Cover image for The Francis Daniel Pastorius Reader: Writings by an Early American Polymath By Patrick Erben, Alfred Brophy, and ByMargo Lambert

The Francis Daniel Pastorius Reader

Writings by an Early American Polymath

Patrick Erben, Alfred Brophy, and Margo Lambert

COMING IN MAY

$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08328-5
Coming in May

456 pages
7" × 10"
10 b&w illustrations
2019

Max Kade Research Institute: Germans Beyond Europe

The Francis Daniel Pastorius Reader

Writings by an Early American Polymath

Patrick Erben, Alfred Brophy, and Margo Lambert

“An important project that provides the most valuable material on Pastorius and the intellectual, academic, social, and economic fabric of communal life in early Pennsylvania.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
Francis Daniel Pastorius was one of the first German settlers to Pennsylvania and a touchstone figure of German-American cultural heritage. This monumental anthology presents a selection of his many writings in one volume.

Pastorius sailed to North America as a Pietist but found a unique home among the Quakers in Pennsylvania. Within this early modern religious context, he was a lawyer, educator, and community leader; a polymath; and a prolific writer and collector of knowledge. At the turn of the eighteenth century, Pastorius held one of the largest manuscript collections in North America and wrote voluminously in multiple languages. His collecting, curation, and dissemination represents a unique look at the ways information was stored, processed, and utilized during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in both North America and Europe. This rich selection of Pastorius’s writings on religion, education, gardening, law and community, and the colony of Pennsylvania—as well as letters, poems, and numerous encyclopedic and bibliographic works—shows the work of a true humanist in action.

Pastorius’s works have long been important to archival study of early German settlement and the Atlantic world. Now available together, transcribed, translated, and annotated, his writings will have widespread significance to the study of early American literature and history.

“An important project that provides the most valuable material on Pastorius and the intellectual, academic, social, and economic fabric of communal life in early Pennsylvania.”
“This skillfully edited volume illuminates the wide-ranging work of a single seventeenth-century German-speaking immigrant who was an intellectual and a civic leader. From promotional literature to poetry, commonplace books to practical advice, the writings published here reveal how knowledge was produced and circulated in early Pennsylvania. The editors bring together historical evidence that encourages us to ask new questions about the nature of the early modern Atlantic world.”
“Here, finally, is a full-fledged, expertly edited and introduced collection of the whole range of writings by Francis Daniel Pastorius, the important Pennsylvania immigrant and founder of Germantown, from his pioneering critique of American slavery to his prolific work as a legal and religious thinker, multilingual polymath and educator, collector of aphoristic wisdom, and author of poetry and geographic descriptions.”
“For a long time, Pastorius was seen as a kind of patron saint of the German-American community, remembered for his great poem ‘Hail to Posterity!’ but otherwise little studied. This thorough and appealing English edition of his works establishes him as one of the leading minds of early America. The German friend of William Penn is now eminently quotable as a pioneer in many fields of knowledge.”
“The editors’ careful selection of Francis Daniel Pastorius’s writings, showcasing his thought, experience, and hope for settlement in early America, invites twenty-first-century students and scholars to explore Pastorius’s work and engage with it more fully in all of its range and complexity. Readers will reap the rewards of adding to their knowledge of Pastorius as an extraordinary thinker, author, and doer in the North Atlantic world of the sevententh and eighteenth centuries.”
“Francis Daniel Pastorius led an amazing life. As lawyer and public official, scholar and writer, poet and teacher, he did much to shape the world of colonial Pennsylvania. This excellent reader offers a vivid and comprehensive introduction to his work, his world, and his writings—from his massive commonplace books to his poems and letters.”

Patrick M. Erben is Professor of English at the University of West Georgia and the author of A Harmony of the Spirits: Translation and the Language of Community in Early Pennsylvania.

Alfred L. Brophy is D. Paul Jones Chairholder in Law at the University of Alabama.

Margo M. Lambert is Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College.