Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hartwick, John Christopher

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HARTWICK, or HARTWIG, John Christopher, clergyman, b. in Saxa-Gotha, Germany, 6 June, 1714; d. in Livingston Manor, N. Y., 17 July, 1796. He is said to have studied at the University of Halle, and engaged in missionary work among the Jews, at the age of twenty-five years. In 1745 he was called to this country in order to take charge of several Lutheran congregations in Dutchess and Columbia counties, N. Y., and was ordained, 24 Nov., in the German Lutheran church in London. In the spring of 1746 he arrived at Philadelphia, Pa., and, after visiting several of the Lutheran pastors in Pennsylvania, went to New York state and entered on his duties as pastor of congregations at Germantown, Livingston, Wirtemberg, and Rhinebeck. In 1748 he was present in Philadelphia at the organization of the first Lutheran synod. He was somewhat eccentric, and consequently unfortunate in his ministry; and being exceedingly restless, he moved from place to place. In 1751-'2 he was in Pennsylvania, in 1755 in New York, in 1757 at Reading, Pa., in 1761-'2 at Trappe, in 1764 in Philadelphia, then successively in Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, and in 1783 in New York, where he urged the Dutch Lutherans to remain in the city, and not follow their pastor, Hansihl, who, being a royalist during the Revolution, fled with many of his parishioners to Nova Scotia, after the evacuation of New York by the British forces. Mr. Hartwick left a large estate, which he had purchased from the Mohawk Indians — “a certain tract of land on the south side of Mohawk river, between Schoharie and Cherry valley, along a certain small creek, containing nine miles in length and four miles in breadth,” located in Otsego county, and included in the present town of Hartwick. His sole purpose in this purchase was to use his property for the glory of God and the spreading of his kingdom; and he made his bequest accordingly. In his will he directed that his estate should be used for the establishment of a college and theological seminary. For a time after his death the income of the estate was used to instruct young men privately in the classics and theology; and in 1815 the contemplated institution was opened, under the name of Hartwick seminary. The present buildings are valued at $30,000, and the endowments at $35,000.