A wonderful little piece of Americana relevant to both the American Revolution and to the German Reformed Church in America. Michael Schlatter [1716-1790] was born in Switzerland, was a minister of deep personal and practical piety, and one of the most influential clergyman in New England up to the American Revolution.
After graduating from the University of Leyden, he volunteered himself as a missionary to the poor German population of Pennsylvania. After arriving in 1746, he served as the pastor of the German Reformed Churches at Germantown and Philadelphia. He organized the German Reformed church's first Synod, in 1747, and found his true calling as both a revivalist and administrator, embarking on extended missionary tours among the scattered German communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and New York.
Sensing that the religious and practical condition of Germans in America were connected, he returned to Europe and returned with what would today be millions of dollars, a case of some 700 German Bibles, and six young ministers who sensed a call to preach to the German communities in America.
In 1755, he withdrew from preaching, leaving it to the younger men, and began setting up a series of German schools. Then he made a fateful decision; he accepted a position to be Chaplain to the Royal american Regiment of the British Army in Philadelphia. He served with them at the Battle of Louisburg, then transferred to become Chaplain of the 2nd Pennsylvania where he was able to manage a side-mission to the Indians.
Unfortunately, by 1777, he was still attached to the British Army. He had long been sympathetic to the American cause. And early in the War, when he was asked to move forward into battle against the American patriots at Germantown, he refused. He was severely persecuted and imprisoned as a traitor; his home and property plundered and destroyed by the British.
His biography was published in 1857 and his diary has been published and provides important insight into 18th century America.
Rare autograph; we trace no other examples.
Attractive marriage certificate dated to March 4th, 1775 where Michal Schlatter has signed and sealed the document, solemnizing the wedding of Benjamin Gorgas of Roxbury and Juliana Rubecam of Roxbury. Also inscribed on the rear in his hand.
Benjamin Gorgas is listed as one of those who took the Oath of Allegiance to Pennsylvania during the American Revolutionary War [Westcott] and
Bright and clean save the small corner loss. A wonderful little survivor.