Telner, Jacob (17th century)

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Jacob Telner, a well-to-do Quaker merchant of Amsterdam, formerly a resident of Krefeld, Germany, was the major liaison between William Penn and his agent Benjamin Furly in Rotterdam, and the thirteen Mennonite-Quaker families of Krefeld who settled Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1683. He was baptized a Mennonite in Amsterdam on 29 March 1665 but became a Quaker there sometime before 1676, possibly as early as 1667. Soon after 1678 he moved to Krefeld and threw himself actively into the promotion of emigration from the Rhineland to Pennsylvania. He is probably as much as anyone responsible for the Krefeld colonization of Germantown. In 1678-81 he visited New York and Pennsylvania at least once. On 9 and 10 March 1682, Telner, Dirck Sipman of Krefeld and Jan Streypers of Kaldenkirchen each bought 5,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania, securing deeds signed by William Penn personally and executed in London. On 18 June 1683, Telner was with the thirteen emigrant Krefeld families in Rotterdam, at which time he sold 2,000 acres to the three brothers Op den Graeff and 1,000 acres each to three other Krefeld emigrants. He later bought more land there, for he owned a block of land near Skippack which was for a time called Telner's Township. Before 12 December 1684, Telner had arrived in New York and visited Philadelphia and Germantown, but returned to New York to spend the winter there with his family, settling in Germantown in the spring of 1685. Here he lived until 1696, when he returned permanently to Europe. In 1709 ff. he was active in aiding the Palatine and Swiss Mennonites as well as others to get to Pennsylvania. William Penn was so appreciative of his services that he gave him a special grant of 100 acres of "Liberty lands" in Philadelphia's suburbs. Throughout all this time Telner was also active religiously as a Quaker wherever he went. Hull calls him "one of the most useful Quakers of his time."


Hull, William I. William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania. Swarthmore, 1935: 239-53.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Telner, Jacob (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 Apr 2021.,_Jacob_(17th_century)&oldid=122138.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Telner, Jacob (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2021, from,_Jacob_(17th_century)&oldid=122138.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 691. All rights reserved.

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