Page 17 - Armentrout Family History
P. 17

After weeks of being crowded aboard the small English sailing ship Samuel, the cry of "LAND" from the lookout electri-

fied the passengers. As the ship altered course and passed between Cape May and Cape Henlopen into Delaware Bay, we
wonder what these Palatines thought and felt as the ship slowly sailed northward up the Bay toward Philadelphia along a
nearly uninhabited shore line. Was this the land of promise or had they merely exchanged a life of hardship and toil they
knew for something more frightening and uncertain. Excitement must have run high in the crowded little ship as it came to
anchor off the port of Philadelphia and waited for the morrow to debark. For Capt. Hugh Percy, the ship's commander, this
had been a routine trip which he and his ship had made many times before and would continue to make for many years to
come. But for the passengers their emotions were mixed. This was a new and for most an exciting experience, but for some
it must have been -just a little frightening. However, the die had been cast, they had reached their destination and now there
was no turning back.

Europe, and especially the many small German States along the Rhine River, had been in turmoil from within and from
without. War had become nearly a way of life. The poor and the middle classes alike were plundered and robbed by the
marauding military from either side. They suffered heavily from the continued strife and assoc. religious persecutions. Dur-
ing the Thirty Years' War the English Queen Anne, was the champion of the long suffering German Protestants. Her com-
mander in the field, the Duke of Marlborough, with the Queen's approval, encouraged and assisted many German Protestants
to immigrate to England and later to the New World. This hdp from the English Gov't. encouraged thousands of southern
Germans to leave their homes and seek asylum in England. By 1708 this exodus from the Rhine Valley produced an intoler-
able situation around London. Thousands of the newcomers were camped around the outskirts of the city, living in poverty
and on charity. Sickness was prevalent and the city faced a possible plague. Something had to be done with or for these dis-
placed people. After much delay, the English Gov't. made some effort to resettle some of these poor people throughout the
country, some in Ireland and a large number were to be sent to the New World as colonists. However, those sent to America
would be indentured to the Queen and have to work for the English Navy in the forests of the New York Colony for a period
producing Naval Stores to pay for their passage to the New World and for the land they were to be settled upon. Later William
Penn sent agents to Germany to encourage settlers to come to the New World where good land was inexpensive and they could
enjoy freedom of worship without the sanction of some petty ruler. It would be most interesting if we could only visualize
the real estate promotion that was practiced in those days to encourage people to tear up their roots and embark on a new
life about which they knew nothing. This immigrant movement from the German States was sustained for nearly a hundred
years. They left their homes with what possessions they could carry and made their way down the Rhine on river barges to
the port of Rotterdam, where they took ship directly for America. The sailing ships usually stopped in southern England at
the port of Deal to take on additional supplies and water before starting the voyage across the Atlantic. Many of the passen-
gers were plundered and robbed while aboard ship of the few possessions they were able to carry and arrived in the New
World nearly destitute. Others without money, to secure passage, in effect, sold themselves into bondage to the ship's cap-
tain who upon arrival sold them as indentured servants for a period of servitude to the wealthy colonists.


After months of preparation and weeks crowded into the cramped and smelly quarters of the SAMUEL, the immigrants
had arrived at their destination and tomorrow they would set foot on shore in a strange land, their future home. There was
prob. little sleep aboard the SAMUEL that night. The Ermentraudts had arrived in the New World, for better or for worse.
On the following day, 27 Aug 1739, they debarked in a new and alien land.

There was a total of 340 passengers aboard the SAMUEL on this trip including men, women and children. However, only
the names of the male passengers, 16 years of age and older, appear on the passenger lists. Sixteen was the minimum age for
military service, so all males 16 years of age and over were required to sign the Oath of Allegiance to the English Crown and
the Oath of Abjuration by which they denied support for any of the several pretenders to the English Throne. All this was
accomplished at the Ct. House in Philadelphia befor'e the Justices of the Royal Ct. The following are excerpts from the ship's
passenger list prepared by Capt. Hugh Percy of the SAMUEL and the list of signatures prepared by the clerk of the ct. to indi-
cate that they had complied with the law by taking the prescribed oaths. 1

"A list of passengers' names and ages on board the ship SAMUEL
Hugh Percy, Commander, from Rotterdam, Aug. 27, 1739.

Johannes Ermantraud ********
Philipus Ermantraud
Johan Friederick Ermantraud age 22 years
age 18 years
age 16 years


Sworn that the above is a complete and true list of the male Palatines of the age of 16 years and upwards imported in the
ship Samuel, to the best of my knowledge. Aug. 27, 1739; (signed) Hugh Percy

(The list contained the names of 111 male Palatines.)

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