IT is assumed that the reader of this volume is already familiar with Volume I of these reports. If not, suffice it to say that they were written by Pastor John Martin Boltzius and his assistant, Israel Christian Gronau, two young clergymen sent by the Francke Foundation in Halle, Germany, to administer to the Protestant exiles from Salzburg who emigrated to Georgia in 1733.
This volume, originally published as the First Continuation, covers the experiences of the Georgia Salzburgers from July 17, 1734, until the end of 1735, the period of their worst hardships, frustrations, and disappointments. It has the great advantage over Volume I of having been carefully collated with contemporary copies of the original documents, in as far as they still survive in the archives of the Francke Foundation.1 Soon after reaching Europe, these reports were edited and published by Samuel Urlsperger,2 chief pastor of St. Anne’s in Augsburg and Senior of the Lutheran Ministry of that city, who remained the spiritual father of the Georgia Salzburgers to the end of his life. The worthy churchman’s purpose in publishing these reports was to edify his readers and encourage them to continue their support of the Georgia colonists; and consequently he suppressed all information that might hinder this purpose or seem to contradict the promises made to the exiles before their emigration to America.
Since. contemporary manuscripts survive for a part of this period, it has been possible to restore many passages deleted or changed by Urlsperger. This matter is indicated by brackets [ ], successive paragraphs of a single entry being indicated by only an introductory bracket [. A glance at these bracketed restitutions will quickly reveal Urlsperger’s method, namely of suppressing all mention of misbehavior on the part of the Salzburgers, of squabbles between the pastors and the non-Salzburgers in the community, and of difficulties with the British authorities and their failure to fulfill their promises. Urlsperger also removed the names of several people about whom disparaging remarks were made, and he even omitted the names of towns in which they had sojourned in Germany lest these serve as a clue to their identity.
Despite these changes, we must admire Urlsperger’s moral courage in admitting to so much disorder and hardship, which was in glaring contrast to the glowing reports published in his first volume. In this he was not alone to blame. The journey of the first transport, or group, of Salzburgers was so successful, and their arrival in Georgia so auspicious, that the young pastors themselves were thoroughly optimistic. Only when the first volume was ready to appear did conflicting reports come; and, since these seemed unconfirmed, Urlsperger ignored them in getting his copy ready for the printer.
A year and a half later, however, the awful truth could no longer be denied, if for no other reason than that the appalling death rate gave the lie to all accounts of Georgia’s salubrious climate. Most of the settlers had arrived with scurvy; and all were immediately exposed to dysentery, malaria, and various fevers such as typhoid and typhus. It was not a question of avoiding contagion, but merely of surviving it; and only those with the proper antibodies did so. We cannot help but pity the druggist, Andreas Zwifler, who was blamed for failing to cure his miserable patients. Urlsperger also had to swallow his pride enough to confess that the land promised to the Salzburgers had not yet been allotted and that it was sterile as well as inaccessible, being usually either parched or innundated.
Within three months after the first transport reached Georgia, a wicked man named George Bartholomew Roth had the audacity to send a letter to Germany which was “written in such a manner as would give occasion for many Calumnies,” as Urlsperger indignantly reported after the letter “happily” fell into his hands.3 Despite all measures taken to maintain a tight censorship, unfavorable rumors had succeeded in trickling out; and even the schoolmaster, Ortmann, was accused of having smuggled a secret letter into Boltzius’ packet, as we see from the entry of January 6, 1735.
To appreciate Urlsperger’s righteous indignation at Roth’s effrontery, we must remember that this was an age not only of righteousness, but also of self-righteousness, when it was still difficult for even the most introverted Christian to distinguish clearly between pride and conscience. But, besides the Old Adam found in every man, there was a real concern for salvation that is nearly lost today. It was not only hypocrisy that made men wish to appear sanctified, it was an inner need to feel sanctified and thus assured of salvation. Whereas the Puritans feared eternal damnation with fire and brimstone, the Pietists like Urlsperger and his spiritual children in Georgia rather feared to lose the inestimable love of Jesus. This anxiety about salvation helps explain the reluctance of Zwifler, Commissioner Vat, and Schoolmaster Ortmann to accept Boltzius’ chastisements. It was less their fear of admitting their sinfulness to him or even to the congregation than their fear of admitting it to themselves, for this would have diminished their certainty of being washed in the blood of the Lamb.
We can therefore imagine Urlsperger’s inner struggle in having to acknowledge in his preface to this Continuation that conditions in Ebenezer were not so good as first reported. Nevertheless, even though he relaxed his censorship somewhat, we see that he did still suppress facts that he felt better kept hidden. Boltzius himself had paved the way in this; for, as he mentioned in his entry for September 24, 1735, he preferred to report good things and hold back unpleasant circumstances as long as possible. We see, in his entry for January 15, 1735, that Boltzius at first indignantly rejected the attacks against Mr. Vat made by a certain Mr. Dietzius, yet he later drew the same conclusions himself. It will be noticed that he often failed to mention a sickness until it was necessary to do so for some specific reason. For example, on August 16, 1734, we learn that Rheinländer will go to Savannah as soon as he is stronger, but we have not yet heard that he was sick.
In addition to his deletions, Urlsperger made certain minor stylistic changes that do not show in translation. For example, he replaced Latinisms and Gallicisms with native German words: e.g. vorbereiten for praeparieren, versorgen for accommodieren, and Unbequemlichkeit for Incommodität. These lexical changes were not made to purify the language, but merely to make it more intelligible to a non-scholarly public. For the same reason he expanded many Biblical passages that Boltzius had given in abbreviated form: e.g. when Boltzius wrote “Set your affections on things above,” Urlsperger added “not on things on the earth” (December 16, 1735). In this regard it might be mentioned that the Luther Bible which Boltzius cited sometimes differs slightly from the King James Bible in its verse-numbering. Urlsperger changed the subjunctives of indirect discourse from the past to the present tense, possibly to gain a more elegant tone. Incidentally, like all English translations from German, this one suffers from our inability to render the fine distinctions between direct and indirect discourse made possible by the German use of the subjunctive. As a substitute, and inquit such as “he said” or “she replied” has been added wherever the meaning requires.
The passages deleted by Urlsperger show, among other things, that Boltzius was not entirely devoid of humor. At least he had a flare for sarcasm, which he demonstrates, for example, when he declares that Zwifler is rapidly curing the congregation to death and when he quotes the medical jargon with which the semi-educated druggist tries to impress him (September 18, 1735).
In reading Boltzius’ diary, we should remember that he usually uses the pronoun “we” to distinguish himself and his colleague Gronau from his Salzburger parishioners (e.g. August 27, 1935). Although both of them condescended to marry girls from their congregation, they, as scholars, felt superior to their flock (see appended letters of Sept. 1, 1735, Nos. V & X). It will be noted that all English benefactors, the commissioners, and even Zwifler and Ortmann are called Herr (Mr.), while the skilled artisans like Rheinländer and Tullius are called Meister (Master), but that the Salzburgers receive no titles. We should also remember that the term Salzburger was restricted to those who actually came from Salzburg, in contrast to other Germans such as the Bavarians Roth and Schweikert, the Swabian Rauner, the Swiss Zent, and the many Austrians of the third transport. Subsequently, through association and often through intermarriage, all the German speaking people of Effingham Country have become included in the term Salzburger.
This translation aims to render the original as faithfully as possible, without improving on Boltzius’ style. Judged by eighteenth-century standards, Boltzius’ syntax was exceptionally precise, even if it would be found wanting today. Like most of his contemporaries, he did not collect his thoughts into paragraphs, but rambled on as his ideas came to him. However, for typographical reasons this translation is arbitrarily forced into Procrustean paragraphs, even where the chain of thought does not entirely warrant it. Also for typographical economy, the names of the months have been removed from the margins of the pages, where Urlsperger placed them, and restored to the heading of each entry, where Boltzius had originally put them.
In Volume I, in cases where Christian names were not given in the text but could be ascertained from elsewhere, they were added to the text in brackets. Volume II, to the contrary, omits them because all names are given in full, if known, in the index. In the few cases of ambiguity, such as between August Hermann Francke and his son Gotthilf August, the confusion is clarified in a footnote. This translation has expanded various abbreviations. Several place names have been standardized or modernized. Purisburg has given way to Purysburg, Haberkorn to Abercorn, Pellichokelis to Pallachacolas, Charles Town to Charleston, and Ogizschy to Ogeechee. The word Salzburger appears without a t, since the older spelling is no longer used, not even by the Georgia descendants.
Several of Boltzius’ favorite words are difficult to render because of their many meanings. He often refers to his congregation as Zuhörer (hearers), even in contexts where there is no allusion to their listening. He more often uses the word Gemeinde (community), since, with the exception of Commissioner Vat alone, who was Swiss Reformed, all members of the community were members of the same congregation, as was usual in Europe. In this translation the word Gemeinde is rendered by either “congregation” or “community,” as the context seems to demand. Another favorite word of Boltzius that lacks an exact English equivalent is Vorstellung, which includes the meanings of representation, reprimand, remonstrance, admonition, intercession or good office, or even fantasy. Here it is most often rendered as “representations.” Boltzius uses the word Umstände (circumstances) for many purposes, especially to denote one’s spiritual, mental, physical, or even educational condition. In interpreting Boltzius’ Pietistic vocabulary, we should remember that spiritual values are always foremost. Elend (misery) retains some of its original meaning of “exile,” especially exile or separation from God. If we read that someone is miserable, this could mean that he is naked, hungry, or sick; but it more likely means that he is not happy in Jesus. (See entry for April 21, 1735.) If Boltzius is referring to physical misery, he usually states this clearly. Another word we often confront is melden (to announce), which usually means to announce one’s intention to take Holy Communion and to receive spiritual preparation for this serious event, as is explained in the entry for March 15, 1735. This concept is rendered here most often by “to declare one’s intention” or “to register for Communion.”
This translation includes all of Urlsperger’s First Continuation except for the double appendix containing a report of a conference at Deerfield and a sermon by Nathan Appleton, which have been omitted here because they have nothing to do with the Georgia Salzburgers and because they are based on a, printed pamphlet that is still extant.4 The larger part of this volume was translated by Herman J. Lacher while he was a student at the University of Georgia. The material added from the Halle manuscripts was translated by the present editor, and the appended letters from the two pastors were translated by Miss Marie Hahn of the University of Maryland, who was also kind enough to help correct the galleys.
I wish at this time to thank the authorities of the University and State Library of Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle, DDR, for their hospitality to me during my two visits to the Francke Foundation archives in 1966 and 1968 and also for their kindness in furnishing microfilms of the Ebenezer diaries. I also wish to thank the American Philosophical Society for subsidizing my two trips to Halle and the General Research Board of the University of Maryland for supporting the necessary filming and typing.
GEORGE FENWICK JONES
University of Maryland
Well-Born, High-Nobly-Born, High-Noble,
Severe, Firm, Most Honorable, Provident,
High and Very Wise
Council A. C.
of the very praiseworthy Free City of
Augsburg in the Holy Roman Empire,
MY GRACIOUS, BENEVOLENT,
High Ruling Lords
May the Allhighest give from His inexhaustible plenty
all the lasting good in time and in eternity.
Well-Born, High-Nobly-Born, High-Noble,
Severe, Firm, Most Honorable, Provident,
High and Very Wise
MY GRACIOUS, BENEVOLENT,
Just as I had sufficient reason to dedicate the complete report on the Salzburgers who settled in America, which was edited two years ago, to the Trustees or Commissioners who were charged by His Royal Majesty of Great Britain with the establishment of the new Colony of Georgia in America, and also to all of the very noble members of the very praiseworthy English Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge: so I have no less good reason for dedicating the first continuation of said complete report to Your Graces, the Very Noble, Firm, Strong, Wise, and Provident Lords.
For it is you who have not only looked with wonder, a few years ago, on this great Work of God, namely, the migration from the archbishopric of Salzburg of many thousands who confessed our Protestant religion, and particularly the guidance of one Protestant community of Salzburger Emigrants from Augsburg to England and from there across the great ocean to Georgia in America, but have also from time to time made laudable arrangements for the Christian reception of these strangers and for adequate care of their bodies and spirits (which, as we know, has awakened all of Germany and England’ and has inspired them to become followers with good works and giving). Thus you have joyfully followed the Word of God as written by John to the Regents: We must receive those who went forth for the sake of Christ’s name so that we might be fellow helpers to the truth. 3 John 7-8.
These strangers whom we have harbored here have thankfully recognized this very unusual and fatherly care and have borne dignified witness for it before all congregations and before God. Along with them many thousands, near and far, recognize the same in the old and in the new world, and wish for our Protestant Augsburg and its inhabitants, but especially for you, most worthy Regents, in return for the good deeds done for these pilgrims and for the work done on their behalf, the Great Reward which God has promised to all those who let their faith be active with true love and who continue unto the end to follow His Son and obey His word.
Above all, I find myself obliged to concur with this wish and to give public thanks to you my gracious, very benevolent lords, for having lent a helping hand with the groups which left here on 31 Oct. 1733, on 23 Sept. 1734, and on 6 Sept. 1735, and for having given official and constitutional protection to the Colonists on all occasions, in accordance with requests from the Embassy of Great Britain and Brunswick in Regensburg, and for having spared no efforts towards making their brief stay here, and their voyage, easy and agreeable.
May the true God grant rich fulfillment of everything regarding you, your families, and households, the task entrusted to you in this city and, above all, the preservation and propagation of our most Holy Faith, for which He is being asked here by me, and in America by the congregation at Ebenezer.
And may the same true God continue to give me strength not only to pray for you, gracious, very benevolent and high lords, but also to encourage many others to do the same so that today and in the future Truth will become increasingly powerful in this city, pious conduct will be pursued more earnestly, justice and peace will embrace each other more beautifully, our commerce will prosper in a manner pleasing to the Lord, and that your enterprises will succeed so that we and our descendants may live a calm and peaceful life under a Christian regime, in true godliness and honor.
And with this I commend you, gracious, most benevolent and high lords, to the powerful, wise, and gracious government of the Lord of all lords and King of all kings and remain, myself and with mine, in obedient commendation to your grace, favor, and great graciousness, such as you have shown me and them for nearly fifteen years, Your Graces, Very Noble Lords, Strong, Firm, Provident and Wise, My Gracious, Benevolent, High Ruling Lords.
Your obedient servant and