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Journals of Rev. Henry Melchior Mühlenberg. Translated

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the 3rd Volume (only)
The journals of Henry Melchior Mühlenberg. Translated ... volume III 1958.
~• note: Volumes I & II are copyrighted
~• note: †(UP) in list denotes un-placed in geni tree (See discussion topic)1

Mühlenberg, Henry Melchior, 1711-1787.
816 page scans
icn_check.gif curated progress: advancing very slowly; now, as of Oct 13 2022, at scan #379 of 816

intent of project

A wealth of genealogical information is unique to this diary. I have only scratched the surface on a partial first read-through. Please add profiles you see in the text and then also add the surname alphabetically below.
I also suggest adding a date reference at each profile so that each viewer can locate text.
The period covered in Volume III is of particular interest to the study of the Revolution and is well worth reading. I first decided to read it during a study of political and religious differences between the Lutheran and Church of England parishes of Eastern Pennsylvania in the Rev. War era.

Volumes I and II are not covered here but some references are included. ~• MMvB, vol. curator

NOTE: a useful digest of this work already exists at The Historical Society of Montgomery County Fall 1968 publication . Short of going directly to the text of Mühlenberg's Journal, it may be adequate for researchers to simply search this HSMC article. (Consult its somewhat incomplete surname list .

To find related text

In order to find dated entries mentioned in the list below: icn_favorite.gif click to read from Journals Vol III > Then scroll to find the date wished to be viewed...

note: Volume III begins in 1777 and runs to the end of the Rev. Mühlenberg's life

Providence Township and the Revolution

In the Rev. Henry Melchior Mühlenberg's writing in this volume, we get to catch glimpses of what many of these people faced during the American Revolution. A close reading of the text is suggested. The Armies passed through Mühlenberg's parish during the course of the writing of this journal. Vagabonds, criminals and the destitute were common 'visitors' at Trappe throughout the war.

Indentured Servitude of Germanic immigrants

Many of the German immigrants were poor, so much so that, when they arrived, they could not pay their own freight. As Mühlenberg himself wrote in 1768:
"After much delay one ship after another arrives in the harbor of Philadelphia, when the rough and severe winter is before the door. One or more merchants receive the lists of the freights and the agreement which the emigrants have signed with their own hand in Holland, together with the bills for their travel down the Rhine and the advances of the 'newlanders' for provisions, which they received on the ships on account. Formerly the freight for a single person was six to ten louis d'ors, but now it amounts to fourteen to seventeen louis d'ors. Before the ship is allowed to cast anchor at the harbor front, the passengers are all examined, according to the law in force, by a physician, as to whether any contagious disease exists among them. Then the new arrivals are led in procession to the City Hall and there they must render the oath of allegiance to the king of Great Britain. After that they are brought back to the ship. Then announcements are printed in the newspapers, stating how many of the new arrivals are to be sold. Those who have money are released. Whoever has well-to-do friends seeks a loan from them to pay the passage, but there are only a few who succeed. The ship becomes the market-place. The buyers make their choice among the arrivals and bargain with them for a certain number of years and days. They then take them to the merchant, pay their passage and their other debts and receive from the government authorities a written document, which makes the newcomers their property for a definite period."

surnames of local families, alphabetized


Revolutionary War Chronology Mentioned by Mühlenberg in his Journal, Volume III

~•some of these events were quite near Trappe, where the Rev.'s family resided during the Revolutionary War

  • August 23, 1776 Departure of Perkiomen forces for New York (from Trappe)
  • September 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine
  • September 16, 1777 Battle of the Clouds
  • October 4, 1777 Battle of Germantown
  • (Note) In late 1777 the Continental Assembly had re=moved to Lancaster Pa.
  • May 20th, 1778 [ Battle of Barren Hill] image #169, page 155
  • June 1778 was the departure of British forces from Philadelphia (Rev. Muhlenberg resumed some duties in parishes that had been occupied
    • June 28th Battle of Monmouth Washington's forces left camp at Valley Forge to engage the British.
  • Sep. 9 '78 = report of losses sustained by French Fleet in storm
  • Feb 4, '79 = news of the British capture of Savanna (GA)
  • Apr 9, '79 = renewed attack at Philadelphia anticipated
  • May 16, '79 = report of British warships off PA headlands Amos 4:9-13
  • May 26, '79 = report of British burning Portsmouth. Virginia; fear in Baltimore
  • May 29, '79 = report of British march to Charleston (South Carolina) "Wars and cries of wars in great things and small"
  • June 12, '79 = report of British losses at Charlestown
  • June 28, '79 = son Peter is in defense of West Point, NY (June 19th letter)
  • July 21, '79 = report on Gen. Wayne's victory at Stony Point (NY on the Hudson) and actions by the British in CT
  • August 7, & 11th 1779 = report of Count d'Estaing's French Fleet leaving Grenada and the victories at Granada and St. Vincent; Tories and Native Americans massacre settlers at Shamokin PA only on Aug 7th (see also: )
  • August 26 '79 news from the Southern campaign; Spain said to have declared war on Great Britain
  • Sep 3, '79 British reinforcements; depredations
  • Sep 29, '79 rumor of French Fleet arrival at Tybee Georgia
  • Oct 22, '79 rumor of capture of Beaufort, South Carolina by Count d'Estaing's French Fleet
  • Oct 29, '79 d'Estaing lands with 5,000 troops at Beula (GA) near Geroge Whitefield's; British retreat.
  • Nov. 12, '79 Rev. forces retreat from Savannah
  • Dec. 9, '79 Unhappiness with Continental Congress decrees in Trappe congregation
  • Mar. 3, '80 Northern Lights appear in Trappe
  • Mar 23, '80 Report of British Fleet besieging Charleston SC
  • Apr 14, '80 Report of Dec. '79 storm that damaged the British fleet
  • May 4, '80 Report that Tories have burned settlement 28 miles N. of Bethlehem killing men, women, and children
  • June 1, '80 Rumor of the fall of Charleston (SC)
  • June 12, '80 Comments on the fall of Charleston and the low expectations for Washington's Army.
  • July 18, '80 report of arrival of French fleet at Newport (July 10)
  • Aug. 6, '80 One half of the Provincial Militia is called up to march to Jersey even though their labor is needed at home. The troop leaves Reading on Aug 16 while Mühlenberg is there. note: By Aug. 19 these troops were sent home (read text)
  • Sep 29, '80 covers the treachery of Benedict Arnold and the arrival of the French Fleet in Rhode ISland
  • Death of Rev. H.M. Mühlenberg 1787
  • On June 21, 1788, the constitution had been ratified by the minimum of nine states required under Article VII. Towards the end of July, and with eleven states then having ratified, the process of organizing the new government began.