Pamphlet by Hans Jacob Riemensperger to attract immigration to South Carolina
True and Completely Reliable Good News from the English Royal Province Carolina.
Brought here by trustworthy men who went there four years ago, now happy in their turn to come back and by this news attempt to dertermine you upon the same venture.
It becomes learned herewith and known and understood by everyone that the producer of this brochure, Hans Jacob Riemensperger, intends to travel about a great deal in Germany and Switzerland to deliver its message, and through a true testimony to lead you out: and half at a loss to tell of the aforesaid land, he prays for the eloquence to write of it, and how much as yet remains to be seen there without house-seat or dwelling.
It will now tax your belief in the truthfulness of the above-named well- informed person, who is a freeholder, and in no wise whatsoever in any sort of military servitude, to be told that even on the 300 acres of the said land belonging to him, he, with his family, by their own careful diligence and the blessings of God, has accumulated such great provisions of all kinds of produce, livestock, and household goods that it is greater than he need, and that his wife, with four small daughters, is holding it down during his absence.
Each father of a household can rest assured that he will be given this land--that for each person or headright that he may bring into this country with him, be it young suckling-child, adult manservant, or serving maid, for each headright he receives 50 acres of land which he may search out wherever it pleases him best in this Province, which is more that 56 miles wide, and the length of this province of South Carolina has never yet been found out.
Also, it is well known that in Germany and Switzerland there are poor, unemployed hardworking people who would delight themselves in this gift of land, but who cannot affort the expense of the passage across the sea. Therefore you are hereby informed that if throught pity, the head of a householld brings such poor hard-working folk with him, paying the expense for them, each such head of a household likewise for each head of such poor persons, receives 50 acres of land which will be surveyed out to him on demand in one or more pieces not far from his other. This land remains with him and his children as their property, and the poor remain with him and labor with him until the costs of their transportation be repaid. When this is done and reported, the poor man becomes free, and land will be measured out to him also., in whatever place is well situtated for him, and likewise each head with him his 50 acres of land.
It is necessary to know also that every person, whether man or woman, who comes from Germany or Switzerland to plant himself in this country, receives from the Administration of the Colony a gift of 20 Pounds Sterling--the Pound Sterling to approximate the value of a lawful German Florin--Therewith to establish himself on the land, buy provisions and other necessary things for the first year, until, through the work of his hands and the Grace of The Lord God he has made himself a crop. A child under twelve years of age is given only 10 Pounds.
The land laid out for the father or mother of a household is recognized as being free for ten years. That is, he pays no taxes, tithes, or other duties, be they called what they may, to the end of the ten years. When the ten years are up, for each acre he will pay 20 good Batzen (small obsolete German coins), and the King of England's Grant and Seal will be given to each householder by the Royal Government as his title to the land. After that, nobody has any further annoyance to bother with.
The poor person who has worked to pay the cost of his passage overseas, on recieving a good report, also receives his 20 Pounds or Florins, if he is an adult, and can go ahead and plant himself on his land buying provisions for the first year therewith. And if he has small children under 12 years of age, for each such child he shall receive 10 Pounds or Florins.
Also, one must continue by saying that if the father of a household dies, then the land goes to his eldest son if he leaves no will; but if there is a will, it is left as the will directs. If a father dies intestate leaving behind only daughters, in such a case the surviving daughters all share equally as heirs either in the land or in the money it brings if it is purchased by someone.
If a widower or a young man, perchance, should take for his wife a widow with however many children, the law in this Province provides that fifty acres of land shall be surveyed out for such a widow and each of her children up to eight head, even thought the widow may have claimed for herself and her children already, and the newly surveyed land remains that of the man who marries her; but the first land of the widow remains the property of the children of her former marriage.
Arrangements are such that laborers and tradespeople of all sorts and kinds who scarcely know how to make a living in Germany or Switzerland can live in plenty here, and in a short time make themselves well-to-do. A great many misearable, poor people have already come here and now live in abundance.
It should also be known when a newcomer arrives in this land called Saxe Gotha, at the same time he receives one-half acre for a house-site in the town of Saxe Gotha, newly laid out, completely healthful, and pleasantly situated beside the Great Santee Reiver, which flows by it and is large and deep enough to carry small ships of good size. Boats could go out from thence and carry on trade, if only the township were sufficiently inhabited and enough workmen were there to build boats. Each head of a household arriving here will have this housesite and nearby land laid out by the Land officials without cost to him.
This Township called Saxe Gotha is the last one laid out, and no township as yet is reported its equal for good land, and the farther one goes in it, the better and richer the land becomes. Then, too the said township is only 125 miles from Charleston, and on the Great Santee River, and people can go from here at will with heavily-laden boats to trade by water when enough boatmen come here to settle and establish themselves. Also, the trail from here is cut throught the forest wide enough so that people can travel by land in wagons back and forth to Charles Town.
As for the Indians, they are in nowise dangerous, but on the hand, when they are treated in a friendly fashion, eager to hunt for us and to trade with us. One such became so with me.
Undersigned and endorsed by my own hand on request, according to custom: Thus matters stand in Saxe Gotha Township on the 2nd day of February, 1740.
South Carolina in America (signed) Christian Motte Royal Justice of the Peace for Great Britain in this City (S E A L) P.S.
All who set out for this land should be of the Evangelical Reformed religion, (although) all right-living persons except those of the Roman Catholic religion dwell on with us.
That the Fore going is the truth, neither more nor less, we following named German-speaking inhabitants of the Township of Saxe Gotha jointly bear witness
The following complete list of 31 signers was provided by Harriet Imrey. Harriet has added information on the origin of the signer and the ship on which they arrived.
|Hans Jacob Riemensperger||[b. 1699 in Toggenburg (St. Gallen); POW]|
|Caspar Küntzler||[b. 11 Jul 1796 (prob.), in St. Margrethen/St. Gallen; POW]|
|Rudolph Capeler||[Rudolf Kappeler, bp. 5 Jul 1791 in Ellikon an der Thur/Zürich; WIL]|
|Heinrich Geiger||[b. 12 Aug 1713 in Widnau, Diepoldsau/Unterrheintal (St. Gallen); POW]|
|Abraham Geiger||[b. 9 Mar 1687 in Haslach, Berneck/Unterrheintal (St. Gallen); POW]|
|Joh. Heinrich Weber||[b. 6 Oct 1713 in Unter-Rifferschweil, Rifferschweil/Zürich; ship(?) 1739]|
|Jacob Spüchel||[b. 1682 in Thurgau (Swiss canton); WIL]|
|Conrad Künssler||[bp. 14 Feb 1708/9 in St. Margrethen/St. Gallen; POW]|
|Herman Geiger||[b. 18 Dec 1707 in Diepoldsau/Unterrheintal (St. Gallen); POW]|
|Ulrich Bachmann||[b. unk. Zürich; WIL]|
|Hans Straub||[poss.(?) b. ~1688 in Läufelfingen/Basel; EAG(?)]|
|Jacob Fritig||[bp. 18 Aug 1719 in Muri bei Bern/Bern; WIL]|
|Herman Christoph Dortringene*||[b. unk. Germany; also used surname Perdrink; WIL]|
|Martin Fridig*||[b. 23 Jun 1689 in Adelbogen/Bern; WIL]|
|Hans Caspar Galliser||[b. 1717 St. Gallen; POW]|
|Jacob Hagenbuch||[bp. 7 Jan 1704 in Berg, Dägenlen/Zürich; WIL]|
|Hans Jacob Geiger||[bp. 6 Jul 1679 in Widnau, Diepoldsau/Unterrheintal (St. Gallen); POW]|
|Hans Heinr. Gallman||[Hans Heinrich, b. 7 Mar 1705/6 in Mettmenstetten/Zürich; WIL]|
|Antoni Steck||[b. unk. Switzerland (?); WIL]|
|Jacob Liffer||[Lever, b. unk. Switzerland; POW]|
|Daniel Scheider||[b. unk.; resident of Saxegotha TWP bef. 1736]|
|Heinrich Gallmann||[b. 24 Nov 1709 in Mettmenstetten/Zürich; WIL]|
|Joseph Crell||[b. Franconia, Germany; in Saxegotha bef. Apr 1736; emigration-agent in PA from 1740]|
|Hans Gallmann||[b. 1 Mar 1716 in Mettmenstetten/Zürich; WIL]|
|Ulrich Puser||[Buser, b. 16 Apr 1719 in Läufelfingen/Basel; EAG]|
|Hans Caspar Frey||[b. Switzerland; POW]|
|William Becker||[b. unk. Switzerland or Germany; later Baker]|
|Johan Matheis||[Johannes Matthysz of Watt, Regensdorf/Zürich; WIL]|
|Hans Jacob Steiner||[unk.; prob. POW]|
|Ulrich Sperling||[Hans Ulrich Speerli, bp. 5 Jun 1687 in Bandlikon, Kilchberg/Zürich; WIL]|
|Hans Buss||[Johannes Buess, b. Ormalingen/Basel; EAG]|
* Names omitted in one printing of the pampklet.
Place = village (if stated), parish/canton in Switzerland
Arrival in Charlestown SC on:
WIL = ship William, Jan 1734/5
EAG = ship Eagle, Sep 1736
POW = ship Prince of Wales, Feb 1736/7