Only after 2 years of research did I find that there was archived correspondence between Quaker merchant Henry Drinker and Jacob Brumbaugh and later his son Jacob, Jr. Henry had been one of twenty Philadelphia Quakers exiled to Virginia by Philadelphia authorities shortly before British Gen. William Howe arrived to occupy Philadelphia for the winter of 1777-78. Jacob first bought a land tract from Henry in 1785, then signed an agreement for another one in the early 1790s and one also in 1797, which was not completed until 1803 after Jacob Sr. had died in 1799. Jacob Jr. personally brought the last installment to Drinker’s home and breakfasted with the Drinkers in August 1803. Drinker’s wife Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker recorded that fact in her 50-year diary which is the most complete contemporary record of manners of eighteenth-century Philadelphia and is lodged at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
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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 […]
Henry Drinker, a Quaker merchant in Philadelphia, in 1797 in correspondence with his lawyer in Frederick County, described Jacob Brumbaugh as a “Bearded German.” This is the only eyewitness description we have of Jacob. Typically, once a member of the German Baptist Brethren congregation married, he no longer shaved or trimmed his beard. So “Bearded German” was also a code phrase for a member of the German sects (Mennonite, Amish, Dunker, etc.) A congregation which was part of a denomination which “reformed” by splitting off from the larger denomination was usually referred to as a “sect” and its members as “sectarians.”
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.