1677–1708

Introduction

Born: Jan­u­a­ry 1, 1667, Schäß­burg, Tran­syl­van­ia (now Si­ghi­șoa­ra, Ro­ma­nia).

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 1, 1708, Ger­man­town, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Buried: In an un­marked grave in the gard­en of his com­mun­al grounds in the Wis­sahick­on Val­ley, near Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.

portrait

Biography

Kelpius gra­du­at­ed from the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Alt­dorf (near Nur­em­burg) in 1689.

Of a mys­ti­cal bent, he was at­tract­ed to sects such as the Pi­e­tists, un­der Phil­ip Ja­cob Spe­ner, and the Phil­a­del­phists, un­der Jane Leads. Seek­ing great­er free­dom for his un­or­tho­dox views, he em­i­grat­ed to Am­er­i­ca in 1694, set­tling with 40 fol­low­ers near Ger­man­town.

Known as the Her­mits of Wis­sa­hick­on, they main­tained a large­ly self sus­tain­ing com­mu­ni­ty. Kel­pi­us was one of the first in Am­er­i­ca to use an or­gan in re­li­gious ser­vic­es.

Sources

Lyrics