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From: "judith meredith" <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Pa. German Book by Benjamin Rush & Daniel Rupp Online(OCR text)
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 19:06:23 -0800
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Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:02 PM
Subject: [BRE] Pa. German Book by Benjamin Rush & Daniel Rupp Online (OCR
Title: An account of the manners of the German inhabitants of Pennsylvania,
Author: Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813. Ed. I. Daniel Rupp. [1789; 1875]
Index: p. 71-72
AN ACCOUNT OF THIE MANNERS OF THE GERMAN INHABITANTS OF
PENNSYLVANIA, WRITTEN 1789, BY BENJAMIN RUSH, M. D. NOTES PRO-
VIDED BY PROF. I. DANIEL RUPP, Author, Translator, Member of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania; Hon. Mem. Minnesota His. Soc.; Hon. Mem. His. Soc.
Wisconsin; Cor. Mem. of the N. Eng. His. and Genealogical Soc.; Hon. Mem.
Phrenakosmian Soc. Pa. Coll.; Hon. Mem. Moravian His. Soc. of Nazareth;
Deigmadedachian Soc. of the Theol. Sem. Gettysburg; Hon. Mem. of the
Lit. Soc. Marshall Coll; Cor. Mem. York Co. Cabinet of Nat. Sciences and
Mem. of Swatara Lit. Inst.; Ehren Mitglied Des Deutschen Pioniers Verein,
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL P. TOWN, 614 CHESTNUT ST. PHILADELPHIA. 1875.
PREFACE. BENJAMIN RUSH, M. D., the Author of the Account of the Manners of
the German Inhabitants, of Pennsylvania, was a native of Pennsylvania, born
24, 1745, at Bristol, Bucks County. He was educated at Princeton College, N.
Medicine in Philadelphia, London, Edinburg and Paris. In 1769, was made
Chemistry, in the Philadelphia. Medical College, and became a contributor to
Literature. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress; he
signed the Declaration of Independence. In 1777, he was appointed
Physiciangeneral, of the Continental army. His duties did not prevent him
from writing a
series of letters on the Constitution of Pennsylvania, which was changed by
He resigned his post in the army, because he could not prevent frauds upon
the hospital stores. In 1785, he planned the Philadelphia Dispensary, the
first in the
United States; and was a member of the convention, which ratified the
Constitution. Retiring from politics, he became Professor of the Theory and
Medicine, in Philadelphia
Medical College; and was so successful in the treatment of yellow fever,
1793, that he
was believed to have saved the lives of 6,000 persons. His practice, in
became so large that he prescribed for one hundred patients a day, whom he
at his meals. His Medical works produced honors from several European
1799, he was appointed Treasurer of the United States Mint, which post he
held until his
death, in Philadelphia, April 19, 1813. He was one of the greatest and best
men that have
adorned his country. Few men have been greater ornaments to their country
Bush; and, very few, indeed, had acquired a greater reputation, both at home
He was a beneficent philanthropist and an exemplary christian.
--Thatchcr's fed. Biog., Chamber's Ency. Davenport.
"[Page46] MANNERS OF THE GERMANS
This harmony between the two sects, one so much opposed to each other, is
owing to the
relaxation of the Presbyterians, (Ger. Ref.) in some of the peculiar
Calvinism.* The Mennonites, the Moravians, the Schwenkfelders, Catholics,
or Amish, a German sect. I. D. R.] compose the other sects of the German
of Pennsylvania. The Mennonites hold war and oaths to be unlawful. They
sacrements of baptism by sprinkling,+ and observe the supper. From them a
arisen, who hold with the above principles and ceremonies, the necessity of
baptism, hence they are called Dunkers, or Baptists.
* The Heidelberg Catechism, the symbolical
book adopted by the German Reformed church, is, in its general character,
This formulary observes a singular moderation on some points, upon which the
parties in the Protestant churches differed, or respecting which good men
different opinions. The Heidelberg Catechism is more irenical than
I. D. R.
+The Mennonites baptize the subject while kneeling, by pouring water upon
the person being baptized. I. D. R.
[Page 47] * Previously to their partaking, of the sacrement
of the supper, they wash each other's feet, and sit down to a love-feast.
these ceremonies of their religion, with great humility and solemnity. They,
the doctrine of universal salvation. [This last clause must be received cum
grano salis. I. D. R.]
>From this sect, there have been several seceders, one of whom devoted
themselves to perpetual celibacy.+ They have exhibited
* Dr. Rush's statement lacks
historical proof. The Dunkers (German Brethren), as a sect, have not arisen
Mennonites. Alexander Mack, of Vitchengestein, of Prussia, founded, 1708,
Rev. Peter Becker, onef of the German Brethren ministers came to
Alexander Mack followed Becker to Pennsylvania, 1729, settled near
1735, aged 65-buried in Brethren burying ground, at Germantown. I. D. R.
+ Conrad Peysel, or Beissel, born 1691, at Oberbach in the Palatinate. He
educated for the
gospel ministry, at Halle, once the principal seat of Pietistic divines of
by reason of his peculiar opinions on some points of Theology was coolly
treated by the
confraternity. He left Halle, went to Friesland, Holland, resided for
Seru.stervin, formed the acquaintance of disciples of Alexander Mack. Ency.
Rel. Knowledge, 479.
[Page 48] for many years, a curious spectacle of pious
mortification, at a village called Ephrata, Lancaster County: They are at
reduced to fourteen or fifteen members. The Separatists who likewise
dissented from the
Dunkers, reject the ordinance of baptism and the sacrament of the supper;
doctrine of the Friends, concerning the internal revelation of the gospel.
They hold with
the Dunkers, the doctrine of universal salvation. The singular piety, and
morality of these sects, has been urged by the advocates for the salvation
as a proof that the In 1719, Beissel came to Pennsylvania, with Peter
a leader of
the German Brethrenresided for some time at Muelback, Lancaster Co. now
He published a Tract, 1725, showing that the German Brethren were in error,
observing the first day of the week, instead of Saturday. This Tract
excitement at Muelbach. Beissel seceded, 1728, located at Ephrata, founded
Taegar Taeufer Denomination. He was a man of peculiar idiosyncracy. In
appearance, when sixtyfour years of age, it is said: " He was a small lean
man, had gray
bushy hair, quick in his utterance, as well as in his movements." Acrelius,
p. 373. Beissel
died July 6, 1768, buried at Ephrata.
[Page 49] belief of that doctrine is not unfriendly to morals, and the
order of society, as has been supposed. The Dunkers and Separatists agree in
interest upon money, and in not applying to law to recover their debts. The
Moravians are a numerous and respectable body of christians in Pennsylvania.
village of Bethlehem,* there are two' large stone buildings, in which the
are educated in the habits of industry, in useful manufactures. The sisters,
(for by that
epithet the women are called,) all sleep in two large and neat apartments.
Two of them
watch over the rest, in turns, every night, to afford relief from those
which sometimes occur, in the most healthy persons, in the hours of sleep.
impossible to record this fact, without pausing a moment to do homage to
which produced so much union and kindness in human souls. The number of
who belong to this sequestured female society, amounts sometimes to one
twenty, and seldom to less than one hundred. It is remarkable that
* Bethlehem: a Moravian settlement commenced here, 1742. I. D. R,
[Page 50] they lead a
sedentary life, and sit constantly in close storerooms in winter, that not
more than one of
them, upon an average, dies in a year. The diseases which generally produces
annual death, is the consumption. The conditions and ages of the women of
well as of the society that has been mentioned, are distinguished by ribbons
of a peculiar
kind which they wear on their caps-the widows, by blue, the single Women,
eighteen years of age, by pink; and those under that age, by a ribbon of a
colour. Formerly this body of Moravians held all their property in common in
the primitive christians; but, in 1760, a division of the whole took place,
except a tavern
and a tanyard, 2,000 acres of land near Bethlehem, and 5,000 acres near
village in the neighborhood of Bethlehem. The profits of these estates are
the support and propagation of the gospel. There are many valuable
carried on at Bethlehem. The inhabitants possess a gentleness in their
manners, which is
peculiarly agreeable to strangers. They inure their children, of five and
years old, to
habits of ...."
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