her murderer is given at length in Saur's Pennsylvanische Bericlite of 
July 16, 1750, November i and x6, 1750; cf. also Colonial Records, Vol. 
V, p. 488. The New Goshenhoppen record shows that David Schultz mar- 
ried his second wife, Elizabeth Lar, on June 27, 1758. This union was 
blessed with four daughters. 

16* This letter was first printed in the Daily Norristoivn Register of 
March 6, 1883. It was reprinted in the Penn Germania, Vol. I, pp. 364-368. 

i66 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

vember 1750, for the said congregation, in the presence of the 
elders or church wardens thereof, containing 42 acres, with allow- 
ance (of six acres per hundred for roads) at their request, with 
an intention to build a house thereon for their minister to live in, 
and continually to keep this same for such use forever. 

Also with intention, when it should suit them, to agree and pay 
for the land, with the above named three gentlemen. 

They immediately built a dwelling house and stable on it, dug 
a well and began to clear some land in the spring 1751. Their 
minister came to live there with his negro family; at his request 
the congregation allowed him for his better support to clear some 
more land. He continued from time to time with cleaning, though 
sometimes forbid by the congregation, till almost all was cleared 
a few acres excepted. 

In August, 1752, Mr. Weiss and other Reformed min- 
isters hastened to Philadelphia to welcome Schlatter and 
the six young ministers, whom he had brought from Hol- 
land. Their arrival was an event of great Importance^^^ 
for the Reformed church In Pennsylvania and was fittingly 
marked by a meeting of all the Reformed ministers In the 
province at Philadelphia, from August 10 to 13, 1752. 

On September 2, 1752, Rev. John Philip Leydlch, pas- 
tor at Falkner Swamp, sent a letter to Rev. Jacob LIschy, 

165 xhe importance of this event was duly recognized by a Circular 
Letter, issued in 1752 by Messrs. Weiss, Leydich and Lischy. It was enti- 
tled: Circular Schreiben der Vereinigten Reformirten Prediger in Pennsyl- 
vanien, an dasige sdtnmtliclie nach Gottes JVort Reformirte Gemeinen: 
Darin sie kUrzlich darlegen, ivie der grosse Jehovah die von Sr. Ehrvj. 
Michael Slatter, V.D.M., an unsere Hochiv. Christl. Kirchenvdter iiber- 
nommene Commission zu ihrer Rettung und Hiilfe, in Gnaden gesegnet 
etc. Zu Allgemeiner Nachricht herausgegeben von Georg Michael Weiss, 
Joh. Phil. Leydich, Jacob Lischy. Lancaster, Gedruckt bey H. Miiller und 
S. Holland, 1752, 4to, pp. 11. The title page was published from a photo- 
graph taken by the writer, by Prof. Jos. H. Dubbs, in his Reformed Church 
in Pennsylvania, p. 165. The only known copy of the booklet is in the 
archives at the Hague, 74, H, 21. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 167 

pastor at York, in which he refers to the third school- 
master at Goshenhoppen, whose name has been preserved. 
He writes :^^® 

Let me add a few words, regarding the bearer of this letter, 


bcv 9>tTciiuatcii 

Icforinirfcii Wuhm 

in Vm\i\}lu\mnf 

on tafi^e famtlidjc na(I)Q50trc53Boir 

Hefoi'iniue Pcmeiiicn; 

SJaiin fi< fi'irjlid) D.nlcjjcii, 

SBie tec ©rolTc ^^f^b^n tic \?on ©r. (EI)va\ 

on unicrc 

ubernommencg^ommijTioii jinbi'cvtJlcttuni^ llll^J^ul(V, 
in^naten gcfcgnct: 


XCit (olchcd »c»rt (ot^rtttcti ®cnicinfii fcllc gcl-iiljn r1^ crP.jnr , niir ^.intv 

fatjwtig angenommcrt/ utib rtcJit gcbr.ijid)r, j.i, ujin *\>K' (t^iOiU* 

M>i& ^(m •fteil ibicr unfttvblictin tcccliit tMgiUMtiOc ivtrOcn. 

Slll^cmeinei* ^nc{)cid)t 

l)c^(^llJq(Ot^fn upii 
C7F.ORG MlCHMil Wi;iSS. 
J OH, PHIL I. [•; Y UlCH. 
JACOB L I ;> C 1 1 Y. 

t?l7?C2l©'5:e9^/ (yfOriicftbcij/j.mHtlcruiiDe./jCil.niC/ 17)-'. 

namely John William Wigand, at present schoolmaster at New 
Goshenhoppen, a man with excellent testimonials, as their presenta- 
tion will show you in detail. He cannot subsist in said congre- 

lee Hague Archives, 74, I, 72 (3). 

i68 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

gation because of the division caused by the so-called Fritz-Mueller 
and Weiss parties. He has a special desire to work under the dear 
Brother [Lischy] and according to his instructions. 

In the following year the schoolmaster at Goshenhoppen 
received £5 s.8 support from the donations sent from 

In 1752 five hundred folio Bibles, sent by the Classis of 
Amsterdam, were distributed among the Reformed minis- 
ters at the meeting of Coetus. It was resolved to place 
one copy of these Bibles in each pulpit and to distribute the 
rest among the various ministers. 

It was resolved to send Do. Weiss 24 copies of the folio Bibles, 
one half to be sold and one half to be given to the poor, and with 
the same understanding the others were assigned.^"® 

These so-called " Schlatter Bibles " are becoming ex- 
ceedingly scarce. None seem to have survived in the 
Goshenhoppen congregations. For their identification the 
following may be noted. As stated in the minutes of 
Coetus, it was a large folio Bible, printed at Basel, " im 
Verlag Johann Ludwig Brandmiillers, im Jahrc Chrlsti 

When in 1753 serious dissensions arose in the Coetus, 
Weiss sided with Leydich, Steiner, Rubel, Waldschmidt 
and Wissler against Schlatter and his friends. This sepa- 
ration was due among other causes to the desire, as ex- 
pressed by Weiss, to " maintain love and peace among 
their congregations, inasmuch as they were not in favor 
of subordination to Holland and to our Coetal institu- 
tions and directions."^ *^^ 

On September 10, 1753, a convention was held by the 

'^^'^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 89. 
1^8 L, c., p. 69. 
16^ L. c, p. 92. 

History of, Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 169 

dissatisfied ministers at the house of Mr. Weiss at Gosh- 
enhoppen and then an attempt was made by them to con- 
vene a regular Coetus at Cocalico, in Lancaster County, 
on October 10 to 12, 1753. At this meeting Mr. Weiss 
presided. But this attempt to wrest the control of Coetus 
from Schlatter and his friends failed, as the " Fathers" in 
Holland refused to recognize Weiss and his followers and 
threatened to withhold all donations from them. This 
threat was more powerful than all arguments and had the 
desired effect. At the Coetus, held at Philadelphia in 
October, 1754, a reconciliation took place and the two par- 
ties pledged themselves to forget their differences. 

Beginning with the spring of 1753, the ample donations 
from Holland put ministers and schoolmasters in more 
comfortable circumstances. The following table shows 
the total amounts distributed and the share that fell to 
Mr. Weiss and the Goshenhoppen schoolmaster: 


Total Amounts. 






s. 8 


£5 s. 8 



s. 7 














s. 2 



£1 S.IO 





£1 S.IO 



s. 9 


£1 S.IO 








s. 5 


The last amount in 1762 was given to Mr. Weiss's 
widow. His salary during this period amounted to 40 
pounds annually. 

Besides these contributions from Holland, Reformed 
ministers and schoolmasters shared In the benefactions of 
an English society, organized to maintain charity schools 
among the Germans in Pennsylvania. The first payment 

170 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

from this source was made on June 16, 1756, when ten 
Reformed ministers received 91 pounds.^"^ Similar pay- 
ments followed in the next three years. At each of these 
occasions Weiss received ten pounds, although no charity 
school was estabhshed in the Goshenhoppen region. 

The development of the Goshenhoppen congregations 
during this time cannot be followed in detail. Only at 
Old Goshenhoppen has the Lutheran church record pre- 
served some interesting details of congregational activity. 

During the year 1753, beginning May 3, the churchyard 
was enlarged at Old Goshenhoppen and it was surrounded 
by new posts, clap boards and new gates were put up. 

In 1754 a new stove was bought for 4 pounds. In 
1755 all church debts were completely paid by the Lu- 
therans and let us hope by the Reformed people also. In 
the same year a new well and spring house were made. 
In i757> 

the church was improved both inside and outside with carpenter 
work. Five new windows with glass were inserted, new seats 
were put in and painted and a new roof was put on the kitchen of 
the schoolhouse. All was paid and the [Lutheran] congregation 
has still a balance of 6<£ i8s. gd. 

In 1757 a long and lingering sickness befell Mr. Weiss, 
which made it impossible for him to attend the meetings 
of Coetus any longer. In October, 1759, Coetus met at 
Goshenhoppen " in the home of the sick Do. Weiss." 

Of the year 1759 we have the first statistical report by 
Mr. Weiss regarding his congregations. It was sub- 
mitted to the Coetus that met May 28, 1760, at Falkner 
Swamp, and was as follows :^'^^ 

I'^L. c, p. 144; also p. 198. 

1^^ As the references to the Minutes of Coetus can be located In the 
printed minutes without difficult}', It Is not necessary to give in every case 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 171 

At Old Goshenhoppen Do. Weiss has 30 families, at New Gosh- 
enhoppen 45, and at Great Swamp, 33. In 1759 he baptized in 
the three congregations 60 children, and instructed 33 persons in 
the confession of Faith and received them as members. About the 
schools he could give no report. 

At the meeting of Coetus on October 21 to 22, 1760, 
held at Germantown, the congregations of Weiss expressed 
their willingness "patiently to bear with his age and in- 

In 1 76 1 Weiss reported 120 families in his churches. 
"He baptized, during 1760 and up to the present time, 
45 children and received 36 members." 

This is the last reference to Weiss. He died in Au- 
gust, 1 76 1. David Schultz, Esq., in a letter to Daniel 
Rundle, dated February 3, 1776, writes: "Anno 176 1 in 
August, their said minister, Geo. Michael Weiss died." 

Shortly before Mr. Weiss died, In May, I76i,the Great 
Swamp congregation made an effort to pay for its church 
land. Accordingly a paper was circulated (now much 
worn and partly torn) on which the members subscribed 
certain sums to pay this debt. A similar effort seems to 
have been made In Decmber, 1748, but was probably only 
partially successful. At that time the following members 
made subscriptions for this purpose : 

Subscriptions for Church Land at Great Swamp. 

Anno 1748 (?), December 26th, an agreement was made by 
the members of our congregation that we are willing to pay for our 
church land. Each one gives at his own free will as follows: 

£ s. 

Michel Kohler — lo 

the exact page reference. The minutes of Coetus were edited by the writer 
in 1903 under the title: Minutes and Letters of the Coetus of the German 
Reformed Congregation in Pennsylvania, 1 747-1 792. Reformed Church 
Publication Board, Philadelphia, 1903. 

172 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

£ s. 

Johannes Bleyler — 15 

Johannes Huber — 10 

Jacob Wetzel — 15 

Jacob Dubs — 10 

Christian Willauer — 10 

Paul Samsel — 10 

Caspar Erb — 10 

Johannes Griesemer — 5 

Michel Nussbach — 10 

Alexander Diebenderfer — 15 

Peter Walbert — 10 

Ludwig Bitting 1 — 

Abraham Ditlo — 15 

Henrich Hitz — 5 

Nickel Mombauer — 10 

Henrich Huber — 5 

Abraham Faust — 10 

Henrich Bach — 5 

Michel Braun — 5 

Peter Scholl — 5 

Nickel Bach — 3 

Philip Heger — 6 

Ruthe Fricki — 6 

Dewalt Brauchler — 5 

Jacob Rite — 5 

Michel Eberhard — 10 

Matheis Bischof — 10 

Abraham Kreither — 5 

Ruthe Huber — 5 

Philip Brunner — 13 

Joseph Eberhard 1 — 

David Streib i — 

Ulrich Riser — 5 

Gorg Lein — 5 

Michel Hornberger — 5 

Conrad Zimmerman — 10 

? Endross — 5 

? ? — 10 

Total £17 S.13 

As the cost of the land was only £17 lis. yd., It would 
not have been necessary to start a second subscription list, 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 173 

unless for some reason the first had not been paid, or at 
least had not been paid in full. The latter seems to have 
been the case. For on the same paper with the above sub- 
scription is the note: 

Today, April 10, 1749, I, Michel Kohler have paid for the 
church land eleven pounds ten shillings and for a warrant one shil- 
ling and six pence. 


On May 30, 176 1, twenty members signed £20 2s. 9d. 
on another subscription list. This may have been only 
tentative, for on June 8, 1761, still another list was signed 
which read as follows: 

Subscriptions for Church Land at Great Swamp, June 

6, 1761. 

On June 6, 1761, we have made an agreement to pay for the 

church land and whatever wc promise we shall faithfully keep and 

pay. Christian Willauer and Valentin Huber are the deputies. 

The head of each family signs what he will give to the Reformed 
congregation in Great Swamp: 

£ s. d. 

Ulrich Spinner pays 2 o o 

Peder( ?) Bleiler pays i o o 

Henrich Huber, the tailor pays o 15 6 

Henrich Huber, the wheelwright pays . . . . i o o 

Dewalt Brauchler, pays o 10 o 

Peter Samsel pays i o o 

Paul Samsel pays o 5 o 

Nicklaus Mumbauer pays o 10 o 

Henrich Hitz pays o 7 6 

Henrich Crob pays o 10 o 

Rudi Huber pays o 10 o 

Abraham Ditlo pays o 15 o 

Henrich Bleiler pays i o o 

Rudi Frick pays — lo o 

174 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Jacob Huber, the [. . .] pays — lo o 

Total £ii 2 6 

Nicklaus Faust — 3 — 

Jacob Meier — 5 — 

Adam Willauer — 7 6 

Lutwich Hersch pays 3 sh. for the farmer. 

Paul Samsel pays one sh. for the churchyard. 

Nicklaus Mumbauer pays one sh. for the churchyard. 

Peter Weber pays 5 sh. for the churchyard. 

Disposal of Rev. Mr. Weiss's Property. 

When Mr. G. M. Weiss died in August, 1761, he left no will. 
For some unknown reason his widow, Anna Weiss, delayed asking 
for letters of administration till October 2, 1764, when they were 
granted to her and to Christian Schneider, as executors, inventory 
to be exhibited in the Court at Philadelphia on or before October 2, 
1765. Before the inventory was filed, Mrs. Anna Weiss herself 
made a will on May 9, 1765. She died within a month after- 
wards, on June 2, 1765. On August 20, 1765, her will was pro- 
bated. By the terms of her will she not only freed, under certain 
conditions, her negro family, consisting of a man and his wife, 
together with nine children, but also bequeathed to them all the 
improvements of the farm, belonging to the congregation, on which 
she lived. By this act she involved the congregation in a long and 
tedious law-suit, and thus the history of the disposal of Mr. Weiss's 
property becomes part of the history of the congregation. In order 
to clear up this whole case, which has often been alluded to by his- 
torians, but was never fully understood, we present the following 
documents : 

[I. Letters of Administration Granted to Mrs. Weiss.] 
Book of Administration, Register of Wills Office, Philadelphia, 

Vol. G. p. 417. 

Memorandum, that Letters of Administration were granted to 

Anna Weiss and Christian Schneider in the Estate of the late 

Michael Weiss, dec. Inventory to be exhibited on or before the 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. i75 

2nd day of October 1765. Given under the seal of the Register 
General's Office, at Philadelphia, the 2nd day of October 1764. 

William Plumsted, 

Reg. GenK 

[II. Inventory of the Estate of George Michael Weiss. 
October 2, 1764.] 

Office of Register of Wills, Philadelphia, 
1764, No, 114. 
Inventory of the Estate chattels, moveables and Household goods 
of Michael Weiss late of Upper Hanover Township in the County 
of Philadelphia and Province of Pennsylvania, Minister of the 
reformed congregation, deceased, as the same being valued and 
appraised by Adam Hillegas and John Coleman on this nth day 
of September Anno 1764. 


Six books mostly Latin, in quarto i. 

To one Book in folio, five dito in octavo, Latin o. 

to six books octavo Latin, Greek & Hebrew o. 

to fifteen small books, mostly Latin o. 

to the Table i, 

to the round Table o. 

to two old chairs o. 

to another round table o. 

to an old looking glass and a pair of Pictures o. 

to a pair of fire dogs o. 

to five pewter Dishes, two Basons i. 

to one dozen plates and one dozen spoons o. 

to two pewter Tea Pots & a coffee pot o. 

to six delft tea cups & saucers o. 

to two Cannisters & a funnel o. 

to Tea Kettles o. 

to a water pot o. 

to two Iron Pots with Pot-hooks. Two Pans o. 

to three Tubs two buckets o. 

to his Bed with the Bedstead and appurtenances 2. 

to another Bed with Bedstead 2. 

to three Cows, two Calves 9. 

to a side sadle i. 














































The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

to an old Horse 3 

to one gray Horse 4 

to an old waggon with the Geers 11 

to the Plough and Harrbw i 


The amount of the first page brought over 43 

to an ax, cropping Howe dung fork, pitch fork o 

amount to £43 

appraised by 

Adam Hilligas 
Johannes Gallman 

There is fifteen acres of land a 35/ 26. 

four Hogs a lo/ 2. 

five sheep a 6/ i. 




5- — 



[The last four lines are crossed out with the remark "to be left 


Besides the above there is a Negro Family belonging to said 
Minister deceased, viz. 

A negro Man named Gideon, aged about 44 years old, 

but now a cripple, who is not appraised. 
His wife Jenny, aged 42 years with a female child about 

six months old, valued at £30. o. o. 

A negro lad, named Jacob, old 20 years 50. o. o. 

A negro wench, named Elizabeth, 18 years old 40. o. o. 

A negro lad, named Henry, 16 years old 40. o. o. 

A negro wench, named Anne Mary, 14 years old 30. o. o. 

A negro girl, named Catherine, 11 years old 30. o. o. 

A negro girl, named Margareth, 9 years old 25. o. o. 

A negro girl, named Susan, 6 years old 20. o. o. 

A negro boy, named John, 4 years old 15- o. o. 

o. o. 

Amounts to £280. 

appraised by 

Adam Hilligas 

Johannes Gallmann 

Inventory of Mich'. Weiss's Estate 

Exhibited 2. October 1764. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 177 

[III. Account of Michael Weiss's Estate. 
July 8, 1766.] 

Register of Will's Office, Philadelphia, 
1764, No. 114. 

The accompt of Christian Schneider, surviving Administrator of 
the Estate late of Michael Weiss deced. as well of all and singular 
the Goods, Chattels, Rights and Credits which were of the said 
deced. and which came to this Accomptant's Hand and Possession 
as of the several payments and disbursements made out of the same. 

Imprimis 1764, 

The said Accomptant charges himself with all and 
singular the Goods Chattels Rights and Credits which 
were of the said deced. as mentioned in an Inventory 
remaining in the Reg"". Genl. Office at Philad". am. to.£28o. o. o 

The said Accomptant charges himself with the- 
further sum of £129-11, being the app*. value of 
the goods and what the deceased's goods sold for 
more than appraised at including y® negroes 
The said accomptant charges himself with the follow- 
ing sum reced for work done by the Negroes to the 
following persons, viz. 

from Adam Hillegas £ 3. 

from Jacob Derr 3. 

from John Wisler — 

from Peter Hilligas — 

from Andreas Greaver — 

from George Miller — 

from Bernard Bispham 3. 

£ II. 
Ditto with the sum of 30/ being what a large 
Bible sold for and not included in y* aforesaid 


















The said Accomptant prays Allowance for his several 

payments and disbursements made out of the same 

as follows, viz. — 
By cash paid for Letters of Adm 



14. — 

17. — 

178 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

paid sundry Expenses on appraising Goods amount- 
ing to £ 1. 2. 6. 

paid David Shultz for services, etc — 5. — 

paid to Frederick Snyder for eight days services on 
business of the Estate by order of Wm. Plumsted, 

then Reg"". Gen' 4. — — 

paid John Ross for advice i. 10. — 

paid B. Chew Esq. for ditto i. 14. — 

paid Conrad Frank for sundry services in and about 
the Estate, allowed & approved by Wm. Plumsted, 

Esq 6. — — 

paid to Advertisements — 6. 3. 

paid Christian Hambach per receipt i. 14. — 

paid at the office for these amounts 17/6 and a Clk for 

services 7/0 i. 5. — 

£ 18. 13. 9- 

By an allowance for reced 

£422. 14 21. 2. 6. 

ditto on paying 4. 18. 13 — i8. 8. 

Ballance of £381. 19. i to be disposed of according to 
Law as follows: 

To the widow, one half £190. 19. 6V2 

To the Heirs of the deceased £190. 19. 6V2 

£381. 19. I 
£422. 14. — 
Philadelphia July 8, 1766. 

Error excepted 
Examined & pass'd Christian Schneider 

July 8, 1766. The Adm"". being first thereto sworn by 

Benj. Chew, 
Regr. GenK 

[IV. Additional Account of the Estate of G. M. Weiss. 
December 12, 1771.] 

The Additional Acct. of Christian Schneider surviving Admin- 
istrator of the Estate of Michael Weiss, deceased. 

The said Accomptant charges himself with the Ballance 

of the last settlement on the other side of this paper. .£381. 19. i. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. I'jg 

The said Accomptant prays Allowance for the several paj-ments 
and disbursements made out of the same since last settlement, viz. 

Paid expenses of Arbitration at Daniel Etters p. account i. i8. o. 
Paid James Tilghman, Esquire, for his counsel and as- 
sistance in the affair of the Negroes 6. o. o. 

paid Expenses of Arbitration at Mr. Davenport p. 

account i. 13. — 

paid Mr. Lewis Weiss for translating sundry writings 

from Germany — 15. — 

paid for stating the add', ace'. 7/6 and for examing 

& passing etc. 17/6 i. 5. — 

£ II. iiT" — 
By Leonard Thomas Bond for Negroes sold him at 

Vendue not received 82. — — 

By Andrew Oel for the remainder of his Bond for one 

Negro sold him 40. 5. — 

By the sum of 30. — being for one negro boy sold 

George Righter, received by Leonard Melchior .... 30. — — 

By paying £11. 11 at 5 p. cent o. 11. o. 

£164. 7. o. 

Ballance on this settlement exclusive of the above 

bonds £130 217. 12. I. 

£381. 19. I. 

Philadelphia, December 12, 1771. 

Error excepted Christian Schneider. 

[V. Final Account of the Estate of G. M. Weiss. 
November 6, 1789.] 

The final Acc^ of Leonard Melcher and Christian Schneider as 
Administrators etc. of George Michael Weiss and Ann his wife 
both deceased. 

To Ballance on their first ace*, settled in Register's 

Office July 8, 1766 £381. 19. i 

Bal'. in favor of the said Administrators £272. o. — V2 

£654. 9" T^y^ 

N. B. Sundry Papers respecting the foregoing account are tied 
in a Bundle and lodged in the desk of this office. 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

By Am', of their disbursements on 2nd Ace', ren- 
dered in Reg. Office Dec. 1771 £ 12 

By Am*, appraism'.s & sales of Negroes charged to 
the said Administrators in their first ace', (the said 
negroes having since obtained their freedom and 
the Adm'"\ obliged to refund 193 

By Amo'. of Interest costs paid to Michael Bishop 
over and above first cost of Negro sold him 8 

By Amo'. ditto paid Sam'. Heads Adm. over & above 
first cost of Negro sold him 70. 

By Amo'. disbursements etc. as per ist ace', settlm'. 
of Ann Weiss rendered 8th March 1769 109 

By amo'. ditto on 2nd Acco'. of d°. rendered Dec. 
17, 1771 12 

By amo'. monies remitted to the Heirs in Germany. . 103 

By Cash paid at Philad". by Christian Schneider to 
Geo. Mich. Weiss & Martin Weiss, Agents & 
Representatives of the Heirs in Germany 20, 

By Amo'. of Principal of Andrew Ohl & Leonard 
Thomas two Bonds given for Negroes sold to 
them — which Bonds the said Schneider assigned & 
delivered to the said George Mich'. Weiss & 
Martin Weiss as Agents & Representatives 122. 

By Cash paid Clerk for stating Acco' 2. 

By d°. paid Reg"^. for examining & passing this acco'. 
with copy — 


5- — 




Frederick Schneider and Henry Frantz, executors for the Testa- 
ment and last will of Christian Schneider, dec*^., who was the sur- 
viving Administrator of George Michael Weiss afors*^., on their 
solemn oaths do depose and say that the foregoing account as it 
stands stated and settled both as to the charge and discharge thereof 
is true and just to the best of their knowledge and belief. Sworn 
the 6th day of November 1789. 

Frederick Snider 
Henry Franz 
Before me 

Geo. Campbell, Reg'^. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. i8i 

[VI. Will of Mrs. Anna Weiss, dated May 9, 1765, pro- 
bated August 20, 1765.] 

Book of Administration, Register of Wills Office, 
Philadelphia, Vol. H. p. i. 

In the Namce of [God] Amen. 

Whereas I, Anna Weiss, as Relict Widow of George Michael 
Weiss late of Upper Hanover Township in the County of Phila- 
delphia, Reformed Calvinist Minister deceased, do find myself in 
an advanced age and very weak in body but of sound mind and 
understanding and Memory, thanks be to God, and calling to 
Mind the Mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed 
to all men once to die, so do I on this ninth day of May in the year 
of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and sixty five make 
and ordain this my last Will and Testament. 

And first of all, I recommend my soul into the Hands of Al- 
mighty God that gave it, and do desire that after my death my body 
be buried in a Christian like and decent manner and as touching to 
my worldly estate I do hereby dispose of the same in the following 

Imprimis, it is my will that all my Just debts contracted by me 
or my negroes be duly paid and discharged, and also that my here- 
unto named Executors shall demand ask and get in all the out- 
standing debts that are due to my deceased Husband for his serv- 
ices if they can be got, 

And further it is my will and I give and bequeath unto my 
beloved Cousin Leonard Brunk living in the County of Albany in 
the government of New York and to his Heirs or Assigns all my 
fine Clothes and Garments as also six great silver spoons and also 
my three Golden Rings as in full for his Hereditary Share and 
Portion of my Estate to be delivered to him on demand by my 

And whereas I have a Negro family consisting at Present of 
Eleven Persons as the Negroe man named Gideon and the wife 
named Jenn}^, the man aged about forty four years and the woman's 
age about forty two, their children's names are Jacob about Twenty 

i82 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

years old and Elizabeth about Eighteen years, and Henry about 
sixteen years and Anne Mary about fourteen j^ears and Catherina 
about eleven years, and Margareth about nine years, and Susanna 
about six years and John about four years and also a young female 
child about one year old named Eva, which all accordingly have 
been baptized to the Christian Protestant reformed Religion, 

And whereas lately some claim hath been made by a Relation 
of the s*^. deceased Rev*^. Minister my s^. Husband in favour of 
his other Relations in Germany claiming the half of our Estate, as 
also with an intention to sell said Negroes for slaves contrary to 
the sentiments and Intentions of my s*^. deceased Husband who 
died Intestate, so it is my will that the said Negroe children may 
be bound out to serve from time to time or as long as necessary in 
order to make up such a sum of money as may be required or 
ordered to be sent to the Brethren and Relations of my s*^. deceased 
Husband in Germany for their Hereditary share and Portion, 
and further it is my will that all my said whole Negroe family 
shall after the time of my death be free, and I do hereby declare 
them altogether without distinction or Exception to be an entire 
free Negroe family, so that they never shall or may be bound out 
to eternal slavery, but shall hereby fully have and enjoy their lib- 
erty, only hereby excepted as above said to get so much money by 
servitude as necessary on the above said demand, as from year to 
year or otherwise as it shall seem best to my hereunto named 
Executors : 

And I do hereby further give devise and bequeath unto my said 
Negro Man Gideon Moor and to his Heirs and assigns as to my 
said whole Negroe family forever a certain Tract of Land situate 
in Douglas Township in the County of Philadelphia adjoining the 
land of Michael Read, Mathias Walther, Andreas Weiler and 
Philip Leidecker and containing fourteen acres and six Perches of 
Land which I lately Purchased of Peter Hillegas & obtained a 
Deed for the same with all Hereditaments and Appurtenances 
whatsoever. To hold to them my said Negroe family and for 
their use and behoof forever. 

And I further give and bequeath all my Right Claim and de- 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 183 

mand (if any I have) of in and to any Improvement and Land 
where I now live unto the said Gideon Moor and for his and their 
Proper Use and Behoof for ever, saving to others their Right to 
the same if any they have, 

And I do hereby further give devise and bequeath unto my said 
Negro man Gideon Moor and to his Heirs and Assigns forever all 
the remainder of my Moveable and personal Estate as my other 
Clothes, chests, money, furniture and all and every sort of house- 
hold goods and Tools whatsoever. To hold to him the said Gideon 
Moor his Heirs and Assigns and to their only proper use and Be- 
hoof for ever. Provided hereby that all my debts now due by me 
be all regularly paid and I devise that all may be done according to 
the true Intent and meaning hereof. 

And I further devise that care may be taken that all the said 
Negroe Children may be taught & instructed in the Doctrine of 
the true Christian reformed Religion, in the best manner it can 
be done, and I do hereby wish that they all may enjoy hereafter 
endless Felicity. 

And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my trusty and 
beloved friends as Jacob Arndt, Esquire, one of his Majestys Jus- 
tices of the peace for the County of Northampton and Peter Hille- 
gas of Upper Hanover Township in Philadelphia County yeoman 
to be the sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament and 
I do hereby declare this and no other to be my last will & Tes- 

In Witness and Confirmation whereof I the above named Anna 

Weiss have hereunto set my Hand and Seal. Dated the day and 

year as first above written. 


Anna A Weiss (Seal) 


Signed sealed published and declared by the said Anna Weiss as 
her last Will and Testament in the presence of us the subscribers. 

Johannes Wishler 
David Schulz 
Johannes Taubst 

184 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Philadelphia August 20th 1765, 

There personally appeared Johannes Wissler and David Shultze 
two of the witnesses to the foregoing will and on their solemn 
affirmation according to Law did declare they saw and heard Anna 
Weiss the Testatrix therein named sign seal publish and declare 
the same will for and as her last Will and Testament and that at 
the doing thereof she was of sound mind memory and understand- 
ing to the best of their knowledge. 

Coram Benjamin Chew, Esq"". Reg. General. 
Memorandum that Letter of Administration of the Estate of 
Anna Weiss dece*^. with the will of the said Anna annexed were 
granted to Christian Schneider and Leonard Melchior (the Ex- 
ecutors in the said will named having first renounced) Inventory 
to be exhibited on or before the 20th day of September next and 
an acct. on or before the 21st day of August 1766. 

Given under the seal of the Register General's Office at Phila- 
delphia the 20th day of August 1765. 

p. Benjamin Chew, 

Reg\ GenK 

rVIL Letter of David Schultze, Esq., to Mr. Daniel 

RuNDLE, February 3, 1776; printed in Daily Norris- 

toiun Register of March 6, 1883.] 

To Mr. Daniel Rundle. 

Whereas the Reformed Calvinist congregation in these parts 
have already had a considerable deal of trouble with that negro- 
man called Gideon Moor, who was a slave to their minister, the 
late Geo. M. Weiss, so that they are engaged in a tedious lawsuit 
with him and though I never inclined to be verj^ much troublesome 
to you about this affair, yet as it seems that that congregation might 
possible lose their cause : if not properly assisted. So I find myself 
under necessity to give you some information of the matter, as 
short as possible, as the said congregation also most humbly request 
your assistance therein, as far as thought necessary. The more 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 185 

especially, since you had a hand in the land affairs from the begin- 
ning, and for the present time are looked upon by the parties as the 
chief of those parties concerned therein. We also hope that you 
will remember that about five or six years ago some of the members 
of the said congregation applied to you about the same cause, when 
you gave them your promise that they should have that land as soon 
as the affair with your partners was settled. 

But the better to explain their cause I shall be obliged to repeat 
the affair from its beginning. 

After all the land had been surveyed to the settlers thereof agree- 
able the general agreement this tract was left vacant. 

Sometime before the general agreement was made, Edward Scull 
was ordered to survey the greatest part of his 13,000 acres, but 
after the general agreement was made and the remaining surs'eys 
were to be completed, he not having time to do it himself, ordered 
me to finish the remainder under his examination which was done 
and employed with by the Mr. Parsons, Ross and Greenway, I 
accordingly surveyed the tract now in question on the 19th Novem- 
ber 1750, for the said congregation, in the presence of the elders 
and churchwardens thereof containing 42 acres with allowance [of 
six acre per hundred for roads] at their request, with an intention 
to build a house thereon for their minister to live in and continually 
to keep this same for such use for ever. 

Also with intention, when it should suit them, to agree and pay 
for the land, with the above named three gentlemen. 

They immediately built a dwelling house and stable on it, dug a 
well and began to clear some land in the Spring of 1751. Their 
minister came to live there with his negro family; at his request 
the congregation allowed him for his better support to clear some 
more land ; Though who [he] continued from time to time with 
cleaning Though sometimes forbid by the congregation, till almost 
all was cleared, a few acres only excepted. The timber required 
for building, and mostly rails, was carried there by said people from 
their own lands. Since there was scarce any on the premises. The 
greatest part thereof was but a barren plain. They applied to Mr. 
Greenway about the land about 1767 or 1768, he returned for 

i86 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

answer, that they should have the land, but since some of the heirs 
were under age, he would not undertake to make a deed for it. 
We applied to you about it and received nearly the same answer. 

Anno 1 761 in August, their said minister, Geo. Mich. Weiss 
died and though the said congregation got another, yet out of com- 
passion to the deceased's widow, allowed her to live on that land 
with her negro family and left her the full use thereof, without 
demanding a penny rent of her for it. They rented another house 
for their new accepted minister to live in, until in the year 1765, 
June 2nd, the said, relict widow Anna Weiss died also, having no 
children, only her said negro family, he died without a will, but 
she made a will, whereupon she gave all her estate to the said negro 
family and also her right to the improvements, if any she had. 

But in my opinion she could claim no further right thereon. 
She only had the use and produce there during her stay on the 
premises and that only by permission of the said congregation. 
Then in about three months afterwards, the said negro family were 
all sold for slaves by Christian Schneider and Leonard Melchior, 
who had administered for the estate. The said negro man with 
his wife and two children were sold to Leonard Thomas, an inhabi- 
tant of this township. Sometime afterwards the congregation got 
an inmate to live in the house on the premises. 

The said Leonard Thomas, weary of his negroes, allowed the 
man liberty and time to try for to obtain his freedom, during which 
interview the said Gideon, by some lawyer's contrivances came and 
took possession again of the said premises, about the latter end of 
1767 or the beginning of 1768. This occasioned new trouble to 
the congregation. 

They soon after applied for the land to you and to John Margo- 
troyd and received yours and his promise in their favor, to get it 
done as soon as those afifairs were settled, but they could have a 
deed for mortgage, on the i6th of February 1768. Sent with 
order to that negro-man to go off from the premises with his family 
and effects within a week, otherwise he would sue him for trespass. 
Until, as I suppose in April 1769 (some think 1770) the congre- 
gation being tired with the like vexations, went there and carried 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 187 

his family and goods to his said master's house, repaired and fitted 
up the dwelling for their new minister to live in, who resides 
thereon since. He put the fences in good condition to save the 
winter grain for the benefit of the said negroes, who got the grain 
next harvest. But in return said Gideon sued them for trespass, 
which occasioned the trial in September court 1770, when those 
of the congregation who done that act were obliged to pay a small 
fine, with a considerable deal of costs. Since this time the said 
Gideon hath sued them again for damages, that he says, he suf- 
fered merely by some trivials on rags, which he left lying before 
in the weather and muddled before his said master's house. His 
loss can be but very small, but though it be ever so little, yet it may 
prove probably possible, that the congregation might be sued again 
and also obliged to pay a considerable deal of costs too, and thereby 
be obliged to submit to this hero Lord South, if not timely sup- 
ported. I have further to add that several witnesses were also 
sued to give evidence in favor of the said negro but they refused 
to appear. Then before March Court last, I also had a subpoena 
sent me to attend in favor of the negro, but by reason of my weak 
state and condition of health, I did not attend nor any other wit- 
ness, nor did I incline to meddle with it till August last a writ of 
attachment was served on me and also on the other witnesses, for 
disobedience or contempt of court, by the high Sheriff himself, so 
that we have to thank the high Sheriff's generosity and benevolence 
for it, for not putting us to goal for it, for near a whole month 
till September court about this affair. A strange instance indeed 
to observe, that this great Lord South, who was but lately a slave 
and to whom almost every one of us, at one time or another, out 
of compassion to him proved to be a benefactor, on his being sup- 
ported by others, should have obtained so much power as to send 
six freeholders to gaol at his pleasure. God beware, that the 
mighty Lord South does not obtain power to treat the members of 
our honorable Congress in the same manner. 

This affair disturbed my mind terribly at that time, but we 
appeared in town on the 6th of September last, as the day appointed 
by the high Sheriff. Wm. Lewis and Fisher are the two lawyers 

i88 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

on the negro case. Mr. Lewis examined us, but found my testi- 
mony not to be that told him, but told us the case could not be 
tried now, but was put off. 

Andrew Maurer, who had been sued for said damages and 
thereby obliged to stand foremost on the congregation's part, did 
not take a lawyer till September court last, when he employed 
Andrew Allen to act on their behalf. The trial was to be had on 
the 8th of January", now past, when I was obliged to go to town 
again, at the request of Mr. Allen, for Mr. Lewis had acquitted 
me in September court, since I could not give my evidence in favor 
of the said negro-man's cause before September last. I had not 
been in town for the space of five years together, chiefly by reason 
of my weak condition of health. When on calling at Mr. Allen's 
he informed us that we should have some deed or agreement or 
writings to show that the owners of the land had either sold or 
at least promised the same to the congregation, in order to show 
it as their title to the land at court, without which he could not 
consent to let the trial go on. This was the reason that we called 
at your house three times on the same morning, the 8th of January 
past, in order if possible to obtain such writings. But by reason 
of your indisposition, we were prevented to speak to you about it, 
or to inform you of the importance of it, so that Mr. Allen thought 
it suitable to remove the cause to the Supreme Court, but we find 
that Mr. Lewis bound over his witnesses to appear again on the 
9. March next, as at the next close of the Common Pleas Court. 
So I have now thought necessary to inform you of the circum- 
stances of this affair, in order that jou may observe how trouble- 
some the negroman hath already been to the said congregation who 
always have been and are yet ready to agree with you about the 
land and pay for it and have been long soliciting for it. For I 
conclude from the examination made on me by Mr. Lewis, that 
they intend yet to lay claim on the improvements, to which I think 
by no means that the negro can have a right, since whatever he did 
thereon, while a slave, they had the full use thereof, during their 
stay thereon; and I don't doubt, if you can spare time as to con- 
sider the matter all over again, you will be of the same opinion. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 189 

I am sorry to trouble you with this long detail, but I should think 
it a defect, if I should not do, what is possible in behalf of the 

Well what we most humbly desire of you. Sir, to be done is this: 
That you would be pleased to make an agreement with some of the 
members of the said congregation and put the same in writing, 
for the said tract of 42 acres and allowance with . . . per land. 
I have made a new draught for the same to them, or if a deed 
could be made out now to the congregation, it will be found the 
better, before the time of the trial comes. Then we suppose all 
the vexations of the negro fellow and his supporters against the 
said congregation would terminate and be at an end. We think 
in these turbulent times we have and yet may expect trouble and 
calamity enough already. 

We shall ever remain, dear Sir, your most affectionate and hum- 
ble servant. 


By some boastings dropt by said Gideon, it seems that his lawyers 
intend to scruple the validity of our title in general to the land at 

All to Daniel Rundle, the 3rd February 1776, sent Febr. 6th pr. 
Andrew Maurer. 

[VIII. Letter of David Schultze, Esq., to Andrew Allen, 

Esq., February 3, 1776. Printed in the Daily Norris- 

toivn Register, March 6, 1883.] 

To Andrew Allen, Esquire! 1776. February 3rd. 


About the affair of the bearer hereof, Andrew Maurer, I 
have to inform you at first, since we could not speak to Mr. Daniel 
Rundle, when in town, by reason of his indisposition, who is one 
of the three parties or owners to the land in question, so I have 
now wrote a letter to him of the affair very circumstantially, and 
alleged the necessity to get either a deed for the premises if possible 
or at least an agreement signed from under their hands. 

190 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

I also wrote another letter to Thomas Pugh, who is executor 
for the last deceased Thos. Tresse, Junior, another of the said 
partners to the land. 

I spoke to him about it when in town, who promised to do all in 
his power in favor of the congregation, as to John Margotroyd, 
as the third partner. We could not learn where he lives now. 
What Mr. Rundle's answer will be I cannot know. One diffi- 
culty may perhaps obstruct the afifair, for those three parties have 
been at variance with each other for many years past, and not yet 
settled, which hath been the chief reason, that no deed could be got 
out ever since the dec'd of old James Margotroyd — otherwise this 
land would have been long ago paid for. If our proposal for a 
particular agreement should not succeed, we have yet in reserve 
the general agreement, made with Parsons, Ross and Greenway, 
in April 1749, which on certain conditions includes the whole tract 
of 13,000 acres, signed by their own and many of our hands. 
Though it may not suit so well now, than if a new particular one 
can be obtained. 

We have further to mention, when on our return to town, we 
met the other three witnesses, that they then informed us, that on 
that afternoon Mr. Lewis had bound them over by recognizance 
in Mr. Biddle's offices, to appear and attend again on the 9th of 
March next, as at the close of the next Court of Common Pleas, 
as if the cause was then to be tried. Though as we understand 
from 5^ou, that the cause was removed to the Supreme Court, which 
we should like much better, in order to gain more time, for we 
cannot know what difficulty we may find or what time will be 
required to obtain what is required. 

Now if you could prevail on Mr. Lewis, to send a written 
order to his three witnesses, Jacob Miller, Jacob Wissler and 
Ulrich Graber, not to attend on the said 9th of March next. Then 
they will stay at home, otherwise they will certainly attend for fear 
of falling into the same unwelcome disgrace as in August last. 

For what reasons Mr. Lewis hath, that he then acted in this 
manner we cannot know, if to increase the costs or for some other 
advantage ? 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 191 

So we humbly desire that you would be pleased to rectify this 

By some boasting words, dropt by that negroman, as I was told 
of when in town, I suspect that his lawyers intend to dispute the 
validity of our title in general to these lands, which I think is a 
matter of no concern at all to them, we had trouble enough in 
former times already, until the cause was decided by the Supreme 
Court, anno 1754 in favor of Parsons, Ross and Greenway. I 
could make out a large description of the whole, but I should now 
think it unnecessary, see paper No. 2. 

It is strange to observe that these gentlemen Fisher and Lewis 
and their supporters, of whom Mr. Israel Pemberton is looked 
upon as their chief, under the applauded pretext by assisting the 
needy and oppressed, by their endeavors are doing a considerable 
injury to a large number of people, especially at a time, when the 
utmost necessity requires it for every one to be as cautious as pos- 
sible to avoid contentions nor to give offence to any. 

I observed to you formerly, that I suspect those lawyers will 
perhaps lay claim again to that improvement, which if they do, it 
will seem so much the more strange, if they take for their founda- 
tion the foolish fancy of that old Irish low Dutch woman. I look 
upon them as gentlemen, who would proceed on good reasonings. 
They forget themselves so far, while under a laudable pretext, they 
are putting numbers to loss and unnecessary charges. This small 
tract of land will cost the people dear enough besides. 

The whole affair about the estate of that deceased minister hath 
to my opinion not been transacted according to law, nor agreeable 
to his will, nor even (if I dare say) to equity, for agreeable to the 
law, will and equity, the half of his relict estate should have been 
transmitted to Germany to his relations, to his brother eldest son, 
which hath not been done. 

There is a strong supposition that the minister had a good purse 
in ready cash, which was concealed at the appraisement by his 
widow and afterwards by the negroes, for she paid almost no debts 
contracted by his negroes during the four years she outlived her 
husband. Christian Schneider was after his death obliged to pay 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

above a hundred pounds debts and costs, if he has been repaid, I 
did not inquire. It must be true, since that can be proved by living 
witnesses, thus running the estate so much in debt in so short a 
time by his negroes while all the produce of the premises were also 
left him, it will appear, that he was none of the best economists, 
by the congregation gratis benevolence. 

Did any of his supporters consider the matter with more delib- 
eration, or think if any of their deceased tennants negroes should 
re-enter their premises and claim a right to their works done for 
their master, while slaves, how they would behave. I hope they 
would desist from what they are doing. Their own consciences 
(if any they have) would probably give them better instructions. 

To Mr. Allen 
Febr. 3, 1776. 


The Period of Supplies, 1762-1766. 

rHEN Mr. Weiss died, the Goshenhoppen 
churches lost a faithful and able pastor. 
They struggled along for a few years with 
supplies, without being able to find a 
worthy successor. 

At the Coetus of 1762, held on June 30 
and following days at New Hanover, 

three elders from Old and New Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp 
were admitted and reported that these three congregations would 
remain inseparably together. They then urgently asked that a 
minister of the Coetus be given to them in place of their faithful 
pastor, Do. Weiss, now deceased. And if they might be permitted 
to name the minister they would choose Do, Otterbein. The 
Reverend Coetus took this under consideration and promised them 
to make known the answer through Do. Leydich. After they were 
dismissed Do. Otterbein refused their request because of trifling 

As Otterbein declined to serve Goshenhoppen, Leydich 
took his place. This is evident from the first entry in the 
second New Goshenhoppen record book, which reads : 

Church Record for the Congregation of New Goshenhoppen, 
from the year in which Rev. Weiss died [1761] [containing the 
14 193 

194 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

names of] all the children, who from that year to the j^ear 1766 
were baptized by me, Jacob Riess, Leyte [Leydich] and Michel 
and also those of later years. 

Taking the statement in the Coetus minutes and this en- 
try in the church record together, the most probable infer- 
ence is that Mr. Leydich followed Weiss immediately. In 
view of the willingness of the congregations to apply to 
the Coetus for a minister, the most natural supposition Is 
that a minister of the Coetus first supplied them after the 
death of Weiss and that, when he was no longer able to 
hold them, they drifted Into the hands of Independent 

I. The Ministry of Rev. John Philip Leydich, 


John Philip Leydich was In 1762 pastor of Falkner 
Swamp and Providence (now St. Luke's at Trappe), 
Montgomery County, and of Vincent, Chester County. 

John Philip Leydich was born April 28, 17 15, and bap- 
tized May 5 of the same year, at Girkhausen, near Berle- 
burg, in Westphalia. ^^^ He was the son of the Rev. 
Leonhard Leydich, then pastor at Girkhausen. John 
Philip Leydich studied for the ministry and in course of 
time became assistant to his father. In July, 1748, he 
appeared before the Synod of South Holland, then held at 
Briel, where he was commissioned for service In Pennsyl- 
vania. We next meet him In Philadelphia. Schlatter In 
his Journal states :^"2 "On the 15th of September, 1748, 
to my exceeding great joy, came to my house, healthy and 

1^2 xhe facts about the birth and parentage of the Rev. John Philip 
Leydich were discovered by Mr. Dotterer, see his various articles in his 
Historical Notes, pp. 2, 50, 59 f. 

1T3 Life of Rev. Schlatter, p. 182. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 195 

happy, John Philip Leydich, with his wife and two chil- 
dren." Immediately after his arrival Leydich became 
pastor at Falkner Swamp and Providence. This incident 
is touchingly described by Mr. Boehm in his last letter, 
written on December 2, 1748,^'^^ to the Classis of Am- 
sterdam : 

Shortly afterwards came my dear and kind brother, the Rev. 
John Philip Leydich, who was found to be suitable to take my 
place. At the Coetus of this year Do. Leydich willingly accepted 
his call to Falkner Swamp and Providence, as Do. Hochreutner to 
Lancaster and Do. Bartholomie to Tulpehocken, Coetus com- 
missioned me to install Do. Leydich and Do. Bartholomie in their 
charges, which commission was carried out on October i6th at 
Falkner Swamp and on October 23rd at Tulpehocken. 


Leydich was pastor at Falkner Swamp from 1748 to 
1765; at Vincent, Chester County, from 1753 to 1765; at 
Coventry, now Brownback's, in Chester County, from 
1769 to 1784; at Upper Milford and Salzburg, in Lehigh 
County, from 1766 to 177 1, and at Pottstown from 1770 
to 1784. 

During the first twenty years of his ministry, Mr, Ley- 
dich took a prominent part in the work of the Coetus. 
He preached the opening sermon of the second Coetus, 
September 28, 1748, but a few weeks after his arrival. 
The same is true of the third Coetus, which was opened 
September 27, 1749, at Lancaster, "with a well arranged 

17* Classical Archives, Pennsylvania Portfolio, No. 33. See Li\e and 
Letters of Boehm, p. 449 f. 

196 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

and edifying sermon by Do. Leydlch." He was the presi- 
dent of Coetus in 1757 and 1760, and acted as its secre- 
tary in 1753, 1756 and 1768. In 1753 his salary is given 
as 40 pounds. After the year 1768 he retired to the back- 
ground. That may have been due to his faiHng health, 
for in 1757, 177 1, 1772 and 1776 he is reported as absent 
because of sickness or infirmity of old age.^"^^ 

On October 16, 1749, Mr. Leydich purchased one hun- 
dred and five acres of land in Frederick township, on the 
banks of the Swamp Creek. This became the family 

He died January 14, 1784, leaving three sons and four 
daughters. He was buried on Leydig's graveyard, a pri- 
vate burial place, in part located on land originally pur- 
chased by him. The inscription on his tombstone reads 
in an English translation : 

John Philip Leydich 
Reformed Minister 
was born 17 15 
the 28th of April 
Died January 14, 1784 
Aged 69 Years 
2 Tim. 2:3. 

How long Leydich supplied Goshenhoppen cannot be 
made out with entire certainty, but probably a year, for at 
the Coetus meeting of May 5 to 6, 1763, Goshenhoppen 
is referred to as vacant. 

On May 19, 1763, the Commissioners of the Classis of 
Amsterdam wrote as follows to the Coetus of Penn- 

i'-5 For other sketches of Mr. Leydich's life see Harbaugh, Fathers of 
Reformed Church, Vol. II, pp. 24-28; Good, History, pp. 493-496. 
1"^ Dotterer, Historical Notes, p. 60. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 197 

Inasmuch as the congregations of Old and New Goshenhoppen 
as well as some others desire a minister, we have now a good oppor- 
tunity to send them a well tried teacher, who has done camp serv- 
ice with much praise in a Swiss regiment in the service of our 
countrj'. This gentleman, who has a wife and several children, 
cannot decide to come over to you unless the congregations which 
desire his services shall have indicated how much they will be able 
to raise for his yearly salary and how much they are willing to send 
over for the traveling expenses of himself and his family; to which 
we expect a speedy answer. 

When Coetus informed the Fathers that the sending of 
traveling expenses to Holland was impossible, the expected 
minister from Holland did not materialize. 

2. The Ministry of Philip Jacob Michael, 

In the opening statement of the New Goshenhoppen 
record, quoted above, Mr. Michael is placed after Mr. 
Leydich as the next pastor at Goshenhoppen. This is 
indirectly confirmed by the minutes of the Coetus of May 
2 to 3, 1764, which state: 

Regarding Goshenhoppen, we mention that it is provisionally 
supplied with preaching by another minister, until it shall be in a 
better condition to call a regular pastor. 

The fact that the name of the minister is not given is 
rather surprising. Was it because Coetus was employing 
one who was not one of its members and did not want the 
Fathers in Holland to know the fact? This question sug- 
gests itself naturally and an affirmative answer becomes 
highly probable, because recently another letter has come 
to light, in which the same state of affairs is said to have 
prevailed in another congregation. In January, 1773, 
Simon Dreisbach, a member of the Indian Creek congre- 

198 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

gation (now Stone Church in Northampton County) 
wrote to Rev. John Henry Helffrich about his congrega- 
tion as follows : 

A minister was promised us, as soon as one should come in [from 
Holland]. Meanwhile Rev. Mr. Leydich and Rev. Michael were 
to supply us until a minister should come in. Each of these con- 
gregations gave twelve pounds to the said ministers to come to us 
on a week day, every three weeks, for one year, which was done 
and our congregation got its share, until several ministers came in 
[Stapel in 1761 and Weyberg in 1762].^^^ 

In view of these facts it is highly probable that the un- 
named supply of Goshenhoppen in the Coetus minutes of 
1764 was Philip Jacob Michael. It was at this same 
meeting of Coetus that he asked for admission. Although 
he was an independent Reformed minister, yet he did a 
useful work, that is well worthy of recognition. 

When Michael appeared before the Coetus in 1764, he 
is said to have been 48 years of age, hence he was born in 
17 16. Rev. Wm. A. Helffrich states in his "History of 
Some Churches of Lehigh and Berks Counties," "that he 
was a weaver by trade. "^'^^ 

A Jacob Michael, and the only person of that name 
before 1744, qualified in Philadelphia on October 14, 
1 73 1, having arrived with the ship Snow Loiither, Joseph 
Fisher, master. We are probably justified in identifying 
this Jacob Michael with the Reformed minister, Philip 
Jacob Michael. Inasmuch as in Germany the second 

1^' This letter was first quoted by Ben. Trexler in his Skizzen aus dem 
Lecha^=Thale, Allentown, 1886, p. 107. More recently it was again 
brought to light by Rev. John B. Stoudt of Northampton, Pa., and published 
by him in the Cement Neivs of Siegfried, Pa., January 30-February 13, 
1914; also in the Reformed Church Review, April, 1914, pp. 206-218. 

nsWixi. A. Helffrich, Geschichte verschiedetier Gemeinden in Lecha 
und Berks Counties, etc., Allentown, 1891, pp. 8, 79. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 199 

Christian name serves as call name, the first is usually 

Mr. Michael first appears as minister in the year 1744. 
His first field was Heidelberg, Lehigh County. Rev. 
Wm. A. Hellfrich says of him in his " History " :^"^ 

"In the year 1744 a log church was built [at Heidel- 
berg] and dedicated by Philip J. Michael." On March 
28, 1745, he signed a contract drawn up by the Reformed 
and Lutheran congregations, worshipping in that church. 

In 1750 we find him present at the dedication of Ziegel 
church in Lehigh County. On July 6, 1750, he signed a 
contract drawn by the Reformed and Lutheran members 
of that church. At the dedication of the church, July 29, 
1750, Michael preached the first sermon and was the first 
pastor of the congregation. 

In the same year, 1750, the first church building of 
Jacobs church, in Jacksonville, Lynn township, was erected. 
Here again Michael officiated at the dedication of the 
church and was elected as the first pastor of the congre- 
gation. ^^*^ 

Two years later we meet him at Longswamp, in Berks 
County. Of this Jacob Welmer, the schoolmaster of the 
congregation, reports In the old church record : 

After this work [the building of the church] had been com- 
pleted to the honor of God and for their own salvation, they ac- 
cepted the honored Mr. Frederick Casimir Miller for the purpose 
of dedicating this church and accepted him as their preacher, who 
served them for some time. But when he left them, they looked 
for another shepherd and accepted the honored Mr. Philip Jacob 
Michael as their minister. During his and the preceding pastor's 
ministry, Fridrich Holwig has acted as cantor and precentor until 
the present time when this was written. 

"9 L. c, p. 32. 
180 L. c, p. 52. 

200 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The ministry of Michael at Longswamp extended prob- 
ably from 1752-1753. 

In 1753 Michael appears in Reading, where he bap- 
tized a number of Reformed children. Curiously enough 
the baptisms are entered into the Lutheran record, possibly 
because the parents became later members of the Lutheran 
church. The last baptism of Michael at Reading took 
place on November 10, 1754.^^^ 

In 1 76 1 Michael dedicated the first church of the Ebe- 
nezer congregation, also called " Organ Church," in Lynn 
township, Lehigh County, and acted as its pastor from 
1760 to 1770. 

In 1 76 1 Michael began his ministry also in the Weisen- 
berg congregation, in Weisenberg township, Lehigh 
County. He served that congregation until the middle of 
the seventies, or about 1775.^^^ 

During the same time, from about 1759 till 1770, he 
was pastor at Maxatawny, Berks County, now De Long's 
Church, at Bowers. In October, 1771, the minutes of 
Coetus report Maxatawny, " formerly served by Do. 
Michael," as vacant for some time and appealing to Coetus 
for a minister. 

In 1764 Mr. Michael appeared before Coetus. The 
minutes state : 

Philip Jacob Michael appeared with an earnest petition that he 
might be admitted as a member of Coetus. His credentials, from 
far and near show that, according to the rules of our Reformed 
Church, he has been faithful in doctrine, life and conduct for four- 

isi Daniel Miller, History of the Reformed Church in Reading, Pa., 
Reading, 1905, p. 12. A sketch of Michael's life is given there by the 
writer, pp. 13-15. 

^82 For Michael's work in these two churches see Helffrich's Geschickte, 
PP- 47, 3?-4i. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 201 

teen years [i 750-1 764] and constantly served the same congrega- 
tions in Maxatavvny and therefore, he does not deserve the name 
of an adventurer or Moravian. He showed that twelve years ago 
["1752] Mr. Schlatter would not recognize or admit him because 
of unfounded reasons. Wherefore he would not apply again, 
although he labored continually in harmony with us.^®' We can 
state this all the more readily, because all his congregations are 
well known to us and we know how he has unweariedly aimed for 
this end, and even now, in he 48th year of his age, he supplies 
with the greatest zeal twelve congregations. This earnest request 
and petition we could not refuse. But since he has not been or- 
dained, according to the order of our church, we herewith request 
permission, and proper authority from the Reverend Synods to 
ordain him. And as several of our number have heard him preach, 
and in his ministrations all is clearly in accordance with the Re- 
formed church-order in doctrine and life, we expect that our re- 
quest will not be in vain, so that we may thus be strengthened, by 
bringing under our control the congregations which he is serving, 
and comply with his reasonable request. We would not put our 
pen to this were we not convinced that it would be of advantage 
to us, and of greater profit to his congregations. We expect at the 
earliest opportunity a favorable reply from the Reverend Synods. 

In spite of this earnest plea the Holland Fathers re- 
fused to consent to his ordination in Pennsylvania, but 
demanded that he should come to Holland. That was of 
course impossible. Hence he did not press his request. 
The minutes of 1765 state: 

We shall leave Mr. Michael to himself, and say nothing further 
about him, because the Reverend Fathers seem much disinclined to 
grant our request, and he being aged does not press his case, and 
his congregations are satisfied with him without ordination. 

183 "Phis statement supports our contention, p. 198, that Coetus appointed 
Michael to supply Goshenhoppen in 1764. 

202 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

In 1769 Michael founded the Lowhill congregation, in 
Lehigh County. On September 3, 1769, the first church 
was dedicated by him and he served as pastor of this con- 
gregation from 1769 to 1772.^^"^ 

In the same year he also founded Michael's Church 
(named after him) in Upper Berne township, Berks 

When the War of the Revolution broke out Michael 
resigned his churches. On May 17, 1777, he was ap- 
pointed as chaplain of the first battalion of the Berks 
County militia. ^^^ 

After the war he again entered upon his duties as pastor 
at Longswamp. There he had served a second pastorate 
from 1762 to 1774. His last baptism was on October 
23? 1774- A third pastorate began there in January, 
1 78 1, and ended sometime in 1785. A baptism on De- 
cember 25, 1785, was probably performed by Heinrich 
Hertzel, his successor. His will is dated May 6, 1786, 
and was probated at Reading, June 17, 1786.^^^ Between 
these two dates he must have died. His will shows that 
he was the owner of 94 acres of land, situated partly in 
Rockland and partly in Longswamp township. He left 
to survive him a widow and five children. 

The last will and testament of Mr. Michael is an In- 
teresting document, which deserves preservation. It reads 
as follows : 

154 Helffrich, Geschichte, p. 43. 

155 Pennsylvania Archives, 2d Series, Vol. XIV, p. 257. The name given 
there is Jacob Michael, but that is in perfect harmony with German custom, 
which uses the second Christian name as a call name, dropping the first 

^^6 Pennsylvania German, Vol. VIII, p. 191. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 203 

Last Will and Testament of the Rev. Philip Jacob 
Michael, May 6, 1786. 

(Register of Wills Office, Reading, Pa.) 

In the name of God, Amen. I, Philip Jacob Michael, of Rock- 
land township, in the County of Berks and State of Pennsylvania, 
Minister of the Gospel, Being of an old age and weak and sick in 
Body, but of a Good and Sound mind, memory and understanding. 
Thanks be to Almighty God, and Calling in mind the Mortality 
of my Body, I being willing to make this my Last Will and Testa- 
ment, In manner and form following: 

First of all, I recommend my Immortal Soul into the Hands of 
Almighty God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Precious 
Lord and Saviour, and my Body to be Buried in a Christian like, 
decent manner, at the Direction of my Dear Wife Sara. 

It is my will and I do Order that my said Dear Wife Sara shall 
hold and Enjoy free and Clear Dwelling abode in my Present 
Dwelling house, undisturbed and unmolested During her Natural 
Life, if she remains a Widow, and also such Proper Pieces of 
Ground and of the Garden as she will Properly want to and for 
her use near the said dwelling abode. And so much of my mova- 
ble Estate as will be Necessary to and for her use in housekeeping, 
and so much Income of my Estate that will Properly be sufficient 
to and for her Livelihood, support and maintenance during her 
natural life, if she remains a Widow aforesaid. But in case she 
should Marry again, all aforementioned shall be disallowed unto 
her and she shall then receive nothing out of my Estate. 

It is my will that all my Messuages or Tenements and Lands I hold 
and possess, situate Partly in Rockland and Part in Longswamp 
Township, in the County of Berks aforesaid. Consisting in two Parts, 
Containing in the Whole Ninety-four Acres of Land, or there- 
abouts, be the same more or less. Shall after my decease within 
the time of one Year, be appraised by three honest, reputable free- 
holders at a Reasonable rate and value thereof, and such Proper 

204 The PeiDisyhania-Gennan Society. 

Terms as may seem meet, having Regard to such Reservations for 
my Dear Wife aforesaid, And it is my will That then my oldest 
son John Michael shall have the first Choice to hold and Enjoy 
for him, his Heirs and Assigns forever my said Real-Estate, w^ith 
all and every the appurtenances, at and for said sum, as the same 
will be appraised aforesaid, And in Case he should not except [ !] 
thereof, then It is my will that my son Moses Michael shall have 
the next choice for him, his Heirs and assigns forever as aforesaid, 
And in case he would not except thereof, then it is my Will that 
it shall come to the choice of my son Philip Michael, to have and 
to hold the same unto him, his Heirs and Assigns forever as afore- 
said. Provided that such of my said three Sons aforenamed, who 
shall or will hold my said Real Estate as aforesaid, shall out of 
such appraised valuation Pay all my just Debts and then the Re- 
mainder sum It is my will shall be equally divided to and among 
all my Children, to wit, John Michael, Moses Michael, Philip 
Michael, William Michael, And Sara IVIichael, share and share 

Item. It is my will that such of my Sons aforesaid as will 
hold my Real Estate aforesaid. Shall also hold my Wagon, Horses 
& Mares, with the Geers, Ploughs and Harrows and the Stock of 
Horned Cattle by the Appraisement, if he Chooses, and It is my 
will that my said five children shall have due regard for their said 
Mother, after my decease, and for her Livelihood, Support and 
Maintenance as herein aforesaid. And I give and Bequeath unto 
them my said five above named Children (observing my directions 
aforesaid) Equal shares and Portions, Share and Share alike of my 
whole Estate, And I do hereby ordain. Constitute and appoint my 
Trusty Friend Paul Grosscup, Esq. to be the Executor of this my 
Last Will and Testament, and I do hereby revoke and make void 
all former wills and testaments by me made. Hereby Ratifying 
and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Tes- 

In Witness Whereof I, the said Philip Jacob Michael, have 

Philip Jacob Michael 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 205 

hereunto set my Hand and Seal the sixth day of May, In the Year 
of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Eighty-six. 

Signed, sealed pronounced and 
declared by the said testator as his 
last will and testament in the pres- 
ence of us, who at his request have 
hereunto set our names as witnesses 
to the same. 

Henry Hoffman 

George Bower 

Register of Wills Office, Reading, Berks Count}^ June 17, 1786. 

Personally appeared Henrj^ Hoffman & George Bower witnesses 
to the above written will and upon their oaths did severally Depose 
and say that they were present and did see and Hear Philip Jacob 
Michael, the Testator therein named, sign seal pronounce. Pub- 
lish and Declare the above Writing to be his Last Will and Testa- 
ment, and that at the time of Doing thereof, he was of sound mind, 
memory and understanding, as they verily believe, and further that 
the names of said Deponents by them respectively subscribed there- 
unto as Witnesses, are each of his own handwriting, done in the 
presence of each other at the request and in the presence of the said 

Coram me Henry Christ, Register. 

His ministry at Goshenhoppen probably did not last 
longer than a year. In 1765 a new minister had come 
into the charge. 

3. Ministry of Jacob Riess, 1765-1766. 

The next minister of Goshenhoppen is introduced to us 
by the Coetus minutes of May 8 to 9, 1765. Here we 

Goshenhoppen, about which your Reverences inquire, has taken 
an old, ordinary man, a shoemaker [Jacob Riess] for their minis- 

2o6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

ter, because we could not provide the members with some one to 
their satisfaction. 

Not much is known about Jacob Riess. It is probable 
that he is identical with Johan Jacob Riess, who on Sep- 
tember 24, 1742, qualified at Philadelphia. 

We first find Riess as minister at Tohickon. There he 
opened the first church record in 1749 : 

Church Record for the Reformed Congregation on the Tohickon 
in Bedminster township, in which I have recorded those children 
which I, Jacob Riess, have baptized as Reformed preacher from 
the year 1749. 

The first baptism was entered by him on August 27, 
1749, the last on March 28, 1756. 

At Indian Field, Bucks County, Jacob Riess opened the 
first record on June 3, 1753. The first baptism recorded 
by him took place on July 14, 1754. From that date till 
August II, 1766, he entered nearly 250 baptisms into the 
Indian Field record. 

At Springfield, Bucks County, Jacob Riess opened the 
church record on August 24, 1760. From that date till 
December 18, 1763, he entered forty-seven baptisms into 
that record. 

At New Goshenhoppen Riess began the second record 
book, but the exact time cannot be determined. The bap- 
tisms are entered by families and he evidently made it a 
point to enter all the children of the families in which he 
performed any baptisms. Thus of the Cunius family he 
probably baptized himself only the last child, born on 
October 7, 1765. The children born before July, 1761, 
were baptized by Mr. Weiss. Some of them are actually 
found in the first volume. His last baptism at New Gosh- 

History of Goshenhoppcn Reformed Charge. 207 

enhoppen was that of two negroes, father and son, brought 
to baptism by Thomas Mabry on January 26, 1766. 

The elders at New Goshenhoppen during the ministry 
of Mr. Riess were Johann Ehrhart Weiss and Michael 
Moll, the deacons Ulrich Greber and Peter Hillegas. 

At Old Goshenhoppen the oldest record book, now in 
possession of the congregation, was also begun by Mr, 
Riess. Here again earlier baptisms were entered by him. 
The first baptism which he himself may have performed is 
dated June 5, 1764, although the baptism which is actually 
placed first took place on January 22, 1765. 

The elders during his ministry at Old Goshenhoppen 
were Jacob Hauck and Johannes Goetz, the deacons Isaac 
Sumne and Andreas Ohl. 

It may be that David Schultz had this minister in mind 
when he wrote, on February 3, 1776, to Daniel Rundle : 

Anno 1 761 in August, their said minister, Geo. Michael Weiss 
died, and though the said congregation got another in his stead, 
yet out of compassion to the deceased's widow, allowed her to live 
on the land with her negro family, and left her the full use thereof 
without demanding a penny rent of her for it. They rented 
another house for their new accepted minister to live in, until the 
year 1765, June 2nd, the said relict widow Anna Weiss, died also, 
having no children, only her said negro family, he died without a 
will, but she made a will, whereupon she gave all her estate to the 
said negro family and also her right to the improvements, if any 
she had.^^'^ 

The last baptism by Jacob Riess at Old Goshenhoppen 
took place on March 15, 1766. After that he disap- 
peared. His tomb is in the graveyard adjoining the To- 
hickon church. His tombstone bears the following in- 
scription : 

187 See above, p. 186. 

2o8 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Jacob Riess 

Gewesener Reformirter Prediger 
Geboren den lo. April 1706. 
Gestorben den 23. December 1774. 

The minutes of the Coetus, held September 3 to 4, 1766, 
at Reading, inform us that 

Old and New Goshenhoppen, as well as Great Swamp have dis- 
missed their shoemaker, Ries by name. They earnestly request 
that we provide them with a minister. Resolved that they be 
taken under the care of Coetus, and that they shall have one of the 
first new ministers. 

At Great Swamp Riess has left no traces, but the above 
extract shows that he preached there as well as In the two 
Goshenhoppen churches. But while at Goshenhoppen 
Riess was preceded by Michael and Leydich, this does not 
seem to have been the case at Great Swamp. Tradition 
as well as direct evidence point to another pastor at Great 
Swamp, filling out the Interval between the death of Weiss 
and the coming of Riess Into the field. It was the Rev. 
John Rudolph KIttweller. 

4. Ministry of John Rudolph Kittweiler at Great 
Swamp, 1762-17 64. 

On September 28, 1749, Hans Rudolph KIttweller ap- 
pears as one of 242 Immigrants, brought to Philadelphia 
in the ship Ann, John Spurrier, master. The immigrants 
are described as " foreigners from Basel, Wirtemberg, 
Zwelbrijcken and Darmstadt. "^^^ Kittweiler belonged to 
the first group, for later he was known in his congregations 
as the " Schweitzer Pfarrer." 

According to recent investigations, carried on at the 

issRupp, Thirty Thousand Names, p. 214. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 209 

request of the writer by Mr. Fritz Hensler, assistant in the 
University Library of Basel, ^^^ "Johann Rudolf Kind- 
weiler" (this form or Kindwyler is the one commonly used 
at Basel) was born (or perhaps baptized, which took place 
at the latest eight days after birth) on May 26, 17 16, at 
Basel, as son of Hans Jacob Kindweiler and his wife 
Catherine, nee Sporlin. This baptism, together with that 
of several other children, is entered into the church record 
of the St. Elizabeth congregation in Basel. 

There is no evidence that Hans Rudolph Kindweiler 
studied in the University of Basel or was an ordained min- 
ister in Basel, as is stated by Rev. William A. Helffrich.^^'' 

From documents in the state archives at Basel it appears 
that in the year 1749 three hundred persons emigrated to 
Pennsylvania from villages, then belonging to the terri- 
tory of the city of Basel. The first of such emigrations 
from Basel had taken place in 1738. When the new 
movement began in 1749, the government wanted to know 
what induced the people to leave. They gave poverty as 
the reason of their desire to leave for Pennsylvania. 

The name Kindweiler does not appear in the lists of 
emigrants at Basel, probably because he was a free citizen 
of Basel. But when they arrived in Philadelphia, we find 
him as one of a company of Swiss emigrants. 

Mr. Kindweiler (or Kittweiler as he was known in 
Pennsylvania) appears first as pastor of the Weisenberg 
congregation, in the northwestern corner of Weisenberg 
township, Lehigh County, where he organized the congre- 
gation and was present at the dedication of the first church 

189 xhe following facts were communicated to the writer by Mr. Fr. 
Hensler, assistant librarian in the University Library at Basle, in a letter, 
dated February lo, 1914. 

190 Helffrich, Geschichte, p. 26. 


2IO The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

in 1754. Rev. Wm. Helffrlch gives the following account 
of these events in his " History " :^^^ 

The organization of the congregation took place about the year 
1747. Divine services were held in private houses as elsewhere. 
From 1749 that was done by Rev. Kitenweiler, who was known 
as the " Swiss Preacher " and resided within the congregation. 
John Holben is named as an elder of the congregation at that time. 
The building of the first church took place in June 1754. The 
church was, as ever5^where else at that time, a log church; but it 
was built better than others. ... As the Rev. Daniel Schumacher 
testifies, the church was dedicated by Rudolph Kitweiler and Jacob 
Frederick Schertlein, the first pastors of the congregation. . . . 
Both preachers, Kitweiler and Schertlein, were ordained ministers. 

He was pastor of the Weisenberg church till about 
1 76 1, when he was succeeded by Philip Jacob Michael. 

Kittweiler also appears at Longswamp. The church 
record there informs us that " when the above mentioned 
preacher [Michael] had made his farewell, they accepted, 
about the middle of May, 1754, Mr. Rudolph Kiden- 
weiler, who preached 7 ^ years to the congregation. 
When he could not gain his purpose, he left the congre- 
gation defiantly." That must have been about the close 
of the year 1760. 

In 1759 Kittweiler was present at the dedication of the 
Eastern Salisbury Church, also called " Die Morgenland 
Kirche," Lehigh County. The Rev. Daniel Schumacher, 
first Lutheran pastor of the congregation, has preserved 
the following record of it in the old Lutheran church 

191 L. c, p. 39. 

192 Hallesche Nachr'tchten, new ed., Vol, I, p. 593 ; and " History of the 
Jerusalem Church. Eastern Salisbury," in Proceedings of the Lehigh 
County Historical Society, Vol. II (1910), p. 72. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 211 

The Christian Evangelical Lutherans and Reformed, both ad- 
hering to the Protestant religion, have together erected a church 
in Salzburg township in Northampton Countj^ in the year of the 
Lord 1759. This church was built after the Indians had again 
ceased to burn and kill in this neighborhood, and by poor people 
only, who were, however, assisted by their brethren with small 

The first preacher on the part of the Reformed congregation, at 
the dedication of this new church, was the Rev. Rudolph Kid- 
weiler, popularly known as the Swiss preacher. 

How long Kittweiler served this congregation is not 

The time when Kittweiler came to Great Swamp cannot 
be determined definitely, but it was probably some time 
after the death of Weiss, that is, about the year 1762. 
The evidence of his presence at Great Swamp consists of 
an entry in the Great Swamp account book and of his 
tombstone in the graveyard near the church. The inscrip- 
tion on the tomb reads as follows: 







The entry in the account book, made March 31, 1766, 
states : 

Of the above mentioned money of Ulrich Spinner there was paid 
to the wife [widow] of Rev. Rudolph Gittenweiler £1.0.6. 

It is probable that during the pastorate of Kittweiler 
the Great Swamp Church secured a deed for its land. 
Although printed before, this document is important 
enough to be given a place here. It reads as follows i^''^ 

193 First printed in Dr. Weiser's Monograph, pp. 42-46. 

212 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Patent of Great Swamp Church Land, December i6, 1762. 

Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esquires, true and absolute 
Proprietors and Governors in Chief of the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania and Counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, 
To all, unto whom these Presents shall come. Greeting: Whereas 
in pursuance of Warrants under seal of our Land Office, dated the 
twenty third day of May, one thousand seven hundred and thirty 
eight, there was surveyed on the twenty seventh day of September, 
following, unto Michael and Joseph Everhart a certain Tract of 
Land situate in Upper Milford Township, formerly in the County 
of Bucks, now Northampton, Beginning at a marked white oak, 
a corner of the said Michael and Joseph Everhard's Lands, thence 
by Land of Bartle Hornberier South-West one hundred and thirty 
perches to a post. Thence by Land of Lawrence Erb North West 
one hundred and forty eight perches to a post, thence by Land of 
Felix Brunner North-East one hundred and thirty perches to a 
stone in a line of the said Joseph Everhard's Land, thence by the 
same South-East one hundred and forty-eight perches to the place 
of Beginning, containing one hundred and thirteen acres and sev- 
enty perches and the usual allowance of six Acres per cent for 
Roads and Highways, as in and by the said Warrant and Survey 
remaining in the Surveyor General's Office and from thence certi- 
fied into our Secretary's Office more fully appears. And Whereas 
the said Warrant was granted and the said Tract surveyed thereon 
at the instance and request and by the direction and at the proper 
cost and charges of the Minister, Elders and Congregation of the 
reformed Calvinist Society settled in Upper Milford aforesaid and 
adjacent Township of Lower Milford, who have now humbly be- 
sought us to grant unto the said Michael Everhard and to Joseph 
Everhard, the son of the said first Joseph Everhard, who is since 
lately deceased, in Fee the said described Tract of Land in Trust 
for the Minister, Elders and Congregation for the time being of 
the said reformed Calvinist and their Successors settled and to be 
settled from time to time in the said Two several Townships of 
Upper and Lower Milford the said congregation having now 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 213 

erected on the said Tract a Church and School House for the use 
of them and their successors. And we favoring their request. 
Now know ye that for and in consideration of the sum of seventeen 
pounds eleven shillings and seven pence lawful money of Pennsyl- 
vania to our use paid being the money of the said congregation by 
the said Michael Everhard and Joseph Everhard their heirs and 
assigns, the Receipt whereof we hereby acknowledge and thereof 
do acquit and forever discharge the Michael Everhard and Joseph 
Everhard their heirs and assigns by these Presents and of the yearly 
Quit Rent hereinafter mentioned and reserved. We have given 
granted released confirmed and by these Presents for us our Heirs 
and Successors as give grant release and confirm unto the said 
Michael Everhard and Joseph Everhard their Heirs and Assigns 
the said one hundred and thirteen acres and seventeen perches of 
Land as the same as now set forth, bounded and limited as afore- 
said. With all Mines Minerals Quarries Meadows Marshes Sa- 
vannahs Swamps Cripples Woods Underwoods Timber and Trees 
Ways Waters Water Courses Liberties Profits Commodities Ad- 
vantages Hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto 
belonging or in any wise appertaining and lying within the bounds 
and limits aforesaid. Three full and clear fifth parts of all Royal 
Mines free from all deductions and Reprisals for digging and refin- 
ing the same and also one-fifth part of the ore of all other mines 
delivered at the pitts-mouth only excepted and hereby reserved and 
also free leave right and liberty to and for the said Michael Ever- 
hard and Joseph Everhard, their Heirs and Assigns to Hawk Hunt 
Fish and shoot in and upon the hereby granted Land and Premises 
or upon any part thereof. To have and to hold the said one hun- 
dred and thirteen Acres and seventy Perches of Land and Premises 
hereby granted (except as before excepted) with their appur- 
tenances unto the said Michael Everhard and Joseph Everhard 
their Heirs and Assigns forever. In trust nevertheless and for 
the use of the Minister Elders and Congregation for the time being 
of the said reformed Calvinist Society and their Successors settled 
and to be settled from time to time in the said two several Town- 
ships of Upper and Lower Milford and to and for no other use or 

214 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

purpose whatsoever to be holden of us our Heirs and Successors, 
Proprietaries of Pennsylvania as of our Manor of Tamor in the 
County of Northampton aforesaid in free and common Socage by 
Fealty only in lieu of all other services. Yielding and paying 
thereof Yearly unto our Heirs and Successors at the Town of Easton 
in the County aforesaid at or upon the first day of March in every 
year from the first day of Marsh last one-half Penny sterling for 
every acre of the same or value thereof in coin current according as 
the exchange shall then be between our said Province and the City 
of London to such Person or Persons as shall from time to time be 
appointed to receive the same and in case of non-payment thereof 
within ninety da3's next after the same shall become due then it 
shall and may be lawful for us our Heirs and Successors our and 
their receiver or receivers unto and upon hereby granted Land and 
Premises To-Re-enter and the same to hold Possess until the said 
quit-rent and all arrears thereof together with the charges accruing 
by means of such non-payment and Re-entry be fully paid and dis- 

Witness James Hamilton Esquire Lieutenant Governor of the 
said Province, who by virtue of certain powers and authorities to 
him for this purpose (inter alia) granted by the said Proprietaries 
hath hereunto set his Hand and caused the Great Seal of the said 
Province to be hereunto Affixed at Philadelphia this sixteenth day 
of December in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and sixty two. The Third Year of the Reign of King George 
the Third over Great Britain. 


W ,in i ju iT u>'ti » T ^t i i Tnjn,MU 'w n iii*w 
~ .t ,nu > \ , I, \ i 'n ii iij,;m^ 

»VUiwn.i.^tiiM>^iiwwii|!iiinw ii i <mr 


Ministry of Rev. John Theobald Faber, Sr., 

AFTER four years of supplies, the congrega- 
tions were again provided with a regular 
pastor in the fall of 1766. It was the Rev. 
John Theobald Faber, Sr. 
He was born February 13, 1739, at Zo- 
zenheim, south of Bingen, at one time in the 
Palatinate, but now in the archduchy of Hesse. He ma- 
triculated at Heidelberg University, February 5, 1760, as 
student of philosophy and theology. 

His examination as candidate for the ministry took place 
at Heidelberg on April 20, 1763. Three years later he 
left the Palatinate for Holland. At his departure he re- 
quested and secured the following certificate :^^^ 

Inasmuch as the Consistory of the Electoral Palatinate has 
learned with special pleasure that the Palatine Candidate for the 
Ministry, Faber of Zotzenheim, according to the commission given 
to him, intends to go to America as minister, therefore his petition 
made to us yesterday, namely that his eventual return to his father- 
ly* The German text is given, with several misprints, in Dr. Weiser's 
Monograph, p. 63. 


2i6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

land might not be forbidden to him, is hereby not only granted, 
but on the contrary in such a case special regard shall be given to 
his advancement. In witness whereof the large seal of the Con- 
sistory's Chancery and the usual signatures have been affixed. 
Heidelberg, the 28th of April 1766. 

Consistory of the Electorate Palatinate 

J. W. F. Hads, Antz. 
Seal of the 
Reformed Consistory of the Palatinate. 

On June 27, John Theobald Faber, John George Witt- 
ner, another candidate from Bellheim in the Palatinate, 
and Carolus Lange, a third candidate, from Innsbruck, 
Tyrol, appeared before the deputies, were examined and 
received their commissions and 250 fl. each as traveling 
expenses to America. Their ship left Rotterdam for New 
York on July 10, 1766. They arrived in Pennsylvania In 
September, 1766. 

Shortly after their arrival, Rev. John George Alsentz 
of Germantown wrote Mr. Faber the following letter :^^^ 

Letter of Alsentz to Faber, September 19, 1766. 

Germantown, the 19th of 
September 1766. 
Very Reverend 

and much esteemed Sir! 

My heart is full of thanks to the faithful Father for His 
gracious guidance of your Reverence and your happy arrival in our 
vineyard. My heart rejoices and I congratulate myself because of 
the help that has reached us, which we so much need. I have 

195 This letter is now in the library of the Reformed Theological Semi- 
nary at Lancaster. It was placed at the disposal of the writer, together 
with a number of other letters from the correspondence of Mr. Faber, 
through the courtesy of Prof. Geo. W. Richards, D.D. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 217 

understood that you preached yesterday in Philadelphia and that 
you will come up to me next Sunday. I have accordingly informed 
the Rev. Weyberg that I had announced a communion service and 
that you might choose a sermon fitting for the occasion. If that 
letter should have been delayed, I ask you herewith to make note 
of this. In addition I wish to ask you to notify me whether you 
prefer to preach in the forenoon or afternoon, so that I may be 
governed by your choice. This I may tell you in advance that in 
the morning the church will be best filled, because many people 
live far away. Hence it is the best service for a strange minister 
to be heard. Besides I ask you to inform me whether you are a 
Mr. Faber from Zozenheim and what the names of the other gen- 
tlemen are, 

I remain very respectfully 

Your Reverence's 

Faithful Brother 
Jo. Geo. Alsentz. 
P.S. More orally. Please attribute my brevity to my ill health. 

Faber reached his charge in October, 1766. On Octo- 
ber 21, 1766, he performed his first ministerial act, by 
officiating at a funeral at New Goshenhoppen. He made 
his home at first with Daniel Hiester. On February 29, 
1769, £1.12.10, was paid by the Great Swamp congrega- 
tion as " house rent for the minister to Daniel Hiester."^®* 
This remained the place of his residence probably till he 
married on August 7, 1770, Barbara Rose, daughter of 
Erhardt Rose of Reading. After his marriage he moved 
into the parsonage, built on the glebe land near the New 
Goshenhoppen church.^" 

At the Coetus of 1768, held September 8 to 9, 1768, at 
Easton, Faber reported for the first time the statistics of 
his congregations. Old Goshenhoppen had then 30 fami- 

1°^ According to an entry in the account book of the congregation. 
^^^ See letter of Mr. Schultz, printed above, pp. 184-9; ^sp. p. 187. 

2i8 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

lies, New Goshenhoppen 90, and Great Swamp also 30 
families. He had baptized during the preceding year 60 
and confirmed 22. These figures increased only slightly 
during the next four years. Thus in 1771 he reported 40 
families at Old Goshenhoppen, 90 at New Goshenhoppen 
and 40 at Great Swamp, 63 baptized and 25 confirmed. 
It is, however, remarkable that in his report of 1773 the 
sum total of his membership jumps from 170 families in 
1772 to 260 in 1773, together with 87 baptized and 36 
confirmed. In the last year of his pastorate, 1779, the 
figures were 270 members in the three congregations, 69 
baptisms and 48 confirmed. Complete statistics cannot be 
given from the Coetus Minutes, as the reports for two 
years (1774 and 1778) are missing. 

It may, however, serve a useful purpose to give a sum- 
mary of his pastoral activity on the basis of the various 
church records. Into them he entered 764 baptisms, 262 
funerals and 127 weddings. The record for the separate 
congregations stands as follows : 

At New Goshenhoppen he entered from January, 1767, 
till October 6, 1779, 312 baptisms; he officiated from Oc- 
tober 21, 1766, till August 5, 1779, at 126 funerals, and 
married from March 3, 1767, till September 30, 1779, 
56 couples. His first class of catechumens was confirmed 
on April 17, 1767, his last on April 2, 1779. 

At Old Goshenhoppen he recorded from November, 
1766, till September 24, 1779, 282 baptisms; from De- 
cember 26, 1766, till October 18, 1778, he held 82 
funerals; and from January 20, 1767, till October 5, 1779, 
he officiated at 52 weddings. 

At Great Swamp he baptized from November 19, 1766, 
till October 27, 1779, 170 children; he entered 54 funerals 
from April 21, 1767, till June 11, 1779, and united in 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 219 

marriage 29 couples from March 5, 1767, till August, 

These entries make it plain that Faber's pastorate ex- 
tended from October, 1766, till October, 1779. 

Faber was honored by the Coetus in being elected its 
secretary in 177 1 and its president in 1772. 

The ability of Faber as a preacher was recognized by 
other congregations than his own. When the congrega- 
tion of Lancaster became vacant in 1769 through the re- 
moval of Mr. Hendel to Tulpehocken, they called Faber. 
The minutes of 1770 state: "The congregation made an 
urgent request for an ordained minister and gave a special 
call to Do. Faber of Goshenhoppen." But since he had 
many scruples with regard to leaving his congregations he 
asked for four weeks' time to consider, which was granted 
him by the Reverend Coetus, and it was at once resolved 
that he might accept the call without waiting for a further 
decision of the Coetus. The Coetal letter of that year, 
written on December 7, 1770, reports that "Faber has 
concluded to remain at Goshenhoppen." 

In 1775 Lancaster became again vacant through the re- 
moval of its pastor, Charles L. Boehm, to Hanover, hence 
the Lancaster congregation renewed its call to Mr. Faber. 
At the Coetus held May 10 to 11, 1775, at Lebanon, "two 
delegates from Lancaster appeared with a written call for 
Do. J. Th. Faber, who, however, could not decide to leave 
his congregations." 

In 1779 the call of the Lancaster congregation was re- 
newed for the third time and was at last accepted by 

Before, however, recounting these final events in the 
ministry of Faber at Goshenhoppen a few other facts 
ought to be mentioned. 

220 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

In 1773 the Minutes of Coetus state: 

Trumbauer Congregation, in Bucks County, which was at first 
served by Do. Gobrecht, and afterwards, from time to time by 
Do. Faber, asked the Reverend Coetus for Do. Gebhard. 

Gobrecht was in Bucks County as pastor of the To- 
hickon charge from 1766 to 1770, hence Faber must have 
supplied that congregation from 1770 to 1772, when Mr. 
Wack became the pastor at Tohickon. 

A remarkable entry in the Coetus Minutes, connecting 
Gobrecht with Great Swamp ought to be mentioned. 
The statistics of 1769 and of 1770 report Gobrecht as 
serving Tohickon, Indian Field and Great Swamp, while 
at the same time Faber is reported as the pastor of Great 
Swamp and, moreover, the Great Swamp church record 
shows that the baptismal entries of Faber at Great Swamp 
run without break through 1769 and 1770 as through all 
the other years from 1766 to 1779. Perhaps the easiest 
way to get rid of this difficulty is to regard it as a simple 
mistake of the clerks of Coetus. Such an explanation 
would seem to be demanded for 1769, where the statistics 
of Gobrecht and Faber follow each other immediately and 
where Gobrecht is said to have reported for Great Swamp 
30 families, 16 baptisms and i catechumen. Incidentally 
the same figures are reported by Faber for Great Swamp. 
Surely there must be a confusion in this case. But what 
caused the confusion in 1770, if there be one, remains 

The progress of the charge under the care of Mr. Faber 
is seen in the fact that during his ministry two of the con- 
gregations built new churches. 

In 1769 the cornerstone was laid and in 1770 a large 
new stone church was completed at New Goshenhoppen. 
















Mill ^W 0W^\ 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 221 

At Old Goshenhoppen a similar stone church was built 
in 1772. In the same year a new parsonage seems to have 
been built at New Goshenhoppen. For in the Old Gosh- 
enhoppen account book we find the following entry in 

Two and Twenty Pounds and eleven shillings were paid by 
Christian Hollebusch for the parsonage at New Goshenhoppen to 
Adam Hillegas and in addition 3 pounds to Abraham Seckler, as 
per receipt, dated June 7, 1772. Thirteen shillings 6 pence were 
paid to me by Ulrich Hertzel on account of the building expenses 
of the parsonage. 

Weygand Pannebecker. 

The organist and schoolmaster at Old Goshenhoppen 
from 1772 to 1778 was Henrich Hemsing, who at first (in 
1772) received five, later six pounds as salary for playing 
the organ. 

The organist at New Goshenhoppen during this period 
is unfortunately not known, but the organ has been pre- 
served and what is more remarkable it is still in use. It 
is probably the oldest organ in use in the Reformed church. 
It was put into the second church in 1770 when it was 
finished. It was built by the well-known organ-builder 
Tannenhauser of Lititz, Lancaster Co., Pa. 

In August, 1779, the congregation at Lancaster sent the 
following call to Mr. Faber:^^^ 

Call of Lancaster Church to Faber. 

Lancaster, August 30, 1779. 

Reverend Sir: — It is without doubt already known to your Rev- 
erence, that the Rev. Mr. Helffenstein has left our congregation 
for some time past. In order, therefore, to obtain another pastor, 
the congregation assembled yesterday in the schoolhouse; on which 

198 Weiser, Monograph, p, 67. 

222 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

occasion your Reverence was unanimously elected. If you will, 
then, have the goodness to visit us and preach for us we will be 
very thankful. The Consistory, accordingly resolved, with the 
consent of the congregation, to send the bearer, William Jacob 
Schaefifer, to wait upon you, and urge upon you our call. Should 
you consent to preach a trial sermon, on some day of your own 
choosing, we will then be fully prepared to extend you the proper 
call. To this end, Mr. William Jacob Schaefifer is authorized to 
confer with you in detail. 

Meanwhile we remain your Friends. Done in the name of the 
Consistory of the German Reformed Church, Lancaster, 

Nicholas Job 
William Bush 
ludwig schell. 

But the people at Goshenhoppen were not willing to 
give up their pastor. Hence they framed and forwarded 
a protest to the Coetus. In it they stated that his charge 
"unanimously desires to retain him as their pastor; that he 
is greatly beloved by all, and that he is very useful." 
They furthermore promised "to give him £225 lawful 
money, sixty bushels of wheat and rye, the use of the par- 
sonage, fuel and the hay of a meadow." They expressed 
the hope that the Reverend Coetus " would grant their de- 
sire and allow Mr. Faber to remain with them." 

In spite of this protest, however, Faber left Goshen- 
hoppen In October, 1779. The Coetus Minutes of 178 1 
report: "Mr. Faber has accepted Lancaster. He left 
Goshenhoppen because they did not give him the neces- 
sary support which they were sufficiently able to do." 
This plain statement stands in glaring contrast to the 
promises of the congregations. Indeed the salary of Fa- 
ber as reported for 1770 and 1771 was only £6$. In 
1785 he reported It at £100, while the highest salary any 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 223 

minister of the Coetus received in 1785 was £150. We 
are, therefore, justified in questioning the accuracy of the 
above translation. If a supposition may be ventured, the 
writer would suggest it to be a misprint for £75 or perhaps 
£85. That would be in harmony with general conditions. 

Ministry of Rev. John William Ingold, 1780-178 i. 

OME time in September, 1780, the following 
heading was put over a series of baptisms in 
the Old Goshenhoppen Record: 

" The following children were baptized by 
me, Johann Wilhelm Ingold, pastor loci." 
This heading is followed by fifteen baptismal 
entries, in the handwriting of Ingold, extending from Sep- 
tember, 1780, to July 30, 178 1. These entries introduce 
us to a minister of an entirely different type than his 

On August 4, 1754, "Joh. Wilhelmus Ingoldius " ma- 
triculated in the University of Heidelberg, as a student of 
theology, from Simmern, in the Palatinate, at present in 
the Rhine province, in the " Regierungsbezirk" Koblenz. 
He was ordained at Heidelberg May 10, 1762. He ap- 
peared before the Deputies June i, 1774. He produced 
as his testimonials a letter of recommendation from Hos- 
pital, consistorial councillor at Heidelberg, dated May 23, 
1773. He also had a letter from the German Reformed 
Church of London, where he had been pastor for four 
months, dated February 20, 1774. His credentials were 
found to be sufficient, and he was appointed by the Synod- 
ical Deputies. On June 9, 1774, a letter of introduction 
to the Coetus of Pennsylvania was given to him and 150 fl. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 225 

as traveling expenses. Shortly afterwards he left for 
Pennsylvania, where he arrived in the fall of that year. 
He had a very checkered career. From 1775 to 1790 he 
is mentioned in the Minutes of Coetus, serving in these 
fifteen years no less than seven different charges. His 
whole ministry was filled with quarrels. He paid no re- 
gard either to the resolutions of the Coetus or the wishes 
of his congregations. Hence he was constantly in diffi- 
culty. The verdict of Coetus on his ministry is expressed 
in these words: "Rev. Ingold during his stay with us 
has not conducted himself to the satisfaction of his 

Shortly after his arrival he took Witpen and Worcester 
in Montgomery County. At Witpen (now Boehm's 
Church at Blue Bell) his baptismal entries begin Novem- 
ber 7, 1774, and end May 25, 1775. At Worcester (now 
Wentz's Church) a receipt for salary shows that his min- 
istry there began on November 10, 1774. It lasted for 
one year. At the end of that time the people were unwill- 
ing to continue paying him £75 as salary. 

At the close of the year the congregations offered a smaller sum, 
and said if he should not be satisfied with this they would close the 
church against him. Thereupon Mr. Ingold preached no longer 
for them, but continued to live in the parsonage until he no longer 
dared to remain there. He then moved to another house in the 
neighborhood, where he wholly consumed the gathered crumbs. 
His brethren were sorry for him, gave him oral and written advice, 
and helped him to Saucon. But here again he left immediately 
and went to Easton, hoping to draw the united congregation to 

}^Jj^ 199a 

In Easton his baptismal entries begin on July 7, 1776, 

^^^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 373. 
^^^^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 373. 

226 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

and continue from that date uninterruptedly till March 
17, 1786. It was thus while pastor at Easton that the 
Goshenhoppen charge became vacant and was entered by 
him. The Minutes of 178 1 continue the story: 

Easton being a small congregation and unable to support him, 
and he in addition losing the love of the people, and finally even 
being persecuted, tried to gain the favor of Goshenhoppen. He 
offered to take only as much salary as their kindness and free-will 
would give. The result was that two small congregations [Old 
Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp] allowed him to preach in their 
churches; but the strongest congregation, New Goshenhoppen, pro- 
tested against this, and many persons also in the two smaller con- 
gregations did not want to have anything to do with him, until he 
should be accepted by the three united congregations as their min- 
ister. Nevertheless, Ingold settled among these congregations on 
his own account. Hence there arose the greatest confusion among 
them which a committee of Coetus tried to settle. But Ingold 
opposed and frustrated the attempt of his brethren. When all 
these actions of this man were placed before Coetus, the following 
resolution was adopted : 

a. That the three united congregations shall meet for the elec- 
tion of a minister. Mr. Ingold may be a candidate in this election, 
if the congregations so agree. 

b. That this action be recommended, in writing, to the congre- 
gations and Mr. Ingold likewise be advised to help in bringing 
about this election ; otherwise the Coetus will be compelled to take 
extreme steps in his case. 

When Coetus met again on May i, 1782, at Reading, 
they report: 

Mr. Ingold, who was not present at the Reverend Coetus, having 
left the congregations in Goshenhoppen half a year ago, informed 
the Reverend Coetus by a letter presented by an elder, that he had 
begun to serve the congregations Easton, Dryland and Greenwich. 
The Reverend Coetus was obliged to approve of this action, because 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 227 

for several years it has been thought advisable to allow all vacant 
congregations to call a minister of the Coetus according to their 
pleasure; even as a minister is also at liberty to accept such con- 
gregations at pleasure. 

This entry shows that Ingold left Goshenhoppen about 
November, 178 1, probably because the election was unfa- 
vorable to him. 

The activity of Ingold in the Goshenhoppen charge can 
only be traced at Old Goshenhoppen. Besides the bap- 
tisms, to which reference has already been made, he en- 
tered a class of catechumens (22 boys and 19 girls) into 
the record on April 21, 178 1. Besides, he signed the ac- 
count of the treasurer on May 18, 178 1, with A. M. Ache, 
the schoolmaster. 

At Great Swamp different hands entered eleven baptisms 
from September 18, 1780, till July 22, 178 1. According 
to the minutes of the Coetus of May, 178 1, Caspar 
Wack,^*^*^ pastor of Tohickon and Indianfield, was supply- 
ing the Swamp church. In the minutes of the Coetus of 
1782, held May i, 1782, at Reading, we read: 

The congregations Tohickon, Indianfield and Great Swamp, 
which, by the departure of Mr. Wack, had become vacant, asked, 
through delegates for another minister. The Reverend Coetus 
could do nothing but give these congregations liberty to call a 

200 Caspar Wack was the son of John George Wack, who arrived at 
Philadelphia on September i6, 1748. Caspar Wack was born at Phila- 
delphia August 15, 1752. He was educated by Rev. Caspar Weyberg; 
licensed by Coetus in 1770; catchist at Lancaster, 1770-71; ordained June, 
1772. His first pastorate was at Tohickon and Indianfield. 1772-1782, to 
which Nacomixon was added in 1773. He was pastor of German Valley, 
Foxhill and Rockaway, N. J., 1782-1809; of Germantown and White- 
marsh, 1809-1821; of Whitemarsh alone 1821-23. He died at Trappe, 
Montgomery County, July 19, 1839. See Harbaugh, Fathers, Vol. U, pp. 
173-192; Good, History, pp. 570-72. 

2 28 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

During this period we find at New Goshenhoppen 17 
baptisms recorded from June 18, 1780, till March 12, 
178 1. Most of these entries are in the handwriting of 
the Rev. John Henry Helffrich,^^^ then pastor of Maxa- 
tawny, Heidelberg, Lowhill, Upper Milford, and Salz- 
burg, all of which, except the first, are located in Lehigh 
County. He was one of the strong men of Coetus, who 
did much to uphold order and religion in his own as well 
as in neighboring congregations. 

After Ingold left Easton in 1786, he went to Reading. 
His call to that congregation is dated September 14, 1786. 
After serving that congregation for a year and a half, 
which was rich in quarrels, he left it in April, 1788. 
Coetus does not want to put all the blame on him, but re- 
marks that "a repulsive conduct is likely to bring about 
such consequences." From there he went to Indianfield, 
Tohickon and Trumbauers. At Indianfield his baptismal 
entries run from June 19, 1788, till November i, 1789. 
While pastor there, he lost his wife. He himself made 
the following entry in the Indianfield record: 

"March 29 [1789], Mrs. Catharine Barbara Ingold, 
wife of the pastor died, aged 40 years, 6 months, 3 weeks 
and 4 days." At the meeting of Coetus held in June, 
1790, he is reported as having been "rejected by his con- 
gregations." After that his name appears only once more 
in the ofiicial records of the church. It was to make his 

201 John Henry Helfrich was born at Mosbach in the Palatinate, October 
22, 1739. He matriculated at Heidelberg University, February 2, 1758. 
He was ordained in September, 1761 ; became assistant pastor to his father 
at Sinsheim and Rohrbach ; was then vicar at Reyen, Kirchhard and Stein- 
furth; was commissioned for Pennsylvania July, 1771; arrived at New 
York January 14, 1772. He was pastor of the Maxatawny charge all his 
life, 1772-1810, which consisted among others of Lowhill, Heidelberg, 
Kutztown, etc. He died December 5, 1810. See Helffrich, Geschichte, 
pp. 73-86; Harbaugh, Fathers, Vol. II, pp. 240-251. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 229 

separation from the church complete and final. In 1801 
Synod notified him that by his continued absence he had 
excluded himself from the church. His name was there- 
fore dropped.^*'^ 

202 For sketches of Ingold's life see Harbaugh, Fathers, Vol. II, p. 399 f. ; 
Good, History, pp. 561-563; Miller, History of the Reformed Church in 
Reading, pp. 86-90. 


Ministry of Rev. Frederick Delliker, 178 2-1 784. 

AT the same meeting of Coetus, at which the 
departure of Ingold from Goshenhoppen 
was announced, we also find the announce- 
ment of the arrival of a new pastor. 
Mr. Daelliker informed Coetus why he had left his 
former field in New Jersey, including the congrega- 
tions Rockaway, Valley, Foxhill, and a few months ago, accepted 
a call from the congregations of Goshenhoppen. 

Frederick Delliker (or Dalliker) was descended from 
an old Zurich family. They became citizens in Zurich, 
1376. During the seventeenth century there were at 
least three ministers in the family. The coat of arms of 
the family showed a man with two burning candles in his 
hands. This design was based on the name of the family 
which was originally "Talliker," meaning the "candle 
maker" (cf. the German Talg and the English tallow). 
These facts, taken from the " Lexicon Geographicum- 
Stemmatographicum "^"^ in Zurich, dispose entirely of the 
old tradition that the name of the family was originally 

-03 In the city library at Zurich, Msc. E. 54; Vol. II, pp. 5-8; cf. also 
above, p. 97, note 107. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 231 

De la Cour and that he was, therefore, of Huguenot de- 
scent. The family was rather an old Swiss family and 
could not possibly have been Huguenot. What actually 
happened was that Frederick Delliker adopted for a time, 
while in French services, a French name. 

Hans Rudolph Dalliker, the father of Frederick Dalli- 
ker, was a painter and in 1750 became " Oberster Salz- 
hausdiener," which position was probably equivalent to 
the manager of the saltworks. His mother was Maria 
von Brunn of Basel, who married his father on March 23, 
1732. She died March 23, 1754, while the father died 
April 23, 1769, at Schaffhausen. 

Frederick Delliker was born in 1738, according to the 
Zurich records. Dr. Harbaugh^°^ gives February 2, 
1738, as the date of his birth, but that cannot be correct. 
His tombstone at Falkner Swamp states that he died Jan- 
uary 15, 1799, aged 60 years, 10 months and 17 days,^"^ 
hence the date of birth must have been February 27, 1738. 
According to the genealogical records in Zurich, Fred- 
erick Dalliker was ordained in 1757. In the year follow- 
ing (1758)? he became German " Diakon," or assistant 
minister in Geneva. In 1760 he became chaplain of the 
French regiment " Lochmann." It was while he was a 
French chaplain that he assumed temporarily the name De 
la Cour. The French name never appears in his later 
life. In 1766 he left French services. 

In December, 1766, he arrived at Amsterdam, and on 
April 17, 1767, he appeared before the Classical Commis- 
sioners. In May his presence and application for service 
in Pennsylvania was announced to the Synodical Deputies. 
He was examined at the Hague, June 25, 1767, signed 

204 Harbaugh, Fathers, Vol. II, p. 382. 

-05 Roth, History of the Falkner Sivamp Reformed Church, 1904, p. 37. 

232 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

the formula of unity and was given his commission. 
When he arrived in Pennsylvania in the fall of 1767 
(probably October), he was sent to Amwell, New Jersey, 
now at Ringoes, Hunterdon County, N. J. In 1768 Ger- 
mantown gave him a call but he declined it and announced 
that he had determined to serve, in addition to Amwell, 
Alexandria (Mt. Pleasant), Rockaway (Lebanon), Fox- 
hill (Fairmount) and German Valley, four new congrega- 
tions, which asked " to be taken into the fellowship of 
Coetus." At Rockaway his entries begin in the church 
record on November 6, 1768.^"® In 1769 charges were 
brought against him at Amwell, as a result of which he 
left Amwell, but continued to serve the other congrega- 
tions. The statistics of 1769 report him as unmarried, 
residing at Rockaway, and serving the four congregations 
mentioned above. 

Delliker continued as pastor in New Jersey until the 
spring of 1782, when, through the departure of Ingold 
from Goshenhoppen, these congregations had become va- 
cant. In May, 1782, he informed Coetus that he had 
gone to Goshenhoppen " a few months ago." In entire 
harmony with this statement we find that his baptismal 
entries begin at New Goshenhoppen on March 3, 1782, 
at Great Swamp on March 10, and at Old Goshenhoppen 
on March 17, 1782. On June 6, 1783, he signed a re- 
ceipt for salary at Old Goshenhoppen from February i, 
1782, to February i, 1783. This fixes the beginning of 
his ministry definitely as February i, 1782. On May i, 
1782, Delliker made the following report of his congre- 
gations: " 170 families, 33 baptisms, 35 confirmed and 3 
schools." This is the first definite evidence in the Coetus 
Minutes that each of the three congregations had a paro- 
chial school. 

206 Chambers, Early Germans in Nets) Jersey, p. 105 f. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 233 

At the meeting of Coetus on May 14, 1783, in Phila- 
delphia, Delliker is reported as supplying six congrega- 
tions in New Jersey, part of them his former charge, 
Rockaway, Valley and Foxhill, also in part Nolton, Hart- 
wick and Newton. At the same time he made detailed 
report about the three congregations of which he was the 
regular pastor. Of New Goshenhoppen he reported 95 
families, 37 baptized, 17 confirmed, 2 schools with 48 
scholars; of Old Goshenhoppen 45 families, 18 baptized, 
8 confirmed, i school with 32 scholars; of Great Swamp 
37 families, 12 baptized, 26 confirmed, i school with 31 
scholars. Unfortunately we know nothing more of the 
two schools at New Goshenhoppen. 

The pastoral activity of Delliker in the Goshenhoppen 
charge can be summed up as follows: 141 baptisms, 21 
funerals and 16 weddings. The record for each of the 
churches is as follows: 

At New Goshenhoppen he entered 77 baptisms, begin- 
ning on March 3, 1782, and ending March 21, 1784. 
There were 12 funerals from June 5, 1783, to March 11, 
1784, and 7 weddings from March 24, 1782, to March 
16, 1784. 

At Old Goshenhoppen he officiated at 30 baptisms from 
March 17, 1782, to January 18, 1784, at 4 funerals from 
February 12, 1783, to January 15, 1784, and at 5 wed- 
dings from August 6, 1782, to May 20, 1783. 

At Great Swamp he had 34 baptisms from March 10, 

1782, till March 18, 1784, 5 funerals from April 17, 

1783, and 4 weddings from April 23, 1782, to April i, 


From these summaries it is apparent that the pastoral 
activity of Delliker at Goshenhoppen extended from 
March, 1782, till March, 1784. During this time he was 

234 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

not, as has been commonly reported, the pastor at Falkner 
Swamp. The ministry of Rev. Nicholas Pomp came to 
an end at Falkner Swamp after the meeting of Coetus on 
May 14, 1783, when he is still reported as pastor of Falk- 
ner Swamp and Vincent. He did not leave these congre- 
gations till the fall of 1783 for Baltimore. Pomp's first 
baptismal entry made in the Baltimore records was on Sep- 
tember 15, 1783, and he himself states in that record that 
he preached his installation sermon [Eintrittspredigt] on 
the first Sunday of September, 1783. 

In the spring of 1784, Delliker was called to Falkner 
Swamp to become Pomp's successor. Delliker's first en- 
try in the Swamp records was made on April 9, 1784. At 
the Coetus meeting held on May 12, 1784, Delliker is 
reported as having gone from Goshenhoppen to Falkner 

He remained pastor of Falkner Swamp and Vincent to 
the end of his life. He died at Falkner Swamp June 15, 
1799, and was buried in the Falkner Swamp graveyard.^*^®* 

He was a prominent member of Coetus, as is seen from 
the fact that he was the secretary of Coetus in 1774, 1783, 
1786, 1788, 1789, and its president in 1775, 1787 and 
1790. In 1789 he had the honor, as secretary of Coetus, 
to send a congratulatory address to Washington, on having 
been elected first president of the United States. ^'^''^ 

An old man who personally remembered him described 
him to Dr. Jos. H. Dubbs as "a little, good-humored, red- 
faced man, with a shock of white hair."^"^ 

206a While pastor at Falkner Swamp Frederick Delliker married Maria 
Juvenal, October 12, 1786. The marriage is recorded in the church record 
of the First Reformed Church at Philadelphia (see Pennsylvania Archives, 
2d Series, Vol. VIII, p. 663) and also in the Falkner Swamp Record, see 
Pennsylvania Archives, I. c, p. 603. 

-^"^ Minutes of Coetus, p. 434. 

-'^^ Dubbs, Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, p. 195. 


Ministry of Rev. Frederick William Van Der 
Sloot, 1784-1786. 

AT the meeting of Coetus, held May 12, 1784, 
in Lancaster, "the congregations of Old and 
New Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp re- 
quest Do. Frederick William Van der Sloot 
for their pastor. This Van der Sloot was 
born in Anhalt-Zerbst, and, according to his 
testimonials, has preached frequently, as candidate of the- 
ology, in the Cathedral of Berlin. For two and a half 
years he acted as inspector of the Joachlmsthal Gymna- 
sium. As his other circumstances are the same as those of 
Do. Wynckhaus, mentioned In the previous article (they 
were not sent by the Fathers in Holland), the same action 
was taken regarding him ; that he shall minister to the said 
congregations until we have ascertained the opinion of the 
Reverend Fathers." 

The new minister at Goshenhoppen seemed by descent 
and training well fitted for his position and work. 

He was descended from a ministerial family. Both his 
grandfather as well as his father had been ministers before 
him. His grandfather, Friederlch von der Schloth, was 
pastor at Barby on the Elbe River, southeast of Magde- 


236 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

I^yj-g 208a Y{\s father, Friedrich Heinrich von der Schlott, 
was pastor of the Reformed church of Aken, 1725 to 
1743, and of St. Nikolai at Zerbst, in the principality of 
Anhalt-Zerbst, from 1743 to 175 1. While pastor of this 
church he married Sophia Wilhelmine von Boiler, August 
20, 1743. Their only son was Philip Wilhelm Frederick 
von der Sloot, born in Zerbst, September 27, 1744. Ap- 
parently later in life he changed his Christian name to 
Frederick William. He studied for the ministry and be- 
came pastor of Zornitz, Poetnitz, Scholitz and Nauendorf 
in the province of Brandenburg. Later he was conrector 
of the Latin school at Dessau and then for two and a half 
years Inspector of the Joachimsthal Gymnasium in Berlin. 
There he married, May 5, 1772, Louisa Henrietta, 
daughter of the Rev. Prof. Schultz, professor in the same 

According to his great-grandson, ^'^^ he came to Pennsyl- 
vania in 1779 or 1780, leaving his wife and family (one 
son at least) in Germany. His first charge was in Allen 
township, Northampton County. 

In April, 1784, he came into the Goshenhoppen charge. 
At Great Swamp he entered the first baptism on April 18, 
1784, at New Goshenhoppen on April 25, 1784, and at 
Old Goshenhoppen on May 2, 1784. At New Goshen- 
hoppen he entered 21 baptisms between April 25, 1784, 
and November 21, 1784; at Old Goshenhoppen 6 baptisms 
between May 2, 1784, and October 14, 1784, and at 
Great Swamp 16 baptisms between April 18, 1784, and 
May 14, 1786. 

The reason for the sudden termination of his work at 

208a The antecedents and history of Mr. Van der Sloot have been cleared 
up by one of his descendants, Lewis Vandersloot, who in 1901 published 
the History and Genealogy of the Von der Sloot Family, Harrisburg, 1901, 
pp. 68; see especially pp. 9-17. 

209 L. c, p. 16. 

Histo?-y of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 237 

New and Old Goshenhoppen Is furnished by the Coetus 
Minutes of 1785, which read: 

As was stated in Art. VI of last year's minutes, Fred. Wm. Van 
der Sloot preached at Old and New Goshenhoppen and Great 
Swamp. The former two congregations have now locked the 
churches against him on account of a very disgraceful and unlawful 
act ; but the latter congregation, namely Great Swamp, still allows 
him to preach. This was the deed. He had left a wife and child 
in Germany, but married here a single woman. A short time after 
his marriage it became known through his own statements that he 
had another wife, whereupon his father-in-law took his daughter 
back to his home. Then Van der Sloot was locked out by the two 
Goshenhoppen churches. 

In corroboration of this statement we find the following 
entry in the New Goshenhoppen record, made by Van der 
Sloot himself: 

June 29, [1784], Rev, Daliker married me, Friedrich Wilhelm 
Von der Sloot, only son of Friedrich Heinrich Von der Sloot, late 
minister in Anhalt-Zerbst, Germany to Anna Margaretha Riedt, 
oldest daughter of Jacob Ried of Hatfield township, Philadelphia 

Judging by the church records, the ministry of Van der 
Sloot at Great Swamp ended in May, 1786. There was 
a baptism as late as May 14, and a funeral on April 3, 
1786, by Van der Sloot. But it is possible that he was 
then merely a visitor, for even at the Coetus meeting of 
April 27 to 28, 1785, Faber reported Tohickon, Indian- 
field and Great Swamp as the congregations which he was 
then serving. The actual removal of Faber, however, to 
the Goshenhoppen field did not take place till the spring 
of the following year. 

Van der Sloot meanwhile returned to Northampton 
County, where he ministered to congregations in Allen, 
Moore and Lehigh townships. He died there in 1803. 


Second Ministry of John Theobald Faber, Sr., 



E left Faber In 1779 as pastor of the Re- 
formed Church in Lancaster. He began 
his work there in November, 1779, but he 
stayed hardly three years. The city life 
evidently contrasted unfavorably to his 
mind with the quiet country life in the 
Goshenhoppen valley. He became restless and homesick. 
One evidence of this is that the consistorial minutes were 
almost entirely neglected during his ministry. He, there- 
fore, determined to return to the lower counties as soon as 

In September, 178 1, the Indianfield and Tohickon con- 
gregations in Bucks County became vacant through the 
removal of Rev. Caspar Wack. Hence Faber accepted a 
call to that field, only fifteen miles from his former charge. 
His ministry at Indianfield began on July 14, 1782; at 
least on that day he entered his first baptism into the In- 
dianfield record. From that time till April 27, 1786, he 
recorded 57 baptisms in the Indianfield record. The 
latter date must have marked approximately the end of his 
ministry in that field, for in May, 1786, his entries begin 
in the New Goshenhoppen record. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 239 

On May 17 to 18, 1786, the minutes of Coetus report: 

J. Theobald Faber left Indianfield, Tohickon and Trumbauer's 
Church and accepted his former congregations of Old Goshenhop- 
pen, New Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp. 

Apparently he was very happy to get back to his first 
friends. Dr. Weiser has preserved a tradition^^*^ that on 
the day of his return his parishioners had gathered in the 
parsonage to welcome him. 

When nearing the premises, he stood up in a large wagon, and 
with uncovered head cried out: " Ihr Goschenhoppener! Ich ver- 
lass euch in meinem Leben nicht mehr. Hier will ich leben und 

The reunion was a happy one and resulted well for pas- 
tor and people. In 1787 Faber reported of his three con- 
gregations 230 families, 76 baptized, 93 confirmed and 78 
scholars in the schools. The whole record for his second 
pastorate at Goshenhoppen is as follows: 179 baptisms, 
67 burials and 28 weddings. Unfortunately his ministry 
was not of long duration. His death was sudden and 
unexpected. The Coetal letter of 1789 gives us a con- 
temporaneous record of it:^" 

We have to report that the Lord has taken from us a brother, 
namely Do. Theobald Faber, late minister in New Goshenhoppen 
and Great Swamp. His departure was unexpected. On Novem- 
ber 2, 1788, a deathly weakness attacked him while in the pulpit. 
Having finished half of the sermon, he, with difficulty, repeated the 
Lord's Prayer, He was then carried from the pulpit and an hour 
and a half later died in the school-house. It was remarkable that 
his sermon was on death, for he was just preaching on Jairus' 

210 Weiser, Monograph, p. 74. 

211 The traditional account given by Dr. Weiser, Monograph, p. 74 f., 
varies from this statement in several interesting particulars; cf. Minutes 
of Coetus, p. 431. 

240 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

daughter, Matt. IX being the gospel lesson of that day. How 
dear he was to his people is proved by the fact that, altogether 
contrary to the custom of this country, they gave him a burial-place 
under the altar, also that they desired his oldest son for his suc- 
cessor, if this is at all possible. 

The elder Weiser placed a memorial tablet over his 
remains with this inscription : 

TRiTT leise! 







His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. 
Blumer, then pastor at Allentown. His text was He- 
brews 13 : 17. 

Mr. Faber left behind him a wife and seven children, 
whom the congregation permitted to remain In the par- 
sonage for several years. They also aided his oldest son 
in his studies to become his father's successor. 

To Dr. C. Z. Weiser, Mr. Faber was described as " a 
man of small, portly figure, full of vivacity and jovial." 

His widow married again, a Mr. Christian Sheldt of 
Sumneytown. She outlived even her second husband and 
died, 82 years old, In the home of her son-in-law, Dr. 
Tobias Sellers. ^^^ 

212 Weiser, Monograph, p. 75 f. 


Ministry of Rev. Nicholas Pomp, 1789-1792. 

AFTER the death of Mr. Faber the congrega- 
gations of the Goshenhoppen charge were 
for more than a year without a regular pas- 
tor. An entry in the Old Goshenhoppen 
records throws some light on this period : 

After the death of the sainted Mr. Faber, when the congrega- 
tion was without a minister, the following children were baptized, 
some by Mr. Roller, some by the ministers who visited this congre- 
gation, and, at the request of the parents, their names were entered 
by Johann Daniel Jung, schoolmaster. 

Rev. Conrad Roeller was from 1772 to 1799 the pastor 
of the Old Goshenhoppen Lutheran congregation. Four 
baptisms were entered by Mr. Jung from February to No- 
vember, 1789. 

In the New Goshenhoppen record the history is con- 
tinued by the next pastor: 

After the Rev. J. Theobald Faber had died unexpectedly on 

November 2, 1788, and the congregation had been without a pastor 

for more than a year, I, N. [Nicholas] Pomp, was called to serve 

in his place and commenced my ministry here, in the name of God, 

17 241 

242 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

in these congregations, in the beginning of the month of December 

Dr. Weiser in his " History "-^^ has preserved an Inter- 
esting letter of Mr. Pomp, which reveals his spirit and the 
conditions under which he entered upon his work in the 
new field. It reads as follows : 

Letter of Rev. N. Pomp to the Goshenhoppen Churches. 

Baltimore, Md., October 2nd, 1789. 
To the three united Consistories at Old and New Goshenhoppen 
and Great Swamp: 

Since it has seemed good to the Rev. Ministers, Hendel, Del- 
licker and HelfFrich, that I should supply the three congregations 
of your charge, now without a pastor, I have concluded to lay 
before [you] certain conditions, without compliance therewith, I 
could not under any considerations acquiesce in 5^our wish. 

First: The Widow and Family of the late Pastor Faber, still 
abiding among you, must not be made to suffer any sacrifice by my 
coming. The sainted Faber and I were bosom friends, and I can, 
therefore, rejoice the more over the warm and true regard which 
the charge has manifested toward his bereaved household, from love 
to his memory. 

Secondly : The membership must prove of one mind in the choice 
of myself as their temporary pastor. I cannot tolerate any dispute 
to arise, and will not consent to serve, unless the people are a unit. 

Thirdly: No definite period of time must be fixed. I shall labor 
solely for the welfare of the flock, and in the same spirit in which 
I served at Falconer Swamp. As soon as you determine upon the 
services of the young Faber, or of any other devoted Pastor, I wish 
it in my power freely to relinquish the field in his favor. 

Fourthly: In regard to Parsonage and Salary I shall say nothing 
I will leave all that over to yourselves, and agree to be satisfied 
with what you consider right and just. My family is small — 

213 L. c, pp. 77-79. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 243 

myself and wife. We need no roomy house then. It will not 
prove a hard task, I think, to find a spot for me to occupy. 

Fifthly: My removal will not be attended with much trouble 
and expense, as my goods can be conveyed by water from Balti- 
more to Philadelphia, and thence by wagons. 

The Consistories ought to assemble and deliberate over these 
several points. The matter is very important, and concerns the 
welfare of many souls, whose interests suffer in consequence of 
your want of a regular Minister. Consider well and prayerfully. 
May you be guided in determining on the wisest course. You can 
forward the result of your deliberations to Pastor Weyberg, who 
will report to me. 

I am affectionately yours, 
N. Pomp. 

According to Dr. Weiser, the joint consistory met at the 
parsonage on October 24th, concluded to comply with Mr. 
Pomp's conditions and extended to him a unanimous call, 
which he promptly accepted. In the beginning of the 
month of December, 1789, he moved into his new field. 

Nicholas Pomp was one of the strong and influential 
men of the Reformed Church and deserves a more ex- 
tended notice. About his life in Europe Mr. Pomp him- 
self has left a short, but fragmentary autobiographical 
sketch, which we reproduce in full In an English trans- 
lation r^^^ 

Autobiography of the Rev. Nicholas Pomp. 

I, Nicolaus Pomp, have deemed it well to write up an account 
of my life so that my late descendants may be able to read and see 
how their ancestor has fared in this world. 

I saw the light of day in Manbvichel, then in the Duchy of 

-1* It was formerly in possession of Dr. Jos. H. Dubbs, who published it 
in part in his Reformed Church in Pejiiisylvania, pp. 190-192. It is now 
in possession of the writer. 

244 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Zweibriicken, January 20, 1734. My honored father was Peter 
Pomp. My dear mother Elisa, his lawful wife. These parents 
brought me on the fourth day after my birth to holy Baptism, 
After which only this is to be noted that for three years I lay sick, 
as my parents told me. Nevertheless I got well again, so that I 
could go to school and was able to work. In my 14th year I had 
read the Bible several times and was also able to recite the Heidel- 
berg Catechism. Catechetical instruction, which I received from 
ministers, was so effective that I became a new man and loved the 
triune God heartily. With worldly people I did not want to 
have anything to do. Hence I sought solitude, where I could 
pour out my soul to God and in which my soul took much delight. 
My only desire for the world was this, that I might become a min- 
ister, whereby I could call sinners to repentance. But my father 
did not want to consent to it, because it would cost him too much 
to let me study, without which I could not become a minister. 
He, therefore, urged me against my will to take to tailoring, which 
trade means constant sitting and which, after a few years, under- 
mined my health completely. Hence my father did not insist that 
I should continue this trade, but gave me the permission to study, 
so that in time I might become a minister, if my health and his 
resources would permit it. 

I was now 20 years of age when my studying began with all 
seriousness. I spent a period of four years in school, where I learnt 
Latin and Greek as well as Hebrew pretty thoroughly. Then ( in 
the 24th year of my age) I went to Marburg, in Hesse, to study 
theology in the university. 

Here there is a break in the manuscript, the lower part 
of the page being torn off. The story is continued on the 
next page : 

Although they had before been inclined to disparage me, being 
unwilling to make me a candidate [of theology], now so were so 
well disposed towards to me, that without my request they were 
ready to assist in my ordination and introduction into the ministry. 
When information came from Holland that the Synod there wished 

History of Goshenhoppcn Reformed Charge. 245 

to promote me to the ministry in America, I was ordained in the 
city of Cassel and sent with an excellent testimonial to Holland. 
The Synods examined me and, because they found me well quali- 
fied, they gave me 535 guilders for traveling expenses and a good 
recommendation to the congregations in America, which I was 
expected to serve. I was 15 weeks on the ocean from Holland to 
Philadelphia, where I arrived December 8, 1765. 

At the same time my ministry in Falkner Swamp and Vincent 
began. After I had spent seven years with these congregations, I 
married Elisabeth Dotterer,-^^ a widow with six children and no 
property, but we lived happily together. I was not rich either, 
but we had as much as we needed day by day. One son was born 
to us in wedlock, who remained our only child and whom I called 
Thomas.^^^ After we had raised him, I myself educated him for 
the ministry as well as I could. He became indeed a minister and 
has been a great comfort to myself and his mother. 

About my life I would have to say much at this place if I wished 
to relate everything that happened to me at Falkner Swamp. I 

215 On the same paper on which his autobiography is written, Nicholas 
Pomp gives also a brief sketch of the life of his wife. Her maiden name 
was Elizabeth Antes, born January 29 (or February 9, new style), 1734, 
at Falkner Swamp. Rev. John Philip Boehm baptized her (see Perkiomen 
Region, I, 51). Her father was Henry Antes and her mother Christina, 
nee Dewees. When eight years old she was taken to Bethlehem, where 
she stayed till her twelfth year. In May, 1754, she married George Philip 
Dotterer, with whom she had six children, two sons and four daughters. 
Her husband died August 23, 1771. She married again, April 23, 1772, 
Rev. Nicholas Pomp, with whom she had one son, Thomas Pomp. She 
died at Easton, May 20, 1812. See also T/ie Dotterer Family, by H. S. 
Dotterer, p. 65 f. 

216 Thomas Pomp was born February 4, 1773 in Skippack township, 
Montgomery County. He studied under his father, was examined and 
ordained in 1795. In the following year he became pastor of the Easton 
charge, then consisting of Easton, Plainfield, Dryland and Mt. Bethel. 
In place of the last Lower Saucon was substituted after some years. He 
remained pastor of this charge for fifty-six years, much beloved and highly 
respected by his people. He died at Easton April 22, 1852. See Heisler, 
Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. IV, pp. 15-30. 

246 The PeuHsylvania-Gcrvian Society. 

only want to say this, that I remained 18 years in the service of 
this congregation and then I accepted a call to Baltimore in 1783. 
My departure from Falkner Swamp caused much bitterness and 
sadness among the people, for the welfare of whose souls I had 
cared so long and so earnestly. Hardly a single person wanted to 
be satisfied with my removal, although they could soon get another 
and perhaps a better preacher. Yet they were not satisfied with it. 
I also went away with a sad heart, but with the thought that I 
had done more good among these people than I had believed before. 
In Baltimore I could only stand it for six years [1783— 1789] 
and, although I did my best to build up this congregation, I was 
unkble to stay any longer with a quarreling church. For the new 
church which they had to build, caused a division into two parties 
and I could side with only one party. . . . [The rest of the manu- 
script is torn off.] 

At the meeting of the Coetus, held June 7-8, 1790, at 
Falkner Swamp, 

the three united congregations in Goshenhoppen sent their dele- 
gates with a call for Do. Pomp, thus far minister in Baltimore. 
They desired to have him as their regular pastor in place of Do. 
Faber, deceased. But, as the parsonage of the congregation is still 
occopied by the widow of Do. Faber, whom one would not like to 
drive out, the congregations are advised to provide a house for Do. 
Pomp, and to continue the kindness towards the widow, as far as 

At the same meeting Pomp reported about his new con- 
gregations. There were 200 families, 40 baptized, 52 
confirmed, 3 schools with 120 scholars. 

But the ministry of Pomp at Goshenhoppen was of short 
duration. At New Goshenhoppen his baptisms extend 
from November 26, 1789, to July 25, 1790, and his wed- 
dings from December, 1789, to August 10, 1790. At 
Great Swamp ten baptisms were entered by him from Jan- 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 247 

uary 3, 1790, to June 18, 1790. Only at Old Goshen- 
hoppen his ministry seems to have been longer. His bap- 
tismal entries there extend from January 3, 1790, to May 
28, 1792. The annual financial settlement at Old Gosh- 
enhoppen, made on July 19, 1791, was written by Mr. 
Pomp. But one of the items of the account was "£2. 5s. 
for fire wood for Rev. Mr. Faber." At the meeting of 
Coetus on June 27 to 28, 1791, at Lancaster, Pomp is 
marked absent " on account of indisposition," but he is 
already called "minister in Indianfield." 

In August, 1790, Mr. Pomp began his ministry at In- 
dianfield (now called Indian Creek) and Tohickon. His 
entries in the Indian Creek record are headed with this 

After I, Nic. Pomp had been called to the service of this con- 
gregation in Indian Creek and Tohickon and in the beginning of 
the month of August entered upon this service, there follovi^ nov^^ 
the names of the baptized children of said congregation. 

The first baptism following this beginning is dated Au- 
gust 26, 1790. Mr. Pomp remained pastor at Indian 
Creek till August, 1797. From April, 1794, till August, 
1796, Whitpain, now Boehm's church at Blue Bell, was 
part of his charge. In 1797 he retired to Easton to live 
with his son, Thomas Pomp, who had become pastor there. 
He died at Easton, September i, 18 19. 

It was while pastor at Falkner Swamp that Mr. Pomp 
wrote a book, by which he is best known. It was a refu- 
tation of the teachings of the Universalists, as contained in 
the book of Paul Siegvolck, entitled " Das Ewige Evan- 
gelium," which had been published in German by Saur, the 
Germantown printer, in 1768. Pomp's book, while not 
a profound treatise, was a creditable performance. 

248 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Translated into English the title reads: "Brief Examina- 
tion of the Doctrine of the Eternal Gospel, by which it is 
clearly shown that the Restoration of all things is vainly 




®a§ man bie rt> i c fc 2 1; b r i n tri» 8 

ftltet; Since in ber ftetligcn "©(ferift. 

verGeblicd fudiet. 

3uf ^(se^ren vieler ^reunte ivn S)tu(f 


^, ^omPi V. D. M. 

sought in Scripture. At the request of many friends pub- 
lished by N. Pomp, V.D.M., Philadelphia, printed by 
Henry Miller, 1774," i2mo, preface 12 pp., and text 
200 pp. 


Ministry of Rev. John Theobald Faber, Jr., 

^^f^N 1 79 1 the wish of the Goshenhoppen people was 

jfll gratified to have their former pastor's son with 

^1 1 them as the successor of his father. 

I^VI John Theobald Faber, Jr., was born in the 

^— ^ parsonage of New Goshenhoppen, in Upper 

Hanover township, as the oldest child of his 

parents. His father himself entered the record of his 

birth into the New Goshenhoppen book: "On September 

24, 1 77 1, a son was born to me, Pastor Faber, named 

Johannes Theobald. Witness was Daniel Gross, minister 

at Saucon and Springfield." 

As a boy he enjoyed the advantages of the parochial 
school of the New Goshenhoppen congregation and the 
additional instruction of his father. 

When fifteen years of age he headed a class of 61 cate- 
chumens at New Goshenhoppen, who were confirmed by 
his father on April 9, 1787. 

He pursued his classical studies under the Rev. Frederick 
Valentin Melsheimer, pastor of the Lutheran congregation 
at Hanover, York County. He studied theology with 


250 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Rev. Dr. William Hendel, Sr., from 1782-1794, pastor 
at Lancaster, Pa. As his course of special study covered 
only three years it was at most incomplete and hurried. 

He was licensed probably sometime in the year 1791, 
for his baptisms begin in the spring of 1792. 

At the meeting of Coetus, held May 6 to 7, 1792, at 
Philadelphia, " the congregations of Old and New Gosh- 
enhoppen presented a call for Mr. John Faber, and asked 
that he be examined and ordained. The Reverend Coetus 
resolved that he be examined on the following day by Do. 
Hendel, Helffrich and Pomp." 

On the following day the minutes report: 

In accordance with the resolution of the first session, Mr. John 
Faber was examined by Dos. Hendel, Pomp, Helffrich and Blumer. 
The committee made a report in reference to the examination of 
Mr. Faber, and stated that he had not given such satisfactory an- 
swers to the dogmatical questions proposed as they had expected 
from him; still, out of regard to the Goshenhoppen congregations 
and his widowed mother, the examination was approved and, by a 
majority of votes, he was recognized as qualified for the ministry, 
and it was resolved that Dos. Helffrich, Blumer, Pomp and Del- 
licker ordain him as soon as possible. 

The ordination of the young candidate took place at 
Goshenhoppen on June 23, 1792, as appears from the fol- 
lowing letter of Mr. Delliker, addressed to young Faber. ^^^ 

Letter of Delliker to Faber, Jr., May 12, 1792. 
My dear Faber: 

I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart, on the success- 
ful issue of your examination. The Lord sustain you continually. 
The request, deo volente, I will endeavor to comply with and 
preach the sermon on the day of your ordination. I have received 

217 Weiser, Monograph, p. 83. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 251 

no letter from Synod, but have at hand one addressed to Pastor 
Helffrich. We will speak more definitely, when I shall have the 
pleasure to be with you on the day before the 23rd of June. 

I am. Reverend Sir, in sincere friendship, 
Our highest regards to you all. 

Falkner Swamp, Your humble servant 

May i2th, 1792. Fred. Delliker. 

Dr. Welser has preserved a traditional account of his 
introductory sermon from one who heard it, which may 
well be repeated: 

In his introductory (sermon) he did not fail to call attention to 
the peculiar solemn position in which he found himself placed. 
The death of his beloved father occuring, as it were in the very 
spot on which he was then speaking; his mouldering remains lying 
under his very feet; his youth and hasty preparation to become his 
sire's successor ; the questionable propriety of becoming a prophet 
in his own country — on all these points the young pastor delicately 
touched with much trembling and many tears. One who heard it 
all says: "When he exclaimed. ' Who is sufficient for these things?' 
all became strangly affected, and many wept." 

In the spring of 1792 young Mr. Faber began his pas- 
toral work in his three congregations. Indeed he seems 
to have been so eager for his work that he officiated as a 
minister even before he was ordained, baptizing several 
children at Old Goshenhoppen in May, 1792. During 
the first few years he kept the various church records fairly 
well. Thus at New Goshenhoppen he entered 59 bap- 
tisms' from the summer of 1792 to September, 1795, at 
Old Goshenhoppen he entered 24 baptisms from May, 
1792, to April, 1795, and at Great Swamp 33 baptisms 
from the summer of 1792 till September, 1796. But after 
the latter date his records were entirely neglected, no en- 
tries of any sort being made after June i, 1797. It may 

252 The Pennsylvania-Gennan Society. 

of course be that he kept private records in which he re- 
corded his ministerial acts, but judging from the incom- 
plete and careless entries actually made in the records, that 
is hardly to be expected. 

Fortunately the lack of information regarding his pas- 
torate is partly supplied by the account books of the Old 
Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp congregations, from 
which the following interesting entries are taken. 

In the Old Goshenhoppen account book (opened in 
1772) we find that on July 19, 1791, the congregation 
paid to the schoolmaster, Mr. Jung, 15 shillings. On 
June 15, 1792, there were paid to Mr. Faber, Jr., 15 shil- 
lings; to Mr. Peter Hollebusch for expenses to go to the 
Coetus 7s. 6d; to the schoolmaster Jung for the year 1791, 
£2. 5s. On December 5, 1793, Mr. Faber signed his first 
receipt for salary from the congregation, amounting to 
£24. 8s. I id. This was probably one third of the whole 
amount he received from the charge. Later on his salary 
increased. Beginning with the year 1803, Old Goshen- 
hoppen paid its pastor £33. 6s. 8d. From at least 1804 
to 1807 Nicolaus Weinel was the schoolmaster of the con- 
gregation, who was paid £6 for playing the organ and 
leading the singing. The account book makes us ac- 
quainted with three of the early schoolmasters of Old 
Goshenhoppen, Henrich Hemsing, from at least 1772 to 
1782. Then there was probably a change. Payments 
to the schoolmasters are noted from 1785 to 1789, but no 
name is mentioned. In July, 1791, schoolmaster Jung is 
mentioned. How long he served cannot be made out. 
From 1804 to at least April i, 1807, Nicolaus Weinel 
served in that capacity. 

From the Great Swamp account book (begun in 1759, 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 253 

but poorly kept, with many years, e.g., 1770 to 1793, en- 
tirely wanting), we have culled some items of interest: 

On August 5, 1794, the following payments were en- 
tered Into the record : 

£ s. d. 

Paid to Mr. Hendel — i loVi 

paid as rent to Mrs. Levy for Mr. Pomp — 15 — 

paid to Mr. Jost Wiand to fetch Mr. Faber from Lancaster — 12 — 

paid to go to Coetus — 8 — 

paid to Mr. Hendel — 15 — 

" " ditto — 3 9 

" " Mrs. Levy as rent for Mr. Pomp — 15 — 

" " ride to the Coetus — 5 — 

" " Mr. Philip Eberhard to go to the Coetus in 

Phila. [1792] — II — 

On March 19, 1796, we find: 

£ s. d. 

Paid to Mr. Faber, minister, on account of his salary . . 12. 7. 6. 

paid to the administrator of the late Mr. Faber for 

salary still due him 24. 11. 4. 

Received on March 15. 1796, from Philip Eberhard, 
Jacob Schmid, Johannes Jung and Philip Mumbauer, 
deacons and elders at this time, the sum of 100 dol- 
lars to secure a patent for the pastor's land [glebe] at 

David Spinner. 

On November 16, 1797, the following items deserve 
notice : 

£ s. d. 

Paid for 15 bushels of lime for the schoolhouse — 15. — 

paid for the masons — 18. — 

paid for 12 pounds of nails — 15. — 

paid for glass 2. 16. 10. 

paid for 100 shingles for the parsonage 3. 15. — 

paid for 205 feet of boards for the same — 17. — 

paid for puddy — 4. 6. 

paid for a ten plated stove 6. — — 

paid to ride to Synod 3. 15. — 

paid for grass for use of Mr. Faber — lo. — 

254 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

paid for springhouse at parsonage — lo. — 

paid for pump at parsonage 3. o. 7. 

On August 9, 1804, £2.14.3. were paid for repairs to 

the schoolhouse. 

Paid for a bake-oven in the parsonage i. 6, 2. 

On May 23, 1805, £6.2.10. were paid for repairs to the 


From 1797 to 1804 John Jung signed receipts for re- 
pairs to the schoolhouse. He is probably identical with 
the schoolmaster Jung mentioned in 1791 in the Old Gosh- 
enhoppen book. 

In 1 80 1 the four united congregations of Northampton, 
Jordan, Union and Egypt extended a call to Mr. Faber 
to become their pastor, but he declined it.^^* 

Faber attended the meetings of Synod faithfully, except 
in 1803 and 1806. In the former year he was sick. In 
1807 he was secretary, in 1808 president of Synod. 

A letter of Rev. Jacob Senn, pastor at Tohickon and 
Indianfield, to Mr. Faber, referring to his sickness, is pre- 
served in the archives of the Reformed Seminary at Lan- 
caster. It is interesting enough to be inserted here:^^^ 

Letter of Rev. Jacob Senn to Rev. John T. Faber, Jr. 

RocKHiLL, February 22, 1803. 
Dear Friend and Brother! 

I received your letter and heard with pleasure that you are again 
improving. I entertain the hope, that (God willing) you will 
soon regain your former health and strength, and thus be able to 
attend again to your ministry, which is no doubt much to be 
desired both by yourself and your congregations. 

I have also had sickness in my family for a long time. My wife 
has been unwell for almost two years and sometimes I have had 

218 Minutes of the Synod of 1801, Session I, § 2. 

219 This letter also was placed at the disposal of the writer by Prof. Geo. 
W. Richards, D.D., of the Lancaster Seminary. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 255 

little hope for her recovery, but now (thank God) she is better 

As regards your request, I am willing and ready to serve you, 
but I cannot do it at the time set by you. I can never take away 
a Sunday (as you no doubt know yourself) without first informing 
the congregation and that cannot be done before three weeks. 
Three weeks from yesterday I am, therefore, ready to serve you, 
if that is agreeable to you. You may therefore announce it, if 
agreeable, that I shall conduct services for you on March 13th. 

With a friendly greeting to yourself and wife, I remain, 
(Address) Your Friend and Servant 

Rev. Mr. J. T. Faber, Jacob Senn. 

New Goshenhoppen. 

In 1807 Mr. Faber accepted a call from the New Hol- 
land charge, Lancaster County, where he remained pastor 
till 1 8 19, when he returned to Goshenhoppen. 


Ministry of Rev. Albert Helffenstein, 1808-1811. 

CHOOLMASTER Nicolaus Weinel of Old 
Goshenhoppen Introduces us to the next min- 
ister. In the Old Goshenhoppen account 
book he made an entry which fixes the exact 
time when the new pastorate began: 

On June 19, 1808, the young Rev. Mr. Helfenstein delivered 
his first introductory sermon here in Old Goshenhoppen. On Sun- 
day before he made the beginning at New Goshenhoppen. 

Albert Helffenstein was the fifth son of the well-known 
Reformed preacher of Germantown, John Conrad Al- 
bertus Helffenstein, and of his wife, Catharine Kircher, a 
native of Philadelphia. ^-"^ He was born in Germantown, 
March 13, 1788. He was baptized and confirmed in his 
father's church. 

He received his theological education from Rev. Dr. 
Christian Ludwig Becker, from 1795 to 1806 pastor at 
Lancaster, and from 1807 to 1818 pastor at Baltimore. 
Dr. Becker was a fine scholar and pulpit orator and well 
qualified to prepare young men for the ministry. Nine- 

220 xhey were married on February ii, 1773, at Philadelphia. Their 
marriage is recorded in the old record book of the First Reformed Church 
at Philadelphia, see Pennsylvania Archives, 2d Series, Vol. VIII, p. 678. 


History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 257 

teen students received their theological instruction from 
him during the last sixteen years of his life (1800- 

After completing his theological training Helffenstein 
appeared before Synod, which met at his native place, 
May 15, 1808. At that time "a call was received from 
Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp for Mr. Albert Helffen- 

Similar calls were received at the same time for other 
candidates. It was then resolved " that the candidates 
Messrs. Runkel, Jr., Gloninger, Schaffner, Becker and 
Helffenstein be examined this evening. The committee 
of examination consists of Messrs. Helffrich, Wack, Hoff- 
meier and Senn."^^^ 

On the next day the committee " who were appointed to 
examine the several candidates last evening, reported, that 
the young gentlemen sustained a perfectly satisfactory ex- 
amination. It was resolved, that these young men be 
ordained this evening. Messrs. Faber, Geistweidt and 
Hoffmeier were appointed the committee of ordination." 

Helffenstein entered upon his work at Goshenhoppen 
immediately after the meeting of Synod, preaching on 
June 12, 1808, his installation sermon at New Goshen- 
hoppen, as the record of schoolmaster Weinel, already 
quoted, proves. On June 21 he had his first funeral at 
New Goshenhoppen. But his ministry was of short dura- 
tion. On May 11, 181 1, he entered his last baptism at 
New Goshenhoppen. 

The record of his pastoral work at Goshenhoppen is not 
complete. He only entered 70 baptisms, 22 funerals and 

221 Good, History of the Reformed Church in the United States in the 
Nineteenth Century, New York, 191 1, p. 13 f. 

-" Minutes of the Synod of 1808, Session I, §§3, 7; Session III, § 2. 


258 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

12 weddings into the records. There are no weddings 
recorded by him at Great Swamp and even the other en- 
tries are incomplete, most of them stopping in 1809. 

His ministry seems to have extended till October, 181 1, 
for on October 27, 181 1, he signed a receipt for salary for 
four months from the Great Swamp congregation. His 
salary was apparently one hundred dollars from each con- 
gregation. In July, 1809, 1 8 10 and 181 1, he signed re- 
ceipts for $100 each from the Great Swamp congregation. 

Dr. Weiser reports^^^ that like Mr. Pomp he resided at 
first with a widow Levy at New Goshenhoppen, later with 
Mr. Pannebecker, until the new parsonage was completed. 

Being a city boy and more accustomed to the English 
language than the German, he felt ill at ease among the 
German farmers at Goshenhoppen. He, therefore, ac- 
cepted in 181 1 a call to Carlisle, where he stayed till 18 19. 
Then he was pastor at Baltimore from 18 19 to 1835. 
After that he left the Reformed Church, removed to Ohio 
and entered the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 185 1 
he applied to Lebanon Classis to be received back to the 
church of his fathers. His request was granted with cer- 
tain conditions which he fulfilled. At the same meeting 
of Classis he presented a call from the Elizabethtown 
charge in Lancaster County, which Classis confirmed. 
He labored in this field till 1853, when he retired from the 
ministry. In 1859 he removed to Shamokin, where he 
resided with his nephew, Chas. P. Helffenstein. There 
he died January 30, 1869.^^* 

223 Weiser, Monograph, p. 89. 

224 For a sketch of Albert Helffenstein's life see Heisler, Fathers, Vol. 
IV, pp. 67-70. 


Ministry of Rev. Frederick William Van der 
Sloot, Jr., i8 1 2-1 8 1 8. 

AFTER Mr. Helffenstein had left Goshenhop- 
pen in October, i8ii, the congregations 
were without a pastor for more than a year. 
In November, 1812, they succeeded in se- 
curing a new pastor. He himself has left 
a statement in the New Goshenhoppen rec- 
ord which fixes the time of his arrival. " On November 
12, 18 12, I entered upon my ministry, but funerals did not 
occur till 1 8 13." This new pastor was Frederick William 
Van der Sloot, Jr., son of the former pastor. 

Frederick William Van der Sloot, Jr., was born No- 
vember 15, 1773, at Dessau, in the Duchy of Anhalt, Ger- 
many.^^'^ The following is a translation of the baptismal 
entry in the church record at Dessau : 

To Mr. Philipp Wilhelm Friedrich Van Der Sloot, appointed 
conrector of the Latin school of this place and to his wife, nee 
Schultz, a young son was born, Friedrich Wilhelm, early at one 
o'clock, Monday morning, the 15th of November 1773, and was 
baptized in the house on the same day. 

225 For the history of Mr. Von der Sloot, Jr., see History and Genealogy 
of the Von der Sloot Family, pp. 18-23. 


26o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

He studied in the University of Leipzig, and, after 
completing his studies, emigrated to America in the year 
1 80 1. He landed at Charleston, S. C, whence he con- 
tinued his journey to Philadelphia. From there he made 
his way in a "market wagon" to Northampton County, 
Pa., where he found his father ministering to seven or 
eight congregations. 

In 1802 young Van der Sloot appeared before the 
Synod of the Reformed Church, which met from May 16 
to 18, 1802, at Philadelphia. On Monday, May 17, 

a communication was received from the congregations in Allen, 
Moretown, Lehigh and Hanover townships, asking Synod to hold 
a tentamen with young Mr. Van der Sloot, and to place him in a 
position to serve them as their pastor. Resolved, that a committee 
of five be appointed to hold a tentamen with him. The following 
persons constituted the committee : Messrs. Hendel, Wagner, Wack, 
Sen., Runkel and Wack, Jr. 

On Tuesday morning, May 18, 

the committee consisting of Messrs. Hendel, Wagner, Wack, Sen., 
and Wack, Jr., reported that they held a tentamen with Mr. Van 
Der Sloot, and found his qualifications such that he can with pro- 
priety be licensed as a candidate for the ministry. Resolved that 
Mr. Van Der Sloot be licensed.^-® 

Later on in the same session we read that, 

to Mr. Van Der Sloot, in connection with his tentamen, was as- 
signed the duty of preparing a sermon on Rom. 8:1. 

At the meeting of Synod, 'held May 8 to 10, 1803, at 

application was made this morning by the congregations of Mr. 
Van Der Sloot for his ordination. The subject was again taken 
into consideration this afternoon. It was resolved that Mr. Van 

226 Minutes of the Synod of 1802, Session I, § 5; Session III, §§ i, 6. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 261 

Der Sloot be ordained. Messrs. Helffrich, Pomp, and Hoffmeier 
were appointed a committee to ordain him in his congregations on 
the second Wednesday after Whitsuntide ;'-^ (June 8, 1803). 

In May, 181 1, Mr. Van der Sloot informed Synod 

that he had left the congregations he had heretofore served, and 
accepted a call from the congregation at Germantown. The call 
was confirmed by Synod. '^® 

Shortly after entering upon his ministry in Northampton 
County Mr. Van der Sloot had been married, on Novem- 
ber II, 1802, to Catharine Pauli, daughter of the Rev. 
Philip Reinhold Pauli, of Reading, Pa. The marriage 
ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Wm. Hendel, 
Jr., then pastor at Tulpehocken. 

Mr. Van der Sloot remained only a short time in Ger- 
mantown. As we have learned from his own entry in the 
New Goshenhoppen record, he came to Goshenhoppen in 
November, 18 12. 

The record of his ministry at Goshenhoppen is very in- 
complete. Even his baptisms were not fully recorded. 
At New Goshenhoppen are 21 baptisms by him from Jan- 
uary 24, 1 8 13, to August, 1818; at Old Goshenhoppen he 
recorded 20 baptisms from February 28, 18 13, to Decem- 
ber, 1 8 17, and at Great Swamp 19 baptisms were entered 
into the record by him from May 22, 18 14, to November 
22, 18 1 8. The records of his funerals are entirely want- 
ing, five lonely burials at New Goshenhoppen excepted. 

While pastor at Goshenhoppen Mr. Van der Sloot also 
supplied the Reformed congregation at the Trappe, Mont- 
gomery County. 

Dr. Weiser draws this interesting picture of him as pas- 
tor at Goshenhoppen : 

227 Minutes of the Synod of 1803, Session II, §9. 

228 Minutes of the Synod of 1811, Session III, § 15. 

262 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

His large, burly form, his stentorian voice, his peculiar power to 
sing, pray and preach, his natural abilities and pulpit aptitude, his 
jovial nature, funded with wit and anecdote, his affable and friendly 
mien — all these bold features of the man are still to be freshly 
traced in the minds of his old parishioners, and are likely to per- 
petuate his portrait life-sized to another generation.^^^ 

As now a full century has passed since the beginning of 
Mr. Van der Sloot's pastorate at Goshenhoppen, It Is 
hardly probable that the recollection of his jovial person- 
ality and short labors Is still so vividly retained by the 
present generation. 

His ministry at Goshenhoppen came to a close In No- 
vember, 18 18. From entries in the Old Goshenhoppen 
account it appears that his annual salary from that congre- 
gation was $200, the other two congregations contributing 
probably an equal sum. 

In December, 18 18, we find him In Philadelphia. As 
nothing has appeared thus far In English regarding his 
activity In Philadelphia, It may be well to Insert here a 
brief sketch of his labors there, based upon a recent Inves- 
tigation of the writer. 

In the summer of 18 18, English church services were 
Introduced Into the old Reformed church at Philadelphia. 
The German element of the congregation, which had for 
years fought against their Introduction, felt so much ag- 
grieved that they left their church and formed an Inde- 
pendent congregation. In July, 18 18, they rented the 
" Old Commissioners Hall " on Third Street below Green 
and asked a Lutheran minister. Rev. Karl R. Demme, to 
preach for them. On August 26, 18 18, they elected the 
first consistory, consisting of four elders, four deacons and 
five trustees. On September i, 1818, they sent a petition 

229 Weiser, Monograph, p. 91. 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 263 

to Synod, which met September 8 at Carlisle, asking that 
their action be confirmed and they be allowed to organize 
a German congregation. Their petition was readily 
granted and a committee was appointed to install the con- 
sistory.230 This took place on September 20, 1818. On 
November 9, 18 18, an election for pastor took place, as 
a result of which Frederick William Van der Sloot was 
elected. He hesitated at first to accept it, but after his 
salary had been fixed at 1,200 dollars, he accepted on 
December 2. On January i, 18 19, he delivered his intro- 
ductory sermon, in Zion's Lutheran Church to a large 
audience, preaching from the text Ezekiel 3: 17, "Son of 
man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of 

Under the leadership of the new pastor steps were at 
once taken for the building of a church. On February 
15, 1 8 19, the congregation resolved to build a church 50 
feet wide and 67 to 70 feet long. On March 27 the con- 
gregation was incorporated. In April a schoolhouse was 
bought on Rose Alley, the present Bodine Street. 

The cornerstone of the new church was laid with special 
services on May 9, 18 19. At this time the church was 
named " Salem Church," which is still its name. A spe- 
cial feature of the celebration were a series of hymns which 
the pastor had written and for which the schoolmaster, 
Jacob Bibighaus, had composed the music. The church 
was dedicated October 24, 18 19, with a still more elabo- 
rate celebration, for which the pastor had again composed 
the hymns and the schoolmaster had written the music. 
The following verses may be quoted as a sample of pastor 
Van der Sloot's German poetry : 

230 Minutes of the Synod of 1818, p. 14, §§ 10, 11. 

264 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Ist's wirklich? — Nicht ein siisser Traum? 
Dass hier, aus diesem oden Raum — 
Zu Menschen Gliick und Gottes Lob — 
So schnell sich dieses Haus erhob? 


Nein! Nicht ein Traum. Der Gott, der uns're Vater 
In friih'rer Zeit berieth, der ist auch spater — 
Noch unser Gott. In seinem Arm gestiitzet, 
Umschliesst er uns ; er ist ihm nicht verkiirzet : 
Umschliesst er uns mit himmlischen Erbarmen — 
Beseelet uns mit Muth in Seinen Armen. 

Another verse refers to the name of the new church: 

Durch Christum war der Herr euch nah, 

Auf! Singet laut Hallelujah! 

Zieht jubelnd in eu'r Salem ein: 

Der mit euch war, wird mit euch sein. 

But although the congregation had now a beautiful 
property and a new home, their joy was by no means un- 
mixed, for there was also a large debt on the property. 
But the members did not lose courage. Several commit- 
tees were at once appointed. One to collect among the 
members of the congregation. Another committee went 
to Baltimore where they succeeded In raising $208. Then 
they wrote letters to the different congregations of the 
Synod, asking them to take up a collection for them. To 
satisfy the most urgent creditors a mortgage of $5,000 
was taken upon the property on July 23, 1821. In No- 
vember of the following year they asked the legislature of 
the state for permission to start, In accordance with a then 
prevailing custom, a lottery to pay off their debt. But 
their petition was apparently not granted. 

As they felt that they could not meet their obligations, 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 265 

the consistory, in January, 1821, fixed the pastor's salary 
at $800, but when Van der Sloot expressed his unwilling- 
ness to serve for that sum, they allowed him to take up an 
extra collection for the remaining $400. But such an 
arrangement could not be continued for any length of 
time. Evidently Van der Sloot, too, saw that their ex- 
penses had to be curtailed, hence he handed in his resigna- 
tion on December 26, 1823. The four years which Van 
der Sloot had spent in the congregation had not been with- 
out success. In 18 19 he reported 304 members, 26 con- 
firmed, 50 baptisms and 19 funerals. In 1820 the num- 
ber of members had risen to 346. That there was also 
a healthy internal growth is shown by the fact that in Feb- 
ruary, 1 82 1, the first society of men was organized, and in 
April, 1823, the Sunday School. But the finances of the 
congregation could not be put on a sound basis till, on Jan- 
uary 5, 1824, Henry Bibighaus was elected Van der Sloot's 
successor at a salary of $400, which was better within the 
reach of the congregation to pay.-^^ 

From Philadelphia Van der Sloot went to Virginia, 
where, in March, 1824, he accepted a call of eight, later 
ten, congregations in Rockingham and neighboring coun- 
ties. Here he preached for about three years, until, in the 
spring of 1827, he was called to York and Adams coun- 
ties, where he served nine congregations — Pigeon Hill, 
Holtzschwam, Straher's, Rosstown and Franklin in York 
County, and Bermudian, Oxford, Abbottstown and Berlin 
in Adams county. These congregations he served up to 
the time of his death, which took place in Paradise town- 

231 A more extensive history of Salem's Reformed Church at Philadel- 
phia, was read by the writer on October 15, 1899, in that church, and 
printed in the Kirchenzeitung. 


The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

ship, on December 14, 1831. He was buried in the grave- 
yard of the Holtzschwamm church.^^^ 

Mr. Van der Sloot was a good linguist and he had also 
talent and taste for poetry. A number of his poems and 
hymns have been printed. As a minister he was an untir- 
ing worker. In the thirty years of his ministry he is said 
to have served thirty-three congregations. He was promi- 
nent in the counsels of the church. In 182 1 he was elected 
clerk of Synod and in the following year its president. 
When Philadelphia Classis was organized in 1820, F. W. 
Van der Sloot became its first president and Jacob W. 
Dechant its first secretary. 

232 por a sketch of F. W. Von der Sloot's life see Harbaugh, Fathers, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 118-121. 


The Division of the Charge in 1819, and Rev. John 

T. Faber's Second Pastorate, 


^^^^^ISTORY often repeats itself. This proved to 
Mmi^ be the case at Goshenhoppen. Just as the 
^■■Zl elder Faber, after an absence of seven years, 
JP^"B was glad to return to the field of his first 
^^^\ labors, so the younger Faber followed in the 
" footsteps of his father, when after the de- 
parture of F. W. Van der Sloot, Jr., he accepted a call 
from his first congregations to return to them. The call 
extended to him is an interesting historical document which 
deserves preservation. It reads as follows :^^^ 

Call of the Goshenhoppen Congregation to Mr. 
Faber, Jr. 
Reverend Sir: — 

Inasmuch as the Rev. Mr. Von Der Sloot has resigned the office 
of pastor over us and accepted a call from the new German con- 
gregation in Philadelphia, we are compelled to renew our efiEorts 
to secure the services of another shepherd. At the suggestion of 
several members of the consistory of the congregation at Old 

233 vVeiser, Monograph, pp. 98-101. 


268 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Goshenhoppen, we resolved to hold an election in the three congre- 
gations. As you have been our pastor in former years, as well as 
your father before, and as we have always cherished a peculiar 
love and affection for you, it is our heart's desire that you return 
to us again. This general esteem and confidence which we have 
ever borne you, manifested itself also, at the time of our election, 
on which occasion the congregations at New Goshenhoppen and 
Great Swamp cast a unanimous vote in your favor. To this 
unanimity Old Goshenhoppen, it is true, forms an exception. 
There the election was not held on the appointed day; but that 
congregation will be obliged to submit to the will of the majority — 
as is but right and proper. After having learned the result, we, 
the elders and deacons, in the name of the congregations, call the 
Reverend John Theobald Faber, at present pastor over the New 
Holland charge, as our minister and pastor over our congregations, 
to preach the word of God among us, to administer the holy sacra- 
ments, and to discharge all those duties becoming a faithful Chris- 
tian minister of the German Reformed Church. And as he who 
ministers at the altar shall also live by the altar, we, therefore, 
promise on our part, and in the name of the congregations, to pay 
you annually the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars; and be- 
sides, the possession of the parsonage, and whatsoever else is cus- 
tomary to be given as perquisites on funeral, marriage and con- 
firmation occasions. 

We now pray you to accept our call, which we as representatives 
of our charge extend to you, and to favor us with an answer, in 
writing, so that we may make arrangements to bring you and 
your dear family among us. Do not allow yourself to be discour- 
aged by the fact that the election was not held at Old Goshen- 
hoppen at the time appointed, but on a wholly different day — 
which was irregular — and that on that occasion a majority of 
votes was cast for the Rev, Mr. Zeller. Our three congregations 
constitute a pastoral charge — the majority of whose votes were cast 
in your favor. Though the two congregations elected you — 
unanimously, to say — and a minority of the third even, you will 
yet be the choice of the large majority of the charge; and you are 

History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 269 

hereby truly and solemnly called as its minister. If Old Goshen- 
hoppen should desire to sever her connection with us, we will, 
nevertheless, pay you the full amount promised. We fear greatly 
that our flock may be scattered, and on this account the more 
urgently request you to show your love toward us, by accepting our 
call. The Lord will in future be with us and bless His word to 
the salvation of our souls. 

Undersigned by our hands as elders and deacons of the joint 
congregations, and given by us on the 31st day of March, A.D. 

John Gery t John Hillegass "I 

Adam EvERH ART j Adam Hillegas \Deacons. 

Henry Ott ytlders Mich. Roudenbush J 
Jacob Dubbs 

The expectations of New Goshenhoppen and Great 
Swamp that Old Goshenhoppen would acquiesce in the 
choice of the majority were not fulfilled. The opposition 
to Mr. Faber was so serious that they refused to recon- 
sider their action, but appealed to Synod for help. 

At the meeting of the Synod held on September 5 and 
following days of the year 18 19, at Lancaster, 

a letter from the Old Goshenhoppen congregation was read, in 
which the Reverend Synod was requested to permit them to secure 
services on Sunday afternoon through a minister of Synod. A 
committee, consisting of Messrs. Wack, Sen., Hinsch and Elder 
Graff was appointed to take this letter under consideration. 

On the following day the committee handed In the fol- 
lowing report: 

The committee appointed to consider the conditions in the Old 
and New Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp congregations, report: 
" That they had found that Rev. Mr. Faber has been elected pastor 
by a very large majority in the New Goshenhoppen and Swamp 
congregations, the Old Goshenhoppen congregation, however, does 

270 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

not seem to be inclined to Mr. Faber." It is the judgment of the 
committee that it would be advisible for Synod to give the Old 
Goshenhoppen congregation the friendly advice, to unite with the 
other two congregations rather than sever a bond of eighty-two 
years standing, for the committee cannot imagine how the Old 
Goshenhoppen congregation will gain anything by withdrawing 
from the union with New Goshenhoppen and Great Swamp.^^* 

At the same meeting of Synod, in 18 19, John T. Faber 
reported as his congregations Old Goshenhoppen, New 
Goshenhoppen, Great Swamp and Trappe in Montgomery 
County. He had baptized 90, confirmed 35, buried 34, 
and 202 members had communed. He also reported one 
school. The inclusion of Old Goshenhoppen was prob- 
ably due to the fact that the final decision as to the attitude 
of the congregation had not yet been rendered. When it 
was rendered it was adverse to accepting Mr. Faber as its 
pastor, in spite of the friendly advice of Synod. 

At the meeting of the Classis of Philadelphia, held at 
Philadelphia on April 30 to May i, 1820, 

a letter was read from the congregation of the Rev. J. Faber, in 
which they expressed their satisfaction with his ministry. A letter 
from Mr. Faber was also read in which he excused his absence 
because of sickness. The excuse was unanimously accepted. 

The minutes of Synod of 1820 show also what had be- 
come of Old Goshenhoppen. Jacob William Dechant is 
reported as pastor of Pikeland, Chester County, Old Gosh- 
enhoppen in Montgomery County and Hilltown. His 
baptisms at Old Goshenhoppen begin on December 25, 
1 8 19. On December 30, 1820, he signed a receipt in the 
Old Goshenhoppen account book for 170 dollars salary. 

The separation of the Old Goshenhoppen congregation, 
which occurred in 18 19, was final. It never returned to 

234 Minutes of the Synod of 1819, p. 19, § 15 ; p. 21, § 9. 



History of Goshenhoppen Reformed Charge. 271 

the former charge. The congregation of Upper Milford 
took its place and remained under Faber's care to the end 
of his life. 

There is only one later event in the pastorate of the 
younger Faber which deserves some notice. It is the re- 
markable manner of his death, almost an exact reproduc- 
tion of that of his father. We quote fittingly the descrip- 
tion of Dr. C. Z. Weiser, who has done so much to pre- 
serve the history of the congregation :^^^ 

Pastor Faber's history, like that of his sainted father, came sud- 
denly and solemnly to a close. At the funeral services of Mrs. 
Peter Maurer he was taken ill in the middle of his discourse, and 
sank away. The excitement of the congregation cannot well be 
described. It was on the first day of February, just forty-five 
years later than the time his father had received his final call to the 
eternal world. Several helping hands bore the sick pastor away 
to the school-house and subsequently to the parsonage. Here he 
lingered ten days. His death occurred on the loth of February, 
1833, at an age of 61 years, 4 months and 11 days. His remains 
were laid alongside of those of his father, beneath the chancel of 
the church. Over the elder Faber's tomb were placed the words: 
"Approach lightly." Over that of the son: " Depart softly." 

With the division of the charge and the second pastor- 
ate of John T. Faber the first part of its history came to a 
close. In 1827 the first century of congregational life 
was ended. Having reached this point, our task is accom- 
plished and we lay down our pen, leaving the later history 
to some future historian. 

(The Church Records of the Goshenhoppen Reformed 
Charge, 173 i-i 830, will be published in Volume XXVIII.) 

235 Weiser, Monograph, p. 106. 

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