The New International Encyclopædia/Pastorius, Francis Daniel

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PASTO'RIUS, Francis Daniel (1651-1719). An American colonist, born at Sommerhausen, in Franconia, Germany. Having joined the Society of Friends while in England, where he met William Penn, Pastorius, in 1683, led a party of German and Dutch Mennonites to the new colony of Pennsylvania, where they founded Germantown. He was a man of noble character and deep learning, and exerted great influence among his countrymen. Five years after his arrival in America he signed a protest addressed to the Friends' yearly meeting in Burlington, N. J., which characterized slavery as unchristian. This protest is said to have been the first formal plea for emancipation made in America, and is the subject of Whittier's “Pennsylvania Pilgrim.” Whittier also translated the Latin ode to posterity which Pastorius prefixed to the Germantown book of records. Among his other writings is an interesting Geographical Description of Pennsylvania, first published under the title, Umständige geographische Beschreibung der allerletzt erfundenen Provintz Pennsylvania (1700).