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American Moravians and their Neighbors, 1772-1822, edited by Ulrike Wiethaus and Grant McAllister, offers an interdisciplinary examination of Moravian Americanization in the Early Republic. With an eye toward the communities that surrounded Moravian settlements in the Southeast, the contributors examine cultural, social, religious, and artistic practices of exchange and imposition framed by emergent political structures that encased social privilege and marginalization.
Through their multidisciplinary approach, the authors convincingly argue that Moravians encouraged assimilation, converged with core values and political forces of the Early Republic, but also contributed uniquely Moravian innovations. Residual, newly dominant, and increasingly subjugated discourses among Moravians, other European settlers, Indigenous nations and free and enslaved communities of color established the foundations of a new Moravian American identity.

Contributors include: Craig D. Atwood, David Bergstone, David Blum, Stewart Carter, Martha B. Hartley, Geoffrey R. Hughes, Winelle Kirton-Roberts, Grant P. McAllister, Thomas J. McCullough, Paul Peucker, Charles D. Rodenbough, John Ruddiman, Jon F. Sensbach, Larry E. Tise, Riddick Weber, and Ulrike Wiethaus.
Diaspora, Empire, and Race
Series Editor: Catherine Ceniza Choy
This innovative book series explores the gendered nature of the Pacific World by focusing on three phenomena: Diaspora, Empire, and Race. It features how people have dispersed across the Pacific for trade, labor, migration, cultural exchange, and military engagement. These migrations rarely occur in gendered balanced ways, resulting in “bachelor” societies in the receiving country and “stranded” women in the sending country. At other times, female migrants have been in the forefront of migration. The Pacific has also been the site of multiple empires – Asian, European, and American. These colonial powers were invested in managing the gender and sexual relations among and between “natives” and “colonizers.” Finally, the phenomenon of migration and political expansion coincided with racializing processes that established social hierarchies based on naturalized assumptions of biological difference. Here again, gender was essential to these efforts. Gendering the Trans-Pacific World seeks scholarship that offers original approaches to understanding these complex power relations. It welcomes social and cultural history and biography as well as interdisciplinary works that examine art, photography, film, and literature.

Manuscripts should be at least 90,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations and other visual material. The editors will consider proposals for original monographs, edited collections, translations, and critical primary source editions.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Associate Editor Debbie de Wit.

*A paperback edition of select titles in the series, for individual purchase only, will be released approximately 12 months after publication of the hardcover edition.

Contributor: Jürgen Gröschl
The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, edited and translated by Russell Kleckley, chronicles the experiences and perceptions of a German Lutheran pastor called to serve a struggling community in the American South soon after the Revolutionary War. Written mostly to Bergmann’s superiors at the important center of German Pietism in Halle, the letters not only report on conditions in Ebenezer, Georgia, established over a half-century earlier by religious refugees from Salzburg, they also offer a distinctive and often critical look at American culture, religion, and politics from an outsider’s viewpoint. Bergmann stresses the practical and corrosive impact of American notions of freedom in everyday life while also commenting on a wide range of other issues, including Georgia’s relationship with Native Americans and the practice of slavery.

Abstract

A hurricane and other unusual weather events bring devastation to the area. A planned slave uprising is averted shortly before it occurs. Camp meetings associated with the Second Great Awakening continue. Fear spreads that America may be dragged into the Napoleonic wars plaguing Europe. Divisions and doctrinal arguments across Christian denominations provide more fodder for critics.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Bergmann reports on the American response to the French Revolution, which he regards as consistent with the growing influence of the rationalism in American thought that continues to fuel misguided ideas about freedom. A schoolteacher who had embraced rationalism and taught in the area English school, led an effort to expel to Bergmann from Ebenezer. The effort failed but indicted the extent to which rationalist forces were making an impact even locally. Dissension among Christian groups lent support to the denigration of traditional religion. Bergmann considers the Lutheran Church, particularly in the American South, to be especially in disrepair due to the emphasis placed by clergy for purity of doctrine over true Christian living.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Throughout the first half of the 1790s, Bergmann’s pessimism about the religious, political, and moral life in America continues to grow. Bergmann describes the impact of the Revolutionary War on Ebenezer and accounts for the stance taken by the community, and several important members in particular, in support of either side. He continues his critique of American ideas about freedom while reporting as well on the impact of other denominations in Georgia and his relationship to them. Joseph Priestley’s acclaim in America catches his attention, and he writes a letter to President George Washington after briefly meeting Washington in Savannah during the President’s southern tour of states in 1791.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Bergmann reflects on Ebenezer’s past and finds the seeds for the community’s downfall already planted in its early years. Baptists and Methodists continue to grow numerically but many of the denominations remain embroiled in theological disputes over non-essential points of doctrine. Moral depravity is evident throughout the state of Georgia, even in the state legislature where pervasive drunkenness interferes with governance. Concerns remain about slave uprisings. The re-election of Thomas Jefferson as President and tensions between Republicans and Federalists dominate the national political scene that includes the death of Alexander Hamilton in his duel with Aaron Burr. The continuing Napoleonic wars in Europe also remain a concern that weighs heavily on Bergmann’s mind.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Bergmann reports on the political tensions increasing in the United States over issues of states’ rights and slavery, foreshadowing the American Civil War. The call up of militias in Georgia over fears arising from the First Seminole War causes difficulties for his son who qualifies for a medical exemption. The slave revolt planned by Denmark Vesey in South Carolina is thwarted and its leaders executed. The work of American missionaries around the world captures Bergmann’s attention, along with fires on the east coast, hurricanes, and outbreaks of yellow fever. Bergmann is aware of his own approaching death.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Bergmann reports about the religious situation in the United States and offers his perspective on the clergy of other denominations in Savannah, as well as the relationships among different denominations. He reviews some of the history of Ebenezer’s past that sheds light on its present circumstances. He reports the rapid growth of Georgia’s population and the addition of new counties in the state. Orders are placed for books and medicines that are highly desired by members of the community.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824

Abstract

Bergmann reacts to his call to Ebenezer in Georgia and describes his trip to Augsburg where he meets with J.A. Urlsperger, the head of the Lutheran ministerium there, for his ordination and orientation on the circumstances in Ebenezer. In Augsburg, he becomes aware of Urlsperger’s lack of confidence in him. Nonetheless, Bergmann relies on his assurance of the divine origin of his call. After meeting with J. G. Probst, who has been appointed to serve as a second pastor and schoolteacher in Ebenezer, he sets sail on the difficult first leg of his journey that will take him first to Tenerife before sailing across the Atlantic to America.

In: The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, Ebenezer, Georgia, 1786–1824