FRANCIS PASTORIUS

 “It is well enough known to my family how, from childhood, I directed my course in this temporal life toward a happy eternity, and made it my concern in all my doings to understand the will of God, which alone is good, to fear his omnipotence, and to learn to love his unfathomable goodness.”

FRANCIS PASTORIUS

 

Francis (Franz) Pastorius, a lawyer and the founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania, co-authored the first protest against slavery in America. Pastorius objected to slavery because of his Christian faith as a Quaker.

 

In 1683, a group of German Quakers approached Pastorius about negotiating land to purchase in Pennsylvania. This land then became known as Germantown. Pastorius was the first mayor of Germantown and served on the Pennsylvania General Assembly for four years. He also began his own school in Germantown, where he taught for about 17 years. 

 

Pastorius drafted and signed the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, the first petition against slavery in the American colonies. As a result, slavery was not allowed in the majority of other German religious colonies. In 1771, the Pennsylvania law did not even allow the import of blacks and Native Americans to their colony.

CENTERED ON CHRIST

Pastorius was a Christian throughout his life. Pastorius firmly held to the belief that all humans deserve basic rights. His petition against slavery was based on the Golden Rule as stated in the Bible, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Pastorius felt that these rights belonged to everyone, whether slave or free. 

In describing his faith, Pastorius once stated, “It is well enough known to my family how, from childhood, I directed my course in this temporal life toward a happy eternity, and made it my concern in all my doings to understand the will of God, which alone is good, to fear his omnipotence, and to learn to love his unfathomable goodness.”

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