Continued Reports of the Undertaking of Several Helmstaedt Professors for NC
North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Historical Publications Section The Colonial Records Project
Jan-Michael Poff, Editor
Historical Publications Section
4622 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4622
Phone: (919) 733-7442
Fax: (919) 733-1439

North
Carolina
Historical
Review


Last Updated 03/02/01

[109]

Continued Reports of the Undertaking of Several Helmstaedt Professors for North Carolina


                                                                      

On the 12th of March, 1788, with the approval of His Highness, the Duke, the erstwhile student, Mr. Carl August Gottlieb Storch, was ordained as Evangelical assistant pastor for North Carolina.1 He was dismissed with the gracious assurance of his Sovereign that the faithful discharge of his official duties, demonstrated among those of our faith in that country, should serve him as a recommendation for a teaching position suited to his preparation, here in Germany, if he, in the course of several years for acceptable reasons, should return to his native country.

Through the repeated assurance of those in a position to observe his work daily, who commended him very highly for his teaching ability and his faithfulness, and who furthermore were always glad to hear him preach, he was very favorably remembered by us during the years which he spent as private tutor in the regions of Zell and Diepholz. In a rather severe test to which we submitted him we found him exceptionally capable. The trial sermons and religious instructions which he gave here publicly before his appointment met with very general satisfaction. In the family by which he was last employed as instructor for the children he is missed very much. After leaving us he returned to this befriended family, that he might in the vicinity of Bremen await the departure of the ship which was to take him to Baltimore. Upon his amiable reception by those of our faith and of our nationality in America, especially in North Carolina, will depend the manner in which we shall henceforth be able to assist them in the needs of their church. Our cash receipts to date, the beneficent contributions and the sums advanced for our seven announced text books, already amount to a total of 1238 rententhaler, 13 groschen and 8 pfennigs.

For almost an entire year it did not seem possible that we would, in so short a time, be able to achieve our main purpose, viz.: the sending over of capable preachers. The Rev. Mr. Daser, to whom we up to April, 1787, had sent everything intended for the Rev. Mr. Nüssmann, according to the directions of the latter, had left Charleston in August, 1786, as we learned from his reply of June 20th, 1787. From here he had gone to another charge consisting of both English and German members, located about seventy miles farther inland in Orange County, where he was obliged to await the opportunity afforded by tourist wagons, before Mr. Nüssmann could obtain our letters which had been forwarded to him, in various ways through the kind mediation of our [110] friends in London, Amsterdam, Kopenhagen, Hamburg, Altona and Bremen. Furthermore, the assertion of the Rev. Mr. Daser, that he himself knew of two congregations in South Carolina who were looking for a pastor, was neither definite nor reassuring enough to expect a man, whose success now almost weighed more heavily on our hearts than our own, to make such a journey on so uncertain a foundation; especially, since we already have adopted the principle of sending men only under conditions in which we ourselves, if our other circumstances made at possible, would be willing, in the trust of God and the good cause, to undertake the journey. Likewise we thoroughly detest all unbidden emigration from our Fatherland as well as all vagrant roaming about in the world for adventure.

Meanwhile, too, Prof. Kunze, a pastor in New York, without knowing anything of our undertaking, had renewed his old friendship with those of us who had learned to know and to love him in London on the occasion of his call to Philadelphia, and thereby brought about a personal acquaintance between us and the man who delivered the letter. This enabled us even now to agree orally on a definite plan with Mr. Wilmerding. He was born of a worthy family in Brunswick, is now, however, located in New York, and as secretary of a German Aid Society, organized among our fellow countrymen of that place, fully relieved us of all anxious worries. Our courage was further strengthened by several trustworthy friends who had been in Virginia and also at various places along the boundary-line of North Carolina. They were unanimous in their praise of the brotherly Christian spirit among our Evangelical brethren of that country, and assured us that preachers, who proved to be at all worthy of the confidence placed in them, would not suffer any want. All of this however produced nothing further in us than the determination, first to hasten the completion of our promised Text Books, which we considered the most probable source and means of specific help. Consequently we were most concerned, first to discharge our duties towards our good-natured creditors, before undertaking any-thing so far remote, for which our unaided efforts at such a great distance were insufficient, and for which furthermore, only a beaconing of Providence from America was able to pave our way.

But, even earlier than we had expected it, Providence pointed out this paved way to us. Only a month and a half ago Mr. Hartmann, a native of Brunswick, now located in Virginia,2 in his magnanimous way offered his assistance for our enterprise, so that we were able to arrange with him the establishment of a small subsidiary fund in Baltimore, to which, for the present is assigned all the money secured in that section from the text books, the sale of which he at our request, and with no personal interest whatsoever, has undertaken. [The intention is] that thus our traveler in case of an emergency or of any unforeseen embarrassment [111] might at our behest receive from this fund the help for which we consider ourselves obligated to him. This happy acquaintance, and the personal confidence which soon grew up between these two traveling companions we considered as a hint of Providence to take this up at once, and to utilize this proffered help in such an essential matter, even though the promised total delivery of our publications, which for the greater part are already outlined, but were interrupted by more urgent demands, should thereby suffer a short but unavoidable delay.

This delay however was caused by another, for us very painful, accident, which no doubt will completely exonerate us in the judgment of every fair-minded reader. Our beloved friend and co-worker, Prof. Kluegel, who had undertaken the compilation of The Most Practical Information and a part of The Manual for Civic Knowledge was unexpectedly detained in the rapid completion of his work, which in rough draft was progressing nicely, by a call to Halle, whither he also actually went a few days ago. Meanwhile, however, we can in his behalf offer the assurance that as soon as the first disturbances, always attending such a change, have been overcome, the completion of his part of our collection, next to his professional duties, will receive his first and most serious attention. Of one of the announced books, viz.: The Selection of Biblical Narratives, together with A Short History of Religion, the editor has temporarily been able to supply only one half, viz.: The Biblical Narratives. Before working out the History of Religion, he wished to complete his more elaborate Church History, of which the first part has just been finished. A further reason for doing this was the fact that he might arrange everything with better proportions, especially with regard to the size of the shorter and more popular work. For good reasons he has divided this original work into two separate and independent publications. Nevertheless our subscribers will receive both, without any subsequent payments, for the advance subscription price at which we announced it as the fourth text book of our Collection. The Geographical Handbook, of which all that was available from the best sources has been assembled and for the greater part worked out, has been delayed somewhat at our suggestion, because we are still expecting from Charleston some contributions which may be especially noteworthy, or may at least supplement the information now found in other books. At any rate this publication will come from the press by St. John’s Day, and nothing but sickness or similar obstacles beyond the control of man, will prevent us from being able to fully satisfy our subscribers by the next Michael-mas-fair.

Since books for religious instruction were the most necessary for the church needs of that country, we felt obliged to expedite these editions more than the rest. Therefore we now furnish first, The Biblical Hand-book for Independent Readers, and second, The Selection of Biblical Narratives.

The following names are to be added to the list inserted in the Reports of the First Number:

Promoters, subscribers and those paying in advance:

Some 100 names of persons from a variety of occupations throughout Lutheran Germany are included here, again usually specifying the types of publications to which their contributions were to be applied.

The donated books enumerated in the First Number of our Reports, page 45, as being held in our possession, were sent in the preceding month, with the above described shipment, (with the exception of the books donated by Mr. Bohn.3)

Simultaneously with this same shipment the following books, received by us since our first number appeared, were sent to Baltimore:

Werenfels’—Sermons. (Donated by Mr. D. Miller of Goettingen.)
Mack’s—Sermons.
Steinhoefel’s—Lectures on Religion.
Boehmer’s—Sermons on Christian Compassion.
Trautvetter’s—Catechisings on the Ten Commandments, with Introduction by Miller.
Ueltzen’s—Sermons.
Miller’s—Art of Catechising, with Model Demonstration.
Hymnal of University of Goettingen. (by Editor.)
Seiler’s—Large Book of Biblical Devotion, New Test., Pt. 3., 4 copies. (A gift by the author.)
Knittel’s Art of Catechising, 2nd Ed., 3 copies. (gift of the Author.)
Knittel’s Art of Catechising, 1st Ed., 6 copies. (gift of Mr. L.)
Guthrie’s Geographical, Historical and Commercial Grammar (presented to the 1st Asst. Pastor by Mr. v. Hinueber, in London, Privy Councillor, and Councillor of Justice.)
A very complete atlas with maps.
(Anonymous gift for the Rev. Mr. Nüssmann)
The Late Pastor Henke’s—Sermons. First Book.
(Anonymous gift for the first Asst.-Pastor)
King’s—Historia Symbolic Apostolici of the Augsburg Confession in German.
Libri Symbolici,
Editor, Rechenberg.
150 copies of the First Catechism, and
36 copies of the Index to Proverbs, (The gift of a subscriber, for distribution among the poor in North Carolina.)
Purchased with our own fund, two copies each of:
Tissot’s—Health Guide for Country Folk.
Langen’s—Physician for all People.
The Gotha Scholarly Magazine, 11 vols. from 1774-1784.
The Frankfort Scholarly Magazine from 1772-1775.
(Gift of Prof. Wiedeburg to the Rev. Mr. Nüssmann.)
The Lemgo—Select Library of the most Recent Literature, for 1772 and 1776.
Vols. 1, 2, and 6.
200 unbound and 25 bound copies of our Large Catechism (from our friend, in keeping with specifically declared intentions of various donors, for the poor in North Carolina.)
Further, intended for the poor children of N. Car., from subscriptions still held in our possession:
72 Bound copies of the Second Catechism.
Klopstock’s—Messiah, 4th Ed. of 1780, on writing paper.
Also in readiness in Leipzig: (Gift of the Publisher, Mr. Crusius).
Weisse’s—Friend of the Children.
Likewise in Brunswick (Through the mediation of the Rev. Mr. Knittel, donated by a Society of that place, 5 Rthlr., 4 ggr.—and by the publisher, Mr. Meyer, 12 copies, the remainder paid from our fund).
50 copies of The New Brunswick Hymnal, as a gift to the congregation in N. Car. which Mr. Storch will please accept with our hearty approval and satisfaction.
[116] In Hamburg with Dr. Gerling the following is in readiness for a new shipment:
Prof. Eckermann’s (of Kiel) Metrical Translations of the Book of Joel. (Gift of the Author.)
Proclamations for School Examinations, Eutin, 1780.
Meditations upon Discontentment, Guebeck, 1777.
(Gift of the Author.)
Rev. Wolfrath’s (in Altona) Glimpses into the Invisible World, 2 copies.
Sermons on the Destiny of Man, 2 copies.
Joys of Secret Devotions, Books, I and II.
Large Package, marked: “C.E.B.” (From Bohn’s Publ. House.)
1st, 2nd, & 3rd Collection of Sermons, by Dr. Lange, Court-preacher in Glueckstadt. (Gift of the Author.)
Biblical Principles of Human Salvation, 2 copies of 1st Ed. and 2 copies of 2nd Ed.
Package of 200 Sermon Outlines by the Auther, Rev. Becker in Luebeck.
Political Journal, for the yrs. 1785-‘86, 2 copies. (Gift of Privy Councillor von Schirach.)
A sealed Package—a gift of Gen. Supt., Dr. Pratje of Stade.

We repeat our request to our wealthy and altruistic friends to send us for the church libraries in North Carolina, especially several larger works on natural history. Up to the present our situation has been such that the acquisition of these would prove too heavy a drain on our funds. From this source we must on the one hand defray the cost of printing and other sundries, and on the other hand we are obliged to guard well our balance so that in case of urgent request we might be able to pay for one or two further transports of considerable size. We, however, express this repeated wish with all the more freedom and assurance, since we have reasons to expect that Mr. Storch, without neglecting his official duties, will, during his leisure hours, pleasantly occupy himself with the observation of natural peculiarities of his territory, at least as far as his limited means will permit. Thus he can give repeated proofs of his grateful consideration for his native land by writing us about his observations or even by sending from time to time some rare natural specimens of that Southwestern Hemisphere. He can furthermore by this means all the more secure himself against that indifference and neglect, which, owing to the extreme respect4 and confidence on the part of these congregations, are so exceedingly dangerous to the teachers and ministers of that country.

Helmstaedt, April 5, 1788.

J. C. Velthusen. H. P. C. Henke.      
L. Crell. P. J. Bruns.                          


Footnotes

1 The Ordination Speech under the title: “Address and Prayer for the Ordination of Mr. C. A. G. Storch as Evang. Asst. Pastor for N. Car. etc,” has been printed and is on sale by the same publishers who are printing our “Text Books.”

2 Not far from Rowlands Ferry, on the Potomac River in Loadon County, in the neighborhood of Colonel Clepham; on the main highway to New York and the two Carolinas.

3 Presumably these books constitute the large package with the designation: “C. E. B.,” which was sent by Mr. Bohn’s Publishing House of Dr. Gerling in Hamburg, in whose possession the package is still held.

4 For this compare our description of religious conditions among the Germans in North Carolina in the Historical Portefeville, June, 1787, p. 23 ff., excerpted from Dr. Kunze’s Pathway of Life, printed in Philadelphia. (pp. 167-170.)



| Out-of-Print Bookshelf | Maps | Newspapers | Picture Gallery | Other Useful Links | First Editions |Monographs| NC Historical Review
North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Colonial Records Project Home Page