The Pastorius House

The Pastorius House, built in 1655, was the childhood home to Franz Daniel Pastorius, the first German immigrant to America. Following an arduous crossing of the Atlantic, Pastorius reached America on 20 August 1683. Two months later, on 24 October, he founded German-Town, the crest of which features a vine to this day. When viewing the US Capitol Dome in Washington DC, one can catch a glimpse of the Sommerhausen native, Franz Daniel Pastorius, alongside some of the most influential personalities of colonial America. Pastorius, whose name has been lent to our community, is widely regarded as the first ambassador of German culture to America. In August of 1683, he arrived in the New World, to prepare the settlement of 13 families of weavers from Krefeld in Pennsylvania, the first Germans in America. Pastorius gained wide-recognition as the founder and long-time mayor of Germantown, near to Philadelphia, the first German settlement in the western hemisphere. Pastorius' exemplary lifestyle, even more so than his pioneering achievements, elevated him to the status of a community role model, and an excellent representative of German-American relations. Pastorius continues to be remembered in the United States, for his steadfast Christian values and morals. His uncompromising protest against slavery, written in 1688, remains notable to this day for its bluntness. His likeness in the US Capitol Dome shows him kneeling before Indians, in strong acknowledgement of his work for peace and freedom in America.