Introduction-Part II
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
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Last Updated 03/02/01

Introduction-Part II


[The Reports by Velthusen here reprinted in translation, are really a continuation of the “Text Books for the Youth of North Carolina.” In both sets of pamphlets the information concerning North Carolina is of a cultural nature and in both the literary form is that of letters from Nüssmann and Bernhard. Hence the “Kirchennachrichten” (I, II) are really fourth and fifth of a series, the distinction being that in these tracts emphasis is placed not on text books but on letters and reports from North Carolina. Of particular importance is the inclusion of letters from Storch and Roschen as well as Nüssmann. Finally, there is the “Address and Prayer” delivered when Storch was ordained preparatory to his service in North Carolina.

The originals of these pamphlets are in the Harvard College Library. To date I have been unable to locate a complete series of the German Text Books, but I trust that these will be disclosed in the future. When they are located a note will be given to the North Carolina Historical Review.]

[235]

North Carolina Church Reports


                                                                      

“North Carolina Church Reports, edited by Johann Caspar Velthusen, Member of the High Consistory and Public Teacher of Theology at Rostock in the Duchy of Mecklenburg. First Number: Leipzig, 1790. Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius.”

At the time of the publications of the Third Number of the North Carolina Church Reports, with which I enclosed, during the month of March of the preceding year, the fourth and last issue of Text Books for the Youth,1 the zeal of the generous promoters of that loving service, undertaken with the harmonious coöperation of my friends, was not yet exhausted. Even after this time subsequent gifts were made in cash money, received and recorded by me:

From Mr. K. H. v. d. B. in H., additional 5 Thalers (Through Dr. Roesselt:) “A small contribution to the North Carolina Enterprise,” from an Evang.-Luth.-Pastor, S., on the extreme boundary line of Germany, 10 Thalers.
From Prof. B. in Strassburg, 1 Thaler.

From Rostock were sent in the preceding year (1789) by prepaid freight to Altona and insurance to Charleston, through the kindness of the Messrs. von der Smissen of Altona, the following books, most of which were bound in cloth and the rest in paper cover at the expense of the general fund, as a gift for the Rev. Mr. Nüssmann:

Mr. (Abt.) Henke’s Church History. Part II.
Wollen’s Ethics.
(Ibid.) Teachings for the Youth.
Less’ Truth of the Christian Religion.
Prager’s Tabulations of Baumgarten’s Ethics.
Watt’s Catechetistical Writings.
Niemeyer’s Selected Library for the Clergy.

For the Church Libraries:

(From the Right Honourable Mr. Vogel in Rostock)
Hoppenstedt’s Jesus and his Contemporaries, Vol. 1.
Rosenstein’s On Diseases of Children.
Vogel’s Practical Guide to Medical Science, Part I.
(Ibid.) Reports Concerning Hygienic Directions in Case of a Flux Epidemic, 2 copies.

(From the publishers Messrs. Weigel & Schneider in Nuremberg)

Map of Europe, to Burns’ Geographic Handbook.
Small Textbook for Children of Country and City.
History of the Childhood of Jesus.
History of Burial and Resurrection of Jesus, etc.

(From His Excellence Mr. Seiler)
Loehr’s Directions according to Seiler’s Plan.
(From the Author, Prof. Becker, in Rothstock:)
Short History of the Life of Christ, 100 copies.

(From the Author) Prof. Wehnerts, in Parchinz:
Miscellanies for Children, 4 Selections.
(Ibid.) New Miscellanies for Children, 2 Selections.

[236]

(From Councillor Norrmann in Rostock:)
Schroecht’s General History for Children, History of the Ancients.
Volkelt’s Short Geography.
Pfennig’s Geography.
Continuation of Wiedeburg’s Humanistic Magazine.

Purchased from the general fund:

Rintel’s Theological Annals, 2 copies.
Continuation of the Helmstaedt Literary Annals.
Beyer’s General Magazine for Clergymen, Vol. I. Selections 1 and 2.

These three boxes from Rostock, however, contained practically the entire supply of books, as far as they came under my supervision, and indeed most of them were already bound. As far as I was able to calculate, this supply was sufficient to satisfy not only the demands of our friends in Charleston, (20 Guineas which had been subscribed there, but, which the Society of Helmstaedt, without knowing the circumstances, had appropriated for the needs of the 2 pastors sent out by them) but likewise of the Congregation at Buffalo Creek (370, including interest—384 Thalers, paid in Hanover with money sent from London). There was furthermore a surplus of books sufficient to fully compensate those in Charleston who, contrary to my wishes and in spite of my efforts to prevent it, had through their generosity incurred a considerable burden of expense. Twothirds of this amount were left with the Rev. Mr. Storch, and onethird with the Rev. Mr. Roschen as personal property, to sell or to give away, as circumstances might suggest, without any further responsibility to anyone. Even though this precautionary measure seems rather superfluous at present, I felt obligated to take it because of their courageous determination, and all the more so because, if God continues to prosper them, they will be all the more active in helping to provide the church needs of the remaining deserted congregations.

Subsequently in June of this year, I sent, by free transportation as far as Hamburg, a fourth box from Rostock, which my friend, Professor Ebeling, was kind enough to forward. This box contained a number of bound volumes intended for the third pastor on whose trail I had been for some time, (a candidate of noble heart and excellent ability, who had already been seriously considered by Abbot Henke and myself even in Helmstaedt), either for sale to furnish him a little pin money, or to use as presents in order to ingratiate himself more readily among strangers. But unless he soon makes some sort of reply to the two letters already sent to him, these books shall go to the Rev. Nüssmann; because I know from the reports of others, (even though in his own letters there was not the slightest trace), that he in his zeal for his professional duties is inclined to neglect his financial situation and fails to provide properly for the temporal welfare of his children, and takes the establishing of his church more seriously than the establishing of his plantation.

[237] In addition there were contained in this box, purchased from the general fund:—

Schwammerdann’s Bible of Nature.
Ebert’s Natural Science, (and natural History) for the Youth, 3 vols.; Buesching’s Natural History. And, (donated by the publishers, Messrs. Weigel and Schneider in Nuremburg):

Pardie’s Celestial Sphere in 6 Charts by Krodenbusch.

These four books are intended for the church-library of Rev. Storch’s congregation. In turn for this I however expect of the present as well as of the future pastors of this charge that they, in their leisure hours especially on their itinerant journeys, try to supply the natural history collection of the University of Rostock with nature products of North Carolina.

Seiler’s Psalms, Parts 1 and 2.
Buecking’s Art of Bookbinding, 2 copies.
Hall’s Universal Essays for all Classes. Vol. I.
Continuation of Rintel’s Theological Annals, 2 copies, and the Helmstaedt Literary Annals, as well as
Beyer’s Magazine for the Clergy.
Henke’s History of Religion.
George Bruns’ Handbook, 6 copies.
Seiler’s Large Book on Biblical Edification.
New Test. Part 4, Old Test. Part 2, 2 copies of each.
(Presented by the Author):
Seiler’s Book of School Methods.
Subscription to Wiedeburg’s Humanistic Magazine, (presented by the author).

Furthermore, there was sent to Charleston by the Right Honourable Mr. Heyne, as a gift, by prepaid freight as far as Bremen, and forwarded from there through the kindness of the Rev. Mr. Nicolai and Mr. Carl Ludwig Brauer; Die Goettingischen gelchrten Anzeigen from 1753 to 1780, (complete with the omission of 3 years.) The money for restoring some few defects and for the binding of these volumes was taken from the general fund. This excellent gift is intended for the pastor’s library of Rev. Roschen’s congregation, but it at the same time obligates the present pastor, (a product of Goettingen University) as well as all future pastors of this charge, to keep in mind their indebtedness to the Göttingen Museum of Natural History, just as the Rev. Mr. Storch and his successors are indebted to the Museum of Natural History of Rostock.

In the near future there will also be sent by free transportation from Leipzig to Bremen and forwarded from there through the kindness of the aforesaid Mr. Brauer, to the Messrs. Gaebel and Corré in Charleston, the following bound books, paid from the general fund:

300 copies of the 3rd Edition of my Religious Instruction.
30 copies of the Zwickau Bible. And (as an anonymous gift):
Moldenhauer’s Old Testament.
Salzmann’s Entertainments.
[238] Ibid., Elementary Work, K.
Ibid. Secret Sins.
Basedow’s Elementary Work.
Wolke’s Explanation of the Copperplates.
Wolke’s Copperplates.
Wolke’s Food for the Human Intellect.
Schmahling’s Sermons.
Sinteni’s Sermons.
Beyer’s Magazine, 2 vols.
Blasche’s Hebrews.
Correspondence
of the Family of the Friends of Children, 10 parts.
Several of Rosemueller’s Sermons & Religious Instructions.
Ewald’s Sermons.
Likewise in the near future there are to be sent as many copies as the treasury will then warrant, of the 2nd edition of my Question Book, and also of my Handbook of the Bible. The former is to be considerably enlarged and the latter corrected and carefully revised by next Easter, it is hoped, if God grants me health and good spirits.

I likewise hope by that time to close my complete account and present to the public the results in a subsequent number of these North Carolina church reports. For this and possibly several additional shipments of books to be used there, those shall have first claim, whose previous box may have met with an accident, or who may have incurred unexpected expenses. After such compensations are made, however, the remaining books shall be left at the disposal of the Rev. Mr. Nüssmann, to be used at his discretion without being responsible to anyone else.

The last letter1 of Mr. Nüssmann, which I did not receive until the summer of last year, here in Rostock, will no doubt be interesting to my readers. I shall therefore submit it here, for the greater part verbatim.

North Carolina, Mecklenburg County,
Buffalo Creek, Nov. 12, 1788.                

Venerable Sir Abbot, and best Friend:

The traces of Providence in this religious work are becoming more and more obvious, so that the hand of God, which is here at work for the best interests of His creatures, is very conspicuous. In Charleston they have a very warm feeling for us. The Magistrate, Mr. Faber, is a wide awake man.... The illness of Mr. Storch, however, whom, because of his scholarship, virtue, courage and intimate friendship already enjoyed in Germany, I love as my own soul, caused me considerable embarrassment and grief. Everybody who sees and hears him loves and honors him. But God’s help was also not missing in this case. Mr. Storch is again well. May [239] God preserve him in good health so that my hopes and expectations concerning him, whether I live or die, may be fulfilled.

With regard to his call, however, to the congregation in Guilford County, there was a reconsideration before he accepted it. While we were still deliberating this whole matter Providence intervened with a radical change. Storch at that time was so weak physically that he was obliged to consider himself unequal to such long journeys on horseback as were connected with this charge. Furthermore, he would then have been removed a hundred miles away from me, and indeed in a wilderness where no messenger was to be had. These difficulties were suddenly removed by Him who knoweth all things. For in the meantime there came a call to the three vacant charges nearby, Salisbury, Peint-Church and Second Creek, with a written guarantee of one hundred and ten pounds, and within a few days an additional fourteen pounds from a church located seven miles from Salisbury, which demanded a pastor’s services only during week days. This opportunity which God opened for us had to be appropriated. Consequently he is now pastor of Salisbury, Peint-Church and Second Creek. These three congregations promised, when their respective elders convened on the 14th of Sept., to pay the freight of the household goods (14 to 16 S., or 2 Spanish thalers, per 100 lbs). But the traveling expenses in and from Baltimore to Charleston could not be expected of them. They felt they would suddenly become overtaxed, claiming that it would be too burdensome if all must come from the purse of the private individuals in a country in which the church organizations still had accumulated nothing....

A book-printing establishment, since between Georgia and Maryland there is no German, and in North Carolina not even an English press, would serve a great purpose in the spread of religion and would easily find support here, if only the German type were obtained. Such undertaking would not only keep the invested capital intact, but would also increase it.

When we once have this, we will be guided by the circumstances and have the most necessary things printed at once. Transportation from Germany is very slow, and the need in such a new country too urgent that we should wait so long before obtaining relief.

The organ is also necessary. It must be one of our most important concerns to restore the song service. During these sixteen years I have, through personal inspection or through reliable reports, had supervision over an area of seven hundred square miles, and found that in proportion to the singing which the people are able to do, do the Churches prosper, thrive and flourish, or decline and fall. This must then by all means be attended to at once.... Fifty copies of an excellent hymnbook, purchased reasonably, and distributed wisely in schools and homes, will persuade and induce people to accept it first as a hymnal for school and home, and later as a national hymnbook.…

The 370 thalers shall, as was also the intention of the donors, constitute a permanent source of help for religion, especially in the congregations from Rocky River to Salisbury. This, I hope, will please all and will restore and preserve peace and contentment. God, who already so often and in such obvious ways has helped in this cause, who has caused so much to come from small beginnings and always differently from what I had expected, but [240] who always brought about better arrangements, will also help here, and through His wisdom direct all things so that you and the four altruistic friends, your assistants, and all the good people who have supported this good cause will find it a real source of pleasure. I am, etc.

Your obliging friend,          
Adolph Nüssmann.            

(Letter No. 2.)

The following resumé of a letter from the Rev. Mr. Storch of May 28th, 1789, which I received almost simultaneously with the letter above, will confirm in a general way the desired and beneficent results of the Christian patriotism of our beloved German Fartherland, in that which it was able to accomplish on this side of the ocean.

He, and also Mr. Roschen, live contentedly, each with his congregation. Mr. Storch mentions three congregations taken over by him, of which the strongest, the one worshiping in the so called “Organ Church,” on Second Creek, counts 87 families among its members. He is proud to report that the people all treat him with affection and esteem and that he finds with them all the necessities for his support. His total income, combining salary and incidentals, amounts to about 100 pounds of North Carolina paper money, of which one pound is the equivalent of 3 Reichsthaler in German money, although such German Thalers can scarcely be obtained here, even for many pounds. He reports that his congregation is having a house built for him, and has offered to advance for him the money to buy a plantation, without which one can scarcely get along. Up to the present time he has been living in the city of Salisbury where an academy (a school) is established, in which he found several students who were also studying Hebrew under him. He had however also founded a small special German school, in order to accustom the youth to a purer German. Last autumn he had about 50 children to confirm.

The Rev. Mr. Roschen, who likewise enjoys the love and respect of his people, has 4 congregations and from these also receives about 100 lbs. of the current paper money. He lives 18 English miles, only 3 German miles, [241] from Mr. Storch, separated by a broad river, has already purchased a plantation and is becoming well accustomed to the climate and ways of living at that place.

Mr. Roschen’s letter to me, which he mentions to his mother, I did not receive. However through the kindness of the Rev. Mr. Nicolai in Bremen, his teacher, I am in a position to give very interesting reports of the condition of the country there, as well as of himself personally. This information is taken from his communications to Rev. Nicolai dated from April 29, to June 21, 1789, at North Carolina, Rowan County, on Abbots Creek (in the midst of the forests of North America, eleven Ger. miles from the [Bauren] Mountains, and 3 German miles from Salem.) As far as I can infer from his remarks he took a woman with him as his wife from Bremen.

“Our journey,” he writes, “was a happy one even though it extended over 12 weeks from shore to shore. With the exception of two rather violent but very brief thunderstorms in the Channel we had no inclement weather on the long ocean voyage. In fact the weather was as pleasant as our friends had wished for us on our departure. To be sure, we were seasick quite often and at long intervals, but never in such a way as to give us real cause for serious complaint. The lack of good drinking water and of the necessary refreshments was the most difficult thing we encountered. After we were in sight of the New Hemisphere,—a joy that cannot be described in words—, the wind suddenly became very unfavorable. The large number of ships gathered around us made cruising along the coast very dangerous for us. And here when we believed already to have endured every thing safely, we should have been hopelessly lost, if Providence had not rescued us with something like a miracle. After several days of fruitless cruising we finally crossed the bar in safety, a sand bank which surrounds the road-stead [approach] to Charleston, which has only three points of entrance, and which furthermore can scarcely be passed without a pilot. Here a new and magnificent view greeted us. Life and tumult, a crowding and crossing of so many and varied vehicles, loud singing of the sailors coming from all sides, a cheerful day, the sight of Charleston, the many islands lying around us. The trees which had not yet lost their foliage, the negroes with their dress, the language,—in short, all that we saw here and especially the long sought destination of our sea voyage,—was of such a nature as to arouse in us feelings and emotions never experienced before. Still on that same evening, of Nov. 28th, we disembarked and entered the home of a German. However we did not stay here long. The Merchant, Mr. Gaebel2 learned that same evening that we had arrived.

“He immediately sent a friend of his to us with reproaches that we had passed by the house of our own countryman, requesting that we should at once move into his house if we wished to be considered his friends. He assigned several rooms to us, received us in general in a very magnanimous way, and was extravagant in expressing his good will. Likewise he commanded his negroes to consider us their masters so that we lacked nothing.

“In the German pastor, Mr. Faber, I found a sincere friend who, during the ten weeks which we were obliged to spend here, treated me with as much friendly consideration as one could wish for under such circumstances. He insisted that I assist him in conducting his services and that I preach as often as was convenient for me. In keeping with this offer I preached about five times. In general I must confess that [242] all German people took special pains to make this place, which in itself was very charming, as pleasant as possible for us, even though our stay here was connected with considerable expense. For things are very high here, even to the minutest detail, so that I and my wife could easily have lived in our native German city on what we here spent for secondary matters.

“Finally there came wagons for my goods and riding horses for us from our congregations; for here everybody rides on horseback. Thus we two began our journey on horseback of about 300 North Carolina miles (it takes 6 miles here to make one German mile), which at first caused me slight grief. The leaving of Charleston seemed especially difficult for me, I had opportunity there to make many very advantageous connections. I found here many noble friends whose generosity I often had to admire. I felt from the first moment of my stay there a great satisfaction in the absence of all that we call ceremony, which is considered so sacred with us. Then too, there came the dreadful reports which we received concerning all the congregations to which I had been appointed, which, however, God be thanked, grew out of the fact that in Charleston they were no better informed of conditions than in Germany.

“On our departure we were accompanied several miles by our friends, after which our way led from South Carolina directly to North Carolina. This journey overland lasted two weeks and, as might be expected, was very difficult. Occasionally we slept at night on a plantation, where we were received and treated in a very cordial way. At other times we stayed at the temporary home of a new planter where often seven or eight slept in the same room with us, among whom occasionally those sick or even dying could be found, who disturbed our rest. Again we slept under a tree, or under a wagon, and a few times out in the rain. Still for the greater part we had very pleasant weather. On this journey we passed through 3 American cities, which with us, because of their small number of houses, scarcely deserved to be called villages. Among these one, Camden, was very beautifully built. It has about 30 houses and is located about 150 miles from Charleston, where we spent the night with a former citizen of Hamburg, named Schuett, whose brother lives in Charleston, and indeed in very comfortable circumstances.

“In Salzburg, finally, according to the German pronunciation, in reality Salisbury, where the Rev. Mr. Storch lives, whom I love and esteem especially as a friend, and who has furthermore shown me many important favors, we were received in as friendly a manner as could be expected. At the first news of our arrival the elders of the nearest of my charges, besides several wealthy planters of those places, hastened to the city in order to welcome us. Compliments were here, of course, not very freely given, nevertheless they expressed their opinions in such a way that there could be no doubt of their good will. They said that we [243] would not find a house ready for us, explaining that they had considered this matter, and had deemed it wise to postpone the erection of a house until my arrival, so that I might direct the building of it myself.

“Then the entire procession, increased by the Rev. Mr. Storch, started toward the place of my destination, which is located on Abbots Creek,3 a small river which empties at about two German miles distance into the Yadkin River. One of the elders of our centrally located charge took us with him to his plantation, where we remained several months until we moved on our own plantation of about 200 acres, which aided by several honest local planters, and with the advice of Rev. Nüssmann, who had already met us at Salisbury, and of Mr. Storch, we were able to purchase very advantageously.

“Upon our arrival the elders of the three charges came to visit us. A fourth charge, which now has almost become the largest one, was added to my circuit, and consequently I am now the pastor of these four congregations. Flour, corn, hams, sausages, dried fruits, chickens and turkeys, geese, etc. were abundantly furnished from all quarters. In fact, we have up to the present time not paid out a cent in our household for such things.

“During the first four weeks, when I began counting the money that came in as my salary, I found that it was based on a fixed sum of 70 pounds in metal money annually, which amounts to about twice that amount in local paper money. The extras (incidentals) here are rather high: a marriage fee without address, likewise for a funeral address, one Spanish Thaler; for the confirmation of a child, likewise a Spanish Thaler. This latter is of considerable importance. From the central charge I confirmed twenty-four, from the charge along the Yadkin about twelve, and in the case of the other I still have the task before me.

“Funerals take place in the following manner: If the church is too far removed the dead are buried at their home, occasionally also at the home of a good neighbor where then gradually a sort of a churchyard is formed. If, however, as is usually the case, they are brought to the church, (to a regular cemetery) the coffin is at first placed before the front door of the house. At the foot of the corpse stands the preacher, and around the coffin on all sides, the congregation. No invitations to a funeral are sent out. Everybody considers it his duty to come, and indeed on horseback. Then the pastor has a song, or at least a few verses, sung, after which he gives a short address of about eight to ten minutes. Meanwhile the lid of the coffin is removed and the women crowd around uttering a pitiful wail. Then the pastor orders the coffin to be closed and placed in a wagon while the people mount their horses. Thus after refreshments of bread and rum at the house of the deceased the procession moves to the church. Upon arriving at the church the pastor commands a halt, the corpse is let down from the wagon, a few [244] verses are sung, the coffin is again opened, and while singing the crowd marches by twos to the grave. After the body has been lowered a silent prayer is offered and the grave is filled during the singing of a song. Then still continuing their chant they betake themselves to the church where the funeral sermon is given from the pulpit.

“Marriages here are of two varieties. The one, according to the church discipline, calls for three successive announcements of the banns. In the case of the other, which occurs with equal frequency, the procedure is in general as follows: The groom secures a certificate from the Supeior Officer at Salisbury, comes riding along with his friends of both sexes, the bride riding by his side, to the pastor, or if none is available, to the Justice [of the Peace] where the ceremony is performed. He enters holding in his right hand his flask of rum, greets with a “good morning,” drinks to the health of the one officiating, produces his certificate and then goes back to get his bride and the rest of the party. The questions directed to the groom are: whether he has stolen (that is, kidnapped) his bride,—which occurs frequently,—and whether the parents have given their consent. If one steals his bride and has a license from Salisbury the objections of the parents are of no avail. As a rule in this country the son, as soon as he has reached his twenty-first year, and the daughter as soon as she is eighteen years old, no longer stand under the control of their parents. In case of marriages, which, by the way, are often contracted very early in life, provision for the future need not be any great cause for worry. Whoever is willing to work can easily obtain a plantation and poor people generally are not to be seen here at all. These marriage unions are very fruitful. Thirteen or fourteen children, which usually all live, are not infrequent in these families. I myself know one planter here who has twenty-three children all by one wife, and with only two exceptions all are healthy and strong. Still on the other hand I have found that in families of such large numbers frequently one is feeble-minded.

“This last spring I had in my central congregation twenty-four to be confirmed, whom I had instructed for seven weeks, meeting them three days in the week. This class consisted partly of married men and women up to the age of thirty, and partly of younger people ranging from sixteen to twenty years in age. We meet in the church. To a European such a meeting must seem quite unusual. All are very quiet, well-behaved and attentive. Most striking for me was the fact that the mothers, when they came for this instruction, brought their babies with them, and when the latter became restless proceeded without any ceremony to nurse them, without, however, allowing this to detract from their attention or to delay their answering to my questions. Among the things to be especially emphasized for the younger people before this confirmation was the admonishment not to contract any marriages with the English or the Irish. And even though this may seem very unreasonable [245] to a European, it is in this region a very important matter. For in the first place, the Irish in this section are lazy, dissipated and poor, live in the most wretched huts and enjoy the same food as their animals (although in the cities this matter is reversed). In the second place, it is very seldom that German and English blood is happily united in wedlock. Dissensions and feeble children are often the result. The English wife will not permit her husband to be master in his household, and when he likewise insists upon his rights crime and murder ensue. In the third place, the English of this region do not adhere to any definite religion, do not have their children christened; nor do they send them to any school, but simply let them grow up like domestic animals. Finally, we owe it to our native country to do our part that German blood and the German language be preserved and more and more disseminated in America, for which the present indications in these regions are very favorable.

“The following anecdote might serve to illustrate what I have just said:

“Recently Reverend Mr. Storch and I were walking past the city hall in Salisbury when a man was brought to the whipping-post. A German called to us to remain a moment in order to see how the Americans treated their rascals and thieves. To my question: ‘He is certainly not a German?’ I received the following answer, which is literally true: ‘As yet no German has ever been at the whipping-post, nor was any German ever hanged in Salisbury.’ ... Meanwhile the unfortunate man was bound, stripped of his clothes, and thoroughly flogged. Then his ears were cut off and both cheeks branded with a hot iron!

“Most of the people here are quite contented on their plantation. I recently visited one of my parishioners, and to my question as to how he was faring, I received the answer: ‘If we were to complain God would have to punish us; we lack nothing necessary, and have considerable left for ourselves and for others; we are well, and everything on our plantation is in good order. Since we already have a surplus so soon after the war, we will rapidly become wealthy, if God grants us peace.’

“It is still a very prevalent belief here in this region that peace is not absolutely certain. In fact they are very poorly informed about public affairs in general. That this should be the case is quite natural since they have no other needs here than those which the country and the community can satisfy. Luxury is unknown here. All the necessities are made at home, both utensils as well as clothing. The women are quite experienced in the weaving and working of linen, and skilled in the utilization of wool, and especially of cotton, which thrives here unusually well, and indeed with very little effort. Likewise the women are very apt in the dyeing of wool. A well trained girl can consequently not be had for less than an annual wage of 32 Spanish thalers. The food is very simple, but they eat much meat.

[246] “The plantations consist for the greater part of two hundred to three hundred acres. However there are some consisting of so many thousands. One plantation adjoins the other. Fifty to sixty acres are cleared and tilled and the rest constitute the great American forest [of this region]. As far as my situation as a planter is concerned I must say it is quite fortunate, and it would require a great effort on my part, because of this reason, as well as for the fact that as a pastor, too, I enjoy universal admiration and respect in my congregation, if I were to exchange this place for an other....

“I pray God that He may not separate me and Mr. Storch, for he, too, is now beginning to be content. Recently when I was holding services at my upper charge the elders and the stewards called me into their midst and implored me never to leave them. Among other things one of the leaders said that he would leave the church if I were to go away. Of this I can assure you: that I would not give these congregations up as easily as the people in Germany no doubt imagine I would.

“To be sure, I can not live as peacefully here as a pastor as I do as a planter. I have long journeys to make to my charges. One church is located almost 3 German miles from my home. The roads are very bad in winter and in summer it is almost too hot to travel over them. Since all preachers in North America receive their salary from the members of their charges, and indeed by subscription, everyone who makes a subscription considers himself an integral part and believes that the preacher is dependent upon him. There are consequently under these circumstances, not excepting even a few very good people, occasionally dissatisfied individuals.

“However, we must say that we have not experienced the oppositions that many preachers do. We are treated here with a degree of respect seldom if ever shown to anyone else. There is here no class distinction. As yet no one has ever spoken to me, no matter where it was, who did not hold his hat in his hand. And I must say the same thing about Storch. He lives as one must live who enjoys the love and respect of his congregation as few preachers do in Germany.

“My plantation, to be sure, is as yet not so well established as those of older settlers. My household at the present time, not counting myself and wife, consists merely of one hired man, one borrowed horse, a cow, a dog, a cat, and fowls. But as time goes on this is certain to improve, and my prospects in this matter are very bright. It is impossible here to increase ones private fortune through marriage. How fortunate I am in this respect you have no doubt already learned from other reports.

“My entire salary, the originally fixed sum as well as incidental fees, I receive in hard cash money. What of fruits and fowls of all kinds are brought to me are free will offerings. Subscriptions to my salary are continuing daily, so that I do not know really how much I have. This much however I can safely infer, if God protects me against misfortune [247] I will be able to put aside 60 pounds every year with little effort. All disquieting reports were without foundation. Storch in his hypochondria at first saw things in a false light. Furthermore his reception here in America was not very favorable. He speaks quite differently now. Nüssmann, a good and upright man, lives on his plantation in very moderate circumstances. Ahrend, former teacher of religion, now pastor, owns two beautiful plantations, is well to do, and is a constructive force both in his life and in his conduct. We preach in black suit and collar, usually however, without mantle; during bad weather in winter also occasionally with an overcoat.

“The church service I try to make as solemn and as suitable to the occasion, but with all as simple, as possible. I can however not restrict my discourse to three quarters of an hour; for there are members of my congregations who often ride as far as 3 German miles (18 miles) to church, and furthermore there is only one service every four weeks in each church. Christenings take place after the sermon in presence of the entire congregation. When the Lords Supper is held on Sundays, the preparations for it occur on the preceding Fridays. Private confessions are unknown here. Public penance imposed by the church I have abolished. On the first occasion I immediately called together on the Saturday evening following the preparatory service on Friday, the elders and stewards and a few of the more important members before the Altar, paved the way for myself through a solemn introduction in which I directed their attentions to the passage found in John VIII, ff, and then added the following reasons:

“In Germany, for very good reasons, public church penance before communion was generally abolished. Among other reasons, because it often gave occasion for child-murder or brought contempt upon the child. In the present case, I added, the individual had been guilty of an offence before her marriage; the husband was innocent, and yet would also be disgraced and would likely sever his connections with our church; dissension would result between the couple; the child whom the husband has accepted as his own, would be turned out of the home, etc. Christ, too, had not rejected Judas from his supper. I further urged that the necessary admonishment could in the case in hand, the more effectively be administered in the presence of a few church members in a private home. At once all were won over to my opinion.

“The highest title ascribed to anyone here is “Er” or “Ihr.” Among themselves they all address each other with (the familiar) “Du.” Indeed some do not even know how to use the polite designations “Er” and “Ihr.”

“A little anecdote may serve to show most typically the simplicity and straightforwardness in the associations of these local sincere mountaineers [dwellers of the forest]. In a certain sense it is quite appropriate here.

[248] A blacksmith, a member of the central church on Abbotts Creek, had told a planter, whom I knew quite well, that it would please him greatly if I had him do some work for me; because he expected to give me a half pound every year; but that his ready cash was somewhat scarce, and consequently would like to pay me in work done for me. After a few days I went to him and found him very busy in his shop. He welcomed me as follows:

“Smith: ‘What [of] good do you bring me Pastor,—that you visit me?’
“I: ‘How do you do, Robert; I wanted to order several articles for my household from you, would you perhaps make them for me?’
“Smith: ‘Yes, if I can.’
“I then drew forth the paper model [or pattern] for it.
“Smith: ‘If you will only describe them accurately I will make them according to your wish.’
“I gave him the description desired.
“Smith: ‘Will you stay with me a while longer?’
“I: ‘Yes.’

“Then he began and without my request finished one of the articles, and said: ‘I will bring the remaining articles to your home next Saturday night. Tomorrow I must ride up to Salem,—I still have something [weighing] on my heart of which I wish to speak to you. If you will be at home on Saturday I shall stop with you for a half an hour’.— Then he offered me a drink and dismissed me.”

All these good reports are confirmed in a letter written in Bremen about two weeks ago by a man who shows a very warm interest in the welfare of the pastors of that place, called Mr. Gaebel, from Charleston, who had just come from this part of the country. He had left our Nüssmann well in Charleston. He does not believe that Storch will have any inclination to return to Europe, and assures us that Roschen is very contented and would in a few years have considerable profit from the tract of land which he bought. He further reports with pride that on his journey through Georgia he had found the pastor at Ebenezer, Mr. Bergmann, so comfortably situated that he might well be contented with his position.

The present North Carolina Church Reports I shall from now on continue in pamphlet form without restrictions as to time or pages. I hope in this way to make known, most easily and with least expense to the public in Germany, whatever, of the reports coming to me from America, might be noteworthy and edifying to the Fatherland, and at the same time to announce to our people scattered in America, especially our friends, fellow-believers and countrymen far removed from their native land in the remote forests of North Carolina, everything that they might wish to know through my mediation, especially the important affairs of the church. It would afford me great pleasure, and I [249] together with my four friends of Helmstaedt would consider it a sort of compensation for the hours devoted to this manifestly successful undertaking imposed upon us by Providencee ever since Oct. 14, 1786, if our friends of North Carolina, especially the Messrs. Storch and Roschen, would enable me in a more general way to announce from time to time by means of these publications, the most important reports concerning the outstanding natural phenomena of that country, which always remain of interest to all alike, Christians, citizens, scholars and men in general. I should furthermore like to have more accurate investigation made of the observations, already made by Roschen, with regard to the degenerating influence of race-mixture, especially by those of German blood. If those observations should be confirmed more generally, the conclusions to be drawn would be of the greatest importance for their morals and their human welfare in general.

Rostock, July 14, 1790.                                                                                            J. C. VELTHUSEN.

_______________


FOOTNOTES

1 The Third Number referred to is apparently Velthusen’s account of his activity in behalf of the Lutherans in North Carolina published as an appendix to Text Books for its Youth, Fourth and Last Number: See the January 1930 issue of the Review, p. 142. For first and second numbers see pp. 109, ff. and 120 ff. Editor.

1 I also received recently an additional letter, which Mr. Nussmann sent from Charleston under date of Apr. 24, of this year.

This letter deals exclusively with the private affairs of a certain Christophner Horlacher of the Buffalo Creek congregation. Because letters are more likely to be lost than this printed matter I will here, for the reassurance of the man, announce that through the assistance of the Right Honourable Mr. Seiler in Erlangen and of Deacon Lehmus in Rotenburg ob der Tauber, all the papers entrusted to me were delivered to the Magistrate of the latter city, and that further help from that source may be expected; but that the Treasury of our Institute is by no means in need of this support expected from him, and that the collecting of the legacy, when it is due, had better be assigned, by a new mandate, to some one else who is informed in legal matters.

2 Also like Mr. Rochen, a native of Bremen, who also proved a hospitable friend to our Mr. Storch, and in various ways supported our organization.

3 My readers will know this Settlement from the 2nd issue of the North Carolina Church Reports, which accompanied the 3rd shipment of my Textbooks. Cf. p. 25 ff. where I have given a full report.



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