colonial America, eighteenth-century religion, colonial Georgia, Salzburgers, Boltzius, German-American culture, Pietism
A group of Protestant refugees from Salzburg founded the town of Ebenezer, Georgia, in 1734. The Pietists at the Francke Foundation in Halle sent two pastors, Johann Martin Boltzius and Israel Christian Gronau, to lead the religious immigrants in their new settlement. As other historians have shown, the Halle sponsors wanted Ebenezer to fulfill their own purposes: establish social and religious autonomy under British colonial rule, reproduce the economic structure and institutions of social and religious reform of the Francke Foundation, and establish a successful Pietist ministry in North America. This study examines journals and correspondence from Ebenezer's pastors, British colonial authorities, and the German religious sponsors to reveal how different aspects of the Pietist vision were compromised until Ebenezer resembled a typical German-American settlement rather than a model Pietist community. Georgia's economic conditions, political pressures, and Ebenezer's internal demographic changes forced the pastors to sacrifice their goals for an orphanage, a free labor economy, and a closely structured community of persecuted Protestants. They ensured Ebenezer's economic success and social autonomy, but they were unable to replicate their sponsors' most distinctly Pietist economic, social and religious enterprises.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Moreshead, Ashley Elizabeth, "The Salzburgers' "City On A Hill": The Failure Of A Pietist Vision In Ebenezer, Georgia, 1734-1774" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 472.