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Redemptioners, a term used to denote immigrants to the United States who "redeemed" their fare by working for it upon arrival. Usually, upon landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they were auctioned off. An adult usually had to work four or five years to pay off the debt, and a child until he reached the age of 21. Many Mennonites came to America as redemptioners.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 438.

Smith, C. Henry. The Story of the Mennonites.  Newton, 1950: 543 f.

Author(s) Ernst Crous
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Crous, Ernst. "Redemptioners." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 28 Nov 2015.

APA style

Crous, Ernst. (1959). Redemptioners. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 November 2015, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 263-264. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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