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Ludwig David de Schweinitz Papers

Ludwig David de Schweinitz Papers

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Ludwig David de Schweinitz Papers




2012



Profile Description

Creation: 05.04.2012
Language: English

Title: Ludwig David de Schweinitz Papers
Dates: 1789- 1834
Quantity: 1 box
Identification: PP SchwLD
Location: 152E
Language: GermanEnglish

This collection includes school notebooks (Latin) written by L.D. de Schweinitz, creative writing pieces (fictional biography, the "First Room Repository," and "Briefe an Auguste") and poetry written by L.D. de Schweinitz, travel journals (Germany to Salem, N.C.; from Salem to Baltimore; from Bethlehem to Indiana), notes and publications about his work in botany, personal correspondence, and publications and remembrances upon L.D. de Schweinitz's death in 1834 (including the last will of his wife, Louisa Amalia Ledoux).


Ludwig (Louis) David de Schweinitz was born in Bethlehem, Pa., on February 13, 1780, to parents Hans Christian Alexander and Anna Dorothea Elizabeth (nee von Watteville). On July 14th, 1787 L.D. entered Nazereth Hall as a student and remain there until 1798, after completing is school work, in the capacity of both student and teacher. In 1798, Louis David's father Hans Christian was called to Germany and Louis David chose to accompany them in order to further his education. In 1798, Louis David entered the Theological Seminary in Niesky, Germany. In 1801 he accepted a position in Niesky as a teacher at the Boy's School. On May 18, 1804 Louis David became an acolyte in Niesky. Two years later he was invited to Gnadenberg as a "Bruederpfleger" where he remained for two years before moving to Gnadau to perform similiar tasks. He was ordained as a deacon on May 24, 1808 in Herrnhut. In 1812 Louis David was called to serve as an administrator in Salem, North Carolina, and in preparation he chose to marry Louise Amalia Ledoux, a teacher at the girls' school in Niesky. Louis David and his new wife arrived in Salem on November 14, 1812. In Salem, he served the church in multiple administrative capacities, including handling inspection and real estate matters, serving as a member of the Pennsylvania Helper's Society, and representing Salem at the general synods in Herrnhut in 1818 and 1825. He was consecrated as a presbyter in Herrnhut on September 1, 1818 and on August 18, 1825 was ordained in Herrnhut as a Senior Civilis (L.D. was the last person to ever hold this position in the Moravian Church). In 1821 L.D. was called to Bethlehem to serve in a similiar capacity for the church.

Outside of his church work, Louis David pursued a career in botany and mycology and is referred to by many as the "Father of Mycology in North America." As a result of this work, L.D. received a Honorary PhD degree from the University of Kiel in Botany in 1817 and a new specied of plant, polypore Phaeolus schweinitzii, was named in his honor. Louis's herbarium, was the largest private collection of plants and was donated upon his death the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadephia.

Louis David and his wife had four boys, all of whom would continue their father's work in the church. L.D. de Schweinitz died on February 8, 1834 at the age of 54 and is buried in God's Acre at Bethlehem. His birthplace, the Gemeinhaus, became a National Historic Landmark because of him.


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