Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Schmucker, John George
SCHMUCKER, John George, clergyman, b. in Michaelstadt, Darmstadt, Germany, 18 Aug., 1771; d. in Williamsburg, Pa., 7 Oct.; 1854. His parents emigrated to this country in 1785, and, after a residence of two years in Pennsylvania, settled near Woodstock, Va. In 1789 he began to study for the ministry, a year later he went to Philadelphia to continue his studies, and in 1792 he was ordained. After holding several pastorates he was called, in 1809, to York, Pa., where he remained till failing health compelled him to retire in 1852. He then removed to Williamsburg, Pa., where several of his children resided, and there he remained during the rest of his life. In 1825 he received the degree of D. D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schmucker was one of the founders of the general synod of the Lutheran church in the United States, in 1821, an active supporter of the theological seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., and for many years president of its board of directors. He was also active in the establishment of Pennsylvania college, and for more than twenty-one years was one of its trustees. For more than thirty years he was one of the leaders of the Lutheran church in this country, and actively engaged in all its important operations. He was a frequent contributor to periodicals, and a poet of merit. Among his works are “Vornehmste Weissagungen der Heiligen Schrift” (Hagerstown, Md., 1807); “Reformations-Geschichte zur Jubelfeier der Reformation” (York, Pa., 1817); “Prophetic History of the Christian Religion, or Explanation of the Revelation of St. John” (2 vols., Baltimore, 1817); “Schwärmergeist unserer Tage entlarvt, zur Warnung erweckten Seelen” (York, Pa., 1827); “Lieder-Anhang, zum Evang. Gesangbuch der General-Synode” (1833); and “Wächterstimme an Zion's Kinder” (Gettysburg, Pa., 1838). — His son,
Samuel Simon, theologian, b. in Hagerstown, Md., 28 Feb., 1799; d. in Gettysburg, Pa., 26 July, 1873, spent two years in the University of Pennsylvania, and then taught in York in 1816. He began theological studies under the direction of his father, but in 1818 entered Princeton seminary, where he was graduated in 1820. Among his fellow-students at Princeton were Bishops McIlvaine and Johns, and Dr. Robert Baird. After being licensed, he was his father's assistant for a few months, and then followed a call to New Market, Va. He was ordained at Frederick, Md., 5 Sept., 1821, and served his first charge in 1820-'6. He interested himself at once in the preparation of young men for the ministry, took an active part in the organization of the general synod in 1821, and was throughout his life one of the leaders of that body. He was the author of the formula for the government and discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran church, which, adopted by the general synod in 1827, has become the ground-plan of the organization of that body. From its establishment in 1826 till his resignation in 1864 he was chairman of the faculty of the theological seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., and for four years he was the only instructor. The degree of D. D. was conferred on him in 1830 by Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1846 he took an active part in the establishment of an ecclesiastical connection between the Lutheran church in Europe and America, and was a delegate to the Evangelical alliance which met in London during that year. He aided much in preparing the way for the latter by his “Fraternal Appeal” to the American churches, with a plan for union (1838), which was circulated extensively in England and the United States. His published works number more than one hundred. Among them are “Biblical Theology of Storr and Flott,” translated from the German (2 vols., Andover, 1826; reprinted in England, 1845); “Elements of Popular Theology” (1834); “Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Christlichen Kirche, auf der Grundlage der Busch'en Werke” (Gettysburg, Pa., 1834); “Fraternal Appeal to the American Churches on Christian Union” (Andover, 1838); “Portraiture of Lutheranism” (Baltimore, 1840); “Retrospect of Lutheranism” (1841); “Psychology, or Elements of Mental Philosophy” (New York, 1842); “Dissertation on Capital Punishment” (Philadelphia, 1845); “The American Lutheran Church, Historically, Doctrinally, and Practically Delineated” (1851); “Lutheran Manual” (1855); “American Lutheranism Vindicated” (Baltimore, 1856); “Appeal on Behalf of the Christian Sabbath” (Philadelphia, 1857); “Evangelical Lutheran Catechism” (Baltimore, 1859); “The Church of the Redeemer” (1867); “The Unity of Christ's Church” (New York, 1870); and a large number of discourses and addresses, and articles in the “Evangelical Review” and other periodicals. — Samuel Simon's son, Samuel Mosheim, author, b. in New Market, Shenandoah co., Va., 12 Jan., 1823; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 12 May, 1863, wrote his name Smucker. He was graduated at Washington college, Pa., in 1840. After studying theology and being licensed to preach, he accepted a call from the Lutheran church at Lewiston, Pa. In 1845 he became pastor of the 1st church in Germantown, Pa., but in October, 1848, received an honorable dismissal from his synod, and studied law at the Philadelphia law-academy, where he served as secretary. In January, 1850, he was admitted to the bar, and at once began practice. In March, 1853, he removed to New York city, but after two years returned in Philadelphia, and thenceforth employed himself chiefly in writing. His publications include “Errors of Modern Infidelity” (Philadelphia, 1848); “Election of Judges by the People” and “Constitutionality of the Maine Liquor Law” (1852); “The Spanish Wife, a Play, with Memoir of Edwin Forrest” (New York, 1S54): “Court and Reign of Catherine II., Empress of Russia” (1855); “Life and Reign of Nicholas I. of Russia,” “Life of John C. Frémont, with his Explorations,” and “Life and Times of Alexander Hamilton” (Philadelphia, 1856); “History of the Mormons, Edited and Enlarged” (New York, 1856); “Life and Times of Thomas Jefferson” and “The Yankee Slave-Driver” (Philadelphia, 1857); “Memorable Scenes in French History” and “Arctic Explorations and Discoveries” (New York, 1857); “Life of Dr. Elisha Kent Kane and Other American Explorers” and “History of Napoleon III.” (Philadelphia, 1858); “History of the Four Georges” and “History of All Religions” (New York, 1859); “Life, Speeches, and Memorials of Daniel Webster” (Philadelphia, 1859); “Life and Times of Henry Clay,” “Life of Washington,” “Blue Laws of Connecticut,” and “History of the Modern Jews” (1860); and published vol. i. of “A History of the Civil War in the United States” (1863). — Another son of Samuel Simon, Beale Melanchthon, clergyman, b. in Gettysburg, Pa., 26 Aug., 1827; d. in Pottstown, Pa., 18 Oct., 1888. He was graduated at Pennsylvania college in 1844, studied at Gettysburg theological seminary, was licensed to preach in 1847, and in 1849 ordained to the Lutheran ministry by the synod of Virginia. In 1870 he received the degree of D. D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He was pastor at Martinsburg, Va., Allentown, Easton, and Reading, Pa., and since 1880 at Pottstown, Pa., and held many offices in connection with his denomination. He was one of the founders of the general council in 1867, a delegate to every convention since its organization, and uninterruptedly a member of its most important committees. Dr. Schmucker was a fine liturgical scholar, and performed more than any other man for the liturgical and hymnological development of the Lutheran church. He was co-editor of the “Hallesche Nachrichten” (Allentown, Pa., and Halle, Germany, vol. i., 1884; English ed., Reading, Pa., vol. i., 1882), which is the primary source of information concerning the early history of the Lutheran church in this country. Dr. Schmucker also edited “Liturgy of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania” (Philadelphia, 1860); “Collection of Hymns of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania” (1865); “Church-Book of the General Council” (1868); and “Ministerial Acts of the General Council” (1887). He published numerous articles on doctrinal, historical, and liturgical subjects, of which many have been republished separately in pamphlet-form.