German was the second language. About 1/3rd of those inhabiting the Pennsylvania colony before the Revolution were German immigrants. About 100,000 of them arrived over the course of the 18th century, and as they did it was announced in the newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, that more Palatines were due to arrive on the next few […]
People called these German Baptist Brethren “Dunkers” because of their distinct form of believer’s (adult) baptism. They believed that the only proper way to baptize a Christian was kneeling in flowing water (a creek or stream), full body immersion, three times forward, each time after answering a question about their personal experience of the acceptance of Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Usually there were other congregants watching and the few illustrations done of the scene show a small crowd of people gathered on the river bank as the elder immerses the applicant.
The Dunkers were originally known as Neue Teufer (“new baptists” in German) in the town of Schwarzenau, Germany, where they began in 1708. In America they became known as German Baptist Brethren and in 1908 they adopted the name Church of the Brethren, although since 1870 there are eight different splinter sects. Today there are over 150,000 people who trace their spiritual heritage to the eight persons who first baptized each other in 1708 in the Eder River.
Jacob immigrated with other Palatines on the ship Nancy, from Rotterdam, last from Cowes (an island in the English Channel), Thomas Coattam, Master, arriving at McCullough’s wharf in Philadelphia harbor on Monday, August 31, 1750. Jacob was then 24 years old and he immigrated without any accompanying family members, and with 50 pounds sterling in his pocket. Fifty pounds sterling was a large sum of money then, equal to over four years’ pay for an English soldier (one pound sterling per month). As soon as he arrived he and the others were herded to city hall to take the required oath of allegiance to George II, King of England.
The signature of Johann Jacob Brumbach appears 6th from the bottom of this list.