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Pastorius, Francis Daniel

  1. Alvin J. Schmidt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1052

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Pastorius, Francis Daniel. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in 1651 in Sommerhausen, Bavaria, Germany, where he was baptized and reared by Lutheran parents, Pastorius studied classics and theology at several universities, eventually obtaining a doctor's degree in law from the University of Nuremberg in Bavaria. For a short time he lectured at the University of Frankfurt/Main. In 1683, he was asked by some German Quakers and Mennonites in western Germany about purchasing land in Pennsylvania where they would find religious freedom. He negotiated a contract for them and in June left for Pennsylvania ahead of them, arriving in August, 1683. The Quakers and Mennonites (13 families in all) left Krefeld, Germany, two months later, landing in Philadelphia on October 6, 1683. Pastorius and his group settled on a large tract of land (some reports say 15,000 acres) that had been purchased from William Penn (1644–1718). Here, near present-day Philadelphia, they built a village they named Germanopolis, but the public soon changed it to Germantown. Pastorius' German immigrants were the harbingers of other German immigrants — millions of them — who came to America the next two-hundred years.


  • Pastorius, Francis Daniel;
  • the quakers and mennonites;
  • American slavery, pastorius writings on slavery;
  • Pastorius and his anti-slavery proclamation