Having farmed in Manitoba and Alberta, Canada, for more than 15 years, a group of Hutterites, a socialistically inclined religious sect of Germans, are now returning to the plains of South Dakota because they believe that it is here that opportunity still knocks the loudest.
The recent migration of Hutterites has led to the establishment of a colony about 20 miles south of Alexander, near a companion group of Hutterites at Rockport. The newcomers believe that the best farm land is in South Dakota.
In the word of the Rev. Daniel Wipf, minister of the Rockport colony, “the new settlers think the land along the James river to be of the best in the country and highly suitable for their needs.”
Despite the fact that grasshoppers and dry weather have played havoc with farming, these hardy people have set themselves up in a colony of 12 or 15 families. Huge, modern barns house the livestock and there are man acres for grain and pasture.
At the close of the World War these Hutterites lived near Yankton, but immediately following the armistice they transferred to Manitoba, where they have farmed until the new movement began in the spring of 1936. Now they are firmly entrenched near Rockport and are putting the finishing touches to a number of new buildings and improvements.
It is expensive work to move a large colony from Canada to the United States, but the Hutterites now believe they have found the “promised land.”
The Hutterites were not known by their present name until 1774, when Jake Hutter, a religious leader, led a band of his followers to Russia in order to escape persecution in Germany. There the Hutterites lived, speaking their own dialect of German, for 100 years.
At the end of a century in Russia, the Hutterites came to the United States to settle near Yankton. Others sought different locations and today there are communities near Alexandria and Tyndall in South Dakota, and in Iowa and Mexico.
The Hutterites are similar to the Mennonites in race and religious creed. But the Mennonites are not as socialistic as their brothers. A man may own private property, earn his own living and put money in the bank if his efforts are successful. But the Hutterites differ.
In their colonies everyone works for the benefit of the community. No one owns personal property. It is perhaps the one example of pure, unadulterated socialism in its Utopian conception.
The elders of the community elect by vote a business manager, a chief thresher and a head farmer. These offices, like those of the United States supreme court, are for life, governed of course by good behavior. The leaders govern the colony and see that harmony is maintained.
Each community has two ministers who are selected from the seven members best qualified for that position. They are chosen by the men and hold their title for life.
The colony of Rockport, perhaps one of the best known in the state, is an excellent example of prosperity under the Hutterite code. Situated in the beautiful country along teh James river, it boasts a flour mill which draws trade from many of the farms nearby. Its livestock would gladden any farmer’s heart.
One building is utilized as a laundry and another as a baker. There is a community shoe shop and a church which is also the school. Children receive a fair education, both in English and in German. German school is taught in the summer and a teacher is hired for the usual school term.
Very religious are the Hutterites. Sundays are devoted to their teachings, with services in the morning and in the afternoon. In their every day life these Germans live up to their ideals. Physical punishment is unknown. If a member commits a minor offense he may put himself in the good graces of the community again by asking for universal forgiveness from all of the members.
A Hutterite may leave the colony if he sees fit, and he may return if he doesn’t find his lot outside the group enjoyable.
The Hutterites are almost self-supporting. Except for a few minor articles, everything for their use is made at the colony. Their garments, quaint in design, are home made.
The women are clothed in dark dresses that reach to their ankles. All wear an apron and perhaps the most striking part of their costume is the small, tight-fitting hood on every head. Invariably it is dark blue with white polka dots. It fits on the head like a boy’s skating cap. The small girls dress exactly like their mothers and go barefooted.
A cluster of these small children with their bashful eyes and quiet manners is especially pleasing to the tourist.
The men and boys dress alike in blue broadcloth shirts, dark trousers and suspenders. Most of the boys wear shoes. The babies and small tots just learning to walk parade about in bright colored dresses of some cheap material.
One thing that strikes the visitor agreeably is the politeness of these settlers and the willingness in which they will explain their community. Cameras are almost taboo, the tourist being allowed to take pictures of the buildings and grounds but not of the people. They explain the reason for this is that pictures or images of any sort are contrary to religious beliefs.
Altho the Hutterites live in a fashion strange to the majority of persons and hold customs which seem peculiar, much can be said in favor of their industrious nature and farming ability.
They are shrewd and hard workers. They are proud of the fact that not once during the depression and drought have they asked for aid from the relief agencies. The well kept livestock and the expertly-tilled fields that greet the visitor to their communities prove that their efforts have not been in vain.
—The Weekly Pioneer-Times (Deadwood, South Dakota), September 24, 1936, p. 4.
“Whence his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say.”
The subject of this paper does not admit of a biographical notice, and if it were admissible our poetical quotation would seem to preclude the propriety of giving one. Who, then, knows anything about Tim Brophilist and his twin brother Phil Ophilist? Are their Christian names Timothy and Philip? And do boys only call them Tim and Phil, “for short?” These may be grave questions, and they may also be mere bagatelles. But a truce with trifling, albeit the subject, covered by these names, commenced in mere trifles, and is composed of a multitude of trifles; yet, in the aggregate, they are assuming a magnitude and an importance little dreamed of by those who are now most actively engaged in developing that subject. Presuming that our readers may entertain no special inclination to answer the questions we have propounded, we will proceed to do so ourselves, so far as our limited knowledge of the matter extends. There are school boys who could answer these important questions much better than we can, but they are all too much engaged in the subject itself to give any of its historical details to the public, even if they had the will to do so.
We have before us a little four-paged octavo monthly journal, published by Chas. A. Lyford, of Boston, Mass., and bearing date, September, 1869, called the Timbrophilist—whatever that may mean—and devoted to the subject of postage and revenue stamp collecting, including not only those of the United States and the British Provinces, but, also of the entire civilized world; for the use of government stamps, whatever annoyance and expense there may be connected with them, is a matter that is incidental to human civilization. We have also before us a twenty-page pamphlet, published by C. M. Metz, of Boston, called the Stamp Collector’s Hand-Book, printed in fine type, and giving descriptive lists of all the stamps, together with their prices, singly or in packs, canceled or uncanceled, of all the countries of the world, alphabetically arranged, &c. You need not look into Webster, nor Worcester, nor Walker, for we do not think you will find such words as Timbrophilist or Philophilist there—at least we know you will not find them in Webster, nor any other words of a similar import. But, from the publications aforenamed, we may infer that the term Timbrophilist means a collector, exchanger and preserver of Government stamps, and that this pursuit constitutes Timbrophilism. To show the importance this subject is assuming, there are already impostors and fraudulent dealers in the business—those who manufacture and sell counterfeit stamps to the unwary and uninformed; and the little paper before us occupies more than a column of its limited space, in giving, at least one of these fradulent dealers, a most severe and sarcastic lampooning. This criticism applies to all “Timbrophilic” journals and dealers, but especially to “one Cornelius van Risum,” and his mouth-piece, the “Continental Philatelic Magazine,” the avowed agents and advocates of “Mahe & Co. of Paris, the most notorious counterfeiters and dealers in fictitious stamps” on the continent of Europe.
Timbrophilism! Well, we long have thought that so much energy and research ought not to remain long without a secular or scientific recognition, and now it has assumed “a local habitation and a name,” as well as a literature, that name ought to be forthwith put into the very first reprint, or new edition, of our Standard Dictionaries, with a full and clear definition of the term, together with the root from which it has been derived—if it ever had a root of its own, and is not a mere parasite or mistletoe, upon the literary and scientific body politic. Timbrophilism, even here in the city of Lancaster, is a subject of no mean proportions, and the unsophisticated reader will perhaps be surprised, when he is informed that a single individual in this city embraces in his collection over one thousand one hundred denominational varieties of foreign and American government stamps.
The business, in this city, is altogether in the hands of the boys. Master Charles Widmyer has perhaps the largest collection, and the one just alluded to. Our boys have between seven and eight hundred different varieties in theirs, and there are many others who have collections, some perhaps larger than the last named, but certainly many that are smaller. These boys keep up an active correspondence with stamp dealers in the east and west, and through them with Europe; and their names and Timbrophilic reputations are, perhaps, as well known as active scientists and theologians are in the scientific and theological worlds, whatever importance may be attached to such reputations. Under any circumstances, we bid the boys God-speed. There may be moral and intellectual improvement involved in such a pursuit; for, to a certain extent, it embraces practical “object lessons” in geography and political history, and prevents idleness, corner lounging, and mental sluggishness. If they possess faculties that are susceptible of qualification for higher, more extended, and more useful pursuits, Timbrophilism will not damage or destroy those faculties, and the knowledge thus gained may prove a valuable auxiliary in other directions. Even the collection of the different varieties of “Buttons” and “Business Cards,” on the part of girls and boys, induces energies, activities and exercises that are useful, and develope knowledge. In the ornamental department of the late agricultural exhibition, at the Park, we saw a string of buttons, collected by one of our city girls that must have required an immense amount of labor and active research to bring together, and no one can tell the amount of apathy, discontent and unhappiness that was prevented by such an exercise. Anything—not morally damaging—rather than physical and mental idleness, or inactivity; for, even if they should pass through a graduation in our High School, those habits are sure to terminate in retrogression or conservative fossilization.
H.M.S. Pinafore oder Das Maedle and Ihr Sailor Kerl: ‘N translation fun dem bekannte Opera
Scene.—Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. View of Portsmouth in the distance. Sailors led by Boatswain discovered cleaning brasswork, splicing rope, etc.
Mir fahren auf der meer, Unser schiff iss shay und shteady; M’r drinken nix oss beer, Und m’r sinn aw immer ready Wo’s fechterei iss sinn mir sphry, Und mach’t der feind es fiehle; Und wan’s ferbei iss, tzimlich glei Gebt’s zeit genunk f’r shpiela.
Enter Little Buttercup with basket.
Buttercup—Hello! ihr shiffleit—kennen ‘r nimmie hara? Sailors—Rushing towards her. Hello! glaene Buttercup. Buttercup—waving them back. Nun, sagen mir: hen ihr betzawlsdawg kerzlich kotta? Sailors—Airsht geshta. Buttercupadvancing Sell suit mich gude. So kummen g’schwind dohaer, Do kennen ‘r hendlich all euer geld fetzahra.
GESANG (Little Buttercup)
Sie haysen mich Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup— Und ich waiss gaw net warrum; Doch bin ich die Buttercup—orum glay Buttercup, Zu euer Buttercup kum. Had duwok und shpella, und shayna korrella, Und messer und watcha und sheer; Und hingle und brilla, und zucker und pilla, Das kennet ihr oll koffa fun mir. Hab matches und taffy, bolognies und koffe, Un naegel und frische pork chops, Hab shnitz und kaduffla, und cigar und ruffla, Und nummer ains peppermint drops. Dann kofft fun euer Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup, Zu euer Buttercup kum.
Bos’n Vell, little Buttercup, bisht du ols noch leddich? Du gukst yust so yung shmart und shay os wie olfort.
Buttercup Yaw, aber kannst du mir sawga wass ess iss dos es hertz im kopf drawgt?
Bos’n Well, nay, ich muss sawga ich hob noch net an so ebbes gedenkt.
Dick Well—ich kann.
Dick Yaw—’N graut-kup.
Buttercup Wass fehlt sella kerl? Iss er net g’sunt?
Bos’n Du musht ‘n net minda, er is olfort so—Er iss bissel drei-eckich.
Buttercup Well, ich set sheer denka. Aber wer kumt do?
Bos’n Sell iss der Relf Reckstraw, der besht kerl uff ‘m shiff.
Buttercup Relf!—that name!—remorse—remorse.
The Nightingales’ Song (Ralph)
Ez tsipchia peift Und der boppagoi greisht zurick Der hawhna graeht Und der blo-fogle fresst der mick— Doch lieb ich sie.
Chorus Doch lieb ich sie.
Ralph Es maedchen weint, Ihr lieben schatz kumt nicht mehr, Der shonshtay shmokt, Und der brunne iss sheer gaw lehr—
Chorus Doch lieb ich sie.
Ich glaub wohl buwa os ihr’s recht, Doch my undankbarkeit ‘r misst net ferdenka Wann lieb und leida bol des herz verbrecht! Ich lieb, yaw wohl, ich lieb der Cap sei tochd’r.
Buttercup Er liebt—yaw wohl, er liebt der Cap sei tochd’r.
Sailors Er liebt—yaw wohl, etc.
BALLAD A Maiden Fair to See (Ralph)
Sie iss’n maedle shay, Demuethig, gude und glay, Der shensht zu mei’m gewissa; Und ich ‘n or’mer drup, Mit net fiel in der kup, Und gar ken gelt im kossa.
Sailors Er hut ken gelt im kossa
Ralph Doch habe ich’s uff mich genomma, kreftiglich Die Liebe in mei herz zu plantza: Weiss wohl es bot mich nix, My lieb iss in ‘ra fix— Ich kann ken horn pipe danza.
Sailors Er kann ken horn pipe danza. Icnh bin net awrig g’scheit. Mei larnung geht net weit.— (Die Liebe war schumayshter) Sie herschet mir in’s herz. Mit sorga und mit schmerz, Der Cap sei shayne tochd’r.
Bos’n Ah! du or’mer drup, du groddelsht zu hoch; si hiaert dich net
Dick Nay, des dut sie net.
Sailors Shem dich doch!
Ralph Deadeye, du bisht’n bopplemoul.
Dick Relf, wos felt dew naws.
Captain My gallant crew—good morning.
Sailors Guda morryea.
Captain I hope you are all quite well.
Sailors All g’sunt—und du Cap?
Captain I am in reasonable health and happy To meet you all once more.
Sailors Unser ganze achtung.
Captain I am the captain of the Pinafore!
All Und ‘n nummer ains Cap bisht du.
Captain You’re very, very good, And be it understood, I command a right good crew.
All Danke shoen, dabei. Muss es gude fershtana sei Oss er hut’n first rate crew.
Captain Though related to a peer, I can hand, reef and steer, And ship a salvagee; I am never known to quail At the fury of a gale, And I’m never, never sick at sea.
All Was; gar net!
Captain Nay; gar net.
All Was; gar NET?
Captain Well, sheer gar net.
All He’s hardly ever sick at sea! Then give three cheers, and one cheer more For the hardy captain of the Pinafore!
Captain I do my best to please you all—
All Und mir sin mit dir content.
Captain You’re exceedingly polite, And I think it only right To return the compliment.
All Mir sin ivveraus polite Und er meent es wer yust right, Wen er uns aw compliment.
Captain Bad language or abuse, I never, never use, Whatever the emergency; Though “bother it,” I may Occasionally say, I never use a big, big D—
All Was, gar net?
All Was, gar net?
Captain Well, sheer gar net.
All Hardly ever swears a big big D— Then give three cheers, and one cheer more For the well bred captain of the Pinafore!
Exit all but Captain.
Captain (solus) Es blogt mich der ganza dawg ‘n nagel im shoo. ‘Mol sehna ep ich ‘n net rous griega kann.
Thraenen und leid sin so der Liebe, Schwer iss es herz oss hoft ohn hoffnung, Krisslich die seiftzer shteigen auf, Tief fum dem Herz der Lieb betruebef, Tieff iss das elend und heftig die noth Won Liebe erwecket und hoffnung iss tod.
Kald iss der tag won’s scheint ken sun, Dunkel die nacht wo’s blickt ken mond; Feicht iss die erd wen die wolke weinen, Und shay die shtund die sterna scheinen. Tief iss das elend, etc.
Captain Tochd’r, wass iss letz? Du husht mir so awrig fun der Liebe g’sunga, es iss mir bang du denksht shun an die buwa.
Josephine Oh, wass sul ich sawga!
Captain Now, ‘s iss net d’wart oss du in a hurry bisht dot d’wega. Ich will dir shun ‘n mon rous picka won’s tzeit kummt.
Ueber das grosse wasser Kummt der Josef Borter, K.C.B. Doch mawg er geh wohie er will, Krachen die grosse flinte shtill. Greish ueber das grosse wasser For der Josef Borter, K.C.B.
During this the crew have entered on tiptoe, listening attentively to the song.
Do kumt der old Sir Jo, Mit ‘n boat-load harlich weibsleid. Nun laszt uns danzen so, Und singen wie net recht g’scheit. Mir fahren auf der say, Unser shiff iss shay und shteady, Mir trinken nix oss TAY Und mir sin aw immer ready.
Captain My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best today, for Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand.
Enter Sir Joseph’s Female Relatives. They dance.
Relatives Gayly tripping, lightly skipping, flock the maidens to the shipping
Sailors Flieg der lumpa fum der fenshter Laszt uns froehlich sei im ernster.
Relatives Sailors sprightly, always rightly, welcome ladies so politely.
Sailors Weibsleid oss so haerlich singen, Werden lusht und freude bringen.
Enter Sir Joseph.
Captain Do kumt der Jo; now geb drei cheers.
Hurray! hurray! hurray!
SONG (Sir Joseph)
(spoken) Ich hab so’n holve notion—das Ich bin der kaynich fum der meer, Das grosse shiff ich steer, Die ganze welt iss mich bekannt.
Hebe Und mir sin sei shwester und sei cousins und sei aunts
Relatives Und mir sin, etc.
Sir Joseph Ven at enker here I ride My bozzum swells mit bpride; Und I snep my fingers on der foeman’s taunts.
Hebe Und so could sel schweshter und sei cousins Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzens, und sei aunts.
Sir Joseph Die buwa guken tzimlich sowa d’moyra.
Salors(saluting) Danke shoen.
Sir Joseph Sie sin feina kerls.
Sailors(salute) Unser ganze achtung.
Sir Joseph Dusht sie gude treat?
Sailors(singing) “M’r drinken nix oss tay.”
Sir Joseph Was; gar net?
Sir Joseph You’ve a remarkably fine crew, Captain Corcoran.
Captain(suppressing them) Sh-sh-h…! (leads Sir Joseph to front and whispers)— Ols a’ mol.
Sir Joseph So-o-o-o. Sawg seller kal sol mohl do raus kumma (pointing a general way to the sailors)
Captain(puzzled, imitates his motion and says) Sawg, du, kum mol do rous; der Jo will mit dir schwetza.
Sailors(not knowing which one is meant, they all file up and surrounding Sir Joseph, salute)— Ich bin do.
Sir Joseph(furiously) Zurick.
Sailors(retreat) Ich bin zurick.
Sir Joseph Ich hab sella kerl DAT gemehnt (pointing to Ralph)
Captain Du grumnasicher; feesel die foula karper do funna.
Ralph Was husht g’sawt?
Captain Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich fershtay dich net.
Ralph Wann ich so gude sei will.
Captain(angrily) Was, du—
Sir Joseph(rebuking) Tut-tut-tut. Er hut recht. Wann er so gude sei will.
Captain Hum-m-m! Wann du so gude sei wit (Ralph comes forward)
Sir Joseph For I hold dot on dem seas Dot expression “off you blease” A particularly gentlemanly tone implants.
Cousin Hebe Und so thun sei schwester und sei cousins und sei aunts.
All Sei schwester und sei cousins Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzend, Und sei aunts.
Sir Joseph Captain, es war mir geshta g’sawt du hetsht so’n shaene tochd’r. Iss es waar?
Captain Oh, hibsch, hibsch, sehr hibsch.
Sir Joseph Gukt sie wie ihre Papaw?
Captain Nay, gar net.
Sir Joseph(relieved) Ah! dann kannsht du sie officially informa das ich sie sehne will im kabin und won sie mich suit du ich sie hiara naksht Sontag.
Exit Sir Joseph and Captain.
A British tar is a soaring soul As free as a mountain bird; His energetic fist Should be ready to resist A dictatorial word. (Etc.)
Exit all excepting Ralph.
Ralph Mei mind iss uff g’macht. Ich frag die Josephine der naksht mohl oss ich sie sehn. Ich bin yusht so gude oss anicha mann except der Jo—der Jo secht yo selvet im des shtick oss er uff g’macht hut, und s’iss aw die wahrheit. Ah! sie kumt!—Herz, mei herz, laszt no die ew’ge unruh (retires backstage as Josephine enters).
Josephine ‘S iss gar net d’wart, ich kan der Joe net gleicha. Der Pap het’s of course awrig gern oss mir hiara det’n, und ich det sheer ainich ebbes f’r der Dawdy zu obliga aber DASS kann ich net; mei herz iss net mehr mein eigenes. ‘S iss yusht a nawme oss mich tsitter macht, und dass is—Ralph. (Ralph approaches tenderly and deferentially, and overcome at her confession, takes her hand and says:)
Ralph Josephine, ich liebe dich! (Josephine looks startled a moment, but recovers herself and sternly repulses him)
Duett (Josephine and Ralph)
Josephine Geh wek, du wieshta ding, Du husht ken recht do; Fergess net wer ich bin, Und wem du schwetsht zu (aside) Doch lieb ich ihn fum herz und darf es gar net sawga, Mei leida und mei schmerz muss ich alanich drawga— Es iss mir bang das alend macht mich mawga, Sei gruma naws dut mich so awrig plawga.
Ralph Stolz lady, wie du’s husht—hard-herzig beauty. Du sawgst, also ich muss—es iss mei duty; Und du mei maedle bisht der Cap. sei tochd’r. (aside) Doch, kennt sie mich yusht gleicha waer ich ganz zufrida. Sie shput und lacht, doch muss ich sie mei lieb owbida— Fum noth und elend det ich sie b’heeta, Und wie en airlich mensch ich det sie treata.
Josephine Die naws, die naws iss grum.
Ralph Mei herz, mei herz iss grawt.
Ralph (recit.) Can I survive this overbearing Or live a life of mad despairing, My proffered love despised, rejected? No, no; it’s not to be expected! (calling of) Messmates, ahoy! Come here! Come here! (Enter sailors, Hebe and relatives)
Chorus Ya, mir sinn do, Sinn do, sinn do. Now sawg uns g’schwind Was hut sie g’sawt?
Ralph(to cousin Hebe) Es maedel secht sie wot mich net, Sie kann mich gar net leida, lady; Mei gruma naws gukt sie deruff, Und shickt mich der Sals Rever nuff.
All Oh, cruel one!
Dick Sie will dich net, Oho! Oho! Ich hab dir g’sawt es genkt dir so.
Chorus Mir shtanden’s net. ‘S iss yo’n shond. Lieb kumt zugleich zu niedrig und stolz/ Mir sinn all sowa, sober sailor leid, Und missen mir es shtanda? Nay!
Dick Ihr missen’s shtanda, eb ihr wollen Oder net, Oho! Oho! ‘N lady sie—ich hab yo g’sawt Es genkt euch so.
Ralph(drawing a pistol) Mein freund der Tod sei Hand mir rechet, Fur oh! mei herz—mei herz verbrechet; Won ich kabud bin, oh! sawgen sie Wie ich g’liebet hat—nur sie Wich ich g’liebet hat—nur sie
During chorus he has loaded pistol.
Nem warnung, kumraade all, Und bleiben immer leddich, Fur Josephine ich fall!
Puts pistol to his head. Chorus stop their ears. Josephine enters.
Josephine Sheese net—sheese net—ich lieb dich.
Chorus Sheese net—sheese net—sie liebt dich.
Ralph(incredulously) Liebt mich?
Josephine Liebt dich.
Chorus Ya, ya, ya, ya, sie liebt dich.
Dick Deadeye Er meent er het sei Josephine, Doch sinn sie all erbarmlich green. Es kummt ‘n donnerschlag Und reist die Liebe all zu nix. Der Captain hut ‘n wort zu sawga— Sie missen airsht der Dawdy fraga Und wann sie dun—ich sawg’s gewiss Das ganz unewa liebe kumt ins ew’ge Finsternis.
Josephine, Hebe, Ralph(alternating) This very night with bated breath and muffled oar Without a light as still as death we steal ashore. A clergyman shall make us one at half past ten, And then we can return, for none can part us then!
Dick Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you’ve planned. She is a lady—you a foremast hand! Remember, she’s your gallant captain’s daughter, And you the meanest slave that crawls the water!
All Back, vermin, back, nor mock us! Back, vermin, back, you shock us! Let’s give three cheers for the sailor’s bride Who casts all thought of rank aside— Who gives up home and fortune too For the honest love of a sailor true! For a British tar is a soaring soul As free as a mountain bird; His energetic fist should be ready to resist A dictatorial word! His foot should stamp and his throat should growl, His hair should twirl and his face should scowl, His eyes should flash and his breast protrude, And this should be his customary attitude.
Scene. Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. Night. Captain discovered singing and accompanying himself on a mandolin. Little Buttercup seated on quarter deck, gazing sentimentally at him.
Zu du, du gude mond Will ich en solo singa.— Ich glaub ich geh nous Vest, Zu de Incha and onra sotta dinga.
Captain Ah! Little Buttercup, still on board? That is not quite right, little one. It would have been more respectable to have gone on shore at dusk.
Buttercup True, dear Captain—but the recollection of your sad, pale face seemed to chain me to the ship. I would fain see you smile before I go.
DUET (Little Buttercup and Captain)
Buttercup Mein freund, Sache sinn net alfort grawt wie sie guken, Dick millich gukt wie rohm aber es iss net; Und shay g’blackda shtuywel gucken wie patent-leather, aber sie sinn aw net: Und ‘n micke-ware kann pohawna federa drawga.
Captain(puzzled) Very true, so they do.
Buttercup All trup shoaf huts schwatza dabei, Alles was glaenzed iss net brass, Der shoensht kerl im class kann shmaert oss’n bluck sei, Und ‘s iss net alford de grest grut oss es weidsht jumpa kann.
Captain Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl. Ich denk dahinter steht was shrecklich, Ueberaus, und ganz unglicklich —’S iss nich waar.
Buttercup Es iss waar.
Captain Well, Ich hais mich net so ueberaus g’scheit, Aber so kennt ich shwetza fum now bis naksht Grischdawg; Es war mohl ‘n katz hut die gichdera kotta. Wo’s feier hut, hut’s aw shmoke.
Buttercup Frequentlee I agree.
Captain M’r kann oft guka was m’r net gern sawga det. Es liderlich kind set’s briggle shpeera, ‘N tayleffle molossich iss besser oss gar ken zuker im koffe. Der geitzich hund shloaft ols noch im geilsdroag.
Buttercup Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl.
Captain Paw of cat the chestnut snatches, Worn out garments show new patches, Only count the chick that hatches; Men are grown up catchy catches.
Buttercup Yes, I know that is so Aside Though to catch my drift he’s striving, I’ll dissemble—I’ll dissemble; When he sees at what I’m driving Let him tremble—let him tremble.
Captain Ich denk dahinter shteht was schrecklich, Ueberaus und ganz unglicklich; Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich, Es iss waar, ganz und gar. Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich, Was sie sawgt iss ungewisslich; Ihr gedanken sinn unmesslich, Ess iss waar.
Buttercup ‘S iss nicht waar.
Exit Little Buttercup melodramatically.
Captain Incomprehensible as her utterances are, I nevertheless feel that they are dictated by sincere regard for me. But to what new misery is she referring? Time alone can tell!
Enter Sir Joseph
Sir Joseph Captain Korkoran, I was very much disappointed mit your daughter. I don’t dink she vil do.
Captain She won’t do, Sir Joseph?
Sir Joseph Dot vos it. Der fact vos, dot although I have urge my suit mit as much eloquence as vos inconsistent for an official utterance, I don’t vos successful. How you make dot oud?
Captain Really, Sir Joseph, I hardly know. Josephine is of course sensible of your condescension.
Sir Joseph Yaw, dot vos drue.
Captain But perhaps your exalted rank dazzles her.
Sir Joseph You dink it vould?
Captain I can hardly say; but she is a modest girl; and her social position is far below your own. It may be that she feels she is not worthy of you.
Sir Joseph Dot vos really a very sensible suggestion of human nature as I had given you credit fo.
Captain See, she comes. If your lordship would kindly reason with her, and assure her officially that it is a standing rule at the Admiralty that love levels all ranks, her respect for an official utterance might influence her to look upon your offer in its proper light.
Sir Joseph Dot vos not unlikely. I vill took your suggestion. But hush! I hear feetsteps!
Josephine The hours creep on apace, My guilty heart is quaking! Oh, that I might retrace The step that I am taking. It’s folly it were easy to be showing, What I am giving up and whither going. A simple sailor, lowly born, Unlettered and unknown, Who toils for bread from early morn Till half the night has flown!
Sir Joseph(coming down) Josephine, it has been represented to me dot you vas oxcited by my exalted rank. I vould like to told you officially dot off your hesitation vos attributed to dat circumstance it vos uncalled for.
Josephine Oh! then your lordship is of opinion that married happiness is NOT inconsistent with discrepancy in rank.
Sir Joseph I vos offically mit dot opinion.
Josephine That the high and lowly may be truly happy together, provided that they truly love one another?
Sir Joseph Josephine, I vould like to told you OFFICIALLY—dot vos it.
Josephine I thank you, Sir Joseph. I DID hesitate, but I will hesitate no longer. (Aside) He little thinks how eloquently he has pleaded his rival’s cause. (Captain has entered, during this speech he comes down.)
TRIO (First Lord, Captain and Josephine)
Josephine Never mind the why and wherefore. Love can level ranks and therefore I admit its jurisdiction! Ably have you played your part, You have carried firm conviction To my hesitating heart.
All Laszt die glocken jubeltoenen, Reisst die luft mit lust gesang, etc.
Sir Joseph Frag uns net f’r explanation, Sei zufrida wann mir sawgen Dass es kann ken dif’rence mache Eb du gelt husht oder net, Es kennt mich net besser pleasa Wann der Dawdy millyona het.
Captain Sir Joseph, I cannot express to you my delight at the happy result of your eloquence. Your argument was unanswerable.
Sir Joseph Captain Korkoran, dot vos one of ther habbiest karackteristics of dis happy guntry, dot official utterances could invariably be regarded as unanswerable.
Captain At last my fond hopes are to be crowned. My only daughter is to be the bride of a cabinet minister. (During this speech Dick Deadeye has entered.)
Dick(Mysteriously) I’m come to give you warning.
Captain Indeed Do you propose to leave the navy then?
Dick No, no; you misunderstand me; listen! Gude Cap, ich det dir gern mohl eppes sawga, Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht; Doch ‘s iss mir bang es wird dir wenning plaga. Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht. Tra la mei guda Captain.—
Captain Tra la, du narrish sailor.
Dick Gude Cap. dei glaene tochd’r hut ‘n plawn gesetzt, Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht. Auf diese nacht mit Ralf zu heiarawden yetzt, Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht— Tra la, mei guda Captain.—
Captain Dick Deadeye, I thank you for your warning. I will at once take means to arrest their flight. This boat cloak will afford me ample disguise. So! (Envelopes himself in a mysterious cloak, holding it before his face.)
Dick Aha! Sie sinn g’fixed! sie sinn g’fixed! (Enter crew on tiptoe, with Ralph and Boatswain, meeting Josephine, who enters from cabin on tiptoe with bundle of necessaries, and accompanied by Little Buttercup. The captain, shrouded in his boat cloak, takes the stage unnoticed.)
All(much alarmed) Was der dausig war dann dass?
Dick Sei’n doch shtill, es war die katz! Pull ashore, in fashion steady, Hymen will defray the fare, For a clergyman is ready To unite the happy pair.
(Stamps as before)
All Was der dausig—war shon wider dass?
Dick Se’in doch shtill, es war die katz!
All Shon wieder war’s die katz!
Captain Sie hen recht—es war die katz.
(throwing off cloak) Hullup! Shoen tochd’r fun mei’m, Sei so gude mir zu sawga, Wohie oss du geh wit Mit die salors vun mei’m. Sinn first rate-a kerls und kennten Anich ebba dresha. Doch sinn sie net gude company Mei lady, fur dich.
Ralph Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl! Vain main, suppress that supercilious sneer. For I have dared to love your matchless girl— A fact well known to all my messmates here!
Captain Oh, horror!
Ralph and Joseph I (he) humble, poor and lowly born. The meanest in the port division— The butt of epauletted scorn— The mark of quarter-deck derision— Have (has) dared to raise my (his) wormy eyes Above the dust to which you’d mould me (him), In manhood’s glorious pride to rise. I am (he is) an Englishman.
Chorus Guk’n mohl aw! Er iss ‘n Englisher.
Boatswain Oss er iss ‘n Englisher, Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt
Chorus Oss er iss ‘n Englisher.
Captain(trying to repress his anger) In uttering a reprobation To any British tar, I try to speak with moderation, But you have gone too far. I am sorry to disparage A humble foremast lad, But to seek your captain’s child in marriage, Fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig.
Captain Yaw, fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig. (During this Sir Joseph has appeared on deck. He is horrified at the bad language.)
Sir Joseph My pain und my distress I found it was not easy to express May amazement, my surprise You may found out by looking on my eyes.
Captain My lord, one word: the facts are not yet before you: The word was injudicious, I avow! But hear my explanation, I implore you, And you will be indignant, I avow!
Sir Joseph I vill hear of no defence. Attempt none, vos you sensible. Dot vord of evil sense Vos wholly indefensible. Go, ribald, got you hence To your kaeben mit celerity. Dis vos der gaonsequence Of ill-advised asperity!
(Exit Captain, disgraced, followed by Josephine.)
Sir Joseph Now, you told me how it vos dot your Captain swear at you. It vasn’t your fault, vos it?
Ralph Please, your honor, it was thus wise. You see I was only a topman—a mere foremast hand—
Sir Joseph Don’t be ashamed of dot. Your position as topman vos a very oxalted one.
Ralph Well, your honor, love burns as brightly in the foksle as it does on the quarter deck, and Josephine is the fairest bud that ever blossomed upon the tree of a poor fellow’s wildest hopes.
Enter Josephine; she rushes to Ralph’s arms. Sir Joseph is horrified.
Sir Joseph Insolent sailor, you shall repent dis outrage. Seize him!
The marine seizes him and handcuffs him.
Josephine Oh, Sir Joseph, spare him, for I love him tenderly.
Sir Joseph Got oud!—I teach dot presumptuous marine to discipline his affections. Haf you got such a ding as a penitentiary on board?
Sir Joseph So-o-o! Vell, you tie a chain on him and take him righd avay pooty qwick oud.
At the end Ralph is led off in custody.
Sir Joseph My pain and my distress I found itw as not easy to oxpress. My amazement, my surprise, you may found out by looking on my eyes. Josephine, I would like to told you officially dot I vos hurt. You! a daughter of a Captain in der Royal Navy—
Buttercupadvancing Hullup! Ich hab eppes zu sell zu sawga.
Buttercup Yaw, ich! Ralph, kumm haer. (Ralph comes forward and kneels on her left.) Captain, do rous mit dir. (Captain comes from Cabin and kneels at her right.) Jo, mach die awga zu. (Joseph obediently shuts his eyes. Marine brings tray to Buttercup and transformation begins.)
Buttercup Bout fertzich yahr zurick— Un ‘s iss aw net geluga— Wie ich noch yung und shay war, Hab bavies uff getzuga.
Chorus Now this is most alarming, When she was young and charming, She practiced baby farming A many years ago.
Buttercup Zwee war’n mir mohl gebracht, Der ain’d war wiesht und orrum: Der onner reich und shmart— ‘N rechter hoch geborner.
All(explaining to each other) Now this is the position: One was of low condition, The other a patrician, A many years ago.
Buttercup O, schwer iss meiner kreuz, Wie hab ich’s dann du kenner? Ich hab sie uff gemixt— Die orrum glaener kinner.
All How could you do it? Some day, no doubt, you’ll rue it. Although no creature knew it So many years ago.
Buttercup Dann kumt amohl ‘n zeit, Die bavies mich verlossen. Der wieshter war der Cap, Der onner Ralph ihr cousin.
All They left their foster mother, The one was Ralph our brother, Our captain was the other A many years ago.
Transformation takes place during this song, and at the end Ralph rises as Captain, and Captain as Ralph.
Sir Joseph Hm-m-m! Now dot vos a very singular circumstance (pointing to Captain). Sawg sella Kerl set mohl do do’rous kum.
Ralph (as Captain) Sawg, du grumnaisicher; feesel dei foula karper do funna.
Captain Was husht g’sawt?
Ralph Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich versteh dich net.
Captain Wann ich so gude sei will.
Sir Joseph Er hut recht! “Wann er so gude sei will.”
Ralph Why certainly. Wann du so gude sei wid. (Captain steps forward.)
Sir Josephto Captain Du bisht ‘n first rate-a kerl, gella?
Captain Falluss dich druf.
Sir Joseph So it seems dot you vos Ralph and Ralph vos you.
Captain So it seems, your honor.
Sir Joseph Vell, I need not told you dot on top of dis I don’t marry Josephine.
Captain Don’t say dot, your honor; love levels all ranks.
Sir Joseph Yes, he do pooty much, but he don’t lefel ‘m gvite so much as all dot. (Hands Josephine over to Ralph and calls Hebe to himself.)
Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen The clouded sky is now serene! The god of day, the orb of love, Has hung his ensign high above, The sky is all ablaze With wooing words and loving song We’ll chase the lagging hours along. And if he finds the maiden coy, We’ll murmur forth decorous joy In dreamy roundelay.
Captain I shall marry with a wife In my humble rank of life! (Turning to Buttercup) And you, my own, are she— I must wander to and fro, But wherever I may go, I shall never be untrue to thee!
Sailors Was, gar net?
Captain Nay, gar net.
Sailors Was, GAR NET
Captain Well, ols amohl.
All Hardly ever be untrue to thee! Then give three cheers and one cheer more for the faithful seaman for the “Pinafore.”
Buttercup Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup, Und ich waiss gar net warrum; Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, shay glaene Buttercup, Zu dei glay Buttercup kim.
Chorus Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup, Und mir wissen gar net warrum. Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup, Iss er now net hesslich dum!
Sir Joseph Ich bin der kaynich fun der meer, Und ven ich hiar dir (to Hebe) I vos true mit dot devoton vot my lofe implants.
Hebe Then good-bye to his sisters and his cousins and his aunts! Especially his cousins, Who he reckons up by dozens, His sisters and his cousins and his aunts!
Chorus Ols er iss ‘n Englisher, Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt. Yaw, er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt, Ols er iss ‘n Englisher.
This Pennsylvania German version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor was serialized in The Morning Call (Allentown) newspaper on May 16, May 23, and May 1959.
The Pennsylvania German translation of Pinafore was first published in Allentown in 1882 as H.M.S. Pinafore, oder Das Mædle und ihr Sailor Kerl: ‘n Translation fun dem bekannte Opera. That text was presented in parallel Pennsylvania German and the original English libretto, and translated by Alfred C. Moss and Ellwood Newhard. It was revived in 1901 in Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, Scranton, and other Pennsylvania towns to great regional acclaim. A second revival focused in eastern Pennsylvania took place in 1910 and was still recalled by scholars and residents of Northampton County and Lehigh County in the 1960s.
The Pennsylvania German text digitized here was edited and corrected by Preston Albert Barba (1883-1971) in 1959 and published in his ‘S Pennsyvaanisch Deitsch Eck (The Pennsylvania German Corner) column with notes and commentary. A third text was prepared in the 1970s or 1980s in typescript for an unknown purpose by the Rev. Dr. Richard Druckenbrod, a German Reformed United Church of Christ pastor and president of the Pennsylvania German Society.
Dr. Barba notes: “The Pennsylvania German version is not in the best Lehigh Countian Pennsylvania German and contains many errors, but it was meant to be burlesque. Joined with the light music of Sullivan and Woody Newhard’s dialect ad libs it proved a roaring success.”
This text was transcribed by Richard Mammana in 2022 for purposes of free use non-commercial language study with no further assertion of copyright.
New York is the second largest Italian city in the world, being exceeded only by Naples. It has an Italian population of over 400,000, more than the city of Rome, and this population is rapidly growing. Last year 170,000 Italians landed at this port, and while many of them simply passed through, on their way to homes in other sections of the United States, a very large number stayed here. The Church has long been alive to the necessity of opening her doors to these Italians, and the San Salvatore Mission was started about twenty-five years ago by the Rev. Constantine Stauder. Services were first held in a store room; then quarters were secured on Mulberry street, and these in turn were given up when the property was affected by the widening of Elm street, and a fine church building was erected on Broome street near Elizabeth. There is a large Italian population in the neighborhood, and the Church is doing, under the leadership of the Rev. Edward M. H. Knapp, an excellent work among them. Mr. Knapp does not speak Italian, and he has for assistant the Rev. Abraham Cincotti, who is a former Roman priest and was received some months ago by Bishop Potter.
Another important work among Italians is done at Grace Chapel, on East Fourteenth street. It is under charge of the Rev. M. K. Bailey, and was started in the fall of 1903. Mr. Bailey estimates that there are within the parish lines fully 25,000. Many of them are Roman Catholics, and here, as at other centres of Italian work, no attempt is made to get these to change their Church allegiance. But there are thousands who have no interest in any Church, the young men especially being supremely indifferent. Among others there is a strong Protestant sentiment, and these quickly respond to the efforts made to reach them. In Grace Chapel there has been organized the Benvenuti Club, an Italian men’s club. It has a large number of members, and is as active and strong as the average parish men’s club. The club has a fine Italian circulating library, the books for which were imported from Messina.
Out of this work at Grace Chapel has come the Italo-American Educational League, the aim of which is to get the interest of educated Italians and Americans into plans for the increase of culture and education among the Italian residents of this city. It gives lectures on hygiene, civics, and kindred topics, and has already gained the coöperation of a number of leading Italians, including Dr. Antonio Stella of New York Hospital, Dr. Luigi Roversi of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. J. T. de Laugieres, the Rev. M. A. Mangano, and Cav. J. M. Francolini. The meetings are held at Grace House. In the chapel there is an Italian service at four Sunday afternoons, with music by a choir of Italian girls. The Rev. Mr. Bailey is assisted by Mr. E. J. Ferrara, a native Italian who is a lay reader in preparation for holy orders.
A few years ago an Italian work was started in connection with St. Ambrose’s Church, on the lower west side of the city. There was a large Italian settlement in the vicinity, but it was found that the large majority of the people were Roman Catholics in more or less regular attendance at the service of that communion, and as there was neither desire nor intention of proselytizing, the work was given up.
Archdeacon Nelson, formerly superintendent of the City Mission Society, has long been recognized as the man at the head of Church effort among Italians in New York. In an interview a few days ago, speaking about the new St. Ambrose Mission, he said that two classes of Italian people are reached by the Church. Those who have drifted away from the Roman Church because of politics form one class. They are Garibaldian by instinct and are more deeply interested in their home nation than in the Church. The second class is made up of those naturally indifferent to the Church. They may be nominally Romanist, but virtually they are, religiously, nothing. The Roman priests seem not to reach them. The Church opens her doors for both classes, and the success that has attended the efforts show that it is appreciated. The field is enormous, and some parts of it, notably that in the Bronx Italian colonies, have not been touched. The archdeacon tells of the purpose to establish a mission in one of these Bronx centres as soon as funds can be secured for the purpose.
To the Hon. Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, Washington, D.C.
Our Dear President:—
We, the Hutterian Brethren Church, also known as Bruderhof or Communistic Mennonites, comprising about 2,000 souls, who are living in eighteen communities in South Dakota and Montana (organized as a Church since 1533), kindly appeal to you, Mr. President and your Assistants, briefly wishing to inform you of our principles and convictions regarding military service. Being men of lowly station and unversed in the ways of the world, we would ask your indulgence if in this letter we should miss the approved form.
The fundamental principles of our faith, as concerns practical life, are community of goods and non-resistance. Our community life is founded on the principle, “What is mine is thine,” or in other words, on brotherly love and humble Christian service, according to Acts 2:44, 45: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Hence we differ fundamentally from non-Christian communistic systems, with their principle, “What is thine is mine.” We believe the community life, if not based on Christian love, will always fail. Our endeavors are of a religious nature throughout, and we know that very few people are willing to accept our faith, denying themselves and serving God by serving each other in community life, as we do.
We are free from political ambitions and recognize civil government as ordained of God. We honor our civil authorities and in our daily evening prayer meetings, which are regularly attended by all our members, as well as in our Sunday services, we pray for our government. We have always willingly paid taxes on our real estate and personal property, although we were told that our real property, being held by a religious corporation, is not taxable according to the law. It need not be said that we do not permit our widows and orphans, invalids and feeble-minded to become a burden to the country or state.
Our community life is based on God’s Word, and we could not serve God according to the dictates of our conscience if we were not permitted to live together in our communities. Our members would, by the help of God, suffer what He may permit, rather than consent to leave the community life.
On the principle of non-resistance our position is strictly in accord with the New Testament teaching. Our Confession of faith shows that we hold the government to be ordained of God for the reason that not all men are followers of the meek and lowly Savior, and that we further believe, the government should protect those who do good and punish evil-doers according to Rom. 13:17. The Church, however, must conform to the express teachings and examples of the Master. She is in the world, but not of the world. We have never taken any part in the election of civil officers. Without boasting we can say that our life has been consistent with this principle. To go to law is contrary to our convictions and is not permitted among us. Our young men could not become a part of the army or military organization, even for non-combatant service, without violation of our principles.
Our comprehensive Confession of Faith was written in 1540 and printed for the first time in 1565. The voluminous Chronicle of our Church, which gives our history since the year 1530, is mentioned in the article, “Mennonites” in the International Encyclopedia. The principal contents of our Church Chronicle were published by Dr. Joseph Beck, in 1883, under the title, “Geschichtsbuecher der Wiedertaeufer.” Our history is written with blood and tears; it is largely a story of persecution and suffering. We have record of over two thousand persons of our faith who suffered martyrdom by fire, water, and the sword. Our Church has been driven from country to country, and rather than to compromise their principles, have fled to various countries until at last they emigrated from Russia to this country in 1874.
We would further say that we love our country and are profoundly thankful to God and to our authorities for the liberty of conscience which we have hitherto enjoyed. We are loyal to our God-ordained government and desire to serve our country in ways and duties which do not interfere with our religious convictions. We humbly ask you, our dear Mr. President, not to lay upon us any duties which would violate our Christian convictions, and we hope, you believe with us, that we ought to be faithful to the teaching of God’s Word and the dictates of our conscience, and should suffer what He may permit, rather than to do that which we clearly recognize to be contrary to His Word.
Dear Mr. President, we humbly ask that we may be permitted the liberty to live according to the dictates of our conscience as heretofore. With the vow of baptism we have promised God and the Church on bended knees to consecrate, give and devote ourselves, soul and body and all, to the Lord in heaven, to serve Him in the way which, according to His Word we conceive to be acceptable to Him. We humbly petition our Honored Chief Executive that we may not be asked to become disobedient to Christ and His Church, being fully resolved, through the help and grace of God, to suffer affliction, or exile, as did our ancestors in the times of religious intolerance, rather than violate our conscience or convictions and be found guilty before our God.
For proof that our attitude on the points in question is one of conviction, and not of arbitrariness, we would respectfully refer you to our Confession mentioned above, as well as to our life and history. We desire to serve our country and be respectful and submissive in every way not interfering with serving our God consistently. We are sincerely thankful for having enjoyed full religious freedom up to the present time, and we are quite willing to do something for the good of our country, provided that it is not against our conscientious convictions.
Very respectfully yours,
Hutterian Brethren Church, David Hofer. Elias Walter. Joseph Kleinsasser.
—Der Herold: Ein Mennonitisches Familienblatt (Newton, Kansas), July 26, 1917, page 4.
Mr. J. E. Jones, German interpreter of the immigration office, has just returned from a visit to the Hutterites at Dominion City, says the Manitoba Free Press. The settlement is composed of 52 persons. They have five sections of land on township 2, 3, and 1, near Dominion City. Of this amount of land 120 acres have been cultivated and the balance is bing cleared. On the farm one big house has been built, 80×20 feet, in which the entire population live. They have built a barn, 100-40 feet, which has now 500 tons of hay stored there. They have sold 600 tons of hay and have raised 30,000 bushels of oats. They have also 10 head of cattle and a flock of sheep and geese. They have six teams, machinery and farm implements, which they brought over with them from Yankton, S.D., last May.
They are in a very prosperous condition, says Mr. Jones, and the only community of the kind in Canada, though well known in the States. They call themselves the Huttersche Society. In religion they are Baptists, the followers of John Huss, the first reformer in Austria. They have their own priests, and have religious and historical works in their possession dating back 300 years.
—The Province, (Vancouver, British Columbia), October 5, 1899
In an earlier essay in which the ten present Old Order Amish communities in Pennsylvania were identified and located, it was stated that “No one knows how many times the Amish have unsuccessfully attempted to establish new communities … in the history of the Commonwealth.” Recent research at the Mennonite Publishing House Library at Scottdale has revealed evidence of more than a dozen now-extinct Amish communities in the state. These unsuccessful attempts of the Amish to establish colonies in Pennsylvania range from the early eighteenth century to the present year.
There are records of five Amish attempts to establish sectarian community life in southeastern Pennsylvania during he earliest years of their settlement in America. Only one of these communities survives to the present day. One of their first colonies was the “Northkill” settlement, established in the late 1730s near the present town of Hamburg, in northern Berks County. This frontier community, located some distance north of other settlements in southeastern Pennsylvania, was near a gap in the Blue Mountain range. The geographical isolation of its location and its proximity to the break in the mountain barrier exposed it to the Indian raids of the frontier fringe during the French and Indian War. Also the non-resistant faith of its Amish inhabitants made it an easy victim of such attacks. Had it not been for the Indian raids it might be quite confidently assumed that the colony would have been a successful venture. It was the largest southeastern Pennsylvania Amish settlement at the time of the Indian Massacre of 1757, which is usually regarded as having softened its success and prepared it for ultimate failure as a living community. Some of the Northkill families surviving these depredations are known to have receded southward to locations nearer the older, less isolated, and less exposed English and German settlements in the southeastern corner of the state.
There were several other small Amish local geographical groups south of Northkill during the middle years of the eighteenth century. I call them “geographical groups,” for there seems to be little evidence, other than tradition (unacceptable as historical evidence without corroborating proof) that two or three of these were ever organized as congregations, and it is uncertain as to whether these were sufficiently large or long-lasting to deserve the name “community.” There were, however, during these early years, small groups of Amish families in the Oley area, in Tulpehocken Valley, and on Maiden Creek in Berks County. There was also a larger group, formally organized as a congregation, near present Malvern, in eastern Chester County. The members of this community have the distinction of being the first Amish in America to build a “meeting house” for worship services, and its members also in other respects accepted “English” (non-Amish) ways. Today the group would be known as “Church” Amish, or “New Order,” to distinguish it from the more conservative congregations now commonly referred to as “House” or “Old Order” Amish. Characteristic Amish surnames are still decipherable on old tombstones in a cemetery near Malvern, and the foundations of the meeting house were still discernible in the late 1930s.
In addition to these unsuccessful community ventures, in the middle years of the eighteenth century the Conestoga congregation was established on the edge of the area the Amish still occupy in this portion of the state. This group grew in size and strength and developed into the thriving present Lancaster County Amish community. From the time of its origin and throughout the history of the Commonwealth, it has been the largest, strongest, and most vital of all Pennsylvania Amish settlements. It is, indirectly at least, the “mother colony” of all other historic and present-day Amish communities in the state, and it has been, moreover, the source of settlement of many Amish communities in other states of the United States. It is no longer the largest Amish settlement in the United States, as many articles still claim, but it remains one of the three largest local groups, the other two being the community in Holmes County and vicinity in east-central Ohio, and the settlement centering in Elkhart County, in northern Indiana.
Subsequent to the earliest southeastern settlements, the next congregations to be founded were three in present Somerset County, two of which are now extinct. The Amish joined the trans-Alleghenian westward movement, which resulted in a settlement in Somerset County which was started in 1767, and within approximately a decade three geographically distinct Amish communities were in existence in this area. These were the Conemaugh congregation in the northernmost section of the county, the “Glades” congregation farther south, and the Casselman River community still farther south, near the Pennsylvania-Maryland line. Of these three the latter group, now known as the “Meyersdale church,” is the only one to survive. It is currently a single congregation of some 200 members, which would indicate a community of from 500 to 600 inhabitants. It is the second oldest and third largest Old Order community in the state at the present time.
All three of these early Somerset settlements generously contributed members to newly established Amish communities in Ohio and the Middle West. The northern Somerset community included an individual who is perhaps the only Amishman to have his name embodied in the cultural geography of Pennsylvania. The city of Johnstown was in a sense founded by Joseph Schantz (later Yahns, Jahns and Johns), an Amishman who owned land where a part of Johnstown now stands, and who deposited a charter with county officers in which a town was laid out with land donated by him for streets and public buildings. Thus a man belonging to a religious sect strictly committed to a rural way of life chose the site of and provided for and stimulated the early development of one of our state’s larger cities.
Amish settlement in Mifflin County began in the early 1790s. This group grew steadily in size and also contributed heavily by emigration to Amish communities elsewhere. The pressure of population in this beautiful but limited valley led to the settlement of some Amish families on the Juniata River near present McVeytown, across Jacks Mountain marking the southern boundary of “Big Valley” (Kishacoquillas). The Amish congregation here was known as the “River Church.” Though only a few miles distant from the main body of Amish people in Kishacoquillas Valley, the trip over the mountain with team and buggy or wagon was difficult and time-consuming. This impediment to inter-community communication and visitation must have contributed to the failure of the river group as a separate community. Its church had an estimated membership of 29 in 1850; it had 79 members in 1900, according to a local resident; but it is now extinct as an Old Order community. Meanwhile the Big Valley group has increased from one church to eight church districts, which have a total reported membership of 606 for the current year. It is now and for some years has been the second largest Amish settlement in the Commonwealth.
The date of origin of the nineteenth century Amish community in Juniata County is unknown to the writer, but it may have been as early as the first decade of the century. In 1850 there were two organized churches, one in Lost Creek Valley, and one in Tuscarora (Creek) Valley, respectively north and south of the Juniata River in the vicinity of Mifflintown. In an Amish census for 1850, taken in 1900 and based upon the memory of Amish old-timers who claimed ability to remember back to 1850, it was estimated that there were 85 members in these two churches at mid-century. In 1900 one member of the church was listed for Tuscarora Valley and none for Lost Creek Valley. In 1950 the writer found several former farmer-neighbors of the Amish who could vaguely remember this Amish colony which apparently was abandoned in the late 1880s or early 1890s. It became extinct by deaths and by the removal of Amish families to adjoining Mifflin County and elsewhere. Several small old cemeteries north and east of Mifflintown have many weathered tombstones on which characteristic Amish first names and surnames can be distinguished. Joseph W. Yoder has given us an interesting picture of Amish life in Lost Creek Valley during the later years of the community’s existence (Rosanna of the Amish, chs. 3-6). It was the Lost Creek Valley community to which Rosanna and her mother moved from Halfmoon Valley in Centre County, and from which she and her parents later removed to Big Valley in Mifflin County.
Another Amish community that also failed in the late nineteenth century was the Buffalo Valley congregation, located in Union County a few miles northeast of Mifflinburg and northwest of Lewisburg. This congregation-community began in the 1830s and survived for some five decades, becoming extinct in the 1880s. Of all former but now extinct Amish communities in the history of Amish settlement in the United States, this is the best documented one in the literature of Mennonitism. Its church history, as well as the life and customs of its inhabitants, have been discussed in detail by Prof. John Umble of Goshen College, Indiana (Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. VII, 1933, pp. 71-96 and 162-190). Professor Umble’s forbears were members of this community.
Some sixty miles west of the Union County group and several decades earlier in time there existed during approximately the first forty years of the last century a small Amish community in Halfmoon Valley, twelve miles northwest of State College in Centre County. The Amish farms were near the present village of Stormstown. A small Amish cemetery (on the farm of Mr. Clarence Beck, R.D., Warriors Mark, Pa.) survives as one of the two material marks of the former community’s existence. On Mr. Beck’s farm there is also an old house with removable partitions between the rooms. It is reasonable to assume that it was occupied, and possibly built, by an Amish family, for this was an Amish practice by which the downstairs rooms of a house were connected with each other to facilitate worship services in the home. Dr. John A. Hostetler, himself of Amish derivation, has found well-known Amish surnames in the Centre County Court House records at Bellefonte which pertain to this group and which extend fro 1804 to 1840. These dates of deeds, sales of property, etc., probably approximately limit the period of Amish occupancy of Halfmoon Valley. Readers of Rosanna of the Amish may recall that Rosanna was born in this valley and that she and her foster mother moved from it to Lost Creek Valley toward the middle years of the past century.
In this another area of the state memory of two other now-extinct Amish communities has been brought to light by recent field work among surviving non-Amish residents of the region. During the depression years of the 1930s an Old Order Amish community of from 20 to perhaps 30 or even 40 families was located near Spartansburg in northeastern Crawford County. The community began in the early 1930s by families migrating from Ohio, and it ended in the late 1930s by the families returning to their areas of origin. This community, according to present non-Amish residents of the area (visited by the writer in the summer of 1951), expired largely as a victim of the Depression. It is possible also that certain personality conflicts among its residents contributed to its failure as a functioning group (cf. Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, March, 1954, pp. 33-46).
There was also during the same decade a short-lived small Amish community of five families and one adult, consisting of 24 persons in all, only 12 of whom were adult members of the church, located at Bear Lake in northwestern Warren County. All but one of the members of this community were relatives, which illustrates the kinship principle that has been so important as a factor in the genesis and growth of new Amish communities in the United States. A bishop (interviewed by the writer in Mercer County in 1952) led this group, which was a worship congregation throughout the difficult months of its existence. The small group was troubled by physical illness, as well as lonesomeness and homesickness, and after two winters and an intervening summer they abandoned their farms and returned to Ohio form which they had come in the first place. It is probably one of the smallest and most temporary colonies in the 250 years of Amish settlement in America. In addition to the psychological factors, inability to market crops and to pay for their farms during and due to the Depression caused the failure of this venture. (I have reported on the Bear Lake colony as a case-study in Amish community failure in the July, 1953 issue of the Mennonite Historical Bulletin.)
The final instance of failure to successfully maintain Amish community life known to the writer is a small group that abandoned its attempt in April of the present year. In August, 1949, a group of three families, two of whose heads were Old Order Amish church officials in the Enon Valley congregation in Lawrence County, moved to Brush Valley in Centre County, several miles northeast of Centre Hall. The colony never thrived and to my knowledge was never joined by additional families. Three families are not enough, of course, to successfully maintain congregational life. In April, 1954, two of these families left the area, thus terminating to date the historic series of unsuccessful attempts at new community colonization by the Amish people in Pennsylvania.
All recent attempts of the Amish to start new communities have not failed, however. Contrary to the experience of the recent Centre County group, two other Amish communities, started in the state within the past five years, are growing and seem to be firmly established, at least prospectively, as functioning groups. These are the Amish community in Snyder County, four miles west of Selinsgrove, and a new group which recently located in Juniata County, north of Mifflintown—in the very area where the nineteenth-century Lost Creek Valley community met defeat some 60 or 70 years ago.
Three of the ten Amish communities now in existence in Pennsylvania (those in Lancaster, Somerset, and Mifflin counties) have had a continuous history from the eighteenth century. These three are the largest and most solidly established Amish communities in the Commonwealth at the present time. Two more were established in the nineteenth century (New Wilmington and Enon Valley, both in Lawrence County), one of which has been a steadily growing group. The remaining five have come into existence since 1924. Seven of the ten have been established since 1800, which would contradict the assertion found in a recent article that “Not many Amish communities have been established since 1800.” Seven may not be “many,” but it is more than half of the total surviving group.
It is thus seen that there are more extinct Amish communities in the history of the state than there are successfully surviving ones. The extinct ones were, with two exceptions, small groups which lasted less than half a century. We thus see that in Amish community life the larger the group and the longer it lasts, the stronger and less susceptible to failure it comes to be. Size and age of the community present themselves as a kind of insurance against community decline and death. In Pennsylvania, at least, if an Amish community can survive its first half-century, it seems to develop a degree of immunity to failure. However, insurance is not assurance, of course, that a community may not ultimately fail.
In spite of the fourteen failures of the Amish to successfully colonize in Pennsylvania, one should resist entertaining an impression that the Amish type of Pennsylvania German culture is marked by debility and carries the germs of its own decay and death. As has been previously pointed out, there are more Amish communities, more Amish churches, and more individual members of Amish churches and communities now than ever before in the history of the sect in this state. The same is true of all other states in which the Amish are represented in appreciable numbers. The Old Order Amish way of life may be changing, perhaps with increasing rapidity, but their numbers are also steadily increasing, and there are currently certainly no signs of decrease in the rate of increase of this group.
Transcribed in 2022 by Richard Mammana from a 1954 typescript. Another version of this article appeared in The Morning Call (Allentown), on August 21, 1954. American Quaker professor Maurice Allison Mook (1904-1973) was a scholar of the Walapai tribe in Arizona, and wrote widely on American Indian history, Amish history, Quaker society, and Pennsylvania folklore. He retired from Penn State in 1968.
Where the Italian language is used at all or some of the services.
Hartford, Italian Mission of St. Paul New Haven, Italian Mission of St. Paul
Chicago, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Vine Street
Gary, Church of San Antonio
Boston, Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi
Hackensack, Church of St. Anthony of Padua
Bronx, St. Mary’s Mission, White Plains Avenue Brooklyn, La Chiesa dell’ Annunziata New York, Cathedral of St. John the Divine New York, Calvary Chapel, 342 E. 23rd Street New York, Chapel of the Incarnation, 240 E. 31st Street New York, Church of San Salvatore, 359 Broome Street New York, Grace Chapel, 415 E. 13th Street New York, St. Ambrose Mission, 236 E. 111th Street New York, St. Augustine’s Chapel, 105 E. Houston Street New York, St. Mark’s Chapel, 10th Street and Avenue A New York, All Saints Church, Henry and Scammell Streets Oyster Bay, Christ Church Staten Island, Church of the Holy Redeemer, Port Richmond Staten Island, New Dorp Beach Chapel Utica, Holy Cross Church
Youngstown, Church of San Rocco
Easton, Trinity Church Philadelphia, La Chiesa dell’Emmanuello Philadelphia, Calvary Church, Manheim Street and Pulaski Avenue Philadelphia, Italian Mission, St. George’s, Richmond Wind Gap, St. Mary’s Church
—Adapted by Richard Mammana from Neighbors: Studies in Immigration from the Standpoint of the Episcopal Church (New York: The National Council, 1919).