180 Years Ago: An Atlantic Crossing

This will be a very short post.  It is Thanksgiving Day and I have much on my plate today. 

One hundred eighty years ago, five ships were sailing on their way to America from Germany.  Those five ships were the Copernicus, Johann Georg, Republik, Olbers, and Amalia.  All of them had left the port of Bremerhaven in Germany during the month of November in 1838.  Their destination was New Orleans, Louisiana.

One of those ships, the Amalia, never did make it to America.  It was lost at sea, along with its passengers, crew, and cargo.

I am reasonably sure that these German Lutherans did not celebrate a Thanksgiving Day on those ships.  However, since the trip would last until late December and early January, these voyagers would be aboard those ships during the Advent season and Christmas.  It has been recorded in journal entries that regular worship services were conducted aboard these ships.  They even made sure that the children were involved in special Christmas services while the ships were still at sea.

As we now are about to enter the Advent season and working our way toward Christmas, maybe we could keep in mind that those members of the Gesellschaft still managed to celebrate this season in very difficult circumstances.  Many of these Advent and Christmas traditions are still part of the German Lutheran culture of East Perry County.

Somehow, just thinking back on this special event in our history makes me feel thankful today.  There would be no reason to be writing for this blog if those immigrants did not make that perilous voyage 180 years ago.  However, because they did, we have plenty of stories to tell.  And perhaps the lives we are living will be the stories of the future.

I would like to express my gratitude to some special people.  First of all, I am so grateful for the many faithful readers of this blog for your interest in the stories we have to share with you.  Also, my thanks go out to all the guest bloggers who have been helping by contributing their own stories to this blog.

One more thing.  If you would like to read another old post written about Thanksgiving, I think this one is worth another read.  It compares the Pilgrims and the Gesellschaft.


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