South Carolina, Switzerland, correspondence
Johann Ulrich Giezendanner ( 1686-173 7) of Lichtensteig, Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland, by profession a gold- and silversmith, had briefly studied at the University of Marburg in Germany and had become one of the 'awakened' in the spirit of Pietism which was then influencing the various Christian denominations. (The movement minimized the difference between clergy and laity and stressed religion as a matter of experience and deeply-felt piety rather than as doctrine and as a set of rules to be obeyed.) Between 1 715 and 1720 J. U. Giezendanner preached to large crowds, but was silenced by offical intervention since he proclaimed the priesthood of all believers and had no license to preach. In 1735 Giezendanner resumed his ministry, yet the Reformed Synod again intervened. He then decided to join the group of Johannes Tobler (1696-1765) of Rehetobel, Canton Appenzell, and of Bartholomaus Zuberbuhler (1678-1738) of Gais, a minister of the Swiss Reformed Church, who led some one hundred emigrants to South Carolina. Tobler had been a leader of the aristocratic party but had lost his position as Landeshauptrnann, one of the state's chief executive posts, when the oppositon had come to power and declared Tobler unfit for office for life. Reverend Zuberbuhler, one of his supporters, also lost his pastorate when he denounced French influence on the Canton of Appenzell's governing elite. - The letter is reprinted by permission from America Experienced. Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Accounts of Swiss Immigrants. Edited by Leo Schelbert, translated by Hedwig Rappolt (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1996). - The genealogy of branch 24 of the Giezendanner of Lichtensteig has been constructed by Emil Looser of Wattwil and is reproduced by permission.
Giezendanner, Johann Ulrich
"Letter from South Carolina, 23, 1737,"
Swiss American Historical Society Review: Vol. 37:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/sahs_review/vol37/iss2/3