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Henry Antes Papers

Henry Antes Papers

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Henry Antes Papers




2012



Profile Description

Creation: 28.03.2012
Language: English

Title: Henry Antes Papers
Dates: 1741-1750
Quantity: 5 Folders
Identification: PP AH
Location: in box Small Collections 4, 17D
Language: German

This collection consists of personal correspondence between Henry Antes and others to include Moravian leaders, whole congregations, and politicians. The collection also includes several essays written by Antes regarding anti-Moravian sentiment in other Protestant sects.


Johann Heinrich "Henry" Antes was born to Philip Frederick and Anna Catherine Antes in Freinsheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on July 1, 1701. His ancestors, the von Blumes, were wealthy Protestants, who Hellenized their surname to avoid persecution during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Philip Frederick Antes settled his family in Germantown in the English colony of Pennsylvania during Henry's young adulthood. Soon after, Antes moved into the countryside adjacent to the settlement to build his own home. He married Christina Dewees on February 2, 1726 and worked under his father-in-law, William Dewees, at a paper and flour mill. He quickly became a well-known statesman in the area outside of Philadelphia. For a significant portion of his life, he served as Justice of the Peace for what are now Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

Though he was born and raised in the Reformed Church, he left it in 1740 soon after joining the Moravian Brethren. He played a significant part in the Moravian Church's purchase of lands to form the settlements of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Wachovia, North Carolina. Working part time as a lay-preacher, Antes thought that the early German immigrants to the Pennsylvania colony lacked a viable religious structure. With the encouragement of Moravian leader Nikolus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), he organized a series of meetings between leaders from multiple Protestant sects in the colony in 1742. Though Antes' goal of uniting the various Protestant sects was unfruitful, he cemented strong personal ties to the Moravian Brethren.

In 1745, he moved to Bethlehem and built a house, though returned to Fredericktown, PA in 1750 after a disagreement with church officials. He disagreed with the decision to allow ministers to wear the white surplice robe during church services, among other things. Though he removed himself from the Moravian Church and removed the Moravian school from his property, he still maintained a presence in the Moravian community at Bethlehem. His daughters retained their affiliation with the Moravian Church, and he assisted with a surveying of church lands in the Carolinas. Antes died on July 20, 1755. Though he was scheduled to be buried in Bethlehem, he was instead laid to rest on his property in Fredericktown. After his death, all of his children returned to the Moravian Church. His personal papers were brought to Bethlehem per his request. His son, John Henry Antes, Jr. (1736-1820) was also an important figure in Pennsylvania history.


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