Francis Daniel Pastorius papers

Collection 0475

(0.4 Linear feet ; 10 volumes, 1 folder)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Creator - Author
Pastorius, Francis Daniel, 1651-1719.
Francis Daniel Pastorius papers
Date [inclusive]
0.4 Linear feet ; 10 volumes, 1 folder
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Newhouse
This collection was processed during the Digital Center for Americana Project Phase II, which was funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.
Language of Materials note
Items in this collection are mostly in English, but also include German, Latin, French, and Greek.
Mixed materials [Folder]
Mixed materials (00007846) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007847) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007848) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007849) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007850) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007852) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007853) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007854) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007855) [Volume]
Mixed materials (00007856) [Volume]
This collection contains the personal papers of Francis Daniel Pastorius, a German immigrant who founded the settlement of Germantown, which would later be incorporated into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pastorius was trained as a lawyer, and in 1683 purchased land in Pennsylvania on behalf of members of the German Frankfort Company. He is also known for his anti-slavery stance, joining the Pennsylvania Quakers in signing a protest against slavery in 1688 (the first anti-slavery document written in the United States). This collection dates from 1683-1719 and contains ten bound volumes and one folder of loose manuscripts of Pastorius’ personal papers. This includes his writings on farming and beekeeping, poetry, the beginnings of a German dictionary, a commonplace book, letters, and a book of medical ailments and remedies.

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Biographical/Historical note

Francis Daniel Pastorius (September 26, 1651- c. January 1, 1720) was born in Sommerhausen, Germany to Lutheran parents, Melchior Adam Pastorius (1624-1702) and Magdalena Dietz. Melchior Pastorius was a local civic official who traveled in his youth and later held various high public offices in the Imperial City of Windsheim. He was a well-educated and religious man who wrote both poetry and sermons. He married Magdalena Dietz in Sommerhausen on January 25, 1650, and in 1651 she gave birth to their only child, Francis Daniel Pastorius. After Magdalena died in 1657, Melchior Pastorius would remarry three times, only having children with his fourth wife, Dorothea Esther Volckmann, whom he married in 1674.

Francis Daniel Pastorius grew up in Windsheim and studied Latin as a child. He received his higher education at several different universities, as was common in the seventeenth century. He focused on law and languages, mostly French and Italian. From 1668 to 1675 he studied at the Nürnberg University of Altdorf, the University of Strassburg, the University of Basel (although he only attended lectures here and did not formally enroll as a student), and the University of Jena. He finished his academic life by returning to Altdorf where he earned a doctorate in law at Nürnberg University in 1675. After finishing his education, he ran a law practice at Windsheim until 1679, when he moved to Frankfurt to start a new practice. It is in Frankfurt that he was introduced to Pietism through his mentor and friend Dr. Johann Heinrich Horb (or Horbe). Dr. Horb was also responsible for Pastorius becoming a tutor to the young nobleman Johann Bonaventura von Bodeck. Pastorius, in the service of von Bodeck, spent 1680-1682 traveling through England, France, Switzerland, and Upper Germany.

In 1683, Pastorius bought land in Pennsylvania on behalf of the members of the Frankfort Company, a group of individuals who came together to purchase land in William Penn’s new province. The Frankfort Company provided him with a letter of attorney, giving him power to oversee the lands on behalf of the company members. This initial contract was signed by Jacobus van de Walle (for himself and his wife, but also as attorney for Johann Wilhelm Peterson and his wife, Eleonore von Merlau Peterson), Daniel Behaghel, Johann Jacob Schütz, Caspar Merian, and Pastorius himself. On June 10, 1683, Pastorius left England for Pennsylvania aboard the ship America and arrived in Philadelphia on August 20th after a difficult voyage.

Once in Pennsylvania, Pastorius had the challenging task of overseeing a fledgling colony that lacked both the goods and skills to develop quickly. Most of the German immigrants settling in the Germantown area were weavers, not the laborers and farmers that the colony needed. Perhaps due to the hardships faced by the colonists, Pastorius became uncomfortable with the responsibility he had over Germantown and the Frankfort Company's financial interests. In November, 1685 he wrote to the company members and asked to be released from his responsibilities. This resulted in a reorganizing of the Frankfort Company, but not the release from service that Pastorius asked for. He would remain their agent until 1700, when he was replaced as principal agent for the company by three new men: Daniel Falkner, Johannes Kelpius, and Johannes Jawert. Johannes Kelpius was already living outside of Philadelphia in his hermitage, where he shepherded his group of mystics, the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness (also known as the Hermits of the Wissahickon). Perhaps due to his commitment to his spiritual life, he declared himself civiliter mortuus (civically dead) soon after being named the Frankfort Company's agent and withdrew from Germantown politics.

During his appointment as agent for the company, Pastorius married and started a family. He married Ennecke Klostermanns (December 15, 1658-1723) on November 6, 1688. They had two sons: Johann Samuel Pastorius (March 30, 1690-April 29, 1722) and Heinrich Pastorius (April 1, 1692-1726). Johann Samuel Pastorius would become a weaver and Heinrick (or Henry) Pastorius a shoemaker.

Even after his official time as the representative of the land owners was over, Pastorius remained a central figure in Germantown political, social, and judicial affairs. From 1698 to 1700 he was a teacher at the Friends School of Philadelphia, and when Germantown opened its own school in 1702, he taught there until at least 1716, when his deteriorating health forced him to stop. He was elected to several public offices multiple times, serving as a bailiff, clerk, court recorder, and rent collector. He appears in the Germantown court records as a public official (Am .371), and kept records of land transfers in early Germantown in his Grund und Lager Buch (Francis Daniel Pastorius records, Am .3714), both held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He was also much sought after as a scrivener and legal counselor for Germantown residents, roles which exemplify his importance to the legitimizing of the early Germantown community.

His value to the community was also demonstrated in 1707-1708, when Johann Heinrich Sprögel arrived in Philadelphia and fraudulently claimed that he bought out the company's interests before setting sail from Holland. He attained a "Writ of Ejectment" from the Court of Philadelphia County and proceeded to claim 25,000 acres of the company land (which included land owned by Pastorius). Sprögel bribed Daniel Falkner and the only four lawyers in Philadelphia to support him in his claim, so the community went to Pastorius for help. Due to Sprögel and Falkner influencing the lawyers, Pastorius was forced to go to the Provincial Council, with the support of Johannes Jawert, to plead his case. Although the Writ of Ejectment was not reversed by the Provincial Council, Pastorius and the other land owers were saved from being evicted by their friends among Philadelphia's most prominent citizens.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, Pastorius wrote constantly. His writings included the first protest against slavery written in the United States (1688), a Detailed Geographical Description of Pennsylvania (1700), the  Young Country-Clerks Collection of legal document templates and examples, an English language primmer, letters, poetry, religious documents, guides on farming and beekeeping, and tracts on various subjects. He also wrote about more personal matters. He penned an account of his life in Germany and journey to Pennsylvania, and compiled bits of knowledge in his  Bee-Hive, a collection of advice, information, and wisdom intended for his sons.

Pastorius counted William Penn among his friends, and the affection between the two was probably responsible for Penn paying attention to the affairs of the German immigrant community in Pennsylvania. He also formed a lasting and deep friendship with Thomas Lloyd, a Welsh immigrant whom he met on the boat to Pennsylvania and who would later be appointed "master of rolls" by William Penn, a job created to keep track of the new laws of Pennsylvania. Another of his close friends was Griffith Owen, who gave him much medical advice toward the end of his life. He also formed a deep relationship with the Quaker community, and some scholars believe that he converted to Quakerism during his time in Philadelphia.

Pastorius died in Germantown sometime between December 26, 1719 and January 13, 1720.

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Scope and Contents note

The Francis Daniel Pastorius papers include ten bound volumes and one folder of manuscripts. Items in this collection are arranged in chronological order, with three undated items in alphabetical order by title at the end of the collection.

Res propriae (1683-1716) is Pastorius's autobiography, written in German. This book is "written down for my children and dear offspring, if God will give me some" and includes a family tree, information about his parents, and a detailed account of his life and education in Germany. He also describes his journey to Pennsylvania, including a list of items he brought with him (among other things, a knife with a tortoise shell handle, twelve new shirts, a pair of eyeglasses, and two toothbrushes). This volume includes many other lists in detail: the manuscripts and books he owned, the items his wife brought to their marriage, important weddings he attended, and children he baptized. The volume also contains a copy of a lease agreement involving Thomas von Wylich, Johannes de Brün, and Ennicke Klostermanns.

The loose manuscripts in this collection (1683-1721) include copies of original letters and documents copied by Pastorius, as well as the marriage certificate of his son, Henry Pastorius, and Sarah Boutcher dated February 7, 1721. The contents of the letters date from 1683 to 1714. These are mostly legal documents relating to Pastorius's role as representative of the Frankfort Company. The earliest item is a copy of his original letter of attorney from the members of the Frankfort Company, to which is added his later request to be relieved of his duties and the responses of a few company members. Later documents contain information about the process by which he stepped down from his role as company representative and the actions of his replacements (which include a feud between Jawert and Falkner). This folder also includes extensive documentation of Johann Heinrich Sprögel's "Writ of Ejectment," which resulted in company members losing their land holdings.

Artzney und Kunst: ist all umsunst ohne Gottes Gunst (1695) is the first title given to a book of medical advice, which includes descriptions of ailments and their treatments as taken from various sources of medical knowledge. After a brief section of general notes on health (using leeches, information on the humors, the planets and their influence on health, etc.), there is a second title page with the title  Medicus Difectus Medicamina delecta. Das ist Auserlesene Artzneymittel, deren Ingredientia in Pennsilvanien und dergleichen neübegonnenen Colonien zu bekommen sind. Vor sich und seinen Nechsten aus verscheidenen Authoren zusamm getragen von Franc. Daniele Pastorio, Anno 1695. In this section, Pastorius collected information that would be relevant to the people of Pennsylvania, based on what ailments they were likely to contract and which cures were available to them. After the second title page, the book is divided into chapters. The first chapter is about health in general, but the others focus on specific symptoms like fever, headache, trouble sleeping, deafness, etc. This book is in German and English, as the contents are taken from German and English sources. Pastorius includes a bibliography and labels each section with the work from which it was taken. Sources include Robert Boyle's  Medicinal Experiments, William Mather's  Young Man's Companion, Johann Tallat's  Artzney Büchlein, and the writings of Martin Schmuck, Nicholas Culpeper, and Christopher Wirsung.

Liber intimissimus omnium semper mecum (Most intimate book of all [which is] always with me) was written by Francis Daniel Pastorius's father, Melchior Adam Pastorius, and was begun in 1697, finished in 1701. This commonplace book contains poetry, snippets of text important to Melchior Pastorius, and musings on faith. Inserted throughout the book are engravings of religious images made by Zacharias Wehrlin. The text itself is German and Latin, written in red and black ink. The first part of the book contains anagrams and poems about Jesus and his life, often with lines and anagrams repeated in different poems. The second part contains sections of other writings which Melchior Pastorius thought important, including the work of Martin Luther. The third part contains musings and quotations about God's love and the rightness of Christian life (using allusions to Aesop and the heathen life that came before). The fourth part is about death and mortality, and the fifth is a personal religious creed followed by assorted short writings and pages left blank. The end of the volume contains an alphabetical index and a list of books, mostly likely those owned by Melchior Pastorius.

Pastorius's letter book contains his copies of letters written to friends between the years 1700 and 1719. There are two copies of this volume in this collection: the original, written in Pastorius's hand, and a Photostat copy. The vast majority of the letters are written to Lloyd Zachary (1701-1756), the nephew of his friend Richard Hill. Zachary would later become a medical doctor and one of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania. He would have been sixteen years old when this correspondence began, so most of the letters contain advice and mentoring that Pastorius offered on the subjects of friendship, the importance of studying Latin, spirituality, and even marriage. (In a letter from 1718, Pastorius writes "I give thee free leave to put unto me any question either theological, moral, physical, yea and meta-physical too, as thou please…") Other letters include evidence of a frequent correspondence with Richard Hill (d. 1729), uncle of Lloyd Zachary, friend of William Penn, and mayor of Philadelphia. The letters written in the last few year of Pastorius's life contain mentions of his declining health. Other recipients of his letters include many important figures in colonial Philadelphia: Samuel Jennings (d. 1708), John Penn (1700-1746), Samuel Carpenter (1649-1714), Caspar Hoedt, James Logan (1674-1751), Isaac Norris (1761-1735), Sarah Owen (related to Griffith Owen), Matthias van Bebber (d. c. 1730), and Lydia Norton.

"A monthly monitor briefly showing when our works ought to be done in gardens, orchards, vineyards, fields, meadows, and woods" (1701) contains knowledge and information that Pastorius accumulated from various sources. It opens with a month-by-month review of which farm, garden, and household tasks should be done during each month of the year, with advice often given in rhyming couplets. The subjects in this section include astrology ("now the sun enters Aquarium, an aereal sign…"), food and health care ("The best physick now is a warm coat, a good fire, and a cup of malt beer"), caring for your lands ("Stop up your bees, only leave breathing vents"), and household and kitchen chores ("Dry flax get in for spinners to spin"). From here the book is divided into sections based on aspects of land, household, and health management: all aspects of fertilizing, growing, and harvesting from fields, orchards, and vineyards; making cider and wine; growing flowers; weather prognostication; bee keeping; and information about selling and buying your goods. Pastorius also includes an unusual list of first names of both men and women he knows, with the last names of individuals with the same first name listed beside those entries (some examples: "Dennis: Kunders. Rachford." "Gertrud: Rennberg.").

"Ship-mate-ship" is a volume containing poems written for the three daughters of his good friend Thomas Lloyd: Hannah Hill, Mary Norris, and Rachel Preston. The poems were all composed in 1714-1719, written in yearly remembrance of their father. The title of the volume comes from the beginnings of Pastorius and Lloyd's friendship, which started on board the America as both sailed to Pennsylvania in 1683. Poems are mostly tributes to Lloyd's bravery and other admirable qualities, but Pastorius also praises the daughters individually (frequently in acrostic poems which spell out their names), and eulogizes Rachel Preston after her death. Included in this volume are some of the letters and prose that accompanied Pastorius's poetry.

"Alvearialia" is, in Pastorius's words, "Of such phrases and sentences which in haste were booked down here, before I had time to carry them to their respective proper places in my English-Folio-Bee-Hive." This undated volume contains quotations and lengthy excerpts from books and other texts that he found important, including Nicholas Culpeper's The English Physitian,  Poor Robin's Almanac, various writings by William Penn,  Letters Writ by a Turkish Spy, Reginald Scot's  Discoverie of Witchcraft and other works by important naturalists, scientists, and writers of the seventeenth century. While there are some full passages, most of the references to his sources are phrases or summaries of content. Pastorius claims that he pulled these parts from his source materials as "ingredients for a phraseology." The book itself is made of many small gatherings of various sizes bound together into one volume.

The first part of the undated commonplace book is draft for a German dictionary (from Aal to  Zwingen) which takes up the majority of the book, over 400 pages. Entries are written within pre-drawn boxes on the page, with many of the boxes still blank. After the dictionary, Pastorius fills the book with drafts of other kinds and snippets of text. This includes compliments, jokes, religious poetry, a draft of a foreword to the reader, and notes on philosophy. This volume also includes a copy of the lease agreement involving Thomas von Wylich, Johannes de Brün, and Ennicke Klostermanns, which is also found in  Res propriae.

" Lex Pennsylvaniensis in compendium redacta:  h.e. The Great Law of Pennsylvania abridged for the particular use of Francis Daniel Pastorius" is undated. This volume begins with an index of legal subjects ("Goats," "Lying," "Orphans," "Publication of laws," etc.) which are numbered and correspond to a following table of laws and statutes. This table also includes fees for various legal and judicial services and begins at number 20, so there is some material missing. Following this table are the two main sections of the book. The first section is a copy of the charter of Germantown itself, and the second is  Gesetz, Ordnungen, und Statuta der Gemeind zu Germantown (Laws, regulations, and statutes for the municipality of Germantown).The charter lays out the guidelines and regulations for the self-governance of Germantown, allowing it to have corporate and political autonomy. The second section in this book details the election of public officials, taxes, and government hierarchy. It was apparently a draft, as Pastorius crossed out many of the proposed regulations. This item contains the original of a volume that also exists as a Photostat copy in the Abraham H. Cassel collection (Collection 1610). This version differs slightly from the later copy, however, as the item in the Cassel collection does not include the table of laws found at the beginning of the volume.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania August 2011

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased, Library Fund; some items presented by Harry C. Kessler, Charles M. Wayne, and others.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At The Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.) general court records (Am .371)

Francis Daniel Pastorius records (Am .3714)

Abraham H. Cassel collection (1610)

Johannes Kelpius collection of hymns (Am .088)

Germantown printer daybooks (Am .19904)

Upper Germantown Burying Ground record book (Am .3707)

Christian Lehman collection on Philadelphia colonial settlement (0362)

John Fanning Watson collection on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania (0697)

Copy of Mathias Zimmerman plan of lots in Germantown and Cresheim townships (Am .3721 folio)

William Penn Germantown Charter (Am .3038)

Deliciae hortenses, or, Garden=recreations; and Voluptates apianae. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. (Vd .05 Sch413)

Franz Daniel Pastorius Beschreibung von Pennsylvanien: Nachbildung der in Frankfurt a./M. im Jahre 1700 erschienenen Original-Ausgabe. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. (Vd .05)

Manuscripts, 1683-1721. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. ((PHi)475)

A new primmer, or, Methodical directions to attain the true spelling, reading & writing of English: whereunto are added, some things necessary & useful both for the youth of this province, and likewise for those, who from foreign countries and nations come settle amongst us. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. (Ra.13)

Pastorius's description of Pennsylvania. 1700: a particular geographical description of the lately discovered province of Pennsylvania, situated on the frontiers of this western world, America. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. (Ta.107)

Umständige geographische beschreibung der zu allerletzt erfundenen provintz Pensylvania: in denen end-gräntzen America in der west-welt gelegen…. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. (Ra.13)

At other institutions:

Ein Send=Brieff offenhertziger liebsbezeugung an die so genannte Pietisten in Hoch=Teutschland: Amsterdam, Gedruckt vor Jacob Claus, 1697. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. At the Library Company in Philadelphia, Pa. (LCP Ac.9344)

Henry Bernhard Koster, William Davis: Thomas Rutter & Thomas Bowyer, four boasting disputers of this world briefly rebuked, and answered according to their folly, which they themselves have manifested in a late pamphlet, entituled, Advice for all professors and writers. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. At the Library Company in Philadelphia, Pa. (LCP Ap.697 P 29)

Kurtze geographische beschreibung der letztmahls erfundenen Americanischen landschafft Pensylvania, mit angehenckten einigen notablen begebenheiten und bericht-schreiben an dessen hrn. vattern, patrioten und gute freunde. By Francis Daniel Pastorius. At the Library Company in Philadelphia, Pa. (LCP Ap.692 P 293)

Francis Daniel Pastorius, His Hive, Melliotrophium Alvear or, Rusca Apium, Begun Anno Do[mi]ni or, in the year of Christian Account 1696. At the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Ms. Codex 726).

The young country clerk's collection of the best presidents of bills, bonds, conditions, aquittances, releases, indentures, deeds of sale, letters of attorney, last wills [and] testaments, [and etc]. With many other necessary and useful forms of such writings as are vulgarly in use between man and man: manuscript, [1692-1719] / by Francis Daniel Pastorius. At the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Ms. Codex 89).

Umständige geographische Beschreibung der zu allerletzt erfundenen Provintz Pensylvaniae, in denen end-gräntzen Americae in der West-Welt gelegen / durch Franciscum Danielem Pastorium ... Worbey angehencket sind einige notable Begebenheiten, und Bericht-Schreiben an dessen herzn Vattern Melchiorem Adamum Pastorium, und andere gute Freunde. At the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library (F152 .P27 2000).

Literary and historical miscellany [manuscript]. At the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Ms. Codex 1151).

Itinerarium et vitae curriculus, das ist seine völlige Reis-Beschreibunge und gantzer Lebenslauff, sampt einigen merckwürdigen Begebenheitten und Anzaigungen derer iedes orthsbefindlichen Raritäten [manuscript]. At the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Ms. Codex 1150).

The German American Collection at the German Society of Philadelphia.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Frankfort Land Company.


  • Letters.
  • Poetry.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Carpenter, Samuel, 1649-1714.
  • Hill, Richard, 1673-1729.
  • Jennings, Samuel, d. 1708.
  • Kelpius, Johannes, 1673-1708.
  • Lloyd, Thomas, 1640-1694.
  • Logan, James, 1674-1751.
  • Norris, Isaac, 1671-1735.
  • Penn, William, 1644-1718.
  • Zachary, Lloyd, 1701-1756.


  • Agriculture--United States--Early works to 1800.
  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History--Sources.
  • Medicine--Early works to 1800.

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Adam, Thomas, ed. Germany and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005.

Lambert, Margo M. “Francis Daniel Pastorius: An American in Early Pennsylvania, 1683-1719.” Dissertation, Georgetown University. 2007.

Learned, Marion Dexter. The Life of Francis Daniel Pastorius, the Founder of Germantown. Philadelphia: William J. Campbell, 1908.

Roach, Hannah Benner. Colonial Philadelphians. Philadelphia: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1999.

Weigley, Russell F., ed. Philadelphia: A 300-Year History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1982.

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Collection Inventory


Res propriae 1683-1716   1.0 item


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Manuscripts 1683-1714, 1721   17.0 items


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Artzney und Kunst: ist all umsunst ohne Gottes Gunst 1695   1.0 item


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Liber intimissimus omnium semper mecum (Most intimate book of all [which is] always with me), by Melchior Adam Pastorius 1697-1701   1.0 item


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Letter book 1700-1719   1.0 item


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Letter book: Photostat copy 1700-1719   1.0 item


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"A monthly monitor briefly showing when our works ought to be done in gardens, orchards, vineyards, fields, meadows, and woods" 1701   1.0 item


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"Ship-mate-ship" 1716-1719   1.0 item


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"Alvearialia" undated   1.0 item


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Commonplace book undated   1.0 item


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" Lex Pennsylvaniensis in compendium redacta:  h.e. The Great Law of Pennsylvania abridged for the particular use of Francis Daniel Pastorius" undated   1.0 item


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