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This is the EIGHTY-FIRST page of John BLANKENBAKER's series of Short Notes on GERMANNA History, which were originally posted to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Discussion List.  Each page contains 25 Notes.

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This Page Contains Notes 2001 through 2025.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 81

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Nr. 2001:

It has become my custom on the Half Century marks to write about the plan for the Notes themselves.  Not only is this note a Half Century note, it is the start of the Third Millennium, which is something that I can hardly believe.  At the start of the Second Millennium, I debated about terminating the Notes then, but in the end I said that I would continue for a while longer.  Somehow I managed to put out another thousand.  Don't expect another thousand; my age alone would say that is very improbable.

I regard the history of our Germanna Colonists as very interesting.  The background is rich, their troubles are fairly well known, and their accomplishments are a part of our heritage.  Fortunately, a lot is known about the majority of the families and more will be learned in the course of time.  As an example of where more might be learned, the Parish Records of Illenschwang should be studied.  According to the contemporary notes pertaining to the departure of Andreas Gaar, he was in a party of three hundred.  Can we identify the other 293 individuals?

Many of the Germanna individuals came from Pennsylvania.  As to their motivations, we are inclined to say they were seeking land.  We recently had some more insight into that process in the diary of William Byrd where he is attempting to recruit people from Pennsylvania.  There is a lot to be learned in the general history.

We need to do more in the German Parishes.  Someday, maybe we can do more work in the Civil Records.  It would be great to have more local records of the German villages published, such as has been done for Trupbach.  The work that has been done there has really made that village a target of our admiration and is much appreciated.

It is my hope that I live long enough to see Fort Germanna reconstructed, at least in part.  This will be a time consuming and expensive undertaking and probably cannot be completed in full detail as it conflicts with the home of Alexander Spotswood.

I believe enough is known that we can identify some of the home sites of the Second Colony members but again it will take money and time.

Many of you are concentrating on the written records.  It would be great to have a complete file of the county records including the land plots and the later records of land sales.

We need more Cathi Clore Frosts and Betty Johnsons.
(14 Oct 04)



Nr. 2002:

[It is time I got started on the third thousand of these notes.  I would have started sooner but I was not feeling the best.]

Some time ago, I had copies of extracts from the book VIRGINIA IRON MANUFACTURE IN THE SLAVE ERA, by Kathleen Bruce.  It was published in 1930.  I have been reading in the book (obtained from the University of New Mexico) for the past week or so.  The slave era, of course, did not end until 1865, and a large part of the book is devoted to the last twenty or thirty years of this period.  Much attention is paid to the iron works at Richmond, which were a jewel of the Confederacy, though not always treated as such.  Incidentally, these iron works at Richmond were not far from Falling Creek, where the first iron furnace in Virginia (or in the Americas) was erected.  Dr. Bruce’s account mentions these works (at Falling Creek), but really starts with the efforts of Alexander Spotswood.  I have found several errors in Bruce’s account of Spotswood’s efforts.

She consistently identifies the first iron mine of Spotswood as being located on the Germanna tract, which he patented in 1716.  (Actually, it was patented through a third party, William Robinson, who sold the patent to Spotswood after Spotswood had approved it.)  From this mistake, she assumes that Spotswood went into the iron business in 1716.  The iron mine tract which contained the iron ore that Spotswood used in his furnace was not patented until 1720 by the New Style calendar.

Spotswood wrote to Col. Nathaniel Harrison in 1724, that the search for iron ore did not begin until about 1717 at the request of Sir Richard and others in England.  He furthermore added that about two years later Sir Richard decided to back out of this enterprise, in which time sixty plus pounds sterling had been spent.  This cost would have about covered the cost of the blasting powder.  No furnace could have been built for this expenditure.  The Germans claimed in a document recorded in a courthouse to have been engaged in mining and quarrying from March of 1716 to December of 1718.  At the end of this time they left for the land they had purchased in the Northern Neck.

Dr. Bruce says,

“. . .Spotswood began his iron industry in 1716 is as yet to state only a tradition and a deduction, though a deduction based on facts which seem to furnish evidence that is almost conclusive.”

In the next note, we will look at the evidence that she cites.
(19 Oct 04)



Nr. 2003:

Dr. Bruce thought there were four pieces of evidence which pointed to Alexander Spotswood starting his iron industry in 1716.

First, the Germanna land was patented in 1716 (I believe it was called the Germanna tract).  She thought that the iron ore was to be found on this land.  Actually, the ore was on land, the Iron Mine Tract, that was patented in 1720(NS).  The Germanna tract of about 3,600 acres was about six square miles.  As a circle, the radius was about one and a half miles.  When William Byrd visited Spotswood in 1732, he said the iron mine was about thirteen miles from the home of Spotswood which was on the Germanna tract.  Therefore, the iron mine tract was quite a distance away from the Germanna tract.

Second, Dr. Bruce thought it was Spotswood’s venture that prompted the formation of the Principio Company in Maryland, and prompted them to launch their efforts at making iron.  Actually, the Principio Company started before Spotswood did, but their capability was limited by not having a true furnace which would turn the iron into a liquid form.  They heated the ore and beat it to drive out the impurities and to make the iron a solid instead of a spongy mass.

Third, Dr. Bruce cites the complaint against Spotswood that was made to the Board of Trade in London.  This complaint said that Spotswood had built two forts (Christanna and Germanna) with public monies to support two private interests in which he was principally concerned.  She assumes that the purpose at Germanna was iron smelting.  Actually, most knowledgeable people in the Colony were aware by 1716 that Spotswood was trying to develop a silver mine.  A few people had come to realize by then that the silver mine was a bust.  A poem in Latin written in 1716 by a professor at William & Mary College praised his attempts at finding precious metals.

Fourth was Spotswood’s reply to the complaint against him that was just cited.  He said that he was endeavoring to put them (the Germans) in an honest way of paying their just debts.  Dr. Bruce went on to assume that the only way the Germans could honestly pay their debts was by use of the trades that they had learned in the Sieg Valley.  She went on to assume that the trades they had learned in the Sieg Valley were mining and smelting.  Her assumptions in this fourth reason do not justify the conclusions that she made.  Additionally, her assumptions are false.  The question has been asked here before for any proof that any members of the First Colony had any training in mining and smelting iron.  I don’t doubt that they were acquainted with the trades but the occupations that we have been able to identify seem to be a schoolteacher, a preacher, several carpenters, a teamster, and a skilled toolmaker.  Several of the men were too young to have any occupation.
(20 Oct 04)



Nr. 2004:

In the last Note, I concluded by asking the question, "Did any members of the First Germanna Colony have experience smelting iron?"  We had a reply from Barbara Price to the effect,

"Actually, one of the members of the First Colony, John Hoffman/Huffman, was a smelterer and a furhmann, a travelling dealer in ironware.  It is true that he is the only member that we can pin down as actually having experience as a smelterer, but the members of the First Colony were well acquainted with smeltering and ironworking as many of their ancestors were involved in this occupation."

John Hoffman, who came in the First Colony, does not appear to have been skilled in smelting nor was he a Fuhrmann.  The best occupational classification for him would probably be a carpenter, as he was hired by the Lutherans to erect a house for the new minister, Johann Caspar Stoever.  For this work he was paid two and a half shillings per day.  It would seem that he was hired for this work because he was more skilled at that activity than anyone else.  Still, John Hoffman had not spent enough time in the study of carpentry to be classified as a Master Carpenter, which require many years of study in which one would advance through the states of apprentice and journeyman before becoming a master.  His younger brother Henry, b. 1708, did do this and he did not become a Master Carpenter until he was 27 years of age, to judge by the date on a bottle used in commemoration of the event.  John Hoffman was only 21 years of age when he left the Sieg Valley (Eisern).

The Fuhrmann mentioned by Barbara was the occupation of the father of John Hoffman.  Fuhrmann is best translated, according to my dictionary as teamster, or one who transported goods from one place to another.  B. C. Holtzclaw said that a Fuhrmann was a traveling dealer in iron products.  This is not consistent with the meaning of Fuhrmann, as anyone who moved oak bark to a tannery or wood to the charcoal furnaces could be called a Fuhrmann.  Probably, the father owned a wagon and horses and was available for hire according the needs of the community.

The grandfather of the 1714 John Hoffman was a member of the Guild of Smelters.  He was dead by 1686 when his widow remarried.  More about this family, especially about another brother of the 1714 John Hoffman, is in Beyond Germanna (page 507), in the form of extracts from the diary of the brother Wilhelm.  Nothing in this diary suggests that any member of the family was currently engaged in iron working when the diary was written.
(25 Oct 04)



Nr. 2005:

From 1710 to 1713, Johann Justus Albrecht recruited Germans in the Sieg Valley to emigrate to America to mine silver for the George Ritter Company of Switzerland.  By 1713 he had persuaded some forty odd people, including women and children, to leave their homes from the villages around Siegen, such as Eisern, Trupbach, Oberfischbach, Freudenberg, Niederndorf, and Muesen, to pay their way to London where they would obtain the additional financial support to continue the trip to America.  When they arrived in London, the principal American leader of George Ritter Company, Christoph von Graffenried, was not there, but he arrived about a month later with the news that the George Ritter Company was bankrupt.  Graffenried recommended that the Germans return to their homes in Germany.  Most of the Germans felt that they were not able to do this as they had sold their homes and paid their emigration fees.  They made a counteroffer to Graffenried, namely that they would pool their money toward their transportation costs and would work for four years to pay the balance.  Graffenried took this offer to several men in London and found a receptive audience in Col. Nathaniel Blakiston, the agent for the Colony of Virginia in London.  Blakiston knew that Lt. Gov. of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, was an investor in a purported silver mine in Virginia.  Though the share of this mine that would go to the Crown was not determined, Blakiston was optimistic that this would be resolved and Spotswood would be needing miners before long.  Blakiston committed Spotswood to paying the 150 pounds Sterling that was needed to complete the cost of the transportation.  With this plan in place, the Germans embarked in January of 1714(NS) and arrived in Virginia in April of 1714.  Spotswood learned that he had been committed to pay the 150 pounds only shortly before the Germans arrived in Virginia.  Though Spotswood was nervous about importing foreigners, he happily believed that Blakiston would not have done this without some reason to believe that the royalty question would be resolved soon.

Two years previously, Spotswood had formulated a policy of placing foreigners on the frontier as a barrier or buffer between the English and the Indians.  Though this tentative policy had never been officially approved, Spotswood put it into effect.  He placed the Germans in a fort, called Fort Germanna, after the Germans and Queen Anne, in a horseshoe bend of the Rapidan River twenty miles above the present day town of Fredericksberg.  This site was well suited to the purpose of defense of the frontier, and, therefore, it was approved by the Council as a valid expenditure of the public funds.  Apparently, Spotswood hid from the Council that he was an investor in a silver mine that was about four miles from this site, though the fact became widely known before long.  In 1715 and 1716, John Fontaine left a description of Fort Germanna in his personal diary.  From this, we know that the life of the Germans was not easy.
(27 Oct 04)



Nr. 2006:

For the first two years that Fort Germanna was occupied by the Germans, Alexander Spotswood said that they did nothing to benefit him or his partners.  This is not exactly true, as the Germans were the settlers which permitted Spotswood to patent the Germanna Tract.  This was done 31 October 1716 through a third party, William Robertson, who transferred title to Spotswood a month later.  Spotswood hoped to be able to lease the land to the Germans when their service was ended.

The official duties of the Germans were to be Rangers, protecting the frontier from unwanted incursions of Indians.  There is no evidence that any trouble with the Indians developed while the Germans were living at Fort Germanna.  The Germans had to clear land so that they could grow food.  They were responsible for getting their own food by either agriculture or hunting.  During these first two years, the Germans did nothing that could be said to be mining.  They left testimony that they did begin mining and quarrying in March of 1716(NS) and continued this until December of 1718.  Incidentally, this testimony does establish that Johann Justus Albrecht came with the Germans that he had recruited.

From a letter of Spotswood to Col. Nathaniel Harrison, from the statement of John Fontaine, and from the Germans' testimony, we can deduce that Spotswood set the Germans to work on the silver mine in March of 1716.  At time of the trip across the mountains later that year, John Fontaine’s diary shows that the Germans had been working on the silver mine, but that the results were disappointing.  Spotswood’s letter to Harrison says that in late 1717 Spotswood set the Germans to work looking for iron ore.  This was not an intense endeavor, as Spotswood said that only sixty odd pounds Sterling was spent on the endeavor, but apparently the search was successful as Spotswood and his partners patented the Iron Mine Tract in February of 1720(NS).

The four years that the Germans had agreed to work to pay the balance of their transportation costs that they could not pay were concluded in the summer of 1718.  At this time they made an entry for 1805 acres of land in the Northern Neck.  Moving in the summer time would have been a very poor time to move while moving in the winter would permit them to clear some land in order to grow some food in the following summer.  Coupled with their statement that they worked at mining and quarrying until December of 1718, it is probable that they moved to the Northern Neck at the start of the year 1719(NS).  The Rev. Haeger may not have moved at this time, as the move, the clearing of the land, and the building of temporary shelters would have required hard physical labor which he probably could not perform due to his age and health.
(28 Oct 04)



Nr. 2007:

The late Heinz Prinz gave us insight into the motivations of the Germans who left the Sieg Valley in 1713.  At the time, the government of Nassau-Orange was divided between two Princes, one Catholic and one Protestant.  Both had their seat in the town of Siegen, but this did not indicate any closeness on their part.  In fact, the feeling between these two princes was bitter.  The Catholic Prince, William Hyazinth, banned the delivery of charcoal to the Protestant areas in the Siegerland, which brought ironworking to a halt.  He also attempted to ban the sale of iron products.

After the death of William III of England, Hyazinth claimed to be the heir to the throne of England, and often visited the monarchs of other countries in hopes of official recognition.  This program of travel, and the high standard of living that Hyazinth tried to maintain at the Upper Castle in Siegen, were expensive and required taxes to be constantly increased.  The Protestant Prince of Nassau-Siegen, Adolf, was reconstructing the Lower Castle, which had burned in 1695.  This led to increased taxes on his subjects.

In 1706, while Hyazinth was in Vienna, some of his subjects rebelled.  On his return, Hyazinth seized Friedrich Flender, who was thought to be one of the leaders of the miners in Weidenau.  Flender was taken to the Upper Castle, convicted without a trial, and beheaded.  The Emperor removed Hyazinth and turned the administration of the Catholic regions to the Archbishops of Cologne.  This placed the Catholic Siegerland under the administration of the Jesuits.  Living conditions in the Protestant parts remained poor.  In May of 1712, the Imperial Guards of the Upper Castle clashed with those of the Lower Castle.  Cannon fire was exchanged, which resulted in several civilian and military deaths.

The living conditions of the miners and ironworkers at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, which influenced the general population also, became worse and worse due to the political, economical, and religious circumstances.  There was a high unemployment rate.  When Johann Justus Albrecht appeared in 1710, promising jobs in America, this represented a great employment opportunity.  Initially, they were to mine silver for the George Ritter Company, but their efforts were redirected by Alexander Spotswood, first, to mining silver for him and, second, to finding and mining iron ore.

One individual or family had a different motivation.  The Rev. Henry Haeger had a son already in New York and the family wished to join him there.  This decision to try to go to America was made as early as 1711.  In fact, the Haeger family did not leave Nassau-Siegen at the same time as the other emigrants, but went slightly before the others left.
(04 Nov 04)



Nr. 2008:

One very specific count of the number of Germans who arrived in Virginia says that there were forty-two of them.  One of the best estimates of these forty-two were was made by B. C. Holtzclaw, even though we now know that he had at least one error.  His known error is that he did not include Johann Justus Albrecht, who was in London with the others, and is documented in Virginia.

The families that B. C. Holtzclaw postulated were:

Brumbach, Melchior, a bachelor.
Cuntze/Kuntze/Kunze, a family of five.
Fischbach, a family six, including two sons, who are soon recognized individually.
Haeger, a family of four.
Hofmann, Johann, a bachelor.
Heide, Peter, and perhaps a wife.
Holtzklau, a family of four.
Kemper, John, a bachelor.
Martin, Jost, a bachelor.
Richter, a family of three.
Spielmann, John, a bachelor.
Otterbach, Harman, a family of eight.
Weber, a family of five.

This is one more than can be allowed, if we keep to the forty-two, and J. J. Albrecht as one of them.

The male heads of these families are recognized in the Virginia records, with the exception of the Harman Otterbach.  This particular family has no record in Virginia, but the circumstantial evidence is excellent.  The family had several girls whose names fit the spouses of several of the bachelors.  The family disappears from the Church Records in Nassau-Siegen.  The family was related to individuals in the other families.  As a general rule, it was the case that several relationships can be developed among the families.

The evidence for the male heads is the best.  The evidence for any one of the other individuals is not as strong.  It may also be the case that not all of these people left Nassau-Siegen in 1713, and it may also be the case that some of them grew discouraged in London and returned.  The evidence for us is based on a combination of the German and Virginia records.
(05 Nov 04)



Nr. 2009:

Alexander Spotswood was very pleased with the performance of the Germans at Fort Germanna.  They stayed in place and maintained the peace on the frontier.  When he, with others in 1716, was planning the acquisition of large tracts of land on the western frontiers, he undertook to find the settlers for these lands by advertising his desire for Germans among the ship captains who called at Virginia ports.  He needed a whole shipload to meet the need for a strong force to be settled on the land to be acquired.  One of the captains, Andrew Tarbett, when he was in England late in the summer of 1717, found a group of Germans who wanted to go to Pennsylvania.  He agreed to do so but in the end he delivered them to Virginia.

The emigration from Germany in 1717 was much larger than in the previous years, excepting only the mass exodus in 1709.  Klaus Wust estimated that about one thousand Germans left in 1717.  In answer to a question of why so many left that year, he said, "War."  Those that were taken by Tarbett came mostly from the Kraichgau, a region of weak political leadership.  This area included territories ruled by minor Princes, and by the heads of Wuerttemberg and Baden, and the Bishops of Speyer.  Geographically, the area was about thirty miles or less south and southeast of Heidelberg.

From documents in the Public Record Office in London, we now know that not all of the individuals who left their homes in 1717 made it to Virginia immediately.  Some of them were delayed by two years before they could arrange for transportation.  Thus, in defining the members of the group we would have to say whether we are counting those who left their homes in Germany in 1717, or we are counting those who arrived in Virginia in 1717 (on the OS calendar).

Most of the members were of the Lutheran faith.  The first group of Germans had been members of the Reformed faith.  Together they make up a group called the Evangelische, which we would interpret as Protestant.

For a subset of the people, we know that their motivation in going to America was to improve their economic well being.  To infer the same reason to all of the individuals would be reasonable.  Historians tell us that the incomes and the sizes of land ownership were low in the region from which they came.  There was a strong motivation to improve life for their children if not for themselves.

Though economic improvement was the major factor, we know that they tried to provide for their spiritual life.
(17 Nov 04)



Nr. 2010:

After the 1717 group of Germans had found a ship to take them to Pennsylvania, the captain, Andrew Tarbett, was put in debtors’ prison.  The Germans later complained that they were forced to consume much of their food while waiting for his release, which had an adverse effect on them during the subsequent voyage.  They did take advantage of the time they had in London to attend services at the German Lutheran Churches in London, especially the German Lutheran Church, St. Mary’s in the Savoy.  Here, some of their children were baptized.  They participated in a Communion Service at which they were charged with maintaining their Lutheran faith.  Their pressing need, though, was for a pastor, and they appealed to the German pastors in London for help in obtaining one.  They believed that they had the promise for a pastor who would come when they settled, and had sent word to London that they were ready.

Not all of the Germans were taken on board the ship Scott, which may have been due to the limitations imposed by the size of the ship.  It also may be due to the number of people that Spotswood said that he wanted.  Several of these Germans did appear two years later, in 1719, in Virginia.

In Virginia, in 1717 (OS), the seventy-odd Germans became the servants of Spotswood and his partners.  Spotswood, himself, paid for the transportation of 48 of these people, whose names have been preserved as Head Rights that he used in obtaining some of his land.  The Germans were settled on the north side of the Rapidan River across from Fort Germanna, and upstream about two to eight miles, in a series of homes about one-half mile from each other.  When these Germans were in place, they were the most western point of European civilization in the English colonies (previously the Fort Germanna residents had this distinction).  After seven years, the period of service was ended and most of the Germans moved to new homes at the mountains in the Robinson River Valley.  A few did not go so far but settled southeast of Mt. Pony.

The search for a pastor began with letters to the London Lutheran pastors saying they were ready to receive a pastor.  None were forthcoming and the Germans decided to send two of their members, Cyriacus Fleshman and John Motz, to London in 1726 to present their case in person.  (Part of their trip seems to have been paid by Gov. Drysdale, who had Fleshman and Motz care for an animal(s?) which was a present from Drysdale to the King.)  The most that the two men could obtain from the German pastors was a promise to try and help them.

Back in Virginia, the Germans built a Chapel and held lay services with a Reader.  In 1733 (16 years after they had left Germany), they persuaded a visitor to their community to become their pastor.  This was Johann Caspar Stoever, who was a school teacher in North Carolina.  They sent Stoever to Pennsylvania to be ordained.
(21 Nov 04)



Nr. 2011:

When the Germans who came in 1717(OS) were settled, their work consisted of clearing land, growing food, developing naval stores, and growing grapes.  The last function was particularly encouraged by Robert Beverley who was trying to develop a wine industry in Virginia.  These Germans had nothing to do with any iron mines because there were no iron mines when they came.

The Germans described this period as very hard.  At the end of their seven years of service, they moved to the foot of the mountains.  They said the reason that they had to move so far was that the land in between was taken up by others and the Germans were very anxious to have a German community.  One of the disadvantages, they noted, was that the markets for their products were so far away.  Principally, they grew tobacco for money and food to eat.

As they were preparing to leave Spotswood's land, he brought lawsuits against most of the people in which he claimed that he was owed money having paid their passage.  Many of these lawsuits were for sizeable amounts yet some of them were dismissed by the two parties.  Other judgements by the jury awarded Spotswood only a small fraction of what he claimed.

In the Robinson River Valley, the Germans held church services by having one of their people read lessons and scripture.  They could not hold communion services though.  They were so desperate for a pastor that they sent two men, Fleshman and Motz, in 1727, to London to try and secure a pastor, through the German Lutheran pastors in the German churches there.  They were not successful.

In 1733, they convinced Johann Caspar Stoever to become their pastor, and they sent him to Pennsylvania to be ordained.  Because all free inhabitants in Virginia had to support the State Church (the Anglican Church), the Germans felt that they could not also support their own church.  It was decided to send Stoever, with two members of the congregation, Smith and Holt, to Europe to raise money.  This trip was extremely successful and a goodly sum of money was raised.  Equally important, Stoever convinced a newly ordained pastor, George Samuel Klug, to become the assistant minister.  It is thought his original duties would be as a schoolteacher and as a missionary to the Indians.  The decision of Klug to come was fortunate because Stoever died on the trip home.  Klug became the pastor then.

With the money raised in Europe, the Germans built a church in 1740, which still stands.  They also bought a farm and slaves to work the land.  The money earned from this farm was to support the minister.
(22 Nov 04)



Nr. 2012:

Just who the individuals were who came to Virginia in 1717 (OS) is not entirely clear.  We do know the names of 48 individuals, men, women, and children, whose names appear in a Land Patent of Alexander Spotswood as head rights.  The partners of Spotswood paid the transportation of some of the people and their names are not entirely known.  Still, others might have been sold as servants to scattered planters in Virginia.

The other complication in enumerating the individuals who might be called the Second Colony is that some of the individuals who left Germany in 1717 were not able to progress beyond London in that year.  Within two years though, they were in Virginia.  Since they left at the same time, should they be included?  Known individuals in this latter group are the families of Frederick Kappler, George Lang, and Christopher Uhl (Yowell).  Another family who might be in this group is the Michael Willheit family.

Yet other uncertainties arise because there are no written records for some families, as for example, the John Thomas family.  The relatives of Mrs. John Thomas (Anna Maria Blankenbaker) are known to have come in 1717, yet we lack proof that she came in 1717.  It is possible that she was pregnant and did not want to make the trip in 1717, but came shortly thereafter.  We do know that her sons had a Patent in 1726 when the other family memories had their Patents, but that is not a definitive statement that they came in 1717.

Spotswood referred to seventy-odd members of the Second Colony, and they referred to eighty people.  It is fairly easy to count about 110 to 120 people who seem to have some evidence that they may have come in 1717.  Limiting the count to less that 80 is difficult.

Rather than attempting a complete enumeration of the candidates for inclusion in the Second Colony, it is probably better to take a more relaxed attitude and consider many people as early immigrants in either 1717 (OS) or shortly thereafter.  Still, there are many people who can be identified as arriving in 1717 (OS), especially as based on the head right list of Spotswood.

This list appears in the Patent of the 28,000 acre tract of Spotswood, and was reported by Nell Marion Nugent in Volume 3 of Cavaliers and Pioneers, on page 378.  She read the Patent incorrectly, so it is best to read the Patent youselves.  Additionally, the Patent has one error in it which can be recognized by someone who is familiar with the family members.  A correct list is to be found in Beyond Germanna on page 385.  But still this is only 48 names.
(26 Nov 04)



Nr. 2013:

(Referring to Robert Beverley's History and Present State of Virginia)

Robert Beverley, sometimes called the Historian, was in England in 1705 when he was asked to review a chapter in a proposed book pertaining to Virginia.  Beverley found the work so much in error that he said he could do better by writing a new work.  The resultant book that he wrote was called History and Present State of Virginia, and was divided into four parts, The History of the First Settlement of Virginia to the Present Time, The Natural Productions and Conveniences of the Country, The Native Indians, and The Present State of the Country.  The resultant book, and its later revision, are original rarities that are seldom found in libraries, but which are available today in reprints.  The Virginia ruling class in Beverley's own day must have read the History with considerable interest, because the author was sharply critical of his contemporaries.  In fact, he was so critical that he could not obtain any job in the Virginian government when he returned home.  He spent the rest of his life on his plantation as a planter.

Germanna descendants have some reason to know Beverley.  When John Fontaine went to Germanna in 1715, he stayed several days with Beverley and left a record of his impressions.  Fontaine noted that Beverley was very interested in grapes and wine making.  Beverley was a partner with Alexander Spotswood in the western land project on which members of the Second Germanna Colony were settled.  He held the service contract of George Moyer.

In his writing, the Historian was a stout individualist whose views frequently differed from those held by the ruling faction.  His failure to conform to the normal pattern of the governing class was a legitimate inheritance from an obstreperous father, Major Robert Beverley.  The son of the Historian was another Robert Beverley, so that there three Roberts, the Major, the Historian, and the son.  The Historian married Ursula Byrd, the sister of William Byrd, but Ursula died at the birth of the son.

In writing the History, Beverley adopted a simple and direct literary style that makes it an easy book to read.  Pedantic affectations he could not tolerate.  Simplicity and plainness were almost obsessions with him, both in his writing and his style of living.  Although other Virginians imported finery from England and hung their walls with fancy portraits, e.g., William Byrd, Beverley furnished his own house with wooden stools and furniture made on the plantation.

The book is above all a set of first-hand observations, whether describing the countryside, the Indians, or the state of Virginia society.  The weakest part concerns the annals of the earliest period pertaining to the founding of Virginia a century before he wrote.

After the original edition of 1705, Beverley issues a revised version in 1722 shortly before his death.  In the latter version, he softened his observations on his contemporaries.  He modified some of his views, such as the statement that Virginia pork, bacon, and all manner of fowls, were superior to any in England.
(28 Nov 04)



Nr. 2014:

Robert Beverley, in History and Present State of Virginia, gave this description of mineral resources:

"For Mineral Earths, 'tis believed, they have great Plenty and Variety, that Country being in a good Latitude, and have great Appearances of them.  It has been proved too, that they have both Iron and Lead, as appears by what was said before, concerning the Iron-Work, set up at Falling Creek, in James River, where the Iron proved reasonably good: But before they got into the Body of the Mine, the People were cut off in that fatal Massacres; and the Project has never been set on Foot since.  However, Col. Byrd, who is Proprietor of that Land, is at this Time boring, and searching after the richest Veins, near the Place of the former Work; which is very commodious for such an Undertaking, by reason of the Neighbourhood of abundance of Wood, running Water, Fire-Stone, and other Necessaries for that Purpose.

"It is also said, that there is found good Iron Ore at Corotoman, and in several other Parts of the Country.

"The Gold-Mine, of which there was lately so much Noise, may, perhaps be found hereafter to be some good Metal, when it comes to be fully examined.  But, be that as it will, the Stones, that are found near it in great Plenty, are valuable; their Lustre approaching nearer to that of the Diamond, than those of Bristol or Kerry.  There is no other Fault in them, but their Softness, which the Weather hardens, when they have been some time exposed to it, they being found under the Surface of the Earth.  This Place is about a Day's Journey from the Frontier Inhabitants of James River.

----- "Mr. Alexander Whittaker, Minister of Henrico, on James River, in the Company's Time, writing to them, say thus: Twelve Miles from the Falls, there is Chrystal Rock, wherewith the Indians do head many of their Arrows; and Three Days Journey from thence, there is a Rock and Stony Hill found, which is on the Top covered over with a perfect and most rich Silver Ore.  Our men that went out to discover those Parts, had but Two Iron Pickaxes with them, and those so ill tempered, that the Points of them turned again, bowed at every Stroke; so that we could not search the Entrails of the Place; Yet some Trial was made of the Ore with good Success."

It is not clear from Beverley's writing whether the Falls in the preceding paragraph were on the James or the Potomac River.  There is some support for each view.

These notes of Beverley are quoted to show that in 1705 there was a knowledge in Virginia of iron and lead ores and a belief that gold and silver ores did exist.
(28 Nov 04)



Nr. 2015:

[Several notes to follow are to have extracts from the book Spotswood Letters, published by the Virginia Historical Society.  Though the book has about 350 pages, it is not a complete set of the material written by Spotswood.]

To the Council of Trade, 24 October 1710, My Lords:

- - - - There is a project intended to be handed to this next Assembly for improvement of the Iron Mines lately discovered in this Country, which upon Tryal have been found to be extraordinary rich and good.  It is proposed that the work be carryed on at the Publick Charge; That the Assembly raise a Fund for that purpose and have the disposal of the profits thereof when it comes to perfection, for answering the publick expenses of the Government, if the Assembly should proceed so far therein this Session as to prepare an Act for the encouragement of this Work, I hope I may give my Assent to it without infringing her Majesty's Instructions, which restrains me from passing Acts of an extraordinary Nature; since I do not at present apprehend any Disadvantage which this may occasion to her Majesty's Service or the Trade of Great Britain, because the Nation is obliged to import great quantities of Iron from foreign parts, which if this succeeds may be supplied from hence, at least if it should be found prejudicial, the Act may be repealed by her Majesty long before it can take any effect here, since they can enter in no part of their Work till they have their Workmen and Materials from England, and here I take occasion to beg Your Lordships' favorable interpretations of the earnest endeavours I shall always use in these parts to promote the interest of her Majesty and that of my Mother Country (Great Britain). - - - - [Many recent notes have pointed out the iron was not newly discovered but was the ore to be used in the Falling Creek furnace built about 1622.]

To the Council of Trade, 15 December 1710, My Lords:

- - - - I gave your Lordships an account in my last of a project intended to be laid before the next Assembly for carrying on an Iron Work, but that design did not meet with the countenance which was expected from the House of Burgesses, it being the temper of the of the People here never to favour any Undertaking unless they can see a particular advantage arising to themselves, and these Iron mines, lying only at the Falls of the James River, the rest of the Country did not apprehend any benefit they should reap thereby.  Since therefore the Country hath so little inclination to make use of the advantages which nature has put into their hands, I humbly propose to Your Lordships' consideration whether it might not turn to good account if her Majesty would be pleased to take that work into her own hands, sending over workmen and materials for carrying it on, and imploying therein the Revenue of Quitt-Rents which would be a sufficient fund to bring it to perfection.  I have been assured that the Oar has been tryed and found extraordinary Rich, and I have discoursed the Owners of the Land [William Byrd], and find them very willing to yield up their Right into her Majesty's hands without expecting any other consideration than such as Office in the management of the work as they shall be found capable of.  The Iron may be sent home as Ballast to Ships without any other charge than of Sloops or Lighters to put it on board, and by this means her Majesty may prevent its being manufactured in this Country, which is the only ill consequence that might have been feared if this work had been undertaken by the Inhabitants. - - - -

(29 Nov 04)



Nr. 2016:

To the Council of Trade, 25 July 1711, My Lords:

- - - - As to the project of the Iron mines, concerning which I received the signification of your Lordships' pleasure in a letter from your Secretary the 29th of January last, I have in my former given your Lordships an account how that design was laid aside by the Assembly, and have offered my thoughts how it may be made more beneficial for her Majesty's service and the Trade of Great Britain, upon which I hope to receive your Lordships' further commands. - - - - [The Council of Trade informed Spotswood in their letter of 29 January that any legislation establishing an iron works must contain a suspension clause which meant the whole project could be overturned in London at any time without any recourse by the Virginians.  People who say that Spotswood was engaged in iron mining and smelting in 1714 overlook this statement of the Council of Trade which made it prohibitive for any one or any group of individuals to engage in iron mining or smelting.]

To the Council of Trade, 15 October 1711, My Lords:

- - - - The Baron de Graffenried, Chief of the Swiss and Palatines' Settlement there [New Bern, North Carolina], is also fallen into their hands and carryed away a Prisoner - - - -

To my Lord Dartmouth, 15 October 1711, My Lord:

- - - - The Baron of Graffenried, Chief of the Swiss and Palatines’ Settlement there [New Bern], is also fallen into their hands and carryed away prisoner - - - -

To the Council of Trade, 28 December 1711, My Lords:

- - - - Accordingly, as soon as the [Tuscaruro] Deputys arrived, I entered into Conference with them, at which the House of Burgesses were present, and after they had offered their reasons that delayed their coming in, and expressed their readiness to assist us against the Indians concerned in the late Massacre, and their desire to continue in a strict Friendship with all her Majesty's Subjects, and more especially by interposing for the delivery of the Baron de Graffenried out of the hands of the Enemy, upon my desire, having given proofs of their good disposition to peace, As the Baron owns in the letters then before the House of Burgesses, and acknowledged his liberty to be owing to the good offices of those Indians, I had reason to expect the like Sincerity in performing the Articles of this Treaty - - - - The shortness of their crops, occasioned by their [North Carolina] Civil Dissensions last Summer and an unusual Drowth that succeeded, together with the Ravages made by the Indians among their Corn and Stocks, gives a dreadful prospect of a Famine, Insomuch that the Baron de Graffenried writes he shall be constrained to abandon the Swiss and Palatines' Settlement, without speedy Succours, the people being already in such despair that they have burnt their own houses rather than be obliged to stay in a place exposed to many hardships. - - - -

(30 Nov 04)



Nr. 2017:

To the Council of Trade, 8 February 1711, My Lords:

- - - - The Baron de Graffenried being obliged, while he was a prisoner among the Indians, to conclude a Neutrality for himself and his Palatines, lives as yet undisturbed by the Heathen, but is sufficiently persecuted by the people of Carolina for not breaking with the Indians, though will afford him neither provisions of War or Victuals nor Assistance from them.  He has always declared his readiness to enter into a War as soon as he should be assisted to prosecute it, but it would be madness in him to expose his handful of people to the fury of the Indians, without some better assurance of help than the present confusions in that province gives him reason to hope for, and the Indians would soon Either Entirely destroy that settlement or starve them out of the place by killing their stocks and hindering them from planting corn.  In the meantime the people of Carolina receive very great advantage by this Neutrality, for by that means the Baron has an opportunity of discovering and communicating to them all the designs of the Indians, though he runs the Risque of paying dear for it if they ever come to know it.  This makes him so apprehensive of his danger from them, and so diffident of help or even justice from the Government under which he is, that he has made some efforts to remove with the Palatines to this Colony upon some of her Majesty's Lands; and since such a number of people as he may bring with him, with what he proposes to invite over from Swisserland and Germany, will be of great advantage to this Country and prove a strong Barrier against the incursions of the Indians if they were properly disposed above our Inhabitants.  I pray your Lordships' direction what encouragement ought to be given to their design, either as to the quantity of Land or the terms of granting it. - - - - [Spotswood forms a frontier policy in 1711.]

To the Council of Trade, 8 May 1712, My Lords:

- - - - According to what I had the honor to write to Your Lordships in my last, The Baron de Graffenried is come hither with a design to settle himself and several Swiss familys in the fforks of Potomack, but when he expected to have held his Land there of her Majesty, he now finds Claims made to it by both the Proprietors of Maryland and the Northern Neck.  The Lord Baltimore's Agents claiming it in his behalf to the head springs of the South West Branch of Potomack, and my Lady Fairfax's Agent claiming to the head Springs of the North West branch, though by the Copys of the grants which I have seen, it appears to me that her Majesty has the Right to that Tract of Land exclusive of both Proprietors.  I have writt to the Baron to send me a Draught of both those Branches, which I shall by the first Opportunity transmitt to Your Lordships, and as the Record of both Grants may be seen in the Chancery Office, I shall wait Your Lordships directions whether it be necessary to insist on her Majesty's Rights for taking up Land in this Colony - - - -

(01 Dec 04)



Nr. 2018:

To the Board of Trade, 15 May 1712, My Lords:

- - - - This Excursion of the people into North Carolina, as well as into the Lands of the other Neighboring proprietors, will be very much furthered by a general Opinion lately revived that there are gold and silver mines in these parts towards the Mountains, And because in the grants to the Proprietors the share of the Crown in Royal Mines is ascertained, and no such declaration made for those found in the Lands held incidentally of her Majesty, people propose to themselves a greater advantage by seeking after them in the former.  For this reason, I am told, some persons who formerly had, or fancyed they had made such discoverys here, were discouraged to prosecute them and died with the secret; but not that the same opinion is revived and the humour of making discoverys become more universal I humbly offer to Your Lordships consideration whether so great a profit as may redound from the discovery and working of such mines ought to be lost for want of a Declaration what share her Majesty expects out of them.  I found by the grant to the Company that first settled this Colony, the Crown reserved the 5th part of all Silver and gold mines, and that accordingly the ancient Patents express the same.  Since the dissolution of that Company the soil reverted to the Crown, the patents conveyed to the Patentees of the Land a due share of all Mines and Minerals, but what that share is has never yet been determined, and in the Act of Assembly concerning the granting of lands passed in the year 1706 (but now repealed) the Form of the patents there established gave entirely to the Patentees all Mines and Minerals without any reservation, and though Your Lordships made some alterations in the draught of the bill before it passed here into a law, yet I don't find that part of it was questioned or altered, and some patents granted by my Predecessors while that Law was in force have the same Clause in them, but upon the repeal of that Law I altered the form of the patents to this particular and made them conformable to the former, Viz., by granting with the Land (a due share of all mines, &c.) believing that share ought most properly to be determined by the Crown.  Wherefore I hope Your Lordships will be pleased to move her Majesty for a speedy declaration what share is expected if any Royal mines are found in the Land already patented under her Majesty's Grant, and whether if any such be discovered on lands not yet patented, I ought to grant those lands to any private person who makes the discovery..  The ascertaining of this will encourage people to make discoveries on the Queen's Land, and if found, will keep them where they may bring more profite to the Crown than by runing on the like projects in the lands of any of the Neighboring proprietors, and since by the Charter to the Proprietors of the Northern Neck there is only reserved to the Crown the 5th of all gold and 10th of all Silver Oar, Your Lordships will not I hope think it unreasonable to propose to her Majesty's more imediate Tenants in the other parts of this Colony no greater proportion be demanded of them.  I am the more desirous of some speedy directions herein, because I have great reason to believe there are Mines lately discovered here, and I would willingly promote, as far as I am able, anything that may be for the service of her Majesty and the good of this Country.  [to be continued]

(01 Dec 04)



Nr. 2019:

[Continuing the previous note]

- - - - It is like, some of these Mountains may bring forth only such imaginary Oar as I find some people have heretofore busyed themselves about, and that others may prove such barren ones as not to countervail the charge of working, yet tis also possible that the earth in this part of the Continent may partake of the same Mineral qualitys with those of the more Southern Climates [i.e., Central America], and the diligence of Inquisition or (of the) fancyfull may in the end prove of very great consequence both to the Sovereign and the Subject. - - - - [On 8 May 1712 Spotswood noted that Graffenried was in Virginia.  In the letter above on 15 May, see Note 2018, Spotswood is talking about precious metals, i.e., gold and silver.  Do you this was a coincidence? If you dont, where did Graffenried get the opinion there may be gold and silver in Virginia? Have you ever heard of Franz Michel? If not, go back to Note 1 and reread it.]

To the Council of Trade, 26 July 1712, My Lords:

- - - - At the present I cannot think anything of greater concernment to this Country, as well as the particular Service of her Majesty, than what I hinted to Your Lordships in my letter of the 15th of May, for encouraging the discovery of Silver mines.  I have, since the return of the Baron de Graffenried from Potomack, discoursed him concerning the probability of Mines in these parts, he says though he has no doubts of finding such from the accounts he received from Mr. Mitchell [Michel], a Swiss Gentleman who went on the like discoverys some years ago, Yet he finds himself much discouraged from prosecuting his first intentions, not only because of the uncertainty of the property of the Soil, whether belonging to the Queen or the proprietors, but because the share which the Crown may claim in those Mines is also uncertain, and that all his trouble in the discovery he may chance to have only labour for his pains.  Whereas he would gladly imploy his utmost diligence in making such discoverys if it were once declaredwhat share her Majesty would expect out of the produce of the Mines, or if her Majesty would be pleased to take the Mines into own hands, promising him a suitable Reward for his discovery, and granting him the superintending of the works with a handsome Sallary, he says it si a matter not new to him, there having been Mines of the like nature found on his fathers lands in Switzerland, which were at first wrought for the benefitt of the State, but turning to small account were afterwards Yielded to the proprietors of the soil upon paying a share out of the produce thereof; that he has some relations now concerned therein, and by their interest can procure skilfull workmen out of Germany for carrying on the works [a recruiting effort had been started in 1710 in Nassau-Siegen].  I shall submitt to your Lordships better judgment, which of the alternatives proposed by the Baron will be best for her Majestys service, and shall hope for a speedy signification of her Majestys pleasure thereon, for promoting a design which I can but believe will turn out to the advantage of her Majesty and the improvement of this Colony.  The Baron has not been so far up Potomack as to discover the head Springs of that River nor to make a true draught their Course, so that I cant now send Your Lordships the Mapps I promised in my last, nor forme a Judgment of the pretentions of the several proprietors. - - - -

(03 Dec 04)



Nr. 2020:

To Colo. Blakiston, 11 June 1713, Sir:

- - - - I writt to You about a 2 Months ago about the discovery of another mine in which I am concerned, and have little now to add, except that all ye Gentlemen concerned with me, depend very much on your prudent management of this affair, wherein you will please take the advise of my Lord Orkney to whom I have writt about it.  As to what expences you shall be at, you may be assured they shall be reimbursed, and whatever you find it necessary to engage for, in order to the obtaining a Grant in our favour, faithfully performed, though if, (as you write,) it be so difficult to get it any otherwise than in general as a favour to ye Country, The Charge will be but small, and must be defrayed at the public Expences; yet even in that case, I would have you push it on as speedily as possible, because we cannot proceed till we know what we have to Trust to. - - - - [There is some mysteries in this note.  Spotswood implied a previous mine of which we have no knowledge unless he was referring to Byrd's iron mine.  Col. Blakiston was the agent for Virginia in London.  Occasionally he was charged as being an agent for Spotswood as opposed to being an agent for Virginia.  Certainly, Spotswood wrote to Blakiston as a friend more so than when he wrote to the Council for Trade.  We do know that in early May, Larkin Chew obtained a patent for a tract of more than four thousand acres in Virginia about four miles from the future Germanna.  Within in the month he started selling shares in this tract including one-quarter to Spotswood, one-sixteenth to Graffenried [gratis?], and one-sixteen to Lord Orkney [gratis, surely, in return for the assistance he could provide in England], plus several other men.  Later, Graffenried in his memoirs identified this tract as the site of a proposed silver mine.  One of the mysteries is why Larkin Chew was involved.  It is believed that he was a Captain of the militia assigned to protect Graffenried when he went exploring up the Potomac River.  Thus, it may have been that Graffenried influenced Chew.  Or Chew may have observed that a number of people wanted to believe in silver and all that he needed to do was to claim he owned a silver mine.]

To Colo. Blakiston, 17 August 1713, Dear Sir: - - - - I have formerly advized you that I am embarked in a new project about ye mines, of which there appears better hopes than the former, And therefore must request you that if any resolution be taken by the Queen and Council in relation thereto, that may be to any purpose, that you will not let it ly neglected for want of paying ye necessary fees to the Clerks, which shall either be repaid you Out of the public revenue of the Colony, if it be a general Benefit, or by the persons engaged in the Design, if it be Only a private Order. - - - - [We see that Spotswood bought a share of a silver mine in May (not shown in these letters but documented in the patent and court records plus the memoirs of Graffenried) and then, within two weeks, he starts pushing Blakiston to resolve the royalty question for a silver mine.]

(03 Dec 04)



Nr. 2021:

To Colo. Blakiston, 15 March 1713 [this would be 1714 by our calendar], Sir:

About the beginning January I received yours of the 3rd July, 20th of September, and 10th of October, which gave me an Account of your proceedings in relation to the Mines, as well as your Sentiments of what ye Baron had proposed about transporting his Miners, but by your Letter of ye 9th of December which I received the other day, I perceive you have altered your opinion by sending over those People, partly at my charge.  This makes me believe you have now greater hopes of her Majesty's Concessions in that Affair, for I'm confident you would not on any less encouragement engage me in such an Expence, when, besides, it seems, I run the risque of the same Censure, as you say others have undergone, for transporting Forreigners into those parts, but I hope the undertaking will not have the same consequence; however, 'tis in vain to look on the worst side of a business wherein one is so far engaged and must go through.  'Tis therefore the more necessary to press an answer to the memorial presented to her Majesty, and (in) regard nothing must be undertaken here till that be obtained, without the hazard of raising so great a Clamour, especially when Mr. Nicholson arrives.  Wherefore I request you will use your endeavours, and also quicken My Lord Orkney to dispatch her Majesty's answer as soon as possible, that we may have some prospect of being reimbursed the charge of maintaining to many people, which must remain idle in the meantime. - - - -

[The Germans had been at sea for almost two months and Spotswood was just learning that he would be obligated to pay a part of their transportation costs.]

To the Lords Commissioners of Trade, 21 July 1714, My Lords:

- - - - and in order to supply that part, which was to have been covered by the Tuscarursos, I have placed here a number of Prodestant Germans, built them a Fort, and finished it with 2 pieces of Cannon and some Ammunition, which will awe the Stragling parts of Northern Indians, and be a good Barrier for all that part of the Country.  These Germans were invited over, some years ago, by the Baron de Graffenried, who has her Maesty's Letter to ye Governor of Virginia to furnish them with Land upon their arrival.  They are generally such as have been employed in their own country as Miners, and say they are satisfied there are divers kinds of minerals in those upper parts of the Country where they are settled, and even a good appearance of Silver Oar, but that 'tis impossible for any man to know whether those Mines will turn to account with digging some depth in the Earth, a liberty I shall not give them until I receive an Answer to what I represented to your Lordships concerning your Ascertaining her Majesty's Share, which I hope by your Lordships interposition be speedily signifyed.. - - - -

(03 Dec 04)



Nr. 2022:

To Col. Blakiston, 1 December 1714, Sir:

- - - - together with my repeated acknowledgments for your endeavour in relation to the Affair of the Mines.  At the same time I hope you will pleased to renew your instances to His present Majesty, with whom, (as being a Prince of more knowledge in the nature of Mines than I believe any in Europe,) it may be much easier to prevail, and perhaps to obtain as moderate Terms as the Adventures in his own Territorys of Germany had.  It may be also some Consideration with his Majesty that these Mines are to be wrought by persons of the same Nation and Religion, as I am sure it ought with us; that they will be a vast charge without any prospect of benefit till they can be set to Work.  I have obtained for them from the Assembly an Exemption of all Taxes for seven Years, which may be an encouragement to others of the same Country to come over, but I hope their passage will be at their own charge. - - - -

To ye Lords Commissioners of Trade, 27 January 1714 (1715 by our calendar), My Lords:

- - - - Provision is made in this Law for erecting a Company, who are to have the sole priviledge of the Indian Trade for twenty years, unless his Majesty shall think fitt to dissolve them sooner.  This Company are to contribute towards erecting a Magazine for his Majesty's Stores of War, and to take from thence all of the Powder used in the Trade, delivering in at ye same time a like quantity of fresh Powder, whereby the Powder belonging to his Majesty will be preserved from decaying.  They are also to erect at the New Settlement of Christ-Anna, and after two years' time to take upon them the whole Charge of maintaining the fortifications of that place, and a guard of Twelve men and an Officer, which at present is maintained at a considerable charge to ye Country.  [More explanation of this Indian Trading company follows in which Spotswood was an investor and has such high hopes for the profitability of the company that he started to build a home at Christiana.  This Indian trading company was the second of his hopes to build his retirement plan (after the silver mining venture).]

- - - - The Act for the exempting certain German Protestants from ye payment of Levys, and is made in favour of several Familys of that Nation, who, upon the encouragement of the Baron de Graffenried, came over hither in hopes to find out Mines, but the Baron's misfortunes obliged him to leave the Country before their arrival.  They have been settled on ye Frontiers of Rappa [Rappahannock or even more exactly the south branch of it which was renamed the Rapidan] and subsisted since chiefly at my charge and the Contributions of some Gentlemen that have a prospect of being reimbursed by their Labour when his Majesty shall be pleased, by ascertaining his Share to give encouragement for working these Mines, and I hope the kind reception they have been found here will invite more of the same Nation to transport themselves to this Colony, which wants only industrious people to make it a flourishing Country; - - - -

(06 Dec 04)



Nr. 2023:

To ye Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, 7 February 1715 (by our calendar 1716), My Lords:

- - - - As to the other Settlement, named Germanna, there are about forty Germans, Men, Women and Children, who, having quitted their native Country upon the invitation of the Herr Graffenriedt [note at this time that he is no longer a Baron in the view of Spotswood], and being grievously disappointed by his failure to perform his Engagements to them, and they arriving also here just at a time when the Tuscauro Indians departed from the Treaty they had made with this Government to settle upon its Northern Frontiers, I did, both in Compassion to those poor Strangers, and in regard to the safety of the Country, place them together upon a piece of Land, several Miles without the Inhabitants, where I built them Habitations and subsisted them until they were able, by their own Labour, to provide for themselves, and I presume I may, without a Crime or Misdeameanour, endeavour to put them in an honest way of paying their Just Debts. - - - - - - - - Though the Querist is not very fortunate in expressing his meaning, yet I take this Article of his Charge to consist of Three parts-viz.: A denying his Majesty's Subjects ye Liberty of taking up land; The taking up 12,000 Acres to my own use in a borrowed Name, and the Leasing the Lands taken up to ye Germans, instead of giving them the Property thereof to themselves.  To the 1st of these I answer, that except the Lands in between this Government and North Carolina, (on which no person is allowed Seat untill the determination of that Controversy,) I know of no restraint on any of his Majesty's Subjects from taking up Land in any part of the Government. - - - - To the 2nd: After the Querist has made so large use of his Invention in most of the foregoing Articles, he may more easily be excused in adding only one Cypher to increase the weight of this.  Instead of 12,000 Acres, which the Querist here says were taken up in the name of Wm. Robertson, ye whole quantity Surveyed at the time of composing his queryes amount to no more than 1,287, and though since, by the Patent for that Tract whereon the Germans are seated, it will appears to contain 3,429 acres, yet what is added to the first survey is part of a tract taken up by one Mr. Beverley and voluntarily yielded by him for conveniency of that Settlement. - - - - To the 3rd, I have frequently mentioned how the Germans came to be settled on this Land, and 'tis well known that when they arrived in this Country they were so far from being able to undergo the charge of taking up Land for themselves, that they had not wherewithal to subsist.  So that, besides the expence of one hundred and fifty pounds for their Transportation, they are still indebted for near two years' Charge of subsisting them.  I cannot, therefore, imagine myself guilty of any oppression by placing them as Tenants upon my own Land, when I had pursued the common methods of the Country and taken the advantage of the Law here - instead of being Tenants, they might have been my servants for five years.  Nor are the Germans insensible of the favour I have done them, - - - - The terms upon which the Germans are settled will not appear very like oppression, seeing they have lived for two years upon this Land without paying any Rent at all, and that all which is demanded of them for the future is no more than twelve days' work a year for each Household, which is not so much as the Rent of their Houses without any Land would have cost in other parts of the Country.

[The points here are expanded at more length in Spotswood's writings.]
(06 Dec 04)



Nr. 2024:

[The last note had extracts of a response by Alexander Spotswood to a set of questions asked by a spokesman for a group in the Assembly.  This querest, as Spotswood called him, was anonymous.  The group that he represented were very unhappy with Spotswood and they were trying to embarrass him.  They sent a set of fifteen questions to the Board of Trade who asked Spotswood for his answer to these charges.  What we have been reading is a small portion of a rather long response.  The last note here was not complete and the following is a continuation of his response.]

- - - - But here I must acknowledge myself indebted to the Querest's Modesty in that he has taxed me with oppression in not giving up the property of my Land to the Germans, yet he has not taken upon him to charge me directly with exacting an exorbitant Rent, for he might have ascertained that at some extravagant Rate, with the same truth as he has increased twelve hundred acres to Twelve Thousand.  And since, in this point, he is forced to be silent in the only thing which could give ground for his charge of oppressing those People, I hope your Lordships will be of Opinion that my taking up Land and building houses for people who were not able to take it up or build for themselves; my advancing Money for their Transportation and subsistence, when they must have been sold (according to the Custom of this Country,) into servitude or have famished, and at last my allowing them to Live at such easy Rents, is far from what the Querist would here charge me with.  If he has a mind to extend his Charity to those poor Strangers beyond what I have done, or believes I reap any great advantage by this tract of Land, I shall very readily yield him the Property thereof, together with all the profits I have made by those People; provided, he barely reimburse what I can fairly make appear to have been expended on that Account.  [Thus ended his answer to the fifteen questions that had been raised.]

[I believe that this is the last time that Spotswood mentions the Germans in his letters while he was Lt. Gov of Virginia which ended in 1722.  There are several other documents, other than the letters in the book, Spotswood Letters, which either he wrote or influenced.  Some of the other material was not in the form of a letter or was written after he left office.  I will look at some of these in the following notes.]

[As implied, the attempt of the group to unseat Spotswood was not successful.]

[If others have spotted any omissions in the general theme here, please speak up]
(07 Dec 04)



Nr. 2025:

To The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
The humble Memorial of the Rt. Honorable George Earl of Orkney your
Majestys Capt. Generale and Governor in Chief of Virginia

Humbly, Craves leave to Acquaint your Majesty that he has been greatly Importuned by your Majestys Lieut. God. of that Colony to Apprise your Majesty that within this 12 Months last past there has been some Discoveries made by Persons Versed in Mines, that they have met with some Ore that has Greatly the Semblance of Silver in it, And upon Tryall thereof have some Reason to hope if a due encouragement were given to soe[?] Chargeable an Enterprise they might make some Progress in it But the Inhabitants of that Colony being Sensible that all Gold and Silver Mines, are your Majesty's Intire Property, and is Reserved for your Majesty's Peculiar use; they have Desisted making any further attempt till they are Encouraged by your Royall Proclamation or by what other Methods you shall think fitt to proscribe, and what Share you will please to Retain to your Self. After which the Inhabitants there, are desirous to go in Quest of this Important Project at their own proper Charges, And if Attained may be a means that great Treasure may Accrue to your Majesty's Coffers. All which is most humbly Submitted to your Most Sacred Majesty.
A true Copy W" Blathwayt


At the Court at Windsor
the 30th November 1713
Present
The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council

Upon reading this day at the Board the humble Memorial of the Rt. Honorable George Earl of Orkney Her Majesty's Captain Generale & Governor in Chief of Virginia relating to some Discoveries lately made in that Colony of An Ore that has greatly the Semblance of Silver in it, and Setting forth that it may be very advantageous to Her Majesty if proper Encouragement be given to the Inhabitants of the said Colony for making further progress therein, Her Majesty in Council is pleased to Order, That the said Petition, Copy whereof is hereunto annexed, Be and it is hereby Referred to the Rt. Honorable the Lord High Treasurer to Consider thereof and to Report his Opinion thereupon to Her Majesty at this Board.
William Blathwayt

[Copies of the above two items were sent on 4 March 1714 (NS) by the Lord High Treasurer to the Board of Trade with a request for their opinion.  See Minutes of the Board of Trade 1713 - 1714/15 in Public Record Office Class C.O. 391/24. Reproduced from Beyond Germanna, page 710.]
(08 Dec 04)


(To see John & Eleanor Blankenbaker's May, 2000, and May, 2002, Germany and Austria photos, click here.)

(To see maps of villages in Germany and Austria from which our Germanna ancestors immigrated, click here.)


(This page contains the EIGHTY-FIRST set of Notes, Nr. 2001 through Nr. 2025.)

John and George would like very much to hear from readers of these Germanna History pages.  We welcome your criticisms, compliments, corrections, or other comments.  When you click on "click here" below, both of us will receive your message.  We would like to hear what you have to say about the content of the Notes, and about spelling, punctuation, format, etc.  Just click here to send us your message.  Thank You!


There is a Mailing List (also known as a Discussion List or Discussion Group), called GERMANNA_COLONIES, at RootsWeb.  This List is open to all subscribers for the broadcast of their messages.  John urges more of you to make it a research tool for answering your questions, or for summarizing your findings, on any subject concerning the Germanna Colonies of Virginia.  On this List, you may make inquiries of specific Germanna SURNAMES.  At present, there are about 700 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.  If you are interested in subscribing to this List,

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 George W. DURMAN.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

Index Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES and Genealogy Comments
INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES
Pg.001-Notes 0001-0025
Pg.002-Notes 0026-0050
Pg.003-Notes 0051-0075
Pg.004-Notes 0076-0100
Pg.005-Notes 0101-0125
Pg.006-Notes 0126-0150
Pg.007-Notes 0151-0175
Pg.008-Notes 0176-0200
Pg.009-Notes 0201-0225
Pg.010-Notes 0226-0250
Pg.011-Notes 0251-0275
Pg.012-Notes 0276-0300
Pg.013-Notes 0301-0325
Pg.014-Notes 0326-0350
Pg.015-Notes 0351-0375
Pg.016-Notes 0376-0400
Pg.017-Notes 0401-0425
Pg.018-Notes 0426-0450
Pg.019-Notes 0451-0475
Pg.020-Notes 0476-0500
Pg.021-Notes 0501-0525
Pg.022-Notes 0526-0550
Pg.023-Notes 0551-0575
Pg.024-Notes 0575-0600
Pg.025-Notes 0601-0625
Pg.026-Notes 0626-0650
Pg.027-Notes 0651-0675
Pg.028-Notes 0676-0700
Pg.029-Notes 0701-0725
Pg.030-Notes 0726-0750
Pg.031-Notes 0751-0775
Pg.032-Notes 0776-0800
Pg.033-Notes 0801-0825
Pg.034-Notes 0826-0850
Pg.035-Notes 0851-0875
Pg.036-Notes 0876-0900
Pg.037-Notes 0901-0925
Pg.038-Notes 0926-0950
Pg.039-Notes 0951-0975
Pg.040-Notes 0976-1000
Pg.041-Notes 1001-1025
Pg.042-Notes 1026-1050
Pg.043-Notes 1051-1075
Pg.044-Notes 1076-1100
Pg.045-Notes 1101-1125
Pg.046-Notes 1126-1150
Pg.047-Notes 1151-1175
Pg.048-Notes 1176-1200
Pg.049-Notes 1201-1225
Pg.050-Notes 1226-1250
Pg.051-Notes 1251-1275
Pg.052-Notes 1276-1300
Pg.053-Notes 1301-1325
Pg.054-Notes 1326-1350
Pg.055-Notes 1351-1375
Pg.056-Notes 1376-1400
Pg.057-Notes 1401-1425
Pg.058-Notes 1426-1450
Pg.059-Notes 1451-1475
Pg.060-Notes 1476-1500
Pg.061-Notes 1501-1525
Pg.062-Notes 1526-1550
Pg.063-Notes 1551-1575
Pg.064-Notes 1576-1600
Pg.065-Notes 1601-1625
Pg.066-Notes 1626-1650
Pg.067-Notes 1651-1675
Pg.068-Notes 1676-1700
Pg.069-Notes 1701-1725
Pg.070-Notes 1726-1750
Pg.071-Notes 1751-1775
Pg.072-Notes 1776-1800
Pg.073-Notes 1801-1825
Pg.074-Notes 1826-1850
Pg.075-Notes 1851-1875
Pg.076-Notes 1876-1900
Pg.077-Notes 1901-1925
Pg.078-Notes 1926-1950
Pg.079-Notes 1951-1975
Pg.080-Notes 1976-2000
Pg.081-Notes 2001-2025
Pg.082-Notes 2026-2050
Pg.083-Notes 2051-2075
Pg.084-Notes 2076-2100
Pg.085-Notes 2101-2125
Pg.086-Notes 2126-2150
Pg.087-Notes 2150-2175
Pg.088-Notes 2176-2200
Pg.089-Notes 2201-2225
Pg.090-Notes 2226-2250
Pg.091-Notes 2251-2275
Pg.092-Notes 2276-2300
Pg.093-Notes 2301-2325
Pg.094-Notes 2326-2350
Pg.095-Notes 2351-2375
Pg.096-Notes 2376-2400
Pg.097-Notes 2401-2425
Pg.098-Notes 2426-2450
Pg.099-Notes 2451-2475
Pg.100-Notes 2476-2500
Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025


INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

(As of 12 April 2007, John published the last of his "Germanna Notes"; however, he is going to periodically post to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List in the form of "Genealogy Comments" on various subjects, not necessarily dealing with Germanna.  I'm starting the numbering system anew, starting with Comment Nr. 0001.)

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025
This Page Contains Notes 2001 through 2025.

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