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The Three Most Important Tracts on German Emigration to Colonial America -- Joined With A Virtually Unknown Tract on Carolina

Rare set of 4 German Tracts on Emigration to America.

The first three tracts were described by Christies as follows:

[PENNSYLVANIA]. PASTORIUS, Francis Daniel. Umstandige Geographische Beschreibung Der zu allerletzt erfundenen Provintz Pensylvaniae, In denen End-Grantzen Americae In der West-Welt gelegen... Frankfurt & Leipzig: Andreas Otto, 1700. 8o (160 x 95mm). Gothic and roman types. (12) 140 pp.
FIRST EDITION. Howes P115; Sabin 59028; Vail 287.

[Bound with:] THOMAS, Gabriel. Continuatio der Beschreibung der Landschafft Pensylvaniae an denen End-Grantzen Americae...Beschrieben von Gabriel Thomas 15. Jahrigen Imwohner dieses Landes... Frankfurt and Leipzig: Andreas Otto, 1702. 8o. (4) 40 (6) pp. Gothic and roman types. The double-page engraved map of Pennsylvania and New Jersey is bound at the front of his sammelband. FIRST GERMAN EDITION, translated from the English edition of 16981. Howes T167; Sabin 95394.

[Bound with:] FALKNERN, Daniel. Curieuse Nachricht Von Pensylvania in Norden America... Frankfurt and Liepzig: Andreas Otto, 1702. 8o. Gothic and roman types. (6) 58 pp. Howes F12 ("most influential promotion tract for German emigration"); Pilling 1266; Sabin 23739.

FIRST EDITION. Together 3 works in one. Contemporary stiff vellum.  A fine sammelband of three popular and influential tracts aimed at the encouragement of German emigration.

In Nebenzahl describes the 3 tracts as follow:

. . .  These are the three most important tracts on German emigration to colonial America. They were written to serve as promotional literature for the Frankfurt Land Company, the proprietors of Germantown.

Pastorius had founded Germantown when he was sent by a group of Frankfurt Quakers in 1683, to buy land in Pennsylvania. He was a Lutheran who allied himself with the Quakers and became first mayor of the German settlement. The author was one of the most learned men in the colonies and the Umstandige Geographische is his most important book.

Falckner was a member of an eccentric pietist group that settled near the Quakers. He later became an agent for the Frankfurt Land Company, and translated the Thomas account, calling it a continuation of Pastorius, and wrote his own Curieuse Nachricht. Vail credits his book as the one which "did more than any other to stimulate the great German emigration to Pennsylvania."

The fourth tract on the Carolinas, written by the Lutheran Minister Joshua Kocherthal.  The title tranlates as "Detailed and Comprehensive Report on the Famous Landscape of Carolina."  The work is is described in the John Carter Brown Library catalog as follows:

Second edition also printed by George Heinrich Oehrling in Frankfurt am Main in 1709.  R.W.G. Vail in his work The voice of the old frontier claims that the first edition was printed under title "Erster Anhang aus Richard Blome, englischen America", and was extracted and translated from "The British empire in America" by Nathaniel Crouch (who wrote under the initials R.B.), first printed London, 1685.

Joshua Kocherthal

In 1696 a Lutheran minister, Joshua Kocherthal (1669 – December 27, 1719), moved to Kraichgau just south of Heidelberg. As a Lutheran minister Kocherthal would have seen first hand the result of raids by Louis XIV Catholic armies during the War of Spanish Succession.  He would have also seen the destruction of the cities of Heidelberg, Worms, Mannheim and others during the War of the Palatine Succession. Such turmoil would definitely have affected Kocherthal and his congregation.

Since the time of William Penn and George Fox, other missionaries had visited the Palatinate. There were also many books and pamphlets in circulation describing the opportunities in the English colonies.  William Penn himself commissioned several of them. Joshua Kocherthal had very likely come across these. In 1704 Kocherthal made a trip to London. While there he made contact with proprietors of the Carolinas. At this meeting Kocherthal agreed to write a book promoting the Carolinas as a place where palatines could find a life free of war and religious persecution. In 1706, having never been to Carolina Kocherthal published his book titled "A Complete and Detailed Report of the Renowned District of Carolina Located in English America".

Kocherthal's book was published with some limited success. By 1708, Kocherthal had convinced over 50 palatines to make the journey with him to the Carolinas. Their journey took them through England. Whilst in England, Kocherthal made the case to the English crown that they were refugees fleeing French persecution in the Succession War (a war to which England was party). Their plea was successful and the crown paid for their passage to New York and provided them with a small amount to live on.

In 1709, Kocherthal brought out revised editions of his book on the Carolinas and it was these editions of the book that made the greatest impact.  The new editions contained an appendix detailing Kocherthal's trip to New York.  The book was full of praise for Queen Anne and her attitude towards the refugees in 1708. It strongly hinted that any palatine that chose to make the trip would be similarly supported by the English crown. How officially this view was endorsed by Queen Anne herself is subject to speculation.  But the new editions went as far as showing Queen Anne's picture on the cover.  The cover itself was embossed in gold lettering, from whence grew the term 'Golden Book'.

A parliamentary report into the palatine exodus of 1709 found many mentions of the Golden Book among the refugees and many of them expressed a wish to go to the Carolinas. It definitely appears that this book more than any other factor was the trigger that caused the palatines to leave their homeland and make the arduous trip into an unknown new world.


The first 3 tracts are very rare on the market.  The fourth tract does not appear to have been on the market in the past 100 years (RBH).

Goebel, Deutsch-amerikanische Geschichtsblätter ...: Vierteljahrsschrift, Volumes 12-13, p 181.