The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Schlatter, Michael

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SCHLATTER, shlät'tēr, Michael, American German Reformed clergyman: b. Saint Gall, Switzerland, 14 July 1716; d. near Philadelphia, Pa., November 1790. He was educated at the University of Helmstedt, taught for several years and then entered the German Reformed ministry. He offered his services as a missionary to the German Reformed emigrants in Philadelphia in 1746, and went to Pennsylvania in that year. He served as pastor of the united churches of Germantown and Philadelphia in 1746-51, organized a synod which met in Philadelphia in 1747 and made extended missionary tours through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. He visited Europe in 1751, secured a much needed reinforcement of six young preachers, substantial aid in the way of money and returned in 1752. As a result of his appeal £20,000 was raised in England and Holland for the establishment of schools among the Germans in America, and in 1755 Schlatter became superintendent of the enterprise, but in 1757 he resigned because of the opposition encountered from the Germans, who objected to the teaching of the English language in the schools. In 1757 he was appointed chaplain of the Royal American regiment, and remained with the army until 1759. He then preached at Chestnut Hill and surrounding places. In 1777, while still attached to the royal army, he refused to obey orders on account of sympathy with the colonial cause and was imprisoned. Consult Harbaugh, Henry, ‘Life of Rev. Michael Schlatter’ (1857).