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Peter Boehler Papers

Peter Boehler Papers

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Peter Boehler Papers




2012



Profile Description

Creation: 28.03.2012
Language: English

Title: Peter Boehler Papers
Dates: 1739 - 1764
Quantity: 4 folders
Identification: PP BP
Location: 155D (in 1 box with PP MFr)
Language: German

This collection includes correpondence by Peter "Petrus" Boehler (Boehler) and others, a diary and various other writings, including discourses by Boehler.


Peter "Petrus" Boehler was born to Johann Conrad and Antoinette Elisabeth (Hauff) Boehler on December 31st, 1712, in Frankfurt am Main. He began his schooling at the age of four, studying in Latin by the age of 8 in preparation for medical school. However, he chose to study theology in Jena at the age of 18. It was while he was studying theology that he was introduced to the Moravians by August Gottlieb Spangenberg. During his time as a student, he also met Zinzendorf and other important Moravian figures several times, including visiting Herrnhut in 1735. After completing his studies in Jena, he travelled to Savannah, Georgia in 1737, where an early Moravian community was being organized. He returned to Germany and was ordained by Zinzendorf and David Nitschmann in the Ronneburg Castle. In 1738, he traveled to London, where he began working with John Wesley. The men would later go their seperate ways, Boehler focusing on the Moravian Church, while Wesley worked on developing the Methodist movement. Later that same year, he travelled to a missionary post in Purrysburg, South Carolina, leaving Portsmouth, England and stopping in Savannah, Georgia. Throughout his time in the colonies, aside from his duties as a general leader in the Moravian community, Boehler was a missionary among African slaves, Native Americans, and other colonists. In 1739, he traveled back to Savannah. Due to a disagreement between Moravians and other protestant sects in the area, Boehler helped move settlers from Georgia to Pennsylvania in 1740. Boehler and the settlers then moved to organize the towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem in 1742. It was during this time that Boehler fell out with one of his allies, calvinist preacher George Whitefield, regarding the issue of predestination. He continued to travel between England and the North American colonies throughout most of his life, preaching and working within the church. He spent time working as the superintendent of the Moravian Church of England, and at that time was consecrated a bishop in the Church. He left his position in the Moravian Church in England in 1753, and returned to the North American colonies. There, he supervised several Moravian communities, including the settlements at Wachovia, North Carolina, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, until 1764, when became a member of the Unity Elders' Conference. He died in London on April 27th, 1775, at the age of 63.


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