Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Zinzendorf, Nicholas Lewis

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564643Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography — Zinzendorf, Nicholas Lewis

ZINZENDORF, Nicholas Lewis, Count of, b. in Dresden, Saxony, 26 May, 1700; d. in Herrnhut, 9 May, 1760. He was educated at Halle and Wittenberg. In 1722 he conceived the idea of a purer church discipline, marks of which he observed among the descendants of the Unitas Fratrum of Bohemia and Moravia, whom he permitted to settle on his estate, and Herrnhut was built for these refugees. He finally united with them, and in 1736 was consecrated one of their bishops. John Wesley was indebted to him both for his religious organizations and his missionary plans. In behalf of his church, the count visited England and travelled extensively in Europe, and sent out missionaries to all parts of the world. His first visit to the Western continent was in 1739, to inspect the mission organized among the negroes in the West Indies. In December, 1741, he arrived at New York, and later went to Philadelphia. He visited the Moravian tract on the Lehigh, in Pennsylvania, and gave the name of Bethlehem to the new settlement. The first six months of 1742 cover the period of his most varied activity during his sojourn in Pennsylvania. Besides conducting the deliberations of seven religious convocations, he preached statedly in the Lutheran and Reformed churches, travelled through the rural districts, supplying destitute and isolated neighborhoods with the gospel and the means of education, organized churches, wrote many papers and essays — some theological, others controversial and apologetical — and carried on a large correspondence with friends in England and on the continent. During July and August, 1742, he visited among the Delawares of Pennsylvania and the Mohicans of New York and Connecticut, and in September among the Indians on the north and west branches of the Susquehanna, preaching the gospel and organizing missions. He returned to Europe in January, 1743. For a list of Zinzendorf's writings see “Verzeichniss der Schriften des Grafen Ludwig von Zinzendorf” (Stettin, 1824). See also August Gottlieb Spangenberg's “Life of Zinzendorf” (8 vols.. Barby, 1772-'5; English translation, London, 1838); “Notices of Count Zinzendorf,” by Abraham Ritter (Philadelphia, 1857); and “Moravian Life and Character,” by James Henry (Philadelphia, 1859).