Göttingen: Johann Peter Schmid, 1746. 88pp. including woodcut decorations. Titlepage printed in red and black. 12mo. Later stenciled paper-covered boards. Light shelf wear, tape residue on lower portion of spine and boards. Internally clean. Contemporary ownership inscription on titlepage. Very good. Item #WRCAM57668
The first German translation of Benjamin Martyn's important report on Georgia, called by Crane "perhaps the most famous of all Georgia pamphlets." This German pamphlet is actually a translation and adaptation of several of Martyn's works, including content taken from his NEW AND ACCURATE ACCOUNT..., IMPARTIAL INQUIRY..., and REASONS FOR ESTABLISHING THE COLONY OF GEORGIA, along with additional details inserted by the translator, Johann Matthias Kramer, based on his years spent living in America.
The original report includes an enthusiastic description of the land, along with arguments concerning the benefits to be enjoyed by England upon sending her poor to colonize Georgia, where they "may be happy...and profitable to England." The present translation omits some of the remarks specific to Great Britain in favor of details on Georgia's resources and other important facts for prospective German emigrants to know. Kramer notes that it is forbidden to bring slaves or alcohol to trade with Native Americans, and further that "All children from foreign nations who are born in the province of Georgia, along with all of their descendants, are considered natural-born Englishmen, just as in England and all her other dominions, and have the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by them" (our translation). Important for the German audience, he also writes "that to encourage and animate the spirits of all those who wish to settle in Georgia, freedom of belief is granted to each and every inhabitant, EXCEPT for Roman Catholics, and for the free practice of their religion, so long as they do so peacefully and amicably, and cause the government no frustration." The final section includes advice "on the most important resources and skills which all who are given leave to settle in Georgia must have, as well as on the most comfortable time and manner of travelling there." Namely, he suggests travelling in the fall, rather than the spring as emigrants to Pennsylvania usually do, in order to avoid building a homestead in Georgia's damp, hot summers. Georgia was a popular destination for German emigrants in the mid-1700s, spurred on by Oglethorpe's invitation to the Protestants of Salzburg, who were facing severe oppression during the Counter-Reformation.
Matthias Kramer was born in Nuremberg, son of an esteemed linguist and translator. He attended the University of Göttingen (where this pamphlet was printed and where he taught Italian for several years), and at some point made his way to Philadelphia where he became professor of French and German at the University of Pennsylvania for one year. In reference sources (Howes, for example), this work is listed alternately under Kramer, Oglethorpe, and Martyn, with no particular consensus. OCLC records this rare pamphlet at five institutions in Germany, and nine in North America, and we trace only a single copy sold at auction since 1968.
An early and significant collection of writings for prospective emigrants to mid- 17th century Georgia. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 746/138. DE RENNE I:120. VD18 11407603. VAIL 433. HOWES K264, "aa," M355, "aa." PALMER 368. SABIN 56848. OCLC 47321303, 83141722, 29053077.