The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture

By John C. Miller | Go to book overview

The Crossing to Pennsylvania!

Gottfried Mittelberger

Conditions such as those described by Mittelberger were not uncommon on board immigrant ships. But even worse ordeals were experienced by other human beings in getting to America: the plight of the Negro aboard the slave ships which followed the Middle Passage to North America far exceeded in sheer misery anything encountered by Mittelberger.

In the month of May 1750 I left my birthplace Enzweihingen in the district of Vaihingen for Heilbronn, where an organ was waiting for me, ready to be shipped to Pennsylvania. With this organ I took the usual route down the Neckar and the Rhine to Rotterdam in Holland. From Rotterdam I sailed with a transport of approximately 400 souls--Württemberger, Durlacher, Palatines, and Swiss, etc.--across the North Sea to Cowes in England; and, after a nine-day stopover there, across the Atlantic, until at last on the tenth of October 1750 I landed in Philadelphia, the capital of Pennsylvania.

The trip from home to Rotterdam including the sojourn there, took fully seven weeks because of the many delays encountered both in going down the Rhine and in Holland. Without these one could have completed the journey more quickly. The voyage from Rotterdam to Philadelphia took fifteen weeks. I spent nearly four years in America and, as my testimonials show, held the post of organist and schoolteacher in the German St. Augustine's Church in Providence. Besides that I gave private music and German lessons in the house of Captain von Diemer, as attested by the following certificate:

Whereas the bearer Mr. Mittelberger, music master, has resolved to return from this province to his native land, which is in the Duchy of Württemberg in Germany, I have at his request granted these lines to certify that the above named Mr. Mittelberger has behaved himself honestly, diligently, and faithfully in the offices of schoolmaster and organist

____________________
Gottfried Mittelberger: Journey to Pennsylvania. Edited and translated by Oscar Handlin and John Clive.

-83-

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The Colonial Image: Origins of American Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 9
  • Introduction 15
  • Part I - Arrivals 41
  • The Plymouth Plantation 43
  • A Description of New England 66
  • The New English Canaan 76
  • Letters 77
  • The Crossing to Pennsylvania! 83
  • Part II - Daily Life 99
  • Pirates in Plymouth 101
  • Thomas Morton of Merrymount 103
  • The Merrymount Colony 108
  • Edifying Incidents 113
  • An Exemplary Christian 115
  • Inoculation for Smallpox 118
  • Courtship 132
  • Marriage 141
  • On Taking a Mistress 154
  • The Speech of Polly Baker 156
  • Riding through Virginia 159
  • Part III - God and the Devil 167
  • Religious Tolerance 169
  • In Defence of Intolerance 175
  • Witchcraft in Salem 179
  • Witchcraft in Salem 185
  • Witchcraft in Salem 190
  • The Devil in the Shape of a Woman 193
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 207
  • Personal Narrative 212
  • Part IV - The Indians 221
  • The Indians in Virginia 223
  • Pocahontas 231
  • The Pequot War 239
  • The Pequot War 244
  • Indian Customs and Manners 248
  • Captured by Indians 257
  • Part V - The South 291
  • Virginia 293
  • History of the Dividing Line 310
  • Part VI - Literature 351
  • Anne Bradstreet 353
  • Michael Wigglesworth 357
  • Edward Taylor 367
  • Bacon's Epitaph 370
  • Ebenezer Cook 372
  • Benjamin Franklin 377
  • Part VII - Four Colonial Views 387
  • Itinerarium Dr. Alexander Hamilton 389
  • Autobiography 419
  • Journal 437
  • Letters from an American Farmer 479
  • Bibliography 499
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