"Jacob Zanger and his move to America"
Jacob Zanger was one of many Palatine Germans to began their trek to the Americas, their efforts were difficult with a long and cold miserable migration from the Rhineland. It was an extremely difficult period. Freezing and malnourished, the People crowded around their fires as they contemplated the abandonment of their homes and farms forever. In early April, the land was still frozen and most of the Palatines crops of grapes had been killed by the bitter weather. From 1702 their country had been enduring war with a bleak outlook for the future. Conflict and war which had continued for 30 years oppressed their minds and thoughts. During this period one out of every three Germans had perished. Taxation was an extreme and religious persecution plagued the Palatines. Considering their future, senior members of the community remembered that, in 1677, William Penn had visited the area; an invitation was extended for the people to come to Pennsylvania, the home of freedom for a man and his family. It was a land removed of the problems they were now encountering. The voyage would be hard they knew, but the sacrifice seemed to be their only hope.
The voyage up the river would take 4 to 6 weeks through bitter cold, and unforgiving weather. In June, the Palatines flowed into Rotterdam a thousand a week or more. Because of the mass exodus, an edict was issued, halting the migration. This was ignored and by October, an excess of 18,000 Palatines had made it to the Rhine River journey.
Queen Anne of England, made assignment to the Duke of Marlborough to assist in the migrations efforts to England. Ships owned by the British were used with other alternatives also. Queen Anne's reasoning for the aid to these Protestants would assist in defusing the anti-Roman feelings which was taking place in England at the time. Ships containing this new blood arrived from Rotterdam and landed at Deptford. The Palatine refugees were then taken to different camps at Deptford, Camberwell, and Blackheath without the walls of London. Most of the Palatines were welcomed by the people of London, all except the poor who thought the Palatines' presence was a burden on the food supply.
These Palatines, numbering nearly 8,000 were then transported to Ireland, this to infuse the desired Protestant faith in the area. The brief trip from London to Ireland was almost overnight, being completed in about 24 hours.
At the same time, hoards of Palatines were making way to the Americas. With difficult ocean voyages and over-crowded conditions the mortality rate was quite high at times. Water aboard often ran out, as did food many times. But this was not the only peril; robbery was often a factor. Deception also plagued the Palatines.
It is Estimated that the count of the Palatine Germans coming to Pennsylvania during this time period was 18,000 plus by 1737 and a staggering 70,000 to 80,000 by 1750.
© 2020 - TheSongers.com David Songer