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.”

Henry Drinker, …