In 1683 Francis Daniel Pastorius became the founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in colonial North America. He and several prominent German Pietists in Frankfurt originally wanted to follow in William Penn's wake by setting up a "godly community" in America. Although it is generally recognized that the works of Jan Amos Comenius, Jacob Böhme and Johann Valentin Andreae influenced the Frankfurt Pietists, very little has been done on addressing how much impact Rosicrucianism and Behmenism had on Pastorius's late Renaissance hopes of utopian renewal and eschatological fears. Through an examination of Pastorius's commonplace book the Beehive, this paper contends that the Rosicrucian and Behmenist influences on Pastorius were critical in motivating his colonizing efforts and elucidate his perspectives dealing with alchemy, astrology, and his relationship with Swedish settlers that he encountered.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.