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Christ Lutheran Church (Tulpehoken, Pennsylvania) Land Indenture, 1758.

  • Collection Number: M-0201
  • Collection Size: x.x linear feet


Immigrants from the Rhenish Palatinate settled in Tulpehoken after they were forced to move out of the Schoharie Valley in New York. This move occurred when their contracts with the Native Americans were declared null and void and when speculators in New York fraudulently acquired their land. Governor Keith invited these thirty families to settle in Pennsylvania near the Tulpehoken River. Three hundred miles later they arrived at Tulpehoken. The kind treatment received by the group in Pennsylvania produced a large increase in the number of immigrants from the Palatinate to this American state.

The thirty immigrant families formed the congregation known as the Reith Lutheran Church before they arrived in Tulpehoken. They built their church in 1727. Pastor Henkel visited the congregation a number of times and Stoever, Jr. was the pastor there for a time from 1729 to 1750. However, trouble came to the congregation due to irresponsible pastors and the invasion of sectarianism, especially under the leadership of Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf. This trouble came to be known as the “Tulpehoken Confusion” and caused a split within the church. As a result of the turmoil a group formed the Christ Lutheran Church, which was built in 1743.

Neither church in Tulpehoken was involved in the creation of the Pennsylvania Ministerium in 1748 due to pietistic and Moravian influences. The land grant that is possessed by CHI is that of Christ Lutheran Church.


Schmauk, Theodore Emanuel. A History of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania. (1638-1820). Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1903, pp. 433-576.

Neve, J. L. History of the Lutheran Church in America. Burlington, Iowa: The Lutheran Literary Board, 1934, pp. 46-49, 56.


Three dates appear on this document: 1740, 1747, and 1758. The date which appears on the indenture (deed) in the final sentence is 1740. The date that has been written in pencil on the document is 21 September 1747. At the auction where this was purchased, there were three other similar deeds described with this same date. The accuracy of this date and the method used in determining it is unknown. The year 1758 represents the date that a copy was filed with the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for Berks County, Pennsylvania. Therefore, this official date is being used to identify the document.


Mr. Arne Pettersen donated this document to CHI in December 1982.

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