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Anna Grotans, Berit Jany, Kathryn Corl and Annett Krause


This article provides a short description and contextualization of a manuscript recently placed on deposit at The Ohio State University Libraries. The unique handwritten book, hitherto unknown to the scholarly community, contains autobiographical writings of Eberhard Ludwig Gruber (1665–1728), an influential German Pietist, who is considered by the Iowa Amana to be one of their founding fathers. Together with his son Johann Adam Gruber (1693–1763), he was actively involved in ‘the Community of True Inspiration’ (‘Inspirierten’). Johann Adam immigrated to the New World at the beginning of the eighteenth century and was influential in the Pennsylvania German communities.

The “Gruber manuscript” contains a travel diary written by Eberhard Ludwig for the years 1697 to 1698 while on a journey throughout Germany and Denmark in order to collect alms for the Protestant Church; the diary is followed by several lengthy lists of mostly contemporary scholarly books and pamphlets compiled and commented on by Gruber. At the end of the manuscript is found Johann Adam’s partial German translation of Richard Roach’s Imperial Standard. Johann focuses on sections of Roach’s sermon addressing the dangers and temptations to be encountered by a society awaiting the approaching millennium, perhaps in preparation for establishing a unified church in his new homeland.