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In 1683, the Concord was the ship that took the first group of German emigrants to America. On board, the galleon were 13 Mennonite families from Krefeld with a total of 33 people. The ship is also known as the “German Mayflower“. Concord set sail on July 6, 1683, in Rotterdam under Captain William Jeffries with 57 passengers. The journey took 74 days to reach Philadelphia (Germantown) on October 6, 1683.
Although the arrival by ship of the later founders of Germantown in Philadelphia on October 6, 1683, was later to provide the date for German-American Day, a holiday in the United States, historical research has shown that nearly all of the first thirteen Quaker and Mennonite families were, in fact, Dutch rather than Germans. These families, which were mainly Dutch but also included some Swiss, had relocated to Krefeld (near the Dutch border) and Kriegsheim (in Rhineland-Palatinate) some years prior to their emigration to America to avoid the persecution of their Mennonite beliefs in the Dutch Republic and Swiss Confederacy. The town was named Germantown by the group’s leader Franz Pastorius, a German preacher from Sommerhausen. The town’s population remained largely Dutch-speaking until 1709, after which a number of the Dutch families set out west and a series of major German emigrations reached Germantown and Pennsylvania as a whole. Their initial leader, Pastorius, later aligned himself with newer German arrivals and as the only university-trained and legal and literary man among the early settlers, chronicled and stressed the town’s German origins.
Germantown played a significant role in American history; it was the birthplace of the American antislavery movement, the site of a Revolutionary War battle, the temporary residence of George Washington, the location of the first bank of the United States, and the residence of many notable politicians, scholars, artists, and social activists. Today the area remains rich in historic sites and buildings from the colonial era, some of which are open to the public.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German immigration to and culture in the United States. On August 6, 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. It became Pub.L.100–104, 101 Stat.721 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. A proclamation (#5719) to this effect was issued on October 2, 1987, by President Reagan in a formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, at which time the President called on Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
- 1683 Concord”. The Palatine Project. Archived from the original on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- Reagan, Ronald (1983-01-20). “Tricentennial Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America (proclamation of)”.
- William I. Hull: William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania (2018)
- H. Naaman: History of Old Germantown (1907) page 20.Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- “Presidential Proclamation – German-American Day, 2015”. whitehouse.gov. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
- “German-American Day, 2017”. Federal Register. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. October 6, 2017. Archived from the original on October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017. Alt URL.
Accessed Wikipedia.org 06 June 2022.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1692 – Port Royal, Jamaica, “the richest and wickedest city in the world,” is destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. Later, members of Jamaica’s council made every future anniversary a day of fasting and humiliation.
1891 – Charles Spurgeon preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle for the last time. His last words in the pulpit: “These forty years and more have I served him, blessed be his name! And I have had nothing but love from him. I would be glad to continue yet another forty years in the same dear service here below if so it pleased him. His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once! God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus even this day! Amen!“
2002 – American missionary Martin Burnham and Filipino nurse Ediborah Yap are killed when the Philippine military launches a raid to rescue them from Islamic radicals who have held them captive in the jungle for more than a year. Burnham’s wife Gracie is freed but suffers a gunshot wound.
Header: Concord artwork by German American artist Richard Schlecht, 1982. Courtesy Postmaster General’s Collection, USPS.