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ADDRESS AT DEDICATION OF TABLET.27 ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE TABLET TO THE MEMORY OF FRANCIS DANIEL PASTORIUS, TENTH MONTH 25, 1924. By Charles F. Jenkins, of Philadelphia. Two hundred and forty-two years ago yesterday, William Penn arrived within the capes of Delaware Bay, on his first visit to his newly purchased province. Just one year later the town of Germantown was laid out and on the following day, that is to say, on the 25th of October, 1683, in a rude dugout cabin which stood near this spot, the thirteen German artisans and immigrants drew lots for their future homes, and started the settlement of Germantown . Of the significance of this event countless books have been written. It has been estimated that one fifth the blood in our United States is German. These people are descendants of ancestors who, leaving the rack and ruin of war-swept Germany and particularly the Rhine Valley, sought an asylum and found a hearty welcome in the new world, and nowhere in greater numbers than in Pennsylvania. In the vanguard of this movement, not because he was the first German to settle in Pennsylvania, but because he represented a definite movement of racial colonization, was Francis Daniel Pastorius. His story has been often told and no doubt is familiar to most of you, but in placing a tablet to mark this, his first home in America, it is fitting that we should briefly sketch his interesting career. Pastorius was born on September 26th, 1651, at Sommerhausen on the banks of the Main, of a distinguished German family. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church and in his youth enjoyed the best educational advantages his country afforded. He attended in turn four of the great universities of Germany, Altdorf, Strassburg, Basle and Jena, finally concluding his studies at the first named and receiving his licentiate in both canon and civil law. He was especially devoted to the classics, Latin and Greek having been early acquired. He studied French at Strassburg and Italian at Jena, thus fortifying an apparently natural bent for foreign languages, which later included Dutch and Spanish. His association with the great universities had 28 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. given him a wide acquaintanceship with books and men, including some of the greatest scholars of the Empire. He began at the age of twenty-five the practice of his profession of law in the city of Windsheim where his father Melchoir Adam Pastorius then lived. Removing later to Frankfort, he laid the foundation of the friendships with a serious-minded group of Pietists, which connection changed the tenor of his life and eventually brought him to the new world. In 1680 he set out on the grand tour, a necessary part of the education of a man of parts of the time, as companion of a young nobleman Johann Bonaventura Von Bodeck, who Pastorius described as "a noble young spark." Their wanderings took them to Holland, England, France and Switzerland. Two years and five months were occupied in this leisurely journey, which afforded Pastorius the opportunity of meeting numerous important men of learning and culture. Repelled by the lightness and frivolity of his late companions on his return to Frankfort, he renewed his intimacy with the group of men and women who had been variously influenced by the visits of William Penn and his companions to the Rhine Provinces. It was they who formed the Frankfort Land Company , making an initial purchase of 15,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania and appointing Pastorius their Agent and Manager. Pastorius in the furtherance of his new duty, proceeded to London where he engaged four servants, thereby increasing his retinue to eight, and embarked at Deal on a ship significantly named the America. And although the passage was reasonably short, yet it was not without its trials. All the passengers were seasick for some days. Two of the ornaments or supports over the ship's bell fell on Pastorius and injured his back, and a later heavy fall during a storm also brought its injury. One of his servants had a fall, three others were seriously ill. One of the sailors...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 27-33
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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