German/Dutch Notes - Migration to America

Focus on Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, August, 2006

Pennsylvania Dutch from the Palatinate of the Rhine

Many Pennsylvania Dutch, but definitely not all, are descendants of refugees from the Palatinate of the Rhine. For example, most Amish and Mennonite came to the Palatinate and surrounding areas from Switzerland, and so their stay in the Palatinate was of limited duration. However, for the majority of the Pennsylvania Dutch, their roots go much further back in the Palatinate. During the War of the Grand Alliance (1689-97), French troops, under King Louis XIV, pillaged the Palatinate, forcing many Germans to flee. The War of the Palatinate (as it was called in Germany), also called the War of Augsburg, began in 1688 as Louis took claim of the Palatinate, and all major cities of Cologne were decimated. By 1697 the war came to a close with the Treaty of Ryswick, and the Palatinate remained free of French control. However, by 1702, the War of the Spanish Succession began lasting until 1713. French expansionism forced many Palatines to flee as refugees.

Mass emigration of Palatines began out of Germany. In the spring of 1709, Queen Anne had granted refuge to about 7,000 Palatines who had sailed the Rhine to Rotterdam. From here about 3,000 were sent to America either directly, or through England, bound for William Pennís colony. The remaining refugees were sent to England to strengthen the Protestant presence in the county. By 1710, large groups of Palatines had sailed from London, the last group of which was bound for New York. There were 3,200 Palatines on 12 ships that sailed for New York and approximately 470 died en route to America. In New York, under the new Governor, Robert Hunter, Palatines worked for British authorities and produced tar and pitch for the Royal Navy in return for their safe pass age. They also served as a buffer between the French and Natives on the frontier and the English colonies. In 1723, some 33 Palatine families, humiliated under Governor Hunterís rule, migrated from Schoharie, NY, to Tupelhocken, Berks County, PA, where other Palatines had settled.

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