Rupp, Israel Daniel (1803-1878)

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Israel Daniel Rupp (1803-1878), "father of local history in the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania," was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Rupp, and grandson of Johann Jonas Rupp (a Mennonite) of Reihen near Sinsheim, Baden, Germany, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1751. I. D. Rupp was baptized in the Reformed faith. Rupp was a self-taught scholar who learned to read eight or nine languages, was for some 20 years a schoolteacher, but devoted his great energies to a variety of literary, editorial, and research pursuits, the producer of a large number of volumes on Pennsylvania history, translations of eleven works, some large, from German or Dutch into English, and English into German. He published six volumes of history on a total of 23 counties of Pennsylvania, the first being his History of Lancaster County (1844). His He Pasa Ekklesia, An Original History of the Religious Denominations . . . United States (1844), contains the first sketches of Mennonite and Amish history published in America, a short article by Christian Herr on the Mennonites and one by Shem Zook on the Amish. A Collection of Thirty Thousand Names of German . . . Immigrants in Pennsylvania . . . 1727 to 1776 (1856, new edition 1876) is valuable for Pennsylvania Mennonite immigrant names. His German translation of the Foxe Martyr Book, Geschichte der Märtyrer (Cincinnati, 1830, new edition 1832), was published in another edition as Allgemeine Geschichte des Christlichen Marterthums in 1840 in Philadelphia, which contained an added lengthy section on Mennonite history (185 pages) entitled (first part) Geschichte und Lehre der Taufgesinnten (35 pages) and (second part) Verfolgungen der Mennoniten (150 pages), the latter taken largely from van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror. The Wandering Soul, edition of Philadelphia 1833, the first in English, was translated by Rupp, as was the edition at Lancaster 1835 of Menno Simons' Foundation and Plain Instruction published by John Herr, the Lampeter (Lancaster County) 1837 edition of the Martyrs’ Mirror, published by David Miller, and the Lancaster edition 1849, of the Waldeck Catechism published by the Oberholtzer (General Conference Mennonite Church ) Mennonite group. All of these were the first English editions. Rupp deserves the credit of having introduced these basic Mennonite writings to English-speaking readers. The Funk edition of the Complete Works of Menno Simons (Elkhart, 1871) made use of the Rupp translation of the Foundation and Plain Instruction of 1837 (reprint 1863), with some modifications. Rupp was in general reliable in his writings and rescued a vast amount of information which would otherwise no doubt have been lost.


Dictionary of American Biography XVI (1935): 225 f., based largely on Oswald Seidensticker, "Memoir of Israel Daniel Rupp, the Historian," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography XIV (1890): (not 1891 as cited in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 56 vols. Leipzig, 1875-1912): 403-13.

Author(s) Ernst Crous
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Crous, Ernst and Harold S. Bender. "Rupp, Israel Daniel (1803-1878)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 15 Jul 2024.,_Israel_Daniel_(1803-1878)&oldid=96326.

APA style

Crous, Ernst and Harold S. Bender. (1959). Rupp, Israel Daniel (1803-1878). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 July 2024, from,_Israel_Daniel_(1803-1878)&oldid=96326.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 380. All rights reserved.

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