Place:Tulpenhocken, Berks, Pennsylvania, United States

Alt namesTylpehocken
Located inBerks, Pennsylvania, United States

Tulpenhocken (aka, Tulpehocken) is located in the western most corner of Berks County, PA. It is sometimes confused with Place:Tulpohocken, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States a community northeast of Phildadelphia.

Tulpenhocken was settled about 1723 by Dutch palatinate immigrants, who had first settled in the Mohawk Valley of New York, about 1710.

From: Source:Schmauk, 1902:438 et seq.

After inconceivable privation and labor, five German settlements in the Schoharie became a beautiful paradise of meadows, fields and gardens. But they were being watched by a group of conspirators who were in governmental position in Albany. As soon as the German farms were in blooming condition, these Albany strategists, under the appearance of right, sent word to the Germans that they possessed no titles to their lands and homes, and that unless they could purchase them, they would be evicted. The Governor of Pennsylvania (Keith) happening to be at Albany at an Indian conference when this sensational incident occurred, heard of the hard lot of the Germans; and in sympathy, it is stated, offered them a home in Pennsylvania. It is said that he assured them that their titles would be clear here, and their lands free from claims of white men and Indians.

A portion of the Schoharie settlers decided to act on this information at once and go to Pennsylvania. They took a road through the backwoods of mountain and wilderness, and arrived at their destination without having been disturbed or halted by government officials and also without any knowledge of the Proprietaries of the Province. There is nothing more weird and romantic in the early annals of American history than this exodus of the practical and unsentimental Palatine pioneers under the guidance of a friendly Indian from the valley of the Schoharie to the headwaters of the Tulpehocken. In the words of the younger Weiser, " The people got news of the land on the Swatara and Tulpehocken, in Pennsylvania. Many of them united and cut a road from Schoharie to the Sus- quehanna, carried their goods there and made rafts and floated down the river to the mouth of the Swatara, driving their cattle over land. This happened in the spring of the year 1723. From thence they came to Tulpehocken and this was the origin of the settlement."

Those who had remained in New York soon heard of the successful adventure of their fellow villagers. Many of them followed, in small bands, between 1723 and 1728, arriving in the Tulpehocken region at first also without the permission of the Proprietary of Pennsylvania and his commissioners ; and without the consent of the Indians from whom the land had not yet been purchased by the Proprietaries. But one drawback seemed to exist in the settlement. "There was no one among these people to govern them. Each one did as they pleased and their obstinacy has stood in their way ever since". [Conrad Weiser's Autobiography].

The migrated Germans were now in the land between the Blue Mountains and the South Mountain, just where the great break in the South Mountain occurs. Westward, the Swatara wends its way. Eastward, the beautiful Tulpehocken and its tributaries flow to meet the Schuylkill, near Reading. "Apparently Stouchsburg and the Muhl- bach region immediately south of Stouchsburg was the center of the settlement, although it seems to have extended from the vicinity of Myerstown eastward through Tulpehocken and Heidelberg Township to Womelsdorf and further east. " [J W- Early] "They finally reached the spot on the Tul- pehocken Creek near where the Mill Creek flows into the Tulpehocken and there settled in the spring of 1723." [Brownmiller's Memorial Discourse]

Having learned by experience how important secure titles to their property might be, they communicated with Governor Keith immediately after their arrival and obtained permission to take up such land as they needed, with the understanding that they would make satisfaction when the proprietor was ready to receive the same [Proceedings of Pennsylvania-German Society, The German Emigration from New York Province into Pennsylvania, p. 374. On May 13, 1723, James Mitchell writes to Secretary Logan from Donegal: " I give you to know that there is fifteen famileys of Duch come from Albaney, &c., are now settling up Swatarra..."]

The little log houses of the Germans were scarcely built and their first patches of corn scarcely planted, before the Indians in the neighborhood informed these new settlers that their land had never been purchased by the Government. 509 The next year having learned that an agent had been appointed by the Province, with power to dispose of lands, the Germans addressed a petition to William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, in which they asked him to see that they may be enabled to acquire rights and titles for such lands as they shall have occasion to buy from the proprietors or agents, "that our children may have some settlement to depend on hereafter, and that by your authority we may be freed from the demands of the Indians of our part of the country, who pretend a right thereto.... The Tulpehocken Germans now begged of the Pennsylvania government that their land might be relieved from any Indian claims. They maintained that Governor Keith had given them this promise before they left Schoharie ; M and Logan himself unquestionably admits this fact. Finally, nine years after the settlement was made, in 1732, in a manner honorable to all, the proprietaries purchased from the Indians all the land drained by the Schuylkill River, lying between the Blue Mountains and the Blue Ridge,8" and thus enabled the Germans to secure their homesteads. "

It is more than probable that, for several years after the immigration of 1723, there was a more or less constant accession to the number of the Palatines." In 1728 a second band composed of fifteen families left the Scho- harie, and in 1729, Conrad Weiser, Jr., arrived with his wife and four children, and settled one mile east of the present town of Womelsdorf.