Pastorius, Francis Daniel (1651-1719)

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Francis Daniel Pastorius (1651-1719), a native of Sommershausen near Frankfurt, Germany, was one of the signatories of the first protest against slavery in America, which was presented on 18 April 1688. He was educated in several German universities and earned a doctorate in law. In Frankfurt he met Philipp Spener and William Penn. From this contact may have come the idea of emigrating to America. On 2 April 1683, he sailed, arriving in Philadelphia on 20 August. His Mennonite and Quaker friends who followed on the Concord he greeted with a poem upon their arrival on 6 October 1683. Under his vigorous leadership a plan was at once made for the city of Germantown. In 1688 he married. His home became the center of a Christian cultured circle. In 1691 he was chosen mayor of Germantown. When the school was built in 1701 he became the first teacher; a log house erected in 1708 served as a school and a church. Pastorius, a Pietist, joined neither the Quakers nor the Mennonites. He wrote many books and much verse that have not been published, in Greek, French, Dutch, English, and Italian. He died at the close of 1719.


Comeniushefte (1893): 30; (1910): 225.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 336.

Learned, M. D. The Life of Francis Daniel Pastorius of Germantown. Philadelphia, 1908.

Mennonitische Blätter (1884): 60; (1889): 39.

Nieper, Fr. Die ersten deutschen Auswanderer von Krefeld nach Pennsylvanien. Neukirchen, 1940: 82 ff.

Wedel, C. H. Abriss der Geschichte der Mennoniten. Newton, 1900-4: 131 f.

Whittier's Pennsylvania Pilgrim. Boston, 1872.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Pastorius, Francis Daniel (1651-1719)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 14 May 2021.,_Francis_Daniel_(1651-1719)&oldid=144551.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Pastorius, Francis Daniel (1651-1719). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from,_Francis_Daniel_(1651-1719)&oldid=144551.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 122. All rights reserved.

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