The "Second Company"
Before David Nitschmann, the "Hausmeister", left London, after
the sailing of the first Moravian company for Georgia, he presented to the
Trustees a series of propositions, the acceptance of which would open the
way for a large increase of Moravian emigration. The proposals were, in
brief, that the Trustees should give credit to the Moravians to the extent
of 500 Pounds sterling, which, deducting the 60 Pounds advanced to the first
company, would provide passage money and a year's provision for fifty-five
more of Count Zinzendorf's "servants", the loan to be repaid,
without interest, in five years, and to bear interest at the usual rate
if payment was longer deferred. He also suggested that the money, when repaid,
should be again advanced for a like purpose. In addition he requested that
each man of twenty-one years, or over, should be granted fifty acres near
Count Zinzendorf's tract.
The Trustees were pleased to approve of these proposals, and promised the
desired credit, with the further favor that if the debt was not paid within
five years it should draw interest at eight per cent. only, instead of ten
per cent., the customary rate in South Carolina.
During the summer, therefore, a second company prepared to follow the pioneers
to the New World. On the 5th of August, 1735, two parties left Herrnhut,
one consisting of three young men, and the other of thirteen men, women
and children, who were joined at Leipzig by Jonas Korte, who went with them
to London. On August 8th, five more persons left Herrnhut, under the leadership
of David Nitschmann, the Bishop, who was to take the second company to Georgia,
organize their congregation, and ordain their pastor.
This David Nitschmann, a carpenter by trade, was a companion of David Nitschmann,
the "Hausmeister", and John Toeltschig, when they left Moravia
in the hope of re-establishing the Unitas Fratrum, and with them settled
at Herrnhut, and became one of the influential members of the community.
When missionaries were to be sent to the Danish West Indies, Nitschmann
and Leonard Dober went on foot to Copenhagen (August 21st, 1732), and sailed
from there, Nitschmann paying their way by his work as ship's carpenter.
By the same handicraft he supported himself and his companion for four months
on the island of St. Thomas, where they preached to the negro slaves, and
then, according to previous arrangement, he left Dober to continue the work,
and returned to Germany. In 1735, it was decided that Bishop Jablonski,
of Berlin, and Bishop Sitkovius, of Poland, who represented the Episcopate
of the ancient Unitas Fratrum, should consecrate one of the members of the
renewed Unitas Fratrum at Herrnhut, linking the Church of the Fathers with
that of their descendents, and enabling the latter to send to the Mission
field ministers whose ordination could not be questioned by other denominations,
or by the civil authorities. David Nitschmann, then one of the Elders at
Herrnhut, was chosen to receive consecration, the service being performed,
March 13th, by Bishop Jablonski, with the written concurrence of Bishop
The three parties from Herrnhut met at Magdeburg on August 13th, proceeding
from there to Hamburg by boat, and at Altona, the sea-port of Hamburg, they
found ten more colonists who had preceded them. Here also they were joined
by Christian Adolph von Hermsdorf, who went with them to Georgia as "a
volunteer". Apparently Lieutenant Hermsdorf wanted the position of
Zinzendorf's Agent in Georgia, for the Count wrote to him on the 19th of
August, agreeing that he should go with the Moravians, at their expense,
but saying that if he desired office he must first prove himself worthy
of it by service with and for the others, even as the Count had always done.
If the reports from Georgia justified it, the Count promised to send him
proper powers later, and to find a good opportunity for his wife to follow
him. Rosina Schwarz and her child, who had come with them to Hamburg to
meet her husband, returned with him to their home in Holstein; and on account
of Rosina Neubert's serious illness, she and her husband reluctantly agreed
to leave the company, and wait for another opportunity to go to Georgia.
In 1742 they carried out their intention of emigrating to America, though
it was to Pennsylvania, and not to Georgia.
The "second company", therefore, consisted of twenty-five persons*:
David Nitschmann, the Bishop.
Christian Adolph von Hermsdorf, a volunteer.
John Andrew Dober, a potter.
David Tanneberger, a shoemaker.
John Tanneberger, son of David, a boy of ten years.
Augustin Neisser, a young lad, brother of George.
Henry Roscher, a linen-weaver.
John Michael Meyer, a tailor.
John Martin Mack.
Matthias Seybold, a farmer.
John Boehner, a carpenter.
Maria Catherine Dober, wife of John Andrew Dober.
Rosina Zeisberger, wife of David Zeisberger.
Judith Toeltschig, Catherine Riedel, Rosina Haberecht, Regina Demuth,
going to join their husbands already in Georgia.
Anna Waschke, a widow, to join her son.
Juliana Jaeschke, a seamstress.
* Fifteen of these colonists were originally from Moravia and Bohemia.
During an enforced stay of three weeks
at Altona, the Moravians experienced
much kindness, especially at the hands of Korte and his family and Mrs.
Weintraube, the daughter of a Mennonite preacher, who had come from her
home in London on a visit to her father. By this time the Moravian settlement
at Herrnhut was coming to be well and favorably known in Holland, and every
visit won new friends, many of whom came into organic fellowship with them.
A few years later, when the Unitas Fratrum was confronted by a great financial
crisis, it was largely the loyalty and liberality of the Dutch members that
enabled it to reach a position of safety.
On the 9th of September, the company went aboard an English boat, homeward
bound, but contrary winds held them in port until the 13th, and it was not
until Sunday, Oct. 2nd, that they reached London, after a long and stormy
crossing, which gave many of them their first experience of sea-sickness.
Nitschmann and Korte at once went ashore to report their arrival to Secretary
Verelst, and on Monday a house was rented, and the twenty-five colonists
and Jonas Korte moved into it, to wait for the sailing of Gen. Oglethorpe's
ship, the General having offered the berths on his own vessel. The General
was out of town when they reached London, but called on Monday evening,
and showed them every kindness, -- "Oglethorpe is indeed our good friend,
and cares for us like a father."
Nitschmann found a good deal of difficulty on account of the language, for
he could not speak Latin, as Spangenberg had done, and knew no English,
so that all of his conversations with Oglethorpe had to be carried on through
an interpreter; nevertheless a number of important points were fully discussed.
On the question of military service he could reach no definite and satisfactory
conclusion, and thought it a great pity that there had not been a perfect
mutual understanding between Zinzendorf and the Trustees before the first
company sailed. That Zinzendorf's "servants" should be free from
military service was admitted by all, but Oglethorpe thought three men must
be furnished to represent Zinzendorf, Spangenberg and Nitschmann (the Hausmeister),
the three free-holders, and suggested that Lieutenant Hermsdorf might take
one place. Nitschmann said that would not do, that the Moravians "could
not and would not fight," and there the matter rested. Nitschmann wrote
to Zinzendorf, begging him to come to London, and interview the Trustees,
but advised that he wait for Oglethorpe's return from Georgia some nine
On this account the members of the second company agreed that it would be
better for them not to accept land individually, but to go, as the others
had done, as Zinzendorf's "servants", to work on his tract. Oglethorpe
suggested that an additional five hundred acres should be requested for
Count Zinzendorf's son, and Nitschmann referred the proposal to the authorities
at Herrnhut. In regard to the five hundred acre tract already granted, the
General said that it had been located near the Indians, at the Moravians'
request, but that settlers there would be in no danger, for the Indians
were at peace with the English, there was a fort near by, and besides he
intended to place a colony of Salzburgers fifty miles further south, when
the Moravians would be, not on the border but in the center of Georgia.
Gen. Oglethorpe assured Nitschmann that there would be no trouble regarding
the transfer of title to the Georgia lands, for while, for weighty reasons,
the grants had been made in tail male, there was no intention, on the part
of the Trustees, to use this as a pretext for regaining the land, and if
there was no male heir, a brother, or failing this, a friend, might take
the title. (In 1739 the law entailing property in Georgia was modified to
meet this view, and after 1750, all grants were made in fee simple.) He
also explained that the obligation to plant a certain number of mulberry
trees per acre, or forfeit the land, was intended to spur lazy colonists,
and would not be enforced in the case of the Moravians.
Nitschmann told Gen. Oglethorpe of the wives and children who had been left
in Herrnhut, and suggested the advisability of establishing an English School
for them, that they might be better fitted for life in Georgia. Oglethorpe
liked the idea, and, after due consideration, suggested that some one in
Herrnhut who spoke French or Latin, preferably the latter, should be named
as Count Zinzendorf's Agent, to handle funds for the English school, and
to accompany later companies of Georgia colonists as far as London, his
expenses to be paid by the Trustees. Of this the Trustees approved, and
donated 40 Pounds sterling, partly for Nitschmann's use in London, and the
balance, -- about 4 Pounds it proved to be, -- for the Herrnhut school.
An English gentleman also gave them 32 Pounds, with the proviso that within
four years they in turn would give an equal amount to the needy, which Nitschmann
readily agreed should be done.
Various other gifts must have been received, for when the company sailed,
Nitschmann reported to Count Zinzendorf that, without counting a considerable
amount which Korte had generously expended on their behalf, they had received
115 Pounds in London, and had spent 113 Pounds. "This will seem much
to you, but when you look over the accounts, and consider the number of
people, and how dear everything is, you will understand." Unfortunately
the colonists had left Herrnhut without a sufficient quantity of warm clothing,
thinking that it would not be needed, but letters from Georgia gave them
quite new ideas of the climate there, and they were forced to supply themselves
in London, though at double what it would have cost in Germany.
In addition to these expenditures, the second company borrowed from the
Trustees the funds for their passage to Georgia, and a year's provision
there, binding themselves jointly and severally to repay the money, the
bond, dated Oct. 26th, 1735, being for the sum of 453 Pounds 7 Shillings
6 Pence, double the amount of the actual debt. This included Passage for
16 men, 8 women and 1 boy,
| 25 persons, 24-1/2 "heads"
122: 10: 0
| 25 sets of bed-clothes
6: 5: 0
| 1 year's provisions in Georgia, being 12 bushels Indian Corn, 100
lbs. Meat, 30 lbs. Butter, 1 bushel Salt, 27 lbs. Cheese, per head
64: 6: 30
| Advanced in London for necessaries
33: 12: 6
226: 13: 9
This was to be repaid in five years, drawing eight per cent. interest after
three years, further security to be given within twelve months if requested
by the Trustees or their Agent; and any provisions not used to be credited
on their account. In the matter of forming new acquaintances in London,
the second company was far less active than the first had been, Spangenberg's
standing and education having given him access to many people, attracting
their attention to his companions. The second company profited by the friends
he had made, Mr. Wynantz especially devoting himself to their service, and
while Nitschmann and his associates did not reach many new people, they
inspired the respect and confidence of those whom Spangenberg had introduced
to the Moravian Church, and so strengthened its cause. A carpenter from
Wittenberg, Vollmar by name, who was attracted to them, requested permission
to go to Georgia with them, although not at their expense, and to this they
agreed. A number of Salzburgers who were to go to Georgia with General Oglethorpe,
though not on the same ship, were under the leadership of the young Baron
von Reck with whom Zinzendorf had corresponded during the early stages of
the Moravian negotiations, and the Baron called on the second company several
times, offered to assist them in any way in his power, and expressed the
wish that the Moravians and Salzburgers could live together in Georgia.
Nitschmann doubted the wisdom of the plan, but courteously agreed to refer
it to Zinzendorf, who, however, refused his sanction.
On the 12th of October, the Moravians went aboard Gen. Oglethorpe's ship,
the `Simmonds', Capt. Cornish, where they were told to select the cabins
they preferred, being given preference over the English colonists who were
going. The cabins contained bare bunks, which could be closed when not in
use, arranged in groups of five, -- three below and two above, -- the five
persons occupying them also eating together. The Moravians chose their places
in the center of the ship, on either side of the main mast, where the ventilation
was best, and there would be most fresh air when they reached warmer latitudes.
"The number of people on the ship is rather large, for we are altogether
one hundred and fifty who are going to Georgia, but besides ourselves they
are all Englishmen." "Many of them are like wild animals, but
we have resolved in all things to act as the children of God, giving offence
to no one, that our purpose be not misconstrued."
After seeing his companions comfortably settled on the vessel, Nitschmann
returned to his numerous tasks in London. On the 24th, he came back to the
ship, accompanied by Korte, who bade them an affectionate farewell. By the
27th all of the passengers, including Gen. Oglethorpe, were on board, but
it was not until the afternoon of October 31st, that the `Simmonds' sailed
On the `Simmonds', as she sailed slowly down the Thames on her way to Georgia,
there were four Englishmen, with whom the Moravians were to become well
acquainted, who were to influence and be influenced by them, and throug
whom a great change was to come into the religious history of England. These
were John and Charles Wesley, Benjamin Ingham and Charles Delamotte. The
Wesleys were sons of Samuel Wesley, a clergyman of the Church of England,
and while at the University of Oxford they, with two companions, had formed
a little society for religious improvement, and by their strict and methodical
habits gained the name of "Methodists"; both brothers had taken
orders in the English Church, and were on their way to Georgia, John to
serve as rector at Savannah, and Charles as Gen. Oglethorpe's private secretary.
Benjamin Ingham was born in Yorkshire, and met the Wesleys at Oxford, where
he joined their Methodist society. He, too, had been ordained in the English
Church, and now, at the age of twenty-three, had yielded to John Wesley's
persuasions, and agreed to go with him "to the Indians". Charles
Delamotte, the son of a London merchant, met the Wesleys at the home of
James Hutton, shortly before they sailed for Georgia, and was so much impressed
by them, and by their object in seeking the New World that he decided "to
leave the world, and give himself up entirely to God," and go with
For the greater part of his life John Wesley kept a Journal, extracts from
which were given to the public from time to time, and Benjamin Ingham's
account of the voyage to Georgia was also printed, so that the story of
those weeks is quite well known. Nevertheless, something of interest may
be gained by comparing these two Journals with the Diaries kept by David
Nitschmann, Bishop of the Moravians, and John Andrew Dober, one of the second
To avoid confusion it should be noted that the difference of eleven days
in the dates is only apparent, not real, for the Englishmen used the old
style calendar, the Germans employed the modern one. In 46 B. C. the Roman
Calendar had gained two months on the actual seasons, and a more accurate
calculation resulted in the adoption of the so-called "Julian Calendar"
(prepared at the request of Julius Caesar), the two missing months being
inserted between November and December in that "year of confusion".
By 1582, however, the Julian Calendar had fallen ten days behind the seasons,
so another calculation was made, and Pope Gregory XIII abolished the Julian
Calendar in all Catholic countries, dropped the dates of ten days from that
year, and established the "reformed", or "Gregorian Calendar".
This was adopted in Catholic Germany, in 1583, in Protestant Germany and
Holland, in 1700, but in England not until 1752, by which time the difference
had increased to eleven days. Following the ancient Jewish custom the Year,
for many centuries, began with the 25th of March, but public sentiment came
to favor the 1st of January as the more appropriate date, and it was gradually
In England, however, the legal year continued to begin with March 25th,
until 1752, although many people were either using the newer fashion, or
indicating both, and a date might be correctly written in four ways, e.g.
January 10th, 1734, old style, legal, January 10th, 1734-5, or January 10th,
1735, old style, popular, and January 21st, 1735, new style, the last agreeing
with the calendar now in general use.
Bishop Nitschmann gives the outline of their religious services on almost
every day, and in the translation which follows these are generally omitted;
in the same way some paragraphs are left out of the Wesley Journal. Extracts
from Dober's and Ingham's Journals are inserted when they give facts not
====== 24 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann's Diary. Oct. 24th, 1735.
I went to the ship, (the `Simmonds', Captain Cornish). My heart rejoiced
to be once more with the Brethren. In the evening we held our song service.
(We have all given ourselves to the Lord, and pray that the Saviour may
comfort our hearts with joy, and that we may attain our object, namely,
to call the heathen, to become acquainted with those whom we have not known
and who know us not, and to worship the name of the Lord. -- Letter of Oct.
====== 25 Oct. 1735.
John Wesley's Journal. Oct. 14th, 1735, (O. S.) Tuesday.
Mr. Benjamin Ingham, of Queen's College, Oxford, Mr. Charles Delamotte,
son of a merchant in London, who had offered himself some days before, my
brother Charles Wesley, and myself, took boat for Gravesend, in order to
embark for Georgia. Our end in leaving our native country was not to avoid
want, (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings,) nor to gain the
dung or dross of riches or honor; but singly this, -- to save our souls,
to live wholly to the glory of God. In the afternoon we found the `Simmonds'
off Gravesend, and immediately went on board.
(We had two cabins allotted us in the forecastle; I and Mr. Delamotte having
the first, and Messrs. Wesley the other. Theirs was made pretty large, so
that we could all meet together to read or pray in it. This part of the
ship was assigned to us by Mr. Oglethorpe, as being most convenient for
privacy. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 27 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann. Oct. 27th.
Bled Mrs. Toeltschig and Mrs. Zeisberger. On deck one man was knocked down
by another, striking his head on the deck so as to stun him. In the evening
we held our song service at the same hour that the English had theirs. I
spoke with Mr. Oglethorpe and the two English clergymen, who asked concerning
our ordination and our faith. Mr. Oglethorpe said he would be as our father,
if we would permit it.
====== 28 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann. Oct. 28th.
At our prayer-meeting considered Eph. 1, how our election may be made sure;
I also wrote to the Congregation at Herrnhut. Mrs. Zeisberger was sick,
and Mr. Oglethorpe concerned himself about her comfort.
Wesley. Oct. 17th.
I began to learn German in order to converse with the Germans, six and twenty*
of whom we had on board.
* Twenty-five Moravians and the Wittenberg carpenter.
====== 29 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann. Oct. 29th.
Spoke with the Wittenberg carpenter concerning his soul.
====== 30 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann. Oct. 30th.
We decided who should attend to various duties during the voyage, and held
our "Band" meetings. (The "Bands" were small groups,
closely associated for mutual religious improvement.) An English boy fell
overboard, but was rescued by a sailor.
====== 31 Oct. 1735.
Nitschmann. Oct. 31st.
In the afternoon we sailed twelve miles from Gravesend.
Wesley. Oct. 20th, Monday.
Believing the denying ourselves, even in the smallest instances, might,
by the blessing of God, be helpful to us, we wholly left off the use of
flesh and wine, and confined ourselves to vegetable food, -- chiefly rice
and biscuit. In the afternoon, David Nitschmann, Bishop of the Germans,
and two others, began to learn English. O may we be, not only of one tongue,
but of one mind and of one heart.
====== 1 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 1st.
The English clergyman began to spend an hour teaching us English. In the
early service we read concerning new life in the soul; the preceding night
was blessed to me, and the Saviour was near. At the evening service we spoke
of earnest prayer and its answer.
(David Nitschmann, in the presence of all the members, formally installed
certain of our members in office, -- David Tanneberger as overseer, Dober
as teacher and monitor, Seybold as nurse for the brethren, and Mrs. Dober
as nurse for the sisters.-- Dober's Diary.)
(We have arranged that one of us shall watch each night, of which Mr. Oglethorpe
approves. -- Letter of Oct. 18th.)
Wesley. Oct. 21st.
We sailed from Gravesend. When we were past about half the Goodwin Sands
the wind suddenly failed. Had the calm continued till ebb, the ship had
probably been lost. But the gale sprung up again in an hour, and carried
us into the Downs.
We now began to be a little regular. Our common way of living was this:
From four in the morning till five, each of us used private prayer. From
five to seven we read the Bible together, carefully comparing it (that we
might not lean to our own understanding) with the writings of the earliest
ages. At seven we breakfasted. At eight were the public prayers. From nine
to twelve I usually learned German and Mr. Delamotte Greek. My brother writ
sermons, and Mr. Ingham instructed the children. At twelve we met to give
an account to one another what we had done since our last meeting, and what
we designed to do before our next. About one we dined. The time from dinner
to four, we spent in reading to those whom each of us had taken in charge,
or in speaking to them severally, as need required. At four were the Evening
Prayers; when either the Second Lesson was explained (as it always was in
the morning,) or the children were catechised, and instructed before the
congregation. From five to six we again used private prayer. From six to
seven I read in our cabin to two or three of the passengers, (of whom there
were about eighty English on board), and each of my brethren to a few more
in theirs. At seven I joined with the Germans in their public service; while
Mr. Ingham was reading between the decks to as many as desired to hear.
At eight we met again, to exhort and instruct one another. Between nine
and ten we went to bed, where neither the roaring of the sea, nor the motion
of the ship, could take away the refreshing sleep which God gave us.
====== 2 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 2nd.
We sailed further. In the early prayer service we considered Eph. 4, the
unity of the Spirit, and the means of preserving the bond of peace. In the
song service many points of doctrine were discussed with the English clergyman,
also the decline and loss of power.
====== 3 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 3rd.
A dense fog and unpleasant weather, so we lay still at anchor.
====== 4 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 4th.
I visited the other ship, (the `London Merchant', Capt. Thomas) where the
so-called Salzburgers are. I spend most of my time studying English.
Wesley. Oct. 24th.
Having a rolling sea, most of the passengers found the effects of it. Mr.
Delamotte was exceeding sick for several days, Mr. Ingham for about half
an hour. My brother's head ached much. Hitherto it has pleased God the sea
has not disordered me at all.
During our stay in the Downs, some or other of us went, as often as we had
opportunity, on board the ship that sailed in company with us, where also
many were glad to join in prayer and hearing the word.
====== 5 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 5th.
We prayed for the Congregation at Herrnhut, and also that we might be one
with it in spirit. In the evening we spoke of the Lord's protection, how
good it is.
There is no room for fear,
The world may shake and quiver,
The elements may rage,
The firmament may shiver,
We are safe-guarded.
====== 8 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 8th.
An (English) child died, and was buried in the sea at five o'clock.
====== 11 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 11th.
The text was "The Lord is with me, therefore I do not fear."
Wesley. Oct. 31st.
We sailed out of the Downs. At eleven at night I was waked by a great noise.
I soon found there was no danger. But the bare apprehension of it gave me
a lively conviction what manner of men those ought to be, who are every
moment on the brink of eternity.
====== 12 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 12th.
(This afternoon we came near Portsmouth, and anchored. Today Dober began
to study English, and learned the Lord's Prayer.-- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Nov. 1st, Saturday.
We came to St. Helen's harbour, and the next day into Cowes road. The wind
was fair, but we waited for the man-of-war which was to sail with us. This
was a happy opportunity of instructing our fellow travellers. May He whose
seed we sow, give it the increase!
====== 13 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 13th.
Hermsdorf visits Baron von Reck.
====== 14 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 14th.
We lay at anchor at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and some of us landed. I
went with Baron von Reck to Newport, one mile distant, it is a beautiful
place. I conversed with Baron von Reck about the Lord's Prayer.
====== 18 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 18th.
A great storm. To me the time is precious, and passes too swiftly. It is
as though we were in the midst of wild beasts, which are bound and cannot
harm us. We know the Saviour stands by us, and strengthens us through the
====== 20 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 20th.
One older and two young Englishmen were whipped for stealing.
====== 21 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 21st.
Conversed with Mr. Oglethorpe about our ordination, Baron von Reck acting
as interpreter. He was well pleased when I explained our view, and that
we did not think a Bishop must be a great lord as among the Catholics. He
offered to give us anything we wished, but I told him we needed nothing.
====== 23 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 23rd.
The Man-of-war (`Hawk', Capt. Gascoine) joined us. A boy was beaten, and
sent away from the ship.
====== 25 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 25th.
Spoke with Mr. Oglethorpe about Boehner and George Neisser, who are sick
and must go ashore for treatment. Boehner has a sore arm, and Neisser a
sore foot. An English friend gave us a guinea to buy some things we need.
====== 29 Nov. 1735.
Nitschmann. Nov. 29th.
In the evening I prayed for a good wind, since we do not wish to lie in
one place and be of no use.
====== 1 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 1st.
The wind was good, we thanked God and sailed about eight o'clock. Not long
after the wind fell, and we anchored, but I could not believe that we were
not to go. The wind rose again, and we sailed nine miles.
Wesley. Nov. 20th.
We fell down Yarmouth road, but the next day were forced back to Cowes.
During our stay here there were several storms, in one of which two ships
in Yarmouth roads were lost.
The continuance of the contrary winds gave my brother an opportunity of
complying with the desire of the minister of Cowes, and preaching there
three or four times.
====== 2 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 2nd.
About two o'clock we returned to Cowes.
====== 3 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 3rd.
The women went ashore to wash our clothes. The others went with them, because
we do not wish to annoy any one, and desired to be alone that we might celebrate
the Lord's Supper. I could not leave the ship, but was with them in spirit.
====== 4 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 4th.
(Nitschmann and Dober spoke with several of the Brethren concerning their
spiritual condition. In the evening a storm sprang up which continued most
of the night. Mr. Oglethorpe is ill, which reminds us to pray for him, and
the English preacher, John Wesley, has promised to do the same. This preacher
loses no opportunity to be present at our song service; he spares no pains
to perform the duties of his office and he likes us. We wish we could converse
freely with him, so that we could more carefully explain the way of God
to him. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Nov. 23rd, Sunday.
At night I was waked by the tossing of the ship, and roaring of the wind,
and plainly showed I was unfit, for I was unwilling to die.
====== 7 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 7th.
A great storm, and we thanked God that we were in a safe harbor.
====== 10 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 10th.
All hands summoned to lift the anchor. Mr. Oglethorpe called me, took me
by the hand, led me into the cabin, and gave me 1 Pound for the Brethren.
Later the wind was again contrary, and we had to lie still.
====== 18 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 18th.
We lifted the anchor at three o'clock, but as we got under sail the wind
changed again. We must stay still, but what the Lord intends we do not know.
Wesley. Dec. 7th, Sunday.
Finding nature did not require such frequent supplies as we had been accustomed
to, we agreed to leave off suppers; from doing which we have hitherto found
====== 21 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 21st.
An east wind sprang up, and with the help of God we sailed at nine o'clock
from Cowes, where we had been for five weeks and three days.
When we reached the open sea many became sea-sick. There was so much to
be done that we could not hold our prayer-meeting, for our people help in
all the work, and therefore the sailors treat us well, no matter what they
think of us in their hearts. In the evening our song service was much blessed.
(With us went two ships, the man-of-war, and that which carried Baron von
Reck and his Salzburgers. Two of the Salzburgers were on shore, and were
left behind when the ship sailed, whereat their wives and children who were
on board, were sorely grieved. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Dec. 10th, Wednesday.
We sailed from Cowes, and in the afternoon passed the Needles. From this
day to the fourteenth being in the Bay of Biscay, the sea was very rough.
Mr. Delamotte and others were more sick than ever; Mr. Ingham a little;
I not at all. But the fourteenth being a calm day, most of the sick were
cured at once.
====== 22 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 22nd.
The wind was east, and we sailed nine miles an hour, but were all very sea-sick.
====== 23 Dec. 1735.
Wesley. Dec. 12th.
(In the forenoon we left the man-of-war, he not being able to sail as fast
as our ships. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 25 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 25th.
As this was Christmas Day we read Matt. 8 in our prayer service. The wind
had died down, everyone felt much better, and it was a beautiful day.
====== 27 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 27th.
At midnight there was a great storm, and the waves broke over the ship;
the middle hatch was open, and the water poured in, running into our cabin,
so that we had to take everything out of them until we could dry them.
====== 30 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 30th.
The weather was again pleasant.
Wesley. Dec. 19th.
(Messrs. Wesley and I, with Mr. Oglethorpe's approbation, undertook to visit,
each of us, a part of the ship, and daily to provide the sick people with
water-gruel, and such other things as were necessary for them. -- Ingham's
====== 1 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 1, 1736.
It was New Year's Day, and Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday.
(Br. Nitschmann asked us to select a number of verses, wrote them out and
presented them as a birthday greeting to Mr. Oglethorpe. It was a beautiful
day, warm and calm. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Dec. 21st, Sunday.
We had fifteen communicants, which was our usual number on Sundays.
(This being Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday, he gave a sheep and wine to the people,
which, with the smoothness of the sea, and the serenity of the sky, so enlivened
them that they perfectly recovered from their sea-sickness.
On Christmas Day, also, Mr. Oglethorpe gave a hog and wine to the people.
-- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 5 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 5th.
(To-day, according to the old style, Christmas was celebrated on our ship.
Br. Nitschmann spoke on the words, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us
a Son is given." -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 9 Jan. 1736.
Wesley. Dec. 29th.
(We are now past the latitude of twenty-five degrees, and are got into what
they call the Trade winds, which blow much the same way all the year round.
The air is balmy, soft, and sweet. The ship glides smoothly and quietly
along. The nights are mild and pleasant, being beautifully adorned with
the shining hosts of stars,
"Forever singing as they shine,
The Hand that made us is divine."
-- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 10 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 10th.
(We have been running for several days with the Trade winds. Here the day
is two hours longer than it is in Germany at this season. The sailors wished
to adhere to their custom of initiating those who crossed the Tropic of
Cancer for the first time, but Gen. Oglethorpe forbade it. The weak, the
children, and the sick, are well cared for, so that the nine months' old
child receives an egg and some goat's milk every day. -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 12 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 12th.
To-day, according to the old style, we celebrated the New Year.
====== 20 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 20th.
An English clergyman asked us how often we celebrated the Lord's Supper,
saying that he thought it a sacrifice which consecrated and improved the
life. We told him our view; he said he would like to visit Herrnhut.
(We re-crossed the Tropic of Cancer. -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 21 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 21st.
(We are still in the Trade wind, and sail swiftly and steadily.)
We cannot thank God enough that we are all well, only Mrs. Demuth is always
sea-sick when the wind rises.
====== 23 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 23rd.
We saw a ship.
Wesley. Jan. 12th, 1736.
(I began to write out the English Dictionary in order to learn the Indian
tongue. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 26 Jan. 1736.
Wesley. Jan. 15th.
Complaint being made to Mr. Oglethorpe of the unequal distribution of the
water among the passengers, he appointed new officers to take charge of
it. At this the old ones and their friends were highly exasperated against
us, to whom they imputed the change. But "the fierceness of man shall
turn to thy praise."
====== 27 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 27th
(As there was little good water left the passengers were given poor water,
but when Oglethorpe heard of it, he ordered that all, in the Cabin and outside,
should be treated alike, as long as the good water lasted. Mr. Oglethorpe
and the preacher, John Wesley, are very careful of the passengers' welfare;
the latter shows himself full of love for us. -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 28 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 28th.
There was a great storm, the waves went over the ship, and poured into it.
Then many who knew not God were frightened, but we were of good cheer, and
trusted in the Lord who does all things well. Roscher and Mack are good
sailors and not afraid of anything.
Wesley. Jan. 17th, Saturday.
Many people were very impatient at the contrary wind. At seven in the evening
they were quieted by a storm. It rose higher and higher till nine.
About nine the sea broke over us from stem to stern; burst through the windows
of the state cabin, where three or four of us were, and covered us all over,
though a bureau sheltered me from the main shock. About eleven I lay down
in the great cabin, and in a short time fell asleep, though very uncertain
whether I should wake alive, and much ashamed of my unwillingness to die.
O how pure in heart must he be, who would rejoice to appear before God at
a moment's warning! Toward morning "He rebuked the wind and the sea,
and there was a great calm."
====== 29 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 29th.
We read the 13th chapter of Mark at our early prayer service. The weather
was a little better, but the wind was contrary. We also saw a ship which
was sailing northeast. In the evening we read the ninety-eighth Psalm, the
Lord was with us and we were blessed.
Wesley. Jan. 18th, Sunday.
We returned thanks to God for our deliverance, of which a few appeared duly
sensible. But the rest (among whom were most of the sailors) denied we had
been in any danger. I could not have believed that so little good would
have been done by the terror they were in before. But it cannot be that
they should long obey God from fear, who are deaf to the motives of love.
====== 1 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 1st.
The weather was fine, and there was no wind until ten o'clock, when it came
from the right quarter. In addition to our usual allowance the Captain sent
us fresh meat, which he has done thrice already, and we do not altogether
like it, for we are content with what we have, and do not desire more.
====== 3 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 3rd.
There was a great storm, which lasted all night.
Wesley. Jan. 23rd, Friday.
In the evening another storm began. In the morning it increased, so that
they were forced to let the ship drive. I could not but say to myself, "How
is it that thou hast no faith?" being still unwilling to die. About
one in the afternoon, almost as soon as I had stepped out of the great cabin
door, the sea did not break as usual, but came with a smooth full tide over
the side of the ship. I was vaulted over with water in a moment, and so
stunned, that I scarce expected to lift up my head again, till the sea should
give up her dead. But thanks be to God, I received no hurt at all. About
noon our third storm began.
====== 4 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 4th.
The storm lasted all day, and the waves often swept over the ship. The storm
rudder was lashed fast, and so we were driven.
====== 5 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 5th.
In the early morning we had a fairly good breeze, but about ten o'clock,
a storm rose, of such violence that the wind seemed to blow from all four
quarters at once, and we were in danger of being overpowered. The waves
were like mountains; the rudder was lashed fast, only one sail was spread,
and we drove on, only the Lord knew whither. But we did not let it prevent
us from holding our song service. The text given to us was Psalm 115:14,
which assured us that we were blessed of God, -- may He ever bless us more
and more. During the service the ship was covered with a great wave, which
poured in upon us, and on the deck there was a great cry that the wind had
split the one sail which was spread. There was great fright among the people
who have no God; the English clergyman was much aroused, ran to them, and
preached repentance, saying among other things that they could now see the
difference. I was content, for our lives are in God's hands, and He does
what He will; among us there was no fear, for the Lord helped us.
(There was a terrible storm which lasted till midnight. During the song
service a great wave struck the ship with a noise like the roar of a cannon.
The wind tore the strong new sail in two; the people, especially the English
women, screamed and wept; the preacher Wesley, who is always with us in
our song service, cried out against the English, "Now man can see who
has a God, and who has none." During the last eight days we have ha
so much contrary wind, and so many storms that we could not approach the
land, though we were near it several times. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Jan. 25th, Sunday.
At noon our third storm began. At four it was more violent than before.
The winds roared round about us, and whistled as distinctly as if it had
been a human voice. The ship not only rocked to and fro with the utmost
violence, but shook and jarred with so unequal, grating, a motion, that
one could not but with great difficulty keep one's hold of anything, nor
stand a moment without it. Every ten minutes came a shock against the stern
or side of the ship, which one would think should dash the planks to pieces.
We spent two or three hours after prayers, in conversing suitably to the
occasion, confirming one another in a calm submission to the wise, holy,
gracious will of God. And now a storm did not appear so terrible as before.
Blessed be the God of all consolation!
At seven I went to the Germans; I had long before observed the great seriousness
of their behaviour. Of their humility they had given a continual proof,
by performing those servile offices for the other passengers, which none
of the English would undertake; for which they desired, and would receive
no pay, saying "It was good for their proud hearts," and "their
loving Saviour had done more for them." And every day had given them
occasion of showing a meekness, which no injury could move. If they were
pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went away; but no complaint
was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying whether
they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of pride,
anger, and revenge. In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began,
the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and
poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed
us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly
sung on. I asked one of them afterward, "Were you not afraid?"
He answered, "I thank God, no." I asked, "But were not your
women and children afraid?" He replied mildly, "No; our women
and children are not afraid to die."
From them I went to their crying, trembling neighbors, and pointed out to
them the difference in the hour of trial, between him that feareth God,
and him that feareth Him not. At twelve the wind fell. This was the most
glorious day which I have hitherto seen.
====== 6 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 6th.
(The oldest sailors say they have never seen so fierce a storm as the one
we had last night. The wind came from all sides at once, lifted the water
from the sea, bore it through the air and cast it on the other ship, where
Baron von Reck and the Salzburgers were, and so flooded it that twelve persons
were kept at the pumps all night. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Jan. 26th.
We enjoyed the calm. I can conceive no difference comparable to that between
a smooth and a rough sea, except that which is between a mind calmed by
the love of God, and one torn up by the storms of earthly passion.
====== 8 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 8th.
(There was a calm, and very fine weather, so that a boat could be lowered
to visit the other ship. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Jan. 28th.
(Being a calm day, I went on board the other ship, read prayers, and visited
the people. At my return I acquainted Mr. Oglethorpe with their state, and
he sent them such things as they needed. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 9 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 9th.
(The wind was again favorable to us, but there was much lightning. -- Dober's
Wesley. Jan. 29th.
About seven in the evening we fell in with the skirts of a hurricane. The
rain as well as the wind was extremely violent. The sky was so dark in a
moment, that the sailors could not so much as see the ropes, or set about
furling the sails. The ship must, in all probability, have overset, had
not the wind fell as suddenly as it rose.
====== 10 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 10th.
The whole day was stormy, and all night the waves broke over the ship.
Wesley. Jan. 30th.
We had another storm, which did us no other harm than splitting the foresail.
Our bed being wet, I laid me down on the floor and slept sound till morning.
====== 12 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 12th.
(We were obliged to drift, because we did not know how far we were from
land. About noon we sighted three ships, sailed toward them, and saw they
were English; our sailors lowered the boat, we wrote in haste, and sent
letters to Herrnhut. The ships came from Charlestown, and told us we were
thirty hours' run from Georgia. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Feb. 1st, Sunday.
(Three sails appearing, we made up toward them, and got what letters we
could write, in hopes some of them might be bound for England. One of them,
that was bound for London, made towards us, and we put our letters on board
her. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 13 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 13th.
To-day we had another storm, and twice saw the ocean not far from us, drawn
up like smoke, so that the water reached up to the clouds, and the ship
would have been in great danger if it had struck us.
====== 14 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 14th.
Soundings toward evening showed twenty-eight fathoms of water, and we hope
to see land to-morrow
====== 15 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 15th.
About two o'clock we saw land. I climbed the mast, and poured out my heart
to God, thanking Him, and praying that He would care for us in our new home.
We anchored for the night.
Wesley. Feb. 4th, Wednesday.
About noon the trees were visible from the mast, and in the afternoon from
the main deck. In the Evening Lesson were these words, "A great door,
and effectual, is opened," O let no one shut it!
====== 16 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 16th.
It was a beautiful day, and the land looked very fair. At two o'clock we
reached Tybee, and were all very happy. The song service was blessed, and
we thanked God with prayer and praise.
Wesley. Feb. 5th.
Between two and three in the afternoon God brought us all safe into the
Savannah River. We cast anchor near Tybee Island, where the grove of pines,
running along the shore, made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were,
the bloom of spring in the depths of winter.
====== 17 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 17th.
I went on shore with Mr. Oglethorpe, and we together fell on our knees and
thanked God, and then took a boat to Savannah. I went at once to the Brethren,
and we rejoiced to meet again. I found the Brethren well, and looked with
wonder at what they had accomplished, went with Toeltschig and Spangenberg
to the garden, and also received letters from Herrnhut. Spangenberg had
to go immediately to Mr. Oglethorpe to discuss many things with him.
Wesley. Feb. 6th, Friday.
About eight in the morning we first set foot on American ground. It was
a small, uninhabited island, (Peeper Island), over against Tybee. Mr. Oglethorpe
led us to a rising ground, where we all kneeled down to give thanks. He
then took boat for Savannah. When the rest of the people were come on shore,
we called our little flock together to prayers. Several parts of the Second
Lesson (Mark 6) were wonderfully suited to the occasion.
====== 18 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 18th.
(About six o'clock in the evening, Br. Spangenberg came from Savannah to
us, which made us very glad and thankful. He told us of the death of Br.
Riedel, and held the song service, praying and thanking God for having brought
us together again. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Feb. 7th.
Mr. Oglethorpe returned from Savannah with Mr. Spangenberg, one of the pastors
of the Germans. I soon found what spirit he was of; and asked his advice
with regard to my own conduct.
====== 19 & 20 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 19th and 20th.
(We waited for the small vessel that was to come for us. Br. Spangenberg
held the prayer and song services. -- Dober's Diary.)
Wesley. Feb. 9th.
I asked Mr. Spangenberg many questions, both concerning himself
and the church at Herrnhut.
====== 21 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 21st.
(The small vessel came; we had much rain, and the wind was so strong against
us that we had to spend the night on the transport. -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 22 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 22nd.
(In the afternoon we reached Savannah, where we were lodged in the house
which the Brethren who came a year ago have built in the town. The Lord
has done all things well, and has turned to our good all that has befallen
us, even when we did not understand His way, and has laid His blessing upon
our journey, -- thanks be unto Him. -- Dober's Diary.)
====== 27 Feb. 1736.
Wesley. Feb. 16th.
Mr. Oglethorpe set out for the new settlement on the Altamahaw River. He
took with him fifty men, besides Mr. Ingham, Mr. Hermsdorf, and three Indians.
====== 6 Mar. 1736.
Wesley. Feb. 24th, Tuesday.
Mr. Oglethorpe returned. The day following I took my leave of most of the
passengers of the ship. In the evening I went to Savannah.
The arrival of the "second company" was a marked event in the
eyes of the Moravians already settled at Savannah. Hitherto all had been
preparation, and labor had seemed less arduous and privations less severe
because they were smoothing the path for those who were to follow, and it
was with well-earned satisfaction that wives and friends were lodged in
the new house, taken to the garde and the farm, and introduced to acquaintances
in the town. No doubt poor Catherine Riedel's heart ached with loneliness,
and her tears flowed fast, when, at the close of that long and stormy voyage,
she heard of her husband's death, and stood beside his grave in the Savannah
cemetery; -- but there was little time for grieving in the press of matters
that required attention, for Spangenberg's long visit was now to end, Nitschmann
was to remain only until the organization of the Congregation was complete,
and there was much to be done before these two able leaders took their departure.
Scarcely had Bishop Nitschmann greeted the members of the "first company"
in the dawn of Feb. 17th, 1736, when Spangenberg and Toeltschig took him
to the garden two miles distant, that they might have a private and undisturbed
conference. All too soon, however, word was brought that Gen. Oglethorpe
wanted to see Spangenberg at once, so they retraced their steps, and Spangenberg
received a hearty greeting from the General, and many compliments on what
he and his party had accomplished. There is no record of the conversations
among the Moravians on that day, but they are not difficult to imagine,
for the news from home and from the mission fields on the one side, and
the problems and prospects in Georgia on the other, would furnish topics
which many days could not exhaust.
That evening Spangenberg again called on Gen. Oglethorpe, who gave orders
that a boat should take him next day to Tybee, where the ship lay at anchor,
with all her passengers aboard. He also told Spangenberg about the English
preacher whom he had brought over, and made inquiries about Nitschmann's
position, asking that the explanation be repeated to the English preacher,
who was also interested in him.
The following day Spangenberg waited upon Gen. Oglethorpe to ask about Hermsdorf,
as he heard the General had promised to take him to the Altamaha, where
a new town was to be built. He also begged Oglethorpe to help him arrange
his departure for Pennsylvania as soon as possible, which the General agreed
About six o'clock that evening Spangenberg reached the ship at Tybee, and
was warmly welcomed by the Moravians, and at their song service he met the
much-talked-of English preacher, John Wesley. The two men liked each other
at the first glance; Wesley wrote in his Journal, "I soon found what
spirit he was of, and asked his advice in regard to my own conduct,"
while Spangenberg paralleled this in his Diary with the remark, "He
told me how it was with him, and I saw that true Grace dwelt in and governed
During the two days which elapsed before the transport came to take the
Moravians from the ship, Wesley and Spangenberg had several long conversations,
each recording the points that struck him most, but without comment. These
discussions regarding doctrine and practice were renewed at intervals during
the remainder of Spangenberg's stay in Savannah, and the young Englishman
showed himself eager to learn the Indian language so that he might preach
to the natives, generous in his offers to share his advantages of study
with the Moravians, and above all determined to enforce the letter of the
ecclesiastical law, as he understood it, in his new parish. He thought "it
would be well if two of the Moravian women would dedicate themselves to
the Indian service, and at once begin to study the language," and "as
the early Church employed deaconesses, it would be profitable if these women
were ordained to their office." He was also convinced "that the
apostolic custom of baptism by immersion ought to be observed in Georgia."
"He bound himself to no sect, but took the ground that a man ought
to study the Bible and the writings of the Church Fathers of the first three
centuries, accepting what agreed with these two sources, and rejecting all
else." He requested the Moravians to use the Lord's Prayer at all their
public services, "since this is acknowledged to have been the custom
of the early Church," and since that early Church celebrated the Holy
Communion every day, he thought it necessary that all members should partake
at least on every Sunday. "He also had his thoughts concerning Fast
days." Spangenberg promised to lay these matters before the congregation,
but so far as Fast days were concerned, he said that while he would observe
them as a matter of conscience if he belonged to a Church which required
them, he doubted the wisdom of forcing them upon a Church in which they
were not obligatory.
On the 21st, the periagua ("so they call a rather deep, large boat")
came to take the Moravians to Savannah, but it was necessary to call at
the other ship, as some of their baggage had been brought in that vessel.
Spangenberg went ahead, and found that for some reason the baggage could
not be taken off that day. He was pleasantly received by "the younger"
Reck, but the Baron was absent, having gone to see the site to which the
Salzburgers wished to move their settlement, Gen. Oglethorpe having given
his permission. About the time the periagua arrived, a heavy rain came up,
and fearing the effect on the new-comers, Spangenberg obtained permission
to take them into the cabin. When ten o'clock came they decided to wait
no longer, and started for Savannah, with the result that they spent the
entire night in the rain, in an open boat, and then had passed but half
way up the river! Early in the morning Spangenberg took two men and his
small boat and went ahead, stopping at Capt. Thomson's ship to get some
things Korte had sent them from London. They reached Savannah in the afternoon,
and before daybreak on Thursday, Feb. 23rd, the periagua at last landed
its passengers at Savannah.
That evening Spangenberg returned with Oglethorpe to the ship, that various
important matters might be more fully discussed. They agreed, (1) that the
five hundred acres already surveyed for Zinzendorf should be retained, and
settled, but that it would be wise to take an additional five hundred acres
of more fertile land nearer Savannah, where it would be more accessible,
the grant to be made to Christian Ludwig von Zinzendorf, the Count's eldest
son; (2) that no Moravian could accept a fifty acre tract without pledging
himself to military service, but land could be secured for a number of them
at the rate of twenty acres apiece, without this obligation. This land could
be selected near Zinzendorf's estate, the town to be built on the Count's
property. If any wished to leave the Moravian Congregation, he should receive
twenty acres elsewhere for himself. (3) Non-Moravians, like John Regnier,
might live with them on the same conditions. (4) If one of the Moravians
died without male issue, the Congregation should name his successor in the
title to the land. (5) The promised cattle should still be given.
It was further arranged that Spangenberg should continue to hold the title
to his fifty acres, but with the understanding that it was in trust for
the Congregation; the same to apply to Nitschmann's land, if desired.
On the 25th and 26th, a number of Indians visited the ship, being received
with much ceremony. "King" Tomochichi, and others, Spangenberg
had often seen, and they were formally presented to Mr. Wesley, of whom
they had heard, and to whom they gave a flask of honey and a flask of milk,
with the wish that "the Great Word might be to them as milk and honey."
Tomochichi told of his efforts to keep peace among the tribes, in the face
of rumors that the English meant to enslave them all, and of his success
so far, but he feared the Indians were not in a frame of mind to give much
heed to the Gospel message. Still he welcomed the attempt, and would give
what aid he could, advising that the missionaries learn the Indian tongue,
and that they should not baptize, -- as the Spanish did, -- until the people
were instructed and truly converted.
On Feb. 27th, General Oglethorpe started for the Altamaha. His journey to
Georgia on this occasion had been principally to protect the southern borders
of the colony by establishing two new towns on the frontier, and erecting
several forts near by. One company, which sailed direct from Scotland, had
landed in January, and begun a settlement at New Inverness, on the north
bank of the Altamaha, and a second was now to be established on St. Simon
Island, and was to be called Frederica. Oglethorpe had expected to take
the Salzburgers who came on the `London Merchant', to the southward with
him, but nearly all of them decided that they preferred to join those of
their number who were preparing to move to New Ebenezer, and the General
did not insist, contenting himself with his English soldiers.
A periagua had been started a little in advance of the sloop which bore
the provisions, arms, ammunition, and tools, and in the evening Gen. Oglethorpe
followed in a swift, ten-oared boat, called, -- from the service in which
it was often employed, -- a scout boat.
With the General went Mr. Ingham, and Lieut. Hermsdorf. The latter assured
Spangenberg that he had really meant little more than to compliment the
General on the occasion when he remarked "that he would ask nothing
better than to follow him through bush and valley, and see him carry out
his wise designs," that he did not know at that time that Oglethorpe
was going to the Altamaha, nor how far away the Altamaha was. But Spangenberg
gravely told him that Gen. Oglethorpe had taken his word as that of an honest
man, and that he would not attempt to hold him back, only he wished him
to so demean himself as to bring credit and not shame to Zinzendorf and
the Moravians, to whom he was at liberty to return when he desired. Hermsdorf,
therefore, went with Oglethorpe and his fifty men, was made a Captain and
was given a position of importance in superintending the erection of the
necessary fortifications on St. Simon.
Benjamin Ingham's visit to Frederica proved to be his first unpleasant experience
in the New World. Like John Wesley, he came with the strictest ideas of
Sabbath observance, etc., and as one said, in answer to a reproof, "these
were new laws in America." The effect may be summed up in his own words:
"My chief business was daily to visit the people, to take care of those
that were sick, and to supply them with the best things we had. For a few
days at the first, I had everybody's good word; but when they found I watched
narrowly over them, and reproved them sharply for their faults, immediately
the scene changed. Instead of blessing, came cursing, and my love and kindness
were repaid with hatred and ill-will."
Oglethorpe remained on the Altamaha but a few days, and then returned to
Savannah for the rest of his colonists. Meanwhile the Moravian Congregation
was being fully organized. During Spangenberg's visit to Oglethorpe on his
vessel, the Moravians, including Bishop Nitschmann, met together, and John
Toeltschig was elected manager (Vorsteher), Gottfried Haberecht, monitor
(Ermahner), and Gotthard Demuth to perform various minor duties (Diener).
The name of the nurse (Krankenwaerter) is not given, but he was probably
John Regnier, who acted as physician, not only for the Moravians, but for
many of their poorer neighbors. Andrew Dober was associated with Toeltschig
in the management of the finances, and all of these men were solemnly inducted
into office, it being the custom to give a kind of specialized ordination
even for positions not commonly considered ministerial
Three "Bands" were formed among the men, -- smaller companies
associated for religious improvement, each Band electing a leader charged
with special oversight of the members. There was one among the married men,
one among the unmarried men who were communicants, and another for the unmarried
non-communicants, Toeltschig, Seifert and Rose being the leaders. The women
were organized in like manner, though being few in number there was probably
but one Band among them, under Mrs. Toeltschig who had been appointed Elderess
before leaving Herrnhut. There is no reference to the celebration of the
Holy Communion by the first company during their months of preparation in
Savannah, nor had opportunity been given to the second company since they
left the English coast, but now, with Bishop Nitschmann to preside, they
were able to partake together, finding much blessing therein. They resolved
in the future to commune every two weeks, but soon formed the habit, perhaps
under Wesley's influence, of coming to the Lord's Table every Sunday.
When Spangenberg returned to them, a conference was held each evening, and
on Sunday they had a Lovefeast, especially for those who had been selected
to superintend the material and spiritual affairs of the Congregation.
On the 1st of March, John and Charles Wesley called on them, and on the
6th, Charles Wesley came again, and "opened his heart" to them.
The Diary calls him "an awakened but flighty man," who had come
as Gov. Oglethorpe's secretary, and was now about to go to Frederica as
pastor of that turbulent flock. From him Spangenberg learned of Oglethorpe's
return from Altamaha, and accompanied by Nitschmann went with him to the
ship, where the Wesleys were still living. Two days were spent with Oglethorpe,
who promised to give them ground containing a good bed of clay, where they
could make brick, which should be sold to the Trustees' agent at 15 shillings
per 1,000, two-thirds of the price to be applied on their debt, and one-third
to be paid them in cash. Moreover several English boys should be apprenticed
to them to learn the trade. Hemp and flax seed should also be given them,
and he urged them to weave the linen, for they had men who understood the
art, and cloth was scarce and dear in Georgia. He also advised them to buy
oxen to use in cultivating their land; and said that they should have one-third
of the grape-vines he had brought over with him, another portion was to
be given to Tomochichi, the remainder to be planted in his own garden.
On the 8th, Spangenberg and Nitschmann returned to Savannah, and with Andrew
Dober and John Wesley, (who had now moved from the ship,) proceeded up the
river to Mrs. Musgrove's, about five miles distant. Wesley wished to select
a site for a small house, which Oglethorpe had promised to build for him,
where he and his companions might live while they were studying the Indian
language, under Mrs. Musgrove's direction. Nitschmann wanted to visit and
talk with the Indian "King", Tomochichi, and Dober was trying
to find some clay suitable for pottery. The following day they returned
to Savannah, and Mr. Wesley and Mr. Delamotte took up their abode with the
Moravians, as Mr. Quincy, Wesley's predecessor in the Savannah pastorate,
had not yet vacated his house. Wesley writes, "We had now an opportunity,
day by day, of observing their whole behaviour. For we were in one room
with them from morning to night, unless for the little time I spent in walking.
They were always employed, always cheerful themselves, and in good humor
with one another; they had put away all anger, and strife, and wrath, and
bitterness, and clamor, and evil speaking; they walked worthy of the vocation
wherewith they were called, and adorned the Gospel of our Lord in all things."
The impression thus made upon John Wesley was lasting, and even during the
subsequent years in England
when differences of every kind arose between him and the Moravians, and
his Journal is full of bitter denunciations of doctrines and practices which
he did not understand, and with which he was not in sympathy, he now and
again interrupts himself to declare, "I can not speak of them but with
tender affection, were it only for the benefits I have received from them."
An event which occurred on March 10th, is of more than local interest, in
that it is the first unquestioned instance of the exercise of episcopal
functions in the United States. Prior to this, and for a number of years
later, clergymen of the Church of England, and English-speaking Catholic
priests, were ordained in the Old World, before coming to the New, remaining
under the control of the Bishop and of the Vicar Apostolic of London, while
the Spanish Catholics were under the Suffragan of Santiago de Cuba, and
the French Catholics under the Bishop of Quebec. Tradition mentions the
secret consecration of two Bishops of Pennsylvania before this time, but
its authenticity is doubted, and the two men did not exercise any episcopal
powers. Therefore when Bishop Nitschmann came to Georgia, and in the presence
of the Moravian Congregation at Savannah ordained one of their number to
be their pastor, he was unconsciously doing one of the "first things"
which are so interesting to every lover of history.
Whenever it was possible the Moravians spent Saturday afternoon and evening
in rest, prayer, and conference, and on this occasion four services were
held at short intervals.
At the first service the singing of a hymn was followed by the reading of
Psalm 84, a discourse thereon, and prayer. The second was devoted to reading
letters from Germany, and some discussion as to Hermsdorf and his relation
to the Congregation. The third service was the important one, and the following
account was recorded in the Diary. "When we re-assembled the question:
`Must not our Congregation have a Chief Elder (Aeltester)?' was presented
for discussion. All thought it necessary, and were unanimous in their choice
of Anton Seifert, and no other was even suggested. While his name was being
considered, he was sent from the room, and when he had been recalled, we
sang a hymn, and Nitschmann and Toeltschig led the Congregation in most
earnest prayer. Then Nitschmann delivered an earnest charge, setting before
him the importance of his office, which made him the foremost member of
the Congregation, especially in times of danger, for in the early Church,
as well as among our forefathers in Moravia, the bishops were ever the first
victims. He was asked if he would freely and willingly give up his life
for the Congregation and the Lord Jesus. He answered, `Yes.' Then he was
reminded of the evil which arose when bishops, seeing their power in a Congregation,
began to exalt themselves, and to make outward show of their pre-eminence.
He was asked whether he would recognize as evil, abjure, and at once suppress
any inclination he might feel toward pride in his position as Chief Elder,
and his larger authority. He answered with a grave and thoughtful `Yes.'
Then our Nitschmann prayed over him earnestly, and ordained him to his office
with the laying on of hands. Nitschmann was uncommonly aroused and happy,
but Anton Seifert was very humble and quiet." John Wesley, who was
present, wrote "The great simplicity, as well as solemnity, of the
whole, almost made me forget the seventeen hundred years between, and imagine
myself in one of those assemblies where form and state were not; but Paul
the tent-maker, or Peter the fisherman, presided; yet with the demonstration
of the Spirit and of power."
Both Wesley and Benjamin Ingham refer to Seifert as a "bishop",
which is a mistake, though a natural one. Wesley was present at the ordination,
and heard the charge, with example and warning drawn from the actions of
earlier bishops; while Ingham, in the course of several long conversations
with Toeltschig concerning the Moravian Episcopate and Seifert's ordination,
asked "is Anton a bishop?" and was answered, "yes, FOR OUR
CONGREGATION." This was in view of the fact that Bishop Nitschmann,
in ordaining Seifert, had empowered him to delegate another member to hold
the Communion, baptize, or perform the marriage ceremony in case of his
sickness or necessary absence. At that time the Moravian Church was just
beginning to form her own ministry, the ranks of Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop
were not fully organized, and the definite system was only established by
the Tenth General Synod of the Church in 1745. The exigencies of the case
required large powers for a man serving in an isolated field, and they were
given him, but strictly speaking, Seifert was only ordained a Deacon, and
never was consecrated Bishop.
The fourth and last service of the day was given up to song, a discourse,
On Sunday, March 11th, after morning prayers, Wesley went to Tybee for an
interview with General Oglethorpe. At a general gathering of the Moravians
later in the day, the second chapter of Acts was read, with special reference
to the last four verses, and the description of the first congregation of
Christ's followers, when "all that believed were together, and had
all things common," was taken as the pattern of their "Gemeinschaft".
This plan, which had already been tested during the first year, proved so
advantageous that it was later adopted by other American Moravian settlements,
being largely responsible for their rapid growth during their early years,
though in each case there came a time when it hindered further progress,
and was therefore abandoned. In religious matters, the organization of the
Savannah Congregation had been modeled after that at Herrnhut, so far as
possible, but in material things the circumstances were very different.
At Herrnhut the estates of Count Zinzendorf, under the able supervision
of the Countess, were made to pay practically all the general Church expenses,
and many of the members were in the service of the Saxon nobleman, Nicholas
Lewis, Count Zinzendorf, in various humble positions, even while in the
Church he divested himself of his rank and fraternized with them as social
equals. But the men who emigrated to Georgia had undertaken to support themselves
and carry on a mission work, and Spangenberg, with his keen insight, grasped
the idea that a common purpose warranted a community of service, the labor
of all for the benefit of all, with every duty, no matter how menial, done
as unto the Lord, whom they all, in varying degrees, acknowledged as their
Master. Later, in Bethlehem, Pa., with a larger number of colonists, and
wider interests to be subserved, Spangenberg again introduced the plan,
and elaborated it into a more or less intricate system, which is described
in a clear and interesting manner in "A History of Bethlehem",
by Rt. Rev. J. Mortimer Levering, which has recently been published.
Not only on account of its successor the "Oeconomie", at Bethlehem,
and others copied therefrom, but in view of the various modern attempts
which have been and are still being made to demonstrate that the action
of the early Church at Jerusalem can be duplicated and made financially
successful, it is worth while to rescue the resolutions of the Moravian
Congregation at Savannah from the oblivion of the manuscript Diary, in which
they have been so long concealed, noting the claim that this was the first
time since Apostolic days, that a Congregation had formed itself into such
a "Society", -- a "Gemeinschaft".
"In our gathering we read Acts 2, and spoke of the `Gemeinschaft',
for we are planning to work, to sow and reap, and to suffer with one another.
This will be very useful, for many a man who has not understood or exerted
himself, will by this means see himself and be led to improve. Others also
will see from it that we love each other, and will glorify the Father in
Heaven. There has been no "society" like that at Jerusalem, but
at this present time it becomes necessary, for material reasons. Were we
only individuals all would fear to give one of us credit, for they would
think, `he might die', but nothing will be denied the `Society', for each
stands for the other. Each member must work diligently, since he does not
labor for himself alone but for his brethren, and this will prevent much
laziness. No one must rely on the fact that he understands a handicraft,
and so on, for there is a curse on him who relies on human skill and forgets
the Divine power. No one will be pressed to give to the `Society' any property
which has hitherto belonged to him. -- Each person present was asked if
he had any remarks to make, but there were no objections raised. Moreover
the brethren were told that if one should fall so low that he not only withdrew
himself from the brethren, but was guilty of gross sin, he would be forced
to work for another master until he had earned enough to pay his transportation
here and back again, for we would not willingly permit such a man to remain
in the land as an offence to the Indians."
It is interesting to observe that care for the poor Indians is the argument
given for the course to be pursued in dealing with a recreant member! They
had come to preach the Gospel to the Indians, and did not propose that evil
should be learned through fault of theirs.
At his earnest request, John Regnier was now admitted to the "Society",
his presence among them so far having been without distinct agreement as
to his standing. This did not make him a communicant member of the Church,
simply put him on a par with the other non-communicants, of whom there were
quite a number in the Congregation.
In the evening Anton Seifert, so recently ordained Chief Elder, or pastor,
of the Congregation, officiated for the first time at a Confirmation service,
the candidate being Jacob Frank. He had been in poor health when the second
company left Germany, and Count Zinzendorf had advised him not to go, but
his heart was set on it, and he would not be persuaded. He grew worse during
the voyage and was now very ill with dropsy, but in such a beautiful Christian
spirit that no one could deny his wish for full membership in the Church.
Having given satisfactory answers to the searching questions put to him,
the blessing was laid upon his head, and he expressed so great a desire
to partake of the Lord's Supper that his request was immediately granted,
the Elders and Helpers (Helfer) communing with him. Two or three days later
he asked Spangenberg to write his will, and then his strength gradually
failed, until on March 19th, he "passed to the Lord", leaving
to his associates the remembrance of his willing and happy departure. The
term "Helpers" was used to express in a general way all those,
both men and women, who were charged with the spiritual and temporal affairs
of the Congregation. Many of the words employed as official titles by the
Moravians were given a specialized significance which makes it difficult
to find an exact English equivalent for them, though they are always apt
when the meaning is understood. Perhaps the best example of this is "Diener",
which means "servant", according to the dictionary, and was used
to designate those who "served" the Congregation in various ways.
Until quite recently a Lovefeast, held annually in Salem, N. C., for members
of Church Boards, Sunday-School Teachers, Church Choir, Ushers, etc. was
familiarly known as "the Servants' Lovefeast", a direct inheritance
from the earlier days. It is now more commonly called "the Workers'
Lovefeast", an attempt to unite "Helper" and "Diener"
in a term understood by all.
At a "Helpers' Conference" held on March 13th, it was decided
to have nothing more to do with Vollmar, the Wittenberg carpenter, who had
crossed with the second company, had proved false and malicious, and had
now joined Herr von Reck's party without the consent of the Moravians. More
important, however, than the Vollmar affair, was the proposed departure
of Spangenberg for Pennsylvania. Most faithfully had he fulfilled his commission
to take the first company of Moravians to Georgia, and settle them there,
patiently had he labored for and with them during their days of greatest
toil and privation, controlling his own desire to keep his promise and go
to the Schwenkfelders, who were complaining with some bitterness of his
broken faith; but now his task was ended, the Savannah Congregation was
ready to be thrown on its own resources, Gen. Oglethorpe had provided him
with letters of introduction, and the "lot" said, "Let him
go, for the Lord is with him."
Final questions were asked and answered, Spangenberg's Commission was delivered
to him, and then Bishop Nitschmann "laid his blessing upon" him.
In the Lutheran Church, to which he belonged before he joined the Moravians,
Spangenberg had been an accredited minister of the Gospel. The Church of
England refused to acknowledge the validity of Lutheran ordination, because
that Church had no Episcopate, but the Moravians, influenced by Count Zinzendorf,
himself a Lutheran by birth, broad-minded, liberal, and devout, did not
hesitate to fraternize with the Lutherans, or even to accept the Sacraments
at the hands of Pastor Rothe, in charge of the Parish Church of Berthelsdorf.
At the same time they prized the Episcopate lately transferred to them from
the ancient Unitas Fratrum, and while continuing in free fellowship with
Christians of all denominational names, they now intended to so ordain their
own ministry that no church could question it. When the three grades were
established in 1745, a license to preach granted by the Lutheran Church
was considered equivalent to the rank of Deacon, ordination in the Moravian
Church making the minister a Presbyter.
Now fully equipped for his mission to the English Colony of Pennsylvania,
Spangenberg left Savannah on March 15th, going on Capt. Dunbar's ship to
Port Royal, wher he lodged with a man who was born in Europe, his wife in
Africa, their child in Asia, and they were all now living in America! From
Port Royal he went by land almost to Charlestown, the last short distance
being in a chance boat, and from Charlestown he sailed to New York. From
there he proceeded to Philadelphia, and to the Schwenkfelders, making his
home with Christopher Wiegner on his farm in the Skippack woods, where George
Boehnisch was also living. Spangenberg worked on the farm that he might
not be a burden to his host, and might meet the neighbors in a familiar
way, meanwhile making numerous acquaintances, and gaining much valuable
Bishop Nitschmann remained in Savannah until March 26th, when he sailed
to Charlestown. There he was detained ten days waiting for a northbound
ship, and employed the time in delivering several letters of introduction,
and learning all he could about Carolina, and the conditions there. On the
28th of April he reached New York, and left on the 9th of May for Philadelphia,
going partly by boat, and partly on foot, reaching there on the 13th. Six
weeks he and Spangenberg spent together, visiting many neighborhoods, and
informing themselves as to the religious and material outlook in Pennsylvania,
and then Nitschmann sailed for Germany.
His report gave a new turn to the American plans, for both he and Spangenberg
were much pleased with Pennsylvania. Quite a number of the settlers seemed
open to the idea of mutual aid in the spiritual life, material conditions
were very different from those in Georgia and better suited to the Moravian
needs, the Quaker Governor was not likely to force military service upon
people who held the same theories as himself in regard to warfare, and there
were large tribes of Indians within easy reach, to whom the Gospel might
be preached. As troubles thickened in Savannah, therefore, the heads of
the Church at Herrnhut began to look toward Pennsylvania, and ultimately
sent thither the larger companies originally destined for Georgia.
In August, Spangenberg went to visit the Moravian Mission on the island
of St. Thomas, returning to Pennsylvania in November, where he remained
until the following year.
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