Francis Daniel Pastorius
Francis Daniel Pastorius ©Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection

    Franz Daniel Pastorius, Founder of Germantown

    Born: 1651 | Died: 1720

    Franz Daniel Pastorius was born in September 1651 in the Bavarian town of Sommerhausen. He traveled extensively through Germany, England, France, Switzerland and Holland, and studied at the Universities of Altdorf, Jena and Strassburg to become a lawyer.

    When in 1683, a group of Quakers asked him for legal advice concerning the purchase of land in Pennsylvania from William Penn, Pastorius sailed to the New World to negotiate the contract. A short time later, 13 families from Krefeld joined Pastorius and founded the first German settlement in America: Germantown. Pastorius laid out the new settlement where he also stayed and worked as a teacher and writer and served as the major of Germantown. He died in 1720.

    One of Pastorius’ descendants, Tom Pastorius, founded the Penn Brewery (Pennsylvania Brewing Co.) in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1986.