L.fl M ^
ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 02144 0687
Digitized by the Internet Archive
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JPROCEEDINGS AND ADDRESSES
NORRISTOWN, OCT. 3, 1902
Vol. XIII ^
1'UIUJSIiEl) l*Y Till-: SOCIETY
THE EENNSYLVA/NlA-GERflAN SOCIETY.
REV. JOSEPH AUGUSTUS SEISS, D.D., LL.D., LH.D.
EDITION 500 COPIES.
JULIUS F. SACHSE, Utt.D.
DANIEL W. NEAD, M.D
HENRY M. M. RICHARDS.
The New Era Printing Company
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Officers of the Society 4
Minutes of the Meeting at Norristown 5
Invocation by Rev. L. Kryder Evans, D.D 6
Address of Welcome, by Joseph Fornance, Esq 7
Response by Rev. Prof. Jacob Fry, D.D 9
President's Annual Address, Rev. Joseph H. Dubbs, D.D.,
Secretary's Report 24
^ Treasurer's Report 26
*-J Afternoon Session 28
>. In Memonam 29
jpCUnsplPania — The German Influence in its Settle-
ment and Development :
i\ Part XII. The Schwenkfelders in Pennsylvania, bv
fr- Howard Wiegner Kriebel.
1 Part XIII. American History from German Archives
^ with Reference to the German Soldiers in the Revolu-
y tion and Franklin's Visit to Germany, by J. G. Rosen-
Q ^o garten.
\ The Picturesque Quality of the Pennsylvania German, by Wil-
^ liam H. Richardson.
Rev. Joseph A. Seiss, D.D., LL.D., L.H.I).
Hon. Irving P. Wanger,
Rev. Paul de Schweinitz.
H. fyf. JVC. Richards.
Julius F. Sachse, Litt.D.
Executive Committee :
Rev. Theo. E. Schmauk, D.D.,
Rev. Nathan C. Schaeffer, Ph.D., D.I).
Rev. L. Kryder Evans, D.D.,
Dr. John Franklin Mentzkk.
Dr. Daniel W. Nead,
Hon. Maurice C. Eby.
Frank Reid Diffenderffer, Litt.D.,
Lee L. Grumbine.
Thomas C. Zimmerman,
Abraham S. Schropp.
REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS
Pennsylvania- German Society
TWELFTH ANNUAL MEETING
Held at Norristown, Pa.
On Friday, October 3, 1902.
'^■'HE Executive Committee of the Society held its usual
%JS quarterly meeting, in the Trustees' Room of the Y.
M. C. A. Building, 406 De Kalb Street, at 8.00 P. M.
on Thursday evening, October 2, for the transaction of its
The Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania-Ger-
man Society, was held in the building of the Y. M. C. A.
at 406 De Kalb Street, Norristown, Pa., on Friday, Oc-
tober, 3, 1902.
The gathering was called to order by the President, the
Rev. Joseph H. Dubbs, D.D., LL.D., of Lancaster, Pa.,
6 The Pennsylvania- German Society,
at 9:00 A. M. The Rev. L. Kryder Evans, D.D., of
Pottstown, Pa., then offered the opening prayer.
Almighty God, Our Father in Heaven. — Thou hast
been our dwelling-place in all generations. Our fathers
and mothers trusted in Thee, and were never disappointed
— and Thou art to us, in Jesus Christ, Thy Son Our Lord,
the same yesterday and today and forever. We bless
Thee for Thy loving kindness and tender mercy in the
years gone. We thank Thee that we are permitted to
meet again as members of the Society whose Anniversary
we celebrate today. We thank Thee for the piety, Chris-
tian integrity and patriotism of our ancestors and for what
they contributed in treasure and blood towards making
our country so great and prosperous. We thank Thee
for the churches, school houses and institutions of learning
which adorn the hillsides and valleys and cities of this our
Fatherland. We thank Thee for civil and religious lib-
erty — enable us, we pray Thee, to prove worthy of our
precious inheritance. Bless this Society ; and as we re-
m ember the days of old — brilliant with the deeds of our
fas tiers — enable us to emulate their virtues and shun their
faults. Establish Thou the work of our hands upon it ;
yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it. Preserve
us from all self-laudation — from all narrowness of thought
ar d bigotry of feeling. Enable us to recognize in every
m in a brother — Thine own Image and Superscription.
Biess, we pray Thee, Thy servants, the President of these
United States, the Governor of this Commonwealth, and
all in authority. Be Thou the inspirer and guide of our
lives. We would commit ourselves and our all to Thee.
S> nd the years as Thou wilt, but do Thou come with
Address of Welcome, 7
every one of them, and make each a step nearer Our
Father's house on high. Forgive us all our sins, and
keep us in Thy fear and favor. Give us a deeper love,
a firmer faith and a calmer hope. Hear us, O Lord, in
these our imperfect petitions, for the sake of Thy dear
Son Our Lord, who has taught us to pray : " Our Father
who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy King-
dom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our
debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the
Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." Amen.
Address of Welcome.
Following the invocation, the members of the Society
were kindly welcomed to the city of Norristown by Joseph
Fornance, Esq., President of the Historical Society of
Montgomery County, who said .
Mr, President and Members of the Pennsylvania- German
On behalf of the Historical Society of Montgomery
County I have been delegated to greet you, and it is with
pleasure that I serve as its spokesman to welcome you to
our midst. 1 ; ,1
It is a happy event for the Pennsylvania-German Society
to hold its meeting in Norristown as the guest of the His-
torical Society of Montgomery County, and we highly ap-
preciate the honor you have conferred on us by coming.
Our Historical Society has maintained its organization
for over twenty-one years, and it has done good work. It
has awakened here an interest in local historical research.
It has collected much valuable historical matter. Many
8 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
historical papers concerning this county have been pre-
pared by its members, and a number of them have been
published in permanent form by the Society.
We warmly commend similar historical work, and we
appreciate the fact that the Pennsylvania-German Society
has rendered valuable service in collecting and publishing
historical data. We have read its publications with great
interest, especially those that relate to this neighborhood.
Two of these stand prominent, the History of Germantown
by Judge Pennypacker, and the translation of the quaint
narrative of Gottlieb Mittelberger, who, one hundred and
fifty years ago, was organist at the old Trappe Church that
you will visit to-day.
This locality is one of much interest to you as descend-
ants of the German Colonial settlers. Norristown is on
the border of a large territory that was settled by German
immigrants. The northern half of Montgomery County
was settled almost exclusively by Germans. Peaceful and
law abiding, frugal and industrious, they contributed
largely to the development of the county.
Among them were men of prominence and ability.
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, and his son, Gen. Peter
Muhlenberg, and other members of the Muhlenberg family,
made their impress on the history of the country. Henry
Antes, and his patriotic son, Col. Philip Frederick Antes,
were leaders in colonial and revolutionary times whose in-
fluence extended far beyond this locality.
The merit of those early settlers is shown in their de-
scendants. They are good citizens. Many of them have
filled prominent places. A number of them have adorned
the learned professions. Of the three governors of Penn-
sylvania that were born in Montgomery County, two of
them, Shunk and Hartranft, were of Pennsylvania-German
The foundations of the prosperity of this community in
a large degree were established through the lives and labor
of your ancestors. It is therefore proper that you should
meet here to-day, and commemorate the sterling virtues of
those hardy pioneers.
We congratulate you on your work as a Society. We
welcome your coming here, and we hope your visit will be
pleasant and profitable to you.
Response to TriE Address of Welcome.
The response to this kindly welcome was made by the
Rev. Prof. Jacob Fry, D.D., of the Lutheran Theological
Seminary at Mt. Airy, Pa.
Mr, President^ Gentlemen and Ladies:
It is with great pleasure I rise to respond to the greeting
we have just received from the President of the Historical
Society of Montgomery county . ! We assure you we appre-
ciate the honor of being your guests, and of holding our
twelfth annual convention in Norristown. There is no
fairer county in Pennsylvania than Montgomery, and no
fairer inland city than Norristown, and we anticipate much
pleasure in gathering here.
Personally I count myself happy in being chosen to
respond to your words of welcome, because I belong by
virtue of birth to Old Montgomery. While half of my
life was spent in Reading in the adjoining county of Berks,
and am now a resident of Philadelphia, I was born in the
quaint old villiage known as the Trappe, to which the
members of this convention intend making a pilgrimage
this afternoon. In the old church which Muhlenberg built
and beside which he lies buried, I received my early reli-
gious instruction, at its altar I knelt in confirmation, and in
io The Pennsylvania- German Society.
its pulpit I preached my first sermon, while a student of
theology, on October 3, 1852, exactly fifty years ago
In your address of welcome you made mention of the
fact that a large section of this county was settled by Ger-
mans, and you gave them credit for contributing in no
small degree to the prosperity which is everywhere appar-
ent within its borders. Along the fertile valley of the
Perkiomen, and other regions round about, they settled,
built their homes, their school-houses and churches, an*d
here they have remained and many of them have attained
eminence and great success. Twenty-five years ago Moses
Auge, Esq. of this place published a volume of biographi-
cal sketches of men who had become prominent in the
history of Montgomery county. It included the names of
one hundred and fifty persons, one half of whom were of
German blood and descent. In other words, if his list be
a fair test, of the men who have attained prominence in
the history and development of this county, the Pennsyl-
vania-Germans have furnished as many as all other
You also stated that the upper half of the county was
almost entirely settled by our German ancestors. So,
when to-day we reach the boundary line of that upper
half, on the ledge of Skippack hill, and look eastward,
northward and westward on as fair a landscape as can be
found in these United States, we will see what has been
accomplished by Pennsylvania-German industry, culture
In accepting your kind invitation to hold our annual con-
vention in Norristown, and after listening to your words of
welcome, it may be proper to state why we are here, and
what are the objects and purposes we have in view. They
Objects of the Society. n
are four-fold, and may be styled investigation, publication,
correction and association. ,
Our investigation is directed towards discovering what-
ever may pertain to the history, customs and achievements
of our German ancestors who settled so largely in eastern
Pennsylvania, and also partly in the adjacent states of New
York, New Jersey, Maryland and the valley of Virginia.
Hidden away in the closets and garrets of their dwellings,
and in the archives of their churches and county-courts
are many documents, and relics, small and great, which
are of intense interest to us who are their descendants, and
which ought to be brought to light and known. To investi-
gate and search for these T-rto gather and arrange them in
order, and let them tell their own story is one of the
purposes of this Society v , ,
Another is -publication. There is nothing in the history
of our sires of which we need be, ashamed. In the vintage
our fathers planted there are no fruits which set the chil-
dren's teeth on edge, > We think it is high time the names
and doings of our people should be brought from obscurity
and rescued from oblivion. To this end the results of our
researches and investigations are read at our conventions,
and then published for the use of posterity. The volumes
thus far produced, in their contents, their elegant illustra-
tions, and the superior, manner in which they are printed,
are models of their kind, and form a series of books which
any library might covet to possess.
Our third purpose is correction, i. £., the correction of
the many misstatements and omissions with which many
so-called histories of our country, and even of our State,
abound. History may be pronounced " his-story," and
so it often is, and its value depends on the man who wrote
it. Some of these " historians " either ignore our people,
12 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
or do them great injustice. The Pennsylvania-German
Society aims to have this evil corrected by bringing for-
ward the names and achievements of our fathers, and
placing them in such light that it will be impossible for
any reputable writer hereafter to pervert these facts or to
put them aside.
Our fourth purpose is association or cooperation and fel-
lowship. " It is not good for man to be alone," and " two
are better than one." There is a charm and power in
goodly fellowship, especially with those of your own race
and kin. We come together from various localities to look
each other in the face and become personally acquainted.
We meet to compare notes, discuss problems, ascertain
facts, and arouse enthusiasm in the work we have under-
taken. We find it, therefore, pleasant as well as profit-
abl thus to gather and greet each other in these annual
coi ventions. The occasions and the objects of our associ-
ate n are alike agreeable. Our lines have fallen in pleas-
ant places, and we have a goodly heritage. That heri-
tag t we hope to retain, and so we meet to do honor to our
fatl ers and mothers, that our days may be long upon the
Ian I which the Lord our God hath given us.
r j he annual address of the President, the Rev. Joseph
II. Xibbs, D.D., LL.D., of Lancaster, Pa., was then
Lai ies and Gentlemen :
Ii is my privilege if not my duty to congratulate the
mei ibers of the Pennsylvania-German Society on the suc-
cess which has attended their labors during another year.
On this occasion it is not too much to say that we have en-
President's Address. 13
joyed a season of unusul "prosperity. Our numbers have
increased, our councils have been harmonious, and we have
been faithful to the purpose of our organization. To our
series of historical monographs a splendid volume has been
added ; another, which it is believed will prove no less in-
teresting, is soon to appear. It is therefore with peculiar
pleasure that, as retiring President, I embrace the oppor-
tunity of bidding you all a cordial welcome to the twelfth
annual convention of our Society.
May I venture to add that we derive special satisfaction
from the fact that we meet in Norristown, the county-seat
of Montgomery county, the locus classicus of our early his-
tory? In a certain sense most of us are strangers here,
and yet there is another sense in which we feel at home.
As Pennsylvania-Germans we have a pleasant sense of
meeting where we ought to meet; we feel assured that our
assembly will result in strengthening ties which are none
the less real because they have not been generally recog-
nized ; that we will come to appreciate more than ever that
we are partakers in a common heritage. Need I remind
you that it was in this region that our earliest settlements
were founded? Here Muhlenberg and Boehm first gath-
ered the Lutherans and Reformed for worship ; here Men-
nonites and Dunkards — though not as numerous as in the
western region which they termed " Conestoga " — founded
important settlements; here the Schwenkfelders, driven
from Silesia by Austrian persecution, found after many
wanderings a beautiful home. There is no part of the
country which contains so many memorials of Pennsyl-
vania-German history. At the Trappe Henry Melchior
Muhlenberg lies buried ; at New Goshenhoppen rests
George Michael Weiss, and at Methatchen is the grave of
Christopher Sauer. Everywhere, in all this region, we
14 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
are on historic ground, and we cannot help feeling that it
is good to be here. When we leave this beautiful city we
shall, I trust, bear to our scattered homes a precious store
of recollections, both of ancient history and of present hos-
Every association to command respect must be ready to
answer the question addressed to the ancient prophet :
" What doest thou here?" Unless we can show that we
stand upon solid ground — that there is a substantial reason
for our existence — we can have no claim upon your sym-
pathy or cooperation. We must establish our raison
d'etre before we can refer with confidence to our purposes
and work. To express ourselves in German fashion we
need the Realgeschichte before we can have the Culturge-
schichte; we must relate certain facts which authenticate
our position before we trace the development of our Penn-
sylvania-German domestic and social life.
That the Germanic races occupy the foremost position in
modern history has never been doubted by those who have
given their attention to the subject. In their very nature
there is a migratory element which drives them to distant
lands to become the pioneers of culture. When at the
beginning of the Middle Ages history first lifts the veil,
we behold Teutonic tribes moving hither and thither
throughout the length and breadth of Europe. We see the
Suevi coming from the East and, according to the legend,
dividing in the center of Germany, one part occupying
Swc den and the other Suabia and Switzerland, each pre-
ser\ ag the title of the tribe in varying forms in the names
of t ese respective countries. A little later we behold the
Got is marching southward along the Rhine, until the Alps
rise ap to bar their way ; and they too divide — one grand
divi ion to occupy the valley of the Danube, the other to
Presidents Address. 15
cross the land of Gaul and to establish the Visigothic
Kingdom in Spain. Once more the shuttle flies westward
and Clovis and his Franks establish a mighty empire.
Finally, Karl the Great bears northward the thread with
which he binds the Saxons ; and thus the warp and woof
of Germany are laid. With Karl — whom the French
have called Charlemagne —the Germans ceased to con-
sist of nomadic tribes, but their fondness for wandering
continued. All through the Middle Ages there was not a
great enterprise undertaken, there was not a single battle,
in which the Germans failed to have a part.
If the Scandinavian legend is true — and we see no
reason to doubt it -r— not two centuries from the epoch
of Charlemagne had elapsed when the Northmen — them-
selves a Teutonic race — visited for the first time the coast
of North America. " One day, while they lingered along
the shore," says the ancient saga, " one of the sailors, a
German named Tyrker, wandered into the forest. When
at last they found him he was dancing and singing for joy ;
then he came to them with a great bunch of grapes in his
hand and said, * See, grapes are growing here as in my
fatherland ! ' " Then they called the country Vineland.
"x\n auspicious prophecy," says Loher, "of the time —
and with him thirst may have been the father of the
thought — when the Germans should glorify the forests of
America with wine and song."
That the actual discovery of America was due to the
expeditions of maritime nations we cheerfully concede, but
the scientific studies which rendered such expeditions pos-
sible were chiefly Germanic. " Columbus," says Riccioli,
"would hardly have ventured on his voyage if Martin
Behaim, the geographer of Nuremberg, had not shown
him the way." In the volumes published by this society
16 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
we have representations of the maps drawn by the Ger-
mans, and may read at length how Hylacomilus, or Wald-
seemuller, named the new.-found continent. In all history
there are no more fascinating pages than those which tell
us of the achievements of German soldiers of fortune in
Spanish lands. Unfortunately for historic purposes many
of these heroes translated their names into the language of
the country; but such men as Sebastian Rentz, Ambrosius
Dalfinger and Philip von Hutten still hold a brilliant place
in the history of South America. In Venezuela Bartholo-
mew Welser, a simple Augsburg merchant, was for thirty
years an absolute ruler, and it was the German house of
Fugger that founded Buenos Ayres. Though their glory
was short-lived and their language soon disappeared, " the
German Communities," says a Spanish author, "became
centres of light and culture." The first book printed in
America, we know, issued in 1544 from the press of a
German, Martin Kronberger, in the City of Mexico.
To rehearse these facts in this presence would be inex-
cusable if they were not so generally ignored by our fore-
most historians. How any one can in these days under-
take to write our history without recognizing the works of
Teutonic explorers, or the subsequent importance of the
German element in the formation of our nationality is be-
yond our comprehension — the fact is in itself a proof of
superficiality. How can any one relate the history of the
Hudson's Bay Company without referring to its founder,
Prince Rupert of the Palatinate? Who can minutely tell
the story of America and at the same time ignore John
Lederer, the explorer of the South West, and Ludwig
Hennepin who traced the windings of the Mississippi, and
Eusebius Francis Kino (properly Kuhn), the discoverer,
and explorer of Lower California and Arizona? In due
Presiden fs A ddress . 1 7
time the brilliant pioneers were succeeded by the toiling
masses. They came in companies, but there was none to
guide them. Refugees from a desolated fatherland —
deserted by their natural leaders, received in this country
with suspicion and tolerated barely for brawn and not for
brain — this is surely the saddest of national migrations.
Circling round and round, like swarms of bees without a
queen, clinging here and there to some projecting point,
only to be driven asunder and scattered through the wilder-
ness. In our published volumes we may read how they
starved at Coted'or and died of yellow fever at Biloxi ; how
at New Berne, in North Carolina, and at Broad Bay, in
Maine, they were murdered by the Indians ; how in New
York they were oppressed and defrauded until the boldest
of their number plunged into the wilderness and through
unnumbered difficulties and dangers made their way along
the Susquehanna until they reached a land where their
brethren had already begun to assemble ; and there as
Whittier says, they once more sang "On the Banks of
Swatara the songs of the Rhine."
It was in Pennsylvania that the greatest swarm of Ger-
man immigration finally settled. A few Germans had in-
deed been here since the founding of the earliest colony.
Peter Minuit, who brought the first Swedish ships — the
Bird Griffin and the Key of Calmar — to Delaware Bay
in 1638, was a native of the German city of Wesel ; Gov-
ernor Printz was a German nobleman, and when Governor
Rysingh surrendered the Swedish colony to Peter Stuy-
vesant the terms of surrender were written in the German
language. It is, however, to the invitation of William
Penn that we generally trace the= beginnings of the German
settlement in Pennsylvania. He spoke the German lan-
guage well, and three times he visited the fatherland. He
1 8 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
knew the people and cordially bade them welcome to his
To relate the history of the German settlement of Penn-
sylvania is beyond our present purpose. It has furnished
material for many volumes and greater and more compre-
hensive works must still be written. Much of the story is
lost, but by earnest labor much can be regained. It has, at
any rate, been made plain that the pioneers were much more
intelligent than their English cotemporaries supposed them
to be. At the very time when letters were written to Eng-
land describing the Germans as " so profoundly ignorant
as to be unable to speak the English language," and as
" fast becoming like unto wood-born savages," almost every
German church in the province sustained a flourishing
parochial school, and Christopher Sauer was conducting
at Germantown a German publishing house which was by
far the largest and most successful in the American colo-
In considering the history of the Germans in America
we are not surprised that in literature and art they have
accomplished little ; we are rather astonished that, notwith-
standing their isolation and the difficulty of acquiring a
new language, they should have been able to do so much.
Is there a branch of the church, a department of sci-
ence, a section of the civil or military service, in which
the Pennsylvania-German has failed to leave his mark?
In the military service of the United States the seven Ger-
man general officers of the Revolution, according to Rosen-
garten, simply led the way for nearly three hundred
subordinate officers and successors. Of the Governors of
Pennsylvania since the Revolution nine have been German
in the direct line of descent and several others have been
Germans on the mother's side. In theology there is such
President's Address. i 9
a galaxy of shining names that we cannot venture to
enumerate them. *< Welch reicher Himmel, Stern an
Stern, Wer kenne£ ihre Namen." In science the names of
Muhlenberg, Melsheimer, Gross, Leidy, Haldeman and
Pepper are surely sufficiently familiar.
44 Write the biographies of your great men, ye silent,
backward Germans," wrote the great Herder, a century
ago. " In this respect other nations are far in advance of
you. They elevate their heroes to the clouds on the pin-
ions of swans and eagles \ ye suffer them to perish in the
dust. The English, French and Italians are vastly more
independent ; they form their own judgments and are not
afraid of the judgments of others. The consciousness
that they have a fatherland gives them the courage which
we lack." In its humble way and at a great distance the
Pennsylvania-German Society is laboring in the direction
indicated by the great philosopher. Like painters labor-
ing to complete a gallery — like sculptors toiling over the
insensate marble— we are striving to recall the heroes of
the past and to present them for the imitation o r rising
generation. If we gladly record the names of ourn ^al
heroes upon the roll of honor, should we hesitate to per-
forin a similar service for the most eminent of our own
immediate people? There are many of them, and if time
and strength are given, we hope to place a crown of laurel
on every honored brow.
Concerning the important part taken by the Germans in
the American Revolution George Bancroft has written :
" Neither they nor their descendants have laid claim to all
the praise that was their due." He might have added that
there has never been a people which has been so grossly
misrepresented. .To, add illustrations would be useless —
are we not painfully aware that our people have been de-
20 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
scribed as exceptionally ignorant ; that our speech has been
called a jargon and our manners depicted as almost abo-
riginal? In pretentious works of literature our churches
have been misrepresented ; our colleges ignored ; and we
have been refused the page which we might modestly
have claimed. Is this as it should be? It may be our
duty to bear oppression, but we can hardly be expected to
endure it without a protest.
It has been said that the Germans of Pennsylvania are
themselves to blame for many of the misrepresentations of
which they complain, and to a certain extent we reluctantly
plead guilty to the impeachment. When our fathers ar-
rived in this country they found that earlier settlers had
chosen land that was easily cleared, and it became neces-
sary to attack the forests that occupied the interior of the
country. The result proved that the soil which had sus-
tained great trees was best suited to agricultural purposes ;
but who can form an adequate idea of the toil and privation
which the task of clearing it involved? For years they
dwelt in comparative solitude. Separated from the educa-
tional influences of the fatherland, and generally unable
to speak the language of their rulers, it is perhaps not
surprising that their intellectual progress was slow, though
there were among them at all times some men of intelli-
gence and influence. In their isolated position, we know
some of their national weaknesses became intensified.
Conrad Weiser quoted scripture and told them they were
" a perverse and stiff-necked generation." Delighting in
their new-found personal liberty, they were ready to sus-
pect everybody — even their own pastors — of a design to
take it from them. Divided into many sects and cherish-
ing many antiquated prejudices, concerted action in their
own behalf appeared to be impossible, and their early at-
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President's Address, 21
tempts to establish literary institutions were consequently
unsuccessful. With the change of language in the schools
the old sources of knowledge dried up before new foun-
tains had been properly opened. Men became adscript us
glebce — they entertained no higher ideals than those which
the farm produced. Individualism became everywhere
apparent in domestic and social life. Families cared little
for their forefathers and old traditions were forgotten.
There was little of the pride of race which characterizes
the people of many other localities. An Irish boy who
had entered college received a letter, enclosing a bank
note, to this effect : " Tim, you are only my second cousin
and I never saw you, but you are trying to do credit to the
family and I owe you $5 for that." Could a Pennsyl-
vania-German boy by any possibility have received such a
letter, at any rate a few years ago? Would he not rather,
on returning home in vacation, have found averted faces
among his earlier campanions, and if he had listened
closely he might have heard it whispered that the young
cockerel was getting proud and needed to have his comb
At one time some of us believed that German was the
finest language in the world, and that it was difficult if not
impossible to express profound thought in any other. We
were no doubt mistaken, but I should rather err in that
way than to follow the example of those who treat the
mother tongue with contempt and prefer that their ances-
try should be forgotten, as though it were discreditable to
be of the same blood with Luther and Spener, with Schil-
ler and Goethe, with Kant and Hegol, Mozart and Wag-
ner, Bliicher and Bismarck. When will our people learn
to appreciate the fact that if they would be esteemed they
must esteem themselves. " Self-love is not so vile a sin
22 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
That there is here a weakness in the Pennsylvania-Ger-
man character has long been acknowledged, and many of
our foremost men have expressed themselves on the subject
in unmistakable language. In such a matter, however,
individuals can accomplish little. Organization is a neces-
sity; and it was therefore an important step in advance
when, on the 15th of April, 1891, representative men as-
sembled in Lancaster to organize the Pennsylvania-German
Society. To trace the history of this association is not our
present intention. Like every other human institution it
has had its trials and triumphs - — its periods of depression
and of thanksgiving — but altogether our course has been
upward and onward, and on this day, when we regard the
work which has already been accomplished, our hearts are
full of rejoicing. True it is that at our annual meetings
the element of mourning is rarely lacking. The founders
of the society are rapidly passing away, and almost every
year we are called upon to note the departure of one or
more of our most distinguished pioneers. On this occa-
sion it becomes my duty especially to commemorate the
decease of the Rev. George C. Heckman, D.D., LL.D.,
which occurred on the 5th of March of the present year.
Dr. Heckman, it will be remembered, was elected Presi-
dent of this Society at York, in 1893, and occupied the
chair at the meeting of the succeeding year. Though it
was not my privilege to be intimately acquainted with my
eminent predecessor, I do not hesitate to say that as a
pulpit orator, and especially as a master of English style,
he stood in the foremost rank, and, surely, he was " a
pastor after God's own heart." To his honor be it said
that — though laboring chiefly among a people with other
traditions — he was profoundly interested in the work of
this Society and never wavered in his affection for the place
that gave him birth.
Presidents Address. 23
In ancient times, when an eminent Jewish rabbi handed
over to a brilliant successor his share in the composition of
the Talmud, he said to him : *■* It is not incumbent on thee
to finish the work." These words we may regard as
spoken to ourselves. Much has been spoken and written,
but our work is barely begun. Thus far our historic labors
have been mostly general — it was all that we could do to
give a general idea of its extent and richness. We have
opened the way for the specialists, and of their gleanings
there will be no end. The records of ancient churches
which we are publishing may not be interesting to the
general reader, but for the genealogist of the future they
will provide innumerable delights. All over the State old
families are holding reunions. These are delightful occa-
sions, when good people spend a few hours in recalling
traditions and reviving ancient affection. As years pass the
love of family history will grow, and the people will not
be satisfied unless they know all that is to be known con-
cerning the sources of their domestic life. Here the
genealogist becomes a necessity, but whither shall he turn
for the materials of his work? With unremitting patience
he will search the records which antiquarians have pub-
lished — and how will he revel in their revelations !
Is not the annual convention of the Pennsylvania-Ger-
man Society in a broader and more comprehensive sense a
family reunion? We have been scattered far and wide,
and have traveled On divergent paths. Old forms of
speech are passing away, and we could not revive them if
We would. Many of us can trace our descent to several
nationalities ; but, strange to say, the German line appears
to be the strongest. Why is it that we cling so closely to
the ancient stem ? Is it not because there is among us an
element which may best be expressed by the German word
24 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
Gemuthlichkeit which involves a heartfelt recognition of the
brotherhood of man, and manifests itself in a certain genial-
ity that renders life more pleasant? If this emotion — for
whose name we cannot find an English equivalent — should
result in smoothing down some of the angularities of our na-
tional character, will it not make us better citizens and better
friends? It has been said that in this society the various
elements of the Anglo-German life in Pennsylvania have
been more closely united than ever before. May we not
hope for results that will far exceed our present anticipa-
tions when we come to a fuller recognition of a common
origin and a common aim?
Following the President's address the Secretary, H. M.
M. Richards made his report for the year just ended.
To the Officers and Members of the Pennsylvania-
Gentlemen: Circumstances have prevented me from
drawing up such a full report of our operations for the
year as I might like, or you may desire, and yet all I
could have said would only have tended to intensify my
simple statement that the prosperity of our earlier years
has continued with us during the past twelve months.
Our progress has been constantly onward as well as up-
ward to a higher plane of excellence and renown. The
character of our membership, and great value of our pub-
lications, have given the Society a most enviable standing
and world-wide reputation. Volume XL, though tardy in
making its appearance, is now in your hands and speaks
Our membership has increased to the encouraging net
total of 425. The additions to our ranks, for the year,
foot up 34, and we have been called upon to mourn the
loss, by death, of 7, many of whom were amongst our
most active members, and all of whom will be greatly
missed by those of 'us who have been left behind to com-
plete the tasks still lying unfinished in our hands.
Your executive committee has been most faithful in atten-
dance at its various meetings, and has always given the
welfare of the Society its most earnest thought. The result
is sufficient evidence of the faithful performance of duty.
While much and varied action has been taken, that of
general interest may be summed up in the following items :
1. Dr. Charles F. Himes, of Carlisle, Pa., our late
president, was appointed a committee to correspond with
those members who were interested in photography, for
the purpose of securing views of places, persons, build-
ings, etc., of general and historic interest from a Penn-
sylvania-German standpoint, thus perpetuating the same.
2. A beautiful Certificate of Membership has been issued
suitable for framing, to which all members are entitled
who have been in good standing for a continuous period of
five years. The cost of the same is but $1.50 and can be
obtained through the Secretary.
In congratulating you upon the great prosperity now en-
joyed by our Society, your Secretary and committee pray
that the members will continue to extend to them their
hearty cooperation, which alone can assure our future wel-
H. M. M. Richards,
Donations Received by the Society.
Life of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, D.D., by William
H. Frick, D.D.
26 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Vol.
III., No. i, by the Society.
Pronouncing Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary of
the Philippine Islands, by its author, De B. Randolph
Collections of State Historical Society of Wisconsin,
Vol. XVI., by the Society.
The Iowa Journal of History and Politics for January,
1903, by the State Historical Society of Iowa.
Manual of the Pennsylvania Society for 1903, by the
Year Book of the Pennsylvania Society for 1903, by
Life of Captain Gustavus Conyngham, by the Pennsyl-
vania Society, Sons of the Revolution.
Proceedings State Historical Society of Wisconsin at
its fiftieth annual meeting, by the Society.
Proceedings Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the Revolu-
tion, 1902-03, by the Society.
Treasurer's Report, Pennsylvania-German Society
for Fiscal Year Ending October i, 1902.
During the current year there was received :
From Dues $ 955.00
From Sale of Books 231 .00
From Certificates 6 . 00
Making a Total of $1192.00
October 26, 1901, General Fund 1199.21
Life Membership Fund 250.00
Total Debit $2641.21
Credit by Vouchers as Per Book $1758.72
Leaving a Balance of S82.49
' .-•■■ Reports. 27
General Fund....w....... $ 632.49
Life Membership 250.00
m n't t i , $ 882.49
All of which is respectfully submitted by
Julius F. Sachse,
! ' ' • '••■ Treasurer.
,! Norristown, Pa., Oct. 3, '02.
The undersigned Auditing Committee has audited the
accounts of the Treasurer and find it correct, as stated.
In the opinion of the Committee the Treasurer is not prop-
erly protected in the payment of bills, in view of which
we recommend that vouchers for the payments of all bills
be issued by the Secretary and countersigned by the Chair-
man of the Executive Committee.
S. P. Heilman,
T. W. Early,
Ira V. Schock.
Election of Officers.
The election of officers for the ensuing year then took
place with the following result : President, Rev. Joseph
A. Seiss, D.D., LL.D., L.H.D., of Philadelphia, Pa.;
Vice-presidents, Hon. Irving P, Wanger, of Norristown,
Pa., Rev. Paul de Schweinitz, of Bethlehem, Pa. ; Treas-
urer, Julius F. Sachse, Litt. D., of Philadelphia, Pa. •
Executive Committee, Thos. C. Zimmerman, of Reading,
Pa., Abraham S. Schropp, of Bethlehem, Pa.
The morninjg session was concluded by an able paper
on " Early Educational Problems affecting the Pennsyl-
vania Germans,'' by Prof. M. G. Brumbaugh, Ph.D., of
Philadelphia, Pa. ,
1 he Pennsylvania- German Society.
The afternoon session was opened with a most interest-
ing paper on " Decorated Stove Plates of the Pennsylvania
Germans/' by Prof. Henry C. Mercer, of Doylestown, Pa.,
after which a most pleasant excursion was made to Ursinus
College, at Collegeville, and to the old, historic Augustus
Lutheran Church, at Trappe, with its Muhlenberg graves.
A most successful and enjoyable gathering was brought
to a happy conclusion by an informal reception from 7.30
to 8.30 P. M., followed by the Annual Banquet, of which
a large number of ladies and gentlemen partook. The
music was furnished by the Norristown Maennerchor, and
the following gentlemen responded to toasts : Hon. Henry
Houck, of Lebanon, on " Pennsylvania-German Humor" ;
Hon. G. A. Endlich, of Reading, on "The Language of
the Pennsylvania Dutch"; Albrecht Kneule, Esq., on
" The Pride of Pennsylvania Germans." Hon. Irving P.
Wanger, of Norristown, presided as Toastmaster.
Obituary Record. 31
Samuel Straub Yahe.
Samuel Straub Yohe was born December 1, 185 1, in
Bethlehem, Pa. He was son of Caleb Yohe, b. August
7, 1814, d. November, 1892, and wife Mary M. Yohe, nee
Straub, b. June 13, 1807, d. January, 1885 (dau. Christian
Straub, b. November 7, 1777, d. January 23, 1856, and
wife Regina , b. May 19, 1782, d. April 17, 1858) ;
son of Jacob Yohe, b. (Berks Co.) June 3, 1788, d. Septem-
ber 18, 1869, m. Catharine, n£e Harman, b. May 17, 1790,
d. March 17, 1864 (dau. Jacob Harman and wife Elizabeth,
n£e Leisenring); son of Peter Yoh. His ancestors, on
both sides, came from Germany.
His early education was obtained at Nazareth Hall, and
later in Lehigh University. In 1872 he removed to Easton,
Pa., where he entered the law office of the late Edward J.
Fox. He became, eventually, Prothonotary, and served
as a Court House official until the day of his death.
Mr. Yohe was especially prominent in the Masonic fra-
ternity. He was initiated in Dallas Lodge, No. 396, F.
and A. M., of Easton, Pa., on June 9, 1874, crafted Sep-
tember 1, 1874, and raised to the sublime degree of a
Master Mason, October 13, 1874. Passed to the chair
April 20, 1875. He served as Junior Warden during the
years 1876 and 1892 ; Senior Warden, 1877 and 1893 ;
Worshipful Master, 1878 and 1894. He received in Easton
Chapter, No. 173, Royal Arch Masons, the honorary degree
of a Mark Master Mason, June 21, 1875; was received
and accepted a Most Excellent Master and exalted to the
supreme degree of a Royal Arch Mason, July 26, 1875.
32 The Pennsylvania-German Society.
Served as Scribe during 1878, as King 1879 anc * M-. E.
High Priest 1880. He received in Bethlehem Council,
No. 36, Royal and Select Masters, the Royal and Super
Excellent Master's Degrees, April 8, 1880, and the Select
Master's, December 2, 1880; was admitted a member of
Pomp Council, No. 20, of Easton, Pa., July 11, 1881.
Served as Thrice Illustrious Grand Master, 188 1, was
elected and served as Most Puissant Grand Master of the
Grand Council of Pennsylvania in 1898. In Hugh de
Payens Commandery, No. 19, Knights Templar, of
Easton, Pa., he received the Illustrious Order of the Red
Cross, December 8, 1879 » was dubbed and created a
Knight Templar and was instructed in the secret of Malta
December 29, 1879. ^ e serv ^d as Captain General during
Templar year 1881-2 ; as Generalissimo 1882-3 ; as Emi-
nent Commander 1883-4; at Erie, Pa., May 27, 1891,
elected Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Commandery
of Pennsylvania, and, at Scranton, May 27, 1896, Right
Eminent Grand Commander. He was a Representative
to the Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter and Grand Council
of Pennsylvania at the time of his death, and was buried
with full Templar honors in Easton Cemetery on October
His death resulted from apoplexy on the morning of
October 21, 1902, his wife having died a few months pre-
viously. He is survived by a daughter, Edith, the wife of
Mr. Xavier Veile, of Easton, Pa.
Mr. Yohe was elected to membership in the Pennsyl-
vania-German Society on October 25, 1900.
H. M. M. R.
Han. William Beidelman.
Hon. William Beidelman was born in Lower Saucon
Township of Northampton County, Pa., on January 17,
1840. He was the son of Daniel Beidelman, who was
son of Abraham Beidelman, who was son of Samuel Beidel-
man, who was son of Elias Beidelman, who came to Amer-
ica in 1730.
Soon after his birth the family removed to Williams
Township, where his boyhood days were spent upon his
father's farm. After attending the township schools his
education was continued at the New York Conference Sem-
inary and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Having,
later, read law for some time with the late E. J. Fox, he
went to the law department of the University of Albany,
N. Y., from which he graduated, and, in 1868 was ad-
mitted a member of the Northampton County Bar, where
he continued his practice until the time of his death.
During the Civil War Mr. Beidelman enlisted in the
153d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, where he at-
tained the rank of Lieutenant, and with which he served
in the Army of the Potomac from October, 1862, to July 4,
1863, participating in the battles of Chancellorsville and
In politics he was a Democrat. He was elected District
Attorney of Northampton County in 187 1, and represented
this district in the State Senate from 1878 until 1882.
From 1885 to 1887 he was Solicitor of Easton, then a
borough. In 1890, after Easton had become a city, he
was elected its Mayor and served in that capacity until
34 The Pennsylvania- German Society.
Besides various interesting historical letters, which ap-
peared in local publications, Mr. Beidelman was the author
of the " Story of the Pennsylvania Germans," most of the
data for which book was collected by himself personally
during various trips to Germany and other countries made
for that special purpose.
He was a member of the N. Y. Geographical Society,
the Jacksonian Democratic Association, Lafayette Post,
217, G. A. R., Dallas Lodge, 396, F. and A. M., and
Hugh de Payens Commandery, 19, Knights Templar.
He was admitted to membership in the Pennsylvania-Ger-
man Society on July 8, 1891.
His death, on February 1, 1903, resulted from pneu-
monia after a brief illness of but a few days.
H. M. M. R.
Obituary Record. 35
Han. George Frederick William Halls,
Hon. George; Frederick William Holls, D.C.L. , was
born July 1, 1857, in Zelienople, Butler County, Pennsyl-
vania. He was son of Rev. George Charles Holls, b.
February 26, 1824, in Darmstadt, Germany, d. August
12, 1886, widely known as a philanthropist and educator,
and Louise Burx, b. December 6, 1816, d. January 6,
1887, (dau. Gottlieb Burx, b. July 6, 1769, d. December
8, 1817), son of Ludwig Holls, b. January 18, 1796, d.
October 26, 1832, son of Charles Heinrich Holls. His
parents came to Pennsylvania, September 20, 1852, from
Darmstadt, Germany. All his paternal ancestors, for three
hundred years, were theologians or soldiers, mostly the
former. His maternal grandfather was a famous artist in
engraving (copper-plate and lithography). His other
maternal ancestors were mostly of the military.
Dr. Holls was graduated from Columbia College in
1878, studied also at the University at Leipsic, and became
a practising lawyer in New York City. He was a dele-
gate-at-large to the New York Constitutional Convention
in 1894, a member of the Peace Conference at The Hague
from the United States in 1898, being Secretary of the
American Delegation, and, more recently, a member of
the International Court. He was the author of a number
of books, including a history of the Peace Conference at
The Hague and numerous lectures and essays on political
subjects. The degree of D.C.L., was conferred upon him
by the University of Leipsic.
The Pennsylvania- German Society
His sudden death, from heart failure, occurred, on the
morning of July 23, 1903, at his home at Yonkers, N. Y.
He was elected to Associate Membership in the Penn-
sylvania-German Society on April 12, 1898, and was
continually interested in its work.
H. M. M. R.