Chronicle of the First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Pages 6 - 11

from Silesia whose dates were too far back and in which this request had been stated: Mr. Schulthes should only watch and wait until Pastor Krause and Mr. Faude returned, however long that took. "That was not the power of attorney from the entire congregation, although some later incorrectly called it a power of attorney and acted accordingly". Through letters (10) which came from Pastor Krause in America, many decided not to emigrate while others decided to go to America or anywhere the Good Lord directed them to go (11) and they set off. Before the arrival of the Silesians Mr. Schulthes had asked Mr. Angas about deferred payment for passage to Australia for the emigrating congregation; once the Silesians were in Hamburg the company decided that would not be able to agree to this until they had received reports from those who had already emigrated with Pastor Kaval to Australia (12). The letters which had been sent by Pastor Krause from Buffalo were not sufficiently favorable. Many became tired of the long wait and spoke of other destinations and several decided to emigrate to Montevideo in South America. They wrote Pastor Krause to travel on to Montevideo and to write back once he arrived. Arrangements for passage to Montevideo were ready and the contract had been negotiated when a letter arrived from Mr. Angas containing the following: If 200 people could raise 7000 Reichs Dollars the remainder of the costs would be absolved in which case they could change their plans and travel to Australia instead. The chairman of the committee presented this letter to the congregation and asked it what it wanted to do. After brief deliberation the congregation unanimously decided that things had gone too far, that it wanted to keep to the Montevideo plan and close that contract. It could not find 200 people with 7000 Reichs Dollars but it had approximately 120 people with 3000 Reichs Dollars, thus it was restricted


from accepting Mr. Angas' offer. Mr. Bierosch, who had been commissioned to complete the contract for passage to Montevideo, postponed this activity. This was fortunate for the Silesians had decided to change their plans and rejoin Pastor Krause and the congregation's assigned agent , Mr. Faude (13), who had joined with Pastor Grabau's congregation which was also emigrating to North America.

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"The Silesian Ban"

About this time Pastor Grabau arrives in Hamburg with his congregation (14) in order to emigrate to America. They too had left their homes where they had experienced religious tyranny and persecution and they were happy to hear that the Silesian sister congregation wanted to travel with them. Pastor Grabau consecrated the decision with a prayer of thanks (15). On the following Sunday Pastor Grabau visited many churches with Dr. Hübbe in Hamburg and the latter told Pastor Grabau that the Silesians had prior obligations to settle with Mr. Angas before they could determine their final destination. Their authorized agent, Mr. Schulthes, had committed them to emigration to Australia. On Pastor Grabau's advice the Silesians retracted their power of attorney and stated that they themselves were here to bring their decided course to fruition. Pastor Grabau ardently persisted in acquainting himself with the transactions of the agents with the power of attorney and he insisted that if Mr. Angas pressed the contract they would have to travel to Australia. Pastor Grabau composed a letter (16) and


sent it to the Silesian congregation for its signature. Many had the desire to go to Australia and they signed willingly. Others were hesitant(17) , saying: why should we ask Mr. Angas for terms of payment if we don't want to go to Australia. In short they didn't want their christian freedom encroached upon and explained to Pastor Grabau that they would stand by their decision and fulfill their original plans to emigrate to America. Pastor Grabau imposed himself on this congregation, which had its own spiritual leader(18) , but when a circumstance arose which was not acceptable to him, he excommunicated them (19) . Attempts were made to settle the affair. Although several hindrances got in the way of the congregation they stuck by their decision (20) and in the name of God they took passage on the New York ship "Carolina" to join Pastor Krause and Mr. Faude, whom they knew were waiting for them in Buffalo.

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The Arrival of the Silesian Immigrant Congregation in American and Union with Pastor Krause and the Brothers in Buffalo

After a fortunate trip the Silesians arrive in New York and announce their arrival to Pastor Krause and the brothers in Buffalo. Mr. Faude and Pastor Krause had not been idle during their time in Buffalo. They had met Mr. Ferdinand Langner and his family, who had lived in Buffalo since 1835; and since August 1836 the Sieffert and Krieg families had lived in Buffalo. Pastor Krause regularly celebrated church services with these families. They anticipated the arrival of the congregation with heartfelt longing.


A room in the house on the southwestern corner of Main and Eagle Streets was rented by the brethren where Pastor Krause preached on Sundays and weekdays and also held school until the arrival of his congregation (21) . Shortly before the congregation's arrival in Buffalo Pastor Krause secretly left the city in order to return to Germany. Arriving in New York he met Captain von Rohr, who later became an ordained pastor. The Captain invited him to travel with the congregation since the Captain's church was on the way to Buffalo. Pastor Krause returned and took the congregation to Schenectady, where the canal boat had to lay idle for a day because of a fire on either side of the Erie Canal. Pastor Krause then led his congregation to Buffalo. They arrived on September 6, 1839, the day on which a year earlier the power of attorney had been issued (22) . On that date Pastor Krause held church services in the room on the southwest corner of Main and Eagle Streets, which had previously been rented by the emigrant families named Langner, Sieffert, Krieg and Faude (23 ).

Pastor Krause remained only a week with his congregation. On October 15th he wrote from New York to a member of his congregation: "In 2 hours I am boarding the cargo ship headed for Hamburg." He announced in his letter that he felt compelled to return to Germany in order to give advice and assistance to the faithful who had not yet left. He wished to protect them from the bloodthirsty shipbrokers and to spend some time in the service of the brethren. He also mentioned that he met up with Pastor Grabau and his congregation, which had just arrived (24) . On the Friday evening before his departure Pastor Krause had held a confirmation ceremony (25) and the following Sunday he conducted the evening communion service. He left on Monday without telling anyone, on Oct. 14th he met with Pastor Grabau in New York and on the 15th of October he traveled back to Germany. In a letter from Breslau dated


March 19, 1840 it states that Pastor Krause arrived in Breslau on December 3, 1839 and that he was imprisoned shortly before Christmas. Shortly thereafter he was released and he wished to be reassigned in Breslau. The congregation sought him out and told him that he should come back to his congregation in America. In a letter written by a member of the congregation in Breslau to the Faude, Mayer, Hanschke and Langner families it was stated:
1. that Mayer and Langner had been corresponding about Pastor Krause's conduct,
2. that while in Germany he had given up his position as pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Buffalo and that he intended to return as soon as family affairs had been put in order and that it had been for this reason that he returned to Breslau,
3. that as a result of this Pastor Krause had broken his word and was guilty of deceit and treachery in Germany as well as in Buffalo.

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The Sad Experiences of the Silesians

Thus the Silesian congregation in Buffalo was without a shepherd but they comforted themselves with Pastor Krause's promise that he had spoken with Pastor Grabau and hoped that with Pastor Grabau's arrival in Buffalo there would be a settlement of differences and reconcilation. Their pastor had not made them aware of the excommunication which banned them from the sacraments. Pastor Grabau arrived in Buffalo at the end of October, took over the room rented by the Silesians(26) , and held a church service, in which the Silesians also took part. But when it came time for the communion(27) they were excluded and all attempts to convince Pastor Grabau otherwise were thwarted. The hopes of the Silesians were destroyed. Pastor Grabau stood by his excommunication of the Silesians in Hamburg (28) . People called them the Silesian rabble; but


Pastor Grabau called from the pulpit: Hail to you in America! For you the Church has arrived (29) .

What else could the Silesians do but distance themselves from Pastor Grabau and hold their church services alone. They appointed substitutes who would hold church services and preside over the blessed sacraments (30) . They held their services in Ferdinand Langner's house on Cherry Street between Mortimer and Jefferson, Mr. Faude and Teacher Meyer held scripture services and the latter gave instruction to the children. In the interim Teacher Mayer also confirmed the son (Gottlieb) of Mr. Ferd. Langner. In the fall of 1839 the Silesians came together to write a letter to Pastor Grabau. On the 26th Sunday after Trinity Sunday, 1839, a meeting of the whole congregation was called and the Silesians came before a large part of the congregation in their meeting room. "However Grabau would not fully recognize them. He made generally false insinuations and after carrying on for quite some time in lusty zeal, he finally gave forth: Those of you who think I'm correct, stand to my right; those of you who think the Silesians are correct, stand to my left. Only one member of the audience stood with the Silesians and he said to Pastor Grabau: I recognize you for a papist. Pastor Grabau stretched out his hands and said: Thus I excommunicate you from all christian communion; may I have nothing further to do with you for the spirit of falsehood exudes from you, etc." Further attempts to convince Pastor Grabau of his injustice bore no fruit. Representatives commissioned by the Silesians to deal with Grabau accomplished nothing. Grabau greeted each encounter with scorn and contempt. He demanded unconditional surrender and acknowledgement of misdeeds which we had not committed. The Silesians distanced themselves from Pastor Grabau and held their own church services in Langner's house.


Pages 12 - 17

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